Lisa: Please join us in welcoming author Amy Stilgenbauer to The Novel Approach today, on the tour for her new novel, Sideshow. Amy has opened up her recipe box and is sharing one of her favorite dishes with you.
Hi Amy, thank so much for stopping by to chat with us. Let’s start off by having you tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Amy: Thanks for having me! I’m a writer and history aficionado who happens to make her home in Michigan. I spend my days immersed in words and historical documents and in my spare time, I love gardening and all manner of crafting. Sideshow is my second novel. It takes place at a carnival in the late 1950s and follows our heroine, Abby Amaro, as she finds herself, and love, on the midway.
I love food! I’m so happy to share a recipe with you. How about an oldie, but a goodie from my bisnonna (great-grandmother): Stuffed Artichokes. I make these at least once a year. They take a little gumption because the recipe sounds intimidating, but they’re totally doable for even the biggest novice. Also, they’re hard to get wrong, and even if you somehow manage to get them wrong, it’s never wrong enough that they don’t taste good. I’ve had them completely fall apart on me. I have burned them. I have forgotten to cut the thorns off. No matter what, they still taste good.
Bisnonna Rosa’s Stuffed Artichokes
Makes about however much you want. My bisnonna was not big on exact amounts in her recipes, so err on the side of a little more, but use however much you like. See above about the likelihood of messing up.
Ground red pepper flakes
Grated Parmesan cheese
Protein of some kind (ie: beans, lentils, ground meat, anchovies, etc. Your choice depends on your dietary preferences. Different sides of my family have always done this differently. Some leave out the protein altogether.)
- Cook your protein, if using, according to its needs. You’ll want to do this first because you will get distracted and forget about it if you don’t.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking dish.
- Cut the stems of the bottom of the artichokes so they can stand and then remove any really tough looking outer leaves. You can tell they’re tough because they will have tattoos (kidding). Then cut the tops so that the artichokes are flat across. If you miss this step, there will be thorns. It will make eating them less pleasant, but not less tasty. I speak from experience.
- Steam your artichokes. The easiest way is to do this is to place the artichokes in a shallow dish of water in the microwave for about five minutes. After this let them cool a bit, they will be hot and burn your fingers if you do what I normally do and skip the cooling part. The artichokes should be tender enough to pull the leaves apart gently.
- Mix stuffing: breadcrumbs, spices, parmesan cheese, and egg(s – if making a lot. 1 egg can usually be used in stuffing for every 2 artichokes) plus any extra things you have decided to add.
- After waiting a sufficient amount of time for the artichokes to cool down, slowly pry the leaves apart and put stuffing inside. Place artichokes in baking dish as you do this.
- Cover artichokes in tomato sauce to taste. Don’t be afraid to use a lot. You can always soak up extra with garlic bread.
- Sprinkle some mozzarella on top. The cover the pan with foil to keep the artichokes from drying out.
- Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour.
About the Book
Publisher: Interlude Press
Length: 224 Pages
Category: Lesbian Romance, Historical
Release Date: 25 August 2016
Purchase Links: Interlude || Amazon || B&N || ARe || Indiebound || Kobo
Blurb: Abby Amaro wants to sing at La Scala Opera House, but she’s a good girl, and in 1957 good girls get married. Still, when she receives her first marriage proposal, she freezes, knowing the way her suitor makes her feel bodes trouble. When he won’t take no for an answer, she flees, joining up with a traveling carnival.
Thanks to a burlesque trapeze artist and the world’s saddest clown, Abby bides her time and fits in until she can rejoin the world she knows. She doesn’t expect a sideshow strongwoman named Suprema, who captures her imagination. As the carnival makes its way across the Midwest, Abby learns much more than she had ever imagined—about herself, about her identity, and, most importantly, about love.
About the Author
Amy Stilgenbauer is a writer and aspiring archivist currently based in southeast Michigan. She is the author of the novelette series, Season of the Witch, as well as the Young Adult novel, The Legend of League Park. Her short story, The Fire-Eater’s Daughter, was included in Summer Love, an LGBTQ Young Adult collection published by Duet, an imprint of Interlude Press. When she isn’t writing, Amy enjoys all things bergamot and tries to keep her cats away from her knitting.
Where to Find the Author
Follow the Tour
25-Aug: The Novel Approach, Unquietly Me, Velvet Panic, Bayou Book Junkie
26-Aug: Oh My Shelves, Book Lovers 4Ever, Book Reviews and More by Kathy, A.M. Leibowitz
29-Aug: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Love Bytes
30-Aug: Butterfly-O-Meter, Kirsty Loves Books, MM Good Book Reviews
31-Aug: My Fiction Nook, BFD Book Blog
1-Sep: Prism Book Alliance, Open Skye Book Reviews, Happily Ever Chapter
2-Sep: Foxylutely Book Reviews, Bonkers About Books
5-Sep: Divine Magazine, Havan Fellows
6-Sep: Alpha Book Club, Molly Lolly
7-Sep: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Charley Descoteaux