Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Firstly though, let me introduce myself, my name is Colette Kebell and I am an author. I predominantly write chick lit/romcom, but don’t tie myself to just that genre. I’ve been asked to write this post as part of the promo for my new book, I Don’t Do Mondays! Which launched on the 19th September 2020. Yes, I was able to work towards the launch during the pandemic, but it was tough. Enough said about that though as you want something that is going to brighten your day today, not bring you back to doom and gloom.
Therefore, I’m going to talk about my second passion, cooking ☺ If I’m stuck on where to take one of my stories next, I end up in the kitchen, browsing our fridge and freezer contents, recipe books (of which I’m a hoarder and have in excess of 100) and deciding whether to make savoury (my favourite) or sweet. I’ve been mulling over whether to mention a disaster cooking session, but those involve my husband and I don’t want you to think that I cannot cook lol ☺ My husband is the one who adds Allspice to Salmon and wonders why it tastes like a desert.
So here are two recipes, one incredibly simple and you’ll either love or hate it (all depends if you can handle savoury and sweet) and the other a bit more involved ☺
Simple summer lunch
Feta Cheese, crumbled
I’s that simple and looks amazing on a plate ☺ Hope you love it as much as I do.
Now for the more complicated one ☺ It’s my go to traditional Italian vegetarian dish, which though is a bit time consuming is well worth the effort.
For the main event
1 Celeriac, peeled and sliced thinly.
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
One large red onion, thinly diced
Black pepper from a mill
½ teaspoon of sugar
Salt to taste
A sprinkle of crushed chillies (if you like it hot)
50g grated parmesan (or more, if you are a cheese freak like me)
For the Bechamel
1-2 knobs of butter
2 heaped dessert spoons of plain flour
½ pint of milk (approximately)
Squeeze of lemon juice (bottled is fine)
Salt and black pepper to taste
½ Finely Chopped onion
Take a large shallow pan with a lid and add a couple of knobs of butter and a half cup of water. Add the sliced celeriac in layers and steam for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.
In the meantime, in another pan, add the chopped tomatoes, onion, a sprinkle of sugar and seasoning (including crushed chillies if you are using them) to another pan and leave to simmer gently, stirring occasionally.
Then, to the bechamel sauce. Add the knobs of butter to another pan, one large enough to allow for the addition of the milk, add the chopped onion, bay leaf and leave for the butter to melt, but not burn, on a low heat to start the onions cooking. Once those are softened, add the flour and mix vigorously to ensure that you have a smooth paste. Some recipes would now say heat the milk in another pan and slowly add that. I don’t consider it necessary to heat the milk if you take your time adding it, and mixing thoroughly each time. If once you’ve added the milk the consistency seems a little thick (such as that of mayonnaise) then add a little more milk. You can, if you prefer, remove the bay leaf at this stage, though I prefer to leave it in for added flavour. Once the sauce is ready, season it to taste and add a good squeeze of lemon juice and stir in well.
Now to assemble as by this time the other ingredients should be cooked. It is basically like laying a lasagne, though there is celeriac rather than pasta ☺ So I would start with a spread of the tomato and onion mixture on the bottom, followed by a layer of celeriac and then more tomato mix, then a layer of bechamel. Sprinkle the top with grated parmesan and then continue layering until you end up with bechamel on top and then the last of the grated cheese.
This then needs to go into a pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes on gas 6/electric 200. It should be brown and crispy on top and bubbling at the sides when you take it out. Enjoy ☺
These both sound delicious, Colette, thank you for letting me share them – I’ll be trying them out soon!
Read on to discover more about Colette’s novel, I Don’t Do Mondays!, and about Colette herself….
How can Mia find happiness?
Lawyer Mia’s picture-perfect dream life in New York is imploding. Her job has become too stressful, she’s exhausted from carrying her friends and what’s up with her striking, wealthy fiancé?
But when life-changing decisions force her to move to Maine, where she’ll face her often critical father and hard truths about what truly matters in life, she re-discovers a passion of her youth.
What begins as a low moment in her life quickly pushes her to consider what she genuinely wants and leads her down a new path where she must embrace the future and let go of the past.
Will this move help Mia to fix her life, once and for all, and will she finally find true love?
Colette Kebell is an author of Chick-lit/Romcom, though a relatively new one and thus far has self-published her books. Her books are light-hearted, fun and quirky and even considered by some to be inspirational. She has also found avenues to translate both into Italian (thanks to her husband), and into French, Spanish and Portuguese via Babelcube.
As a career, Colette spent her later years as a legal secretary. After a first attempt at writing many years ago (a book that still remains in her drawer) she resumed this passion a few years back, after being made redundant. After a few book signing events and a book talk, which almost caused her to collapse with nerves, Colette now spends her time between her home in the UK and her home in France.
Colette has two adorable dogs and spends some time, when not writing and marketing her books, cooking for herself and her husband, gardening or designing various items for their home. Amongst her other hobbies, she has also experimented with furniture upholstery, and she might, from time to time, have a paintbrush in her hand.
She can be found on twitter @ColetteKebell though doesn’t tweet a vast amount.
Social Media Links – www.colettekebell.com
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