Monday, October 12, 2015

Guest Diva: Portrait of Luanna Stewart (She came with COOKIES!!!)

(A note from Cara.... So Luanna Stewart is one of my dearest friends. I met her when I first started writing and she has been a daily presence in my life ever since. She's fabulous, an exceptional writer and a phenomenal cook. I can't tell you how many times I've drooled over what she's making as I eat my typical ham and cheese sandwich. LOL.... So since I DON'T cook and the season to do so is barreling around the corner, here's Lu....) *snags cookie* 

With Halloween fast approaching (though you’d think it’s been here for the past few weeks given how long the candy has been on the store shelves – sheesh) and with a nod to the increasing popularity (obsession?) with everything pumpkin spice (did you see the picture on Facebook, supposedly of a tire shop selling pumpkin spice tires?? too funny) I’m sharing one of my favorite pumpkin infused recipes. Easy to make and WAY too easy to eat. You’ve been warned.

Iced Pumpkin Cookies (adapted from Allrecipes)
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour                                      1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon baking powder                                      1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda                                           1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg                                    Frosting: 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
½ teaspoon ground cloves                                           3 tablespoons milk
¼ teaspoon ground ginger                                           2 tablespoons melted butter
½ teaspoon salt                                                              1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups white sugar

1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt; set aside.
2.      In a medium bowl, cream together the ½ cup butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg and 1 teaspoon navilla to butter mixture, beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls.
3.      Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely, then spread with frosting.
4.      To make Frosting: Combine confectioner’s sugar, milk, melted butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat well, adding additional milk by the teaspoon as needed to achieve desired consistency.
5.      Makes three dozen.

There you go. If you have all these ingredients to hand, you’re only two hours away from pumpkin spice bliss.

I’m always on the lookout for new pumpkin recipes, so feel free to share if you have a favorite. And if it’s not pumpkin spice flavored, what is your favorite fall/Halloween recipe?

(Please, please check out Luanna Stewart's latest release...It's fantastic!!!!)

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…

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. I love pumpkin cookies!! I'll have to give this recipe a try :) And Portrait of a Girl looks fantastic. I love a good romantic suspense.

    1. Thank you Chandra! These cookies are addictive. We're about half through the batch I baked a couple days ago, and I predict I'll be baking more.

  2. That recipe sounds delish! I'll have to get Mr. Nina right on those ... you didn't think I cooked did you? ;)

    1. I'm sure Mr. Nina will take great delight in baking these for you - and serving them on a sliver platter whilst you recline on your bed of roses. ;-)

  3. I can't wait to try the recipe! I can eat the cookies while I read your book. :-)

    1. Ooh, perfect idea! My heroine doesn't bake these particular cookies in the book, but she does whip up a treat for the hero.

  4. I have a yummy pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe but I always whip up icing (because everything tastes better with icing/frosting). Yum. This week I'm making pumpkin whoopee pies with maple cream cheese filling for my daughter's field hockey pot luck at my house. Recipe is on my Read. Eat. Drink. Facebook page. There's also a pumpkin spinach lasagna lessen the guilt.

  5. Oh I love Allspice cookies and to add pumpkin, yum. I'm think I'm going to have to try these.

  6. I'm reading Portrait of a Girl right now. Can't put it down. Awesome, and now I must try the cookie recipe. It's bound to be awesome too.

  7. A Little late to the party - but just have to say, since I live near Lu, I have tasted those cookies and they are heavenly. AND ... I've read the book - couldn't put it down. Besides the suspense, Lu has a great sense of subtle humor which she sprinkles throughout the book.