Roasted Eggplant Spread #Recipe AND New Cover Sneak Peek

I am just finishing up the third book of my Ocean City Boardwalk Series, WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER. If you are reading the series, you know that Cathy Whitley is the owner of The Sunshine Café. She loves to cook, and I have been adding recipes to the end of each story in the series. Here is one of the recipes I’ll be using in the book.

If you'd like a sneak peek at the book's cover, slide down to the bottom of the post.  Look for WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER on February 21st!

Roasted Eggplant Spread


1 large eggplant, cut into 1/4" rounds
2 cups onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil
Sea salt + ground pepper
Crusty Bread or Pita for serving


1. Preheat oven to 425° F.

2. Arrange eggplant rounds on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes, turning once or twice until eggplant is softened and golden brown. Remove from pan and allow to cool.

3. While eggplant is roasting, heat a large skillet over medium low heat and add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add onion and stir often until caramelized. This will take about 20 minutes. Don’t rush it. The caramelizing process brings out the sweetness of the onions. Add minced garlic to the onions during the last 8 minutes of cooking so it doesn’t burn. Set aside onion/garlic mixture.

4. Peel the eggplant and discard the skin. (I use a spoon to scrap the eggplant away from the skin.) Add the flesh of the eggplant to the bowl of your food processor. Add onion-garlic mixture, holding back 1 tablespoon. Process until ingredients are pulverized and of a spreading consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place spread in a serving bowl. Just before serving, drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and place the remaining onion-garlic mixture on top. Decorate with a sprig of basil or parsley (optional).

5. Serve immediately with pita, toasted baguette, or assorted veggies. Best when eaten fresh, but will keep in the fridge covered for a couple days.

Here's a sneak peek at the cover of WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER! What do you think? This is book 3 of my Ocean City Boardwalk Series; however, it's also part of The Inheritance Series. Very cool, huh? 

Who Do You Think You Are? #Worthiness #SelfWorth

Who Do You Think You Are?

Do you remember the first time you heard that question? Most likely, we were young, and that question was meant to stop us in our tracks like the ping of a stone flung from a slingshot. How dare you speak your mind! How dare you be so big, so bold, so uninhibited! It was meant as a rebuke or a correction.

Usually the scolding came from someone we respected—a trusted friend, a sibling, a parent, a teacher. And that someone had decided we needed some sort of intervention. However, had we really crossed the line? Or was our light simply shining bright at that moment? Deciphering the difference is so important.

Our sense of worthiness is learned early in life. During childhood, our individuality, that which makes us unique, is all too often discouraged. If we were made to feel self-conscious about our opinions, our thoughts, our dreams, we can develop a sense of shame that makes it difficult for us to see our true selves.

A healthy sense of worthiness allows us to shine; it also helps us to attract and choose good things for ourselves: healthy habits, love, happiness, wonderful relationships. When we feel worthy, outside opinions matter much less and we have a greater possibility of living joyful and enthusiastic lives.

If we’re not careful, we can wear a sense of shame like a wool coat. Slipping out of that heaviness can take a bit of discipline, but it can be done. Here are a few ways we can start to shed the shame and feel more deserving.

·        Quell that critical inner voice. Weather that harsh inner coach was developed through a painful childhood or the condemning attitudes of others, we must begin to tame our thoughts and stop judging ourselves if we want to feel worthy of happiness.
·        Acknowledge your suffering and the suffering of others. Developing a sense of compassion is crucial.
·        Be kind in response to your own suffering and the suffering of others. Kindness is also an important aspect of a healthy sense of worthiness.
·        Realize that imperfection is part of everyday life and something all humans share.

Help me add to this list. What other ways can we develop a healthy sense of self-worth? Note your answers in the comment section below.

A Beautiful Stranger Release Tour @BPICPromos @DonnaFaz $20 GC #Giveaway

A Beautiful Stranger
by Donna Fasano
Series: Family First, #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 10, 2016

When Sean Hudson arrives to claim his new daughter, he discovers the adoption hinges on the impossible. Unless he finds a wife immediately, the tiny orphan will be snatched away from him forever. But before Sean can abandon hope, a beautiful stranger proposes a surprising solution—marriage.

Sean swears the love in his heart is only for his soon-to-be daughter. And that is perfect for Nicki Willis, whose restless spirit yearns to have a family for just a while. But the tenderness of Sean’s touch soothes Nicki’s fears as well as little Sona’s. Now Nicki aches to become a family forever… and she refuses to believe she can’t make this dream come true.


USA Today Bestselling Author Donna Fasano has written over 30 romance and women's fiction books that have sold 4 million copies worldwide. Her books have won numerous awards and have been published in nearly 2 dozen languages.

Love Donna's books?
Join Donna's Street Team - The Prima Donnas

Spinach Artichoke Dip #Recipe for #Foodies

Have you been invited to a holiday party? Here’s an all-time favorite that is sure to please everyone. Spinach Artichoke Dip is delicious and easy to prepare. This dip can be served hot out of the oven or at room temperature.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 4-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, 
   patted dry
1 cup (packed) fresh baby spinach leaves
1/3 cup red onion, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste

1.     Preheat oven to 400° F.
2.     Cream together the mayonnaise, sour cream and cream cheese until thoroughly combined. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
3.     Chop the artichokes and stir into the cheese mixture.
4.     Add spinach, onion, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Transfer dip to a shallow baking dish.
5.     Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top. Serve with crusty bread, pita chips, or crackers.

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Peanut Butter Crisscross Cookies #Christmas #Recipes

I ran this post a couple of years ago, but this recipe is an old standby at my house. I cannot resist a warm peanut butter cookie!

Mmmmm. My house smells like warm cookies. Is there a better aroma than that at Christmas time? I just finished making Peanut Butter Crisscross Cookies. This recipe is easy enough to make with your children. 

When my boys were young, we spent many hours in the kitchen together. (It's a great way to teach math skills.) I have so many wonderful memories of turning on holiday music, cracking eggs, measuring flour, stirring, molding, tasting... ah, the wonders of Christmas cookie baking! So pull out the bowls and measuring cups. It's time to bake some cookies.  

Peanut Butter Crisscross Cookies

½ cup peanut butter
½ cup vegetable shortening
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 375º.

Mix together the peanut butter, shortening, white sugar, and brown sugar. Add the egg and stir until well incorporated. Add in the dry ingredients.

Roll dough into ¾ inch balls and place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Press a fork into each cookie, flattening slightly, to make a crisscross pattern.

Bake for approximately 9 minutes. Let cookies cool for a few minutes before removing them from the cookie sheet.


Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies:

Make dough as above and roll into balls. Press thumb deeply into each cookie and bake for 9-10 minutes. Fill thumbprint indentations with your favorite jam or jelly.


Do you cook and bake with your kids? What's your favorite type of Christmas cookie?

News for #NOOK Readers! NOOK Press Presents! @DonnaFaz

Editors from NOOK Press have handpicked what they’re calling “the best books from emerging authors and new voices.” The collection is made up of 60 exciting titles meant to ignite your holiday reading. Check out the list to find some new favorites: NOOK Press Presents.

Yesterday, I was awed to learn that my new release—GROWN-UP CHRISTMAS LIST—was chosen by the editors for the NOOK Press Presents List. Other authors who made it into the collection are Barbara Freethy, Belle Andre, Maggie Shayne, and Debbie Macomber, just to mention a few. I hope you'll take a moment to look through these wonderful titles.

Find NOOK Press on Facebook here.

Have you been wanting a NOOK eReader? Or are you interested in buying a NOOK as a holiday gift? Find more information here.

Can't afford an eReader? Barnes & Noble offers a FREE NOOK app as well, that allows you to buy and read ebooks without purchasing an eReader. You can download to any mobile device. More information here.

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Do you love Christmas cookies? I love baking them and eating there. Here’s a FREE cookbook for you! FAVORITE CHRISTMAS COOKIES is filled with recipes from some of your favorite authors! Download today for:

Nook     Kindle     iBooks     Kobo