Posts made in December, 2015

Bready or Not Guest: Bryan Thomas Schmidt with Pizza Loaf

Posted by on Dec 21, 2015 in beef, Blog, guest recipe, main dish | Comments Off on Bready or Not Guest: Bryan Thomas Schmidt with Pizza Loaf

I’m happy to welcome Bryan Thomas Schmidt to Bready or Not today! I have come to know him well as an editor–he’s editing two Baen anthologies that’ll include my work–but he is foremost a writer. His novel The Worker Prince was just released by WordFire Press. Find out all about his science fiction novel, and continue reading the post to find his traditional family recipe for a quick ‘n easy Pizza Loaf.


The Worker Prince

WordFire Press proudly presents the debut novel of Hugo-nominated editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt, which received Honorable Mention on Paul Goat Allen’s Year’s Best Science Fiction Releases of 2011 at, alongside books by Ben Bova, Robert J. Sawyer, Jack Campbell, Ernest Cline and more.

What if everything you thought you knew about yourself and the world turned out to be wrong? Freshly graduated from the prestigious Borali Military Academy, Davi Rhii, Prince of the Boralian people discovers a secret that calls into question everything he knew about himself. His quest to rediscover himself brings him into conflict with his friends and family, calling into question his cultural values and assumptions, and putting in jeopardy all he’s worked for his whole life. One thing’s for sure: he’s going to have to make decisions that will change his life forever… Welcome to the book that captures the feel of the original Star Wars like no other—engaging characters, entertaining banter, non-stop action, Moses meets Star Wars… The Worker Prince.


pizza loaf

PIZZA LOAF by Glenda Schmidt


1 1 lb loaf of French bread or 4 long Italian rolls
Softened butter or margarine (optional)
3/4 lb Ground Beef
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Salt (optional)
1/8 tsp Pepper
1 1/2 tbsp Minced Onion (real onion preferred)
1 1.2 6 oz cans Tomato Paste
1/4 cup Black or Green Olives, sliced (optional)
2 Ripe Tomatoes, thinly sliced (optional)
8 slices Processed Cheese (your choice)

Cut French bread or rolls in half lengthwise and spread butter or margarine across the exposed inside.

Combine beef, Parmesan cheese, seasonings, minced onion, olives and tomato paste in mixing bowl.

Spread mixture on insides of the bread or rolls with a knife so it is evenly distributed.

pizza loaf


If freezing for later use, cut into serving size, approximately 1/2 roll each and wrap individually in aluminum foil for best results then freeze. (When ready to use, defrost 1 1/2 hours in wrap before continuing.)

To cook, place unwrapped loaves on cookie sheet or flat pan, meat side up, top with tomato slices (if desired).

Bake at 250 degrees for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with processed cheese slices.

Return to oven for 5 minutes until cheese is melted.

Your kids and the kid in you will love it.

pizza loaf


View More: Thomas Schmidt is an author and Hugo-nominated editor of adult and children’s speculative fiction. His debut novel, The Worker Prince received Honorable Mention on Barnes & Noble Book Club’s Year’s Best Science Fiction Releases. His short stories have appeared in magazines, anthologies and online. As book editor he is the main editor for Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta’s WordFire Press where he has edited books by such luminaries as Alan Dean Foster, Tracy Hickman, Frank Herbert, Mike Resnick, Jean Rabe and more. He was also the first editor on Andy Weir’s bestseller The Martian. His anthologies as editor include Shattered Shields with co-editor Jennifer Brozek, Mission: Tomorrow, Galactic Games and Little Green Men–Attack! (forthcoming) all for Baen, Space Battles: Full Throttle Space Tales #6, Beyond The Sun and Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera For a New Age. He is also coediting anthologies with Larry Correia and Jonathan Maberry set in their New York Times Bestselling Monster Hunter and Joe Ledger universes.

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Sunday Quote prepares for Santa

Posted by on Dec 20, 2015 in Blog, Quote | Comments Off on Sunday Quote prepares for Santa

“The profession of book writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business.”
~John Steinbeck

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Bready or Not Guest: Megan E. O’Keefe with Baklava

Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 in Blog, Bready or Not, guest recipe, quick bread | 1 comment

I’m happy to welcome author Megan E. O’Keefe! Her debut novel Steal the Sky is out from Angry Robot on January 5th. It features airships and con men and a gorgeous cover. She’s here today to share a delicious-looking recipe for baklava.

Steal the Sky

When I was first considering what to bake for Bready or Not I knew that, due to the time of year, I wanted to do a holiday bake. Something the people of the Scorched Continent would make for a winter celebration. My first thoughts were fruitcake-esque, as dried fruit is pretty much the only way people on the Scorched eat fruit, but that didn’t quite work.

You see, the Scorched Continent, as its name implies, is an arid climate. It’d be okay for growing wheat, if it weren’t for the fact the whole continent suffers a really nasty monsoon season once a year. Great for replenishing aquifers, not so great for growing wheat.

Which isn’t to say they don’t get wheat. They do – they just have to import it from their mother empire. So by the time mid-winter rolls around, wheat is looking pretty scarce. Which means no cake, unless you’re stupidly rich. There are some people on the Scorched who could afford such a luxury, but I wanted to capture a snack that the everyday populace might stand a chance of getting their hands on.

Enter: baklava.

The Scorched is also home to a species of wild, oversized bee which builds massive hives. This means that honey and beeswax are both plentiful, and cheap. Another common foodstuff on the continent is a wide variety of nuts, as they preserve well and are full of protein. And what better way to make use of scarce wheat than to roll it into a very, very thin sheets?

I’d never made baklava before, but I figured hey, if I’m assuming my characters can do it, so can I! Of course my characters can also move magical gas around and take one hell of a beating, but that’s beside the point.

1 cup caster sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla

1 package phyllo dough (16oz) defrosted
1 cup butter
1 lbs chopped nuts
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

The real secret to baklava is that, to keep it crispy, you either have to combine cold baklava with hot syrup, or cold syrup with hot baklava. Hint: it’s much easier to do it the second way. So, before you even preheat that oven, combine 1 cup caster sugar, 1 cup water, and boil until all the sugar is melted.

Is the sugar melted? Coolio. Throw in 1/2 cup honey and a tsp vanilla. Well, don’t actually throw it, because boiling sugar water splash back is enough to peel skin. Pour it gently. If you’re having trouble getting all of the honey out of your 1/2 cup scoop, and if your scoop is metal, just scoop up some of the hot sugar water and swish it around until the scoop is clean. Don’t do this with plastic. If I have to tell you why, you probably shouldn’t be reading this. Mix until everything is combined, lower your heat and simmer it for 20-25 minutes until it’s begun to slightly thicken, then set aside to cool.

Get yourself a wee tiny saucepan, and chunk about a cup of butter into it, then set it on the very lowest setting to melt.

 [My wee tiny saucepan]

[My wee tiny saucepan]

While you’re simmering and melting, best prepare your nuts. You can use any kind of nuts you’d like for baklava, though the traditional varieties are walnuts, pistachio, and pecans. I used all walnuts. I’m a vegetarian and, because of that, fish are friends, not food, so I have to get those omega-3’s somehow. You can buy your nuts pre-chopped, or you can use chopping them as an excuse to eat some like I do. Either way, mix up 1 pound chopped nuts with 1 1/2 tsps cinnamon and set aside.

[That’s a lotta’ nuts]

[That’s a lotta’ nuts]

 [A finer chop than this is easier to work with, but I never learn.]

[A finer chop than this is easier to work with, but I never learn.]

Have you preheated your oven to 325F yet? Probably not, since I haven’t told you to. Do that now, and while you’re at it get to buttering a 9×13” pan – use some of that butter you’ve got melted.

Now it’s time for the part everyone hates: the phyllo. Depending upon who made your phyllo (and I’m going to guess it wasn’t you, because only a masochist would make that stuff themselves) you’ll either have one large roll or two smaller ones. If you have a large one, unroll it and chop it in half to fit your pan.

Now that you have phyllo that fits your pan, cover it with a layer of saran wrap or wax paper and then cover that with a SLIGHTLY damp paper towel. This helps keep the phyllo from drying out while you work – but do not get water directly on the dough. Then you’ll have mush. You do not want mush.

To create the base of your baklava: layer two sheets of phyllo (pick them up together, it’s easier than going one by one) in the bottom of your pan. Use a pastry brush to coat with melted butter. Add another two layers of dough – then butter – and another two layers – then butter. Repeat until you have a total of eight layers of pastry with butter in between every two layers. Good? Good. That wasn’t too painful, right?

[Magical pastry brush. Adds +2 to butter application]

[Magical pastry brush. Adds +2 to butter application]

Now sprinkle some of your nut mixture on that, about 3 tablespoons. Cover with two more layers of phyllo, then brush with butter. Repeat the phyllo-butter-nuts routine until you have 8 sheets of phyllo left. Use those last 8 sheets to make the top, putting butter between every two layers just like you did to make the base.

[Should look something like this]

[Should look something like this]

Brush the top with more butter, then cut your unbaked baklava into triangles with a very sharp knife while it’s still in the pan. Trust me, it’s way easier than trying to do it once it comes out of the oven.

Pop the baklava in the oven and your honey sauce in the fridge. Bake the baklava about 50 minutes, or until golden brown on top.



Remove the baklava from the oven, and immediately spoon the honey sauce over the top. Let it cool, then pop it out of the pan to serve up in cupcake wrappers or something equally sticky proof. This stuff is good, but man is it sticky.

Toast your success, and vow to buy baklava from the store next time.

[Flakey goodness.]

[Flakey goodness.]

Find out more about Megan at her website. Order Steal the Sky at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or any other bookstore.

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Bready or Not: Appeltaart

Posted by on Dec 16, 2015 in apples, Blog, Bready or Not, pie | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Appeltaart

I love my traditional Caramel Apple Pie recipe, but this deep-dish apple pie is something extraordinary! It uses a springform pan.


Brace yourself for a lot of pictures. This is one of those rare times when my end result looked exactly like the photo in the magazine.


It’s a photogenic pie, isn’t it?


This Appeltaart is as delicious as it looks, too. My husband and my dad are hardcore apple pie lovers. It’s probably one of their all-time favorite foods. This pie rated VERY highly for both of them.


The directions look long, but really, it’s not an intimidating pie. I know a lot of folks hate rolling out pie crusts–well, this is the recipe for you! You press most of the dough into the pan and then slice strips for the lattice on top.


The original recipe had raisins in it–which was blasphemous to my family. I omitted the raisins and added more cinnamon.

It would be easy to modify the recipe more. Add a drizzle of caramel or dulce de leche. Try adding some nutmeg, cloves, or cardamom. Or if the making the lattice top worries you, tuck that dough away for other purposes, and throw together a crumb topping. Or instead of cutting strips for the lattice, roll out the dough and use small cookie cutters shaped like leaves or other things.


Whatever you do, I bet you’ll be amazed at the Appeltaart. This will be the showcase for your holiday dessert table… and something special to make all year round.


Modified from a recipe in Martha Stewart Living magazine; also online.

Bready or Not: Appeltaart

This gorgeous deep-dish apple pie is made in a springform pan. If you're intimidated by pie crusts, you'll love the press-in crust for this recipe! Modified from an Appeltaart recipe originally featured in Martha Stewart Living.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Keyword: apple, cake, lemon, pie
Author: Beth Cato



  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for surface
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter 1 1/2 sticks, cut into small pieces, plus more for pan
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 2 1/4 pounds Granny Smith apples peeled, cored, and cut into chunks (6 cups)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour plus more as needed
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten



  • In a bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar. Add the butter and work it in until only pea-size pieces are visible.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, water, and vanilla, then pour into the dry mix. Mix until the dough makes a ball. Form about two-thirds of the dough into one disk and remaining third of dough into another disk. Separately wrap each portion in plastic wrap. Refrigerate them until firm, about 1 hour.


  • Toss together the apples, granulated sugar, cinnamon, salt, lemon juice, and 1 1/2 tablespoons flour. Set aside but stir every so often as you make other preparations.
  • Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Prepare a 9-inch round springform pan by cutting parchment paper to fit the circle inside. Use butter or Pam to adhere the parchment in the pan, then fully grease the top of the parchment and the sides of the pan.
  • Lightly flour a surface. Take out your large dough disk and roll it out. It's okay if it's fragmented. Take the pieces and press them into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Sprinkle some flour over the dough.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the apple filling into the crust; you'll discard any leftover juice. Roll out the other dough disk to be about 1/4-inch thick. Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut the dough into thick strips. Lay half of the strips over the filling, then do the other half crossing the other way. Press the edges of the strips into the crust at the sides.
  • Lightly beat the egg and brush the lattice with the egg wash.
  • Bake the pie until the crust is golden brown and apples are tender when stabbed with a fork, about 1 hour 10-20 minutes. Check it at the 40 minute point and cover it with foil if it starts to look too dark.
  • Let it cool on a wire rack until sides of tart pull away from pan, about 30 minutes. Unsnap the springform pan and remove the side circle; keep the appeltaart on the base for convenient serving. Let it cool for an least an hour before cutting in.




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2015 Works for Award Consideration

Posted by on Dec 14, 2015 in anthology:story, awards, Blog, clockwork crown, clockwork dagger shorts | Comments Off on 2015 Works for Award Consideration

Are you voting in the forthcoming Nebula, Hugo, or World Fantasy Awards? If so, I appreciate it if you’ll consider these works of mine that were published in 2015.Wings of Sorrow and Bone novella

Selected Short stories

“The Quest You Have Chosen Defies Your Fate,” Daily Science Fiction (flash fic)

“Roots, Shallow and Deep,” Urban Fantasy Magazine

“Bread of Life,” Nature Magazine (flash fic)



“Wings of Sorrow and Bone: A Clockwork Dagger Novella” published by Harper Voyager Impulse; at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. (99-cents)



The Clockwork Crown (book 2 of Clockwork Dagger Duology) published by Harper Voyager; in trade paperback or ebook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.

The Clockwork Crown by Beth Cato


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