Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Calling All Grill Warriors!

To all you faithful grillers who trudge in the snow to cook the perfect meat, I present my Canadian buddy Sharon Ledwith and her amazing recipe. The kitchen and patio are all yours, Sharon.


What can I say, ribs - a favorite of Grill Warriors everywhere.

Ribs conjure up images of cook-offs and eat-to-the-death contests at festivals and fairs. Here’s a sweet and spicy rib recipe that will make your neighbors jealous, and your friends and family get down on their knees to beg you to make every time they visit. The secret is in the sauce, and most people can’t get enough of it! It takes fifteen minutes to prep, with a cook time of two hours and is ready in three hours, fifteen minutes. In the end, you’ll have enough ribs to serve eight, but will most likely kick yourself (or be kicked) for not preparing extra!

Backwoods Barbecue Ribs
4 pounds pork spareribs (we use back ribs)
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup Heinz® Ketchup
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup rum (we use amber or dark)
½ cup Heinz® Chili Sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 dash ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C).

Cut spareribs into serving size portions, wrap in double thickness of foil, and bake for 1½ hours. Unwrap, and drain drippings. Place ribs in a large roasting pan.

In a bowl mix together brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, rum, chili sauce, garlic, mustard, and pepper. Coat ribs with sauce and marinate at room temperature for one hour, OR refrigerate overnight.

Preheat grill for medium temperature. Position grate four inches above heat source.

Brush grill grate with oil. Place ribs on grill, and cook for thirty minutes, basting with marinade.

WARNING—if eating outside, anything with wings (fairies included) will end up sticking to your hands, fingers, or face, so make sure you have plenty of napkins or wipes on hand.

Enjoy!

There is no moving forward without first going back.

Lilith was a young girl with dreams and a family before the final destruction of Atlantis shattered those dreams and tore her family apart. Now refugees, Lilith and her father make their home in the Black Land. This strange, new country has no place in Lilith’s heart until a beloved high priestess introduces Lilith to her life purpose—to be a Timekeeper and keep time safe.

Summoned through the seventh arch of Atlantis by the Children of the Law of One, Lilith and her newfound friends are sent into Atlantis’s past, and given a task that will ultimately test their courage and try their faith in each other. Can the Timekeepers stop the dark magus Belial before he changes the seers’ prophecy? If they fail, then their future and the earth’s fate will be altered forever.

To read an excerpt from Legend of the Timekeepers please click
HERE
.

If you haven’t already read Sharon Ledwith's novel, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, here’s the blurb…

When 13-year-old Amanda Sault and her annoying classmates are caught in a food fight at school, they're given a choice: suspension or yard duty. The decision is a no-brainer. Their two-week crash course in landscaping leads to the discovery of a weathered stone arch in the overgrown back yard. The arch isn't a forgotten lawn ornament but an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis.

Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers--legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial--Amanda and her classmates are sent on an adventure of a lifetime. Can they find the young Robin Hood and his merry band of teens? If they don't, then history itself may be turned upside down.

To read an excerpt of The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, please click HERE.

Check out The Last Timekeepers series Facebook Page.

BUY LINKS
Musa Publishing
Amazon Link
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

When Sharon Ledwith is not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, yoga, kayaking, time with family and friends, and single malt scotch. Sharon lives in the wilds of Muskoka in Central Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, a water-logged yellow Labrador and moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Santa Author

I'm excited to have author Sam Cheever visit today with sage advice I really need to follow.

Some authors like to give stuff away and some don’t. I personally know one author who refuses to give away copies of her books and just gives bookmarks and trading cards away at conferences. No bling for her. She’s not alone. Promotional items cost money, giving away books takes sales out of an author’s pocket. But what about the old business adage, you have to spend money to make it? Does it apply to creative businesses as much as traditional ones? I think it does.

Nobody can chart a direct affect from a promotional item to a book sale. It isn’t possible to identify a monetary result, because it’s not a direct transaction. It really isn’t even monetary. It’s emotional.

People love getting free stuff. They especially love getting clever and useful free stuff. And when they get something they really like they generally remember the person who gave it to them. That’s why I love fun promotional items. When I start researching a new item to take to conferences or give out to new fans in their goodie boxes, my first goal is to find something nobody else has thought of. I rarely give out bookmarks anymore. I have boxes and boxes of them in my closet as proof! When I give away a print book I include a Romance Trading Card because those are collectors’ items and they’re more fun. I load heart-shaped memory sticks with free reads, book trailers, and first chapters and give those away. They’re useful, they bear my website and tagline on their shiny red surface, and they contain lots of fun reading and viewing that will hopefully inspire someone to buy one of my books. It’s a win-win! For my Declan Sands books (MM romance) I found a tiny tool kit with four screwdrivers and a tape measure. Again, useful, and bearing my website and tagline in case someone decides he/she needs a great book to read while repairing their computer with the toolset.

I have knit caps with my website on them, book lights with twisty stems, mouse pad planners that double as notepads, and lots of other fun stuff. Call me Author Santa. Yeah, the stuff costs and I have no way of knowing if I’ll recoup my investment in book sales. But when people receive a goodie box or promo item from me they remember it and hopefully they’ll remember me. In fact, people often come up to me at conferences and exclaim, “Oh, you’re the one with the great promo stuff!”

I just grin and offer them something else from my red velvet bag. ‘Cause I’m selling fun and smiles…hopefully I’ll even sell some books!

Happy Reading Everybody!

Bitten by Paranormal Romance gives Cupid a
4 – A Pack Howl!

"This is a delightful and sexy story of competition not only in the office, but between a cupid and a demon."

Long and Short Reviews:
"Cupid Only Rings Twice was a very cute story that was short but entertaining.”

This Valentine’s Day, Rori’s gonna meet an honest to god Cupid. And he’ll use more than arrows to win her love.

Rori Foster is too beautiful to find love. Men just can’t seem to look past her exterior to recognize the human being inside.

Unfortunately he’ll have to save her from the bad intentions of a cocky Love Demon first.
But Damios is determined to protect her. Even if he loses her in the process.

To read more or purchase Cupid Only Rings Twice please click the vendor's name.

Musa Publishing | Nook | Kobo |
Sony | ARe | Kindle | Amazon.uk
| Amazon.ca

Sam Cheever writes mainstream romantic suspense and fantasy, all heat levels; and Declan Sands for M/M romantic suspense and fantasy. Her books are fast paced and fun loving. Not one of them will solve a single world problem, but you definitely won’t be bored while reading them!

Sam’s published work includes 40+ works of young adult, romantic suspense, and fantasy/paranormal. Her books have won the Dream Realm Award for fantasy, been nominated and/or won several CAPAs, were nominated for Best of 2010 with LRC and The Romance Reviews, and won eCataromance’s Reviewer’s Choice award. She is published with Ellora’s Cave, both Romantica and Blush; Changeling Press; Electric Prose Publications (her own imprint), Musa Publishing, and Red Rose Publishing.

She lives on a hobby farm in Indiana with 11 dogs, 2 horses, and one husband.

Learn more about Sam Cheever on her blog Eclectic Insights. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. You can also find Sam on Goodreads.

I'll be back Wednesday with a new recipe. Until then...

If you want a sample of my swag I'm happy to mail you a small packet no matter where you live. Please email sloanetaylor@comcast.net with Bookmark in the subject line and supply your address and your goodies will be in the next post.

Sloane

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Naughty Ladies of Nice Tell All

Hi Everyone,

Thanks to Sam Cheever for inviting us to take part in her Character Interview Blog Hop. We have prizes today for everyone who comments or emails me sloanetaylor@comcast.net! Prizes range from bookmarks and trading cards to free copies of French Tart. So be sure to make contact with me by either method.

The Naughty Ladies of Nice are the brazen heroines from French Tart, French Delights, French Twist, French Kiss, and French Tickler. They agreed to behave while my author friend Dominique Eastwick interviews them. I don’t know if I can keep these rowdy chicks under control. They’re all jabbering in French and English and I can’t understand one word. Why did I ever write their stories!

Dominique: Hi ladies! Thanks for agreeing to meet with me today.

Naughty Ladies as one: Bon jour, Dominique!

Lisette: Dominique, such a joli name.

Sloane: English, please. Our readers may not know you mean Dominique is a pretty name.

Lisette: Why did you not name one of us Dominique?

Group chaos ensues.

Doni: Rachel, s'il vous plaît, this is not the time to work on your new novel. Pay attention.

Rachel: Sorry, I’ll just finish one more line and…

Claudette claps her hands: Assez! We do not have all day nor do the kind people reading this. We must make the decision on our speaker.

Lisette: I suggest Samantha. She is American and will do the best.

Sloane: Ladies, please, give our hostess a chance to speak.

Their racket dims to a low roar and finally trails off.

Sam: Thanks, girls, for the confidence. I’ll give it a whirl.

Why do you think Sloane Taylor choose you to represent her?

Sam: That’s easy to answer. We’re all Sloane or at least some facet of her.

Doni and Lisette in unison:
Mai oui, you are right, Samantha!

Doni: I have her cooking talents.

Lisette: I have the business knowledge.

Claudette: Certainement, I am her secret desire!

Rachel: I’m what she wishes to become!

Sloane: Aaarrgghh.

Tell us a little about yourself?

Sam: We’re all from different parts of the world, but I was born in New York of Italian parents. My mom was great, but she died when I was young. That left my father, the head “made man” and me alone a lot. Years later, I worked in the rag trade after my art teacher advised me to become a designer. I opened my own house and create ultra sexy lingerie for every size lady.

The road to success wasn’t always easy, like the time I was poisoned and almost died. Ugh. I hate to think of that.

Doni pats Sam’s shoulder: Cheri, it was terrible for all of us to see you so ill. We are happy Sloane knew how to write the good ending. (Doni gasps) I meant for the scene not your life, mon ami.

Where do you live?

Sam: My business is mobile so I can live anywhere in the world. I choose to be in beautiful Nice, France and party with the other Naughty Ladies.

Naughty Ladies stamp their feet and clap: Whoo Hoo!

Will we be seeing more of you or are you stepping out of the lime light?

Sam:
Hmm, I guess I’ll be cast as a secondary character in the future, but I do have two cousins who’d be perfect Naughty Ladies. Hey, girls, what about Estelle? You know, the woman who runs the bar by the market?

Lisette: Oui, she is perfectionner.

Claudette turns to Sloane: S'il vous plaît, you must add Estelle to our group.

Doni: Rachel, I will not tell you again. Give me that notepad.

Sloane: Ladies, we’re getting off track here. We’ll carry this on at home. Now let Dominique and Sam continue with the interview.

Is there anything you wish Sloane had kept her mouth shut about?

Snorts and glares at Sloane from all the Naughty Ladies.

Sam: Obviously, we all have a secret. It seems some authors have no respect for privacy, including our author.

A momentary Naughty Ladies huddle.

Sam: We don’t mind Sloane flung open our bedroom doors and shared our intimate sexual quirks. She should have left our fears of loneliness and failure, naming just two of the five, out of our books. We love to party and make love, but we do have pride.

Do you feel you were portrayed fairly?

Another Naughty Ladies confab.

Sam: Yes. If it’s one thing Sloane did well, it was to tell our stories with heart and depth. We thank her for that.

The Naughty Ladies clap.

Sloane blushes


Tell us about Cisco what drew you to him?

Sam:
The man is stiff with a capital S. C’mon, who wears a three-piece suit to the beach? My Cisco, well at least the day he finally garnered the nerve to speak with me. I’m very happy to tell you he’s loosened up quite a bit. Now days he hardly wears anything!

Naughty Ladies: Ooh la la!

What do you do to relax?

Sam:
Draw naked ladies which is how Cisco and I met.

Doni: I like to cook and entertain!

Lisette:
I make lists of charities my foundation can assist.

Sloane: Shush, ladies. Sam does all the talking, remember?

Claudette: Just because you wrote us does not make you are the boss of us.

Sloane emits a groan.

What about the women on the covers, are they a fair representation of each of you?

The Naughty Ladies cluster together.

Sam: Yes, and they are beautiful. Even though we still argue over who has the best cover, we all agree that Kelly Shorten, the head cover artist at Musa Publishing, is the best in the business. Each cover has items relevant to our specific stories. Our men are life-like and true and we ladies are shown to our best advantage. Each of us is very happy with the outcome.

Sloane: Okay, ladies, it’s time to wrap this up before we have to pay rent.

Sam: Thank you again, Dominique, for having us out. It’s been fun.

Doni turns to Lisette: Does this mean we must return to our books? When do we get to come out again and play?

Claudette glances over at Doni: Oui, you goose, of course and when someone reads us. En fait, I can hardly wait to be with my Doe nahld again.

Rachel: Okay, Lisette, give me back my notepad. I’ve got a terrific idea for a new book.

Lisette: Oui, sorry. I was thinking about Paul and perhaps a quiet evening at home.

Sloane:
I need a drink.

To read excerpts from the Naughty Ladies of Nice series, please click on the book title.
FRENCH Tart
FRENCH Delights
FRENCH Twist
FRENCH Kiss
FRENCH Tickler



Dominique Eastwick is a multi-published author who grew up a US Navy Brat. She currently resides in North Carolina with her husband, two children, crazy lab, and lazy cat.

When not writing you can find Dominique at her second love, behind the lens of her camera.

Learn more about Dominique Eastwick on her website, blog, and Amazon author page.

To read and excerpt from Killing Lucas, please click HERE.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Stan Takes Control

Today's blog is in the capable hands of multi-published author SS Hampton Sr. as he interviews his reluctant guest author Sloane Taylor.

Greetings Blog Goddess! You stay pretty busy behind the scenes, so perhaps we can have a better look at you.
Hi, Stan, this is very weird for me, sitting on this side of the keyboard and I don’t know what to do with my hands. So please be gentle. I bruise easily. Lol

Well, if you insist. First off, where are you from and what did your parents do for a living?
I’m proud to say I’m a born and bred Chicago Southside girl. Dad was a carpenter and mom worked as a clerk in Rosenblum’s Drug Store. Mon made sure both my older sister and I kicked off our work careers at Rosenblum’s when we were thirteen. Life as a soda jerk is a great experience!

According to your biography, your parents taught you to read, you’ve kept a diary, and you love reading on vacation. And one day you just had to tell a story. Is there anything else that propelled you down the path to becoming an author, and if so, what was that tipping point?
My husband died after a very short illness, and my teenage daughter told me she was pregnant the day before. Everything, and I mean everything fell on me. The dramatic loss of income and added responsibilities were overwhelming. I had to be creative for us to make it over the next year. Writing was my therapy. I never thought about being published until I met Beth Anderson. She became my mentor and she shoved me along the right path.

That must have been an incredibly challenging year. Hopefully it has all worked out. Regarding your mentor, mystery writer Beth Anderson—who is she, and how did you meet such an important person in your life?
On the advice of another friend, I joined Rendezvous. They produced a monthly review booklet with a large subscription of readers and major publishers. Beth was one of the directors. She took me under her wing and used her infamous "2x4 without prejudice." Frankly, I’d be nowhere if it weren’t for Beth. Check out her website for more information on this awesome lady.

You love traveling and you have written travel articles; what are some of your favorite places you have traveled to, and why?
Europe is where my heart beats strong. During high school and college I studied German. My first trip to Europe was Germany and I was in heaven. I’d come home. Austria and Denmark hold that same warm feeling for me.

I understand. I lived in Europe myself, for five years. So, how difficult is it to set novels in foreign countries, meaning understanding the nuances of the social and cultural fabric so that your readers will feel like they’re there?
Several years after my husband’s death, and a great deal of legal work, life bounced back. I had the funds to travel again and was fortunate to spend several months a year in Europe. During that time I met great local people who still wander through the recesses of my mind. All this makes it easy for me to set my books in Europe as my stories draw from those people and the experiences we shared.

You are the Blog Goddess for Musa Publishing, you have your own blog, and you write. How do you balance all of this?
Not too well at times, but I keep on keeping on. (VBG) And I live by to-do lists.

How did you become one of Musa Publishing’s authors and end up running the Musa Blog?
Musa invited me to write for them. After three bankrupt publishers I was leery of jumping back into the world. Those situations played hell on my creativity. Studs, my non-husband because we're too old to be boyfriend and girlfriend, showed me I am happiest when I write. So I "womaned up" and accepted Musa’s offer. Best career move I ever made.

Dominique Eastwick was the blog boss with a tremendous workload beyond the blog. Dom put out a call for help. I had just been diagnosed with aggressive larynx cancer and told that I had three months tops if the treatments didn’t work. Well, I sure as hell didn’t like that diagnosis, and decided it was just not going to happen.

What I needed was to occupy my mind with better things than me. I jumped at the chance to help Dom. After a short time, she gracefully stepped aside while I ran ahead full bore.

Damn. Well, you’ve been running the blog for more than a year, so that portion of the story ended happily. During football season many wives feel like “football widows.” Does your mate Studly DooRight ever feel like a “writer widower”?
Oh yeah, and let me tell you the can of trouble you opened with this question! Studs pointed out that when I’m deep into a project, which is almost every day, I totally ignore the world and him except for cooking. I’m working hard to steer some of that project zeal into what really matters in the evening.

Do we dare ask why you named him “Studly DooRight?”
No problem! Do you remember an old segment on The Rocky and Bullwinkle show with Dudley Do-Right the Canadian Mountie? Dudley was always a hero, pure of heart, and did no wrong. Well, there you go. That sums up Studs in eight words. The Studs comes from the fact he’s strong as an ox with arms big as tree trunks. I laugh when his sisters cringe every time I call him Studs. They really need to get their minds out of the gutter. Lol

A teacher told me my youngest son said I was a writer, and he was so proud of that. I had no idea. When your daughter learned you were a writer did she brag to her friends?
Oh, Stan, I write sexually explicit romance. Even though my daughter is an adult, she cringes and swears that she can’t read my books because, “You’re my mom!” She passes out my business cards and touts me to her friends and wishes I’d write a sexless murder mystery. Lol

Will you share an excerpt from one of your novels with us?
Lord, man, I thought you’d never ask. LOL Here’s a short intro my latest release PHOTO Op!

Never mix business with pleasure, unless pleasure is your business.

Photojournalist Emily Peters gives herself the perfect birthday gift - a weekend in Paris. Her excitement builds when she hits the scene of the exclusive S&G Club. Exposing the truth behind their private pleasure chambers and the elite who frequent them will be the diamond in her career crown. At least Em thinks so until she’s tied up in knots by the Devil himself.

British restaurateur Nicholas Caine visits Paris to check on his S&G Club investment and to sample its many benefits. Nick’s not on the hunt until he encounters a tiger that pretends to be a kitten. There’s no doubt she’ll satisfactorily flex her claws given the right incentive.

What starts as a prime photo opportunity evolves into a weekend of erotic fantasies as Nick awakens Emily’s dark passions.

To read an excerpt from PHOTO Op! please click HERE.
PHOTO Op! is also available on Amazon.
You’re welcome to read excerpts from my other erotic romances HERE.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Besides that I like the other side of the keyboard better? You were gentle, Stan, and I appreciate that. You’re a good guy. Thanks for everything!

SS Hampton Sr. served in the active duty Army, the Army Individual Reserve (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War), then enlisted in the Army National Guard; he was mobilized for active duty for almost three years after his enlistment. Much of his work is based on military life such as his paranormal Dancing in Moonlight.

Something is following Corporal Ronnie Edson back to Iraq, something that won't rest until it owns him completely.

While on much-needed R&R leave from Iraq, Corporal Ronnie Edson enjoyed a night with a beautiful woman. He thought that would be the end of it, but on the flight back to Iraq he sees an impossible sight: the woman dancing on the wing of the plane. She’s come for him, and she won’t leave without him.

To read an excerpt from Dancing in Moonlight please click HERE.

To read an excerpt from any of the books written by SS Hampton Sr. please click HERE.

Stan's books are also available on Amazon and Amazon UK.

Hampton's writings have appeared as stand-alone stories, and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, Ruthie’s Club, Lucrezia Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others. He is also a published photographer and photojournalist, and a member of the Military Writers Society of America.

He is the proud grandfather of thirteen wonderful children. After 12 years of brown desert in the Southwest and overseas, he misses the Rocky Mountains, yellow aspens in the fall, running rivers, and a warm fireplace during snowy winters. As of December 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Hampton officially became a homeless Iraq War veteran.

Sloane Taylor believes humor and sex are healthy aspects of our everyday lives and carries that philosophy into her books. She writes sexually explicit romances that take you right into the bedroom. Being a true romantic, all her stories have a happy ever after.

Her books are set in Europe where the men are all male and the North American women they encounter are both feminine and strong. They also bring more than lust to their men’s lives.

Learn more about Sloane Taylor on her website, and her blog for easy recipes. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It's Wednesday. So What's Cooking?

Thanksgiving Dinner

Each Thanksgiving we have at least twenty people for a sit-down dinner. I cook the meal and the guests supply the appetizers, deserts, and wine. So turn on the football game and let’s start cooking!

Roast Turkey
Stuffing
Mashed Potatoes
Candied Sweet Potatoes
Sautéed Broccoli
Corn
Cranberry Sauce
Gravy
White Wine – Riesling


Roast Turkey
Turkey
Butter
2 leeks including some green - chopped
2 large onion - chopped
15 baby carrots - chopped
4 tomatoes – chopped
1 tbsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. 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.

Thanksgiving Morning:
If turkey’s not 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.
Cooking times:
10 – 18 lbs. 2 - 2½ hrs.
18 – 22 lbs. 2½ - 3 hrs.
22 – 24 lbs. 3 - 3½ hrs.

Melt 1 stick of butter in a large frying pan. When the foam subsides, lay the turkey on its side breast down. Brown the breast until golden, first one side then the other. Be careful moving the turkey around, it’s heavy and awkward.

Set disposable pan on cookie sheet. Insert cooking rack. Add chopped vegetables. 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. Cover the turkey and pan edges with aluminum foil, crimping the 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. If you use a meat thermometer it should read 185° when inserted in the thigh. For an accurate reading, be sure not to touch bone. Tent with foil and allow to rest 30 - 45 minutes before carving.

Stuffing
1 package bread stuffing cubes plain or seasoned
½ pound Jimmy Dean Original Sausage in the tube
1 rib celery chopped
½ medium onion chopped
1 stick butter
Chicken stock about 2 cups maybe a little more
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 egg

The stuffing may be prepared a day or two in advance up to the baking point.

Fry sausage, breaking into small chunks until lightly brown.

Melt butter in a medium size skillet. When the foam subsides add the celery and onion. Sauté 3-4 minutes, be careful not to let it brown.

Empty bread cubes into a large bowl. Add sausage and vegetables with all their juices. Mix well.

Beat egg in a small bowl. Pour onto stuffing. Sprinkle sage and thyme across the top. Mix well.

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

Spoon into baking dish, do not pack in, and cover tightly with foil. (This is your stopping point if you make this before Thanksgiving. Refrigerate the stuffing until you are ready to bake it.)

Thanksgiving Day:
Remove stuffing from the refrigerator early in the day to allow it to come to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bake the stuffing for a half hour. Remove foil and continue to bake until the top has browned.

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

The Day Before:
Pour one inch chicken stock into saucepan. Peel and quarter the potatoes, then place in saucepan. Add tap water to cover by one inch. Put a lid on the 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
32oz. can of sweet potatoes - my favorite is Royal Prince Candied Sweet Potatoes
½ cup brown sugar firmly packed
1 stick of butter
1 cup mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Drain the potatoes in a colander. Cut large pieces in half. Lay potatoes into a 13x9 inch glass baking dish.

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

Bake for 20 minutes.

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

Services 8.

Broccoli Stir-fry
4 mini carrots sliced on an angle
½ cup olive oil – possibly more
½ medium onion sliced
1 inch 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. red pepper flakes
2 green onions sliced on an angle
5 mini Bello mushrooms cleaned and sliced into thirds
1 tbsp. lime or lemon juice

Have all the 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 insure broccoli is well coated with the oil. Add more oil if necessary. Squeeze on the lime or lemon juice. Sauté 2 - 4 minutes, but be sure the 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 it shows you just how lazy I can be on holidays.:) 
Corn
1 can of corn per 4 people – my favorite is Green Giant Niblets
butter

Canned corn:
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.

Frozen corn:
Follow package instructions

Cranberry Sauce
1 can of sauce per 6 people – my favorite is Ocean Spray Jellied

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

Gravy
1 jar of gravy for 4 people - my favorite is Heinz Home Style Gravy Roasted Turkey

Pour the gravy into a saucepan. Stir in a few tablespoons of the juice from the roasted turkey pan. Heat through and serve.

I'll be back Monday. Until then...

Happy Cooking!

Sloane Taylor
Twitter
Amazon Author Page

Monday, November 11, 2013



TO ALL THE VETERANS

who gave so much to keep our great country free



from Studs, Sloane, and the entire Taylor family

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

My Nemesis has a Name and it is PORK!

Studs is my partner for life and his favorite food is pork chops. Unfortunately for him that is not a meat I cook well. In fact, most of the time you could chew your shoe sole and have a more tender dinner. I’m constantly on the quest to cook the perfect pork chop because after all these years that cut of meat has become my nemesis. Under the guidance of my awesome butcher Raoul, from Walt’s Food Centers, I have finally achieved a recipe that has worked consistently for moist and tender chops. I even dared to serve this dish to guests and they loved it. I hope you do, too.

Grilled Bone-in Thick Pork Chops

2 – 1¼ to 1½” pork chops
1 cup olive oil maybe a little more
¼ cup white wine
4 sage leaves or 1 tbsp. dried sage
6 thyme sprigs or ½ tbsp. dried thyme
2 gloves garlic pressed or chopped fine
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a glass or ceramic bowl. Set in the refrigerator for 2 -3 hours.

Remove chops from the refrigerator 1 hour before grilling.

Grease grill grates with olive oil. Preheat grill to medium-high.

Grill chops 7 minutes per side.

Tent with aluminum foil. Let rest 5 - 7 minutes, then serve.

Here's a little from my latest release to satisfy your other tastes.

Never mix business with pleasure, unless pleasure is your business.

Photojournalist Emily Peters gives herself the perfect birthday gift - a weekend in Paris. Her excitement builds when she hits the scene of the exclusive S&G Club. Exposing the truth behind their private pleasure chambers and the elite who frequent them will be the diamond in her career crown. At least Em thinks so until she’s tied up in knots by the Devil himself.

British restaurateur Nicholas Caine visits Paris to check on his S&G Club investment and to sample its many benefits. Nick’s not on the hunt until he encounters a tiger that pretends to be a kitten. There’s no doubt she’ll satisfactorily flex her claws given the right incentive.

What starts as a prime photo opportunity evolves into a weekend of erotic fantasies as Nick awakens Emily’s dark passions.

To read an adult excerpt from PHOTO Op! please click HERE.

To read excerpts from the other erotic romances by Sloane Taylor, please click HERE.

Sloane Taylor believes humor and sex are healthy aspects of our everyday lives and carries that philosophy into her books. She writes sexually explicit romances that take you right into the bedroom. Being a true romantic, all her stories have a happy ever after.

Her books are set in Europe where the men are all male and the North American women they encounter are both feminine and strong. They also bring more than lust to their men’s lives.

Learn more about Sloane Taylor on her website, and her blog for easy recipes. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, November 04, 2013

LOOKING AFTER YOURSELF

by Eleni Konstantine

You do right? Or are you like most people and run yourself to the ground trying to keep up with the hectic pace that is the 21st century? The latter probably.

I’m a great believer in telling people to look after themselves. But do I do the same? The answer is sometimes, because I have to. I have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and I know that I will crash if I don’t have breaks. One thing that CFS has taught me, I can’t go weeks without looking after myself as I once did. Probably a reason for the onset of it.

So what can we do to look after ourselves?

Nap or Meditate
I love my afternoon naps and have them most days. It helps me re-energize. Can’t get to sleep? Don’t worry. Use that time just to close your eyes and relax. I can’t meditate properly as I tend to fall asleep and that’s okay. I think it’s my body’s way of letting me know I need the sleep.

Move
Move away from the computer. I find that I move a lot more during the day than at night, where hours can pass as I sit at the computer. During the day, I put laundry on to remind me to move. When it’s time, I empty one load and fill the machine with another. But at night, I put the alarm on the computer or listen out for the computer voice telling me the time on the hour. I do move - some of the time.

Exercise
I feel better on the days I exercise. Endorphins are released and the body benefits from the movement. I haven’t managed to get into a proper routine yet (CFS is awful for setting routines) but when I did exercise regularly, I felt much better and I was more productive. Of course finding an exercise you enjoy is the key. I go to Curves as it suits me the best and do Tai Chi.

Necessary ‘Pampering’
I need to have remedial massage every so often (ouch!), because it does help the muscles and movement. I have reflexology on occasion, and also chiropractor and acupuncture appointments more frequently. Basically it’s me listening to what my body (and brain) needs. So work out and try to work it into your schedule once a month.

Read
I truly believe reading feeds the soul. See my blog post on the Musa Publishing blog. It helps to re-energize and let our imagination run wild, and our inspiration and muse spark off as well.

Vege Out

I watch TV, but I tend to watch it when I’m so tired I can’t read. I love stories and this is just the visual form. I tend to record things and watch when I’m in the mood or have an hour or so that I want to relax and not think about anything but what’s in front of me. Currently episodes of Son of Anarchy and Boardwalk Empire are waiting for me. Both amazing shows with such complex characters.

Drink Water
Remember to have that water bottle on your desk. I find it better than grabbing a glass of water because I’m likely to drink more. However, if you are good, you can use the refill of the glass for ‘moving’ as discussed above.

Eat Regularly
My biggest downfall. I don’t eat regularly nor have a proper breakfast - though I’ve been trying to fix that. Because I don’t have a set routine this isn’t easy for me. If you’re hungry (even if you don’t know it), your brain doesn’t operate at full capacity and you can’t concentrate on your work. And eating brain food helps. Bananas, anyone?

Commune with Mother Nature
Being outside - even if it’s in your front or back yards helps us get out of that funk that we can get when we’ve been too long inside. I always feel better for it even if it’s for a short while. It’s been hot here in Australia so this hasn’t been doable lately. I love the beach, and don’t mind going and sitting on a bench and staring at the waves. Or even going for a walk to the local park.

Hanging Out with Kids or Pets

Kids live in the moment, and as adults we tend to think in the past or the future. They have boundless energy and love doing all sorts of activities. I draw and play board games with my godson. It’s an enjoyable time and ultimately the kids will say something that is hilarious, so it’s always fun.

My dog is the same - lives in the moment and loves to play ALL the time. That unconditional love and companionship is just priceless.

All the above do help - if we can get them into the routine. It’s a work in progress for me.
Maybe we need to schedule looking after ourselves into our diaries? What do you think?

Zeta will protect the one she loves, even if it means living in Hell.

Mastering a unique power was much safer for Zeta Kosmos with a mentor to help her along. Now that he’s disappeared, Zeta must continue alone with her calling—closing Gateways to Hell.
Daniel Richards is in the family business—Warding supernatural evil from causing havoc on humans. As such, he’s only interested in the safety of one-night stands. Until Zeta. This bad boy now wants a long, lasting relationship.

But Zeta can’t let go of her past, nor can she ignore the secret demonic threats against Daniel’s life. She’d rather fight demonic spawn and be dragged into Hell than allow anything happen to him. Can Daniel convince her to stay? Will she have to pay the ultimate price?

To read an excerpt from Gateway to Hell, please click HERE.

ENCHANTED REALMS - a short story duo

Stormy Divide
Will Ellie ever find a way home?

Thom may be used to the dangers of the forest, but nothing has prepared him for this. When he stumbles across a woman dressed in weird clothing lying on the ground during a storm, he has no choice but to help her.

Ellie finds herself in another world, having travelled through time and space thanks to what Thom calls The Rifts. The question is whether she will ever be able to find her way back, or if she will be stuck in this new world forever. Or if she will even want to go home…

Angel Eyes
What if the man of your dreams only existed in your dreams?

Vera’s dreams are haunted each night by a man she only knows as Angel Eyes. He feels more real to her than anything else in her life, including her fiancé. Vera must try to forget her childish dreams of soul mates and happily ever after… but are they really only dreams or can she find a way to be with Angel Eyes forever?

To read an excerpt from Enchanted Realms, please click HERE.


Eleni Konstantine is Fantasy and Paranormal fiction writer, with a number of shorts published. Her stories range from flash fiction to novels. She blames her mother for her writing bug because as a child she was given many books, including illustrated fairytales. That and a love of Greek mythology, and Eleni was destined to become a writer.

Eleni lives in Adelaide, Australia, with her family and feisty American Staffy.

Learn more about Eleni Konstantine on her website and blog.

I'll be back Wednesday with a new menu. Until then...

Happy Reading!

Sloane Taylor
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