Posts made in January, 2016

Breath of Earth Cover Reveal

Posted by on Jan 21, 2016 in Blog, breath of earth, call of fire | Comments Off on Breath of Earth Cover Reveal

I started work on Breath of Earth about three years ago. After all that time daydreaming about the book selling, about what the cover might be like… today it finally feels real.

Go to Tor.com and see the full cover reveal post! There are photos of the model from the cover shoot. Check out how things evolved to the final version. Squee!

 

Meanwhile, here’s my January word count on the sequel! I need to start on my words for today.

 

#SFWAPro

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Bready or Not: Biscoff Shortbread Cookies

Posted by on Jan 20, 2016 in biscoff spread, Blog, Bready or Not, cookies | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Biscoff Shortbread Cookies

This is a very meta recipe. Biscoff is a Belgian shortbread cookie you can buy in stores. This recipe uses Biscoff spread to make Biscoff-type shortbread. Whoa.

Biscoff Shortbread

I actually did a from-scratch version of Biscoff cookies a few years ago, too.

These cookies expand a good bit in the oven, so keep that in mind when you put the dough on the baking sheet. The dough isn’t bad to work with once chilled; if need be, you can add a little water to soften it, or more flour to thicken.

Biscoff Shortbread

The end result looks like it’s fragile but they are actually quite crisp while still being chewy.

Being shortbread, these are excellent with tea, coffee, or just about anything. Heck, you could even smear Biscoff between two and make them super-meta-Biscoff-sandwich-cookies. Live dangerously.

Biscoff Shortbread

Modified from The Café Sucre Farine.

Bready or Not: Biscoff Shortbread Cookies

Biscoff Shortbread

These firm shortbread cookies use Biscoff spread for some extra flavor oomph.

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup Creamy Biscoff Spread
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugars until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the Biscoff spread, salt and vanilla extract. Slowly blend in the flour until just combined.

Divide the dough in half and shape into two discs; wrap each in plastic wrap and stash in the fridge until chilled, at least a few hours or up to a few days.

Preheat the oven at 350-degrees. Prepare baking sheets by using parchment paper or use seasoned stoneware.

Set one of the discs on a lightly floured surface and roll out to about 1/4-inch thickness or just under. Cut cookies into desired shapes and arrange on baking sheet; note that they will spread a good bit, even chilled.

Bake for 14-16 minutes, until they are firm and golden. Let them sit on baking sheet for 10 minutes then move to wire rack to completely cool. Store cookies in sealed container at room temperature. Best eaten within 2 days.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Biscoff Shortbread

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Sunday Quote is 36 years old

Posted by on Jan 17, 2016 in Blog, Quote | Comments Off on Sunday Quote is 36 years old

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.”
~ J.K. Rowling

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50k words in 15 Days

Posted by on Jan 16, 2016 in Blog, call of fire | Comments Off on 50k words in 15 Days

I passed 50,000 words yesterday on January 15th. Fifteen days to write 50k on Call of Fire. I think that’s a record for me. o_0

I also managed to strain my eyes in the process, which I really don’t recommend. The pain has eased off somewhat today but is still very much there, so I am making myself take it easier. More breaks away from the computer. Just pushing to my minimum word count and no more… which is a real challenge because this section has escalating action and is easy to write.

However, as I work on this blog post and see white spots as I type, it acts as a reminder that I should get away from the computer, period. Going blind is a bad thing. Pain is a bad thing.

Time to go offline and rest. More words tomorrow.

Sleepy Kitten

#SFWAPro

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Bready or Not: Honey Blondies

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, chocolate | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Honey Blondies

It’s my birthday (Whoo hoo! Thirty-six!) so let’s bake up something that’s likewise blonde and nutty.

Honey Blondies

These blondies aren’t purely sweet things because they are cut by bittersweet chocolate. The pecans add a crunch that’s a great contrast to the smoothness.

Honey Blondies

Actually, the word “smooth” is the best way to describe these bars. The batter is very thick and reminds me of caramel candy. It bakes up in a smooth layer. It cuts smoothly, even with the pecans in there. The blondies almost melt in your mouth, too.

Honey Blondies

Plan ahead to make these because the batter needs to cool in stages because you 1) don’t want to scramble the eggs, and 2) you don’t want the chocolate chips to melt when you stir them in (not like this would be a total disaster, but still).

Honey Blondies

I’m not sure how long these stay fresh. My husband took them to work and they were GONE in hours. I imagine the bars would freeze well between layers of wax paper, but I haven’t tried that yet.

Honey Blondies

Oh darn. I guess I should make them again.

Greatly modified from Martha Stewart Living.

Bready or Not: Honey Blondies

Honey Blondies

These blondies are sweet and smooth with lovely contrast from pecans and bittersweet chocolate. Modified from a recipe in Martha Stewart Living.

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate

Melt butter and honey in a large saucepan. Stir in the brown sugar. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for about 20 minutes.

Since the contents are still likely a bit warm, add some of the flour and stir in to cool things off. Stir in the eggs and vanilla extract followed by the rest of the flour and the salt. Mix until just combined, and let it continue to cool about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Prepare a 9x13 pan by lining with foil and spraying with Pam or buttering the surface well.

Mix the pecan pieces and chocolate into the batter, then spread into the pan.

Bake for about 30 minutes; the edges will just be turning brown. Let the blondies cool completely on a wire rack. Use the foil to lift them out to cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.

OM NOM NOM!

Honey Blondies

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