Comfort Food – Margaret Tanner

Comfort food what is it? Of course, food that makes you comfortable, happy and content. A reward for doing something well, or a panacea for all the trials and tribulations you have had to put up with? No matter what excuse we use, and I have used them all i.e. if something good has happened to me, I reward myself with chocolate. On the other hand, if something bad has happened to me and I need cheering up, I reward myself with a chocolate.

What is my favourite food you might ask? Well, being a chocaholic, you know what I am going to say –  Chocolate. My hips bear witness to this addiction of mine.

My favourite chocolate is milk chocolate, followed by dark chocolate, (which scientists are now saying is good for you, I could have told them that), and white chocolate. I have to confess I am not a great fan of white chocolate, and as much as it pains me to admit it, I find it too sweet and sickly.

I prefer a plain chocolate bar, but I do enjoy a chocolate bar with peppermint or honeycomb in it.

What has this to do with the American West? Very little, I doubt that they would have partaken of this treat, but with Christmas fast approaching I thought it relevant, and I do love plum pudding and Christmas cake, in case you were wondering.

Santa Claus brought gifts for Christmas. Santa is placing gift boxes under Christmas tree

I write Historical Romance and Western Historical Romance with a Contemporary Romance or two thrown into the mix.

I would appreciate some likes on my Book Bub Author page.

Book Bub Author profile:

My Amazon Page is:

Amazon – Kindle page is




New Release – A Tin Star for Christmas

A Tin Star for Christmas (The Belles of Wyoming Book 3)

A blizzard, missing jingle bells from the town’s founding family and more shenanigans have the townsfolk in an uproar in this holiday romance series set in 1882 Belle, Wyoming.

This is book #3 of 5 book series by talented multi-authors.
David Knight, the town’s handsome young sheriff, has always loved Hope Baker.
Hope has always loved David.
But, through miscommunication, both are set to marry someone else.
When an accident happens, will the two realize how much the other means to them?
Or, will they both be forced to marry someone they are not in love with?

This short read is a sweet, clean and wholesome American Historical romance holiday story filled with adventure and small town romance.

The story behind the missing bells of Belle, Wyoming.
On a wagon train to Oregon, Clara Brown’s husband died of Cholera, leaving her on her own. The wagon train did not allow single women to travel alone, so she is ordered to leave.

She was rescued by a trapper and they fell deeply in love, creating their own town not far from Ft. Bridger. They named the town Belle for the jingle bells that were attached to her oxen when they first met. Now, years later, each Christmas the tradition continues as the town places the bells on an ox or horse, gifting rides to remember the legacy of the founders. The bells were safely put away and only brought out each year for this purpose.
Except, this year, the bells have gone missing.
Are they ever found?
Read the five stories coming out each day starting on December 10th to find out. Even some of the authors don’t know how this will end! Each story is complete with a happy ending, except for the mystery of the bells.


Running to Christmas – New Release

Running to Christmas: A Mail Order Bride Holiday

Rose Bailey has to get away from the Whitney household. As a servant she has no rights and her memories of the days before she was a servant were too bittersweet to handle. She knew her father and brother wouldn’t want her to be in this situation so she felt she owed it to them to find a solution on her own. The only solution that makes sense is to answer an ad to go west as a mail order bride.

Sam Nelson was alone on his farm just outside town. Oregon was a lovely place and he was happy there, but he was lonely. His parents had left the farm to him and he was becoming even more successful than his father had been. Something was missing, though. He wanted companionship and a family. For that he’d need a wife.

When Rose heard from Sam Nelson that he’d like her to come to Oregon to marry him she was beside herself. Her goal of getting out of the Whitney house by Christmas just might happen. When he meets her at the stagecoach stop, she can’t believe her luck. He’s handsome, kind, and genuinely concerned for her. Can she really trust him, though? If she does, will her past really be behind her?


Christmas At The Orphanage

In most cases an orphanage in the 1870’s at Christmas was not a nice place to be. Forget presents under the Christmas tree, Christmas cake and pudding or mistletoe. If some kindly soul did bring presents for the orphans, they were snatched away by the Matron and her cohorts once the giver had left the premises.

This was the life for Jessica and her friends, just another sad day of hunger, cruelty and hard work in the dreary, dangerous environment of the orphanage. Their Matron was a greedy, sadistic woman who delighted in mistreating her charges, even as she made money out of them.

This was the place where Jessica grew up.

Read Jessica’s story. It is free on Amazon until the 12th December.





Christmas Baking

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been involved with Christmas baking.

My first recollection was around the age of eight. Both my parents baked, and they both involved me in their cooking.

Christmas was the biggest bake of all. The aunties all arrived to help with the cakes and puddings, and the whole house was a flurry of people. This was back in the good old days of hanging the plum pudding from the roof.

I still can’t believe we don’t do that anymore!

My latest book, The Barber’s Christmas Bride sees mail order bride Allie Jones preparing to give her new husband the best Christmas he’s ever endured. He’s given up on Christmas, and she wants to make it special for him.

Allie bakes and cooks right throughout the story, but Christmas baking is what she does the best. In light of that, I thought I’d share a family Christmas Cake recipe that has been passed down for generations. This is the same cake I’ve used for over 40 years!


Into a large basin or mixing bowl place the following mixture:

1 kilogram (or 2 lb) mixed fruit

2 cups (1 lb) brown sugar

2tablespoons each Sherry and Orange juice, or if preferred, 4 tablespoons of either. (May need up to half a cup of liquid if the mix is too dry. Ingredients need to be moist.)

Stir well and soak overnight, covered in plastic wrap to prevent mixture drying out.

**If unable to soak overnight, soak for minimum of two hours**

Next day, stir to separate any ingredients that have melded together overnight. There is no problem if they are stuck, it’s just easier to mix if you separate the ingredients at this point.

Now add 1/2 teaspoon each of the following spices:

Nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and bicarbonate soda.

Mix until all ingredients are combined.

Add 2 oz (60 grams) chopped almonds. Mix well.

Combine 250g (1/2 lb) butter and 1/2 cup (4 oz) milk. Heat in saucepan over slow heat only until butter is melted. Do not allow to boil.

Add butter/milk mixture to fruit etc, then add:

3 beaten eggs,

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence,

1/2 teaspoon lemon essence

Now slowly add 3 cups plain flour, mixing between each addition. Blend in well and pour into a paper lined tine.

(I use 9 inch or 23 cm wide tin, with height of 2 1/2 inch or 6 cm. this is a perfect fit for the mixture)

Bake275 degrees F (140 degrees C) for approx 5 1/2 to 6 hours. (May take less time in fan-forced oven – anything from 4 1/2 to 5 hours)  Cooks best if piece of brown paper is placed loosely over top of cake.

Do not open oven door for at least 2 1/2 hours.

Click here to check out The Barber’s Christmas Bride