Saturday, November 7, 2015

Thankful Author - Luanna Stewart

Thank you so much, Angela, for allowing me to visit your blog.

Every time I step into my kitchen, I’m thankful for my upbringing. My mum is a fabulous cook and baker, and she passed along that skill to her children. My dad also enjoyed time in the kitchen, and, in his later years, loved trying new recipes in his bread machine. Whilst I was growing up, every meal in our house was cooked from scratch, even pizza. In fact, I remember being gobsmacked while at my friend Janice’s house when pizza was delivered. Already cooked. I had no clue pizza delivery even existed! And going out for supper was a rare treat indeed.

When I was twelve years old, and my brother fourteen, my mum went to work at a local university. It fell to us kids to get supper started when we got home from school. We may have grumbled at the time, having to go home to prepare the veggies while our friends got to hang out at the mall, but we learned a valuable skill. The baking bug bit me and my favourite thing to do on a Sunday was to make a cake or a batch of cookies. (This was in Canada in the days when no businesses were open on Sunday.)

Fast-forward to today, and baking something sweet and buttery is still my favourite way to fill a few hours. I’m always collecting recipes that pique my interest and love experimenting with different cuisines. All of which started in my parent’s kitchen.

Now that it’s November, I’m thinking about starting my fruitcake (the love of which also came from my mum) which needs to be “fed” whiskey at regular intervals so it’ll be well “aged” by mid-December. And thinking about fruitcake makes me think about all the other holiday treats I enjoy baking every year. I’m sharing one of my family’s recipes here, cookies that have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. After you bake these, you’ll be thankful you visited Angela Hayes’ blog!

Grammy Grace’s Shortbread Cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup icing sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 300F.

Cream together butter and vanilla. Mix in icing sugar and beat until fluffy. Stir in flour, cornstarch and salt, mix well.

Roll out on lightly floured surface to a thickness of ¼ inch, cut into shapes. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Note: Use real butter, otherwise why bother? These will colour very little, just the lightest touch of golden on bottom edges. They can be sprinkled with coloured sugar before baking for a more festive appearance.

When her wealthy art dealer father died, Heather James was expecting a fortune. Instead, his bank account was empty and Heather’s working in a bakery, wondering exactly what happened to her father's millions...until someone tries to kill her.

Tony Simons is on the trail of an art theft cold case that's practically giving him frostbite. He's hoping that by sticking close to Heather—the daughter of his deceased prime suspect—he'll find the answers he needs. Instead, he's finding himself distracted by a gorgeous woman who drives him crazy in every way imaginable…

Now Tony's in serious trouble. Even if Heather can't—or won't—tell him where the stolen paintings and money are, she may well have stolen his heart.

And now someone wants her dead…

Buy links:

Luanna’s bio:

Luanna Stewart has been creating adventures for her imaginary friends since childhood. As soon as she discovered her grandmother's stash of romance novels, all plots had to lead to a happily-ever-after.

Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Luanna now lives in Maine with her dear husband, two college boys, and two cats. When she's not torturing her heroes and heroines, she’s in her kitchen baking something delicious.

Writing under the pen name Grace Hood, she has two novellas published with The Wild Rose Press. She is excited to have a book published under her own name with Entangled Publishing.


  1. What yummy memories.
    I'm a terrible cook, so being able to cook well must surely a blessing for you and the entire family!
    Looking forward to trying your recipe and reading your book.
    Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Debra. These cookies are truly delicious, and very easy to make.

  2. The cookies sound delish--I love shortbread--but don't know what "icing" sugar is. Is it what we refer to as powdered sugar?

    1. Hi Liz, thanks for stopping by. Yes, icing sugar is powdered sugar. I grew up in Nova Scotia and we called it icing sugar, because you used it to make icing (frosting).

  3. Welcome Luanna and thank you for bring us such a delicious recipe. I can't wait to whip up some of your Grammy Grace's cookies.

    1. Thank you so much, Angela, for letting me be a guest. I hope you do bake some of these shortbread cookies, they are yummy.