Monday, October 31, 2011

Last Day to Enter

Today is Halloween and brings to an end Sam Cheever's fun Halloween contest.  If you haven't entered yet, go on over to and start the journey to get into the drawing for a basket of fantastic prizes!!!!

The day will be spent working on the Christmas story my editor requested and more laundry.  How's that for fun!! 

I'm off to SD on Thursday.  The Honey is sad that he has a 3 day weekend without me.  Hey, it gives him time to contemplate how great he has it when I'm home!...LOL

Had plans tonight to go over to daughter's for dinner and to see the granddarlings' costumes, but may not happen.  She called last night and Toddler was in the background barking like a seal.  It sounded like a sleepless night in their future as well as a call to the doctor this morning.

Hope you have a Spooktastic day!!!  What are you plans for tonight?  Lots of Trick or Treating or are you turning off the lights and hunkering down for a quiet evening???

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday's Guest - The Fearless Franny Armstrong!

Join me in welcoming Franny Armstrong today.  I met Franny at RT in Los Angeles and spent a bit of time hanging out with her in the vendor room.  She was promoting a model service and had lots of hot guys hanging out there too.  Her great sense of humor and up-beat attitude (an of course the guys) had me wanting to learn more about her.  I discovered in addition to pomotions, she also writes.  Today she is sharing a snippeted of her latest release Intruder Alert with us.  So grab a cup of coffee and relax while you get some interesting questions put to you.  Also, you're going to love Franny's recipe...yummmmy!

Chocolate Pecan Topped Cheesecake Torte
19 oz cream cheese, room temp
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp Tia Marie (or vanilla)
1 tsp grated lemon peel
4 eggs separated
½ cup all purpose flour
½ cup cocoa
½ cup whipping cream
1 (8 inch) nut-crumb crust (like graham or oreo cracker crust)

Decorate with whipped cream and pecan halves

OVEN: 325F (165C)
Beat cream cheese, sugar, salt, flavouring, and lemon peels.
Add egg yokes, one at a time then beat in flour and cocoa.

Beat cream until white peaks form.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Beat in remaining sugar. Fold results into cream cheese mixture.

Grease an 8” spring form pan and press crumb crust. Pour mixture on top.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour 15 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean. Cool then refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Decorate with remaining whipped cream.

Do you believe what you cannot see?
When faced with the unexplained, what is the first thing you do?
Lee Everette, Private Investigator doesn’t turn and run but faces whatever comes at him. The paranormal is nothing new to him because he’s a psychic with an ability he calls a curse. Spirits inhabit his mind, using his body against his will.

When the beautiful Sage Winters is assigned to train him so he can control the spirits, he awakes on a Caribbean island in her naked arms, married to her. Confusion, frustration, and danger abound as Lee struggles to survive an learns that love is another affliction he cannot beat.

His business partners, Jordi Hazzard, and Piper Preston, are nowhere in sight, leaving Lee and Sage to battle VooDoo and evil together, or die. 

Franny Armstrong is a multi-published author of 8 books with more to come. ‘Intruder Alert!’ is the second book in the series ‘7th Eye Private Investigations. For book 1, ‘The Mystic Touch’, where you’ll meet Jordi and Piper, check out under the author tab for Franny Armstrong. The Paranormal keeps you guessing.

Also, Franny is President of Author Promotion Services, a site that helps authors with their promotions and sales. 

Franny Armstrong
‘An Author’s Best Friend!’

 7th Eye Private Investigations Book 2-Intruder Alert!

 “Damballah–Wedo Resort, Haiti? Holy crap!”

“Good morning, sweetheart.” Her husky voice had him turning before he could think, his hard rod standing straight and pointing right at her. Before he could cover himself, she left the doorway and closed the distance between them until her breasts were pressed up against his chest.

Lee gasped, trying to pull away but she tugged his hair until his head lowered enough for her to capture his mouth with a heated kiss.

“I hope you’re feeling up to leaving the room. I’m starving after last night. You are one energetic man.”

Her sexy laugh, instead of exciting him, infuriated him when he thought of an inhabiting spirit having her with his body. Cheeks flushing with heat, he grasped her wrists and gently pushed her back then left the bathroom. Frantic, he searched for something to wear. I have to get out of here. I need to think!

“What’s wrong, sweetheart?” Sage frowned, her expression full of hurt.

“I want to get some air.” Nearly desperate to get out of the room, he threw on some shorts and opened the front door. That he was stunned by what he saw would be an understatement. He felt like he’d entered Alice In Wonderland’s adventure.

What he’d thought was a screeching ceiling fan turned out to be a symphony of creatures all singing together in the lush tropical forest before him. The air smelled salty and fresh and he heard the sound of waves crashing to shore somewhere close.

Soft fingers touched his bare back, making him shudder with need. He turned to face her, wondering what to say.

“Talk to me, Lee. I don’t know what’s bothering you, but I’m sure we can talk it out. Didn’t you…” She looked away for a moment, her eyes filling with tears. “I thought last night was as good for you as it was for me.”

How could he tell her that he had no recollection of anything past the moment she left his room in the lab to go to her boss’s office?

“This might sound crazy, but tell me how we got here.”

Her eyes widened in dismay. “You don’t recall asking me to run away with you to Haiti?”

Between his forefinger and thumb, he pinched the bridge of his nose. With a shake of his head, he groaned in dismay. A deep sense of regret that he was hurting her filled him and shame weighed heavily on his shoulders.

“Are you telling me that you don’t remember anything?”


“Well, at least you recall my name,” she snapped, turning to rush back into the room.

As he stood on the porch looking at the gaping doorway, Lee was lost. He’d hurt her without meaning to, was lost in space, and had no idea how to rectify the situation. Great start to a day.

He ran his fingers through his hair but winced when something caught and pulled. When he looked down at his hand, he saw a wedding band on his ring finger and his jaw dropped. Shock overwhelmed him as he headed back into the room. Sage lay on the bed, her hands covering her eyes. There, on her ring finger was a diamond ring and matching wedding band.

They were married!

“Holy shit!” he cried. “What have we done?”

In a quick move, Sage’s hands came away from her face, revealing her pain.

“That’s it? Not twenty four hours of wedded bliss and you’re done with me? You bastard!” She rolled off the bed to her feet and tried to push past him, but he pulled her close, locking her in a tight embrace.

When she dropped her forehead on his chest and sobbed, he felt like a heel. Still, her soft body pressed against his and her heady scent made his groin ache with need at the same time he felt like a big heel. Gently, he lifted her chin with his fingers to stare down into her soft brown eyes.

“Sage, I don’t know what’s happened, but I hope you won’t take this so personally. I haven’t got a clue how we got here. Please, give me a bit of time to figure this out.”

Trembling lips beaconed to him. The anguish in her eyes hurt him deeply. He lowered his head and captured her mouth with his, sinking deep into her as the warmth of her gift flowed over him. His tongue slipped past her parted teeth and delved inside her mouth, seeking and finding its welcome mate.

Lee and Sage moved closer yet, merging spirits, blending souls until they could barely breathe for the pace of their hearts.

Lost, he was lost in her. As he lifted his head, he stared down into her eyes and sighed in defeat.

“I’m sorry, Sage. I wish I had answers for you…for us both.”

“You said you loved me,” she sobbed softly, tears falling down her soft cheeks.

Though he brushed them away more followed suit until they created a river. Guilt rushed through him. “I…” He couldn’t answer. Confusion became so strong he didn’t know what to say so he let her go, walked back into the bathroom and closed the door, locking it. He needed a long, cold shower. His cock was nearly bursting with the need to sink inside her sheath and claim her as his.

The minute he turned on the cold water and climbed beneath the spray, he hissed as the shock of it hit his body. Lee cursed when he realized that even cold water couldn’t hold back his need for her. He only wished he could remember their first time together.

“You bastard, get the hell out of my body. You can’t have her, she’s mine!

Echoes of laughter within were his only replies.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday's Recipe -- Cold & Snowy Equals Soup

It’s cold and snowy here in the Mile High City this morning and my thought so of food turn to soups.  Found this one by Rachel Ray that I’m going to try out and thought I’d share it.  This is a great time of year to for pumpkin with Halloween knocking on our door and Thanksgiving arriving less than a month later.  If you try it before I get to it in a couple of weeks, let me know your thoughts.   
Pumpkin Soup with Chili Cran-Apple Relish
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 2 ribs celery with greens, finely chopped (save time and purchase celery already washed, trimmed and cut into sticks, this makes chopping fast work)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning or 2 teaspoons ground thyme
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce, or to taste
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (28-ounce) can cooked pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1 crisp apple, such as McIntosh or Granny Smith, finely chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat a medium soup pot over medium to medium high heat. Add the oil and melt the butter. Add bay, celery, and onion. Season the veggies with salt and pepper. Cook 6 or 7 minutes, until tender. Add flour, poultry seasoning and hot sauce, to taste, then cook flour a minute. Whisk in chicken stock and bring liquid to a bubble. Whisk in pumpkin in large spoonfuls to incorporate it into the broth. Simmer soup 10 minutes to thicken a bit then add in cream and nutmeg. Reduce heat to low and keep warm until ready to serve.
While soup cooks, assemble the relish: combine apple, onion, lemon juice, cranberries, chili powder, honey and cinnamon.
Adjust seasonings in soup and relish and serve soup in shallow bowls with a few spoonfuls of relish.

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's Monday Again!!

Yep, it's the Monday I've been looking forward to!! Why, you ask? Simple really...the madness of last week is behind me. Turned in the first round of edits (oh yeah, there will be a 2nd round) and spent the rest of the week focusing on the Heart of Denver Romance Writers last minute conference details. And I'm delighted to report, the mini-conference went very well. Today, I'm sharing a few pictures with you from the happenings.

Thank you, Lesli Lent for meeting Mary Buckham's flight so I didn't need to make two trips or have Mary hang out while we waited for Jim McCarthy's flight to arrive. And thank you, Kathy Matzen for offering to help shuttle guests back to the airport Sunday.

Thank you, Grace Lauderdale for handling the pitches! Jan Gurnery, couldn't have survived check in without you and your able assistances. Those ladies need to join our group!

And a BIG thank you to everyone else who helped make the conference a success. Team work can pull off what seems impossible!!!!

Friday night's dinner, though noisy, was fun. We proved we could talk above the competition.

Mary Buckham gave a fantastic presentation! Not only is she entertaining, she educated us on Super Power Hooks and Queries. Lots of the attendees came up and told me how much they learned from the information she shared.

Rachelle Gardener and Jim McCarthy gave a great panel presentation, then moved into another room to take pitches. I'm delighted to report both agents requested to see a lot of the manuscripts pitched to them. We had a lot of really excited authors!

Lunch, in addition to good food, was made even better by the announcement of contest winners for the Molly (unpublished authors) and the Aspen Gold (published) and I'm delighted to report a number of our group heard their names called.

All in all, a very fun day. Now I'm back to playing catch up on the stuff that had to be set aside last week to focus on the last minute conference details. Have a great week all!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday, Crazy Friday!

In countdown for the Heart of Denver Romance Writers Conference tomorrow. It's going to be a great event, but when you're point person there's a lot of last minute details to stay on.

Anyway, look for the details and pictures here Monday!

Have a great weekend all!!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wonderful Wednesday Recipe

The weather in my part of the country has turned cool, in fact down right chilly at night…at last! With the temperatures in the high 90s for so many weeks, the last thing on my mind was hearty soup, but the time has come. During the winter I make soup or chili once a week. It makes my life easier to have a meal that will cover 2-3 nights. The recipe I’m sharing today is on the list for early November. Hope you enjoy if you give it a try!
Also, if anyone has a great French Onion soup recipe that is EASY, would you share? Teen has developed a passion for it and wants to make some the next time she does a sleepover.

Printed from COOKS.COM

2 lbs. Russet potatoes
1 lb. leeks, washed and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
5 cups chicken stock or broth
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter *
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
salt and pepper
6 tablespoons cream or half-and-half **
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese or chives ***

Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the potatoes, leeks, onion, celery, carrot; cover, and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the chicken stock or broth, 1/2 cup milk, salt and pepper. reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are tender and potatoes are soft.

Mash the potatoes and vegetables in the pot or transfer to a blender or food processor in batches and process until smooth. make sure the soup has cooled for 15 minutes before putting it into a food processor.
When ready to serve, reheat the soup, serve in bowls and swirl 1 tablespoon half-and-half into each serving. Sprinkle with chives or shredded cheddar cheese.

Adjustments toward healthier version
*Substitute part of the butter with olive oil
**Fat free half & half can be substituted
***Low fat shredded cheddar cheese works well here.

Serves 6.

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Monday World

Crazy, busy weekend and this week will only get more insane with the Heart of Denver Romance Writers mini-conference scheduled for Saturday. BTW, there are a few spots left and we’d love to see there. Check out the details at

Yesterday, some of the members came over for the bag stuffing party and a fun time. We snacked on cheese and crackers and cookies. After all, we needed to keep our energy up!

Also, Sam Cheever’s Annual Halloween Contest has kicked off. Follow the links to the various stops to get entered into a grand prize drawing for a basket of goodies that includes an I-Pad!
Now you know a little of what I’m up to this week. What fun things (or not so fun) are you doing this week?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Welcome Sandra Sookoo!!

Today, I’m delighted to have the beautiful and enchanting Sandra Sookoo as my guest. Sandra is sharing stories about her, a snippet of her work and a yummy recipe. Plus, in addition to the package of book swag Sandra mentions at the end of her blog for a prize, the winner will also receive a fall scented lip balm from Bath & Body Works. So let’s get those comments going folks! Sandra will draw a winner Sunday night!!!

Thanks for having me on the blog today! I’m excited to be here. So, you wanna know if food plays a part in my books, huh? I’d have to answer yes and no. At the start of my writing career, food did feature heavily into my stories. In fact, the whole of my Holiday Magic series does feature food of some sort, since there are stories featuring a diner owner, a couple of bakery owners, Santa’s nephews, Cupid, etc. I used to always give out recipes in my swag I handed out. Of course, there is this one hot little story featuring a vampire and chocolate ganche… but that’s a story for another time!

Over time, my writing evolved and I don’t use food as much. However, I do feature a recipe each month on my website and usually post a favorite every Tuesday on my blog. For me, food and writing go hand in hand. If I’m stuck on a plot point while writing, or the story just isn’t moving along as great as I’d like, I head to the kitchen and cook or bake. More often than not, by the time I’m done, the writing problem has worked itself out in my brain.

Today, I’m bringing you a favorite recipe I’ve made many times. It originally came from the people at Penzey’s Spices (who, incidentally inspired my very first book with a spice rub) I thought it would be fitting since it’s chocoately in time for Halloween and a great way to use up zucchini from your gardens this summer.

Also, here’s a blurb and short excerpt for an upcoming Halloween themed historical romance (releasing on 10-31) called Courtesans and Thieves.

Where pumpkins and midnight meet that’s where love can be found.

Audrey Harper wants nothing more than to experience life before she consigns herself to taking care of everyone else in her family. A Halloween masquerade fits the bill. As a French courtesan she intends to lure an unsuspecting man into her bed, find a few moments of bliss and leave before the clock strikes midnight.

Justin Redding’s life as a junior accountant is as far from exciting as he can get. As a result, he supplements his income and thirst for adventure by stealing jewelry from the area’s wealthy upper crust. He’s admired Audrey from afar and convincing her father that he’s good enough is uppermost in his mind. Disguising himself as a masked avenger is the only way to win her heart.

What happens next is a heady jaunt through a crowded 1880s ballroom, a shadowy pumpkin patch and perfumed sheets. But unraveling lies and secret identities might trap the pair in a sticky web, dissolving the moonlit love affair before love’s bloom can take root.


Costumed guests ebbed and flowed around her like a colorful, glittering sea. Most of the men wore half-masks, some had headdresses and hoods that fully obscured their faces while a good percentage of the women’s faces were free. A few wore veils, but by and large, the female element to the party had chosen to put the bulk of their energies into displaying their other attributes.
Grinning, she navigated the crowded floor, knowing that’s exactly what she’d done with her own costume. How many of these women were prowling for men tonight? How many would find the object of their desire? Her smile slipped a bit. Lots of competition it would seem, which meant she couldn’t waste any more time.

All doors on the south side of the house were thrown open to encourage the party to spill outside to the large patio and gardens beyond. At the edge of the Harper property, the neighbors owned an extensive apple orchard and pumpkin fields. Audrey grinned and this time nothing could dim it. The perfect place for a rendezvous. Tendrils of a cool breeze wafted between the bodies, beckoning her in that direction. With a handful of her skirt hitched up to prevent tripping, she stepped forward only to abruptly change her trajectory when she spied her father coming in from the patio.

Oh Lord, he can’t see me dressed like this! He’ll demand I change clothes.

Her steps quickened and the black-dyed ostrich feather she’d stuck into her updo bobbed with each stride. Couples swayed around her, moving in and out of her path. She cut a zigzag pattern through them, hoping her father hadn’t seen her before she’d run. She’d managed to clear the first room and edged into an adjoining parlor. Equally full of laughing, dancing couples, Audrey tried to force more oxygen into her lungs and kept up her quick pace. At the door, she risked a glance over her shoulder. When she didn’t catch sight of her father’s tall, lanky frame, she heaved a sigh and relaxed.

Putting a hand on her stomach, she turned and surveyed the room. Now the danger of being discovered in scandalous clothing had passed, her mind returned to the mission. Find a suitable man, drag him into a shadowy corner and have her wicked way with him.

She emitted an unladylike snort which caused a few matrons in the bunch to look askance at her. Audrey ignored them. As if I know how to begin a seduction let alone carry it through to the end. Her cheeks warmed at the thought and just as quickly, nervous churning began in her stomach. Was she about to make a fool of herself? And for what? A night of passion that she could remember for the rest of her life?

Was the hopeful payoff worth the risk?

As she debated, her gaze roamed the room until it rested on a man dressed all in black. He wore a black cloak lined with red and a flat, Spanish-style brimmed hat along with a black satin mask that obscured the upper portion of his face. Yet, in that one passing glance, she caught his eye and a connection between them was swift and immediate.

Excited butterflies took flight in her stomach, tickling every point internally in their haste to migrate. Foreign heat rushed between her thighs, slightly dampening her silken drawers as the man gave her a slow grin that promised much more than words ever could. Seconds later, he advanced toward her.

Audrey pressed a hand to a flaming cheek. Perhaps the risk wasn’t high enough.

Wanna learn more about me? Here’s where you can find me on the web:
Believing is Seeing blog:

Still curious? One random commenter will receive a packet of book swag. Thanks for spending time with me today!

Chocolate Zucchini muffins

½ cup room temperature butter (1 stick)
½ cup canola oil
1 ¾ cups white sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup milk
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
4 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
2 cups peeled and finely grated zucchini
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325°. Line 2 standard muffin pans with papers. In a large bowl, mix butter, oil and sugar until creamy. Add eggs, VANILLA EXTRACT and milk mixed with vinegar (sour milk). Blend well. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, COCOA POWDER, baking soda, CINNAMON and salt. Add to the butter mixture and stir by hand to combine. Add grated zucchini and half the chocolate chips and stir well. Spoon the batter evenly into the pans, filling each paper 2/3 full. Sprinkle the other half of the chocolate chips, on top and bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or they spring back when lightly touched (don’t touch the melted chocolate, though.)

Yield: 24 muffins.
Prep. time: 15 minutes.
Baking time: 20-25 minutes.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Healthy Fast Food...Really?

Most of us find ourselves in the fast food line at times and trying to make a healthy selection. I came across this information and hope it will help in your selection when you don't want to travel down the path of *evil* french fries and other temptations.

Healthier fast food choices

No one can say that McDonald’s isn’t convenient—you can find one on just about every corner in some cities. But can it be healthy, too? Depends on what you choose. Visit for more healthy ideas.
• Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich: When you hold the mayo, you'll save calories and fat.
370 calories, 4.5g fat, 1g sat. fat, 65mg cholesterol, 1,110mg sodium, 50g carbs, 3g fiber, 32g protein
• Premium Asian Salad with Grilled Chicken: The majority of the fat in this flavorful salad comes from the almonds, and the Asian Blend contains veggies and soybeans, making it heart-healthy.
300 calories, 10g fat, 1g sat. fat, 65mg cholesterol, 890mg sodium, 23g carbs, 5g fiber, 32g protein
• Fruit and Yogurt Parfait: If you’re looking for a sweet treat, this is a winner. Made with low-fat yogurt and topped with low fat granola, strawberries and blueberries, it’s far less sinful but just as tasty as ice cream.
160 calories, 2g fat, 1g sat. fat, 5mg cholesterol, 85mg sodium, 31g carbs, 1g fiber, 4g protein

Try these best picks for your next lunch on the run. Get more nutrition facts at
• Mandarin Chicken Salad: A variety of lettuces and toppings, like roasted almonds and crispy noodles, make this salad a flavor-packed meal. Most of the fat is unsaturated.
540 calories, 25g fat, 3g sat. fat, 65mg cholesterol, 1,260mg sodium, 50g carbs, 5g fiber, 31g protein
• Ultimate Chicken Grill: Order it with lettuce, tomatoes, and honey mustard sauce.
320 calories, 7g fat, 1.5g sat. fat, 70mg cholesterol, 950mg sodium, 36g carbs, 2g fiber, 28g protein

Burger King
A salad and veggie burger top the healthy list at Burger King. Their website,, offers more nutrition information.
• Tendergrill Chicken Garden Salad: Hold the cheese and top with the Light Italian dressing:
300 calories, 16g fat, 2.5g sat. fat, 70mg cholesterol, 1,050mg sodium, 13g carbs, 5g fiber, 33g protein
• BK Veggie Burger: Say "no mayo" to enjoy this healthy, cholesterol-free vegetarian delight.
340 calories, 8g fat, 1g sat. fat, 0mg cholesterol, 1,030mg sodium, 46g carbs, 7g fiber, 23g protein

Taco Bell
When you order it “fresco style”, the regular cheese and sauce are replaced by a flavorful combo of tomatoes, onions, and cilantro, all fresh (and much healthier). More nutrition facts are available at
• Fresco Style Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco:
170 calories, 4g fat, 1.5g sat. fat, 25mg cholesterol, 730mg sodium, 21g carbs, 3g fiber, 12g protein
• Fresco Crunchy Taco: This menu item is much lower in sodium but still loaded with flavor.
150 calories, 8g fat, 2.5g sat. fat, 20mg cholesterol, 370mg sodium, 13g carbs, 3g fiber, 7g protein.

Good old Jared and his subway diet brought Subway restaurants recognition as one fast food joint with lots of healthy options. Sandwiches from the Subway "Fresh Fit" menu each have fewer than 6 grams of fat. Visit for more information.
• 6" Oven-Roasted Chicken Breast:
310 calories, 5g fat, 25mg cholesterol, 830mg sodium, 5g fiber
• 6" Veggie Delite: A great option for vegetarian diners or for those watching their cholesterol. Order it on Italian bread and it’s vegan, too.
230 calories, 3g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 500mg sodium, 5g fiber
• Soups: If you’re really hungry, pair your sandwich with one of the healthier Subway Soups. Each restaurant features two soups daily, and the ones listed below each contain 160 calories or fewer: Cream of Broccoli, Minestrone, New England Style Clam Chowder, Roasted Chicken Noodle, Spanish Style Chicken with Rice, Tomato Garden Vegetable with Rotini, and Vegetable Beef.

For the healthiest fare, steer clear of the roast beef sandwiches altogether or visit their website, to see more choices.
• Martha’s Vineyard Salad:
466 calories, 23g fat, 6g sat. fat, 61mg cholesterol, 996mg sodium, 43g carbs, 4g fiber, 22g protein

Although their fried chicken isn’t health food (not even by a long shot), KFC does have some healthy options on their menu. Get more nutrition facts at
• Honey BBQ Sandwich:
280 calories, 3.5g fat, 1g sat. fat, 60mg cholesterol, 780mg sodium, 40g carbs, 3g fiber, 22g protein
• Tender Roast Sandwich: Hold the sauce.
300 calories, 4.5g fat, 1.5g sat. fat, 70mg cholesterol, 1,060mg sodium, 28g carbs, 2g fiber, 37g protein
• Roasted Caesar Salad: Hold the croutons, and top it with fat-free ranch dressing.
250 calories, 8g fat, 4.5g sat. fat, 70mg cholesterol, 1,240 mg sodium, 14g carbs, 3g fiber, 31g protein

Just because it isn't beef doesn't mean it's always better—especially when the chicken is breaded and fried. Try the items below, or see all the facts at
• Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich:
270 calories, 3g fat, 1g sat. fat, 50mg cholesterol, 1,260mg sodium, 37g carbs, 4g fiber, 28g protein
• Chargrilled and Fruit Salad: Top with reduced fat berry balsamic vinaigrette.
290 calories, 8g fat, 3.5g sat. fat, 65mg cholesterol, 760mg sodium, 32g carbs, 5g fiber, 22g protein

Jack in the Box
Whole grains, from this fast food joint? Believe it! Visit for more menu items.
• Asian Chicken Salad with Grilled Chicken Strips:
160 calories, 1.5g fat, 0g sat. fat, 65mg cholesterol, 380mg sodium, 18g carbs, 5g fiber, 22g protein
• Chicken Fajita Pita: The pita is made with whole grains, which are rarely seen at fast food restaurants. Hold the salsa.
300 calories, 9g fat, 3.5g sat. fat,60mg cholesterol, 1,090mg sodium, 33g carbs, 4g fiber, 23g protein

Carl’s Jr.
Steer clear of big, meaty burgers and try these chicken options instead. The Carl's Jr. Website, has lots of nutrition information, too.
• Charbroiled BBQ Chicken Sandwich:
360 calories, 4.5g fat, 1g sat. fat, 60mg cholesterol, 1,150mg sodium, 48g carbs, 4g fiber, 34g protein
• Charbroiled Chicken Salad: Choose the low-fat balsamic dressing.
295 calories, 8.5g fat, 3.5g sat. fat, 75mg cholesterol, 1,190mg sodium, 21g carbs, 5g fiber, 34g protein

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Update

The Colorado Romance Writers author tea was a good time on Saturday. I saw friends I haven't seen for awhile and met new ones. Here are a couple of pictures from the event.

From left to right: Hillary Seidl, Melissa Mayhue, Robin Owens, Bernadette Marie, Elaine English, Jenn LaBlanc & me.

The question was who was the person that encouraged you the most in your writing. I had to give credit where credit is honey of course. He's been there encouraging and prodding when needed since we met. And yes, I'm looking at him with adoring eyes.

Next big event scheduled, the Heart of Denver Romance Writers Mini-Conference scheduled October 22nd. A great list of speakers and guests. If you haven't signed up be sure to check it out. There's still time!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Chocolate Diva Shares!

The first Friday of each month, we have the pleasure of our own Chocolate Diva sharing on a subject near and dear to my heart...well, okay if you insist on truth disclosure...stomach. Joleen heads up a team of Dove Discovery Chocolatiers, plus she books parties (let me tell you, they are fun!), works booths for Dove Discovery at conventions and supports indivdual chocolate orders from clients. This is one busy lady!

Mmm...chocolate. Chocolate has been called dessert, an antidepressant, tonifier, stimulant, euphoriant, an aphrodisiac and for some; a reason for living. So, just how far would you go to incorporate chocolate into your life? Breakfast – chocolate pancakes – delicious. Expanding into lunch -- how about chocolate salad or Chocolate Chicken Chili for dinner?

The cocoa bean is the basis for chocolate and has been a cooking stable for many countries, and for many centuries. South American tribes, including the Aztec and Mayans, used chocolate in beverages, chilies, on vegetables and meats. Europeans discovered that sauces using chocolate covered up the gamey taste of wild meats. Moles are probably the most recognized dish today, which typically uses chocolate or cocoa. In fact using chocolate in dessert was introduced much later.

Chocolate is a wonderful addition to any cook’s kitchen. Chocolate is no less suited for cooking than butter or fruit. We cook our savory recipes with honey, sweet wines, cinnamon, and sugar, with no hesitation. Just remember the secret and key point when you cook with chocolate – a little goes a long way.

Chose a good dark or bittersweet chocolate, which isn’t typically sweet. Adding a small amount won’t make the dish taste like a candy bar, but will add depth and texture. Cocoa and chocolate add a richness and complexity to a savory recipe and is a surprising partner with many dishes. Imagine a Pan Seared Chicken Breast with a Chocolate Cabernet Sauce. Friends and family would swoon for a Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Soup with Leeks and Goat Cheese Relish. Bored with every day pork chops – next time serve Cocoa Chipotle Pork Chops with a Mango Salsa and see how everyone smiles!
Still not convinced? When you make your favorite chili, be it vegetarian or meat, add a little dark chocolate shavings to the bottom of your bowl. Add the hot chili and stir well. Enjoy!

Tips for introducing chocolate to your dinner

1. Bittersweet and Dark Chocolates are the most used. High quality white chocolates add a buttery and vanilla taste to moles, and go well with fish and seafood. Use good quality chocolate – it makes a difference. Do not use chocolate that contain vegetable oils, wax or paraffin.
2. In using flour in a recipe, substitute up to 25% with cocoa. Cocoa is great in making pastas.
3. Raw chocolate – or cacao nibs, have a nutty, earthy taste and are excellent in salads, on top of roasted vegetable and rubs
4. Water and chocolate do not partner well and can stiffen and lump.


(Serves 4)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1/4 cup sweet and hot mustard
2 cups cabernet
3 ounces melted Dove Chef Series Dark Chocolate
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1 t garlic
1 t onion flake


Place chicken in a bowl with the balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and mustard. Toss well to coat.
Place in a hot grill pan and cook 3 minutes each side, turning 4 times.

While chicken is cooking, bring wine to a boil in a heavy pot and reduce by half. When wine is reduced, add chocolate and stir until melted. Add salt, pepper, garlic, and onion.

This chicken recipe also works well as a party appetizer. Place the chicken breast strips on skewers, grill, and serve with cabernet sauce as a dip.

The cabernet sauce also tastes great with stuffed chicken breasts. Slice the side of the breast to create a pocket and fill with cooked spinach and pine nuts.

Since the sauce is rich, keep the sides simple and light, like green beans with a squeeze of lemon juice or fluffy white rice with a little butter.

Kicking off the First Friday of Each Month

Starting October 7th, the first Friday of each month will feature a blog about chocolate by the extraordinary Chocolatier, Joleen Allis. Joleen will share information on a subject that is devoured by many, ranging from general info, health benefits and recipes.

In addition, the monthly prize drawing will be chocolate! The prize for October is a bottle of chocolate martini mix. I can vouch for how yummy this is, since when I need a "treat" my husband mixes one up for me. Sure I could do it, but why spoil his fun!

Be sure to stop by tomorrow and check out Joleen's blog. And remember to comment on that as well as other blogs made during the month to get into the drawing.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Recipe Wednesday...TAPAS!

Here's a quick and easy one for parties or snack evening with the man in your life. Tapas are bites of yummy foods that are very popluar in Spain.

Prawn and Bacon Brochettes

This combination of prawns and bacon can be found at most Tapas bars in Spain, as well as in many banquets and receptions. It is an ideal treat for your guests when having a party at home!

• Makes 12 pieces
• 5 oz thinly sliced bacon
• 24 medium to large uncooked, headless prawns, peeled
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 lemons, quartered

Cut the bacon into pieces which will wrap generously round the prawns. Place the wrapped prawns down flat on a board and skewer them through the fattest part and the tail, making sure the bacon is firmly fixed. Season generously and drizzle with the oil.

On a high heat, griddle, grill or barbecue the prawn and bacon brochettes for 2-3 minutes on each side, so the bacon crisps up. Or roast in a hot oven (425ºF) on an oiled baking sheet for 8-10 minutes. Squeeze over the juice of the lemon wedges and serve immediately.

Monday, October 3, 2011

October Prize Kick Off!

A new month, new contest time. Comment, comment, comment to get into the drawing for October. The prize will be a cool one!


September Winners!

The winners for September's prize of earrings and trading cards are:

Abigail-Madison Chase

Ladies, if you'll send me your snail mail info at lizzietleaf(at)comcast(dot)net I'll get your prizes off to you.

Thanks for your comments!