My New Addictions: Chocolate Toffee and Sexy Romance Novels

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Maybe I’ve taken this summer vacation thing too far, indulged too much, for too long, but it’s too late now.

I’m addicted.

Even thought I’m back to work, I rush through my tasks to get to the end of the work day and back to my latest indulgences, nicely paired together (the new bonbons and soap operas): chocolate toffee and sexy romance novels.

I haven’t found anything else to distract me from this dynamite duo of delectably dangerous desert. (I know what you’re thinking: this girl needs to get a life.)

This pair of perfection is the exact antidote to the routine, boring life, or the stressed, crazy life. Either way, it’s a welcome reprieve from a life filled to the brim with responsibilities and work. If you’re up for a staycation experience on any given Sunday afternoon or rainy Saturday or evening after dinner alone, I want to share the delight with you.

The Recipe: Chocolate Almond Toffee

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/4 c. butter
  • 1 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 c. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c. Toasted chopped almonds
  • 1/2 c. toasted chopped pecans
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Let butter melt and then cook, stirring constantly with a spatula (so the butter and sugar don’t separate!), until mixture turns a dark amber, 12 to 15 minutes. (This can take closer to 20 minutes if you’re heat is not high enough. Increase the heat and keep stirring until the color turns. Don’t give up! If you’d like to use a candy thermometer for this step, attach it to the saucepan and cook until the temperature reaches 285º, or hard crack stage.) Toffee mixture should be dark in color and very thick. Stir in ½ cup of chopped almonds.
  2. Pour toffee mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and immediately top all over with chocolate chips. Let sit 2 minutes so chocolate begins to melt, then spread chocolate all over with a spatula to create a layer on top of toffee.
  3. Sprinkle all over with remaining ½ cup almonds and pecans (use chopped crumbs too for nice texture!) and pink Himalayan sea salt.

Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour, then cut or break into pieces and serve.

AND

The Sexy Romance Novels:  Love on Fire

 

6 steamy romance novels by 6 bestselling authors…

Sometimes passion takes you and there’s nothing you can do to resist it. That hotfeeling overwhelms you until you can think of nothing else but him, want to do nothing else but make love.
Sometimes love sets you on fire until it consumes you.
Let these six novels of crazy hot love take you there, make you feel the heat of that passion, bring you that ecstatic joy.

Playing the Game – by USA Today bestselling author Stephanie Queen – International Digital Award Winning romance about a socialite playing the game of seduction to win against a superstar until winning feels more like losing her heart.
“Reading Queen is an absolutely scrumptious experience…with characters who come alive like Pop Rocks and carbonated beverages” –Romantic Times Book Review

Bittersweets – by bestselling author Suzanne Jenkins – A one-night stand for lawyers Terry and Alex segues into a long weekend of passion, leading to a lifetime of romance.
“…once I began reading I knew there was no turning back. Suzanne Jenkins has an incredible talent.”–Anonymous Reviewer

Red Rock Rises – by USA Today bestselling author Taylor Lee – A fiery former undercover agent, as tough as she is beautiful, no one messes with Red Rock until she meets the handsome Police Chief.
“Taylor Lee does it again! Red Rock Rises introduces another unforgettable heroine and a hero who is more than her match. From the first page to the last, the sparks fly between Jesse O’Donnell aka Red Rock and the sexy Police Chief.”–Kharma Queen

Bedroom Therapy – by NYT and USA Today bestselling author Rebecca York – Phone sex, fantasies and fetishes are all in a day’s work for sex advice columnist Dr. Amanda O’Neal until she meets sexy detective Zack Grant, and things get personal.
“Bedroom Therapy is a torrid private investigative romance with the heated emphasis on the equatorial hot relationship between the sleuth and the doctor. The story line is fun to follow” –Amazon Review

Tempted by Mr. Wrong – by USA Today bestselling author Jacquie Biggar – How can something so wrong, feel so right?
Jacquie Biggar had me reading well past my bedtime. The characters are so well written they could walk right off the page!” –Avonna

To Love A Hero – by NYT and USA Today bestselling author Mona Risk” – Amidst a clash of cultures, an American scientist finds more chemistry than she bargains for with a national hero from Belarus
Outstanding Read. Mona Risk’s To Love a Hero is a wonderful love story complete with deception, conceit, stubbornness and the love of a lifetime for two people who couldn’t be more different. Ms. Risk hits a homerun with this.”–Simply Romance. Review

Available for Pre-Order Now – Release Date August 14th

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Stephanie Queen
About USA Today Bestselling Author Stephanie Queen A romantic at heart and a writer by nature, Stephanie Queen has the enthusiastic soul of a cheerleader. So of course she loves creating stories where the good guys always win. Although she's lost count of all the jobs she had before she settled on being a Novelist, her favorite was selling cookies as a Keebler Elf. She is a graduate of UConn (go Huskies!) and Harvard U and lives in New Hampshire with her family, her cat, Kitty, and her (real or imagined?) chauffeur, Myren.
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Chicken soup for the sick

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I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I ‘thought’ I was in good health for a woman of age, a spritely silver-haired vixen, but I was as sick as the old gray mare, ready for the glue factory.
Then again, three bouts of pneumonia in four months would probably sap even an Olympic athlete. It was time to supplement all those different antibiotics with old time medicine.
Some of the odd things I found in my online research were red onions, vinegar, and honey. Chicken soup is supposed to be great for a cold; it would probably help with the crud, too.
Not in my research, but known to me was an apple a day. It was too late to keep the doctor away, but was worthy as a component in the super soup I was concocting.

Short version: it works. I’ve polished off the pot of Super Soup, I’m breathing easier, and it’s great to have something hearty to eat at the zap of the microwave.

Components:

1 Tbsp coconut oil (or whatever oil you have)
2 cups chopped cabbage
1 red onion, chopped
1 apple, chopped
2 heaping Tbsp chicken ‘Better Than Bouillon’ or equivalent in bouillon or chicken stock
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 chopped up cooked chicken breast (or whatever leftover chicken you have)

Saute the solid stuff in the oil until limp. Add the vinegar, chicken ‘flavoring,’ and chicken. If you used chicken stock, you should be good to go. If not, add about 2 cups of water.

Super-meal this!
Add a package of pre-cooked rice or quinoa mix (I like the Seeds of Change brand) or leftover rice. If you don’t have those, add one more cup of water and one cup or Minute Rice. Hearty and satisfying.

You’ll note that I didn’t add any salt. The bouillon has enough salt for the mix. The apple and vinegar gives it a bit of sweet and sour taste—not overwhelming, but fun as a change from ‘all soups taste the same’ stuff I’m used to. Oh, and I never used the honey. Go ahead and eat a big spoonful for dessert.

Enjoy! And if you can, get a pneumonia vaccine. I have to wait 3 months now. I never realized that there were over 36 strains of that strength-sapping, lung-filling crud out there!

NOTE: In 2008, I started writing my first book. In it, the main character (a sweet little old lady from Alaska) had a drug-resistant form of pneumonia. I didn’t know I was writing about myself! If you want to know more about her, and how an overdose of Fountain of Youth water and a drop through a time portal turned her into a young fox in 1780, read Naked in the Winter Wind on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play, Amazon UK.

Dani Haviland
Dani Haviland, formerly of Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska, recently semi-retired from selling tractor parts, tools, and roses. She moved to a more temperate climate in western Oregon to pursue her passions: writing, gardening, and photography.  View website
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New Year Black-eyed Peas @JoanReeves #mgtab

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New Year's 2017 Graphic ImageNew Year’s Day is on the horizon. In the South, the first day of the New Year calls for Black-eyed Peas.

Some home cooks think cooking these beloved little legumes requires too much time and energy so they opt for the canned variety.

So I thought I’d share this really easy slow-cooker method. You just do a little prep work, throw them in your slow cooker or Crock Pot, and in about 6 hours you’ll have the most delicious black-eyed peas you’ve ever eaten. So if you want to serve black-eyed peas at midnight on New Year’s Eve, put them on at 6pm.

Black-eyed Peas the Slow Cook Way

1. Pour a 1-pound bag of dried black-eyed peas into a colander and wash them. Then place them in a cooking pot with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Let boil for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into the colander and rinse.

2. Place the rinsed peas in the slow cooker.

3. Add 3 cups of water to the slow cooker.

4. Add your choice of a pork meat product: 1/4 pound of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled OR 1/2 pound smoked ham, cubed OR 1 ham hock.

5. Add 2 medium-size onions, chopped

6. Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt. I give this range because some bacon and ham can be very salty. So start with a little salt and add more if needed when they’re almost ready to serve.

7. Add 1/4 teaspoon coarsely-ground or cracked fresh ground black pepper.

8. Optional: 1-2 cloves of minced garlic if you like garlic. I use a little garlic because I don’t want to overwhelm the flavor of the peas.

9. Kick it up another notch with a few drops of Tabasco if you like this Creole flavoring. I always add 4-6 drops of Tabasco.

10. Final option: add a can of diced tomatoes to the mixture in the slow cooker.

Once everything is in the slow cooker, stir to mix well. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours. The aroma as they cook is mouth-watering.

I always serve these with cornbread and rice. Like most legumes, black-eyed peas are an incomplete protein so if you want to serve them as a complete protein main dish, serve them with steamed rice.

I hope you’ll try these. They’re really delicious and so easy to make that you may find yourself making them even when it’s not New Year’s.

Of course, remember the bottle of chilled bubbly.

My New Year Wishes For You

May you and your family have good health, good relationships, vocations and avocations you love, prosperity, the ability to endure and persist when life throws curve balls your way, and peace within.

Joan Reeves writes sexy Contemporary Romance Novels–available at most ebook sellers. Check out my Amazon Author Page for a list of books.  (Audio editions available at Audible, and iTunes.) All of Joan’s books have the same underlying premise: “It’s never too late to live Happily Ever After.” Joan lives her Happily Ever After with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. Readers, sign up for Joan’s Mailing List/Free NL and receive a free ebook. Connect with Joan Online: Blog * Facebook * Twitter * YouTube.

Joan Reeves
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Joan Reeves makes her home in the Lone Star State with her hero, her husband. They have 4 children who think they are adults and a ghost dog, all the ingredients for a life full of love and warmed by laughter. Joan lives the philosophy that is the premise of her romance novels: "It's never too late to live happily ever after."  View website
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SQ’s decadent holiday tradition: Royal Munch Mix

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christmas-partiesI have a wonderful, mouth-watering holiday tradition that I’m going to share with you. But first some background…

Every year I make my Stephanie Queen’s Royal Munch Mix. Beginning at Thanksgiving time, the house fills with an irresistible aroma. Pans, mixing bowls, measuring spoons, empty boxes and bottles of spice cover the counters.

On Thanksgiving day I serve the special treat for the first time. Then at every holiday get-together thereafter, whenever I host or wherever I go to celebrate the holiday season I bring it with me to expectant open arms and mouths.

At Christmas, I box it up fancy and give it to my favorite people who love it most and to chex-mixes-in-boxesthose who already have everything money can buy.

As traditions are wont to do, I’ve created an expectation. I MUST come through every year without fail or disappoint. Feeling like Santa Clause-ette, I now must bring my bowls and boxes of Royal Munch Mix to eagerly waiting eaters of holiday treats.

But part of the specialness of this tradition comes from the absence of this treat all year long. It can’t be helped. There is a cost to the enjoyment of this rich holiday mix and continued indulgence would take a toll.

So I must post this WARNING: It’s a decadent treat that would likely cause premature heart failure if consumed on a regular basis since one of the main ingredients is BUTTER, and SALT follows closely behind.

Like many rare, forbidden pleasures …

mix-in-a-bowlIf you could smell this tantalizing treat, you would love me. If you could taste it, you would be my slave forever.

For any of you out there in Authors Billboard Blog-land who would do anything to create a following of love-slaves, I have the perfect recipe for you. Eyes will light up even as hearts pound on with determination and pleasure (in spite of the butter-induced challenge), once they take one taste.

As long as you swear to prepare this dangerously delicious treat only once a year, I’ll share my recipe with you.

The Crunch:

  • 1.5 lbs mixed nuts
  • 1 Large box Cheerios
  • 1 16 oz bag of pretzel sticks
  • 1 large box Wheat Chex
  • 1 large box Corn Chex

The Secret Sauce:

  • 1.5 lbs BUTTER
  • ½ bottle of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1.5 Tblsp Celery Salt
  • 2.5 Tblsp Garlic Powder

The Fix: 

Preheat oven to 250 degreesfamous-party-mix-pan

  • In a VERY LARGE deep sided baking or roasting pan (I use foil turkey roasters or extra large foil lasagna pans) mix the crunchy ingredients.
  • Melt butter in the microwave in a large glass bowl. Mix in the remaining secret sauce ingredients and stir well. Reheat if needed.
  • Pour secret sauce onto crunchy mix a little at a time, mixing well.
  • Bake at 250 degrees for 2.5 hours, stirring/mixing every 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool. Dish it up or store in plastic containers or bags.
  • Serves: A whole lot of people!hh

 

Stephanie Queen
About USA Today Bestselling Author Stephanie Queen A romantic at heart and a writer by nature, Stephanie Queen has the enthusiastic soul of a cheerleader. So of course she loves creating stories where the good guys always win. Although she's lost count of all the jobs she had before she settled on being a Novelist, her favorite was selling cookies as a Keebler Elf. She is a graduate of UConn (go Huskies!) and Harvard U and lives in New Hampshire with her family, her cat, Kitty, and her (real or imagined?) chauffeur, Myren.
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Holiday Traditional #Recipe from #USAToday Love, Christmas author @jacqbiggar @mimisgang1

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Holiday Traditional Recipe and Excerpt From Silver Bells

by Jacquie Biggar

 

The Christmas season is my favorite time of year. An air of festivity takes hold as stores bring out their holiday decorations and old time favorites play on the television.

One of my favorite Christmas recipes came from my grandmother, Waldorf salad. Every year I’d look forward to seeing that fancy glass bowl filled with chopped up apples taking pride of the place on our dining room table. It was Grandma’s donation to our holiday dinner.

We’ve kept the tradition going, even though she passed away a few years ago. Now, when I look upon that simple bowl of salad every year, I feel her presence among us and smile.

picture1

WALDORF SALAD

6 Spartan or Mac Apples

3 Stalks Celery

1 cup Chopped Walnuts

1 cup Mayo, 2 tbs. sugar, 4 tbs. milk whipped together

Use lemon juice or citric acid to whiten apples.

Peel and chop apples and celery into bite-size pieces, sprinkle with lemon juice. Add walnuts. Stir in dressing and refrigerate until use. Enjoy.

Categories

Fruits, Nuts, Vegetables, Salads, Christmas, Easter, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, No Cook, Quick

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 100.2g
Amount Per Serving

Calories

120

Calories from Fat

45
% Daily Value*

Total Fat

5.0g
8%

Saturated Fat

0.3g
1%

Trans Fat

0.0g

Cholesterol

0mg
0%

Sodium

89mg
4%

Potassium

262mg
7%

Total Carbohydrates

19.1g
6%

Dietary Fiber

2.5g
10%

Sugars

13.2g

Protein

2.6g
Vitamin A 3% Vitamin C 13%
Calcium 2% Iron 3%

* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional details are an estimate and should only be used as a guide for approximation.

***

In my story, Silver Bells, part of the Love, Christmas Collection on sale now at your favorite vendor, my heroine, Christy, has a young daughter recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

Their lives now revolve around carb counting, blood testing, and insulin needles. This is from the Canadian Diabetes Association:

Type 1 diabetes is a disease in which the pancreas does not produce any insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body to control the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood. Without insulin, glucose builds up in your blood instead of being used for energy.

Your body produces glucose and also gets glucose from foods like bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, milk and fruit.

The cause of type 1 diabetes remains unknown. It is not caused by eating too much sugar, and is not preventable. The current thought is that type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system destroys the cells that make insulin.

While children with type 1 have to be vigilant with their care, they can still enjoy active, healthy lifestyles. We’ve come a long way in treating this life-threatening illness, and with any luck sometime in the near future, a cure will be found.

Here’s an exclusive excerpt from Silver Bells:

“Mommy, Mommy,” Jill cried, skipping into the kitchen. “Guess what? We’ve been playing I Spy. It’s so fun, and I was winning too.” She came and wrapped her arms around Christy’s waist. “I’m hungry,” she announced.

Christy bent over and kissed the top of Jill’s head, then smiled at the elderly woman entering the room. “Was she good?”

Claire Michaels, her neighbor and good friend, snorted. “Do geese lay eggs?” she asked, and grinned at Jill’s giggles. “Of course she was good. That child is never a problem. How about you? Did you enjoy your run?”

Annoyance warmed her cheeks to a rosy hue. “I did until some idiot took offence to me drawing him and stole my work.”

Claire gasped. “Phone the police. He can’t get away with that.”

Christy grimaced. “He kind of can. I should have asked his permission first. I’ve just never had an issue before.” She shrugged and let go of Jill so she could open the fridge to withdraw the soup she’d made earlier.

“Want to stay for dinner? There’s plenty.” She waved a hand back and forth over the tricky gas burner until it lit, then set the pot of hamburger soup on to heat.

“Stay, Aunty Claire. Stay,” Jill begged.

Claire laughed. “How can I say no to an invitation like that?” She sat at the oval country style kitchen table with a relieved sigh and watched Jill dance around the island in the center of the room. “She never stops. It’s hard to imagine…”

Christy’s stomach rolled. She nodded and concentrated on cutting slices of fresh baked whole wheat bread to go with the meal. Yeah, it was hard to imagine her bright, cheerful little girl had developed the dangerous disease of Type 1 Diabetes. But it was true.

The shock had taken a while to overcome. To think a simple trip to the clinic over a weak set of kidneys ended in emergency at the hospital. Then came a week spent in the children’s ward learning just how threatening her sickness could be—and that there is no cure. It was a lot to take in and deal with. It broke her heart every time she had to poke her daughter’s fingers in order to take blood glucose readings, twelve or more times a day, twenty-four-seven. And then there were the needles for insulin injections. Some days it was hard to remember a life before carb counts and two-hour checks, but the worst were the nights. The fear was always there she’d be fast asleep and Jill would go low and need immediate care, or dangerously high requiring ketone checks and lots and lots of water to flush her system.

The stress had ended her marriage. Kevin was a good man, but not up to dealing with his less than perfect—in his eyes—little girl. And that was okay, Christy didn’t have the reserves to deal with his crisis of conscience anyway.

To read more, pick up your copy of love, Christmas today!

d6739-love2bchristmas

Put a song in your heart with 20 all-new Christmas Romances from NY Times, USA Today, and national best-selling authors. Each brand-new title is inspired by a Christmas carol and will lift your spirits and bring on the holiday cheer. 

Amazon: http://bit.ly/LoveChristmasUS 

B&N: http://bit.ly/LoveChristmasBN

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/love-christmas-holiday-stories-that-will-put-a-song-in-your-heart

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/love-christmas-holiday-stories/id1158227218?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Add to your TBR pile: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32316229-love-christmas—holiday-stories-that-will-put-a-song-in-your-heart

Jacquie Biggar
Lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her her husband, daughter, and grandson. Loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. Spoils her German shepherd, Annie and calico cat, Harley. And can't function without coffee. View website
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Love In The Time of Chocolate

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Soul Mates Cover

Have you ever wondered how Valentine’s Day would look through the eyes of a chocolatier and caterer?

For Maxine,Valentine’s Day and the weeks leading up to it are busy times. It seems she can’t make enough chocolate. From catering a wine and truffle party for her friends’s new dating service to making a chocolate torte for a couple who have been happily in love thirty plus years, the one constant in her life is chocolate.

It looks as if there might be something more going on than just dating at Soul Mates though and will she get her own HEA with a certain detective or is she in for a broken heart? And she’s stepping out of her comfort zone to take part in Victoria’s answer to So You Think You Can Dance complete with it’s very own mirror ball trophy.

In case you’re looking for a dessert to wow that certain someone this is Maxine’s special recipe.

Chocolate Lave Cakes For Two

4 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 tsp unsweetened cocoa

2 oz bittersweet chocolate (I recommend Callebaut)

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1/3 cup superfine sugar (put regular sugar in food processor and pulse a few times to make fine if necessary).

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

——————————————————————–

Heat oven to 325 degrees F

Chop chocolate into pieces along with butter.

Melt butter and chocolate in microwave doing 10 seconds at a time and stirring together until smooth and melted.

Cool for 10 minutes

Whisk together eggs and sugar

Sift flour over your chocolate mixture and then gently fold in.

Grease two three inch ramekins (I use Pam butter spray) and divide your chocolate mixture evenly between the two.

Bake at 325 for 11 – 13 minutes depending on oven

Turn your chocolate lava cakes out and serve immediately

Soul Mates is available on Amazon.com. More of Maxine’s Chocolate recipes can be found on my website, www.patamsden.com.

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5 Ways to Brighten Those Darkening Days by Stephanie Queen

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It’s November and that dreaded set-the-clock-back and diminishing sunlight time of year. For me, it’s the thing I least look forward to as winter approaches. I can deal with the cold and the snow—most of the time—but those short days give me the winter-time blues. Up here in the northeast, we’ve had a late-late Indian summer with temps in the 70’s all week making it very strange to watch the sunset at 4:30pm in the afternoon while wearing a t-shirt and flip-flops.

But I digress. Where are those 5 day-brightening ideas, you ask? Here are my

Top 5 Ways to Brighten the Darkening Days:

  1. Rise with the sun! I make sure I don’t miss any of that morning light so I’m up around 6am to catch the first rays – not too terribly early this time of year.
  1. Get outside in the sunshine for at least an hour a day. Of course I make sure I have on the requisite SPF lotion on my face and hands – not much skin showing this time of year!
  1. Turn on the LIGHTS! Once the sun goes down I put on all the lights to keep things bright since it’s only 4:30 in the afternoon when this happens. I don’t want to be like a bear hibernating and rushing bed time. I need to stay productive into the early evening before I succumb to calling it a day. Keeping it bright inside helps my psyche not give into the “end of the day” feeling once it gets dark outside.
  1. Start the Holiday Festivities! Nothing brightens my mood like anticipating the CoverBeachcomberSantaholiday season. Some people think it’s crazy or crass to start thinking about the holidays early, but it’s November and Thanksgiving is fair game and fun too. I decorate around the outside and inside of the house with lights, candles and colorful decor to liven things up. Once Thanksgiving rolls around, then it’s all out for Christmas. You can choose a plethora of holidays to celebrate this time of year no matter what your inclinations may be, so live it up!
  1. Replenish your vitamin D! Taking care of yourself is always important. The usual things like eating right, sleeping right and exercising become even more important as winter rolls in with the colder weather and diminished sunlight weighing on our health (All the sunny warm locations are exempt from this phenomenon—you lucky ducks!). I add making sure you take vitamin D or add vitamin D rich foods to your diet as an extra important step this time of year.

My favorite thing to do is embrace the festivities of the holidays. I make the most of celebrating the thanks and giving and the generosity and community of the season by appreciating and enjoying family and friends every chance I get (translation: party time!)

Food is a big part of the celebrating, so I’ll share a family recipe for Chestnut Stuffing with you. Please share one of your family favorite holiday season recipes!

Chestnut Stuffing for Turkeys:

Ingredients: 15-20 cooked/boiled chestnuts, shelled, 1/4 cup chicken broth, 1 cup plain bread crumbs, 2 tblsp melted butter, dash of cinnamon (to taste), dash of nutmeg (to taste), two dashes of Bell’s Poultry Seasoning. Chop chestnuts and mix ingredients thoroughly and stuff into turkey. Voila!

Happy Day-Brightening Holidays!

Stephanie Queen is the USA Today bestselling author of romantic suspense and contemporary romance novels including the new romantic detective series: Beachcomber Investigations. Sign up for her newsletter HERE!

Stephanie Queen
About USA Today Bestselling Author Stephanie Queen A romantic at heart and a writer by nature, Stephanie Queen has the enthusiastic soul of a cheerleader. So of course she loves creating stories where the good guys always win. Although she's lost count of all the jobs she had before she settled on being a Novelist, her favorite was selling cookies as a Keebler Elf. She is a graduate of UConn (go Huskies!) and Harvard U and lives in New Hampshire with her family, her cat, Kitty, and her (real or imagined?) chauffeur, Myren.
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Gluten Free Sicilian Cream Puffs Recipe

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Ever since my husband learned he had a wheat allergy, we’ve (when I say we, I mean he since he’s the cook in the family) been working to adapt recipes so he doesn’t have to miss out on yummy foods. And I won’t miss out either, since he’s the cook!

We were watching a cooking show that made Sicilian Cream Puffs and thought, we could do that AND make it gluten free!

This is how we did it:

INGREDIENTS:

Gluten-Free Flour: (makes 2 cups)
(You can use a gluten-free all purpose flour premix or make your own. We made our own.)
1/2 cup of brown rice flour (We put this in a grinder to make extra fine texture since this flour can sometimes make a recipe’s texture taste gritty.)
1/4 cup of tapioca flour
1/4 cup of potato flour
1/2 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum (Hubby says this is optional, but we included it.)

Filling: (Canolli Filling)
15 oz ricotta cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup grated sweet or dark chocolate (We prefer to cut up our own chocolate instead of using chips, but you can use mini chocolate chips)
1 Tablespoon of vanilla

Cream Puffs:
1 cup of the gluten-free flour (see above)
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/8 teaspoon of salt
4 eggs

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven 450 degrees.

Mix ricotta with sugar, chocolate, and vanilla and set aside.

Put water, butter, and salt in a sauce pan and heat. When boiling, add flour all at once. Stir with a wooden spoon until leaves sides of pan clean. Remove from heat. Beat in one egg at a time. Beat until thick and smooth.

Spoon about 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 20 to 25 minutes longer.

When cool, slice in half and fill with ricotta mixture. You can sprinkle with powdered sugar. I didn’t because I’m trying to watch our sugar intake. I know, I know there’s plenty of sugar in this recipe already!

Please join in the fun for our Authors’ Billboard August Giveaway!!!

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