Monthly Archives: November 2012

A new Christmas novella, a good friend, and not one, but TWO recipes

To celebrate the release of CHRISTMAS BELLS, I’m combining the two things that always receive the most visits and comments:

A visit from my friend, Luann, with one two of her delicious recipes, and the announcement of my latest Cherryvale book.

Win-win!! 

Luann’s got the chops in the kitchen, and she’s a hoot as well. If you haven’t subscribed to her blog, Mudpuddle, hurry and do so, then come right back.

I guess you’ve noticed cooking with exotic salts is trending! so always on top of the latest, Lu’s showing us how to make  Salted Lemon Caramel Sauce. Good on any.thing.

So snuggle in with a cup of hot tea, a sample of Lu’s drop dead delish dessert, and take a trip to Cherryvale, where a Christmas eve blizzard’s got the town scrambling to find enough room in the Inn. And food to fill hungry bellies of dozens of stranded, grumpy travelers. Lu, Grace could really use your help!

And now, here’s Lu!

*******

When Better Than Good is Just Right

Well, I’m sure you know what I mean.
Sometimes things are good.

Like Weegie soaking up the morning sun with his squeaky toy.

 

Or a piece of The Fresh Apple Cake made with Honeycrisps. (pictured at the top of this post)

 

 

The Fresh Apple Cake 

1.  Chop and toast 1 1/2 cup pecans (or walnuts).  The toasting is SO important.  Let them cool completely.

2.  Peel and chop 3 cups Honeycrisp apples.  Pour 1/4 c. fresh-squeezed lemon juice over the apples.  Set aside.

3.  With a mixer, combine 2 cups sugar, 1 1/2 c. vegetable oil, 2 tsp. vanilla, 2 eggs, and 1 tsp. salt.  Just mix until well combined.

4.  In a separate large bowl combine 3 c. flour, 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg.

5.  With a wooden spoon, mix together the sugar mixture and the flour mixture.

6.  Stir in the apples and pecans.

7.  Bake in a well-greased and floured tube pan at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

8.  Allow to cool in pan for about 5 minutes.  Run a sharp knife all around the edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan.

9.  Invert onto plate.  Glaze with a mix of powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice.

But. As good as those things are… this is better

A piece of  Fresh Apple Cake with a little Salted Lemon Caramel Sauce.

See. I told you.

This sauce is something you don’t want to miss. I promise.
I can think of all kinds of things you could drizzle it over.

Pecan Pie
Brownies
Pound Cake
Ice Cream

Your finger.

A carrot.

It makes anything better than it was before.

(Except Weegie, of course. He can’t be improved upon!)

Try it. You’ll love me more than Friday!

Luann’s Salted Lemon Caramel Sauce

 2 cups light brown sugar
½ c. heavy cream
½ c. milk
1 stick butter
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 ½ T. vanilla paste (or vanilla)
The juice of one lemon
Combine the brown sugar, cream, milk, and butter in a medium saucepan and cook while stirring over medium heat. You don’t really ever want to see it boil…
Cook and stir until it begins to thicken. (about 8-10 minutes) Stir in the salt. Cook for about 5 more minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla paste and the lemon juice. Stir very well.
Let cool slightly but serve while warm.
This makes a lot and can be reheated in microwave!
 ****
Thanks, Lu! Keep ’em coming, and give Weegie a cuddle for me!

Happy Thanksgiving from Cherryvale

Happy Thanksgiving!

To celebrate, Hearts Unlocked is free for Kindle, November 18-20th!

Here’s a snapshot of the story:

Far from home and alone for the holidays, Stephanie Allan wants to prove she can make it on her own until handsome movie star, Brandon McCallister, sweeps in, exposing her fears and threatening her independence. Will Stephanie resist his playful persistence, or can Brandon discover the key to unlocking her heart?

The story takes place in Cherryvale, but you’ll also find out more about nearby Franklin City. But where ever they go, the smells, sights and sounds of autumn are evident as the characters try their luck in a corn maze, make new friends, and run into the folks who live along the CherryPath.

And like all the books in the Seasons of Cherryvale, I’ve included yummy recipes and heartwarming moments.

In Fresh Start Summer, Grace cooks modified and modernized recipes from her grandmother’s copy of Fannie Farmer’s Original 1896 Boston Cooking School Cookbook. So I thought it would be fun to know Fannie’s suggested menu:

Menu for Thanksgiving Dinner (1896)

Oyster Soup

Crisp Crackers

Celery

Salted Almonds

Roast Turkey

Cranberry Jelly

Mashed Potatoes

Onions in Cream

Squash

Chicken Pie

Fruit Pudding

Sterling Sauce

Mince, Apple Pie, and Squash Pie

Neapolitan Ice Cream Fancy Cakes

Fruit

Nuts and Raisins

Bonbons

Crackers

Cheese

Cafe Noir

Doesn’t sound too terribly different from our own, right? Unless you consider before they cooked, they had to “blacken the stove” and “build a proper fire.” Mercy.

Instead of mince pie, this year we’re having a phenomenal new pecan pie recipe discovered and perfected by my friend, Joanne Bischof. Here’s a link to her Moonshine Pecan and Butterscotch Pie. (Yes, it’s really made with moonshine, so get your still set up! LOL There is “legal” ‘shine available. I promise!)

May God’s love and blessings surround you and yours with bounty (including yummy food, and perhaps a good book or two!) this Thanksgiving.

21 Ways to Celebrate Gratitude – And a fun craft idea

Let’s welcome this week’s guest poster, Shelley Hitz! Here’s Shelley!

Thanksgiving season is soon approaching and this year, I encourage you to take the opportunity to celebrate gratitude.  In the midst of the hustle and bustle of this holiday season, take a moment (or two) to celebrate gratitude.

Don’t forget to check out the free book giveaway below.

Click the clapper to watch Shelley’s fun video:

Write down one thing you admire in those coming to your Thanksgiving dinner on a placemat and decorate it.  You can use vinyl placemats or make your own with construction paper.  One idea is to put the paper between two pieces of wax paper and iron it to give it a nice finish.

See all 21 ways to celebrate gratitude this Thanksgiving at Shelley’s website.

Free Gratitude Resource:

On November 14, 15 and 16th, 2012 you can download a FREE Kindle copy of the book, “21 Stories of Gratitude:  The Power of Living Life With a Grateful Heart.”

Get your copy here:  

About the book:

Are you living life to the fullest? Or are you merely surviving from day to day?

One way to live life to the fullest is to live each day with a grateful heart. In this book, we share 21 stories of gratitude to give you encouragement and hope in your own journey. Gratitude is possible! Even though many times we cannot change our circumstances, we can change the way we see them. We can ask God to empower us to change our thoughts.

Our prayer for you is that you find encouragement within these pages. And we pray that you will ask God for His strength to renew your mind with His truth and the hope He offers each one of us every day. It is only through Christ renewing our minds that we can truly live each day with a grateful heart.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2 (NKJV)

Other Gratitude Resources:

  • 21 Days of Gratitude Challenge:   Take the 21 days of gratitude challenge to celebrate Thanksgiving this year.  You can do this by yourself or as a family.
  • 21 Prayers of Gratitude:  Read a prayer of gratitude for 21 days to focus your heart on God and all He has given us.

About the Author:

Shelley Hitz has been writing and publishing books since 2008. She is also the author of the website, FindYourTrueBeauty.com, that reaches thousands of girls each month around the world. Her openness and vulnerability as she shares her own story of hope and healing will inspire and encourage you.

Shelley has been ministering to teens since 1998 alongside her husband, CJ. They currently travel and speak to teens and adults around the country. Shelley’s main passion is to share God’s truth and the freedom in Christ she has found with others. She does this through her books, websites and speaking engagements.

You can find more about Shelley at www.ShelleyHitz.com or invite her to speak at your event here: www.ChristianSpeakers.tv

Thanks for visiting, Shelley, and sharing your book, and encouragement to stay grateful! 

Thanks, Bev! Happy Thanksgiving!