I don’t usually share too much of my personal, day-to-day information online. Today I’m going to make an exception. Why? Because I think it’s important to remember that we’re all human, we all have ups and downs and we all have great and awful times.
My life isn’t much different than yours. I love reading. I love my family. I’m a total geek who loves food and playing with the grandbabies.
I’m also SO happy that 2016 is almost over!
I lost my job earlier this year. It was a horrible and completely unexpected situation. It was the first time in almost 20 years that I didn’t have a day job to fall back on and we almost lost everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. I was totally stressed and while I love writing, it doesn’t pay the bills, so a day job is important for my, and my family’s sanity.
I did a lot of talking to myself this year:
“Yo, T.J., don’t flip your wig woman. Things will work out!”
“Hey you, uh, I mean me, keep a positive outlook. The money will come. You will pay your mortgage. Everyone will eat and the lights will stay on, damn it!”
“Don’t worry about your family. They will leave the house and return again safely.”
“Have faith in humanity! Not everyone is shortsighted and full of hate.”
“Not all of your favorite musicians and actors are dying this year! Relax!”
And it went on and on. Needless to say, this year has sucked in so many ways that I’m seriously counting down the days to next year. Oh, and I’m not even going to get into the nutball politics this year. I’m glad to say that I didn’t think I’d be motivated to write a single thing, but that’s changing and the plot bunnies are hopping around like crazy *YAY!*
Also to celebrate the landing of a new day job, we are going to feast like there is no tomorrow. This is part of the plan. Ever had it? If so, share your favorite recipe for…PORCHETTA! Click the picture to hop to the recipe.
I’m not a big drinker but I do enjoy a glass of wine every now and then. And with the holidays coming up, we are always looking for a way to put a bit of a different spin on the usual culprits…such as red wine.
I saw this recipe a few days ago and I can’t get it out of my head. So I figured I’d share the love and drive you just as nuts as I am right now at wanting to try this delicious looking dessert. I would say I’m sorry…but I wouldn’t mean it! So let’s enjoy it together, shall we?
Cheesecake Bars with Wine Gelée
yield: 16 squares
prep time: 25 min cook time: 25 min total time: 7 hours (including chilling)
8 full sheets (140gr) graham cracker
4 tablespoons (55gr) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
For cheesecake filling:
12oz (340gr) cream cheese, softened
¼ cup (60gr) plain Greek yogurt, at room temperature
1 cup (300gr) sweetened condensed milk
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
For wine topping:
1 envelope (8gr) unflavored gelatin
¾ cup (180ml) red wine (such as Cabernet Sauvignon)
2 tablespoons hot water
4 teaspoons sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 8×8 square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving two sides hanging over the edges.
In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers into fine crumbs. (If you don’t have a food processor, place the graham crackers in a ziplock bag and roll a rolling pin over the graham crackers.) Add sugar and melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are evenly moistened with butter. Transfer the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Evenly spread it, lightly pressing into the pan. Bake for 10 minutes and cool on wire rack.
In a large mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat cream cheese, Greek yogurt and condensed milk until creamy, about 2 minutes.
Add the egg, flour, vanilla extract and salt. Continue to whisk until well combined, about 2 minutes.
Pour the cream cheese mixture over the crust. Bake it until the filling is set but not browned, for about 25 minutes. Cool the cheesecake to room temperature (about 2 hours), then refrigerate for at least 2 hours to chill.
To make the wine gelée, sprinkle the gelatin over ½ cup of wine and let it sit for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, stir in the sugar in the hot water. Add the sugar water into the wine with gelatin. At this point, the mixture will be a little cloudy. Mix well until gelatin is completely melted. (If needed, microwave for 30 seconds to warm the mixture up. The mixture should become clear.) Add the remaining ¼ cup of wine and cool the mixture to room temperature, about 5 minutes. Gently pour the wine mixture using a back of the spoon over the cooled cheesecake. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight, until the wine topping is set completely.
Cut into 16 squares (or even smaller, if desired), before serving.
Recipe is courtesy of Sweet & Savory by Shinee
There were so many ads on the original post, I could barely get to the recipe. So rather than taking you through that madness, I posted the details here. To see the original ad, uh I mean post, visit http://www.sweetandsavorybyshinee.com/cheesecake-bars-with-wine-gelee/
Okay, I’ll be completely honest here — when I first heard of this recipe my first reaction was “EWWWW!” But after reading what’s in it, it sounds absolutely delish and perfect for a holiday picnic or outing.
If you make this, let me know how it turns out!
Layered Cornbread Salad (courtesy of The Food Network)
Total Time: 20 min
Prep: 20 min
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 scallions, minced
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 cups crumbled cornbread
2 15 -ounce cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican-blend cheese
Toss the tomatoes, bell pepper, cilantro and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Whisk the sour cream, mayonnaise, scallions, lime juice, chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.
Assemble the salad: Sprinkle half of the cornbread in a glass bowl or trifle dish. Top with half each of the black-eyed peas, corn and the tomato-pepper mixture, then half each of the sour cream mixture and cheese. Repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients, ending with cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
Photograph by Con Poulos
In celebration of the upcoming release of Just Peachy, we’re spending out Thirsty Thursday exploring delicious peach drinks and nom-noms.
Due to some technical difficulty (basically my computer doesn’t want to convert the .flv video file of my peachy video with Ms. Lisa B) we are posting a recipe for homemade iced peach tea instead of the peach crush we planned to share with you. But we’ll get this worked out, and soon.
Yes, people, I have a Harry Potter fetish. In another life, I believe I was a Ravenclaw or a Gryffindor, complete with Quidditch skills and a killer broomstick. So, since I’ve got HP on the brain, here’s a refreshing drink that you’ll love to make for yourselves:
Oh, and for you non-beer drinkers (like myself), there’s no actual Budweiser in this recipe, courtesy of MyRecipes.com. Written instructions are below the video. Enjoy!
1 12-ounce bottle cream soda
1 teaspoon butter extract
1/3 teaspoon rum extract
1/4 cup marshmallow cream
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/3 teaspoon rum extract
In a pint-sized beer mug, combine bottled soda and extracts. Stir. Using an electric mixer, whip marshmallow cream, whipping cream, and rum extract until smooth. Add whipped topping to butterbeer.
Thirsty Thursday is a celebration of the coming Spring and Summer months where we have access to the sweetest, juiciest fruits to add to our favorite mixology masterpieces. To kick off our Thirsty Thursday series, let’s jump right in with Strawberry Mimosa’s with the wonderful fashionista in Michigan, Ms. Lisa B. (@gypsywoman35 on Twitter).
The last time I traveled to the East Coast, a friend of mine produced a little piece of paper that contained the true path to Heaven.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, on that piece of paper was a recipe…for BACON CRACK! I kid you not! A mix of sweet, salty and that hickory smoked flavor that can only be found in bacon. I’m totally going to make this. If you beat me to it, let me know how yours turns out.
Maple Caramel Bacon Crack
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 40 mins
1 container of Pillsbury Crescent Dough Sheet..or regular Crescent Dough with seams pinched together
1 lb. Bacon..cooked semi-crispy.
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Maple Syrup (just use a light layer onto the Dough, and then a light layer onto the top of the Bacon and that’s it!)
1 pinch of Cayenne Pepper..optional, but AMAZING!
Lay out the dough spread out thinly, on a parchment lined baking sheet. With a fork, gently poke shallow holes throughout the dough
Top the dough with a thin layer of Maple Syrup, and all the crispy Bacon.
Now add another thin layer of the Syrup onto the Bacon and cover it with all of the Brown Sugar/Cayenne Pepper mix.
Bake it at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes or until evenly golden
Peek in on it now and then so it doesn’t over-bake.
Let it cool for at least 15 minutes, it will crisp up as it cools
The other day I tweeted about a certain need I had. And it was a need that hit me hard. I mean, I was almost shaking with anticipation at the thought of getting this particular thing.
I’m talking about…LOBSTER!
Yes, it’s true that I’m having a forty-year affair with seafood, and lobster is one of my favorites. There are only two things that beat out a good steamed lobster, drenched in real butter — sashimi and king crab.
So what does this have to do with books? From one foodie to another, not a darn thing! However, my Twilight Teahouse series does have an amazing sushi chef named Landon. You can read his story in Luscious, Twilight Teahouse Book Two.
Here’s the book cover, followed by an easy recipe that my fellow lobster-lovers will enjoy!
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 lemon, juiced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 stalk finely chopped celery
1 finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
3 lobster tails cooked (about 1 pound lobster meat), chopped
Lemon slices & dry rub, for garnish Directions
1) Combine mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper, celery, shallot, tarragon and chives in a bowl.
2) Add lobster meat to mayonnaise sauce and combine.
3) Rub the rim of 4 martini glasses with a lemon. Dip the rim in some dry rub. Divide the lobster salad between the 4 glasses. Garnish with dry rub and lemon slices.
Recipe courtesy of The Neelys and The Food Network: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/lobster-salad-cocktail-recipe.html?oc=linkback