I just finished reading “Love On The Line” — don’t judge me for being behind in my reading — and loved it, so I can’t wait to see what kind of food and fun she cooks up next.
Take it away, Kimberly!
Part of writing foodie romance is incorporating food and/or cooking into a story in an active way, almost as if it’s a character.
In my first digital novella, “Love On The Line,” there’s a (literally and figuratively) wounded hero, and the chef heroine makes meals like chili and cornbread and chicken and dumplings in order to help him heal. “Drawing The Line” has my heroine (a diner owner) and my hero (the cop sworn to protect her) sharing meals out of necessity, then cooking together to show their comfort levels—and their relationship—grow.
And in my new release, “Outside The Lines,” I used a favorite shared meal (stuffed French toast) to remind the hero and heroine of their once-shared intimacy as they tested the waters of second-chance love. The French toast is also an embodiment of my heroine’s poor upbringing, because she makes it with day-old castoffs from the local bakery. She knows all too well what it’s like to be hungry, and her street smarts guide her to the recipe.
All three recipes are in the back of the books, as well as on my website (www.kimberlykincaid.com), but the French toast is too good to not share right now!
Jules’s Stuffed French Toast
¼ cup milk (not skim, but 2% is okay)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 8-oz. package cream cheese (not fat free! Trust me on this, it doesn’t set up properly), softened
1 Tablespoon honey (I used orange flavored, but any will do)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (plus more for sprinkling)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
½ cup orange marmalade (I just go from the jar and don’t quite measure this— it’s more to taste)
One loaf brioche, preferably a few days old, cut into an even number of one-inch thick slices
Cooking spray for the griddle
Spray a griddle or non-stick skillet with cooking spray and set over medium heat, but no higher. While it warms, whisk eggs, milk and vanilla in a shallow bowl. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix cream cheese, honey, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sugar together until combined. Spread about 2 Tablespoons (-ish, you can eyeball this, really, but you want a good layer) of cream cheese mixture on one side of a slice of brioche. Repeat process with one Tablespoon (again, approximate, but as long as the ratio is about 2:1, you’ll be great) orange marmalade on another slice of brioche. Put both slices together like a sandwich (cream cheese facing marmalade). Repeat with remaining bread, cream cheese mixture and marmalade.
Just before cooking (and I do mean just!), dip each side of the “sandwich” in egg mixture to coat the outside of the bread completely, without soaking it through. Place immediately on the griddle. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the bread is golden-brown and firm to the touch, and the cream cheese in melted through. Repeat with remaining “sandwiches”. Sprinkle with a dusting of cinnamon. Serve with fresh fruit or maple syrup. Makes approximately five “sandwiches.”
Feed to the one you love, preferably as breakfast in bed!
More about “Outside The Lines”:
As an ivy-league ER doctor who eats double shifts for breakfast (and lunch…and dinner), Blake Fisher has little appetite for anything other than work. Being on the staff at Brenstville Hospital means taking care of people, a need Blake understands all too well from losing his brother to cystic fibrosis eight years ago. When he’s asked to coordinate a carnival fundraiser for the cause, he jumps at the chance to help others with the disease…until it lands him side by side with the one woman he never thought he’d see again: his ex-fiancée.
Streetwise and rough around the edges, Jules Shaw is no stranger to earning a living through hard work. But when her job as the restaurant manager of Mac’s Diner puts her shoulder to really broad shoulder with Blake Fisher, she nearly balks. She’d rather dodge and deflect than admit the real reason she broke things off, but the catering contract for the carnival means big business for Mac’s, and feeding people is Jules’s lifeblood.
As Blake and Jules join reluctant forces, they quickly rediscover the spark between them. But the possibility of a future together hinges on coming clean about the past, with potentially devastating consequences. Can Blake and Jules overcome their drastically different backgrounds and learn to love again, or will they always be outside the lines?
More about Kimberly:
Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she’s not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as “The Pleather Bomber”, she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to éclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a 2011 RWA Golden Heart® finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. She has written two digital novellas, Love On The Line and Drawing The Line, about hot cops and sexy chefs, with a third novella, Outside The Lines, due this summer. She is also thrilled to have collaborated on a Christmas anthology with Donna Kauffman and Kate Angell, titled The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap, to kick off her Pine Mountain foodie series with Kensington this October. Kimberly’s first full-length novel, Turn Up the Heat, will follow in February 2014. She resides in northern Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters. Visit her any time at www.kimberlykincaid.com or come check her out on Facebook (www.facebook.com/kimberly.kincaid1) and Twitter (@kimberlykincaid).