Thursday, December 1, 2011

Double your winter holiday fun with Scarlett Bailey and Malena Lott...plus some book giveaways!

**Giveaway is now closed**

To kick off the month of December and our holiday recipe post theme, we have two authors here today...Scarlett Bailey and Malena Lott!

Malena Lott resides in the Oklahoma City metro region. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications, and was also an Alpha Chi Omega. In addition to being an author, Malena is a wife, mother, brand strategist and creative consultant. Her latest novel is "Sleigh Ride: A Winter Anthology" on which she collaborated with six other authors (reviewed here). You can visit Malena at her website, Buzz Books, Facebook and on Twitter (@malenalott and @BookEndBabes).

Malena is here to get us nicely toasted with her sweet holiday beverage and is sharing with us a double giveaway! A copy of "Dating da Vinci" and "Sleigh Ride" for a lucky reader in the US or Canada.

Scarlett Bailey is new on the scene and her debut novel "The Night Before Christmas" is sure to get readers into the holiday mood! Before writing her novel, Scarlett worked as a bookseller, waitress, barmaid and cinema usherette. She loves old movies, days under duvets, reading and desserts. Currently, she lives in Hertfordshire (UK) with her dog and very large collection of beautiful shoes. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Scarlett is here today to share with us her Tunis Cake and THREE lucky readers in the US, Canada or Europe have a chance to win "The Night Before Christmas," thanks to Ebury Publishing!

Here are the recipes:

Christmastinis by Malena Lott

I'm more of a mad mixer than a holiday baker, so my skills are best left for the wet bar instead of the kitchen. Here's a recipe all of my girlfriends LOVE and I'll also be serving it at a signing for "Sleigh Ride: A Winter Anthology." The rich red color makes it a great choice for holiday parties.





Ingredients:
Pomegranate juice
Vodka
Champagne (or sparkling wine)

Serve in a sugared martini glass

Two parts pom juice
One part vodka
(stir)
Top with champagne

Enjoy!

Tunis Cake by Scarlett Bailey

My Christmas recipe is one that is very specific to my seventies and eighties childhood and, really strictly speaking, is not traditional at all unless you live in my house.

As a child, the Christmas food I looked forward to most of all was Tunis Cake. A lovely soft sweet Madeira sponge topped with a thick layer of chocolate, decorated with colourful piped icing and finished with marzipan fruits (which I always picked off, as I didn't like marzipan). Sounds like it should have been around a long time, Tunis cake, doesn't it? Like Simnel cake, a ancient Middle Eastern delicacy, that perhaps was once even munched on by some hungry wise men journeying to see the baby Jesus. In fact it was invented in 1973 by McVities who tragically stopped making it sometime in the eighties... a dark, dark time in the Bailey household.

There have been other shop made pretenders since - Tesco, M&S and Sainsburys have all had a go, but none have ever reached the majestic peaks of those glory years. Which is why a few years ago I started to have a go at making my own. There are a few recipes knocking around the internet but this is the one (that I found posted on The River Cottage Forum about a year ago) that's worked the best for me. So get your Avocat snowball ready, get the Morecombe and Wise Christmas special on the new colour set, with its three whole channels and enjoy a seventies Christmas with love from me.

Tunis Cake Recipe

"This delicate sponge cake is traditionally served at Christmas and is one of my favourites because, during the winter, I have more time and like to decorate it with perfect little marzipan fruits. As with some other recipes, good quality chocolate is essential. (TB)"

Makes 10-12 portions

For the cake
225 g/8 oz self-raising flour
170 g/6 oz softened butter
170 g/6 oz caster sugar
110 g/4 oz ground almonds
1 lemon (juice and grated rind)
3 eggs

For the topping
plenty of good quality chocolate
6 marzipan fruits (see recipe on opposite page) [I'm not including it here, you can make your own from any marzipan recipe I'd think.]

First make the cake. Place the butter and sugar into a food mixer and beat until pale. Add the eggs, flour, lemon juice, lemon rind and ground almonds, mixing thoroughly. Place the mixture into a 20 cms/8 in greased and floured tin and bake in a pre-heated oven at 150 degree C/300 degree F/gas 2 for one hour or until springy in the middle when pressed. Leave on a wire rack to cool.

To decorate the cake, wrap some greaseproof paper around the sides of the cake, standing proud of the top, secure this with a piece of string. This forms a well into which you can pour the melted chocolate. Remove the greaseproof and you'll find that the chocolate shouldn't have run down the sides. Ideally, you should have one centimetre of chocolate -- yes, really! Leave to set and place the marzipan fruits on the top to finish.

Special thanks to Malena and Scarlett for sharing their recipes and books!



How to win "Dating Da Vinci" and "Sleigh Ride" OR "The Night Before Christmas":
Please comment below with your e-mail address. (Please note:Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.) Also, please let us know where you are located.

Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: What is your favorite winter holiday dessert?
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines, as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)
5. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.

Malena Lott giveaway is US/Canada only.
Scarlett Bailey giveaway is US/Canada/Europe only.
Both giveaways end December 6th at midnight EST.

23 comments:

Malena Lott said...

Thanks so much for including Sleigh Ride in your giveaway and for the wonderful review!

Lauren Clark said...

The books sound great! Thanks for the nice reviews, as always.

ljreese3@gmail.com

Stephanie said...

My favorite winter holiday dessert is apple pie. Thanks for the giveaway!

I'm a gfc follower.

Skk25@aol.com

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

These books sound great!

I'm a follower.

amber_johnson2004 at yahoo dot come

Melissa said...

What a great giveaway!!

+1 My fav holiday dessert is gingerbread cookies!
+1 I am a GFC follower =Melissa
+1 posted to twittter
http://twitter.com/#!/myeclecticbooks/status/142265101859307521

melissaseclecticbookshelf at gmail dot com

Ananda said...

OMG, I've been wanting to read "The night before Christmas" since it got released! Yay, thank you for the lovely giveaway, I am from Macedonia, Europe so I am eligible:)

I am an old follower (follow by my nick Ananda)

Just tweeted about the giveaway
https://twitter.com/#!/BookstoRemember/status/142281248289718272

My e-mail address is love2slim(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

Oh, will pray to God I win!:)

Catherine said...

I would love to win "Night Before Christmas". I have been checking online daily since I read about it, hoping to find a copy in the U.S.!

My favorite winter holiday desert is gingerbread.

I already follow this blog.

I'm in the U.S.

cat123hen (at) aol (dot) com

Marthalynn said...

This year, my favorite holiday confection is my homemade peppermint patties. I've already made them 3 times and we're just now in December. They're insanely good!

I follow you via GFC as Marthalynn and I'm in the US

marthalynn16 (at) gmail (dot) com

Thanks for the wonderful reviews!

Anonymous said...

My favorite dessert is sugar cookies in christmas shapes.

I'm in the U.S.

-Lauren

laurenhend at aol dot com

Sheena said...

One Thing I usually only make during xmas is Gingerbread cookies or Mint chocolate chip cheesecake:)
I follow the blog also am a member on facebook:)
wapneski@yahoo.com

Jordan said...

Haystacks (type of cookie) are my favorite holiday cookies (cookies are my favorite desert during this time of year - hello cookie exchanges!)

jordanweber at live dot com
located in the US

Linda Kish said...

I like persimmon cookies.

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Kristen said...

I love homemade Chex Mix and Mexican Hot Chocolate cookies. :)

I follow on email and FB.

Thanks!

kly(dot)327(at)gmail.com

Na said...

I love Christmas log cakes. They're so pretty, I almost don't want to eat them! I may need to stock up on some this holidays.

GFC: Na
Canada
Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

P.S. Melissa, yes What Alice Forgot was pretty wonderful. The end made me smile.

Cozy in Texas said...

Great recipes
Ann

Erin said...

My favorite winter dessert is molasses cookies.
I'm a follower. Thanks for the giveaway. erins826 at gmail dot com

meandmom said...

I would like to read these books.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

meandmom said...

I don't have a favorite holiday dessert. In general, I like ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, and cookie cake.

I am a subscriber.

I am a Facebook follower.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read these fabulous novels...

my favourite christmas dessert is anise cookies...yummy.

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

forgot to mention, i'm a follower, too ;)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Krystal Lynn said...

I have many but the last couple years, I've been making my own version of Starbuck's mint chocolate brownies. They are SO good!! That and ginger drop cookies.

Follow the blog
Group member
Retweeting @krystaldorkface

Live in US. =)

miss_kris_11@yahoo.com

Sherry said...

Favorite--Cinnamon rolls on Christmas Morning--desert Breakfast something LOL and the peanut butter cookies with the Hershey kiss in the middle

located in California
slbercu@msn.com

StereoQueenBee said...

1. Please tell us: What is your favorite winter holiday dessert?

Anything that includes eggnog.

2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you
are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).

Follow this blog already!

3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.

Facebook - Sabrina-Kate Eryou
Twitter - stereoqueenbee

4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines, as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

Already a member!

queenofcrunk at gmail dot com