Sunday, October 23, 2016

Hale Mary - C. M. Albrecht, Author

Curried Egg Appetizer
(ala Dorothy Sale)

Gently boil one dozen large eggs for 14 minutes.

Immediately place in cold water, the colder the better. Gently begin tapping each egg all around until the shell begins to come apart and gently peel, placing the peeled eggs back in cold water.
After eggs are completely cool, carefully cut in half lengthwise and remove the yolk to a bowl.

When all the yolks have been placed into the bowl, add a bit of mustard (I prefer dry, but that's just an opinion), a bit of salt and pepper to taste and a goodly portion of curry powder. Mix well with a fork and then, either with a small pastry bag or spoon, place a nice portion of curried yolk on each egg half. If you have empty halves left over, enjoy them before someone else gets them.

Arrange the prepared curried eggs on an egg server, or lacking that, take a plate of suitable size and arrange them on a bed of lettuce.

Your guests will love them. Bon appétit.

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

Inside the guest bedroom, Mary and Gracie lay back on the twin beds, watching a little TV as they passed a fat joint back and forth between them, slowly filling the room with smoke.  Gracie got up and opened the window all the way.  "Have to keep this on the down low," she said, giggling.  "We don't want your son to be shutting us down."  "No way," Mary agreed.  She got up off the bed and fumbled in the pockets of a heavy bathrobe, bringing out half a pint of whiskey.  "We can always depend on Maudie."  She held up the bottle in a sot of pre-toast.  "Here,"  she said with a wide smile.  "let's drink to better days ahead."

Meet the characters:
"Hail" Mary Drummond married to Police Detective "Bulldog" Drummond, recently deceased.
Cray "Crayfish" Drummond - Son of Mary and Bulldog - recently fired from his job and looking for work.
Estelle - Daughter of Mary and Bulldog - following her father's footsteps she has become a Police Officer.
Grace "Gracie" Prevost - one of two best friends of Mary since childhood, widowed, living in Arizona.
Maude "Maudie" Greene  - Mary's other best friend since childhood, babysits for income but the majority of her money comes from selling pot.
Celie Drummond - Cray's wife; Brooke Drummond - his daughter; and Harry Drummond  his son.
And then there is Rowlf - a hundred forty-eight pound yellow/tan, huge hound dog that spends his days and night laying in front of the door sleeping - and he doesn't move when the door needs to be opened.

Did I mention that the ladies Mary, Gracie, and Maudie are senior citizens?  Well, they are and the antics they get into has kept me laughing throughout the whole book.  They're whiskey drinking, pot smoking women who are out to bring back their good old days and I think they succeeded and I enjoyed riding along with them.  You gotta read this book if you want a fun filled laugh.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A Ton of Gold

A Special Pumpkin Dessert
(A James R. Callan Specialty)

Line a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with wax paper. then coat the wax paper with a thin coat of Pam.

In your mixer, combine
2  15 ounce cans of pumpkin
12 ounces of evaporated milk
1 cup of sugar

Beat in
3 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Pour this into the baking pan.  Sprinkle an

18 ounce yellow cake mix over the top of the pumpkin mix in the baking pan.  
1 cup of melted butter over the cake mix.
Top this off with
1  ⅟₂  cups of chopped pecans.

Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until golden brown.
Cool in the pan on a wire rack.  After cool, invert onto a serving platter, and carefully remove the wax paper.

In a mixing bowl, beat -
a softened  8 ounce package of cream cheese
1 ⅟₂  cups of confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
until smooth.  Fold in
12 ounces of frozen whipped topping (thaw first).  
Carefully frost the dessert.
Store in the refrigerator.

This serves  about 16 people.  

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

The men were struggling with the wagon, its large wheels barely moving.  "Come on, Cookie.  Let's give 'em a hand."  The cook, well over two hundred fifty pounds, and Rip added their muscle to the task.  Now, with all eight men straining, the wagon wheels turned a bit faster.  It reached the point where the ground began to slope toward the cliff and the wagon began to move on its own, slowly picking up speed.  The men gave a last push, then straightened up to watch the wagon tumble off the cliff.  It splashed into the water sending a ripple all the way across the narrow lake.  In only seconds, the wagon and its heavy cargo (a ton of gold) sank out of sight.  

This took place in 1834.  Was it the truth or just a folklore?

Crystal Moore works for IRS - Intelligent Retrieval Systems.  The program she designed will allow the state police to enter descriptions of vehicles, partial plate numbers and even makes and colors to narrow down the possible identification of a vehicle they may be searching for.  Her seventy-six year old grandmother lives in Wooden Nickle, Texas in a house she and Crystal's grandfather built in the middle of 50 acres.  So, when she gets a call telling her that her 'Nana' had been in an accident she left Dallas and went straight to her aid.  Her Nana wasn't hurt badly but told Crystal that this was the 2nd attempt on her life.  Of course Crystal had doubts, that is until the 3rd attempt occurred and a body was found.  Why would anyone want to harm a little old lady that never hurt anyone?

The Author, James R. Callan, has written a book that I simply loved!  I actually read the full book in 3 nights, staying up a bit late just to read 'a little more.'  He ties the events from 1834, the attempts on Nana's life, the retrieval program and some of its employees into a story that had me wanting more.  A Ton of Gold - Crystal Moore Suspense is book one.  I'm now looking forward to book two which is now out and titled A Silver Medallion.  Can't wait!  If you like a good light-heart mystery with a touch of humor, don't miss this series.  I'm glad I didn't.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Tourist Killer - F. C. (Chip) Etier, Author

Home Made Ice Cream
(My recipe is for home made ice cream and includes my mother's "secret" ingredient, whipped cream. 'Chip')

Ingredients (makes 2 quarts)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 dash nutmeg
2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

Combine ingredients (except for the whipping cream) into a boiler and warm on stove top.
Pour into 2-quart churn container.
Whip 2 cups heavy cream (DO NOT use non-dairy whipped topping). 
Fold in whipped cream. 
Add paddles and start cranking!

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

Only the best.  How many times had the assigner used that term in their numerous but brief conversations? She worked hard not to stand out in a crowd.  Hell, I'm a grandmother who could make a longshoreman blush, she would say of herself. Her efforts to blend in were assisted by her genes.  At five-five, medium build, light brown hair, brown eyes and a preference for conservative attire, she could disappear in a crowd in the blink of an eye. After thirty years and all of her previous assignments, it was hard to surprise her, yet her next mark was a true surprise.

Claudia Barry is a hired hit 'woman.'  It's something she has been doing for most of her life, starting with the person who was responsible for the death of her father.  Do these 'kills' bother her?  Not really.  After researching each kill, she has always found that the target actually deserves to be taken out of society.  She sees herself as a Paladin or possibly even a modern day Joan of Arc.

The Tourist Killer took me by surprise.  The more I read the more I actually understood what is really going on in the world today, especially in the area of politics.  With every group of people introduced I couldn't help but think 'super pac.'  They are the people that truly dictate what goes on in all fields of our lives.  They control everything from the people we elect, to the medical research fields, the insurance and banking industries, and even the sports we watch. This book The Tourist Killer put this into a prospective I've never considered.  It was an eye opener.  But that wasn't all.  It was also a page turner full of suspense as Claudia prepares for her next hit and you can bet I’ll be waiting to read the book that follows – The Presidents Club.  So, if you too enjoy a book full of surprises and suspense, you don’t miss this one.

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