Hobby Reads

Because everyone's hobby is having fun! Visit us @



Roast Beef Po’boys by Rochelle Alers

Roast Beef and Gravy

4-6 –lb. inside round of beef, trimmed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
1 large yellow onion, quartered
1 whole garlic bulb, outer papery skin removed and bulb cut in half
2 bay leaves
½ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. dried marjoram
¼ tsp. black peppercorns
1-3 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce



3 loaves poor-boy bread or 6 French baguettes, cut lengthwise and into sections 6-8 inches long


1 head lettuce, shredded coarsely
8 tomatoes, thinly sliced
Dill pickle slices

Preheat the oven to 350º.  Season the beef with salt and pepper.  Put it in a Dutch oven filled about a third of the way with water.  Add the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, marjoram, and black peppercorns.  Roast, uncovered for 4-6 hours, turning the roast and adding water every hour or so.  The water level should slowly drop, but don’t let it get less than approximately 2 inches deep.  The beef is ready when a meat thermometer inserted into the center read 160º.

Remove the roast from the pot and place in a pan hat will catch all the juices as it cools.

Skim off fat from the stock in the pot.  Use a coarse sieve to strain the stock into a bowl, and then return the stock to the pot.  Add any juices that came out of the roast as it rests.  Bring the stock to a simmer.  Skim off any fat that rises to the surface.  Cook to a thin gravy consistency.

When you’re ready to make sandwiches, preheat the oven to 400º.  Bring the gravy to a simmer and whisk in the flour (but only if the gravy appears to need thickening).  Add the Worcestershire sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Slice the roast beef as thin as possible.  Collect all the crumbs and slivers that fall off and add this to the gravy.  Stack as much sliced roast beef as you want on a length of French bread.  Garnish with lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise, and dill pickles.  Spoon on as much gravy as the sandwich can hold.  Bake the assembled sandwich for about a minute to toast the bed.

Makes 12-18 po’boys


In bestselling author Rochelle Alers’ passionate, uplifting new series, four friends from very different backgrounds find new beginnings amid the sultry beauty of New Orleans…

Corporate attorney Hannah DuPont-Lowell always pictured herself returning to New Orleans to retire—just not yet. But after her Manhattan company abruptly lays off its staff, there’s no better place to figure out a next move than the porch of her plantation-style home.

Nestled in the stunning Garden District, the DuPont House has been in Hannah’s family for two centuries. With its eighteen rooms and two guesthouses, it’s far more home than widowed Hannah needs. Still, it could make a wonderful inn, especially if she can convince her friends and former coworkers Tonya, Jasmine, and Nydia to join in the venture. But in the meantime, Hannah has a high school reunion to attend…

College Professor St. John McNair, Hannah’s one-time classmate, is still the finest guy in any room. Between Hannah’s willowy, blonde beauty, and his uncanny resemblance to Marvin Gaye, they make a striking pair. And gradually, their rekindled friendship moves toward romance. Still, Hannah is too bruised by her late husband’s infidelities to trust a man again. But her friends’ arrival and encouragement just might show her a path through uncertainty—straight to a vibrant, joyful new life…

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes by Charlotte Hubbard

Faith, tenderness, security—there’s nothing a mother won’t give. Now beloved author Charlotte Hubbard brings you an unforgettable tale of hope, courage, discovery…and the most precious gift of all.

For widow Rose Raber, it’s been a year of tragic loss and difficult decisions. She thought providing for her young daughter was the greatest challenge she faced. Until her dying mother revealed that Rose was adopted—and her birth mother is someone with much to lose if the secret comes out. As Rose struggles to reconcile the truth with her faith—and her troubling curiosity—outgoing newcomer Matthias Wagler is another surprise she didn’t expect. His optimism and easy understanding inspires her. And his prospective partnership with wealthy deacon Saul Hartzler promises a possible new life for them—together. But with this second chance comes yet another revelation for all involved.

When Saul’s wife unexpectedly turns up at Rose’s new job, their bond as mother and daughter is instant and unmistakable. And it isn’t long before an unforgiving Saul discovers the truth, threatening Matthias’s livelihood and Rose’s future. Now with more than just their happiness at stake, Rose and Matthias must find the strength and courage to stand strong—and trust God’s enduring miracles of motherhood, forgiveness, and love. Continue reading “Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes by Charlotte Hubbard”

Creole-Cajun Jambalaya by Rochelle Alers

¼ cup vegetable oil
4 lb. chicken-leg quarters – each cut into 4 pieces, bone in
2 lb. andouille or other smoked sausage, cut into ¼ -inch-thick slices
2 large yellow onions, coarsely chopped
2 green bell peppers, coarsely chopped
2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. Tabasco
1 Tbsp. salt-free Creole seasoning
1 Tbsp. salt
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. dried marjoram
4 cups (uncooked) Uncle Ben’s rice, or similar parboiled rice
2 green onions, chopped
3 springs flat-leaf parsley, chopped
4 dozen large fresh shrimp

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven.  Add the chicken and sausage, and brown the chicken all over.  Add the onions, peppers, celery, and garlic, and sauté until they wilt.  Add the chicken stock and 5 cups of water.  Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the browned bits in the pot. Continue reading “Creole-Cajun Jambalaya by Rochelle Alers”

Great-Grandma’s Chocolate Espresso Cake by Andie J. Christopher

In this first book in the new One Night in Miami series, readers meet the quirky Cuban/Irish Hernandez family. Alana Hernandez, the baby sister of the family, knows the second-best way to former Navy SEAL Cole Roberts’ heart. And, on Valentine’s Day, this chocolate espresso cake would be just the ticket.


Cake Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking soda
1 large egg
2/3 cup oil Continue reading “Great-Grandma’s Chocolate Espresso Cake by Andie J. Christopher”

Baked Mac ‘n Cheese Muffins by Jules Bennett

The only thing that could bring Liam Monroe back to Haven, Georgia, is his loyalty to his late sister–so he’s agreed to serve as a chef at the resort his brothers have built in her honor. But he’s not staying. At least that’s the plan…

Macy Hayward always admired the Monroes. Adopting four kids—including the brooding, mysterious Liam—they were an example of the loving family she wanted for herself someday. Now, ironically, Macy’s got an unexpected new tenant in the apartment above her hardware store: none other than Liam.

Most of Liam’s furniture consists of weightlifting equipment, since he has no intention of settling in. He can’t wait to run away again, from his brothers and his bitter memories—and from Macy, with her relentlessly seductive curves. Still, while he’s around, he should do the poor woman a favor and teach her to cook, before she poisons someone…

Soon, their sessions in the kitchen are getting spicy. But Macy has roots in Haven, and she wants to plant more, including taking in a little girl who needs a home. Meanwhile, Liam has an opportunity for his own restaurant in Atlanta. Will choosing love mean giving up their separate dreams? Or will the heart find a way?…

Baked Mac ‘n Cheese Muffins

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon butter
1 egg, beaten
1 cup of milk Continue reading “Baked Mac ‘n Cheese Muffins by Jules Bennett”

Grandma duPont’s Peaches and Cream Cake by Kate Pearce

Kate Pearce’s Western romance trilogy features the Morgan brothers, who one by one are being called back to their small California hometown to save the family ranch. In THE MAVERICK COWBOY, Blue Morgan is dealing with life after the marines and the discovery that he has an eleven year old daughter he never knew about, but no matter how intense life gets, his favorite food, an old heirloom family recipe – Grandma DuPont’s Peaches & Cream Cake – can always put a smile on his face. And the smile on Grandma Ruth’s face as he enjoys it, is icing on the cake.


3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
3 oz package of vanilla pudding mix
3 1/2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 egg Continue reading “Grandma duPont’s Peaches and Cream Cake by Kate Pearce”

Daily Catch Monkfish Marsala by Barbara Ross

The snow is deep in Maine’s Busman’s Harbor and the mighty rivers are covered in ice. Snowden Family Clambake Company proprietor Julia Snowden and her mother, Jacqueline, are hunkered down for the winter when a mysterious package arrives—heating up February with an unexpected case of murder . . .

Inside the mystery package is an enormous black diamond necklace that once belonged to Julia’s great-grandmother and disappeared in the 1920s. Who could have sent it—and why? Julia’s search for clues takes her on a perilous journey through her mother’s troubled family history, from a squabble over the family fortune in “frozen water” to the recent unexplained death of Jacqueline’s long-lost cousin Hugh—who’d been missing and presumed drowned for more than forty years. To protect her mother’s inheritance, Julia must fend off a small army of feuding relatives, solve the mystery surrounding Hugh’s demise, and get back home before the next blizzard buries them all . . .

Daily Catch Monkfish Marsala

Once I knew I would set a scene in the story at the Daily Catch, I couldn’t resist including my favorite

dish there, Monkfish Marsala, which is also a signature dish.


1 pound monkfish filets, trimmed and cut into thin medallions
½ Tablespoon olive oil
½ Tablespoon canola oil
1 cup flour
½ pound white mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Marsala wine
1 lemon, juiced
1 Tablespoon butter
salt and pepper
½ Tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped Continue reading “Daily Catch Monkfish Marsala by Barbara Ross”

Peanut Butter Pie by Janie DeVos

Author’s Content – by Janie DeVos; author of the soon-to-be-released THE ART OF BREATHING; and BENEATH A THOUSAND APPLE TREES (which is already on the market).

I was asked about my hobbies and interests recently, and I have quite a few, but they all revolve around the same thing: anything old.  And I mean OLD.  I love to do stained glass work, having been inspired by old church windows, and I enjoy needlework; the same kind the ladies learned to do by working on samplers hundreds of years ago.  I also love hunting for antiques.  My house is full of them.  The older something is – and the more nicks it has it in – the better.  I also have a passion for old homes, I’m intrigued by creepy cemeteries, I love Art Deco jewelry, and black and white movies.  Heck, when I was a little kid, I really liked old people!  Weird, I know.
There’s just something about the uniqueness of old things, and the fact that they survived long enough to have gone from being a “new” something to being an “old” something.  I wonder about the stories attached to them, and the amount of probable “near misses” they had that nearly prevented them from achieving the rank of old age.

As far as I’m concerned, one of the best places to see many wonderful antiquities is in the South.  Now, that’s not to say that the North doesn’t have their fair share.  I know they do.  But since I live in that part of the country where collard greens and peanut butter pie are staples in any respectable household, I guess I’m just a bit partial to that place south of the Mason Dixon Line, with all of its glorious and not-so-glorious history.  I love it enough to write stories about it, and many of my characters were inspired by true life characters – both the young and the old. Continue reading “Peanut Butter Pie by Janie DeVos”

Lemon Curd by Lynn Carthage

On the day before Valentine’s Day, I set out to make lemon curd for the second time in my life. I used the recipe on the Pioneer Woman site by Erica Kastner and hereby apologize for any sacrilege that results from my hackneyed efforts.

You see, I’m kind of a klutz in the kitchen. I have some anecdotes that would curdle your curd. Anyway…

The one thing I had going for me was the incredibly fresh, beautiful Meyer lemons given to me by a friend a few weeks ago. Yes, in the middle of winter, California trees are offering up fruit… sorry if that hurts anyone’s snowbound feelings. 😉

So what is lemon curd, really? It’s a buttery, lemony kind of thing you can spread on scones or shortbread (or what have you). It’s decadent—you may wish to scroll quickly past the photo of all the butter that goes into this further down the page—and very British. And that’s why I’m blogging about it today. My novel Avenged takes place in England and while there is no specific mention of lemon curd, I feel absolutely certain that my character Eleanor, the manor’s maid, would have delivered this delicacy on her mistress’s breakfast tray many times. Continue reading “Lemon Curd by Lynn Carthage”

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: