January 4, 2009

Guest Author, Liana Laverentz

Hello and thank you for having me here today. I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday and is ready to settle back into the routine of school and work. I know I am, starting today. I had a great time goofing off and just being with friends and family, but 2009 is already well underway, and I'm already beind the curve :)
I noticed Anna Kathryn's blog is full of delicious recipes, so I thought I'd add a couple of my own favorites, one I've been making for over 25 years, Apple Cake, and another one I discovered just a few months ago called Spinach-Broccoli Bake. These are both dishes that Rebecca would definately cook for Jake, the hero in my contemporary romance novel, Jake's Return, which is currently a featured romance at The Wild Rose Press.

The first is a little twist on that yummy green bean casserole people love to make (and eat!) over the holidays and at family dinners. Complete with the crispy fried onions on the top.

Spinach-Broccoli Casserole
1 lb package of chopped spinach
2 cups chopped broccoli
1 can (10 ¾ oz) cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
½ cup mayonnaise
1 egg, well beaten
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 can fried onions

Place frozen spinach in container and cover with water. Place on stove top and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 4 minutes. Drain. Place frozen broccoli in container and cover with water. Place on stove top and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Drain. In a large mixing bowl, combine soup, mayonnaise, egg, pepper, salt, and garlic powder. Add cooked spinach and cooked broccoli, mixing well. Pour mixture in a greased 2 quart casserole. (I use a rectangular glass pan). Sprinkle can of fried onions on top. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until firm. Enjoy!

The next recipe has special meaning for me. When I was young, we used visit my grandmother, who lived in Germany. Every time I came to see her, she would make this wonderful Apfel Kuchen. We’d have it with real whipped cream on top. Years later, when I was working as a consultant to the military in Washington, DC, a woman brought in a cake that tasted remarkably like my grandmother’s. The flour we use in the United States is a bit different than the kind they use over there, so the texture isn’t quite the same, but it still turned out delicious. This is the recipe.

Apple Cake

Cake Batter

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 eggs
3 tsp baking powder
7 tbsp orange juice
2 ½ tsp vanilla

Apple Mixture Mix (in a separate bowl)

4 large apples (sliced)
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup sugar

Combine all ingredients except apples and cinnamon/sugar mix.
Place a layer of batter in greased tube pan or rectangular pan (I use a 2 quart glass casserole dish)
Add ½ apple mixture
Place remaining batter over apples
Top with remaining apples
Bake one hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

You can add nuts or raisins if you like, and be sure to top it off with whipped cream!

Liana Laverentz is the author of two contemporary romances with The Wild Rose Press, Thin Ice and Jake’s Return. Thin Ice is a 2007 New Jersey Romance Writers Golden Leaf Award winner, a 2008 EPPIE winner for best contemporary romance, and was a nominee for Best Romance of 2007 at Long and Short Reviews. Jake’s Return is a 2008 Golden Leaf Award Winner. Her next release, Ashton’s Secret, a murder mystery romance, will be available June 26, 2009. For more information, go to http://www.lianalaverentz.com/


Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Hi, Liana. Great sounding recipes. I like the spinach-broccoli bake, because it looks like a sneaky way to get veggies into the kiddies.

My youngest daughter has decided she likes baking, so I'll have her try out the Apple Cake.

Thanks for blogging with me today. "Jake's Return" sounds like a great story.

Anna Kathryn

liana laverentz said...

Thank you for having me here, today. Let me know how the cake turns out!

Skhye said...

Jake's Return sounds fabulous! I think I need to try the spinach-broccoli bake. But it's green. My 3-yr old won't eat it. LOL. Unless it looks like a green lollipop. :(

Meagan Hatfield said...

Wow, that spinach recipe sounds killer! Can't wait to try it. :-)

Great post, Liana. Best of luck with your writing!

Dragon Fire ~ Silhouette Nocturne,tbd

Jannine said...

Hi Liana:
Oh my gosh, that spinach-broccoli back sounds heavenly. I'll put either vegetable in almost anything I cook, lol. I'm not much of a mayonnaise person. Do you think I can substitute sour cream?

I hear you on 2009 being underway. I'm already behind!!! Your book sounds wonderful, and I've always liked the name Jake.

Good luck with sales.

Jannine said...

Oops! Make that spinach-broccoli bake.

Ginger Simpson said...

Great recipes...I've copied them off and when I feel adventuresome...I'll try them. I hate cooking, so it doesn't happen often, although these sound pretty tasty.

Good luck with your writing...I'm tardy in coming today because I've been trying to make headway with my own.


kerribookwriter said...

Hey Liana!

Your book cover looks awesome and thanks for the yummy recipes. I love to bake...my favorite comfort activity (especially during cold weather).

Happy New Year, ya'll.

Connie Rachal said...

You racked up some awards for "Thin Ice". AWESOME! It's a book that I would like to read in the near future. You'll be busy this year with "Jake's Return" coming out.

I am going to try the recipes. I always like to try something new.

Phyllis Campbell said...

Oh yum! I'm going to try the spinach and broccoli. I love those veggies!


Anonymous said...

Hi Lianna and Anna AKA Melinda both recipes and the book sound great. Sorry I stopped by so late but it has been pretty hectic with my family. Have a great night


Rebecca J. Clark said...

Yummy. Can't wait to try these recipes (not that my kids will eat the spinach-brocolli bake, but I can dream, can't I?).

No need to put me into the drawing for the Jake's Return, because I already have it! It's the first printed TWRP book I ordered--it looks fabulous, and the story was fabulous.

Thanks for the great read and the great-sounding recipes.


flchen1 said...

Ooh, those sound yummy! I had an apple-cake recipe that my mom gave me, but I haven't made it in years... Time to bake!

And Jake's Return sounds like a great story!

liana laverentz said...

Thank you, everyone, for stopping by, and you would be surprised at who will eat that spinach-broccoli bake, even though it DOES have spinach in it. I'll be back in a bit with the name of the winner for an autographed copy of Jake's Return. My son always picks the winning number, and he's not up yet!

liana laverentz said...

I forgot to ask him before he went to school, so I wasn't able to announce the winner until he got back home...the winner of an autographed copy of Jake's Return is...Jannine!

And yes, Jannine, I think you can substitute sour cream for the mayo! Isn't sour cream what is in spinach dip?

Congratulations!! Please send me your email address and I'll get that right out to you. Thanks again, everyone, for stopping by!