Fall 2011

From Mary Kay's Front Porch - Fall 2011 Newsletter
Apple Crisp


The original recipe for this fresh fruit apple crisp called for a modest sprinkling of the oatmeal-brown sugar topping. But we don’t DO modest around our house, so I quadrupled the original topping recipe. We like a thick, crunchy, cinnamon-laden blanket of topping on our apple crisp. And we like it baked until the crisp comes out a deep brown, nearly rock-hard consistency, so that you have to jackhammer the oatmeal goodness with the tip of your spoon to break through to the sweet-tart apples lying just beneath the lava loveliness. I wish I could tell you this recipe was inspired by a dessert we shared at a cozy bistro in Paris. The truth is that it is my own interpretation of the apple crisp served by the lunchroom ladies at Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg, Florida. Since Mr. MKA and I met at that high school, it does have a high nostalgia factor. Not to mention that it is freakin’ good. It’s also the beloved favorite recipe of our son Andy, aka Boomerang Boy, who has been known to polish off an entire pan of the stuff, late at night, with a spoon, directly from the baking dish.


  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar (light or dark, you choose)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • Dash salt
  • 2 sticks softened margarine or butter
  • 6 cups sliced peeled tart apples (we like Granny Smith)


In large mixing bowl, combine oats, sugar, flour, spices. Cut in softened butter until mixture is crumbly. In 9-by-13 buttered baking dish, place sliced apples. Sprinkle oat mixture over fruit. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or butterscotch topping. Serves 1 Boomerang Boy, or 6 deeply appreciative guests.




The Breeze Inn

Did you know that MKA’s very own fixer upper—The Breeze Inn on Tybee Island—is available for rent?! You and yours can chillax in beautiful beach cottage comfort in the very spot where MKA’s most recent bestsellers have been penned, surrounded by junking treasures uncovered by the author herself. Call Diane at Mermaid Cottages and book yourself in for the full MKA experience! If your crew won’t all fit at the Breeze, Diane has 30+ one-of-a-kind cottages sprinkled around the island, all just a short ride on a beach cruiser away from each other. Get yourself on “Tybee time” and discover the magic of slowing down.

Dear Friends:

My fall newsletter isn’t as much newsletter as it is a love letter. Love? To you, dear readers, for letting me know you enjoy my stories. To you, book-buyers, for showing ME the love by putting my latest novel, SUMMER RENTAL, at Number 5 on the New York Times Best-seller list, and for helping keep it on the list for seven amazing weeks—my best showing ever. To you who came out to meet me during the SUMMER RENTAL book tour, especially those of you who waited more than two hours at Island Bookstore on NC’s Outer Banks back in June when my plane was delayed, and who celebrated along with me when my editor called with the fabulous news that SUMMER RENTAL had debuted at #5. Wow, did the champagne flow that day! From St. Simon’s Island, Georgia all the way to Nantucket and the Jersey Shore, and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, over to Chicago and Houston and Raleigh and Fairhope, Alabama, and just about every bookstore in the Atlanta area, readers came out to show the love. As always, I had a great time meeting all of you. Somehow, I managed to fit in a stop-over in New Orleans for the American Library Association conference, where I caught up with my brother Johnny, at his restaurant/bar Parasol’s. Best roast-beef po’boy. Ever. And there was another stop in New York, for the Romance Writers of America conference, where we partied with my publishing peeps at St. Martin’s Press, and boogied down with 700 other romance writers at a Black and White Ball at the Waldorf-Astoria. And I got to see The Book of Mormon on Broadway.

Hands-down the happiest event of the summer, of 2011, even, was the July 8 birth of my adorable grandson John Griffin. Griff, as we call him, is the sweetest, easiest baby ever, and his big sister Molly loves showing off “her” baby.

Check the upcoming appearances section on my website MaryKayAndrews.com for the latest in my signing schedule. I’ll be in Bristol, Va., on Nov. 5 and I have a hometown signing at the Avondale Estates Community Club on Dec. 11. I’m also thrilled to announce that the paperback edition of SUMMER RENTAL will be out May 8, just in time for Mother’s Day.

In the meantime, I’ve handed in next summer’s book, and although we’re still fussin’ and discussin’ the title, I can definitely tell you the release date is June 5. This is the book I literally dreamt up last summer, the story of Annajane Hudgens, who, while attending her ex-husband’s wedding, realizes she is SO not over him.

Since fall is the time when we start craving comfort food, I think it’s appropriate that we’re celebrating the season with a giveaway of FoodTV star and Southern cook extraordinaire Paula Deen’s new book, signed by Paula herself. Shoot us an e-mail telling us about your favorite comfort food. We’ll pick a lucky winner to receive an autographed copy of the just-released Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible.

And if you don’t already have a favorite comfort food, I’m sharing the recipe for my son Andrew’s favorite, which I call Boomerang Boy’s Apple Crisp.

Happy fall, y’all!

All my best,


Dividing Stitch

Bookclub Corner

Do you have a book club? If your club is reading one of my books, I would love to call in and join your discussion. You never know, I may even be able to drop by in person if it works out right. E-mail us with your request and we’ll see what we can do! Be sure to include a snail mail address and info about the size of your club.



Book cover: Summer Rental



Sat, November 5, 12:00 PM


Bristol Bristol Public Library

701 Goode Street, Bristol, VA

Sun, December 11, 2:00 PM

Book signing

Holiday Tour of Homes and Market, Avondale Estates Community Club

Avondale Estates, GA

Visit the Events & Appearances page on the website to keep track of MKA’s whereabouts.



We have a great prize for you from my friend, the one and only Paula Deen. It’s fall and fall fare is all about comfort food. Since Paula Deen is the queen of southern cuisine—and what could be more therapy-on-a-plate than down home southern cookin’?—we have decided on a comfort-food themed contest. All you have to do to enter is write in to [email protected] with “Paula Deen Contest” in the subject field and tell us your all-time favorite comfort food and why. I will pick my favorite entry. The lucky winner will receive an autographed copy of Paula’s brand new book, Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible: The New Classic Guide to Delicious Dishes with More Than 300 Recipes.


MKA Online