Thursday, December 18, 2014

In the Kitchen for Christmas with Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy




Iced Buttermilk Brownies

 

My mom found this many years ago and our family has been making it ever since!

 

Ingredients:

What You Need (Brownies)

             Two sticks butter

             4 tablespoons cocoa

             1 cup water

             2 cups flour

             2 cups sugar

             1 teaspoon baking soda

             1 teaspoon salt

             2 eggs

             ½ cup buttermilk

             1 teaspoon vanilla

 
Buttermilk Fudge Icing:

What You Need:

             One stick butter, melted

             4 tablespoons cocoa

             1 teaspoon vanilla

             ½ cup buttermilk

             Two cups powdered sugar (or a one pound box) sifted

 


What You Do:

             Melt butter on the stovetop in a heavy saucepan and add cocoa and water. 

             Bring to a boil and pour over dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl (flour, sugar, baking soda and salt)

             Add eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla then stir until blended

             Pour brownie batter into large sheet cake pan

             Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for twenty minutes or until an inserted knife blade comes out clean

             Frost while warm with the buttermilk fudge icing -blend all ingredients into the melted butter.  Icing will be thin enough to pour.  Pour over still warm brownies and let cool to a glossy finish.

Serving suggestion:

Serve warm with vanilla or chocolate ice cream

 

 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

AP Christmas Stories: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy "The Courtship of Ebenezer Scrooge"


The Courtship of Ebenezer Scrooge
by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy

 

Blurb:
Ebenezer Scrooge changed for the better after three Christmas ghosts impacted his life and heart.  His miserly ways vanished as he gained happiness and his family ties with nephew Fred have improved.  There’s something missing, however, and when Ebenezer meets Widow Abigail Collins, he realizes what he lacks.  He sets out to court Abigail, object marriage and learns the many ways love can further improve his disposition and life!

  

Purchase Links:
http://www.amazon.com/Courtship-Ebenezer-Scrooge-Sontheimer-Murphy-ebook/dp/B00ICVKTIM/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/The-Courtship-of-Ebenezer-Scrooge?store=ebook&keyword=The+Courtship+of+Ebenezer+Scrooge

 

 

About Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy:

Growing up in historic St. Joseph, Missouri, Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy scribbled her stories from an early age.  Her first publication – a poem on the children’s page of the local newspaper – seems to have set her fate.  As a full time author, she has more than two dozen full length novels published along with assorted novellas and short fiction. Her publishers include Astraea Press, Evernight Publishing, and Champagne Books. A contributor to more than two dozen anthologies, her credits include Chicken Soup For The Soul among many collections of short fiction.  She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Missouri Writers Guild, and the Ozark Writers League.  Lee Ann earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Missouri Southern State University as well as an Associate Degree from Crowder College.  She has worked in broadcasting, retail, and other fields including education.  As a wife and mother of three, she spends her days penning stories, cooking, reading, and other daily duties.  She currently makes her home in the Missouri Ozarks, living in what passes for suburbs in a small town.

 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

AP Christmas Stories: E.A West "Trust of the Heart" & "Running from Christmas"


Author bio:

 
E.A. West, award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance, is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting. She lives in Indiana with her family and a small zoo of pets.

 
For more information visit: http://eawest.mcphitty.com

 

Trust of the Heart (Veteran Hearts, Book 2)
 

Blurb:

Josh Teague has dark memories from his time in Iraq. While he longs to share the burden of those memories with someone, he is afraid they will scare his girlfriend. Unwilling to risk losing her, he keeps the memories to himself and tries to keep a cheerful attitude despite the holiday season threatening to bring his mood down.

Leann Robak has her own set of memories causing trouble. Abandoned by her father when she was ten, she is devastated when her mother announces she’s taking a month-long trip to Europe over Christmas. Although Josh’s invitation to spend Christmas with him at his parents’ house holds exciting prospects, Leann can tell he’s hiding something from her. That knowledge leaves her wondering how well she truly knows him and whether he even wants to be in a relationship with her.

 

Buy links:

All Romance eBooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-trustoftheheart-1360185-149.html

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Trust-Heart-E-West-ebook/dp/B00GX0QXKW

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/trust-of-the-heart-ea-west/1117505017?ean=2940148988632

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/trust-of-the-heart/id766903499

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/trust-of-the-heart-1

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/382020

 

Running from Christmas

 
Blurb:

Army veteran Alessandra Castillo just wants to be left alone. Life has been tough since her deployment in Afghanistan, and the holiday season makes it even more difficult. Unemployed and homeless, she’s currently living with her brother, who refuses to let her avoid all things social.

Enter Brad Kovac, youth pastor and good friend of Alessandra’s brother. He’s tall, gorgeous, and outgoing, three things guaranteed to catch Alessandra’s interest. At least they would have caught her interest before she survived an assault by a fellow soldier. Now all she wants to do is run from him and avoid anything resembling a relationship.

Will God provide a miracle in time for Christmas, or will Alessandra lose her chance for romance?

 

Buy links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Running-Christmas-E-West-ebook/dp/B00OPFM5YU

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/running-from-christmas-e-a-west/1120611045?ean=2940150496071

iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/running-from-christmas/id932083826

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/running-from-christmas

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/486701

Thursday, December 11, 2014

In the Kitchen for Christmas with Frank Borne

 

Broccoli Salad


6 broccoli crowns (wash, then cut into florets)
1 bag slivered almonds
1 box of raisins (or half of a round cylindrical container)(I used the Great Value brand from Wal-Mart)
2 small bags of real bacon pieces (I used the Great Value brand from Wal-Mart)
1 red onion diced small
Dressing: 2 cups mayonnaise, 4 tablespoons white vinegar, and 16 packets of Splenda
All comes together in 10 minutes. I chill it overnight before serving.
Right before serving, mix everything one more time.

Shrimp & Artichoke Dip


2 8-oz. packages of cream cheese
2 lb. shrimp
2 cans artichoke hearts
1 yellow onion
Tony Cachere’s
butter
parsley
liquid smoke
garlic
crustini
Sautee the onion and about ¼ cup minced garlic in butter or margarine. Add the artichoke hearts until tender, then add the shrimp. After shrimp have turned pink, add the cream cheese and parsley, a dash of liquid smoke, and a dash of Tony Cachere’s. Serve warm with crustini. Substitute crab meat as an alternative.




Artichoke Casserole

2 cans artichoke hearts
1 cup bread crumbs
1 ½ cups Italian grated cheese
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup minced garlic
1 yellow onion
1 bunch green onions
1 egg
½ cup milk
Puree half the artichoke hearts and the yellow onion. Add the puree to all other ingredients, and mix thoroughly. Bake 325 degrees with foil cover for ½ hour. Remove foil for another ½ hour.
Note…I always double this recipe.
Credit: Penny Des Roches, Archbishop Shaw High School “Eagle’s Delight” Cook Book, 1988



Oven-Roasted Turkey

Force ¼ cup of butter or margarine between the skin and breast meat. Coat turkey with Tony Cachere’s, and drizzle olive oil all over turkey. In cavity and around turkey, add chopped yellow onion, bell pepper, garlic cloves, and green onion. Tent with foil for 3 hours, uncover for remaining time (about 3 hours). 300 degrees until timer pops up.
Crawfish Pasta
2 lbs. peeled crawfish
2 pints heavy whipping cream
1 box shell pasta
1 cup Parmesan cheese
Butter
Tony Cachere’s
1 yellow onion
1 bunch green onions
1 bell pepper
garlic
Sautee the onion, bell pepper, green onions, and about ¼ cup minced garlic in olive oil. Add crawfish and ½ cup butter, then season with Tony Cachere’s and add the prepared pasta. Add whipping cream. Simmer until mixture thickens, then add Parmesan cheese. Substitute shrimp for an alternative.


Ground Meat Dirty Rice

3 lbs. ground meat
1 small bag rice
Tony Cachere’s
1 yellow onion
1 bunch green onions
1 bell pepper
garlic
Sautee the onion, bell pepper, green onions, and about ¼ cup minced garlic in olive oil. Add ground meat and stir until brown. Add cooked rice. Season to taste with Tony Cachere’s.


Apple Cream Cheese Caramel Dip

2 large packages Philadelphia cream cheese
2 red apples
2 green apples
1 container caramel
1 can pineapple juice
Nestle mini chocolate chips
Heath toffee chips
¼ cup Brown sugar
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
Red, white, and green sprinkles
Mix cream cheese, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Create a base of cream cheese in a serving platter, then cover with the container of caramel. After the caramel, thoroughly cover with a layer of toffee chips, then the chocolate chips. Add sprinkles. Slice 2 red apples and 2 green apples in thin slices. Dunk the apple slices in pineapple juice (to prevent browning), then place on perimeter of the dip. Alternate the red and green apple slices. Refrigerate until serving.



Cold Pasta Salad

1 pack colored (vegetable) corkscrew pasta
1 can black olives
2 avocados
1 small pack sliced raw mushrooms
1 small bottle Italian dressing (approximate)
1 large container grape tomatoes
1 cup Parmesan cheese
Boil pasta, allow to cool. Add olives, tomatoes (sliced in half), cheese, and dressing. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate. Just prior to serving, stir all ingredients to reincorporate the dressing, then add the mushrooms and avocados (add at last minute to prevent from turning brown). Top with a dusting of cheese.


Rum Chocolate Cherries

1 jar Maraschino cherries with stems
1 bag candy melts or chocolate
Rum!
Marinate cherries in rum or alcohol of choice (amaretto, vodka, etc.) for several hours. Dip cherries one at a time into melted candy melts or chocolate, place on wax paper or a plate. Chill until candy/chocolate is firm.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

AP Christmas Stories "Nowhere for Christmas"




by Heather Gray

 

Blurb:

Anything can happen on the road to Nowhere…

A journalist and single mother, Avery is used to being in control though she tries to remind her-self to let God take lead in her life. Eli, her son, is happy as long as he has his music, plenty of food, and the occasional adult on which to practice his rapier wit. Gavin, a virtual stranger, is a photojournalist who mysteriously dropped off the scene a few years ago.

The trio ends up together for a Christmas road trip to the small town of Nowhere. An eight hour drive in a rental car turns into two days of misadventure and calamity as bad luck seems to stalk them. They get a flat tire, the bumper falls off, the car overheats – and that's only the beginning! Along the way they meet some interesting people – from a bait shop owner who moonlights as a mechanic to a chatty preacher's wife and a highway patrolman whose wife and mother can't agree on the best way to remove a skunk's stink.

Hungry, cold, and tired, the three finally reach Nowhere only to discover the town is nothing like they expected. They learn that reaching their destination doesn't necessarily mean the journey has ended.

 

Purchase Links:

http://amzn.com/B00GA664GC

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/nowhere-for-christmas-heather-gray/1117260698?ean=2940148719656

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/372425

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/nowhere-for-christmas

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/nowhere-for-christmas/id734906115?mt=11

 

About Heather Gray:

Heather Gray authors the Ladies of Larkspur inspirational western romance series, including Mail Order Man, Just Dessert, and Redemption.  She also writes the Regency Refuge series: His Saving Grace, Jackal, and Queen - plus contemporary titles Ten Million Reasons and Nowhere for Christmas.  Aside from a long-standing love affair with coffee, Heather’s greatest joys are her relationships with her Savior and family.  Heather prefers laughing to yelling any day.  This theme is prevalent in her writing where, through the highs and lows, her characters find a way to love God, embrace each day, and laugh out loud right along with her.

You can find Heather online at http://www.facebook.com/heathergraywriting, http://www.twitter.com/laughdreamwrite, and http://www.heathergraywriting.com.  She can also be found most days at The Inspired Inkpot, a street team, prayer group, and all around awesome place to hang out - http://www.facebook.com/groups/theinspiredinkpot.

 

 

 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

AP Author Spotlight: Maria Ann Green

 
Maria Ann Green
 
Website: www.mariaanngreen.com
Blog: www.mariaanngreen.com/blog
Twitter ID: @missmariaann
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7733974.Maria_Ann_Green
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mariaannwriter/
 
Describe yourself in three words:
Energetic, hopeful, friend
 
Tell us a little about your latest release:
My debut release is IN THE REARVIEW.
The blurb: When Meagan’s secret is found out, and she realizes there is no way to outrun her habit of cutting, she tries to work through it, and her depression, before she cuts too deep, making a mistake that can never be undone.
Meagan's problems aren't like every other adolescent's no matter how much she wishes they could be. Hers are worse. They've pulled her down into the depths of a depression that is anything but normal. She begins her pattern of self-harm as her depression threatens to drown her. She starts with one cut that leads to the next, and the next. After starting, it's apparent that there's no stopping, and Meagan spirals into a dark and cruel world she doesn't understand. Meagan cuts to feel better, but that comfort doesn't last long enough, and soon life is worse than it ever was before.
While learning to quit cutting Meagan faces life-altering obstacles and grows up in the process. IN THE REARVIEW is a story of pain, loss, confusion, and hope told through Meagan’s poems, journal entries, and a splash of narrative.
I started the book in high school and worked on it until this year, well after college. I got the idea because I knew several people dealing with the issues in the novel.
 
What is your earliest memory?
I remember having chicken pox when I was young. I was hopping around the house because I has them on her bottom of my feet and it itches to walk normal!
 
What would you consider the greatest moment in your life?
Getting married to my best friend, in Vegas, has been the greatest moment in my life. By far!
 
What’s the hardest thing in in life you’ve done?
The hardest thing I've ever done would have to be losing my father at the age of 23. I was lucky to have such good supports in my life at the time.
 
What have you learned in life so far?
I've learned to never quit. Good things come with persistence.
 
Everyone’s favourite question: if you could invite five people for dinner, who would it be?
Oh I love this question! If I could on is five people to dinner they would be: Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Chuck Palahniunk, Sophia Bush, and my husband. That would be one awesome dinner party!
 
 
Chance for our readers - what else would you like to know about Maria Ann Green?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

AP Christmas Stories "Trust of the Heart (Veteran Hearts, Book 2)"


 
by E.A. West

 
Blurb:

Josh Teague has dark memories from his time in Iraq. While he longs to share the burden of those memories with someone, he is afraid they will scare his girlfriend. Unwilling to risk losing her, he keeps the memories to himself and tries to keep a cheerful attitude despite the holiday season threatening to bring his mood down.

Leann Robak has her own set of memories causing trouble. Abandoned by her father when she was ten, she is devastated when her mother announces she’s taking a month-long trip to Europe over Christmas. Although Josh’s invitation to spend Christmas with him at his parents’ house holds exciting prospects, Leann can tell he’s hiding something from her. That knowledge leaves her wondering how well she truly knows him and whether he even wants to be in a relationship with her.

Can Josh and Leann learn to trust each other fully, or will their insecurities drive them apart?

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Trust-Heart-E-West-ebook/dp/B00GX0QXKW

Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/trust-of-the-heart-ea-west/1117505017?ean=2940148988632

iTunes http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/trust-of-the-heart/id766903499?mt=11

Kobo http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/trust-of-the-heart-1

Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/382020

 

About E.A. West:

E.A. West, award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance, is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting. She lives in Indiana with her family and a small zoo of pets.

For more information visit: http://eawest.mcphitty.com