Pink Carnation Cookery: “Emerald Ring” Cookies
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Christine brings us Irish Lace cookies inspired by The Deception of the Emerald Ring. Brew yourself a strong cup of tea, put some Irish ballads on the iPod, and here we go….
In The Deception of the Emerald Ring, Letty and Geoff run off to Ireland to help the Pink Carnation on yet another spying mission. To celebrate the trip of Lord and Lady Pinchingdale, and St. Patrick’s Day, we bring you Irish Lace Cookies.
Recipe taken from Epicurious:
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
The recipe said this makes about 40 cookies, based on using rounded teaspoon-sized drops. I got about 15 large-ish cookies using a teaspoon. Some of them didn’t flatten out as much as they should have, so I would make them much smaller next time. Also, try to make the drops as even as possible. Some flatted completely and others only flattened about halfway.
There’s also an option to roll them, but the reviews were mixed on that. Some people had a very easy time doing it, others said the cookie crumbled way too easily.
Getting them off the cookie sheet wasn’t the easiest thing, even after I waited a few minutes. The cookies were still too soft and lost shape every time I tried to lift them up. Probably a result of the uneven spreading. The ones that were the easiest to lift (and least likely to fall apart) were the ones that had spread the most evenly. Photo is the one that came out the prettiest. Looks pretty good when it’s done right!
Overall, very delicious recipe, but the execution is going to take a few tries to get right. They’re wonderfully sweet and crispy once they cool completely. Lots of mistakes with this attempt, but even mistakes can be delicious!
I adhere strongly to the theory that anything with oats in them must be healthy. (That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.) Therefore, these cookies are a guilt-free treat.
There is also something about oat-based cookies that strikes me as distinctly appropriate for Letty. She does seem like the sort who would go for the oatmeal raisin rather than the chocolate chip, don’t you agree?
Thanks so much for the recipe, Christine! And happy St. Patrick’s Day, all….
REBEL PIRATE Winner
The winner of Donna Thorland’s The Rebel Pirate is…
… Paige, of Comment #45!
Congrats, Paige! If you email me with your details, I’ll pop your book in the mail to you.
For more swashbuckling fun, check out Donna’s list of Quotable Swashbuckler lines, revisiting old favorites from such greats as Lymond, D’Artagnan, Scaramouche, and Inigo Montoya.
Teaser Tuesday: Almost ASHFORD
It’s March! Which means two things: 1) I’m about to be another year older, and 2) The Ashford Affair comes out in paperback!
You can pre-order The Ashford Affair paperback from your favorite bookseller right now, or find it in stores on March 25th.
As a special bonus, the paperback edition contains a deleted chapter from the original (with an explanation of why I deleted it). For those of you who have the hardcover already, I’ll be posting that extra chapter up here on the website on March 25th.
Happy March and happy reading!
Monday Give Away!
Because I’ve been lazy about If You Like… and because we need some cheering up on Mondays… and because I have wonderful author friends with books coming out… welcome to Monday Give Aways!
For the next few weeks, we’re going to be having a series of Monday give aways. There’ll be a new book every Monday.
To kick off our series, we have a copy of The Rebel Pirate, by the inimitable Donna Thorland.
Here’s the official blurb:
1775, Boston Harbor. James Sparhawk, Master and Commander in the British Navy, knows trouble when he sees it. The ship he’s boarded is carrying ammunition and gold…into a country on the knife’s edge of war. Sparhawk’s duty is clear: confiscate the cargo, impound the vessel and seize the crew. But when one of the ship’s boys turns out to be a lovely girl, with a loaded pistol and dead-shot aim, Sparhawk finds himself held hostage aboard a Rebel privateer.
Sarah Ward never set out to break the law. Before Boston became a powder keg, she was poised to escape the stigma of being a notorious pirate’s daughter by wedding Micah Wild, one of Salem’s most successful merchants. Then a Patriot mob destroyed her fortune and Wild played her false by marrying her best friend and smuggling a chest of Rebel gold aboard her family’s ship.
Now branded a pirate herself, Sarah will do what she must to secure her family’s safety and her own future. Even if that means taking part in the cat and mouse game unfolding in Boston Harbor, the desperate naval fight between British and Rebel forces for the materiel of war—and pitting herself against James Sparhawk, the one man she cannot resist.
I’ve been lamenting for a while the lack of true swash and buckle in fiction. Aside from William Dietrich’s Ethan Gage series, no one has really taken on the mantle of Sabatini– so I’m so grateful to Donna, for, as she puts it, going “far into Sabatini territory”.
For a copy of The Rebel Pirate, here’s your question:
Who’s your favorite swashbuckler?
(Books and movies are both acceptable.)
One winner will be chosen at random from among the comments. Winner to be announced on Wednesday!
If you don’t win, fear not: The Rebel Pirate appears in bookstores tomorrow, March 4.
Look What I’ve Got!
Weekly Reading Round-Up
Finally! I have something other than Dorothy Sayers and Evelyn Waugh to report. This week, I caught up on some of the book pile, starting with:
– Here I Go Again, by Jen Lancaster: a clever take on the trope of the aging prom queen, in which one aging prom queen revisits her past to try to rectify the mistakes of her youth;
– and The Secret Rooms: A True Story of a Haunted Castle, a Plotting Duchess, and a Family Secret, by Catherine Bailey: highly recommended to anyone who likes the research aspect of the Pink books. It follows the author’s researches as she tracks down a historical puzzle piece by piece. You know how they talk about police procedurals? This book is a research procedural. (I found the process by which she discovered the story more interesting than the actual secret.)
In the meantime, a pile of new books arrived for me, including Donna Thorland’s The Rebel Pirate, Susanna Kearsley’s Splendour Falls, Charles Finch’s The Last Enchantments, and an ARC of Beatriz Williams’s The Secret Life of Violet Grant.
What have you been reading this week?
Are you ready to Pinkorama?
It’s that time of year again…. Can’t you just smell the sugar and the marshmallow? Yes, you guessed right: it’s time for the Fourth Annual Pinkorama!
(That’s really short for Pink Carnation Peep Diorama, but if I had to write that out each time, these would become very long posts.)
The rules are simple: using those sugary, marshmallowy goodies (Peeps), recreate your favorite scene from the Pink Carnation novels. Any of the Pink books, novellas, or bonus chapters are up for grabs. Even though it’s not technically Pink, I’m including The Ashford Affair among the eligible works, just in case you feel like going Edwardian Peep, 1920s Peep, or Kenya Peep. Two L and A Night at Northanger are also fair game.
And, for once, I’ve finally remembered to start this early enough so that, if you like, you can also enter your Pinkorama into Washington Post peep diorama contest.
Once your Peep creation is complete, take a picture (or pictures) of your Pinkorama and email them to me with “Pinkorama” in the subject line. I’ll post all the Pinkoramas here on the website and open it up to general voting.
The deadline for the Pinkorama is Tuesday, April 1. I’ll post the pictures and open it up to voting here on the site on Wednesday, April 2nd. (If you want to enter the Washington Post contest, their deadline is March 17.)
As for the prize…. What could be more appropriate than an ARC of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla?
(Even though the book is not out yet, I have no objections to Sally and her stoat– or her hero– being used as the base of a Pinkorama. If you’re looking for Midnight Manzanilla inspiration, you can find excerpts here, here, and here.)
Let the sugary fun begin!
Two Books and a Novella
In other news, I am very excited to announce some upcoming give aways here on the website. Next week, I’ll be giving away a copy of Donna Thorland’s latest swashbuckler, The Rebel Pirate, to be followed– drum roll, please!– by an ARC of Beatriz Williams’s latest, The Secret Life of Violet Grant.
Weekly Reading Round-Up
I will confess to being entirely boring this week– all I’ve been doing is re-reading books about, or written during, the 1920s in order to stay in the mood for the 1927 Book.
However, there are several upcoming books I’m rather excited about, including:
– Donna Thorland’s The Rebel Pirate;
– Kristan Higgins’s Waiting On You;
– Simone St. James’s Silence for the Dead;
– and the paperback edition of Jen Lancaster’s Here I Go Again.
What have you been reading this week?