Hello and welcome to Romance Recipes! Every Thursday and Friday I will introduce you to a new author and a new recipe! Two of my favorite things! This week I am bringing you author, Peggy Bird, and her recipe for Chocolate Mousse along with an introduction to her latest spicy romance, Loving Again. Please join me in welcoming Peggy and savor her recipe for Chocolate Mousse as you read about her new book!
In my latest romance novel, “Loving Again,” Amanda St. Claire wants to make a romantic dinner for Sam Richardson. They are just beginning to fall in love and she wants a perfect evening.
The menu: Before dinner–wine, softened Brie with grapes and crackers.
Main course–Julia Child’s Boeuf a la Bourguignon
Side dishes–salad with blue cheese dressing and French bread.
Here’s the recipe for the mousse that’s to die for:
6 oz. unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
1 cup sugar, divided
1/3 cup water
6 large eggs at room temperature
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. instant espresso dissolved in 2 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. vanilla
Add broken chocolate pieces to work bowl of food processor, using metal blade. Pulse two or three times then process until chocolate is finely chopped, about 1-2 minutes.
Dissolve 1/2 cup sugar in water and bring to rolling boil. With food processor running, pour boiling mixture through feed tube and process until smooth.
Separate eggs. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm. Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar beating until stiff peaks form.
Add egg yolks, coffee and vanilla to chocolate mixture. Pulse a few times, then scrape the sides. Let machine run for a few seconds.
Add 1/4 of the egg whites and process until well mixed. Add remaining egg whites and process by pulsing only until chocolate begins to cover the egg whites. Do not over process. Streaks of egg white are okay.
Spoon into 8 individual 1/2 cup serving dishes or a 1-1/2 quart serving dish and chill.
Makes 8 servings.
Glass artist Amanda St. Claire and Portland police detective Sam Richardson didn’t have an ordinary boy-meets-girl introduction—they meet when she’s accused of murdering her boyfriend. Sam puts his career on the line to find the evidence that frees her. But she leaves Portland before they can explore the attraction between them. Six months later she returns and a serious relationship begins.
However, the past isn’t always easily buried.
When an anonymous killer sets Amanda up again as a murderer and then threatens Sam, she moves to protect him the only way she can—by walking away from the only man she’s ever really loved.
Amanda had spent the afternoon making the dish (boeuf bourguignon) using Julia Childs’s recipe. It had been a long time since she cooked anything that complicated and she’d forgotten how much work it was. But when all the ingredients had blended together, it was sublime, rich and beefy with just the right amount of garlic and herbs. Well worth the effort.
“What smells so great?” Sam asked when he arrived with a bottle of wine and a kiss for her and an ear scratch for Chihuly.
“Boeuf a la bourguignon.”
He circled her waist with an arm. “I saw that movie. So, Julia’s helping you cook this evening, is she?”
Looking up at him with a smile, she said, “Not a movie I’d have thought you’d pick.”
“I didn’t,” he admitted.
“Ah-ha. A woman chose it for you.”
“Yeah, my sister dragged me to it when she couldn’t get her husband to go.”
“I didn’t know you had an older sister.”
“How do you know she’s an older sister?”
“I have a younger brother. I understand how us older sibs work.” She held up the bottle. “Shall I pour this for both of us or would you prefer something else?”
“Wine’s good. But let me.”
He went in the direction of a corkscrew and glasses; she disappeared into the kitchen where she added crackers and grapes to a plate of softened Brie.
The wine was poured and her CD of the Grieg piano concerto was playing when she returned. Sam was ensconced in his favorite place on the leather couch. Joining him, she spread cheese on several crackers and handed one to him, then settled back, nestling next to him.
“Dinner’s ready any time we are but it’ll hold for a while,” she said.
“Let’s wait a few minutes. I haven’t seen you all week.” He touched his glass to hers. “I’ve missed you. Maybe we should…”
She handed him another cracker and interrupted. “Did you see Pink Martini’s playing with the symphony in a couple weeks? I tried to get tickets but they’re sold out.”
He let the interruption go although his expression was more frustrated than usual when she changed the subject to something less intimate. “I have tickets for the Saturday night performance. I was going to ask if you’d like to go.”
“How’d you do that?”
“I bought them when I renewed my symphony season tickets.”
“Season tickets? I thought you just had those two we used a couple weeks ago.”
“Nope. Whole season—well, part of the whole season. But you don’t need to know the intricacies of the Oregon Symphony’s ticket options. All that matters is…”
“I get to hear Pink Martini! I love you!”
“So, that’s what it takes. I wondered.”
Thanks to her outburst, the conversation was back to where she wasn’t comfortable. To top it off, she couldn’t tell how serious he was.
But he let her off the hook. “I can’t sit here any longer smelling that wonderful smell. How about I help you get dinner on the table.” Picking up their glasses and the bottle of wine, he headed for the dining room.
She’d dodged the bullet. For the moment.
When the Brie and wine, beef bourguignon, salad and chocolate mousse were finished, they stayed at the table drinking coffee, exchanging horse stories. Hers were about competing in dressage and jumping at her private high school in Ohio, his about his Appaloosa, Chief, and his rodeo experiences in Eastern Oregon when he was young. She bragged about her ribbons and medals on her horse Tiger Lil. He allowed that he’d won a belt buckle or two.
Then the conversation veered again.
“I’ve been meaning to ask—are you still getting false alarms from your security system?” he asked.
This was one of the subjects she’d tried to keep Sam away from. Even in her most paranoid moments, when she was afraid that the repeated alarms from the security sensor on her basement door meant the intruders from the year before had returned, she hadn’t given in to the temptation to tell him about it. She was not going to be one of those women who ran to a man the first time she heard a strange noise.
But she wasn’t going to lie to him either.
A writer and glass artist, I’ve been published in anthologies, magazines, newspapers and the brochures, newsletters and reports of my consulting clients and employers. Unless you count speeches for politicians, I’d never written fiction until a cast of characters began inhabiting my daydreams. A glass artist and a gallery owner were there. So were a sculptor and a jewelry designer. When some dead bodies showed up, a couple of cops and a deputy DA arrived. Soon they began to fall in love with each other and work for their happy ending. Bingo. I was a romance writer.
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Thank you for joining us for another Romance Recipe! I hope you’ll stop by next week to meet another author, try a new recipe and read a new book!