Saturday, October 25, 2014

Upside Down Pecan-Apple Pie straight out of my new book! AND GIVEAWAY!

Hello, everybody! I know the rafflecopter is still going for the $25 Amazon gift card but I wanted to share this fun recipe. 
So, when I was researching my new series set in Natchitoches, Louisiana, I needed a good cookbook. I asked my facebook friends and apparently this is THE cookbook for Louisiana. It's like the JOY OF COOKING down there. Everybody's got one, usually handed down. It was originally published in the 1950's and now you can buy it on Amazon. Love that!                                          
Poor me, I had SO MUCH RESEARCH to do. And by research I meant cooking and eating. I decided not to include this recipe in the back of the first book in the series, but it caught my eye and I wanted to try it out. Upside down apple-pecan pie sounds interesting, doesn't it??
(Shameless book plug: The Pepper in the Gumbo which is up for preorder now! I really LOVED writing this book. Sort of You've Got Mail and 84, Charring Cross Road- with lots of Southern cooking and romance!)
 Then this box showed up at my door and I got to hold my latest Austen Takes the South book in my hands!  Isn't she pretty!!!??? Releasing Nov. 11th! I have three of these to give away (my sister will beat me over the head if I don't save one for her and the other is for me). Enter in the rafflecopter at the bottom but first... check out this PIE! I had to celebrate!

Bake at 350F for an hour.
4TBS butter
2/3 brown sugar
2/3 cup pecans
2 unbaked pie crusts
6 cups sliced apples
1 tbs lemon juice
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 TB flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
 There's Mr. Tin Pie Plate! We've missed you!!
 So combine the brown sugar and the butter and press into the bottom of the pan. This will melt and make a caramel under your pie.
 Press the pecans into the mix and you can make it fancy if you want.
Put the bottom crust over the mix, leaving a few inches over the sides.
 Like so.
 Put in the apple mixture. Mmmmmm....
By the way, these pies (I actually made two) come from the apples from our own trees. But these are special trees. We have a compost pile where we throw veggies and peels and such. My husband noticed a few seedlings had sprouted so he transplanted them into the corner of the yard. I didn't really pay attention to them. I think I noticed them a few times a year. Scrawny branches, tiny little stunted apples, the trees were no taller than my youngest child for years. And then this year, the apples grew BIGGER. I was so surprised! It took seven years for a little seed to give back another apple and even though I'd completely forgotten about those little trees, they were working hard the whole time. I imagine them saying to me now, "How you like THEM apples??" lol
 Put on the top layer an pinch closed the edge. This was a very juicy pie (and actually set off the fire alarm twice) so be sure to set something underneath to catch the drips.
 OK, here's the first pie and it smells AMAZING. But I'm not completely sold on it yet.
I'm going to attempt to turn over the pie into this deep dish. The entire family has crowded around to watch. (Mostly because I set off the fire alarm and they're huddled together for warmth while the smoke leaves the house.)
 Here's the second pie and although it doesn't look fantastically pretty, there's nothing like hot aple pie right from the oven.
 OK. It actually wasn't that hard to flip. I'm wondering if the caramel burned. I'm skeptical.
 Moment of truth, with lots of caramel sauce drizzled on it.
And some whipped topping. The verdict was..... *drum roll* The family declares this THE BEST PIE EVER.
And since I usually post a kid pic but they were all outside playing by the time I sat down to write this, I'll put this one here...
My oldest always reads to the younger kids every night and this photo really made me laugh. At first I thought of Cerberus, the three headed dog. And then someone said it looked like Huginn and Muninn, the Norse mythological crows that perched on Odin's shoulders. Lol.
 So there you go! I hope you're all having a wonderful and productive fall!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

New releases!!

Hello everybody!!

  I'm sorry for the lapse there, but I've been BUSY! I just had a new book release, called A Home for Her Family and I'm sooo glad to see this book finally out and on the shelves!

And then....

  I also just finished a NEW Mary Jane Hathaway book and I love it SO MUCH! (To be released on the 28th of October!) It's probably my favoritest book EVAH. It's packed full of rare books, poetry, cats, Southern food, books, Creole speakers, books and a hunky, hi-tech hero.  *sigh*
Did you catch that it was a romance written around BOOKS??
Here's the blurb:

  "Alice Augustine runs the oldest bookstore in the historic district of Natchitoches and believes technology is the root of most problems. If only more people would  turn off the Tv and shut down the computer, the world wouldn't be in the mess it's in. If only she can get the teens she loves to step away from the screens and hold on to their Creole culture.

    Paul Olivier comes back to his home town determined to show the people of Cane River that he's not the poor, nerdy kid he once was. He's made a fortune designing video games and opening a giant electronics store right in the snooty historic district will be the crowning glory of his career.

   Alice and Paul clash from the start, but nothing is ever quite as it seems. When secrets are revealed, will there be a second chance- for both of them?

   A romance that brings the humor of You've Got Mail and the deep friendships of 84, Charring Cross Road, this story will touch the classic literature lover in everyone."

I loved writing this story because I've always wanted to write a modern secret identity story(I've written one in my historical, Purple Like the West).
You know, like You've Got Mail? But set in the South with lots of good food! As always, the book includes recipes (Natchitoches Meat Pies and Gumbo) and lots of ROMANCE. It's not up on Amazon yet but you can add it to your 'want to read' list here!

So, to celebrate this almost-very-soon release, I'm giving away one $25 Amazon gift card because I know you all need more BOOKS! To enter you can leave a comment and let me know you added it to your goodreads 'want to read' list, OR you can share this post!  (It shows up under the "invent your own option" but you know what I mean. And thank you for helping me celebrate!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway