The Giant's Causeway is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Northern Ireland, which ranks it alongside the Redwood forest in California and Mt. Everest. Rod and I had the privilege to visit this magical place this summer during our travels around the British Isles. If you've never heard of it, you're not alone. I had only heard of it indirectly through the telling of an old Irish folktale about a couple of giants.
Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread cookies - the best cookie ever? I finally tried the recipe for myself and the verdict is...well, no. First of all, you have to understand that I am not a big fan of salt. Potato chips, pretzels, salted crisps...I can do without them. So, these would be better without the salt. Also, the chocolate chunks. Not necessary. Now the shortbread, with or without the sugar crust? That's a pretty darn good cookie. That's got my vote. And since I've been on the lookout for a decent shortbread cookie, it's a win for me.
In honor of the upcoming ROYAL WEDDING...
2 ounces grated Parmesan or Gruyere
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy cream
3 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese
I have been invited by my friend and former co-worker to travel with her to China where her daughter and son-in-law are teaching in Shanghai. It's been rather short notice, relatively, but we have secured the necessary Visa and other travel documents and are on our way until the New Year. So, I am ending out the year on a high note. Can't wait to see what next year brings! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!
These bite-size cookies are crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside, and taste like brownies with just a hint of peppermint flavor. It might be just a little too easy to pop in your mouth - over and over again.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups bittersweet or semisweet chocolate pieces
1 Tablespoon shortening
1/2 cup crushed candy canes (about 6)
It's time again for some Christmas cooking and I've located a few new recipes I'd like to try. I'm starting with a variation on a shortbread cookie. The light, buttery dough has cashews incorporated into it, as does the caramel filling. This cookie would be good for any occasion, but I'm betting they'll be a hit with Santa. Also at an upcoming Christmas party I'll be attending next week, if they last that long.
My goal this year was to attend at least one workshop or conference or webinar each month. I managed to attend nine. It was a flurry of travel and frenzy at times and I'd rather not repeat this experiment. Still, I learned a lot, met lots of other writers, and found inspiration. Plus, I have the opportunity to submit to many agents and editors, which was one of my main objectives.
I am continuing my New Year's goal of attending different regional conferences with a 3-day event in Charlotte, North Carolina. It's the first in what will be a busy 2nd half of the year. There were a few specific sessions listed on the schedule that attracted my attention, besides kinda liking the area a lot and wanting to visit Charlotte. Also offered was an optional intensive session, and it looked like Gary Schmidt was one of the choices. His session, "Your Narrator, Your POV and You" sounded exactly like it applied to what I was currently working on with my YA Historical Fiction. It wasn't a hard decision. I would attend the RedHot Carolinas conference.
How many critique groups are too many? I belong to three - at least I did until February when I told my picture book critique group that I planned to take a break to concentrate on a couple of projects of the non-picture book variety. But I miss seeing them on a regular basis, so I invited them up for our 2nd annual gathering for food, chit-chat, and of course shop talk.
They arrived with food, enthusiasm, and updates from the latest conference. We'd communicated back and forth on our private Facebook page about possible webinars or brainstorming exercises we might use to fill the day, but we kept it casual with no specific plans.
I am a writer of Children's and Young Adult books. I received my MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, and am an active member of SCBWI. I also have my MLS in Library Science with an emphasis on children and happily worked as a Children's Librarian for nearly 20 years. One of my favorite activities was reading books aloud to kids, especially to school-aged kids. Like the kids, I enjoy having stories read to me, so I listen to many of my books on audio and serve on audio judging committees.
Another favorite activity is creating fun snacks for library programs, friends, and family. I do that a lot and continually search for more ideas.
I have a very large Russian Blue mix cat named Bosley from the shelter, and a rescue dog named Prince Albert. He's a Cavapoo, which means he's part Cavalier King Charles and part poodle, and adorable. I am married and live in Dayton, Ohio with my husband Rod.
You can find more detailed information about me by clicking the link below: