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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Mini Meatloaf | Recipes from Raine’s Roost aka Jillian’s Kitchen | Interview + Giveaway!

Mini Meatloaf | Recipes from Raine’s Roost aka Jillian’s Kitchen
Mini Meatloaf
You’re in for a treat today. I’m excited to host another blog stop for author, L.G. O’Connor. I’ve featured several of her books over the years both from her paranormal angel romance series, The Angelorum Twelve Chronicles, and her romantic women’s fiction series, Caught Up in Love. Even though her books aren’t ordinarily “foodie reads,” her heroes seem to know their way around a kitchen and you can tell she appreciates a good meal. So imagine my surprise when she told me her latest release was a recipe compilation from Raine MacDonald, the sexy hero in Caught Up in RAINE! (To see my review of the book and the Chicken Marsala recipe inspired by CUIR from last April, click HERE.)

You all can’t see this at home, but I have the pleasure of hosting Raine, all six-foot-two-inches of muscled, blond-haired, blue-eyed chef, in my kitchen today (see picture directly below)! Plus, I whipped up one of the recipes from his just-released cookbook—Raine's Mini Meatloaf. If you know me, you know that meatloaf is one of my favorite comfort foods...and Raine's recipe did not disappoint. And just past the recipe, be sure to enter for a chance to win your very own copy of Recipes from Raine's Roost aka Jillian's Kitchen!
Caught Up in Love series by L.G. O'Connor

Raine, welcome to All Roads Lead to the Kitchen. Pull up a chair, and let’s chat!
[Raine] Hey, Heather! Thanks for having me. I’m a HUGE fan of your blog and really stoked to be here. I’ve been following you on Twitter for a while, so it’s great to finally connect in person.

It’s good to meet you, too. So I have to ask, what inspired you to write a cookbook?
[Raine] Ha! The cookbook was actually Jillian’s idea. She thought I should share my mad cooking skills with world. I guess you could say it started with my gig on Joyce Lamb’s USA Today Happy Ever After column before Caught up In RAINE launched. After the first post, Joyce offered me a monthly takeover spot for a year. It was a blast!

Just to satisfy my curiosity, how did you learn how to cook?
[Raine] I have to give credit to my Mom, may she rest in peace. I think I was about ten years old when she drafted me as her helper. She made learning a way to earn my allowance before I was old enough to work. She was born in Sweden, so she taught me some traditional dishes along with your standard American fare. Lingonberry jam was big in my house growing up. So was pickled herring. All that time in the kitchen paid off. Who knew I’d marry a woman who sets off the smoke alarm every time she makes toast?

So you do all the cooking?
[Raine] LOL. Yeah, Jillian prefers it that way, but she makes an awesome sous chef.

The book has 13 recipes for the 13 USA Today columns you did. How did you decide which recipes to make?
[Raine] I wanted to make it easy for anyone who picked up these recipes to be successful and get a meal together without much effort. Fast and simple is my motto after I have a long day commuting in and out of New York City. Two of the chapters are just dessert-type recipes. One of them is specifically for Valentine’s Day. Got to help a guy out when I can, know what I mean? But all the recipes are tried and true favorites. I’ve added my take and any alterations I’ve discovered through trial and error. Let’s face it. Cooking is as much an art as it is a science. My USA Today Happy Ever After gig was monthly, so I added some seasonal and holiday classics into the mix.

This isn’t a traditional cookbook, how would you best describe it and who should pick up a copy?
[Raine] True! Anyone looking for a hardcore cookbook should probably pick up something more comprehensive. This book is great for someone who needs a fire extinguisher whenever they get within twenty feet of a kitchen, and could use an easy introduction into cooking with some quick success attached. Every recipe includes some sort of vignette into my life with Jillian and her family, so it’s categorized under the Essay section in Cooking, Food & Wine as well as Quick & Easy. Kind of like cooking with training wheels. It would make a great gift for anyone who needs a little extra help and confidence in the kitchen. For any romance lovers, L.G. and I included an exclusive excerpt from Caught Up in RAINE at the end. To learn more about me and Jillian, pick up our book, or Jenny’s book, or her sister Kitty’s book when it’s out in a few months. You’ll be introduced to them in these pages. We all have some interesting stories that are well worth the read. But hey, just go with the recipes if that’s what you need. It’s all good. I won’t be offended.

I’m giving away some copies of Recipes from Raine’s Roost, but for those who don’t win and still want a copy, where can they buy it?
[Raine] Easy. You can buy the eBook on Amazon now, or read it free with Kindle Unlimited. The print book is also available starting October 24th at other online retailers including Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Walmart, etc. But exclusive to Amazon, if you purchase the print book, you can get the eBook free. If you’re local to Morris County, New Jersey, we’re even stocking the print books in specialty stores for the holidays. Anyone else want in on that opportunity, just contact L.G. through her website’s contact page at

You mentioned your book, Caught Up in RAINE, do you want to give everyone a quick idea on what the series is about?
Sure, no problem. The series is romantic women’s fiction about three women in the same New Jersey family who have to confront ghosts of the past to have a second chance at love. The major themes include: loss, family, choices, redemption, honor, and the restorative power of love. Oh, and, tattoos! The book covers all include scrollwork, which ties into the tattoo theme and believing in something strongly enough that you’re willing to wear it on your skin.

My story with Jillian (Caught Up in Raine Collection) is the first set of stories in the series. Jillian’s a widowed romance author who spots me on my landscaping gig and asks me to be the cover model for her next book. I find out later it’s because I’m the spitting image of her first boyfriend who died in a car crash when she was eighteen. Not only does she need to come to grips with me being younger than her but ultimately with Drew’s death. Yeah, not exactly all hearts and flowers. Is that “ghosts of the past” thing starting to make sense?

The second book in the series, Shelter My Heart, is Jillian’s niece, Jenny’s story with Devon. Jenny is rethinking her engagement to her high school sweetheart, Russ (I never liked the guy!) when she meets Devon in Denver Airport. He saves Jenny’s day and gets her on an airplane home. To repay his grand gesture, she agrees to a crazy proposal to be his date at his family’s society gala to convince the board of his father’s company that he’s healthy and going to marry in order to be awarded the CEO chair when he turns twenty-five. The complication? He’s a cancer survivor in his early twenties who’s made it past that devastation only to be left with compromised kidneys—something he must hide (even from Jenny who has extreme anxiety issues over those closest to her dying) in order to ultimately save his family. Did I mention someone may be trying to kill him?

The last book, Surrender My Heart, is Kitty’s story. She’s Jillian’s older sister and Jenny’s mother. Unknown to Jillian, only the dead know the secrets my polite and straight-laced sister-in-law still keeps. After thirty-five years, she has one last chance for happiness with her high school sweetheart, Detective John Henshaw, if he can forgive her once he learns the truth.

Kitty’s story won’t be out for a few months yet, but it’s amazing. I know, because I was there as it unfolded.

Raine, thanks for stopping by!
Thanks for having me! Peace…

Recipes from Raine’s Roost aka Jillian’s Kitchen cookbook cover

One Guy’s Guide to Saving the Day with Food

For the record, this cookbook was Jillian’s idea. So was the hashtag, #hotguycooks. She thought I should share my mad cooking skills with the world. Well, maybe not the whole world, but people like me who have partners with an aversion to kitchens. We can’t let them starve, can we?”

For those of you who don’t know me, when I first met Jillian all she had in her fridge was a jug of water, a jar of mustard and a half loaf of bread. Her freezer was empty except for an old bag of ice. I thought, Damn, what does this woman eat? Now I’m the only thing standing between real food and Jillian living on a steady diet of yogurt, cold cereal, and chocolate.

This isn’t your ordinary cookbook. It’s more like a medley of favorite recipes, some seasonal, all done Raine-style. Check ’em out. I skew toward organic when it comes to ingredients, and where I can, I substitute a healthy option. #sorrynotsorry. Most of my recipes come with tips, advice, and a small slice of my life with Jillian. The goal: to make you look like a culinary rock star to your significant other. So, come on, step inside the Roost. Poke around and see what’s cooking. Pull up a chair and hang out. The kitchen’s open.

Raine MacDonald is the sexy hero in Caught Up in RAINE, the first novel in the Caught Up in Love series by L.G. O’Connor. Raine’s recipes were first seen as posts on USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog. Follow Raine on Twitter at @Raines_Roost, and check out L.G. O’Connor and her other books at

"O'Connor's contemporary romance is very realistic and will tug on the heartstrings of probably more readers than she expected . . . Jillian and Raine have faced a lifetime's worth of secrets and heartbreaks . . . you'll want to cheer them on until the very end." ~RT Book Reviews

LG O'Connor, author

About the Author:
L.G. O’Connor is a member of the Romance Writers of America. A corporate strategy, branding, and marketing executive for a Fortune 250 company, she is the author of the urban fantasy / paranormal romance series, The Angelorum Twelve Chronicles, and debut romantic women's fiction novel, Caught Up in RAINE, the first book in her Caught Up in Love series. Set in the local New Jersey towns of Chatham, Summit, Morristown, and Spring Lake, New Jersey, Caught Up in Love follows three women from the same family as they travel their road to redemption and find their second chance at love. The third full length novel in that Angelorum series, Book of Four Rings, is set to launch early 2018. L.G. lives a life of adventure, navigating her way through dog toys and soccer balls. When she’s feeling particularly brave, she enters the kitchen . . .

You can also connect here:
Website | Amazon | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Bookbub | Twitter | Blog | You can also follow Raine on Twitter @Raines_Roost!

Yield: 6 individual loaves
Raine-style Mini Meatloaf

Mini Meatloaf — Raine Style

prep time: 10 MINScook time: 45 MINStotal time: 55 mins
Draping these individual meat loaves with bacon make them surprisingly moist and flavorful; a simple weeknight recipe.


  • 1.25 pounds ground sirloin (90/10)
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 slices applewood smoked bacon


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with foil, then set a wire rack over the foil, and spray with nonstick spray; set aside until neeeded.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients except the bacon in a large bowl and use your hands to mix everything together evenly.
  3. Divide into 6 portions and form each one into the shape of a football (an American football). Set equal distance apart the prepared rack/baking sheet.
  4. Cut the bacon in half crosswise (the short way), and drape each mini loaf with two of the short pieces.
  5. mini meatloaves formed and ready to go into the oven
  6. Slide into the preheated oven and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165° F, about 45 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes before serving.


I adapted this slightly from Raine's recipe — he uses 2 pounds of veal mix (veal, beef, pork), but I personally choose not to buy/eat veal anymore, so I just used a mix of beef and pork. His recipe calls simply for breadcrumbs, but I used Italian-style since not only did I have them in the pantry, but I thought they'd add an extra layer of flavor.
Created using The Recipes Generator


This giveaway is open to residents of the USA, at least 18 years of age (or with a parents permission). Winner will be contacted via email and given 24 hours to respond. More details in giveaway widget.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

More recipes inspired by L.G. O'Connor Books
(click photo to get recipe and see the accompanying post):
Egg White Frittata with Mushrooms, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Chocolate Souffles inspired by The Wanderer's Children Chicken Marsala_012

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