St. Patrick’s Day #Recipes by @PatriceWilton

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us – and I have something to share. When I was born, I was supposed to be David, and my parents had no girl name picked out for me. Since my birthday is March 14th, I became Patricia! How lame is that?

Here are a few recipes you might enjoy!

ST. PATRICK’S DAY IRISH CROCKPOT CORNED BEEF

INGREDIENTS: St. Patrick's Day

  • 1 lb of corn beef
  • 1 onion
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into three pieces
  • Medium potatoes, cut in half
  • Medium carrots, sliced in three pieces
  • 1 cup of beef bouillon
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 small head of cabbage, cut into wedges

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place onion celery, potatoes and carrots in bottom of the crockpot. And then lay brisket on top.
  2. Whisk together bouillon, bay leaf, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard.
  3. Pour over the brisket.
  4. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, adding cabbage wedges for the last hour of cooking.
  5. To serve, discard cooking liquid, slice meat and place onto hot serving plates, accompany with the cooked potatoes, carrots, celery, cabbage wedges. Serve your favorite mustard on the side.

No meal is complete without dessert, so here is one for you!

CHOCOLATE GUINNESS CAKE

INGREDIENTS: Guinness Chocolate Cake

  • 1 cup of Guinness stout
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, sliced
  • 2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt or 3/4 sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda

For the Icing:

  • 8 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • l/2 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9-inch pan and line with parchment paper.
  2. Pour Guinness into a large saucepan, add butter, and then heat until melted.
  3. Whisk cocoa powder and sugar into the stout and butter.
  4. In a small bowl, beat sour cream with eggs and vanilla and pour into brown, buttery, beery mixture. Whisk in the flour and baking soda.
  5. Pour cake batter into greased and lined pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until a inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Leave to cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack as it is a damp cake.
  7. When cake is cold, gently peel off parchment paper and transfer to a platter or cake stand.

ICING:

  1. Place cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar in a mixing bowl. Whip with an electric beater until smooth. A food processor can also be used.
  2. Add cream and beat again until the icing is a spreadable consistency.
  3. Ice top of cake, starting at the middle and fanning out, so that it resembles the frothy top of the famous pint of stout!

Have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day, and think of me who might have been David!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

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The Author’s Tools, Part 2 by @_NancyRadke

Author's ToolsAuthors use the Internet, resource books, movies, and their own experiences as tools when writing novels. An author’s tools are invaluable. I thought I’d mention more books that I use which sit on my writing table.

The book I use for every novel is Roget’s Thesaurus. You need a print copy of this book, so you can rapidly scan in the options given. It is like a dictionary, but instead of definitions, it gives synonyms and related words.

The second half of the Thesaurus is an alphabetic index which you use to look up the word close to what you want. For example, you have used the word “walk” several times in a paragraph. That becomes annoying to the reader and will pull her out of the story. Looking up the word “walk” in the index in the Thesaurus gives you  many nouns and verbs in different categories, such as route, gait, path, domineer, win easy…

You choose what category you are using, and go to it. These are numbered, rather than alphabetical. Going to the number for gait (273.14), I find gait, pace, walk, step, stride… up to 42 different words meaning gait. And under the generic number for travel which includes walk, I find 16 subcategories for nouns and 26 subcategories for verbs, including march and glide and creep. I can always find enough words to keep my words from being repetitious. The Thesaurus included on computer programs just doesn’t work as well.

More Author’s Tools

I also use an old English grammar book to check my use of lie and lay, which has given me problems all my life, since I use them interchangeably when I talk.

Another text is Getting the Words Right—How to Rewrite, Edit, and Revise, by Theodore Cheney. This book is very helpful. For example, in each sentence and in each paragraph there is a main point. This book helps you spot those points and determine where you want to put them. Maybe at the start of the sentence or the end of the paragraph.

Then there are the writer’s guides. Here are my favorites: Writing Novels That Sell by Jack Bickham, Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain, Heroes and Heroines by Cowden, LaFever, and Viders.

Story by Robert McKee. I attended a two-day intensive course by Mr. McKee that followed his book word by word. By buying his book I have the transcript, and re-read it now and then to better understand the elements of story. This is a classic that I feel every writer should read.

I am now working on another Cozy Mystery, this time titled: “Any Lucky Dog Can Find a Missing Child.” It is in pre-order form in the Authors’ Billboard Set, Murder is Scheduled for Monday.

Murder is Scheduled for Monday

Travel to Kiev, and pray for the Ukrainians

As we follow the terrible news on TV and pray for the Ukrainians, I pulled my picture album and reminisced about my business trip to Ukraine in April 1997.

Located on the Dnieper River. Kiev (or Kyiv) is the capital and largest city in Ukraine with a population of three million inhabitants. It dates back to 560 AD and enjoys an authentic Eastern European culture.

Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) is on the historical boulevard Khreschatyky. It is the focal point of the Independence Day celebrations every August to celebrate Ukraine’s breakaway from the former Soviet Republic but it is also remembered for the Orange Revolution of 1994.
The Dnieper  is one of the major rivers of Europe, rising in the Valdai Hills near Smolensk, Russia, before flowing through Belarus and Ukraine to the Black Sea.

As the program manager for a contract in Ukraine, I flew to Kiev with three people from our lab in Ohio, and met with our Belarusian driver, Sergei, who had driven from Minsk, Belarus, with two chemists we previously trained on analytical equipment.

We spent our first evening in Kiev, strolling through the main avenues, discovering the city, and admiring the beauty of the colorful cathedrals with golden domes, churches, statues and monuments.

Marinskyi Palace that serves as the official ceremonial residence of the President. The palace lies on the right bank of the Dnieper River in Kyiv.

Some of you may remember the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. Two explosions resulted in radioactive dust spread around the area, mainly to Belarus which is at 20 km north of Chernobyl and to Kiev at about 130km south of Chernobyl.

In 1997, my company was contracted by the DOD to equip and deliver a mobile laboratory to a military base in Uman, in Central Ukraine, about five hours away from Kiev. The two GC/MS—gas chromatogram/mass spectrometer—and other smaller instruments we installed would allow the detection and analysis of toxic substances in hazardous waste samples.

After a week of work installing and testing the equipment, I left the staff to continue the training and returned to Kiev to fly back to Munich, and then to New York. For my bad luck it was May 1st or Labor Day in Ukraine and Europe. Little did I know that the big avenues were blocked for a military parade with the President heading it. Sergei and I had to use the backroads. I had the chance to visit St. Sophia Cathedral and a fabulous monastery, but I almost missed my plane.

Kyevo-Pecherska Lavra, is a monastery’s cluster of gold-domed Orthodox churches built on top of a labyrinth of ancient caves. 
Closer view of the green dome church in the monastery.
Motherland Monument on the Dnieper River. We could see it from far away.
Saint Sophia Cathedral is a unique monument of
architecture and monumental art of the early 11th century having the biggest preserved collection of mosaics and frescoes of that period.

Kiev is such a beautiful city. The pastry is delicious and the amber jewelry out of this world. I bought amber necklaces, brooches, bracelets.

Pray for the Ukrainians’ safety and for peace.

HEAL MY HEART is set in Belarus. In a far away country, a baby girl, four little boys, and a handsome doctor may teach Dr. Jillian the true meaning of Christmas.

AMAZON