CHILI CHEESE DOG CHILI

When I gave my guys the choice between chili and a bacon-chicken-avocado salad for dinner, Senior winced and said he didn’t think he could handle a can of “that” heavy chili. I blinked and gave my head a good shake before assuring him my chili was not “that” chili. Not that I don’t have cans of “that” in my pantry, but it’s been ages since “that” and a can opener meant dinner. To make the chili more special, I added Senior’s favorite franks to the pot. He was not disappointed–even said it’s the best chili ever. I believe I’ve heard that before 🙂

4 oz chorizo sausages, casings removed and sliced into 1/2″ thick pieces

1 lb lean ground beef

1/2 medium onion, diced

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder (yes, really)

1 tbsp ketchup

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1-14 oz can diced tomatoes

1 cup water

1-15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

4 beef franks (I used kosher Hebrew brand), sliced thin

sea salt

ground black pepper

4 oz grated mozzarella cheese

4 oz grated pepper jack cheese

1 tsp minced parsley

1) To large skillet over medium-high heat add chorizo sausage slices and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring often; add ground beef and cook 5-6 minutes until browned

2) Reduce heat to medium, add onion, and cook 5 minutes, stirring often

3) Reduce heat to low, stir in oregano, cocoa powder, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes, water, and kidney beans; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally

4) Stir in beef franks and cook 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper to taste; stir in mozzarella cheese and remove from heat

5) Ladle soup into bowls, top with pepper jack cheese and parsley; and there you have it!

Servings: 4

SZECHUAN SHRIMP NOODLE BOWL

Good soup! Granted, it’s on the spicy side and shouldn’t be served without plenty of ice water, but my guys said it was worth every grab of the glass. Of course, you can reduce the amount of Szechuan sauce–or eliminate it altogether for a more gentle meal. Enjoy!

12 cups chicken broth

1/3 cup Szechuan Spicy Stir-Fry sauce (I used House of Tsang brand)

1/4 cup soy sauce

2/3 cups shelled edamame (I used frozen)

2 cups shredded green cabbage

1 cup snow peas (or sugar snap peas), cut into 1/2″ pieces

3/4 cup matchstick carrots

1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thin

4 green onions, sliced thin

4 oz rice sticks (rice vermicelli noodles)

1/3 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

1-1/2 lb medium-size raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

1) To large soup pot over medium-high heat, add: chicken broth, Szechuan sauce, and soy sauce; bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium

2) Add edamame, cabbage, snow peas, carrots, red bell pepper, green onions, and rice sticks; cook 5 minutes

3) Add cilantro leaves and shrimp; cook 4-5 minutes until shrimp cooks through; remove from heat and serve in nice big bowls with tall glasses of water (this is sssspicy!)

Servings: 6-8 dinner-sized

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 06/21/12

“Emotional, funny, romantic, and entirely enchanting, DREAMSPELL is the sort of novel that begs a screenplay.” ~ USA Today, Serena Chase

Final Day to download DREAMSPELL, a medieval time travel romance, FREE. Amazon’s “Top Free 100” list! 17,000 downloads! For your copy of this 4.8 star-rated book, click here: Amazon. Please share with your friends.

A TIME TO LIVE. A TIME TO DIE. A TIME TO DREAM.

Sleep disorders specialist Kennedy Plain has been diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor. When her research subject dies after trying to convince her he has achieved dream-induced time travel and her study is shelved, she enlists herself as a subject to complete her research. But when she dreams herself into 14th-century England and falls into the hands of Fulke Wynland, a man history has condemned as a murderer, she must not only stay alive long enough to find a way to return to her own time, but prevent Fulke from murdering his young nephews. And yet, the more time she spends with the medieval warrior, the more difficult it is to believe he is capable of committing the heinous crime for which he has been reviled for 600 years.

Baron Fulke Wynland has been granted guardianship of his brother’s heirs despite suspicions that he seeks to steal their inheritance. When the king sends a mysterious woman to care for the boys, Fulke is surprised by the lady’s hostility toward him–and more surprised to learn she is to be his wife. But when his nephews are abducted, the two must overcome their mutual dislike to discover the boys’ fate. What Fulke never expects is to feel for this woman whose peculiar speech, behavior, and talk of dream travel could see her burned as a witch.

*For those who don’t own a Kindle, Kindle apps are available for download on other e-readers. Click here to download yours: Kindle App

FINAL DAY: DREAMSPELL, A MEDIEVAL TIME TRAVEL ROMANCE FREE

DREAMSPELL remains on Amazon’s “Top Free 100” list! Sending out many thanks to the more than 16,000 readers who downloaded my medieval time travel romance, which will be FREE on Amazon through the end of today. For your copy of this 4.8 star-rated book, click here: Amazon. And please share with your friends.

A TIME TO LIVE. A TIME TO DIE. A TIME TO DREAM.

Sleep disorders specialist Kennedy Plain has been diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor. When her research subject dies after trying to convince her he has achieved dream-induced time travel and her study is shelved, she enlists herself as a subject to complete her research. But when she dreams herself into 14th-century England and falls into the hands of Fulke Wynland, a man history has condemned as a murderer, she must not only stay alive long enough to find a way to return to her own time, but prevent Fulke from murdering his young nephews. And yet, the more time she spends with the medieval warrior, the more difficult it is to believe he is capable of committing the heinous crime for which he has been reviled for 600 years.

Baron Fulke Wynland has been granted guardianship of his brother’s heirs despite suspicions that he seeks to steal their inheritance. When the king sends a mysterious woman to care for the boys, Fulke is surprised by the lady’s hostility toward him–and more surprised to learn she is to be his wife. But when his nephews are abducted, the two must overcome their mutual dislike to discover the boys’ fate. What Fulke never expects is to feel for this woman whose peculiar speech, behavior, and talk of dream travel could see her burned as a witch.

*For those who don’t own a Kindle, Kindle apps are available for download on other e-readers. Click here to download yours: Kindle App

LEMON-COCONUT-PECAN COOKIES

Fabulous cookies. I mean FABULOUS–providing you like lemon, coconut, and pecans. And if you just want to go lemon, simply cut out the coconut and pecans. Junior said these are some of the best cookies I’ve made, which is high praise. Of course, I’m grateful to him for eating his share since it meant fewer for me to sneak onto my waistline.

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 egg

3 tsp fresh lemon juice

1-1/2 tsp lemon zest

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp baking soda

1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup pecans, chopped

1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2) In large bowl, cream butter and sugar with mixer until light and fluffy; beat in vanilla, egg, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; beat in flour until just combined; stir in pecans and coconut flakes

3) Drop cookie dough by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet; bake 9-10 minutes until cookies turn golden; remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet 2-3 minutes; remove to wire rack to finish cooling

4) Grab a glass of milk and enjoy your cookies!

Makes: 3 dozen cookies

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 06/11/12.

A TRADITIONALLY PUBLISHED AUTHOR WADES INTO THE WATERS OF SELF PUBLISHING

I was recently interviewed about traditional versus self publishing. For my take (so far), visit: Infinite Characters.

Reminder: DREAMSPELL, my 4.8 star-rated medieval time travel romance and first foray into self publishing, is FREE today and tomorrow at: Amazon.com

FAUX MANICOTTI STUFFED WITH CHICKEN AND SUN-DRIED TOMATOES

This dish is easy and makes much less of a mess than stuffing narrow manicotti tubes. And then there’s the spinach and, best of all (in my opinion), sun-dried tomatoes. Despite the generous number of servings, Senior and Junior Too (and little old me with my token serving) left only a single manicotti behind. Yum!

1-1/2 cups low-fat cottage cheese

6 oz reduced-fat cream cheese, softened (microwave 1 minute)

1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1-1/2 cups cooked and chopped chicken breast

2 cups chopped fresh spinach (I used baby spinach)

1/4 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes

8 lasagna noodles, cooked al dente, drained, and cut in half horizontally (16 pieces total)

1-1/2 cups spaghetti sauce

3/4 cup Italian 6-blend cheese (or mozzarella)

chopped parsley (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees; lightly oil large casserole dish (I used a 9×9)

2) To large bowl, add cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, salt, and pepper; mix well; stir in chicken, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes

3) Place about 2 tbsp cheese-chicken mixture in center of each half noodle, roll up, and place seam side down in casserole dish; cover dish with aluminum foil and bake 25 minutes

4) Remove foil, pour spaghetti sauce over faux manicotti, and sprinkle with 6-blend cheese; cook additional 7-8 minutes until sauce heats through and cheese melts; if you like parsley (my favorite last minute topping), sprinkle over manicotti; serve with a pretty green spinach salad

Servings: 4-5