Sunday Quote lives in hell (aka summertime in Arizona)

Posted by on Jul 24, 2016 in Blog, Quote | 0 comments

“A good editor tries to figure out what the writer was trying to do, and helps him or her do it better, rather than trying to change the book into something else entirely. A good editor doesn’t insist, or make changes without permission. Ultimately a writer lives or dies by his words, and he must always have the last word if his work is to retain its integrity.”
~ George R.R. Martin

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Breath of Earth: Real San Francisco Film Footage, Before and After 1906 Quake

Posted by on Jul 23, 2016 in Blog, breath of earth | 0 comments

This post kicks off a series on the research and worldbuilding for my new book Breath of Earth. There is no avoiding the fact that a major earthquake happens in the book, but the cause is quite different. That said, I still intensively researched the actual earthquake. These are some of the interesting historical tidbits I discovered along the way.

Countdown to Breath of Earth‘s release: ONE MONTH FROM TODAY.

As a native Californian, I grew up with earthquakes. I have seen major devastation firsthand. That’s why I have been drawn to reading about the 1906 quake since I was a kid. I felt the 1989 Bay Area earthquake from some 200 miles away. It made the news footage of that distant destruction all the more eerie and personal.

That, however, was on a small scale compared to what happened in 1906. Below are two films in stark contrast. One is a somewhat posed scene following a mile of Market Street in 1905. The other is footage right after the earthquake in April 1906. These are images I kept in mind as I tried to recapture the horror of what happened 110 years ago.

 

 

 

 

Breath of Earth

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Bonus Bready or Not: No-Bake Maple Macadamia Nut Energy Bars (Gluten Free)

Posted by on Jul 22, 2016 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, gluten-free, healthier, maple | 0 comments

Maple Macadamia Nut Energy Bars. I have my new favorite quick-fix breakfast, and I created the whole thing because of some lovely inspiration from Nuts.com.

They are holding a food blog contest that challenged me to use several of the ingredients they sell through their site. I combined almond flour and macadamia nuts… and also used other items like medjool dates, shredded coconut, and cashews.

Bready or Not: No-Bake Maple Macadamia Nut Energy Bars (Gluten Free)

When I think of summer snacks, I think 1) no oven on to heat up my house, 2) quick to make amid writing deadlines and my son’s therapies, and 3) DELICIOUS. To me, maple is delicious, and that kind of awesomeness should not be confined to a single season.

Bready or Not: No-Bake Maple Macadamia Nut Energy Bars (Gluten Free)

These bars blend up in a few minutes in a food processor or high-powered blender. Mash them in a lined loaf pan, let them chill, slice, eat. Try not to eat them all in one sitting. After all, these are packed with vitamins and healthy stuff–and no gluten!

Bready or Not: No-Bake Maple Macadamia Nut Energy Bars (Gluten Free)

The primary flavors are maple and macadamia infused with white chocolate, with the coconut mild in the background. These are dense in texture. I have made many variations of energy bars/truffles using dates like this, but I have never added almond flour before. Wow. It doesn’t add a strong almond flavor, but it does fill in those nooks and crannies. Everything melds together.

Bready or Not: No-Bake Maple Macadamia Nut Energy Bars (Gluten Free)

I don’t understand why more people aren’t creating recipes with maple, macadamia nuts, and white chocolate. If someone needs to start the trend, well, I volunteer as tribute.

Thanks again to Nuts.com for asking me to participate in this contest! Recipe prompts, like story prompts, provide a fantastic creative nudge.

Bready or Not: No-Bake Maple Macadamia Nut Energy Bars (Gluten Free)

Some other energy bars/truffles featured on Bready or Not:
Blueberry Muffin Breakfast Truffles
Chocolate-Coffee Truffles
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Breakfast Bites
Maple Energy Bars/Bites

Bonus Bready or Not: No-Bake Maple Macadamia Nut Energy Bars (Gluten Free)

Bready or Not: No-Bake Maple Macadamia Nut Energy Bars (Gluten Free)

A Bready or Not Original! These gluten-free no-bake energy bars mix up in minutes in a food processor or high-powered blender! Maple, macadamia, and white chocolate meld in a glorious way for the perfect breakfast or midday pick-me-up snack. Double the recipe for thicker, heartier bars. Thanks to Nuts.com for inspiring this recipe!

  • 1/3 cup almond flour (or meal)
  • 6 medjool dates, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 Tablespoons shredded coconut
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon maple flavor
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla or white chocolate chips

Prepare a loaf pan by lining the long sides with either waxed paper or parchment paper, with the paper sticking up on either side like a sling.

In a food processor, add the almond flour, chopped dates, coconut, maple syrup, cashews, and most of the macadamia nuts. Set aside the reserved macadamias and white chocolate.

Run the food processor until everything inside is ground down. The mix should stick together if you pinch it between your fingers; if it's not cohesive, drizzle in a tiny amount of water and pulse again.

Add the remaining macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips. Pulse a few times to chop them up a little and distribute them.

Pour into the loaf pan. Use a spatula to compress everything. Chill in fridge for at least an hour.

Use the sling to lift up the macadamia mix. Slice into bars. Store in a sealed container in fridge.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: No-Bake Maple Macadamia Nut Energy Bars (Gluten Free)

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Bready or Not: Double Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies

Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies | 0 comments

It’s been like a month since I posted a hardcore chocolate recipe on here. Chocoholics have NEEDS. Therefore, here are Double Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies.

Bready or Not: Double Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies

Choice adjectives: Dense. Chocolaty. Rich. Luscious. Pillowy.

Bready or Not: Double Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies

Seriously, these are thick in the best kind of way. Pair these cookies with a tall glass of milk or some hot coffee.

Cream cheese is magical when it’s mixed into cake batter or cookie dough. Some past examples include Chocolate Cream Cheese Pound cake and Philly Snickerdoodles.

Bready or Not: Double Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies

Modified from How Sweet Eats.

Bready or Not: Double Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies

Bready or Not: Double Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies

These cookies are a must for hardcore chocoholics! Cream cheese makes the dough rich and dense. Plan ahead to make these, as they need to chill for a few hours or several days. Using a tablespoon scoop, this makes about 35 cookies.

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 cube) butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 8 ounces (1 block) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk and/or semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add in the cream cheese until combined; it's okay if there are still small clumps. Follow with egg and vanilla extract.

Slowly mix in the dry ingredients. As soon as everything is incorporated, stir in the chocolate chips.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for a few hours or several days.

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Using a tablespoon scoop, dole dough onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let sit on sheet a few minutes to set before transitioning to a rack to completely cool.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Double Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies

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