Archive for the 'Cooking' Category

Full Moon Not Required

May 9, 2019

by Chris Pavesic

To enjoy these tasty treats. Total Eclipse Moon Pies combine the rich flavors of chocolate with a thick layer of marshmallow crème.

Total Eclipse Moon Pies
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
⅓ tsp. salt
½ cup sugar
¼ cup butter, softened
1 large egg white
½ cup 1% milk
¾ cup marshmallow crème

Preheat oven to 425° F.

Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in medium-sized bowl. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add egg white and beat until fluffy with an electric mixer on medium speed, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour mixture, then milk, until just blended.

Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto large, ungreased baking sheets 2-3 inches apart to make 18-20 cookies (Make sure to make an even number of cookies). Bake until the tops spring back when lightly touched, about 5 minutes.

Cool completely. Spoon 2 teaspoons of marshmallow crème on bottoms of half the cookies made. Top with remaining cookies.

Get comfy while you snack on your Moon Pie and indulge yourself with a good book. May I suggest one of the books from my LitRPG series The Revelation Chronicles? ?

In Starter Zone Cami kept herself and her younger sister Alby alive in a post-apocalyptic world, facing starvation, violence, and death on a daily basis. Caught by the military and forcefully inscribed, Cami manages to scam the system and they enter the Realms, a Virtual Reality world, as privileged Players rather than slaves. They experience a world of safety, plenty, and magical adventure.

In the Traveler’s Zone magic, combat, gear scores, quests, and dungeons are all puzzles to be solved as Cami continues her epic quest to navigate the Realms and build a better life for her family. But an intrusion from her old life threatens everything she has gained and imperils the entire virtual world.

Time to play the game.

Above the tree line floats an airship close to three hundred feet long with a slightly rounded wooden hull. Ropes attach the lower portion of the ship to an inflated balloon-like aspect, bright white in color with an identification symbol, a red bird with white-tipped feathers extended in flight, inside a round yellow circle in the center of the canvas. The deck is manned with archers and swordsmen. There are two sets of fore and aft catapults.

What I don’t see are cannons or any other type of a gun large enough to account for the sound of the explosion.

The ship pivots in the air, coming around to point directly at what looks like an oncoming flock of five large birds. Or creatures. They are too big and too strange looking to be birds. They drift closer, flapping their wings.

A moment passes before I realize that they are not creatures either. They are some sort of gliders. A person hangs below each set of the feathered wings, which flap and move with mechanical precision in a sky washed out by the morning sun.

The archers nock their arrows and aim at the flock.

The gliders draw in their wings and dive toward the deck, covering the distance in a few heartbeats. Most of the arrows fly uselessly past the attack force and fall like black rain from the sky. The archers aimed and released the volley too late.

The forward catapult releases a torrent of small rocks at the lead glider. It is a scatter-shot approach that proves effective. There are so many missiles that it is impossible to dodge them all.

But at the moment the stones strike, the other four let loose with fireballs. Spheres of crackling flame spring from their hands, glowing faintly at first and then with increasing brightness. The balls of fire shoot from their hands like bullets from a gun and fly toward the ship, exploding. Pieces bounce off the hull and fall to the ground, throwing hissing, burning globs of magic-fueled fire in all directions, setting everything they touch aflame.

AMAZON BUY LINK
SMASHWORDS BUY LINK

Want to learn more about The Revelation Chronicles? Click HERE for updates on this and the other series by Chris. Watch the video on YouTube.

4eee6-chris2bpavesic2bauthor2bphotoChris Pavesic is a fantasy author who lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee, steampunk, fairy tales, and all types of speculative fiction. Between writing projects, Chris can most often be found reading, gaming, gardening, working on an endless list of DIY household projects, or hanging out with friends.

Learn more about Chris on her website and blog.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and her Amazon Author Page.

Sloane said @ 12:03 am | Author Friend Promo,Cooking | Comments

BREAKFAST IS SERVED

May 8, 2019

Some people claim breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I believe that’s true, but it doesn’t mean you have to stuff yourself with mountains of borderline healthy food. This menu is satisfying, delicious and won’t cause a coronary. For a more festive morning or brunch add Mimosas. The recipes are gauged for two people so you need to adjust the amounts if you are serving more.

Serve with Fresh Fruit Salad, Croissants or Fresh Rolls, Jam or Jelly,
Orange Juice, and Coffee, Tea, or Milk

Scrambled Eggs with Feta and Chives

4 large eggs
2 tbsp. feta cheese, crumbled
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tbsp. butter, you may need a little more
2 tbsp. fresh chives or 1 tbsp. dried

Crack eggs into a medium-sized bowl. Scramble well with a fork.

Stir in the feta and pepper.

Add butter to a medium-sized frying pan. Melt over medium heat. Pour in egg mixture and then carefully scramble. Be sure to flip the eggs so the cheese melts.

Sprinkle on the chives. Heat through and then serve.

Fresh Fruit Salad
1 apple, cored and sliced
1 pear, sliced
1 banana, peeled and sliced
Lemon juice
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
10 seedless red grapes, cut in half
Small handful blueberries
Small handful raspberries

In a glass serving bowl, combine the apple, pear, and banana. Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent the fruit from turning brown. Gently stir. Add in the remaining fruit.

Cover with plastic wrap then set in the refrigerator to chill until time to serve.

May you enjoy all the days of your life filled with laughter and seated around a well laden table!

Sloane

Sloane said @ 12:28 am | Cooking | Comments

Add Taste to Your Garden

May 1, 2019

by Janis Lane

Onion, i.e, Allium, is a large family which includes onion, scallion, garlic leek, shallot and chives (onion and garlic types). Blossoms are pretty in purple, yellow, white, and sometimes pink. I grew up not far from a small town known as Vidalia (locally pronounced Vy day lia, emphasis on the Vi. I won’t try to describe how to put a southern twang to the rest of the word.), Georgia. Sweet, sweet onions grow there with a patented name for the brand. The soil in the fields around the small town is very low in sulfur which puts the sting in your eyes when you peel a not-Vidalia type. Great for eating raw, but their keeper value is low.

It takes a specialized taste bud to enjoy raw onions, but professional chefs swear by the value of an onion flavoring a good stew. This writer considers an onion almost essential in the kitchen. Most are yellow, some white or purple with various degrees of the sulfur bite. Such a large family serves almost all individual preferences. Health benefits of consuming edible members of the onion family are numerous. High in nutrients and low in calories, they are also delicious.

Chives, useful herb, can be grown on your sunny window sill, but will excel outside, attracting bees with their fragrance blooms. Chives are delicious in soups, salads, and as a garnish. It’s a perennial plant hardy to zone 2-3, but the seed resents amateur saving. Tiny bulbs are easily pulled apart for transplant. Garlic chives bloom fragrant white in late summer and are delicious when a mild garlic flavor is desired. Purple blooms from chives make tasty and attractive herbed vinegar.

When I mow the lawn in summer, I plant peppermint several places in the lawn. I love the fragrance when the grass cutter nips their tops, but in one corner of the lawn, I recognize the volunteered wild onions. The smell is unmistakable; not a bit fragrant, but I think if I need to forage someday, I know where to find the edible alliums. It has a pink blossom and resembles nothing like an onion, but I know.

Decorative alliums are available in numerous varieties and most are fairly inexpensive. (Not good for eating.) Once I planted a garden in the back meadow before I finally gave over to the marauding deer population. They ate everything but these alliums, which over the years have multiplied. I use them for great cut flowers and enjoy the sweet fragrance of the blooms. Curiously they do not have the telltale onion odor when cut, but the deer seem to know and give them a wide berth anyway. After blooming, the foliage dies disappearing until the following spring. The plant spreads slowly by reseeding.

Whispers of Danger and Love is a contemporary novel which sports a lovely heroine named Cheryl, who loves her career as a landscape designer. This warm tale is a must for gardeners while waiting for the chance to get outside to commune with nature. A bonus is the handsome detective, a childhood friend, who moves next door.

Here’s a little more from my cozy mystery. I hope you enjoy it.

When Cheryl realizes her new next-door neighbor is someone she loved as a young girl, she immediately puts the brakes on her emotions. Never again would she allow the gorgeous hunk of a man to break her heart.

Ruggedly handsome Detective David Larkin isn’t used to pretty ladies giving him a firm no. He persists, even as Cheryl fights her own temptations. The two struggle to appreciate each other as adults, even as they admit to deep feelings from their childhood.

AMAZON BUY LINK

Read more of the cozy mysteries by Janis Lane on Amazon

Janis Lane is the pen-name for gifted author Emma Lane who writes cozy mysteries as Janis, Regency as Emma, and spice as Sunny Lane.

She lives in Western New York where winter is snowy, spring arrives with rave reviews, summer days are long and velvet, and fall leaves are riotous in color. At long last she enjoys the perfect bow window for her desk where she is treated to a year-round panoramic view of nature. Her computer opens up a fourth fascinating window to the world. Her patient husband is always available to help with a plot twist and encourage Emma to never quit. Her day job is working with flowers at Herbtique and Plant Nursery, the nursery she and her son own.

Look for information about writing and plants on Emma’s new website. Leave a comment or a gardening question and put a smile on Emma’s face.

Stay connected to Emma on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out the things that make Emma smile on Pinterest.

Sloane said @ 1:10 am | Author Friend Promo,Cooking,Gardening | Comments

TEXAS GOODNESS

April 24, 2019

First rule of making this recipe: make a big pan to meet the demand. First rule of guest blogging, thank your host for inviting you into their virtual kitchen. Thank you, Sloane! I appreciate the chance to show off my cornbread recipe because it is that good!

This recipe is my secret weapon when I’m writing a first draft. I use Candace Haven’s Fast Draft technique and that means I don’t cook for at least a week – all of my energy goes into my next book. A big pan of this cornbread gets me and the family through that week without feeling deprived. We pair squares of the cornbread with soup (made ahead and frozen for drafting week) and/or salad. It depends on how hungry we are.

Do you love the scent and taste of fresh cornbread? Then here’s the recipe.

CHEESY GREEN CHILI CORNBREAD

Photo credit Nina Lackey

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup gluten-free flour
1 tsp. baking powder
⅓ tsp. salt
½ cup non-dairy butter, melted (I use Earth Balance or Miyokos)
2 tbsp. non-dairy milk (I use almond in this recipe)
2 eggs, beaten
1½ cups water
1 cup non-dairy cheese (I use Daiya cheddar), grated
½ cup Ortega chiles

Combine cornmeal, gluten-free flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and whisk until fully combined. Add butter, eggs, water, half of the cheese, and Ortega chiles. Stir until smooth.

Grease an 8×8 pan with butter. Spread batter evenly. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of grated cheese on top. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool for fifteen minutes before serving. If you can wait that long. We usually have our first piece as soon as we can touch the cornbread.

Please share if you make this cornbread. I’d love to see how it turned out for you!

Here is a little from my latest fantasy romance. I hope you enjoy it.

Elena Zucchero has lived and lost in reality. Now she fills her heart through her work as a hypnotherapist by helping her patients improve their lives. But when a nightmare plagues her sleep, she learns her friends have gone missing in an addictive alternate plane. And the only way to save them may require feeding the demons of her handsome new client…

Draper Montgomery painfully resists the call of the Dreaming. But despite his dangerous cravings, he senses his enchanting therapist has a wound he can help heal. And to satisfy his heart’s desire, he may just have to risk the very foundation of his mind…

As Elena and Draper discover a deeper soul connection, the therapist struggles to keep her distance in the hunt for her friends. If the people she loves even want to be saved…

Will the perilous hunt to rescue her friends lose them their lives and their souls?

AMAZON BUY LINK


Gina Briganti writes paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi romance in north Texas. Her constant companion is a special soul who masquerades as a dog.

Visit her website and blog for book trailers, newsletter sign up, and whatever else she thinks up.

Stay connected on Facebook, Gina’s Amazon Author Page, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Sloane said @ 12:59 am | Author Friend Promo,Cooking | Comments

APPITEASER?

April 17, 2019

Yes, that’s spelled right. I’m Dominique Eastwick here to share an easy and delicious dish for your next get-together.

DOM’S HAWT CHICKEN DIP APPITEASER

1 can (12 ozs.) chunk chicken breast
8 ozs. cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. lemon juice or Real Lemon

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Beat cream cheese until smooth and creamy.

Mix together mayo, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce then add it to the cream cheese. Blend in the chicken chunks.

Spread into a shallow 8 x 8-inch baking dish. Place in the oven 15 minutes before you are ready to serve. If you cook it too long it gets really greasy and starts to separate.

Serve on toast, bread, or crackers.

Enjoy!

Here’s a little from one of my fantasy romance books for your reading pleasure.

Can a lion be the mate a mousy librarian needs?

Guarding the pride’s queen is an honor Jaison is happy to take on. He spends hours preparing for every contingency. He is ready to lay down his life if the necessity arises. What he isn’t expecting and couldn’t have planned for was when his mate crosses his path in the form of human librarian Paighton Knight.

Paighton Knight believes love is the stuff of fairy tales and has no time for those kinds of stories. Raised to be the perfect librarian, she is unprepared for feelings she doesn’t believe are real to wash over her. The second she comes into contact with Jaison Karatasos her world begins to turn and her eyes see what they weren’t able to before.

With the moon rising into the reign of Leo, Jaison has one month to show Paighton that love does exist, or he must wait until the next Leo cycle. When his responsibilities to his pride clash with his needs for his mate, will he be able to merge the two worlds?

Buy Links
AMAZONBooks 2 ReadKoboNook



Award-Winning author Dominique Eastwick currently calls North Carolina home with her husband, two children, one crazy lab and one lazy cat. Dominique spent much of her early life moving from state to state as a Navy Brat. Because of that, traveling is one of her favorite pastimes. When not writing you can find Dominique with her second love…her camera.

Learn more about Dominique Eastwick on her website, blog, and Amazon author page. Be sure to join her Newsletter for up to the minute info on new releases, contests, and more.

Stay connected on Twitter, Tublr, and Pinterest.

Sloane said @ 12:27 am | Author Friend Promo,Cooking | Comments are off

Enjoy a Little Spice ala Catherine Castle

April 10, 2019

Mandarin Orange Spice Tea that is.

I don’t know about you but I love hot teas, especially when the weather is chilly. I have a whole cupboard full of teas. I’d like to share a spiced tea recipe I developed.

Years ago, in the 60s, Tang—the orange juice of the astronauts—put out a spice tea recipe using Tang (a powdered orange juice drink) and instant tea. Instant tea was a favorite of my mother-in-law’s. She served it all the time. I can say with absolute certainty that instant tea isn’t my favorite cup of tea, but when the Tang spiced tea recipe came on the scene, it wasn’t bad. Probably the sweet, orangey flavor of Tang made the difference. Back then my husband and I drank Tang all the time because it was much cheaper than real orange juice and we were on a tight budget.

As the years have gone by, Tang, which is full of sugar and off my diet now, is no longer an option for spiced tea. So, I came up with this spiced tea flavored with mandarin orange juice and warm spices.

Here’s my by-the-cup recipe that serves 1 in 3 easy steps. It, too, goes great with cookies and a good book read beside the fireplace. If you need to cut the sugar, substitute an artificial sweetener, or leave it out if the real juice makes the tea sweet enough for you.

Mandarin Orange Spice Tea (by the cup)

1 black tea bag
3 mandarin oranges, juiced
1/16th teaspoon ground cloves
1/8th teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar

1 – Place the tea bag in a cup and add boiling water. Steep 3 minutes (or less for a weaker tea)

2 – Remove tea bag and add the mandarin orange juice and spices. Stir well to mix spices into the tea.

3 – Grab a copy of Catherine Castle’s award-winning sweet romantic comedy, A Groom for Mama, a blanket, and settle into your favorite reading spot for a great cup of tea and a great read.

Here’s a peek to further induce you.

One date for every medical test—that’s the deal. Allison, however, gets more than she bargains for. She gets a Groom for Mama.

Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.

The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.

A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom For Mama.

EXCERPT
With a sweep of his hand, Jack spread the photos out on the table in front of Allison and Beverly. “Here’s a few I just grabbed from the database. Any of them interesting?” He studied Allison’s reaction. She didn’t bat an eyelash as she scanned the men’s pictures. Then, without warning, she scooped them up and shoved them at him.

“I told Mama I wasn’t going to do this. It’s a stupid idea.”

“I’ll admit it’s not the ‘some enchanted evening, see a stranger across the room’ romantic way to find a husband, but it’s not totally unacceptable. Several of the couples my company has brought together have married.”

“And lived happily ever after?” she retorted.

“It’s a new company, Allison. I don’t have the stats yet.” He pushed the photos across the table. “Just take a peek. What harm can it do?”

Beverly grabbed the photo of a particularly handsome man. “How about this one? His coloring complements yours. You’d have beautiful children.”

Mama!” Allison snatched the photo away. “We’re not going to discuss my possible, yet unlikely, progeny in front of Jack.”

A flash of Allison kissing this guy flew through his head. He grabbed the photo from her. “He’s not your type anyway.”

“And just how do you know?” she asked.

“I dated you, remember? You ditched me for some suave, corporate hotshot. At least it’s what you said.”
“Allison!” Beverly exclaimed. “You never told me that.”

Allison shot him a fierce scowl. “I’m not comfortable discussing my love life with you, Mama. Besides, what’s done and over with should be buried . . . in the past.” She picked up another photo. “What about him? Or him and him?” She pointed to two nerdy-looking fellows. “They seem corporate.”

Mama leaned over and checked out the pictures Allison had indicated. “Too ugly,” she said. “He’s got to be handsome. Like Jack. I want to know my grandbabies will be as beautiful as you two.”

He grinned. “Thanks for the compliment, but I know I’m not your daughter’s type.” He laid a sheet of paper on the counter. “Fill this out. Then I can get a better idea of what you want in a husband.”

“I don’t want—”

“I know,” he interjected. “But, for your mom’s sake, just pretend you do.”

Amazon Buy Link

Multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. A former freelance writer, she has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit (under her real name) in the Christian and secular market. Now she writes sweet and inspirational romance. Her debut inspirational romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing, has garnered multiple contests finals and wins.

Catherine loves writing, reading, traveling, singing, watching movies, and the theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.

Learn more about Catherine Castle on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out Catherine’s Amazon author page and her Goodreads page. You can also find Catherine on Stitches Thru Time and the SMP authors blog site.

Sloane said @ 12:28 am | Author Friend Promo,Cooking | Comments are off

Baking with Blueberries

April 3, 2019

by Chris Pavesic

Enjoy this delicious and easy bread any time of the year. Fresh or frozen blueberries work great. Make extra, the bread freezes and thaws beautifully.

Lemony Blueberry Bread

¾ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
6 oz. blueberry yogurt
1 large egg
1 tsp. almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350ᵒ F.

In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, milk, oil, yogurt, egg, and extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour with baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.

In a small bowl, toss blueberries with 1 tablespoon of flour.

Fold blueberries gently into batter.

Pour the batter into a greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow bread to cool for 10 minutes before turning onto a rack to cool completely.

Lemon Glaze (optional)
⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
⅓ cup white sugar

Combine lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and then cook an additional 3 minutes. Let glaze cool a bit. Poke small holes in the top of cake and then pour glaze over the bread before removing it from the pan.

While your home fills with a tasty aroma, indulge yourself with a good book. May I suggest one of the books from my LitRPG series The Revelation Chronicles? ?

In Starter Zone Cami kept herself and her younger sister Alby alive in a post-apocalyptic world, facing starvation, violence, and death on a daily basis. Caught by the military and forcefully inscribed, Cami manages to scam the system and they enter the Realms, a Virtual Reality world, as privileged Players rather than slaves. They experience a world of safety, plenty, and magical adventure.

In the Traveler’s Zone magic, combat, gear scores, quests, and dungeons are all puzzles to be solved as Cami continues her epic quest to navigate the Realms and build a better life for her family. But an intrusion from her old life threatens everything she has gained and imperils the entire virtual world.

Time to play the game.

Above the tree line floats an airship close to three hundred feet long with a slightly rounded wooden hull. Ropes attach the lower portion of the ship to an inflated balloon-like aspect, bright white in color with an identification symbol, a red bird with white-tipped feathers extended in flight, inside a round yellow circle in the center of the canvas. The deck is manned with archers and swordsmen. There are two sets of fore and aft catapults.

What I don’t see are cannons or any other type of a gun large enough to account for the sound of the explosion.

The ship pivots in the air, coming around to point directly at what looks like an oncoming flock of five large birds. Or creatures. They are too big and too strange looking to be birds. They drift closer, flapping their wings.

A moment passes before I realize that they are not creatures either. They are some sort of gliders. A person hangs below each set of the feathered wings, which flap and move with mechanical precision in a sky washed out by the morning sun.

The archers nock their arrows and aim at the flock.

The gliders draw in their wings and dive toward the deck, covering the distance in a few heartbeats. Most of the arrows fly uselessly past the attack force and fall like black rain from the sky. The archers aimed and released the volley too late.

The forward catapult releases a torrent of small rocks at the lead glider. It is a scatter-shot approach that proves effective. There are so many missiles that it is impossible to dodge them all.

But at the moment the stones strike, the other four let loose with fireballs. Spheres of crackling flame spring from their hands, glowing faintly at first and then with increasing brightness. The balls of fire shoot from their hands like bullets from a gun and fly toward the ship, exploding. Pieces bounce off the hull and fall to the ground, throwing hissing, burning globs of magic-fueled fire in all directions, setting everything they touch aflame.

AMAZON BUY LINK
SMASHWORDS BUY LINK

Want to learn more about The Revelation Chronicles? Click HERE for updates on this and the other series by Chris. Watch the video on YouTube.

4eee6-chris2bpavesic2bauthor2bphotoChris Pavesic is a fantasy author who lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee, steampunk, fairy tales, and all types of speculative fiction. Between writing projects, Chris can most often be found reading, gaming, gardening, working on an endless list of DIY household projects, or hanging out with friends.

Learn more about Chris on her website and blog.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and her Amazon Author Page.

Sloane said @ 12:56 am | Author Friend Promo,Cooking | Comments are off

KOLACKY or KOLACHE?

March 27, 2019

What’s the difference? Nothing that we were ever able to determine. But no matter how you spell this wonderful pastry it always tastes good. This recipe is one my daughter Dru, an excellent baker, adapted from my mother. It’s easy to make and hard to keep once the family gets to them.

KOLACHES
8oz. cream cheese brick, softened
1 cup flour
8 tbsp. (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 can Solo filling, your preferred flavor
Powdered sugar

Blend all ingredients except filing in a medium-sized bowl. The trick to making tender kolackys is not to overwork the dough. If you do the pastry will be tough.

Cover with cling wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Preheat oven 375° F.

Turn dough onto floured board and then roll out to less than ¼ inch thick.

Cut dough into circles using the rim of a small glass.

Lay ½ tsp. of filling on each circle. Gently overlap two sides to contain the filling.

Bake 10 – 12 minutes or until light brown.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!

Sloane said @ 12:45 am | Cooking | Comments are off

Feelin’ Saucy

March 20, 2019

by HL Carpenter

We like to hit the sauce at lunchtime—no, wait! That didn’t sound right! What we meant to say is we like barbeque sauce for lunch! At least, that’s our story, and we’re sticking to it.

While we’re not sauciers or even a saucier’s apprentice, we do enjoy experimenting with flavors, because we are well aware that what’s sauce for the goose may not be sauce for the chicken.

However, in the case of our Simply Saucy Crockpot Barbeque Chicken, we seldom think outside the box—the box being the carton brick of fresh, sun-ripened Italian tomatoes that is the base of this delicious recipe.

Tomatoes in a box? Yep. We highly recommend that you give your can the boot. Switching to the box will turn you into a superb saucy chef, and the effect on your condiments will be awesome sauce. Pretty soon you’ll be hitting the sauce too! (The barbeque sauce, of course!)

Simply Saucy Crockpot Barbeque Chicken

1 box (26.4 oz) finely chopped tomatoes
⅓ cup Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp. sugar or honey
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp black pepper
2-3 cups shredded cooked chicken

Put tomatoes, cheese, sugar, garlic salt, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and black pepper in crockpot. Stir to mix.

Add chicken.

Cook on high setting for 2-3 hours; or low setting for 4-6 hours.

Serve on rolls, or eat as a main dish with a side of chips.

While you’re celebrating your sauciness, we invite you to enjoy an excerpt from our mystery, Murder by the Books.

A letter from beyond the grave brings accountant Fae Childers face to face with murder, embezzlement, romance, and a hidden family legacy.

Certified public accountant Fae Childers is not an embezzler, despite the belief of the accounting firm that fires her for stealing. But proving her innocence is harder than convincing an IRS agent to allow a deduction. She’s lost her mother, her job, her fiancé, and her self-respect. She’s running out of money and the lease is about to expire on her apartment.

Then the fortune-telling grandmother Fae never knew existed, whose name and psychic abilities she now learns are also hers, issues a challenge from beyond the grave—a challenge that brings Fae face to face with murder, embezzlement, romance, and a hidden family legacy.

When the mystery of Fae’s past collides with the troubles of her present, the situation veers out of control. Her very life is threatened. Who can she trust? The man she’s falling in love with? The former fiancé who has already betrayed her once? Or only herself?

With justice, romance, and her future at stake, Fae must overcome personal and professional obstacles to save herself and those she loves. And she’s going to have to do it fast, before someone else dies.

EXCERPT
The letter arrived on the last Thursday in April, two weeks to the day after I got fired from the accounting firm where I worked for the past decade. August Palmer, my landlord, hand-delivered the letter in person, saying, “The mail carrier stuck this in my box by mistake, Fae.”

I took the envelope without bothering to look at it and glanced past Gus, at the patch of brilliant cloudless blue sky framing his shoulders.

Tampa, Florida on the cusp of summer, full of birdsong and the scent of warming pavement.

“Beautiful morning,” I said, as if I cared.

“Afternoon,” Gus said, his voice a low rumbly growl, the product of too many cigarettes and whiskeys in his happily misspent youth. He stood outside the tiny apartment my mother and I rented from him for the past two years and eyed me. “Still mopin’, girl?”

He had shown up on my doorstep every day since the firing with the same question.

Adhering to our new routine, I answered the same way I always did, except this time I didn’t bother pasting on a fake smile to accompany the words.

“Nope. Not my style.”

“‘Scuse me.” His tone was as dry as the month he was named for. “Forgot you’ve been hidin’ in the apartment, tap dancing with glee.”

I met his gaze. “For hours at a time. Any complaints about the noise?”

He clicked a nicotine pellet against tobacco stained teeth and kept his silence. I regretted my sarcasm. In my forbidden childhood game of describing people in colors, I would have painted Gus early-morning-yellow, the shade of the summer sun before the friendly sheltering coolness of night gave way to the brutal heat of day.

The description would have horrified him.

“How are the treatments going?”

He grunted. “They tell me I ain’t gonna croak this week.”

“Glad to hear it. You might want to keep your distance from me, though. I’m jinxed.”

Gus shook his head. “You gotta get over them fools, girl.”

“That’s no way to talk about my former bosses.” Especially since I looked at the real fool in the mirror each morning. I had believed dedication, loyalty, and hard work were appreciated by the partners of Slezia + Fyne, CPA, PA.

Ha, ha.

“Anyway, I am over them. Way over.”

“Yeah?” He was not convinced. “You over the suit, too?”

“Sure am.” Once again, I stuck with our new routine and gave him the same answer I always did. “I have moved on.”

Once again, the lie carried the bitter taste of betrayal. The suit was Scott Piper, former co-worker, fiancé, and man of my dreams. The suit dumped me the day of the firing.

Gus snorted. “Funny how much movin’ on resembles standing around feeling sorry for yourself.”

In my opinion, wallowing in self-pity was marginally more mature than throwing a temper tantrum. Even if it hadn’t been, I didn’t have the energy for a tantrum. I barely had the energy to maintain my half of the daily conversation with Gus.

“Have you been watching that big bald guy on television again?”

He stuck out his chin. “Don’t get smart. You know I’m right. You’re mopin’.”

“Only because I can’t tap dance.”

He was right. In the eight months since my mother’s death, I had slogged through an ever-darkening morass of the malady Gus called moping, and what his favorite celebrity psychologist might consider the early stages of depression. The firing and the accompanying fallout shoved me even closer to the edge of a black abyss.

My moping was self-absorbed, given the burdens others faced, but what could I say? One woman’s detour was another’s stop sign.

“You ought to call your girl pal, that one you worked with. What’s her name? Sarah? Have you heard from her?”

No. And I didn’t want to hear from her, much less call her.

I shook my head.

“Your ma would have been annoyed with you.”

A lump in my throat closed off my voice and I could only nod. He was right about that too. My irrepressible mother believed in taking the positive approach to life. To her, saying negative words or thinking negative thoughts was the same as asking them to come true. She had little patience for pity parties.

Focus on your strengths, Fae, and always keep moving.

My ability to follow her advice vanished with her death. I was slowly turning into the type of recluse the Japanese call hikikomori. Even the simple task of cleaning out Mom’s bedroom was beyond me.

“So? You gonna open the letter?” Gus asked.

I turned over the envelope in my hand.

Heavy, officious, dirty white, and mildly threatening, the envelope shrieked of the intimidation perfected by lawyers and the Internal Revenue Service and jolted me right out of my apathy. My breath hitched in my throat.

Had Gary Slezia and Richard Fyne gone back on their word? Had they decided to forego their distaste for publicity and press charges against me?

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Mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter write family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, they enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity.

Visit their website to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happeni
ng in Carpenter Country.

Stay connected on Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+, GoodReads,
and their Amazon Author Page.

Sloane said @ 12:10 am | Author Friend Promo,Cooking | Comments are off

A PLATE of YUM

March 13, 2019

by Chris Pavesic

There comes a time when my family longs for traditional “comfort food.” This is a recipe passed down through the generations and is one of our favorites. I hope you enjoy!

Pear Crisp

4 pears, cored and sliced
½ cup packed brown sugar, less if pears are sweet
½ cup quick-cooking oats
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ – 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, depends on personal flavor
4 tbsp. butter, softened
Vanilla ice cream, optional

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Cut up pears and layer in a baking dish.

Combine butter and brown sugar with a fork in a medium-sized bowl. Add oats, flour, and cinnamon. Use the fork to stir until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Use a tablespoon to sprinkle mixture over fruit.

Bake 15-20 minutes, or until fruit is tender when pierced.

For an extra treat serve vanilla ice cream on top of the crisp.

While your home fills up with the tasty aromas of an earlier time, you can indulgently curl up with a good book. May I suggest one of the books from my LitRPG series The Revelation Chronicles? 

In Starter Zone Cami kept herself and her younger sister Alby alive in a post-apocalyptic world, facing starvation, violence, and death on a daily basis. Caught by the military and forcefully inscribed, Cami manages to scam the system and they enter the Realms, a Virtual Reality world, as privileged Players rather than slaves. They experience a world of safety, plenty, and magical adventure.

In the Traveler’s Zone magic, combat, gear scores, quests, and dungeons are all puzzles to be solved as Cami continues her epic quest to navigate the Realms and build a better life for her family. But an intrusion from her old life threatens everything she has gained and imperils the entire virtual world.

Time to play the game.

Above the tree line floats an airship close to three hundred feet long with a slightly rounded wooden hull. Ropes attach the lower portion of the ship to an inflated balloon-like aspect, bright white in color with an identification symbol, a red bird with white-tipped feathers extended in flight, inside a round yellow circle in the center of the canvas. The deck is manned with archers and swordsmen. There are two sets of fore and aft catapults.

What I don’t see are cannons or any other type of a gun large enough to account for the sound of the explosion.

The ship pivots in the air, coming around to point directly at what looks like an oncoming flock of five large birds. Or creatures. They are too big and too strange looking to be birds. They drift closer, flapping their wings.

A moment passes before I realize that they are not creatures either. They are some sort of gliders. A person hangs below each set of the feathered wings, which flap and move with mechanical precision in a sky washed out by the morning sun.

The archers nock their arrows and aim at the flock.

The gliders draw in their wings and dive toward the deck, covering the distance in a few heartbeats. Most of the arrows fly uselessly past the attack force and fall like black rain from the sky. The archers aimed and released the volley too late.

The forward catapult releases a torrent of small rocks at the lead glider. It is a scatter-shot approach that proves effective. There are so many missiles that it is impossible to dodge them all.

But at the moment the stones strike, the other four let loose with fireballs. Spheres of crackling flame spring from their hands, glowing faintly at first and then with increasing brightness. The balls of fire shoot from their hands like bullets from a gun and fly toward the ship, exploding. Pieces bounce off the hull and fall to the ground, throwing hissing, burning globs of magic-fueled fire in all directions, setting everything they touch aflame.

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Want to learn more about The Revelation Chronicles? Click HERE for updates on this and the other series by Chris. Watch the video on YouTube.

4eee6-chris2bpavesic2bauthor2bphotoChris Pavesic is a fantasy author who lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee, steampunk, fairy tales, and all types of speculative fiction. Between writing projects, Chris can most often be found reading, gaming, gardening, working on an endless list of DIY household projects, or hanging out with friends.

Learn more about Chris on her website and blog.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and her Amazon Author Page.

Sloane said @ 12:27 am | Author Friend Promo,Cooking | Comments are off