featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

#COOKING WITH CLORIS--GUEST AUTHOR CARA MARSI AND GREEK LAMB AND SPINACH STEW

Cara Marsi, an award-winning author and self-proclaimed TV junkie, is a former corporate drone and cubicle dweller. An eclectic author, Cara is published in romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance. She has also published numerous short romance stories in national women’s magazines and online. Learn more about Cara and her books at her website. 

Romance—The Spice of Life

Most of us love a good romance. All of us love to eat. With the proliferation of cooking shows on TV and the celebrity chefs, many of us have become foodies. I admire those, trained chefs or ordinary people, who can whip up scrumptious meals. I collect recipes because I love to cook, and I’m learning to be a better cook.

I like to give the characters in my books interesting careers, mostly the type careers I wish I’d had. Because I admire anyone with great cooking skills, I’ve written heroines who are chefs and caterers and bakers, and one hero who was a well-known chef. And I’m working on a new novella where the heroine is a chef. I’ve included scenes where the hero and heroine are cooking together in the kitchen. There’s something very sexy about a man and woman working side-by-side cooking a meal.

My first published book, A Catered Affair, featured a heroine who owned a catering company. When her struggling company is bought out by the man who’d broken her heart years earlier, she’s grateful he saved her business but wary of losing her heart again. When I got the rights to the book back, I published it digitally as A Catered Romance.

A Catered Romance won second place in the contemporary novel category of the 2013 OKRWA International Digital Awards Contest!

I have a scene in the book where Mary Beth is making lamb stew for a client. Here’s one of my favorite recipes, Greek lamb and spinach stew. It’s a crock-pot recipe, and I love my crock-pot. I don’t remember where I got this recipe but it’s very easy, taking only 10 minutes to prepare. Then you let the crock-pot do all the work.

Greek Lamb and Spinach Stew
Serves 6

1 boneless lamb shoulder (2 lb.), visible fat trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. each Greek herb seasoning & salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 can (19 oz.) cannellini beans, rinsed
1 can (13.75 oz.) whole artichoke hearts, cut in half
3 cups baby spinach (3 oz.)
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
crumbled feta cheese

Mix lamb pieces, tomatoes, onion, garlic, Greek seasoning, salt and pepper in a 3.5 quart or larger slow-cooker. Cover and cook on low 7 to 9 hours until lamb is tender when pierced.

Mash 1 cup beans. Stir mashed and whole beans, artichoke hearts, and spinach into cooker. Cover and cook on high 15 minutes until spinach wilts and mixture is hot. Stir in lemon zest; sprinkle with feta.

As with any recipe, you sometimes need to make substitutions. I’ve never found Greek herbs, so I use Italian or whatever else I think will work.  For the diced tomatoes, I like to use ones that have seasoning in them, like garlic and basil, or even zesty chili peppers. I love to experiment, and with stews and soups you can do lots of experimenting.

A Catered Romance is also included in the Sweet Temptations Boxed Set.


A Catered Romance
“There’s more than business brewing between two old high school flames.”

Stubbornly self-reliant Mary Beth Kendrick needs financial backing to keep her catering business cooking. A looming corporate buyout forces her to accept help from Tom Sackett, the man who broke her heart and left her with no appetite for love.
Unable to forget Mary Beth, Tom sets out to win her forgiveness. As he gets to know her again through their shared business interests, he realizes he wants more than forgiveness from her. He wants her in his life.
Grateful for Tom’s support but unwilling to trust him, Mary Beth vows to keep their relationship strictly business. But his attentiveness, culminating in a night of passion, starts to melt her icy resolve and shows her the caring, sensitive man Tom has become.
Can Mary Beth learn to love and trust again? Will she and Tom open their hearts to a second chance at love?



Sweet Temptations Boxed Set
A trio of delicious romances 

In the sensuous, award-winning novel, A Catered Romance, there’s more than business brewing between two old high school flames. 


In the short story, A Taste of Romance, two chefs cook up romance in the kitchen. 

In the short story, Sweet Temptations, a baker hopes to entice a handsome customer to sample more than her baking. 



8 comments:

Cara Marsi said...

Thank you for having me today.

Judythe Morgan said...

I loved A Catered Affair. Actually I've loved all you books - long, short all the different genres. Always get a great romance fix.
This recipe sounds delicious. Can't wait to try it.

Anonymous said...

The recipe sounds great... and I loved reading A Catered Affair...and all Cara's books!!!

Tess St. John

Cara Marsi said...

Thank you, Judythe and Tess. Thanks for your kind words about my books. I hope you try the recipe. I've made it several times and it's very good.

Aileen Fish said...

This recipe sounds so good!

Cara Marsi said...

Thanks for visiting, Aileen. The stew is delicious. I hope you'll try it.

Angela Adams said...

Yummy!

Cara Marsi said...

Thanks, Angela! It is yummy!