#Thanksgiving Memories and a failsafe #Recipe @jacqbiggar

Thanksgiving is October 11th in Canada!

Thanksgiving dinner is serious business. Most other nights you can get away with anything from Hamburger Helper to Spaghetti and your family won’t complain. They don’t dare.

However, tonight is all about family. It’s special, and the meal you serve needs to portray this.

A lot of houses will be serving ham, turkey, scalloped potatoes, Brussel sprouts :), and while this sounds great, at our house we do things a little differently.

When my daughter was young there wasn’t a lot of money, so I began cooking lunches at our local Farmer’s Market to help with bills. This way she could go to ‘work’ with me.

Needless to say, she was a hit with both the other venders and the buying public. Who can say no to a cute little two-year-old?

 

Brandy and her big cousins

One of my most popular dishes was something we called Lazy Man Cabbage Rolls, served up with potato and cheddar pirogues covered in fried onions, sour cream, and bacon bits.

We usually sold out long before market ended. 🙂

My daughter developed a taste for these and throughout the years, regularly pestered me to make them up for her.

That’s how it became our Thanksgiving Tradition.

I thought I’d share my recipe here, and maybe it will become a tradition in your home also.

2 pounds of med ground hamburger
2 med heads of green cabbage
Approx. 4 cups of uncooked long grain rice (no minute rice)
3 cans of a good brand of Tomato soup (I use Heinz)
Salt and Pepper

Start by mixing in a large bowl your hamburger, rice, and a small handful each of salt and then pepper. Mix until the rice has mostly been integrated into the beef.
Wash hands thoroughly.
Cut the cabbage up into slivers similar to what you’d use for coleslaw.
Using a good-sized Dutch oven, start with a thin layer of cabbage, about an inch thick, in the bottom of pot.
Spread a layer of rice-beef mixture loosely on top of this.
Repeat procedure until you reach the top of pot. You want to end with cabbage on top.
Open two cans of soup into the bowl you used for beef mix, (it’ll pick up residual spices) then take each can and half fill with water and swish before dumping into bowl. Stir until mixed.
Slowly pour this mixture over the pot of cabbage rolls, spreading it across the top.
Put a lid on and cook in pre-heated 350 oven for 2.5 hours.
Remove lid and spread last can of soup undiluted over the top of your casserole.
Leaving lid off, replace in oven for half an hour longer.

Remove and enjoy. 🙂

Hope you give this a try one day. Let me know how it turned out for you.
Any special traditions you do in your homes that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about them.

Facing Life’s Challenges Head-On- #amwriting @mgtab @jacqbiggar

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No one said it would be easy…

Why is it some people seem to breeze through life as though they’re blessed by every good luck charm known to man? Gorgeous, popular, healthy, rich, if you want it, they’ve got it.

Obviously, there’s more to these divine beings than what we lower humans see, but it’s hard to believe. They’re just so… perfect.

For the longest time, romance writers focused their H/H on these imaginary deities, the dashing earl or beautiful movie star. But as the industry grew, readers demanded more. They wanted relatable characters. One who go through real life traumas and come out the other side stronger, wiser. It’s not enough anymore to have a meet-cute relationship ending in a happy-ever-after. Writers need to dig deeper, make readers gasp, cry, and swoon as they follow the protagonist’s journey of growth and personal awareness. We want to share their pain, laugh at their blunders, and celebrate their successes.

Romance is still an important component of these books, but not as necessary as knowing in the end, the H/H have overcome their internal crises and vanquished personal demons in order to enjoy a fulfilling relationship with the less-than-perfect love interest.

Because life is real, and while we might dive into a book to escape to an imaginary world for a few hours, we crave a deeper connection and count on our favorite author to make our emotions sing.

The story I’m working on will hopefully achieve this goal. It’s based on the true story of a little girl’s life-changing battle with cancer. I met Luna on Instagram and was immediately taken with her warm spirit and positive attitude even though continuous chemo treatments are ravaging her body. She works hard to stay strong and her beautiful smile is never very far away.

If you get the chance, follow her. She’s an inspiration!

https://www.instagram.com/luna_perrone/

Love, Me

Will a Christmas wish bring two lonely hearts together and give a little girl the family she’s always wanted?

Single parent, Grace Donovan arrives in the small town of Emerson with the hope a trial program at the local cancer clinic will be the answer to prolonging her young daughter’s life. She doesn’t expect to fall for her handsome boss.

As principal of Emerson Elementary, he is aware of the students’ medical issues and his heart goes out to little Cassie Donovan and her mother. When he learns Grace is in need of a job, he fabricates a childcare program, and is pleasantly surprised by its success. Now, if only he could help Cassie’s recovery and get Grace to give him a chance before she learns of his duplicity.

Cassie Donovan barely remembers the father who died when she was just a toddler, but she does know her mother is sad. Even though Cassie wants a puppy more than anything, she gives up her wish to ask for a daddy from Santa Claus, that way if she gets sick again, Mommy won’t be alone.

This Christmas, two families are brought together by a Christmas wish and a child’s need for a miracle.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3iZ5SJv

Universal: https://books2read.com/Love-Me-A-Christmas-Wish-Novel

bookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/love-me-a-christmas-wish-novel-by-jacquie-biggar

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58805215-love-me

What do you look for in a romance novel?

The importance of a Mental Break for me

Like many of you, I normally took a yearly vacation with my family, and of course, the events of last year kept me locked up in my own house. It’s hard to take a much-needed mental break when you are walking the same halls and sitting in the same chairs that you always sit in while working.

If you don’t know me well, you probably aren’t aware that I live and breathe my characters. They are with me all day, all night, no matter what I am doing. I talk through scenes while I’m cleaning, dressing, or cooking. I contemplate plot twists while I drive, and stare at nothing, or while I eat. My mind is usually going a hundred miles an hour, all the time.

In order to shut my mind off and let it relax, I need to put my entire body in another place. At home, I can attempt to stop working, but I’m always just a few steps away from my computer, and the emails, and marketing, and manuscripts that constantly need my attention.

I am so thankful that we were able to get away this year for a much-needed break. Not just for me, but for my husband who works so hard, and my daughter who is off to college very soon. Plus, this year we took our almost five-year-old grandson with us for the first time to Disney. It’s our family’s magic place.

My family in front of the Millenium Falcon at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

This year for the first time since I started writing, I put my computer away for almost the entire trip, and I focused on myself and my family. I was rather proud of myself. It was only toward the end of the vacation that I got on the computer for a little while in the afternoon, but that was generally when my grandson was resting and we were relaxing at the resort during the rain.

Now after almost two weeks away from the computer, the emails, the marketing, and my sometimes relentless characters, I am ready to come back and jump back in. In fact, on the ride home, I went through 200 pages to edit, and today I will jump back in to get at least another 100 done so I can get this book off to my editor and start writing the last three books required for this year.

After almost two years without a break, I finally feel like I can breathe without all the weight on my shoulders. Now, once I get my daughter off to college, I’ll have a nice quiet house and I can really start blasting out the words!

Something Personal #GratitudePost #Family

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GRATITUDE

What gratitude means to me.

This is going to be a rather personal post, but I feel the need to put into words my topsy-turvy state of mind.

I guess it all started a couple of years ago when my daughter and grandson moved to the other end of the country so she could pursue her master’s degree in biology.

I’m so very proud of her, but miss them horribly.

Then, earlier this year my mother-in-law passed away. She’d been ill for a while, and we expected a call sooner or later, but it’s still hard.

July comes and DH’s union decides to call a strike. This is the first time he’s ever been in a union, so we didn’t know what to expect- five months and counting wasn’t on the list!

And finally, my mom went in for her regular blood work check up last week and received a call the same night to get in to emergency as her potassium had bottomed out and she was in danger of a heart attack.

What does all of this have to do with gratitude you might ask?

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

I’m grateful for the roof over my head, the medical services available in our country, the family and friends who have supported us during these rough periods, and most of all, for the strength to keep going when I’d sooner hide under a rock.

I’ve come to realise, no matter how hard life seems, faith and hope is a fire that will NOT let us give up. And sometimes, miracles happen.

Do you ever get depressed? What do you do to overcome it?

My upcoming release is the story of two sisters faced by the ultimate betrayal and how the strength of family ties bring them together again.

#COVERREVEAL

I’M EXCITED TO SHARE THE COVER FOR MY UPCOMING WOMEN’S FICTION NOVEL, THE SISTER PACT!

THE SISTER PACT: HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081L4SWDB/

International: http://bookShow.me/B081L4SWDB

Two sisters lose sight of what’s most important- family bonds.

Holly Tremaine is living on borrowed time. A life-threatening illness ends her promising musical career and sends her home in the hope of making amends for the past.

Levi Anderson is on the fast track to a successful year within his profession- the last thing he has time for is his twin brother’s shenanigans. But when it includes the one woman Levi hasn’t been able to forget, his conscience won’t let him avoid the temptation to see her again.

Can remorse heal all wounds? Or will past betrayals continue to ruin family ties, one thread at a time?