Thursday, September 25, 2014

Guest Post & #Giveaway ~*~ Now is our Time by Jo Kessel

As a Taurean I’m passionate about food and fine cuisine. Bottom line – I love to eat and I love to include food and drink in my writing. So when I was trying to decide what career the heroine of Now is our Time – Claire de Klerk - would have, it was easy: a Nutritionist! Claire actually started out as an aspiring artist, but like so many of us, after having children she chose to pursue a different path. Claire (like me) had always been a foodie and becoming a Nutritionist felt like a natural step.

Food and drink is important in this novel – pivotal even – but I don’t want to give away any spoilers. Suffice to say that Claire puts a lot of thought into her recipes, both for work and for feeding the men (and children) in her life. It gives her a lot of pleasure and I thought it would be fun to share a few of those recipes with you. They are all easy and most don’t even require a set of measuring scales – just trust your judgement.

Gooseberry Yoghurt Fool: This is actually the recipe that launches Claire’s career as a TV nutritionist. And she hilariously messes this one up – heck, all cooks can get it wrong!

Serves Four
450 g gooseberries, topped and tailed
1 tbsp custard powder
150ml semi-skimmed milk
150ml plain yoghurt

*Put the prepared gooseberries in a saucepan with enough water to cover the base of the pan. Simmer over a low heat until soft. Puree in a food processor.
*Mix the custard powder to a smooth paste with a little of the milk.
*Heat the remaining milk to just below boiling point. Remove from the heat and slowly stir into the custard powder. Stir in the sugar.
*Return the mixture to the pan and simmer over a low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Allow to cool.
*Mix together the gooseberry puree, yogurt and cold custard. Add more sugar to taste if necessary.
*Pour into a serving bowl or individual dishes and chill before serving.

Curried Pasta Salad
Serves six – a very easy recipe!
Boil enough pasta for six people and leave to cool.
Make a dressing using three tablespoons of mayonnaise and three tablespoons of honey. Add a pinch of curry powder. Mix the dressing with the cooled pasta… voila!

Potato Salad with Caramelized Onions
Serves six – another simple recipe.
Boil new potatoes with skins on and leave to cool.
Dice a couple of large onions and fry till very brown. Mix the potatoes with a little yoghurt and mayonnaise. Put in a serving bowl and sprinkle the caramelized onions on top. 

Mackerel Pate
This looks posh but is incredibly easy and healthy too. Soy yoghurt can be used to make this a dairy-free dish.
Use as a dip or spread on thin toasts.
Ingredients: small tin mackerel, half a lemon, small pot of plain yoghurt, ketchup.
Drain the mackerel and put in a bowl. Add the yogurt, lemon juice and a touch of Ketchup and blitz it with a hand-whisk.

Now Is Our Time
By: Jo Kessel
Releasing Sept 12th, 2014

A story of second chance love set between London and San Diego.

Thirteen years ago Jonah Kennedy was one of America’s top tennis players, whose six-foot-three bad-boy California looks won him hordes of female admirers.

Thirteen years ago Claire Jackson, a fiery, aspiring artist from London, was the woman who stole his heart.

But the two held a secret which tore them apart and sent Claire running back to England.

They tried to move on. Claire married, had a child and became a successful TV personality. Jonah married, had a child and settled for life on the road.

Thirteen years later and both divorced, their paths cross again. Their attraction is even deeper - they feel destined to be together. Claire’s jealous ex, however, has other plans.

Can Claire and Jonah hold on to their second chance at love or will their past secret haunt them forever? After all, thirteen is only lucky for some....

Goodreads Link:

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Author Info
Jo Kessel is a journalist, working for the BBC and reporting and presenting for ITV on holiday, consumer and current affairs programs. She writes for several national newspapers in the UK including the Daily Mail, the Telegraph, the Guardian and the Express and was the anonymous author of the Independent’s hit column: Diary of a Primary School Mum.

When Jo was ten years old she wrote a short story about losing a loved one. Her mother and big sister were so moved by the tale that it made them cry. Having reduced them to tears she vowed that the next time she wrote a story it would make them smile instead. Happily she succeeded and with this success grew an addiction for wanting to reach out and touch people with words. Jo lives in London with her husband and three children. She loves traveling and since becoming a mother anything even remotely sad makes her cry. She’s a sucker for a good romance and tearjerker movies are the worst. She’s that woman in the cinema, struggling to muffle audible wails as everyone else turns round to stare.

Author Links

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Grand Prize: $25.00 Amazon Gift Card & Digital Copy of NOW IS OUR TIME, Two Runner’s Up: One will receive Digital Copy of WEAK AT THE KNEES and One will receive a Digital Copy of LOVER IN LAW )

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  1. Thank you so much for featuring my new release today - hope you all enjoy the recipes which are all pivotal to the plot in Now is our Time. Some credit must be given to my sister Karen (a fabulous cook) who created most of these dishes herself - hope you like them!

  2. Yes I love second chance romances, in fact I'm living proof that it does happen and works out in the end