About Donna Fasano

USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR DONNA FASANO is a three-time winner of the HOLT Medallion, a CataRomance Reviewers Choice Award winner for Best Single Title, a Desert Rose Golden Quill Award finalist, a Golden Heart finalist, and a two-time winner of Best Romance of the Year given by BigAl's Books & Pals Review Blog. Her books have sold nearly 4 million copies worldwide and have been published in two dozen languages. Her books have made the Kindle Top 100 Paid List numerous times, climbing as high as #5. View website

Frugal Feasts with Matzo Meal by @Donna_Fasano

Matzo MealAfter Passover, matzo meal is sold for under a dollar a box, so it’s the perfect way to make frugal feasts. What is matzo meal? Matzo (also known as matzah or matza) is an unleavened flatbread that is part of Jewish cuisine and forms an integral element of the Passover festival. Matzo meal is made by grinding up this flatbread. It can be described as cracker crumbs. Matzo meal can be used to replace cracker crumbs or dried bread crumbs in almost any recipe. Here are two of my favorite recipes where I have incorporated matzo meal.

Salmon Cakes

  • 1 6-ounce can skinless, boneless salmon, drained  salmon cakes
  • 3/4 cup matzo meal, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon onion, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons celery, finely minced
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil, for frying
  1. To a mixing bowl, add the salmon, 1/2 cup of the matzo meal, egg, mayonnaise, mustard, onion, celery, salt, and lemon pepper. Mix to thoroughly combine. Form into 2 patties.
  2. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup of matzo meal onto a plate and coat both sides of the salmon cakes.
  3. Heat the cooking oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the salmon cakes and cook until heated through and golden, approximately 4 to 5 minutes on both sides.
  4. Serve with topping of your choice—tartar sauce, hot sauce, fresh lemon wedge, etc. Makes 2 large cakes. Serves 2.

Zucchini Brunch Casserole

  • 2 medium zucchinis, washed and patted dryzucchini casserole
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal
  • 1/2 onion, finely minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Trim the ends of the zucchinis. Do not peel. Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the zucchinis into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the matzo meal, onion, salt, pepper, herbs, garlic and onion powders, and cheddar cheese to grated zucchinis. Stir to thoroughly combine.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and the sour cream until combined. Pour egg mixture over zucchini mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  5. Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let sit for 5 minutes. Cut into squares.

Notes:

When creating this zucchini casserole recipe, I used a sweet onion. You can substitute any onion you have on hand—yellow, red, white, even scallions would work. For the herbs, I used Herbs De Provence because that’s what I had on hand, but you could substitute any herb or herb mix you prefer. Italian Seasoning would work well. If you like your food on the spicy side, you could also add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes or a few shakes of hot sauce.

African Sweet Potato Soup by @Donna_Fasano

This recipe for African Sweet Potato Soup comes from my novel Two Hearts in Winter. My protagonist, Heather Phillips, cooks an international meal for her friends to celebrate the holiday. This soup is served as part of that meal in the opening scenes of the book. There is nothing more comforting during the cold winter months than a bowl of hot, flavorful sweet potato soup. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Soup

African Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled, chopped
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken broth (store-bought is fine)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/3 cup chopped, unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, minced fine

Directions:

1. Add the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Sauté the onion until golden, about 8-10 min. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon. Stir in the tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrot. Cook and stir for 5 minutes.

2. Pour the broth into the saucepan. Add salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 25-30 minutes.

3. Remove the soup mixture from heat. Using a food processor or blender, blend the soup and peanuts until almost smooth. Return to the saucepan. Whisk in the peanut butter, and cook on medium heat until just heated through. Serve warm topped with minced parsley.

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Sweet Potato Soup

Loss and betrayal have caused Heather Phillips to give up on love. She’s thrown herself into running The Lonely Loon, her Bed and Breakfast located on the boardwalk of Ocean City, Maryland. The “off season” in this tourist town is usually a time of rest and reflection for her; however, DB Atwell, a famous author, arrives at The Loon for the winter to finish his long-overdue novel. Daniel, too, has faced grief, and tragedy continues to haunt him. Once Heather and Daniel meet, their lives will never be the same.

Reminiscent of Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks and culminating in a happily-ever-after similar to the great Nora Roberts, Two Hearts in Winter is a story about learning to let go of the past, about realizing that, though hardship affects us, it need not define us, and about coming to understand and truly believe that beauty is sometimes covered in scars. The human heart has an amazing ability to forgive, to heal, and to hope, especially when touched by love.

Titles in the Ocean City Boardwalk Series:
Following His Heart, Book 1
Two Hearts in Winter, Book 2
Wild Hearts of Summer, Book 3

Feeding Wild Ducks

I recently read on Canal River Trust that 75% of the UK’s population feed wild ducks their leftover, stale bread. Wow! That’s a lot of bread being dumped into waterways. I often see my own neighbors feeding wild ducks bread at the local pond. I live in the USA.

Feeding Wild Ducks

Did you know that feeding bread to wild ducks isn’t healthy for the ducks or the environment? In order to be healthy, ducks need a varied diet. And like any other animal, ducks will stop foraging for that varied diet when they come to expect that “easy meal” of bread. Ducks don’t realize that the bread lacks the nutrition they need to stay healthy. Also, any uneaten bread that’s left in the water can cause a buildup of algae, diseases, and pests, such as rats. Ew!

Feeding Wild Ducks

Rather than feeding the ducks old bread, here’s a list of food that is good for them:

White or yellow corn. Canned, fresh, or frozen, ducks love sweet corn.

Peas. Uncooked frozen peas are good. Please thaw them before tossing them to the ducks.

Lettuce. Instead of tossing that wilted lettuce, rip it up for the local ducks. Iceberg, kale, rocket, it doesn’t matter what kind. Ducks love that stuff.

Rolled Oats. Ducks love anything containing rolled oats.

Nuts and Seeds. Nuts and seeds are highly nutritious and ducks love them.

Rice. Don’t toss that leftover rice from yesterday’s dinner. Give it to the ducks. Uncooked rice works, too.

Feeding Wild Ducks

Remember, a healthy duck is a happy duck! Turn your stale bread into croutons and feed the ducks something that’s good for them. Let me thank you on their behalf! If they could, the ponds, lakes, and streams would thank you, too.   

What Makes Something Unforgettable?

Deep within the brain there is a structure called the hippocampus which is profoundly involved in creating memories. Close your eyes and think about something that happened years ago, something that sticks out in your mind, something that makes you smile. What makes something unforgettable?  Of the multifarious experiences a person encounters each day, why are some imprinted in the memory while others dissolve like morning mist touched by the rising sun? 

The answer is simple, really. The making of memories is deeply enmeshed with emotion.

We tend to remember those experiences that are fresh and new and surprising. Things that affect us—things that change our lives—are always stored in our memories. Great memories are the product of strong emotions.

The writers here at The Authors’ Billboard strive to offer readers stories that tap into powerful emotions. We want our books to be UNFORGETTABLE experiences. Whether you enjoy suspenseful books or those with more passion or stories that are on the lighter side, we have a boxed set that you will love. Below are just a few of the boxed sets we have to offer. And best of all, each set costs just 99¢. Find all the UNFORGETTABLE Boxed Sets here.

Unforgettable Heroes
Unforgettable Danger
Unforgettable Romances
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