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Friday Features’

Guest

Sloane Taylor

Shares a

Chicken Stir-Fry recipe

A quick and tasty meal served over rice is perfect for those super busy days when you don’t want to spend a lot of time at the stove. Be sure to cook the rice first and keep warm in a 210° F oven while you make the chicken.

CHICKEN STIR-FRY

¼ cup olive oil
⅓cup honey
⅓cup soy sauce
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 gloves garlic, chopped fine
2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut in large chunks
1 medium onion, quartered
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped

Combine all ingredients in a glass or ceramic bowl. Marinate for 4 to 8 hours in the refrigerator.

Remove from the fridge one hour before cooking to bring mixture to room temperature.

Drain chicken and vegetables in a colander. Do no reserve the marinade.

Heat a large frying pan on medium-high. It’s ready to use when a sprinkle of water dances across the surface.

Add the chicken and vegetables to the pan. Sauté for 10 to 13 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink.

This dish can also be prepared as SHISH KABOBS on the grill.

Follow the recipe up to the cooking steps.

Soak the skewers in a dish of water for at least 30 minutes before threading the raw ingredients. This stops the skewer from catching on fire.

Preheat your gas grill on medium-high.

Thread the meat and vegetables onto wooden skewers chicken, onion, pepper. Repeat until all your ingredients are used. This recipe will make at least 6 skewers.

Grill 12 – 15 minutes. Be sure to turn often so they don’t burn.

May you enjoy all the days of your life filled with laughter and seated around a well laden table!

Sloane

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning author with a second passion in her life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Taylor currently has seven romance novellas released by Toque & Dagger Publishing. Her first solo venture into non-fiction is a cookbook with eighty of her favorite recipes DATE NIGHT DINNERS, Meals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening releasing June 5, 2018.

Excerpts from her books can be found on her website, blog, and all popular vendors. Connect with Taylor on Facebook and Twitter.

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Friday Features’

Guest

Alicia Joseph

Shares an

Italian Meatloaf meal

This is a delicious meal that my family loves. I love it because it’s easy and takes no time at all to prepare. Serve with mashed potatoes and fresh green beans. Don’t forget the Chianti. You deserve it.

ITALIAN MEATLOAF

2 slices rye bread
2 slices white bread
½ cup milk
1 medium onion, chopped fine
4 sprigs parsley, chopped fine
1 lb. lean ground beef
3 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 tsp. oregano or Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Tear both breads into soft bread crumbs. Soak them in milk for about 5 minutes.

Combine onion, parsley, meat, cheese, egg, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Drain milk from bread. Add bread to the bowl and mix until well blended. Shape into a loaf. Place in shallow baking dish. Dot with butter or margarine.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven.

Pour tomato sauce over the loaf and sprinkle with oregano or Italian seasoning.

Bake for 20 or 30 minutes longer or until done.

Mangiare Bene!
Alicia

Here’s a little from Alicia’s latest book.


“When a train runs over a penny, the penny changes form, but it can still be a penny if I want it to be. Or, I can make it be something else.”

Lyssa and her best friend Abbey discover a hideout near the train tracks and spend the summer before sixth grade hanging out and finding freedom from issues at home. Their childhood innocence shatters when the hideout becomes the scene of a tragic death.

As they’re about to graduate from high school, Abbey’s family life spirals out of control while Lyssa is feeling guilty for deceiving Abbey about her sexuality. After another tragic loss, Lyssa finds out that a penny on the track is sometimes a huge price to pay for the truth.

Prologue
1993

I was jerked from my sleep while the phone was still buzzing its first high-piercing ring. I glanced at the clock on the nightstand beside my bed. It read 4:17 a.m. I knew something was wrong.

The second ring was abruptly broken up and my mother’s muffled voice carried into my room. I was already sitting upright in my bed when my bedroom door squeaked open. My mother’s slight figure appeared as a shadow near my door.

“Lyssa? You up?” she asked.

“What’s wrong?” My voice was no louder than a whisper.

I watched my mother slowly make her way into the dark room. I couldn’t make out the expression on her face, but the stiff movement of the outline of her body was hesitant.

She turned on the lamp and sat down beside me. Her face was pale. She let out short, shallow breaths. It seemed difficult for her to look me in the eyes.

“What is it?” I asked. “What’s happened?”

Finally, my mother looked at me with pain in her eyes. “Lyssa . . .” She smoothed her hand gently across my arm. “Abbey’s dead.”

I took in her words without an ounce of denial. The reality of what my mother had told me was instant.

My best friend was dead.

Alicia Joseph grew up in Westchester, Illinois. Her first novella, Her Name, was published by Musa Publishing in 2014. Her Name is a sweet, romantic story about a woman who believes the beautiful woman she dreams about is the real love of her life.

Loving Again is her second published novella. Alicia is currently working on a new novel called A Penny on the Tracks, a coming of age story about love and friendship. Alicia has many works-in-progress that she hopes to finish soon.

When she is not writing, Alicia enjoys volunteering with animals, rooting for her favorite sports teams, and playing “awesome aunt” to her nine nieces and nephews.

Learn more about Alicia Joseph on her blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter .

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Friday Features’

Guest talks about

Baked Chicken with Artichokes and Tomatoes

by

Eris Field

After a long winter, one yearns for a light entrée with the magic combination of olive oil, lemon, garlic, and oregano (all part of the heart healthy/dementia defying Mediterranean diet) that will make you think of sunshine, soft breezes, and sand between your . . . toes. This recipe serves four.

Baked Chicken with Artichokes and Tomatoes
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ tbsp. lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
¾ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ tsp salt and fresh pepper
2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
Pinch of salt and pepper
14 oz. can of artichokes, drained
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Combine drained tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

Pound chicken breasts to even thickness between two sheets of waxed paper. Slice each breast into 2 horizontal pieces. Salt and pepper the meat.

Chop artichokes into smaller pieces. Put handful of artichoke in a casserole. Lay chicken over them. Scatter remaining artichokes over chicken. Cover with tomato mixture.

Bake 30 minutes. Sprinkle cheese over top and broil for 5 minutes or until golden.

Serve with noodles or pasta such as orzo.

At some time in our lives, many of us will be refugees–people fleeing from traumatic situations such wars, earthquakes, fires, floods, or the aftermath of debilitating illness, death, divorce or betrayal. Help for some may come from family members, friends, and spiritual leaders. Within the medical profession, it is often psychiatrists who help those who have been traumatized by such events. No Greater Love is a contemporary, international romance featuring a psychiatrist and a nurse who help those who are refugees only to discover that they are the only ones who can save each other. The story moves from East Aurora in Western New York to Leiden and Amsterdam in The Netherlands.

Descended from legendary Circassian beauties once sought for Sultans’ palaces, Janan, a survivor of an earthquake in Turkey that killed her family when she was eight years old, was adopted by an older, childless couple in East Aurora. Her adoptive father was raised with a cousin, Carl, who, in 1939 at the age of 5, had been sent from his home in Leiden by his Dutch-Jewish father to his uncle in the US to save him from Nazi occupation of The Netherlands. Now, 28 years old, Janan has spent her life working as a nurse, caring for her parents, and, after their deaths, helping the aging Carl.

When Pieter, a young Dutch psychiatrist who Carl mentored, comes to Buffalo to be evaluated at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, he meets Janan and knows the sweet power of love for the first time. He also knows that, even if he lives, treatment for leukemia may leave a man unable to father children.

Realizing she has fallen in love with Pieter and fearing that life is passing her by, Janan asks him for one night. During that one night, cloistered in Room 203 of the venerable Roycroft Inn, Pieter teaches Janan the eight different kisses of seduction. It is a night that changes the lives of all.

Eris Field was born in the Green Mountains of Vermont—Jericho, Vermont to be precise—close by the home of Wilson Bentley (aka Snowflake Bentley), the first person in the world to photograph snowflakes. She learned from her Vermont neighbors that pursuit of one’s dream is a worthwhile life goal.

As an impoverished student nurse at Albany Hospital, Eris met her future husband, an equally impoverished Turkish surgical intern who told her fascinating stories about the history of Turkey, the loss of the Ottoman Empire, and the painful experience of forced population exchanges.

After years of working as a nurse, teaching psychiatric nursing, and raising a family, Eris now writes novels–international, contemporary romances that incorporate her interest in psychiatry, history, people from different cultures, and the problems of refugees.

Although the characters in Eris’s novels are often from other countries—The Netherlands, Turkey, and Kurdistan— her novels are usually set in Western New York–The land of Father Baker, Jericho Road Refugee Center, the Buffalo Bills, Wings, and snow–chunky rain snow, lake-effect snow, horizontal snow, the snow of thunder snow storms, dry, fine snow, curtains of wet heavy snow, and whiteouts.

Learn more about Eris Field on her website. Stay connected on Facebook.

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Friday Features’

Guest talks about

Spicing up your morning with a breakfast sandwich

by

Lizzie T. Leaf

This recipe makes two amazing sandwiches.

Photo Courtesy of majacvetojevic Pixabay

SPICY BREAKFAST SANDWICHES
2 sausage patties
2 eggs
2 tbsp. butter
2 slider buns
2 tbsp. jalapeno cream cheese
2 tbsp. salsa

Preheat oven to 210° F.

Fry sausage on medium heat. Place pan in oven to keep warm while you continue.

Break eggs in a small bowl. Mix well. Melt butter in a small frying pan. Add eggs and scramble. Cut in half and then fold over. Place pan in oven to keep warm while you continue.

Spread cream cheese across the bottom of each bun. Smear salsa on top of cheese. Layer on sausage and then egg.

Place top bun on your masterpiece and indulge.

Here is a little from my latest spicy romantic release. I hope you enjoy it.

Following the Powers directive to unite soul mates, a Scottish Cailleach’s magic will have repercussions in several realms.

Mixed-blood author Ian McCabe, grandson of Fae and gods, tries to deny his powers while hiding his true origins from the human world. When he discovers mortal, Emma Grant unconscious at his front door, his world starts to change.

Tour director Emma Grant leads a group of senior ladies through Scotland. The breakdown of their bus on a rural Scottish backroad has her sloshing through the rain and mud on foot. Her efforts to seek help results in a fall that knocks her unconscious. She awakens to find the man of her dreams staring into her eyes.

Both feel an instant attraction, but will his secrets and her distrust of men keep them apart.

A few lines that tweak a grin.
Yep, at this rate, a long three weeks lay ahead. No one had told Emma that the dozen school teachers ranged in ages from sixty-nine to eighty-eight. Good grief, what happened to women at this age sitting on the front porch and enjoying their rocking chairs?

Mildred waved away the correction “Of course, dear. Whatever you say. I just want to know, will we see any men in kilts soon? I want to see what they wear under them.”

Dirty old woman. She asked that question at least half a dozen times before we got on the bus and stated the reason just as often.

Read the first chapter on Amazon.

To read excerpts from other books by Lizzie T. Leaf please click onto Amazon.

Lizzie T. Leaf loved books since she opened her first one. Her dream was to write them herself. Lost in the hectic day to day world of family, job, laundry and housework, writing became a distant memory. When the twinkling ember did spark, it was usually doused by someone demanding their share of her time.

Lizzie’s life went full circle. The desire to put the stories that continued to play in her head on paper emerged stronger than ever, and at a time when there was someone who encouraged. Now she lives her dream.

Learn more about Lizzie T. Leaf on her website and blog. Connect with Lizzie on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

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Friday Features’

Guest chief

Sloan Taylor

shares a quick & easy meal

Here is a quick and easy meal that is sure to impress your special someone, family and friends. Serve with sliced tomatoes, orzo, and a bottle of dry white wine. Be sure to drizzle plenty of sauce over the pasta.

Allen0417 Pixabay

SAUTÉED SEA SCALLOPS
1 lb. sea scallops
1 ½ tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
2 tsp. garlic, chopped
Freshly ground pepper to taste
¼ cup dry white wine
1 tsp. chives, snipped for garnish

Have everything measured and ready to go before you start cooking. This recipe only takes a few minutes so you must be prepared.

Preheat oven to 210° F.

Rinse and pat dry the scallops.

Add olive oil and butter to a frying pan set on medium-high heat. Add the scallops when the foam subsides. Sear 2 – 4 minutes per side. Make sure they are golden edging into brown before you turn them.

Add garlic when you turn the scallops.

When they have reached the proper color, remove the scallops to a bowl and set in the oven to keep warm while you make the sauce.

Spoon out the garlic from the frying pan. Skim off some of the fat that has floated to the top. Carefully add the wine, all the while scraping in any browned pieces on the sides and bottom of the pan. Cook until the mixture reduces by about ⅓.

Lay the scallops on a bed of orzo either on a platter or individual plates. Lace the sauce over the dish, top with chives and serve.

May you enjoy all the days of your life filled with laughter and seated around a well laden table!

Sloane

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning author with a second passion in her life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Taylor currently has seven romance novellas released by Toque & Dagger Publishing. Her first solo venture into non-fiction is a cookbook with eighty of her favorite recipes DATE NIGHT DINNERS, Meals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening releasing June 5, 2018.

Excerpts from her books can be found on her website, blog, and all popular vendors. Connect with Taylor on Facebook and Twitter.

Read Full Post »

Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

Sharon Ledwith

Have you ever been shack-whacky? You may be familiar with other terms for this word—cabin fever or stir crazy? All of which mean the state of being restless or irritable from staying indoors or in one location for a long period. Yup, I’m sure we’ve all been there. Sometimes it happens when you’re on vacation at the cottage, and all it does is rain. Or those pesky mosquitoes or blackflies manage to keep you in your tent or trailer for hours on end. Grrr… And don’t forget snowstorms when all you want to do is dream of a Caribbean vacation.

So to make a bad situation into a good one, why not indulge yourself and your crew with a hearty meal? These stick-to-your-ribs pancakes are good any season but taste best when there’s a nip in the air.

Shack-Whacky Pumpkin Pancakes

Photo by Editor Bob Pixabay

1½ cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp .salt

Mix together milk, pumpkin, egg, oil, and vinegar in a large bowl.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Gradually stir this blend into pumpkin mixture, but just enough to combine.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately ¼ cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot, topped with your favorite brand of maple syrup.

After you’ve had your fill of pancakes and maple syrup, relax in your favorite chair, or lie back on your bed and crack open the first book in my teen psychic mystery series, Lost and Found. You may just find yourself wanting to visit Fairy Falls.

Fairy Falls was bores-ville from the get-go. Then the animals started talking…

The Fairy Falls Animal Shelter is in trouble. Money trouble. It’s up to an old calico cat named Whiskey—a shelter cat who has mastered the skill of observation—to find a new human pack leader so that their home will be saved. With the help of Nobel, the leader of the shelter dogs, the animals set out to use the ancient skill of telepathy to contact any human who bothers to listen to them. Unfortunately for fifteen-year-old Meagan Walsh, she hears them, loud and clear.

Forced to live with her Aunt Izzy in the safe and quiet town of Fairy Falls, Meagan is caught stealing and is sentenced to do community hours at the animal shelter where her aunt works. Realizing Meagan can hear her, Whiskey realizes that Meagan just might have the pack leader qualities necessary to save the animals. Avoiding Whiskey and the rest of shelter animals becomes impossible for Meagan, so she finally gives in and promises to help them. Meagan, along with her newfound friends, Reid Robertson and Natalie Knight, discover that someone in Fairy Falls is not only out to destroy the shelter, but the animals as well. Can Meagan convince her aunt and co-workers that the animals are in danger? If she fails, then all the animals’ voices will be silenced forever.

BUY LINKS
Amazon KindleAmazon PaperbackBarnes & NobleMirror World Publishing ebookMirror World Publishing Paperback

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/YA time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Smashwords. Look up her Amazon Author page for a list of current books. Be sure to check out THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS TIME TRAVEL SERIES Facebook page.

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

Lizzie T. Leaf who brings us her latest idea for breakfast.

I love smoked salmon and enjoy the sides of thinly sliced red onions, sour cream, and capers usually served with them. Then I came up with the idea of having it for breakfast, but turning into a smear. After trying several different smoked salmons the one we enjoyed the most in the smear version was honey smoked.

Photo courtesy of  Piviso Pixabay

SALMON SMEAR
1 cup honey smoked salmon, flaked
¼ cup red onion, chopped
½ cup sour cream
2 tbsp. capers
Mini-bagels or slider buns
Honey mustard to taste (store bought is easier)

Mix first four ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.

Spread a large dollop of Smear on one side of the bread of your choice. Bagels are chewier, but slider buns are softer.

Drizzle mustard over the Smear. Dress it up with green onion tops and then cover with other piece of roll and enjoy.

Here is a little from my latest spicy romantic release. I hope you enjoy it.

Following the Powers directive to unite soul mates, a Scottish Cailleach’s magic will have repercussions in several realms.

Mixed-blood author Ian McCabe, grandson of Fae and gods, tries to deny his powers while hiding his true origins from the human world. When he discovers mortal, Emma Grant unconscious at his front door, his world starts to change.

Tour director Emma Grant leads a group of senior ladies through Scotland. The breakdown of their bus on a rural Scottish backroad has her sloshing through the rain and mud on foot. Her efforts to seek help results in a fall that knocks her unconscious. She awakens to find the man of her dreams staring into her eyes.

Both feel an instant attraction, but will his secrets and her distrust of men keep them apart.

A few lines that tweak a grin.
Yep, at this rate, a long three weeks lay ahead. No one had told Emma that the dozen school teachers ranged in ages from sixty-nine to eighty-eight. Good grief, what happened to women at this age sitting on the front porch and enjoying their rocking chairs?

Mildred waved away the correction “Of course, dear. Whatever you say. I just want to know, will we see any men in kilts soon? I want to see what they wear under them.”

Dirty old woman. She asked that question at least half a dozen times before we got on the bus and stated the reason just as often.

Read the first chapter on Amazon.

To read excerpts from other books by Lizzie T. Leaf please click onto Amazon.

Lizzie T. Leaf loved books since she opened her first one. Her dream was to write them herself. Lost in the hectic day to day world of family, job, laundry and housework, writing became a distant memory. When the twinkling ember did spark, it was usually doused by someone demanding their share of her time.

Lizzie’s life went full circle. The desire to put the stories that continued to play in her head on paper emerged stronger than ever, and at a time when there was someone who encouraged. Now she lives her dream.

Learn more about Lizzie T. Leaf on her website and blog. Connect with Lizzie on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Read Full Post »

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