Paranormal Romance Author

Hello and welcome. You'll find all sorts of happenings here. I have many interviews lined up this year with authors of various genres. I'll have contests, giveaways and much more. So keep popping back for some fantastic interviews, articles and new release information.

Click cover to order

Pick of the week

I am honoured that my new release Abigail Cottage has been named Pick of the week by thriller writer Lorrie Struiff

Check it out!!

Abigail Cottage

When Abigail falls in love with Justin she can’t begin to know the world of hurt she is heading into. Gorgeous, kind, rich – he’s the man we all dream to meet. BUT, all is not what it seems because Justin is a true demon from hell, disguised as a mortal being. He wants her and will do, kill or maim anyone who tries to stop him. Namely Shaun the real hero, who wants Abigail more! So what does a mortal man do against a demon? He enlists the help of a gypsy of course. But not any old gypsy. Rosa knows Justin very well and has the powers of the spirit world on her side to fight him. Using crystals as a powerful weapon, the light of the spirit world to lead them, they embark on a battle with the whole of the underworld. Many loved ones will lose their lives. This isn’t a book where everyone survives. In real life, bad things happen. In Abigail Cottage, terrible tragedies occur too. Believe... not every story can have a happy ending.

Got a kindle? Go here and download a FREE chapter of Abigail Cottage.



For Everyone

For new followers leave your email and you could win a gift from me. Also, I'll randomly choose the best comment of the week, EVERY week, and they will also win a unique gift from me. As well as author free gifts and prizes, you'll be in for a treat. Follow the blog and don't miss out.







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Friday, 24 December 2010

Toni Sweeny



Golly it's cold outside today. Toni arrived on a sleigh and is now safe and warm in my lounge. I think it's magic because I didn't see a sign of a reindeer!!


Here is her fav recipe.

TONI


Here's a recipe I like to use at Christmas because it's colorful and spicy. It even won first prize in a cooking contest once!


Pepper Soup

4 med red Bell peppers
1 small yellow Bell pepper
2 small chili peppers
1 clove garlic
1 large can chicken broth


Remove stems, membranes, and seeds from peppers. Boil until tender, then run through blender and puree. Peel and chop garlic clove. Add garlic and pureed peppers to chicken broth and bring to boil, stirring well. OPTIONAL: Serve with spoonful of sour cream and basil garnish.



You can find Toni here
YouTube:
MySpace:

I think we all can agree that her book cover is really lovely.


Thursday, 23 December 2010

Stephanie Gamm





Stephanie and I have been outside building a snowman. We've just come in to share with you her Christmas Cookie recipe.Brrr, pour out the coffee Stephanie, my feet are freezing.
By the way, have a look at her blog. It really is worth a browse.









Christmas Monster Cookies

Ingredients

3 eggs

2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon corn syrup
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
4 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup red and green M&Ms

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a very large bowl, beat the eggs.
Add the remaining ingredients in order, mixing well.Knead with hands if needed.

Use an ice cream scoop to put on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Cate Masters





I’ve stoked the log fire, mulled the wine and heated the mince pies. All we need now is cate Masters, and here she comes battling against the snow and wind, looking very glam in her faux fur coat.

The door opens, wind whistles in, snow follows cate, leaving small puddles on the wood floor…


Cate.
Happy holidays!

What a fun idea, sharing recipes, Margaret. If only our parties weren’t always virtual! It would be a blast to get together with everyone and raise a cheer.
One of my favorite treats is Pfeffernuesse cookies. Actually I just like saying Pfefferneusse, it sounds like something Monty Python might cook up, lol. But they are yummy and snowball-like, so fitting to serve up this holiday. Just don’t say ‘bless you’ when the hostess brings around the tray and offers, “Pfefferneusse?”
Making them’s a two-step process, so start early.



Pfefferneusse Cookies






Ingredients
• 4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/2 cup white sugar
• 3/4 cup light molasses
• 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for decoration

Directions
1. Stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, spices, and dash black pepper.
2. In large saucepan, combine molasses and butter; heat and stir until butter melts. Cool to room temperature.
3. Stir in eggs. Add dry ingredients to molasses mixture; mix well. Cover. Chill several hours or overnight.
4. Shape into 1" balls. Place on greased cookie sheet.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 12 to 14 minutes or until cookies are done. Remove. Cool. Roll in powdered sugar.

To otherwise warm the cockles of your heart, you should read my latest Eternal Press release, Follow the Stars Home:









Reviewers have described it as: “an insightful and entertaining novel that’s bound to teach you a few things about history. Kudos to Cate Masters for another winning novel. You won’t be able to put Follow the Stars Home down until you turn the last page.” And “The love story between Black Bear and Quiet Thunder is tenderly told, and well-written.” And “Quiet Thunder and Black Bear love each other. But can their love survive them being uprooted from their people, betrayed and lied to by the white man? Will they ever find their way back to their own people?

You will have to read this story to find out. But it is a fabulous journey, and you will enjoy it every step of the way.”

You can read an excerpt, the full reviews, and view the trailer here. Feel free to browse around my website a bit: And please visit my blog: I’d love for you to like me on Facebook:

However you celebrate it, have a cool Yule!
Cate

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Lorrie Struiff




Lorrie and I have been sitting in my lounge discussing how nice it is to just sit back for a an hour or so and relax. How many of us have the time to do it nowadays?


Hi Margaret, thanks for the invitation to your blog. I’m so happy to be here.
Well, it’s that time of year again, the hustle, the bustle, the parties, the food planning and the gift buying. Families gather to share the festivities. We start gift buying on Thanksgiving—or before—for the big day.
I don’t know about you readers, but by the time the holiday does arrive, I’m wishing it were over. In fact, I’m holidayed out way before the big day.
I get tired of the grandchildren yelling, “I want that, I want that” every time a toy ad is shown on TV.
Many of us would like a less commercialistic month, I’m sure.
But what do you do to make your holiday special? And I’m talking about you, personally. Something for yourself, something that gives you a warm glow inside and gives you the true feeling and meaning of what Christmas is all about.
There are so many things you can do.
Sometimes, I purchase a food gift card from the local grocery store and mail it to a needy family that I know--anonymously of course.
There may be an elderly couple I know whose children cannot come home for the holiday. I invite them to share my family and dinner for the day.
There is a handicapped person near who may need to get out shopping. I offer to take them.
There may be a shut-in living near. They appreciate a visit and some company.
There is so much more, but I’m sure you know what I mean.
Even the littlest of things you do can make you and the person feel good.
Help a neighbor carry groceries into their house.
Offer them a cup of hot coffee when they are hanging Christmas lights in the cold.
Shovel snow out of an elderly person’s driveway or sidewalk.
Haul out their garbage can for pickup day.
Do any of you remember when the “Pass on the Good Deed” card started and now seems to be out of fashion, or forgotten?
It was a card. You can make them on the computer that simply says, “You Owe One Good Deed.”
If you stopped to go out of your way for a stranger or friend, after you have helped them, you would give them the card. It would then be up to them to do a good deed and pass on the card. What a wonderful idea.
And wouldn’t it be wonderful, not only because of the holidays, but to make this a habit of at least one good deed a month? One card a month. Christmas glow for you for the whole year. Once a week?
Okay, I won’t get carried away. We all have such busy lives in today’s times, much pressure to bear. I’m sure most of you do a lot of the above mentioned anyway and I’m sort of speaking to the choir.
But, here, I’m talking about something different, something you don’t “normally” do.
Give of yourself, a little bit of your precious time. A good feeling inside goes a long way.
Hmm. I think I’ll make up some cards right now.


Before I go here is a taster for short story Wild Blackberries

Come along with Morgan for a roller coaster ride.
Morgan is researching on an Indian reservation in Prescott, Arizona, for her new paranormal novel. She doesn’t believe in the paranormal, but writes it for the trend and the nice royalties. That is until her soon to be divorced husband tries to kill her, and she survives by her wits and a little “strange” help.
Buy it here.
To see her reviews and all of her releases please visit her website,



While we are drinking coffee and eating our mince pies, here is her Christmas recipe.




Here is an easy, fast treat to whip up that can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks and pulled out for a quick appetizer or set on the table surrounded by crackers for a “help yourself.”


Beef Spread
If you have leftovers from a roast, here is a spread that is sure to delight the taste buds of your guests. Quick and easy.

1/2 # of leftover cooked roast (or a bit more)--any cut
1 small jar of sweet pickles
1 small onion
1/2 of raw green pepper

Grind or (I use the food processor) all together. Then dump in bowl.
Mix in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Miracle Whip>>to taste.

Looks almost like pate', but the taste is great. Spread on Ritz crackers or saltines and serve as hors d'oeuvre, or put in a pretty bowl and surround with crackers.
Hint=this lasts very long refrigerated and also freezes well.




Blurb

Everyone has secrets.
Homicide Detective Rita Moldova has a secret, a crystal amulet from her Roma bloodline that shows her the last image a victim had seen before they died. Now, a ritual killer is terrorizing her town and the crystal’s magic has suddenly stopped.
FBI agent, Matt Boulet, is sent to lead the task force and gives the group strange orders. Worse, Rita senses he is holding back a deep dark secret about the killer.
When she confronts her seer mother’s advice, she learns another secret about their clan that she finds impossible to swallow.
Rita swims through a whirlpool of confusion as the investigation continues. Can Rita deny the lore of the ancients? Can she deny her growing feelings for Matt Boulet?
Gypsy Crystal is now available in print and Multi-Format e-book.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Lisa Lickel




Today I have Lisa Lickel in my kitchen.



She is sharing her recipe for Velvet Bars. You can find her here here and
here

She writes “What if” stories with a twist of grace and is also the
author of Meander Scar, a special love story about finding home.







Very easy cheater recipe for those who aren’t into scratch baking or would rather spend time with family but would still love to wow them with a pretty holiday dessert.
9x13 pan size
Heat oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients:
1 box red velvet cake mix
1 cup softened margarine
2 eggs
2 – 8 oz pkgs cream cheese (use light or fat-free; tastes good and less guilt)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. sugar – may use powdered for a smoother whip
colored sprinkles for top

Mix dry cake mix, margarine and eggs together in a bowl; mixture will resemble a brownie mix. Spread with a buttered spatula in a greased 9 x 13 pan.
Beat cream cheese, sugar and eggs and vanilla until smooth; pour over batter.

Bake in 350 oven 45 minutes or so; don’t let cream cheese top burn.
Immediately spread your sprinkles – red colored sugar is pretty.
Cool, then cut into bars.

Store tightly wrapped in refrigerator.

Enjoy the holidays! Merry Christmas
from Lisa Lickel

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Icy Snow




Today I have a lovely lady who writes under name Icy Snow. As its her birthday on the 27th as well, I thought I'd give her a gift separate from Christmas.




Inside this box is all my good wishes and luck for next year.

Her next novel is Gypsy Charm, a fantasy which will be released from Class Act Books in March, 2011.

Buy her books here






Peanut Soup.

3 cups chicken broth
1 pound of cooked carrots
1 medium onion
1 cup green onion tops
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
salt and pepper to taste


cook carrots, onion, and green onion tops until tender, then cut into small pieces and puree in blender. Add to chicken broth, stirring well. Bring to boil, then add peanut butter. Bring to second boil and stir until peanut butter is well-blended. Simmer for 5 minutes. Serve garnished with croutons.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Amy Ruttan



Amy Ruttan has skated up the icy pathway to my door today. While we eat a turkey sandwich and have a hot cup of tea, have a look at her book and favorite recipe.

Oh yes, you can find Amy here.

Here is her latest book.




....and a bit about it.

A dream reborn, or a nightmare reawakened…

Cedric is haunted every waking moment by memories of his first wife’s brutal murder. Bridget's father sells her into an arranged marriage. She should be afraid but, Lord Cedric is far different from any man she has ever known; he is kind, gentle…and he has lost heart.

If ever a man needed her healing powers, it was Cedric. But convincing him he deserves to be whole will take time—time she may not have.

Now that her father has found a higher bidder for her hand.


Here is her favorite delight.


OREO TRUFFLES






1 package of Oreo cookies crushed
1 package of cream cheese softened
2 packages of semisweet chocolate and 1/4 cup butter melted together.

In the food processor combie cookies and cream cheese and blend. Form mix into 42 balls.
Refigerate the balls for a minimum 30 minutes in the fridge.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Dip the balls in the chocolate, place on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper.
Refrigerate until chocolate is set.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Ginger Simpson is in da house!!!




I thank Margaret for inviting me here today to share my favorite recipes with you. Since marrying my second husband, who is the king of the kitchen, I rarely cook anymore. I’d share some of his delightful recipes but the problem is, he doesn’t have any. He “wings it” and the results are delicious, but therein lies the problem. You’ll never get the same dish twice because he can’t remember what he put in the previous time. *smile*

So, I’ve flipped through my 3x5 card index, looking for something to share. I don’t have anything really awesome, but I do think I’ve found one you all can use at one point or another.

3 cups of tap water
1 fairly large pan

Fill a Pyrex measuring glass to the “2 cup” line and dump into the pan. Add an additional “cup” to the measuring glass and add to liquid already in the pan. No stirring necessary.

Place contents on a high flame until bubbles appear.

Voile! Boiled water!



The possibilities are endless. You can add Lipton Soup mix, Kraft Macaroni (cheese to be added after noodles cook), make hot chocolate… or you can bottle it and know that in the case of a national disaster, you have clean, boiled water for your family. Oh, and I didn’t think I had anything useful to offer. Silly me! This definitely beats my recipe for burned microwave popcorn.

Historical fact:
Did you know that the Lakota Sioux carried their water from local streams in pouches made from the stomach of the buffalo? The demise of the bison was a major factor in the tribes that so depended on these animals for everything: food, shelter, clothing, needles, bowstrings, tools. No part of a slain animal was wasted by an Indian… unlike the white men who killed them for only their pelts and left everything else to rot.


Talking about Native Americans, have a look at Gingers latest release, White Heart, Lakota Spirit. Fab or what!!!




Well, I think we will all be using Gingers great idea most of next year!!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Jane Toombs






A break from Recipes. I've invited Jane Toombs to join me in my lounge today and she has a lovely poem to share. Which I have to agree, will be many of other peoples sentiments too.






To find her click on her picture.





Ten Past Midnight, Dark Tales to read before a glowing fire, with all the lights on.
available now from here.
Winter Wonderland?
By
Jane Toombs

Every day it snows
Oh how the wind blows--
Ole Hawk from the north makes it drift
Piles it up for winter wonder gift
Chills the air till spirits sink
Makes it difficult to think.
Snow plows battle day and night
Don't give up without a fight.
Snow and wind a fearful foe
Can't get out to come and go.
No water shows in the great lake
Frozen ice volcanos quake.
If only I could hibernate
And awake when Spring has sprung
After all the snow and ice is done.
Winter wonderland they say
Those who don't live here every day.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Welcome Tony - Paul De Vissage




Today I am happy to have with me Tony - Paul De Vissage. He is a writer of French Huguenot extraction, one of his first movie memories is of being six years old, viewing the old Universal horror flick, Dracula's Daughter on television, and being scared sleepless--and that may explain his lifelong interest in vampires.

I'll leave you in his very capable hands.





Good Morning.

In spite of being transplanted to faraway places, I still consider myself a Southerner, and I still celebrate Southern Christmas customs wherever I may be. I’d like to talk about three special Southern customs observed during Christmas. One appears in my family alone; the others used to be carried out throughout the state.

Back in the Olden Days when there were many children and little money, each child would get a pair of shoes for Christmas. Generally, these had to last until summer, at which time, bare feet were de rigeur. Then, come fall and with colder weather, another pair of shoes were in order. The shoe box was saved and placed on the hearth before the fireplace where Santa, dear old chap, would remove the lid, fill it with small gifts, such as socks, handkerchiefs, candy, metal cars, and perhaps a small doll, replace the lid and go on his merry way. Naughty children got a box filled with coal. If I’d been alive back then, I’m certain I would have amassed enough coal to keep myself warm for many winters but—j’etais si chanceux!—I wasn’t born until decades later when this custom had going out of style because people were making more money and could afford to shower their often only child with Ataris and Transformers and real, live [onies.

The other custom dates back to before the War of Northern Agression and now exists only in any family which has an older Southerner in its midst: Shouting the Christmas Gift. This consists of seeing who can get to the Christmas tree first on Christmas morning—without being seen. It was more fun, of course, when the bedrooms were upstairs and everyone had to creep—ever so quietly—down the stairs, trying not to wake everyone else. Generally, they all caught up to each other on the landing at the same time. The first one to yell “Christmas Gift!’ thus beating everyone else to the punch, got to open his gifts first while all the others impatiently waited their turns. My family no longer practices this custom, although when phone calls are made, instead of “Hello” we answer with “Christmas Gift!” because who else would be calling on Christmas Morn but another family member?

The third custom is one that, as far as I know, only my family observed. Every Christmas morning, Papa would get up before everyone else and disappear into the kitchen where, for the next twenty minutes, he would work as hard as a pastry chef on concocting an egg nog for Maman. Made with real whipping cream, real eggs, and a healthy slug of Jack Daniels whiskey. No cinnamon or nutmeg, s’il vous plait! Pouring it into a wine glass, he’d cut a slice of fruit cake, place both on a tray and carry it to the bedroom where he would offer it to Maman who was just waking. Once she ate the fruitcake and drank nog, she would get out of bed and it was officially Christmas Day. Then and only then, could we open our gifts.

Ah, I get nostalgique thinking of these customs, and perhaps a little sad that they are no longer around. However, another rates high on my list—my birthday and my cousins—on December 27th, so when you raise those glasses in a Christmas toast, think of us and our combined Christmas-and-birthday gifts, and toast us, also!


Website:
Youtube:

Pecan Macaroons









3/4 C lt brown sugar
2 egg whites
2 C chopped pecans
pinch salt

Beat egg whites until stiff. Blend sugar and egg whites thoroughly. Add pecans. Drop by tablespoons onto cookie sheet. Bake until brown at 250 degrees. Cool before removing from cookie sheet.

Icy Snow




Today I have a lovely lady who writes under name Icy Snow. As its her birthday on the 27th as well, I thought I'd give her a gift separate from Christmas.




Inside this box is all my good wishes and luck for next year.

Her next novel is Gypsy Charm, a fantasy which will be released from Class Act Books in March, 2011.
Visit her website







Peanut Soup.

3 cups chicken broth
1 pound of cooked carrots
1 medium onion
1 cup green onion tops
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
salt and pepper to taste


cook carrots, onion, and green onion tops until tender, then cut into small pieces and puree in blender. Add to chicken broth, stirring well. Bring to boil, then add peanut butter. Bring to second boil and stir until peanut butter is well-blended. Simmer for 5 minutes. Serve garnished with croutons.

Amy Ruttan



Amy Ruttan has skated up the icy pathway to my door today. While we eat a turkey sandwich and have a hot cup of tea, have a browse about her book and favorite recipe.

Oh yes, you can find Amy here.

Here is her latest book.




....and a bit about it.

A dream reborn, or a nightmare reawakened…

Cedric is haunted every waking moment by memories of his first wife’s brutal murder. Bridget's father sells her into an arranged marriage. She should be afraid but, Lord Cedric is far different from any man she has ever known; he is kind, gentle…and he has lost heart.

If ever a man needed her healing powers, it was Cedric. But convincing him he deserves to be whole will take time—time she may not have.

Now that her father has found a higher bidder for her hand.


Here is her favorite delight.


OREO TRUFFLES






1 package of Oreo cookies crushed
1 package of cream cheese softened
2 packages of semisweet chocolate and 1/4 cup butter melted together.

In the food processor combie cookies and cream cheese and blend. Form mix into 42 balls.
Refigerate the balls for a minimum 30 minutes in the fridge.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Dip the balls in the chocolate, place on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper.
Refrigerate until chocolate is set.

Jane Toombs






A break from Recipes. I've invited Jane Toombs to join me in my lounge today and she has a lovely poem to share. Which I have to agree, will be many of other peoples sentiments too.






To find her click on her picture.





Ten Past Midnight, Dark Tales to read before a glowing fire, with all the lights on.
available now from here


Winter Wonderland?
By
Jane Toombs

Every day it snows
Oh how the wind blows--
Ole Hawk from the north makes it drift
Piles it up for winter wonder gift
Chills the air till spirits sink
Makes it difficult to think.
Snow plows battle day and night
Don't give up without a fight.
Snow and wind a fearful foe
Can't get out to come and go.
No water shows in the great lake
Frozen ice volcanos quake.
If only I could hibernate
And awake when Spring has sprung
After all the snow and ice is done.
Winter wonderland they say
Those who don't live here every day.

Lorrie Struiff




Lorrie and I have been sitting in my lounge discussing how nice it is to just sit back for a an hour or so and relax. How many of us have the time to do it nowadays?


Hi Margaret, thanks for the invitation to your blog. I’m so happy to be here.
Well, it’s that time of year again, the hustle, the bustle, the parties, the food planning and the gift buying. Families gather to share the festivities. We start gift buying on Thanksgiving—or before—for the big day.
I don’t know about you readers, but by the time the holiday does arrive, I’m wishing it were over. In fact, I’m holidayed out way before the big day.
I get tired of the grandchildren yelling, “I want that, I want that” every time a toy ad is shown on TV.
Many of us would like a less commercialistic month, I’m sure.
But what do you do to make your holiday special? And I’m talking about you, personally. Something for yourself, something that gives you a warm glow inside and gives you the true feeling and meaning of what Christmas is all about.
There are so many things you can do.
Sometimes, I purchase a food gift card from the local grocery store and mail it to a needy family that I know--anonymously of course.
There may be an elderly couple I know whose children cannot come home for the holiday. I invite them to share my family and dinner for the day.
There is a handicapped person near who may need to get out shopping. I offer to take them.
There may be a shut-in living near. They appreciate a visit and some company.
There is so much more, but I’m sure you know what I mean.
Even the littlest of things you do can make you and the person feel good.
Help a neighbor carry groceries into their house.
Offer them a cup of hot coffee when they are hanging Christmas lights in the cold.
Shovel snow out of an elderly person’s driveway or sidewalk.
Haul out their garbage can for pickup day.
Do any of you remember when the “Pass on the Good Deed” card started and now seems to be out of fashion, or forgotten?
It was a card. You can make them on the computer that simply says, “You Owe One Good Deed.”
If you stopped to go out of your way for a stranger or friend, after you have helped them, you would give them the card. It would then be up to them to do a good deed and pass on the card. What a wonderful idea.
And wouldn’t it be wonderful, not only because of the holidays, but to make this a habit of at least one good deed a month? One card a month. Christmas glow for you for the whole year. Once a week?
Okay, I won’t get carried away. We all have such busy lives in today’s times, much pressure to bear. I’m sure most of you do a lot of the above mentioned anyway and I’m sort of speaking to the choir.
But, here, I’m talking about something different, something you don’t “normally” do.
Give of yourself, a little bit of your precious time. A good feeling inside goes a long way.
Hmm. I think I’ll make up some cards right now.


Before I go here is a taster for short story Wild Blackberries

Come along with Morgan for a roller coaster ride.
Morgan is researching on an Indian reservation in Prescott, Arizona, for her new paranormal novel. She doesn’t believe in the paranormal, but writes it for the trend and the nice royalties. That is until her soon to be divorced husband tries to kill her, and she survives by her wits and a little “strange” help.
Buy it here.
To see her reviews and all of her releases please visit her website,



While we are drinking coffee and eating our mince pies, here is her Christmas recipe.




Here is an easy, fast treat to whip up that can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks and pulled out for a quick appetizer or set on the table surrounded by crackers for a “help yourself.”


Beef Spread
If you have leftovers from a roast, here is a spread that is sure to delight the taste buds of your guests. Quick and easy.

1/2 # of leftover cooked roast (or a bit more)--any cut
1 small jar of sweet pickles
1 small onion
1/2 of raw green pepper

Grind or (I use the food processor) all together. Then dump in bowl.
Mix in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Miracle Whip>>to taste.

Looks almost like pate', but the taste is great. Spread on Ritz crackers or saltines and serve as hors d'oeuvre, or put in a pretty bowl and surround with crackers.
Hint=this lasts very long refrigerated and also freezes well.




Blurb

Everyone has secrets.
Homicide Detective Rita Moldova has a secret, a crystal amulet from her Roma bloodline that shows her the last image a victim had seen before they died. Now, a ritual killer is terrorizing her town and the crystal’s magic has suddenly stopped.
FBI agent, Matt Boulet, is sent to lead the task force and gives the group strange orders. Worse, Rita senses he is holding back a deep dark secret about the killer.
When she confronts her seer mother’s advice, she learns another secret about their clan that she finds impossible to swallow.
Rita swims through a whirlpool of confusion as the investigation continues. Can Rita deny the lore of the ancients? Can she deny her growing feelings for Matt Boulet?
Gypsy Crystal is now available in print and Multi-Format e-book at

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Welcome to Lisa Lickel

Today I have Lisa Lickel in my kitchen.



She is sharing her recipe for Velvet Bars. You can find her here here and
here

She writes “What if” stories with a twist of grace and is also the
author of Meander Scar, a special love story about finding home.







Very easy cheater recipe for those who aren’t into scratch baking or would rather spend time with family but would still love to wow them with a pretty holiday dessert.
9x13 pan size
Heat oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients:
1 box red velvet cake mix
1 cup softened margarine
2 eggs
2 – 8 oz pkgs cream cheese (use light or fat-free; tastes good and less guilt)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. sugar – may use powdered for a smoother whip
colored sprinkles for top

Mix dry cake mix, margarine and eggs together in a bowl; mixture will resemble a brownie mix. Spread with a buttered spatula in a greased 9 x 13 pan.
Beat cream cheese, sugar and eggs and vanilla until smooth; pour over batter.

Bake in 350 oven 45 minutes or so; don’t let cream cheese top burn.
Immediately spread your sprinkles – red colored sugar is pretty.
Cool, then cut into bars.

Store tightly wrapped in refrigerator.

Enjoy the holidays! Merry Christmas
from Lisa Lickel

Ginger Simpson is in da house!




I thank Margaret for inviting me here today to share my favorite recipes with you. Since marrying my second husband, who is the king of the kitchen, I rarely cook anymore. I’d share some of his delightful recipes but the problem is, he doesn’t have any. He “wings it” and the results are delicious, but therein lies the problem. You’ll never get the same dish twice because he can’t remember what he put in the previous time. *smile*

So, I’ve flipped through my 3x5 card index, looking for something to share. I don’t have anything really awesome, but I do think I’ve found one you all can use at one point or another.

3 cups of tap water
1 fairly large pan

Fill a Pyrex measuring glass to the “2 cup” line and dump into the pan. Add an additional “cup” to the measuring glass and add to liquid already in the pan. No stirring necessary.

Place contents on a high flame until bubbles appear.

Voile! Boiled water!




The possibilities are endless. You can add Lipton Soup mix, Kraft Macaroni (cheese to be added after noodles cook), make hot chocolate… or you can bottle it and know that in the case of a national disaster, you have clean, boiled water for your family. Oh, and I didn’t think I had anything useful to offer. Silly me! This definitely beats my recipe for burned microwave popcorn.

Historical fact:
Did you know that the Lakota Sioux carried their water from local streams in pouches made from the stomach of the buffalo? The demise of the bison was a major factor in the tribes that so depended on these animals for everything: food, shelter, clothing, needles, bowstrings, tools. No part of a slain animal was wasted by an Indian… unlike the white men who killed them for only their pelts and left everything else to rot.


Talking about Native Americans, have a look at Gingers latest release. Fab or what!!!




Well, I think we can all say that we will all use Gingers great idea most of next year!!


Lindsay Below





Good Morning. It’s cold enough for the polar bears to visit today! I’ve made a lovely Irish coffee and warmed up the mince pies for my guest Lindsay Below.









Under the name B.K Below she writes romance and speculative fiction. Under her full name, Lindsay Below, she writes young adult and middle grade fiction.



You can check out her fairytale romance story, Unveiling His Princess, coming January 3rd from Liquid Silver Books. Visit her online or on her blog.




I have to say I LOVE this cover. So without further ado, here is her mouthwatering Crepe delight!





Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
butter or oil to grease pan

Please note: If you're making this for a family of four or more, you might want to consider doubling or tripling the recipe. This one only makes about 12 crepes, and I've found that 12 is almost never enough!
Instructions:

Measure flour, sugar, baking powder, salt into a bowl. Stir in milk, eggs, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

Grease a frying pan with butter or cooking oil. I use canola, personally. Using a ladle, pour about 1/4 cup of batter into pan. Tilt pan until batter covers the bottom (these will be thin -- you want them to be!). As the crepe cooks, make sure to jostle the pan a bit to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom. It should slide easily. When lightly browned, flip the crepe with a spatula (I own an extra-huge spatula for this because my flipping talents are zilch). When other side is browned, remove from heat and put on a plate (repeat until batter is gone).

Now this is the fun part! Bring out the jellies, jams, peanut butter, nutella, honey, fresh fruit, whipped cream, chocolate syrup, maple syrup -- you name it. Fill crepe with spreads, fresh fruit, custard, or cream (or nothing at all, like my mother enjoys them), roll it up tightly and drizzle with syrup. For a festive touch, bring out the crushed candy cane to sprinkle on top!

Happy holidays!

Christmas with Maryann Miller







Christmas Cheer

I have mulled wine on the table, a slice of my homemade Christmas cake. The log fire is roaring and Maryann and I are sitting in a comfy armchair, talking about what a hectic year this has been. Here is a few of the things that’s kept Maryann busy


As a journalist and author, Maryann Miller amassed credits for feature articles and short fiction in numerous national and regional publications. The Rosen Publishing Group in New York published nine of her non-fiction books including the award-winning, Coping With Weapons and Violence in School and On Your Streets, which is in its third printing. Play It Again, Sam, a woman's novel and One Small Victory, a suspense novel, are electronic books available on Kindle, Nook, and other e-book reading devices. One Small Victory was originally published in hardback. A mystery, Open Season, is a new release in hardback from Five Star Cengage Gale. A young adult novel, Friends Forever, is her first book for BWL Publishing Partners. She has also written several screenplays and stage plays and is the Theatre Director at the Winnsboro Center for the Arts.


I thought before we discussed our favorite recepies, I’d show you a few of her wonderful covers. Click here to have a look at her website. It’s pretty fabulous!









While I sit here and tuck in I’ll leave you Maryann’s capable hands.

An Italian Christmas

Good Morning Everyone. At the Miller household we started a tradition many years ago of having our big dinner on Christmas Eve, and the kids voted to have lasagna instead of the traditional holiday fare. That suited me just fine as lasagna is much easier to prepare than turkey, ham, dressing, sides, etc. Plus it's a one-pan cleanup.

I actually started this new approach after the first Christmas we spent in Texas, away from extended family. On Christmas, I was in the kitchen most of the day cooking and cleaning up, while the rest of the family was having fun playing with new toys. Normally, I do not begrudge the family some fun, and I really do love to cook holiday meals and see how much they are enjoyed, but for some reason that inequity really bugged me that year.

Plus, I'm always looking for a good excuse to play, so I decided that was the last Christmas I would spend in the kitchen.

When I proposed the change to my husband and the kids, they were all for it. They liked the idea of a relaxed day and a much happier mother. Instead of the standard holiday dinner fare on Christmas Day, we had sliced ham with fresh fruits and veggies to munch on, as well as the usual Christmas cookies and breads. Somehow I always ended up with lots of leftover fruits and vegetables, but why is that not a huge surprise?

As the years piled up, we really started looking forward to the Christmas Eve dinner more and more until it became almost sacred family time. In fact, even to this day with the kids grown and a bit scattered, we try to hold to this tradition as best we can. Christmas Eve just would not be the same without the lasagna.

Lasagna Recipe
From Maryann Miller

All good lasagna starts with the sauce. For a meat sauce:

1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic chopped (or pressed)
1 green bell pepper chopped fine

2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
1/2 cup water

4 tblsp white sugar
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil leaves
1 tsp red pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp ground pepper

Brown the meats with the onion, pepper and garlic. Pour off excess fat, then add tomatoes, water and seasonings. Simmer at least an hour. This recipe can be made days in advance and just gets better with age. There is more than enough sauce for the lasagna so the rest can be frozen for use later.

To prepare the lasagna:
Soak 12 lasagna noodles in hot tap water for 15 minutes. While they are soaking, you can prepare the cheese filling:
23 ounces ricotta cheese.
1 egg
4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 tsp parsley

Mix all ingredients well. When noodles are ready, take them out of the water and shake off excess water. Then start making layers. Put a cup of sauce on the bottom of a 9X12 pan and add a layer of noodles. Then add a layer of the cheese mixture, topped with some shredded mozzarella cheese and grated parmesan cheese. Alternate layers, ending up with sauce on top. Sprinkle more Parmesan on the top layer.

Cover with foil
Bake in preheated oven at 350 F for 25 minutes
Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 25 minutes.






I’m off to try this..really…I am. I love lasagna. But maybe not at Christmas. I think my hubby would have me committed as insane.