A new Christmas novella, a good friend, and not one, but TWO recipes

To celebrate the release of CHRISTMAS BELLS, I’m combining the two things that always receive the most visits and comments:

A visit from my friend, Luann, with one two of her delicious recipes, and the announcement of my latest Cherryvale book.


Luann’s got the chops in the kitchen, and she’s a hoot as well. If you haven’t subscribed to her blog, Mudpuddle, hurry and do so, then come right back.

I guess you’ve noticed cooking with exotic salts is trending! so always on top of the latest, Lu’s showing us how to make  Salted Lemon Caramel Sauce. Good on any.thing.

So snuggle in with a cup of hot tea, a sample of Lu’s drop dead delish dessert, and take a trip to Cherryvale, where a Christmas eve blizzard’s got the town scrambling to find enough room in the Inn. And food to fill hungry bellies of dozens of stranded, grumpy travelers. Lu, Grace could really use your help!

And now, here’s Lu!


When Better Than Good is Just Right

Well, I’m sure you know what I mean.
Sometimes things are good.

Like Weegie soaking up the morning sun with his squeaky toy.


Or a piece of The Fresh Apple Cake made with Honeycrisps. (pictured at the top of this post)



The Fresh Apple Cake 

1.  Chop and toast 1 1/2 cup pecans (or walnuts).  The toasting is SO important.  Let them cool completely.

2.  Peel and chop 3 cups Honeycrisp apples.  Pour 1/4 c. fresh-squeezed lemon juice over the apples.  Set aside.

3.  With a mixer, combine 2 cups sugar, 1 1/2 c. vegetable oil, 2 tsp. vanilla, 2 eggs, and 1 tsp. salt.  Just mix until well combined.

4.  In a separate large bowl combine 3 c. flour, 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg.

5.  With a wooden spoon, mix together the sugar mixture and the flour mixture.

6.  Stir in the apples and pecans.

7.  Bake in a well-greased and floured tube pan at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

8.  Allow to cool in pan for about 5 minutes.  Run a sharp knife all around the edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan.

9.  Invert onto plate.  Glaze with a mix of powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice.

But. As good as those things are… this is better

A piece of  Fresh Apple Cake with a little Salted Lemon Caramel Sauce.

See. I told you.

This sauce is something you don’t want to miss. I promise.
I can think of all kinds of things you could drizzle it over.

Pecan Pie
Pound Cake
Ice Cream

Your finger.

A carrot.

It makes anything better than it was before.

(Except Weegie, of course. He can’t be improved upon!)

Try it. You’ll love me more than Friday!

Luann’s Salted Lemon Caramel Sauce

 2 cups light brown sugar
½ c. heavy cream
½ c. milk
1 stick butter
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 ½ T. vanilla paste (or vanilla)
The juice of one lemon
Combine the brown sugar, cream, milk, and butter in a medium saucepan and cook while stirring over medium heat. You don’t really ever want to see it boil…
Cook and stir until it begins to thicken. (about 8-10 minutes) Stir in the salt. Cook for about 5 more minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla paste and the lemon juice. Stir very well.
Let cool slightly but serve while warm.
This makes a lot and can be reheated in microwave!
Thanks, Lu! Keep ’em coming, and give Weegie a cuddle for me!

7 thoughts on “A new Christmas novella, a good friend, and not one, but TWO recipes

  1. Joanne Bischof

    Congrats Beverly! I’m so looking forward to this one. I can’t think of many things better than spending Christmas in Cherryvale. Great recipes! They look oh so good! Huge thanks to Lu for sharing.

    1. Bev Post author

      Thanks, Joanne. I hope you have fun in the ‘Vale, and yes, Luann’s an inspiration, isn’t she? Although your skills in the kitchen astound me as well. (Check out Joanne’s Moonshine Butterscotch Pecan Pie, y’all. We may have made more than one around here for Thanksgiving.)

  2. Karen Malena

    Wow! Lovin the recipes!! This site is so fun….such talented authors, great books, and of course, our dear hostess, Bev makes it special!!! Love this place!

  3. Bev Post author

    Karen, thanks for stopping in, and for your kind words. You’re an extra special neighbor I’m so honored to know. Tell me when you test out Lu’s recipes, and I’ll be right over! LOL

  4. Marilyn Baker

    Love your books! Have 3 of the Cherryvale’s so far. Will get the latest one and any I have missed when time allows. Love your style and sense of humor. I have been acquainted with Luann for a day or so. She is a true “hoot” and the “farm” is located near where I spent a lot of my childhood. Being born near A&M and spending the first 2 years of my life on that “holy” campus I can only brag of inheritance privileges and bleed maroon periodically. My Dad was in the class of “49”. Bryan, Hearne, OSR, Wheelock, and College Station were the starting places for a clan of McCullough’s, Todd’s, Currey’s, and other’s. Thanks for sharing your talents and transporting us to a different and entertaining world of endearing characters.

    1. Bev Post author

      Marilyn, consider yourself an honorary ‘Valer! Thanks for all your support, I am so glad you like the stories. And you are making me homesick, but at least I get to watch the Ags BTHO just about everyone in the SEC this year! Gig’em!

  5. Karen Wood

    Lovin’ everything about this: two of my favorite h.s. girlfriends, their wonderful websites/blogs … great food (that I’m enjoying virtually, since I still have 6 lbs. to go and it’s holiday time and … geeze!! …) and a new book for Bev! Yea Bev and Lu! You go, girls! Sending Love & Blessings to you both and all during this special season!


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