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What’s Cookin’ in Texas?

Mmm. I’m hungry. Which is a regular thing with me. I love to eat and my body bears testimony to that great love. I love cheap food like Hostess Ding Dongs and I like the spendy things like filet and escargot. Oh, yeah, I love to get my grub on.

So it was inevitable I would write a book about food. Or rather someone who loves food as much as I do, and my heroine in my just-out-on-the-shelf May release A Taste of Texas loves food. You kinda have to be in love with food when you’re a chef.

Rayne is earthy and natural in her approach to cooking and eating. She likes things “of the earth” so her dishes are yummy and nutritous…very unlike my Mom’s food which is yummy and artery-clogging. But I’ll be honest, I’ll take my mom’s chicken-fried steak and rice and gravy any day over a dandelion arugula salad and poached pears in a wine reduction. So Rayne I ain’t. But Rayne has the right idea – natural, preservative free, organic food which is why the Food Network is after her. Rayne’s on the cusp of something big – her own aprons, her own cooking show and….love?

Poor Rayne. She’s not ready for that. Doesn’t want it. All she wants is to take a break for herself and her son, but fate’s got plans for her. Life’s not about doing what’s right, eating only the healthy stuff. It’s about exploring the indulgent, naughty things, like pop tarts and Brent Hamilton. Things that are bad for you but, oh so, delicious. Chocolate, anyone?

And the more she unpeels the layer of Brent, the more she hungers for the good and naughty in life. Case in point, she can’t help herself to those nachos at the ballpark or Charlie Mac’s curly fries down at the Dairy Barn. Some things are worth it, you know? It’s all about balance, and Brent’s just the man to balance Rayne out and remind her about what is really important in life.

I think I enjoyed writing this book more than any other. Was it the food? Or the fact I got to reveal the real Brent Hamilton, a yummy dish of a man? I think it was both.  And this is a sweet reunion story, a bit of a “surprise! He’s not what he seems” story. And I even allowed myself to throw a kid in the story, and, surprisingly, I liked writing Henry. He’s pretty cool.

So, in honor of my new release, I will be giving away a prize today. Let’s say…something sweet. How about a box of Texas cashew pralines called Horny Toads (a name Henry thinks is funny, btw) Leave your favorite splurge – food, clothes, whatever, and  I’ll pick a winner. You’ll have to check back and send me your snail mail addy then, baby, you’ll get horny toads in the mail. Can you beat that?

http://www.therealsouthwest.com/texas-armadillo-droppings-horny-toads-praline-candy.html

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29 Responses

  1. Wow, what a name for the candy… Horny Toads 🙂 I love food too! I especially love ice cream! Rocky Road is my favorite, but I love Roselani Haupia (coconut pudding) ice cream.

  2. Oh man do I love food too. I love dandelion salad by the way. I ate a lot of it as a kid because it was a favorite dish of my father. This was in the 1950’s before people were into natural food. My one craving is fruitcake which I really should make myself as none of the kinds I buy at Christmas are as good as my mom’s cake used to be. My mom just loaded her cake with brandy.

  3. I can’t win the candy cause I am Amy’s mom butttttttttt, my favorite splurge is buying goodies at the ball park for my grandkids. My husband and I buy Gator Ade at every game for whoever is playing. That is a have to purchase and which ever one isn’t playing gets those crazy Laffy ‘Taffy and another drink. lol and any other item they think they may need. We recently went to watch our 6 year old granddaughter play T-Ball and sure enough before we left she HAD to have something from the concession stand. Her mom said she had never ever mentioned going to the stand before. I think the skittles made her feel better. So when we leave home for a game, we stop by the bank to make sure we have enough money for our purchases.

  4. I fell in love with Oak Stand and it’s colorful characters all over again yesterday while indulging in your newest release! A Taste of Texas is a yummy treat for the heart.
    My favorite food indulgence is big, hot, spicy crawfish along with all the fixin’s (mushrooms, garlic, onions). A juicy ribeye cooked medium topped with buttery parsley mushrooms runs a close second. And I can’t forget rich, steaming hot Community coffee flavored with peppermint mocha creamer…

    I’m a “bag lady”, so a new Vera Bradley tops my non-food indulgence list. Of course, it’s always sweetest when I get it on sale!

  5. Snookie- coconut pudding ice cream sounds heavenly…you care to share how to make it? I think my boys and hubby would really like that.

    Kaelee – can’t say I’m a big fruitcake fan, but my mom makes my gram’s fruitcake cookies every Christmas and I do like those. But no brandy in them. I think I know why you like that fruitcake 😉

    Mom- yes, those are really good treats..for the kids. But I KNOW what you like to eat. Tomatoes and okra. Bluck!

    Karla – oh, yes. Crawfish. That’s one of my mom’s favorites, too. I’ve only had them once this year. I’m feeling the need to have some soon. Oh, and I love Vera Bradley too. Except they discontinued my line 😦 Guess I need a new one!)

    • Okay Amy…we need to make a date to go get some crawfish @ Crawfish Hole #2. It’s the best place to get spicy crawfish in North LA!

  6. Hi Liz! You know I love my indulgences too! Food is at the top of the list… ice cream, toffee, chocolate and brownies are at the top of my list of sweets. I enjoy bubble baths with Bath and Body Works bubble bath (the discontinued my favorite scent (honeysuckle) TWICE!) And I love indulging in good books and quiet time! Can’t wait to read A TASTE OF TEXAS!

  7. You know, Beth, bubble baths are one of my indulgences. I like light smells too. I found a great scent at Victoria’s secret – some kind of rasberry and lily that’s not too sweet. I really like it. Maybe you can try it.

    Brownies…yum. Wish I had some right now. Guess a tootsie roll will have to do. 🙂

  8. Congratulations on the new release, Liz!! Can’t wait to get my copy! 🙂

    • Thanks! I’m excited about this one. It got a nice 4.5 star review at RT magazine and it’s perfect for mother’s day because Rayne has a son Henry who she’s worried about – grades, anxiety and losing his father. Such motherly things 🙂

  9. I am a cookie junkie!! Thin mints, Oreos, Milanos, whatever. I have to say though, nothing tops a big ol’ just out of the oven chocolate chip cookie. I believe they are like a balm for the soul. There’s nothing they can’t make better!!

    • Ooh, cookies. I really like oatmeal ones right out of the oven, like, when they are falling apart in your hand. Yum.

      I tend to not like packaged one, though I’ll not turn down an oreo.

  10. Congrats on your new release Liz. It sounds really good.

    One of my favorite things in the summer is strawberry shortcake. We take fresh strawberries and put them on top of crumbled up sugar cookies. They are so good.

    I don’t really eat a lot of sweets but that one is near and dear to me because we used to have strawberry shortcake and home made ice cream every year for my and my grandfather’s bday celebration.

    • My absolute favorite dessert is strawberry shortcake. Hands down. But I like it with angel food cake so all the juices are soaked up. Thanks for the congrats. I’m thrilled with this one 🙂

  11. Congratulations on your new release. Can’t wait to read it…BUT I’m trying to drop a few lbs (who isn’t) before RWA National Conference and I’m thinking this book is going to set me back! LOL

    My splurge is hot chocolate chip cookies (right from the oven) with pecans and a huge glass of cold milk.

    • You and me both, but I’m not making much progress…probably because I like food too much to starve. I’ll just stay plump.

      Oh, and Rayne’s food is good for you…well, until she starts sneaking Henry’s pop tarts.

  12. Don’t enter me in the Horny Toad Contest (sadly I’m allergic) but one food decadence I can’t resist are caramel fudge brownies. Goooey caramel… yum.

    Best wishes on your release, Liz!

    • Tell you what, if I draw your name, I’ll get you something you can tolerate 🙂 And I’ll keep the horny toads for myself. As is, think I’ll be ordering at least two boxes. I gotta make sure they’re good, right?

      And same to you…you have one out at the end of this month. I think.

  13. Congrats on your new release! Sounds like it is going to be a real good book to read. My spurge is brownies or anything that is chocolate.

  14. Ah! So relieved to learn the truth about the horny toads!

    A Taste of Texas is awaiting me on my Kindle…I’m looking forward to it! Love your books!

    • Thanks, Elisa! I know. I was sneaky about it. LOL. But the other candy was Armadillo Droppings. Somehow I liked horny toads better. 🙂

  15. Congr—-*oh! CANDYCANDYCANDYCANDYCANDYCANDYCANDY*

    🙂 mega congrats on the release!!! I love candy of all kinds.

  16. Okay, not exactly the end of the night, but I’m calling it.

    So, I wrote all the names down on a legal pad, sans ENALR contributors, stood three feet away and tossed a paper clip on the pad. Yes, that was my totally fair way to do it. So, emphatically, the paperclip landed on Karla!

    Yay! Karla! You get horny toads to go with your crawfish. Culinary delight!

    Thanks, everyone for stopping by and celebrating with me! Karla, send me your snail mail addy to liztalley@att.net 🙂

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