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Sunday Lunch with Tanya Contois

Today I’d like to welcome writer, Tanya Contois, to Sunday Lunch on the blog…

1. Can you tell us about a happy memory from your life that revolved around food?

A happy memory that revolves around food is the last time we went out for dinner while on vacation for my mom’s birthday, the year before my father died.

2. Do you have any food-related rituals or routines in your household, such as a specific meal for certain days of the week?

I don’t really have any rituals or routines but if I have bananas or greek yogurt in my fridge and pantry that’s what I eat for breakfast.

3. What is your favourite…

Drink: Coffee, powerade, and red wine.

Indulgence: Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

Meal: Fried Chicken and homemade mac and cheese.

4. What’s the most revolting thing you’ve ever eaten?

I would exactly say it’s revolting, but the one food I have tried that I don’t plan on eating again is escargot. The garlic, butter, and cheese part was good but the snails were too chewy for my liking.

5. If you have children, have you discovered any ingenious ways to hide vegetables in meals?

I don’t have children but I have been making it a point to eat more fruits and veggies.

6. Is eating out at cafes and restaurants a regular part of your life? Do you have any favourite places you’d like to mention?

I don’t eat out very often but when I do one of my favorite places to eat is The Flying Rhino. They have really good food and they aren’t too expensive.

7. Do you eat while you write? Are there any particular foods or drinks you always have on hand while writing?

I don’t really eat while I’m writing but I almost always have a cup of coffee nearby when I’m writing.

8. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would you choose?

I would choose my father because the last time I saw him alive was my 13th birthday and I never had the chance to tell him I loved him.

9. Which one of the following types of cooks are you?

  • Cooking? What’s that?
  • I cook only when I absolutely have to
  • I’m an average cook, and stick to my regular meals
  • I like to experiment with new recipes regularly, or create my own
  • Next season of MasterChef – lookout!

I like to experiment with new recipes occasionally, or create my own.

 

Thanks for visitng the blog, Tanya!

You can visit Tanya on Facebook and Twitter, and remember, all comments left on the blog during may go into a prize draw at the end of the month!

Novels with a Food-Theme: Part 1

Nothing beats a good book, or a great meal, or an irresistable treat…  so it’s even better when these are combined! Here is a selection of some novels with a food-theme. And just so you don’t overindulge, I’ll share more next week:

The Way to a Woman’s Heart – Christina Jones:

Cooking the perfect menu for the perfect date always seems simple at the time…

Escaping from corporate city life into the heart of the Berkshire countryside, Ella Maloney had been expecting to find rural tranquillity and a chance to indulge in her favourite pastime – cooking. So when she meets a devastatingly delicious chef by the name of Ash Lawrence, Ella knows she’s died and gone to food heaven.

Things go from divine to celestial for Ella, however, when her favourite top-rated TV cookery programme – Midnight Feast – comes looking for a venue to film their latest show. But while Ella is pulling out all the culinary stops to become their most successful contestant ever, Ash is busy cooking up the ultimate recipe for winning Ella’s heart – or should that be a recipe for disaster…?

The Christmas Cookie Club – Ann Pearlman:

Every year at Christmastime, Marnie and her closest girlfriends mark their calendars for a cookie exchange.  Everyone brings homemade cookies and a bottle of wine to share, but this year, it’s their stories that are especially important—the passion and hopefulness of new romance, the betrayal and disillusionment some relationships bring, the joys and fears of motherhood, the stress of financial troubles.  On this evening, at least, the sisterly love they have for one another rises above it all. Celebrating courage and joy in spite of hard times and honoring the importance of woman’s friendships as well as the embracing bonds of community, the delightful novel speaks to us all.

In addition to laughter and tears, the book is sprinkled with delicious cookie recipes. The Christmas Cookie Club has been translated into German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and Croatian becoming both an international and national bestseller.

Good Enought to Eat – Stacey Ballis:

She learned how to eat right….living right is the hard part. Former lawyer Melanie Hoffman lost half her body weight and opened a gourmet take-out café specializing in healthy and delicious food. But the first healthy morning muffins are still warm from the oven when her husband announces that he is leaving her…for a woman twice her size.

Reeling from her abandonment, she’s blindsided by a financial crisis. Desperate to relieve some of the money pressures, Melanie reaches out to a quirky roommate with a ton of baggage, moving her into both her home and her business.  Things begin to look up when Melanie becomes involved in a budding romance with a local documentary filmmaker, but she’s not so sure she is really ready for love. In this warm and often laugh-out-loud novel, Melanie discovers that she still has a lot to learn about her friends, her relationships with men, and herself…and that her weight loss was just the beginning of an amazing journey that will transform her life from the inside out.

Chocolate Wishes – Trisha Ashley:

Life is sweet for chocolate maker Chloe Lyon! Business is booming at her artisan chocolate-makers ‘Chocolate Wishes’ in the picture-perfect Lancashire village of Sticklepond – not least because all of Chloe’s sweet treats contain an inspirational prediction for each customer. If only her own life was as easy to read in the cards, perhaps Chloe could have foreseen being jilted at the altar!

But Chloe has long put thoughts of love behind her – after all, life is busy enough, especially as she tries to sort out her friends’ tangled love lives and the village welcomes its new vicar, Raffy Sinclair. However, the village rumour mill goes into overdrive when it is revealed that Raffy is the distinctly unorthodox ex-front man of rock band ‘Mortal Ruin’ – and also happens to be Chloe’s first love, who left her broken-hearted.Whilst Chloe tries to ignore this blast from her past, will she discover that wishes can come true when you least expect it? A charming novel for chocoholics everywhere, perfect for fans of Katie Fforde, Jill Mansell and Carole Matthews.

And if you haven’t checked out my previous blog posts about the food-themed books, The Secret Ingredient, and Aftertaste, you can do so here and here.

Stay tuned for part two of this blog post!

Have you read any of the books I’ve featured today? What do you like about books with a food-theme?