Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Out and About

Sweet Nothings Book Signing Event

I am fortunate that my church, St. Jakobi Lutheran, supports my writing efforts, and allows me to have book signing events after services.
In return, I support one of their worthy causes. This time around, I'm supporting the Camp Luther Fund, which helps fund day and week camp for children of the congregation.

Members circled round the table to get their hands on a copy, fresh off the press.

Don't we look all bright and springy?

I even had requests for copies of the first books of the series. Fortunately, I had extras with me.

I can't thank all of my supporters enough. Each time I have a new book available, I'm told that there are additional fans who are looking forward to the next one. It's in the works right now. I don't have a completion date as yet, but I'm thinking by the end of the year. It all depends on what life serves up.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

From the Kitchen - The Empty Nest

Meatball Subs

Here's another great recipe from my Empty Nest Cookbook. Let's dive right in, cuz when we're done, you'll want to dive right in.

Start with bread crumbs, and grated Parmesan cheese. I use Italian crumbs, but any flavor will do. It's all according to one's taste.


a dab of oil,

add the ground turkey and mix. Of course, you can use group beef. It's all according to one's taste.
I use my cookie scoop, which makes uniform meatballs. Sorta.

Yup, here they are. Read to go in the oven. 
When I pick up ground turkey, I divide it into roughly quarter pound portions and freeze them. Then I  can take out a pack and make one sandwich at a time.
Of course, ya'll can make as many as you want. It's all according to one's taste.

While the meatballs are a baking, I slice green bell pepper and vidalia onion. You can use whatever color pepper you want, and what ever kind of onion you want. It's all according to one's taste.

Then I mix the ingredients for the sauce.

Saute the veggies, and add the sauce.

While the meatballs are baking, and the sauce is saucing, prepare the roll. I use french rolls, but other kinds of rolls or bread will work. It's all according to one's taste.

I sprinkle on shredded mozzarella, and put it oven until the cheese melts. You can use sliced mozzarella if you wish. It's all according to one's taste.

Then I pile on the baked meatballs, add the sauce, and call it good.

Gotta love those onions and peppers. Of course you can pile on the meatballs, add the sauce, and then top with cheese, and broil it that way as well. It's all according to one's taste.

I'll tell you one thing. I make it according to my taste, and you know what?
Is it ever good.
Happy Saturday

Meatball Subs
2 Tbsp chopped onion
1 Tbsp seasoned bread crumbs
1 Tbsp parmesan cheese
1/2 lb. ground turkey breast
1/2 Tsp canola oil
2 Hoagie buns or French rolls, sliced
1/2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 C sliced onion
1/4 C ketchup
1/2 medium green pepper
1 Tsp brown sugar
1/4 Tsp ground mustard

Preheat oven to 400°. Combine 2 Tbsp chopped onion, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, turkey breast and 1/2 Tsp canola oil. Mix well, shape into 1 inch meatballs (about 12). Place on baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, bake 8-12 minutes, or until no longer pink in middle. Remove from pan, set aside. Open buns and lay on pan, open side up. Sprinkle with layer of Mozzarella cheese. Set aside. Meanwhile, add olive oil to small skillet, add onion and peppers, sauté until tender. Add ketchup, brown sugar and ground mustard to skillet. Stir until mixed. Cover and heat on low 15 minutes. Add meatballs to heat through. While mixture is heating, place pan with rolls in oven. Watching carefully, bake until cheese is melted. Top with meatballs and sauce. 2 servings

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Out and About

Afternoon the the authors
I recently had the pleasure of joining fellow authors at our local library, during National Library Week.

We spent the afternoon sharing our insights and secrets, our thoughts and theories,
our ideas and future plans. 
The event was open to the public to come and visit with us, and pick up copies of our books.

Here's a sampling of what you'll find:

The authors were local, an interesting and little known fact to me.

We had numerous genres, from an inspirational life story, to crafts,

to books written on personal change.

Um, why yes, there I am, sitting with the young man who did my first(and only) professional interview, when 'Lost and Found' was published.
Not only does he work for the local newspaper, but he's an accomplished author as well.
It was an interesting and enjoyable afternoon, one that I hope the library continues to host each year.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

From the Kitchen - The Empty Nest

Teriyaki Chicken and Rice

This recipe only looks complicated.
It's a quick fix, and comes together easily enough for that last minute dinner.
The recipe is for 2 servings, because it's from my Empty Nest Cookbook.
It's super easy to increase it, however. Follow along and you'll see.

Garlic. I love garlic. It's good for you. And me.

The secret ingredient: apricot jam. It adds a richness and a sweetness to offset the tang of the other ingredients.

Soy sauce. One of the tangy ingredients that makes the chicken Teriyaki.

Bring it to a boil,

add the instant brown rice, and there you got it.

While the rice is cooking, it's time to prepare the chicken. It takes only minutes to get it ready,

and then the Teriyaki sauce gets added.

Yummy to the umteenth degree.

Plate the rice, add the chicken.
It just doesn't get better than that.
Happy Saturday

Teriyaki Chicken and Rice
1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp + 1-1/2 Tsp olive oil, divided
3/4 Tsp molasses
1/4 Tsp ground ginger
1/4 Tsp dry mustard
1/2 Tsp refrigerated chopped garlic
1/2 C water
1 Tsp chicken soup base
1-1/2 Tsp apricot jam
1/2 C instant brown rice
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast

In small bowl, mix soy sauce, 1-1/2 Tsp olive oil, molasses, ginger, mustard and garlic. Set aside. In small saucepan, mix together water, chicken soup base, 1 Tbsp of soy sauce mixture, and jam. Bring to boil, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Stir in rice and lower heat to low. Cover tightly and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir with fork, and cover tightly. Set aside, off of heat.  Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to skillet over medium heat. Cut chicken breast into bite size pieces and stir fry in oil until no longer pink inside, about 5 minutes. Pour remaining sauce over chicken and heat through. Divide rice between 2 plates, top with chicken. 2 servings

Monday, April 13, 2015


We celebrated Easter a week late, due to unforeseen circumstances: illness that we didn't want spread.
So here's the play by play of the first 3 minutes after we finished the meal:

Khloe: Daddy, can we play outside?
Eric: Wait a little while.

Henry the dog: Um, Gregg, I don't want to smell your ham breath.

Kelsie: Daddy, you look funny upside down.
Abby: I won't let you fall.

Khloe: Now can we play outside?

Eric: In a little while. I'm playing with Henry.

Alex: I ate too much dessert.
Um Alex, that's real nice buddy. Love those big brown eyes.

Khloe: Daddy, now can we play outside? Please?
Eric: In a little while. You just asked me that. I'm watching TV.

Kelsie: Look at my new do that Abby did for me.

Now Daddy?
Abby: Let's go look at your Easter present first.

Abby: See there's all kinds of fairy stuff. You'll need a big pot of dirt, and then you can make a fairy garden.

Huh. That one stumped both of the girlie-girls. Khloe didn't even ask if they could go play outside.
For 30 seconds.

Happy belated Easter.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

From the Kitchen - Outside the Nest

Apple Bran Muffins

I had to get rid of some leftovers, so it was muffin time. I think muffins should be a food group. So should cookies.

Ok, so there's always a bunch of crushed bran flakes at the bottom of the box. I hate to throw them away.

And there was just a dab of cream cheese spread. I wasn't about to throw that away either.

The bran flakes went into the milk.

I like whipping things together. It's fun. I can take out my aggression with a mixer. Don't worry about the little lumps of cream cheese. They'll blend right in when the muffins bake.

Ok, then the bran flakes are added,

some of the dry ingredients,

the flour,

and finally the apples.

I make a half batch, and I bake mine in these nifty little glass casseroles. I mean, what's the difference? 2 regular muffins, or one giant muffin for a meal?

Add the topping, and slide them in the oven.

Smellablog. That's what we need. They are all nice and yummy.

Are they ever good.
Happy Saturday

Apple Bran Muffins

1/2 C crushed bran flakes
1/2 C milk
3 ounces plain low-fat cream cheese spread
3/4 C sugar
2 eggs or 1/2 C liquid egg product
1/4 C oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 Tsp baking powder
1/2 Tsp baking soda
1/2 Tsp salt
1-1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 C diced peeled apples

1-1/2 Tsp sugar
1 Tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tsp flour
1 Tsp butter

Preheat oven to 375°. Line 12 cup muffin pan with paper or silicone liners. Place bran flakes in a cup with the milk, let sit for 5 minutes, until soft.  Combine cream cheese, 3/4 C sugar, eggs , oil, lemon juice and vanilla extract, beat until smooth. Stir in bran flakes, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add flour, stir just until moistened. Fold in apples. Divide into cups of pan. Combine topping ingredients, sprinkle on top of muffin batter. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely. 12 regular size muffins