Archive for 2012

It’s Wednesday, so What’s Cooking? Pork Chops

March 28, 2012

One thing I’ve always had trouble cooking was pork chops. They usually tasted good, but never failed to be tougher than the soles of my shoes. After years of failed recipes, not to mention embarrassment, I finally took matters in hand and created today’s recipe.

Like all the menus posted here, this has been prepared many times for tough critics and has always been well received. Give it a try and, please, let me know how your critics respond.

Marinated Pork Chops Braised in White Wine
Boiled Potatoes
Steamed Asparagus
White Wine – Soave Bolla

Marinated Pork Chops Braised in White Wine
1 teas dried sage or 4 fresh leaves
1 teas dried rosemary or 5 fresh sprigs
1 teas dried thyme or 5 fresh sprigs
1 teas pressed or finely chopped garlic
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Olive oil
4 pork chops with or without bones 1 inch thick
¾ cup dry white wine
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp chopped parsley fresh or dried – optional

Lay herbs into a glass dish large enough to hold the chops in one layer. Sprinkle garlic over the herbs. Carefully pour about 1 cup olive oil into dish so as not to disturb the herbs, then add the pepper. Lay the chops across the herb mixture. Add more olive oil until the chops are barely covered.

Marinade in the refrigerator for 2-5 hours. Turn the cops once during the time you’ve allowed.

Remove dish from fridge 1 hour or a little less before cooking. The meat cooks better if it’s nearer room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 250 F.

Add a little of the marinade to a medium size frying pan and heat on medium high until the oil shimmers. Add the chops and brown about 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Transfer the meat to an ovenproof plate. Pour off all but a thin film of oil, add ½ cup of the wine and bring to a boil. Return the chops to the pan. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, basting with the pan juices occasionally, until they are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Return the meat to the ovenproof plate, cover, and set in oven while you finish the potatoes and asparagus.

Prepare the sauce just before serving dinner. Skim as much fat as you can from the braising liquid and pour in the remaining ¼ cup wine. Boil it over high heat, stirring and scraping in any browned bits that cling to the bottom and sides of the pan, until the liquid has reduced to a syrupy glaze.

Off the heat, swirl in the butter and parsley, pour over the pork chops and serve.

Boiled Potatoes
1 Idaho potato per person
1 cup Chicken stock
1 bay leaf or 1 tbsp dried basil
Tap water
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Butter to taste

In a medium size saucepan add chicken stock and the herb you choose. Peel potatoes, rinse, then slice in thirds, place into pot. Add tap water to cover the potatoes by about an inch or so. Too much water and the potatoes will be soggy. Not enough and they’ll be raw on the sections above the water.

Cover the pot and heat on medium until the potatoes come to a boil. Adjust the heat and/or the lid to maintain a decent boil, but not a hard one, until potatoes are fork tender. It takes about 15 minutes after they begin to boil.

Drain and return potatoes to pot. Discard bay leaf. Stir in butter and pepper and serve.

Steamed Asparagus
1 bunch asparagus
½ cup chicken stock
½ cup dry vermouth
Tap water
2 tbsp butter
Metal vegetable steamer

Add chicken stock and dry vermouth to a medium size saucepan. Insert vegetable steamer, then add tap water to just below the bottom holes.

Snap off the ends of the asparagus and trim the spears to fit your saucepan. Add spears and cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat, adjusting the heat to a strong simmer. In 4-5 minutes the asparagus should be crisp tender.

Lay asparagus in a serving bowl, then spread the butter over them and serve.

I’ll be back Friday with another addition to So You Want To Be An Author. Until then…

Happy Cooking!

Sloane Taylor
www.facebook.com/AuthorSloaneTaylor

Sloane said @ 7:07 am | Cooking | Comments are off

It’s Wednesday, so What’s Cooking?

March 21, 2012

This is the time of year many people elect to eat fish on Friday. I see some of you wrinkling your noses. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the tantalizing aroma from this easy recipe and the taste is superb. Studs and I have served this menu to skeptical guests and they fell in love with it.

Cod Livornese (merluzzo alla livornese)
Whole Grain Spaghetti
Tossed Salad
Italian Bread
White Wine – Pinot Grigio from Bella Sera is perfect

Cod Livornese (merluzzo alla livornese)

2 tbsp olive oil
½ medium onion sliced thin
3 garlic cloves pressed or chopped fine
½ cup dry white wine
1 14-½ oz. can diced tomatoes or 7 large Roma tomatoes chopped
½ cup sliced black olives
4 tbsp parsley fresh (chopped) or 2 tbsp dried
2 tbsp washed, drained and chopped capers – optional, but they really add flavor
½ tsp crushed red pepper
4 pieces cod about 6 oz. each and cut to handle easily
1 tbsp fresh basil chopped or 1 tsp dried

In nonstick large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat until it shimmers. Add onion, stir until translucent and lightly brown. Stir in garlic, cook 30 seconds. Add wine, cook 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes with the juice, olives, parsley, capers and red pepper. Heat to boiling.

Lay cod fillets over tomato mixture. Lower heat to medium. Cover skillet and cook until cod turns opaque throughout and flakes, about 9 minutes.

Sprinkle basil across the top.

Serve over whole grain spaghetti.

Makes 4 servings

Don’t prepare extra. Leftovers have a stale taste and tend to be tough.

Whole Grain Spaghetti

Prepare according to package directions

Tossed Salad

Lettuce from 2 different types torn into bite size pieces, red leaf and head are excellent choices
Tomatoes chopped
Cucumber peeled and sliced
Zucchini diced
Green Onions sliced, be sure to add some of the green
Mushrooms sliced
Black Olive
Pepperoncini

Combine everything, or any grouping you like. Cover with a damp paper towel and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Toss with a good Italian dressing. Newman’s Own Family Recipe Italian Dressing is ideal. Periodically, check out this link for coupons.

Be careful not to add too much dressing or the lettuce will get soggy. Should you mix in too much dressing, dump the salad in a colander for a minute or three to allow excess dressing to drain off.

Mangiar!

Sloane Taylor
www.sloanetaylor.com

Sloane said @ 8:02 am | Cooking | Comments are off

WE HAVE WINNERS!

March 16, 2012

I run an easy contest in my quarterly newsletter with at least two winners, offering free downloads as the prize. The last contest was to email me with NEWSLETTER in the subject line for a chance to win a copy of WARM RUSH, book one in the Chasing Winter series, by Rowan McBride.

And the winners were:

BARBARA
GTW

Here’s a little about the book these happy people are now enjoying.

…When Jesse Winter left Connecticut to attend his business overseas, he had no idea that he would be gone three long years. His homecoming is a bitter one. An accident has left his body shattered and his heart cloaked in ice, and he knows he’ll never be warm again.

But Keith Taylor, just fifteen when Jesse skipped the country, has other ideas. He’s all grown up now, and he’s been waiting for Jesse to come home.

Keith’s determined to bring the fire back into Jesse’s life, and he knows he’s strong enough to do it…

My quarterly newsletter always has a Members Only contest that is super easy. To join in the fun and a chance to win, go to my website and click the Newsletter link on the sidebar.

Hope you have a fun-filled St. Paddy’s day! I’ll be back Monday. Until then…

Happy Reading!

Sloane Taylor
Sweet as Honey…Hotter than Hell

Sloane said @ 9:23 am | Promotion | Comments are off

WHAT’S COOKING?

March 7, 2012

How about an eye of round roast cooked to perfection and all the tasty fixings? The beautiful aroma from this meal will draw your family to the table ready to feast.

Eye of round is a lesser priced beef roast that can be tasty and tender if prepared the right way. Give these recipes a try and, please, let me know what you think.

Eye of Round Roast with Sauce
Mashed Potatoes
Sautéed Broccoli

Roast
2 ¼ – 3 pound eye of round roast
2 TBL olive oil
1 cup beef stock

Remove meat from refrigerator 2-3 hours before cooking. Meat needs to be almost room temperature for this dish to work.

Preheat over to 325F

Heat olive oil over medium high heat until it shimmers. Using tongs or wooden spoons, brown the roast on all sides. Set a cooking rack in a roasting pan. (If you don’t have a rack, line the roaster with aluminum foil being sure to have it hang a little over pan sides.) Lay beef on rack or foil. Pour beef stock into bottom of the pan, not over the meat.

Topping
4 TBL mustard either yellow or Country Dijon
2 large garlic cloves pressed
¼ cup parsley chopped fresh or dry
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Mix above ingredients in a small bowl. Spread over the top and a little on the sides of the beef.

Roast in oven for 1 hour or until 140F on the meat thermometer. Don’t overcook or the meat will be tough. Check the liquid level and add more stock if it runs dry or the pan will burn. When meat is cooked, remove from oven, set on a cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm.

Sauce
¼ cup dry red wine
1 cup beef stock
1 TBL red current or seedless raspberry jelly
1 TBL butter

Time to deglaze the roasting pan. It’s very easy and requires little effort.

If you used the aluminum foil, carefully remove it from the pan and discard.

Place the pan over a burner set on medium. Add the red wine and scrape in all the browned bits clinging to the pan.

Turn the heat to medium high. Pour in the stock. Boil until sauce has reduced to about half while scraping in anything that clings to the side of the pan.

Remove the pan from the heat and swirl in butter. Keep sauce warm on very low heat while you carve the roast.

Carve into thin slice. Dribble sauce over meat to moisten. Serve extra sauce on the side.

If you have leftovers, freeze the meat and sauce separately. Next week, I’ll have a dynamite recipe to use them, so be sure to stop back.

Makes 4 servings or two with great leftovers

Mashed Potatoes
1 russet potato per person
Sour cream – a very large dollop
¼ cup milk set out to reach room temperature
3 TBS butter
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Peel and quarter potatoes. Fill a saucepan with enough water to cover the potatoes by an inch or so. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender. Drain pan.

Add sour cream, some of the milk, all of the butter, and the pepper to the pan. Mash the potatoes. Add small amounts of additional milk until you achieve the consistency you prefer.

Keep warm in the turned off oven while you assemble to meal.

Sautéed Broccoli
1 bunch broccoli
5 TBS olive oil
1 TBS butter
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Cut the flowerets off the broccoli. Save or freeze the remainder to make cream of broccoli soup.

In a heated medium frying pan, add the olive oil and butter. Heat until the oil shimmers. Add flowerets and stir them through the oil until they are coated on all sides. You may need a little more oil, but be careful not to drown the broccoli. Sauté until crisp tender, about 7 minutes.

Sprinkle with pepper and serve.

I’ll be back Monday with Jennifer Loy and her new release SUNSET SIZZLE. Until then…

Bon Appétit!

Sloane Taylor
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Sloane said @ 8:30 am | Cooking | Comments are off

Good Monday Morning

March 5, 2012

Today we have Marie Tuhart with us to share her new release HIS FOR THE WEEKEND. Marie’s writing is strong with characters that draw you into their lives. This is an author you want to read.

HIS FOR THE WEEKEND

Marie Tuhart
The Wild Rose Press Scarlet Rose

BUY LINK

BLURB:
Cassandra Adams has a problem and its name is Marcus DeLuca. The man is quite determined to have her–on his terms. Cassie has had enough of domineering men in her life, yet she’s drawn to strong, virile Marcus. Tempted to get that man out of her system once and for all, she agrees that she will be his for a weekend only–but then he must leave her alone forever.

Marcus will do anything to get sexy, non-committal Cassie into his arms, into his bed–failure is not an option. He wants nothing more than to keep Cassie in his life, but he senses a secret that keeps her from being able from committing–from submitting–to any man. Will Marcus’s special brand of domination free her to be his for more than a weekend?

EXCERPT:
“I can’t take this anymore.” Her voice was whisper soft, but he heard the words as clear as if she had shouted them.

His heart leaped—now he could prove to her there was more to him than a co-worker and give their relationship a chance. “What are you willing to give me?”

Her head snapped up and she gnawed on her lip. “Twenty-four hours.”

“Not enough. A hundred and twenty.”

Her mouth opened then closed. Her gaze darted left, then right, before settling back on his face. He could almost see the wheels turning in her head. A good sign—she was willing to be his.

“Too long. Forty-eight.”

He stood and crossed over to her. He needed to be close to her as they negotiated. “Still not enough. Ninety-six uninterrupted hours with you.”

Her nose scrunched up and her lashes swept down, cutting off the view of her expressive eyes. “Sixty—six tonight until six Monday morning.”

He noted the stubborn set to her chin. It wasn’t ideal, but he could do it. He would not fail in winning her over. Leaning close, he whispered, “I’ll take it.”

She exhaled, lashes rising until she stared at him. “What are the ground rules?”

“There are none.”

Her eyes widened. Oh, yes, he had her now and he wasn’t letting go.

“No barriers. No rules.”

Her shoulders dipped, then straightened. She acted like she was preparing for a battle, but it would be a battle of sex. “All right, but when the sixty hours are done, we’re finished. I mean it. No flowers, no gifts, no mention of this weekend. Ever.”

Without another word, she spun on her heels to walk out of his office.

He was quick to cross the room. He captured her by the shoulders, bringing her to a halt. His lips brushed her ear and a shiver shook her. “Remember what I said at the party?”

She didn’t answer him, but her swift intake of breath was the only answer he needed.

“You belong to me.”

“I belong to no man.”

He slid his hands down her arms, past her clenched fists and encircled her waist, bringing her back flush against his chest, her breathing shallow.

She didn’t struggle, not even when he tilted his hips, letting her know how much she aroused him.

“You will belong to me. I promise.”

BUY LINK

Escape to fantasy and learn more about Marie and her terrific books on her blog or her website. Marie is also on facebook and Twitter.

I’ll be back Wednesday with a mouthwatering recipe for Eye of Round Roast. Until then…

Happy Reading!

Sloane Taylor
Sweet as Honey…Hotter than Hell (more…)

Sloane said @ 8:53 am | Author Friend New Releases | 1 Comment

It’s New, It’s Hot, It’s HERE!

January 27, 2012

LOVE NOTES
Anthology
Cupid Only Rings Twice Sam Cheever
Reunited Helen Hardt
Its Sweetest Form Xakara
Masquerade Sloane Taylor
ISBN: 978-1-61937-211-5
Musa Publishing
Heat Level: 4

BUY LINK

BLURB:
Sometimes words on paper are magical, especially when lovers meet again and again.

Love is never a lost cause, and sometimes all it takes is a few special words written down to make all the difference in the world. Wayward cupids, lonely vampires, long-lost loves, and mysterious strangers come together in this collection sure to warm to your heart and steam up your screen. Read our Love Notes–four Valentine’s stories from four outstanding romance authors Sam Cheever, Helen Hardt, Sloane Taylor and Xakara and then maybe write a few letters of your own!

EXCERPT from MASQUERADE:
Green eyes sparkling behind delicate shades of purple feathers held him hostage. Vittore thought he had recognized her the moment she walked onto the pier. When she spoke, he knew his search had finally ended. Determination and desire had persevered. The gods had delivered her into his hands and he wanted to learn more about this mystery woman with her gay laugh and quick wit, even if it was only for one night.

Clancy opened her door, then switched on the entry light. At the bedroom, she glanced over her shoulder, the long plumes brushing her creamy bare shoulder. “Make yourself comfortable. I’ll be just a moment.”

He wandered around the room, straightening the pillows on the sofa, adjusting a wing backed chair and, finally, the magazines scattered across the pecan desktop. It was there he found a handwritten note caught between the pages. A little guilt crept in for snooping, but he shoved it aside, eager to discover more about this sensual woman who intrigued him.

Note to Self — Loving Venice
1. Ride in a gondola
2. Climb the Campanile in St. Mark’s Square
3. Attend a masked ball
4. Dance under the stars in St. Mark’s Square
5. Tour a professional kitchen
6. Buy one special piece of Murano glass
7. Fall in love—at least for the night
8. Hear a Vivaldi concert
9. Attend an opera at the Fenice
10.

Vittore reread the paper, paying close attention to number seven. He looked out at the waning moon and sent a prayer of thanks to Raphael the Archangel, the patron saint of happy meetings, for his good fortune.

On a whoosh of material, he slid the list back under a book.

“Vittore, I have a suggestion, a little game to add to the Carnaval mystique. Sort of an adult Twenty Questions. Are you willing to play?”

“You spark my interest.” He liked games, particularly in the bedroom. A myriad of erotic foreplay flitted through his mind. Before they said farewell, his princessa would experience pleasures she had never imagined. “What are the rules?”

BUY LINK

Join us today at Author Island Cyber Launch Party to learn more about my talented co-authors and a chance to win prizes! The fun starts at 11:00 a.m. EST.

Hope to see you there.

Sloane Taylor
Sweet as Honey…Hotter than Hell

Sloane said @ 10:46 am | New Releases | Comments are off