Thursday, March 16, 2017

Amanda McIntyre's Taste o' the Irish with C.H. Admirand!

Please join me in welcoming a good friend, magnificent gardener and cook and exceptional multi-published storyteller, C. H . Admirand to GLIAS. C.H. and I met years ago and I consider her friendship one of those rare and magical finds in this business.

With St Patrick's Day on the horizon, I couldn't think of a better author to join us here on GLIAS to help celebrate ALL THINGS IRISH!



First, a bit about C.H.~
C.H. was born in Aiken, South Carolina, but her parents moved back to northern New Jersey where she grew up, which if you’ve met her would explain a lot. She’s always had her nose in a book, has traveled the world over, and even tested the time-space continuum, thanks to the awesome power of the written word. One of her writing quirks is that she loves to include bits and pieces of her ancestors and ancestry in all of her books. Her family centers her and keeps her sane, which is why she enjoys adding elements of family, hearth, and home in all of her romances.

With 11 short stories and 15 novels to her credit, this award-winning, multi-published author’s books are available in paperback, hardcover, trade paperback, magazine, e-book, and audiobook.

CONNECT WITH C.H.:
WEBSITE  
FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE
BLOG
NEWSLETTER

An amazing cook, perhaps some of you have followed C.H's recipes on Facebook. I begged her to share one of her family's recipes and so here is her IRISH gift to you!!

C.H. Admirand’s Butter Cake
*Note a variation of this recipe makes a yummy Whiskey Cake*
This recipe is from my great-grandmother’s (Margaret Mary Flaherty’s) sister-in-law from 1912

½ cup of sweet cream butter (softened)    
2 cups of sugar
4 large egg yolks
1 cup of milk
3 cup unbleached flour (I only use Hecker’s Unbleached)
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon of real vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon of salt

Powdered sugar for dusting the cake after it’s baked and cooled
*Note: I did not have a mixer until recently, and always made this recipe using a sturdy wooden spoon and my favorite old yellow Pyrex mixing bowl…great workout for your upper arms*
Cream butter, add sugar, and beat until creamy. Add the vanilla extract and well-beaten egg yolks. Sift the dry ingredients together and add alternately to the butter mixture with milk. Keeping the mixture as smooth as possible.
Beat egg whites with a hand-held mixer until fluffy and a bit stiff before folding into the batter. Pour into a prepared spring form pan (sides and bottom rubbed generously with margarine and dusted with flour).
SHORTCUT: don’t separate the eggs – just beat them J
Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Check for doneness since all oven temperatures vary.
Finally…dust the top of the cooled cake with powdered sugar before serving.

Whiskey Cake using above Butter Cake recipe:
Decrease milk from 1 cup to ¾ cup
¼ cup Jameson Irish Whiskey
¾ tsp ground cloves
¾ tsp nutmeg
Dash of allspice
OMIT the vanilla…whiskey is your flavor

Whiskey Frosting/Glaze:
1 stick unsalted butter softened
1 ½ cups of confectioner’s sugar
¼ cup hot water
¼ cup whiskey (Tullemore Dew is sweeter or if you prefer a bite use Jameson)
*Plus enough confectioner’s sugar to desired consistency.
Ó2010 C.H. Admirand

Amanda: Tell us a bit about your book RAINBOW OF DESTINY-



 C.H.: Sometimes the first time is the charm, and this sweet romantic tale of magic rainbows, faeries and a clever ghost is the closer to the original story than the later version I'd released as Bridget's Rainbow. The heart of the story is the same, but needed to be told the way I'd envisioned it the first time I wrote it...as a sweet romance.  


Bridget O'Halloran wishes on the magic rainbow over Lake Killarney, but leans over too far. Duncan Garvey pulls Bridget to safety, and that's when the trouble begins. But a clever ghost and a host of faeries conspire to make certain the two find their way back to each other's arms.





Amanda: What inspired this story?


C.H.:The first version of Rainbow of Destiny was a short story I'd written as a contest entry for my local RWA chapter.

The story made honorable mention, so I put it aside for a few years, then decided to rewrite it for publication.


At the time, my editor was looking for a hot romance, so the story changed from there. A few months 

ago, I 

decided to rewrite the story (again...LOL) and it's now the way it was always meant to be a sweet romance set in Ireland

...where my heart is. I spend a lot of cerebral quality time in Ireland.

 Amanda: What's your favorite kind of story to get lost in?

C.H.: A romance that touches the heartstrings, involves families, toss in some action and adventure and maybe a bit of suspense...oh and if somebody could be baking something yummy or digging in the garden...maybe with a passel of kids or grandkids and puppies--oh and some chickens...I've always wanted to have chickens. *sigh*


Amanda: Tell fans something about you that few others know-
C.H.:  I love talking about my family and darling
grandbabies, but not myself.  I

've always been a shy homebody and have anxiety issues before 

conferences, conventions, 

and reader's events. I'm most at home in the kitchen, our gardens, or the

woods.



Please share with us an excerpt from RAINBOW of DESTINY
Bridget O’Halloran sat on the mossy bank of Killarney Lake, staring through the rain. Ignoring the chill settling into her bones, she waited, her gaze fixed on the water. The rain slowed to a fine misty drizzle and any moment now… 
“Merciful heavens,” she whispered. She blinked, but the vision remained. “ ’Tis back.” A tear slid across her cheek and down her neck. She wanted to jump up and spin about dancing with joy, but she did that last time and the vision disappeared.  In her heart, Bridget knew she couldn't afford to throw away another chance.
Kneeling, she closed her eyes and concentrated. “Wish your wish,” she told herself.
The last time the miracle happened, she had taken so long wishing her wish, the magic rainbow had vanished before she could speak. Determination gave her added courage. Even as she whispered the last of her wish, she looked up to make certain the rainbow was still there. 
Her chest tightened with awe while a lump of emotion clogged her throat. As she reached out to touch the magic, her fingertips skimmed through the gray-green water, rippling the color. The mystic magic of the rainbow radiated warmth that seeped into her bones. She stirred the water again, captivated by the swirl of color that seemed to continue all the way to the bottom of the lake.   
“Bridget O’Halloran,” a breeze whisked past her cheek. 
“Wh…what was that?”  
The breeze swirled past her cheek again, but this time she felt a teasing touch along the line of her jaw and the soft fluttering of tiny wings. 
Faerie wings.   
Making a swift sign of the cross, she whispered, “Heavenly Father above, ‘tis them.”
She looked around her, straining to see, but her eyes refused to focus. Poised on the cusp of desperately wanting to believe that she wasn’t imagining them, she prayed with all her might for a miracle.
A distinct rustling off to the left had her turning in time to see a blur of movement.
“I guess faeries don’t really exist.”
She drew in a deep breath, sighed, and turned back around. The lake and the shimmering rainbow formed the perfect backdrop for the dozens of winged faeries hovering in front of her. Clothed in blossoms and snippets of leaves, they were bright and bold as a bed of pansies. 
One faerie slowly approached, and Bridget held her breath. When they were nose to nose, the fey creature smiled a slow impish smile. From the top of her ebony head to the tips of her bisque-colored toes, the tiny creature glowed. Bridget shook her head, not certain if her mind was wide-awake or asleep and dreaming. 
“Who are you?” she asked the fey being. 
“Alainn Ceo.” 
“Oh,” breathed Bridget. “Beautiful Mist.” 
“Aye,” Alainn Ceo replied with a toss of her ebony mane. “ ’Tis in your favor that you speak the Irish, Bridget O’Halloran.” The faerie paused, adding, “And ‘tis about time you made up your mind.”
The exquisite tiny being looked over her shoulder at the group hovering right behind her. They nodded in unison.
A deep voice rumbled up off the surface of the lake, calling Bridget’s name, beckoning her to come forward. Fear skittered up her spine, and she shook her head.
“Any lass worth her salt would face what she wished for,” the faerie challenged as her eyes narrowed to slivers of emerald.  “Need I remind you to have taken care what you wished for, mortal?”
That brought Bridget back to her senses and to her feet. “I know exactly what I wished for,” she said. “I wished for a man to love. One that would be strong and wise and love me forever.” 
Pausing, Bridget sighed. “In return, I promised to take care of him, give him bonny babes, and love him always.” 
 The air crackled between her and the lake. The timbre of the voice, warm and deep, mesmerized her, drawing her toward it. Her curiosity got the better of her. She took the last few steps, dropped to her knees, and leaned over the lake. “Where are you?” she asked. “Show yourself.” 
“Open your mind and see with your heart. I am here.” The deep voice wrapped itself about her, its vibration shaking her to the core.
“Well now,” she said, “I’ll try.” She leaned farther forward, precariously balancing on the rim of the lake.  
“Aye,” the voice beckoned. “That’s it, lass. Closer.”
The beauty of the rainbow and the voice pulled at her. She inched forward just a bit more and caught a glimpse of a handsome face framed with black curls. He smiled up at her, his deep blue gaze holding her captive. 

Her hand slipped, and she plunged over the edge. “Help! Hel—” Bridget’s voice was smothered by the water of the lake as it closed over her head.



ARE YOU FEELING THE LUCK O'THE IRISH TODAY?  ENTER TO WIN A DIGITAL COPY OF C.H.'S RAINBOW OF DESTINY--Do you have any St Patrick's Day traditions?
Share them in the comments below and then enter to win a bit of Irish magic!!


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13 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Good Morning, Amanda! Waving to you from the wilds of northern NJ where we still have that foot of snow from the nor'easter. Thank you for thinking of me, my friend, and inviting me to your blog. I'll be checking in during the day. I'll be baking Irish Soda Bread today, the non-traditional recipe one of my friends gave me years ago...it has sour cream and buttermilk in it. Only problem, we had tacos last night and my guys used up most of the new container of sour cream that I'd bought for the soda bread *sigh* my life with men! LOL Wouldn't trade them for anything in the world, but there are times when they totally exasperate me. So I'll be headed out to the grocery store soon. Have a great morning!

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  3. Love your Irish Soda Bread!!! If Amanda's readers haven't read any of your stories as of yet, they should. Start with Rainbow of Destiny. You won't be disappointed.

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    1. Hey there Tara! Thanks...I baked the non-traditional one with a twist today...Dave hates raisins so I used dried currants and I think it'll taste okay ;) Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. My family usually gets together... we wear green, eat corned beef and cabbage, listen to Irish music (but I enjoy it year round)... this year since St. Patty's is on a Friday during Lent... we are having our corned beef today.

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Colleen (ps...that's my name, too) If we didn't wear green as kids, my grandfather would raise the roof...and he lived two houses away, so he'd know ;) I'm making two kinds of corned beef this year. One baked and the other boiled with Guinness ;) I love Irish music, traditional -- and Irish Punk, and spent 12 or so years driving to and from Feisana where our daughter competed in Irish Step Dance. I really, really miss the accordion and fiddle playing. Enjoy your St. Paddy's dinner!

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  5. Hey, Ms Admirand! It's great seeing you and Ms Amanda together, whether on a blog or in person. Of course, we are celebrating St. Patty's here--with birthday cake, as always. :-)

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    1. Hey There Ms. Patty! Sending early b-day wishes your way ;) Amanda is the best...I'll miss seeing all y'all at RT this year, so I'll have to send cyber-hugs instead and check FB for pics as you take them ;)

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  6. Love the excerpt, I want to try the cake both ways, and I always love seeing new to me stories by you. Will be getting this one for sure.Try to stay warm up there! As for customs, I'll be wearing my green tomorrow. :)

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    1. Thanks, Ms. Jean! I have overindulged more than once with this cake recipe. The funny thing was the first time I made the Whiskey icing, our darling daughter said the boys could try it...they tried it and loved it! Hey, it's almost 38 degrees here today, warmest day in over a week. Yay to wearing green tomorrow! Miss you, Jean

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  7. Replies
    1. It's never to late to start a new tradition ;)

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