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Saturday, November 23, 2013


Cooking and writing are creative pursuits. I often have food in my books because I believe sharing food is romantic and appetites for love and food are often connected. And I simply like to write about food. I've been cooking for 30 years. Here are a couple of my "secrets" I'd like to share with you and a couple of "food" snippets from some of my books.
     1.     Use an egg slicer to slice mushrooms. 
    2.     Mixing batter for toll house cookies in the Cuisineart, using the metal blade, not the dough blade, produces perfect cookies and saves your arm.

   3.     You don’t really need to brown the meat when you make chili. If you buy very lean meat you can throw it in raw with the tomatoes and stuff and it’ll cook through. Refrigerate it and you can easily skim the fat off the top.

   4.     Melt butter in a microwave. Much less chance of burning it.  

   5.     Make a rouĂ© for gravy. Never have lumps again.

   6.     Pie pastry is lighter and flakier if you use orange juice instead of water.

   7.     Cook a turkey upside down for at least 60% of the cooking time for a juicier breast.
Christmas dinner at Clare Quill's house in Maine. She's Gunther's mother.

A tempting, spiral-cut ham shared a place of honor with a roasted turkey on the long table. Casseroles of spoonbread, green beans almondine, and mac and cheese were lined up, along with a green salad. Platters of chocolate pixies, almond crescents, lemon bars, and molasses cookies graced a sideboard. A punch bowl filled to the brim with warm, spiced wine stood on a cart with other alcoholic beverages and mixers.

The doorbell began to ring and new people seemed to arrive every ten minutes all night long. The crowd varied from young to old as Clare’s friends and neighbors stopped by to sip some Christmas cheer and graze at her buffet.

 Romantic dinner ordered in at Quinn Roberts house.
He nodded. The buzzer rang. The food had arrived. She poured the wine while Quinn answered the door. Hunger gnawed at her stomach. Camping out at her sister’s apartment, sleeping on the couch, and helping with her kids, meals had been slapdash at best. A steady diet of chicken nuggets, scrambled eggs, and fast-food hamburgers made her queasy. She survived on as little food as possible to keep her stomach from objecting. She craved real food, grown-up food, a civilized meal.

Quinn raised a large bag as he came through the archway into the kitchen. Susanna’s mouth watered. He unwrapped the food—Coquilles Saint Jacques, wild rice, and haricot verts. Napoleons for dessert. She tucked into her food, chewing slowly, closing her eyes to savor every bite.

“You look like you haven’t eaten in years.” He popped a scallop into his mouth.

“I haven’t eaten grown-up food in a long time. Bunking in with Annie and her kids. We ate kid food all the time. If I never see another chicken nugget…”

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Thursday, November 21, 2013


Welcome, today I'm honoring the wisdom of John F. Kennedy, a beloved president, cut down before his time


  • Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.
  • Democracy and defense are not substitutes for one another. Either alone will fail.
  • Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.
  • I would rather be accused of breaking precedents than breaking promises.
  • If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.
  • Let us never negotiate out of fear but let us never fear to negotiate.
  • Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain.
  • Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.
  • So, let us not be blind to our differences - but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved.
  • The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly.
  • The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence.
  • The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
  • The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, 'In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this afternoon!
  • The stories of past courage can define that ingredient-they can teach, they can offer hope, they can provide inspiration. But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul.
  • The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.
  • There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.
  • Democracy and defense are not substitutes for one another. Either alone will fail.
We miss you President Kennedy, and the contributions you could have continued to make had you not been stuck down.

Do you remember? Where were you when you got  the news. Please feel free to leave a comment. Thank you for coming.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Welcome! I'm writing this week to the word prompt "loose". Here's a short bit from my WIP, prequel to the Hollywood Hearts series called: 


Coach gathered all the players together.
“Mr. Oswald is going to be here during practice for the next few weeks.”
“Who’s Mr. Oswald?” One of the rookies piped up.
“He’s the owner of your team, asshole.” A ripple of laughter went through the crowd.
“What for, Coach?”
“He’s makin’ cuts to the squad at the end of next month. So be on your toes. And for Crissakes, be on time! Let’s go.” He gestured and the men broke into teams and went back to running plays. 
“You’ve got a visitor,” Harley said, pointing to the stands.
Mark looked over to see Penny sitting in the third row. He waved to her and she waved back. Mark’s arm muscles were loose, he threw pass after pass that hit their marks. Coach actually smiled for a second before his natural scowl returned. Penny is bringing me luck. His good mood continued until he hit the showers. Darvin cornered Mark.
“I’d better make the cut, Davis or you’ll be playing from a wheelchair.”
“Is that a threat?”
“Sure as hell ain’t a birthday card.”
“Hey, if it’s you or me, may the best man win.”
“And that’s me. Bad enough you stole that chick from me. Uptight little bitch.”
Mark pushed Sweetwater up against the wall. “Watch the way you talk about her.”
“Yeah?” An evil grin spread across Darvin’s face. “Got the hots for the little slut?”
“None of your business. This is about football, Sweetwater. So leave it there.”
“This is about you and me, Davis. You start it and I’ll finish it.”