Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Victorian Breakfast with Nancy Herriman

*Congratulations to our book giveaway winner: "Sweetpea"!  Weds. April 3 6:52 AM

Today I'm super excited to welcome my long-time critique partner and friend: the very talented historical romance author, Nancy Herriman.  Tighten up your aprons, friends, and prepare to be whisked (kitchen pun intended) back in time for . . .  

A very Victorian meal in America -

(photo courtesy of the National Education Network of Great Britain)
As Candace well knows, so many of my books, published and unpublished, have meal scenes. I can’t help my fascination with what people ate in the 19th century! I also can’t help my fascination with what people eat in the 21st century, but I digress…

My upcoming release, Josiah’s Treasure, is set in 1880’s San Francisco, a fascinating American town then and now. Two of my scenes take place in the dining room of the Occidental Hotel, which once stood on Montgomery Street between Bush and Sutter, but was destroyed in the great earthquake and fire of 1906. The Occidental is where the hero, Daniel Cady, has chosen to stay while he is in town searching for his father. Here is an actual breakfast menu from the hotel:


After seeing this, all I can say is - wow! These folks had a healthy appetite! Pork chops? Sirloin? Fried oysters? Corned beef? Salt codfish with cream? I wonder how much they ordered.
I must say the fried oysters do sound rather good, however….

So, what did Daniel choose? Here’s a scene late in the book where he is meeting with the lawyer helping him contest his father’s will, the will that gave the heroine, Sarah Whittier, Josiah Cady’s entire estate -
“Cady, over here.” Sinclair muscled his rotund frame out of his chair and signaled to him. “Hope you don’t mind an early morning intrusion, but I need you to look over some papers for the hearing on Monday.”

Would the lawyer not have intruded if he’d thought Daniel would mind? Doubtful. Daniel took a seat across from Sinclair, prompting one of the many waiters to dash forward with a pot of coffee.

Sinclair resumed sitting and snapped open his napkin. “I have news about Josiah Cady’s assets you’ll want to hear, too.”

“If these are critical papers, Sinclair, I don’t mind the intrusion,” said Daniel. Sign papers, discuss assets. So simple, like they were finalizing a minor business transaction. And so bitter tasting.

“I thought not.”

The waiter poured a stream of black coffee into Daniel’s cup and set a menu in front of him. Sinclair didn’t wait for Daniel to order, asking for a veal cutlet with a side of toast and some scrambled eggs, enough to satisfy a healthy appetite. Daniel settled on oatmeal; he had little appetite, given what lay ahead.
I suppose that makes Daniel a light eater. Considering that he has fallen in love with Sarah Whittier and knows that if he wins his case and has the will overturned she will be bankrupted, I can’t blame him.

What would you order off the Occidental Hotel menu?

A little bit about Josiah’s Treasure:

In 1880’s San Francisco, gold builds fortunes. And sometimes shatters dreams.

Daniel Cady has been searching for the father who struck it rich out West and never returned to his family. Daniel isn’t looking for the man’s love and he’s not offering forgiveness. All he wants is cold retribution. In the form of cash.

Years ago, a scandalous love affair ostracized artist Sarah Whittier from her family. In San Francisco, she has built a new life out of audacity, talent and an old man’s generosity. The house Josiah Cady left her is about all she owns. A house that is collateral for her dearest aspiration--a custom art studio run by immigrant women. They’re her family now, and she’ll do whatever it takes to see them succeed.

But when Daniel Cady arrives in town claiming he’s the legal heir, Sarah faces eviction...and the resurrection of dangerous rumors that the house contains hidden gold. Her future uncertain and her safety threatened, Sarah has nowhere to turn. Unless she can soften a vengeful man’s heart, and they both learn love is the greatest treasure of all.

“A wonderful romance…Herriman skillfully brings to life the hardships
Immigrants faced in the 1880s.” - 4 stars, RT Book Reviews

Josiah's Treasure releases mid-April and is available for pre-order. 

Find more about Nancy and her books at

Thank you so much for joining us today, Nancy!

I've had the pleasure of reading this story and, trust me, it's a great one. For your chance at a signed copy of Josiah's Treasure, leave a comment below along with an e-mail address. I'll select a winner (via Random. org) on Weds. April 3rd. Please note, this giveaway will be open to U.S. entrants only.

Looking at that menu, I think I'm going with the buckwheat cakes

Now it's YOUR turn, friends. What would you order from the Occidental Hotel menu?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Breakfast . . . Your Way

When my children were little, their Gramps would cook pancakes on Sundays. This giant of a man--an engineer-- who never touched a stove or pot holder (or dish rag) 6 days a week, became a chef. Made from scratch buttermilk and graham flour flapjacks (egg whites folded in at just the exact moment), heated maple syrup, oven-warmed plates,  little golden-brown sausage links--and hungry grandchildren lined up. Heavenly scents, chatter, clatter . . . tradition, lifelong memories.

Here at the Calvert house (where it's just the two of us), daily breakfast is also a manly effort: oatmeal, cooked by my husband. Not the intstant, tear-open packet-add-hot-water type, but the wonderful heavily textured rolled oats--organic these days. The kind of oatmeal that requires watching, stirring . . . and can boil over or stick to the pan if you don't. But worth the drama, regardless.

And the basic fixings, too:  almond milk, splash of real maple syrup . . .

Fresh fruit:

And finally add bananas, a little sprinkle of chopped nuts (or even Grape Nuts cereal) for crunch:

Not to say that we don't indulge now and then. I LOVE eating breakfast out. And, even though we no longer eat meat, I still have a hankering for eggs. Especially Eggs Benedict Florentine: English muffin, fresh spinach, tomato slice, perfectly poached eggs, and a beautiful slather of lemony Hollandaise sauce.

So THIS is our new tradition, Sundays after church:

Complete with a champagne mimosa:

I'm sure that you can guess that there is a breakfast scene in my (soon to release!) novel, RESCUE TEAM.

In this snippet, we find hero Wes Tanner and his mother eating outside on the family's Hill Country Texas ranch:


“What’s that tune?” Wes’s mom covered the serving platter with a cloth napkin and settled opposite him at the porch table.

“Hmm?” He realized he’d been lost in thought. 

“That song.” She gazed at Wes over the rim of her coffee cup. The morning breeze wafted scents of sausage and country fried potatoes—a testament to Mrs. Tanner’s kitchen. “You were humming. It sounded like ‘Brown Eyed Girl.’”

“Probably was.” He smiled, warmth spreading through his chest at the memory. “Heard it last night. In Austin. ” Wes picked up his coffee knowing she’d wait forever. Patience could have been Miranda Tanner’s middle name. He released the breath he’d been holding. “I like her, Mom.”

“I figured.” She left it at that, respectful of his privacy as always, though her caring expression was as effective as the huge welcome mat outside the Tanners’ door. And a walloping dose of truth serum.

“Kate’s different,” he told her. Then was at a complete loss for words. How could he explain Kate to his mom? He wasn’t sure he understood any of this himself. “I mean, she’s pretty, of course—that’s obvious. Smart. And funny, too.” He shook his head. “I don’t know. Maybe I like that she’s so determined and independent. Strong. And tries like the devil not to need anybody. But . . .”

“But you think she might need you?” There was something in his mother’s eyes that Wes had seen before. That day she watched him slide down the Braxton well to rescue the little girl. 

“I’m not sure.” 

So how about YOU? Who fixes breakfast at your house? Cereal? Eggs? Sunday tradition? Breakfast out?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Local Food: Dive In!

Ask most folks to make a list of things to do, see in their city--small town--and I'd willing to bet that local eateries will be represented. Especially little off-the-main spots that the locals know and love. Those spots (some even fondly called "dives") as seen in the popular PBS food show, "Diners, Dives & Drive-In's."  You know what I mean: places that may not look fancy on the outside (or even the inside), but the atmosphere is friendly, fun, casual. The menu reasonably priced (maybe even cheap!) but the FOOD is amazing! And brings you back again and again.

These favorite eating places are most often distinctive to the region, which makes it twice as interesting--especially for visitors. In the little town we lived in in Hill Country Texas, a few of these spots were: The Dodging Duck, The Hungry Horse . . . and Popo's. Chicken fried steak: You betcha. Peach Cobbler, sure. Fried Green Tomatoes--oh, yeah.

My northern California home town, Sacramento, offers diverse eating options, from BBQ to Vietnamese, Indian, Japanese, French, Turkish, Italian,Vegan . . . you name it, we got it. And since Sacramento is known as the "River City," some of the really fun places are on along the river, down the delta. Seafood is often the focus. Two of our old favorites (equally accessible by car, yacht, or humble fishing boat) are Crawdad's and TheVirgin Sturgeon--in fact, one of my early dates with hubby found us tied up at a dock on the Sacramento River. Fishing boat, not yacht.

As you already may know, I LOVE to include food in my novels--let the readers "taste" the setting. I especially had fun with the Austin, Texas setting in my (soon to release) novel, RESCUE TEAM.

In this scene snippet, we find Wes Tanner and Kate Callison on a first date--a day at Lady Bird Lake, and a stop for food at one of Austin's famous, quirky "food trailers."

Wes watched with amusement as Kate devoured her meal. Or tried to. “How you doin’ with your first taste of SoCo trailer food?”

“Ah . . .” Her expression was a comic mix of bliss and frustration. Coleslaw dribbled from a tortilla stuffed with chicken and fried avocado and shoved sideways into a paper snow-cone cup.  She brushed at a sprinkle of crumbs on her clingy navy blue cardigan. “This is fabulous. The chicken’s coated in sesame seeds, almonds, corn flakes, and . . . chili powder, I think.” She raised her voice to compete with a boisterous group of college students at a nearby table and lively bluegrass fiddling from somewhere across the street. “Messy, but incredible.”

“And merciful.” Wes pointed at the rails along the large mobile food cart, providing holes to hold the cones for diners who preferred to stand. “I kept my promise.”

The Mighty Cone, one of many trendy food carts on South Congress, also offered red-painted picnic tables and strings of globe bulbs to add light and romance—to a gravel parking lot with construction-zone ambience. Upscale food, no frills. He’d gotten a kick out of seeing Kate’s reaction to the fleet of carts and trailers boasting names like Wurst Tex, Coat and Thai, and Austin Frigid Frog.  And the girlish delight on her face when she spotted Hey Cupcake!, a shiny aluminum Airstream with a huge pink cupcake hoisted atop. Kate had nearly squealed; apparently pink frosting was a counterbalance for her natural tendency toward prickly. Wes was determined to find more ways to make that happen . . .


So, YOUR turn: What's the hidden treasure in your city/town?  What special eatery makes you want to "dive in"?  What does your town taste like?  Do share!

Monday, March 18, 2013

But Where's the Pepperoni?

Okay--there--I asked the question before anyone else could. Because any time I talk about making (or ordering) pizza with alternative toppings, someone invariably mourns the absence of pepperoni. And, of course, that classic, spicy meat certainly does top the list of favorites for lots of folks. But with spring in the air, I felt a hankering for something lighter and very different:

Caramelized Onion, Gouda Cheese & Fresh Pear Pizza

I think it was chef Wolfgang Puck (of Spago, a Beverly Hills celebrity favorite restaurant) who first intrigued me with a similiar combination of ingredients. And I loved the idea of sweet, tangy and cheesy
Last night I finally tried it.
Perfect timing, too, since it was a glorious almost-spring day, and hubby and I had hosted our little grand daughters (aka The Princess Sisters) all day and there wasn't a lot of time (or energy) left to fuss in the kitchen. Quick trip to the grocery store to gather a few ingredients and I was ready. 

I started with onions:

One large onion sliced ( I used half a yellow, half a red) and cooked very slowly in a small amount of oil and butter, until soft, sweet and a "caramel" brown color. I added a little water to keep it moist as the onions cooked down. A pinch of sugar and salt. And a splash of Balsamic vinegar at the last. 

Then I shredded up some cheese:
I love this (from Costco) "Extra Aged" Gouda--great nutty flavor. I probably used maybe 2 cups.

And prepared a crust:

To save time, I used a pre-made whole wheat Bobolini brand crust. I spread it with a small amount of extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkled on half the shredded cheese.

Now, the remaining (non-pepperoni toppings):

A thinly sliced Bartlett Pear (Asian would be great, too), and a large handful of fresh Arugula greens (their "peppery" flavor is a great complement to the sweetness of the other toppings

Then I layered it all on the crust:
First the caramelized onion, then the sliced pear, the arugula, and finally the remaining cheese.
Isn't that pretty?

(According to the Bobolini crust instructions) the pizza went into a 450-degree oven for approximately 10 minutes, or until the pear was soft and the cheese nicely melted. Like this:

Mmmm! Let me tell you, this easy spring pizza was delicious! 

And now, just because we credited Wolfgang Puck with this idea, here's a teeny humorous snippet from my upcoming book, RESCUE TEAM that mentions this famous chef.

In this scene, our hero Wes Tanner has just told his hospitalized best friend (funeral director, Gabe) that he spent a day with the book's heroine, Kate. A date that included some of Austin's famous and unusual eating venues:

“Trailer food? You couldn’t do better than that?” Gabe set the brake on his wheelchair. It was clear Wes’s account—an edited version—of yesterday’s outing with Kate  was far better than hospital entertainment. “She’s from California. Probably knows ol’ Wolfgang personally.”
“Wolfgang Puck. Famous L.A. chef—don’t you watch the Food Network?”
“Not if I can help it.” Wes raised his brows. “You do?”
Gabe grinned. “Mom. At the funeral home. Unless there’s a visitation and viewing. Then it’s Wolfgang Mozart.”
“Yeah, well . . .” Wes pointed at his friend’s leg extended straight out from the hip in the wheelchair. “If you don’t pull that robe closed, there’ll be an unfortunate viewing right here.”  He laughed at Gabe’s immediate scramble for modesty. “When are they springing you from this place?”
“Maybe tomorrow. Don’t change the subject. You were telling me about this date.”
Wes frowned. “It wasn’t a date. I told you, I was thanking Kate for what she did to help Dylan.”
“Nice try, Tanner. I got shot—I don’t see you offering the Hey Cupcake! tour to my trauma surgeon.” He raised his brows. “So?”
“I . . . don’t know,” Wes admitted. It had been a long time he’d taken serious interest in any woman. “I get the feeling Kate’s kind of a loner. And that she might not stick around long.”  He was surprised by the sudden thought, more so by the immediate discomfort it created. He hoped he was wrong.

So there you go. A recipe idea and a book snippet. Hope you enjoyed both.

And now a few questions for YOU:

What are your favorite pizza toppings?
Where did you enjoy your most memorable pizza?
Do you ever make pizza at home?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Eating on the Job: Guest Author Janice Cantore

Weds. March 20th 12:30 PM: CONGRATULATIONS to our book giveaway winners: Lourdes and Gram (Dee).  And thank you ALL for stopping by to make Janice feel welcome.

It is my great pleasure to welcome bestselling author Janice Cantore to the Authors' Galley kitchen today. I feel a certain kinship with Janice, not only because she and I have the same (great) publisher, but because we're both veterans of service careers--my long stint in the ER, and her 22 years as a Long Beach, California police officer. Trust me, we would have crossed paths before now if it hadn't been a matter of north-south geography. Nurse and cops, it's inevitable.

I especially appreciate that Janice is offering a twist on our apron-time by sharing her battle to maintain healthful eating habits--especially difficult for folks doing "shift work." I can relate to that, and I'm betting--regardless of employment--many of you can as well.

 Welcome to my cyber kitchen, Janice! 

Eating on the Job (Lessons learned from the land of junk food)

When I graduated from the police academy, I was in the best shape of my life. I had even won an award from the academy staff congratulating me on my hard work during physical training sessions. I could run fast, scale walls, jump fences, do take -downs and control holds and fit easily into my shiny new police uniform.

Then I went to work in a black and white police vehicle, mostly with male partners who never had an issue with weight control.

I’ll rewind a bit; when I took the physical agility test during the application process, I barely passed. I was over weight and almost didn’t make it over the six-foot wall. If I hadn’t scaled that wall, I never would have made it to the academy. When the academy started I, and about five of my classmates, were placed in a select group singled out by the tactical officers for our lack of physical fitness. We were the “puss guts and banjo butts.”

I never minded the nickname because I knew I was out of shape and I knew that I wanted to be in shape so I was highly motivated. So, for the next five and a half months I ate right, worked hard and got in shape.

Now it was time for patrol. The first afternoon shift I was assigned my partner was a skinny guy who stopped first thing for a 5 PM snack at a greasy fast food place. A couple hours later we’d stop for lunch, usually at a restaurant not a greasy spoon, but I learned to eat fast because you never knew when a call would interrupt a meal. And before our shift ended at 2AM, we’d likely stop again at an AM/PM or a 7-Eleven for sweets.

A similar pattern emerged when I went to graveyard shift, 10PM to 8AM, but it was generally worse because the only options for meals were all night greasy spoons or donut shops (yeah, donut shops).

 It wasn’t long before the belt was moving out a hole or two, the vest was feeling more restrictive, and I needed a larger size pant. Apparently I was entering a phase of life where I just couldn’t take the weight off when I wanted to.

I was still jogging when I wasn’t too tired, but I was eating all the wrong things. In Long Beach there were places with great Mexican food, an excellent barbeque place or two, and a lot of great places to have huge breakfasts, and I loved thick Belgian waffles smothered in peanut butter and honey.

And you thought police work was all about fighting crime!

Being over weight before starting the academy was one thing, but being overweight at work was a whole different animal. The gun belt was tight and uncomfortable, the vest nearly unbearable in the summer. Moving to a desk job made things a bit easier because I didn’t have to wear a vest and I could wear a small belt holster and not the full Sam Browne, but the bottom line was; I needed to lose weight.

I would love to end this post saying that I found a magic pill and all the extra weight melted away. But poor food choices and inadequate exercise created for me what became a continuous struggle. I eventually lost most of the extra weight the old fashioned way: exercising and eating right: no junk food,

 but the battle is never ending and I must always pay attention. I can’t help it, I like just about everything that is not good for me and will put on weight, but I have stopped hating all those forever skinny guys I worked with.

(Standing, waving a wooden spoon over head) Well said, Janice!
And now, to add a second treat, our guest has kindly offered TWO signed copies of her new book release, AVENGED in a giveaway! Please leave a comment below--perhaps something you struggle with regarding a healthful diet--and your name will be included in the ( drawing. Please leave an e-mail address. And note: this drawing will be limited to US entrants only. 
I'll draw the winning names on Wednesday March 20th, post the name here and notify the winner via e-mail.

Best of luck to you all, Bon Appetit and happy reading!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Made with Love: Guest Author Kristen Ethridge

*** Weds. March 13th 8:15 AM: Our giveaway winner (via is:
Becia (Rebecca McClaskey). CONGRATULATIONS!

Today it's my great delight to welcome author Kristen Ethridge to Authors' Galley. I have a whole lot of fun with Kristen on Facebook as she is quite an amazing cook. And, having just enjoyed her debut novel, Saving Gracie, I can assure you that she stirs up a great story as well. Now, let's have a peek into her kitchen:

Made with Love
By Kristen Ethridge

I just had this conversation with my preschooler the other night: the best food is the kind that’s made with love. She was pooh-poohing a plate of bacon from pastured pigs. It tastes different than store-bought bacon because it’s straight from the local ranch we buy our meat from and it’s not highly processed. She was less than impressed. (Come on, kid! It’s BACON. In any form, it’s impressive!) In an attempt to get her to give the bacon another chance, I reminded her that not everyone gets the chance to have their food straight from local farmers and not everyone’s mommy has the time to make a dinner from scratch. In short, this dinner (even if it was just a classy version of a BLT) was special because it was made with love.

In Hispanic cultures, few dishes say “made with love” quite like homemade tamales. Simple corn husks, masa, and filling combine together in a meal that is often the centerpiece of holidays. One friend of mine gathers with her sisters every Christmas season to make tamales in the same way their mother taught them—she’s been gone for many years, and the tamale tradition is one of many ways they keep her memory alive.
In Saving Gracie, my debut novel from Harlequin’s Love Inspired line, tamales take center stage as the heroine, Gracie Garcia, introduces the hero, Jake Peoples, to her family. The whole Garcia family has plenty of advice for Jake…but they try to disguise it as a culinary lesson.

“How many tamales are we going to make tonight?”
“Ten dozen, maybe a few more. They’re always popular at the church fund-raisers. Lots of families like to eat homemade tamales, but don’t always have the time to make them.” Mami squeezed between Jake and Gloria and removed a pan heavy with a mountain of tamale filling. “Anything worth having takes time and effort. A good tamale is no different, Jake.”
“That’s a good way of looking at it, Mrs. Garcia.”
“Oh, you should call me Juanita. Mrs. Garcia is Carlos’ madre.” She smiled that warm smile Gracie had known all her life, the smile that drew people in and made them immediate friends. Gracie hoped it made Jake feel at home in the Huarache’s kitchen.
“I think I’m about finished here, Juanita.” Jake dropped the last few shreds on top of the pile in front of him, then removed the spice-stained disposable gloves.
Muy bien! You can help Gracie spread the masa on the corn husks, then I’ll come behind you and add the filling and Gloria can roll them up. Then we’ll start putting them in the steamer.”
A large aluminum mixing bowl, filled to the brim with masa, got pushed toward the open spot next to Gracie.
“What’s the best way to do this, Gracie?” Jake asked, moving just a bit closer to her than necessary. This wasn’t the first batch of tamales Gracie had a part in making. She knew it would not be the last. But she would certainly remember it as the most enjoyable.
Gracie retrieved a husk from the bowl of water to her right and laid it out before her.  “After you get a softened husk, you reach in and grab a good handful of masa. Then with your fingers, you work it out evenly—all the way to the edges.”
That’s how you make them by yourself, Jake. When you make tamales with su novia, it’s much better to work like this.” Carlos stopped behind Juanita, wrapping his arms around her so that his hands slid between her arms and torso, making it appear that there were four hands preparing the corn and pork.
Gracie hoped Jake’s Spanish wasn’t good enough to realize the word Papi used could be translated as “girlfriend.” A small flush of embarrassment prickled at Gracie’s cheeks like the brush of a holly bush. She and Jake were nothing more than adversaries who were becoming friends. No matter how old a daughter got, a father could still embarrass her without even trying.
“Maybe you’re right, Carlos.” Jake came up behind Gracie. “That would definitely make it more fun.”

What about you? Have you ever made tamales before? I have, and it’s a lot of fun. Here’s a link to a very easy, traditional-style recipe that you might want to try.  I like to make a unique version with chicken and pineapple in the filling. What foods say “made with love” to you? Is it a recipe you identify with a particular family member or holiday? Or something else entirely?
Post your favorite “made with love” meal in the comments below and be entered to win a copy of Saving Gracie!

Saving Gracie was a February 2013 release from Harlequin’s Love Inspired line. Since it’s a series romance, you probably won’t find it on store shelves now, but never fear! You can get it from Amazon in paperback or Kindle form or from Barnes and Noble, or off Harlequin’s website

Now I'm hungry for tamales myself--pineapple, what a great addition!
Thank you, Kristen, for joining us on Authors' Galley.

Folks, when answering Kristen's question, be sure include an e-mail address. I'll draw the winning name (using on Wednesday March 13th and notify the winner via e-mail. Meanwhile . . .

Bon Appetit and happy reading!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Shampoo ala Mode : Peachy

I see that confusion on your face.

You're thinking, "What does shampoo have to do with ice cream and peaches?  Yes, I do enjoy teasing you. We'll get to the shampoo and ice cream. But first, let's start with the peaches. A yummy recipe you can tuck away for summer--and my husband's favorite:

Cobbler ala Calvert

4 cups sliced peaches, sprinkle with a Tbl. lemon juice (if using frozen peaches--2 pkg-- omit lemon juice)

Mix in med-lg. saucepan:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 Tb. corn starch
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg

Cook over med heat, stirring, until thickened

Add 1 Tbl. butter, 1 Tbl. Grand Marnier liqueur (optional) and sliced peaches. Cook 5 minutes.

In another bowl mix:
1 cup flour
2 Tbl. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Cut in 1/4 cup cold butter until crumbly
then add 1 beaten egg and 1/4 cup buttermilk
Stir with fork til mixed

Pour peach mixture into deep pie pan
Spoon cobbler onto top of peaches in tablespoon size mounds

Bake in pre-heated 400 degree oven for approx. 25 min., or golden brown
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream--enjoy!

I like using sun-warmed summer peaches:

With a few yummy, rich extras:

While the peaches are simmering, mix the cobbler dough:

Spoon it onto the warm peaches and it's ready for the oven: 

Bake until golden--can you smell it yet?

And now for that ice cream . . . or in this case, gelato:

Be still my heart: Peach Cobbler--all you need is a spoon:

There you are.  Oh, what about the shampoo?  And what's that got to do with peaches?
Everything, in this romantic snippet from TRAUMA PLAN. 

Our hero and heroine enjoy a romatic sunset view overlooking a Texas peach orchard:

“Well . . .” He slid the blanket from under his arm. “Sun’s sinking fast now. Let’s find a spot without cactus and fire ants and get set for the show.”

Riley helped to spread the blanket and sat, not surprised that Jack settled close beside her. After the plane, the dancing, and sharing so much over the past couple of weeks, it felt natural. Visiting his hometown and this beautiful place made her want to know even more about him. Despite Jack’s reckless reputation—which he managed to bolster at every opportunity—Riley sensed some vulnerability when it came to his family. We have that much in common. 

There,” he said, pointing toward the west. “First streaks of pink. The peach blossoms are that same color. In March, sunsets are pink from sky to tree . . . to the shower of petals on the ground below. My aunt called it Ballerina Valley—not the best tactic to recruit a boy for orchard labor.”

“You worked here?” she asked, easily imagining him as a boy, sun-browned, scurrying up a ladder. “Picking peaches?”

“Picked them, ate them, pitched them. And squashed the mushy ones on my sister’s head.” Jack touched a fingertip to Riley’s hair, a smile teasing his lips. “I invented peach shampoo.”
Of course, you'll have to read the book to see how it all plays out.
And tuck this recipe away for summer . . . I think you're going to enjoy both.

For now, Bon Appetit, happy reading, and stay tuned: I'll soon be pulling out aprons for some great author guests!