Thursday, December 6, 2012

Guest Post: Addison Westlake, Author of Christmas in Wine Country

Hello fellow readers!

Today Addison Westlake, author of Christmas in Wine Country is stopping by to share her thoughts on holiday baking. I'll be reviewing Christmas in Wine Country in a few weeks. Currently Christmas in Wine Country is #30 in the Single Women's Fiction category and 41 in the Humor category on Amazon! Check out some more information and see if you might like to read it, then be sure to read on to see what Addison has to say about holiday treats!

About the Book:
Cover for Christmas in Wine Country.jpg
Published: November 18, 2012
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Pages: 400
Format: E-book
Buy the Book: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website:
Goodreads synopsis:
It's Lila's big debut as an event planner and the company holiday party is going to be her chance to shine. At a Tuscan-style vineyard near the Northern California coast in the perfect little black dress she's sure to impress commitment-phobe Phillip. What could go wrong?

Seventy-two hours later with no job and no boyfriend, Lila finds herself with all kinds of answers to that question. Like mistaking the glowering Jake Endicott of Endicott Vineyards for the groundskeeper. Or a new video on YouTube featuring Lila pawing her way through drunken karaoke of "Hungry Like the Wolf."

Solo on the romantic holiday getaway she'd booked for her and Phillip near the vineyard, Lila at least gets to visit with her old friend Annie who lives nearby in the coastal town of Redwood Cove. Drawn into the local bookstore with gleaming wooden floors and welcoming armchairs, Lila chats with the owner and impulsively accepts a job offer.

Sleepy, misty Redwood Cove is the perfect place for Lila to take a break from her horrible track record with guys. The only one she finds even remotely attractive knows her as the holiday party crazy lady. Ranked in Bay Area magazine's 10 hottest bachelors, Jake Endicott is just the type Old Lila would have wasted years pining after.

Join Lila on her year of comedy, adventure and self-discovery on the Northern California coast, with all kinds of ups, downs and misadventures and a full cast of small-town wine country characters. Thankfully, even the greatest misunderstandings can all be worked out with a little Frank Sinatra and mistletoe

Sounds great right?
Now lets see what Addison has to say about Holiday baking:

Holiday Baking: Why Somebody Needs to Stop Me From Doing It

This holiday season I’m planning to bake small loves of sweet potato bread for lots of people.

It’s a bad idea for many reasons. For one, my ideal version of the bread involves fresh sweet potato. But, in reality, I neither have the skill nor the time to do this. During my test run I produced an ungodly mess in the kitchen—peels flying everywhere—and took about an hour to produce just a cup of mashed potato. My extraction process involved the microwave and fork-mashing; I’ll spare you the details.  

But the main reason that my holiday baking is bad idea is because I can’t bake.

I’ll start by issuing a public apology for Halloween circa the mid-90s. I finally had my First Real Job in an Office! It was a Big Deal, as you can tell by my Capital Letters. I was so excited to share my excitement with my coworkers in the form of home-baked goodness.

The pumpkin cookies I put out on a plate in the break room were little better than the Wicked Queen’s poisoned apple in Snow White. They looked good; they were deadly. At best, these raw cookies sat in my coworkers’ stomachs like lead bullets. At worst, well, I won’t go into detail on that either. Let’s just say I was encouraged (and by ‘encouraged’ I mean told in no uncertain terms) to never bring in baked goods ever again.

Since then, I have continued to produce dry and crumbly cakes, burned pies, and brownies that are somehow both too tough on the perimeter and uncooked in the middle. Bet you didn’t know that was possible?

But wisdom does come from experience, even as we continue to make (mostly) the same mistakes. Just last week I attempted to do a good deed once again. A friend was put on bed rest with her third child. She and her family still all need to eat so I made them some chili which turned out…OK.  But then I also made some corn bread. From a box mix, I figured what could go wrong? You basically just add eggs, oil and water.

What I did was I pulled the bread out too soon and didn’t realize it until I was packing everything up to go. I had to throw out all but the cooked part on the sides. The result? I delivered enough food to provide about 8 hearty bowls of chili, each with its own single teeny-tiny bite of corn bread.

But at least I knew enough to throw out the uncooked part! See, progress!

And so, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, this holiday season I bake! Wish me luck!

And hopefully I’ll come to my senses and buy everyone Starbucks gift cards instead.

As a person who loves to bake I say, practice makes perfect! Good luck baking this season Addison! And thank you so much for stopping by Melissa's Midnight Musings today.

How about you guys, have you had any baking mishaps you'd like to share, or any baking successes?


kimbacaffeinate said...

I love to bake around the holidays and I am a sucker for holiday themed reads from any genre. Thank you for sharing this one Melissa it's going on my list!

JuneA** said...

Hilarious! I am going to get this one!!

Melissas Midnight Musings said...

Awesome, hope you both enjoy it!