Terror on Telderan, Prequel to Escape 2 Earth - Lawrence Johnson, Sr., Author

11:59 AM Posted by Martha A Cheves



Sausage and Beans with Tomatoes
One pot meal

Ingredients

1 pound breakfast sausage
30 oz's Great Northern or Cannellini beans (drained)
30 oz’s Tomato sauce
1 Onion (medium) Diced
1 pound Tomatoes

Cook onions over medium heat till translucent. Add sausage, cook until done. Stir in tomato sauce and tomato. If using larger whole tomatoes dice before adding. Add beans, make sure you drain before adding. Place top on pan and simmer ten minutes. For a thicker sauce remove top and simmer for an additional five minutes.

Note

Breakfast sausage is used to add seasonings.  Additional seasoning such as garlic and pepper be added if you feel it is necessary. 

Terror On Telderan - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat, Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Rayna took a deep breath and lifted her head slowly.  "earlier I told you that as High Ruler I only have access to an astral-numerologist however, the Grand Apex has been told by the Oracle that Rotart's attempt to terra form Telderan will have catastrophic results.  The planet will spiral out of control then ultimately out of this galaxy and...onward...toward the Milky Way Galaxy.  It will eventually rip through space and smash directly into your beloved planet Earth."

J'lore is stunned by this news.  He and the other Earth Guardians must find a way to prevent what has been predicted by the Guardians of old... the destruction of earth.  They warned of this event through the Henge Stones as well as the many crop circles.  Now their time is running out.

I've read Escape 2 Earth Books 1 and 2 and this short story takes you right up to the events that take place as earth goes into destruction and the plight its people take to survive on another planet.  Both books kept me spell bound and I'm now waiting on Book 3.

Sasha - Brian L. Porter, Author

1:00 PM Posted by Martha A Cheves




Old Time Beef Stew
(one of Sasha's favorite dishes)

2 pounds stew beef

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Dash ground allspice or ground cloves
3 large carrots, sliced
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Brown meat in hot oil. Add water, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, onion, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, and allspice. Cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Remove bay leaves and garlic clove. Add carrots and celery. Cover and cook 30 to 40 minutes longer. To thicken gravy, remove 2 cups hot liquid. Using a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup water and cornstarch until smooth. Mix with a little hot liquid and return mixture to pot. Stir and cook until bubbly.



Sasha - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of : Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

While at the dog pound where we've adopted a number of dogs in the past, the girls took us into the rear office where, in a small dog crate, we saw a tiny, white puppy, with black markings, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier no bigger than a small rabbit.  As soon as she saw us, the puppy went straight into 'take me home' mode, her tiny tail wagging at about a hundred miles per hour and her little tongue hanging out in an anticipation of some treat or affection.  We were instantly smitten, even more so when the lady at the pound took the puppy out of the crate and placed her in my wife's arms.  The puppy had been found in the gutter on a lonely street, shivering and almost dead from hypothermia, by a passing dog warden who did in fact think it was a dead rabbit.  The warden estimated the pup as being no more than six weeks old.  She would soon be on her way to her new, loving home.

I love animals, especially dogs, so when I find a book written by someone who loves them as much and more than I do, I can't help snatch it up and start reading.  The dogs I've rescued in the past have all turned out fairly healthy but most seem to have a fear of detachment and become my shadow.  In the case of Sasha, this is true except for the health part.  It turns out that her problems are very extensive - she has seizures.  Many people I know would have had their animal put down after their first bout.  Not Brian Porter.  He sees her through many and I'm sure more to come.  And on top of Sasha, he has 9 other rescue dogs, some with health problems of their own. There are some great photographs in the book took showing Sasha from her puppy days to the present.

This book takes 'knighthood' into a brand new category and one that should be recognized making sure Mr. Porter becomes the 1st.  If you're an animal lover, especially dogs, you must read this book.  It will make you appreciate people like Mr. Porter even more while bringing a tear to your eye as well as a laugh here and there.


Leave A Message - Faydra D. Fields, Author

10:00 AM Posted by Martha A Cheves



Rice and Kielbasa Quick Meal
by Faydra D. Fields

Ingredients
 1-10oz bag Birds Eye Steamfresh Long Grain White Rice with Mixed Vegetables 
 ½ Hillshire Farm Polska Kielbasa (or any other of your choosing)
 Grated Parmesan
 Garlic Salt seasoning

Directions
 Microwave Birds Eye Steamfresh Long Grain White Rice with Mixed Vegetables.
 Microwave kielbasa
 Cut kielbasa into smaller pieces
 Mix rice and kielbasa
 Add grated parmesan and garlic salt to taste.


Serves 2-3 adults.

Leave A Message - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

When I received a copy of this short story I had no idea what to expect.  I'm not going to tell you much about the story other than it's about a girl who met a gorgeous man and had high hopes for the evening.  She just didn't expect to experience what he had in mind for her.

It is short, just a few pages long, but it grabs you from the very beginning.  The tension and suspense in those few pages tell me this author needs to write a full book.  She really knows how to get the reader's attention from page 1.  This would make a great story for Criminal Minds.  I hope to hear more from her.  She has great potential.

South City Mosaic - Life on Alaska - Glenn Sartori

10:14 AM Posted by Martha A Cheves



Cinnamon Nut Cookies
(A favorite of Glen Sartoi's)

Ingredients:

1 cup shortening, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 beaten egg yolk
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg white
½ cup chopped pecans

Cream the shortening with brown sugar.  Add vanilla and egg yolk.  Sift and measure flour with salt and cinnamon.  Place half of flour mixture in a heap on board.  Place butter-sugar mixture on top, cover with rest of flour.  Work together lightly until it sticks together.  Pat out the mixture ¼ inch thick in buttered jellyroll pan. 
Score into squares with a knife.  Spread top with slightly beaten egg white.  Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Bake at 275 degrees for 30 minutes.

Cool and break into squares and start sneaking a few when no one is looking.

South City Mosaic - Life on Alaska - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

I was born in 1949 making me just a little younger than this author so when I saw that his book contains memories of his childhood, I had to read it.  Through these memories he has not only restored my own memories but has also given me a few laughs along the way.  If you're anywhere within this age group, see how many of these items you too remember.  If you're not in this age group, read the book to see what they were and how much fun they gave us all.

Do you remember:
A 4 bladed push mower - no motor!
Two 2 x 2 wooden posts cemented in the ground (if you're lucky) with a wire strung between them - yep, the clothes line!
Black pieces of coal - no not charcoal like used for BBQ.  These went into the furnace, with a fire, and heated your home!
The cards that you sometimes clipped to your bike wheels to make noise - You got it, Baseball Cards that you would give your eye teeth to have now!
Penny candy - sometimes you could even get 2 pieces for a penny - those days are gone forever!

These are just a few of those memories many of us still cherish.  There are many more that I had buried and were brought back to me by this author.  Just a few are - the scouts, dinner at the table as a family, mom's home remedies, and a real oldie - the 1st kiss.

As I said, if you aren't a baby boomer that grew up in these times, you'll still get a kick out of what your parents and grandparents did when they were kids.  To the author I say "Thanks for the Memories."

Love is the Bridge - Denise Weeks, Author

8:52 AM Posted by Martha A Cheves



Roasted Sesame and Honey Chex® Mix

3 cups Chex cereal (any variety)
3 cups checkerboard-shaped pretzels http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/roasted-sesame-and-honey-chex-mix/~/media/Images/Shared/RecipeParts/Savings/SavingsIndicator.ashx
3 cups sesame sticks http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/roasted-sesame-and-honey-chex-mix/~/media/Images/Shared/RecipeParts/Savings/SavingsIndicator.ashx
1 cup mixed nuts http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/roasted-sesame-and-honey-chex-mix/~/media/Images/Shared/RecipeParts/Savings/SavingsIndicator.ashx
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup honey http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/roasted-sesame-and-honey-chex-mix/~/media/Images/Shared/RecipeParts/Savings/SavingsIndicator.ashx
2 tablespoons sesame seed, toasted, if desired http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/roasted-sesame-and-honey-chex-mix/~/media/Images/Shared/RecipeParts/Savings/SavingsIndicator.ashx

In large microwavable bowl, mix cereal, pretzels, sesame sticks and nuts.
In 2-cup microwavable measuring cup, microwave butter on High about 30 seconds or until melted. Stir in honey and sesame seed. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated.

Microwave uncovered on High 5 to 6 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes, until mixture just begins to brown. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container. 


Love is the Bridge - Rview by Martha A. Cheves, Author of:  Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

The phone rang redly, sucking all the air out of the room.  For a moment, Paige felt paralyzed.  Then her hand went determinedly towards the sound.  She grabbed the phone off the coffee table and flipped it open.  She couldn't live in fear of answering her own phone.  Without even checking the caller ID, she brought it to her ear.  "Hello?"  The metallic voice.  But now its edges had softened, and it was more than a mellow yellow butter with an aluminum aftertaste--like a canned soda that'd been in the sun too long.  "--the apparition cannot form, not yet.  Ectoplasm cannot cross the barrier between the worlds.  To show itself takes protoplasmic energy, more than it can gather now.  But soon.  THA DEITE ENA PHANTASMA."

Paige has been receiving strange phone calls for some time now, both at her work as well as her personal phone.  The messages are always strange and sometimes seem to be encrypted.  But she isn't the only one receiving strange messages.  It seems her friends are receiving them from her even though she hasn't sent messages to any of them.

Alan owns a jingles company.  He met Paige when she did as commercial jingle for him.  He was attracted to her as when he received a distress text from her he knew he had to check it out.  When confronted with the text, Paige insists she didn't send it and since Alan is some sort of a computer nerd she ends up feeling that he is her phone stalker.  Even so that won't explain how the sound systems finds a way to take on its own voice and talks to Paige and Alan.  Sounds to me like a ghost from the past.  But what would make a ghost want torture them.

As I read Love is the Bridge I, like Paige, blamed Alan for everything that was going on in her life.  He had written a program that apparently was thinking for itself, which allowed it to connect to any computer source it wants, including bank accounts.  Was I right or was I wrong?  You'll have to read the book to find out for yourself.  I'll only tell you that the story fed my theory almost to the end.


A Mersey Maiden (Book 3) - Brian L. Porter, Author

12:41 PM Posted by Martha A Cheves



Lancashire hot pot
(One of Brian's favorite dishes)

2 tbsp olive oil
1kg/2lb 2oz neck of lamb, chopped into bite-sized pieces
4 lambs' kidneys, cleaned, trimmed, cut into quarters
2 onions, peeled, sliced
½ tsp salt 
1 tbsp plain flour 
250ml/9fl oz lamb stock 
1 sprig fresh thyme 
2 fresh bay leaves
1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce 
50g/2oz butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
2 x 250g/7oz black pudding rings, outer casing removed, thickly sliced
1kg/2lb 2oz potatoes, peeled and sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the lamb pieces and kidneys for 1-2 minutes on both sides, or until golden-brown all over. Remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan, cook the onions and salt for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions have softened. Stir in the flour until the onions are well coated with the flour.
Add the stock to the pan along with the thyme, bay leaves and Worcestershire sauce. Stir and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until thickened slightly.
Butter a lidded flame-proof casserole dish and place a layer of potatoes (about a third) over the bottom of the dish and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spoon in half of the browned lamb and lambs' kidneys, then lay over half of the black pudding slices and pour over half of the thickened stock mixture. Repeat the layering process until all of the potatoes, lamb pieces and kidneys, black pudding and stock have been used, finishing with a layer of potatoes on top. Dot the potatoes with the butter, then cover with a lid.
Place the casserole into the oven to cook for 20 minutes, then remove the lid and cook for a further 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden-brown on top.
To serve, spoon into serving bowls.



A Mersey Maiden (Book 3) - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

"The thing we need to do is go back to the beginning.  First of all, where did the killer obtain the Ketamine?... Next, how did the killer get into the house and bedroom without the two other housemates hearing anything?... It appears the front door was locked but the back door wasn't so there's a possibility the killer entered there and crept up the stairs... Third, we really need to find the motive for the crime.  So far you have some links to this American Company, Aegis, who suddenly came along and offered some kind of sponsorship to the girlfriend, with a job at the end... We know the murdered victim felt there was something 'off' about the company... You then have the frogman's body, Who is it?.. Then we have to take into consideration the fact that the victim's father is a senior officer in the C.I.A."

With all of the information rehashed during a meeting of Andy Ross, Izzie Drake and D.C.I. Oscar Agostini, it seems they are still no closer to determining the reason for the death of a young man who was a star on the Cricket team at the University he attended.  What started as a normal homicide quickly turned into a trip that would take them back in history all the way to World War II.  They will encounter finding a lost ship as well as a lost U-Boat that was not only on a secret mission but also contains secrets that are worth millions.

It comes as no surprise to me to find that Brian L. Porter has done it again.  I became deeply involved in the history of the German U-Boat and its cargo.  I also became involved in the murder mystery of the young Cricket player.  But what really kept me turning the pages was the Author making such a connection between a war that had happened so many years earlier and the murder.

As with every book written by this author, that I've had the pleasure of reading, I found myself not wanting to put it down.  Every page would have me wanting to go to the next with a promise to myself that I would go no further after just one more page.  Porter can write a book that is 100% fiction and still have you saying to yourself 'that could be possible.'

Around the World in 80 Meals - Diana Rubino, Author

2:28 PM Posted by Martha A Cheves



Potatoes Croquettes

2 1/2 lb. russet potatoes
1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 Tbsp. onion salt
1/2 Tsp. pepper
3 large eggs
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 1/2 cups olive oil
salt

Peel and quarter potatoes.  Simmer 15 minutes in a large pot of salted water.  Drain potatoes when tender.  Let cool 45 minutes.  Chop mozzarella into small pieces.  Mash potatoes well.  Stir in cheeses, onion salt, parsley, pepper, and salt to taste.  Stir in 1 egg.  Shape 1/4 cup of mixture into a croquette.  Repeat until all the mixture is made into croquettes.  Lightly beat last 2 eggs in a shallow bowl.  Sprinkle breadcrumbs in a second bowl.  One at a time, dip croquettes into beaten eggs and roll in breadcrumbs until coated.  Heat oil in skillet on medium-high heat until oil shimmers.  Fry croquettes 5 minutes, turning occasionally.  When golden brown, place on paper towel to drain.  Serve hot.  Makes 6.

Around the World in 80 Meals - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Your 'virtual fantasy cruise' begins on the world famous Queen Mary 2.  You leave London's Waterloo station and enjoy a scenic train ride through the lush English countryside.  Transferring at Southampton you can only gap in astonishment at your first glimpse of this magnificent vessel.  You haven't felt this awestruck since your first breathtaking view of Egypt's pyramids.  Formalities over, you settle into your sumptuous stateroom, catch your breath and then eagerly explore form prow to stern.  As you reach the top deck you feel the faintest thrumming of high-powered engines beneath your feet and the ship begins to move.  You peer down at the distance passersby as they wave and cheer you off.  

After leaving its home port of Southampton Queen Mary 2 steams majestically through the Solent, past the Isle of Wight, and into the English Channel heading for the Atlantic Ocean.  That evening finds you sitting in the Britannia restaurant.  A white gloved waiter hands you a glorious full color menu that you'll treasure as a collector's item for years to come.

Welcome to the Britannia Restaurant:
Canyon Ranch Spa Club Selection:

Spinach and Pear Salad with Rosemary Vinaigrette
Stuffed Eggplant with Olive Vinaigrette, Roasted Artichokes, Cherry Tomoatoes & Pine Nuts
Berries with Lemon Curd


Appetizers and Soups:

Serving Caviar with Classical Garnish
Chilled Cantaloupe Melon Tartar, Citrus & Mint Marmalade, Basil Jelly
Steamed Black Mussels, Saffron Veloute
Shrimp Bisque with Corn Custard, Baby Shrimp
Chicken Consumme & Matzo Balls


And those are just 2 of the 5 courses you are able to chose from for your 1st day's meal.  You will feel like royalty before your trip is over.

I had the pleasure of taking a 4 night cruise once and I can tell you the menu was wonderful.  At each meal you have the pleasure of choosing from a list of items available for each course.  There were so many new dishes that I tried for the 1st time and would have given just about anything to have been able to get their recipes, but that wouldn't have been practical because they cook for so many and I doubt I could have scaled the recipes down to serving just 2.  But... Around the World in 80 Meals gives you some of those delicious recipes with smaller servings.  The one above - Potatoes Croquettes, is one of my favorite.  They are simple to make and so delicious.  They are a must try.

You'll also find recipes like North Atlantic Crab Soup, Prime Rib of Beef au Jus and Creamed Horseradish to serve with it, Chocolate Mousse, and one I can't wait to try - Fruit with a Rum and Coconut Sauce.

So take your own virtual cruise and enjoy some of those delicious dishes in your own kitchen.  Live like a Queen or King without leaving your house.  This is a very 'delicious' book to have.