Sunday, July 28, 2013

Taryn's Snippit Sundays #excerpt Far more than a figment of his imaginination~ CASTAWAY HEARTS



       When he looked back the image before him remained and his body responded to the nearly bare-skinned specter, so pale in the night. Dawson stared in silence, her body dancing, gyrating beneath the pale moon. The unwelcome tightening of his breeches made him well aware that this ghost was far more than a figment of his imagination. Her lengthy dark tresses trailed behind her, making him think of a mermaid’s tail. But her thin cotton nightgown revealed no signs of transformation as it clung to her shapely thighs. As she waded further into the water, a sharp gust of wind caught the top of her gown, billowing the wide neckline over her flesh. The moonlight caught her profile for a moment. The dainty nose and pouty lips seemed suddenly familiar, but they slipped into the shadows as his eyes fell to the rise and fall of her breasts again.
       That’s when it hit him.
       Catherine!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Way to a Man's Heart~ Aunt Mary Lee's Yeast #Rolls #goodeats #recipes

 The Way to a Man's ♥~
Aunt Mary Lee's Yeast Rolls
This recipe comes from the kitchen of one my my great aunts. Though no longer with us, I think of her every time I make these. Finding the way to a man's heart is often through his stomach and a hearty buttery rolls can often do the trip. This is a recipe that does take time and is done in "parts."
 
Part 1: Mix together in cup and let set-
1 package yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup water
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Part 2: Bring to boil and set aside to mix with dry ingredients
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup water
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Part 3: Mix these ingredients-
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Part 4:
  1. Mix boiled water & butter with dry ingredients
  2. Add 1/2 cup COLD water
  3. Add yeast water mixture
  4. Mix well
  5. Add 1 egg at end 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Once all ingredients are mixed, COVER (I usually use a warm damp kitchen towel that I've wetted and wrung out)
Let sit for 1 HOUR (it should double in size)
Place on floured surface and knead
Shape into sizes you like- be that folded/rounded rolls or, like me, I tend to make the cloverleaf pattern (cut well kneaded dough into even amounts of 3 small balls each and portion them out into lightly buttered/oiled muffin tins)
Cover again and let sit for 1-2 additional hours (I set mine inside the oven on the racks- though not with the oven on)
When ready to prepare
Set rolls aside (or take them out of oven if that's where the dough has been resting)
Preheat oven to 425ΒΊ
Brush tops with melted butter
Bake for up to 30 minutes or so.

(It usually only takes about 12 minutes for my oven, so when attempting these the first time, you might want to bake in 10 minute increments until golden brown and done)

The longer they sit, the lighter and airier they should be. :)

Enjoy!
(especially good with beef stew or pot roast)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Taryn's Snippit Sundays~ A mermaid? CASTAWAY HEARTS #excerpt


A riotous slosh sounded in an alcove to his left and captured his attention. Inch by inch, he guided Gypsy closer to the rocky cliff, afraid of what he might find there. He thought perhaps a fish or some other sea creature had washed ashore, unable to make its way back out to sea.
As he stole closer, he made out the form, but it was not a fish or any other animal he had ever seen wash up on the beach before.
Wrapped in wispy white fabric that rippled in the wind, a ghostly female figure began to solidify in his sight. Dawson pulled Gypsy to a standstill. It reminded him of mermaid stories he had heard as a child, but this was no mermaid. This was an apparition, floating along on the breeze.
The fabric she wore was so thin he could make out the supple curves of her breasts, his eyes traveling down over her full hips, and the long slender legs that carried her to the water’s edge.
Dawson rubbed his eyes with his fists. Surely, the moonlight had deceived him.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Way to a Man's Heart~ Pineapple Surprise #Dessert #recipes #goodeats

The Way To a Man's♥
Pineapple Surprise Dessert

Ingredients-
1 Jell-O Plain Cheesecake Mix (though you could probably try using the premade Philadelphia Cheesecake)
1 8 oz Box Cream Cheese
1 small can of Crushed Pineapple, drained
1/2 cup of Pecans, crushed/chipped
Pecan halves

Directions-
NOTE: You will not need the crushed graham crackers. You can set them aside to use for a different pie at a later date.

  1. Mix together cheesecake mix by directions with softened cream cheese until well blended
  2. Mix in drained pineapple and pecan chips
  3. Top with a few nice pieces of pecan  halves.
  4. Cover and Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving so it will set.
 

I have not attempted using the premade Philadelphia Cheesecake mix yet, but figure it simply would cut down the ingredients list to
Philly Cheesecake mix
Crushed Pineapple, drained
Pecan chips
Mix and refrigerate.

If anyone tries it, please let me know if it still turns out with a thick fluffy texture. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

#Writerly Wednesday~ A Royal Birth: Where This Writer's #Dreams Began #inspiration #writing #Life

It started a long time ago...I know I say I was probably 10 or 11 when I knew I wanted to be a writer, but it might have begun a bit earlier than that...Playing in our basement as a kid during summer vacation, chicken-pecking on this old Royal Typewriter, pretending I worked for a newspaper, writing late-breaking news from the neighborhood.

A while back I wrote a blog about this very typewriter, having asked my mom about it and her telling me she thought it had been tossed out during clean-up week, but when I was up this past month to visit, we were getting ready for the yard sale and lo and behold, there it was, on my dad's side of the basement.
It's absolutely filthy and the keys jam and there's no ribbon, just lots of cobwebs, caked on dust and grim of the last couple decades of being buried in my parents' basement, but it is the most beautiful thing I've seen in a long time! Well, as far as my writing life is concerned. My mom said my dad was just going to part it out and sell the keys on Ebay because that's about all he could make off it these days cause people make jewelry out of the keys now. Bah, Humbug I say!

I know my eyes had to have lit up like a kid's on Christmas morning when I saw it, cause my mom took one glance at me and knew I wanted it, so she said she'd talk to my dad. She understands the significance of it to me. This old heavy, filthy grey dinosaur is where I "cut my writing teeth" so to speak. I didn't write much of anything on it really, but there was something joyous about the click-clackety sound of those keys and the way the letters struck the page. It left an impression on me, to say the least and revved my imagination and my desire to become a writer.
I have no intentions of using it to write with, but for me it's more the sentimental value of having it in my possession, something I can someday have a "spotlight" on when I have my own "office" space for writing. It will be the centerpiece of my writerly showcase~ And it's my great hope that it will also be a wonderful writing totem for me to act as inanimate inspiration... a new muse from which to draw my writing strength and drive from. It will be even better when I get the old gal cleaned up and looking pretty.

Happy Hump Day Sweets!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesdays with Taryn #writerly #doldrums #Life #NudgeMe #InspireMe

My brain keeps nudging me back toward my novels, though I'm just not "there" yet. Mercury in Retrograde makes me leery of starting anything at this point or adding anything "new"- It goes direct on the 20th, but I've just been in this hollow place about my writing for so long that I'm not even taking a chance on Mercury screwing me up more.

I don't want to sit here and whine and complain about the self-doubt and worries I have about my writing, but I do want to get back to where I should be...where my writing makes me happy and inspired and as of late, I'm just not feeling it. Perhaps I need a gentle nudge...or a good swift kick in the ass...

Though published, I feel I'm floundering, sort of somewhere out there drifting alone in this huge sea of other writers, who are also treading these waters, hoping for success or fame...I tend to lean toward the end of the spectrum that I'd be happy to make a decent living at my writing, even if I never achieve much more than a small portion of notoriety for my work. As long as readers are enjoying what I have to offer, that would make me one happy gal.

Of course, that being said, I again have to reiterate that I need a good swift kick in the tush and a reminder that my books will never get polished and finished and out there if I don't do something about them. I need to remember that the course of my writing journey is on my shoulders and at my finger tips- it is up to me the distance I travel and how far I will go.

New mantra-

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Taryn's Snippit Sundays~ CASTAWAY HEARTS~ #excerpt Don't dwell on this waif...

Twice orphaned, Catherine Barrett arrives in Virginia a stranger to her closest kin and secretly engaged to the one man her family would disapprove of—her seafaring grandfather’s apprentice. Add to her troubles, the rich and intriguing older brother of her secret betrothed, Dawson Randolph, a plantation owner who is as heartless as he is handsome. Heartbroken when her intended sets sail for his maiden voyage, Catherine finds it difficult to adjust to her new life, hoping to befriend the one man who is, undoubtedly, the match her grandparents wish for her. Dawson’s distaste for her secret engagement to his brother makes it clear he has no designs for marriage to anyone. Especially her.

Ten years since the tragic loss of his young wife and infant son, Dawson Randolph is convinced love and marriage is a fool’s game and resents being pardon to his brother’s hidden engagement. Damned by his instant attraction and his own growing desire, Dawson vows to befriend her against his better judgment. Determined to bring her happiness in a time of fear and uncertainty, Dawson puts aside his animosity to become her confidant, only to realize Catherine holds the key to his heart. When tragedy strikes at sea, Catherine’s guilt pushes Dawson to the fringes of her life as madness consumes her.

Can his love save her before she drowns in her own grief? Or is he doomed to love her from a distance, always in the shadow of her love for his dead brother?

****
Dawson gave the horse a good prod with his heels, and she took off. The wind whipped through his hair and the moonlight illuminated his way through the lush forest across the road from his home, down the embankment to the edge of the beach. Even in the dark, guided by the pale moonlight, his horse knew the way. This was not their first midnight ride.

As they reached the clearing, Dawson gave another prod. Gypsy opened up and flew across the sand. She sensed her master’s troubled heart and in turn mirrored his desire for freedom and wild abandon. Dawson let her run, her thunderous hooves muffled by the gritty sand beneath.

The horse galloped across the sand for a good quarter mile before Dawson gave her a nudge and pulled back on the reins to slow her to a halt. He stared out at the sea, the moon, the stars, and found he felt small, petty, and irritated still.

Aggravation crept into his heart as he looked out into the bay. Nathaniel knew what Dawson went through in his youth and yet his foolish little brother still wanted to take a bride.

Dawson threw a glance over his shoulder to the cliff-side home of Captain and Mrs. Barrett. The building housed the one idea he never imagined he could want.

Catherine.

Don’t dwell on this waif. She’s not yours to want after or worry about.

His brother was another story. Nathaniel had a great mind for sailing, but he had always been bohemian, never content to stay still for long.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Way to a Man's Heart~ Taryn's #Chili #recipes #goodeats

The Way to a Man's ♥
Taryn's Chili

Ingredients-
1 pound ground beef
medium onion, diced
1 (46 oz) bottle of Tomato Juice
8 oz elbow macaroni
1 box Carroll Shelby's Chili Kit (minus the masa flour)
2 cans medium Chili Beans
1 can Dark Red Kidney Beans, water drained from can
Shredded Cheddar (mild or sharp, depending on your preference)
1-2 cups water

Also good to have on hand-
Saltines
Peanut Butter
Bread

Directions-

  1. Brown Ground beef in skillet with onions, drain any grease.
  2. Mix together tomato juice, all C.S. chili seasonings except for the masa flour, macaroni, and beans in a dutch oven or large stew pot.
  3. Add browned ground beef and onion, stir together well.
  4. Add just enough water not to overflow the pan and place lid on top, tilted slightly.
  5. Simmer for about an hour- hour and a half, stirring often so that ingredients don't stick to bottom of the pan.
  6. Serve with crackers, topped with shredded cheese if you so desire or add a peanut butter sandwich on the side or however you like it.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Taryn's Snippit Sundays~ CASTAWAY HEARTS~ #excerpt He forgot how a woman deep in love looked...

Twice orphaned, Catherine Barrett arrives in Virginia a stranger to her closest kin and secretly engaged to the one man her family would disapprove of—her seafaring grandfather’s apprentice. Add to her troubles, the rich and intriguing older brother of her secret betrothed, Dawson Randolph, a plantation owner who is as heartless as he is handsome. Heartbroken when her intended sets sail for his maiden voyage, Catherine finds it difficult to adjust to her new life, hoping to befriend the one man who is, undoubtedly, the match her grandparents wish for her. Dawson’s distaste for her secret engagement to his brother makes it clear he has no designs for marriage to anyone. Especially her.

Ten years since the tragic loss of his young wife and infant son, Dawson Randolph is convinced love and marriage is a fool’s game and resents being pardon to his brother’s hidden engagement. Damned by his instant attraction and his own growing desire, Dawson vows to befriend her against his better judgment. Determined to bring her happiness in a time of fear and uncertainty, Dawson puts aside his animosity to become her confidant, only to realize Catherine holds the key to his heart. When tragedy strikes at sea, Catherine’s guilt pushes Dawson to the fringes of her life as madness consumes her.

Can his love save her before she drowns in her own grief? Or is he doomed to love her from a distance, always in the shadow of her love for his dead brother?

****

Dawson couldn’t sleep. Silence hung thick over the large plantation, but a storm raged within him.

He hadn’t meant to snap at Catherine or even tell her what he thought of marriage at all.

In her eyes, he saw the earnest plea when she asked about Nathaniel, so open and raw with emotion and need. It made him flinch. He forgot how a woman deep in love looked, how innocent and hopeful and desperate.

He would explain his actions to Captain Barrett upon their next encounter, for he had no excuse for his behavior. To run off without thanks for the fine dinner and company had been bad form on his part.

Dawson’s life had been solitary for so long, though he hated to admit it. Empty most the time, the plantation haunted him with its excruciating stillness, other than the few servants who tended to the upkeep of the house, the laundry and his meals.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Way to a Man's Heart- Lemon Drop Cookies #recipe #goodeats

The Way to a Man's ♥-
Lemon Drop Cookies

This is one my husband's favorite recipes, especially to fix at the holidays as part of our traditional treat buckets for family and friends and they're super easy to make. They are a very soft chewy cookie. In fact, though we use lemon cake mix, you could most certainly substitute a different cake flavor and come up with your own unique cookie, which I've thought about doing with chocolate cake or strawberry.

Preheat oven to 350ΒΊ

Ingredients-
Lemon Cake Mix
1 Egg
1- 8 oz Cool Whip
Powdered Sugar

Directions-
  1. With a mixer, blend together the cake mix, egg and whipped topping. It will have a thick fluffy and sticky consistency.
  2. Using large Tablespoons, scoop the mixture into balls just slightly smaller than or around the size of a golf ball and drop them into a bowl of powdered sugar and coat them enough to handle and gentle roll them into a better ball, placing them on a cookie sheet a couple inches apart.
  3. Taking a flat bottom glass, dust the bottom with powdered sugar and lightly press cookies out, leaving them about 1/2 inch thick. Bake 8-10 minutes, keeping a close eye on them as they can brown quickly. They will also spread out a little more as they bake. They should be lightly brown around the edges.
  4. Let cool a few minutes before removing from cookie sheet with spatula.