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Friday, September 30, 2011

Thursday Recipe - Hawaiian Turkey Loaf

Oops. A day late again. It's been that kind of week. But I have PICTURES! That should make up for being late, right? I made this Tuesday night and it turned out delicious. It's the kind of recipe where you can play fast and loose with the ingredients to make it what you want, so feel free to have fun.

Hawaiian Turkey Loaf

1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
1 c. oatmeal
2/3 c. ketchup or catsup, depending on where you live
1/4 c. BBQ sauce, whatever flavor you like best
2 eggs
1/2 can crushed pineapple
1/4 c. red onion, finely diced
1/2 c. green bell pepper, chopped small
1 apple, cored and chopped

Mix everything together. Your hands work best, but my son insisted on using a spoon. Whatever. Dump it into a greased casserole dish. Top with the other half of the can of pineapple and about a 1/4 c. teriyaki sauce (1 c. soy sauce, 1/3 c. brown sugar, 1/2 t. red pepper flakes - stir until mixed). Bake at 400° for about an hour, until the middle is no longer gooey and the meat is no longer pink. Or if you have a meat thermometer, bake it until the internal temperature is 170°. Serve it with rice and more teriyaki sauce.

Red onion and bell pepper.

Ground turkey, from the clearance bin because I'm a cheapskate. Good stuff, though.

And one apple, ready to chop. This one has been in my fridge for a month, mushy but perfect for cooking.

1 can crushed pineapple...

My sauce collection, just part of it. What? You don't have at least three dozen bottles of assorted sauces in your fridge?

Scroll back up to the knife picture. It's very sharp. My thumb will never be the same again...

Everything in the bowl, ready to mix...

My son making his favorite sauce- teriyaki.

My other son mixing the meatloaf, with a spoon cause he has a thing about getting his hands gooey.

Meatloaf and rice, ready to bake. Yep, make oven rice and bake them together, Easy. Oven rice: 2 c. rice, 4 c. hot water, 1 t. salt, 2 T. butter. Put in a casserole and bake at 400° for 1 hour.

And the finished meatloaf.

Monday, September 26, 2011


FenCon was a great experience. Last year was my first time and I had so much fun I had to go back even though it meant riding airplanes all over the western US to get from Salt Lake to Dallas (That's another blog post all by itself). I wasn't disappointed. The only bad things about the trip were the obnoxious internet policy at the hotel and my time spent in the police state otherwise known as airports. I met wonderful people, old friends and new. I saw fun costumes, mostly steampunk. I ate chocolate and treats and collected bling at the room parties. I didn't even mind having my room next door to several room parties. FenCon is a friendly, fun science fiction/fantasy convention.

I even took pictures. Sort of. I'm really not much of a camera person. I sold books, too. I came home with less than I took, a first for me. I'm still suffering from con-brain syndrome, though, so I'm a bit scattered.

Steampunk! Everyone can have fun.
Steampunk dresses. The one on the left is purple, really. My camera is so off.

Even Stargate was there! Nice Barbies.
A most agreeable witch with a possessed flying monkey on her shoulder. Now if only I can figure out how to rotate pictures...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Missed Monday

Missed again on Monday. I got caught up in doing stuff instead of writing my blog post. Wanna know what I did instead? In no particular order - Made peach cobbler, mopped the kitchen, went to work, vacuumed, watched a couple episodes of Buffy, took the dogs on a walk, went to a family birthday party, thought about moving the mound of stuff in the living that's destined for a thrift store donation bin, called my brother about the van we're selling, talked about Cub Scouts with a neighbor, felt guilty for not running three other errands, avoided the laundry room because I really don't want to tackle cleaning it out, stayed up way too late waiting for my daughter to get home, ran car pools, heated up leftover soup for dinner, rescued the cat from the slug crawling up his back, thought about pulling dandelions out of the yard, decided the yard was too muddy, cleaned the floor of the pantry, did my part of organizing/cleaning the freezer by finishing off a carton of ice cream, checked the bank balance...

Yep. Total excitement. My life is probably just as glamorous as yours. Nobody really wants to read all that. So, I'm asking you, my readers, what do you want to read on my blog? I've got a few author interviews lined up and I can write up book/movie reviews. I could talk about conventions and writing or quilt piecing and crocheting. I could talk about living with autism and teenagers. I could blather about all sorts of stuff. But is that what you would like to read?

Thursdays will continue to be recipe days, although I'd love suggestions on what recipes you'd be interested in.

Thanks in advance for your comments.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday Recipe - Zucchini Cheese Pie

This was our dinner tonight. It was gobbled before I thought to grab my camera. Sorry, I could take a pic of the empty pie tin for you but that would be depressing because it means the pie is gone. It was that tasty. And that easy. And it has lots of variations.

Zucchini Cheese Pie

2 c. diced fresh zucchini
3 eggs
1/3 c. milk
1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese
1/2 c. pancake or biscuit mix, dry
1 t. Italian herb mix
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper

Heat oven to 400°. Mix everything together and dump into a greased pie tin. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean from the middle. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then serve. Sliced fresh tomatoes and bacon are delicious with this pie.

Variations -
1.  2 c. chopped broccoli for the zucchini and 1 c. shredded sharp cheddar for the feta
2.  1 c. shredded mozzarella for the feta and add 1/2 c. diced pepperoni
3.  Use goat cheese and gluten free baking mix (I used Bisquik's version) to make a cow-dairy free, gluten free version
4.  Add up to 1 c. diced mushrooms, peppers, onions, olives, or anything else you'd top a pizza with
5.  Use 1 c. chopped fresh spinach and 1 c. diced zucchini with 1/2 c. shredded Swiss cheese

Use your imagination and have fun with this easy recipe.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Some Days, Life Happens

Ever have one of those days where you start with one item on your to-do list and by 10 pm that item is still on your list because life happened? That was my day today. That one item was to write my blog post.

My kids brought home a nasty bug. Fortunately, it only lasts a day or less. Unfortunately, it's very contagious. I woke up to a house full of sick kids. I felt lousy, too. So I called the schools and excused them, called work and left a message, then went back to bed. At 10:30 I got a call from my boss asking me about the planetarium show I was supposed to do at 10:30. He hadn't checked his urgent box yet and didn't realize I wasn't coming in. Next time, I'll keep calling until I get an answer.

So, since I was sick, I spent the day lounging on the couch, resting up so I could get better. Ha! Had you fooled for a minute, didn't I? I spent the day chasing kids, cooking lunch and dinner, making sure the laundry and chores got done, and working on projects on my computer. I even made it grocery shopping, more because the fridge was empty than because I wanted to go.

Okay, I'm sure you're bored by now. I hate when people post a long, detailed description of their illness and symptoms or the blow-by-blow account of their day. Unless something really funny or unusual happened, like growing frog's legs out of your arm, or having an Erma Bombeck day. I used to read her books in high school. There was something wrong with me. Why else would a teenager in the 80's be so amused by a 50's housewife's account of her day? Oops, I revealed how old I am. I also adore Doris Day movies, when I'm in the right mood.

I also cleaned out half my video collection. Guess how many I'm getting rid of? About twenty, most of them duplicates. Guess how many my kids insisted we keep? At least 100. This dejunking of the house is going very slowly. My kids are pack rats with emotional attachments to broken bits of cheap plastic toys, books missing both covers and half the pages, and dead VHS tapes.

They also keep all their homework papers, from every grade. I should make my 23yo finish those second grade worksheets he never did...

Ha! Blog post is now finished. I can go to bed...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thursday Recipe - Bacon Bread

I should learn to stay out of thrift stores. I found another cookbook–Better Homes & Gardens Homemade Bread Cookbook, copyright 1973. I had a version of this one that disappeared years ago. The recipes were tasty and such a wide variety that I was thrilled to find another copy.

Here's a recipe that caught my eye. It has BACON, and a very short list of ingredients. I'm getting the bacon out and making this bread this weekend. Imagine toast with the bacon cooked right in... *wipe drool off my chin*

Bacon Bread

3 1/2 to 3 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 T dry yeast (or 1 package)
10 slices bacon
1 1/4 c. milk
1 T. sugar
1 t. salt

Combine 1 c. of the flour with the yeast. Set aside. Cook bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels reserving 2 T. of the bacon grease. Finely crumble bacon and set aside. Heat milk, bacon grease, sugar, and salt until warm (115-120°, a very warm bathtub temp), stirring constantly. Add to flour/yeast mixture. Beat for 5 minutes by hand, or 3 with a mixer. Make sure it's a sturdy stand mixture. I've stripped gears on more than one mixer trying to make bread.

Add bacon and enough of the flour to make a soft dough. Mix this in by hand! The dough should be slightly sticky. Knead about 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. The longer you mix it, the chewier the bread will be. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down. This is just what is sounds like. Punch that dough to deflate it, fold in the sides and squish it down into the bowl. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Shape into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan. Cover and let it rise until double, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes, cool on a wire rack. Makes one large loaf.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The best hang out I've found online

BestsellerBound is a message board, discussion forum for authors and readers, and a great community of wonderful people. I joined shortly after it opened and I haven't regretted a second of time I've spent there.

The board is celebrating it's first anniversary this week. Here are a couple of blog posts explaining what it is. Plus, the authors on BsB are giving away free books as part of the party. Visit the blog posts and leave a comment to be entered in the drawing for a free book.

What are you waiting for? Go read the posts, leave a comment for the contest, then visit to join a wonderful community of writers and readers!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thursday Recipe - Chocolate Freezer Cookies

To go with the theme from last week, supposedly easy recipes for lazy school days, here's a variation on freezer cookies that I gave you last week. If you made them, please post some pictures and let me know how they turned out.

Chocolate Freezer Cookies
1 1/4 c. butter
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. cocoa
1/4 t. salt
3 c. flour

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, cocoa, and salt. Beat until very light and fluffy. Add flour. Stir just until mixed. Divide dough in half. Color as desired. Shape one half into a roll 2 inches in diameter and about 7 inches long. Wrap tightly in waxed paper or plastic wrap. Freeze at least 4 hours, or up to one month.

Heat oven to 400°. Cut roll into 1/8 inch slices. Bake on lightly sprayed cookie sheet for 6-8 minutes. Cool one minute. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack. One roll makes 2-3 dozen cookies.

Variations: Add 1/2 c. finely chopped nuts or coconut shreds

Basic Glaze
2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. hot water
1 t. vanilla

Stir all together, mix until smooth. Drizzle over cookies.

Lemon: use lemon juice instead of water. Warm in microwave. Omit vanilla.
Chocolate: Add 1/2 c. melted chocolate chips. If glaze thickens, warm briefly.
Spice: stir in 1 t. cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or any combination.
Any flavoring or extract can also be added.

Frosting (use to frost or make sandwich cookies):
1 c. butter
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
3 - 4 T water
1 t. vanilla

Beat until very creamy and light. Add flavorings as desired. (Chocolate: stir in 1/2 c. cocoa, decrease sugar to 2 c.)