Four Hours Writing – Time for an Éclair!

I have always loved cooking choux pastry. Making a melt-in-your-mouth éclair is so easy to do and can be done using just one saucepan.

Éclair Recipe

I always had flour and eggs in my kitchen cupboards. So, it was so easy just to whip up the choux pastry for profiteroles. This was a delicious treat for my two sons when they arrived home from school. I also enjoyed a cream-filled éclair, but my waistline didn’t. So, I just had one profiterole for myself without the cream while they tucked in.

I am always fascinated as to the origins of particular cakes and pastries. On looking up the history of profiteroles, I discovered two interesting facts. The first is that many historians surmise the choux pastry per se dates back to the Italian cook Pantanelli. This particular chef worked for Queen Catherine de Medici of the late 16th century.

However, the crème puff choux pastry was perfected by a French Chef, Antonin Careme. The pastry is used for those mouth-watering Profiteroles.

One interesting point is the name of this scrumptious pastry originates from the French word ‘choux’ for cabbage because of the cream-filled puffs’ shape.

So do enjoy using this very simple recipe for delicious pastries.

RECIPE FOR CHOUX PASTRY & CHOCOLATE ECLAIRS

Ingredients:

  • 60 grams of plain flour
  • 50 grams of butter
  • 1/4 pint of water
  • 2 beaten eggs

Instructions:

  1. Sift salt and flour together. Set aside.
  2. Put water into the saucepan and add butter – slowly melt these two ingredients over medium heat and then bring to the boil.
  3. Switch off the heat and pour the flour into the saucepan with the water and butter.
  4. Stir until the mixture becomes a soft ball. Cool slightly by removing from heat. Add the beaten eggs beating briskly until the mixture is firm enough to form soft peaks as you lift with a spoon.
  5. Shape as you wish. I used the shape for chocolate eclairs.
  6. Bake in over mark 6 – 7 or 400 – 425.
  7. When baked, pierce the pastry to release any steam.
  8. Coat with melted chocolate, and when hardened, fill with whipped double cream to your taste.

I DO HOPE YOU ENJOY THEM.

Katy Walters

Click here to visit Katy’s website.

On sale for 99 cents! SANDS OF SEDUCTION:

Sands of Seduction Katy Walters

 

A Lady's Plight

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Your Favorite Drink

For years, I would restrict myself to a light whiskey, a girlie drink as they call it, that has the right proportions of lemon juice; warming, floral bourbon; and sweet syrup to deliver a refreshing cocktail that’s neither too cloying nor too biting. Just what I needed to mingle around with a drink in hand.

American vodka

I learned to drink stronger stuff during my business trips to Belarus. Vodka, the typical Russian drink is not for the faint of heart. In the States, I’ve tried vodka diluted with orange juice and ice cubes, and found it too strong for my taste.

In Minsk, I experienced the burning effect of straight, unadulterated Belarusian vodka. When I landed in Minsk, Belarus, to work as the Program Manager of an American-Belarusian project of demilitarization that included refurbishing an analytical laboratory, I discovered that Belarusians can’t function without a bottle of vodka handy.

Belarusian vodka

During our delegation’s first meeting in the historical Hall of Officers, I presented a ten-minute summary of the project. Later an officer brought a bottle of vodka and small glasses, filled the shot glasses and distributed them. The Belarusian general raised his glass in a toast. “Welcome to Belarus. Moy drouk, my friends, I wish you a happy stay in my beautiful country. Na zdorovie. To your health.” Na zdorovie was the second Russian word I learned after Dobroye outroh, good morning.

The men emptied their glasses in one shot. I swallowed a first sip. A colonel laughed. “Let me show you how to drink vodka. One of us makes a toast. You raise your glass and you swallow it all at once. Bottoms up, as you Americans say.”

French vodka and Swedish vodka

The officer filled a second round and the general stood for another toast. “I propose a toast to the success of our joint project in Minsk.”

The men chorused, “Bottoms up.”

I raised my glass, then emptied half of my drink and brought my hand to my throat. I could swear it was on fire.

Waggling his finger, the officer chuckled. “You cheated. You left half the vodka in your glass. With each toast, you’ll get better.” Toasting with vodka became part of my job description.

Vodka, a liquor usually made from fermented grains and potatoes, has a standard alcohol concentration of 40% ABV in the United States, and 45% in Belarus (or up to 76%). Belarusians drink vodka to celebrate, to keep warm, to treat cough and sore throat. They use it in cooking and pastry. When I got sick during a trip to Minsk, they treated me with six shots of vodka. I fell asleep right away and awakened cured.

In remarks to U.K newspaper The Times, President Lukashenko encouraged citizens to drink vodka (unless working) and visit the sauna at least twice a week to stay healthy. Thanks to their heavy drinking of vodka, only 152 people have contracted COVID-19 infections, with no deaths.

I wrote two books set in Belarus:

Allow me to present my new series, LOVE PLANS with three romance novels released in September and October.

Who’s Your Dream Lover?

Every author has a visual image of her characters in her head. If she finds the right words, her readers will see whom she sees, too.

Okay, that’s a perfect world. If books did it all, no one would ever go to the movies. Many times the visual I have in my head of a hero or villain is attached to someone I know or a celebrity. I have to admit, Blake Shelton was my inspiration for Benji, THE GREAT BIG FAIRY.

A younger Blake Shelton as Benji, The Great Big Fairy (time traveler).

I needed someone tall, blue-eyed, red-haired, and with dimples. Well, Blake Shelton is three out four…or four out of four if a box of Nice ‘N Easy is thrown in. And my Benji loves to sing. Would that make Blake a five out of four?

Pierce Brosnan as Marty Melbourne aka DANCES NAKED.

Pierce Brosnan’s rugged look here would be a great example of a 21st-century gentleman, stuck in the 18th-century backwoods, without access to a razor or a barber.

Do you have a movie star doppelganger to your book hero? Leave comments below. Maybe we share the same one.

The FIRST Cozy Mystery Box Set by The Authors’ Billboard!

Murder is to Die For

Four NEW stories

 

Inspirational Quotes on Autumn by @PatriceWilton

Everyone of us know the beauty that abounds in the glorious season of Autumn.
When asked, the most common answer is: It’s my favorite time of the year. Even the
great poets and writers have offered many inspirational quotes on the season.
Inspirational quotes
Here is a few of my favorites quotes, from names you will know and others you may not.
Enjoy!
“It was a beautiful bright autumn day, with air like cider and a sky so blue you could
drown in it.” – Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
***
“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.” – Emily Brontë
***
“Autumn leaves are falling, filling up the streets; golden colors on the lawn, nature’s trick
or treat!” – Rusty Fischer
***
“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about
the earth seeking the successive autumns.”
– George Eliot
***
“Dancing of the autumn laves on a surface of a lake is a dream we see when we are
awake.”
– Mehmet Murat Idles
***
Living in Florida, I don’t see the miraculous change in the foliage, but I lived the first
thirty years of my life in Vancouver, Canada, and then six years in New Jersey in the
nineties–so it is still very vivid to me. I also just returned from a short trip to Maine
where the leaves were starting to burst with color–a truly beautiful state that was a
pleasant change from the heat and humidity we Floridians experience almost every day!
Enjoy the beautiful photos from wherever you are!
Happy Autumn to all of you.
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