Posts made in August, 2015

Hear Me Speak

Posted by on Aug 21, 2015 in Blog, clockwork crown, clockwork dagger, podcast, public speaking | Comments Off on Hear Me Speak

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If you’re not able to attend my reading at WorldCon today, you can still hear my weird, raspy voice. I’m in the latest episode of the Skiffy and Fanty Show Podcast: The Wonders and Politics of Steampunk w/ Cherie Priest, Beth Cato, and Jaymee Goh.

It’s an interesting discussion. We talk about representation, whitewashing on covers, and some of the political issues around steampunk. There are a LOT of issues. We could have talked for hours on the subject, I’m sure, and as it is, the full broadcast is over an hour!

If you want to read my words instead, I talk about some books I recently read and enjoyed over at the What Writers Read. Particular favorites: Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho and The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard.

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Bready or Not: Biscoff Oreo Blondies (Redux)

Posted by on Aug 19, 2015 in biscoff spread, Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, oreo | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Biscoff Oreo Blondies (Redux)

This week, as I dash off to WorldCon, I share a re-do of a Biscoff Oreo Blondies recipe I first featured on my LiveJournal back in 2013. I modified it from the original Peanut Butter Oreo Blondies at Crepes of Wrath.

Biscoff Oreo Blondies

But this time when I made it, I modified it more. MORE OREOS. MORE CHOCOLATE CHIPS. MORE HAPPINESS.

Biscoff Oreo Blondies

I love Biscoff spread (also known as Speculoos at Trader Joe’s). It’s crack in a jar. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s cookie butter: yes, really, the consistency of a nut butter, but made of cookies.

Biscoff Oreo Blondies

Yeah. This is not health food. It ain’t gluten-free, either.

If it’s paleo, I want to join that tribe.

Biscoff Oreo Blondies

If you don’t like Biscoff (BLASPHEMER! BEGONE!) or can’t find it (though it’s at a lot of Wal-marts, Targets, and World Markets), you can substitute nut butter for this recipe, too. Not the natural type, though. You want it moister.

Oh yeah. I used Double-Stuf Oreos, too. Because those are the best kind.

Biscoff Oreo Blondies

The end result is a luscious, thick, chewy bar that’s like a cookie on steroids. Cookie butter does that to baked goods. It’s magic.

Mix up the add-ins if you want. Use dark chocolate. Use different kinds of Oreos or different cookies all together.

Live dangerously. And scrape clean that Biscoff jar when it’s empty.

Bready or Not: Biscoff Oreo Blondies (Redux)

Biscoff Oreo Blondies

Luscious, chewy bars. The baked-in cookie butter complements the smooth chocolate chips and the crunch of Oreos! An all-time favorite of Bready or Not.

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup Biscoff or Speculoos spread
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups roughly crushed Oreos
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350-degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with aluminum foil or parchment and apply nonstick spray.

Whisk together your flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugars and melted butter. Add cookie butter and mix to combine. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, then the vanilla extract. Gradually add in the flour mixture, mixing until just moistened. The dough will be very thick. Fold in most of the Oreos and chocolate chips; save some to make the top pretty, if you want.

Press the thick dough into the pan as evenly as possible. Press in the remaining Oreos and chips.

Bake for 24-30 minutes, until the blondies are lightly golden and set.

Allow them to cool completely before cutting into bars and serving. These will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, if they last that long.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Biscoff Oreo Blondies

 

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WorldCon/Sasquan: Once again, with feeling…

Posted by on Aug 18, 2015 in Blog, public speaking | Comments Off on WorldCon/Sasquan: Once again, with feeling…

Tomorrow I journey northward to the land of Spokane wherein I will make merry through the weekend. I AM EXCITED. I had the time of my life at WorldCon in San Antonio two years ago, and now I have approximately a gazillion more writer friends AND I have two books out. Also, Spokane just plain looks like a nifty place and it has an incredible food scene downtown. I will also prowl the room parties at night, because I am the adventurous type of eater who is willing to try the Helsinki WorldCon Bid’s reindeer pate. I mean, heck. In San Antonio I drank a poutine martini. I live dangerously at WorldCon.

And yes, I am bringing cookies. Lemon Cornmeal Shortbread, to be exact. If you see me around the con, feel free to stop me and inquire about the cookie stash. I’ll be happy to share, but I imagine I will run out before the con ends. The one guaranteed place to find cookies is my Friday 3pm reading that I’m sharing with Tina Connolly. I’ll be reading excerpts from Clockwork Crown and my next novel Breath of Earth.

Here’s my official con schedule:

Thursday the 20th
Steampunk, Colonialism & Imperialism
11:00 AM to 11:45 AM (45 minutes)
Charles Stross Moderator , Arthur Chu , Leigh Ann Hildebrand , Warren Frey , Beth Cato
CC – Bays 111B

Autographing – Beth Cato
02:00 PM to 02:45 PM (45 minutes)
CC – Hall B

Friday the 21st
The Future of Food
12:00 PM to 12:45 PM (45 minutes)
Beth Cato , Fran Wilde , Lawrence M. Schoen , Scott Edelman , Amy Thomson Moderator
CC – Conference Theater 110

Reading – Beth Cato & Tina Connolly
Aug 21 03:00 PM to 03:30 PM (30 minutes)
CC – 304

The Clockwork Crown by Beth Cato

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Sunday Quote prepares for Spokane

Posted by on Aug 16, 2015 in Blog, Quote | Comments Off on Sunday Quote prepares for Spokane

“Fight your shame.
Throw out your pride and learn all you can from others.
This is the basis of a successful life.”
~ Sen Rikyu poem, quoted in _Tea Life, Tea Mind_ by Soshitsu Sen XV

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Bready or Not: Slow Cooker Balsamic Beef

Posted by on Aug 12, 2015 in beef, Blog, Bready or Not, crock pot, main dish | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Slow Cooker Balsamic Beef

This is my favorite non-taco way to cook up beef in the crock pot. The result is slightly sweet and perfect by itself, on a sandwich, in a salad, in a wrap…! Delicious meat in any form.

Crock Pot Balsamic Shredded Beef

With the way beef prices have shot up, I pretty much have stopped buying ground beef. Roasts are the way to go, and slow cooking is the way to keep the cuts nice and tender.

Crock Pot Balsamic Shredded Beef

This is just an all-around good recipe. It’s very easy to tweak if you want it more or less sweet. The oven is off and my kitchen stays cooler. The one bad thing is that I work from home, and I’m tortured by the scent all day long.

Crock Pot Balsamic Shredded Beef

Modified from Shugary Sweets.

Bready or Not: Slow Cooker Balsamic Beef

Crock Pot Balsamic Shredded Beef

A savory and slightly sweet way to slow-cook as beef roast all day long! Serve by itself, on sandwiches, in salads–it’s delicious no matter how you eat it.

  • 4 to 5 lb beef chuck roast
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 can beef broth, low sodium
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 minced garlic cloves

In the slow cooker, whisk together the ingredients from the beef broth through the end.

Cut the onion into chunks and place in slow cooker. Trim any excess fat from the roast and place the meat atop the onion. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours.

Soon before mealtime, pull the meat out and shred apart. Place back in pot to soak up juice. Set the cooker on WARM until ready to serve.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Crock Pot Balsamic Shredded Beef

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