Sunday, January 10, 2016

Welcome guest author Rebecca Adler! + book #giveaway

Rebecca Adler is the pen name of author Gina Lee Nelson. Gina grew up on the sugar beaches of the Florida Gulf Coast. Drawn to the Big Apple by the sweet smell of wishful thinking, she studied acting on Broadway until a dark-eyed cowboy flung her over his saddle and high-tailed it to the Southwest.

Prior to writing women's fiction, Rebecca always found a way to add a touch of the dramatic to her life: dinner theatre in Mississippi, can-can club in Florida, flower shop in Germany, acting school on Broadway, sweatshirt boutique on Madison Avenue, all night dive on the Lower East Side, video series in Jersey, and a giant Furskin at the New York Toy Fair... the occasional play and musical.

She's currently content to pour her melodramatic tendencies into writing cozy mysteries with a hint of romance and a sweet, Southern-fried flavor.

see below

Take it away, Gina/Rebecca!

Growing up in small town Florida, my exposure to Tex-Mex was limited to the locally-owned Pancho’s on Okaloosa Island. This local favorite offered everything my young heart could desire: tacos, queso, and enchiladas. Occasionally, I would try something exotic from my mother’s plate. Guacamole, refried beans, or tamales.

Have you heard the old saying, I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got there as fast as I could? That’s me. After living in NYC and Maine with limited access to quality, lip-smacking Tex-Mex, I was thrilled to be in the midst of an overabundance of restaurants and taco stands offering, not one, but countless varieties of my very favorite foods.

With the release of Here Today, Gone Tamale--the first book in my Taste of Texas series-- I am excited to share the recipes for some of my very favorite Tex-Mex, and Texas, culinary delights. My favorite recipe in the book is definitely Uncle Eddie’s Favorite Chile Rellenos. I recently made this dish with a dear friend. We shopped at our local Mexican grocer, enjoying the process of choosing poblano peppers of just the right size and ripeness. The prep time spent roasting, peeling, stuffing, and sautéing the chiles flew by as we shared fond memories of other meals we’d prepared and enjoyed together. The end result? A delightful afternoon filled with scrumptious fare and heartwarming conversation.

I hope you’ll enjoy this savory dish with someone dear to your heart. May your coming year be filled with cozy mysteries, heartfelt conversation, and delicious food.

Uncle Eddie’s
Favorite Chile Rellenos

6 fresh ancho, pasilla or Anaheim chiles, or 1 (27 ounce)
        can poblano peppers or mild whole green chiles
½ pound Oaxaca cheese, thinly sliced
6 raw eggs (separated)
¼ cup flour
2 cups salsa verde
2 cups homestyle Mexican salsa
1 cup corn oil
Salt or Mexican seasoning to taste

Rinse the chilies. Preheat your oven to broil. Place the chiles
in a 9x14” baking dish and place on the top shelf of your oven.

Watch and listen closely. When the skins start to make popping
sounds and to char and turn black in places, take the
chiles out and flip them over. Be sure and use a potholder so
you don’t burn your hands!

When both sides are fairly evenly charred, remove them from
the oven. Wrap each chile in a moist paper towel or place in
a sealed plastic bag to steam. After a few minutes, check
them. Once the skin comes off easily, peel each chile.

Cut a slit almost the full length of each chile. Make a small
T across the top, by the stem. Pull out fibers and seeds (this
is where the heat is) and replace with a slice of cheese. You
can set these aside, for a few minutes or a few hours if you
put them in the refrigerator.

Heat the oil in a skillet until a drop of water sizzles when
dropped into the pan.

Whip the egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer,
until stiff peaks have formed. Beat the egg yolks with one
tablespoon flour and salt. Mix the yolks into egg whites and
stir until you have a thick paste.

Roll the chiles in the remaining flour and dip each one in the
egg batter. Coat evenly. Fry, seam side down on both sides
until golden brown. Place on paper towels to drain.

Meanwhile, heat the salsa in a medium saucepan (either one
or some of each). Place one or two rellenos on each plate and
pour salsa over them. Serve them immediately.


Fillings can be made ahead of time and refrigerated, then brought
to room temperature before stuffing chiles. Fillings should be at
room temperature or slightly chilled. If fillings are hot, the juices
will flow out and cause the coating to slide off. Use enough filling
to stuff each chile relleno as completely as possible, but not so much
that the seam won’t hold together.


I am giving away a copy of Here Today, Gone Tamale to one fan. 

Leave a comment with your email and tell me what was your favorite food growing up!

You can contact me at:
Twitter: @GinaLeeNelson 
or on Facebook


  1. My mother was an excellent career woman. She cooked because she had to. Probably my favorite thing was her chocolate cake with fudge icing. Now my neighbor's mom made the best biscuits I've ever tasted.

  2. I remember hating spaghetti back in the 40s. It must have been too spicy because I still don't care for spicy foods. Now - and then - give me a cookie and you have a happy camper!

  3. Hi Rebecca! We love spicy food in our house, but we once had a chili relleno at a restaurant that was so spicy we couldn't even finish it, we were fanning ourselves at the table - lol! Your recipe looks yummy (but not as dangerous!!!), I'm clipping it to give it a try. Happy Sunday! Nicole :-)

  4. My favorite food when I was a kid was spaghetti.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

  5. Hey friend, congrats on the book release!!! My favorite food growing up (and still is) a bowl of cereal. :) Of course the cereal has changed over the years and I prefer something a bit healthier these days. Best of luck with the book!

  6. Good morning, early risers! Sue, I'm with you. If I had to list two of my favorite foods, chocolate cake with double-fudge icing and homemade biscuits would be at the top. When I think of Grandma Wallace, I think of making biscuits with her in the mornings.

  7. Karen, I love ginger snaps for breakfast. It's all about the snap!

  8. Happy Sunday, Nicole and Sandy.

    Nicole, this recipe wasn't too spicy for me--but I live in Texas...

    Sandy, ever tried cold spaghetti sandwiches? That's how I ate leftovers as a kid before we had microwaves!

  9. My favorite food growing up was anything cooked by someone other than my mother. Thankfully a place opened up across the street from us that also sold pizza so I didn't go totally hungry.

    NoraAdrienne (at) gmail (dot) com

  10. Nora, I love it! Growing up, I thought everything was supposed to be cooked well-done. Especially, pan-fried okra. It was always black. Funny, I can't seem to find it that way in restaurants!

  11. My favorite food was pot roast and gravy. Yummmmm

    llcejka at gmail dot com

    1. Lisa, I always loved pot roast and gravy, plus roasted potatoes and carrots! Nom nom.

    2. Lisa, by random generator, you won the giveaway! Congrats. I'll be contacting you to put you in touch with Gina. ~ Daryl / Avery

  12. Thank you for the wonderful interview,the delicious recipe and the chance to win. My favorite food growing up was pizza and it still is. ��

    1. It's still pizza? That's great. You're still a kid! LOL

      ~ Daryl / Avery

    2. Wish I could still eat all the pizza my heart desires!

  13. Spaghetti, for sure. Then and now. Thanks for the chance to win.

    1. Hi Laura, glad you enjoyed it! Remember when we could eat all the pizza we wanted?

  14. My mom's chicken and rice. I've tried to make it but it's just not the same.

    1. Hm. Did she have a favorite ingredient, like chicken broth or onions that made it special?

      ~Daryl / Avery

    2. Laura, did your mom use a pressure cooker? Chicken and rice was one of the best things that my mother cooked. I'm convinced that cooker made all the difference.

  15. I loved most anything but I had two seasonal favs. Wiltted lettuce in the spring and potato pancakes in the fall. This looks like a great new series. Thanks for the giveaway.

    1. Thanks, Karen! Potato pancakes always make me think of my favorite Russian restaurant in New York's Lower East Side. Yum.

  16. I loved most anything but I had two seasonal favs. Wiltted lettuce in the spring and potato pancakes in the fall. This looks like a great new series. Thanks for the giveaway.

  17. I can't choose. It's like when my mom would ask what we wanted for a birthday dinner. I once asked for spaghetti, vegetable soup, pot roast, tapioca pudding, and naked chocolate cake. She made the cake, but I had to pick ONE of the others. SHEESH.

    1. Really? She wouldn't make them ALL for your birthday? Sheesh is right. LOL

      ~Daryl / Avery

    2. Hi Ann, naked chocolate cake...hmm. You're an original for sure! ;-)

  18. I loved my mom's meatloaf with real mashed potatoes. But then, there