Morning Popovers

How are you feeling this morning?

Does the sun seem to be shining brighter?

Does the sky look bluer than usual?

Do you ever wake up with a really great feeling?  Inexplicably?

I think how you feel when you wake up is usually a tell-tale sign of how the rest of your day is going to be.

Of course, not everyday is going to be great, but attitude is important.

If you're feeling a little sluggish and you don't know why, I may have something that will help.

How are you feeling now? ;)

My uncle texted me the other morning with a popover recipe.  He was on his way for a cup of coffee and knowing I had tried (and failed) the night before at making popovers, he gave me a fool-proof recipe of his own...he also brought me over the popover pan.

Believe it or not this was the first time I had ever had a popover.  I can't lie, I may have done a mini happy dance when no one was looking after they came out of the oven ;)

Here's what my uncle texted me...

These popovers are great in a pinch.  They are airy and delicious, and perfect in the morning.  So if you need a little boost, give them a try.

It's been a pleasure blogging for you today.


(top image: karlie kloss)
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Interview with Jackie Collins


Living the Gourmet is honored (thrilled!) to welcome one of the world’s bestselling authors – Jackie Collins.

I came to this interview not only as a longtime food-blogger, but also as a longtime fan of the Santangelo novels and of Jackie Collins’ work in general.  Needless to say, a ‘Lucky Santangelo Cookbook’ instantly piqued my interest. 

Illustrations of Lucky and bite-sized scenes featuring instantly familiar Santangelo characters are peppered throughout the cookbook, both of which serve to whet the reader’s appetite for all things Santangelo.  Whether it’s Venus contemplating her ‘dilemma’ in balancing food and sex, or Lucky likening falling in love to getting hit by a truck, this book’s recipes, while assuredly the main attraction, are only part of its full flavor.  

The recipes start out with Cocktails, featuring such items as The Jackie Collins from Wolfgang Puck, and Gino the Ram’s Special Spicy Bloody Marys.  The Appetizers begin with a classic Amazing Caesar Salad, and quickly advance to offerings such as Chorizo-Chocolate Tapas and Smoked Duck Pizza One of my personal favorites from the appetizers, aptly titled Gino’s Favorite Pesto Pizza, is a combination of melted goat cheese over a pine nut pesto sauce.

Pasta dishes range from simple and classic, such as Lemon Linguine and Pasta Puttanesca, and then run the gamut to items that could have come straight from one of Lucky’s hotels, such as Veal Saffron Cream Pasta Sauce and Rigatoni with Lobster Champagne Cream

The cookbook’s entrees are a diverse offering.  For example, Santangelo Salmon, cooked with red miso and Sake butter, contrasts perfectly with such items as Bourbon-Marinated Flank Steak, described as one of Lennie’s specialties.  At Living the Gourmet, we tried the Pork Tenderloin with Honey-Muster Sauce – tenderloin served with a cream based mustard sauce, a dish described by Venus as ‘light and sexy.’

Desserts receive equally expert attention.  While I made the Rich Carrot Cake and Pear Tart, the book also features sweet endnotes such as Molten Chocolate Tarts and Coconut Sorbet, described as one of Max’s favorites.

Overall, while the Santangelo theme is as delightful and witty as fans of the saga would expect, the cookbook easily stands on its culinary merits.  Having made several of the recipes, Living the Gourmet can more than recommend the The Lucky Santangelo Cookbook Whether you’re a fan of the Lucky Santangelo series, are looking for a new cookbook to add to your collection – or both – The Lucky Santangelo Cookbook has something for everyone.

Confession's of a Wild Child
**Certified Spoiler Free

The Santangelo saga began in 1981 with Chances, and over the course of thirty-three years, eight novels, character cameos in 2009’s Poor Little Bitch Girl, and countless millions of copies sold, ‘Santangelo’ has become an institution in modern literature.

This year’s Confessions of a Wild Child takes full aim at Lucky’s youth – while also exploring the backstory of other Santangelo characters such as Gino the Ram.  While readers have been treated to glimpses of the Santangelo origins over the course of the previous novels, essential questions (and simple curiosity) have persisted for fans.   

Jackie Collins, beloved for her endearing characters and enthralling webs of intrigue, has remained true to form in Confessions of a Wild Child However, readers familiar with her style will notice a marked change in tone and content from past novels, a likely necessity for immersion given that the story is told entirely through Lucky’s teenage eyes, being just fifteen at the book’s outset.  The plot revolves largely around ‘youthful rebellion’ taking its course through elite private schools, a villa in southern France, and battles with a domineering father. 

Confessions of a Wild Child, however, is about much more than exploring the world through sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll, with the novel laying the foundation for events that would lead to Lucky’s meteoric ascent to power.  

From beginning to end, Confessionsof a Wild Child is an expertly crafted origins-story,  while shedding new light on one of Jackie Collins' most beloved and longest running characters.

- by -
Michael Pappas

**I was given these products for review.  I was not financially compensated for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.


Hot Cross Buns & A Happy Easter


There is a song that comes once a year
It is the song of spring and it fills the air
It gently flows from the tree tops to the earth
It is the song of new birth
The earth bursts into color of every hue
Celebrating the life that is so very new
The song of spring flows with effortless grace
With the magnificent splendor it leaves to embrace

Catherine Cappiello Pappas

I hope you all have your Easter baskets filled, eggs brightly colored and best clothes ready. May your day be bountiful and beautiful and the sun shine brightly for your Easter parade. May you have many happy memories for all your loved ones to take home.

While we may get caught up in the all excitement of decorating and preparing our Easter table, let us not forget what Easter is really about. As we celebrate our time with family and close friends, let us also celebrate that this is Resurrection Sunday.


Hot Cross Buns

Rum Raisins:

1/3 cup raisins, chopped
Zest of 1 orange
1 tsp. mixed berry marmalade
1 tblsp. culinary rum
1/2 tsp. maple syrup
1/4 cup fruit juice


3 cups self-rising flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk


1 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  

Grease a 3 qt. baking dish and set aside.

Simmer, in a small sauce pan,over a medium heat all of the ingredients for the rum raisins.  Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt and cinnamon.  Add oil, brown sugar, and egg.  Mix well until well incorporated.  Add the milk, half cup, at a time until a fine dough comes together.  Add rum raisins and mix with your hands.

Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead until it all comes together and is smooth. 

Pull the dough apart making pool ball sized buns; the dough should make about 1 dozen hot cross buns.  

Brush each bun with an egg wash (1 egg white + 1 teaspoon milk or water).

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.

While buns cool, whisk confectioner's sugar, vanilla and milk to make a glaze.  Add more sugar or milk until you get a thick consistency.  

Drizzle a cross pattern over each bun. 

Let the glaze set before serving.

Enjoy with butter, cream cheese or jam!

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