Holiday Cheer with Shauna Allen

by Anna on December 21, 2013

Shauna is one of my fellow Northwest Houston mates (along with Wareeze Woodson, Bethany Averie, and J.D. Faver). I’m so glad to have you here today, talking about your holiday secrets and newly released book WOUNDED WINGS: Book III of the Cupid Chronicles.

Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win an Amazon ecopy of Shauna’s book.  Plus, you’ll be in the drawing for a$25 Barnes and Noble gift card I’ll be giving away at the end of Holiday Cheer.

1.       Egg nog or hot chocolate?  Hot Chocolate, for sure.

2.       Share one of your favorite holiday memories.  I have quite a few, but the one that stands out was Christmas of 2001.  My husband had just gotten out of the Air Force.  The kids were 6, 5, and 3.  We were living in an apartment in League City, TX and didn’t have a ton of money, but Santa brought the kids some big gifts that year—an art desk for my son and a kitchen playset for the girls.  Well, of course the kids were up early Christmas morning, and my son (the oldest) crept into my bedroom after peeking in the living room with excitement and a tinge of fear in his voice: “Mommy!” he whispered. “Mommy!  Santa came!”  Like he couldn’t believe it.  Adorable.

3.       What is your favorite Christmas tradition?  Just being with my family to open gifts on Christmas morning with the holiday music playing in the background after we sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus.  Simple and sweet family time.

4.       What is your favorite holiday song?  That would be a tie between “O’ Holy Night” and “Mary Did You Know?”

5.       What is your favorite holiday movie?  “A Christmas Story.”  Gotta watch it every year, LOL!

6.       What is something on your gift wish list?  I don’t ask for much.  I’m more about the kids.  But an iTunes card for more writing music would be nice if a tropical beach vacation is out of the question.  J

7.       What is the most important thing about the holidays for you?  My kids.

8.       What do you leave for Santa?  Gotta leave milk and cookies.  Is there anything else?

9.       What do you do on Christmas Eve?  Usually go visit the in-laws for dinner and gifts.  Then, if the kids nag enough, we may let them open one gift.  Maybe.

10.   Do you have a Christmas morning tradition?  Yes.  It was my answer to number 3.  J

11.   Do you have a real or artificial tree?  Artificial, and it’s been hanging in there for fifteen years and still looks great.

12.   What tops your tree?  An angel.

13.   What’s your favorite holiday quote?  I’m not sure I have one.  Maybe Isaiah 9:6 And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

14.   What color lights do you put on your tree?  Multi-colored

15.   Do you wrap as you go or do you do a marathon wrapping ‘party?’ I’d like to say I’m very proactive and wrap as I go, but usually it’s a marathon.

16.   Where would you spend the holiday if you could go anywhere in the world?  Wherever my children are.

17.   What is your favorite holiday book?  The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

18.   Do you have a favorite holiday decoration? I’ve collected wooden ones that have been hand-carved from olive trees from Jerusalem and they are gorgeous.

19.   What is your favorite holiday dish?  My mother-in-laws sweet potatoes.

20.   What is your favorite holiday treat (pie, cake, cookies, etc)?  Just about all of them, LOL!  I have a sweet tooth! 

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image18409685

And, because I have a sweet tooth, the recipe I’m offering is for Lamington’s, an Australian treat. As some of you may know, I’m half Aussie, and I adore these little goodies.  They are fairly common Down Under, but not in America.  Here’s the full recipe, but you can substitute the full out cake recipe for a boxed sponge or pound cake to save time and effort.  (Especially if you’re not the chef, like me!)  Just remember, the cake must be firm or it will be a crumbly mess!

Lamington’s

Ingredients:

Cake:

2 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

½ cup butter room temperature

¾ cup white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs room temperature

½ cup milk

Icing:

4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted

2 tablespoons butter, melted

½ cup warm milk

1 lb. unsweetened dried and shredded coconut

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8×12-inch pan.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Beat 1/2 cup butter and 3/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Add the room-temperature eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla with the last egg. Pour in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing until just incorporated.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Wrap with plastic wrap and store overnight at room temperature to give the cake a chance to firm up before slicing.
  5. To make the icing: In a large bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar and cocoa. Add the melted butter and warm milk and mix well to create a fluid, but not too runny, icing.
  6. Cut the cake into 24 squares. Place parchment paper or waxed paper on a work surface, and set a wire rack on the paper. Pour the shredded coconut into a shallow bowl. Using a fork, dip each square into the icing, coating all sides, then roll it in the coconut. Place onto rack to dry. Continue until all lamingtons are coated.  

bookcover

Blurb for Wounded Wings: Book III of the Cupid Chronicles:

Wounded.

Judged harshest by his own heart after the greatest of sins, Elijah Smith imposes the most brutal of punishments upon himself. He is now a fallen angel, cast down by his own hand—lost, suffering, caught between two worlds, and searching for redemption.

Scars.

Scarred emotionally and physically, Naomi Evans has always put her happiness aside to repay her debt to the one who saved her. Never quite fitting into her friendly little town after being abandoned as a child, she’s not sure love will ever find her aching heart.

Redemption.

New Destiny, Arizona will never be the same. Two strangers have rolled into town, shaking Heaven and Earth. One, a handsome loner is temporarily stranded and biding his time, quietly bestowing random acts of kindness on total strangers until he can be on his way. The second, an undercover Cupid named Michael, is determined to bring healing and true love.

His assignment? A fallen brother and his equally wounded soulmate.

Will Naomi be able to see past both their scars? Can Elijah ever forgive himself?

Is such redemption possible?

Get your copy HERE. 

Find Shauna on the web:

Website and blog: www.shaunaallen.com

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/shauna.allen.12

Twitter : http://tiny.cc/s0dlmw

Goodreads : http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6916632.Shauna_Allen

Pinterest : http://pinterest.com/shaunaallen7/

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