Surviving Tomorrow: An all-star charity anthology to fight COVID-19

Posted by on Jun 16, 2020 in anthology:story, Blog | 0 comments

I am genuinely proud to be part of this incredible new anthology in which 95% of profits are being donated directly to charities that are providing testing to communities in need–and you get to choose the charity.

surviving tomorrow

Surviving Tomorrow is a collection of 29 stories about survivors by writers like Neil Gaiman. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Cory Doctorow, Robert Silverberg, Jonathan Maberry, Seanan McGuire, Andrew Mayne, Scott Sigler, Orson Scott Card, Alan Dean Foster, A.C. Crispin… and me! The book is available to preorder now to ship in the coming months. There is a special edition, a hardcover, a trade paperback, and an ebook.

Preorder Surviving Tomorrow.

Find out more about the charities here.

#SFWAPro

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Bready or Not Original: Blueberry Crumble Bars

Posted by on Jun 10, 2020 in Blog, blondies, blueberry, Bready or Not, breakfast | 0 comments

Nothing says summer to me quite like blueberry bars, and this version has a delectable crumb topping and loads of blueberries!

Bready or Not Original: Blueberry Crumble Bars

This is really the best kind of fruit and shortbread combo. The bottom and top acquire a buttery crispness as they bake, the perfect contrast for the oozy, sweet berries.

Bready or Not Original: Blueberry Crumble Bars

I am frustrated when recipes only list blueberries by cup measurement, which is useless when I’m in the grocery store trying to figure out how much to buy in pints or ounces. I can say that 4 cups or 20 ounces is what you need for this recipe.

Bready or Not Original: Blueberry Crumble Bars

Be careful at the final stage when it’s time to slice into bars. The blueberries can stick to the foil quite a bit. Therefore, be sure to generously grease the pan prior to baking, and gently pry the foil away when ready to slice.

Bready or Not Original: Blueberry Crumble Bars

The recipe makes a full 9×13 pan, so be sure you have a lot of people present to eat them. These would be very dangerous treats to keep around when home alone, just sayin’.

Bready or Not Original: Blueberry Crumble Bars

 

Bready or Not Original: Blueberry Crumble Bars

This recipe makes a 9x13 pan full of delicious bars! The buttery shortbread-like crust is perfectly paired with a generous layer of oozy blueberries.
Course: Dessert, Snack
Keyword: bars, blueberries, shortbread
Author: Beth Cato

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar divided
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries 20 ounces

Instructions

  • Preheat oven at 375-degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with foil and apply nonstick spray. Wash the blueberries and remove any stems or smashed berries, then gently blot dry with a towel.
  • In a big bowl, mix together the flour, 1/2 cup white sugar, the brown sugar, and baking powder. Add the salt and cinnamon. Add the butter and mix until it forms crumbly dough.
  • Pat about 2/3 of the dough into the prepared pan. A piece of waxed paper and a heavy glass will help compress it into an even layer.
  • In another bowl, stir together the remaining 1/2 cup white sugar and cornstarch. Gently stir the blueberries to coat. Sprinkle the blueberries over the bottom crust, then crumble the remaining dough evenly over the top.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, but check at the 30 minute point. If it's looking golden on top, cover it with foil then continue to bake.
  • Cool at room temperature, then chill in fridge to make it even more cohesive to cut. Use the foil to lift the contents onto a cutting board. Carefully peel back the foil from the edges; a knife might help to hold the bars in place if the blueberry layer is being especially sticky.
  • Slice into bars. Store in a sealed container in the fridge, with waxed paper between the stacked layers.

OM NOM NOM!

    Bready or Not Original: Blueberry Crumble Bars

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    Book Blog: The Sign of the Dragon by Mary Soon Lee

    Posted by on Jun 5, 2020 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.

    The Sign of the Dragon by Mary Soon Lee
    out now in ebook; Google Play, B&N, and Amazon

     

    I love this book. It’s as close to perfect as a book can get, which is saying a lot, especially when I add that this is a novel-sized volume of fantasy poetry that truly reads like a novel.

    The central character is King Xau, a fourth son never intended to be king. He never wanted to be king. Xau is a good human being, and that is one of the intense joys of this book. Even though it often deals honestly, graphically, with war and depravity, the verses are embodied with an overall positive message that good things happen when people strive to do good. We take that in through various viewpoints–Xau’s, and those of dozens around him, from commoners in awe of a brief meeting to his avowed enemies to his beloved guards to the palace cat.

    As a poetry book, it is entirely accessible. The verses flow, and emotions with them. This is a book that will make you FEEL. I can’t even say how many verses brought tears to my eyes, and I had to fight sobs at the end.

    I had read the first 60 poems in Mary Soon Lee’s previous book Crowned (which I provided a blurb for), plus individual poems in a smattering of other publications. The Sign of the Dragon added 200 never-before-published poems to Xau’s tale.

    If you don’t normally read poetry books, please, read this one. If you do read poetry, you’ll be blown away at the beauty and flow of this novel told in verse. I already know this will be one of my favorites for the year. A favorite book, period.

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    Bready or Not Original: Cardamom Cashew-Walnut Butter

    Posted by on Jun 3, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, gluten-free, healthier, nutty | 0 comments

    This is a two-for-one Bready or Not posts: recipes for Cardamom Cashew-Walnut Butter, for both small and large food processors.

    Bready or Not Original: Cardamom Cashew-Walnut Butter

    For the past few years, I had an 8-cup Cuisinart food processor. The thing was great, but as I tried more recipes, I found that most were designed for a larger food processor. Darn.

    So when Costco advertised a Cuisinart double the size, I circled the ad and shoved it toward my husband, saying, “This is what I want for Christmas.”

    Bready or Not Original: Cardamom Cashew-Walnut Butter

    After overcoming my initial anxiety about operating the darn thing (blades and pieces galore! confusing!), I delighted in the increased capacity. Now I can make bigger batches of stuff like nut butter!

    Bready or Not Original: Cardamom Cashew-Walnut Butter

    This recipe is a particular favorite of mine. I created the original small batch recipe for my old unit, and then modified it for the shiny new machine.

    Bready or Not Original: Cardamom Cashew-Walnut Butter

    You can substitute other nuts in the recipe, but the mixing time may be different. Almonds are harder, and take longer to process.

    Bready or Not Original: Cardamom Cashew-Walnut Butter

    Also check out my Maple Nut Butter recipe!

    Bready or Not Original: Cardamom Cashew-Walnut Butter [Small Batch]

    If you have a small food processor (around 8 cup capacity), this is the nut butter recipe for you! This whips up in no time and is way better than the typical store stuff. Makes about 1 cup (8 ounces) of nut butter.
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: cashews, nut butter, walnuts
    Author: Beth Cato

    Equipment

    • 8-cup food processor

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 cups cashews
    • 1 cup walnuts
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 Tablespoon honey
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Instructions

    • If the nuts are unroasted, roast them first for a boost of flavor. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and preheat oven at 350 degrees. Spread cashews and walnuts in an even layer. Bake for about 6 minutes, whereupon they should smell pleasantly toasty. Let cool at least 30 minutes before continuing with next step.
    • Fit processor with an S-shaped blade inside. Pour in cashews, walnuts, and sea salt. Process for about 5 to 10 minutes, stopping sporadically to scrape sides. The nut butter is done when the mixture looks smooth and flows over the blades like a thick river.
    • Add the honey, ground cardamom, and vanilla. Process another two minutes to incorporate.
    • Place nut butter in a clean glass jar (or jars). Store sealed at room temperature for as long as a year. Some separation of nuts and oil is natural--just stir them together again, if needed. If the nut butter dries out, warm what is needed in a microwave-safe bowl to make it spreadable.

    OM NOM NOM!

      Bready or Not Original: Cardamom Cashew-Walnut Butter [Large Batch]

      If you have a large food processor (around 15 cup capacity), this is the nut butter recipe for you! This whips up in no time and is way better than the typical store stuff. Makes about 2 cups (16 ounces) nut butter.
      Keyword: cashews, nut butter, walnuts
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • 16-cup food processor

      Ingredients

      • 3 cups cashews
      • 2 cup walnuts
      • 1 teaspoon sea salt
      • 2 Tablespoon honey
      • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

      Instructions

      • If the nuts are unroasted, roast them first for a boost of flavor. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and preheat oven at 350 degrees. Spread cashews and walnuts in an even layer. Bake for about 6 minutes, whereupon they should smell pleasantly toasty. Let cool at least 30 minutes before continuing with next step.
      • Fit processor with an S-shaped blade inside. Pour in cashews, walnuts, and sea salt. Process for about 5 to 10 minutes, stopping sporadically to scrape sides. The nut butter is done when the mixture looks smooth and flows over the blades like a thick river.
      • Add the honey, ground cardamom, and vanilla. Process another two minutes to incorporate.
      • Place nut butter in a clean glass jar (or jars). Store sealed at room temperature for as long as a year. Some separation of nuts and oil is natural--just stir them together again, if needed. If the nut butter dries out, warm what is needed in a microwave-safe bowl to make it spreadable.
      • OM NOM NOM!
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