Posts made in April, 2016

Bready or Not: Homemade Tortilla Chips

Posted by on Apr 20, 2016 in Blog, Bready or Not, gluten-free, healthier, side dish | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Homemade Tortilla Chips

When you make tacos, do you ever use up all of the tortillas? I sure don’t. There always end up being half a pack wallowing in the fridge. They come in handy for quick-fix quesadillas, but here’s another quick-fix for those leftovers: homemade tortilla chips!

Bready or Not: Homemade Tortilla Chips

I think corn tortillas are the best way to go here, but feel free to try this with flour. I just think they’d get too hard. I like corn because there’s more chewiness. Also, this can totally be gluten-free, if you need that kinda thing.

Bready or Not: Homemade Tortilla Chips

Choose how you wish to equip your chips. I went with ranch mix. If you use a packet, you won’t need that much out of it. You could likewise use taco seasoning, sea salt and pepper, cayenne, whatever. Heck, make this dessert with cinnamon and sugar and dip up some ice cream!

Bready or Not: Homemade Tortilla Chips

The technique is simple. Slice up your tortillas. A pizza cutter makes this easy. Brush oil on both sides of the wedges. Season. Bake a short time.

Do keep a close eye on the oven so you don’t overbake these! That would be a tragedy.

The batch shown here, I baked for 15 minutes. The resulting chips were crisp yet still somewhat chewy and fresh. Find your sweet spot for the texture you want.

Bready or Not: Homemade Tortilla Chips

Modified from DIY Ranch Tortilla Chips at Make the Best of Everything. Originally posted at the Holy Taco Church.

Bready or Not: Homemade Tortilla Chips

Bready or Not: Homemade Tortilla Chips

Use leftover corn tortillas to make fresh chips in under 30 minutes! Make them savory with ranch dressing mix or ground sea salt and pepper, or go for dessert chips with cinnamon and sugar.

  • corn tortillas
  • oil (olive oil, avocado oil, canola, etc)
  • ranch dressing mix or other seasoning (taco mix, Italian, etc)

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Prep a large baking sheet with silicone mats or parchment paper. You can likely only fit 5 or 6 tortilla's worth of chips on a sheet.

Use a pizza cutter to slice your chips to desired size; they will shrink some as they bake. Brush a small amount of oil onto both sides of the wedges. Season them as much as you want; it's probably not necessary to do both sides. Use your fingers to smooth out any clumps.

Bake chips for 12 minutes then monitor them closely for desired crispness. Stay close to the oven--these are thin, remember, so they can quickly overcook!

Eat promptly or store chips in a sealed container.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Homemade Tortilla Chips

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Release of The World Weavers: A Desert Rising Novel by Kelley Grant

Posted by on Apr 19, 2016 in Blog, others books | Comments Off on Release of The World Weavers: A Desert Rising Novel by Kelley Grant

I’m happy to spread the word that one of my fellow Harper Voyager Impulse buddies is releasing her third book today! Congratulations, Kelley!

World Weavers follows the events of Desert Rising and The Obsidian Temple. Grab the whole trilogy and read’em all in a row!

World Weavers

It has been a year since Sulis Hasifel fled to the desert, narrowly escaping death at the hands of a vengeful god. The time of the final battle, the final confrontation with the deities of her world, is nearing. Lured by the call of their long-trapped powers, the deities will descend upon the Obsidian Temple, where the Chosen await.

But the war between gods and humans has enveloped the entire land. Sulis’s twin, Kadar, joins forces with the nomadic warrior tribes of the desert. Little by little, the desert armies draw the deities away from their stronghold in the north, towards their doom.

In the face of a battle that will reshape mankind’s destiny and the face of the earth itself, old friendships will be tested and new alliances forged. In this spellbinding denouement to Desert Rising and The Obsidian Temple, Kelley Grant brings her epic trilogy to a thunderous and powerful conclusion.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

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Sunday Quote is amused

Posted by on Apr 17, 2016 in Blog, Quote | Comments Off on Sunday Quote is amused

“The first book is the book you have to write to get back at your parents.”
~ Shirley Jackson

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Bready or Not Guest: Stacey Berg with Homemade Beer

Posted by on Apr 15, 2016 in alcohol, Blog, Bready or Not, guest recipe | Comments Off on Bready or Not Guest: Stacey Berg with Homemade Beer

I’m happy to welcome author Stacey Berg to Bready or Not! Her novel Dissension was released by Harper Voyager Impulse in March. She’s here today to share a beer recipe that directly connects to her book.

Fermentate for the Future

My novel Dissension is set in a world where the Church exploits genetic technology to lead the remnants of humanity as they struggle for survival in the last inhabited city. The population is beginning to recover, and although life still isn’t easy, people make do and even flourish.  And while their food remains quite simple, they’re human, so they do have beer. It’s known in the book as “fermentate.” I enjoy home-brewing, so naturally when Beth invited me to do a Bready or Not guest post, the first thing I thought of was a beer recipe. After all, beer is liquid bread!

Here’s my recipe for “Future Fermentate” (an India Pale Ale, because they keep well in the heat.)

Equipment you’ll need:Beer bottle

A big pot

Two 6 gallon buckets (food grade, please!) with a hole in the lids..

a rubber stopper that fits in the hole, with a hole drilled in the stopper

airlock

siphon with an attachable bottling cane

thermometer

bottle capper

sanitizer

 

You can get fancy with a hydrometer to check your specific gravity, but I never bother. Eventually you’ll need some bottles and caps too. Fortunately those are easy to come by—just drink some beer.

 

Your local home brewing store will be happy to put a kit together for you, and they’re easy to find online too. A decent one will set you back $50-$100, but it will last forever.

 

Ingredients :

If you tell your home brewing store you’re making an IPA they’ll know what to give you.

 

7 lb light malt extract

2 lbs two-row pale malt

1/2 lb cara-pils malt

1/2 lb medium crystal malt

(Get these crushed together and put in a steeping bag at the shop)

 

1-1/2 cup brown sugar

1 package Burton water salts (optional)

 

1 oz Bullion or Target hops

1 oz Northern Brewer or Wye Challenger hops

1 oz Kent Golding hops, divided in half

 

Ale yeast (I like the liquid kind best)

 

Brewing Day: the process is pretty straightforward but takes a couple of hours. It goes better if you drink some beer while you’re doing it.

  1. Heat 1 gallon of water until steaming (about 155-170 F). Put in the bag of crushed grains and steep 20 min off heat.
  1. While your grains are steeping, sanitize your bucket and other equipment according to the instructions on the iodophor.
  1. Rinse the steeped grain bag with another 1 gallon of water, remove the bag from the liquid, add 1 c. brown sugar and the water salts if you’re using them, and bring the liquid to a boil.
  1. Turn off the heat and add the malt extract. Stir until all the extract is dissolved in the water, then bring back to a boil for 10 minutes.Making beer_sm
  1. Add 1 oz Bullion or Target hops, and boil 40 minutes.
  1. Add 1 oz Northern Brewer or Wye Challenger hops and boil 10 more minutes.
  1. Turn off heat and add 1/2 oz Kent Golding hops.
  1. Let the liquid (this is called “wort” at this stage) cool until it’s under 100 F (hotter will kill the yeast). You can set it in an icebath in your sink to make this step faster.
  1. Pour the wort into the sanitized plastic bucket and add cold tap water to make a total volume of 5 gallons.
  1. Add the yeast and give a good swirl to mix it in.
  1. Attach the sanitized lid with the stopper in the hole and insert the sanitized airlock into the stopper. Fill the airlock halfway (I use vodka but water is fine).
  1. Put the bucket somewhere it can sit out of the way for a week, ideally at not-too-warm room temp. Spare-room bathtubs work great. You should see the airlock start to bubble by 12-24 hours as the yeast goes to work and the beer starts fermenting.
  1. The bubbling should stop in less than a week. You have a choice here: either go straight to bottling, or preferably, use a sanitized siphon to “rack” the beer into a second sanitized 5 gallon container. Leave the gunky stuff in the bottom of the first bucket. Add 1/2 oz Kent Golding hops into the second container (if you aren’t using a seconday container, throw these hops in after step 10 instead).(If you didn’t read the recipe ahead and it’s too late, don’t worry. Drink some beer). You might or might not see more bubbling in the airlock for a few days. You can leave the beer in the second container for a few weeks.

 

To bottle your beer:

  1. Sanitize the siphon and two cases of bottles.
  2. Dissolve 1/2 cup brown sugar into a cup of boiling water.
  3. Siphon the beer into a sanitized 5 gallon container
  4. Add the dissolved brown sugar and stir well.
  5. Connect the sanitized bottling cane to the siphon and start bottling. Leave an inch or two of headspace in each bottle.
  6. Cap the bottles.
  7. Let the beer age for at least a week at room temp (3-4 weeks is better).
  8. Refrigerate, and enjoy!

 

 

dissension

 

For four hundred years, the Church has led the remnants of humanity as they struggle for survival in the last inhabited city. Echo Hunter 367 is exactly what the Church created her to be: loyal, obedient, lethal. A clone who shouldn’t care about anything but her duty. Who shouldn’t be able to.

When rebellious citizens challenge the Church’s authority, it is Echo’s duty to hunt them down before civil war can tumble the city back into the dark. But Echo hides a deadly secret: doubt. And when Echo’s mission leads her to Lia, a rebel leader who has a secret of her own, Echo is forced to face that doubt. For Lia holds the key to the city’s survival, and Echo must choose between the woman she loves and the purpose she was born to fulfill.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Harper Collins


 

Stacey Berg

About Stacey:

Stacey Berg is a medical researcher who writes speculative fiction. Her work as a physician-scientist provides the inspiration for many of her stories. She lives with her wife in Houston and is a member of the Writers’ League of Texas. When she’s not writing, she practices kung fu and runs half marathons. She is represented by Mary C. Moore of Kimberley Cameron & Associates. You can visit her at www.staceyberg.com.

 

 

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Bready or Not: Lemon-Date Bars

Posted by on Apr 13, 2016 in Blog, Bready or Not, lemon | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Lemon-Date Bars

As I have mentioned before, my husband loves lemony desserts. These lemon-date bars have it all going on. They are shortbread plus savory-sweet plus lemon custard.

Bready or Not: Lemon-Date Bars

This isn’t a quick fix recipe. There are a lot of steps, but each is fairly straightforward.

Bready or Not: Lemon-Date Bars

The end result is an extraordinary kind of lemon bar that looks like you put a lot of effort into it. Because you did.

Bready or Not: Lemon-Date Bars

If you love lemon desserts, make these!

Bready or Not: Lemon-Date Bars

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living.

Bready or Not: Lemon-Date Bars

Bready or Not: Lemon-Date Bars

These lemon-date bars layer shortbread, savory-sweetness, and lemon custard for an extraordinary dessert. There are a lot of steps, so read through them all before jumping in! This isn’t a quick fix recipe. Modified from Martha Stewart Living, February 2015.

  • Dates
  • 8 ounces medjool dates, pitted and choppd
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Crust
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Filling
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon finely-grated lemon zest
  • plus 3/4 cup fresh juice (from 4 to 5 medium lemons)

Filling: In a heatproof bowl, soak dates in boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid. Purée dates in a food processor with enough of soaking liquid (about 1/2 cup) to make a spreadable paste; this can also be done with an immersion blender, but be cautious in case it spits. (You should have about 1 1/4 cups of date paste.) Let mixture completely cool in fridge.

Crust: Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the long sides, and use nonstick spray or butter to coat the interior.

In a bowl, whisk together flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt. Work in butter with your fingertips or a fork until it's combined and mixture holds together when pinched. Press crust evenly into bottom of prepared pan. Freeze 15 minutes so it will set. Bake the crust until light golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

While the crust is baking, whisk together the granulated sugar, flour, and salt. Whisk in eggs one at a time, followed by the lemon zest and juice.

Spread the cooled date paste evenly over baked crust; an uneven spatula is handy for this. Bake at 350-degrees for 4 minutes. Reduce heat to 325-degrees and pour lemon filling over date layer. Bake about 10 minutes and rotate pan in oven, then cook for another 10 minutes. The top will be evenly set when it is done.

Let cool on a wire rack. Store in fridge. Lift out the bars by the foil or parchment to cut them. Right before serving, sprinkle confectioners' sugar all over top (it'll absorb in a short time, but you can always add more).

OM NOM NOM!

Bready or Not: Lemon-Date Bars

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