Thanks for joining us today, Anna!
February is one of my least favourite months of the year. The days are still short, the nights are still long. It’s dark when you get up and dark before you even have dinner. And it’s usually the coldest, wettest, greyest month of the year.
One thing I do like about February is that it gives me the chance to enjoy some warming foods. Stews and soups and bakes, chili and Spaghetti Bolognese and risotto -- yum! There’s nothing quite like a steaming hot bowl of your favourite winter’s dish to cheer you up, even on the coldest, wettest, darkest night! And there are plenty of reasons not to include a single lettuce leaf <g>.
Also, by the time you get to February, you feel like you’ve earned the right to pamper yourself with some tasty treats. The healthy eating is well under way and the latest campaign to get moving more is paying dividends (stop laughing!), so it’s okay to have the occasional indulgence. Besides your body has now recovered from the excesses of the holidays and is looking forward to nice food (and no more lettuce leaves!)
Those of you who know me, know I’m not a huge fan of sweet treats. I’m much more likely to sneak crisps (potato chips) than I am cookies and popcorn (hot, buttered) than chocolate. One of my favourite indulgences is home-made cheese scones. More on them shortly!
This year, February is a fun month for me as I have another book launch! The third book in my New Jersey Ice Cats series -- A Perfect Catch -- is released this month. For those of you who have been following the series (a heartfelt thank you!), this is Ike and Tracy’s story. A chance to find out what went wrong between these former lovers and whether they have a chance for a future together.
Here is the blurb:
He's the perfect catch…for now!
When it comes to romance, Tracy Hayden is not looking for a rematch. She's had epic passion—and problems!—with professional hockey player Ike Jelinek. Brilliant on skates and magic in bed, his too-traditional-for-her views were like a bucket of ice water on their affair.
Then an injury takes Ike out of the game, and everything changes. Suddenly he needs her services-providing business—even though he once claimed it was their biggest problem. Tracy's determined to be professional, despite the sizzling attraction between them that won't go away. Maybe they need a second fling to fix that!
And a sneak peek:
Tracy had just reached Ike’s room when she heard him roar.
“I don’t need a freaking straw in my drink and I don’t want you to cut up my food.”
A young blonde volunteer in a striped uniform rushed past Tracy, her face flushed. “Perhaps you’ll have better luck with him.”
Tracy smiled sympathetically, then strode into the room. “Someone’s in a foul mood.”
“You’d be miserable, too, if you weren’t even allowed to use a freaking knife and fork,” he growled, crossing his arms awkwardly over his broad chest. The bandages that covered his arm from fingers to shoulder hampered his movement.
The flowery pastel-blue gown should have looked silly on such an obviously masculine body. Instead, it emphasized his honed chest and arms, making him look more manly, rather than less. But Ike didn’t need to know that.
Nor that he’d made her pulse skip. “Good job I’m here to give the staff a break from your charming personality.”
He narrowed his gaze. “Do not push me.”
“Seriously?” Tracy rolled her eyes. “That might work on a sweet young thing like that candy striper, but I’m immune.”
Ike’s green eyes turned fiery, challenging her to take him on.
She tamped down her body’s instant heated response. Besides, she shouldn’t tease a wounded man. Especially one whose pride probably hurt as much as his arm.
So what does this have to do with one of my favourite comfort foods -- cheese scones? Well, in the book, Tracy makes cheese scones. As a special treat to say thank you to all of you at The Romance Dish, and to make sure February gets off to a great start, I thought I’d share the recipe with you.
Tracy’s Cheese Scones (makes 1 doz)
225g or 8oz of self-raising flour
85g/3oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
125ml/4 fl oz milk
Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F
Mix together the flour and butter
Mix in the grated cheese
Add milk to get a soft dough
Turn onto floured surface and knead lightly
Roll out so that it’s approx 1/2in thick.
Use a 5cm/2in cutter to cut out rounds. Try not to twist as you’re cutting.
Knead remaining dough together, roll out and repeat for more rounds.
Place rounds of a greased tray and brush the tops with milk.
Bake for 12-15 mins until golden.
Delicious with bacon!
Over to you. What is your favourite comfort food to eat during February? One lucky commenter will win a copy of A Perfect Catch.