SCRUMPTIOUSI love cupcakes and man candy!

My culinary romance SCRUMPTIOUS will hit the shelves in January, and things have been heating up! I am thrilled to have my recipe for Thai Pot Stickers featured in December’s issue of Romantic Times Book Reviews Magazine and delighted that the accompanying Sweet and Sour Peanut Sauce recipe was on the RT Blog, too. That is sweet!

I have loved Thai dumplings ever since Corey Griffith, my first chef boss at the now closed Cakewalk restaurant in Nashville, TN, introduced them to me. It boggles the mind that I didn’t have Asian food until I went to college, but it’s true. I’ve made up for lost time since then, and I make dumplings a lot. I can never decide on just one way to cook them, either. Steamed, fried or potstickered – my family loves them all. I stand at the stove cooking, and they sit at the table eating. No one keeps count of how many I make or how many they eat, dipped in ginger-soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, hot mustard and, of course, sweet and sour peanut sauce.

In SCRUMPTIOUS, Marlene and Joe make dumplings twice – once for each other and once for a food critic paying a surprise visit to the restaurant. Ever since my creative writing classes in college, I’ve been told “write what you know.” In SCRUMPTIOUS, I write what I cook. All of Marlene’s desserts were featured on the menu when I was Susan Spicer’s pastry chef at Bayona in New Orleans circa 1998. The cheesecake in Chapter Two? Best thing I make. I won a trip to Toronto with that recipe!

The dishes Joe and Marlene cook, I’ve cooked or watched my husband cook, while offering helpful advice *giggle*. I hope you’ll be inspired to try a few of my recipes. If I post them, they are tried-and-true keepers. However, if you have any trouble with them, I’m happy to give you cooking advice, too. As my culinary students know, I believe the measure of a good chef is the ability to learn from mistakes, fix them, and if you are in the biz…sell them!

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