Alissa Callan coverHello 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 Aussie Lamingtons along with an introduction to her contemporary romance, Down Outback Roads. Please join me in welcoming Alissa and savor her recipe for Aussie Lamingtons as you read about her new book!

In Down Outback Roads I had so much fun using food as a way to integrate the two different worlds of my main characters. Kree Garrett is from the Rocky Mountains while Ewan Mackenzie is from the small rural town of Glenalla, Australia. When Kree arrives Downunder she quickly develops a liking for the iconic Aussie lamington.

Aussie Lamingtons

1 plain and unfilled sponge or vanilla cake cut into squares. Can be made from scratch, from a packet mix or purchased.

Chocolate icing:Alissa Callan recipe pic

2 ½ cups icing sugar/mixture

¼ cup cocoa powder

2/3 cup warm water

Alissa Callan recipe pic 2Sift together dry ingredients, whisk in water until smooth.

Tip 2 cups desiccated coconut into a wide-mouthed bowl.

Roll chocolate-covered cake in coconut until evenly coated.

Lamingtons can also be sliced and filled with whipped cream or jam before being rolled in the chocolate icing and coconut.

Allow to set and then enjoy 🙂


Kree Garrett’s younger brother Seth is all the family she has left, so when he goes missing in the Australian outback, she doesn’t think twice about leaving her American home to find him. When Seth is rescued Kree vows to find a way to thank the small town of Glenalla. It isn’t long before she falls in love with the tight-knit rural community. But is it really the town she’s falling for?

Ewan Mackenzie has given up everything for his brother’s family, but he can never give enough to assuage his guilt at what happened one dark night, years ago . . . Ewan knows he doesn’t deserve a second chance at happiness, but when beautiful, open-hearted Kree stays to fight to save his home town, he finds it hard to keep his distance.

Can Kree and Ewan leave their pasts behind for long enough to find a future together?


Found him. Alive.

Ewan Mackenzie stared at Travis’s text message. The noise and bustle of the outback search and rescue command post behind him faded to an indistinct murmur. Three simple words and the world could breathe again. All the police, emergency services, farmers and Glenalla townsfolk who’d searched for the missing American backpacker could now take their lives off pause.

Relief pushed Ewan’s exhaustion aside and dulled the tension that had been gripping him tighter than any tourniquet. The eighteen-year-old gap-year traveller hadn’t fallen victim to the vastness and isolation of the Australian bush. For the first time in two days, the sun warmed Ewan’s skin and he registered the rustle of the autumn breeze in the nearby silver-tipped gum trees.

His hand shook, blurring the letters on the small screen before him. He slipped the phone into his jeans pocket and swiped his cold palms over the dusty denim covering his thighs. The tremble in his fingers transferred to his shoulders.

It seemed it didn’t matter how often he helped search and rescue achieve a positive outcome, the blood on his hands would never rub off.

The thump of Whiskey’s tail sounded from the ute tray-back, directly in front of Ewan. The kelpie gazed at him with anxious eyes and whined. Ewan booted his anguish into the bottomless pit where it belonged. Whiskey sensed his every mood, and his guilt was not the dog’s to carry.

‘It’s okay, mate,’ he said, voice soft, as he tousled the kelpie’s thick, black coat. ‘All’s good. Our job’s done. They’ve found Kree’s brother.’

Whiskey sidled closer, unconvinced. Ewan forced a lightness he didn’t feel into his tone. ‘We’re heading home, Whisk. There’s cold beer in the shed fridge, and if you’re lucky Midget won’t have found the bone you buried under the orange tree.’

He ruffled Whiskey’s neck again and his doggy-mate’s eyes closed. But Whiskey’s contentment failed to quell the emptiness that had begun to seep through Ewan. Now that Seth Garrett had been found, his dark-haired sister, who’d flown all night to help look for him, would return home.

From the moment Kree had walked into the tin hall that housed their make-shift command post, the sadness of her brave smile had pummelled his defences. Winter-pale and pretty, her quiet courage had stirred something deep within him, something he’d thought was long dead. He knew how much strength it took to go on when the world collapsed around you. But despite his sense of affinity, instinct had cautioned him to stay away from the attractive American. He’d managed to keep a polite distance until she’d approached him after lunch yesterday while he’d consulted the map spread out on his ute bonnet.

‘Ewan? Ewan Mackenzie?’ she’d asked in her smooth and modulated accent.

He’d caught the subtle scent of vanilla before turning to meet her blue eyes. The beat of his heart had tripped. ‘Yes.’

‘Old Harry tells me you’re the next spotter in Travis’s plane?’

Throat dry, Ewan had nodded.

She’d extended a hand towards him. ‘Thank you.’

‘No worries.’ He’d hesitated and then returned the universal gesture of gratitude. ‘We’re doing everything we can to find your brother.’

‘I know.’ Her voice had lowered and her fine-boned fingers had curled around his as though they belonged there. Lips parted, she’d stared at him for a solemn second that stretched into two, and then, hand trembling, she’d slipped her fingers free.

‘Thanks again.’

Ewan’s blood had pounded long after she’d returned inside the hall. Even the compass pointing North on the map before him hadn’t been able to centre him. A fleeting smile in a woman’s eyes had never affected him so much.

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Meet Alissa:Alissa Callen pic

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.

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Thanks so much Jennifer 🙂

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!