Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sarah’s Bounty By Terri Crews

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the old west with bounty hunter J T. Blake and the woman he been sent to retrieve, Sarah Rose.

She’s a feisty young woman who had been raised in a saloon. Her mother who had sent a considerable amount of money for Sarah’s care had finally sent for her. At first Sarah fought Blake for kidnapping her and taking her away from all she knew, but eventually she wanted to find out who her mother really was.

During the long trip from Tennessee to Raleigh, Blake and Sarah fall in love, but he’s afraid to tell her because all is has to offer is the life of a bounty hunter’s wife, the very reason his mother left his father when he was ten.

Sarah is hopeful but when Blake returns Sarah to her mother, Amanda, his hopes are dashed. Sarah finds out secrets about her mother and her past life and wants to set them straight. She needs J.T. Blake to do that.

I wasn’t sure I’d care for a Western Romance Novel but was caught up in this book from the start. There are a lot of interesting twists and turns in the story and good character development. Good read, Terri.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hmmm.... Let me see what sounds yummy today ~

Ritz Cookies

2 rolls of Ritz crackers, broken into small pieces but left a little chunky
2 Tablespoons melted butter
2 Tablespoons sugar

1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Place in 9 X 13” pan sprayed with Pam.  Bake 350 for 15 to 20 minutes.

For a different cookie you may change the flavor of the chips. My families’ favorite is white and chocolate.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Garrett by Jayna Morrow

The town of Sweet Home, Texas, is on the auction block as developers move in to buy the land from the original founding families. One by one their farms and ranches fall to strip malls and shopping centers. Micara Lee is passionate about stopping the sprawling construction even to the point of taking a stick to a bull dozer which she later realizes as an outrageous reaction.

At town meeting she meets Garrett Hearth. He’s the son of one of Sweet Homes’ oldest families. He and his brother Gabriel are the last of the children still holding on to the land their parents left them. Garrett was a high school football hero destined for college and the NFL, but a knee injury put him on the sidelines and left him bitter about the way his life turned out. Troubled as he saw his friend, Brent, take over his life and his dreams and even his girl.

Garrett is ready to sell his land and move on. He wants to leave his job as the high school football coach and explore writing children’s books, something he’s wanted to do since childhood. But he meets Micara.

As they fall in love, he struggles with his life and his decisions. She follows her Christian convictions to love someone who has hurt her. She backs down from her position and prays that the landowners will make the right decision, even Garrett.

Will his love for her and the memory of his parents draw him to the right decision? Or will he make a career change and give up on yet another dream?

Jayna Morrow creates believable, warm characters. Garrett is a delightfully sweet story of love and redemption. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.

Available now:

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Chocolate Cake Anyone?

I found this recipe several years ago in a magazine and it has become a family favorite:

Chocolate Orange Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 small box vanilla instant pudding
4 eggs
¾ cup orange juice
¾ cup oil
2 tablespoons grated orange rind

Mix ingredients and pour into Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes until done.

Remove from pan and allow to cool.

Use one can of chocolate frosting and place in microwave at 15 second intervals until the frosting melts into a smooth, but not runny glaze. Spoon over cake and decorate with mandarin oranges (fresh or canned).

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Taste of Something Different

Today is usually the day I keep for book reviews, and as soon as I connect with an author or two that I've recently reviewed, I'm posting something new. After this week, book reviews will return to Thursday and my new feature - desserts will be posted on Tuesdays.

Over the last six years I've kept my posts to book reviews, writing and my reading interests. I had a suggestion from one of my fellow authors to branch out. Since I'm known around Fresno (and a few other places) for my cookies and desserts, I decided to post some favorites.  The recipes have come from a collection of clippings, recipe books, church socials, etc. I don't lay absolute claim to most of them so there's no attempt to infringe on any "secret" recipes. Most likely, they've all been published somewhere else.

So without further adieu, here's my recipe for Giant Gingersnap Cookies:

Giant Gingersnaps

2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp baking soda
¾ cup soft vegetable shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
¼ cup light molasses.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift flour with salt, cloves, ginger, cinnamon and baking soda.
In large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed, cream shortening until light and fluffy, gradually adding sugar. Blend in egg and molasses. Stir in flour mixture until well blended.
Shape dough into 1 ½ inch balls, roll in granulated sugar. Place 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten with fingers; sprinkle more sugar on top.

Bake 8 – 10 minutes.