Recipe for Romance: The Talking Horse

Recipe for Romance Two champagne glasses against a purple sparkly background with bells and ribbons at their base

Welcome to Recipe for Romance!

Each weekend, I share a snippet of a tale that either takes place in the current month or is coming out in the current month, and a recipe that either goes with the tale or goes with the month.

Confused yet? Excellent! lol

Let’s get started. I’m sharing a snippet of A WALK IN THE SAND, book 1 in the 4 part Ivory Road serial. The serial came out in January 2015 and finished in the end for 2023 so it took a while to finish. But it’s done and you can read the whole serial now (for those who wanted to wait). Iliana took a solo hiking trip and ended up in a world she doesn’t recognize. But she recognizes the guy who’s calling her by her character’s name in their upcoming film project. She’s NOT impressed. And then her horse talks to her.

“You’re not going to stop playing, are you, Mr. Crowe?” Iliana shook her head. “Fine. Play your little game, but I’m done. I don’t need this and I’m outta here.” She swung onto the gray horse and settled her weight in the stirrup-less saddle. She turned the animal’s head toward a gap in the trees and urged the horse into a trot.

“By all the Gods!” he shouted in frustration at her back.

“I told you women were faithless.”

Ahmad’s voice made her fury burn brighter, but she’d dealt with trolls in Hollywood. This guy was only a run-of-the-mill heckler. The gray horse lengthened its strides as they passed the edge of the oasis, and she did her best to ignore the corpse, still lying in the glaring sun. If it really is a dead body and not a dummy.

She stopped the horse and tried to decide which way to go. All directions looked pretty much the same. Well done, now you’re out here alone with no idea which direction is west. At least she now had a horse. Iliana glanced down to the sand below to try to determine which way their shadow pointed. She frowned. Had she gotten here in the morning or afternoon?

“I don’t think he’s accustomed to being spoken to like that.”

 She froze and looked around. No one stood near her. She sat alone on the horse.

The horse huffed an indignant sigh and turned his head to eye her.

Iliana swallowed hard. “Did you say something?”

“Yes, I said, I don’t think he’s accustomed to being spoken to like that.”

The voice echoed in her ears, but the horse’s lips had remained still. That’s it. I’ve gotten sunstroke. “I’m going crazy.”

“That remains to be seen, but we’re still having this conversation anyway.” The gray snorted and tossed his head.

“Is this some sort of cosmic joke? Horses can’t talk.” She snapped her mouth shut and shook her head. “And now I’m arguing with an animal.”

 “Only because you can’t seem to accept I can speak, and well enough for you to understand, young lady.”

Iliana scrubbed her hands over her face. “No, no, no. This isn’t possible. There is no magic in the world except what Hollywood conjures. I must be dreaming this. I’m on a solo hike in New Mexico, minding my own business. This is just a dream from sun-stroke…” She glanced around uncertainly. “Except the sand is golden and Taggart Crowe has shown up.”

Gluten-Free Fruit Pizza

This is basically a huge shortbread cookie with cream cheese frosting and fruit all over it. Best shared with those you love.

Gluten-Free Fruit Pizza


Shortbread Crust

  • 2 cups 1:1 Gluten-Free all-purpose flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temp

Mix ingredients and spread on a 14 inch pizza pan. Perforate with fork to allow for even baking.
Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 15 minutes. Let cool.

Pizza Toppings

  • 1 (8 oz) bar of cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Mix until smooth and spread over crust like a pizza sauce.

  • 1 package (16 ounces) Driscoll’s Strawberries, about 7-9 strawberries sliced
  • 1 package (6 ounces) Driscoll’s Blackberries, about 14
  • 1 package (6 ounces) Driscoll’s Raspberries, about 36
  • 1 package (6 ounces) Driscoll’s Blueberries, about 49

Building the Pizza

Hull the strawberries and cut in ¼ -inch slices to make a total of 21 large slices, set aside. Wash the blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries and let fully drain.

Assembly of Toppings if You Want to Post on Pinterest

Working from the outside of the crust in:

Row 1: Place 1 strawberry slice followed by 1 blackberry. Repeat process until 1st. row of circle is completed. In total, you should have 14 sliced strawberries and 14 blackberries.

Row 2: Place 1 raspberry below strawberry from row 1, followed by 5 blueberries. Repeat process until 2nd row of circle is completed. In total, you should have 7 raspberries and 35 blueberries.

Row 3: Place 1 raspberry below raspberry from row 2, followed by 1 blueberry. Repeat process until 3rd. row of circle is completed. In total, you should have 14 raspberries and 14 blueberries.

Now work from inside of the crust out:

Row 4: Jumping to the center of the crust, place 8 raspberries in a concentric circle.

Row 5: Begin by placing 1 sliced strawberry with its point touching the double raspberries from row 2 and 3. Continue with the rest of the strawberries in a concentric circle. In total, you should have 7 sliced strawberries.

Finish your fruit toppings by placing a raspberry in between each sliced strawberries from row 5. In total, you should have 7 raspberries. Do this if you want to post on Pinterest.

Or this way if you just want to enjoy

Make any pattern you like with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, making them concentric circles or crossed lines or zigzags or happy face or whatever. It’s gonna taste awesome no matter what design you choose.

Refrigerate until you are ready to serve. For a much easier cut, use a small-serrated knife. 

Fruit Pizza

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