Monday, October 12, 2015

Recipes for Kale Haters!

First off, I'm not overly fond of kale. To me, it's bitter and tough, and I only grow it because I love the dark green curly leaves. This summer, I had a bumper crop, so since it's so trendy and nutritious, I decided to experiment. I tried several recipes I found online, but until I came up with these, I could eat it, but I couldn't honestly say it was scrumptious. 
Enter the secret ingredient: Curry powder. Curry covers the taste of kale better than anything I've found. So, if you like curry but don't like kale (and still think you should eat it because it's so good for you), these recipes are for you!

Creamy Kale Curry


1 large bunch of kale, stemmed and torn
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth 
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tsp curry powder
1/4 cup cream

  1. Prepare kale and heat oil in a skillet.
  2. Add kale to skillet and cook until wilted and dark green.
  3. Add pepper, curry powder, and chicken broth and cook for about fifteen minutes covered.
  4. Uncover and cook until broth is mostly evaporated.
  5. Add about 1/4 cup cream; just enough to cover the kale. Cook until heated.
  6. Add salt to taste and serve.

Hamburger, Onion, and Kale Pie


1lb hamburger
1 large onion, chopped
2 sweet banana peppers, seeded and chopped
1 large batch of fresh kale, stemmed and torn *
2/3 cup cottage cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella
6 eggs
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
3 tsp curry powder
½ tsp garlic powder
Pastry for 2-crust pie

1.      Fill a large pot 1/3 full of water (salted if desired) and bring to a boil over high heat. Add kale and cook until wilted and dark green. Drain kale in colander and allow to cool slightly. Squeeze out excess moisture using two large tea strainers or cheesecloth. This can be done ahead of time and the kale can be refrigerated until you’re ready to make the pie. *This will use up an enormous amount of kale because it cooks down to about 1 cup when excess moisture is squeezed out.
2.      Sauté hamburger, onion, and peppers until hamburger is browned and onions are translucent. Drain off fat.
3.      Separate one egg. Mix the yolk with one tbsp water and set aside.
4.      Line a large pie dish (at least 10 inch) with bottom crust.
5.      In a large bowl, add kale to hamburger mixture and all remaining ingredients. Mix well.
6.      Place filling in pie dish. Smooth out the filling  and cover with crust, crimping and fluting the edge.
7.      Brush top crust with egg yolk/water mixture and cut slits in the crust.
8.      Bake at 375° F for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and serve

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Yeah, I know... It's been a while.

When you get out of the habit of blogging every day, you tend to forget to report the important stuff. So to bring you up to date, Rebel tied for first place in the Prism Awards contest. Some football player whose name I can't recall once said that a tie was like kissing your sister, although since my co-winner wasn't there to accept her award, it felt like Rebel won all by his lonesome. And you must admit, a Prism is a pretty nifty trophy! Kinda heavy too.

In other news, I'm working on the copyedits to the next book in the Cowboy Heaven series, Must Love Cowboys, which is available for preorder from Amazon and B&N. I received the cover recently. It's the same cover image they used when the book was titled Cowboy Bliss, (which, by the way, I HATED!), but I did like the picture, so it's all good. The book should be released on April 5, 2016. I just got word that I have a new publicist. God only knows what she'll have me doing next year.

Bunkhouse cook wanted.
Experience preferred.
Must love cowboys...
When extremely shy computer specialist Tina Hayes takes a road trip to scatter her grandfather’s ashes in the Tetons, she winds up as the cook on a Wyoming ranch. Just as her shyness begins to abate, a mystery surfaces, forcing her to work closely with Wyatt McCabe, the one cowboy who rattles her the most.

I'm currently working on a paranormal romantic suspense trilogy, but I'll tell you more about that when I actually finish writing the series. It's a tricky one because the stories in all three books are interwoven to a certain extent. After that, I'm probably going to write another Cat Star book. I keep hearing from people who want more of the cats. I'm thinking along the lines of pairing Larry with Althea, but first I have to get them off of Jack's ship!

Cowboy Heaven and Rebel are both entered in The Romance Reviews Reader's Choice Awards. You have to register on the site before you can vote, but I'd really appreciate your taking the time! Cowboy Heaven is entered in the Erotic Western category, and Rebel is in the Romantic Sci-fi/Futuristic category. They each need 50 votes (nominations) to make it to the second round. Voting closes September 30th.

When I'm not writing, I've been going to physical therapy for the fasciitis in my right foot. Four steroid injections have helped the heel spur, but the muscles and tendons in my lower leg are all messed up from limping for the past four or five years. I keep thinking I might be turning a corner, and then I'm right back where I started. My therapist gave me a new and exquisitely painful exercise today, and I'm hoping this will do the trick!

If I think of anything else to say, I'll blog again. Hopefully that will happen a little sooner this time. *;) winking

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Guest Post with Ashlyn Chase!

ANNOUNCING—Ashlyn Chase’s new release: THE CUPCAKE COVEN
“Entertainment abounds when a coven of witches whip up a few spells to help their friend hold onto her bakery while losing her heart. Can a long distance romance work between a cowboy and a baker if they believe in magic?”
—Dorine Linnen, Romance Junkies Reviews
*    *    *    *    *
Buy links:
Direct from publisher-  
Pretty Wiccan Rebecca Colby borrowed money from her father to start a bakery, and now he’s calling the loan due. When she learns he fell off the gambling wagon and owes big money to some scary people, she has to start making a profit—and fast—before the loan shark takes a bite out of her.
Hot Cowboy Dru Tanner is looking for his missing sister who left Texas to explore their New England Wiccan roots. She’s the only family he has left, and he’s desperate to find her. Dru has to hide the fact that he’s not a Wiccan long enough to infiltrate a coven in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It’s the only lead he has.
Dru needs a job and a place to stay while he searches for his sister. Rebecca needs cheap help so she can work some baking magic. Dru makes Rebecca an offer she can’t refuse—if only lust doesn’t drive them crazy first.
Excerpt (And why the book is called The Cupcake Coven J )
Hanna strolled around the altar ready to thank the Goddess and open the circle. As she turned the corner, her ample hip bumped the altar and a few lit tapers toppled. Three of them landed on the plate of rum cakes and to Rebecca’s horror they ignited.
A dramatic blaze shot up over a foot high. Before anyone could react, Dru shouted, “Stand back.”
He bounded through the circle with the fire extinguisher. Rebecca remembered seeing it on a wall in the kitchen, but never thought much about it.
Hannah yelled, “Stop,” but it was too late. Dru had already pulled the pin and was spraying the altar with foamy chemicals. The witches in range gasped and jumped backward to avoid his sweep.
When the extinguisher was empty, Dru placed it on the floor. He set his hands on his hips and faced Rebecca.
“Bake cupcakes from now on, darlin’. Cupcakes.”
Biography of Ashlyn Chase
Ashlyn Chase describes herself as an Almond Joy bar.  A little nutty, a little flaky, but basically sweet, wanting only to give her readers a satisfying experience. 
She holds a degree in behavioral sciences, worked as a psychiatric RN for 15 years and spent a few more years working for the American Red Cross.  She credits her sense of humor to her former careers since comedy helped preserve whatever was left of her sanity.  She is a multi-published, award-winning author of humorous erotic and paranormal romances, represented by the Seymour Agency.
She lives in beautiful New Hampshire with her true-life hero husband who looks like Hugh Jackman with a salt and pepper dye job, and they’re owned by a spoiled brat cat.     

Where there’s fire, there’s Ash
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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Prism Finalist!

I’m pleased to announce that The Cat Star Chronicles: Rebel is a finalist in the Futuristic Category of the FF&P’s 2015 PRISM Contest for Published Authors!

Winners will be announced at the RWA National Conference during FF&P’s Prism Announcement Cocktail Hour in New York, New York. The event will be held at the Marriott Marquis on Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 8:00 PM.
 Fingers crossed!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Cover Reveal of Fire's Field by Jillian Jacobs!

Please join me in celebrating the cover reveal of Fire’s Field, The Elementals Series Book #2 by my friend and fellow Indiana RWA member, Jillian Jacobs!

Bound by a dark enchantment, only an elemental flame can light the way.

Forged in rage and sorrow, a dark witch’s spell travels down her ancestral line to Violet Levina. Enchanted with the power of the entire Electromagnetic spectrum—microwaves, gamma rays, radio waves, Violet is cursed with limitless energy and the obligation to destroy an insidious creature composed of dark matter.
For over five hundred years, Flint has served as Fire, aiding Earth’s environment and its people as one of four Elementals. Yet only once in his long existence has he been burned. A flaming redhead ignites the embers of his heart, but he finds her resistant to the heat building between them.
Knowing she must fulfill her destiny, Violet travels to her ancestral home in Ireland, accompanied by the fiery Elemental. Not fooled by his charms and brazen demeanor, Violet wishes only to shield him from the coming battle, but can’t deny the flames of desire flickering when she is at his side.
While standing together against unrelenting adversaries, false friends, family betrayals, and an underlying seed of darkness, they must burn bright or the ruthless power behind the ancient spell will turn everything to ash.
With Flint as her beacon in a field of darkness, Violet will discover that love holds the most powerful magic of all.

Fire’s Field Release date: May 19th, 2015
Jillian Jacobs Bio:  In the spring of 2013, Jillian Jacobs changed her career path and became a romance writer. After reading for years, she figured writing a romance would be quick and easy. Nope! With the guidance of the Indiana Romance Writers of America chapter, she’s learned there are many "rules" to writing a proper romance. Being re-schooled has been an interesting journey, and she hopes the best trails are yet to be traveled.
Water’s Threshold, the first in Jillian’s Elementals series, was a finalist in Chicago-North’s 2014 Fire and Ice contest in the Women’s Fiction category.
Jillian is a: Tea Guzzler, Polish Pottery Hoarder, and lover of all things Moose.
The genres she writes under are: Paranormal and Contemporary with suspenseful elements.

Social Media Links:

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Cowboy Heaven Release Day and Giveaway!

A ranch full of hot cowboys… what’s not to love? My new erotic western romance series COWBOY HEAVEN comes out today!

When lonely widow Angela McClure hires a gorgeous hitchhiking cowboy with an affair in mind, she knows they’ll have to be discreet: her old-fashioned father and the stern ranch foreman adamantly discourage any interaction between her and the ranch hands. Despite their attempts at secrecy, the heat between them is undeniable. To divert suspicion, Angela forms a new plan: she’ll flirt with all of the ranch hands. Suddenly Angela has a whole stable full of sexy-as-sin cowboys to play with, but only one can win her heart.

Barnes and Noble:

To celebrate, I'm giving away five signed copies of Cowboy Heaven. Post a comment or use the Rafflecopter for your chance to win! Winners will be chosen at random!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Garlic-Parmesan Bread and Giveaway!

It may be because I've been watching The Great British Baking Show on PBS, but I've found myself getting the urge to bake more often lately. So I dug out this nifty little bread pan and played around with my basic bread recipe again, adding garlic and Parmesan. I've recently discovered a great method for covering the bread while it rises. Oven-proof baking bags work very well if you inflate them with a puff of air and close them with a twist tie or the little plastic zip ties that come with the bags.

The bags can be reused for rising or used to store the bread after it's baked. The advantage of the plastic bag over the dish towel covering method is that the bread can rise freely, and you can see how well it's progressing without disturbing the little yeasty-beasties while they're doing their thing.

Garlic-Parmesan Bread

Mix together in a large mixing bowl and let set until foamy:
1 cup warm water
2 pkgs yeast
1 tsp sugar

Then add to yeast mixture:
1 cup flour
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp dried minced onions
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
Mix together and knead in more flour (about 3 cups) until you have a smooth, non-sticky dough. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk. Punch down the dough and shape into a ball. Place in a greased glass or ceramic pie dish, flatten the ball and lightly grease the dough with a little butter or oil, then let rise, covered, until doubled in size. Bake 50 min in 350 degree oven. Brush the top with milk and sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese and bake for 10 more minutes.

If you're making smaller loaves like those in the photo, bake for 25 minutes and then bake for another 10 minutes after brushing with milk and sprinkling with Parmesan.

This bread has a fairly mild flavor, so if you want something that packs more of a punch, you could add more garlic and Parmesan. I like to dip the bread in olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar and freshly ground black pepper.

Today should be the release day for the Cowboy Delight novella. It didn't show up on the Sourcebooks list of February releases, but all the vendors say today's the day. I guess we'll see!

Giveaway Link:
Getting stranded has never felt so good…
Lauren Allen is on her way to meet her future in-laws when her car breaks down on a scorching, dusty Texas highway. There’s no shortage of handsome cowboys turning up to save the day, but she puts her trust in local rancher Steve Williams. From the moment she shakes his hand, his warm, calloused grip makes her hotter than she knows what to do with…