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.

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Monday, January 14, 2013


We’re giving Cloris the day off today. Taking her place is Maya Sapp, the sidekick from Codename: Dancer and Pointe of No Return by author Amanda Brice. Welcome, Maya! -- AP

My name is Maya Sapp, and you might remember me from the TV show Teen Celebrity Dance-Off. The reality show came to my performing arts boarding school this fall, and I was paired up with tennis phenom Carson Chen. He may have displayed some fancy footwork at the US Open, but he kinda has two lead feet on the dance floor. But that’s okay.

Only one episode of the show ever aired, but not because it was canceled. Well, not intentionally at least. The producers decided not to continue with it after the set was sabotaged, and my friends Dani, Analisa, and I solved the mystery. Even if you never saw the show, though, you probably heard about it. The perp tried to kill Dani, so it was all over CNN.

That’s ancient history now, even though it did raise all of our profiles. But that’s a good thing, since I want to be in show business when I graduate. So thank you, thank you, to Cloris and Anastasia for inviting me! I’m very excited to share the recipe for my mom’s amazing Ham & Yam Chili.

I grew up in New York, and live in Arizona now, but my mom grew up in Georgia. And like any good Southern girl, she cooks by taste and instinct, so the amounts in the recipe are kinda sketchy. She explained it to me as “you’ll know it when you taste it” when I asked how much to include, which I admit isn’t all that helpful. Mea culpa in advance, but it’s a great way to use up leftover spiral ham after a holiday meal.

Ham & Yam Chili
1 lb leftover glazed ham, diced into chunks
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into chunks
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 15-oz can black-eyed peas
1 15-oz can dark red kidney beans
1 large onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
¼ cup leftover ham glaze
¼ cup orange juice
½ cup packed brown sugar
Chili seasoning, to taste

Set a slow cooker to low, timed for 4-6 hours. Pour all ingredients into the pot and stir together. Test the seasonings to make sure you get the right amount of sweetness and heat, so start low with the chili seasoning, adding until you arrive at the flavoring you prefer. Let cook for 4-6 hours, and enjoy!

For more characters’ favorite recipes, including Dani’s favorites – Allergen-Free Pad Thai from Codename: Dancer,  Dani’s Mango Madness Smoothie with Raspberry Swirl from Pointe of No Return, and Grandma Rose’s Varenyky (Ukrainian Pierogies) from the upcoming Pas De Death, please check out the FREE cookbook, EAT, READ, LOVE: Romance and Recipes from the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood!

This unique cookbook pairs recipes with excerpts from the romance novels that inspired them, so you can read while you cook. And best of all, it’s free!

Download it today:

From YA to suspense to historical to contemporary... Join the members of the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood for some "romancing the stove," and delight in romance and recipes from some of today's hottest rising stars, such as Darynda Jones, Hope Ramsay, Jeannie Lin, Laurie Kellogg, Kim Law, Amanda Brice, Liz Talley, and more!
Because there's no place like the kitchen! 


Kathleen Kaska said...

This sounds like so much fun!

Anne Marie Becker said...

Thanks for the great recipe, Maya! ;)

I have a recipe in Eat, Read, Love (from my first book, Only Fear) for cream cheese pie (basically, a cheesecake) that was handed down from my husband's grandmother. It's to die for. But then, I write romantic suspense, so everything is to die for. ;)

There's also a recipe for pernil al horno (yummy roasted pork shoulder) from my second book, Avenging Angel.

I'm enjoying playing with the recipes from the Rubies! So fun to try out new things (and new books)...

Love the blog, Lois! :)

liztalley said...

That ham and yam chili sound perfect for a cold day...even in Arizona. Does it get cold there much?

Love the blog and love picking up new recipes. And I will totally vouch for the Ruby cookbook - books and food? Two of my favorite things :)

Maya Sapp said...

Thanks for having me today, Cloris. It was a pleasure to be a "guest chef." Can I call myself a "celebrity chef" now? I've always wanted to be a celebrity. :)

Anne Marie, that pork shoulder sounds delish! Yum!!!!

Liz, it really doesn't get cold here in AZ. Well, I don't think so, at least. I'm used to real cold, but the people around here in Scottsdale seem to dig out the sweaters and jeans the second it drops below 80. Wimps!

I think you have some recipes in Eat, Read, Love, too, don't you?