Hello and welcome to Romance Recipes where I am happy to introduce you to a new author and a new recipe! Two of my favorite things! Today I am bringing you author, Alissa Callen, and her recipe for Kebabs along with an introduction to her rural romance, Beneath Outback Skies. Please join me in welcoming Alissa and savor her recipe for Kebabs as you read about her new book!
Outback Inspired Kebabs
In Beneath Outback Skies, the heroine, Paige Quinn doesn’t have time to cook. Too busy out in the paddocks battling the drought it is her father, Connor, who is the king of the kitchen. However, her pretty city-boy guest, Tait, surprises her one night while camping out when he whips up a simple but tasty meal of kebabs followed by roasted marshmallows. Unfortunately in Australia we don’t have graham crackers (or even anything similar) to make chocolate s’mores so Tait and Paige have to make do with plain marshmallows. But what we do have down here is plenty of summer sunshine perfect for lazy barbeques or camping out. This kebab recipe is a tasty holiday favorite of my kids – even though the dog still does seem to end up with anything green. (can cut this down or omit it – whatever works best)
500gm beef steak, trimmed of fat and cut into cubes
Any favorite vegetables also cut into cubes or chunks – capsicum (peppers), onion, cherry tomatoes (use whole), zucchini, mushrooms, pineapple
Marinade – 4 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
touch of black pepper
any handy herbs (dried – add ¼ teaspoon) or fresh. Alternatively browse the grocery shop aisle for a readymade marinade.
Soak bamboo sticks in water. Mix marinade together and add meat, making sure all the cubes are coated. Refrigerate and allow meat to marinate for minimum of 30 mins.
On wet bamboo sticks assemble kebabs, alternating meat with a vegetable. Leave a small space between pieces to allow for even cooking.
Roast on a barbecue or grill until meat is done. Rest for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy.
Paige Quinn will let nothing and no one distract her from caring for her wheelchair-bound father, Connor, and fighting for her remote, drought-stricken property, Banora Downs. Least of all a surprise farm-stay guest named Tait Cavanaugh, whose smooth words are as lethal as his movie-star smile. Except Paige can’t help noticing that, for a city-boy, Tait seems unexpectedly at home on the land. And he does ask a lot of questions… It doesn’t matter how much he helps out or how much laughter he brings into her life, she soon suspects he is harboring a big secret – the real reason he has come to Banora Downs…
Unless this city boy is on a first-name basis with the rain gods, I’m not showing him around Banora Downs.’
Paige Quinn’s quiet, measured words fell like much-needed rain into the silence of her father’s study.
‘I know how hard you work, how busy you are, but I’ve given my word this man can stay.’ Lines of tension mapped Connor Quinn’s creased features. His strong shoulders were braced beneath the red-checked cotton of his best shirt. ‘Possum … I’m sorry.’
Her Akubra crumpled beneath her tight grip. She’d been out droving hungry cattle in the long paddock for a fortnight. In such time it looked as though her father had aged a decade.
‘It’s okay, Dad. You can’t control fate. Can’t make life fair.’
Her gentle tone failed to return color to her father’s hollowed cheeks. They both knew she wasn’t talking about the endless blistering Australian summer.
‘We can do this. We can survive.’ Conviction echoed in her words like her footsteps upon the floorboards as she approached her father’s desk. ‘Just as we’ve always done. Just the two of us.’ She placed her hat upon the time-worn mahogany. ‘We don’t need some paying guest’s cash.’
She may as well have been talking to one of the garden statues that now presided over old tools in the shed, instead of lush lawns and fragrant flower beds. The only movement in her father’s expression was his eyes as they glanced from her face to her hat. She shifted on her feet. The sun-bleached felt would look pristine compared with her torn-around-the-edges appearance. Her faded emerald-green shirt was caked in ochre dust, her jeans so stiff they could walk by themselves to the laundry.
Her father lowered his hands and the sinews of his forearms flexed as he maneuvered his wheelchair out from behind the desk.
‘Yes, we do. We haven’t had a wheat crop for five years. We’ve few cattle left to sell.’ She steeled herself so the reality of how much they did have left wouldn’t show on her face. ‘This drought has hit us hard. We need money to eat … to live.’
She swallowed down her hunger. The meager slice of toast she’d eaten around her dawn campfire was little more than a memory.
‘We’ll make do. You know what happened with the last city-slicker. He had three showers a day and drained the tank. Not to mention our phone bill because his mobile didn’t have reception. As for the time he went for a walk and we had to organize a bloody search party …’ She knelt to grasp her father’s hands. ‘This man will be just the same. He’ll be nothing but trouble. We don’t have the diesel to drive him to town. We don’t have the cash for his lobster and caviar.’
‘If it helps,’ a deep-timbred voice sounded from the doorway behind her, ‘I’m allergic to seafood.’
Paige stiffened. Only the firm grasp of her father’s hands prevented her from spinning around. ‘Paige,’ her father murmured as if she were six years old again, ‘play nice.’ A flicker of humor lit his eyes. ‘We want our guest to leave with good memories, not with his arm in a cast. Okay?’
She kinked a brow. ‘You do remember cousin Charles fell out of the tree all by himself, don’t you?’
Her father winked and eased his grip on her hands. She straightened and spun on her boot heels to see a tall man stride into the room. She met eyes as blue as the water that haunted her dreams. For a nanosecond she drowned in their cool, clear depths. Then the stranger’s scent hit her. Top-shelf aftershave. Hand-crafted leather. Money. Three things as foreign to her world as dust, dehydration and desperation were to him.
It didn’t matter if the price tag for keeping his thick, dark hair city-short would feed them for days. It didn’t matter if the muscles beneath the fine weave of his blue chambray shirt were exactly what she needed to fix the broken fence. This paying guest wasn’t welcome. The outback was no place for the inexperienced or the foolhardy. Even more so when rain was non-existent. Everything was thirsty and bad-tempered. Stock. Snakes. Humans. There was no way this man could stay the weekend.
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When Alissa Callen isn’t writing she plays traffic controller to four children, three dogs, two horses and one renegade cow who really does believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. After a childhood spent chasing sheep on the family farm, Alissa has always been drawn to remote areas and small towns, even when residing overseas. Once a teacher and a counselor, she remains interested in the life journeys that people take and her books are characteristically heart-warming, emotional and character driven. She currently lives on a small slice of rural Australia in central western New South Wales.
Thank you for joining us for another Romance Recipes! I hope you’ll stop by next week to meet another author, try a new recipe and pick up a new book!