Thursday, November 14, 2013

Guest Post & Giveaway: Mary Ellen Taylor

I am pleased to welcome author Mary Ellen Taylor to Always With a Book. Her latest book, Sweet Expectations, is now available. You can read my review of her book here. Today Mary Ellen discusses her new book, which is the second in her Union Street Bakery series and then shares with us some holiday recipes with us!!! Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post!

Hi All.

So, what do you get when you mix a strong-will heroine, a persistent ghost, recipes and a 150-year old bakery? You end up with SWEET EXPECTATIONS, my second women's fiction novel. 

I'm hoping readers of THE UNION STREET BAKERY will enjoy returning with me to my favorite fictional baker shop and its manager, Daisy McCrae, my strong willed heroine. SWEET EXPECTATIONS picks up just weeks after where THE UNION STREET BAKERY left off. Daisy, with her sisters Rachel and Margaret at her side, is renovating the bakery. She's hopeful the renovation will go smoothly but knows life for her rarely stays on an even keel. When the sisters open up an old wall, they find a recipe box that dates back to the 1930s. The box had been put there when the last renovation was done sixty years ago. But who left it and why?

Before Daisy can get a handle on the mystery, life throws her a curve far more problematic than a renovation. This challenge might be the biggest she's ever faced. 

SWEET EXPECTATIONS was a labor of love to write and I have to give big thanks to my friends Nancy and Michael who at one time owned their own bakery. I drove to their country home and we spent a wonderful day baking and talking about their years behind the bakery counter. As we kneaded bread dough and mixed up a batch of chocolate chip cookies, the kitchen filled with delicious smells. Michael told me bakes have to be strong enough to handle hundred pound bags of flour. They count every penny because the different between profit and loss is razor thin. Long hours are the norm. As I shared with him tales of my imaginary bakery on Union Street, he shared stories about the people that worked for him, the customers they loved and the challenges his bakery faced. By the time I left, I not only had a batch of cookies and a loaf of delicious bread tucked in a bag but the key ingredients for SWEET EXPECTATIONS.

I was able to blend Michael and Nancy's words of wisdom with the characters of THE UNION STREET BAKERY to create the perfect blend that became SWEET EXPECTATIONS. I loved every minute I spent writing this tale. I hope you will join me on this return to the Union that will always remain special to me.
 


***Here are some Holiday Recipes Mary Ellen Taylor was gracious enough to share with us...ENJOY!!! 
    
Chocolate Truffles
    8 ounces of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
    1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
    1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
    Cocoa
    Chopped walnuts

Place heavy whipping cream in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring often.  When the cream is hot, pour over chocolate and add vanilla.  Mix until the chocolate is melted and blended.  Place chocolate/cream mixture in a shallow dish and refrigerate for at least two hours.  When the mixture is solidified, scoop out, form into bite size balls and roll in cocoa and nuts.  Chill.  Serve.  Enjoy!


Vanilla Truffles
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups white chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioner’s sugar
Coconut

Place heavy whipping cream in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring often.  When the cream is hot, pour over white chocolate and add vanilla.  Mix until the white chocolate is melted and blended.  Place white chocolate/cream mixture in a shallow dish and refrigerate for at least two hours.  When the mixture is solidified, scoop out, form into bite size balls and roll in coconut.  Chill.  Serve.  Enjoy!


Tex Mex Sugar Cookies
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 eggs
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon lemon extract
3-1/4 cups flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
chili powder
sugar for dusting

Cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, milk and lemon extract.  Mix well.  In another bowl shift together flour, baking powder and salt.  Slowly mix into butter/sugar mixture.  Spoon even sized dollops on parchment-lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle cookies with sugar and a hint of chili powder.  Bake 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

This cookie is sweet and soft and has a real kick.  The sweet and savory are a nice blend.



Thank you Mary Ellen for sharing both this guest post and these delectable recipes with us! I definitely see some baking in my future!!!


Now, for the giveaway!!! Yesterday, I posted my review of Sweet Expectations, Mary Ellen Taylor's newest novel. To be entered to win this book (US and CANADA only), head over to that post (link is here) and leave a comment. If you leave a comment here, too, you will get an additional entry - but you must leave an entry on the review post to get the extra entry. Giveaway ends October 22nd, 2013.


12 comments:

  1. This book would be enjoyable and special. thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks delicious and thanks for the recipes too. carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

    ReplyDelete
  3. These recipes look wonderful. Thanks for the giveaway. The renovation of the bakery looks fascinating.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I must try some of these tecipes.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Those are some yummy recipes!
    Thanks for sharing!
    mestith at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Would love to win this book; yummy yummy.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sorry here is my email:
    patoct at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Would love to win this book; yummy yummy.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Would love to win this book; yummy yummy.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Book sounds really good and I bet those recipes make up really well.

    Patty B Coral
    pattyb43coral@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. thanks for the chance and this wonderful book. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Would love to win this book.
    gmaepeony@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete

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