Monday, November 23, 2009

Guest Post ~ Jessica Conant-Park

I am very excited to have Jessica stopping by to visit with us today. I met her last year at a book signing and we've been friends ever since (or at least I like to think so! Although I think she only likes me for the sex toys I send her!) She's absolutely hysterical and keeps me entertained. Not to mention that she's been a huge support in connecting me with other authors to help expand from reviewing books to editing/proofing manuscripts. You rock JP!!!

And now...your main event ~

We’re well into football season and I’ve become suspicious that my Patriots only win when I am equipped with good snacks. Salsa and chips can only get you so far, and I blame the miserable loss against the Colts the other week entirely on my inadequate array of treats. (Because, obviously, an entire football team’s success is directly connected to what I eat, right?) So, ‘tis the season for gluttony and football, and I intend to fully participate in pigging out in order to get the Pats to the Superbowl. Ahem… So I’ve been mixing up the traditional football snacks with some other fun foods. The meatball recipe below is from Fed Up and was given to me by a wonderful chef, Josh Ziskin, from La Morra in Brookline, MA. These are a great little appetizer, perfect for snacking on while you cheer for your team. Or while you’re curled up with a good book while someone else in your family cusses at the television. Either way, they’re good comfort food.

Aside from being the season for ridiculously large men to repeatedly plow into each other for insane salaries, it’s also the season for giving; so it is my duty as an author to encourage you all to think about giving the gift of books to those you love. Most of us are on a strict budget this year, and books are a great way to give a creative gift as well as limit the damage done to your bank account. Collect a few favorite books, set them in an inexpensive gift basket, and add a few fun accessories that compliment the books! My Gourmet Girl series pairs up well up with treats from a gourmet food shop, chocolates, a pretty serving dish, or a splashy set of potholders and dishtowels. Oh, and I’ve found a wonderful site that sells the most adorable aprons! The Hip Hostess

( ) has created a line of aprons more attractive than I thought possible. I want one in every style… And don’t forget that a book gift basket is great for teenagers; mixing books in with other fun items is a wonderful way to encourage reading. Many of the cozy mystery series out there are perfectly appropriate for teens, so don’t think you need to stick to vampire-themed books. (Besides what kind of accessories would you add? Fangs? Fake blood?) Also, check out local book signings and see if you can stop in and get a book for a friend that is signed by the author. Believe me, we love having people actually show up for a signing!

Anyhow, have fun this holiday season, and remember that the book market is really struggling in these tough time and sales are what will keep your favorite series going!

Polpette (Tuscan Meatballs)

Josh Ziskin, Executive Chef at La Morra Brookline, Massachusetts

Serves 8–10 as appetizer

12 loaf bread, cut into large cubes

3 cups milk

1 12 cups dried porcini mushrooms

5 lbs. ground beef

2 cups Parmesan cheese

14 lb. lb. prosciutto, thickly sliced and diced

4 eggs

3 cups flour

3 cups white wine


Soak bread in milk until it is fully absorbed. Soak porcini mushrooms in water until hydrated and clean. Remove and chop. Mix the next 4 ingredients, and then add mushrooms and bread. Mix well. Roll into desired- size balls. Flour each ball, and shake off the extra flour. Sear in a pan on all sides until light brown. Add wine until it comes halfway up the side of the meatballs. Put in oven and bake at 400° until cooked through, approximately 15 minutes.

Make sure to pre-order your copy of Fed Up (Berkley Prime Crime Mysteries), due out in paperback on January 5th (my birthday!!!) & Cook the Books, the latest in the Gourmet Girls series, due out March 2nd. You definitely don't want to miss one. The most bestest in the series!!! (I know, I've read it!)

And......make sure to check back tomorrow for a sneak peak of chapter one of Cook the Books!


Jessica Conant-Park said...

Thanks for having me, Lori!

michele said...

Yummy (the recipe and guys in tight pants).