Thursday, July 11, 2013

Taste the Heat Release Celebration - Failed Cooking Attempts + A Recipe for Easy Cinnamon Bars #TastetheHeat #FlirtSquad

Hello and welcome! Thanks for stopping by to help us celebrate the release of Rachel Harris's adult contemporary romance, Taste the Heat. This is the first book in the Love and Games series, which released on Monday.

Here's a little about Taste the Heat -

One sexy fire captain. One Cajun chef. One combustible kitchen...

When chef Colby Robicheaux returned home to New Orleans to save her family restaurant, the last person she expected to reconnect with was her brother’s best friend and her childhood crush. As tempting as a sugar-coated beignet, Jason is one dish she doesn’t want to taste. Colby is counting down the days till she can leave the place where her distrust of love and commitment originated and go back to Vegas.

Fire captain Jason Landry isn’t looking for love, either. He knows he should focus on finding the perfect mother for his daughter, but when he first sees Colby, all grown up and gorgeous, he can’t help but be drawn to her. And when she suggests a no-strings-attached fling, Jason doesn’t want to say no.

As their relationship grows more intense, Colby finds that Jason isn’t as easy to leave behind as she thought. Could turning up the heat on something real be worth the possibility of getting burned?

Rachel asked the members of her Flirt Squad street team to share our cooking experiences and share a recipe that we particularly enjoy making. Usually with a celebration you'd expect to hear nothing but cooking successes, but you see, I can't cook to save my life. So Rachel suggested that I share some of my cooking failures instead.


Frying hamburger is one of the things I'm sure to ALWAYS burn. It's a rare experience when I actually make edible hamburger. One day my mom was making hamburger and beans for her and my dad, while also making a cheeseburger for me. Well, my dad needed her help with something, so she asked me to watch the burger and flip and stir when needed. This was all being done on one of those camping stoves that uses propane, so I had no idea on how to even use the thing. Everything was going great until the grease started increasing and then proceeded to fling hot drops of it at me. So I'm trying to figure out how to turn the flame down while stirring and flipping to keep the burger from burning with burning hot grease jumping out of the pan at me. All the while I'm thinking HOW DO I TURN THIS THING DOWN?! It was quite a painful experience. In the end, the burger for the hamburger and beans turned out fine, while my cheeseburger turned out as a burned, hard charcoaly lump of meat covered in cheese. Believe me when I tell you it wasn't the first time I ended up with a cheeseburger like this when I was asked to watch it for my mom.

~~ MAC & CHEESE ~~

This story is more of a flub than an actual cooking failure, because the end result was perfectly fine. I've already told Rachel of this, but I was making Kraft mac & cheese (from the blue box) one day and as I was going to pour the noodles into the boiling water, the cheese packet came out too because I forgot to take it out of the box beforehand. So there I am freaking out about getting the packet out of the boiling water before the cheese inside gets all yucky. I was really wishing at that point that the tongs hadn't been thrown away, because they would have been really helpful in that moment. Eventually I just turned the stove off and fished the packet out with a fork or something. It's a good thing that those cheese packets are so resilient, otherwise it would have been a disaster.


This isn't a very long story or very interesting, but we had to make ice cream in my cooking class in middle school, so the end result wasn't completely on me, but let's just say that I will be sticking with Dairy Queen for the rest of my life, instead of making my own ice cream. My group's ice cream ended up tasting like nothing but salt. It was so gross.

So as you can see, I have reason to stay away from the kitchen. I try very hard to stay away from any kind of cooking - I won't even apply for jobs at fast food establishments or sit-in restaurants. Working with food that people other than I would be eating makes me extremely anxious. This was proven whenever my Key Club would have a pancake breakfast or volunteered for any kind of food related event. I would rather stand outside, on the corner holding a sign announcing the event, in the blazing summer sun, than work with the food. And I did. I had many a sunburn.

There is a light at the end of this tunnel. I may not be able to COOK but I can BAKE, and that is the kind of recipe I'm sharing today. This Easy Cinnamon Bar recipe is a little treat that I helped my mom make for a couple of our family reunions, and they are really YUMMY.

Prep Time 10 min // Total Time 55 min // Servings 42


1 cup sugar

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 egg, separated

2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon water

1/2 cup finely chopped nuts


1.)  Heat oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease bottom and sides of 15x10x1-inch pan with shortening. In large bowl, mix sugar, butter and egg yolk with spoon. Stir in flour and cinnamon. Press in pan.

2.)  Beat egg white and water until foamy; brush over dough. Sprinkle with nuts.

3.)  Bake 18 to 23 minutes or until very light brown. For bars, immediately cut into 7 rows by 6 rows. Cool in pan on wire rack, at least 30 minutes.  

About Rachel Harris:  

I grew up in New Orleans, where I watched soap operas with my grandmother and stayed up late sneak reading my mama’s favorite romance novels. Now a Cajun cowgirl living in Houston, I still stay up way too late reading my favorite romances, only now, I can do so openly. I firmly believe life’s problems can be solved with a hot, powdered-sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations.

When not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, I homeschool my two beautiful girls and watch reality television with my amazing husband.

I write YA, NA, and Adult Fun & Flirty Escapes. Taste The Heat is my adult romance debut, and I'm also the author of MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY and A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES, as well as a ton of other books to come. I love hearing from readers and dishing books! 

Author Links: Author Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

1 comment:

  1. Dude, first you had me cracking up! But then, those bars? Sound freaking delicious!!!! You had me at the picture, btw. Yum, yum, yummy yum. Thank you for sharing this! My girls thank you, too ;)



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