Do you like to cook / bake?

Animal face cupcake

Most of the year, I don’t spend a lot of time making meals. Only my hubby and I are home. So, many of our dinners are quick and easy, with veggies, salad and some type of protein, no sauces, gravies or casseroles. Though I like them, they take too long to prepare. Still, as the weather cools and the holiday season comes near, I begin to think of doing more cooking.

I bring out some of my trusty cookbooks. But for comfort food, I find my mother’s old, dog-eared Betty Crocker paperback. I’ve marked a few of Mom’s favorites. On cold nights when the whole family is together, I choose one of them.

Homemade chicken and dumpling soup

I do like to bake cakes, bread and cookies from scratch. The five and seven-year-old, in the family often help me. They really are getting good at measuring, cracking eggs, and stirring the batter. They helped bake cakes for the fall birthdays. They love to decorate with the icing, including the animal face cupcakes and the bundt cake.

Our kids decorated this cake

Looking back over my novels, I’ve discovered food plays an important part in many of them, even in my suspense books, including Dangerous Money. In the small-town contemporary Sierra Creek Series, the characters live on an organic apple farm. There is always an apple pie baking in the over.

Do you enjoy time in the kitchen? Have a favorite recipe? Please leave a comment. Check out my website for recipes. www(dot)reggiallder(dot) com

I’m excited because the latest Sierra Creek Series book 4 is being released Oct. 18. My Country Heart. If once burned, are you twice shy?

On presale now

What do a firefighter and a jewelry designer have in common?

Excerpt: My Country Heart Sierra Creek Series Book 4

A chill ran through Lauren Walsh. She had made a drastic move and changed her whole life.

A mistake?

She stared at the California town of Sierra Creek, population five thousand, spreading out in the vista before her. She’d never lived in a city with a population of less than a million. Small towns, big outdoors, farmers, and most of all, chickens, no way—she didn’t belong.

The sun glistened on the bell tower of a church and brick and stucco houses dotted the landscape surrounding the main shopping area. However, the retail outlets had no recognizable names, apparently no chain stores were allowed.

Homesick, she missed Los Angeles and the apartment near the Ventura Freeway. Even with the smog, the traffic, and the frustration, she understood how to navigate in the metropolis. That gave her a sense of security. Here in Sierra Creek, everyone lived in a fishbowl. People knew everyone else’s business. She might as well be in a foreign country.

Still early in the morning, Sierra Creek had little traffic. Instead of engines reviving and blaring horns, birds tweeted from the surrounding trees, not something she often heard in LA and the sky appeared bluer than any she remembered in her lifetime.

Her problems had started after her boss fired her. Well, “let her go” as he’d said and only because of lack of business. Afterward, the dearth of openings in her industry didn’t surprise her. Who needed to buy fine jewelry with money tight and entertaining nonexistent? The struggle to buy food and pay the bills took top of mind, not accumulating gorgeous trinkets.

Networking produced no employment. Finally, she realized there was nothing for her in Los Angeles. As a contributor to the finances for her disabled father’s income, when this current employment opportunity came up, she snatched it.

Stay positive. This place is only for the short-term. Soon, you’ll be employed in the city again.

She easily maneuvered her German convertible through the empty main street and parked in front of The Hitching Post, a feed, tack and clothing store, where she’d be working on Monday.

She stepped out of the car and was about to enter when an older, grey-haired man, dressed in jean overalls and a chambray shirt, nodded. “On Saturdays, we don’t open for another hour.”

He scanned her head to foot and wrinkled his nose as if he had experienced an odd smell, then continued lugging a bag of feed toward the front door. He turned back to her. “You looking for feed or tack?”

“Uh, no. I’m Lauren Walsh. Your new employee.”

He scratched his head, then with surprising strength tossed the fifty-pound bag through the open doorway. “You are kind of overdressed for the job.”

“Is Mr. Smith here?” She ignored his statement but adjusted her pale pink suit jacket and pencil skirt. “I—uh.”

“The boss don’t work on the weekend.”

“Oh—I thought… Never mind. Do you happen to know the way to Amy Cameron’s farm?”

“Everybody does. You staying there?”

If she answered yes, every person in town would know. Maybe they already did. She sighed and nodded her head.

“Well, drive down this street until you reach the highway.” He pointed with his gnarled hand. “Turn left and go for about three miles. On the right you’ll see two mailboxes.” He rubbed his chin. “Turn and keep going past the green farmhouse. You’ll come to a Y. Take the left up the hill. Don’t take the right, it goes to the chicken farm.”

“Okay. Thanks, Mr.?”

“Jake—plain old Jake.”

“Thanks, plain old Jake.” She grinned at him.

“You’re most welcome, Lady Lauren.” He nodded and smiled. “And mind you watch for cows that might mosey onto the road. You wouldn’t want to scratch the beautiful car of yours.”

OMG, cows? This really is the wilderness—or was he kidding?

Her car sped out of town, and she continued down the local highway. The two mailboxes came up quickly. A tight turn off the highway and the road narrowed into a small country lane. The beauty of the open meadows and the leaves of the trees turning fall colors, relaxed her. Might be good to take some downtime from the stressful city and enjoy the quiet countryside—as long as it wasn’t for too long.

A gust of wind hit the convertible. Her hair to flew in her face. Unable to see, she pushed it out of the way, and looked up to see the air fill with squawking chickens and a huge man in the middle of the road waving at her.

“Stop!” Lauren slammed on the brakes so hard the seatbelt jerked tight, preventing her from hitting her head on the steering wheel. The car came to an abrupt halt, inches from the handsome guy, tall, tan, and furious.

On presale now

I would like to hear about your favorite food.

Thanks for stopping by.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Vicki Batman says:

    Hi, Reggi! Not much cooking going on here. I’ll probably do a few things for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Grandmother’s Tomato Cake is super popular.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pat Amsden says:

    Tall, tanned and handsome! Well, that sounds worth stopping for. This has all the ear-marks of a fun read. I have a feeling that all the help you get cooking is what makes you (and them) enjoy it so much! I like cooking but not too much and unfortunately everything I ear seems to turn into extra pounds so I restrain myself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reggi Allder says:

      Hi Pat, yes. I can enjoy cooking and don’t have to worry about eating everything. I often skip the desserts. And I send the leftovers home with the kids. 🙂


  3. Hey, Reggi. Love cakes and cookies. Don’t bake much myself. Don’t have much will power. LOL Cute cupcakes and love how the cake is decorated. Super excerpt. Made me hop over and pre-order. Good luck with this book. I shared. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reggi Allder says:

      Hi Marsha, thanks so much!! As far as the desserts are concerned, I usually try to skip them. It’s just fun to cook with the kids and they always want to go home with the cake and cookies. 🙂


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