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New publications to start off May

Posted by on May 8, 2020 in anthology:poem, anthology:story, Blog, podcast | 0 comments

The publishing industry slogs onward, rejecting works with as much fervor as ever… with the occasional acceptance offered for variety. Plenty of things are still being published, too. Here is my latest:

Podcast:
“Clouds Gleam Across Her Eyes” (reprint) was read by Tina Connolly at Toasted Cake as part of the Run of Hope

Poetry
“The Girl Who Survived” in Mirror Dance
– “he scores” co-written with Rhonda Parrish in Star*Line 43.2
– watch me awkwardly read my previously-published “Wayfaring King” in Cuttlefish Poetry Reading, Episode 2 over on YouTube

#SFWAPro

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Bready or Not: Lemony Glazed Shortbread Bars

Posted by on May 6, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies, lemon | 0 comments

April’s lemon theme lingers into May with this week’s luscious Lemony Glazed Shortbread Bars.

Bready or Not: Lemony Glazed Shortbread Bars

These things rely fully on lemons, no bottled lemon extract or flavor required. Get a lot of lemons. You need 6, maybe 7 medium or small lemons, or 4 giant lemons. Better to have leftover zest or juice rather than not enough.

Bready or Not: Lemony Glazed Shortbread Bars

This dough is incredibly fun to work with, too. Thanks to the cornstarch with the flour, the result is soft and pliable like Play-Doh.

Bready or Not: Lemony Glazed Shortbread Bars

Most recipes I post that include glaze require the baked good to be completely cool first. Not so here. Make the glaze as soon as the dish is baked and put it on promptly. That means the glaze melts a bit after it’s spread on top, fusing with the bars.

Bready or Not: Lemony Glazed Shortbread Bars

With so much lemon infused into these bars, these things ends up smelling so summer and fresh, and the taste…! If you love lemon, these shortbread bars are totally for you.

Bready or Not: Lemony Glazed Shortbread Bars

These lovely bars are infused with lemon flavor. A lot of lemons are required. Read the ingredients list carefully, as zest is needed in the dough while juice is needed in both the dough and glaze. Make sure there is enough.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bars, cookies, lemon, shortbread
Author: Beth Cato

Ingredients

Bars

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded lemon zest from 4 giant lemons or about 6 large lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter 3 sticks, room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze

  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract use clear extract if available, as regular will tint glaze a bit

Instructions

  • Preheat oven at 300-degrees. Line a 13x9 pan with foil and apply nonstick spray or butter.
  • In a bowl, sift together flour and cornstarch; set aside.
  • In another bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon zest. Using fingers, break apart the zest within the sugar to distribute the threads and release the oils. The result should be more yellow in coloration and quite fragrant.
  • In a big bowl, beat together the butter, lemon juice, salt, and vanilla extract until it becomes creamy, scraping bowl as needed. Gradually mix in the sugar and zest. Slowly work the flour/cornstarch mix into the big bowl. The dough should become pliable and cling together, until it can be formed into a ball.
  • Press dough evenly into the pan. Bake for 40 minutes.
  • Immediately make glaze. Stir together everything to form a thick, spreadable glaze; thicken with more sugar, if necessary, or add extra lemon juice or water to loosen it. Spread glaze over bars.
  • Cool completely, stashing dish in fridge to speed process if desired.
  • Use foil to lift contents onto a cutting board. Slice into bars. Store in a sealed container, with waxed paper between stacked layers, either at room temperature or in the fridge. Keeps for at least 2 days.

OM NOM NOM!

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    Bready or Not Original: Lemon Frangipane with Shortcrust Pastry

    Posted by on Apr 29, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, lemon, pie | 0 comments

    To finish off Lemon Month, I present a Lemon Frangipane along with a bonus recipe for Shortcrust Pastry.

    Bready or Not Original: Lemon Frangipane with Shortcrust Pastry

    What is frangipane? It’s a sweet filling made from almonds. It can be used in cookies, pastries, or–in this case–a shortcrust pie crust.

    Bready or Not Original: Lemon Frangipane with Shortcrust Pastry

    The nutty flavor of frangipane isn’t upfront in this recipe. This one is really all about lemony freshness, which happens to complement frangipane nicely.

    Bready or Not Original: Lemon Frangipane with Shortcrust Pastry

    The shortcrust recipe is a good, basic pie crust recipe, one that is doable even for beginning bakers. The dough can be made days or weeks in advance.

    Bready or Not Original: Lemon Frangipane with Shortcrust Pastry

    I first encountered frangipane on the Great British Bake Off. Since I associated it with fancy bakes, I was a bit intimidated about trying it myself, but this recipe makes it straightforward.

    Bready or Not Original: Lemon Frangipane with Shortcrust Pastry

    The end result is a lemony fresh frangipane with a crisp, delicious homemade crust. A crust that, thanks to being blind-baked first, should not have a soggy bottom.

    Bready or Not Original : Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

    This recipe can be made ahead of time and stashed in the freezer for days or weeks, or wrapped up in the fridge for days until ready to be blind-baked. The amount of dough is adequate to fill a 9-inch pie plate (NOT deep dish) or small tart/quiche pan.
    Course: Breakfast
    Cuisine: European
    Keyword: pie
    Author: Beth Cato

    Equipment

    • food scale
    • parchment paper
    • pie weights

    Ingredients

    • 225 grams all-purpose flour
    • 4 Tablespoons confectioners' sugar
    • 150 grams cold butter cut into small cubes
    • 1 large egg beaten
    • 2 Tablespoons cold water plus more as needed

    Instructions

    • Mix flour and confectioners' sugar in a large bowl. Add pieces of butter and rub in with fingertips to break into smaller, flatter morsels. Make a well in the middle and add the beaten egg and one tablespoon of water. Use fingers to work in a bit before adding the second tablespoon.
    • Work dough until it begins to lump together! Drizzle in tiny increments of additional water, if needed, to make it cohesive. The dough should be able to come together in a ball, not gluey.
    • Wrap dough in plastic wrap and stash in fridge for at least 20 minutes--or for a few days, or freeze until ready to use.
    • When ready to blind-bake crust, preheat oven at 375-degrees (180 C, Gas 5). Lightly grease pie plate.
    • Lightly flour work surface. Use rolling pin to roll dough into proper size for your pan, at about 1/2 cm thickness. Gently set dough into dish and press into place. Make sure excessive amounts of dough don't stick out over the edge but do NOT trim exactly to edge yet.
    • Cover the pastry surface with parchment paper. Use dried beans or other pie weights to completely fill plate. If using a 9-inch pie plate, bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until crust takes on a light golden color; for a smaller plate, reduce time and monitor color.
    • Use parchment to lift out pie weights. Use a knife to trim excess dough from edge to form a nice, neat line. Follow filling recipe from here on and bake again as necessary.

    OM NOM NOM!

      Bready or Not Original: Lemon Frangipane with Shortcrust Pastry

      Frangipane is a European delight that uses ground almonds to make a delicious pastry filling--in this case, a tart that is also full of lemony goodness. This recipe works with a basic 9-inch pie/quiche plate.
      Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
      Cuisine: European
      Keyword: almond, lemon, pie
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • 9-inch shallow pie/quiche plate

      Ingredients

      • 1 shortcrust pastry crust already partially baked
      • 2 Tablespoons lemon curd
      • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick, room temperature
      • 1/2 cup white sugar
      • 2 eggs room temperature
      • 1 1/3 cup ground almonds sifted
      • 2 1/2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour or substitute with extra ground almonds
      • 1 lemon zested and juiced
      • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
      • 4 Tablespoons milk or half & half

      Instructions

      • Preheat oven at 375-degrees (190C, Gas 5).
      • Warm the lemon curd in the microwave for only 5-10 seconds, long enough to make it looser and more spreadable. Brush all over the bottom of the crust.
      • In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add almond flour, flour, and lemon zest. Follow up with a tablespoon of lemon juice and the milk. Mix until just cohesive.
      • Pour filling into crust. Bake for 25 minutes, or until it passes the toothpick test in center. If parts of the filling uplift in crazy ways, worry not--it should even out as it cools.
      • Cool pan for an hour at room temperature for an hour to set. Cut into it then, or chill in fridge to enjoy later. Keep stored in fridge with foil covering.

      OM NOM NOM!

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        Bready or Not Classic: Churro Waffles

        Posted by on Apr 24, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast | 0 comments

        I prepared two classic recipes to repost while I was on vacation this summer. That isn’t happening now. Therefore, I’m sharing them earlier with the hope that my fellow #stressbakers can enjoy them. Eat well and stay safe out there!

        Churro Waffles. For real.

        Churro Waffles

        This reprinted Holy Taco Church recipe produces waffles that are sweet, fluffy, decadent, and not the slightest bit healthy. CHURRO WAFFLES, people. These are hardcore churro.

        Churro Waffles

        This recipe is amazingly easy. As typed up below, it makes three big waffles in your waffle iron. Double or triple to feed a crowd or stash extras to freeze. You won’t need extra pats of butter on top, and you’ll probably need just a minimal amount of maple syrup, dulce de leche, or chocolate sauce. Heck, even dip these in something like Nutella.

        Churro Waffles

        Be crazy. Be churro-y. Dip your whole day in cinnamon and sugar.

        Churro Waffles

        Bready or Not: Churro Waffles

        These hardcore churro waffles are fluffy, decadent, and coated with butter, cinnamon, and sugar. You likely won't need to add much (or any) extra butter or maple syrup. You also might need to wear sweatpants today. Recipe makes 3 large waffles, so double or triple the recipe to feed a group!
        Course: Breakfast
        Cuisine: Mexican
        Keyword: churros, waffles
        Author: Beth Cato

        Ingredients

        • 1 cup all-purpose flour
        • 1/2 teaspoon salt
        • 2 teaspoons baking powder
        • 1 Tablespoon white sugar
        • 2 shakes cinnamon
        • 1 egg
        • 3/4 cup milk or almond milk
        • 3 Tb unsalted butter melted
        • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

        Topping:

        • 1/2 cup white sugar
        • 1 Tb cinnamon
        • 1/4 cup melted butter

        Instructions

        • In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, and cinnamon. Melt the 3 tablespoons of butter so they can cool a few minutes. Preheat waffle iron.
        • In a separate bowl, beat the egg with the milk, melted butter and vanilla extract. Pour the milk mix into the dry ingredients until just combined.
        • Apply non-stick spray to the waffle maker. Use a 1/2 cup to add batter to the iron and close the lid. While the waffle cooks, melt the butter for the topping and in a separate bowl combine the cinnamon and sugar.
        • Remove the waffle from the iron. Brush butter all over a side, then sift or spoon the cinnamon and sugar over it. Flip over waffle and repeat. Add more batter to the waffle iron and repeat the process.
        • OM NOM NOM!
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        Bready or Not Original: Cream Cheese-Stuffed Lemon Bundt Cake [cake mix]

        Posted by on Apr 22, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, bundt, cake, cake mix, cheese galore, lemon | 0 comments

        This is a simple-yet-fancy recipe that uses 1) cake mix, 2) a bundt pan, and 3) ends up tasting like a giant lemon Twinkie. YUM.

        Bready or Not Original: Cream Cheese-Stuffed Lemon Bundt Cake [cake mix]

        This is one of those cakes that looks like it requires tons of works, but it really doesn’t. Because of the addition of fresh lemon and lemon curd, the chemical taste of cake mix is completely masked, too.

        Bready or Not Original: Cream Cheese-Stuffed Lemon Bundt Cake [cake mix]

        The filling is an easy step, too. I hate piping, but it was not prob here. I used a gallon Ziploc, snipped off the corner, ta-da!

        Bready or Not Original: Cream Cheese-Stuffed Lemon Bundt Cake [cake mix]

        This cake would be great for breakfast, brunch, snack, or dessert. Whenever, really.

        Bready or Not Original: Cream Cheese-Stuffed Lemon Bundt Cake [cake mix]

        Make this when you have numerous people to share with. It’s just so, so tempting and delicious. Like Twinkies. BUT BETTER.

        Bready or Not Original: Cream Cheese-Stuffed Lemon Bundt Cake [cake mix]

        This recipe is over halfway through my April of lemon recipes!
        Lemon Sour Cream Bundt Cake
        Glazed Lemon Ginger Bars
        Cranberry Lemon Biscotti
        Cream Cheese Stuffed Lemon Bundt Cake [today]
        Lemon Frangipane

        Bready or Not Original: Cream Cheese-Stuffed Lemon Bundt Cake [cake mix]

        Bready or Not Original: Cream Cheese-Stuffed Lemon Bundt Cake

        This Bready or Not Original recipe is super-easy with a fancy result that tastes like a giant lemon Twinkie!
        Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
        Keyword: bundt cake, cake, cream cheese, lemon
        Author: Beth Cato

        Equipment

        • large bundt pan

        Ingredients

        Filling

        • 8 ounce cream cheese 1 box, softened
        • 1/4 cup white sugar
        • 1 large lemon zested and juiced

        Cake

        • 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
        • 3 eggs room temperature
        • 1 box yellow cake mix
        • 3/4 cup lemon curd

        Glaze

        • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
        • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
        • 1 Tablespoon lemon curd

        Instructions

        Make the filling

        • In a small bowl, mash together the cream cheese, white sugar, lemon zest and 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice; reserve the remaining juice for the glaze. Once the filling is combined, spoon it into a piping bag with large tip or a gallon Ziploc bag with the corner cut off.

        Make the cake

        • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Apply nonstick spray to a large bundt pan.
        • In a big bowl, cream together the butter and eggs. Add the cake mix, scraping bottom of bowl as needed. Add the lemon curd, beating until mix turns fluffy.
        • Spoon about half the cake mix into the prepared pan. Pipe the filling in a circle around the top of the batter. Try to keep the filling from touching the sides. Add the rest of the batter on top and smooth it out.
        • Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the middle passes the toothpick test.
        • Cool on a wire rack about 20 minutes, then invert the cake onto a wire rack to completely cool.

        Make the glaze

        • Whisk together the confectioners' sugar, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, and 1 Tablespoon lemon curd to form a thick yet oozy glaze. If necessary, add more juice or water to thin, or more confectioners' sugar to thicken. Drizzle atop cake.
        • Store under a cake dome or plastic wrap in fridge.

        OM NOM NOM!

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          InterGalactic Medicine Show now available to read online, for free

          Posted by on Apr 21, 2020 in anthology:story, Blog, online publication | 0 comments

          InterGalactic Medicine Show was a highly-acclaimed sci-fi and fantasy publication with a 14-year run. It shut down last summer. Most of the stories were available to subscribers only… until now. The full library is now open to the public.

          I tried to get into the magazine for years and finally succeeded with “The Sweetness of Bitter” in issue #35.

          #SFWAPro

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