Archive for the 'Cooking' Category


March 22, 2023 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

 from Emma Lane

My goal is to serve food with as little fuss as possible while still producing an attractive, delicious, and healthy meal for my family and guests. Hopefully this plan will give me more time to enjoy everyone.  I encourage you to add your own favorites.


Baked Ham

Raisin Sauce

Candied Carrots


Dinner Rolls

Peaches al la Mode


Hams are already cooked you merely want to warm it through. Follow the package directions so as not to dry out the meat.

Raisin Sauce

1 ½ cups water

¾ cup raisins

⅓ cup packed brown sugar

1 pinch salt

1 tsp. cornstarch

Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in raisins, then boil until raisins are very tender, 5 minutes.

Whisk in brown sugar and salt, then gradually whisk in cornstarch to avoid lumps forming. Simmer over low heat until glaze has thickened, 10 minutes.

Serve in a gravy boat for your family and friends to spoon onto their ham.

Candied Carrots

Are always a favorite. This recipe works great in your microwave.

5 – 8 baby or mini carrots per person

2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. brown sugar

Dash of maple syrup ¼ cup water

Parsley for garnish, optional

Cut carrots in half or thirds into long pieces.

Mix remaining ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Stir in carrots. Nuke until carrots are fork tender. Careful not to overcook. Spoon sauce over carrots before serving.


I have mentioned before I am originally from the south of the U.S. Oranges and coconut mixed together is Ambrosia in South Georgia. Use a pretty glass bowl if you have one. I use my mother’s cranberry bowl and love the contrast of the bright orange colors. This is a messy recipe to prep as you must remove the orange membrane. Do prepare the dish the day before and refrigerate to really blend the flavors.

1 orange per person if small, ½ if large

1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

¼ cup orange juice

1 small can crushed pineapple

Stir all ingredients together then scoop into a serving bowl.

Canned biscuits or Crescent Rolls

Follow the recipe on the package.

Peaches a la Mode

1 can sliced peaches in light syrup

Vanilla ice cream

Granola, optional

Maraschino cherries

Cherry juice

Spoon 3 – 5 peach slices in individual dessert dishes. Add a generous double scoop of vanilla ice cream. Top with a maraschino cherry and a sprinkling of granola. Drizzle sparingly with cherry juice.

Other fruits are also tasty prepared this way.

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.


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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March 15, 2023 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

From Vonnie Hughes

It’s my pleasure to share a muffin recipe that will become a breakfast favorite with your family. Use room temperature ingredients for best results as they blend into the batter easily and produce amazing muffins and makes your life easier!

If you prefer not to use butter, then an equal amount of vegetable oil or applesauce works. You can also swap out sour cream for plain unsweetened Greek yogurt. Fresh strawberries are perfect in this recipe, but frozen berries can also be used. Thaw and drain the strawberries before adding them to the muffin mix. If your frozen strawberries are whole, dice them first.

Strawberry Sour Cream Muffins

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

2 ¼ cups fresh strawberries

1 cup sugar

1 stick unsalted butter

2 lg. eggs

1 tbsp. vanilla extract¾ cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Wash berries and remove stems. Dice the strawberries into bitesize pieces.

Insert paper liners into a muffin pan or mist the pan with baking spray.

Combine flour through salt in a medium size bowl. Fold in strawberries and set it aside.

In a different bowl, cream butter and sugar together using a hand or stand mixer. Once the mixture is light and fluffy, beat in eggs, vanilla, and sour cream.

Thoroughly fold in the flour mixture to create a batter.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups to the top.

Bake muffins 20 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes in the baking pan. Then remove them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Store your strawberry muffins in an airtight container. They will stay fresh at room temperature for 3 days and can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Here is a little from my romantic suspense set in New Zealand where a young woman who witnesses the aftermath of a crime is sent to a supposedly safe house.

Inching along the wall, Célie reached the window. She held on to the door jamb, a little island of security in a sea of fear. Then she stretched across and peered out. A featureless face stared back at her.

She screamed and jumped back, bashing her elbow on the laundry tub.

Peaches lumbered to his feet, shaky and confused.

The face was still there. No eyes. No mouth. No nose.

Peaches staggered over to the door and snuffled.

Mesmerized, Célie kept staring at that distorted face as she backed into a corner.

Then the face moved, and a hand spread across the glass. The forefinger and thumb rubbed together.

Flashes of memory seared her mind.

She gasped, remembering that fearful morning when she’d discovered poor Occy’s disemboweled body. Stunned, struggling not to vomit, she’d been hovering over what was left of Occy when she sensed she was being watched. For a few precious seconds she had stared back at the creepy figure silhouetted in the early morning gloom watching her—just watching her.

Then he’d rubbed his thumb and forefinger together covetously, as if he were contemplating the best way to eat her alive.

And she’d bolted.

And done her best to bury those memories.

Whoever that monster had been, he was outside the window right now.


Vonnie Hughes is a multi-published author in both Regency books and contemporary suspense. She loves the intricacies of the social rules of the Regency period and the far-ranging consequences of the Napoleonic Code. And with suspense she has free rein to explore forensic matters and the strong convolutions of the human mind. Like many writers, some days she hates the whole process, but somehow she just cannot let it go.

Vonnie was born in New Zealand, but she and her husband now live happily in Australia. If you visit Hamilton Gardens in New Zealand be sure to stroll through the Japanese Garden. These is a bronze plaque engraved with a haiku describing the peacefulness of that environment. The poem was written by Vonnie.

All of Vonnie’s books are available at The Wild Rose Press and Amazon.

Learn more about Vonnie Hughes on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Goodreads.

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A Taste of Home

March 1, 2023 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

From Stella May

Here is a healthy and vibrant salad that is a traditional recipe for New Year’s celebration we made every year in Armenia when I was a girl. Now we like to eat it any time throughout the year, especially the next day after all the flavors have been absorbed. This classic festive ruby-colored salad is a favorite with my family. I hope yours likes it too.

Mom’s Vinegret Salad

3 medium beets

2 medium potatoes, peeled

2 medium carrots, scraped, or several snack-size carrots

½ lg. onion

1 cup sauerkraut, drained

2-3 pickled cucumbers

1 tbsp. wine vinegar

3 tbsp. sunflower oil, you can use light olive oil

1 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped

salt/ pepper to taste

Boil the vegetables and let them cool completely.

Dice all veggies evenly.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Add dill, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Here is a peek at one of Stella’s time travel romance novels for your reading pleasure.

One key unlocks the love of a lifetime…but could also break her heart.

Nika Morris’s sixth sense has helped build a successful business, lovingly restoring and reselling historic homes on Florida’s Amelia Island. But there’s one forlorn, neglected relic that’s pulled at her from the moment she saw it. The century-old Coleman house.

Quite unexpectedly, the house is handed to her on a silver platter—along with a mysterious letter, postmarked 1909, yet addressed personally to Nika. Its cryptic message: Find the key. You know where it is. Hurry, for goodness’ sake!

The message triggers an irresistible drive to find that key. When she does, one twist in an old grandfather clock throws her back in time, straight into the arms of deliciously, devilishly handsome Elijah Coleman.

Swept up in a journey of a lifetime, Nika finds herself falling in love with Eli—and with the family and friends that inhabit a time not even her vivid imagination could have conjured. But in one desperate moment of homesickness, she makes a decision that will not only alter the course of more than one life but break her heart.

’Til Time Do Us Part is available in Kindle and Paperback at AMAZON.

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 Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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Complete Comfort Food Dinner

February 8, 2023 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

From Erise Field

It’s so easy to misplace things, well it is for me, so I thought I should share this recipe for a great meatloaf dinner before I lost it.

Meatloaf Veggie Dinner
1 lb. ground beef
1 egg, beaten
½ cup finely chopped onion
3 tbsp. ketchup
¾ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground pepper
½ can condensed Campbell’s tomato soup
¾ cup dry breadcrumbs ( I like Italian ones)
6 small red potatoes
4 garlic cloves, optional
1 tbsp. olive oil
½ tbsp. mixed Italian herbs
Cooking spray

Meatloaf Topping
½ can condensed tomato soup
3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. brown sugar
Combine ingredients in a small bowl then coat meatloaves with the mixture.

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Mix ingredients together, ground beef through breadcrumbs, I use my hands. Shape into 5 small loaves and place them (not touching) onto the center of the baking pan.

Wash, dry, and cut into about ½ inch pieces potatoes with skin on. Add garlic. Sprinkle lightly with olive oil and Italian herbs. Set aside.

Spray a shallow baking pan big enough to hold the meatloaves in the center and a mixture of vegetables around the edges.

Bake 35 minutes. Check to see that the meat loaves and veggies are done. Let stand 5 minutes and serve.


Allow me to share a little of my latest novel, that is close to my heart, for your reading pleasure.

My historical novel– Lady Munevver: The Opium Merchant’s Daughter— is set in the Victorian period as England is preparing to enter the War in the East, the Crimean War, to support the Ottoman Empire that has been invaded by Russia.  Russia’s 1853 invasion of Crimea results in three Empires—England, France, and the Ottoman Empire– declaring war on Russia. It precipitates a disastrous marriage for Lady Munevver. It changes the world with advances in ships and military weapons, the development of the telegraph with its ability to deliver war news almost instantly, and the creation of modern nursing in Scutari Hospital.

In Surrey, England, the merchant father of beautiful but handicapped Munevver is obsessed with gaining acceptance by the Ton.  Refusing Munevver’s plea to marry her childhood love, William of Yorkshire, he arranges a marriage with James, the dissolute son of an impoverished, hard-handed Duke.

When England is drawn into the Crimean War, James joins the Light Brigade and sails to the Ottoman Empire to fight the invading Russians. After learning her husband has died in Scutari Hospital, an improvised hospital for English soldiers located across the Bosphorus from Constantinople, Munevver, terrified at what her father-in-law might do, flees England. Her destination: the ancient city of Aleppo in the eastern part of the Ottoman Empire where she hopes her uncle will shelter her in his vast trading compound.

Her escape ends in Constantinople when. the Sultan, irate at Queen Victoria’s command that he return the widow of one of her Lords, arranges a marriage for Munevver with Ari, a member of his court. Problem solved.  Munevver is now the wife of an Ottoman citizen. She is invisible.

Banished to the ancient, primitive city of Ankara, the young couple struggles to survive political intrigue, intense cold, and lack of medical care.  After Ari dies of tuberculosis, Munevver is desperate to return to Yorkshire, to her grandfather and to the man she loves, William. But how? Dare she accept the quid pro quo arrangement offered by the most powerful woman in the Ottoman Empire, the Sultan’s mother?

Available in e-book and paperback

Amazon Buy Link

Eris Field was born in the Green Mountains of Vermont—Jericho, Vermont to be precise—close by the home of Wilson Bentley (aka Snowflake Bentley), the first person in the world to photograph snowflakes. She learned from her Vermont neighbors that pursuit of one’s dream is a worthwhile life goal.

As a seventeen year old student nurse at Albany Hospital, Eris met a Turkish surgical intern who told her fascinating stories about the history of Turkey, the loss of the Ottoman Empire, and forced population exchanges. After they married and moved to Buffalo, Eris worked as a nurse at Children’s Hospital and at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

After taking time off to raise five children and amassing rejection letters for her short stories, Eris earned her master’s degree in Psychiatric Nursing at the University at Buffalo. Later, she taught psychiatric nursing at the University and wrote a textbook for psychiatric nurse practitioners—a wonderful rewarding but never to be repeated experience.

Eris now writes novels, usually international, contemporary romances. Her interest in history and her experience in psychiatry often play a part in her stories. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Western New York Romance Writers. In addition to writing, Eris’s interests include: Prevention of Psychiatric Disorders; Eradicating Honor Killings, supporting the Crossroads Springs Orphanage in Kenya for children orphaned by AIDS, and learning more about Turkey, Cyprus, and Kurdistan.

Learn more about Eris Field on her website. Stay connected on Facebook

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February 1, 2023 | Cooking, New Releases

Ladies, Valentine’s Day is only days away. Give that special guy in your life a gift that will make him a hero in the kitchen and king of the grill! From delicious breakfasts to the delectable aroma of meat grilling, these 130 recipes create 72 complete meals to satisfy hungry appetites.

Men…Dare to Tie One On? 

An apron, that is…

Cuisines to satisfy any craving, from comfort food to looks-fancy-but-easy-as-pie delights. Raid your own pantry and get fresh (ingredients) at the grocery.

Prep can be done in advance, but why rush? Make the prep part of the fun with your honey! (Matching aprons optional. Clothing is recommended, especially for sautéing!)

Menu suggestions provided or get adventurous and create your own unique meal—and a memory to savor.

Wine and beverage selections make you an instant pairing expert.

Bonus: Tips/tricks that will make everyone think you’re a kitchen genius.

Extra bonus: Sloane’s secret recipe for Super Bowl Chili!

All recipes are indexed so you can find what you need in a snap.

And come on, who doesn’t like sausage? (For breakfast! What were you thinking?)

Lunch, dinner—or breakfast the next morning, Sloane has you covered! Because a steamy date night always starts in the kitchen.

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning romance author with a passion that consumes her day and night. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

To learn more about Taylor go to her website. Stay in touch on Blogger, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Taylor’s cookbooks, Date Night Dinners, Date Night Dinners Italian Style, Sizzling Summer, and Recipes to Create Holidays Extraordinaire are released by Toque & Dagger Publishing and available on Amazon.



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January 25, 2023 | Cooking

from Slone Taylor

This recipe is the perfect way to use veggies that have been around a while and leftover roast beef. Serve with crusty bread, a dry red wine and your dinner is complete.


2 tbsp. olive oil
1med. onion, chopped1
lg. garlic clove, chopped
12 baby carrots, cut into thirds
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 tbsp. butter
2 red potatoes, not peeled, diced
10 green beans, cut in 1-inch pieces
½ small zucchini, diced
½ lb. cooked beef, diced
3 cups beef stock, not broth
1 – 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. dried basil
1 small bay leaf
2 pinches allspice
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Warm oil in a Dutch oven set on medium heat. Add onions. Sauté 3 – 4 minutes until lightly colored. Add garlic, cook 30 – 60 seconds, stirring constantly. Mix in carrots and celery. Adjust heat so onions and veggies don’t burn.

Swirl butter into pan. Add remaining veggies and meat. Sauté 5 – 8 minutes.

Combine remaining ingredients into pot. Bring soup to a boil. Cover pot, lower heat, and simmer 30 minutes.

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


Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning romance author with a passion that consumes her day and night. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

To learn more about Taylor go to her website. Stay in touch on Blogger, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Taylor’s cookbooks, Hot Men Wear Aprons, Date Night Dinners, Date Night Dinners Italian Style, Sizzling Summer, and Recipes to Create Holidays Extraordinaire are released by Toque & Dagger Publishing and available on Amazon.

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A Taste of Eastern Europe

January 18, 2023 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

From Stella May

Borscht is the most famous Ukrainian dish. It is kind of a sour soup common for Eastern Europe. It is low on calories, full of vitamins and minerals, and can be served hot or cold. And you can keep it in your refrigerator for several days. The flavor will only improve. Serve crusty rye bread and butter to complete a terrific dinner or lunch.

There are literally hundreds of different recipes for borscht. Here is my family’s favorite version. I hope you like it too.


1 medium carrot, thinly sliced

1 bell pepper, thinly sliced (optional)

2 medium potatoes, cut into small cubes

1 celery stalk, diced (optional)

1 can diced tomatoes, drained

5 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable stock

3 bay leaves

2 tbsp. fresh dill, minced, or 1 tsp. dried

2 medium beets, washed, peeled and shredded

1 small head cabbage, thinly sliced

salt/ pepper to taste

dill for serving

sour cream for serving

Arrange the ingredients listed above through the fresh dill into a large pot and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat, add beets and cabbage. Let simmer until the vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally.

When the soup is almost done, add salt and pepper.

Serve with additional dill and sour cream.


Here is a little from my latest time travel romance for your reading pleasure.

The only way to save their future is risk a journey back to her past.

Time is running out. The message rings in Abby Coleman’s head as clear as the chime of the grandfather clock, her time portal on Amelia Island. Her instincts scream that she must move. Act. But where? And why?

Through she leaped forward a century in time to live an independent life, she reluctantly admits she needs Alex, the insufferable thorn in her side who had the audacity to make her hope. Dream. Yearn.

Alex is through waiting for Abby to come to her senses. And to his complete surprise, the maddening, beautiful woman admits she loves him. Yet to his everlasting frustration, she refuses to marry until she solves her mystery.

In a blinding flash of light, the portal spits out a desperate, heavily pregnant Nika, and the reason becomes all too clear. With Abby missing from her own time, Eli stands accused of her murder. The only way to clear his name is for Abby to go where Alex can’t follow—back through the portal. And one passionate night together may be all they’ll ever have.



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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January 11, 2023 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

From Linda Lee Greene Author/Artist

As I now firmly inhabit the classification of “senior citizen” there are moments in which my thoughts turn to what my family might inscribe on my tombstone when the time comes. Various labels come to mind, but I wonder how they would also include on that small slab of marble the fact that I am a collector of strays, not of stray animals, but of stray people, people adrift who show up in my orbit seemingly unsolicited. But the truth is that there is nothing random about it, because it is a matter of mutual attraction among kindred spirits—of wandering souls drawn one to the other.

Once upon a time, for a short time, I had a boyfriend who nicknamed me “Gypsy.” I think he might have been the only person in all these years who saw me for who I really am not a globetrotter in the physical sense, but rather a nomad of spirit. It’s a tough thing to go through life knowing that you don’t really fit in anywhere, knowing that you think about and feel things differently than others you encounter along your path. I have never been able to be just “one of the guys (or gals).” Not that I haven’t tried, and in the trying, I became a master quick-change artist: changing my persona to fit in this situation and then changing it again to fit in that situation, ad infinitum. It’s exhausting! There is little doubt that one reason I became an artist, and a writer, is because in those solitary exercises, I breathe a huge sigh of relief and shed the masquerades and be me with only me as companion. An enormous saving grace for me and others like me is social media. Lo and behold, it turns out that there slews and slews of strays the world over with whom I connect on the Internet. Oh, how I wish I could welcome them to my physical neighborhood.

I read a case study in psychotherapist M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled and Beyond that nailed me. A woman came to him for analysis. Her complaint was just like mine. She was a misfit. “Tell me what I’m doing wrong, please? Please fix me!” she entreated the doctor. Following extensive scrutiny of this patient, Peck finally informed her that there was really nothing the matter with her. He helped her to see that she was different and always would be different, and it was okay—and then they explored ways in which she might find comfort and satisfaction in her differentness, the way I find it in my art and writing, and in my relationships with the strays who have a taste for my world.

I lost my two best strays in the recent past—their last grain of sand fell to the bottom of their hourglass and the Grim Reaper cut them free of physical life with his razor-sharp scythe. Consequently, I’m keeping my door open to the next stray who ambles in. When that day comes, I will sit him/her at my table and ladle up my latest kitchen concoction, a mightily flavorful and easy-to-make soup, Butter & Cheese Celery Soup that makes 4 servings. The recipe is below for your pleasure and as a “thank you” for taking time to read my lonely little confession.


1 pkg. celery

¼ cup bacon bits

1 tbsp. grated garlic

1 envelope onion soup/dip mix

16 oz. vegetable stock

1 tbsp. dried thyme

1 tbsp. dried parsley flakes

1 tbsp. dried chives

4 generous shakes coriander powder

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

¾ cup butter

¾ cup mozzarella cheese

Chop celery into bitesize pieces, transfer to a colander, wash thoroughly, and then place in Crock Pot, or Slow Cooker, or stove top kettle.

Add bacon bits through salt and pepper. Adjust spices to preferred taste.

Cook until celery chunks are fork soft.

Remove lid and while soup is still hot, stir in butter until it is dissolved. Blend in mozzarella or any other type of grated cheese and stir well to dissolve.

Just before serving, place the soup in a bullet blender or free-standing blender and emulsify it to a creamy consistency.

Leftovers freeze well.


Linda Lee

Here’s a peek at multi-award-winning author and artist Linda Lee Greene’s novel, Garden of the Spirits of the Pots, A Spiritual Odyssey. It is a blend of visionary and inspirational fiction with a touch of romance. The story unfolds as ex-pat American Nicholas Plato journeys into parts unknown, both within himself and his adopted home of Sydney, Australia. In the end, the odyssey reveals to him his true purpose for living. The novella is available in eBook and paperback.

Driven by a deathly thirst, he stops. A strange little brown man materializes out of nowhere and introduces himself merely as ‘Potter,’ and welcomes Nicholas to his ‘Garden of the Spirits of the Pots.’ Although Nicholas has never laid eyes on Potter, the man seems to have expected Nicholas at his bizarre habitation and displays knowledge about him that nobody has any right to possess. Just who is this mysterious Aboriginal potter?

Although they are as mismatched as two persons can be, a strangely inevitable friendship takes hold between them. It is a relationship that can only be directed by an unseen hand bent on setting Nicholas on a mystifying voyage of self-discovery and Potter on revelations of universal certainties.

A blend of visionary and inspirational fiction, and a touch of romance, this is a tale of Nicholas’ journey into parts unknown, both within his adopted home and himself, a quest that in the end leads him to his true purpose for living.


Multi-award-winning author and artist Linda Lee Greene describes her life as a telescope that when trained on her past reveals how each piece of it, whether good or bad or in-between, was necessary in the unfoldment of her fine art and literary paths.

Greene moved from farm-girl to city-girl; dance instructor to wife, mother, and homemaker; divorcee to single-working-mom and adult-college-student; and interior designer to multi-award-winning artist and author, essayist, and blogger. It was decades of challenging life experiences and debilitating, chronic illness that gave birth to her dormant flair for art and writing. Greene was three days shy of her fifty-seventh birthday when her creative spirit took a hold of her.

She found her way to her lonely easel soon thereafter. Since then, Greene has accepted commissions and displayed her artwork in shows and galleries in and around the USA. She is also a member of artist and writer associations.

Visit Linda on her blog and join her on Facebook.

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January 4, 2023 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

by Helen Carpenter

Some like it hot, some like it cold, some like it in a pot nine days old. Remember the Mother Goose “pease porridge” rhyme? While today we may think of porridge as cereal, in the sixteenth century, “porridge” was a derivation of “pottage” or “potage” meaning cooking pot. “Chowder” also comes from the word pot, via the French “cauldron.”

However you like your soup—hot, cold, or nine days old—combining savory ingredients in a pot and letting the flavors mingle is a time-tested menu favorite.

But what if you want your soup NOW? Well, you’re our kind of person, and we have just the recipe for you. Using already cooked ingredients makes this soup a quick lunch, ready in twenty minutes or less.

Corny Ham Chowder

1 cup milk
1 can cream style sweet corn
1½ cups cooked ham, cut into chunks
1½ cups cooked potatoes, drained and cut into chunks (canned works too)
1 tsp. onion powder
1 cup (4 oz) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Green onion or scallion slivers (optional)
Salt or chicken bouillon to taste

Mix milk, corn, ham, and potatoes in medium pot. Cook, be sure to stir occasionally until heated through.

Add cheese. Cover pot and let cheese melt completely.

Serve with a chunk of hearty bread.

Bonus Goodness:
Crave added richness? Substitute ½ cup of cream for ½ of the milk.

Are you a vegetable fan? Toss in the veggie of your choice, either frozen or fresh. We like frozen carrots for the added color—and the nutrition too of course.

No ham? Smoked sausage is a nice substitute.

Bland potatoes? Mix in sweet pickle juice. A teaspoon gives the soup zing.

Need more soup? Add more stuff. The converse works too.

Fighting off vampires? Switch out the regular salt for a teaspoon of garlic salt. If you have a bad infestation, add ½ teaspoon crushed garlic to the soup and serve with a wood spoon.

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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December 14, 2022 | Cooking, Holidays

After we entertain Christmas Eve, we tear through the house cleaning up before the kids and grands come for brunch Christmas Day. This meal is wonderful because so much can be prepared well in advance and stored in the fridge until it’s time to cook.

Breakfast Soufflé
Hash Browns
Fresh Fruit Salad
Mini Croissants
Christmas Cookies & Leftover Desserts

Breakfast Soufflé
1 lb. (½kg) ham, bacon, or breakfast sausage
9 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups (750ml) milk
1 tsp. (5ml) dry mustard
Diced green, red, and/or yellow pepper to taste
½ lb. (57g) sharp cheddar cheese, grated
½ lb. (57g) Swiss or Gruyere cheese, or a combination of the two, grated
Diced onion to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 – 1 in. (2.54cm) slices Vienna or French bread, cubed

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

Dice ham or bacon. If you use ham, set aside in the bowl you use for the eggs. Fry bacon to the crispness you prefer. Drain on paper towels. If you use breakfast sausage, fry meat until no longer pink. Be sure to break up any clumps. Drain meat in a colander while you continue to prepare the soufflé.

Add all ingredients, except the bread, to eggs. Stir well. Gently stir in bread.

Pour mixture into an ungreased 9 x 13-inch (33 x 22cm) glass baking dish. Bake 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center has no egg clinging to it.

This dish can be assembled one or two days ahead of time. On serving day allow the soufflé to sit on your counter 1 – 2 hours before you bake it.

Leftovers are excellent from the microwave.

Hash Browns
If you need to increase the hash browns recipe for a larger group of people, it’s best to sparingly add more garlic powder. As is this recipe serves 6. Leftovers reheat beautifully.

3 russet potatoes (about 1½ pounds), peeled
1½ tsp. (7.5ml) garlic powder, not salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil

Shred potatoes on the large holes of a box grater or use the coarse grater disk on a food processor. Transfer them to a bowl of cold water. Allow them to soak for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and then rinse under cold water. You do this to remove the starch that makes hash browns gummy.

Transfer shreds to a kitchen towel. Gather together ends of towel and twist over sink, squeezing firmly to wring out as much liquid as possible. This step creates crisp hash browns. Transfer potatoes to a medium bowl and toss with garlic powder and pepper. Be sure to evenly distribute the seasonings.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes, press down to form a thin layer and cook for a minute or two. Stir and then press down again. Cook until a dark golden crust forms, about 5 minutes.

Turn potatoes in sections. This is easier than trying to turn the food as a whole. Continue to fry until hash browns are crisp and browned all over, 5 minutes or so. Transfer to paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Fresh Fruit Salad
1 banana, peeled
1 pear, cored
1 tbsp. (15ml) lemon juice
¼ pineapple, peeled, cored, and diced
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
10 seedless red grapes, halved
10 blueberries
10 raspberries, optional

Slice banana into bitesize pieces. Scoop into a medium-sized bowl. Dice pear and add to bowl. Sprinkle lemon juice over fruit to stop it from turning brown and mix well.

Gently fold in remaining fruit.

Spoon into a glass bowl, cover with cling wrap, and chill until time to serve. Leftovers are still good the next day.

1 bottle sparking white wine or champagne, cold
1 carton orange juice, cold
Tall slender glasses

Fill glasses half full with wine. Tip the glass slightly as you pour to retain the fizz. Top off with orange juice. Don’t stir. That will destroy the bubbles.

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


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