Friday, September 30, 2016

Death on the Delaware - Lawrence Johnson, Sr., Author

Bison Burgers
(One of Alex's Favorite Dishes)

1 lb      Bison meat (ground)
¼ lb     Beef (ground)
1          Egg (med to large)
1 tbsp   Garlic powder
1 tbsp  Onion powder
1 tsp    Pepper
1 cups  Vegetable or Canola oil

Combine all ingredients except oil in a large bowl.  Mix thoroughly. Form into burgers.  Preheat oil in medium to large frying pan.  Cook Bison burgers over medium heat until brown about 6 -8 minutes per side.

Tip #1
Covering pan during last few minutes will trap heat and steam that will help cook the center of the burgers.

Tip #2
Do not poke or jab burgers with shape objects.  This will cause the juices to run and dry out your meat.

Tip #3
Using Canola oil in place of vegetable oil will help lower your cholesterol.

Add salt if desired. 

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

At 6:00 a.m. she downed her gray knitted cap and headed outdoors to take her poodle Gladys for her daily walk alongside the Delaware River.  The gray-haired retiree had no idea that she would soon feel another chill, one that she would never forget.  As she walked along the frozen dirt path, Gladys began to bark.  Mrs. Ferguson looked in the same direction as the little black dog.  Dawn was breaking.  It was difficult to see.  She squinted as she peered toward the water.  Gladys tugged on her leash causing her master to leave the path and tread closer to the river.

Mrs. Ferguson caught a glimpse of something floating in the murky water.  An old rotten log she thought.  The elderly woman's curiosity had gotten the better of her.  She inched closer to get a better look.  Seconds later Mrs. Ferguson screamed so loud she could have woke up the dead.  Well, almost.

The body Mrs. Ferguson found turned out to be a a congressman.  A womanizing congressman.  So with this being said, the list of possible murderers was rather long.  As Alex Steele begins his list of suspects, he finds that he must include his girlfriend's sister Naomi.

Normally when I read a book I bookmark many pages in search of one that will serve as my opening as well as help me remember the characters and plot.  I had a hard time doing that with Death on the Delaware.  I found myself forgetting to bookmark because I was too busy turning to the next page.  I simply didn't have time for notes.  I just wanted to keep reading.

This is a short story book and I have a feeling you too will start at the beginning and not put it down until you reach the end.  A very enjoyable read.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Once in a Blue Moon - Vicki Crum, Author

Garlic Knot Pizza Bake
(The Author's own special dish)

Garlic Crust

2 tubes pre-made biscuit dough
3 tbsp. butter, melted
1 ½ tsp. garlic powder, divided
¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese

Pizza Filling

1 lb. ground beef
1 jar marinara sauce
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
12 slices pepperoni

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the garlic-knot crust: Cut each biscuit round in half (or quarter it, if the package makes extra-large biscuits), so they’re about the size of a half-dollar.Dip the biscuit pieces in melted butter, then place them in a gallon-size resealable plastic bag and top with 1 tsp garlic powder and parmesan cheese. Shake to coat.Pour coated dough balls into a large casserole dish, spreading them out in an even layer. Set aside.For the rest of the pizza: Place ground beef and ½ tsp garlic powder in a sauté pan over medium heat. Cook beef, breaking it up into crumbles with the back of a spatula until it’s fully browned. Drain and mix with marinara sauce.

Once in a Blue Moon - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Casey's gaze latched onto the bike and the broad, leather-jacketed back of the guy who guided it deftly through traffic as though he and the bike were one.  She ached with the need to see him better, to learn something about him...where he'd come from and where he was headed.  To climb up behind him and hang on tight, feel the warm wind caressing her face and whipping through her hair.

Casey Montgomery had this attraction for what she called the alpha-male type.  Those classified as the 'bad boys', 'mavericks', 'renegades.'  Those men whose inbred machismo blinded them to any other needs but their own.  This attraction has brought her nothing but trouble and pain in the form of heartaches.  She had promised herself to swear off this type of man, yet here she is actually running down a total stranger that fits that bill.  And run him down she does until they both are caught at a red light. Looks like she has done it again.

I don't normally read romance novels.  Most follow the same story line - boy meets girl; girl falls for boy; both try to fight their attraction;  both find they can't;  boy and girl end up as a couple.  Well... this book was going to be the same, so I thought.  Wrong!  Author Vicki Crum threw a curve that was a total surprise to me.  It turns out that Casey has a secret and doesn't even know it.  I kept turning page after page to see when and how this secret will be brought to light and how it will affect Casey's life and mainly her love life.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Better Off Without Her - Rita Hestand, Author

Sourdough Flapjacks
(A good on the trail recipe)

1 cup of flour 
1 teaspoon of Baking Powder
dash of salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon of honey
3/4 cup of sour milk or sweet milk with one tablespoons of vinegar. Let the milk sour for at least fifteen minutes.

After the milk has soured, you'll see lumps in it, if you don't see any lumps it needs more vinegar. Now then stir all ingredients together. Then get your griddle hot, you can use a griddle or an iron skillet either one. I use an Iron skillet. Now add a half of tablespoon of butter, spread it around the pan don't let the butter burn though, once it melts turn the heat down a notch, to test this, sprinkle a drop of water on the pan, if it sizzles, it's hot. Now add a scoop of batter, grill until golden on one side then turn and brown on other side
Put lots of butter on it when it's done and syrup to taste. Best pancakes you ever ate. Remember, the flapjacks are flatter than pancakes.

These are the kind of flapjacks the drovers on the cattle drives ate, sometimes they didn't have the honey, nor syrup and they'd just wrap a piece of fat back around it and eat it, like we eat sandwiches. It kept them going until the next meal.

Better Off Without Her - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

"now you stay there boy," Victor said turning back to Hattie.  "You will pay for punishing hem.  You'll all pay.  I'll see to it myself.  He didn't do anything wrong."  He threw her up against the wall, her body made a thudding sound, and she groaned aloud, trying desperately to move.  He picked her u again, lifted her high into the air, and this time his fingers closed around her throat until they met.  Her feet jerk, her head sagged against his arm, and her breath finally sighed from her body as he let her fall to the floor.  The thrill it gave him to kill subsided quickly.  He shook his head and he stared at her limp body.  He ought to feel something aside this crazy surge in his head, but he didn't.  He couldn't.  "Ain't right to punish a kid...Why does all you folks got to punish 'em?'  John T. tried to tackle him, tears streaming down his face, his voice at high-pitched scream, but Victor didn't budge.  He took his knife from his boot and proceeded to cut off her wedding finger, while the boy continued to batter him with his small fists.  The solid gold ring on her finger bounced and rolled on the floor, making a strange music in the air... Victor stuck the finger in his pocket, the blood still dripping from it.

I've read books by Author Rita Hestand before and found her books very enjoyable.  But, Better Off Without Her was a total surprise to me.  It is far from the romance novels I've read by this author in the past.  This is a story that would fit perfectly into the series 'Criminal Minds' if they were could take their stories back a century.  This is the story of a serial killer who believes he is rescuing the children that are being punished by their mothers for doing something they shouldn't have done.  It's the story of one of those children growing up and his search for revenge.  But its also the story of what made this madman feel he had to defend the children.

As I read Better Off Without Her I felt sorrow for the victims and their families.  I also felt sorrow for the killer who was a victim himself.  This book is one that took me on a curvy ride with every chapter, event and of course, the outcome.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Angel Solution - John Stipa, Author

San Francisco Scramble
(A John Stipa Specialty)

4 eggs
1 cup leafy spinach
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheese
2 sausage patties, cut into pieces 

Sauté mushrooms in olive oil, add in sausage until brown. Add spinach.
Crack eggs in bowl, add a splash of milk and pinch of onion salt (or seasoning of your choice) - stir.
Add egg mix to skillet. Sprinkle cheese all over and serve.

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

"What's wrong?" Tammy said.
"I'm not sure."
"Yes, you are, you just won't admit it.  Just like you won't admit these people aren't who we thought.  They're here under false pretenses." 

Trek stared back, silent, until the mask of guilt slid over his face.
"You have to make this right," Tammy said.  "If you won't, I will."
"I don't know how."
"I'll help you.  For one, stop referring to them as subjects.  Dianna, Marcus and Hayden are people, flesh and bone, not test tubes and chemicals.  They need our help.  And another, they're not 'exhibiting interesting behavioral patterns'.  They're reacting best they can to what we did to them, so take some responsibility for that."
"It's too late."

Tammy braced him by the shoulder.  "It's never too late to do what's right."

So, who are Dianna, Marcus and Hayden?  All three are offspring from three very bright men.  Three scientists who believed they could help people make the right decisions in life as well as cure the health problems invading the people of the world.  They believed in themselves so much, that is until a mysterious accident destroyed everything they worked so hard to achieve.

Tek and Tammy, with the funding from a wealthy industrialist, have picked up where the 3 scientists left off.  The subjects are under Tek and Tammy’s total control, both physically and mentally, with memories and situations being implanted into their brains - for a while that is. Then things start to change.  Dianna begins to suspect her surrounds and some of her own memories come to life with the unknowing help of her friend from the past, Renee. This ignites a harrowing series of events which has Tek and Tammy suspecting that they themselves are being played. 

This book has more twists and turns than any I think I've ever read.  As soon as I think I've figured out what is going on and who is behind it, the author throws a wrench into my theory.  And that means I can't go to bed until I see what will happen next.  Yes, I spent several nights of reading up into the wee hours - and it was worth it.  I really enjoyed this book.

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