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Friday, July 31, 2015

Taste the Flavors of Barbados: Recipes to Help You Experience "The Awakening of Tara" by Sara McBride



The setting for the book “The Awakening of Tara” is the tropical island of Barbados. I chose this island as the backdrop for my series Charmed in Paradise because after spending several weeks there for work (I periodically taught yoga at a high end resort there) I found it to be the closest thing to paradise I had ever experienced.  Not only was the Island warm, romantic and beautiful, the food was heavenly!

If you would like to experience a little of this paradise I suggest you read book one, “The Awakening of Tara” and try out a couple of these recipes. By the way, these recipes make up the meal that Mimi makes for Asha in the book. Who is Asha, you ask? Guess you’re going to have to read the book to find out!

Barbados Pepperpot Recipe

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 onions, finely-chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 Scotch Bonnet pepper or 1 habañero pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon whole coriander seed
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 cups acorn squash or 4 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes or 4 cups carrots, peeled and diced
1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes, chopped, including juice
4 cups vegetable stock or 4 cups chicken stock
1 (14 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro

Directions:

Cook onions in oil in a skillet until tender. Place onions in crock pot along with garlic, ginger, chili powder, scotch bonnet, coriander, celery seeds, salt, pepper, sugar, squash (or carrots), kidney beans, tomatoes and stock.

Stir to mix well.

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours or until vegetables are tender. Add coconut milk and stir well. Set crock pot to high and cook for 15-20 minutes more. Garnish with cilantro before serving.


Fried Plantains

Ingredients:
2 cups water 
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil
2 green plantains

Directions:

Combine water, garlic and salt in medium size glass bowl and set aside.

In a large (12-inch) saute pan, heat oil to 325 degrees F. Peel plantains and slice crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Carefully add plantains to oil and fry until golden yellow in color, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side. (The oil should come halfway up the side of the plantain). With a spider or slotted spoon, remove the plantains from the pan and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, standing them on their ends. With the back of a wide, wooden spatula, press each piece of plantain down to half its original size. Then place the plantains in the water and let soak for 1 minute. Remove and pat dry with a tea towel to remove excess water.

Bring oil back up to 325 degrees F and return plantains to pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 4 minutes per side. Remove to a dish lined with paper towels, and sprinkle with salt, if desired. Serve immediately.

This recipe is from Alton Brown and Foodnetwork.com

Tamarind Sweet Balls

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 (7-ounce) package tamarind paste*
1 tablespoon Thai-style hot sauce (recommended: Sriracha)
Pinch salt

* Can be found at specialty Asian markets.

Directions:

Put 1/4 cup sugar in a shallow plate. In a bowl, combine the tamarind, hot sauce, salt, and remaining sugar. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together. Divide the tamarind mixture into bite-size portions, and shape into balls. Add the tamarind balls to the sugar, and roll to coat evenly.

This recipe comes from the cooking channel



The Awakening of Tara
Charmed in Paradise Series
Book One
Sara McBride

Genre: Paranormal Romance/ BBW Witches and Wizards

Publisher: MLF Press

Date of Publication: July 15th 2015

ASIN: B010MFYDP0

Number of pages: 77
Word Count: 24975

Book Description:

Tara’s a big girl whose life is in shambles. Her fiancé left her for some skinny little bitch, work is overwhelming and her self-esteem has been shredded. So when her best friend suggests a vacation on the tropical paradise island of Barbados, she jumps at the chance.

A freak accident on a Caribbean beach leaves Tara with a magical gift that makes her virtually irresistible to men, rebuilds her broken self-esteem and introduces her to a mystical world of witches and wizards as well as one of the sexiest mega millionaire pro athletes on the planet.

When an evil billionaire wizard decides to take what he wants, the real question is, can Tara and her friends escape this adventure with their lives.

This paranormal romance adventure series is filled with steamy romance, sizzling sex, paranormal adventure, evil billionaires and hot, curvy BBWs.


Available at Amazon


Excerpt:
“A couple of people said they had seen the box you were looking for.”
Radella tried to keep the emotion from showing on her face. She and her people had been down here for a month asking questions and no one said a word about the box. This was the first solid lead they had. She felt her heart skip a beat.
“So what’s this box look like?” she asked coolly.
Kai didn’t take his eyes off her. She could tell he was trying to decide how valuable this information was to her. “Just like you described it. Old dark wood with shiny white squares across the top… real fancy. People say some woman that works down on the beach selling junk and telling fortunes has it.”
Now it was Radella’s turn to smirk. “You got anything else?”
Kai didn’t say anything for a couple of beats. Radella knew he was up to something and he was trying to decide what his next move should be.
“Look, I know this box is worth a lot to you. Tell you what, for another $500 me and Navas will steal this box from her and bring it to you. What do you say?”
Radella smiled, crossed her arms and gazed directly at Kai. “No, I’ll get the box myself.”
This clearly wasn’t what Kai expected her to say. “What do you mean you’ll get the box yourself? You don’t even know who this bitch is. I KNOW who this bitch is!”
In her peripheral vision, Radella saw Navas begin to inch in towards her and saw one of his hands go, without any attempt to conceal the movement, into his back pocket. She took a half step back, but kept her eyes on both men.
“This island isn’t that big, so finding someone who sells souvenirs and tells fortunes on the beach isn’t going to be that hard.”
Navas turned to his brother. “Fool, you told her too much!”
“Shut up Navas!” Kai shouted.
As the two brothers stared each other down Radella took another step back as she continued to talk.
“Besides, I’ve known from the beginning that I couldn’t trust you two. If you stole the box and the things we want are actually inside, you’d either steal them and try to sell them yourself, or you would try to make me pay you some ridiculous price to give me the things I already paid you to get. As I said, I’ll get the box myself.”
A look passed between the brothers. Navas produced a large folding knife from his back pocket and flipped the blade open. Kai picked up what looked like a bowie knife from under a pile of food wrappers on the table.
“Fine, have it your way,” whispered Kai. “But it’s going to cost you $500 to get out of the house alive.”
Radella gave them both an icy, appraising stare. “I didn’t bring any money.”
Navas spoke up. “That’s not a problem. We’ll just take the necklace.” With a wide grin he gestured toward the star pendant hanging around her boney neck.
Radella smiled back and reached down taking the star pendant in both hands pointing the large stone in the direction of the two men.
“You mean this old thing?” The emerald began to glow and Radella began to chant, “Lamina lamina lamna, inermis, prehendo, fervens, letum!”
A flash of green light filled the room and then it was gone. Kai and Navas were taken aback, but Kai recovered quickly enough.
“Nice trick lady. But that ain’t gonna help you. Now hand over the necklace.”
Radella’s eyes lit up like a kid on Christmas morning.
“Gentlemen, I have good news and I have bad news.” She smiled. “Let’s start with the bad news. I’m a witch and I’ve put a spell on your knives.” She stopped and thought for a second. “That’s not entirely true. I’ve actually put four spells on your knives.”
 She held up her index finger. “The first spell won’t allow your knives to harm me.”
She held up a second finger. “The second spell won’t allow either of you to let go of your knives.”
She held up her third finger. “The third spell will make your knives begin to grow hotter and hotter until finally the metal and whatever else they happen to be made of burns away or melts.”
She paused for dramatic effect, and then finished.
“You can just imagine what that will do to your hands.”
She smiled brightly at both men.
“Now here is the good news. The fourth spell is your way out.  All you have to do is kill your brother with your knife,” She looked at Kai then over at Navas, “and the spell is broken. Your knife cools off and you can set it down.”
Radella started toward the door but Navas lunged at her, leading with the wicked looking blade pointed at her throat. But he never came close. The knife swung away like her body was the bad side of a magnet, slashing harmlessly through the air.
Kia leapt forward, stabbing at Radella’s torso but again the knife was repulsed, the tip wrenching straight up before it reached her, leaving the man standing holding the knife over his head.
The brothers looked at each other with panic-stricken eyes. Navas tried to open his hand and let the knife fall to the floor but his fingers stayed clamped like a vice on the handle of the folding knife.
Kai tried to throw his bowie knife but had no more success than his brother.
Radella turned lightly and as she reached the door she heard Kai cry out in pain. The knives were beginning to heat up. She smiled contentedly and turned to study the two brothers as they began to stalk each other around the room.
“Oh, and did I mention that you have about five minutes? Her smirk widened to a full skeletal grin.
“Have a nice evening, gentlemen.”


About the Author:

When a life-changing injury forced her to give up a successful career as a personal trainer, Sara McBride did what any girl with the gift for gab and a typing speed that is freakishly fast would do—become a paranormal BBW erotic romance writer. 

Long frustrated with the fitness industry’s lack of acceptance that many people naturally have a body mass index above the “normal” range, she has always championed acceptance and wellness for all—not just those crazy people who love to exercise. Viva la BBW!

A lifelong reader of fantasy and paranormal fiction, Sara lives with her very patient husband and two small children who now begin every sentence with “As soon as you’re finished writing that chapter, could we….”

Her license plate holder reads “My other car is a broom.”

This is her first work of fiction.

If you would like to read Sara’s blog or sign up for an email letting you know when her next book will be released, please visit:





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