First of all, Happy Halloween! And Happy Clearance Candy Day tomorrow!
Expect the blog to be quieter in November. I’ll be extremely busy, so posts, comments, social media, and emails will be a lower priority. So, what do I have planned exactly? For starters…
– World Fantasy Con in D.C.
– Poem-A-Day Challenge
– Novella Challenge on Codex. I’m aiming for 25-30,000 words, so it’s like a mini NaNoWriMo. I have never written to this word length before, so this will indeed be a challenge.
… and other stuff, too, that I can’t talk about yet but will need to complete on a tight deadline. Somewhere in there I need to eat and sleep and tend to the family, too. *twitch twitch*Read More
The name of the recipe is somewhat misleading. These don’t actually include pumpkin. Instead, they use dry pumpkin pudding mix!
This important ingredient vexed me. I found this recipe for pumpkin streusel pudding cookies at Chef-in-Training two years ago and wanted to do my own remix as snickerdoodles last year. The pudding mix is a seasonal ingredient. Foolish me, I started looking for it at Walmart in September, which is when I really want autumnal food even though it’s still 110-degrees here. No luck. I looked at every grocery store around. Still no luck.
Finally, the first week of November, I happened to be in Walmart. Lo and behold, they had the pudding mix! I bought several and resisted the temptation to cackle and dash through the store.
Therefore, you see, the timing of this post is so you can be on the prowl, too. Grab’em while you can!
Pudding mix is awesome in baked goods. It makes the end result soft, moist, and tender, and it stays like that for days. The pumpkin pudding here tastes like real pumpkin, but it has a lot more endurance. (If you want a real pumpkin snickerdoodle recipe, I posted one last year!)
This recipe makes a lot, too. I ended up with about 50 cookies using my teaspoon scoop.
This whole publication thing is crazy, man. I had to go into it realistic about the amount of media exposure my book would get. It’s necessary for sanity’s sake. I was gobsmacked that The Clockwork Dagger was featured in Entertainment Weekly, NPR.com, and USA Today.
Now here’s a whole new level of mind-boggling: a review in the New York Times. It’s in the print edition published this past Sunday, too. Just… whoa.
Another cool thing has been brought to my attention by friends all over the country: The Clockwork Dagger is being sold in airport bookstores. It’s prominently featured on a small kiosk toward the top, and often as part of a “Buy 2 Get 3rd Book Free” deal. Don’t take my word on that–look for a deal sticker on the books!
So far, I know of it in these cities (I hope I haven’t forgotten one):
If you see the book in an airport, please let me know! I love to see pics on Twitter or Facebook, or email me. I have yet to see it myself but I’ll certainly be on the look-out when I head to World Fantasy next week.Read More
“It all ends in one of two ways: either someone gets eaten or something blows up.” ~Jim Henson on how Muppet scenes end
When I visited home for the week of the 4th of July, I wanted to make something special for my 90-year-old grandma. Like me, her favorite dessert in the world is bread pudding. Therefore, I set out to make her the best possible bread pudding.
Complication: her diet is pretty restrictive these days. She can’t eat most fruits. Nor does she need super-sweet toppings that will mess with her blood sugar.
I found a recipe at Will Cook For Smiles that fulfilled a lot of my needs. It produced a small batch. It included pumpkin puree, but in a small amount that I figured could be omitted without destroying the recipe. I could switch in almond milk for my own taste-testing comfort.
I also loved that the base recipe used King’s Hawaiian Rolls, which are pretty much the only type of store-bought bread I will still eat. It’s awesome. However, because I was going to be in my hometown, that presented another option. Central California has a large Portuguese community, and there’s an amazing Portuguese bakery less than a mile from my parents’ house. Their sweet bread is one of the most divine things on the planet.
I took my trusty kitchen scale to California so I could measure exactly 12 ounces of sweet bread, the equivalent of a pack of Hawaiian rolls. That ended up being about 2/3 of a loaf.
I prepared the bread pudding, tucked it in the fridge, then baked it after lunch. It cooked in exactly 45 minutes. We let it cool awhile before we dug in. I thought it was just about perfect with a drizzle of maple syrup over the top. It was surprisingly light and spongy–not heavy at all like some bread puddings.
However, the most important thing was my grandma’s reaction. She declared this to be the best bread pudding she had ever had, and she’s tried quite a few bread puddings in her day. Grandma was thrilled to have this as a dessert and breakfast for a few days, and said it was even better cold straight from the fridge.
I declare this recipe a win.