Holiday Cheer with Renee Knowles

by Anna on December 13, 2013

Welcome Renee Knowles, author of Pleasure’s Inc.  Thanks for sharing your holiday secrets and Cran-Pistachio Christmas Cookies.
Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Renee’s book and a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card being giving away by Anna Kathryn at the end of Holiday Cheer.
1.      Egg nog or hot chocolate? Egg nog–preferably spiked 🙂
2.       Share one of your favorite holiday memories. My parents owned a successful florist business and they had to stay open every Christmas Eve till nearly 5PM, and yet my mother always managed to make a huge feast and fill all the tables with wonderful entrees and desserts, as well as set up a wonderful gift-giving exchange. We always shared warm and happy holidays, and now that I am older, I realize all the work that went into making it so wonderful for us, while they were still running their business daily.
3.       What is your favorite Christmas tradition? My family plans a decorating day right after Thanksgiving, where we trim the tree and deck the house out–and we do it all in our PJs. My young son thinks it is the greatest thing to stay in his jammies all day, and we play Christmas music and drink hot chocolate.
4.       What is your favorite holiday song? White Christmas, the Bing Crosby version.
5.       What is your favorite holiday movie? White Christmas (seeing a theme here…?)
6.       What is something on your gift wish list? A tablet computer–not sure if iPad or not, as I am still researching, but need one!
7.       What is the most important thing about the holidays for you? Being with family. I love the extra time to slow down and be able to be with the ones I love.
8.       What do you leave for Santa? Traditional cookies and milk–but we put them on a handcrafted metal platter from one of my favorite specialty shops–Wendall August.
9.       What do you do on Christmas Eve? We go to church and have a nice dinner with extended family and then open one gift each, and save the rest for Christmas morning.
10.   Do you have a Christmas morning tradition? My son gets up and sees what Santa brought him, and the we make a special breakfast and spend the morning putting together the new toys! 🙂
11.   Do you have a real or artificial tree? Artificial. Love real–but don’t have time for the upkeep.
12.   What tops your tree? A star.
13.   What’s your favorite holiday quote? Believe.
14.   What color lights do you put on your tree? Clear.
15.   Do you wrap as you go or do you do a marathon wrapping ‘party?’ We wrap as we go and try to have all present bought and wrapped by the first week in December.
16.   Where would you spend the holiday if you could go anywhere in the world? I have traveled all over the world, living in both Europe and Asia, but I would rather spend the holidays right here at home with my family.
17.   What is your favorite holiday book? I don’t have a favorite holiday book, but I love to curl up with Pride & Prejudice about this time of year. I can read it over and over again.
18.   Do you have a favorite holiday decoration? Yes, it is my Christmas village that we add to every year. It has a library, a new addition, and I just adore having my own library!
19.   What is your favorite holiday dish? My husband is the cook in the family, and he make the best potatoes au gratin–which we have every Christmas Eve with ham. I love it and it takes a while, so it is not a dish we have every day. Can’t wait!
20.   What is your favorite holiday treat (pie, cake, cookies, etc)? I am Celiac, so I can’t eat gluten, but we will be making a gluten-free pie, maybe chocolate, and I love pie.
Recipe: Cran-Pistachio Christmas Cookies
·         1 (1 lb. 1.5 ounce) pouch sugar cookie mix
·         1 box (4 serving size) pistachio instant pudding and pie filling mix
·         1/4-cup flour
·         1/2-cup butter, melted
·         2 eggs
·         1 cup dry roasted salted pistachio nuts, chopped
·         1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
·         Optional – green food coloring
1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.      In a large bowl stir cookie mix, pudding, and flour. Add melted butter and eggs. Stir until blended well
3.      Add pistachios and cranberries and mix.
4.      Roll dough out onto a well-floured surface. Using a holiday cookie cutter, cut out the cookies,
5.      Bake for 8-10 minutes. After bake time is complete, leave cookies on cookie sheet for an additional 2 minutes.
6.      Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.
Renee Knowles
Book to spotlight: Pleasures, Inc. from Cobblestone Press
 Pleasures, Inc. Where the hottest men fulfill your steamiest fantasies, and they are there for your pleasure only… Nick Duvane is desperate to leave his job at the local TV news station and get back to freelancing. But he must finish one final assignment: go undercover at a male escort service and expose it as legalized male prostitution. Only when he begins an affair with the owner, sexy, hard-headed Diana Grady, can he deceive her and destroy her business, all for an exposé?

Diana Grady’s failed marriage and financial struggles drove her to make her escort business a success. She’s poured all her energy into Pleasures, Inc. and ignored her personal life. But when intelligent, steamy, Nick Duvane enters the picture, she gives in to her passion. Yet Nick has a secret, and it just might shatter her…

Renee Knowles
Sensual, Sassy & Slightly Sinful
Just released!–Pleasures, Inc.
by Cobbletone Press


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