Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Carolyn Brown spices things up...plus a giveaway

Now that spring is here (hopefully to stay), we see a lot of food gatherings in your future. Carolyn Brown is here to share a tasty recipe for you to share with your family and friends! You can also learn about her latest novel, The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off!

Carolyn Brown is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author with more than sixty books published. Her bestselling cowboy romance series include the Lucky trilogy, the Honky Tonk series, Spikes & Spurs, Cowboys & Brides, and the new Burnt Boot, Texas series. She has also launched into women’s fiction with a Texas twang. Born in Texas and raised in southern Oklahoma, Carolyn and her husband make their home in the town of Davis, Oklahoma, where she credits her eclectic family for her humor and writing ideas. For more information, please visit  Carolyn at her website and Facebook

Thanks to Sourcebooks, we have TWO prizes to give away for some lucky US/Canada readers: ONE person will win a print copy of The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off and ONE person will win a Carolyn Brown Prize Pack (print copy of The Blue-Ribbon Jalapeno Society Jubilee, print copy of The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off and a cute recipe card set).  


It’s a delight to be here today at Chick Lit Central to talk about the recipe blog tour we’re right smack dab in the middle of for The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off, the second book in the trilogy set in Cadillac, Texas. 

It seems that the girls down at Bless My Bloomers have decided to enter the chili cook-off in Cadillac and it’s causing a pretty big stink since up until now it’s been a man’s world that no woman dared set her foot in. However, that was before Carlene found out that her husband was a two-bit, lyin’, cheatin’ son-of-a-bitch. Seems Lenny Joe got careless and left his newest girlfriend’s red bikini under britches in his brief case…and Carlene not only found the, she’d made them right there in Bless My Bloomers. So she and her cousins who are co-owners of the shop, Patrice and Alma Grace, and their mothers, Gigi, Tansy and Sugar, along with the lady who works at the shop, Josie, have formed a team. Their goal is to knock Lenny Joe off a five year winning streak and take this year’s chili cook-off trophy from him. The only trouble is none of them can cook and they’re trying to learn.

This is the night they are making chicken chili. It’s the same night that Tip Gordon arrives to talk to Carlene about the divorce. The women in town have stopped by and brought rum cake and Mexican casserole to keep them encouraged. Today they get flowers.

The sisters arrived just as the shop was closing on Monday afternoon. Sugar met them in the kitchen and handed each of her sisters a little bibbed apron printed with roses and edged with lace that matched the one she already wore. Gigi wore a hairnet over her up-do and the other two had on ball caps. Sugar’s curly ponytail, pulled out of the hole at the back of the cap, looked like a ball of twisted yarn, and Tansy’s didn’t look much better even if it was a little bit longer.
“So you are trying chicken chili tonight, I take it?” Josie said.
“We found Mama’s recipe for it. The chicken is already cooked,” Gigi said.
“Which one of you handled the cold, dead bird?” Josie asked.
Gigi raised her hand. “I did.”
“And she didn’t even put oven mitts on her hands,” Tansy said.
Josie looked up at Gigi’s hairnet. “Goes real well with your longhorn earrings but the apron clashes with your orange jersey.”
“They made me put the hairnet on,” Gigi said.
“Well, I was wondering.” Josie smiled.
“Y’all about to get busy?” Patrice asked.
“Yes, we are. You want to stick around and taste our product?” Sugar asked.
“No, ma’am. I’ll taste it at the cook-off.” Patrice pulled her platinum hair up into a messy ponytail and secured it with a rubber band she pulled from the pocket of her snug-fitting jeans.
“How about you, Carlene?” Gigi asked.
“Carlene has had a hangover all day. She’d upchuck if she ate chili,” Patrice told them.
“I do not!” Carlene said right behind her. “I’ve got a wine headache and I took four aspirin and it’s wearing off.”
“It’s Lenny’s fault. She wouldn’t drink so much if he hadn’t riled her up,” Josie said.
Patrice nodded in agreement. “She went to the house and talked to him and finally figured out there is no future with him.”
Josie threw up her hands. “I heard all about it this morning at the convenience store. I’m glad you’ve figured out what most of us knew all along, honey. Now let’s get on with the job of running a business and beating the shit out of him in the cook-off.”
A hard knock on the kitchen door sent Tansy to open it.
“Floral delivery for the Fannin sisters,” the man said.
“I’ll take it. Thank you,” she said.
“Have a nice day.” He nodded.
Tansy set a lovely arrangement of yellow daisies, white mums, and purple-tipped baby carnations on the kitchen table and opened the envelope with the card. “I bet it’s from our husbands.”
Sugar and Gigi were suddenly glued to her side.
“Well?” Josie asked.
Gigi took the card from Tansy. “She don’t have her reading glasses. It says: We are all proud of you for entering the cook-off and we’re rooting for you even though our husbands are the Wildcat Team. We hope you teach the whole bunch of those male chauvinists that women can do anything a man can.”
“I’ll be damned,” Josie grinned.

Since the first lady who stopped to tell them she hoped that they beat Lenny and the other all-male teams brought a Mexican casserole, I thought we’d share that recipe today. Y’all got a favorite casserole you take to church pot lucks or to a friend in need? We’d just love for you to share it with us.

1 pkg. flour tortillas
1 lb. ground beef
1 (17 oz.) can chili beans, drained
1 c. prepared picante or salsa sauce
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 T. chili powder
3 c. shredded Mexican blend shredded cheese (NOTE: If you can’t find Mexican blend cheese, then use a mixture of cheddar and pepper jack or Monterey jack)

Remove tortillas from refrigerator. Heat oven to 375°F. Brown meat and drain. Add salsa, beans, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning mix and chili powder. Simmer, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Line bottom of greased 13 x 9 baking dish with 5 tortillas, overlapping edges. Top with half the meat mixture and half the cheese. Arrange 5 tortillas over cheese mixture. Spread remaining meat mixture all over and top with shredded cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese melts and casserole bubbles. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Be sure to follow along on The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off Recipe Sharing Tour!

April 3: Fresh Fiction
April 4: Book’d Out

Learn more about The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off and find out some delicious recipes from Carolyn and other readers along the way. Chances to win at each stop!

To purchase The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off:


More Than the Chili's Heating Up Cadillac, Texas

Carlene Lovelle, co-owner of Bless My Bloomers lingerie shop, found a pair of fancy red-silk panties in her husband's briefcase, and all hell is breaking loose. She custom-made those fancy bloomers herself—and she remembers the bimbo who bought them. If her husband had a lick of sense, he'd known there are no secrets in a town like Cadillac.

Carlene's cohorts—and their mamas—plan to exact revenge on Lenny Joe where it'll hurt the most: break his ten-year winning streak at the prestigious Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off. Never before has a woman dared to compete. But the ladies of Bless My Bloomers are cooking up a storm...and it seems the whole town is taking sides in the showdown.

Welcome to Cadillac, Texas, where the chili is hot, the gossip is hotter, and friends stick by each other, no matter what the challenge.

Praise for The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off:
"With a cast of characters that will leave readers grinning, Brown’s latest is delightful, humorous “chick lit”... Fun, fun and more fun is on hand in a story that wins a blue ribbon in both originality and wit.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

“Fun, fresh and hilarious... The author showed that laughter is the best medicine and a sure fire cure for the toughest of challenges in life.” —Chick Lit Reviews

“The characters are vibrant and engaging, the story is endearingly off beat and full of down home folksy charm. A wonderfully heartwarming and highly entertaining novel.” —Book Reviews and More by Kathy

Thanks to Carolyn for sharing her recipe with us and to Sourcebooks for sharing her book with our readers. Participate in the Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off Recipe Sharing Tour by sharing your own casserole recipe in the comments!

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

US/Canada only. Giveaway ends April 13th at midnight EST.


Carolyn Brown said...

Good morning everyone. I'm so glad to be spending the day here at Chick Lit Central. Y'all come right on it and let's visit a while!

Unknown said...

Hi Carolyn and thanks to Chick Lit Central for having my favorite author here! My favorite Mexican dish is of course Mexican cornbread and my recipe is simple.
1/3 c. Oil
1c. Cornmeal
1/2 c. Self rising flour
2 medium onions chopped
1 can cream corn
2 eggs beaten
2 Tbls. Jalapeños peppers
1 c. Sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 400
Grease iron skillet and sprinkle a little cornmeal in the bottom.
Mix all ingredients and pour in skillet, back about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Carolyn Brown said...

Hey, Kim...thank you for stopping by so early this morning. And I love Mexican cornbread. It's a meal in itself, especially with a pot of pinto beans!

susieqlaw said...

Just a simple broccoli casserole: broccoli, cheese, and ritz crackers...I love broccoli!

Carolyn Brown said...

Susie, so do I? Steamed, boiled until tender with cheese sauce, fried. You can't make a wrong broccoli! Thank you so much for joining us today!

StephTheBookworm said...

This series has been my TBR! Thanks for the giveaway. I also hit enter before I completely filled out my email above so here it is: Stephaniet117 at Yahoo dot com

Below is one of my favorite recipes that I make at Christmas time. It tastes like a Heath bar and is made out of crackers.

Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Then line it with Saltine crackers or similar.

Boil butter and brown sugar to create a sauce. Pour on top of crackers.

Place chocolate chips on top and bake at 350 until chocolate is melted, then spread the chcolate. Free until solid then break apart into pieces.

This is so rich and yummy! I'm on my phone right now buy if anyone wants more specifics or amounts for the recipe, just email me!

StephTheBookworm said...

Silly phone autocorrect!

Freeze until solid, not free.

But, not buy.


Carolyn Brown said...

Steph, don't you just love that auto correct? LOL! That recipe sounds easy and soooo good! I'm going to pass it on to my daughter who is in charge of my granddaughters "sweet" table at the wedding this summer. Thank you so much for joining us today!

Janine said...

This sounds like a fun book. the recipe sounds really good too.

Carolyn Brown said...

Janine, thank you! This book was so much fun to write. Getting to hang out with all those characters was great!

Vicki said...

An awesome casserole for an awesome giveaway:

Zucchini Lasagna - Low Carb
2 1/2 cups zucchini, sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick (about 2 medium)
1/2 lb lean ground beef (I use 1 lb.)
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 small tomatoes, cut up
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 egg
3/4 cup low fat cottage cheese (or low fat or fat free ricotta)
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (I use 8 oz. divided)
1 teaspoon flour

1. Cook zucchini until tender, drain and set aside. Fry meat and onions until meat is brown and onions are tender; drain fat. Add next 8 ingredients and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered 10 minutes or until reduced to 2 cups.
3. In small bowl slightly beat egg.
4. Add cottage cheese, half of shredded cheese and flour.
5. In (1 1/2-qt.) baking-roasting pan arrange half of the meat mixture. Top with half of the zucchini and all the cottage cheese mixture. Top with remaining meat and zucchini.
6. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.
7. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer.
8. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Carolyn Brown said...

Vicki, zucchini grows here like weeds. Can't wait to try this recipe this summer. Thank you so much for sharing it and joining us!

Glenda said...

Hi Carolyn, I am loving the excerpts and the recipes! The easy casserole that I spiced up a bit is a basic chicken and rice casserole using: chicken, rice, 1 onion, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 can rotel, 1 small can spicy diced peppers. Cheese and other veggies are optional. :-)

bn100 said...

like this recipe


Donna E said...

Hubby has done the cooking for the last 25 years or so -- I still do some occasional baking, and sometimes make chili. Otherwise, I can do a peanut butter sandwich. :)

When I did cook, I had a wonderful tuna casserole recipe. It did not use noodles, but had potato chip both IN and on the top. It was in a Betty Crocker Dinner for Two cookbook circa 1967. If the following is the exact recipe, it's close.

1 can tuna, drained
1 can cream of mushroom or chicken soup
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. celery, diced
1/4 c. onion, diced
1 tbsp. butter
6 1/2 oz. bag of potato chips
Combine tuna, soup, and milk. Sauté celery and onion in butter and add
to mixture. Crush enough potato chips to thicken mixture. Pour into a
casserole dish and add a layer of crushed chips on top.
Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes.

Unknown said...

Easy Chicken Pot Pie
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 (12-16oz) bag steamers mixed frozen vegetables
1 Can (10 1/2oz) Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Cup Chicken Broth
1 Cup Milk
1 1/2 Cups Bisquick Mix
1 stick of butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Whisk together soup and broth and pour over chicken and vegetables in a 9x13 casserole. Stir a couple of times.

Whisk together milk and Bisquick mix. Pour or ladle over top. Pour melted butter over that. Cook 30-45 minutes, until golden brown.

When I make this I usually double it and there is never any left.


Nova said...

Easy Sweet Potato Casserole.

6 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter, softened
miniature marshmallows; as many as needed

Place sweet potatoes in a large pot & cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low & simmer until tender, about 20 minutes; drain.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a deep casserole dish with butter.
Mash potatoes with a potato masher in a bowl until no large lumps remain. Stir white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter into the mashed sweet potatoes; transfer to prepared casserole dish. Cover sweet potato mixture with a layer of miniature marshmallows.
Bake in preheated oven until marshmallows are browned, about 30 minutes.

Melissa said...

Until I figure out how to use the new Rafflecopter, I'll be displaying winners in the comments.

Congrats to:
Vicki Newell
Kim Cornwell