Monday, January 19, 2015

Cooking With Author Carol Heilman!

Welcome, Carol! So glad to have you with us here to tell us about your new novel which releases on the 22nd, and share food! The recipe for Hot Browns looks amazing. I tried Hot Browns for the first time this past September when I was invited to a conference in Frankfort, Kentucky.

Here is Carol . . .

The recipe for Hot Browns originated years ago at The Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, but the cheese sauce—perfected by my mother—turned an ordinary-sounding dish into something scrumptious. The secret is in the sauce.

Our family always serves this dish the day after Thanksgiving, but it’s delicious any time of the year.

Kentucky Hot Browns

Cheese Sauce:
6 T. Butter
½ Cup Flour
3 Cups whole milk
½ t. Salt
½ t. Dry Mustard
1 T. Worcestershire Sauce
2 t. chicken bouillon granules
1 Cup shredded extra-sharp cheese
Melt butter, add flour, and cook until browned, stirring constantly. I use a whisk. Gradually add milk. Heat until thickened. Add seasonings & cheese.

6 slices toast
Turkey, sliced thin
Ham, sliced thin
6 slices tomato
6 strips Bacon, cooked crisp
Shredded Parmesan cheese—about ¾ Cup

You can make these in individual baking dishes or in a 9x13 pan. Spray with Pam.
Arrange toast slices in dish. Add turkey & ham. Cover with cheese sauce. Top with tomato & bacon. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 425 degrees until bubbly.
Serve hot. ENJOY!

Summer's steamy haze coats North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, but feisty Agnes Marie Hopper discovers the heat isn't the only thing causing her blood to boil. After a kitchen fire destroys her home, Agnes moves in with her daughter, Betty Jo. Three months later they come to an understanding. Neither can tolerate living with the other. So on a sultry August morning Betty Jo drives Agnes and her few belongings to Sweetbriar Manor, a local retirement home and a former house of ill repute.

With no intention of staying, Agnes devises a scheme to sneak out of the Manor and find another place to live. Before she can make her exit, she runs into her best friend from high school, along with some other quirky characters. With a nose for trouble, Agnes learns some of the residents are being robbed, over-medicated, and denied basic cable and Internet access.

Armed with nothing more than seventy-one years of common sense and a knack for pushing people's buttons, Agnes sets out to expose the unscrupulous administrator, protect her new friends, and restore Sweetbriar Manor's reputation as a "rewarding and enriching lifestyle." But the real moment of truth comes when Agnes is forced to choose between her feisty self-reliance and the self-sacrifice that comes from caring for others.

You can order a copy of Agnes Hopper Shakes Up Sweetbriar here.


Carol Heilman, a coal miner's daughter, married a farmer's son, her high school sweetheart, over fifty years ago. She and her husband live in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Their children and grandchildren live near the east and west coasts where they often visit. Carol enjoys traveling, reading, writing, hiking, and cooking for friends. She is a recipient of two Carrie McCray Awards for writing excellence.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Cooking with Author Ann Tatlock

What an honor to have my friend and fellow LPC author, Ann Tatlock, as my guest today.

I asked Ann to share about cooking and her new novel, Once Beyond a Time, that was just released last month.

Here's Ann . . .

In my house, I’m the sous-chef. I have been appointed to this lofty position because I can’t cook worth a hill of beans. In spite of my own mother’s best efforts, the kitchen remains for me a foreign land, cookbooks a library of cryptic words. In fact, if eating were optional, I’d gladly give it up and spend the time reading instead.

My daughter Laura, on the other hand, enjoys making all sorts of culinary creations. One of her favorite things to do is whip up a batch of cupcakes and take them to her friends at school.

Invariably, as she begins to putter about the kitchen, she hollers, “Mom, come and be my sous-chef!”

I dutifully enter that foreign land.

“Okay, Mom, I need you to measure out a cup of water.”

I can do that!

“Okay, now spray the cupcake pans with the cooking oil.”

I can do that too!

Laura smiles. “I love having you as my sous-chef, Mom.”

Happiness arises from the kitchen! My teen-aged daughter enjoys being with me! Together we make some tasty and attractive cupcakes while at the same time making precious memories.

Fortunately, too, my husband is an excellent cook, which has helped to keep my body and soul together for the 22 years we’ve been married.

I have always been far more comfortable, far more at home, in imaginary worlds—those found in books, those dreamed up by my own imagination. So I can’t cook, but if you don’t mind my carrying the cooking analogy over to what I can do, I love mixing together the ingredients of characters, plot, theme and voice, popping it all into the oven of time and effort (it can get pretty hot in there) and seeing what comes out in the end.

My newest dish is Once Beyond A Time.

Normally I write historical or contemporary novels, but this one’s a bit different. The setting is a house high on a mountain where all of time is happening at once, so that the present residents of the house can see and talk with those who have lived there before and those who will live there in the future.

It’s the story of a broken family, a lost child, and a God who transcends time to bring healing to his people and to work out his good plans.

So that’s the latest story cooked up in my imagination. I hope for you it’s a tasty morsel of good reading. Bon appetit!

Thanks, Ann, for joining us here today. You can read reviews of Ann's new novel here.

Ann Tatlock is a novelist and children’s book author. Her newest novel, Once Beyond A Time, was published in December 2014 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Her books have received numerous awards, including the Christy Award, the Midwest Book Award and the Silver Angel Award for Excellence in Media. She also serves as managing editor of Heritage Beacon, the historical fiction imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She lives with her family in Western North Carolina. Please visit her website.