Although the calendar for 2015 is not yet up, I hope to have it updated soon.
Thank you everyone for your patience and continued support.
This recipe has been handed down for generations. It's appropriate because it's a Christmas must around my house and it's English (which goes right along with my time-travel Victorian novel). And I saved the best for last. It is ridiculously easy.
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Spread chopped pecans on the bottom of a cookie sheet
Combine margarine, butter, sugar, corn syrup and water. Bring mixture to boil over moderately high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved and it reaches a hard crack stage.
Pour over the pecans in the prepared cookie sheet. Top with chocolate chips and swirl into tasteful shapes while you realize that you are an artiste and chocolate is your true medium.
Wait for it to cool, then break into chunks and boom goes the dynamite.
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How to woo a gentleman—and weaponize dessert.
Romance novel junkie Eliza Pepper always thought she was born too late, but now she really is stuck in the wrong time. Tasked with mending a tear in the timeline, she’s trying desperately to fit into 1873 London. But dang it, mucking out a fireplace while looking like the lunch lady from hell is hard.
If she can just keep from setting the floor on fire and somehow resist her growing attraction to the master of the house, she’ll be fine. All she has to do is repeat her mantra: “He’s nothing like Darcy. He’s nothing like Darcy.”
William Brown has always taken pride in his mastery of English decorum, but his new maid is a complete disaster, has thrown his household into chaos…and he finds her utterly captivating.
Though he’s willing to endure extreme physical discomfort to keep their relationship in proper perspective, her arrival has brought out a side of him he never knew existed. And Eliza has an innocently erotic knack for coaxing that decidedly ungentlemanly facet of himself out to play…
Warning: A modern girl who knows bupkis about nursing and maiding in the 19th century, a gentleman poet with a repressed wild side, and inappropriate use of a pair of pantaloons.
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In The Duality Principle, Connor and Gabriella share a piece of strawberry shortcake on their first date. I am a terrible baker, but my husband loves strawberry shortcake, so my shortcake trifle recipe has turned out to be a good compromise in our house!
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1-2 loaves store bought shortcake (or make your own, if you’re brave!)
2 cups strawberries, halved (recipe as pictured includes blueberries, too)
1 can Reddi Whip
Cookie cutter in desired shape
Clear trifle dish
Slice cake into 1½ inch thick layers. Use cookie cutter to create desired shapes. Layer remaining pieces of cake onto the bottom of the trifle dish, and use any leftover pieces as filler for the middle. Begin stacking shapes along the side of the dish, adding fruit and whipped cream as you go. (I recommend Reddi Whip because it holds its shape much better than Cool Whip or homemade.) Continue adding until you have reached the top.
I used star shapes for mine, as this was a dessert I served on Independence Day. Heart shapes can be used to create a Valentine’s Day dish, or holiday shapes to create a festive Christmas dish.
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Gabriella Evans’s life exists in terms of logic and definitions. She’s holed up in Portland, Maine, for the summer to work on her PhD thesis, but something is screwing up her concentration: the rumble of a motorcycle every time the embodiment of her rough-and-tumble fantasies rides down her street.
When her best friend talks her into a blind date, she finds herself out with the opposite of her fantasy. He’s polite and well-mannered, yet something behind his crisply tailored shirt doesn’t add up—a rebellious gleam in his eye that piques her curiosity.
Orphaned at fifteen, Connor Starks has finally put the years of failing grades, breaking laws and breaking hearts behind him. The only holdover? His penchant for getting down and dirty in public places. But Gabriella makes him want to prove he’s become a better man.
Nothing intrigues Gabriella more than a problem she can’t solve. But the more Connor tries to bury his past, the more determined she is to uncover it. And what she finds makes all her trusty logic begin to fail her.
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I recently ordered a recipe book called The Cupcake Bible, and there’s a recipe sticks out to me as a Try-Soon-Please-And-Thank-You type of thing. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if this makes it to some part of my Christmas baking fiasco that runs during December :) Here’s the general idea of what the book details:
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Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Ingredients for Cupcakes:
1 cup of creamy peanut butter, divided
¼ cup (or ½ stick) of unsalted butter, softened
1 cup of packed light brown sugar
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
½ teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup of milk
1 ½ cups of mini semisweet chocolate chips, divided (plus more for the top, if you’d like)
Peanut Butter frosting (or, if you’re a Kentucky girl like me, “icing”) – instructions to come!
Instructions for Cupcakes:
Ingredients for Icing:
½ cup (or 1 stick) of unsalted butter, softened
½ cup of creamy peanut butter
2 cups of sifted powdered sugar
½ teaspoon of vanilla
3-6 tablespoons of milk
Instructions for Icing:
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Preston and Nick endured the breakup of all breakups when Nick accused her of cheating on him. He insisted, and she denied while the rain pounded against her driveway and thunder roared in the distance. Then they both ran – Preston to a life of Rock and Roll, and Nick to a career in the Army.
Over four years later, they’re damaged and broken almost beyond repair. He’s carrying baggage from his military days, and she bears the scars of living a lifestyle she’s grown to hate.
When Preston’s label forces her to take time away from music, their paths cross in a parking lot not twenty-four hours after her hometown return, anger and sparks flying in a confusing blend. But regardless of the feelings neither has been able to shake, too many lies and secrets stand in the way of the one thing they need in order to recover.
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Main Site/Blog: http://clsmithbooks.blogspot.com
One of the foods my family has always enjoyed on Christmas Eve was tortière. It is a French-Canadian meat pie that my mother learned to make when she grew up in Northern Ontario.
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2 lbs ground pork
1 lb ground beef
1 tbsp butter
1 large or two medium potatoes
1 large onion (diced into tiny pieces)
2 teaspoons allspice
pepper to taste
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
4 Deep Dish pie shells (I use pre-made)
1. Peel, cut up, and boil potato(s). Mash them well. Put aside. They will be used later in the recipe.
2. In a large skillet or pot, melt the butter. Add onions until they've turned clearish.
3. Add the ground pork and ground beef until well cooked. Drain the grease.
4. Add the mashed potato and mix well.
5. Add the allspice, pepper, and cinnamon. Mix well.
6. Add enough water to cover the mixture and let simmer for a few hours, allowing the potato to thicken the mixture.
7. Once the mixture is thickened, divide equally into two of the pie shells. Cover each with one of the remaining pie shells and pinch the edges, using a wee bit of water to bond them. I always cut an eight-point star into mine to vent them well when cooking.
8. Bake at 425 degrees F until edges are golden brown and pie dough cooked. I usually undercook one just slightly so I can freeze it and just pop into the oven to reheat without the pie dough getting burned during reheating. The other one I cook fully for dinner.
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In one week, Princess Ro’sa will board a spaceship, leaving her home on Minjet to be with her betrothed on Earth. The only problem is, she detests the prince’s selfish and arrogant ways, preferring to spend time with his personal aide, a man who stirs her desires in ways she never imagined possible with his radiant blue eyes and smouldering lips. And oh, the way he touches her.
Earth’s post-apocalyptic landscape offers little but the alliance offers much and a princess must do her duty, no matter the danger to her person and to her heart.
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I learned almost all of my cooking skills as an adult. Growing up, I just wasn’t that interested. The sole exception was at Christmastime, when I hovered over my mother’s shoulder as she made such delectable treats as divinity, pecan pralines, and Martha Washington candy. Once I hit middle school, she started putting my annual burst of interest to good use. I didn’t have the skills for divinity or pralines—in fact, I’m not sure I could make them now—but I could dip pretzels in chocolate, simmer mulled cider…and make these simple but addictive savory treats:
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Sausage and Cheese Balls
Makes 3 dozen
1 pound bulk breakfast sausage, crumbled
3 cups Bisquick
1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine uncooked sausage, Bisquick, and cheese in bowl; mix well.
Shape into small balls; place on baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes or until brown; drain on paper towels.
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Gabriel Shepherd has never forgotten his humble origins. So when he discovers a war orphan at Christmastime, he resolves to find a home for her—even if that means asking help from the very family who found and raised him, only to cast him out for daring to love the wrong woman.
Lady Catherine Trevilian has spent five years poring over the British Army’s casualty lists, dreading the day she sees Gabe’s name. She’s never forgotten him, and she’s never forgiven herself for not running away with him when she had the chance, though she’s agreed to a marriage of convenience with a more suitable man.
When Gabe returns home on Christmas leave just days before Cat’s wedding, a forbidden kiss confirms their feelings haven’t been dimmed by distance or time. But Cat is honor-bound to another, and Gabe believes she deserves better than a penniless soldier with an orphan in tow. How can Cat reconcile love and duty? She must convince Gabe she’d rather have him than the richest lord in all of England…
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Christmas is my favorite season. I love the sights, the smells, and the tastes. One of my fondest memories is watching my grandmother make her pralines. Now my husband makes them for our holiday. I hope you enjoy the sweet southern confection as much as we do.
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1 ½ cups brown sugar
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons dark corn syrup
1 cup canned milk (Carnation or Pet)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups pecan halves
Butter sides of heavy 3-quart saucepan. Combine sugars, corn syrup, and milk.
Heat and stir over medium heat till sugars dissolve and mixture comes to boiling.
Cook to soft-ball stage (234 degrees), stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat, cool slightly, and add vanilla.
Beat by hand about 2 minutes before adding pecans then beat until mixture loses its gloss.
Drop by heaping tablespoons on buttered foil or waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. (If candy becomes too stiff to drop from spoon, add a teaspoon of hot water.)
Makes nine 3 ½ inch pralines.
He never doubted he’d find her.
She moved on without him.
Can he reclaim her heart before it’s too late?
Annie’s heart is torn between the man she'll always love and her promise to her fiancé’s young daughter.
A father’s lies. A first love’s determination to change her mind and her heart. A promise to . Annie is torn between the man she'll always love and the young daughter of her fiancé whom she’s promised never to abandon.
Her father’s lies. Her first love’s determination to change her mind and her heart. Annie’s heart is torn between the man she'll always love and the young daughter of her fiancé whom she’s promised never to abandon.
Her first love’s determination to change her mind and her heart. Her commitment to her fiancé and his child. Who will claim her heart?
Her first love’s return forces Annie to exam her commitment to her fiancé and his child. Who will claim her heart?
Her first love’s determination to change her mind and her heart forces Annie to exam her commitment to her fiancé and his child. Who will claim her heart?
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Thanks for stopping by! We hope you find some recipes and books that interest you.