Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Recipe Wednesday

My husband really likes this recipe and in addition to how yummy it is, I love that it's easy to make extras that freeze well and I can pop them in the oven on those crazy kind of days.

Zucchini with Meat Stuffing Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

·         6 zucchini of the same size, weighing about 1 3/4 pounds (800 g) in all

·         1/4 pound (100 g) ground turkey

·         1/4 pound (100 g) fresh spicy Italian chicken/turkey sausage, peeled and crumbled

·         ¾ cup brown rice (cooked)

·         4 tablespoons grated Parmigiano

·         An egg

·         1 clove garlic

·         A medium-sized onion

·         A small bunch parsley

·         1 tablespoon unsalted butter

·         1 tablespoon olive oil

·         1/2 a bouillon cube

·         Fresh thyme

·         Salt & pepper to taste

·         Small can tomato sauce

Cut the zucchini in half and scoop out the pulp. Put the shells into a pot of boiling water and wait for it to come to a boil again.  Boil 5 minutes, then remove them and set them upside down so they drain as they cool. 

Mince the pulp with the onion, garlic and parsley, and sauté the mixture in the butter and oil until it is lightly browned, then crumble the bouillon over it and transfer it to a bowl. Have the rice cooked and combine it, the egg, the cheese, and the meats with the vegetable mixture. Mix well and season the stuffing to taste with salt, pepper and thyme.

Preheat your oven to 380 F (190 C).

Fill the zucchini with the stuffing, pressing it down firmly. Arrange the zucchini in a buttered pan, spoon tomato sauce on top, and bake them for 25 minutes, basting regularly with the pan drippings. If they appear to be overbrowning, cover them with some aluminum foil for the last 10 minutes. Serve at once.

Yield: 6 servings stuffed zucchini.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Update and an Excerpt

Here it is Monday again!  June is almost over and half of 2011 behind us.  Can you believe it?
Looking back over the past few months, I came to realize I’d been pretty much spinning my wheels, especially on the current WIP.  Lots of going, but getting nowhere fast until the epiphany hit me on my Friday morning walk.  I’ve let too much negative into my thoughts for one thing and I need to go back to what I know on creating a book for the other.

I need to remember ‘thoughts become things’ and I’m not a total pantser.  I have to have a basic chapter outline as my roadmap to start with, but I can detour off that road when something better comes along.  So, I spent the weekend focusing on positives and creating my roadmap on the current book.  Not it’s time to finish it up today and then kick the production in gear.

In the meantime, here’s an excerpt from Beyond Magic to gear you up for the book that I’m diving into…the second in the Magical Love Series…Emerging Magic.

“Beyond Magic is charming, magical and fun; it kept me smiling all the way through to the most satisfying end! Can’t wait to see where the series goes next and with whom…” Marie Treanor, author of Blood on Silk


Beyond Magic                  

By:  Lizzie T. Leaf

Publisher:  Passion in Print Press

“Sire, it appears we have a female lying at the bottom of the front steps.”

“What?” Ian whirled his chair around from the computer screen and stared at his butler. Was the elf up to one of his tricks? Proper to the point of boring most days, occasionally a side of Helmond surfaced in the form of a jokester on some unsuspecting soul. Ian narrowed his eyes and studied the little man. “Is this one of your attempts to liven things up around here?”

Helmond’s body went rigid and his voice assumed a hoity tone. “I assure you, Sire, this is not meant to be humorous. Come see for yourself.” He turned on his heel as smartly as any parade soldier and headed for the door.

The old guy’s poker face had given nothing away. In fact, if anything he seemed insulted by Ian’s insinuation that the announcement was an attempt to pull his leg. Why did things happen when he had at long last hit a creative spurt? The words flowed easily today and he resented the interruptions. This better not be a joke or he’d have the little man’s hide.

Helmond already held the door open as Ian approached. A blast of wind and rain slapped him in the face while he looked over the butler’s shoulder. There did appear to be a body at the bottom of the steps. How strange.

He stepped around the old elf and left him to hold the door as he ran down the steps to the listless form. Rain soaked clothes plastered to her body and left no doubt it was a woman…a very well developed woman.

Ian knelt beside her, lifted a wrist and placed a finger on her pulse point. Light, but steady. That was a good sign. He closed his eyes and held his hands over her body, allowing his senses to determine the extent of any damage. A slight concussion where she hit her head appeared to be the only real area of concern. No surprise, she was on the verge of hyperthermia. He had no idea how long she’d lay here.

He placed his hands over the knot on her head and directed a flow of energy in the form of light to heal the spot. The swelling receded and his hands heated while the crack in her skull mended. She’d have a headache when she came around, but that would be the worst of the damage.

Lifting the limp female in his arms, he carried her up the steps where Helmond held the door open. He’d find out the how and why, and who, when she came to. Right now, the important things were to get her out of the wet clothes then get her warm. A wave of sudden passion swept through him when he held the woman’s body against his.

What in bloody hell? That’s never happened to me before.

He looked down at the still face and another surge of heat ripped through him. The woman in his arms did nothing to entice him. She was unconscious and he had to be barmy…totally mad. Neither thought prevented an erection equal to any he had during his hormone ridden adolescent years. Ian focused his mind on climbing the steps, one step at a time, in an attempt to quell his lust.

“Turn down the covers on the bed in the room next to mine and bring me some wrapped hot stones,” he instructed his butler. He’d get her undressed and under the covers. The stones at her feet would eliminate the chill.

Stripped down to her matching bra and panties, Ian discovered a female more voluptuous than he originally thought. He could understand why artists loved to paint a woman with curves instead of angles. The bit of wet lace she probably considered underwear resisted his attempt to remove it. Finally, he managed to get it down her legs and over her feet, then turned his focus to the lacy bra. Thankfully, the hook allowed its easy removal and her lush breasts to spill free.

Ian stood and admired the nude body stretched against the white sheets. The patch of hair between her thighs was the same deep auburn as on her head. He should be ashamed for blatantly staring, but he made no effort to pull up the covers until he heard the approach of footsteps. Instead, he watched the rise and fall of her full breasts, while resisting the urge to cup one in his hand to see if they were as soft as they looked.

The passion that had subsided now returned anew; his cock so hard, it hurt. Granted it had been awhile since he’d had a woman, but he wasn’t a teenager with raging hormones any longer. By the gods, it appeared his paternal genes were no longer dormant.

His grandfather couldn’t keep his pants up and his grandmother couldn’t keep her dress down. The throb of his erection confirmed he’d inherited more from his father’s family than he wanted to admit. Just what he didn’t need; out of control sexual urges.

“Sire, the hot stones you requested.”

Helmond carried a basket filled with the towel covered rocks, which Ian took from the little man. Grateful for the interruption, Ian pulled the covers loose from the bottom of the bed and placed the warmth around his patient’s feet.

“Have cook prepare a hot broth for our guest, Helmond. I’m sure when she awakens she will still feel chilled.”

“Certainly, Sire. And what shall I do about the vehicle a short distance from the entrance to our driveway?”

Ian shot a surprised look in the butler’s direction. “By the gods, what on earth are you rambling about now?”

The corners of Helmond’s mouth twitched upward for a brief second. “One of the woodcutters discovered a small coach. He says there are more females in it.”

“Bloody hell.” If Helmond wasn’t playing tricks, then maybe the Fates were the jokesters. A little joke at his expense wasn’t beneath that august group. Obviously, they thought his life too simple and decided he needed more excitement.

Or were the Big Os involved in this mess? Whatever, a bus full of female mortals would create enough excitement to last him an eternity.

He glanced at the still woman. She likely belonged to the coach people and they might soon worry. “Arrange for them to be brought to the castle and make them feel welcome.” If immortals could get headaches, he’d have a migraine about now. Speaking of headaches, he’d better have some aspirin brought in also. When she awakened, she needed to have enough discomfort to not be suspicious of the healing he’d maneuvered.

“Yes, Sire. Shall I assign them rooms?”

Ian looked out the window. The rain now came down in sheets. If this woman left her companions to venture out in the driving wet, then something must be wrong with the vehicle. If that were the case, it would be at least tomorrow before the coach could be repaired. His magic didn’t extend to mechanical problems. No, the repairs would be done the old fashion way; by a mechanic.

“Yes. Prepare the guest rooms and inform the kitchen of the additional meals needed. Also, bring the bottle of aspirin I keep in the bathroom Mr. Brian uses when he sleeps over.”

A moan from the female drew Ian’s attention back to the bed. Now partially dried, the red hair created a wavy halo around her porcelain face. He walked over to the edge of the bed and sat. She moaned again and her eyes lids fluttered, once, twice, then slowly opened.

Ian stared into eyes the exact shade of his favorite sherry-aged whisky and at that moment, he knew who the message on the wind was meant for. The throbbing erection that tented his kilt dispelled any doubts.

Also available in print and Kindle at, ebook at All Romance eBooks, and print at Barnes and Noble. 


Friday, June 24, 2011

Making Christmas Receives Top Pick!

Thank you Christy Carlyle at Night Owl Reviews for your wonderful review

and Top Pick selection for Making Christmas!!!

Christy said:

"This wonderful story was a quick read, not only because of its length but because the characters were so interesting and their desires so heartfelt that I couldn’t wait to find out how and if Tom and Callie would find their much deserved happy ending."

Read the full review:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Recipe Wednesday

Sorry I'm such a slug at getting blogs up the past few weeks. Since we got back from Disney World, life has been one exciting adventure after another. But I won't bore you with that! I will get up some pictures from Disney in the next week or two, along with a commentary. Safe to say, even though I thought I'd melt, it was a great trip for all!

Now for today's recipe. I'm making this one tonight. Decided wanted salmon with a little umph to it this week.

Pecan Crusted Salmon

• 4 small salmon fillets (1 lb.)
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
• 1/3 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
• 1/2 cup cream cheese with garlic and herbs
• 1/4 cup dry white wine
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 25 mins

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Brush flesh side of salmon with dressing; press into pecans until evenly coated. Place, pecan-sides up, on foil-covered baking sheet.

2. Bake 13 to 15 minute or until salmon flakes easily with fork.

3. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese spread and wine in small saucepan with wire whisk until well blended. Cook on medium-low heat 3 to 5 minute or until cream cheese spread is completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring frequently.

4. Spoon cream cheese sauce evenly onto four serving plates; top with salmon. Sprinkle with parsley.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Recipe Wednesday

A trip to the English Pub at EPCOT last week resulted in Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert and was it ever yummmy. When I got home, went out and located one that I will try soon but thought I'd share. Oh yeah, feel my hips expanding just looking at the list of ingredients. But if you make it before I get the chance, let me know what you think.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup pitted dates
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch round or square baking dish. Sift the flour and baking powder onto a sheet of waxed paper. Chop the dates fine. Place in a small bowl and add the boiling water and baking soda; set aside. In a bowl of electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla; beat until blended. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Add the date mixture to the batter and fold until blended with a rubber spatula. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake until pudding is set and firm on top, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven to a wire rack. Toffee Sauce: Combine the butter, heavy cream and brown sugar in a small heavy saucepan; heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil gently over medium low heat until mixture is thickened, about 8 minutes. Preheat broiler. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the sauce over the pudding. Spread evenly on top. Place pudding under the broiler until the topping is bubbly, about 1 minute. Serve immediately spooned into dessert bowls. Drizzle with toffee sauce and top with a spoonful of whipped cream.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Off to See the Mouse

Leaving shortly for Disney World. If SIL brought his computer will try and post from down there.

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Recipe Wednesday

I confess to having a habbit...a nut habbit. I love various nuts, especially if they're roasted. When I travel, a ziplock baggie filled with nuts gets me through the long flights and make a great snack for an engergy boost in between meals. Here's a recipe I've used to roast my own...that way I can control the salt and unroasted nuts are less expensive around here.

Another confession...I don't honey roast often, but it is a nice change. Most of the time mine are roasted and then tossed in sea salt while they are still hot.

Honey Roasted Nuts
• 2 cups peanuts (not raw)
• 2 tablespoons butter (not margarine)
• 2-3 tablespoons honey
• 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 Preheat oven to 350°F.
2 Place peanuts in a bowl.
3 Heat butter and honey together, in microwave or on stove top, stirring well; Toss with peanuts.
4 Spread peanuts on a cookie sheet and bake at 350F for 5 to 10 minutes; After the 1st 5 minutes check them & stir every 1 or 2 minutes until peanuts are golden brown - the glaze will thicken and darken.
5 Remove, stir while cooling for 5 - 10 minutes until they no longer stick together.
6 *Sprinkle with salt (optional) or mix it in with the honey & butter mixture; you can also toss with sugar.

Different Nuts

1 cup of chopped walnuts
2 Tbs. of Honey
1/3 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper
Dash of Salt (to taste)

Put honey, cayenne and salt in bowl. Microwave for about 20 seconds or until honey has thinned. Pour walnuts in bowl. Mix with spoon until all nuts are covered in mixture. Spread nuts on baking pan, preferably lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes in 350 degree oven. Stir nuts around halfway through baking time. Let nuts cool before placing in closed container.

Makes 16 1 tablespoon servings.