February 2021 Monthly Letter

Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and well.  It’s hard to imagine that we are almost a year into this pandemic.  I know people are climbing the walls.  I am grateful I have a large enough house that if I had to spend time with other people I could easily hide.  I count my blessings each and every day.  I saw a very funny cartoon with a woman saying, “We’ve child-proofed the house.  But they keep getting in!”   Humor, folks.  We’ve got to cling to it.  Imagine, Spring is only 6 ½ weeks away.  With some luck we’ll be on the other side of this crazy time in history and on to a new season of good health and hope.

Lots of things happening this month.  We have Ground Hog Day.  Funny thing, it seems like every day has been Ground Hog Day for the past 10 months! See, humor.  I’m squeezing as much of it out of me as I can.  Here’s an idea:  Send me your favorite jokes!  If they make me laugh I’ll share them.

Keep thinking happy thoughts.

My personal animal farm is doing well.  Still can’t believe I’m a cat owner.  Not one, but three.  The first one who came along is Winny.  The skinny cat kept showing up on my porch.  I felt sorry for the poor thing so I put out some food.  Hello?  Did anyone ever tell you that if you put food out, they will come?  Just like the movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it they will come.”  Same thing goes for animals. Build them outdoor dining and you have a pet.  Here’s the funny thing about Winny.  When I finally got the critter into the house and went to the vet, much to my surprise Winny was really a Winston.  Yep.  She was really a he. Like I said, I’ve never been a cat person.  Who knew?  Now we have Miz Boo and her mama, Tessie too.

Besides Ground Hog Day we also have Valentine’s Day.  I have mixed feelings. As a writer of romance novels I am sometimes ambivalent about it.  I know that sounds contrary but the reason I write those types of novels is because it’s the kind of romantic experience we wish we can have.  And who says we can’t?  If no one buys you candy this year buy some for yourself.  Or buy yourself a new purse.  Something to treat yourself.  We shouldn’t have to wait for other people to do something nice for us. I am sure most of you have had your hands full this past year.  A little retail therapy works wonders.  Even if it’s just a new lipstick.

This month’s contest is a signed edition of my next hardcover No Way Out coming in April.  I’m thrilled to announce that it’s going to be in promotion at Target for Mother’s Day.   That’s all I’ve got for now.  Be well.  Be safe.  Be kind.

All the best,


February 2021 Recipes

This is great for a Sunday brunch or a quick dinner.
Need ovenproof frying pan.
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion
1 can potatoes or 1 cup [blanched] sliced fresh potatoes
1 package of frozen artichoke hearts –[thawed] You can use asparagus if you prefer
½ cup sun dried tomatoes – sliced
3-4 tablespoons fresh basil leaves shredded/chopped
¼ cup grated parmesan or romano cheese
4-containers of Eggbeaters [or 6-8 eggs scrambled]
1 cup shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese [according to taste preference] to melt on top just before done

Pre-heat oven to 350.
Saute’ onions and potatoes in olive oil until soft
Add artichokes and sun dried tomatoes and sauté until ingredients are mixed
Whisk eggs and parmesan cheese together and pour mixture over veggies, toss half the basil on top
Let entire mixture set for about five-seven minutes on top of stove on low-medium, heat. You don’t want it to cook through.
Once set, place frying pan in oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle shredded cheese and bake additional 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and let sit for 3-4 minutes. Garnish with remaining basil

STEAK PIZZAIOLA – can serve up to 6 people
This is one way to make your beef go a little further—especially if you add the potatoes— with a crusty loaf of Italian bread [great for dunking]

1 ½ – 2 lb. skirt steak or top sirloin
¼ cup flour/corn meal flour for dredging
2-3 cloves garlic – chopped
1 large onion – sliced thin
1 large red pepper – sliced thin
1 large yellow or orange pepper – sliced thin
[Note: I don’t use green bell peppers. Too hard to digest]
1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
1 ¼ tablespoons oregano
1 teaspoon basil
¼ – ½ cup grated parmesan or Romano cheese [according to taste
½ – ¾ cup red wine
1 [12 oz.] can crushed tomatoes
3 cups of sliced potatoes [optional]

Dredge meat in flour and brown on both sides in frying pan with a little olive oil. 3-4 minutes per side.
Remove after browning.
Sauté’ garlic/onion/red pepper in pan
Add 1/2 cup of red wine to the pan and let cook down for 2-3 minutes.
Add crushed tomatoes, oregano, parsley, basil, cook until combined – 4-5 minutes.
Add meat making sure it’s covered/smothered in mixture.
Spread parmesan cheese on top.
Cover and cook 15 minutes. [You can add a can of potatoes if you want at this point]
Turn meat and cook additional 15-20 minutes, until cooked to desired temp.