Monday, December 28, 2009

Not forgotten

No, I haven't forgotten about my blog. I was traveling over the Christmas holiday and just returned this past weekend. As soon as I get back to my old routine, I will have more recipes for everyone.

Until then, here is a handy kitchen tip:


When a recipe calls for crumbled bacon, dice it before frying for more even cooking.

I hope everyone had a great holiday.
Carol

Friday, December 18, 2009

Q & A

Author Kenzie Michaels tagged me from her blog with the questions below. Please take a few minutes to go visit Kenzie's Place.

1. What’s the last thing you wrote? What’s the first thing you wrote that you still have?


Love, Lies & Deceit was the last thing I wrote. The first thing I wrote that I still have is called CIA Man. It's a good story, but my writing was horrible.

2. Write poetry?

I don't even try.

3. Angsty poetry?

Nope.

4. Favorite genre of writing?

Romantic suspense

5. Most annoying character you’ve ever created?

I love all the characters I have written.

6. Best plot you’ve ever created?

I really like the plot of the book I'm writing now. It's about an unsolved mystery of a missing family.

7. Coolest plot twist you’ve ever created?

Same as above.

8. How often do you get writer’s block?

Not too often.

9. Write fan fiction?

Once, but not any more.

10. Do you type or write by hand?

Mostly, by hand.

11. Do you save everything you write?

Yes.

12. Do you ever go back to an idea after you’ve abandoned it?

Yes.

13. What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever written?

That would be my current project about the mystery of the missing family.

14. What’s everyone else’s favorite story that you’ve written?

I have no idea.

15. Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?

No.

16. What’s your favorite setting for your characters?

Rural areas, small towns in the country.

17. How many writing projects are you working on right now?

I currently have three projects in the works, the missing family mystery, a murder mystery, and my pizza cookbook.

18. Have you ever won an award for your writing?

Yes, Love, Lies & Deceit won second place in the 2006 Wisconsin RWA Fabulous Five Contest.

19. What are your five favorite words?

Love, Life, Family, Faith, Peace

20. What character have you created that is most like yourself?

The heroine in my current project is a writer. I think it would be her.

21. Where do you get ideas for your characters?

Life.

22. Do you ever write based on your dreams?

Not yet, but I have made notes about dreams I have had for future use.

23. Do you favor happy endings?

Absolutely.

24. Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?

Yes.

25. Does music help you write?

Believe it or not, I write better with the television on.

26. Quote something you’ve written. Whatever pops into your head.

From my current project called, Saved by the Sheriff:

Just then, Annie walked back into the room. "Jaime, there's someone

I want you to meet. This is Benjamin Hunter. He's our county sheriff."


Behind her stood a tall, handsome man, not wearing a uniform, but instead dressed in jeans and a flannel shirt, a badge hung from his belt. He ran his fingers through his thick sandy brown hair that perfectly matched his brown eyes and neatly trimmed mustache.


"This is Jaime Wilson from New York City. She's going to write about the Murdock family disappearance for her magazine."


Hmmm...who's not been tagged yet? How about Marian.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My e-book Now Available

My e-book, Love, Lies & Deceit, a romantic suspense is now available for purchase at Red Rose Publishing. You can also learn more about the book at my website, http://CarolPre.webs.com

Thank you,
Carol

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Pasta Salad

I will be traveling for the next two days and have an office Christmas party on Wednesday when I return. I'm taking Pasta Salad for the lunch and know I will be way too tired to get up Wednesday morning to make it by noon. To help myself out a little, I am going to boil the pasta today and freeze it. Pasta freezes very well. Once it's completely cooked, I will let it cool and then put it into a zipper freezer bag. On Wednesday morning, I will put the frozen pasta, bag and all, into a warm bowl or pot of water to thaw. After it's completely thawed, all that's left is to mix up and add the additional ingredients and dressing. The best thing about this recipe is that you can add whatever you want, or leave out whatever you want. I don't have measurements for this recipe because it's one of of those where you've made it so many times, you just do it. Basically, you just add the additional ingredients to taste.


Yesterday, I made myself a cup of Hills Brothers' Instance English Toffee Cappuccino. You could smell it all through the house and it was so good. I highly recommend it. I was gone when my husband got home from work, but the aroma was still in the air. He told me later he thought I had made some fudge and was searching all over the kitchen for it. So, today I will be making my peanut butter fudge for him.

Also on my To Do List for today is using the leftover roast from yesterday to make Beef and Noodles for supper tonight and I can't miss watching the Indianapolis Colts game today. Buttered popcorn is a must for the game. Enjoy your day and I hope you have your Christmas shopping finished. The mall was a mad house yesterday.

Go Colts.
Carol

Pasta Salad

1 - 12 oz box corkscrew pasta (also known as rotini), cooked
onion
cheese
carrots
green pepper
bacon, fried and crumbled
cucumber
tomato
black olives

Dressing:
milk
sugar
Miracle Whip

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box and let cool. Chop the other ingredients into small pieces and add to the bowl of pasta. Mix well.

For the sauce, mix equal amounts of sugar and Miracle Whip. Add a little milk to make it creamy and pour onto the pasta and stir until well blended. Make sure you taste the dressing for the correct sweetness. Serve the pasta chilled.

This dressing is the same dressing I make for cole slaw.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

French Toast Casserole

I think this is a perfect breakfast for a cold Christmas morning. Of course, it can be made anytime, but it just sounds so Christmasy. This works really well for Christmas because you mix it together the night before and all you have to do in the morning is place it in the oven.



French Toast Casserole

1 - 10 oz loaf of French or Italian bread
8 eggs
3 C. milk
4 t. sugar
1 T. vanilla
2 T. butter
cinnamon
powdered sugar

Grease a 9x13" baking dish. Cut bread into 1-inch pieces and layer the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste and dot the top of the bread with butter. Beat the eggs with the milk, sugar, and vanilla and pour over the bread. Cover the dish with foil and place in refrigerator the night before.

When ready to bake, place in a 350° f oven for 45-50 minutes or until puffy and light brown. Sprinkle the dish with powdered sugar and let stand for about 5 minutes before serving. Serve with warm maple syrup.

Enjoy,
Carol

Saturday, December 5, 2009

"Love, Lies, & Deceit"

video

The above is the trailer for my e-book, Love, Lies & Deceit available December 17 from Red Rose Publishing.

It's freezing in my neck of the woods this morning, so grab yourself a cup of coffee or hot tea, sit back and enjoy the short trailer above.

Carol

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Peanut Butter Fudge

I spent years trying to make peanut butter fudge, or any fudge for that matter, and the result was that we usually had to eat it with a spoon. The times that I didn't have to eat it with a spoon, I had to dump it in the trash because it was burnt. I finally decided the problem was with my candy thermometer. I got a new thermometer, actually my mom gave me an extra one she had, and the texture problem was solved, then I had to deal with the burning. That was the problem with the cook (me).

When you make fudge, it is so important to stay right with it and stir. I have a habit of multi-tasking when in the kitchen. Honestly, who among us doesn't try to do two or three things at once when working in the kitchen? With fudge, it's best to keep your attention to the fudge.

I've tried several recipes for peanut butter fudge and have finally stuck with one that a former co-worker always made. It's easy and delicious. The story to go with this recipe can be found in my Masters & Disasters of Cooking cookbook (shameless plug, sorry). I'll be going grocery shopping tomorrow and will definitely be putting the ingredients on my list.

If you use a candy thermometer for your cooking, it is a good idea to check it to make sure it measures correctly. Put a pot of water on the stove to boil, clip the thermometer to the inside of the pot, making sure it doesn't touch the bottom but is in the water. When the water comes to a rolling boil, check the temperature. At sea level, water boils at 212° f. Also, if you want to check to see what temperatures to use when making candy, here is a web site that has the different temps listed.


Peanut Butter Fudge
3 C. granulated sugar
1 C. evaporated milk (I use Carnation)
1 stick margarine (can substitute real butter)
26 large marshmallows
1 C. creamy peanut butter

In a 2-quart pot on top of the stove, cook the first 3 ingredients to the softball stage, 235° - 240° f. Then, add the marshmallows and stir constantly. When the marshmallows have melted, stir in the peanut butter. After the peanut butter is mixed well, pour the batter into a 9 x 13 inch pan and let cool.

Good luck and I hope you enjoy the fudge,
Carol