Saturday, September 15, 2012

Helen's Tips for the Shabby Gourmet & Free Book Give-Away

One commenter will be picked at random and will receive the choice of any e-book from or

Mustard on Top's heroine, Helen Smiley, a self-proclaimed shabby gourmet shares her tips for turning ordinary food into extraordinary meals.

Let me introduce myself, my name is Helen Smiley, and I've made a living turning ordinary food into gourmet food. My specialty is hotdogs, but the rules I apply to them can transform nearly any food. Turn those blah meals into something fun and have friends rave at your next potluck.

If all else fails, there is a cheating list at the end of this blog. (Shh-don't tell)

1. Use fresh herbs. Sprigs of curly parsley or cilantro on top will give your meal a fresh look. Of course you can use the herbs in the food too.

2. Taste. Taste. Taste. I cannot overstate tasting your concoctions as you put them together. Veggies, herbs, and cheeses are not created equal. Taste and adjust, taste and adjust, that's my motto.

3. Be fearless, but only in small quantities. Many discoveries have come from mistakes. I'll take a small portion of whatever I'm cooking and experiment. It's fun. Who would have thought chocolate-covered potato chips would be good. That may be a bad example since chocolate is good with most anything, but you understand.

4. Mix textures and colors. It's interesting to the mouth and to the eye.

5. Presentation. Have you ever had a pancake with strawberries for eyes and blueberries for the mouth or a salad arranged like a work of art? If your family or friends are smiling before they take a bite, it's bound to taste better.

(Shh… here's the cheat list: Cheese can fix almost anything. If something is too bland, add cheese. Chocolate can fix the things cheese can't. And if nothing helps, don't sweat it. Nobody is perfect and your family and friends will forgive you. That's it, simple rules to live by.)


Wanda DeGolier is proud of her recently released novel: Mustard on Top. Mustard took several years and many versions before she sent it to publishers. It had been set to release with one publisher that went out of business a week before it was supposed to release. Wanda took six months to edit it again before submitting it to Books To Go Now. They snatched it up and finally, it's been freed from the confines of Wanda's brain.

Mustard on Top is a playful, romantic suspense novel about one man's quest to establish a relationship with his seventeen-year-old son and the woman he'd been forced to abandon. What he gets is redemption, renewal, and relish on a whole-wheat bun.
Please read and enjoy!


Catherine Lee said...

I agree...about cheese fixing (and enhancing) almost anything!
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

Debby said...

Great tips. I like cheese on everything as well.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Wanda DeGolier said...

Thank you for the comments :)