Posts made in July, 2019

Interview with F&SF about my poem “My Ghost Will Know the Way”

Posted by on Jul 18, 2019 in anthology:poem, Blog, public speaking | 0 comments

My poem “My Ghost Will Know the Way” is in the July/August issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine. (Allow me to pause and happily flail about that for the hundredth time.) I was recently interviewed about the inspiration behind the poem. Read that here!

This is a very personal poem for me (as the interview explains), and the positive reactions to it have added much-needed brightness to my life this month.

#SFWAPro

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Bready or Not Original: Citrus Scones

Posted by on Jul 17, 2019 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, quick bread | 0 comments

These citrus scones offer a bright way to start the day in portable and delicious form!

Bready or Not Original: Citrus Scones

I managed to score a container of candied citrus peel–the stuff usually used in fruitcakes–on an after-Christmas clearance. “Oh, what to do with us?” I wondered.

Bready or Not Original: Citrus Scones

Finally, it hit me: scones! An original scone recipe that my husband could enjoy before work.

Bready or Not Original: Citrus Scones

Of course, I had to add a glaze. Orange juice and confectioners’ sugar made that easy.

Bready or Not Original: Citrus Scones

Plus, I found that the scones freeze like a charm, even while glazed! They thaw quickly at room temperature, too.

Bready or Not Original: Citrus Scones

Unlike other scone recipes I’ve made, this one produces soft, fluffy results. Not dry or crumbly at all. I credit the sour cream for that. It sure works wonders in cakes and bars, too.

 

Bready or Not Original: Citrus Scones

Use candied orange peel--the stuff used in fruitcakes--to make a deliciously fresh breakfast treat! This recipe makes eight scones, and can be cut by hand or formed in a scone pan. The finished scones can be frozen after glazing for later enjoyment.
Course: Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine: British
Keyword: citrus, quick bread
Author: Beth Cato

Ingredients

Scones:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon milk or half & half
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup candied orange peel
  • 1 egg lightly beaten

Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3 teaspoons orange juice [or water]
  • sprinkle of additional orange peel optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven at 400-degrees.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  • In a different bowl, stir together 1/2 cup milk and sour cream. Stir into dry ingredients until it just holds together, adding more milk if needed. Fold in the candied citrus peel.
  • If using a scone pan, pack the dough into the triangular holes. If shaping by hand, transfer the cohesive dough to a large piece of parchment paper on a large cookie sheet. Shape into a large, even circle. Slice into eight wedges and separate them slightly.
  • Whisk egg and remaining tablespoon of milk and brush them atop each scone.
  • Bake until scones are golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes. Leave on pan to cool for 20 minutes.
  • To glaze, mix together confectioners' sugar and orange juice to create a thick, dribbly consistency. Spoon atop scones. Immediately sprinkle on more candied orange peel and gently press into tops of scones.
  • Scones are best eaten within the day, but they can be frozen even while glazed. Freeze on waxed paper then transfer to a freezer bag or plastic container. They thaw quickly at room temperature.
  • OM NOM NOM!
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Book Blog: Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1) by Elizabeth Lim

Posted by on Jul 12, 2019 in Blog, book blog | 0 comments

I review everything I read and post reviews on Goodreads and LibraryThing. That’s not enough. Good books are meant to be shared. Therefore, I’m spotlighting some of my favorite reads here on my site.

Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1) by Elizabeth Lim
out now; Indiebound, B&N, and Amazon

Spin the Dawn

 

I received an early galley through NetGalley.

Spin the Dawn takes a myriad of genre tropes and spins them in an incredible way, resulting in a book that’s surprising, fast to read, and immense fun. The back cover copy pitches it as Mulan meets Project Runway, and that’s certainly an apt description of the book’s first third; after that, it becomes a fresh take on a fairy tale romantic adventure.

Maia is the Mulan prototype, but instead of dressing as a boy to become a soldier, she disguises herself to compete to be the emperor’s tailor. This competition is still a kind of war, though. Not only are her peers sabotaging her efforts, but the emperor’s fiance is uncooperative and sets up impossible challenges–and then there’s the fact that if Maia is outed as a girl, she’ll be killed for lying to the emperor. When she finds out the scissors gifted to her by her father are magical, she doesn’t want to use them; to my delight, she truly wanted to succeed by her own merits. I loved Maia for that.

Of course, there’s a romance, too, and it’s an incredibly well done one. I enjoyed how it developed and yikes, did the end deliver some major surprises.

I added this book to my list to consider for the Norton Award for next year. It’s that good. I hope its release is heralded by lots of positive attention, and I’ll certainly look for other books in the series.

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Bready or Not: Double Chocolate-Candied Ginger Cookies

Posted by on Jul 10, 2019 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies | 0 comments

Let’s go hardcore chocolaty with these Double Chocolate-Candied Ginger Cookies.

Bready or Not: Double Chocolate-Candied Ginger Cookies

Candied ginger with bittersweet chocolate, you say? Why, yes! The combination is extraordinary. These are grown-up cookies, with heady chocolate and ginger mingling in a great way.

Bready or Not: Double Chocolate-Candied Ginger Cookies

I was surprised at how much the cookies dough hardened during its chill time. I still recommend chilling the dough, though, because aging the flour mix does age the dough and deepen flavors.

Bready or Not: Double Chocolate-Candied Ginger Cookies

Just soften the dough at room temperature for a bit, if needed. My cookies didn’t spread much, either. They ended up as fat. luscious little chocolate bombs!

Bready or Not: Double Chocolate-Candied Ginger Cookies

These are cookies to bludgeon off the lingering foulness of a bad day. Indulge!

Modified from Saveur Magazine.

 

Bready or Not: Double Chocolate-Candied Ginger Cookies

The sweet spiciness of candied ginger wonderfully complements bittersweet chocolate in the rich cookies! Shaped teaspoon-sized, recipe makes about 33 cookies.
Course: Dessert
Keyword: chocolate, cookies
Author: Beth Cato

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tb unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate heaping, coarsely chopped or in chips
  • 1/2 cup candied ginger chopped

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  • In a big bowl, beat together the butter, coconut oil, both sugars, and salt, until pale and fluffy. Add the egg, scraping the bowl as needed. Stir in the flour mixture. Fold in the bittersweet chocolate and candied ginger.
  • Wrap cookie dough in plastic wrap and chill for a few hours.
  • Preheat oven at 375-degrees. Pull out cookie dough; if it fairly hard, let sit out a few minutes to soften some. Use a spoon to shape and form small dough balls. Space out on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake 9 to 11 minutes. Let sit on cookie sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling. Store in a sealed container at room temperature.
  • OM NOM NOM!
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Bready or Not: Moose Farts

Posted by on Jul 3, 2019 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies, no-bake dessert | 0 comments

Tomorrow might be America’s Independence Day, but let’s go rebellious and Canadian with a tasty no-bake treat called Moose Farts.

Bready or Not: Moose Farts

That’s right, MOOSE FARTS. With a name like that, you know it has to be good.

Bready or Not: Moose Farts

These are apparently a Newfoundland treat. They bear some similarities to “magic cookie bars,” but these are in a distinct ball shape.

Bready or Not: Moose Farts

I think they’re perfect for a hot Arizona summer. No need to turn on the oven or use tons of fussy ingredients! Moose Farts are something kids and adults can enjoy. The moose… not so much.

Modified from Rock Recipes.

Bready or Not: Moose Farts

 

Bready or Not: Moose Farts

Moose Farts are an easy, no-bake treat out of Newfoundland! If grinding your own graham cracker crumbs, about half a standard Honey Maid box will give you the perfect amount of crumbs to include in the balls and to roll them in.
Course: Dessert, Snack
Keyword: no bake
Author: Beth Cato

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk can
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups dried coconut shreds or flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips milk or semi-sweet
  • extra graham cracker crumbs to roll balls

Instructions

  • In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract, then follow up with the coconut flakes, graham cracker crumbs, and chocolate chips. Once they are combined, stash the bowl in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • Use a teaspoon or teaspoon scoop to form a small ball. Roll in extra graham cracker crumbs. Place in a container. Repeat with more balls, with waxed paper placed between the layers. Recipe makes about 51 ball using a scoop.
  • Store balls in sealed container in the fridge.
  • OM NOM NOM!

 

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