Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Just Add Salt - Jinx Schwartz, Author

Since Hetta is always boating in places without stores now, I thought I'd share her:
Emergen-Sea Ice Cream Recipe

1 Gallon sized Ziploc
1 Qt. sized Ziploc

Cream or canned milk to fill Qt zip to 3/4 full
OR if feeling ambitious, make french custard mix

ADD: Vanilla to taste

           Sugar to taste
           Flavoring: Chocolate syrup is great!
Seal qt. bag and place inside gallon bag.
Seal gallon bag.

Shake, shake, shake your booty until frozen.
This also acts as an on-board aerobic activity.


Can also serve a slushy Margarita maker with lime juice, salt, sugar, and tequila. Not recommended when underway.

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

Nothing like a new project or romantic rejection to get my lazy self motivated.  So, fired by an emotionally charged combination of excitement and choler, I compiled an extortionate list of demands for my new client... The Trob had given me the basic of the project, so I still was a little scarce on details... Tanuki wanted me to do some major snoopery before they spent too much time and money on this project.  Or so they said.  My experience was that Japan Incorporated rarely takes the environment too seriouskly, especially the ecosystems of others.

Hetta Coffey along with her friend Jan and their boyfriends Jenks and Lars, had been planning a trip to Mexico on Hetta's boat for some time, so when she finds out that Jenks and Lars are both on a job in Kuwait that will keep them there for some time she decides to take the job offered by Tanuki and go to Mexico without them.  She and Jan combined can manage her boat, which is also her full-time home, but Jan insists they hire a captain and so starts the search for a captain that isn't afraid to tread into those waters during hurricane season.

This book is full of adventure as well as humor.  I couldn't help but laugh out loud when Lonesome the male whale started 'courting' the boat.  Author Jinx Schwartz has given the characters of Hetta and Jan a real sense of humor as well as adventure that keeps you reading to see what they will get into next and how they will get out of it.  Can't wait to read Book 3 in this series.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Alter Ego - Tory Allyn, Author

(A Tory Allyn Speciality)

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 25 min.
MAKES: 12 servings

3 large eggs, divided use
6 tablespoons reduced-fat butter, softened
1 cup sugar, divided
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Separate two eggs, putting each white in a separate bowl (discard yolks or save for another use); set aside. In a small bowl, beat butter and 3/4 cup sugar until crumbly. Beat in the whole egg, one egg white and vanilla until well combined. Combine flour and cocoa; gradually add to egg mixture until blended. Pour into a 9-in. square baking pan coated with cooking spray; set aside.
In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth. Beat in the second egg white. Drop by rounded tablespoons over the batter; cut through batter with a knife to swirl.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until set and edges pull away from sides of pan. Cool on a wire rack.

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

"In layman's terms, I said that the three victims were injected in the carotid artery.  I showed it to you in the morgue.  It caused a chemokinesis, which is the accelerated locomotion of cells due to the response of chemical stimuli.  Basically, the cells in the body went berserk.  They reacted against the foreign agent in a dramatic way, thus causing a cytomorphosis.  It's an extreme metamorphosing of the body."

"So what you're saying is that the chemical compounds caused our guys to turn into she-males?"

"What I'm saying is once the chemical compounds were introduced into their bodies they initiated a metamorphosing affect, causing a male to female alteration, thus the appearance of both characteristics.  Somewhere, in the process of morphing they died, not systematically bearing the exchange."

After being sent to Rockfort, Virginia, FBI Agent Jack Stanwick finds himself having to deal with the third victim that had been found dead under some truly strange circumstances.  It seems that all three men were in the process of changing into women prior to their deaths.  Things get worse when reporter Simone Wellington publishes an article that the Governor of Virginia's son is missing and there may be a connection.  Someone is feeding her information that must be stopped.

This has to be one of the most unusual books I've ever read... yes that's good.  I've read MANY books but Author Tory Allyn writes in a fashion that I've never had the pleasure of enjoying before.  The book was very interesting and took me on a ride but what Allyn does that is so different are the 'conversations' that are carried on with the different characters.  Normally you will find the characters stating what they want to say and the writer goes on to the next scene.  Not Allyn.  His conversations are exactly that.  They talk to each other just as you and I would.  It gives each character a true personality and a little history as to why they are the way they are.  I loved it!!!  And the story too.  I also loved that it closed with another story in the works which I'm looking forward to reading.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Murder by Proxy - Betty Gordon, Author

Fudge Brownie Pie
(One of Vicki's favorite pies)
2 eggs
 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or marg.,  melted
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup Cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring
1/2 cup walnuts
1 uncooked pie pastry (favorite recipe or Pillsbury at store)
Spray pie pan with cooking spray. Spread uncooked pastry shell in pan.
In small bowl, beat eggs, blend in sugar and butter, combine flour, cocoa and salt, add to butter mixture, stir in vanilla and nuts. Pour mixture into pie shell. Bake about 30 minutes until set. Serve warm with ice cream or  whipped cream.

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

How entertaining!  The investigator and cab driver are humorous.  They don't have an inkling how to find me.  They look like kids scrambling around for a huge game of hide 'n seek.  Everything is going according to plan.  All I have to do is exercise patience until the two women leave Cairo and the cab driver gets back to whatever he does.  I'm sure the Cairo police aren't any further along with their investigation.  They'll probably drop it after the Americans are gone.

Sandy Olsen and her best friend are in Cairo for the trip of their dreams with the highlight being the King Tut tomb and artifacts.  Things are going great until Sandy's friend Desiree doesn't make it back to the hotel after an evening out.  And when her body is found at the Opet's Chapel, Sandy had no choice but to ask for help in finding her killer.  That is when Vicki Sanders comes to her aid.  Vicki and her partner Paul run an agency in Houston and are known for their ability to solve some of the harder cases.  This being their first out of the country job will lead them, especially Vicki, into more problems than she ever expected.

Normally, about half way through a book, I have my ideas as to who the killer/murderer might be.  Sometimes I'm right and sometimes I'm wrong.  This book was different.  I had no idea who the murderer would be nor why he committed the crime, until the end.  Author Betty Gordon had me going from page to page in hopes of solving this case before the end.  She gave me several suspects but none that I could see would have a reason to kill Desiree.  It was truly an enjoyable book and showed me that I'm not as good 'book detective' as I thought I was.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Angler and the Owl - Viv Drewa

Pecan Pie Bars(One of Viv's Special Dishes)
Yields 4 dozen
•       2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
•       1/2 cup brown sugar
•       2 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cubed
•       1/4 teaspoon salt
•       3 eggs
•       2 1/4 cups pecans, chopped
•       1 2/3 cups corn syrup
•       1 cup brown sugar
•       1/3 cup honey
•       6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
•       1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.      Preheat oven to 350º F and line a 9x13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
2.      In a food processor or a large bowl, pulse together flour, sugar and salt (of crust ingredients) until combined.
3.      Slowly add in cold butter and pulse until mixture is coarse and crumbly.
4.      Turn dough out into lined baking dish and press it evenly into the bottom and around the edges.
5.      Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
6.      In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, corn syrup, sugar, honey, butter and vanilla extract.
7.      Fold in pecans and mix so they’re thoroughly coated. Then pour over hot crust.
8.      Return to oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until filling has set.
9.      Remove and let cool completely before extracting aluminum foil from baking dish, cutting into bars and serving.

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

France Hunter was excited about her first trip to the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee.  Her family planned camping trips here in the past and she just loved it.  Now that she graduated from the University of Michigan, with a degree in ornithology, she was more than ready to study her favorite bird:  owls.  That is until the black bear decided to show up making her trip short in the wilderness and a bit longer in the hospital.

27 years later she finds herself in the Amazon where she is in search of her first new species of owl - the blue-ringed owl.  What she didn't expect were the feelings she soon started to feel after meeting John Sinclair who was the host of  the television show 'Sinclair's Adventures'.  Rounding out the group was Cathy Birch who was gathering information for her latest magazine article.

Author Viv Drewa brings the search for the blue-ringed owl, the dangers of the Amazon and two people who have just met and their feelings for each other.  This was a page turner which I actually finished in 2 nights.  Very enjoyable.

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