Marian Pearson Stevens Marian Pearson Stevens Marian Pearson Stevens Marian Pearson Stevens
Marian Pearson Stevens Marian Pearson Stevens Marian Pearson Stevens Marian Pearson Stevens


Meet Marian
Cool Extras


In the Kitchen With Your Favorite Romance Authors

Amy Atwell
Jan Colley
Janet Evanovich
Kristan Higgins
Jenny Gardiner
Shirley Jump
Julie Kenner
Susan Mallery
Susan McBride
Brenda Novak
Kathleen O’Reilly
Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Jane Porter
Sherry Thomas


In the Kitchen with
Amy Atwell


Best burger I've had in ages. Use a top-grade ground meat.

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. finely shredded lemon or lime peel (fresh, not dried)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 c. light mayonnaise dressing
  • 2 T. snipped fresh basil
  • 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 onion hamburger buns, split and toasted
  • 1 c. lightly packed arugula or spinach leaves

Mix burgers: in a medium bowl, combine ground beef, dried tomatoes, lemon peel, salt and pepper. Mix lightly, but thoroughly. Shape into four 1/2-inch thick patties.

Grill patties on a grill or under broiler until meat is no longer pink in center.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, basil and jalapeno. Serve burgers on buns with mayo mixture and arugula or spinach leaves.
Number of servings: 4


Shared by Award-Winning Author -- Amy Atwell

Click to print recipe


back to top



In the Kitchen with
Jan Colley


  • 675g or 1 ½ lbs - white fish (haddock, cod, sea bass or monkfish)
  • sunflower oil for frying
  • 500g or 1 ¼ lbs - potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 5 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 375g or 13 oz or about 1 ½ cup fresh spinach, chopped (frozen is fine)
  • lime wedges to garnish

For the Charmoula:

  • 6 spring onions or scallions (chopped)
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 4 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • generous pinch cayenne pepper
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • grated rind of one lime and 4 tbsp lime juice
  1. Cut fish into large chunks and place in large shallow dish.

  2. Make charmoula: blend all the ingredients, season with salt, pour over fish and stir to mix. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a cool place for 2-4 hours.

  3. In large heavy pan, fry potato slices in oil until cooked through and golden. Drain.

  4. Pour off all but 1 tbsp of the oil and add onion, garlic and tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 minutes until soft. Place potatoes on top and add spinach.

  5. Place marinated fish pieces on top of spinach and pour over all the marinade. Cover pan tightly and cook for 15-18 minutes. Stir once halfway through cooking to gently distribute the fish throughout. Dish is cooked when the fish is just tender and opaque and the spinach has wilted.

Serve hot with wedges of lime and warm crusty bread.

This dish looks really pretty with the white fish, golden potatoes, tomatoes, spinach and lime wedges.


Shared by Author -- Jan Colley

Click to print recipe


back to top



In the Kitchen with
Plum Good Recipes
(Stephanie Plum's mother)


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • Unsweetened pineapple slices

Melt the butter in a nine inch pie plate. Dump brown sugar into the plate and mash with a fork until it's all mixed with the melted butter and covers the bottom of the plate. Arrange pineapple slices on bottom of plate in single layer. Mix eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder and pineapple juice by hand in a small bowl until smooth. Pour mixture over pineapple slices. Bake in a 350 degree oven until a pick comes out clean (maybe 30-45 min.) Remove cake from oven and set on rack for a couple minutes. Put cake plate over the hot cake in the pie plate and CAREFULLY but quickly turn the pie plate upside down. Remove pie plate and let cake cool to room temperature. Pineapple slices should be on top! (If you let the cake cool in the pie plate you'll NEVER get it out). When cool spread lots of globs of whipped cream on it ...the real stuff, none of that fake stuff in a can!
Eat too much.

Shared by -- New York Times Bestselling Author Janet Evanovich

Click to print recipe


back to top



In the Kitchen with
Jenny Gardiner


(Junior League Celebration Cookbook)
When I take this to a party someone always asks for the recipe!

Makes 12 to 16 servings

  • 2 (8-oz) pkgs. Cream cheese, softened
  • 7-8 oz. Mild goat cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tsp. Snipped fresh oregano, or 1 tsp. Dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/8 tsp. Freshly ground peppers
  • 1/4 c. prepared pesto
  • 1/2 c. sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 1-2 slivered almonds, toasted
  • fresh oregano or parsley sprigs
  • stone-ground wheat crackers or thinly sliced baguette

Line a 1-qt. Loaf pan or soufflé dish w/ clear plastic wrap. In a food processor bowl or large mixer
bowl, combine the cream cheese, goat cheese, garlic, oregano and pepper. Process or beat w/
electric mixer until smooth. Spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture into bottom of pan. Top w/ the pesto, spreading evenly. Layer w/ another 1/3 of cheese mixture. Drain sun-dried tomatoes, reserving tomato for garnish. Chop the remaining tomatoes and spread evenly over the cheese mixture. Top w/ remaining cheese mixture. Cover plastic wrap and press gently to pack the cheese.


Uncover cheese, invert onto serving plate, and remove plastic wrap. Cut reserved sun-dried tomato into thin slices. Garnish torta w/ tomato, toasted almonds, fresh oregano or parsley. Serve w/ crackers or baguette.


Shared by -- Bestselling Author Jenny Gardiner

Click to print recipe


back to top


In The Kitchen With
Kristan Higgins


Lucy tries to woo Ethan up to her apartment using this dish in The Next Best Thing. She does love to bake for that guy!

  • 1 pound of cinnamon raisin bread (homemade is best for you overachievers, but Pepperidge Farms isn’t bad, either…thick sliced works best)
  • 3 ¼ cups milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 1 eight ounce can of crushed or sliced pineapple. If you used sliced, cut into small chunks.

Oven: 350 degrees

Tear bread into 1/2-inch square pieces. Don’t smoosh the bread…you want it to be nice and airy. Place bread chunks in bowl. Add milk and stir occasionally until bread absorbs milk…takes about 20 minutes.

In another bowl, beat eggs, then add sugar, vanilla, raisins and pineapple. Mix well. Add to bread mixture and stir gently with rubber spatula.

Pour into 13-by-9 inch baking pan and cover loosely with foil. Bake 45 minutes or until golden brown and puffy. Be gentle when opening the oven door to check…the pudding may fall if you’re not.

Jack Daniels Sauce

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup butter
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 oz. Jack Daniels whiskey

In saucepan, brown the butter (be careful…it turns fast). Add water and sugar, mixing until sugar dissolves. Don’t boil! Turn off heat, add a dash of cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon of vanilla and the whiskey. Mix lightly, then pour over warm pudding. A little whipped cream isn’t going to kill anyone, so go ahead and add that. Taste. Smile. Life is good!

Shared by -- New York Times Bestselling Author Kristan Higgins

Click to print recipe


back to top


In The Kitchen With
Kristan Higgins


In My One & Only, Nick and Harper stop at a little restaurant in Montana, where Nick orders pie (just to irritate Harper, who’s itching to get to the airport).

1 recipe for a 9 inch double crust pie

  • 4 ½ cups huckleberries
  • 2 ½ tablespoons tapioca
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon butter


Mix huckleberries, tapioca, sugar, salt, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar.

Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell. Dot top with butter. Add top pastry and pinch edges (my neighbor smooshes them down with a fork, which looks nice, too).

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Then turn oven down to 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes. You almost can’t overbake a pie, unless you burn the crust.

Best served warm, about an hour out of the oven.

Shared by -- New York Times Bestselling Author Kristan Higgins

Click to print recipe


back to top



In The Kitchen With
Shirley Jump


  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 Gala apples
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in small saucepan. Add walnuts, white sugar and butter. Stir until sugar is melted. Spread on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring every few minutes.

Meanwhile, core apples and scoop out centers. Set apples in small baking dish. Fill centers with half a pat of butter, evenly divided amounts of the brown sugar, then other half of pats of butter (basically dividing the butter and brown sugar between the four apples). Top with candied walnuts. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes, or until fork-tender.

The kids saw this as dessert, so that was great. Everyone loved the apples, and wished I'd made more!


Shared by -- New York Times Bestselling Author -- Shirley Jump

Click to print recipe


back to top


In The Kitchen With
Shirley Jump


  • 2 3/4 cups low-fat baking mix (like Bisquick)
  • 1/4 cup Splenda
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 teaspoon Splenda
  • 8 ounces cherry low-fat or fat free yogurt (I used Very Cherry Fat Free Yoplait)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix cherries with 1/2 teaspoon Splenda. Let sit while you mix the Bisquick with the 1/4 cup Splenda. I mix it with a fork to get all the clumps out. Stir in cherries, add yogurt and mix until moistened. Turn out onto a floured (don't use Bisquick for this part, use flour) breadboard and knead four or five times by hand.

Spray Pam onto a cookie sheet. Spread dough out into a 9-inch circle on cookie sheet. Cut into 10 or 12 slices--without cutting all the way through the dough--just basically scoring it. Sprinkle with sugar and then bake for 16 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Yummy for breakfast!


Shared by -- New York Times Bestselling Author -- Shirley Jump

Click to print recipe


back to top



In the Kitchen with
Julie Kenner


In case you’re feeling Naw’lins ish -- try this recipe.

Core some apples (can we all say “Pampered Chef products?”) and put them in a baking dish. Cut up about half a stick of butter (I used 1/2 stick for 4 apples) and shove itsy bitsy pieces of butter about halfway into the core.

(No, not THAT kind of apple!) Try this kind:

Over on the other side of your kitchen, fill a small coffee mug with brown sugar, then mix in some cinnamon (no, I don’t know how much; don’t ask). Stir. Ask your five year old to sprinkle spoonfuls of the mixture into the center of the apples. Clean the countertop.

Add more butter. More sugar/cinnamon. More butter. Repeat (shoving it all down with your fingertip) until that apple is chockful of yummy goodness. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar/cinnamon mix over the apples in the dish.

Bake on, oh, say, 375 ish for about 30 minutes. Then turn the heat down to about 300 and keep baking until those puppies are soft, soft, soft. Even after that, we left them in the oven at 150 for a while until we were ready for dessert.

Pour heavy whipping cream into shallow dishes. Put an apple in each dish. Spoon out the Sugary Goo from the baking pan and drizzle over apples.

Serve. Eat. Yum!

(Note: because apples are healthy, this dish has absolutely no calories whatsoever. No, really.)

Shared by Bestselling Author -- Julie Kenner

Click to print recipe


back to top



In the Kitchen with
Susan Mallery


  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • 2 Whole heads of garlic
  • 1 T. + 2t Olive Oil
  • 1 T. Butter
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Microwave the spaghetti squash for 2-3 minutes to soften the skin, to make it a little easier to cut. Cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. You can discard the seeds or roast them with oil and salt for 20 minutes at 350.

Preheat the oven to 375. Place each head of garlic on a square of aluminum foil and brush with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Wrap the foil loosely around each head of garlic. Place the squash cut-side down in a shallow roasting pan with half a cup of water. Put the garlic and squash in the oven at the same time. You can also put split chicken breasts with bone in at the same time, sprinkled with salt and pepper or with lemon pepper.

Roast the squash for 45 minutes, then remove from pan and allow to cool for five minutes. At this point, the squash will still be quite warm, so be careful as you scrape out the flesh with a fork into spaghetti-shaped ribbons. When the garlic has been in the oven for 50 minutes, remove it and squeeze the cloves onto to a cutting board. Chop into chunks. Heat 1 T olive oil in a large sauté pan until the oil is warm. Add the garlic. Sauté for 30 seconds, then add the squash and butter, tossing to coat. Add salt and pepper. Serve warm. By the time you’re done with the squash, the chicken breasts will be done.


Shared by -- NYTimes Bestselling Author Susan Mallery

Click to print recipe


back to top



In the Kitchen with
Susan McBride

Spinach Dip
(Susanís favorite healthier version)

  • 1 carton plain yogurt (preferably nonfat or low fat--and make sure it's plain, not vanilla!)
  • 1 bag of frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup (or more!) shredded skim mozzarella cheese

Toasted bagel chips (whole grain or with sea salt)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix yogurt and cheeses. Stir in drained, thawed spinach.
2. Spoon mixture into a square casserole dish. Sprinkle with extra mozzarella and parmesan.
3. Bake about 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and a little bubbly.
4. If necessary, drain mixture of excess moisture and transfer into serving dish.
5. Spread warm dip onto bagel chips and enjoy!

Shared by -- Bestselling Author Susan McBride

Click to print recipe


back to top



In the Kitchen with
Brenda Novak

(for diabetics)

  • 2-3 oz Tilapia filets
  • 1 tbsp Dijonnaise (in mayo/mustard aisle)
  • 1/2 c Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1/4 c Grated Parmesan Cheese (NOT the stuff in the green can)--the real stuff!
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Combine cheese, Panko, salt and pepper in shallow dish.

Spread 1/2 of the Dijonnaise over each filet (one side)
Press filet into breadcrumb mixture (one side)
Place on foil lined baking dish and bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes.

Serve with roasted veggies and brown rice.

Have trouble getting your kids to eat veggies? Try roasting them.

Works for Brussel Sprouts, Asparagus and Broccoli.

Toss with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, place on baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. (serves 2)

Comes out nice and crunchy!


Shared by -- NYTimes Bestselling Author Brenda Novak

Help Brenda Novak make a difference in the lives of her son and millions of others like him who live with diabetes by shopping at her Annual Online Auction to Benefit Diabetes Research.


Click to print recipe


back to top


In The Kitchen With
Kathleen O’Reilly


My family loves this!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained, with basil, garlic, and oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Fresh spinach

In a saucepan, add tomatoes, basil, sugar, oregano, salt, pepper, and spinach. Bring to boil and continue to boil 5 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates. Remove from heat; stir in whipping cream and butter. Reduce heat and simmer 5 more minutes.

If one were inclined to substitute half and half, it probably would taste very good. Also, the spinach is optional, but my family loves that as well, and it’s nice to have the green veggies in there.


Shared by -- Award Winning Author Kathleen O’Reilly

Click to print recipe


back to top



In the Kitchen with
Susan Elizabeth Phillips


Here's a recipe that suits Bobby Tom Denton, from Heaven, Texas, just fine. I adapted it for the former Chicago Stars wide-receiver from Moosewood Restaurant Low Fat Favorites. I don't measure things too well, so I hope you can deal with approximations!

  • 2 large or three medium-sized sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 3+ cups chopped onion
  • 3 or more large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 T+ minced fresh green chili (I used serranos. For less kick, try jalapenos) 4 t ground cumin
  • 4 t ground coriander
  • 3 cans (15 ounce each) black beans (pinto beans also an option)
  • 2/3 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves (I bought some of the mild flat Italian parsley by mistake and used it anyway. Great for people who aren't crazy about cilantro.)
  • 2-3 T fresh lemon juice
  • 8 large flour tortillas (I buy the fat free ones)
  • Your favorite salsa.
  1. Place the diced, peeled sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  2. While sweet potatoes are cooking, sauté onions, garlic, chili in a skillet generously sprayed with Pam. Cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Add cumin and coriander. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently so it doesn't stick.

  3. In food processor, combine beans, cilantro, lemon juice. Process. Add sweet potatoes and process again. (Alternative: Mash with potato masher for rougher texture.)

  4. Stir in onion mixture, salt to taste, and heat to desired temperature in microwave.

  5. Warm tortillas in microwave. Fill each tortilla with about ¾ cup of mixture and serve with salsa.

This recipe provides a different slant on the more common black bean burritos. I like to serve with a salad or a simple plate of raw vegetables. The richness of the sweet potatoes eliminates the need for cheese, but you can certainly top with some Monterey jack or cheddar if you'd like.


Shared by -- New York Times Bestselling Author -- Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Click to print recipe


back to top



In the Kitchen with
Jane Porter



  • 12 slices firm white bread (i.e. – sourdough or French bread)
  • 3 tbsps butter softened
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • 6 large eggs
  • 4 tsps Dijon-style mustard
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¾ - 1 lb Swiss or Jarlsberg cheese, shredded (I do a mix cheeses)
  • ½ - ¾ lb diced ham
  • 3 green onions chopped (optional)


Toast the bread, spread one side with butter and cut toast into ¾ in pieces.

In a bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, mustard, salt and pepper. Butter a 13x9 inch baking dish, place half the toast pieces in the dish. Sprinkle toast with half the cheese, ham and sliced onion. Repeat layering with other half of ingredients.

Slowly pour the egg mixture over the casserole to moisten the toast. Cover the dish with foil. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350*. Bake the strata for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5 – 10 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.


Shared by -- Bestselling Author Jane Porter

Click to print recipe


back to top



In the Kitchen with
Sherry Thomas



  • 2-3 granny smith apples, peeled and diced
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  1. Heat the oven to 350. Cook diced apple in 2 tablespoons melted butter, until most of the liquid evaporate and apple is soft and translucent. Cool slightly.

  2. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut the remaining butter into small pieces and using either fingers or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

  3. Melt the instant coffee granule in 1 tablespoon of hot water. Pour it into the cream and mix well.

  4. Add the cooked apple to the flour mixture. Stir in the cream-coffee mixture. Combine. The dough should be moist but not dripping wet. Adjust the liquid as needed--add more cream or milk or water, depending on your taste for fat. (I always use more cream as I adore cream.)

  5. Knead the dough a few times. Then flatten it and place it on parchment paper on a large baking sheet. You can make it into a round shape, then cut it into wedges, or make it into a rectangular shape and cut into squares. The cutting is just to make it bake a little faster, otherwise the edges get pretty brown but the center is still underdone.

  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check for doneness. And add time as needed.


Shared by Bestselling Author -- Sherry Thomas

Click to print recipe


back to top

Marian Pearson Stevens
  Copyright © 2009-11 by Marian Pearson Stevens. All rights reserved. Website design and maintenance by Web Crafters. Photos by Mary Stone Photography.