Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Failure



I knew from the beginning that completing the A-Z this year would be tough. Coming off a blog tour, I didn't have time to have posts pre-scheduled, so I've been writing them each night.

I also knew I'd be in the middle of edits for my next release, but I had this pollyanna idea that little fairies would arrive to help me get my work done.

Darned things were no shows. I guess they aren't lured in by dust bunnies and piles of dirty clothes. And sadly, without the fairies, there is no way I can possibly meet my editing deadline and maintain the A-Z pace. 

But it's all right. That's why they call it a challenge. The A-Z is like a marathon and only the spry and well conditioned survive. So, for all the bloggers still managing the daily grind- kudos! Be proud. It is not an easy task. 



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Love Easy!



L is for so many lovely things. Like Love. Lasagna. And Lasagna Loving critter.





LOVE!





LASAGNA!



This is NOT my cat. My cat never walks on the counters. The idea of the cat walking across the litter box and then the food prep area is more than my OCD husband can tolerate.

Best way to train kitty to stay down? Water gun. I only had to spray mine a few times and she decided the counter wasn't a friendly spot.


Now, for that lasagna...

To make lasagna easier to prepare, I use the no boil noodles. The secret to making them taste good instead of gummy is to go heavy on the sauce.

Lazy Lasagna:

*Spray bottom of pan with oil.
*Pour a thick layer of meatless sauce (Ragu is easy!) on the bottom.
*Add first layer of noodles.
*Next, add a layer of cheese sauce (Package of Ricotta cheese mixed with 2 eggs, salt and pepper)
*Add some meat sauce (Ragu mixed with burger).
*Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
*Another layer of noodles.
*More meat sauce.
*Bake about an hour in the oven at 350 degrees.
*Remove from oven, spread on some more mozzarella, allow it to melt while cooling.

Lasagna Lover...I had this poster on my wall as a teen. It gets truer every year!!





photo credit: success via photopin (license)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Easy K's are Kool




I was quite the party animal in high school. A really awesome Friday night was most often spent at my best friend's house watching Crocket and Tubbs on Miami Vice, music videos on Night Flights, and then smashing rocks with our triangle shaped space ship on  Atari's Asteroids. We'd keep the fun going until dawn, so food was always an essential. One of our favorite weekend fun snacks was Kool Aid popcorn. It's fun, fruity, and of course...easy!




Kool Aid Popcorn


3 qt. (12 cups) popped popcorn
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup butter
1 pack Kool-Aid Unsweetened Drink Mix, any flavor
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Mix the sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a pan until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Add the Kool-Aid and then the baking soda.

We never made it into balls, we'd take the easy route and pour a pan of popcorn onto a platter and then drizzle the Kool-Aid mix over it and eat. 




Another Easy tip? 

I prefer to proof read and beta read on my Kindle. It's much more portable and accessible than toting around my laptop...much less the desk top. Word docs and PDFs can be emailed and opened on Kindle for easy reading by following the steps below:

Go to Amazon and follow these links

1.Your Account
2. Manage your content and devices
3. Click on the Your Devices tab
4. Click in the picture of your device
5. Down below the picture should be an email address
6. Send your Word or PDF files directly to that address via email

photo credit: Popcorn via photopin (license)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Just Be Easy!





It's Saturday!!

Soooo, let's Just....

                 Relax...Laugh...think...and drink.









Jell-O Shots!
(These are so good and so easy to "drink", be careful or you'll have bed spins while still standing on two feet.)

3 ounces Jell-O or other gelatin (any flavor)
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup (4 ounces) vodka
1/2 cup cold water

Mix Jell-O with hot water until dissolved. Add cold water and vodka. Pour into souffle cups or in a *cake pan to cool.

*with the cake pan method, just cut them into squares.


photo credit: MCED_4 via photopin (license)

Friday, April 10, 2015

I Is Easy Too





Intrinsic Motivation
Growing up, my family had a huge Maple tree in the back yard. My brother and I would rake leaves all day and jump in them. No one would ever have to tell us gather up all the thousands of leaves into a pile. We just did it. It was fun. But then, as soon as my mom brought lawn bags out and told us to rake the leaves, it was suddenly no fun. It's always more satisfying to do it for the love.


Italian Sausage 

Take Italian sausage (turkey sausage if you're counting calories) and cover in salsa or picante sauce (yes, I'm blending my ethnic foods in my melting crock pot) and slow cook in the crock pot. Then you can put them on a hoagie bun with mozzarella, or eat it over rice or pasta, or wrapped in a tortilla. 




The celebrate hop is brought to you by
Lexa Cain and her awesome co-hosts:
LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Egde
Katie@ TheCyborgMom

1. First round of edits and beta feedback are in and, so far seem manageable.

2. The weather is warming. I painted my toes, and I am ready to shed my shoes!

3. Signed up for two more book events. And I've survived the A-Z, so far.




photo credit: I love fall. via photopin (license)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Letter H



Ha-Ha....





Hints From Heloise 

Hints From Heloise   

That's said like "ell-o-weese", right?
I had a teacher in high school call her "hell-waus". I corrected him. The class giggled, and he said he hated smart kids. I wasn't too traumatized. Looking back on it, any teacher who had to put up with my hair-brained attitude had a right to say he hated me every now and again. 

Anyhow, I'm sharing the link because Heloise knows everything. You have a Housekeeping problem, she has the solution. 


Ham made easy!!


Want a delicious, tender ham without a lot of fuss?

Cook it in beer. Be it Heineken or Natty Light, pop a ham in a roaster or a crock pot and cover it in beer, cook all day, and it's delicious.

*Thanks to my alcoholic grandma for this recipe...just joking...that crazy cat lady knew how to hold her liquor.

Photo Credit: Mmm Ham via photopin (license)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

G, How Easy.


There's a story behind those Green Beans!
 I used to work in social work. A young man came into our transitional living program (a program for 17-21 year-olds) with white-power gang tattoos. We played dumb about the ink and staffed the young man with all black workers. A few months into the program, I asked him about the tattoos. He admitted they were gang related and racist, because he hated black people. I asked him about his staff. Did he hate them? No, he liked all of them. Especially Fred. He was a good-old boy like him. Fred liked to fish and hunt. Heck, Fred even taught him how to cook. I asked him if he ever thought his tattoos were hurtful to good people. He admitted he regretted them, but ink is permanent. Well, we couldn't get rid of them, but we could change them. A local tattoo artist covered them for free. A year or so later, the young man made us dinner....wanted to show off his skills. One of the items on the menu was Fred's Green Beans. To this day, I only make Fred's Green Beans.



Drain canned green beans
Heat your skillet until it's sizzling hot
(I use cast iron, sometimes I use my wok)
Add about a tablespoon of butter, allow to melt
Add the green beans and fry them up.
Salt and pepper and serve. 



My babies.
Carter, Cole, Conner, and Caleb

Need a Good picture of the kids without the pain?

If yours are anything like mine, threats of violence won't make them all smile at the same time. Three would look great, one would make rabbit ears. I'd yell at Bugs Bunny wanna-be and he'd straighten up, but then someone else would cross his eyes. Finally, I decided if you can't beat them, join them. I'd tell them to get me one picture I could send to family and then they could do have their fun- no holds barred. We've had so much fun with it, sometimes the goofy shot becomes the keeper.