Posts made in March, 2015

Blurby Goodness

Posted by on Mar 20, 2015 in Blog, others books | 3 comments

I’m a writer, but foremost I’m a reader. That means I go into total fangirl mode for certain authors and series. I heard a lot of buzz a few years ago at the release of Michael J. Martinez’s first book The Daedalus Incident. It sounded like my kind of book: a human settlement on Mars where things so inexplicably weird, and a parallel plot with a colonial British Empire with space-faring, alchemy-powered frigates. Um, hello. Science fiction AND historical fantasy in one book? Yes, please!
pusheen-shock

I loved the book and raved about it and loved the second one just as much. Meanwhile, I kept up with Michael via Twitter. We were able to meet and chat at World Fantasy in D.C. last November, and he asked if I’d be willing to read the third book to perhaps blurb it.

I loved The Venusian Gambit. It was a nonstop, can’t-stop-reading, oh-good-grief-is-everyone-gonna-die kind of book. I was happy to send along a blurb, and I was genuinely shocked this week to find it’s going to be featured on the book’s cover!

Venusian Gambit

I’m chuffed. No denying it.

You can read Michael’s full cover reveal post over here, and be sure to check out the first book of the trilogy, The Daedalus Incident. Go ahead and blame me when you’re still up and reading at 1am, too. (And hey, Michael is attending Phoenix Comicon at the end of May! Get those books signed.)

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Bready or Not: Baked French Vanilla Mini Donuts

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, donuts | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Baked French Vanilla Mini Donuts

It’s been far too long since we’ve done mini donuts. They’re just so gosh darned cute.

French Vanilla Mini Donuts

I did a similar recipe to this ages ago and the results were meh. I used plain milk and the donuts tasted BLAND. It was like putting delicious glaze on cardboard.

However, when company came and left behind some So Delicious French Vanilla Coconut Creamer, I knew I needed to use it up somehow. I decided to try donuts.

French Vanilla Mini Donuts

I’d never tried coconut creamer before. The stuff was fabulous. The flavor added the mildest touch of coconut and strong vanilla, and it carried through in both the donuts and the glaze.

I think the recipe would also work very well with other French Vanilla-flavored creamers, too. Or other flavored creamers, period. From my experience, the stuff is a great substitute for milk/liquid in all kinds of baked goods.

Donut recipe modified from Bakers Royale; glaze recipe modified from Averie Cooks

French Vanilla Mini Donuts

Bready or Not: Baked French Vanilla Mini Donuts

French Vanilla Mini Donuts

These simple French vanilla donuts bake up in minutes and use flavored creamer in the batter and glaze.

  • Donuts
  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup French Vanilla Coconut Creamer (or other flavored creamer)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted and briefly cooled
  • Glaze
  • 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3+ teaspoons of French Vanilla Coconut Creamer (or water, milk, half & half, etc)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Apply nonstick spray to mini donuts pan(s).

In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Add the creamer, egg and butter and stir until just combined.

To fill the pan, it's easiest to use a pastry bag or a sandwich bag with the corner snipped. Only fill the cavity to half full, which is usually about three circuits of batter.

Bake 4 to 6 minutes or until the top of the donuts spring back when touched. Let cool in pan for about 5 minutes before removing. Makes about 32 donuts. Unglazed, they can be frozen.

To make the glaze:

Combine ingredients and stir. Add more liquid as needed for the right consistency. Dip one side of the donut into the glaze, then immediately add sprinkles, if desired. Let donuts sit out an hour or so, until set.

Once glazed, the donuts keep best for about a day.

OM NOM NOM!

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 4 to 6 minutes

 

French Vanilla Mini Donuts3_sm

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Sunday Quote is at the Tucson Book Festival

Posted by on Mar 15, 2015 in Blog, Quote | Comments Off on Sunday Quote is at the Tucson Book Festival

“People will advise you to write all sorts of sentences. Snappy sentences, lyrical sentences, Hemingway-esque short sentences, long Faulknerian sentences. But there’s really only one kind of sentence that actually works: a sentence that carries the reader forward from the previous sentence. This is harder than it sounds.”

~Charlie Jane Anders

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Tucson Festival of Books this Sunday

Posted by on Mar 13, 2015 in Blog, public speaking | Comments Off on Tucson Festival of Books this Sunday

TFOB

On the Ides of March, you will find me in Tuscon at the Festival of Books. This is an event I have wanted to attend for ages, and now I’ll be there as an author. Huzzah! There were about 130,000 people in attendance at the festival last year, and approximately a gazillion authors. I’m honored to be included.

I have one panel and will sign books afterward.

I Spy a Dead Guy: Spies and Detectives in Paranormal Worlds
Solving mysteries and stealing secrets (or just stealing) adds an extra layer of danger and complication in a paranormal world. Hear about how these authors deal with those problems, or just learn more about the fascinating worlds they’ve created.

Integrated Learning Center Room 150 (Seats 155, Wheelchair accessible)
Sun, Mar 15, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
SciFi/Fantasy/Horror
Signing area: Sales & Signing Area – Integrated Learning Center (following presentation)

Panelists: Beth Cato, Brian Keene, Scott Lynch, Jeffrey Mariotte
Moderator: John Muñoz

Please drop by and say hi! The Clockwork Dagger will be on sale there if you don’t have your own paperback copy handy, or I’ll sign most anything else (napkins, Death Star plans stolen by Bothans, other people’s books, etc).

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Bready or Not: Crock Pot Corned Beef & Vegetables

Posted by on Mar 11, 2015 in beef, Blog, Bready or Not, crock pot, main dish | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Crock Pot Corned Beef & Vegetables

Corned beef in the slow cooker. This is by far the easiest, tastiest way I’ve found to make this dish!

Bready or Not: Crock Pot Corned Beef

It’s become an annual tradition for me to make a St. Patrick’s Day corned beef brisket. I boiled the meat one year, and baked it in the oven the next. It’s turned out delicious both ways (though the quality of the Kroger-branded brisket was lousy with fat) but I found that the crock pot is the best way to go. No watching the pot for boil-overs! Plus, it makes side dish veggies at the same time.

I dislike celery so I replaced the cut stalks with celery flakes, which provides flavor without the icky texture. You’ll want to cut the potatoes into big chunks that are all of like size. It’ll depend on the size of the potato if you need to cut them into halves or quarters. I had pretty big potatoes, so I did quarters. Do get red potatoes, though. They cook all day and get tender, not mushy.

Bready or Not: Crock Pot Corned Beef

Make this along with the Mini Muffin Irish Soda Bread from last week, and your St. Paddy’s Day meal is all set! … Oh, you want dessert? How about these Irish Coffee Blondies from a few years ago?

Don’t forget to wear green on the 17th… unless you want to get pinched…

Modified from TheSkinnyFork.com

Bready or Not: Crock Pot Corned Beef

 

Bready or Not: Crock Pot Corned Beef & Vegetables

Bready or Not: Crock Pot Corned Beef

Make your St. Patrick’s Day dinner convenient and delicious with a slow cooker version of corned beef, potatoes, and vegetables.

  • 3 lb corned beef brisket + seasoning packet
  • 1 Tb celery flakes (or several chopped celery stalks)
  • 1 yellow onion, in wedges
  • 1/2 lb red potatoes, cut into halves or quarters
  • 8 ounces baby carrots
  • 4-6 cups water

Place celery flakes, onion slices, potatoes and carrots into the crock pot. Trim fat from the brisket and place the meat on top of the veggies.

Add 4-6 cups of water to the crock pot until the brisket is almost covered. Sprinkle the brisket's seasoning packet over the top.

Put the lid on and cook on high for 4 1/2 hours, or 8 to 9 hours on low.

Remove the brisket and slice thinly or pull into chunks. Serve with the cooked veggies.

OM NOM NOM!

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 9 hours
  • Total time: 9 hours 15 minutes

 

 

Bready or Not: Crock Pot Corned Beef

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