Archive for the 'Cooking' Category

CHRISTMAS DRESSING

December 7, 2022 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

from Emma Lane

This year seems to have zipped by much too fast. Our family is already hinting for me to cook their favorite dishes for Christmas dinner. One wants a ham with gravy from drippings. Another is pleading for green bean casserole, while another wants fresh asparagus spears and dinner rolls. Me, I have a sweet tooth and am looking forward to a home baked apple pie, of course ala mode, for dessert. 😊 One thing the entire family is looking forward to is my special dressing. Here’s the recipe for you.

CRAISIN-WALNUT DRESSING
1 bag seasoned breadcrumbs, or mixed breadcrumbs
1½ cup chicken stock, just enough to moisten breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. butter
1 onion, chopped
¼ cup celery, chopped
⅓ cup dried craisons, dried cranberries or raisins
¼ cup chopped walnuts
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven 350° F.

Soak craisins, or raisins, in warm water to soften for fifteen minutes.

Melt butter in a frying pan. Sauté celery and onion until opaque, about 7 minutes.

Drain craisins. Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Pour chicken stock to moisten ingredients and mix lightly.

Grease an oven safe pan them scoop in mixture.

Bake 25 – 30 minutes.

Merry Christmas,
Emma

Here’s a peek at Emma’s Regency Christmas collection to put you in the holiday spirit.

A Wild Wicked Duke
After a cruel family betrayal, Caroline Engelson vows the wicked duke will never regain her love unless he first earns her respect, no matter how fervently she longs for his kisses.

A serious accident delivers the wicked duke into Caro’s care, but she is shocked and hurt when he refers to her teen years as the ‘brat with tangled curls.’ Caro is all grown up now when the wicked duke tries to take advantage of her emotions, even as he turns the orderly household into total chaos with his ducal roars. To his astonishment, his best friend’s sister is made of sterner stuff. The situation changes drastically when Caro learns of a shocking family secret..

A Duke Finds Love
Young love is disrupted and the couple parted, but their unsympathetic parents fail to extinguish the strong bond between the two.

Roseland, left pregnant by the duke’s son, weds a neighbor, mistaking that her lover has been forced to marry another. A war and five years later, the two face a second chance, but despite their deep love for one another, impediments must be faced before happily ever after will be theirs at long last.

Beloved Soldier Returns
A wounded British soldier faces amnesia and frustrating dreams, but is finally well enough to reclaim his fiancée and his heritage when a gypsy woman arrives to share an important secret.

Robert Cooper-Hanton, a soldier who fought against Napoleon at Waterloo, is seriously wounded and suffers amnesia but survives in a gypsy camp for three years. Pockets of memory are still missing, leaving him with dreams of people with no names, when he makes the decision to begin his journey home. He has no conscious remembrance of a fiancée he left behind but is not surprised to learn that a cousin has usurped his property. When neighborhood friends reveal the fact of his engagement to Lynda Clarington, his memory of her returns in a flash and he recognizes the woman of his dreams.

Lynda had struggled without much success to accept her loss and is overjoyed to learn that Cooper is alive. She has loved him since childhood, but can she adjust to a man who seems irrevocably changed? When a gypsy woman shows up searching for Cooper, Lynda is plagued with doubt. Will Cooper manage to reunite with his old life and the woman he loves or will he remain lost in his hazy memories, dreams and a changed reality?

Dark Domino
Sarah Louise and Ethan have loved each other all their lives, but a war and time apart may have jeopardized their relationship.

Ethan has been away at war for six long years—without a single letter to the young girl he left behind. He is certain she has forgotten him, but he is still drawn to her. Dressed for a masquerade in a dark domino, he leads her to the garden and tries to steal a kiss. Sarah does not know why the man in the dark domino is so familiar, and why a stranger should give her a feeling of home. When Ethan reveals his identity, Sarah’s anger and hurt overwhelm even her love. Can a new life be built on the foundations of a first love? Or will the Dark Domino remain alone forever?

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Emma Lane is a gifted author who writes under several pen-names. She lives with her patient husband on several acres outside a typical American village in Western New York. Her day job is working with flowers at her son’s plant nursery. Look for information about writing and plants on her 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.

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Six and a Half Tips

November 30, 2022 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

and a Recipe for Perfect English Muffins

by Helen Carpenter

You don’t have to be British to enjoy hand-made English muffins. This recipe is an easy menu addition for Sunday morning brunch or a special breakfast. English muffins are a snap to prepare, require only an hour to rise, cook quickly on a griddle or frying pan (no heating the oven!) and taste great, either plain or with butter, jam, or your favorite topping. An added bonus is the delicious, yeasty scent of fresh bread that fills the kitchen.

Here are tips to help you make perfect muffins.
1. While the yeast is dissolving, fill a 13” x 9” pan with hot water and place it in your unheated oven. Muffins rise best in a warm, humid environment.

2. If your recipe calls for honey, spritz your measuring spoon with cooking spray. The honey will slide right off the spoon.

3. Instead of using a rolling pin and cookie cutter to form your muffins, divide the dough into even parts. Then press out the dough pieces in your hamburger patty mold. You’ll get just-the-right-size, perfectly round muffins.

4. Once your muffins have risen, hand-transfer them to the heated griddle. They’ll keep their shape better than if you try to slip a spatula beneath them.

(Bonus tip: Prefer using a spatula? Dip the edge in cornmeal so it slides easily under the muffins.)

5. To test for doneness, lightly tap the top of the muffins with your fingertip. A hollow sound means your muffins are cooked.

6. When you’re ready to toast, split the muffins with a fork instead of a knife. Your toppings will fill the resulting nooks and crannies.

And here’s the perfect recipe for Perfect English muffins.

What you’ll need:
2-3 quart bowl
Standard-size cookie sheet
Griddle or frying pan
1 package yeast
1 cup warm water
3 cups flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
3/4 cup shortening
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
Cornmeal

Dissolve yeast in bowl in warm water for five minutes. While yeast is dissolving, sprinkle cookie sheet with a light coating of cornmeal.

Add flour, shortening, honey and salt to yeast-and-water-mixture to form dough.
Coat dough with flour; knead until elastic.

Divide dough into 12 equal balls. Use a hamburger patty mold or the flat end of a glass dipped in flour or sprayed with cooking spray to flatten each ball into a 3-inch circle. Put the muffins on the cookie sheet as you form them.

Cover the cookie sheet and let the muffins rise for an hour.
Heat the griddle or frying pan to 375 degrees (no oil necessary).

Cook the muffins, turning once, until golden brown on both sides.

Split with a fork, toast, and enjoy with your favorite topping.

Once upon a time there was a mother/daughter author duo named Helen and Lorri, who wrote as HL Carpenter. The Carpenters worked from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, was unreal but not untrue. Then one day Lorri left her studio to explore the land of What-if, and like others who have lost a loved one the magical place lost much of its magic. But thanks to family, plus an amazing group of wordsmiths named Authors Moving Forward (AMF), the magic is slowly returning.

Helen Carpenter loves liking and sharing blog posts from other authors. She lives in Florida with her husband of many years and appreciates every day, especially those without hurricanes.

Stay connected on her blog and Facebook .

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Holiday Feast Fit for a King and Queen

November 16, 2022 | Cooking, Holidays

Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays. Every year Mike and I had at least twenty people for a sit-down dinner. We cooked the meal and the guests supply the appetizers, deserts, and wine. It was a wonderful time to reminisce, over-indulge, and have fun. There comes a time when life must change. Four years ago, I passed the turkey baster on to my daughter Dru. She’s a wonderful cook and it’s great fun to be her guest. 

 MENU 
Roasted Turkey 
Stuffing 
Mashed Potatoes 
Candied Sweet Potatoes 
Broccoli 
Stir-fry 
Canned Corn 
Cranberry Sauce 
Gravy 
White wine – Chardonnay 
Roasted Turkey 
Turkey 
8 tbsp. (114g) butter
2 leeks including some green, chopped 
2 large onion, chopped 
15 baby carrots, chopped 
4 tomatoes, chopped 
1 tbsp. (15ml) dried thyme 
1 tbsp. (15ml) dried marjoram 
1 large bay leaf 
Bacon strips to cover breast 
Chicken stock 
Disposable pan 
Cooking rack 
Cookie sheet – for stability 

 Place unopened turkey on a cloth lined cookie sheet and thaw in refrigerator 7 hours per pound or one day for every four pounds of frozen turkey. So, if you have a 20 pound (9K) turkey it will take 140 hours or a least 5 days to thaw in the fridge. 

Thanksgiving Morning
If the turkey isn’t completely thawed, set in a large pot of cold water to complete. Dispose of packet inserted in cavity. Rinse well, then pat dry with paper towels. 

Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). 

Cooking Times
10 – 18 lbs. (4.5 – 8kg) 2 – 2½ hrs. 
18 – 22 lbs. (8 – 10kg ) 2½ – 3 hrs. 
22 – 24 lbs. (10 – 11kg) 3 – 3½ hrs. 

Melt butter in a large frying pan. When the foam subsides, lay turkey, breast down, and brown first one side then the other until skin is golden. Be careful moving the turkey around, it’s heavy and awkward.

Set disposable pan on cookie sheet. Scatter chopped vegetables onto pan bottom. Insert cooking rack. Place turkey on rack breast up. Lay bacon slices over breast to cover well. Pour in enough chicken broth to cover the pan bottom by 1 inch (2.54cm). Cover turkey and pan edges with aluminum foil, crimping sides well. 

Remove from oven at the predetermined time. To test if the bird is done, use a paper towel or pot holder and shake hands with its leg. The leg should move freely. Tent with foil and allow to rest 30 – 45 minutes before carving. 

Remember – turkey, like all other meat, continues to cook long after it is removed from the oven.

Stuffing 
Stuffing is a winter food for us. I make a huge batch and freeze the unbaked extra in serving-size containers. Throughout the winter I’ll serve it with pork or chicken. 
 
1 package bread stuffing cubes, plain or seasoned 
½ lb. (250g) breakfast sausage in a tube or bulk 
8 tbsp. (1 stick) (114g) butter, melted 
1 rib celery, chopped 
½ medium onion, chopped 
1 egg, lightly beaten 
1½ tsp. (7.5ml) dried sage 
1½ tsp. (7.5ml) dried thyme 
2 cups (450ml) chicken stock, maybe a little more 

Empty bread cubes into a large bowl. 

 Fry sausage in a medium-sized skillet, breaking meat into small chunks, until no longer pink. Add sausage and its juice to bread cubes. 

Melt butter in same skillet. Add celery and onion when the foam subsides. Sauté 3 – 4 minutes until translucent, be careful not to let it brown. Add vegetables with all their juices to bread cubes. Mix well.

Pour egg onto stuffing. Sprinkle sage and thyme across the top. Mix well. 


 Stir in chicken stock until mixture is very moist, but not soupy. 

To Bake as a Side Dish 
Spoon mixture into an ungreased baking dish. Do not pack it in. Cover tightly with foil. Refrigerate stuffing until you are ready to bake it, but no longer than two days. 

To Freeze 
Spoon mixture into freezer bags, label, and pop in freezer no longer than 3 months. I use several small bags that serve 2 at a single setting.

No matter which route you take, remove stuffing from the refrigerator/freezer early in the day to allow it to come to room temperature. 


Preheat oven to 350° F (180°C). Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until the top is brown. 

Mashed Potatoes 
1 small russet potato per person 
Chicken stock 
Butter 
Sour cream 
 Milk 
Pepper 

The Day Before 
Pour 1-inch (2.54cm) chicken stock into saucepan. Peel and quarter the potatoes, then place in saucepan. Add tap water to cover by 1-inch (2.54cm). Put a lid on pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower temperature to a strong simmer. Cook approximately 25 minutes. Test for doneness by poking a fork into a potato. It should insert easily. 

Drain potatoes. Mash well without adding other ingredients. Cool completely in a glass or ceramic bowl. Cover and refrigerate. 

Thanksgiving Day 
Remove potatoes from the refrigerator early in the day to allow them to come to room temperature. When you are ready to serve, microwave potatoes until hot. Stir in butter, sour cream, milk, and pepper to the consistency you prefer. 

Candied Sweet Potatoes 
32 oz. (1kg) can of sweet potatoes
½ cup (50g) brown sugar firmly packed 
8 tbsp. (114g) butter 
 2 handfuls mini marshmallows 

Preheat oven to 375° F (190°C). 

Drain potatoes in a colander. Cut large pieces in half. Lay potatoes into a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 22cm) glass baking dish. 

Sprinkle brown sugar across the top, then dot with butter. 

Bake 20 minutes. 

Scatter marshmallows over the yams and bake for 15 minutes or until marshmallows are brown. 

Broccoli Stir-fry 
4 mini carrots sliced on an angle 
½ cup (50g) olive oil – possibly more 
½ medium onion, sliced 
1 in. (2.54) piece gingerroot peeled and cut into strips 
1 head broccoli trimmed and cut into florets 
½ small sweet red pepper cored, seeded and cut into strips 
½ small yellow pepper cored, seeded and cut into strips 
2 large garlic cloves pressed 
½ tsp. (2.5ml) red pepper flakes 
2 green onions sliced on an angle, include green 
5 mini Bello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced into thirds 
1 tbsp. (15ml) lime or lemon juice 

Have all ingredients prepped and, on the counter, before you begin cooking. 

In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add onion, carrot and gingerroot. Sauté until carrot is almost soft. Test by inserting a toothpick into the carrot. Remove as many gingerroot pieces as you can find. Don’t worry if some are left in the pan. 

Add broccoli, red and yellow peppers, and garlic. Sprinkle on red pepper flakes. Stir constantly to ensure broccoli is well coated with oil. Add more oil if necessary. Squeeze on lime or lemon juice. Sauté 2 – 4 minutes, but be sure broccoli and peppers still have crunch to them. 

Blend in green onions and mushrooms. Sauté until mushrooms are heated through. Serve quickly. 

Serves 4 – 6 so adjust accordingly. 

From the corn through the gravy you’ll see just how lazy I was on holidays. And I’m not ashamed. 


Canned Corn 
1 can of corn per 4 people 
butter 

Drain corn, then pour into micro wave safe bowl. Lay 2 or 3 pats of butter across the top. Micro wave for 3 minutes, stir and serve. 

Cranberry Sauce 
1 can of sauce per 6 people 

Lay sauce into a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerator until ready to serve. 

Gravy 
1 jar of gravy for 4 people 
Juices from the turkey pan 

Pour the gravy into a saucepan. Stir in ¼ – ½ cup (58 – 57g) of juice from the roasted turkey pan. Go easy so you don’t thin the gravy too much. Heat through and serve.

Have a happy and safe holiday!
Sloane
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DOWN HOME THANKSGIVING DRESSING

November 9, 2022 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

From Emma Lane

We’re from the South so my family loves corn bread stuffing with a variety of meals. Below is our family’s favorite recipe that is only served at Thanksgiving. Make your holiday dinner complete by serving giblet gravy with sliced turkey and cranberry sauce, steamed broccoli, and dinner rolls. Don’t forget the pumpkin pie with dollop of whipped cream for dessert!

Corn Bread Stuffing

1 box Jiffy Corn Bread Mix
2 tbsp. butter1 celery stalk, chopped
1 med. onion, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
2 eggs, beaten1
½ tbsp. dried sage
½ tsp. dried rosemary
 3 whole walnuts, optional

Preheat oven 350° F.

Bake corn bread mix according to box directions.  Allow to cool then crumble.

Melt butter in a medium size frying pan. Sauté celery and onion to opaque stage, about 7 minutes.

Combine all ingredients in bowl. Turn mixture into a greased pan.

Bake 30 minutes.

Place three whole walnuts on top for garnish.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Emma and Family

Here is a brief intro to the cozy mystery series Emma writes as Janis Lane.

MURDER in the JUNKYARD sees the demise of a man no one likes, a romance, and plans for a wedding as Detective Fowler and his friends keep their small-town America free from danger.

Detective Kevin Fowler is furious that low life has targeted his town where people live in blissful safety. Brenda Bryant is out junkn’ for good things when she stumbles over the grotesque body of a man beloved by no one. Suspense heats up when large sums of money are found in two different places. Drug money is suspected, and Brenda targeted by someone who wants the money returned. Detective Fowler faces surprise after surprise as he peels back the surface of Hubbard, New York and deals with its shocking underbelly. Meanwhile romance infiltrates the group of friends with a wedding in the making.

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Emma Lane is a gifted author who writes cozy mysteries as Janis Lane, Regency as Emma Lane, 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.

 

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GOOD MORNING BREAD

November 2, 2022 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

from Helen Carpenter

During the editing of one of our books, commas turned into a major topic of discussion. Yes, well, my daughter and I were writers, what did you expect? We liked commas and we also liked to slice commas from our writing, so we have a conflict of interest. For example, in the first two sentences of this paragraph (and this sentence too), we used commas. We could have used a comma in the third sentence before the “and,” though we chose not to. Either way would have been correct.

Another example is the title of this post. A comma would change the entire meaning. By omitting it, we imply (or say) the recipe below is a good (delicious) morning bread. Had we included a comma (Good morning, bread) we would be saying good morning to our bread. That would also fit, since the bread is definitely worthy of salutations.

Like bread, commas have lots of uses. You can splash them around in personal and geographic names, in numbers, before quotations that indicate speech such as “she said,” and in lists. If you’re the user of a certain word processing software, you can make your commas curly or straight and either style gets the job done.

We don’t claim to be experts on commas and we would be happy to hear your take on this very important punctuation. Let’s eat breakfast while we have the discussion. If you’re not hungry, then we’ll say, “Let’s eat, breakfast.”

Breakfast Bread

1½ cups dried mixed fruit (we used one 5-ounce package of mixed cranberries, cherries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, and filled in the remainder with dried cranberries)
½ cup warm tea, any flavor
1 package regular yeast
½ cup warm water
2 tbsp. butter
½ cup coconut milk
3 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup nuts of your choice (we used pecans and pistachios)

Spray 2 loaf pans with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.

Soak dried fruit in bowl with warm tea. Set aside.

In separate bowl, add yeast to warm water. Set aside in a warm draft free location.

Melt butter.

Mix coconut milk, sugar, honey, salt, and egg. Add melted butter and stir. Next, add yeast and water mixture and stir.

Mix cinnamon and flour. Add to liquid ingredients and mix well.

Drain fruit. Add fruit and nuts to dough. Use your hands to mix, adding additional flour by tablespoons if necessary.

Let dough rise 1 hour. Punch down, divide in half, and shape into two equal loaves. Put loaves in prepared pans and let rise 40 minutes.

Heat oven to 350° F. Bake loaves 30 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes and remove to rack.

Serve warm or cold with butter or topping of your choice.

Once upon a time there was a mother/daughter author duo named Helen and Lorri, who wrote as HL Carpenter. The Carpenters worked from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, was unreal but not untrue. Then one day Lorri left her studio to explore the land of What-if, and like others who have lost a loved one the magical place lost much of its magic. But thanks to family, plus an amazing group of wordsmiths named Authors Moving Forward (AMF), the magic is slowly returning.

Helen Carpenter loves liking and sharing blog posts from other authors. She lives in Florida with her husband of many years and appreciates every day, especially those without hurricanes.

Stay connected on her blog and  Facebook .

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This Treat is No Trick

October 26, 2022 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

from Tina Griffith

I used to make these Pinwheels for my kids when they were in elementary school.  The recipe is pretty easy and quite versatile.  By that I mean, you can flavor and add color to both layers.  Example: add cinnamon or almond flavoring to the chocolate dough, and add peppermint flavoring and pink food coloring to the white one.  Can you imagine eating a purple and green spiral cookie on somebody’s birthday?  Or how about a black and orange cookie on Halloween?

And just before you put them in the oven, you can also top them with sprinkles, candy shapes, or just plain sugar.  Use your imagination to make the most interesting of cookies for any holiday or celebration, because  experimenting is part of the fun with this dough.

Grama Tina’s Spiral Cookies

¾ cup of softened butter

1 cup of white sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons of vanilla

2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon of baking powder

cocoa powder, peanut butter or Nutella – optional

rainbow sprinkles or candy shapes – optional

5 drops of food coloring – red, yellow, pink, orange, black – optional

1 teaspoon of cinnamon, almond, or nutmeg – optional

3 or 4 drops of flavoring – peppermint, lemon, etc. – optional

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Lay parchment paper on 2 large cookie sheets or grease well.

In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy.  Then beat in the egg and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk flour with baking powder. Add to butter mixture in 2 additions, stirring until it becomes a soft dough.

Divide dough in half.  Add cocoa powder (and/or cinnamon, peanut butter, Nutella, or mint flavoring).  Mix and set aside.  Now move to the other ball of dough.  Leave this white and add mint or a cinnamon flavoring or any flavoring you like and coloring. Remember – both the colors and flavors should go together well.

Roll each ball out flat, and then place one on top of the other.  Take one end and slowly roll this up into a log.  Length-wise or width-wise determines how large your cookies will be.

Once you’ve completed rolling the dough, wrap it in plastic and place in the refrigerator until chilled.  This could take up to 2 hours, but you can leave it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

When you’re ready to bake, take the log out and remove the plastic covering.  Beginning at one end, slice the cookies about ¼” thick and place them on the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for about 10 minutes – you want them to be a lovely golden brown.  Let cool and serve.

**HINT – using a piece of thread instead of a knife, makes it easier to cut the dough.

Ophelia’s Curse is a suspenseful and intriguing novel from start to finish. The story will give you goose bumps and have you sitting on the edge of your seat. In short, this story will tickle your senses on a level that you’ve not known before. The thin line between witchcraft and terror is remarkable and written as if Tina Griffith had the gift of pure magic. This is an hypnotic and provocative book. And just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, the twists and turns prove you wrong.

On Hallow’s Eve, as the veil between the two worlds was thinning, the face of the full moon was lit up like a Christmas tree. The dead would soon come alive, the alive would dress up as the dead, and witchcraft had a way of piggybacking off other spells. This was the ideal night to be a witch, for the effectiveness of all incantations, divinations, and other avenues of magic, was perfect.

Jayla is a clever witch, who had been cursed in her teens by her friend, Ophelia. Since then, she has had to retrieve dark souls from shrewd men in order to survive. While she has taken hundreds of souls in her lifetime, this story is about her trying to take the one which belongs to Roger Casem – the man she accidentally fell in love with.

Could she kill him, as she had done with the others? If she wanted to continue living, she must. But today, when his eyes skimmed her body with unbelievable passion, she began to recognize her own needs. As she blushed and turned her face away from him, Jayla did the only thing she could.

AMAZON

 

Tina Griffith, who also wrote twenty-seven children’s books as Tina Ruiz, was born in Germany, but her family moved to Canada when she was in grammar school.

After her husband of 25 years passed away, she wrote romance novels to keep the love inside her heart. Tina now has eleven romance novels on Amazon, and while all of them have undertones of a love story, they are different genres; murder, mystery, whimsical, witches, ghosts, suspense, adventure, and her sister’s scary biography.

Tina has worked in television and radio as well as being a professional clown at the Children’s Hospital. She lives in Calgary with her second husband who encourages her to write her passion be it high-quality children’s books or intriguing romance.

Stay connected with Tina (Griffith) Ruiz on her Facebook group Tina Speaks Out.

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A WARM BREAKFAST TREAT

October 19, 2022 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

From Stella May

This is a wonderful recipe my family enjoys with breakfast or as a snack. Not only are the muffins nutritious, but they’re also easy to prepare, taste great, and freeze beautifully. I hope you enjoy these oven gems as much as we do.

Banana Coconut Muffins
2 ripe bananas
2 large eggs, or 3 small
⅓ cup sugar⅓ cup oil (I use sunflower oil)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 cups almond flour
1 cup chocolate chips, optional
1 cup chopped nuts (any type), optional

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Mix eggs with sugar, then add all ingrediencies through baking powder.

Stir in almond flour. The mixture is supposed to be a consistency of sour cream. Add chocolate chips and nuts if you choose to use them.

Prepare a cookie sheet with lightly oiled baking cups. Spoon mixture into cups.

Bake 30-40 minutes, depending on your oven. Muffins are ready when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. You can also use this recipe in a loaf pan to make Banana Coconut Bread. Bake at the same temperature for approximately 55 – 60 minutes. Either way, cool completely then enjoy.

Here’s a little to intrigue you on Stell May’s latest time travel romance.

After months of working like a woman possessed, Nika Morris kept her promise. Coleman House is finished. It’s gorgeous. Spectacular. Brilliant.

It’s breaking her heart.

Because once the new owners move in, she’ll be cut off from the time portal to 1909, where she met and fell in love with Eli Coleman. Now stranded in her own time, she’s waited months for the key to reappear in its hiding place. Only it hasn’t. Which means Eli must have believed the terrible things she was accused of.

Back in 1909, Eli is stunned at his best friend’s deathbed confession of a shocking betrayal. Nika—his Daisy, his time-traveling wonder—was innocent. Once he finds the key, he wastes no time stepping through the portal, determined to make things right.

But the moment Eli stumbles into her shiny, noisy, confusing future, he realizes reconciliation won’t be simple. There is more than one emotional bridge to rebuild before he and Nika can return to the time their love was born—and live their destiny out to the fullest.

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Stella May is the penname for Marina Sardarova who has a fascinating history you should read on her website.

Stella writes fantasy romance as well as time travel romance. She is the author of ‘Till Time Do Us Part, Book 1 in her Upon a Time series, and the stand-alone book Rhapsody in Dreams. Love and family are two cornerstones of her stories and life. Stella’s books are available in e-book and paperback through all major vendors.

When not writing, Stella enjoys classical music, reading, and long walks along the ocean with her husband. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband Leo of 25 years and their son George. They are her two best friends and are all partners in their family business.

Follow Stella on her website and blog. Stay connected on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

 

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GOOD EATING with ROOT VEGGIES

October 12, 2022 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

from Emma Lane

One of the nicest things about root veggies is that they are almost always around ready for serving to your family. Stored in the bottom of the pantry or in a cool, dry place in the cellar, potatoes are a staple for meals. Carrots, onions, and both types of potatoes can be prepared fairly simply for easy cooking. Satisfying and healthy, these root vegetables can be presented many different delicious ways.

 BREAKFAST

Fried Sweet Potatoes

3 medium sized sweet potatoes

½ cup butter

Brown sugar to sprinkle

Wash, peel, and slice potatoes in ¼ inch thick rounds. Melt butter in skillet, place potato rounds in and sprinkle with brown sugar.  Cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Brown sugar forms a syrup to pour over potatoes after cooking.

I suggest serving summer sausage patties, hot biscuits, raspberry jam, and orange juice.

Wash, peel, and slice potatoes in ¼ inch thick rounds. Melt butter in skillet, place potato rounds in and sprinkle with brown sugar.  Cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Brown sugar forms a syrup to pour over potatoes after cooking.

I suggest serving summer sausage patties Hot biscuits, raspberry jam, and orange juice.

LUNCH

Mashed White Potato Patties

2½ cups leftover mashed potatoes

1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

2 cups shredded mild cheese

1½ cups finely chopped green onion

Dash pepper

1 egg, beaten

1 cup breadcrumbs

1 – 2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Mix potatoes, cheese, flour, green onions, and a dash of pepper to taste together in a medium sized bowl. Form into thin 3 ½ inch patties.

Brush with beaten egg then cover with breadcrumbs, Turn gently with specula and cover with breadcrumbs other side.

Sauté in heated oil until browned and completely warmed through. Flip gently to brown both sides. Serve warm.

Great with scrambled eggs and bacon.

SUPPER (OR DINNER)
Carrot Casserole

1½ to 2 cups cooked and mashed carrots

1 small, sweet onion chopped

⅔ cup sharp grated cheese

½ tsp. yellow mustard

⅔ cup mayonnaise

1 tbsp. sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Ritz crackers, crushed

Preheat oven 350° F.

Combine mash carrots in a mixing bowl with all ingredients except crackers. Pour into casserole dish and top with crushed crackers.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes.

Suggested serving with browned pork chops topped with onion rings, mushroom soup and baked.  Fruit cups as salad.

Here’s a peek at my Cozy Mystery, Murder in the Neighborhood, a novel which introduces you to Detective Kevin Fowler and the intriguing murders which infect this small-town Americana. The series follows the detective, colleagues, friends, and lovers through a whirlwind of events, good and bad, over the next three novels.

A killer is attacking respectable citizens in picturesque Hubbard, NY, and leaving corpses on their front steps in the middle of the day. Detective Fowler isn’t certain who causes him to lose the most sleep, a certain sexy reporter with bouncing curls and sparkling black eyes, or the elusive psychopath creating panic in his small-town community. Together, the detective and the reporter race to find the monster in their midst and return the town to the desirable place where people come to raise their families in peace and contentment. Can they sort through their differences to find romance even as they search for a determined stalker with murder on his mind? The clock ticks down on a man in a rage with a deadly mission.

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Read more cozy mysteries by Janis Lane on Amazon .
Janis Lane is the penname 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.

 

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EASY DESSERT for EVERY OCCASSION

September 21, 2022 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

From Stella May

This recipe for a classic meringue desert is easy to prepare and wonderful to eat. My family loves these cookies as a sweet after a good dinner. If you choose to use vanilla extract, you’ll have a classic méringue desert called La Bise (kiss in French). Bon appetite!

Almond Meringue Cookies
4 egg whites, cold eggs right from the fridge
Pinch of salt
¾ or 1 cup of white sugar (I use organic raw cane sugar)
1 tbsp. almond or vanilla extract
12 whole almonds

Preheat oven to 200° F.

You need a hand or standing mixer. Mix egg whites and salt on high-speed to the consistency of dense foam.

Add sugar by small portions, mixing well. Try not to stop your mixer while adding sugar.
Add almond extract.

Cover cookie sheet with parchment. Spoon mixture into 12 cookies. You can use an ice-cream scoop. Place one whole almond on top of each cookie.

Bake for 1 hour. Lightly touch the cookie. It will have a firm crust and a soft center. That’s ideal. Turn off the oven and leave the cookies inside the oven for 1 hour.

Remove them from the oven to cool completely. Enjoy!

Here’s a little to intrigue you on Stell May’s latest time travel romance.

After months of working like a woman possessed, Nika Morris kept her promise. Coleman House is finished. It’s gorgeous. Spectacular. Brilliant.

It’s breaking her heart.

Because once the new owners move in, she’ll be cut off from the time portal to 1909, where she met and fell in love with Eli Coleman. Now stranded in her own time, she’s waited months for the key to reappear in its hiding place. Only it hasn’t. Which means Eli must have believed the terrible things she was accused of.

Back in 1909, Eli is stunned at his best friend’s deathbed confession of a shocking betrayal. Nika—his Daisy, his time-traveling wonder—was innocent. Once he finds the key, he wastes no time stepping through the portal, determined to make things right.

But the moment Eli stumbles into her shiny, noisy, confusing future, he realizes reconciliation won’t be simple. There is more than one emotional bridge to rebuild before he and Nika can return to the time their love was born—and live their destiny out to the fullest.

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Stella May is the penname for Marina Sardarova who has a fascinating history you should read on her website.

Stella writes fantasy romance as well as time travel romance. She is the author of ‘Till Time Do Us Part, Book 1 in her Upon a Time series, and the stand-alone book Rhapsody in Dreams. Love and family are two cornerstones of her stories and life. Stella’s books are available in e-book and paperback through all major vendors.

When not writing, Stella enjoys classical music, reading, and long walks along the ocean with her husband. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband Leo of 25 years and their son George. They are her two best friends and are all partners in their family business.

Follow Stella on her website and blog. Stay connected on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

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GOOD FALL EATING

September 14, 2022 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

From Emma Lane

This is a favorite of mine to use when I have leftovers. Actually, I plan so I have the right ingredients, but don’t tell my secrets.

In late summer when veggies are in top form, the sparkling green of fat bell peppers has my mouth watering. Fry up a bit more summer sausage for breakfast than you need. Pull out of the freezer that small bit of ground beef you cooked up with onion. Add a bit of chopped green onion, a dash of garlic salt. Mix with tomato soup which is undiluted. Use a ½ can if you only make up two; a whole can for four peppers. Add 1½ cups of white or wild rice that you had left over and tucked into the freezer. Voila! You are ready to assemble. All ingredients are already cooked, so you are just baking the peppers, microwave or oven.

Now if you don’t have leftovers then this is the recipe, that serves 4, to follow.

STUFFED PEPPERS
4 green peppers, red or yellow are good too
½ cup summer sausage, cooked, drained
½ cup ground beef, cooked, drained
1½ cups cooked wild or white rice
1 can tomato soup, regular size
Dash of garlic powder
Pinch of salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. chopped green onion
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Parsley garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Cut the top off peppers and discard stems, chop tops into small sizes and leave in bowl. Remove seeds from peppers and arrange in baking dish.

Mix remaining ingredients in bowl with chopped tops and then spoon into peppers. Cook for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the parm. May be refrigerated and served next day. Warm in oven or microwave.

Late summer harvest presents many choices for salads and dessert. A side dish of fruit and a slice of cheese (so many excellent selections). Corn bread is also a great taste with the peppers.

Enjoy!

Here is a brief intro to the cozy mystery series Emma writes as Janis Lane.

MURDER in the JUNKYARD sees the demise of a man no one likes, a romance, and plans for a wedding as Detective Fowler and his friends keep their small-town America free from danger.

Detective Kevin Fowler is furious that low life has targeted his town where people live in blissful safety. Brenda Bryant is out junkn’ for good things when she stumbles over the grotesque body of a man beloved by no one. Suspense heats up when large sums of money are found in two different places. Drug money is suspected, and Brenda targeted by someone who wants the money returned. Detective Fowler faces surprise after surprise as he peels back the surface of Hubbard, New York and deals with its shocking underbelly. Meanwhile romance infiltrates the group of friends with a wedding in the making.

AMAZON BUY LINK

Emma Lane is a gifted author who writes cozy mysteries as Janis Lane, Regency as Emma Lane, 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.

 

Add A Comment