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So, I Read This Book Today

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The Rosie’s Bakery All-Butter, Cream-Filled, Sugar-Packed Baking Book: Over 300 Irresistibly Delicious Recipes by Judy Rosenberg

The Rosie's Bakery All-Butter, Cream-Filled, Sugar-Packed Baking Book: Over 300 Irresistibly Delicious RecipesOK, so I Really Am working on losing weight and getting strong. But when you are working hard at meeting your goals, sometimes the very fact that you are not eating all the things you adore means that you think about everything that you are missing – All. The. Time!
So, when I saw this book, I moaned…. and drooled….
Then I thought – well, if I do well during the week, I can enjoy ONE thing that is intensely bad for me. Just not in the OMG, I have to eat it All way that I had a habit of doing.
Therefore, when this book showed up in my bookgorilla.com email, well, who can resist? I haven’t made anything from the book yet, but it is going on my reader!

Today’s Bargain Price: $1.99

Or FREE with

Throw moderation out the window. When you want that real homemade flavor, from-scratch frosted layer cakes, brownies that taste like brownies, and cookies that taste like the ones your grandma used to make, only real ingredients will do: real butter, real cream, real chocolate, and lots of it. That’s how Rosie’s has been baking its award-winning treats for over thirty years, and why the Rosie’s Bakery All-Butter, Fresh Cream, Sugar-Packed, No-Holds-Barred Baking Book won an IACP/Julia Child Cookbook Award. Now, that book and the follow-up—Rosie’s Bakery Chocolate-Packed, Jam-Filled, Butter-Rich, No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book—are back, updated, revised, and combined into one super recipe collection.

Packed with more than 300 irresistible recipes—more than 40 never before published—from Judy Rosenberg, owner of Rosie’s Bakery, the famous chain of New England bake shops that has won numerous Best of Boston awards, The Rosie’s Bakery All-Butter, Cream-Filled, Sugar-Packed Baking Book is for holidays, birthdays, pick-me-ups, the cookie jar, bake sales—when only genuine homemade goodness will do.

Fabulous cakes and cupcakes: Lemon Coconut Layer Cake, Velvet Underground Cake, Chocolate Custard Sponge Roll, Sour Cherry Fudge Cake, Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Cake, Maya’s Little Butter Cupcakes, and Coconut Fluff Babycakes. Delectable cookies and bars: Pecan Crunchies, Fresh Ginger Crisps, Dagwoods, Honeypots, Noah Bedoahs. Plus the unspeakably delicious Chocolate Orgasms, and more.

Review: I’m Dreaming of an Undead Christmas by Molly Harper

I first met Molly Harper no more than a week ago when I picked up a copy of How to Flirt With A Naked Werewolf. Published in 2011 it finally hit the top of my reading list. I will be writing that review, but for right now, let’s talk about I’m Dreaming of an Undead Christmas.

The book is set in the world of Half Moon Hollow, another series by Ms. Harper I now have on my reading list. And it. Is. FUNNY! Gigi’s sister, Iris, has taken care of her since the death of their parents when Gigi was twelve. The thing is, Iris is now a vampire, and of course, vampires don’t eat. Or cook. But she is still determined that this first Christmas after her ‘turn’ Gigi will have the kind of holiday Iris remembers from when their mother was still alive. (Even though mum always had the equivalent of a nervous breakdown every Christmas from trying to meet all of her own goals!)

So, vampires are cooking, cleaning, and decorating like mad, along with a werewolf and several humans, all friends and family of one of the funniest vampire groups I have ever read! Burned caramel, burning ovens, and a pan burning, boiling sweet potato magma burning a nuclear bomb pattern on the brand new kitchen floor – wow. Lots of burning going around when vampires have a tendency to burst into flames!

There is a lot of love in this novel, and a whole boatload of Christmas spirit! Oh, and some killer recipes as well – like bacon covered turkey breast! I hope you add it to your Christmas reading list.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. Enjoy!

Yippee! Beta Reading Book Three – The Pierced Series by J. C. Mells

Perfect Cover 2
The cover for “Perfect” – Book three of the J. C. Mells “Pierced” series!

Just finished the Beta and, OMFG!!! J. C. does it again – another brilliant story full of pain and hate, love and understanding and a tremendous cast of characters. Watch here – I will let you know as soon as I know when it is coming out – and you have to read this book! Of course, if you haven’t read the first ones, you have to read those too- – – these are too good to miss!

Thanks, J. C. Mells!!!

 

“Can’t live with him, can’t live without him.”

Never have these words seemed more true to Pierce as she deals with the aftermath of Salt Lake City. She and Lucas can’t seem to stay apart from each other for very long without the night panics happening again – but being together is almost as torturous. Will her past ever allow her to be intimate with him? Can she afford to let her guard down and allow herself to be happy? She’s still suffering from the post-traumatic stress of what happened to her the last time she did that.

But on the plus side, their little town of Nowhere is coming along in leaps and bounds. So much so, that it has appeared on the radar of the wolf community. Or at least Pierce’s presence has.

Suddenly it seems like Nowhere is THE place to be these days..

pierce
Who is Pierce?

______________________________

Keep your eyes open – I will post when the book is published!

It’s Thanksgiving – Give of Yourself This Holiday Season

family in car
Photo courtesy of MikeMalloy.com
All rights reserved
native
Poster courtesy of Ann’s Journals Collection.
All Rights Reserved
Click for website.

Thanksgiving. The celebration of the survival of the first group of White colonists to live through their arrival on the new continent, soon to be called “America.” The Native population helped them to survive, teaching food gathering, how to build shelters, and how to survive the harsh Eastern climate.

Hence began the genocide of whole cultures, the slaughter of women and children, and the modern day environmental disasters of the White invaders.

But be that here nor there, Thanksgiving is now a celebration of family, friends, and community. Though in this day and age, there is way too much hunger in this land of plenty. Job loss; home loss; women and children living in cars and on the streets. The pressures on the American people are crushing. Hunger is out of control, and the systems that provide food and shelter for those in need are being squeezed tighter and tighter to pay for military costs and the greed of the top 1% of the country – those who caused this nightmare in the first place.

So, before you sit down with family and friends, you should consider doing your part to help. Call in a donation to your local shelter or soup kitchen. Better yet, grab up the turkey and stuffing and carry it with you, and your friends and family, and volunteer. The needy will be fed, and you might be surprised at just how wonderful it makes you, and those you love, feel.

Happy Thanksgiving.

richmenneed
Photo courtesy of Armchair Patriots.
Via Pinterest.com
Click for original photo.
table
Photo courtesy of cookturkey.net
Found on Pinterest.com
Click for original photo.

Yummy BACON!! Bacon, Bacon, Bacon!

IMGP1723  I love bacon. Greasy, chewy, crispy, lovely bacon. Especially if it is thick cut and covered in cracked pepper! What is embarrassing is that I used to be a vegetarian, but I gave that up several years ago. I am sure the old me is rolling around in her mental grave, spitting at me, but hey, I. Love. Bacon.

The thing is, it comes in pound packages and as I am the only person who eats it, it would spoil before I could finish off a package. And freezing it in segments means that I have to mess up pans and the stove top every time I want some.

So, I got this idea. Put it on a rack in the oven and cook the whole pan, then freeze THAT. Wow. OK, it is simple and you have probably already thought of that, but I thought it was a pretty cool idea when I came up with it, so there! 🙂

Then, there is the whole donut thing. I love donuts. I know, I know, they are HORRIBLE for me, but I don’t do them often, only every few months or so. And I also love french toast, made with wonderful brioche. Light bulb. . . I split a donut in half, dipped it in a beaten egg with some cinnimon, and dropped in IMGP1724the pan with a couple pieces of bacon.

Hot, sweet, greasy and OMG delicious! I dipped only the cut side and dropped it on the hot griddle then covered it and lowered the heat. Hot all the way through, bacon nice and hot, and what a lovely breakfast!

OK, so I have to eat nothing but veggies for a few weeks, but hey, it is worth it!

 

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

I read this post this morning and loved it! I don’t often share the work of others on the blog but this post was definitely ”share-worthy”. Creating a bucket list lifestyle encompasses treating yourself right and learning from your mistakes. This post is a great reflection of those lessons. – Lesley Carter

Is there one of these that you do often? Are there several? Let’s let the good things catch up. 

Written by marcandangel

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

When you stop chasing the wrong things you give
the right things a chance to catch you.

As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”  Nothing could be closer to the truth.  But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.  And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
  2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on.  No, it won’t be easy.  There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them.  We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems.  That’s not how we’re made.  In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall.  Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time.  This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
  3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself.  Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.  Read The Road Less Traveled.
  4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  Yes, help others; but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
  5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you likeeveryone else.  Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
  6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
  7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.  Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
  8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us.  We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.  Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
  9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive.  But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
  10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either.  You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.
  11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.  Evaluate situations and take decisive action.  You cannot change what you refuse to confront.  Making progress involves risk.  Period!  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
  12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
  13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely.  It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.  There’s no need to rush.  If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
  14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet.  Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you.  But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
  15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you.  Concentrate on beating your own records every day.  Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
  16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.  Ask yourself this:  “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
  17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you.  You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough.  But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past.  You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation.  So smile!  Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.
  18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart.  You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself!  And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too.  If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
  19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
  20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.  Just do what you know in your heart is right.
  21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
  22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
  23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.  Read Getting Things Done.
  24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t take the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary.
  25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while.  You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well.  You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears.  The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
  26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
  27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out.  But making one person smile CAN change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  So narrow your focus.
  28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy.  One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  Five years?”  If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
  29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen.  Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

Photo by: Rob Brucker

A Sunday Update of This and That

There are a lot of things going on for me in the book world in the next couple of weeks. I am doing a re-edit for Erich Penhoff’s Savage Roads, the first book in the Savage Series. I have finished the edit on the second book in the series, A Savage Death and it will be published mid-month. Watch here for the publication announcement! Aren’t the cover’s great? They are by LLPIX Photography. If you like high action, unusual characters, and wonderfully drawn international locations, you are going to love these two books. The third, unnamed volume will be hitting my desk soon, and I can hardly wait!

savageroads A SAVAGE DEATH

Today I am hoping to finish the edit for Kelly Graham’s Eyes of the Many. It seems like all of the books I am working on these days have killer covers!  This one is awesome too, isn’t it?  I will add the name of the artist later. Currently, my list is being developed of different cover artists who have been recommended to me, or who I have found myself that I really like and who do a great job. Watch for it to show up soon.

eyes of the many

coconut-lemongrass-chai
Coconut Lemongrass Chai Tea

A few things of a more personal and “just for fun” nature!  I just made a big pot of Cucumber Mojito tea, after guzzling about a gallon of English Tea this morning. I finally took a minute to order more tea from Tea Guys (woo hoo!) so will be receiving more Pu-Erh (an aged black that my housemate is addicted to), Darjeeling (my favorite straight black) and smaller bag of Coconut Lemongrass Chai . It is very refreshing, and besides, who can’t love something that is this pretty when it comes out of the bag?

I also threw in small bags of Watermelon Lime Green Tea (hey, my two favorite flavours, gotta try it, right?)

morning-americano
Morning Americano Black Tea
watermelon-lime
Watermelon Lime Green Tea
coconut coffee
Gotta have my Dunkin’!

Along with these, I am also trying the Morning Americano which I am hoping will sort of make up for the fact that I have always been addicted to coffee, but really need to cut back (but I am NOT giving up my Dunkin’ Donuts Coconut Coffee!)

In other news, I am working on a cover for my 7-cup tea pot (isn’t it a hoot? It has a matching cup that goes with it…)

teapot
Fun Teapot!
grecian lovely
Grecian Lovely from Really Wild Tea Cosies

So, I am using the Really Wild Tea Cosies book by Loani Prior again. The pattern is Grecian Lovely. Of course, I have to do things differently, right? So my Grecian Lovely is a bit brighter than this one – the side I am working on looks all neat and tidy, huh? Well, of course, it doesn’t really look like that on the other side – LOL!!  Of course, it will be good to get a cosy made for it, seeing as how this one’s ‘skirt’ is a bit short!

Well, 4-pot covers aren’t really made for 7-cup pots, huh?

teapot cover
Teapot showing it’s bottom . . .
IMGP1685
Starting on one side. Flat knitting on each side.
IMGP1686
What a mess, huh?
new directions in lace
New Directions In Lace
lace yarn
Eggplant lace yarn from See Jayne Knit.

Oh, and I signed up for a class at Craftsy.com called New Directions in Lace.  I can take the class any time I want, in stages, so any time I get a moment to play with it, I can do it. Cool, huh? It is a really beautiful pattern, and I have this lace-weight yarn from See Jayne Knit.  It will be interesting to see if she can make me more of this, as there are 825-yards and I need about 1200-1300 yards!

Well, enough piddling around. Time to get to work on Eyes especially as I am really looking forward to it!

TWO Happy Dances!!

wicked
Click the cover to purchase!

The amazing Jillian Klein Der Lowe just shot me an e-mail letting me know that her book, Wicked, just hit the #3 spot in her genre on Amazon!!

applause
Icon courtesy of
http://unf.edu
Thank you!

Click the cover to grab the book from Amazon FOR FREE!!!! Then, of course, after you have read it, I am sure Jillian would love a review. (Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge!)  My review is here in case you want to refresh or haven’t had the opportunity to read it yet.

Congratulations, Jillian!!

Now, for even MORE good news, we turn to another wonderful author, J. C. Mells, author of the Pierced series.

J. C. is happy to announce that her next book in the series, Pinked is nearing the end of editing, and will be out soon! Pinked continues the adventures of Pierce and Mia, a fascinating pair, with a story that is one of the most interesting I have read in recent memory.  Watch for the review here, and for publication at Amazon soon. Until then, you really MUST pick up your own copy of Pierced! Click on the book cover to order. My review is hereIt is only 99c right now, and J. C. is sure to be a wonderful addition to your ‘must-buy-as-soon-as-published’  author list!

Also, be sure to pick up a copy of Escaped, volume 1.5 of the Pierced series! It is also only 99c for a short time at Amazon.

Congratulations, J. C.!

Shrieking and Jumping up and down! J. C. just sent along the cover for PINKED!!!

Drool worthy, huh?  Click on the cover to see the video trailer!PINKED BC3

J. C. just sent me the cover!
Click on it for the YouTube Video
for the upcoming book!
Squeeee!!!!
pierced
For now, Pierced is only 99c at Amazon.
Click cover to order!
escaped
Click to purchase from Amazon!
Only 99c for a short time.
You KNOW you won’t be able to live without it
after reading Pierced!

It’s Spring – Ah Choo!

russian olive
Photo courtesy of Ashteldar
http://www.flickr.com/photos/30343908@N06/

lavenderSpring has finally got her warm, sweetly scented embrace around us here in Golden. Complete, of course, with the Russian Olives blooming along the stream bed next to the house. Beauty often has thorns – and pollen, of course. Lots. And lots. Of pollen. Ahhhh-CHOO!

One of the things that helps my allergies and helps me sleep at night is lavender oil. (Should I put in here the “I am not a doctor and what I say isn’t medical advice”? Well, here it is, just in case!)

I have always loved lavender, since I first grew it in California. Of course, I still haven’t been able to figure out how to grow anything here on the giant sand pile, so I have to buy it from others, but maybe one day.

While I usually get my lavender from the farmer’s market when I can and from Whole Foods when I can’t, I was looking around online and found what looks like a wonderful recipe for an Almond Lavender Biscotti that looks delicious. It is on the Daybreak Lavender Farm website, but I am posting it here so you can try it if you like.  biscotti

Almond Lavender Biscotti

Submitted by: Anne Nofziger, Cincinnati, OH

Prep:
• Preheat Oven To 350
• Adjust rack to middle position

Ingredients:
• 1 C. Sugar
• 1/2 Cup butter, softened
• 1 t. vanilla extract
• 1 t. almond exract
• 4 medium eggs
• 3. C. all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 t baking powder
• 1/2 t. salt
• 2 1/2 t. dried lavender buds, finely ground
• 1/2 Cup sliced almonds

Directions:
In a large bowl cream together sugar and butter until smooth and creamy. Mix in extracts and eggs (one at a time) and blend until combined. In a medium blown using a wire whisk, combine flour, baking powder, salt and lavender and blend well. Stir into sugar mixture and mix until just combined. Add sliced almonds. Do not overmix or cookies will become tough.

Halve dough and turn each portion onto the cookie sheet. The dough will be sticky. Rub a bit of vegetable oil or butter on to your hands to make it easier to handle. For dough into two 13 x 2 inch logs and place them 3 inches apart. Pat and smooth each log. The logs will not be perfectly round. Do not handle the dough excessively.

1st Baking:
Place in oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cool the loaves for the about 15 minutes.

2nd Baking:
Reduce the oven to 300 degrees
Place cooled loaves on cutting board and cut diagonally into _ inch slices with a serrated knife. Lay the slices about _ inch apart on the cookie sheet, cut side up. Return to the oven for 8 minutes. Turn each slice over, return to the oven and bake another 7 minutes or until golden. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.

Store biscotti in an airtight container for about month.

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