Toe-Curling Blueberry Muffins #Recipe @DonnaFaz

Toe-Curling Blueberry MuffinBecause September has arrived with its cooler temperatures, we can turn on the oven and begin baking again. (Baking is a favorite pastime of mine!) I’m using this recipe for Toe-Curling Blueberry Muffins in a new novella I am currently writing. The recipe will be included in the book, but I just couldn’t wait so I’m posting it here. Blueberry muffins with crumble topping are my favorite. These are easy to make. If you decide to give this recipe a try, I hope you’ll let me know if they make your toes curl!

Toe-Curling Blueberry Muffins

Makes 8 large muffins

For the muffin batter:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

For the topping:

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter, softened

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Prepare muffin pan by spraying with cooking spray.
  2. To make muffin batter: combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the oil, milk, and egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Do not over mix. Gently stir in the blueberry just until they are well distributed. Do not mash the fruit.
  3. To make topping: in a small bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add the softened butter and stir with a fork until all ingredients are combined. Topping will be crumbly.
  4. Fill the muffing tins to the top with batter and top each muffin with a heaping tablespoon of topping. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the muffins comes out clean.

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Summer Salad @AliciaStreet1 #mgtab

August is a great time of year to go to the farmers’ markets and hit roadside farm stands for fresh vegetables and fruits. It has been so hot and humid in my neck of the woods that salads are the perfect meals. And we all know how important it is to eat your veggies!

Here is my recipe for a ~

                             Farm Stand Super Salad

Makes 2 large or 4 small servings

1 large bunch of arugula, trimmed and chopped

1 large head of romaine, trimmed and shredded

2 tomatoes, chopped

2 avocadoes, peeled, pitted and sliced

1 zucchini squash, chopped

1 carrot, grated

1 sweet red pepper, chopped

1 cucumber, peeled and sliced

1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped

½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

1 cup canned or cooked garbanzo beans

1 cup canned or cooked red kidney beans

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

¼ tsp dried oregano

¼ teaspoon dried basil

¼ teaspoon dried dill

¼ cup black olives

2 cups roasted turkey breast, sliced thin (optional)

1 12-ounce box fusilli, cooked

 

Honey Soy dressing

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 Tbsp soy sauce

3 Tbsp honey

2 Tbsp vinegar

1/3 cup olive or canola oil

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl and dig in. 🙂

And if you need a hot summer read~

Lovers in Training is on sale for 99¢ or Free with Kindle Unlimited

When Shannon Rocklyn was a teen she vowed she would never allow a man to hurt her the way her father hurt her mom. Now she is the kind of woman who never gives away her heart. Except Tate Kruger is the kind of man who refuses to let something good slip through his fingers. So when Shannon’s new private fitness training client in the sprawling mansion turns out to be Tate, sparks fly—and loving her job takes on a whole new meaning.

 

Christmas Candy by @JoanReeves #mgtab

I love Christmas — the music, the decorations, the Salvation Army bell ringer, wrapping presents, the food — everything!

Every year I say, “I’m not scheduling anything from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.” I say this because I want to be free to dive into the holidays and all the fun stuff.

But…that never happens. Instead, I drive myself — and my husband crazy — trying to finish a book or short story, participating in FB parties, etc. To make matters worse, this year I took off a week to go on a cruise which puts me not 1 week behind, but 2 weeks behind— if that makes sense.

What’s a girl to do?

Forget about all of it and make Christmas Candy, of course. This is the month that I allow myself to cook — and eat — foods I normally avoid. As if it wasn’t enough to scarf down Chocolate Melting Cake and other delights on the cruise!

One of the things I love to make — and eat — are those high fat/sugar concoctions beloved in the South. I’m talking about Pralines. (Pronounced praw-leen, not pray-leen.) If you’ve ever visited New Orleans, you’ve probably had a praline.

They’re made of caramelized brown sugar, butter, and pecans, and they’re delicious, fattening, and irresistible. By the way, the nut pecan is pronounced puh-con. Not pee-can. (I always tell non-southerners that the latter is a vessel in which to collect urine.)

Cookbook author Nathalie Dupree wrote in Southern Memories: “I can’t imagine a world without pralines.”

Me either! You just can’t grow up in the south without learning how to make pralines. Today, I’m going to share my secret family recipe for those yummy melt-in-your-mouth confections.

Joan’s Christmas Pralines

Photo by Angele J from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/candy-caramel-nuts-pecan-pralines-128405/

You need: heavy flat-bottomed saucepan, candy thermometer, heavy cream or Pet Evaporated Milk, brown sugar, butter, pecans, something to spoon them onto like parchment paper, foil, granite, or a silicone mat already spread on the counter and ready to go.

In the saucepan, combine:

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup cream (or 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup Pet Milk)

Clip the candy thermometer to the side of the pan so that the bulb rests in the liquid. Turn the heat on and bring mixture to a boil. Cook on medium heat to 238 degrees on the candy thermometer.

When 238 is reached, add:

1 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped (Some people use pecan halves as in the picture above, but I find when they are broken into big pieces, you get more blobs of candy filled with pecans.)

Keep on the heat, and stir until butter melts and pecans are coated. Continue cooking until candy thermometer reaches 245 degrees.

At 245, remove immediately from heat. Quickly — before mixture seizes — spoon dollops of the mixture onto a silicone mat or parchment paper or whatever you planned on. The pralines will spread so try to use small spoonfuls until you get the hang of it and can make the size you want.

They crystallize as they cool. When completely cool, wrap each praline in a small paper doily or wax paper and store in airtight container. These make a wonderful gift, and they are simply scrumptious.

If you want to make some more Christmas goodies, try the recipes in my cake cookbook, Friday Is Cake Day, only $0.99. This collection of 52 family recipes has something for every level of cook. Some are super easy; some are intricate. All are delicious.

Whatever you make during the holidays, have fun doing it and sharing with family and friends.

Remember all the wonderful bargain box sets from our bestselling authors here at Authors’ Billboard.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Joan is a New York Times and a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. All her fiction have the 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. Join Joan’s Reader Friends and be the first to know about new books and giveaways. Get a free ebook just for signing up!

My New Addictions: Chocolate Toffee and Sexy Romance Novels

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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