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, Stephanie Berget, and her recipe for Cary’s Cranberry Orange Muffins along with an introduction to her book, Gimme Some Sugar. Please join me in welcoming Stephanie and savor her recipe for cranberry orange muffins as you read about her new book!
Cary’s Cranberry Orange Muffins
Servings 12 Units US
- 2 Cups Flour
- 3⁄4 Cup Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1⁄2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1⁄2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup Cranberries
- 1 Egg
- 3⁄4 Cup Orange Juice
- 1⁄4 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Grated Orange Rind
- Combine dry ingredients.
- Beat egg, orange juice, oil and orange rind.
- Add to dry ingredients all at once.
- Stir just to moisten.
- Stir in cranberries.
- Spoon into greased muffin cups and fill 3/4 full.
- In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
- Bake 400F 15-20 minutes until lightly browned and firm to the touch.
Pastry chef, Cary Crockett, is on the run. Pursued by a loan shark bent on retrieving gambling debts owed him by her deadbeat ex-boyfriend, she finds the perfect hiding place at the remote Circle W Ranch. More at home with city life, cupcakes and croissants than beef, beans and bacon, she has to convince ranch owner Micah West she’s up to the job of feeding his hired hands. The overwhelming attraction she feels toward him was nowhere in the job description.
Micah West has a big problem. The camp-cook on his central Oregon ranch has up and quit without notice, and his crew of hungry cowboys is about to mutiny. He agrees to hire Cary on a temporary basis, just until he finds the right man to fill the job. Maintaining a hands-off policy toward his sexy new cook becomes tougher than managing a herd of disgruntled wranglers.
Micah stood at the counter of the Five And Diner, as aggravated as he’d ever been in a life filled with aggravation. He was offering Cal twice the money the man made here, and the cook wouldn’t even consider his job offer.
Even after half a day of cooking over a grill, the cook’s T-shirt was snowy white. The man was a magician, and Micah needed him. “It’s only for a couple of weeks? I’ll find someone by then.”
Cal stared at Micah like he was an addle-brained calf. Without a word, he turned and filled his oversized, insulated mug with steaming hot coffee.
Micah pulled out his wallet and held out all the cash he had with him. “There’s a bonus up front.”
“Keep your money. Them cowboys yell if everythin’ ain’t just so. I don’t need that kind of aggravation.” Cal turned his back and wandered into the kitchen, effectively ending the conversation. Before Micah could move, the cook stuck his head out the swinging door. “You better not let Lorna hear you tried to hire me away. She’ll skin you for sure.”
Micah slapped his palms on the worn Formica. The counter had been scrubbed until little of the original color, maybe yellow, was left. What the hell was he going to do now? The ranch hands were willing to give him a couple of days to find a new camp cook, but they wouldn’t tolerate sandwiches for long. They worked hard and deserved to be fed a good, substantial meal.
Without ranch hands, he couldn’t get the hay baled or tend to the cattle. Without hands, he’d lose the ranch. Micah had been born and raised on the Circle W, and he intended to die there.
He wracked his brain. There had to be another person in East Hope, Oregon who could help him out, but who? A gentle hand touched his arm.
“Maybe I can help.”
Snapping his head up, he whirled around, almost elbowing the woman standing behind him. Pulling in a deep, slow breath, partly to gather some semblance of calm and partly to adjust to the tingle where her hand met his arm, he took a step back before speaking.
“Help me with what?” Did he know her? He was sure he didn’t, but man . . .
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but I heard you say you’re looking for a cook.” Golden eyes the color of whiskey stared into his. “I cook.”
He let his gaze wander over her, liking what he saw. She wasn’t a local. Her white blond hair was as short as a man’s on the sides and curled longer on the top and back. He hadn’t seen any woman, or anyone at all who wore their hair like this. Of course, tastes of the people of East Hope ran to the conservative.
Despite the severe hairstyle, she was pretty. Beyond pretty. Leather pants showed off her soft curves, miniature combat boots encased her small feet and a tight tank top enhanced her breasts.
When she cleared her throat, he jerked his eyes up to her face. “It won’t do you any good to talk to my breasts. Like most women, it’s my brain that answers questions.”
A smart ass and she’d caught him red-handed. His cheeks warmed. Damn it, he was blushing. This woman was not at all what he needed. Time to end this. “I have a ranch, the Circle W. We need a camp cook. A man.”
Her eyes narrowed, and her body tensed. “It looks like you need any kind of cook you can get.” She held her hand out, indicating the empty café. “Not a lot of takers.”
She had him there. His gut told him he was going to regret this, but she was right. He had no choice. “I’ll hire you week to week.” When she nodded, he continued. “I’ve got seven ranch hands. You’ll cook breakfast and dinner and pack lunches, Monday through Friday and serve Sunday dinner to the hands who are back by six o’clock.”
She bounced on the toes of her feet until she noticed him watching her then she pulled on a cloak of calm indifference. “You won’t regret this.”
He felt a smile touch the corners of his mouth as his gut twisted. “I already do.”
Romance beneath a rodeo moon. Adding a realistic view of rodeo and ranching to her Western Romance was what Stephanie Berget had in mind when she started writing.
She was born loving horses, developing a lifelong love of rodeo when she married her Bronc Rider. They traveled to rodeos throughout the Northwest while she ran barrels and her cowboy rode bucking horses.
Stephanie and her husband live on a farm located along the Oregon/Idaho border, where they raise hay, horses and cattle, with the help of Cisco, the wonder horse, Dizzy Dottie, the Border Collie, and two Munchkin cats, Magic and Martin.
See you at the rodeo!
To learn more about Stephanie Berget and her books, or to join her mailing list, visit her website at www.stephanieberget.com
Or drop her a line at email@example.com
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