Shannon here: Kathy Harris shares an excerpt from her latest Romantic Suspense, Deadly Commitment, plus a recipe for yummy Apple Betty. All comments will go in Monday’s drawing. Deadline: Sept 5th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Kathy:
One of the primary characters in my new romantic suspense novel, Deadly Commitment, is the Executive Chef at a popular Italian restaurant in Nashville. Although Jaycee Alexander has been schooled in creating fine gourmet fare, she first learned to cook while working in her family’s diner—or what we Southerners call a “meat and three” restaurant. One of Jaycee’s favorite comfort foods is Apple Crisp. Who doesn’t like the combination of warm apples, spices, butter and brown sugar? It’s one of my personal favorites!
I usually prefer to make a Betty or a pandowdy, instead of a crisp. To learn more about the difference between a crisp and a Betty (it’s the oatmeal), or a pandowdy and a cobbler (it’s the consistency of the dough), check out the Farmer’s Almanac website. Or whip up a batch of my Apple Betty recipe first! It’s not only delicious, it’s gluten free and low sodium.
Harris Family Apple Betty
4 cups thinly sliced apples (If you have them available, a mixture of apples is best. For example, Granny Smith, Gala, Rome, Braeburn, etc.)
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup brown rice flour (or another gluten free flour)
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Mound sliced apples in the pie plate. Sprinkle with orange juice. In a medium bowl or food processor, mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Scatter over the apples. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Serve warm. YUM!
Excerpt from Deadly Commitment by Kathy Harris:
“You look like a man who could use a good cup of coffee and a bowl of apple crisp.” Jaycee broke into Caleb’s self-absorbed, internal monologue, setting a cup of steaming coffee and a dish of sweet-smelling dessert in front of him.
“How did you know?”
The chef smiled. “That you wanted coffee?”
“No,” he said. “That apple crisp is my favorite dessert?” The smell of cinnamon-covered apples took Caleb back to his childhood.
She lowered herself into a seat across the table from him. “Well, my first clue was that you’re from the South.” She raised an eyebrow. “But who doesn’t love cinnamon, brown sugar, and apples all rolled into one?”
“Especially with fresh cream on top.” Caleb toasted her in mid-air before pouring a half-cup of cream from the pitcher she had placed on the table.
Before setting the pitcher back on the table, he splashed a small amount of cream into his coffee. “This is good for my heart, isn’t it?”
“Well . . . maybe not long-term.” She grinned. “But it’s good comfort food.”
“I needed that tonight.”
She sobered. “You appeared to be a bit introspective.”
He took a bite, and the flavor took him back to his childhood. “This tastes just like my mother used to make.”
“She probably used the same recipe. It’s straight from the Betty Crocker cookbook that most of our moms used when we were growing up.” Caleb laughed and shook his head, “I thought you were some fancy kind of chef.”
She laughed. “Most people think the same thing, that chefs are always creating innovative new recipes with contemporary cultural significance.” She pronounced the final words with a fake, intellectual flare. “But it’s often the time-tested ideas that work best.”
“You’re a wise woman.” He took another bite. “Whatever you do, don’t mess with this recipe.”
Jaycee sobered again. “So . . . what has you so worried tonight? I could tell from the back of the room that you have a lot on your mind.”
He hesitated. “Maybe a little bit of everything.”
He took his watch off and laid it on the table in front of her. “This belonged to my brother, Jonathan, who was killed when he was a young man.”
Jaycee studied the watch but said nothing.
“I was only a few years older, so needless to say, it was a life-changing event for me.” He cleared his throat, not sure whether to go on.
When she didn’t speak, he continued. “I decided then and there not to risk my heart again. You know, not to get close to people, because I might lose someone else.”
“How’s that working out for you?” She had both compassion and mischief in her eyes.
He laughed. “Not too well.”
“I didn’t think so.” She tapped the table with her fingertips. “If you figure it out, you could get rich selling it to the rest of us. None of us want to be hurt any more than we have to—.” She hesitated. “Just remember one thing.”
Caleb set his napkin on the table and leaned back in his chair.
“Perfect love drives out all fear.”
“Hey, there. The two of you look serious.” Danni stepped up to the table. “What’s going on?”
“We were just debating about another piece of apple crisp.” Jaycee stood and reached for Caleb’s bowl. Danni settled into the seat next to her. “None for me, thanks. But I will have a cup of coffee, if you’re heading back to the kitchen.”
“Absolutely,” Jaycee said. “Caleb?”
“No, thanks. I’m good right now.” He patted his stomach. “But after you return, let’s make sure we all know what we’re doing tomorrow.”
Excerpted from Deadly Commitment (The Deadly Secrets series) by Kathy Harris, New Hope Publishers. ©Kathy Harris, 2019. All Rights Reserved.
About Kathy: Kathy Harris is an author by way of a “divine detour” into the Nashville music business where she has worked for 30 years as a marketing director. She sold her first Christian nonfiction story in 2007. Her debut novel released in 2012. She writes romantic suspense and women’s fiction. Visit Kathy’s website, read her Divine Detour blog or follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
About the book – Deadly Commitment: When Danielle Kemp walks out of her downtown Nashville condominium, she’s convinced that the homeless man outside her building is stalking her. But, after learning the real identity of the intimidating stranger, she faces something even more threatening―the truth about her fiancé. Deadly Commitment is the first book in Kathy’s The Deadly Secrets, a new fiction series with southern charm and big-city twists. Set in the author’s hometown, it’s filled not only with intrigue and suspense but subtle glimpses into how God is at work in the lives of ordinary people doing ordinary jobs … or maybe they aren’t so ordinary after all.
Get your copy now!
Author autographed copies – Deadly Commitment – RichardsandSouthern
Question for Readers: Who is your favorite Biblical hero or heroine?
Come back Sept 1st for Jenny Carlisle!