Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday's Baking - Favorite Baking Blogs

No baking this week.

Bring on the blogs! These are some of my favorite baking blogs, linked to one of my favorite posts.

Bakerella - Thank You War with Cakespy

Tartelette - Birthday Cupcakes 

^ These two, their photos rule.

Go Dairy Free - Triple Chocolate Brownie Cookies
I will someday actually attempt going dairy free. (I'm lactose intolerant.) But it's very hard with my husband home, wanting all sorts of cheeses and creams. 

CakeSpy - Nanaimo Bars
I have yet to try these. Homemade or not. They look divine though. 

Mini Baker - Bite-Size of HEAVEN (Mini Cookie Dough Cheesecakes)
A recipe after my heart - cheese cake and cookie dough all snuggled up together. Yum. 

What the Whisk - Mocha-Walnut Marbled Bundt Cake 
She seems to be on a new baby break.

There are a plethora of awesome baking blogs, this is just a sample.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Should I Attempt NaNoWriMo?

I know it's a bit early for the NaNoWriMo craze to begin. (Linked in case you haven't heard of it.) My wrist will be (hopefully!) fixed by then. I may actually be physically able to keep up the writing pace along with my school work.

These last couple years my wrist just would not cooperate. Ultimate procrastination on getting it fixed, I know. Takes severe motivation (ok ok, severe pain) for me to be okay with someone cutting me open. While I'm awake.

Aliens and Flying Spatulas of Doom! (Now titled Average Joe.)
I want to work on my 2YN (a.k.a. 2 Year Novel, now titled Average Joe, shortened in my notes to 'AJ') outline so bad. I've hit a good spot.

But alas, my wrist is burning. Ice and insanely strong doses of anti-inflammatory medications are my friend right now. 

Writing & Life^


No clue what will get posted Friday. Something to do with food. I may have to skip out on baking. Might share a few of my favorite baking blogs instead. (My wrist needs time off. If my husband knew I was typing this, he'd kill me.)

Poll: Are you planning on attempting NaNoWriMo this year? Have you even heard of it?

I'd love to hear different thoughts on the insanity that is NaNo.

Happy Humpday! (Or, as Stephanie over at The Writer's Cocoon calls it, Happy Hunksday!)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ow. That's basically all I have to say. My wrist pain is not good. Waiting for a call back from the doctors. There has to be something they can give me to help until my surgery.

No writing getting done except for the occasional note on a post-it.

I hope you all are having a better Monday than me!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday's Baking - Little Fruit Pie Pocket Thingies

I'm sure there is a recipe for these somewhere online. It sounds fairly simple.

I only had one roll of pie dough left after making my husband's lemon meringue pie, I would advise doing this with two. You'll use the whole can of pie filling with two. I have half a can of apple pie filling sitting in my fridge, waiting to be used.


Roll of pie dough (Need 2 to use the whole can of filling.)

Can of your favorite pie filling

Egg wash

A recipe with a max of 3 ingredients can't be hard, right?

Looks innocent enough...

Step One:

Don't forget to take the pie crust out. Especially if it's in the freezer. According to the box, it can take an hour and a half to thaw from frozen. Thankfully I'm in Texas, in August, and I don't keep my kitchen AC vents open. It took 60 minutes to thaw from frozen.

Step Two:

Once you have thawed dough, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. My oven runs REALLY hot, so I cooked them at 300 degrees. (It's an ancient oven, we rent, so no long term benefit for us to replace it.)

Step Three:

Choose filling. I voted blueberry, my husband voted apple. I know I don't have enough pie crust to make use of both cans of pie filling. I do like apple, I just have to eat it cold. My husband isn't a huge fan of blueberry, and probably wouldn't eat any. Since I don't want to eat them all by myself, apple it is.

Step Four:

Unroll the pie dough on a lightly floured surface.

I used a dough chopper to cut the circle into 6 sections. It'll make 3 pies. I'm not convinced I need the 'lightly floured surface' with pre-made dough, but with my history with any kind of dough, I took the extra precaution.

Step Five:

Build the pies!

Fill the center of half the cut outs with the pie filling. Dab egg wash around the edge to help it seal.

Cover with the tops. You can pinch the edges with your fingers like I attempted at first, or you can use a fork. Just make sure they are seal securely! Don't want all the pie filling to spill out.

I forgot to use the egg wash on the rectangle pie...we'll see if it explodes everywhere or not.

I also brushed some egg wash on top of the pies. Might come back and bite me in the butt with my super hot oven. We'll see...

Step Six:

Bake! I checked them at 15 minutes. They were still doughy. I risked it and added 5 minutes, and was rewarded. Not a prefect golden brown, but good enough for me. Not black is always good. :D

At 350 degrees, in a normal non-super hot oven, I would bake them for about 25-30 minutes. You know your oven better than I do, so just watch them.

(Believe me, I know how nasty that pan looks. I could really use some awesome cookie sheets that don't end up being used for pizza bites.)

Remove from oven when nice and golden brown. Let cool, at least slightly!


I have to wait till it's cold to eat, so my piece went straight to the fridge. My husband fell asleep by the time I was done (very long day at work) and will have to deal with trying it reheated or cold tomorrow. Who gets the third piece? Whoever likes it more. Certainly not the dog. Going to have to watch my husband like a hawk. He loves giving Zeus people food.

Random Sidetrack!

Reminds me of something that happened the other day. We were serving dinner, Zeus was behaving (not begging, but laying down nearby. We're still working on keeping him out of the dining room. He loves the tile), and as soon as I walked out of the room, he perked right up. He started wagging his tail and stared up at my husband panting.

Who's in charge here?

Mhmm. He knows Mommy doesn't stand for that. Daddy laughs and sometimes gives treats. Then yells at him next time he begs. He is just confusing poor Zeus. Either always give in, or never give in. Going back and forth isn't nice.

This does not bode well for when we have actual children.

End sidetrack.

Disclaimer to all those writers/editors/readers/bakers out there:
1. I know 'burnage' is not a word.
2. I tried to remove all present tense from this post, but I originally wrote it as I was making them. Sorry if I missed any!
3. I mean absolutely no offense by calling my oven ancient. It seems ancient to me, I'm only 23.

I'm just a whipper-snapper!

I hope you all have a wonderful Friday, and an even better weekend! 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


After not writing for three whole days, I dove back in yesterday and came away with 2,743 new words!

The words were on my new romance novel. I was attempting to write a straight up romance, but by the end of the second chapter, the FMC was kidnapped. I guess I can cross traditional romance off the list of possible genres for me. :D

My outline for my alien-filled-hopefully-comedic novel keeps getting hijacked. I think I've scrapped it three times now. I keep getting bored reading back. I think this last restart has potential. I changed the whole way the story begins, nixed a couple useless placeholder characters and decided to change the way it ends.

I don't know how it ends, I probably won't until it's done. But I made the decision to make sure it's unexpected. It still needs to make sense and to flow, but I want it to be different.

We'll see how it works!



No idea what I'm going to bake this week. It's hot. I have some cake mix, pie crust, butter and random frozen fruit. A fruit tart without a tart pan? Ooo maybe some cobbler or a crisp. Hmm. Or some cupcakes with a fruit filling? I don't have much in the way of frosting though.


Zeus is finally getting a good grasp on fetch. He's so funny though, he won't start to run until he sees the ball in the air. I doubt we'll ever get him to catch anything midair.

Had my wrist appointment last week, doctor said yes to surgery! I didn't even have to try to convince him, he agrees there is no point trying physical therapy or the shots for a definite case of carpal tunnel. YAY!

Have a good week everyone!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Interview today!

Keli Gwyn interviewed me over at Romance Writers on the Journey today.

Go check it out!

Progress post will be up tomorrow, Friday's Baking? Well it's only Monday, we'll see what I come up with. :D

Have a great Monday!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday's Bak---er Cooking! Ronnie's Pot Roast

Ronnie's Pot Roast - Main warning, following the recipe as shown makes a salty roast. Almost too salty for me, but my husband loves it. (He adds salt to everything, I blame eating all those MREs.)


Chunk Roast (Used a 5 pound one here)
1 Can of Beef Consomme
1 Can of Beef Broth
4 cups chopped/diced onions
Soy Sauce

Season pot roast with salt and pepper, heavy hand here. Needs to make a good crust. Add onions to pan and move them to the side so the roast is in the middle of the pan. Sear all sides of the roast in a small amount of oil until deep brown and crusty, about 8 minutes per side.

Add soy sauce to the roast and the onions, not too much, a couple of good shakes, Pour beef broth and beef consomme over the roast.

Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat. Simmer the roast for about 4 hours; turning every 30 - 45 minutes

Remove the roast from the pan, bring the broth to a boil. Mix cornstarch with cold water until smooth, should look like milk and be thin. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the broth, stirring constantly.

Remove the pan from the heat and allow to thicken. I usually skim off some of the grease that has separated from the gravy. Shred the roast, serve with mashed potatoes and veggie.

It is super yummy, and fairly simple. Just takes time. To reduce the salt, I usually nix the consomme and use reduced sodium broth. My husband can tell the difference though. I say try it as is first, then tweak to your liking. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


How do you outline? Mine method is all over the place! I've tried all kinds of outline methods. One line per scene, per chapter. I've tried summaries, I've even try something called a phase outline, created by Zette. Nothing seems to stick with me.

Yesterday, I took over a white board, broke it into three acts and started writing. I got halfway done before my wrist yelled at me. I went in order with the scenes. Normally I'm all over the place, outlining the middle before I even have an idea of a beginning.

Ever wonder if outlining is a waste of time? I have been. I always make changes as I write. My final product rarely resembles the original outline. Should I try being a pantser? Maybe that's the right fit. 


Friday's Baking - Cooking! Only baking I am doing this week is a Lemon Merinque Pie, which I've posted before. According to spell check, I've been spelling' merinque wrong my whole life. Claims it's spelt with a 'g', not a 'q'.

I'll be posting Ronnie's Pot Roast. I never met Ronnie, neither has my mom-in-law, who gave me this recipe. Interesting...


Doctor's appointment tomorrow to find out if I can get surgery to fix my carpal tunnel or not. I'm hoping for a yes. It's beyond ridiculous how much my wrist problems interfere with my daily life.

Zeus will be 6 months old in a week. He weighs 45 pounds now. Of course the only recent photos I have are on my phone. He's still a cutie! Just not as cute as he was at 7 weeks!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday’s Baking – Basic Sandwich Bread – Take Two

This recipe is fairly simple. I use my bread machine to form the dough, as carpal tunnel and kneading don’t really get along.

2 1/4 tsp. yeast (1 packet)
2 Tbsp honey
1 cup warm water (110 degrees ish)
¼ cup olive oil
¾ cup whole wheat flour
2 ¼ cup bread flour
1 ½ tsp. salt

Step One:
Combine yeast, honey and water in the bread machine pan. Let sit for 10 minutes. (Should get all bubbly and yeasty smelling.)

Step Two:
Add the rest of the ingredients (oil, both flours and the salt). Close the machine and set on the dough cycle.

Step Three:
After the dough cycle is done kneading, I unplug it. I do not let it knock the first rise down. The transfer to the pan does that for me. Once it's risen, I transfer the dough into a greased (I use shortening) bread pan.

I rub oil on the top of the dough and cover it with a kitchen towel.

Let rise for roughly another hour, but watch it. This dough gets very airy.

(This is almost done, I usually let it go for a bit longer, but I was in a rush. Depends how dense you like the bread.)

Step Four:
Once the dough is at the desired rise, bake in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Be careful putting it into the oven! A good enough bump can cause this dough to fall.

Step Five:
Remove the golden loaf from the over, should sound hallow when you rap your knuckles on it. Remove from pan and let it cool completely before slicing.

I never make it to completely cool. I always dig in after it’s no longer hot. I wait until it’s cool to slice up the whole thing. I store the slices in zip bags.

My favorite way to eat this is with a little honey on top.

I forgot to take pictures of the finished product, sorry bout that!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Writing Update and Goals

Hi everyone! How is your summer going? Mine's hot, and more hot. Skyrocketing electric bill because I simply do not have the willpower to resist the AC. I at least can live between 80-85 degrees, my husband would love it to be set at 70. He gets away with 75 occasionally.

I'm been busy trying not to whine about feeling like I'm dying. I'm having allergy testing done Wednesday morning, I haven't been able to take any antihistamines since Friday. Almost there!

I found the bread recipe! Look for the post Friday, pictures and all. (Stephen - I'm trying the writing it in Word first and saving it method. So far so good!)

The outline for my 100% romance novel is 95% done. There's this little soggy section in the middle that needs some attending to.

Ivory? Yeah. Um.

'Bout that.

Haven't done a thing. I think I'm just going to shelve it from my goals list and work on it when the mood hits me. There goes one of my New Years goals, but that's okay. I'm just happy my goal of at least a 2.5 got shot out of the water with my 3.25 GPA. :D

This last little writing tidbit is still a ways away, but I figured I should start plugging it now, and then just remind. :D Keli Gywn, over at Romance Writers on the Journey asked me to do an interview!

Look! Look! Third down!

Me! August 16th!

Yes, I write romance. No, I don't really talk about that much, maybe I will when I've been writing for a few more years and feel like I have an actual grasp on my voice. Right now I'm content with announcing words on the page.

I'm very excited! I will be sure to post a reminder, be sure to stop by, I'm giving away a little prize!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!