Today I welcome Bethany Averie, author of her debut romance novel All’s Fair in Love & Lion. Thanks for joining us, Bethany and for sharing your holiday secrets. Bethany is also sharing an easy chicken salad recipe.
Be sure to leave a comment to be eligible for the $25 Barnes and Noble I’m giving away at the end of Holiday Cheer.
1. Egg nog or hot chocolate?
Hot Chocolate with whipped cream YUM.
2. Share one of your favorite holiday memories.
My dad often bakes a German coffee/Christmas bread called stollen (pronounced SCHOL-EN). One year he just kept baking them over and over. We tried to tell him it was too many. He said that it was impossible to have too much stollen. He went to put more in the freezer and one fell out. I think that year he baked 27 loaves of stollen. He doesn’t usually make that much anymore (as far as I know), but he does make awesome chocolate chip cookies. I love his baked goods. (My dad is an awesome cook and baker, I’m not just saying that, either. My mother is very good at baking and cooking, too, but my Dad does most of it. He really loves to work in the kitchen, or at the grill).
Another one would be when my brothers sat down at my parents’ piano and began playing duets (they are so funny when they play the piano together–and they’re both very good musicians). Also, the time one of my brothers played the piano and his wife sang. She has such a lovely voice and my brother plays beautifully.
3. What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
There’s so many. Everything from baking sugar cookies, to decorating the tree, to the Christmas music, to going to Church. I love it all. I really love Christmas. I amuse my offspring whenever I turn on Christmas songs and dance around the house. (Of course, that’s true of any song I dance to…I’m not the best dancer, but hey, you don’t have to be to have a good time).
Of course there’s always laughter. Laughter is one of my favorite traditions–no matter the time of year. Laughter can bring friends together, family making wonderful memories. It’s powerful. It’s also proven to be good for the body and soul. Laughter can make you fall in love with your significant other all over again (I know some of my favorite moments with my husband is when we laugh together).
4. What is your favorite holiday song?
I don’t know for sure. I love so many of them. I really like “The Holly & The Ivy” (I have memories of listening to one of my siblings singing that and me thinking her voice sounded so pretty, plus it’s a pretty song).
But there’s many others I’m very fond of. Brooks & Dunn’s “Hangin’ Around The Mistletoe” is one I love to dance around my house to. I’m very fond of Clint Black’s “The Birth Of The King” and “Christmas For Every Boy And Girl” I also like Toby Keith’s “Jesus Gets Jealous Of Santa” and “Santa’s Gonna Take It All Back”.
Oh I also love “Christmas In Killarney” that is such a fun one. I think I grew up hearing the Bing Crosby’s version. It’s such a fun song.
5. What is your favorite holiday movie?
That’s a toughie. I love so many. I guess one of them would be “A Christmas Carol” (the one with Jim Carey…I think I saw part of the one with Patrick Stewart, too…either one). I also like “The Santa Clause”.
I think last year ABC Family had a movie called “High School Holiday Reunion” and I enjoyed that one.
6. What is something on your gift wish list?
Books LOL No, seriously…I do have books on my wish list. I also would like to one day get a Blu Ray player, but it doesn’t look like that’s this year. Or gift cards to Barnes & Noble or Starbucks.
7. What is the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Being with family and remembering the reason for Christmas.
8. What do you leave for Santa?
Sorry, we don’t do Santa–we celebrate St. Nicholas Day. However, when I was growing up I had heard about Santa Claus and so my parents did that for a while, but Santa also got the name “The Yule Goat” from, I think, a Scandinavian story we read. Santa just isn’t that big of a deal for my family. Offspring puts out a shoe for St. Nicholas on Dec. 5th–the eve of St. Nicholas Day, which was a tradition I grew up with (a Dutch/Flemish and German tradition, which is part of my background).
9. What do you do on Christmas Eve?
Sometimes Christmas presents. Often go to Church that night.
10. Do you have a Christmas morning tradition?
If we already been to Church, usually just hanging out or going over to parents’ house for dinner. Sometimes Christmas dinner is on Christmas Eve. It varies from year to year.
11. Do you have a real or artificial tree?
This is probably sacrilege, but we have an artificial one. I grew up with an artificial tree, and my parents got a new one when the other fell apart. One of my siblings had a real tree. It was very pretty.
12. What tops your tree?
We don’t have a tree-topper. But I usually try to put our turkey ornament near the top–the turkey ornament is in honor of my maternal grandfather. Growing up, at Thanksgiving dinner we had a tradition where people would tell a joke. The person who told the best (or sometimes the worst) joke won and generally it was a turkey-themed prize. We called it The Turkey Contest. My grandfather won a lot of the time, so the ornament represents him and all his jokes from Thanksgiving dinner.
This year I’ll also be putting an ornament that my best friend who died this year gave me (at least one of them, I think she’s given me a few) near the top of the tree to honor her. (I miss you, Sarah!)
13. What’s your favorite holiday quote?
Hmm…I don’t think I have one. Although, it probably would be “Guess what I got you for Christmas? A WALLET!” It’s my family-of-origin’s joke. One year one of my siblings was young and had gone shopping with my mother for a Christmas present for my Dad. The sibling came home and announced “Guess what I got you? A WALLET!” So now, we always say that at birthdays and Christmas.
14. What color lights do you put on your tree?
Our tree is pre-lit and the lights are white. My parents put colored lights on theirs.
15. Do you wrap as you go or do you do a marathon wrapping ‘party?’
Depends on what’s going on. Sometimes I wrap as I go, sometimes it’s a marathon adventure.
16. Where would you spend the holiday if you could go anywhere in the world?
Wherever my husband, offspring, and parents are, that’s where I’ll be found. I’m happy to be at home for Christmas.
17. What is your favorite holiday book?
Either “A Christmas Carol” or “The Night Before Christmas”
18. Do you have a favorite holiday decoration?
I guess the Turkey ornament. Or the silver bell that has my date of birth on it. But, I don’t think I have an absolute favorite. Each decoration has a different meaning so they’re all special.
19. What is your favorite holiday dish?
Well, if we’re talking main dish–Ham, since I’m allergic to turkey. Side dish? Hmm…either dressing that my dad sets aside just for me (since I can’t have turkey) or my sister’s sweet potatoes. I don’t know what she does with them, but they’re so good!
20. What is your favorite holiday treat (pie, cake, cookies, etc)?
If we’re talking dessert–either Million Dollar Pie, Fudge, or my Dad’s Chocolate Chip Cookies. If we’re talking Fruit pie, my Dad’s apple pie can’t be beat.
There’s a lot of different recipes for Chicken Salad, and I think the dish even appears in my novel, All’s Fair In Love & Lion. Of course, I’ve looked at a lot of recipes of how to make it and picked what sounded good and changed some things to suit my tastes, here’s what I’ve come up with:
2 packages of Hormel Grilled (Already cooked) Chicken (or you can bake/steam skinless, boneless organic Chicken and cut it up) — or any brand of already cooked chicken you like.
About 1/2 a package of Golden Raisins
Purple Grapes (however many you want)
Miracle Whip (this adds extra flavor/tang to the dish–you can even use light Miracle Whip or Fat Free)
Generally with 2 packages of Hormel Grilled Chicken from the refrigerator section of the story serves about 2-3 people, put in more chicken to accommodate more people.
Put all ingredients (EXCEPT Miracle Whip) into a big bowl–adjusting amount for taste and preferences, then add a generous spoonful of the Miracle Whip and stir, adding however much needed. Sometimes I put bacon bits in mine.
You can add your own touch to Chicken Salad using candied walnuts, pepper, salt, whatever appeals to you (I think I put dried parsley in mine once). The lovely thing about Chicken Salad is that there’s no ONE way of making it.
It tastes great on a croissant or kaiser roll. Or eat it plain (I’ve done that!)
To conclude: Thank you Anna, for having me on your blog and allowing me to share my love of the Holidays with your blog readers. It was fun!
Bethany Averie’s Information:
Blog: Write By Bethany — http://writebybethany.blogspot.com/
Soul Mate Publishing Website: http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/bethany-averie/
Novel: All’s Fair In Love & Lion
available on Amazon Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/ko27cor ;
High school Junior year English teacher Sasha Brighton has always dreamt of having her own Prince Charming. But she doesn’t believe it’s possible. After all, fairy-tales are just stories, not reality.
However, when Monroe Dubay steps out of her dreams and into her apartment, she’s forced to rethink the whole concept of what’s real and what’s fairy-tale. But believing means she’ll have to choose between everything she knows, or give it all up for the unknown.
Meanwhile, another female from his world doesn’t think Sasha should have Monroe; and she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to stop Sasha and Monroe from having their happily-ever-after. No matter what.