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Check out my science fiction series - The Fall of the Altairan Empire

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Thursday Recipe - Maple Oatmeal Bread

This is an adaptation of a bread machine recipe. I enjoy the bread machine mostly because it makes bread easy. Sort of. My loaves usually come out looking lumpy or caved in or looking like some weird alien creature. They still taste good.

So I adapted this recipe to make a loaf of bread in my regular oven. It's easier to adjust flour and liquid when you're mixing it by hand or in a stand mixer.

The maple flavor come from pancake syrup. I like it, but if you want the traditional taste for this bread, use honey instead. I was out of honey when I tried to make it once so I used pancake syrup and liked it better.

Maple Oatmeal Bread

1 c. warm water
3 T. pancake syrup
2 T. butter
1 t. salt
2 T. powdered milk
2 t. yeast
1 c. oatmeal
2 c. flour (white or 1/2 whole wheat)

Dump everything in a bowl. Mix until it comes together in a soft dough. If it's too dry, add a teaspoon of warm water. If it's too wet, add a 1/4 c. flour.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead five minutes until the dough is elastic and smooth. Place it in a greased bowl, cover with a damp dishtowel, and let rise for about an hour, until it's doubled in size.

Punch down the dough. Knead a few times to smooth it out. Place in a greased loaf pan, cover, and let rise again, about 30-40 minutes.

Bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes, until loaf is golden and sounds hollow when tapped.

Serve warm with plenty of fresh jam.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Another Audio Book Hits the Shelves

Woohoo! Brain Candy is now available in audio!

I found a great narrator for the stories. He's got a lovely drawl that works so well with these stories. Plus, he had fun reading them. I hope you have fun listening!


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Thursday Recipe - Easy Cheesy Eggs

Simple, basic recipe for scrambled eggs, but they are a one pan, one spatula, one cheese slicer recipe.

Easy Cheesy Eggs (1 serving)

1/4 t. butter
1 egg
1 T shredded cheese (or the equivalent small slice)
1/2 t. diced green chilies
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a small frying pan. Crack egg directly into pan. stir with the spatula until as mixed as you like for scrambled eggs. Add cheese and green chilies. Stir and cook until egg is done and cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with salsa or ketchup or hot pepper jelly.
Makes 1 serving.

For four servings - use 1 t. butter, 4 eggs, 1/4 c. cheese, 2 t. green chilies.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Fun New Website

Want to gamify your life? Gain experience for checking items off your to-do list. Set goals and get points for reaching your milestones. Battle evil villains with every task you finish. Collect random crap, I mean gear, and raise pets. Then head over to www.habitca.com and join the fun!

It sounded fun so I joined in. It's actually getting me to do some of those things I've been putting off forever. But the whole system runs on your personal integrity. Want to create stupid tasks just so you can level up faster? Go right ahead. I put "get dressed before noon" and "drink water" on my list. Easy enough to do, but still things I sometimes need motivation to accomplish.

There is some interesting research on gamification of things like school and life. Here's just one example. Short answer is yes, it can work. But a lot of users will drop it once the novelty wears off. Some of the research found that over the long run, gamification actually decreases involvement. People come to expect a reward for doing things that they did before the game without reward. Make the reward too difficult to get or not rewarding enough and people quit.

Check it out if you're interested. For me, it's working for now. When it stops working, I'll find something else.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Thursday Recipe - Salisbury Steak

This is a good dinner recipe - serve it with mashed potatoes and a salad and you've got a full meal. It's hamburger, but not just another burger or spaghetti sauce. It's also fairly easy to throw together and can sit over low heat for a while.

It's one of those old fashioned dishes. Basic comfort food.

Gluten-free options are given in paranthesis.

Salisbury Steak

1 lb hamburger
1 c. croutons, crushed (1 c. quick oatmeal or 1 c. gluten-free bread crumbs or croutons)
1 egg
1 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1/2 t. worcestershire sauce
1 small onion, sliced
1 c. sliced mushrooms, optional
3 c. hot water
1 T. chicken bouillon
1/2 c. cold water
2 T. cornstarch

Mix hamburger, crouton crumbs, egg, salt, pepper, and worcestershire sauce until blended. Shape into 8-10 patties like you would for hamburgers.

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of oil, if needed to keep patties from sticking. Brown patties on both sides. Don't worry about them being cooked all the way through. Remove them from the pan and set aside.

Add onions and mushrooms to the pan. Cook in the meat drippings for 3-5 minutes until the onions are tender. Add the patties back into the pan.

Stir bouillon into hot water then pour over patties. Cover the pan and turn heat to low. Let them simmer for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.

Stir cornstarch and cold water together. Add to the pan. Stir and cook until the gravy thickens.

Serve over mashed potatoes. Makes 6-8 servings.

Monday, July 3, 2017

And I'm Still Cursed...

So I've been working on getting my back list out in audiobooks. Audible was great to work with, until about a year ago. Then they got really slow. And started rejecting finished audio books. And taking forever to get things approved for sale. Then my narrators started having issues with things. And the website didn't send messages even after I hit send repeatedly. Things got lost and overlooked. I'm bashing my virtual head against the brick wall here.

Autumn Visions finally was approved and is out for sale. Dark Dancer is in limbo. Again. Priestess of the Eggstone is rolling along. I hope. Now I'm waiting on final approval for Brain Candy. The narrator did an awesome job. But at this point all I can do is twiddle my thumbs waiting on QC to approve it for sale. Just FYI, but ACX (the production side of Audible) gives me NO control over pricing. Once I approve the audio files, I only get to sit and watch while ACX does their thing.

So I'm waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

Watch for an announcement about the audiobook being up for sale. Sometime. Soon. Ish. I hope.

Don't hold your breath...

Meanwhile, enjoy the lovely cover. And pop over to Smashwords.com for their annual July sale. You can pick up some great free books this month. (And a link to my author page, if you're curious what I've got on there.)