Friday, March 2, 2012

Moroccan Eggs ala Sarah Mayberry

If you love Harlequin Superromance as much as I do, you're in for a treat! Today's guest is author Sarah Mayberry, who writes passionate, sophisticated love stories that will absolutely carry you away. Sarah's latest book is MORE THAN ONE NIGHT.

From bed to baby to…bliss?
A chance encounter. A steamy night together. That's all Rhys Walker signs on for when Charlotte "Charlie" Long sashays across his path. Sure, maybe he catches a glimpse of forever in her eyes. But the brush-off note the gorgeous brunette leaves the next morning says it all, doesn't it? Time to move on.

Rhys never expects that moving on actually means reconnecting with Charlie. Or that her big news changes everything. Becoming a father now, under these circumstances, never factored into his plans. Yet he's not as upset as he thought. Because now he has the opportunity to explore that glimpse of forever…and turn it into reality.

Three Random Questions for Sarah Mayberry

On your website,, you mention having worked in television for the Australian drama Neighbours. How do you think that job made you a better storyteller? Have you ever used your background knowledge of the television industry in a book?
Definitely working in TV has made me a better storyteller. The soap opera I worked on, Neighbours, is on five nights a week. Every week, we were plotting more than 100 scenes of (hopefully) emotional drama. Shaping ideas and seeing them executed taught me an enormous amount about story structure. I have used my "insider knowledge" as the background for my Blaze trilogy, Secret Lives of Daytime Divas (Take On Me, All Over You, Hot For Him). They were set on a soap opera in LA and were enormous fun to write.

Cooking is one of your passions. Share a cooking-related memory from childhood.
This is a negative cooking story. My mother (bless her!) was never fond of cooking so we grew up on meat and three vegetables. Invariably the vegetables were boiled until they were pastel colored and mushy. Horrible stuff. I had a whole coterie of tricks to avoid eating them. I think her indifference to food inspired a love of cooking in me. Whatever the reason, I love to cook for friends and family now. It's one of my favorite things.

The heroine of your latest book for Super, MORE THAN ONE NIGHT, is just out of the military, in charge of her own destiny for the first time in her life, when she finds herself pregnant after one romantic night with a take-charge business executive. Sounds like a recipe for some head-on conflict. How does Charlie feel about her unexpected pregnancy, and how does Rhys feel when he first finds out that he’s about to become a father?
Charlie is stunned to find out she's pregnant. It's not part of her life plan at all! But after initial shock and some soul searching, she decides she would be a good mother and she decides to keep the baby. Which means she needs to track down the father, a man she spent one wild, passionate night with, then left the following morning (for reasons which are explored in the book!). Rhys is a guy on the move. He's got a burgeoning IT company and he's just landed a huge contract - the sky's the limit. He has all these plans - and they come crashing down when Charlie turns up on his doorstep to tell him he's going to be a father, whether he planned for it or not. His first - very human - reaction, is to be angry. But then he warms to the idea - and, of course, to Charlie, who has haunted him since that one night they had together.

Recipe: Moroccan Eggs

Serves 2 - 3
1 can brown lentils (400g/ 14oz)
1 table spoon butter
1 table spoon olive oil
1 table spoon ground cumin
sprinkle of smoked paprika
6 eggs
1 - 2 tomatoes, chopped
Fresh coriander, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Bread of your choice, toasted

Drain the lentils and rinse them, then spread them on a non-stick tray or baking paper and dry them in the oven for 10 minutes at 200 degrees. They need to be dry enough that they will absorb the spices and oil during the next step of cooking.

Melt the butter in a medium-sized frypan with the olive oil. Add the dried lentils and cumin. Fry for 1 - 2 minutes. Turn the heat down, then add all six eggs and sprinkle the chopped tomato over the top. Dust with smoked paprika and season with salt and pepper to your taste.

Place a lid on the frypan and monitor until eggs are cooked to consistency of your choice. Alternatively, place the frypan in the oven and do the same. Once the eggs are cooked, use a spatula to divide into portions and serve on buttered toast or grilled turkish bread. Garnish with a handful of coriander per serve.

You can vary the recipe by including roast garlic at the tomato stage, or try a squeeze of lemon juice before serving. The oven-dried lentils are deliciously crunchy after being fried. We have this for breakfast, lunch and dinner - basically, whenever the mood strikes.

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