Category Archives: Pie

Happy Hopping

PJ Sharon here. Thank you for joining me at the Secrets of 7 Scribes group blog. I’ll give you today’s Unlocked Secret right up front. Writing is a tough job. Try to have a good time along the way. Fun may be defined differently for all of us, but a few of my favorite parts of this writing life (aside from writing!)are great conferences and group promotional events. I’m looking forward to RWA Nationals in Atlanta this July, and Fiction Fest this fall with my CTRWA pals. In the meantime, I have several group promotional events coming up.

Tis the season of Blog Hops and Book Lovers Buffets!

I’m currently participating with sixty-one other authors in the annual Authors in Bloom Blog Hop. Authors_in_Bloom-300x250Since Dianne Venetta and friends organized the whole event, I didn’t have to do much accept prepare my blog and promote the heck out of it this week. The hop runs from April 10-19th and offers a Grand prize of a Nook or Kindle Fire and a $25 gift card to your favorite e-retailer.

The way it works is that you “hop” to each author’s blog where readers can collect gardening tips and awesome recipes (you must check out my super easy and scrumptious recipe for Sunny Delight Pie), and a prize will be offered just for showing up and leaving a comment. You can find the links to participating author sites on both my blog and the AIB landing page noted above. Prizes range from swag baskets to free books, signed copies to gift cards, and much more. On my blog site, all commenters who leave a valid e-mail address (not to be used for any other promotion), will be given a FREE short story called SOUL REDEMPTION, the prequel to WANING MOON, and will be entered to win an audio book copy of HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES.HeavenisforHeroes_audiobookcover

I’m so excited to be able to offer the audio book as a prize. I’ve been listening to it at home and LOVING my narrator, Erin Mallon, who has totally brought Jordie and Alex’s story to life. Hearing the story is very different from reading it, and the experience is a bit surreal for me as the author. The audio book will be available for purchase in May! Also in May, the 1st-3rd to be exact, be on the lookout for the Book Lover’s Buffet, where you can pick up a ton of fabulous books for only .99 cents!

Whenever I start feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of being a published author these days, I try to focus on the “fun” stuff. Blog hops, audio books, contest wins, and conferences are at the top of my list. I truly do enjoy opportunities to hang out with amazing like-minded people and learn exciting new ways to write great books and connect to readers. I am honored to be a part of such a hard-working and innovative community. You guys rock!

So what keeps you going when you get overwhelmed? Do you have a favorite (“fun”) part of being a writer that makes the hard parts easier to endure?

Happy Pi Day!

Hi, peeps. Suze here, continuing last week’s discussion on letting your geek flag fly, and wishing you a very happy Pi day.

481237_10151813240887942_1970623928_n[1]Pie? Did someone say pie? Sorry, this is not a bait and switch tactic. March 14, or 3-14, is a happy little holiday celebrating that mathematical wunderkind, Pi. Pi is defined as:

  • A mathematical constant: a number approximately equal to 3.14159 that is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter and is represented by the symbol π

Now don’t run away, screaming. I don’t find advanced math very interesting either, beyond (1) being able to balance the checkbook to see how much money I can spend on books; and (2) doubling cookie recipes.

But one thing I do find interesting is the notion of a constant. A thing whose value never changes. A thing you can always count on. Among my constants are my love for my family and friends and my love of the written and spoken word. Will those things change and grow over time? Sure. But the underlying value to me will always be there.

Pucker up, sweetie!
Pucker up, sweetie!

And now, because I feel bad about leading you on about the possibility of dessert, let’s chat over coffee and this virtual lemon meringue pie. What are your constants? What kind of pie do you like best?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, darlings! Suze here, writing to you from the deck of my cabin in the woods. I woke in time to see the sunrise over the lake. A flock of ducks just came in for a landing on the water below me. A bald eagle just flew past (I never, ever fail to be thrilled, no matter how many times I see them!). And if I’d remembered to set up the coffeepot last night, I’d be enjoying a cup right now, making it pretty much a perfect morning. We make our own electricity here and must be frugal with what we have, so it’s an old-fashioned top-of-the-woodstove percolator for us–no Keurig machine!

I have so much to be grateful for, more this year than most, perhaps. So I’m making a Thanksgiving resolution: to live more mindfully and to practice gratitude in some form every day.

That being said, I’m thankful for all of you, my friends!

Now that the mushy stuff is over, how about a no-longer-secret recipe? I make my Black Friday stew every … Black Friday! I’ve never shopped on Black Friday, and don’t intend to (except maybe once as a bucket list kind of thing). It takes a while, but it’s easy, and it’s a great way to use up leftovers.

SUZE’S BLACK FRIDAY STEW

Pick as much meat as you can off the turkey frame and refrigerate the meat. Get a big stock pot and put the frame in the pot, breaking it up if you need to. Toss in the wing tips, and any other bones that people didn’t gnaw on (legs, thigh, wings), as well as a quartered onion, a couple of bay leaves, a few carrots, a few stalks of celery, and a parsnip if you have one. Fill the pot about 2/3 full with water, cover, and put the pot on the stove. (I make mine on a woodstove here at the cabin). Bring the water almost to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for several hours. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Strain out all the solids, discard, and return broth to the pot. (I find it works well to use two strainers—one with larger holes nested inside one with finer mesh).

Now comes the fun part. Add in:

-2 cans of cream of celery/mushroom/chicken soup, undiluted, or a combination of soups

-3 cans of creamed corn

-Leftover mashed potatoes

-Leftover gravy

-Leftover corn (or a can of corn, drained)

Stir to combine, and heat through (10 or 15 minutes is plenty). A few minutes before serving, add leftover turkey and heat for a couple more minutes.

Ladle into big bowls, and serve with a green salad and a loaf of French bread (I’m a fan of the Pillsbury French bread, the kind that comes in a tube in the refrigerator section).  Don’t forget leftover pie for dessert.

This feeds a crowd! If you don’t have a crowd, freeze the rest. It’s nice to pull out a tub of homemade soup for a quick supper or lunch on a cold winter day.

Have a wonderful day!

Wyatt’s Whoopie Pies

Happy Friday everyone! Casey Wyatt here. I hope you are all enjoying holiday treats week!

One quick announcement – the winners of Embrace the Highland Warrior are: Gerri Brousseau and Anne Francis. Congratulations ladies!

In case, you haven’t noticed, I have a thing for chocolate.

One of my favorite indulgences is Whoopie Pies.

For those unfamiliar with Whoopie Pies, they are a Northeastern treat whose origin is hotly contested. Maine claims to be the home of the Whoopie Pie while Lancaster, Pennsylvania begs to differ.

I’m not getting in the middle of that debate!

So what is a Whoopie Pie?  Some call it a cake, others a cookie, but one thing it’s not is an actual pie. There is no tin. No flaky crust. Usually they are chocolate, but I’ve seen gingerbread, pumpkin, and red velvet varieties.

I like to think of Whoopie Pies as an inside out cupcake (because the frosting is on the inside!) My favorite recipe uses boxed cake mix (hey, I like it easy) and homemade filling. You can find a link for the recipe at the end of the post.

The first time I made Whoopie Pies, two Christmases ago, I made them for a holiday party at a friend’s house. Within the first hour, my intrepid, chocolate loving friends were already sneaking them off the plastic-wrapped plate. By the time desert rolled around, a noticeable dent had been made.

Of course, I knew who the culprits were. My friends have no shame. Chocolate was involved so the little Whoopies were fair game. (Rhyme unintended). Friends are funny. Mine claim that there are no calories in food eaten at parties. Just like there are no calories in food eaten standing up.

Uh. Huh. Don’t we all wish?

I won’t lie, these treats take a little more work than cupcakes. First, you have to make the chocolate “pie” by dropping teaspoons of batter onto a cookie sheet. Once they cool off, they need to be assembled like Oreo cookies. And, of course, you have to resist the urge to eat them under the thinly veiled disguise of “quality control”.

But they are worth the effort. And I love to see the smiles on my friend’s faces. If you’d like to try making  these delightful chocolate treats, click here!

What treats do you like to make? What brings smiles to your friends and family?

Bursting at the Seams

The following is a true story that happened to me this week. Enjoy…

Friday morning I walked into my parents’ kitchen to see my seventeen year old brother eating a cake. Not a piece of cake, not a sliver, or a slice, but the enormous hunk of homemade chocolate cake that my mother had made for Thanksgiving. The kid didn’t even have a plate. I watched him for a moment before I asked, “What are you doing?”

He looked at me as if my question was stupid. “I’m eating cake.”

Duh! “All of it?” I asked in a sort of horrified wonder as he shoved a giant forkful in his mouth.

“Planning on it.”

“But I didn’t get any!”

“So?”

As I stared at him I knew he would eat all of it because that’s what little brothers did. So I got a fork and sat next to him and starting eating cake too.

“Stick to your side.” He told me with his mouth full. I did and we ending up eating cake for breakfast.

Wanna know what I had for lunch? Apple pie and ice cream. I swear it wasn’t my idea. Upon arriving home from Black Friday shopping I see two of my brothers,( the one from that morning was one of them) sitting at the table with the biggest tub of vanilla ice cream in the world and a whole homemade apple pie.

“You want some?” The older one asked. I was about to say no, my conscience kicking me in the butt.

“Just give her some,” the younger one said. “I don’t want to hear her b*&ching later that she didn’t get any.”

“You two are going to eat the entire pie?”

They both looked at me like I was stupid. In hindsight  I guess it was stupid question. The older one plopped the pie on a glass pie and put it in the microwave, while the younger one got out three clear glass mugs. We waited in silence for the microwave to ding and when it did I watch as they placed steaming pie at the bottom of the mugs and the a layer of ice cream and finished it off with more pie.

“Let the ice cream melt some,” the little one said. “And then mix it up. It’s damn good.”

I did as he said and then tasted it. He was right it was good and the three of us proceeded to eat a whole pie and a half a gallon of ice cream.

Wanna know what I had for dinner? Stuffing. That was it. A big bowl of stuffing.

I gained 1.4 pounds between Wednesday and Saturday. Which brought my total weight gain from the summer up to five pounds and after spending a year losing forty-five pounds it served as a sharp blow to my sluggish system.

I decided to leave my parents house that day and return to my own. I blame mybrothers for my weight gain, especially the youngest one.(He MADE me eat that pie!) The boy is jacked. He’s got pecs and biceps and a stupidly flat belly and he hasn’t eaten a vegetable in years. He eats cheese fries for breakfast and waffles for dinner and he looks great. Did I mention that I hate him?

Like a lot of you I’m constantly fighting to lose and keep off weight. Every pound lost is a mini battle. Every day is a struggle to make the right choices, to say no to that brownie and yes to that banana. The truth is that there is no secret diet. Eat less. Move more and make the right choices. If you aren’t hungry enough to eat an apple then you really aren’t  that hungry at all.

So, this morning I trekked to the grocery store, avoiding the frozen pizza that has become a staple in my diet and spent a fortune on fresh fruit, vegetables and things I actually have to cook. Mentally, I feel better already. Physically I’m suffering from the shakes because of pie withdrawal and wondering how I can keep up my word count and still exercise at the same time.

Your turn! What’s the worst thing you ever ate? Have a brother you’d like to smack? What’s your diet been like lately? Love pie? How was your Thanksgiving? Any and all comments are welcome.