Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Foodie Book Gathering + A Recipe from Laurie Tomlinson

One of the best parts of releasing a novel with two foodie main characters is the excuse to go all out at book signings, launch parties, and other events. Last night, I attended the first book club meeting for With No Reservations, and it was so much fun!


I wish I could gather all of my friends and readers in one place for one giant, glorious party where the coffee is flowing and the calories don't count -- which is a good thing, because my characters use a lot of butter :) But since advancements haven't solved issues of time and distance, I thought I'd give you a glimpse!

My hero went to culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and is starting a French cafe, so the menu has a predominantly French theme. If you were at my launch party, you would be treated to:


Chantilly Cake - Lacy white cake with gooey berries
Tri-colored Macarons - Crispy cookies sandwiching a layer of heavenly frosting
Sloane's Cookies - Chocolate chip toffee pudding cookies from Chapter 1
Buttery Croissants - Chocolate, Strawberry, and a LOT of Butter
Truffles - Balls of chocolatey bliss
Chocolate Mousse - Poured chocolate cups filled with creamy chocolate-espresso mousse
Cheese Board - Cheddar, Gouda, Brie with seed and berry crackers and grapes
Mini Bundt Cakes - Personal servings of fluffy cake
Fresh Fruit & Cream - Sliced berries and cream whipped with a touch of sweetness


In the background, if the chatter died down for a moment, you could hear the faint sounds of our favorite Rat Pack members -- Sinatra, Dean Martin, and their contemporaries -- crooning their hit songs. But, as you know tends to be the case when we reader-types are gathered, that wouldn't be often as we agreed, debated, and interpreted 350 pages of story. 

Maybe someday we can celebrate in person, but for now, you can make the chocolate chip toffee cookies found on the very first page of With No Reservations.


Sloane's Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from www.chef-in-training.com

Ingredients

  • 2¼ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup butter, softened at room temperature (Sloane uses Kerrygold Irish butter)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding, dry
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (Sloane recommends mini semisweet chocolate chips)
  • ½ cup toffee bits 

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a bowl, combine flour and baking soda.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment (or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer), cream butter and sugars together.
  • Mix in dry pudding, eggs, and vanilla until well combined.
  • Add flour mixture slowly, 2-3 parts at a time, until all is combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
  • Fold in chocolate chips and toffee bits.
  • Using a tablespoon or cookie scooper, roll dough into balls and place on greased baking sheet.
  • Sloane's (optional) tip: Press additional chocolate chips and toffee bits into the tops of the cookies to make them prettier :)
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-12 minutes.
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Laurie Tomlinson is an award-winning contemporary romance author and cheerleader for creatives. She believes that God’s love is unfailing, anything can be accomplished with a good to-do list, and that life should be celebrated with cupcakes and extra sprinkles. Her novella That’s When I Knew was featured in the Love at First Laugh collection, and her debut novel, With No Reservations, is now available from Harlequin Heartwarming

You can connect with Laurie on her websiteFacebook page, and Instagram.

31 comments:

  1. Your book-club party must have been a lot of fun, Laurie. I'm hungry looking at the pictures and I just finished breakfast!

    Congratulations on the release of With no Reservations! I wish you much success with your debut Heartwarming and all future releases.

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    1. Thank you so much, Kate! It's been such a fun journey so far!

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  2. Now that's how to throw a book club party, Laurie. That's quite a spread.
    Congratulations on your release! I look forward to reading With No Reservations. By the way, I put toffee bits in my chocolate chip cookies too. :)

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  3. Congratulations on your debut book! And many more to come. Looking at that picture, I just want to grab a bite of everything. Love truffles!

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    1. We are still enjoying the leftovers :) Thanks, Leigh!

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  4. Fun post. The food looks yummy. Love book clubs.

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    1. And to think I was nervous for nothing! It was so much fun!

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  5. How fun! And everything looks delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Congratulations on your debut!

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  6. Wow! What a great table! Everything looks delicious!!!

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    1. It definitely was! The hostesses outdid themselves :)

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  7. Congratulations--and what a fun group and book party idea. Wishing you great success and more foodie friends to share it with you!

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    1. You're exactly right. The more foodie friends, the merrier. Thank you :)

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  8. What fun, and the recipe looks great!

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    1. You must try it! They are my new favorite cookies.

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  9. I loved all the food on the table. Thanks for the recipe.

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  10. I gained five pounds just looking at your photo! lol Will try the recipe.

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    1. Seriously! I have to do a lot of brainstorming on the treadmill and take walking breaks to balance things out.

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  11. All that food looks terrific. Thanks for the recipe ... I can't wait to make a batch of the Toffee Chocolate Chip cookies. All the best with your new releases!

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  12. As a fellow "foodie" Heartwarming author, I have to say I SO WISH I could have attended this launch party! It looks like a blast! I have a feeling our characters would get along well. ;) Congrats on this delicious release, Laurie!

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    1. Yes! I need to meet your characters pronto!

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  13. Congratulations on your debut novel, Laurie. The food looks delicious!

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  14. What fun! And all the food looks so yummy. Congrats on your new release.

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  15. I love your comment about the chatter in the background. Food tastes so much better in good company, doesn't it? Love your book title! Best!

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  16. Okay, another recipe for my growing pile. All of which will be done after I retire LOL
    Your book sounds wonderful.

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  17. Beautiful table. Everything looks so yummy. Like Sloane, you must be good at photographing food as well as creating it. Loved the uplifting story.

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