Bestselling Author and Professional Chef Team up for Mother’s Day


Margaret Brownley


and Daughter


Robyn Fennessy




The following article appeared in several major newspapers around the country and was written by my good friend Lee Duran.  I wanted to share it with you–and wish you all a very happy Mother’s Day.  Be sure to print off my daughter’s yummy recipes at the end of the article.


Bestselling author and professional chef team up for Mother’s Day

          The result is tasty recipes to go with national popularity of books


One writes bestselling inspirational romance novels and on a famous occasion burned the orange juice; the other is a Le Cordon Bleu chef. 


Together this odd couple is mother Margaret Brownley and daughter Robyn Brownley Fennessy.  They’ll be celebrating Mother’s Day together with the rest of the family on May 8 when Margaret, who earned the sobriquet  “Microwave Mom,” graciously allows Robyn to do all the cooking—the dream of many a mom.


Although they’re pursuing wildly differing goals, they’re also busy supporting each other while respecting the differences between them.

How does a writer support a chef?  “She cooks and I eat,” Margaret says with a laugh. “It works out very well.” 


And how does a chef support a writer?  “By creating recipes inspired by the flavor of the novels,” Robyn says.  “I whip up desserts to capture all the romance, sweetness and fun of Mom’s books.  I started with a luscious Rocky Creek Chocolate Mousse Torte for the first book in her current series and the idea just took off from there.”  The recipes are a great promotion tool and Margaret includes them on her website and in her newsletters.


Margaret has written more than 25 novels, including the bestselling western historical Rocky Creek series for Thomas Nelson.  The third and last book in the series, “A Vision of Lucy,” will be released June 28 in both print and e-book.


Margaret’s writing career began, and ended, early.  She wrote her first book in fifth grade—a mystery without an ending.  Unimpressed with Margaret’s essay on why she wanted to be a writer her eighth grade English teacher not only flunked her but suggested she not even think about a career as a writer.


Dream squashed, she did little writing until she became editor of the church newsletter many years later.  After making a church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her then pastor took her aside and said, “Maybe God’s calling you to write fiction.”


Robyn’s dream began with an Easy-Bake oven when she was eight and carried her through to a full scholarship to a Cordon Bleu school in England—presented by Julia Child.  She also trained under Master Chef Raimon Hoffmeister.


On her first day on a job in a hotel restaurant, she said, “An irritable head chef greeted me by declaring ‘Women don’t belong in the kitchen.’”

Which just happened to be her mother’s philosophy so she didn’t take it to heart.  She currently does private catering and will answer all your cooking questions at


Margaret, a 2010 Romance Writers of America RITA finalist, is currently working on a new book series.  And yes, she really did burn the orange juice while trying to defrost it in a pan.


Here are a few of the recipes Robyn created for her appreciative mom.  “I hope you enjoy them, and that everyone has a happy Mother’s Day,” she says.



Robyn created a nutty crust to represent the fictitious town of Rocky Creek, Texas in her mom’s book.  The same crust can be used for both the Chocolate and Raspberry Tortes.


Ingredients For Rocky Creek Crust:

½ cup butter                                
1 cup flour
½ cup chopped blanched almonds
¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon (omit for raspberry torte)                     

Directions for Crust

Preheat oven 350°. Melt butter in a saucepan.  Add flour, sugar, cinnamon and almonds.  Cook, over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.  Press into the bottom of a Torte pan.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Cool.


Rocky Creek Chocolate Torte

Nothing says romance like chocolate, which just happens to be this mother/daughter team’s favorite treat.


Ingredients for filling

8 oz sweet or semi-sweet chocolate, melted

6 tablespoons butter, softened

3 egg yolks

1 cup heavy cream (make sure it’s heavy)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 egg whites

¼  cup sugar


Directions for filling

Beat the soft butter into melted chocolate.  Beat in egg yolks one at a time.  Beat the cream and add vanilla extract. Beat egg whites until they form soft peaks. Sprinkle in sugar by spoonfuls and continue beating until stiff peaks are formed. Fold into chocolate mixture. Whip cream and gently fold into chocolate mixture.  Turn the mousse into prepared cooled Torte dish. Cover and chill for several hours.  Decorate with swirls of whipped cream or raspberries.



Rocky Creek Raspberry Torte

Robyn calls this torte the perfect ending to a summer meal.


Ingredients for filling

2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries

1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin

1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 cups whipped cream

¼ cup sugar


Directions for filling

Whip three cups whipped cream and chill. Combine 1½ cups raspberries and sugar. Heat and stir over medium heat until liquid. Stir in gelatin. Remove from heat and scrape into a large bowl. Cool five minutes. Add one cup chilled whipped cream to raspberry mixture and mix well. Fold in remaining whipped cream. Pour into cooled prepared Torte Pan.

 A Vision of Lucy (A Rocky Creek Romance

+ posts

4 thoughts on “Bestselling Author and Professional Chef Team up for Mother’s Day”

  1. Thanks for the recipes. The pies sound yummy. We always have so many raspberries from our garden I keep looking for new ways to use them. This pie will work perfectly.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.

  2. What a wonderful story, Margaret! I’m sorry I didn’t get over here yesterday to read this and comment–it was a busy day at our house–I don’t like to cook either, so my kids (21 and 24) came over yesterday afternoon (I did make brownies because I was craving chocolate) and they brought me some cds and dvds and we ate brownies. LOL Then we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner–my husband Gary, son Casey, daughter Jessica, and Casey’s girlfriend, Jen. It was wonderful. How lucky you are to have a daughter that is so accomplished in the kitchen and enjoys it so much. And she looks like you, too! The recipes look wonderful and I think I can do them! Hope you had a great Mother’s Day, and I enjoyed reading this post about how you and your daughter both got to follow your dreams.

Comments are closed.