Showing posts with label reincarnation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reincarnation. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Seasons in Purdah - Anjuelle Floyd, Author

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

(I love chocolate. I am also diabetic.

This recipe is great for anyone who is watching the sugar intake and/or trying to lose weight and wants to eat more healthily, but like I, has a sweet tooth, or two.)
Anjuelle Floyd


1/2 cup chopped pitted dates 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, “natural” or Dutch-process 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules 1/2 cup boiling water 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish 2 slices firm white sandwich bread, crusts trimmed 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 2/3 cup sugar, divided 2 tablespoons canola oil 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 large egg 3 large egg whites, or 2 tablespoons dried egg whites, reconstituted according to package directions

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, finely chopped (1/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar


1. To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment or wax paper.

2. Combine dates, cocoa and instant coffee in a small bowl. Add boiling water and stir until the cocoa has dissolved. Cover and let stand until the dates have softened and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, spread hazelnuts in a shallow baking dish and bake until fragrant and lightly toasted, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

4. Grind bread into fine crumbs in a food processor. Measure to make sure you have 1/2 cup. Transfer to a large bowl. (No need to wash the workbowl between steps.)

5. Place 1/2 cup of the hazelnuts in the food processor. Add flour and salt; process until the nuts are finely ground. Transfer to the bowl with the breadcrumbs.

6. Scrape the cooled date mixture into the food processor. Add 1/3 cup sugar, oil, vanilla and whole egg; process until smooth, stopping several times to scrape down the sides of the workbowl. Scrape the mixture into the bowl with the breadcrumbs and nuts. Mix gently with a rubber spatula.

7. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer in a clean large mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/3 cup sugar, beating until stiff, glossy peaks form. Add one-fourth of the beaten whites to the batter and whisk until blended. Fold in the remaining whites with a rubber spatula just until blended. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.

8. Bake the cake until the top springs back when touched lightly, 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Coat the rack with cooking spray and invert the cake onto it to cool completely.

9. Meanwhile, to prepare glaze: Combine cocoa, chocolate, corn syrup and instant coffee in a medium bowl. Add boiling water and stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar (to the chocolate mixture), beating with an electric mixer, slowly at first, then gradually increasing speed, until the glaze is smooth and thickened. (The mixture may seem lumpy at first, but it will smooth out.) Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until the mixture is set, about 30 minutes.

10. To finish the cake, place it bottom-side up on a serving plate. Place several strips of wax paper under the bottom edge to protect the plate from drips. Spoon on glaze and spread it evenly over the top and sides of the cake with an icing spatula or knife. Arrange the remaining 2 tablespoons hazelnuts around the top outside edge. Discard the wax paper before serving.

Seasons in Purdah – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

“James’ entry into Sahel’s life had at the very least unleashed an ability to communicate with those living on other levels of life. Through holding James’ hands, Sahel had entered James’ thought space and experienced the images punctuated with the smells and sounds of his memory. It was a powerful talent, one that, during the ensuing days, had put Sahel at ease and peace with her vulnerabilities, not simply as a person without physical sigh, rather an individual who wanted to love and to be loved. Sahel’s lack of sight had opened portals leading to a source of connection with others, a wellspring that provided a sense of purpose bathed in compassion. It also bestowed an awareness of the need for boundaries.”

Sahel Ohin Denning had a degree in psychology but as it’s been said in many ways – a doctor can’t seem to heal himself. As for Sahel, due to an accident she lost her sight but not her emotions. She found herself feeling some of the same feelings her patients had felt giving them reason to seek out her help. But how could she help others when she couldn’t even help herself. These emotions led her to do the unthinkable. She attempted suicide. Had it not been for her husband Titus’ early arrival at home she would have succeeded. Titus is a heart surgeon and blames himself for her loss of sight. Their best friend Carl is a neurosurgeon who feels surgery will allow her to regain her sight. But to his dismay, Sahel and Titus refuse the surgery. Sahel then meets James who asks one question of her … “Do you believe in reincarnation?”

Through her lack of sight Sahel finds herself being able to communicate with James’ fiancĂ© who committed suicide after the death of her father. James is able to communicate through Sahel with his beloved letting her know how much he loves her and that he forgives her for what she has done.

But James himself is dying and wants to reunite with his beloved at the end with hopes of her helping him cross over into her world. Through Sahel’s help, this is accomplished but with much strain on Sahel’s her own health, pushing her to have the surgery she doesn’t want.

Seasons in Purdah is a beautiful story of three people who love each other with all their hearts. Sahel, Titus and Carl grew up together and were best friends but both men loved Sahel and she loved them equally, yet in different ways. After dreaming of a life during another time and place and then learning that Titus as well as Carl had the same dream at the same time, Sahel, when Sahel is attempting to answer James’ question “Do you believe in reincarnation?” seeks understand the question as well as its answer. She must clarify whether the reality of her life. Is her life an aspect of Titus and/or Carl’s dream(s) or are their lives but an aspect of her dream? Is Sahel experiencing a life she has already lived? Or is she living one of the many lives that awaits her in the future? Or is she dreaming this present life from a life based in the future?

And so, what do you, the reader, believe?

After following the three of them through the trials of life and the trials of their‘dreams’ I must give it a second thought before I can answer.

Seasons in Purdah is a very beautiful, loving, yet intriguing story that would make a great ‘Lifetime’ movie for television.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ancient Memories - Terry L. White, Author

Red Bean Succotash
(A Terry L. White favorite)

Two ears fresh sweet corn cut from the cob or
1 can whole kernel corn, or 2 cups of frozen corn
1 can dark red kidney beans
¼ cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

Cook corn and cut kernels from cob and combine with kidney
Beans, milk, sugar and butter. Simmer about 15 minutes until
sauce is thickened. Serve hot.
Ancient Memories – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of A Book and A Dish; Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds
What do you do with yourself when your life is over?  I don’t know about everyone else, but when my mother passed away and I no longer had to be at her beck and call every minute of the livelong day, I started signing up for things.  I took telephone calls at the local bottle museum… passed out juice and cookies for the semi-annual blood drive… joined single groups one week and un-joined the next.  Mother had left me well, off, I can’t complain about that at all… After she was gone, I didn’t need to work unless I wanted to, but I had remained home most of my adult life, to cater to her endless needs and petty complaints.  I was ready for some excitement.  If not excitement, then perhaps, the next best thing – a little mental stimulation.  “Creative Writing class offered by Adult Education.”   I had been planning to begin the Great American Novel for the past forty-five years… Now that I had time I figured it couldn’t hurt to learn a little bit about the art of writing before I began.
Nancy Hunter signed up for the writing class that was being taught by Harriet Blake, newspaper reporter, prize winning author and aspiring novelist.  The one point that Harriet pressed to install in her students was to write about something that you know something about.  This just might put a damper in Nancy’s idea of writing romance novels since she had spent most of her life taking care of a mother who spent most of her life making Nancy’s life miserable with her demands and derogatory remarks.  Love was something Nancy had never really known.  Or had she? 
To Nancy’s surprise and delight, Peter Allen decided to take the seat next to her.  His lovely deep blue eyes, handsomely tanned face and a pair of wide shoulders were just what she needed.  Maybe the class would turn out to work for her yet.  Over after-class coffee with Peter, Nancy couldn’t help but feel that she knew him from somewhere.  She believed in reincarnation, could he have been someone from another life?  That thought was apparently all she needed to begin her novel of Ancient Memories.
As I read Ancient Memories I wasn’t sure that what I was reading was Nancy’s imagination novel or if she was remembering past lives.  As Nancy inspires to become an author she takes you back in time to Ancient Egypt, then into the 1400s and on into 1800 Canada.  The history within her stories are amazing, as well as savage.  But how does Peter fit into the picture?  Could he be someone from her past lives?  Nancy seems to think so.  Take a journey into Ancient Memories and see what you think.  I know I really enjoyed my journey through time with Nancy’s and Author Terry L. White’s novel Ancient Memories.

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