Spring means long walks in the park, smelling those newly-bloomed hyacinths… and pulling out the grill! One of my favorite springtime meals is a simple plate of grilled vegetables. It doesn’t matter if you use a grill pan or a hinged basket or simply place the veggies directly on the grill’s grate. The key is in slicing the vegetables to the same thickness and size so they cook evenly… and don’t over cook. You want a little scorching for flavor, but you also want to keep some of that fresh crispness.
This recipe is delicious, and so easy! Just choose your favorite veggies, season well with oil and spices, and toss them on a hot grill. What are you waiting for?
4 Portabella mushrooms, stems removed
1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1 sweet onion, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch slices
2 red peppers, cut into quarters, seeds removed
2 zucchinis, sliced length-wise into 1/2 inch slices
1/4 cup olive oil
Spice mix (recipe below), to taste
1.Wash vegetables and pat dry.
2.Slice/cut into uniform pieces. (Mushrooms can be grilled whole.)
3.Brush with oil and season on all sides.
4.Place on hot grill. Grill to desired doneness, about 3-5 minutes per side. (Whole, large Portabellas will take a little longer.)
Place all spices in a glass jar, cover, and shake to combine. Keeps several weeks in an airtight container. Try swapping out the spices listed for those you like—cumin, smoked paprika, lemon pepper, cayenne, etc—or spice blends such as Italian Seasoning or Seasoned Salt. With spices, the sky is the limit!
Hello, there! I have two announcements for you, both of which make me VERY happy! Read on:
First Announcement: A
A Secret Made in Paradise…
Her child is alive! For ten years Amber has believed her child was lost to her forever. Then an unexpected inheritance leads the lovely doctor back home… to the man she’s always loved. There she discovers her beloved Jon is a bachelor father, and the little girl he is raising is their daughter!
Jon has vowed to protect and cherish his child, yet he opens their lives to let Amber in. But this dedicated father is no longer the young lover Amber remembers. Can she uncover the tender man she has never forgotten, and convince him to take a chance on their newly formed family, and their own true love?
This is a sweet romance novel and you an find it in these fine stores:
My romantic comedy/contemporary romance THE MERRY-GO-ROUND is on sale for under $1! Save $3! This book is only available in the Kindle Store. Readers have called this book "engaging" and a "must-read." The Wilmington News Journal calls it "funny and realistic." If you haven't read it yet, now's your chance to enjoy this cute story AND save some money.
Yesterday, I fiddled with my
applesauce cake recipe and came up with this delicious confection. I hope you’ll try
it. If you don’t have coconut oil on hand, just double the amount of vegetable
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1. Pre-heat oven to 350º.
Spray a 13” x 9” baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Stir together the flour,
baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom.
3. In a separate bowl, stir
together the sugar, applesauce, water, coconut oil, vegetable oil, molasses, and eggs. Mix until well combined.
4. Mix the dry ingredients
with the wet ingredients, beating only until flour mixture is incorporated. Do
not over mix.
5. Add the raisins and the
nuts and stir to combine. Scrape batter into cake pan, smooth into an even
layer, and bake for 55-65 minutes. At 55 minutes, poke center of cake with a
wooden toothpick. Keep checking every 5 min. When toothpick comes out clean,
the cake is done. Let cool.
I topped this cake with a
simple cream cheese icing. I had a 4 ounce package of cream cheese that I brought
to room temperature. I combined the cream cheese with a heaping cup of powdered
sugar and added a splash of milk to make the mixture a spreadable consistency.
This cake is perfect with a cup of hot tea or coffee.
All my life, I have heard the phrase
"luck of the Irish." On this St. Patrick's Day, I decided to do a
little research. Here's what I discovered:
Ireland has a tragic past,
yet the Irish people--through determination, hard work, and a dash of luck--have
continued to prevail through every struggle.
Luckactually originated in
the Middle Dutch language; the wordluc means
happiness and good fortune.
phrase "luck of the Irish" was first used in the United States
during the California Gold Rush to describe Irish immigrants who found their
"pot of gold" while mining. Some people say this was a derogatory
term to insinuate that the Irish needed luck rather than skill to find their
Irish have a great sense of humor and an awesome pride in their country. They
are loved by nations all over the world.
is the color of choice for St. Patrick's Day because Ireland is known as the Emerald
Isle. Hmmm... wait a second. I also read that wearing green makes one invisible
to leprechauns, and everyone knows those pesky fairy creatures pinch everyone
they can see!
the phrase comes from--and whatever you choose to wear today--go out and have
Few people would use a word like 'beautiful' to describe these
easy homemade biscuits, but that's just the way I roll. (Pun intended!) You
see, I have an on-going love affair with food so it's easy for me to see any type of bread as beautiful (as well as delicious)!
Today, I'm sharing
my Buttermilk Biscuit recipe. Mmmmmmm!
2 cups all purpose
4 teaspoons baking
1 teaspoon salt
butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 cup cold
Preheat oven to
450 degrees F. (Preheating the oven is important.)
Measure out the
flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Work in the butter and shortening
until you've got a crumb-like consistency. (I use my fingers, and I work fast
so the butter and shortening won't melt.) Add the buttermilk and stir just
until the dry ingredients are moistened. Dough will be sticky.
Turn dough out
onto a floured surface and fold it a few times. Pat into an oval that's about
an inch thick. I use a drinking glass to cut the biscuits into rounds. Gently
reform the 'scraps' and cut into rounds. Place the dough rounds on a cookie
sheet. If you like soft-sided biscuits, let the rounds touch. If you like
crisper sides, give each biscuit some room on the sheet. Bake for 15-20 until
they're tall and golden brown.
Brownhas a similar recipe,
but suggests using a little less salt. Even with all those cookbooks and cooking
shows under his belt, what doesheknow?
Here are some
other delicious biscuit recipes I've found on the web:
And for those who
feel biscuit-challenged, here's a neat video from theJoy of Bakingwebsite.
(Please note, I never add sugar to my biscuits.)
If you're looking
for fast and easy, theBetty
Crockerwebsite has a recipe
that very well-known all purpose baking mix. I've added chopped herbs and a 1/2
cups of cheddar cheese to this recipe to make dumplings for chicken stew.
Everyone knows a dumpling is simply a steamed biscuit!
slathered with butter, honey, or jam - or steamed on top of a pot of thick,
luscious chicken stew - there's nothing quite as delectable as a fluffy
If you enjoyed my
Buttermilk Biscuit recipe, or any of the recipes I've linked to, please use the
buttons below to share this post. Thanks, and happy eating!
When Sean Hudson arrives to claim his new daughter, he discovers the adoption hinges on the impossible. Unless he finds a wife immediately, the tiny orphan will be snatched away from him forever. But before Sean can abandon hope, a beautiful stranger proposes a surprising solution—marriage.
Sean swears the love in his heart is only for his soon-to-be daughter. And that is perfect for Nicki Willis, whose restless spirit yearns to have a family for just a while. But the tenderness of Sean’s touch soothes Nicki’s fears as well as little Sona’s. Now Nicki aches to become a family forever… and she refuses to believe she can’t make this dream come true.
Cathy Whitley’s two best
friends, Sara and Heather, may have found the men of their dreams… and that’s
all well and good for them. But that’s not going to happen to Cathy. She
allowed love to catch her off-guard once and it drained her dry, emotionally and
financially. She’ll never let it happen again. Ever.
Brad Henderson has been chasing Cathy for years. He’s settled for their
on-again-off-again, “friends with bennies” relationship for far longer than he
expected. Attempting to swim through the rip currents surrounding her heart has
left him swimming in circles.
Then Brad inherits a business worth millions from billionaire Harold Hopewell. Hopewell had traveled the
world and was touched by the stories of the people he met. In death, Hopewell is giving back,
leaving an unusual will filled with life-altering bequests. Brad can’t believe
his stroke of luck. Now Cathy will surely see him in a new light. Right?
One way or the other, it’s time to draw a line in the sand…
I am just finishing up the
third book of my Ocean City Boardwalk Series, WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER. If you are
reading the series, you know that Cathy Whitley is the owner of The Sunshine Café.
She loves to cook, and I have been adding recipes to the end of each
story in the series. Here is one of the recipes I’ll be using in the book.
If you'd like a sneak peek at the book's cover, slide down to the bottom of the post. Look for WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER on February 21st!
Roasted Eggplant Spread
1 large eggplant, cut into
2 cups onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Sea salt + ground pepper
Crusty Bread or Pita for
1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
2. Arrange eggplant rounds on
a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with a pinch of salt and
pepper. Roast for 10 minutes, turning once or twice until eggplant is softened
and golden brown. Remove from pan and allow to cool.
3. While eggplant is
roasting, heat a large skillet over medium low heat and add 2-3 tablespoons of
olive oil. Add onion and stir often until caramelized. This will take about 20
minutes. Don’t rush it. The caramelizing process brings out the sweetness of
the onions. Add minced garlic to the onions during the last 8 minutes of
cooking so it doesn’t burn. Set aside onion/garlic mixture.
4. Peel the eggplant and
discard the skin. (I use a spoon to scrap the eggplant away from the skin.) Add
the flesh of the eggplant to the bowl of your food processor. Add onion-garlic
mixture, holding back 1 tablespoon. Process until ingredients are pulverized
and of a spreading consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place
spread in a serving bowl. Just before serving, drizzle with a tablespoon of
olive oil and place the remaining onion-garlic mixture on top. Decorate with a
sprig of basil or parsley (optional).
5. Serve immediately with
pita, toasted baguette, or assorted veggies. Best when eaten fresh, but will
keep in the fridge covered for a couple days.
Here's a sneak peek at the cover of WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER! What do you think? This is book 3 of my Ocean City Boardwalk Series; however, it's also part of The Inheritance Series. Very cool, huh?