Authors in the Kitchen: Irene Peterson

Please help me welcome fellow Jersey girl Irene Peterson, whose books are set on the Jersey shore (and who shares my affection for the decaying splendor of Asbury Park) Her latest, Dancin' in the Dark, provides the inspiration for her recipe:

Dancin’ in the Dark follows the misadventures of 23 year-old Carly Snow, back from Europe after graduating from college.  She has the dubious honor of taking care of her father’s private investigation office—just the office—while he is in California at a murder trial.  Two new men come into her life that first day, one who irritates the heck out of her, the other is too gorgeous for words who wants to hire her to locate five people.  Even though she’s not supposed to, she thinks she can handle this all by herself.  When she locates the first person on the list, he and his wife share some delicious cookies with her.  The next day, he ends up dead.  So, these are:

Dead Guy’s Cookies

1 c butter                                     1 tsp lemon or orange extract

1 c sugar                                      1/2 tsp vanilla 1 egg

2 1/3 c flour 2 tsp baking soda

Cream together butter and sugar, add egg, vanilla and extract. Combine and add dry ingredients. Shape into 1 inch balls. Place on greased cookie sheet. Flatten dough balls with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar until they are rounded out. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Makes about 4 1/2 dozen.

About me. I love the Jersey shore.  As a small child, I’d go with my parents to Seaside Heights for a couple of weeks every summer and have many fond memories of the boardwalk and the ocean.  As I got older, the boardwalk served as a place to meet some really nice guys—in fact, I met my future husband there back in ’65.  There is something magical about our Jersey shore, from Cape May to Sandy Hook. Sigh!  Something keeps drawing me back there.  My family and I still make a pilgrimage “down the shore” every year, though we tend to go to Long Beach Island now.

Currently, I'm working on a new story that takes place at the very end of WWII.  It takes place in Beach Haven, has Nazi spies, life with rationing, a widow with two young daughters and a wounded war veteran.  People lived the war every single day, couldn’t get away from it, not even on vacation.  This time, this story will be one of love and redemption and uniquely, has no love scenes whatsoever….  I must be out of my mind.

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