Monday, April 1, 2013
Join me during the month of April for "Using Prompts to Expand Your Repertoire", a free workshop I'm teaching at Coffee Time Romance. During the entire month, we'll play with prompts, experiment with new ideas, develop personalized resource lists, and come away with our pumps primed for production. I hope you'll come on by!
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
N&W: With your love of ghosts, how did history inspire your choices of recipes?
KT: My trip to Spain to write about ghosts inspired me to include Spanish tapas in our cookbook. The food there was amazing.
N&W: If you could go to any kitchen in any period in time, past or present, where would it be and with whom would you cook? What would the menu be?
KT: I have recently gotten on a Thai food kick. Oh, my gosh the sweetness of the coconut milk mixed with the zip of curry is like a party in my mouth. I think it would be pretty cool to take a trip to Thailand and eat in some of the local’s finest restaurants.
N&W: How has your relationship to food and eating changed in the process of doing the cookbook?
KT: I have been checking out ingredients and recipes a lot more now. Just yesterday, I was in a bookstore and stopped to read a food magazine. There was a recipe of how to make bread stuffed with a whole chicken! I soooo have to try that.
N&W: Living in Southern California, you're exposed to many cuisines. What do you think of as "your" cuisine, as "comfort food"?
KT: I really love ethnic foods. Thai, Indian, Japanese, and Italian, Mexican, you name it we’ve got it nearby. Except Greek. Oh, wow, I love Greek food. My husband and I love this amazing Greek restaurant that’s in the middle of the desert called the Mad Greek and will drive out of our way to go there for lunch when we are traveling to Las Vegas.
N&W: Your newest release, SAVING MINER'S GULCH, is a children's fiction story. If you had to design a menu for the characters, what would it be?
KT: The miners during the Gold Rush had lots of salt pork, beans, and my favorite—Sourdough Bread. My characters would have loved clam chowder in a hot, fresh Sourdough Bread bowl.
N&W: What are your favorite must-use cookbooks?
KT: The cook book I simply adore is called Cook Like a Writer. It’s fun, easy to use and has the best recipes. :)
N&W: What's the best cocktail to drink while reading CATCH ME IN CASTILE?
KT: Sangria, most likely.
N&W: What advice would you give a writer just starting out?
KT: First there has to be LOVE—a deep passionate burning desire to write stories. If you’ve got the love then go forth and learn all that you can about your craft, which includes understanding yourself as a writer. Take classes and write as much as you can. Experiment. Become acquainted with your best, closest friend—your voice. It is like your fingerprint and is uniquely yours. Once you are more familiar with your voice, you will be able to sort out the genre and style that are best for you. And then write like crazy, as many days a week as you can. Surround yourself with true believers—other writers who are on this crazy path to publication too. Try not to get impatient because this writing journey takes time to prefect. Don’t be one of those people that quit too early. Keep loving, keep learning, keep writing.
N&W: If you could have a meal with anyone living or dead, who would it be and what would be served?
KT: This is going to sound mushy, but my favorite time of the day is when my hubby comes home from work and we sit down with the kids to eat dinner. Special events like good report cards and birthdays necessitate fancy dinners out on the town with some sort of chocolate decadence for dessert. I love and savor these moments with my family.
N&W: What do ghosts eat?
KT: Sadly, ghosts don’t eat. But then they don’t gain weight either.
Check out SAVING MINER'S GULCH, available at your favorite online retailer.
And download COOK LIKE A WRITER, available for free today. You'll be glad you did!
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
COOK LIKE A WRITER, by The Book Posse, is born! Join us for our pièce de résistance, the cookbook to end all cookbooks. (Sorry Emeril.) This one's got wit, and cooking help, and me! ~grin~
A cookbook written by a group of passionate authors who have cooked up recipes just as juicy as their novels. Their goal? To change the world one word and one tasty bite at a time, while having fun in the kitchen with foodies worldwide.
And the best part? It's available free! Check it out, here. You'll never leave the kitchen again.
And as a teaser, here are some extras from my coauthors:
Nancy Lauzon's Easy Vegetarian Squares
Selena Robins' Treadmill Cookies
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Let's face it: whether you work outside the home or are a full-time homemaker, there are those days that you just want the meal without the work. Never fear, Dear Reader, Aunt Noony has something for you. Don't I always?
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 C milk
1/2 C fine, dry bread crumbs
Do yourself a favor, and get the seasoned bread crumbs. Getting the plain ones just yields bland meatloaf.
1/4 C finely chopped onion
2 T snipped parsley
1 t salt
1/2 t ground sage
1/8 t pepper
1 and 1/2 pounds ground beef (680 grams)
Do yourself another favor and really shop for the best ground beef you can afford. If you can, go to a local butcher shop. If you're only shopping at the local grocery, then buy as lean of beef as you can find. I like to use 90/10, which means there's only 10% fat left. If you can find ground round, use that; even better, ground sirloin.
For variety, you can try other ground meets as well. I have a friend who swears by ground buffalo for her meatloaf. When I'm minding our food variety, I'll use ground turkey. Experiment to see what flavors you enjoy.
Meatloaf is super simple. See all those ingredients up there? Get out a large bowl and dump 'em all in there. I like to mush it around and squeeze it through my fingers, both because it's cathartic (who doesn't want to smash something at the end of a long day?) and because it helps ensure the ingredients are well mixed. If you really don't want to get your hands dirty, use a good, sturdy wooden spoon.
Put your oven at 350 F, 177C. Put the meat in a loaf pan and smooth it out. I like to use the flat of a teaspoon to texture it, but that's up to you. Put it in the oven for 50 minutes.
Mix 1/4 C catsup, 2 T brown sugar, and 1 t dry mustard in a small bowl. Make sure the mustard gets well mixed, as it has a tendency to clump. Spoon the glaze over the meatloaf and bake another 10 minutes.
C'est fini, Dear Reader. It really is that easy. Serve with some steamed corn and a baked potato and you have a nice, full meal. It serves six. It stores well in the fridge and makes very nice meatloaf sandwiches the next day.
Join my other Tasty Tuesday compatriots!
Tuesday Yummy Pot Roast, by Nancy Lauzon
Cupcakes For Dinner, by Selena Robins
Paniolo Cornbread, by Renee Wildes
Cupcakes For Dinner, by Selena Robins
Paniolo Cornbread, by Renee Wildes
And stay tuned for COOK LIKE A WRITER, by the Guerrilla Chicks, coming February, 2013. Join me and my Tasty Tuesday compatriots as we show you our stuff - in the kitchen. More than a hundred recipes with a dash of fun, an extra helping of humor, and some good, old-fashioned stick-to-your-ribs food. Yum!
Monday, January 21, 2013
I'm back in Las Vegas with Rachel! Woot! My visit doesn't seem long enough, even though it's a whole week. Note to self: do not schedule flights before 07:00. One has to be at the airport 90 minutes ahead of the flight, and one has to get oneself to the airport. My flight left Chicago at 06:30, which meant I had the cab pick me up at 04:00 - and he was early! Yuck. Noony is not a happy camper getting up at 03:00.
The flight was gorgeous, though. We hit some turbulence as we passed over storms but for the most part, we came over very smoothly. I spent most of the flight knitting.
This visit has been filled with creativity. We've written, of course, and we got the cover art forms for TIGER TIGER! Very exciting. We will of course let everyone know as soon as the cover art is available. But in addition to writing, we have been knitting and crocheting, but also picked up a latch-hook rug project. Rachel picked out a cute picture of two cats and we'll figure out how it works tomorrow. We also found some tiny counted cross-stitch projects - including one that looks like a little truffle! We picked out different colors for the fur, though; I'll work on those this week. They shouldn't take long to finish.
Whatever your Monday brings you, I hope it's fun!
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Welcome to the Guerrilla Chicks' continuing Tuesday feature, Tasty Tuesday! Every Tuesday, this band of intrepid writers brings you the news from the kitchen. Since not all of us are cooks, you'll learn things about food and eating that you never anticipated. Watch out; you just might become a gourmand.
One of my favorite breakfast recipes involves preparation the night before. This is the magic of the slow cooker. If you haven’t invested in one of these handy gadgets yet, I highly recommend you try one out. They make the kitchen a more friendly place because they can be cooking something toothsome while you’re doing something else – like sleeping.
Apple Pie Oatmeal
This serves about four people. There are three in my household, and we tend to have at least a serving for leftovers, depending how hungry folks are in the morning. One thing I like to do with this is cook it and leave containers next to it so folks can spoon some and take it to work with them. It’s especially welcome on cold Winter mornings like we get here in Chicago and, since none of us are morning people, we don’t have to stuff it in our face right away. We can eat on the train. Much better than fat and cholesterol bombs one can find in fast food places.
1 C steel cut oats
I’ve tried other kinds of oats with this, and you definitely want slow-cooking ones. They’re hard to find, at least here in the states. Traditional grocery stores seem to only carry the quick-cook kind and ‘regular’, which cook in 5 minutes (and, therefore, aren’t “regular”). If you poke around other kinds of stores like Whole Foods and locally-owned groceries, you can find things like steel cut, Irish cut, etc. I like Irish cut too, and this is one recipe where experimenting pays off.
4 cups water
1 t cinnamon or cake spice
1 t vanilla extract
I know, I know, I’ve said it before and I’ll likely repeat myself. The best place to buy spices is The Spice House, and they have a fantastic website that is filled with good information about herbs and spices. Another excellent resource is the Frontier Coop.
Not all cinnamon is alike. For one thing, due to the embargo with Vietnam after the war with the United States, most Americans lost their palate for real cinnamon. Much of what we had available wasn’t the cinnamon of our grandmothers. Now the embargo is over, you can explore a whole new spectrum of flavor. Check out the different kinds of cinnamon available to your tongue.
My absolute favorite for seasoning, though, is their Cake Spice. Seriously yummy stuff, folks.
Don’t scrimp on your vanilla extract, either. For the love of Pete, do not use “vanillin” or “vanilla flavor.” Spring for the real vanilla extract and poke around, see if you can’t find Madagascar vanilla. It’s like sex on a spoon.
1 C fresh apple, cored and diced
I never knew all the amazing variations of the humble apple. I grew up with Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith. Then Fuji and the Japanese Apple Pear. The Red and Golden Delicious are disgusting, mealy and gross. Don’t consider them part of the apple family. Try Pink Lady, Rome, or Macintosh. Failing that, you can use any apple that’s good in pies; Granny Smiths hold up well and I like Fuji in this recipe too.
1 C dried berries
You can use raisins if you have to, but look around for dried berries. It’s hard to find unsweetened cranberries, and if you’re watching your processed sugar intake that’s not desirable. But the other day at the store I found a bag of mixed berries. They were fantastic in this – cherries, cranberries, and blueberries. Yum city.
Are you ready for this? This is for all my lovely readers who tell me, “I just don’t cook.” This isn’t even cooking; if you can wash a pan, you can make this recipe.
You see all those ingredients up there? Dump ’em in the slow cooker. Stir. Put it on low and let it sit overnight.
That’s all there is to it.
A word to the wise: once everyone has served themselves, take the remaining stuff and put it in a storage container in the fridge and FILL THE POT WITH HOT, SOAPY WATER. Do.not.leave.it.til.you.get.home.from.work. TRUST the Noony. Unless you LIKE cleaning concrete out of stuff with your bare hands, do yourself a favor and pre-clean.
The Tasty Tuesday Bus
Check out the other wonderful Tasty Tuesday posts my compatriots have prepared for your gustatory enjoyment. Make 2013 a year to remember by trying new recipes in your home kitchen!
A Taste of Nostalgia, by Moira Keith
Stay-In-Bed Soup, by Nancy Lauzon
Great Balls of Italian Soup by Selena Robins