Monday, December 11, 2006

Lisa Kleypas SquawkBlog: So Much To Eat, So Little Time


Contest!!! Each day of Squawk Radio Week + a Day (Dec 11-15 + 18) the Squawk Chicks are giving one lucky commenting Bella a gorgeous Italian glass picture frame!

Lisa Kleypas is forever doing nice things for people, which is why she's adored by reader/fans and friends alike. It really would be enough that she writes the books we're crazed for, but Lisa Kleypas isn't satisfied simply with being talented, so she strives to be, like, the nicest woman on the face of the planet.

So she asks me, Do you think your Romance: B(u)y the Book viewers would like to be the first anywhere to read an exclusive excerpt from "Sugar Daddy" (March, St.Martin's)? And I'm all like, Squeee! So enjoy a little time here with Lisa (does she know what we like, or what?) then please head over the RBtheBook for Lisa's holiday gift to you. A warm Bella buongiorno, please...

We all know the holidays are about the joys of giving, of being with family and friends, closing out the old year and ringing in the new, blah blah blah. Now let’s discuss the MOST important aspect of the holidays.

The food.

Is there anyone who can dispute the nostalgic powers of taste and smell? There are certain dishes that, when emerging from the oven in a cloud of fragrant steam, unlock troves of memory and emotion that reach back to our childhoods.

We are all connected in our appreciation for holiday food . . . the snap of peppermint candy canes, the turkey and dressing sopped in gravy, the pungent whiff of gingerbread dripping with melting whipped cream. But despite the common denominators of turkey, dressing and potatoes, there is a wonderful individuality about every family’s holiday food traditions.

For example, there must be a thousand recipes for sweet potatoes. My family serves them whipped with butter and brown sugar, topped with marshmallows baked into delicately crispy pillows. And I’ve heard of ravishingly creative varieties of stuffing . . . oyster and eggplant, wild rice and goat cheese, roasted chestnuts and carmelized onions. Every year I resolve to try something new, but I always end up making what my mother made--cornbread dressing loaded with chopped eggs, green peppers, onions, and the earthy savor of sage. It smells like all the Christmases of my childhood.


I have no doubt my own children will associate certain smells and tastes with our family holidays . . . the pie stuffed with plump pecans and oozing with corn syrup . . . the sweet floury yeast rolls, the ricotta spinach squares crusted with browned parmesan. And, since we live in South Texas, the hot roasted smell of tamales, which are steamed and served right in the corn husk.

Thank goodness calories don’t count during the holidays! On January 2, we can dust off our treadmills and gather up our resolutions and start anew. But for the next few weeks . . . enjoy. Eat. And let those treasured flavors recall the lovely shades of Christmas past.

What are your favorite holiday foods,
the ones you couldn’t do without at the big family feast?

--Lisa
Please visit Lisa at LisaKleypas.com!
***
Eloisa James keeps the Holidays Romantic tomorrow,
Tues Dec 12 on Squawk Radio Week + a Day
***
Encore! Romance: B(u)y the Book EXCLUSIVE!!! Read the first excerpt published anywhere from Lisa's contemporary debut, "Sugar Daddy," my feature review, and Lisa's very special AuthorView!
Encore due! Please visit Stacy's Place on Earth for Part II of her interview with moi, and to win one of my fave novels!

86 comments:

Maureen said...

The smell of stuffing definitely reminds me of the holidays but I can't do without my holiday cookies. I can't imagine a Christmas without cookies.

diane_r said...

When I was a little girl, my grandma always had her chicken noodle soup (with her homemade noodles) simmmering on the stove. She also always made an apricot jello salad, that I still make today. Yum, when I eat it I can almost feel her and grandpa with me.

Di

Teresa Medeiros said...

One of my favorite days of the year is tomorrow, Lisa, when I'll start baking 36 dozen Tollhouse cookies from scratch. I really do give away most of them. Really. I do...

Nancy J said...

I can't wait for Sugar Daddy! Gage, Hardy, Hardy, Gage. I will definitely need to read the end of the book first.

My favorite holiday food? It would have to be green bean casserole made with swiss cheese, and sour cream. No calories there...

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Lisa and Bellas! Oh, food, glorious food. Christmas eve here means I cook all day, which is big, cause it's the only day of the year I do that. I make an Italian soup called passatelli -- and if the heavens align, capaletti -- and cookies called kifle.

They're not Italian, but they're just...well, I have no words adequate to describe the flavors and nostalgia in each bite. They take forever to make and have to be rationed.

Since we moved to the Midwest two years ago, it's just been the four of us on Christmas, but this year my mom is visiting, so it'll be a little more, um, merry.

So, welcome, Lisa! Oh! And thanks for writing "Sugar Daddy." I'm not one to gloat, but I have read it, and I just can't wait til your other readers can get their hands on it!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Oh, yeah, Nancyj: Hardy and Gage. I'm so feeling all vaporish just thinking of those two and how each of them... oh, I guess I can't tell you that, can I? But, Lisa is a good person, she may turn us on to a little "Sugar Daddy" today. :)

Oh, yeah, Teresa, we believe you. I hear you send all your favorite romance reviewers and columnists a dozen or so. I guess Kitty just gets her usual bottle of Glenlivet.

diane_r, aren't the holiday memories of our grandparents the sweetest: your grandma's apricot salad, my nonni's chickens under the Christmas tree...

Oh, yeah, maureen, stuffing. Food of the (carb) gods. You know what else reminds me of Christmas morning? Brewing coffee. I guess my folks needed it after staying up all night getting ready for the kids' big day.

Portia Da Costa said...

Mmmm... I love *all* traditional English Christmas food! Far too much for my waistline's benefit. My favourites are mince pies, Christmas pud, liqueur chocolates, turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes, nuts, candied fruit...

Like I said, all of it! Yum! Yum!

MaryKate said...

Oh, one of the Bella's favorite topics...food! I adore Christmas time. My family doesn't have a set Christmas dinner menu. It depends on which house we're celebrating at. If the celebration is at my house, we usually have Beef Burgundy, which is very time intensive, but can (and should) be made a couple of days ahead of Christmas. My brother usually does a beef brisket when it's at his house. My sister does a ham. It just depends. The one constant is a triple chocolate pie. At this point, I make three of them for our family, since we eat so much of it. It's fantastic and we only eat it at the holidays.

Now I'm hungry!

Lisa, thanks so much for joining us and for sharing a tidbit from Sugar Daddy! It looks fantastic. Will you spill a little about Cam's book too? I just love him!

Jess said...

The holidays are the only time of year in which mint fondant candy is made in my family. Actually, I've never attempted making it but my sister (Rachd) is an expert and she generously sends some along to my own little family so we can enjoy it too!

My grandmother always made a gingerbread man for each child in the family and she carefully iced our names on them. She is too sick this year to carry on the tradition so I think I may roll up my sleeves and make an attempt. It is such a family tradition that I don't want it to be lost.

Julie in Ohio said...

Welcome, Lisa!! I'm excited to have you and the Squawkers here this week. I read the excerpt that Michelle put up and it has me drooling. I can't wait for SUGAR DADDY to come out.

My holiday food is ham and sweet potatoes. My mom puts brown sugar on both and it is just delish. Also, nothing says "welcome to my home" like the smell of fresh baked bread. YUM.

I need to go get breakfast now. :o)

alissa said...

Every year and only once a year my husband and I make about 100 latkes. We make them from scratch and give them to our grown sons and their families and then bring them over to a dinner to which we are invited. Naturally everyone just loves them and they are all consumed with zest.

pearl said...

We make and love a wonderful apple and cherry noodle kugel. This dish is a favorite of ours and we have a big dinner with our family. Everyone enjoys this special dish.

ellie said...

Because we have several celebrations at once I make a large marble cake. Since the kids were very young this one cake was always their birthday cake and now we incorporate it into the holiday theme as well.

Anonymous said...

I can hear the groans now...my holiday favorite is actually fruitcake! My dad used to douse his in brandy and eating it when he deemed it "ready" was the equivalent of drinking waaay too much. No one else in my family will touch the stuff, and my daughter pointed out when she saw my Entenmann's fruitcake that the expiration date was 6-27-07...surely a sign that baked goods shouldn't possibly keep that long without too many artificial ingredients. I chose to ignore her dire warning. I'm skipping the brandy, tho, because I like to have a small slice with tea for breakfast!

For the actual holiday feast itself, there has to be mashed potatoes with too much cream and butter.

Maggie Robinson, who has a Blogger account but somehow cannot sign in as anything but anonymous

ellie said...

My specialty at this holiday time is a large marble cake. We have been enjoying this luscious dessert for many years. My birthday at this time and the dinners we host.

Playground Monitor said...

Homemade bread. Nothing smells quite as good as bread baking in the oven (or the bread machine, which is how I do it). And pumpkin pie -- fresh outta the oven. Yum-o!

Gotta run. The chiropractor has to do the electro-stim thingy on my shoulder and then Rice Krispie my back -- you know... snap, crackle, pop. :grin:

Marilyn - who is doing the happy dance cuz she sold another short story to a magazine on Saturday.

MaryKate said...

Marilyn! Congrats on selling another story, wonderful news!

Also, Jess! Where have you been?! We miss you and Rach on the boards.

Eve Silver said...

Mmmm... holiday foods. I love turkey with cranberry sauce and stuffing. And baked sweet potatoes. And I usually make this great dessert only at this time of year. It's a mandarin orange trifle with raspberry roll-ups. Oh, man, just the thought of all those calories, LOL!

TiffinaC said...

There are so many great foods that we eat during the holidays...Polenta on xmas eve with a chicken stew that we dumb a whole bottle of Castelvetro in...mmmm...mouth watering thinking about it...and then there is the rosemary lamb I make on xmas...even better....

Julie in Ohio said...

WOO HOO!! Congrats, Marilyn!!

*happy dancin' with ya*

Lisa Kleypas said...

GOOD MORNING Michelle and other Dear Friends!!!

Michelle, thank you so much for your kind words about Sugar Daddy--I am truly glowing :)

MaryKate : the mention of triple chocolate pie just made my mouth water! I can definitely spill some tidbits about Cam's book, which is now officially titled "Mine Till Midnight". I have gone into a little detail about his Romany background, and I had fun in giving Cam a curse to deal with! You see, Gypsies are very superstitious, and they don't believe in owning things. A Romany who comes into sudden wealth would be incredibly embarrassed by it.

So I gave Cam a "good luck curse"--money and fortune just keep flowing in his direction, and every time he tries to get rid of it, it comes back threefold. So he's getting more and more embarrassed and uncomfortable, because he keeps getting richer, and there's nothing he can do about it.

This would be a nice problem to have *g*.

Also in MTM, there is another sexy Gypsy male besides Cam, and he is very mysterious and has some VERY interesting secrets!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Ug! How can I look at my bowl of Multi-grain Cheerios and be satisfied now? And they say romance novels unrealistically raise our expectations. Let's add holiday blogs to that, shall we?

Thanks for stopping in, everybody! :)

Latkes, alyssa! A couple years ago at my girlfriends, we each of us after dinner had to enunciate the word latke. Latkee, latkuh, latkih, etc. Nobody says it the same, but man, are they good w/ sour cream or applesauce. I wonder, are they any good w/cranberry dressing?

Congrats, Play!

Maggie, I'm holding off on the Blogger thing cause i'm ascared. I have trouble w/ the ones that are changed over. I want to wait a while to see how things work out. Funny about fruit cake half lives, no? :)

Prepare yourselves, Bellas, cause I'm going to be shouting...

OH MY GOD!!!! CAM!!!! I CAN'T BELIEVE LISA'S GONNA GIVE US CAM'S STORY!!! I AM SO GONNA GLOAT WHEN I GET THAT ARC!

um, I mean, [cue sweeping romantic score] I can't wait to share with you the magic that only Lisa Kleypas can conjure when she weaves a story about man who'd risk his self-made riches for love.

I mean, CAM, for God's sake. If he's as hot and complex and fascinating as Gage and Hardy, I'm not gonna be breathing long enough to tell you how great the novel is.

What kind of woman could possibly be right for Cam?

Maybe I should do some work now, before I'm tempted to raid the keeper shelf to peruse my LKs...

CrystalG said...

During the holidays is the only time we make fudge so it is a holiday favorite for my family. I love all of the traditional food: turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes.

Lisa Kleypas said...

Jess : that touches my heart to read about the gingerbread men--I think it is so wonderful of you to try and make them since your grandmother can't.

Julie, THANK YOU, I can't wait for you to read SD--I hope you'll enjoy it!

Maggie, I'll confess : I like fruitcake too! There are some great varieties, my favorite being one with apricots and pecans.

Marilyn, CONGRATULATIONS on selling a story!!!

MaryKate said...

Miss Lisa - Thanks for spending the day with us. I started this conversation below but wanted to check directly with you. I read the excerpt from Sugar Daddy and went to Barnes and Noble.com to have a look, and noticed that it's coming out in hardcover. Can you talk at all about that decision? I know that it's the publisher who makes the decision, but I also know that alot of authors are trepidicious about making the shift. Also, does this mean that all of your work will be in hard cover from now on? (I'll need to rejigger my keeper shelves if so)

Honestly, as a loyal reader, I have mixed feelings about it. Don't get me wrong, I'll happily spend the money to buy Sugar Daddy in hardcover (the thought of waiting for it in PB is, well, unthinkable), I just wonder what your feelings are about the deicision.

Julie in Ohio said...

LOL, Michelle! If I didn't know better, I'd think you had picked a favorite... :P

Lisa, I'm loving the gypsy curse. I wouldn't mind a curse like that.

Lisa Kleypas said...

Dears,

I read some comments on the previous blog entry, and I was delighted by your comments on Sugar Daddy and would love to answer any questions about it!

As to the "why hardcover?" question . . . I personally love paperbacks, and St Martins and I agreed that my historicals should continue to be published ONLY in paperback.

But there is a large group of readers out there who will only buy hardcover, and I can't reach out to them any other way. So, having accepted the necessity of publishing my contemporary in hardcover, I made it as good as I possibly could. It's a much longer, well-rounded book than I've ever done before, so I've really tried to give readers their money's worth :) (And St Martins set the cover price under twenty dollars, so after the usual discounts on Amazon and other booksellers, people will be able to buy it for 13 to 14 dollars, which I'm hoping will help)

The good thing is, Sugar Daddy will be released in paperback eventually, so anyone wants to buy it in that form will definitely have the chance!

ElsieHogarth said...

My Mother makes what we call "Pastelles" which are meat patties. It's great light, fluffy pastries stuffed with ground beef or chicken. It is so hard to make but, to me, and my family it wouldn't be Christmas without them.

Eloisa James said...

My grandmother used to make a corn dish with a crusty top that was SO wonderful! I only wish I knew how to make it. And my dad made oyster soup every Christmas Eve, which I am just as glad to do without!

Eloisa

Monica Burns said...

HELLO {{{{BELLAS!!}}}

Welcome Lisa, I've always enjoyed your historicals. Can you talk about how switching subgenres was for you? Easy, hard?

Food? Hmmm, food, my life is ALL about food when I'm not writing. As a matter of fact, I've got a cheeseball, 8 varieties of homemade cookies and chex mix sitting on my desk for co-workers to enjoy throughout the day. It's my way of saying Merry Christmas. Like Teresa, I usually bake a lot, although my 163-170 dozen cookies from years past have been downsized to about half that. Time is so critical. I usually make about 12-16 different kinds.

Christmas Eve is about 6-8 different appetizers as opposed to a full meal. The big meal comes Christmas evening. Full bird in the lower oven, stuffing, homemade rolls, green beans (slow cooked), mashed potatoes, carrots, cranberry Jello salad, broccoli casserole, gravy and then cherry and apple pie bringing up the rear. Anyone want to come for dinner??? *grin* The more the merrier. I usually don't eat much though after cooking all that, but leftovers are GREAT!! Yummy!

And the piece de resistance is the Danish pastry I make days ahead of time for Christmas morning along with Clam Chowder (white base). Man, I'm rubbing the back of my neck thinking about all the work I've got ahead of me. Oh well, it wouldn't be the same if I didn't do it. Like Jess said, it's tradition and to let it go just wouldn't feel right.

Monica

Monica Burns said...

Jess, Can you tell Rach to drop me an email? I've got a question for her.

monicaburns@monicaburns.com

Thanks! Monica

Julie in Ohio said...

Monica, set an extra place for me. I'm coming over for dinner... :o)

Vivi Anna said...

Good morning Lisa and the Squawkers..and my bella Bellas!

Great interview Michelle.

Holiday foods...a german noodle dish called spatzla (I'm sure I"m spelling it wrong) my grandmother made it every Christmas, and now as a family we make it together.

I love Christmas!!!

Kristina said...

Woohoo for SD! :) Can't wait to read it.

As for holiday food... YUM! Everything. I do love watching (and then eating) my Mom bake cookies. I always burn them! Boo!

Dannyfiredragon said...

Good morning Ladies!

I really love turkeys, but no chance to get a good one here in Germany.

ashefrog said...

Holiday smells:

Gingerbread
Pumpkin Pie
Eggnog
Xmas Cookies - Choc Chip and Sugar
Hot Chocolate
Peppermint
Roasting Turkey

My mouth is watering already.

I know it isn't food but the smell of real Xmas trees, wreaths and boughs is unmistakably Holiday.

Gram said...

My favorite part of dinner has always been and still is the stuffing, but now I bake it outside the bird, so I guess you would call it dressing? You are all making me hungry..LOL
Can't wait to read both new books, Lisa.
Enjoy the Holidays All.

robynl said...

Wow nice prize for commenting on something so delicious: I love the turkey dressing and the smell of sage and poultry seasoning I use and Mom always used. Then there is the white Christmas cake(German) that is delicious and I just made(blonde raisins, green/red glazed cherries, coconut and nuts), Poppycock, Nuts and Bolts and Asini salad.

kim said...

great prize cool

Jess said...

Marykate, I am here almost everyday I just usually lurk. I guess I sort of feel like this is Rach's place to hang out and I don't want to butt in too much, lol. I know she would say that is ridiculous (and it really is when I think about it!) and it must be a throwback to when we were younger. :-)

I almost always come out of lurk mode when LK is here. She is one of my top three favorite romance writers!

As for Rach, she is super busy with schoolwork and her kids. She just had another pet cross the Rainbow Bridge yesterday (the second to pass away this month) and she is feeling pretty gloomy and sad. I will surely pass along your email to her, Monica. I'm sure she misses you all!

(I hope this isn't too inappropriate of a post for this forum- I realize it is a bit of a hijack and I am sorry in advance!)

Vivi Anna said...

Give big hugs to Rach, from us Jess. And you're welcome to hang out with us any time you like...

yeah, we're waiting for our cat to cross that bridge any time now. she's like 24 but still kicking it...i'm hoping this isn't her last Christmas, but if it is we're going to make it extra special for her, and have all her favorites...paper to eat, boxes to play in, and turkey.

Lisa Kleypas said...

Dear Monica,

Your comment made me glad it's almost lunchtime . . .oh, what a feast that must be at your house! And I know it's a lot of work, but how lucky your family is to have someone to do something really special for them.

Switching subgenres was difficult at first because I wanted to keep some of the qualities of my historicals (the dramatic intensity, the alpha hero, the focus on relationships) but at the same time I wanted it to really feel and sound contemporary.

I wrote about 60,000 words, almost two thirds of a book, mostly for practice, to get the feel of it in my fingers. Then I put all that aside and started Sugar Daddy. I discovered that writing in the first person, for me, is a very intense experience . . . I became personally involved in the story to a much greater degree than I ever have before. I love this heroine, Liberty, because she has real struggles and problems, and she has a tremendous heart.

What I'm really happy about is that the heroes of this book, Hardy and Gage, are very much "Kleypas heroes"--it was difficult to choose which one Liberty would end up with! I'll be so interested to see if everyone agrees with the direction I went in :)

MaryKate said...

Oh gosh, Jess, I just hopped over to her blog and read about Mr. G. What a horrible, horrible shock, especially so close to the holidays.

Please give her big squeezes from me too. And thanks for letting us know.

ashefrog said...

Lisa:

Just finished the excerpt and I can't wait to get it. I love collecting my keepers (auto buys) in hard cover (which I only share with two readers - Mother and best friend). Hard covers are my treats to myself (only in auto buy authors who pub in HC) so I can't wait and am pleased it is coming out in hard cover. You are a must buy for me. It all started with Three Weddings and a Kiss. Been hooked on anything Kleypas since.

And Cam's story is another I can't wait to read. So glad you decided to write his story. He was definitely deserving from this reader's perspective.

Cherie said...

My favorite part of the holiday feasting are the sweets. I have a big sweet tooth and i love to eat my fill of pecan pie and homemade Christmas cookies. I love drinking lots of eggnog.

Cherie Japp

joelle said...

The most delectable goodie that I love during the holidays are home made biscuits with fresh strawberries and cream. Yummo! Just so good.!

sharon said...

When I think back to the huge family dinners that I enjoyed the one dessert that I loved was apple studel made by a family friend whose reicpe and touch was comparable to the best cook anywhere in the universe.

Jennifer Y. said...

Welcome Lisa! I can't wait to read your new book!

I love Sweet Potatoes with marshmallows....homemade mashed potatoes...ham...man, I am getting hungry.

flip said...

Sugar cookies cut into fantastic shapes and frosted. I am not very good at baking these delights, but I can't resist them.

Jenni said...

Your Christmas food traditions sound delicious! My family is Italian, so lasagna or gnocci often played a part in our Christmas dinners, as did a heaping helping of fettuccini alfredo! Thank God calories don't count over the holidays!

Christina Dodd said...

My daughters and I make the meal, Scott cleans it up.

Life doesn't get better than that.

Turkey, dressing, cranberry relish, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, a huge vege plate which we make early and munch on (it keeps us from starving and fills us up with low cal foods so we can stuff ourselves without feeling guilty), that fruit salad with the nuts, whipped cream and marshmellows (Scott's fav), and homemade pies. I make the pie crust, it's the only way. Always pumpkin with real whipped cream, and we rotate the rest.

Oh, and who said Chex mix? Always necessary.

Note to everyone about SUGAR DADDY -- I got my hands on an arc (it, um, pays to know the author) and while I was finishing up my last book, Scott picked it up and read a few pages. Then a few more. Then a few more. Then he took it on vacation with us and finished it the first day. So my youngest daughter borrowed it for a little distraction during law school finals. She called to complain because she was supposed to be writing a ten page paper and she couldn't put SUGAR DADDY down.

She's bringing it home when she comes for Christmas, and IT'S KILLING ME!

Manuelita said...

Oh, I loved the Sugar Daddy excerpt!! Great early Christmas present. Thanks so much for posting it, Michelle & Lisa! I can't wait until it's finally released. Talk about anticipation!! And then there's Cam's story. Another much-anticipated book.

My favorite holiday food is turkey with gravy and stuffing. Except for the sandwich stuff, I only eat turkey during the holidays.

Manuelita - whose stomach is growling after reading about all this yummy food.

Manuelita said...

Christina ~ Then after you are done reading the Sugar Daddy ARC you can pass it onto me. *g*

orannia said...

Living in the Southern Hemisphere means that while all of you are chowing down on those very yummy sounding foods (I've never had cornbread but I REALLY want to try it :) it is usually hot on Christmas Day (think over 20 degrees Celsius) so the food reflects that. Last year my family had a BBQ. I know, sounds weird, but nothing says summer like a BBQ :) Also, mince pies - I'm talking fruit mince BTW :) The smell of mince pies really bring home the fact that Xmas is almost here...

...OK, now I'm hungry :)

orannia

traveler said...

When we get together on Christmas Eve, we share a very special meal which has its origins in Italy. We have pasta with fish which is out of this world and I love it, bruschetta on the most crispy bread imaginable, and delectable grilled veggies. Dessert is the ultimate apple cake, home made with ice cream.

Monica Burns said...

Vivi, you got all but the last letter right. It ends with an e not an a, and there's one of those funny accents over the a. Two dots. I always enjoyed eating that dish when I lived in Germany. *grin*

Mon

January said...

I can't do without my mom's cornbread dressing forget everything else that's all I want

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Thank you, thank you, everyone who's dishing about your fave dishes today! Very nearly inspires me to cook something. I guess that would truly be a holiday miracle, no?

Ah, traveler, my family never did the fish deal Christmas eve, but my husband's grandmother did. To this day whenever someone orders lobster, it's de rigeur to say, "hey, save the head for Nana's Christmas gravy!"

Xtina, they clean up? Now YOUR gloating.

Isn't the excerpt great, manuelita? I tell you, I was b.s. when I had to put the book down to do something inconsequential like feed my children or see to their emotional needs. :)

Monica! You may feel free to ply us with cookies. If you send them to me c/o Internet Broadcasting; 1333 Northland Dr.; Mendota Hts., MN -- I will gladly share them with the rest of the Bellas. No. Really. I mean it.

JulieO writes: LOL, Michelle! If I didn't know better, I'd think you had picked a favorite... :P

Jules, any LK hero that she hints at but hasn't written a book for is my favorite. Anybody remember waiting for St. Vincent? Hmmm?

Hey, don't forget to vote in this week's "Who's your fave Kleypas hero" survey at RBtheBook! And at www.SquawkRadio right now there's a great Sexiest Man Alive poll goin...

Cryna said...

One of the favourite smells at Christmas is the turkey in the oven with the homemade stuffing made from scratch cooking inside of it. It has been said when I was small I would make a whole meal just on the stuffing, and no eat much turkey.......LOL

Sugar Daddy looks so good......

catslady said...

Unlike thanksgiving, we don't have too many particular Christmas foods except one particular cookie - it's a thumbprint with grape jelly, almond extract and chopped nuts - delicious.

Monica Burns said...

I'll see about that care package, Michelle. *grin* I didn't bring the cookie recipes into work, but I knew the cheese ball would be a hit, so I did have that recipe handy. Folks are going nuts over it and their mouths are sagging when I say I made it. If they only knew how easy it was to make. LOL

Belva's Cheese Ball

16oz cream cheese, softened
4oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 oz crumbled bleu cheese
1/4 cup shredded onion
1 ts Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients well and chill. When ready to serve, roll in chopped nuts, parsley or dried beef (the kind you find in the lunch meat section and you shred it in the food processor).

I've found that if you have a heavy duty mixer (I have a Kitchen Aid) you can make two batches and get about three nice size balls. This cheese ball gets a sharper bite to it the longer you let it sit in the frig. If you let it sit for a week, the bleu cheese gives it added kick, and it's even better than when it's first made.

La Karibane said...

Here, december is "spring cleaning month" so oddly enough I associate the odor of fresh paint/varnish with Christmas but this is definitely the Wild Turkey, Sweet Liqueur, Fruitcake, and Pumpkin Soup season. Miam!

Santa said...

What a delicious blog! No pun intended!!

Lisa Kleypas, a wonderful teaser for 'Sugar Daddy', voting for hottest LK hero (Derek but St. Vincent is a VERY close second) and food! What could be better!

Christmas dinner has changed dramatically around my house. We used to have pasta plus turkey, a roast of some sort and ALL the fixins. We've scaled down considerably but our traditional fish dinner on Christmas Eve remains the same. My mother makes the BEST stuffed mussels in tomato sauce over muffaletta pasta EVER! She beats eggs, romano cheese, parsley, salt & pepper and pours it into each mussel and ties each with sewing thread. That goes into the tomato sauce and all the flavors come together! Delish! Sigh, I'm hungry now!

Oh, and I loved your story in 'Gifts of Love', Lisa! I can't wait for "Sugar Daddy" to come out!

Santa
smbslt!

carol said...

Thanks Lisa and Michelle! Loved the excerpt and interview! Can't wait to read Cam's story as well.:)

After reading the excerpt, I'm dying to know how Gage knows Liberty's mama?:)

Also, this love triangle is going to kill me. Michelle, I know it was tough choosing between Gage and Hardy, but how did you feel about the final direction?

Finally, I have to say favorite holiday food, or anytime food for that matter has to be chocolate!

elyssany said...

I love the holidays simply for the cookies and desserts. Like those big globs of cookies that are doughy and have iced frosting with sprinkles. Those are sooo good.

rachd said...

Hey Bellas!! It's LK!!! =) Completely off topic for a moment--thank you to all of you who were asking about me or sending me some huggy vibes. Ya'll are the best!

Favorite holiday foods? Well, the fondant Jess mentioned is an absolute MUST! I was going to try my hand at the gingerbread men, but now that I see Jess is doing it I'll forgo that.

We have a HUGE candy/cookie/goody tradition. I'll make the mint/chocolate fondant, peanut butter balls, mounds candy, cream cheese mints, ruggelach (made with pie crusts, cinnamon, sugar and pecans), fudge, brown sugar fudge, chocolate chip cookies, seven layer cookie bars, ginger cookies (different from gingerbread men), and preacher cookies (some call them no bake cookies).

Oh, and Christmas morning we have monkey bread made with Pillsbury sweet rolls. I'm getting ill just reading all this!

Sure, Christmas dinner is awesome, but I pig out on all the candy and goodies until dinner! ;o)

Jess said...

OMG, Rach, I am coming to your house for Christmas now that I know you are making so many goodies (maybe a gift basket of goodies will be heading my way??? *wink*)!

Jess said...

OMG, Rach, I am coming to your house for Christmas now that I know you are making so many goodies (maybe a gift basket of goodies will be heading my way??? *wink*)!

angelina said...

I'm from an enormous Mexican family very proud of their second- and third-generation roots in the United States, so every Christmas someone brought the prerequisite ham and turkey and mashed potatoes to the gigantic gathering at my great-grandmother's house. But what we were really excited about, what everyone grabbed the extra large styrofoam plate with the extra compartments for, was my grandmother's mole. Rich and dark and spicy, it was a silky stew with chunks of chicken dripping off the bone. You would ladle it over the sopa (rice, moist and fluffy), and then pile on the tortillas to sop it all up. It was and always will be Christmas for me. My mouth is watering.

Jess said...

OMG, Rach, I am coming to your house for Christmas now that I know you are making so many goodies (maybe a gift basket of goodies will be heading my way??? *wink*)!

Michele said...

First, let me say,
I was a die hard NON historical romance reader. Meaning, I refused to read historicals, wasn't interested and wouldn't even give them a second glance.

Then I come here, to Michelle B's site and everyone is singing hymnals and praises about your books.
Soo, I'm curious, what IS so special about books by this Lisa Kleypas.

My first book ended up being one of the Wall flower series ... and
I was hooked.
Well and truly hooked to reading all the books of yours that I could find.

You filled a well that I had no idea was dry.
Thank you Lisa. Thanks to you I can no longer state that I "don't read historical romances" because you've written yours so well, I became a convert.

Now,
As for holiday food.
My Mom's homemade butter nut squash from her garden.
My SIL's Pumpkin and cheesecake roll.
A glass of Blackberry Merlot for the toast.
and my Egg Nog cookies.
I can only make them during this time of year so my whole family looks forward to it. It's become our own family tradition to eat them as we watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer together.
For me, Nothing can top that.
Happy Holidays to you!!!

froggie said...

My mother makes the most delicious Tourtière (which the English call meat pie) It's a French-Canadian tradition. I have the recipe, but it just doesn't compare to Mom's! Whenever, where ever we celebrate Christmas she is asked to bring a few of her yummy pies.

Lisa Kleypas said...

Oh, Michele . . . what a wonderful way to end my day . . . thank you SO MUCH. When I decided to write the Wallflower series, I wanted the books to celebrate female friendship, which has always been such a powerful and positive force in my life.

And I have SO loved visiting with Michelle B and sharing all her delightful friends with me! I have also enjoyed reading about your holiday food traditions--It was nice having a great big cyber-feast with you!

Love to all,
Lisa

froggie said...

I forgot to add that with the dough cuttings, she makes what we've always called "Pets de Soeurs" which translates to Nun Farts... It's made with butter and brown sugar and cinnamon spread on the pastry, rolled tight and cut in to rounds, baked on a cookie sheet until brown. What do you guys call it? One of my friends named them "69's" because that's the shape her Mom put the rolled dough before baking... funny, but I think her Mom had her mind on something else then her Christmas baking!!

Vivi Anna said...

Hey thanks Mon!! Yeah, I grew up on that stuff, that and sauerkraut. Which I can't stand unless I'm drunk then I like it on a hotdog (a real hotdog ladies...)

Oh and S cookies, I can't pronounce or spell the proper German word for it. Hmm, we're going to try and bake those this year. But ours always turn out so hard...not like Grandma made.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Ueh, froggie! Those are some of the funniest-named sweets ever! Does anyone else have any humorously-named food faves?

Carol, good question about Gage vs Hardy. Both guys are so flippin appealing and, God, just as over-the-top masculine as you'd expect from Lisa. I have to say I was kind of torn by the whole love triangle thing. Such a tricky device in a romance, but she does it so good, you're wondering almost to the last who she's gonna choose. And it's not cause Liberty's a flighty pushover or anything, it's cause she's such a loyal and loving woman.

Oooh, Bellas, the first time you meet Hardy, my gosh, KL makes your mouth water in anticipation -- of what I'm not at liberty, as it were, to say. :)

Michele, what an awesome story. Taking a chance on a new type of romance is so powerful, and I'm happy you've found Lisa's work as entertaining as the rest of us reader/fans do.

angelina, it's cool to see how we combine our ethnicity w/various "all -American" traditions. We have Italian traditions -- some delish, some not so -- and others today have described theirs, too.

orianna, and I think Portia di mentioned also, the trad mince pie. My father-in-law loves them, but, oddly enough, is the only one in the family.

oh, joelle, homemade biscuits and s/cream? Yums.

elsiehogarth talks about pastelles, which take a long time but "make" Christmas for her family. Do you all have any trads that are a pain, but the best?

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Always appreciate your clarifications, Vivs. :)

Lisa, Lisa, grazie mille for visiting today! We've enjoyed your comments and are really glad you got us talking our second, um, no, third...wait, fourth, yeah, fourth favorite subject on RBtheBlog. In descending order the other three are:

3. Hot, wet guys
2. Hot guys
1. Romance

But a girl does gotta eat, so we'll give food a strong fourth.

PJ said...

Just got home from the Middle School Christmas concert and had to pop over and see what one of my fav Squawkers is up to. Lisa, I cannot wait for Cam's story! This is so exciting!

For Christmas dinner my must-have dish is sweet potatoes and I fix it like you except that I usually add some toasted pecans too. My Christmas eating really begins the weekend following Thanksgiving though when I begin my baking and candy making. That continues nightly until Christmas Eve. Favorite cookie is Christmas Log Cookies which are kind of like a pecan sandie (made with brandy), dusted in powdered sugar with each end dipped in chocolate. Favorite candy is Tiger's Butter, a blend of white and milk chocolates and peanut butter. That's one recipe where *everyone* fights over who gets to lick the bowl. lol

Monica Burns said...

Ok, Vivi, are you talking Springerle cookies or Spritz cookies. The Springerle are like an anise cookie, lacy with the taste of licorice. Can't abide them myself. *grin* However, the Spritz cookies are demanded just like Snickerdoodles, both of which are made.

Mon

amy*skf said...

Gosh darnit--I was on this a.m. and my server kicked me off--now I'm afraid to stay on too long--Sugar Daddy...what can I say, the little I've read is brilliant.

Yay and double yay--Rachd!

that's it for now.

rachd said...

Aw, Amy, Hi backatcha! =)

Stacy~ said...

Sob! I missed Lisa! And I was in such a good mood too, ready to go all fangirl on her LOL. Just in case she's lurking (wishful thinking on my part) I will say that I absolutely adore her historicals so much, yet can't wait to read "Sugar Daddy". I just might have to wait til it comes out in pb though.

To me, holidays, any holiday, is always topped off by my grandmother's seafoam salad. There was cream cheese and pear juice and a bunch of other stuff (don't know the recipe off the top of my head) and it was one of my favoritest things ever. She's no longer with this world, has gone on to the big seafoam up above (or maybe even down below...that's a topic of debate within our family), yet that dish always reminds me of family gatherings.

Off to go cry quietly in a corner now since I missed Lisa's appearance...sniff....

Michele said...

Hugs, Stacy~!
You were here in spirit.
Great Interview BTW!

Stacy~ said...

Thanx Michele. I'm sure you felt I was haunting you all in a sense today *g*

I can't believe I forgot the rumballs. Yep, those things are lethal, and so good I'm feeling a buzz just thinking about 'em. Ah, love holiday food....

ev said...

I missed today too. pooh. And I promised myself I wasn't going to miss any this week. So much for good intentions. LOL

Shoshana said...

I smell roasted chicken and I remember all the happy times my family get together and there will always be roasted chicken. Go figure. And green beans stir-fried.