Gingerbread Cake Means Christmas by @JoanReeves #mgtab

In our home, it’s not officially Christmas until I make Old-Fashioned Gingerbread.

Everyone talks about gingerbread men and gingerbread houses during the holidays, and both of those items are really cute. But, to me, they look better than they taste.

I don’t like crisp, hard-baked gingerbread cookies. Maybe it’s because my mom never made gingerbread people or houses. She made gingerbread cake and served it warm from the oven with a dollop of cream cheese frosting sprinkled with lemon zest on top. From scratch.

Oh, my goodness, the smell of the gingerbread baking made salivary glands go into overdrive. And the taste? Amazing.

Many people think it takes too long to make a cake from scratch so they buy a cake mix. I’m sure the cake mix is probably a good product, and you may want to try it.

However, I’d like to share my recipe for homemade gingerbread with you. It’s darker in appearance than the picture shown on the box. That’s probably because my recipe calls for molasses. That’s what gives it the darker color, rich aroma, and depth of flavor.

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread

  • 1/2 cup sugar, white or brown
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup hot water (hot from the tap, not boiling)
  1. Butter a 9x9x2 inch baking pan and set aside. Turn your oven on and set it for 350 degrees F.
  2. Sift flour into a small bowl along with the ginger, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl, and add the egg. Beat well.
  4. Add the molasses to the butter mixture and beat well.
  5. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the butter mixture a little at a time. Mix well after each addition until all is incorporated.
  6. Carefully stir in the hot water and mix well.
  7. Pour the batter into the baking pan and place in the preheated oven.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  9. Serve warm plain or with a dollop of whipped cream or cream cheese frosting.

I made Gingerbread this past weekend so, for me, it’s officially Christmas!

Be sure and enter our Rafflecopter on our Home Page and check out all the wonderful Holiday Romances—books and box sets galore—you’ll find from the very talented authors of The Authors’ Billboard.

Holiday Romances by Joan Reeves

Above are a few of my Christmas Romances for your consideration. I invite you to sign up for my Newsletter which has new release information and giveaways too.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year!

Why My Outdoor Lights Stay Up Until March

Why My Outdoor Decorations Stay Up Until March by @_NancyRadke #mgtab

I am one of those who put my outdoor lights up around Thanksgiving and don’t take them down until after March. I especially love the white fairy lights that cast a warm glow on everything. This year I plan to put up some larger, colored lights, but I still want the tiny white fairy lights around my windows.

So why do I leave my decorations up so long? It has nothing to do with decorating and everything to do with a slight amount of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I live near Seattle where it gets dark around 5 pm, starting in November and continuing through February. I happen to be very sensitive to outdoor light or lack of it.

In the summer, I get up with the sun and am pretty much happy all day. I rarely close my curtains. (Some of my windows don’t even have curtains.) But in the winter, when it is dark out, it makes me want to sleep and not get anything done. Closing the curtains doesn’t work. I KNOW it is black on the other side. Pitch black. Dark as the inside of a wolf’s mouth at midnight.

One year I put up fairy lights as a decoration. I didn’t think much of it until I realized that it kept my windows from feeling dark. Even though I KNEW it was dark outside, it didn’t FEEL that way. I could leave my curtains open. Even with them shut, light shone on them from the outside, as if it wasn’t dark out.

I no longer wanted to start closing down at 3:30, 4 pm, and instead felt full of energy. Hooray! Fairy lights are wonderful. I put them on a timer so that they would come on before it started getting too dark and not go off until 10 pm. This worked so great that I left them up until the spring equinox was close enough that I no longer needed them.

So if you feel dreary during the long northern winter nights, get those fairy lights working for you. Don’t take them down in January just because the holiday season is over. You may be the only house on the block with your lights on, but if it works, keep them on.

My Christmas story this year, Three French Hens, takes place on a Montana ranch, with freezing cold weather, darkness, and the bank threatening to foreclose on a widow and her son. The hero finds his way to her door because she had put a bright light up on the barn to help guide herself back home. He thought at first it was a star helping him find his way. That’s the way I feel about fairy lights.

Click here for set containing this story.

The set shown here is Unforgettable Christmas Dreams, put out by the Authors’ Billboard. If you want to enter our monthly contest, click this link.

https://authorsbillboard.com/

Porch Bandits & Christmas

Christmas shopping has gone online, and delivery trucks jam the roads, zipping from porch to porch dropping off the goodies and gifts for all the good boys and girls. But there’s always the pesky porch bandit to ruin the stew.

There are traps, hidden cameras, and shotguns to use, but in Christmas Creek, Sheriff Brad Wing decides to set his own trap.

Who will he catch and what surprises await him?

This Christmas, Mimi Barbour and her group of merry writers have a special treat for you. What’s more fun than 18 short and fun stories centering on the Christmas spirit, loving, giving, and adventure? Treat yourself to 18 Christmas cookies while snacking on Christmas Shorts [quickie short stories from NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Authors].

My Christmas Creek Romance series is romantic and full of surprises, like a runaway sleigh on a wintry day. Every story weaves itself in a magical and unexpected direction, full of Christmas spirit, small-town hijinks, and love in the frosty air. Deck the Hearts, Book #1 appears in Love, Christmas: Songs of the Heart, and A Christmas Creek Carol, Book #3 is in Love Christmas: Movies You Love. And of course, A Christmas Creek Caper, Book #5 is in this year’s set Christmas Shorts. (Her Christmas Chance, Book #2 and Kitty, It’s Cold Outside, Book #4 make up the rest of Christmas Creek with more to come in coming years.)

Rachelle Ayala’s Christmas Creek Romance Series

What’s Going On?

Everything to heat up YOUR Kindle, that’s what!

Halloween will soon be over, leaving you with much needed R & R (Reading and Relaxing) time before the holiday season arrives.

So, without further ado, let’s get to it…

I’m doing the Happy Dance ~ my new baby is now available for pre-order! Sparkles of the Season: “Savor the Christmas spirit as two unlikely couples rediscover love and commitment, after a magical meeting with Saint Nick.” Just 99 cents~

Sparkles-of-the-Season-Cover_Ricci_9-20-2019-2

Get it here: https://www.amazon.com/Sparkles-Season-Susan-Jean-Ricci-ebook/dp/B07ZKCGDV5

Bonus: Here’s some tempting new collections to indulge your favorite pastime, and brand new Christmas anthologies The Authors’ Billboard is eager to present ~ ALL are 99 Cents, or Free on Kindle Unlimited:

Available Now! Sweet and Sassy Heroes

Presenting…a new anthology starring a daring display of heroes in action. These men are every woman’s dream come true! Whether fighting to save their families, hot detectives in pursuit of the truth, young sweethearts facing difficult choices, or a strong man offering a broken woman comfort, this SEVEN book box-set from NY Times and USA Today Bestselling authors will get your heart pounding and keep you turning pages long into the night. Get it Here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YK2XYS4

Available Now!  Unforgettable Christmas Dreams: Gifts of Joy (The Unforgettables Book 14)

As they seek peace, joy, and family life, these dedicated heroes and heroines struggle to heal wounded hearts, reveal dangerous secrets, travel to find a loved one, hide from danger, and work to save desperate patients. But their greatest wish is to bring holiday happiness to those around them. To you, our dear readers, we offer these gifts of joy at Christmas time.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors have mingled Christmas dreams and composed beautiful love stories that range from sweet to spicy, with romance and suspense, to keep you entertained and dreaming in Unforgettable Christmas Dreams. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07ZCBXNRY

Christmas Shorts

The Authors’ Billboard has a special holiday treat for you this year! Spanking new short stories – from the naughty and the nice list – to add fun to your 2019 season and keep your spirits high.
Eighteen of our masters of romance have contributed to this incredible deal for your entertainment this Christmas. Eat goodies, drink hot toddies, read, enjoy, make wishes and… dream.

Now available for Pre-order: 99 Cents ~ Delivered to your Kindle on November 14, 2019 https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Shorts-Mimi-Barbour-ebook/dp/B07ZMSNB1L

Don’t forget to enter our Monthly Giveaway! You can win Amazon Gift Cards, eBooks, and More – Click Here to Enter: http://authorsbillboard.com

Enjoy your week ahead!