Blog


Permalink to Basic cooking skills?

Basic cooking skills?

In Medium Raw , which I’m reading now, Anthony Bourdain has a chapter on what he thinks should be basic kitchen skills for “all men, women, and teenagers”. What do you think? Do you agree? Do you have all these? His list seemed to me to have a certain bias toward traditional Western European based cooking. If you come from another culinary culture, are there skills you think should be swapped out for, say, boeuf bourguignon?

The list, in brief:

1) Basic knife handling, sharpening, & maintenance, along with rudimentary dicing, mincing, slicing.

2) Ability to make an omelet. (“I have long believed that it is only right and appropriate that before one sleeps with someone, one should be able…to make them a proper omelet in the morning.”)

3) Roast a chicken.

4) Correctly grill & rest a steak. (He references the terrible state of backyard grilling.)

5) Cook vegetables.

6) Make a standard vinaigrette.

7) Ability to shop for fresh produce, have a sense of what’s in season, what’s ripe or rotten.

8) Recognize fish that’s fresh & how to clean & filet it.

9) Steam a lobster, crab, clams or mussels.

10) Roast meats & know when it’s done without a thermometer.

11) Roast & mash potatoes.

12) Make rice, both steamed & pilaf method.

13) Have fundamentals of braising (he mentions specifically boeuf bourguignon).

14) Be able to make stock from bones, plus a few soups.

15) Each person should develop his/her own “modest yet unique repertoire”, a few dishes that they love & practice preparing until are proud of result. “To either respect in this way their own past–or express through cooking their dreams for the future. Every citizen would thus have their own specialty.”

So what do you think? Can you proudly claim to do all? Would you suggest any changes to the list? What would be in your modest but unique repertoire?

Anthony Bourdain is not a sweets person, but I actually think that everyone who likes chocolate should know how to make a basic ganache (it’s extremely easy). And for Americans, how to make a cake/brownies/chocolate chip cookies without a mix, and bread. (French, on the other hand, don’t like cakes in the first place usually and have fantastic and cheap bakeries every block, so if you live there, let the pros do it.) And, while I think Anthony Bourdain might be opposed to this particular sauce-making skill, I will say that the ability to make a roux is easily acquired and is useful in all kinds of sauces.

What do you think?

 


Permalink to Friday Book Club! LOTS of books

Friday Book Club! LOTS of books

FRIDAY BOOK CLUB! With all the travel, this has been on hiatus for a good long month, so I’ve been reading a lot and I bet you have, too. Right this moment, I’m reading Anthony Bourdain‘s Kitchen Confidential, which is just irresistibly captivating. He’s got such a vivid voice and attitude!

Some other great reads while traveling: Elyssa Patrick‘s GO WITH ME (super sweet hero here), Theresa Romain‘s TO CHARM A NAUGHTY COUNTESS (a “mad” duke! really a geeky intellectual with social anxiety…need I say more?), and I’ve just been reading Cecilia Grant‘s WOMAN ENTANGLED. Recommends all!

And, of course, Penny Reid‘s NEANDERTHAL MARRIES HUMAN. Adorable!! Love this couple, so charming and so sweet, too.

What about you? What have you been reading? Anything you recommend? Anything you’re looking forward to this weekend?


Permalink to “Dom Richard” caramels are here! Chocolate Club giveaway time!

“Dom Richard” caramels are here! Chocolate Club giveaway time!

CARAMEL WINNERS: Yay for Meghan K., Eva W., and Sharon B. who won the “Dom Richard” (really Jacques Genin) caramels! Emails have been sent, so check your inbox if those are your names.

And I’m very sorry there aren’t enough to go around to everyone. THANK YOU for sharing the special moments in the books. That was actually really nice to see the different moments people had enjoyed.

These caramels are nearly worth their weight in gold, but trust me, if I could, I would share them with all of you! I really wish I could. They taste a LOT better than gold. (To be honest, I’ve never really understood gold. But caramels and chocolate, now–that’s a luxury that makes sense.)

Thanks so much as always! And Meghan, Eva, and Sharon, let us know what you think!

***

All right, you know what time it is, right? CHOCOLATE CLUB TIME. Although, as discussed prior to leaving for Paris, THIS is a SPECIAL EDITION SUMMER CHOCOLATE CLUB that does not, in fact, feature chocolate.

NO, it features those very same one and only, best in the world caramels from top chocolatier Jacques Genin, the caramels that inspired the caramels Dom Richard offered Jaime Corey in THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH. I know they don’t look like much here with my terrible photography and a little squashed from travel, but trust me, squashing does not affect flavor or texture, and they are fantastic.

As promised, I brought 3 small bags this year instead of one large box, so that I could spread several small prizes around, since last year’s was so popular. (Tragically, I could swear I bought 4 bags, but I can’t find the 4th!! And I did NOT eat it. Really. If I find it, I’ll add it to the prizes.) To enter this chocolate club, you can sign up for my newsletter (if signed up already, you’re automatically entered) AND/OR have an extra entry by commenting below or on Facebook. The comment could be, hmm…how about your favorite food moment in any of these books?

I’ll draw 3 winners Friday morning! Note: US only. I’m very, very sorry to international readers, but trying to internationally ship something that has to stay so fresh is just a disaster. I can swap for a book prize, if you’re outside the US.

IMG_3282


Permalink to The Chocolate Rose=FREE this week!

The Chocolate Rose=FREE this week!

Just a quick note to make sure everyone knows that THE CHOCOLATE ROSE is FREE this week on Amazon, Kobo, GooglePlay, and iTunes. And THANKS so much for everyone who helped it hit #2 overall on Amazon and #1 in Romance and Women’s Fiction. I really appreciate it so much! If you haven’t read this one, do take advantage of the chance to have a book for free! (Consider it my little thank you for all your support.) And if you have a friend you’ve been trying to talk into trying this series, please let them know! I always appreciate the word of mouth.

If this is new to you, I hope you’ll love the trip to this jasmine-filled hill town of Provence, and the introduction to the world of the Vie en Roses series. And I hope you’ll love Gabriel as much as I do!

 

ChocolateRose_210x281

I owe you some updates on all the travel through France this summer! Coming soon! Meanwhile, you can catch some photos on my Facebook site. (A public page, so you don’t have to sign up for FB to see it. It’s just easier to post a quick photo there than on the blog while traveling and catching Wifi here or there randomly.)

 


Permalink to Friday Book Club: Stocking Up for the Plane Ride, What Are Your Recs?

Friday Book Club: Stocking Up for the Plane Ride, What Are Your Recs?

FRIDAY BOOK CLUB! What are you all reading? I am stocking up for the plane ride so need your recs. I’ve been mostly reading non-fiction books lately, research for the Roses series primarily, so I’m probably a little behind on some of the latest books. (I still haven’t read Lost Lake, if you can believe it. And I love Sarah Addison Allen!)

What are you reading? Anything you recommend? Anything you’re looking forward to this weekend?

And THANK YOU ALL for all the encouragement and feedback for the cover of ONCE UPON A ROSE! We’re looking at mid-August for the release date. Here’s a little image that evokes a scene in the book to help tide you over!

roses grasse perfume


Permalink to Cover Reveal! ONCE UPON A ROSE

Cover Reveal! ONCE UPON A ROSE

It’s here! The cover and book description for the first Rosier book, the oft-promised, several-times prequelled LA VIE EN ROSES series. A huge THANK YOU to so many people on Facebook and Twitter who were voting on covers. (If you missed it, hop over and scroll back a post or two in my timeline to see what were the options. My FB page is public, so you don’t have to be an FB user to see it.)

I am off to France in just a couple of days and will be off Internet for the most part for a while. (I may manage to post a few photos on FB but not sure. As you may have noticed, I still haven’t managed to share all the RT convention photos, so obviously I’m better at keeping on writing books than keeping things posted online.)

I want to take this chance to say again a HUGE THANK YOU for all the support of SUN-KISSED and all the kind reviews. I love this book and couple so much and am really, really happy not to be the only one.

Coming up next: Matthieu Rosier! August 2014.

once upon a rose florand

She stole his roses.

Fleeing the spotlight, burnt-out indie rock star Zeina—“Belle”—Dubois seeks refuge in the south of France. That old, half-forgotten stone house and rose-covered acres her father left her in a valley of roses seems like a good place to soothe a wounded heart. She certainly doesn’t expect the most dangerous threat to her heart to pounce on her as soon as she sets foot on the land.

He wants them back.

Matt didn’t mean to growl at her quite that loud. But—his roses! She can’t have his roses. Even if she does have all those curls and green eyes and, and, and…what was he growling about again?

Or maybe he just wants her.

When an enemy invades his valley and threatens his home, heart, and livelihood, Matthieu Rosier really knows only one way to defend himself.

It might involve kissing.

And that might be just the start.

Fingers crossed that you’ll enjoy grumpy, growling, broody Matt, too! Sign up here to be emailed the moment it’s available. Click here to add it to your Goodreads shelf.

I hope you’ll enjoy this one! And Happy Summer!


Permalink to Friday Book Club: Editing, Nalini Singh, Emperor of Scent, ooh & Molly’s new book!

Friday Book Club: Editing, Nalini Singh, Emperor of Scent, ooh & Molly’s new book!

Friday Book Club! (Ha, ha, I didn’t forget this week!) What have you been reading in the past couple of weeks? Anything you want to recommend? Anything you’re looking forward to this weekend?

I’m deep in edits for the Roses book, and at that point where, if I still wrote on paper, I would rip the thing out and throw it away. So have not been reading much. The last book I finished was actually Nalini Singh’s Shield of Winter, which I think I mentioned, because I love it so much. (Coming in just a few days now!) Love the hero and heroine and the way their relationship builds.

And I’m reading EMPEROR OF SCENT. I love Chandler Burr’s writing, the way he captures this world and characters.

Ooh….and someone on Twitter just let me know that Molly O’Keefe’s WESTERN is out. That’s right! Molly O’Keefe does a historical Western romance!! I am so hyped about this one, I can’t wait to finish these edits and dive in. Here’s a link if you want to see more, only 2.99!!

What about you? And happy weekend!


Permalink to SUN-KISSED: A big thank you!!

SUN-KISSED: A big thank you!!

I wanted to take a second to thank all of you for the kind words about SUN-KISSED. Thank you so much to those of you who have posted reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, your blogs, or emailed me, or posted nice comments here! This really means a lot to me and definitely helps keep me going on the next book. And it is also just very, very kind!! I really appreciate the thoughtfulness, and wish you all many wonderful things in your own ventures, artistic or otherwise.

Some of the hugely kind words that have been coming in about Sun-Kissed from reviewers in the past week:

Gorgeous and brilliant and I loved everything about it. I will also say that Laura Florand is so enormously talented that I’m beginning to run out of new ways to praise her! – The Bookish Babe

Utterly delicious. — Dear Author Recommended Read

A beautifully written coda to Florand’s Amour et Chocolat Series…a compelling romance. – Ivy Book Bindings

Phenomenal and emotional…a vibrant love story…full of love and passion…A romance with heart [that] tugs at heartstrings.– Romance Novel News Recommended Read

Absolutely delightful!!!…a fabulous MATURE, slightly acerbic, beautifully written and gorgeously erotic story.– Ripe for Reader

Gorgeous and brilliant and I loved everything about it. I will also say that Laura Florand is so enormously talented that I’m beginning to run out of new ways to praise her! – The Bookish Babe

A must-read for all fans of Laura Florand, or any romance junkie out there. Her prose is gorgeous and always manages to touch me profoundly. Plus, they’re utterly HOT!! If you haven’t taken the opportunity to pick up one of her stories you are missing out. Seriously, do something about it!– The Readers Den

A powerful love story…that steals your heart. [It] will be read again and again. This is a love story that should not be missed! – The Book Queen

Laura Florand delivers a poignant, gritty, and, as always, ultimately tenderly human love story. – Cat’s Books 

A gorgeous story…about family, forgiveness, perseverance and loyalty [that] touched my heart in a way that few books have ever done. It made me laugh, cry and cry some more – but happy tears in the end. I couldn’t even read anything for several days. I wanted to stay right there with these characters a little longer. – For What It’s Worth

Damn sexy…highly recommend. Smexybooks

Sweet and sexy. — Fiction Vixen

***

I truly appreciate these and all your own words so much! Thank you so much to all of you for reading and all of you who have helped spread the word or taken a second to let me know what these stories mean to you. It really means a lot.

SunKiss_125x200


Permalink to FREE on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, GooglePlay: Turning Up the Heat

FREE on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, GooglePlay: Turning Up the Heat

I’m so happy to announce that TURNING UP THE HEAT is FREE on Amazon, iTunes , GooglePlay, and Kobo.

This is one of my first novellas and also a personal favorite. Something about it really means a lot to me–Daniel and Léa’s story, this look at a couple that really loves each other but, ten years into their  marriage, still needs to find a way to renegotiate what they believe about themselves and each other. It’s also a prequel to the Vie en Roses series. (You get your first brief glimpse of Matthieu Rosier in it, the hero of the upcoming ONCE UPON A ROSE.)

It’s got a new cover (don’t be fooled if you’ve previously purchased it under an earlier cover).

I’m very excited to have reached the point in my career where I can make something available for free to say thanks to long-term readers and welcome new ones. If you haven’t read this one yet, I hope this is a nice present to you to have it for free! And if you’ve read it and think others would like it, I would love it it you helped spread the word.

Happy reading!

TurningUp_176x282

 


Permalink to Have a Good Memorial Day Weekend!

Have a Good Memorial Day Weekend!

Just realizing I have missed Friday Book Club two Fridays in a row, with travel and Memorial Day weekend. I will get back on the ball next Friday! I miss talking about books with you.

And yes, I have to catch you up on the RT Convention, too! (And I may have a cover to share pretty soon!) If you are on Facebook, I’ve managed to put some photos up there of RT, just because posting photos is so much faster there.

Meanwhile, here’s wishing you all a wonderful long weekend with your families. And let’s take a moment to remember what it’s about.

Who are your people who have served in the military? Do you want to take a minute to mention them to honor them? One of my brothers and my nephew, within my lifetime. My father was fifteen when WWII ended, but he had had polio so would not have been called to active duty in any case. I suspect having Roosevelt as president when he was growing up may have been an important message to him, however, even though it’s not something he ever talked about. I know a lot of people have family members and friends currently serving (or are serving in the military themselves).

 

Page 3 of 4512345102030...Last »

Archives