Thursday, August 27, 2020

What If? - Fran Lewis, Author



Creamy Vegan Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo

400 g fettuccine
1 1/2 C raw cashews, soaked for 20 minutes in hot water
1 C fresh water (1/2 a cup if using tofu instead of cashews)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 C finely chopped white onion
2 large portobello mushroom caps, thinly sliced
4 C thinly sliced cremini mushrooms
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 C dry white wine (vegan friendly)
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
1 tsp dried parsley
4 C fresh baby spinach
1 C low-sodium vegetable stock

Vegan Parmesan (Optional – Can also buy a Vegan Parmesan Product)

2/3 C raw cashews
1/4 C nutritional yeast
1 tsp sea salt


Instructions

To make the vegan parmesan, combine ingredients together in a food processor until a fine crumb or meal is formed. Store in a jar or container in the fridge. This will last up to 3 weeks.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook noodles to al dente. Drain but do not rinse.  Meanwhile, rinse and drain cashews from the soaking water and add to a high-powered blender along with water, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice. Blend until very smooth.  In a large pan over medium heat, saut√© onion in olive oil for 2 minutes until soft and fragrant.  Add mushrooms and cook for 4 minutes. When mushrooms are half cooked and start to release some moisture, stir in minced garlic, sea salt, and ground black pepper and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.  Once mushrooms have shrunk and released all their water, add in white wine (or replace with an equal amount of low-sodium vegetable stock, plus 1 to 2 teaspoons of lemon juice) and simmer for 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir in fresh basil and dried parsley, and cook for another minute.  Stir in the cashew cream, spinach, and slowly stir in 1 cup of low-sodium vegetable stock. Stir for about 4 minutes.  Add noodles to the pan and toss to combine everything well, and coat noodles in sauce for 3 minutes.  Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of vegan parmesan and toss to combine. Serve with more vegan parmesan and ground black pepper as garnish.


Recipe notes

If you are reheating leftovers, heat in a pan adding small amounts of vegetable stock a bit at a time while tossing the noodles to thin out the sauce again.


What if? - Review by Martha A. Cheves

What if? - There were no more planes or trains.  All you needed to do was think about being somewhere and you were there.  There was only one race where your face may look a little different but your skin colors were the same.  Would the world be a better place?

What if? - You came to the edge of town and saw a sign that read "You are leaving the town of MUNDANE AND NO EXCITEMENT."  As you walk out of town you come across a crossroad.  One sign informs you that its road leads to the town of "NOWHERE - Keep Wandering."  The second road reads to the town of "Decisions.", The third to the town of "Surprises" and the fourth to a sign that tells you to "Just Walk in This Direction and You Will find Out..."  Which road will you take?

Through her short stories, Author Fran Lewis has given us a few situations to test our minds as we see where the stories lead to and end up.  Did the characters make the right decision?  Better yet, do we agree with their decisions?  What if?

Sunday, August 9, 2020

While You Slept - R. J. Parker, Author

 

Richard’s Dog Rolls
(This is my own invention and is a hybrid of a hot dog and a sausage roll (a British snack of sausage meat in puff pastry).  It’s great for parties and very quick and easy.

You’ll need:

Pack/tin of frankfurters
Packet of readymade puff pastry
Onion marmalade
Ketchup and mustard

Unroll sheet of puff pastry and cut off a strip just under the length of a frankfurter and enough to roll it around one.
Place frankfurter on pastry and using a knife, spread some onion marmalade the length of the frankfurter before rolling it up.  Leave a little of the frankfurter poking out from each end.
Repeat with other frankfurters and then place on a baking tray.
Bake in the oven on a high heat until puff pastry looks golden brown.
Serve hot and dip them in mustard and ketchup!


While You Slept - Review by Martha A. Cheves

He was wearing the smile of her daughter.  A cut-out mask of her five-year-old's laughing features with holes cut out of her eyes for his to look through.  Maisie's innocent countenance on his adult body resonated cold at Lily's core.  But she couldn't rush out into the garden.  She wasn't at home.  She was at work.  The intruder and her lawn were over sixteen miles away.  The motion detector in her garden had sent an alert to the app on her phone.

Lily Russell has just come face to face with a man via her security camera and phone.  Who is he?  What does he want?   And the questions in her mind continue to grow when one morning she and Maisie wake up in their own beds just to find out that they are no longer in their own home but in a place that has been duplicated.  The only difference between where they are and their real home is there is no way out. 

This book has kept me on my toes from the very beginning.  I raked my brain trying to determine who was doing this to Lily and Maisie and why.  The answer to those questions?  You'll find out at the end. I was totally, 100% shocked with the ending. Very intense book.  

 
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