Monday, November 11, 2013

Giving away my recipe for salmon chowder, a signed copy of Believe it or Not, and the secret behind page 99

If you've ever acquired a copy of Believe it or Not from me – either in a contest, at a book signing, or by breaking into my home and stealing one – there was a bookmark stuffed inside.

You probably didn't notice it, nor did you make note of what page it was on, but I did.

That's because every copy of my sophomore romantic comedy that passes through my hands gets a little extra love on page 99. It's the start of a scene that always makes me smile because of the story behind it.

Back in the spring of 2011, there was a lot happening in my life. I was preparing for the release of my first romantic comedy, Making Waves, while doing editorial revisions on the book slated for release six months after that,  Believe it or Not.

I was also spending time with a handsome, kind, smart, funny gentleman with whom I'd been acquainted for many years, but had never known particularly well until I asked him to mentor me through a difficult divorce.

While the divorce mentoring was helpful, I had an ulterior motive in spending time with him. I sincerely wished to jump his bones, so I hatched an evil plan to seduce him using the best tools in my arsenal: food, alcohol, and cleavage.

I invited him to join me on a beer-related outing for my day job, followed by dinner at my house. I wore a low-cut sweater and prepared my famous salmon chowder. As we sat on the sofa chatting afterward, I edged closer and closer, eventually tucking my bare feet under his leg under the pretense of warming them. With the touch barrier broken, he offered up a foot massage that evolved into a calf massage that evolved into . . . well, I'll stop the story there to preserve some semblance of mystery.

Simmering salmon chowder with aphrodisiac powers.
Of course, if I wanted to preserve the mystery, I wouldn't have used that experience as the basis for a romantic scene in Believe it or Not that begins on page 99. When my editor asked me to add a couple more sexy scenes to the book just a few weeks after that fateful evening on the couch, I decided to pay homage by having Drew and Violet engage in a little sofa leg massage flirtation of their own. I won't claim the scene is a blow-by-blow (ha!) account of what happened that evening, but things seem to have worked out nicely for all of us in the 32 months since then. I'm not sure when Drew and Violet's wedding will be, but ours is next September.

While I'd like to extoll the seductive powers of my legs and cleavage, I'm pretty sure the salmon chowder deserves most of the credit. In case you need to seduce someone (or, yanno, just put a nutritious and tasty meal on the table) here's my recipe:

Tawna's Salmon Chowder
  • 4-5 slices of bacon
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk (I use skim)
  • 1 small can evaporated milk
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 4-5 small red potatoes, cubed
  • 2-3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 salmon filets 
  • A small amount of milk for poaching salmon (maybe 1/3 cup)
  • Dill to taste (I use tons)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Fry the bacon in your soup pot until crisp. Remove it and let it cool before crumbling it and setting it aside. In the bacon grease remaining in your soup pot, saute the onions until soft and golden brown. Add the carrots and saute a few more minutes to blend flavors. Add corn, potatoes, and chicken broth and simmer for about 30 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, sprinkle your salmon filets with salt and pepper and put them in a pot with a little milk. If you have some scraps of onion and carrot left over, sprinkle them on the salmon as well to lend a little flavor. Cover tightly with a lid and poach for a 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 more minutes before removing from the liquid, tossing the carrots/onion, and flaking the salmon with a fork. Set aside.

Dinner is served!
Return to your soup pot and give it a good stir. Add both the evaporated milk and the regular milk and bring to a simmer for 10-15 minutes more. Slowly add the salmon and bacon and simmer for 10-15 minutes more. Season with salt, pepper, and dill and serve hot with sourdough bread and a good white wine or rosé.

***

Since I'm in a giving sorta mood with the story and the recipe and all, how about I give away a signed copy of f Believe it or Not , too?

Leave a comment describing your best seduction meal. Recipes or links are helpful, but just a description of the dish will suffice. I'll pick a winner next Monday.

Cheers!

UPDATE: I've had several readers report they're unable to leave comments when they attempt it from a mobile device. I'm working to figure out a long-term solution, but in the meantime, you should be able to comment from a desktop computer or by selecting the web version of my blog (not the mobile version) from your mobile device. 



12 comments :

TAWNA FENSKE said...

Testing....I've had several readers tell me Blogger is eating their comments. Let's see if it eats mine.

Karen said...

I'll try too. My recipe is for sauerbraten but it is much too long for here. It did seal the deal though... :)

Chuck Croll said...

Here's a test comment.

See:

https://productforums.google.com/d/topic/blogger/nDAmH-N7AoA/discussion

Catherine Clyborne-Guenther said...

Wine. Only a Kathryn Kennedy Cabernet. And skin. Lots of skin for the main dish. And dessert. Ooh la la ... Most sensuous meal of my life.

Angel Nicholas said...

There isn't one particular meal I rely upon. Cooking for a man is usually enough. Throw in a delicious dessert and lingering glances, and voila! Seduction a la carte. :)

I'm looking forward to trying your recipe. Thank you for sharing. And congratulations on your engagement.

Angel Nicholas said...

Oh! I forgot to ask, how many does the chowder feed?

TAWNA FENSKE said...

@Angel Nicholas, I made a batch last night and there was enough for two people to have dinner, plus four good-sized Tupperware containers that will be our lunches this week. Enjoy!

TAWNA FENSKE said...

Testing

Sharon Axline said...

Woot! Looks like the comments are back up!!! WHOO HOOO!! And DAYUM woman I am SO going to make that chowda - forget seduction - this one is for ME!

Laurie Evans said...

I'm lame. I can't really cook. Hubby cooked for me most of the time. I think I made him chicken parm once. He probably decided it was better for him to cook after that.

:-)

Meredith said...

My mom makes a killer lasagna that takes all freaking day to make. So when I flew out to LA to visit my then new-boyfriend (long distance relationship) I decided to make it for him on the advice of my mom (who really liked *this* one). I made it. He loved it. Yada yada yada, I flew home. But he called me the next night to say he'd had leftovers for dinner and a sprig of dried thyme had pierced his uvula. His roommate had to remove it with a flashlight and tweezers. He still loves that lasagna. I made it last week for our 24th anniversary. Oh, and for the record, I totally yada yada yada'd over the best part :)

TAWNA FENSKE said...

Congratulations to Meredith! I drew your name to receive the signed copy of Believe it or Not. Email me your snail mail address at tawnafenske at yahoo dot com and I'll get that in the mail to you ASAP. Thanks for playing, guys!

Tawna