Back to School Special ~ FREE Sat., Sun., and Mon.

The Dagger of Aita: Retribution

Happy Labor Day Weekend Peeps!

To celebrate it and the fact that my youngest heads back to school this week, I am having a FREEBIE special on book one of my Dagger of Aita series! YES! That’s right! This weekend you can download a kindle copy of my book for FREE!

So, are you ready for a read that will transport you to a world where the Alimentatori and Cambiare walk amongst humans? Don’t know what the Aliments and Cambiare are? Then perhaps you should find out and download the book now!  🙂

How about Steaks?

garlicsteak

As a last hurrah of the summer BBQ season, how about a delish Garlic Marinated Steak?

What you’ll need for 4 steaks:

  • 1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp and 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Liquid Smoke
  • 2 pinches Cayenne Pepper
  • 4 Rib-eye Steaks

In a bowl, combine all wet and dry ingredients. Mix very well.

Next, place steaks in shallow glass dish. Pour marinade over steaks. Flip steaks, making sure to get marinade on both sides. Rub into steaks. Cover and place in refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. Grill as desired. Discard leftover marinade.

Tasty Carmelitas!

Carmelitas

Oh don’t these look tasty!

Carmelitas

  • 32 caramel squares, unwrapped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Combine caramels and cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until completely smooth; set aside. In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, and baking soda. Pat half of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of an 8×8″ pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over crust. Pour caramel mixture over chocolate chips. Crumble remaining oatmeal mixture over caramel. Return to oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting.
*A stint in the fridge will help them cool off if you’re pinched for time. They shouldn’t be served cold, but all of that molten caramel takes a long time to cool down. They should be stored and served at room temperature.
**If you want to use homemade or store-bought caramel sauce in place of the caramel/cream mixture, use 1 1/4 cups of sauce.
***To make a 9×13″ version, simply double the amounts.

Triple Dipped Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken

You know what I’m in the mood for?? Fried chicken!

What you’ll need:

First Bowl ~

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of garlic salt
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning

Second Bowl ~

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 egg yolks (beaten)
  • 1 1/2 cups beer or water (may need to add a bit more beer or water if mixture is too thick)

1 quart canola oil

chicken pieces of your choice

Heat oil to 350 degrees for frying. Moisten each piece of chicken with a bit of water before beginning. Then dip each in first bowl (dry mixture). Shake off excess. Dip in second bowl (wet mixture).  Dip one more time in first bowl (dry mixture).

Place chicken in hot oil. Be careful as oil with be HOT!

Fry for 15 – 18 minutes or until well golden brown. Remember, smaller pieces will not take as long to cook and larger pieces may take longer! When done, remove from oil and drain on paper towels before serving.

Enjoy!

To speak or not to speak…

So this week I had someone pestering me, as apparently he feels it is his turn in the limelight.  Dante, the head of a Cambiare “Glaring” decided he would like to have a word with all of you. Unfortunately, I’m sorry Dante. I cannot allow you to have free reign and do as you will no matter how much you beg for a chance to speak.

Why, you might ask, won’t I let Dante address you? Well instead I’ve decided to let you, the reader, in on a little secret.

I am an organic  writer. I don’t use an outline. I don’t know the exacts of where my story is going or even how it’s going to get there. I sit down, slip on the persona and let go. My characters tell their stories and I am merely the one who types it in. It is my lot in life to be their conduit but as such, I also know that there are certain characters I cannot trust, who will take a mile if I give them an inch. Dante is a glorious character but his history, his life, is integral to the telling of Jace’s story. Allowing him his moment  to shine will surely give away far too much about what is to come. So, though he has much to tell you, he will keep his silence and remain a mystery. As time marches on you will have the opportunity to fully explore who he is and what makes him tick. But for now, suffice it to say, Dante is dark, dangerous and larger than life. He is a hero, a villain, and the one person you’d want on your side during a fight to the death. He loves hard, plays hard, and has a confidence that sets most people back on their heels.

Are you woman enough to be his lover? Are you man enough to be his friend?

Only time will tell…

Yummy Turtle Cheesecake Bars

Turtle Cheesecake

Turtle Cheesecake Bars

Turtle Cheesecake Crust:

  • 3 cups finely chopped pecans
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Cheesecake Filling:

  • 24 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Toppings:

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 11-oz bag caramel candy, unwrapped
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons milk, divided

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a 13×9 pan with parchment paper, so parchment extends over long side of pan. In a bowl, mix crust ingredients together with a fork; press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake crust for 20 minutes; while crust bakes, prepare filling.
Cream together cream cheese, yogurt or sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time. After crust bakes, remove from oven and immediately sprinkle on 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Pour filling over chocolate chips and return to oven; bake for 50 minutes.

Allow cheesecake to cool for about hour, then place in refrigerator to chill overnight.

When ready to serve, remove cheesecake from pan using parchment paper and place on serving platter, then prepare toppings:
Toast pecans in oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Unwrap caramels and place in a microwave safe bowl, along with 4 tablespoons milk.
Microwave in 30 second intervals until caramels have melted and sauce is smooth. Pour caramel sauce over cheesecake and immediately sprinkle on toasted and chopped pecans. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, along with 2 tablespoons milk, and microwave in 30 second intervals, about 2 minutes total. Stir until smooth and drizzle over caramel-pecan topping.
Allow chocolate to set before serving.

Homemade Twix Bars

Hello Wolff Pack!

I’ve decided to add a recipe or two a week as well, after all, even Aliments and Cambiare have to eat. Here is one that sounds scrumptious!

Homemade Twix Bars

For the Shortbread layer

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

For the Caramel layer

  • 2 cups caramel, cut into small chunks
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream

For the Chocolate layer

  • 3 cups chopped milk chocolate or dark chocolate, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (optional)

Directions

1) FOR THE CRUST: Preheat your oven to 300°F. Spray a 9″ x 13″ pan lightly with cooking spray, or line with parchment, and set aside.

2) In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the flour. At first the mixture may seem dry, but will come together as you continue to beat at medium speed.

3) Take the dough (it will be somewhat stiff) and press it evenly into the pan. Lightly flouring your fingertips will help with any sticking.

4) Prick the crust all over with a fork. The holes will allow steam to escape and the crust will bake evenly with fewer bubbles.

5) Bake the crust until it’s lightly golden brown on top and the edges are deeper golden brown, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen the crust. Set it aside to cool completely.

6) FOR THE CARAMEL LAYER: Melt the caramel and cream over low heat in a small saucepan. Pour the caramel over the cooled crust and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill and firm up.

7) FOR THE CHOCOLATE LAYER: Melt the milk or dark chocolate slowly in a double boiler or over very low heat. If it seems very thick, add a tablespoon of shortening to thin it. Pour evenly over the chilled caramel layer and spread to cover all of the caramel. Return to the fridge until the chocolate is well set. Cut into 2″ x 2″ squares to serve. It’s best to store these bars in the refrigerator.

8) These bars can also be cut and dipped in milk chocolate to resemble Twix ® bars. After the caramel layer has chilled firm, cut down the length of the pan, splitting the bars into two long, narrow bars. Then cut each long strip into “fingers”. Dip the chilled bars into melted chocolate and place on parchment paper to set for several hours.