Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sophie's Run - Nicky Wells Blog Tour

Come dine with Sophie and Dan: Today’s treat is… Rock Star Lobster Ravioli!

Sophie’s Run Blogtour 2013

Her famous star remains her rock while life takes her on a little detour…

Who says that the road towards true love is straight and even? Sophie is certainly discovering that it is anything but.

So she has finally found the man of her dreams! Well… she knows who he is, even though she hasn’t actually quite met him yet. But she misses her opportunity, and then her life goes crazy. Rock star and ex-fiancé, Dan, keeps getting in the way of her new romance—even if he is just trying to be helpful. A fire, an impromptu mini-trip with Dan, and a dreaded wedding later, Sophie is still struggling to meet the love of her life. Then, just as she is getting it together with her perfect man, best friend Rachel commits an act of unspeakable betrayal.

Sophie has had enough. Confused and distraught, she decides that it is time for radical change. Surprising herself and shocking her friends, she embarks on a secret journey and eventually gets her life back on track.




Hey, you! My name is Sophie, and I’m so excited to be visiting with the amazing Tobi Helton here at Forget the Housework, I’m Reading. It’s such a fabulous blog and I’m telling you, my author’s blog should be titled similarly: Forget the Housework, I’m Writing! Anyway, I digress already and I haven’t even started yet! If you don’t know me, allow me to introduce myself.

I’m the heroine (God, that sounds weird—I still blush when I say that) in the Rock Star Romance Trilogy by Nicky Wells. Nicky and I, we’re currently taking her second book, Sophie’s Run, on tour, and we’re taking you to all the places and sharing all the food that features in the books. My love of seafood is legendary ever since Sophie’s Turn hit the shelves…

“And for mains,” Dan announced, “Sophie will have the seafood platter.” He winked at me over his menu.

“I will?” I said, astonished.

“She will?” Jack and Mick asked at the same time, also astonished.

Dan hesitated for only a second. “Sure.

One of my favorite indulgences is lobster. What can I say? Dan got me used to expensive tastes!

I nodded, and we moved to the kitchen. Steve had spread out our deli goodies onto various serving plates, and there was an unexpected fat lobster sitting on the draining board.

“Lobster,” I shouted gleefully before I could stop myself. “Is that for us, for tonight? Please say yes, I adore lobster.”

And one of my favorite meals, like, ever, is lobster ravioli. I had them in a restaurant with Dan a few times and today, I’m going to tell you about making this dish at home. It’s not easy ~ in fact, I had quite a few calamities ~ but it’s still worth it.

For Rock Star Lobster Ravioli you need…

~fresh pasta

~a lobster, ready cooked

~about 200 grams of king prawns (fresh or frozen)

For the stock

~3 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped

~1 small onion, chopped

~a tablespoon of butter

~1 diced carrot

~1 stick of celery

~1 bay leaf

~lobster shell (!!!)

~1 glass of white wine

~250 ml chicken stock

~a third of the lobster meat

~the prawns

For the filling

~the rest of the lobster meat
1
~2-3 big tablespoonfuls of ricotta cheese

~a handful of chopped fresh chives

~salt and pepper to season

And here’s what you do. Don’t try this in a rush and… learn from my mistakes!


First of all, the fresh pasta. If you have a pasta machine and you regularly make your own pasta, follow your usual recipe. If not, use fresh lasagna sheets from the supermarket and follow the instructions for turning them into ravioli or tortellini. Usually that will involve soaking the pasta sheets in hot water for a few minutes, but every brand is slightly different.

Just to prove it, I did try making my own pasta for this dish. It was a lot of work but I got there in the end!

Next, get the lobster out of its shell. If you’ve never done this before, there’s some good instructions here.

Remember to keep the shells!!! They will give your stock its fabulous flavor. Oh yes, moving on: the stock

To make the stock, add your prepared veg to a big saucepan and fry in butter until slightly soft. Add the lobster shells, wine, and chicken stock and boil for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer and leave to simmer for…. Ooooh.... a good two hours. Your house will fill with the most delicious smell!

To turn the stock into the sauce, drain the stock through a sieve, making sure to collect every last drop of the delicious liquid. Put to one side until you need it.

When the stock is about ready, make the filling for your ravioli. In a little bowl, combine the rest of the lobster meat with the ricotta cheese, chives and seasoning. Roll out your pasta and place little spoonfuls of filling on half of the sheets.

‘Cut’ out around the filling with a glass or a cookie cutter, making sure you leave a decent space of pasta around each glob of lobster meat. Using the same shape, cut the equivalent number of discs out of the remaining pasta sheets and bring the ravioli together. To do so, place a disk of pasta over a lobster-adorned bit of pasta, and then press down with a fork around the edges to close the gaps.


This is roughly what it looks like when you’re done. EXCEPT! Listen up. Learn from my mistake! Don’t pile the ravioli on top of each other. They’ll stick together until all eternity! Instead, spread them out, nicely separate, on a baking sheet or a plate until ready to boil them!

Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Boil the ravioli for about…. Five minutes. Meanwhile, fry the prawns in a frying pan and, when cooked through, add the reserved stock to heat back through.

Drain the pasta, distribute on plates and garnish with your lovely sauce and prawns. Bon apetit!

What if it all goes wrong? What if the ravioli separate or, worse still, stick together? Well, that’s what happened to me first time. They all stuck together in one big clump because I’d cunningly dried them thus on the plate (see below). So, with the ravioli swirling around clumpily in the boiling water, I carefully separated them as best I could, using two forks and lots of Dutch courage. Most of them parted company intact, but some split and the lovely filling… fell out. It looked quite messy. (I was a bit tearful, after all that effort!)


Dan sprang to the rescue. He made me carry on with boiling the pasta until it was done. He drained it through a sieve and, wouldn’t you believe it, the sieve of course collected all the lovely bits of lobster meat that had fallen out of the broken ravioli, too. Thus while the dish wasn’t perfectly presented, it was still highly edible and (dare I confess it) totally and utterly scrumptious! Give yourself points for perseverance…


So, happy eating! I hope my post today inspired you to have a try at making your very own Rock Star Lobster Ravioli. And when you’re done… well, why not perhaps join me, Dan and the other men in my life? Sophie’s Turn and Sophie’s Run are both out now and you can find out Tobi’s thoughts on the books ...


First thoughts after…….
Oh you authors and your cliffhangers! You’re killing me………..
How distracted did I get?
Sophie’s Run is the second book in a trilogy so I’m going to be vague so as not to ruin either book for anyone. Sophie as usual is funny and smart and has some bad luck. No heroine can be perfect you know! I thoroughly enjoyed Sophie’s Run from beginning to end. Sophie’s run is a rollercoaster of emotions draws you in and leaves you hanging for the 3rd book!
If I could I would go higher than 5 baskets! Seriously! I enjoyed Sophie’s Turn but Sophie’s Run has surpassed it in my eyes!
I give Sophie’s Run……….
5 Baskets!!!!



About Nicky Wells: Romance that Rocks Your World!

Rock On! Nicky Wells writes fun and glamorous contemporary romance featuring a rock star and the girl next door. A signed author with U.S. publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing, Nicky is in the throes of publishing her Rock Star Romance Trilogy. Nicky loves rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, Nicky is a wife, mother, and occasional teaching assistant.

Originally born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993, and currently lives in Lincoln with her husband and their two boys. In a previous professional life, Nicky worked as a researcher and project manager for an international Human Resources research firm based in London and Washington, D.C.

Visit Nicky on her blog where you can find articles, interviews, radio interviews and, of course, an ongoing update on her work in progress. You can also follow Nicky on Twitter and find her on Facebook. Nicky is a featured author on the innovative reader/author project, loveahappyending.com and has joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Nicky also has author pages at Sapphire Star Publishing, Amazon and, of course, Goodreads.

Sales links for Sophie’s Run:

Sophie’s Run is now available in Kindle edition from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, and in Paperback edition from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. You can also get the paperback at Barnes & Noble, or download Sophie’s Run onto your Nook (coming soon).


Sophie’s Run GIVEAWAYS


1) Standard Giveaway


Nicky Wells is giving away one delicious chocolate gift to a lucky winner in the UK or North America!
The small print: This Gift prize is a product of Unique Chocolate. The Gift prize is subject to availability in your country. If the Gift prize is not available in your country, Nicky Wells reserves the right to offer a substitute gift prize of a similar nature at her discretion. Nicky Wells will require the winner’s postal address for shipping purposes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2. Bonus Giveaway

Nicky Wells offers a giveaway of one Amazon gift voucher worth $20/£15 for one lucky winner. To enter, simply share your thoughts on Sophie’s Run with Nicky. Email your comment to nickywells@sapphirestarpublishing.com and your name will be entered into the draw. Competition closes 1 May 2013.









9 comments:

  1. Tobi! I am so thrilled to be back here, thank you SO much for hosting Sophie's cooking adventures today~your support means the world to me.

    I hope your readers enjoy finding out about Sophie and Dan. Thanks also for sharing your thoughts on Sophie's Run. More than five baskets indeed... I am so happy that you liked my second book so much!

    Here's wishing good luck to all giveaway entrants, and... happy eating, and reading! X Enjoy!

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  2. Wow, this looks wonderful. I had lobster on Friday night and thought of you, Nicky! Best of luck with the launch!

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    1. Thanks, Steph! I know, I'm getting a bit of a reputation for being a lobster girl... If memory serves, I'm scheduled to visit you with a post on Lobster this week, too! Wow. Thanks for visiting Tobi's gorgeous blog today and for a lovely comment. XXX

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  3. All that lovely food! Great post.x

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    1. Thanks, Sue! I'll make this for you when you visit sometime... XX

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  4. Yay! I lover your perseverance, Sophie! Top marks! And what a FABulous review! Well done you... Um, Nicky. Um, all of you! :) xx

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    1. Yay! Thanks so much, Sheryl! That's me... err, Sophie all over. Persistence in the face of adversity or something, LOL. Thanks for your lovely comment and for visiting here today! X

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    1. Sorry! Well, you got a couple of easy recipes to try, happy eating ~ and thanks for visiting, Harvey! XX

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