TGIF, RG2E Peeps!
Welcome to The RG2E and/or Welcome Back!
As we settle into Autumn, we’ve got lots of “Chilly” and “Chili” Scoop from RG2E Featured Author Jacqueline Hopkins.
Here’s a hint:
Take it away, Jacqueline…
I so want to thank DD Scott and her wonderful team at RG2E for having me here today.
I have three treats for you, so keep reading. I know Halloween is just around the corner, but though one treat isn’t candy, you can still eat it.
Am I into love and romance?
Of course, who isn’t?
What woman doesn’t like to fall in love and enjoy all the romance that goes with it? Though I read the popular and favorite romance books written by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey and June Lund Shiplett, I was more interested in wanting to write murder mysteries, fictional mainstream like Sidney Sheldon and Elizabeth George, and thrillers like Stephen King.
But when I started writing seriously over 20 years ago—when book publishers paid fairly sizable advances and you needed an agent to sell your work—I joined a romance writer’s group who convinced me to try my hand at writing a romance. I joined Romance Writers of America and I was off—learning something new—all about the world of writing romances. And that is how Wilderness Heart began.
I grew up in Idaho (since the age of five) along the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers. My parents loved to go camping, which we did almost every weekend while growing up and it was not always to the same place—it was a different state, a different campground, a different national park, a different country.
Around 1974, I think, my parents got into snowmobiling. Let me tell you they are fun to drive and ride. They are also fun to race. We would drive three hours to Red River Ranger Station (a real place I named in the book) where we parked our vehicle, loaded all the gear, food, and clothes onto sleds and rode about 16 miles to Dixie, Idaho. The kids either rode bundled up in snow suits on a sled or on the back of a snowmobile. There were usually several families going, so we might end up on the back of a sled of my parent’s friends.
My parents ended up buying some land and building a cabin a mile past Dixie town. In the summer, we could drive all the way to the cabin. Eventually, they plowed the roads all the way to Dixie in the winter; but we still had to snowmobile a mile to the cabin.
The drive from Lewiston, Idaho to Dixie is about 3.5 hours and has some beautiful scenery along the rivers. There is particular bridge across one of the rivers that is wide enough to take horses across and then a trail leading up the mountain to who knows where. I always wanted to take the hike, but never did, but it got me started on my book idea. This area was where I have Lyn meet Nic for the first time.
I also had a female friend who was a hunting guide during the 1970s; the time I have Wilderness Heart set. An incident that happened to her while out guiding was one she said I could use in the book, so the book is partially based on a true story about her.
After I got married for the first time, the man I married was an ex-career Navy man who used to smoke and cuss, and they were big conflicts within our marriage because I smoked back then and I ‘cussed like a sailor’, besides the fact he was a control freak. So even though my marriage to that man didn’t work out, I wanted my hero and heroine to have a happily-ever-after ending so I gave them one we all wish for.
Do I like to cook? Not really!
I hate to plan menus. I’d rather someone cook for me, and of course, clean up their mess when they do. So if you have read Wilderness Heart, you might ask how I combined my mother’s chili recipe with writing a romance, and how the recipe made it into the book.
Mom’s chili was what we ate on our snowmobile rides all over kingdom come of Idaho and it was very tasty and warmed you right up. If she put a lot of Cayenne pepper in it, you couldn’t eat too much. If there were other families riding with us and they ate the chili, someone would always ask, “Why doesn’t the chili have beans in it?”
My mother would reply, “Because true chili doesn’t have beans in it and we like it this way.”
So Lyn, my heroine, made the chili for every guiding trip she was on and it always elicited an argument from one of the men about the lack of beans in it, and this trip with Nic was no different.
Check out Wilderness Heart on Amazon – http://amzn.to/rFdoOg
Createspace Page (for paperback) – https://www.createspace.com/3565575
Smashwords Page – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/45556
Kobo link – www.bit.ly/PM9hog
Sony link – www.bit.ly/OZOWNx
Barnes & Noble link – www.bit.ly/Iuqxhe
Diesel link – www.bit.ly/Q20bWL
On Publish My Book link – www.bit.ly/NeJt7c
On XinXii link – www.bit.ly/NVCXh8
All Romance Ebooks link – https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-wildernessheart-563950-173.html
I hope you enjoy Lyn and Nic’s little conflicts, and the overall book as I did writing it. Here is your first treat I promised you, the one you can eat (after you make it, of course.)
3 pounds stew meat
3 pounds hamburger
1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
2 large cans tomato sauce
1 dozen cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 teaspoons salt
2-3 teaspoons paprika (approximately, see step 6 below)
2-3 teaspoons cayenne pepper (approximately, see step 6 below, or depending on how hot you like your chili)
3-4 tablespoons cornmeal to thicken (see step 8 below)
- Brown stew meat in a large skillet. Place browned meat into a large cooking pot or a crock pot.
- Cook hamburger until done; drain (set grease aside for use in step 3 below). Place cooked hamburger in the large cooking pot with the browned stew meat.
- Chop the large onion and sauté in the grease from the hamburger.
- Fill the cooking pot or crock pot with water until it covers the meat.
- Add the 2 large cans of tomato sauce, the garlic (chopped), sugar, cumin, marjoram, chili powder, salt and sautéed onion.
- Add the paprika and cayenne pepper until the seething mass looks like the inside of an old red inner tube. (Until it has a reddish/orange tint to it).
- Cook on high if you are using a crock pot for 3-4 hours. If using a large cooking pot, cook on a medium to low heat (to simmer, not boiling) for 4-6 hours. Keep checking it for water content. If water goes way below top of meat mixture, add more water.
- When stew meat is tender, thicken the chili with the cornmeal about a half hour before serving. Serve with your choice of crackers or buttered cornbread. Freeze leftovers as this recipe makes a huge pot. Of course, to make a smaller pot, just reduce the ingredients by half.
If you like beans in your chili, you can add a can or two of red kidney beans. Wilderness Chili is good on hunting trips or camping treks through any wilderness areas.
Connect with Jacque all over the internet (including an old genealogy web site still floating out there in cyberspace and sadly needs updating):
Follow Jacque’s blog over here – http://jacquehopkins.blogspot.com
Game Page – www.freado.com/users/27790/Jacqueline-Hopkins where you can play games to win a copy of her book.
Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/Author.JacquelineHopkins
Twitter Jacque at @jacquehopkins
Jacque’s Goodreads Page – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4690984.Jacqueline_Hopkins
Amazon Author’s Page – http://amzn.to/wSgCEk
So, RG2E Peeps, how many books have you read where a recipe was included?
How many books have you read where you knew part of the fictional story was partially based on a true story?
Second Treat: Leave a comment, with your email address, below telling me the book you read with a recipe that was your favorite and what the recipe is and I will gift you a copy of my book, Wilderness Heart. Though I said I don’t like to cook, per se, I do enjoy trying out new recipes because like most people, I like to eat.
Third Treat: if you like to cook and would like to try other recipes, including my Wilderness Chili recipe, from some of your favorite romance authors, All Romance Ebooks has put out an anthology of recipes and it is FREE!!! Here is the link for the Passionate Cooks, Free Recipes from Today’s Hottest Romance Authors cookbook.
The holidays are coming up; this is a great FREE gift for the cooks in your life.
Terrific post and treats, Jacqueline! Thanks sooo very much for sharing with us! I can’t wait to try your recipe and your book too! And WooHooo on that fabulous cookbook too! U rock!
The Best of RG2E Ereading and Cooking Wishes — D. D. Scott, RG2E Founder