March 2022 Monthly Letter

Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and well.  Just when you thought things were going to lighten up, the world is faced with another challenge.  I don’t mean to be a Debbie-Downer, but my heart breaks for the people of Ukraine, and anywhere else there is tyranny and injustice.  It’s no surprise aliens don’t want to come here.  Too bad they can’t pick up all the bad guys and whisk them off the planet.  Maybe I should start writing science fiction.  Ha.  Ha.  I have often said if women ruled the world, we wouldn’t have any of this fighting.  Ok.  Maybe a little hair-pulling but women still have a nurturing instinct, at least for now.  So let’s pray – however and to whomever you pray – we can find peaceful coexistence.

They say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.  This year it’s more like a rollercoaster.  One day it’s 70 degrees, the next it’s hovering around 30.  Yep, everything is off kilter, so we need to try even harder to keep our balance.  In a very short time we will see daffodils, tulips, and forsythia’s in bloom bringing us a sense of hope.  I hope!

Next month we have Easter.  Last year I told you how we arrive at Easter Sunday.  Here’s a refresher:

It is the FIRST Sunday after the FIRST Full Moon AFTER the Equinox (equal hours of daylight and dark).  Follow me with the math.  This year The Equinox is March 20th.  The first full moon after the Equinox is April 16.  The first Sunday after that is April 17th.  Voila!  Passover is also on its own calendar and this year it’s the weekend of Easter.  God sure works in mysterious ways.

For book news:  19 Yellow Moon Road is # 9 on the New York Times Best Seller List!

Fear Thy Neighbor, a stand-alone hardcover will be available first week of April.  It’s about a woman, Alison Marshall, who is looking for a place to call home.  She finds a something that seems to be is everything she hoped.  But as days turn into weeks, she uncovers a dark side to this supposedly peaceful haven, but something clandestine is lurking among the locals, and once Alison discovers what it is, she faces a stark choice.  It’s intriguing and suspenseful and I don’t want to give any more details away.  SO…

This months’ contest is a signed copy Fear Thy Neighbor!

I am working on a new novel for next year.  It’s about a chef, a mysterious illness, and a secret past.  While I was writing it, I came across some recipes that I am going to share with you now.

Be well, be safe!  Take care of yourself.

All the best,
Fern

March 2022 Recipes

Cheese Stuffed Corn Cakes

SERVINGS

6 arepas

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups precooked corn meal
  • 2 cups hot water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon soft butter divided
  • 12 slices mozzarella cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

In a medium bowl mix the corn meal, water, salt and ½ the butter. Knead with your hands for about 3 minutes moistening your hands with water as you work.

Form 6 small balls with the dough.

Place each ball between 2 pieces of parchment paper, and with a flat pot cover or rolling pin, flatten to about ⅓ inch thick.  The arepas should be about 5” in diameter.

Add the butter to a nonstick pan over medium heat.  Place the arepas in the pan, and cook about 3 minutes on each side, until a crust forms or until they are golden brown.

Split the arepas using a knife as you would do with an English muffin and stuff with 2 slices of mozzarella cheese.

Place the stuffed arepas back on the skillet over medium high heat and cook 2 minutes on each side or until the cheese is melted and serve immediately.


BIRRIA – Columbian Stew

It’s a little spicey so use your judgement.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 dried chile peppers, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 dried habanero chile pods, stemmed and seeded
  • water to cover
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 slice onion, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 ½ onions, chopped
  • 3 ½ pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into chunks
  • 6 bay leaves

INSTRUCTIONS

Place the dried chiles into a saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until chiles are softened, 15 to 20 minutes.

Pour chile sauce mixture into a blender.  Add garlic, onion slice, pepper, oregano, cumin, and cinnamon. Blend until smooth.

Layer chopped onions in the bottom of a slow cooker. Place chuck roast over onions and add bay leaves. Pour the chile sauce on top. Cook on High until beef is tender enough to shred with a fork, about 5 hours.

Remove beef from the sauce. Continue cooking sauce until is reduced, 35 to 45 minutes.  Add beef back in and season with salt.

February 2022 Monthly Letter

Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and well.  In February of 2021 I wrote about being a year into the pandemic, and now it’s two years!

Last year I wrote about Ground Hog Day and here I go again!  If you recall the movie, it’s about a cynical weatherman who gets trapped in a time loop where he keeps reliving the same day over and over again.  Sound familiar?  But there is a deep message in the story.  If you have the opportunity to do things over, what would you change?  We can’t change the past, but we can make better decisions about the future.  How’s that for an inspiring message from someone who is freezing her pantaloons off in chilly South Carolina?  If there is no such thing as global warming, someone needs to have a chat with Mother Nature because she didn’t get the memo.

Speaking of weather, we had a monster wind storm a few weeks ago that blew all my holiday decorations all over.  Saved me time from putting them away.  LOL.  Now that the Christmas ornaments are gone or packed, I wonder what the cats will destroy this month.

It seems the month of January flew by.  I hear a lot of people saying it’s as if time is moving faster.  It’s true the solar system is hurdling through space, but I wish it were more like the wind blowing through your hair as you tour a stunning countryside in your fabulous Lamborghini, or the sports car of your choice.  Or, perhaps riding on a beautiful horse through hills and valleys.  Just thinking about that kind of freedom makes me feel better.  Even if it’s only for a few minutes.  A-ha!  Maybe I should think about such things more often.  They say 1 minute a day of deep breathing and visualizing something beautiful can lower your blood pressure.  I’m all for that!

We have Valentine’s Day coming up.   I already told the cats “white chocolate, please.”  I leave empty wrappers around to drop hints.  Kidding.  But do you remember those little dye-cut cards we’d send each other in grammar school?  In some ways it was cute, in others it was cruel if you weren’t the recipient of any.  I had a teacher who put everyone’s name in a hat and each kid picked a name.  This way everyone would get at least one card!

And now I am going to do another Ground Hog Day paragraph, because it’s still important to remember.  If no one buys you candy this year, buy some for yourself.  Or buy yourself a new purse.  Treat yourself to something.  Even if it’s simply a walk in a park away from everyone who keeps asking you to do stuff.  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 for way too long.  A little retail therapy works wonders.  Even if it’s just a new lipstick.

For book news:  19 Yellow Moon Road is # 9 on the New York Times Best Seller List!  I am agape and agog.  This is book # 33 in the series.  I never thought it would have so much traction.  Honestly!  I started writing it because it was the only way I could met out justice in our mixed up world.  I guess a lot of people feel the same way.  It’s so gratifying to see justice served.

This months’ contest is a signed copy of  a new edition of  Southern Comfort in a new format with a new cover.

Be well, be safe!  Take care of yourself.

All the best,
Fern

February 2022 Recipes

Last year I gave you a Pasta Fagioli recipe, but found an easier way to make it in a crock pot. It’s simple and inexpensive.

Pasta Fagioli   (pronounced Pasta Fa-zool)

This is more like a stew.  If you want it more like a soup, see note at the bottom.

Ingredients:
(3) tablespoons of olive oil
(3) cloves large garlic chopped
(1) medium onion chopped
(1) tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or (1) teaspoon dried
(1) teaspoon dried oregano
(1) 14-oz can diced tomatoes
(1) 16 oz. can of tomato sauce (I like Rao’s with basil)
8 oz. vegetable or chicken broth
(2) 8 oz. cans Cannellini Beans (drained and rinsed)
¾ lb. dried (uncooked) small pasta shells (I like the shells because the beans get nestled in them and they hold the sauce better)
1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese
½ cup dry red wine
Salt and Pepper
Crushed red pepper – optional  (you can put it on later or add to the mix to cook)
Fresh chopped basil – for garnish

Directions:
Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil – put it crock pot with the rest:
Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, broth, wine and herbs, Add parmesan cheese and  pasta and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  If it starts to get too thick add a little more broth
Garnish with basil, more grated cheese and crushed pepper.  This will last in the frig for a week and in the freezer for a couple of months

Easy peasy

For soup:
Add 2 chopped carrots and 3 stalks of chopped celery, and 16 oz. of vegetable of chicken stock – follow same directions

Another easy recipe: (I think they call this a “hack” – quick solution?)

Chicken Soup

Ingredients:
½ roasted chicken from the grocery store – take the meat off the bone and set aside
(1) large onion – sliced
(2) cloves garlic – minced
(2) large carrots – cut in chunks
(3) stalks of celery – cut in 1 inch chunks
(3) tablespoons fresh copped parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried)
(1) tablespoon fresh chopped dill (or 2 teaspoons dried)
(4) cups chicken stock
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Add noodles, rice or barley – cook according to instructions or add to soup directly

Directions:
Sauté onion, garlic, carrots, celery until soft
Add chicken stock, herbs and shredded chicken
Simmer for 45 minutes

January 2022 Monthly Letter

Dear Friends,

This is what I wrote a year ago:

Let me start with wishing everyone a happy, healthy, stress-less 2021.  If you feel like you’ve been living in the spin-cycle of the washing machine, you are not alone.  2020 was a year where you wanted to hide under the bed as we were bombarded with bad news on a daily basis.  So, for this new year’s resolution let’s “resolve” to be strong and kind.  I know it’s hard to be pleasant when your life is in chaos,  but remember you are not alone.  We are all going through this together, even if we are apart.  Hang in there.  I truly believe better days are ahead.

It  doesn’t seem like much has changed, eh?   Feels like life is a hamster wheel or a recurring nightmare.  All I can say is the same things I said before.  Be strong.  Be kind.  Have faith.  And yes, I still believe we can get back to an old normal, because this new normal is kind of stinky.

The cats managed to mangle a few Christmas trees.  They think ornaments are toys.  Next year I may invest in rubber ornaments if they make them.  If they don’t, then someone should!  Based on the stories I heard, most pet owners would buy them for sure!

Once again I want to thank you for all your support last year and the years before.  Your kind words on social media mean a lot to me.  I’m not a big fan of social media because too many people use it in negative ways, so I greatly appreciate positive feedback and spreading a little cheer.

Time to talk books. For those of you who are Sisterhood fans, 19 Yellow Moon Road is on sale now.   If you haven’t read any of the previous books in the series, have no fear.  There is a lot of back story so you don’t have to start at the beginning of the series. This one was interesting to write because it deals with a very wealthy man who lures young women into a sex slave enterprise.  Sound familiar?  The subject has been in the news lately.  Sometimes I scare myself when I write about things that eventually happen.  Believe me, I do not claim to have any psychic abilities whatsoever.  It just seems to occur from time to time. Too bad I can’t do that with the lottery!  So this month’s contest will be a signed copy of 19 Yellow Moon Road.

No matter where you live, the weather seems to be unpredictable.  We’ve had temperature swings from 65 to 35 degrees in two days.  I worry about the trees and the plants.  They have no idea what’s going on.  Come to think of it, it seems like the weather has the meteorologists perplexed as well.

Let’s hang on to our hats, coats, and pantaloons and face the New Year with as much gusto as possible.  To help with that I am including some comfort food to fuel your soul.

Be well, be safe.  Be kind.  Have fun.

All the best,

Fern

January 2022 Recipes

Easy Minestrone Soup  (Minestrone comes from the Italian word Minestra which means soup!) Easy Soup Soup!

This is a very healthy, hearty soup.  It can keep in the fridge for about a week, and you can freeze it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil – I prefer Italian olive oil (EVOO or Light – up to you)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cans (8 ounces each) no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked pasta (Mezzi Rigatoni or Shells)
  • 1/3 cup teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Sauté the celery and onion in oil and butter until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.

Stir in the broth, tomato sauce, beans, chickpeas, tomatoes, basil, parsley, oregano and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add macaroni; cook, uncovered, 6-8 minutes or until macaroni and vegetables are tender.

Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve with crusty bread.

Another hearty stew/soup:

CABBAGE & BEANS     

  • 1 (8 ounce) package dried beans, soaked overnight (or 16 oz canned white beans, drained)
  • ½ pound smoked sausage (or your favorite vegan substitute – sounds like an oxymoron to me) Pepperoni or Chorizo is good for this – set aside a few slices for garnishing
  • 16 oz chicken or vegetable broth
  • 5 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes

Directions:

In a large pot, combine the beans, sausage, broth, cabbage and butter.

Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and set a lid on top but leave a crack for steam.

Simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the lid, add the tomatoes and; simmer 15 to 20 minutes.

And if you’re in a cheesy kind of mood:

Grilled cheese sandwiches.  Here are a couple of my favorites.  BTW, did you know you can substitute mayonnaise (the real stuff) instead of butter?  I recently discovered that many diners use it in place of butter.

Grilled Swiss Cheese, Bacon & Tomato – I like it on Rye Bread

Make sure the bacon is cooked first.

*Slather up two slices of bread with either butter or mayo.  Place slathered side down on medium heat in frying pan.

Place 2-3 slices of Swiss cheese on each slice of bread.  When cheese starts to melt top with bacon and a slice of tomato.  Let melt for another minute.  Carefully flip one of the slices over and place on top of the other – cheese meets cheese.   Yummy.

If you want a little tang:
Sourdough bread
Provolone
Cheddar
*Same routine as above substituting cheeses

Even more tang:
Your choice of bread
Monterey Jack
Jalapeno peppers – as much heat as you can stand
*Same routine as above substituting cheese and adding peppers

December 2021 Monthly Letter

Dear Reader,

Looking back I think I’m having Déjà vu all over again.  People are still arguing about masks, but this year we can add vaccines to the mix.  And now they’ve given us one more thing (Omicron) to fuel our angst. How about this:  Dear Santa, Can You Please Give Me Some Peace? Honestly I think everyone could use a big dose of it.

So here we are riding the rollercoaster of the holidays and it’s enough to make you queasy.  Yes.  Let’s all admit it.  Neither you nor I are Super Heroes.  We can only do what we can do without doing bodily harm to ourselves, or that jerk in front of you in line at the store.  Ha. Ha.  I recall discussing “thought balloons” like they have in comic books.  The words that are in puffy-looking clouds.  So when someone starts to get on your one last nerve, imagine them getting hit in the face with a cow-pie!  You’ll probably laugh out loud at the image, and everyone around you will think you’re cuckoo and will get out of your way.  See?  Imagination  can be used in many ways.

I trust most people got through Thanksgiving.  I’ve been hearing that it was mellow for most—everyone is crispy around the edges.  But I did hear of a few skirmishes where people were asked to leave.  And that’s really too bad.  I wish we could flip a switch and have people simply be nice.  I feel like a broken record, but remember Kindness Doesn’t Cost a Thing…Be Generous.  You can really make someone’s day with a smile or a compliment.  But keep the compliments down to something safe like “Nice nail polish”  or “cool sweater.” People are very touchy so inanimate objects are your best bet.

I’d like to offer an idea if you are throwing a holiday party.  Ask your guests—instead of bringing wine, candy, cake, or cookies, etc.—bring an unwrapped gift for a kid, and donate them to Toys for Tots or a local charity.  Another idea is to ask them to bring imperishable food items [canned goods, rice, pasta, baby food] and donate them to the local food pantry.  It takes the pressure off your guests, you don’t end up with six fruit cakes, and everyone can feel good about doing a little something for someone in need.

Last year I said to hang in there and we had come a long way, and I was looking forward to 2021.  While it may not feel this way, 2021 was a little better, but it sure has been a long haul.  Take care of yourself and others.  Just be sure you put your oxygen mask on first!  Nothing is more important than good health and a good frame of mind.  They go hand in hand.  So if anyone tries to rattle your cage make up a thought balloon.

I say this every year…For those of you who have been following me, you know I go all out for Christmas decorations.  Check out the photos of my house and all the sparkle, shimmer, glitter, ornaments, foliage, swags and bows.  Martha Stewart would have a seizure if she came to my house!

Once again I must mention my cats.  They are little maniacs.  They think I had the house decorated just for them and it’s their own personal amusement park!  They are having lots of fun wrecking the place.

Before I sign off, I want to thank everyone for the wonderful comments and reviews for Santa Cruise. People needed a little escape.

I hope you are not disappointed,  but we are not going to run a contest this month.  The elves have a lot on their to-do list and I don’t want to overwhelm them.  Next month we will be running a contest for signed copies of the next new Sisterhood novel, 19 Yellow Moon Road.  All I will say about it is there’s a very rich man who owns a very private estate in the Caribbean and he “procures” women from a religious cult for sexual entertainment for equally international wealthy men.  Coincidently there is a woman on trial right now for aiding and abetting such a person, who allegedly committed suicide while he was in jail.  Considering I wrote the book over a year ago I think it’s rather timely.  Or, as my friend would say, “woo-woo!”

Have a happy, healthy, sane, holiday and a sane, happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to you and everyone who you wish the same.

Fern

December 2021 Recipes

Here are a few recipes for an Italian Christmas Eve dinner.  It’s usually 7 Fishes, but this is a good alternative:

Christmas Eve Dinner Italian Style

Eggplant Stacks

  • (2) large eggplants, skinned and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • (3) cups Italian flavored breadcrumbs
  • (2) eggs beaten
  • (1/4) cup milk
  • (2) cups Parmesan cheese
  • (4) tablespoons chopped parsley
  • (2) teaspoons dry oregano
  • (2) cups Ricotta Cheese
  • (8 oz.) tomato sauce – Prego or other brand
  • (2 cups) shredded mozzarella
  • (1) cup olive oil

Mix eggs and milk in a bowl.

Mix breadcrumbs,  and half the Parmesan cheese, parsley, and oregano in a different bowl.

Heat olive oil to medium.

Dip eggplant in egg batter and dredge through breadcrumb mixture.

Place eggplant in frying pan and brown on both sides.

Place on paper towels.

Mix/whip ricotta cheese and remaining ingredients (except mozzarella) together

Let the eggplant cool.

Begin stacking.

1 slice of eggplant, top with 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture—spread on eggplant; add another slice of eggplant; top with a spoon of tomato sauce and a tablespoon of mozzarella.

Repeat until you have 3-4 slices of eggplant per stack.

Once assembled, bake in 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until cheese melts.

Shrimp Scampi

  • 1-2 lbs. JUMBO shrimp/shelled and deveined (leave tail on or off)
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 4 tbs. butter
  • 4-5 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ cup dry white wine or vegetable stock
  • 2 tbs. lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • Crushed red pepper if desired

Heat olive oil and ½ of the butter.  Saute’ garlic 2 minutes.

Add shrimp and sauté on one side for 2 minutes.

Flip shrimp and pour wine/stock over shrimp, cook 3-4 minutes.

Shrimp should be pink.

Add remaining butter, lemon juice, and toss parsley into shrimp (red pepper).

Remove pan from heat.

Can be served over linguini or rice if desired.

Stuffed Flounder With or Without Crabmeat

  • (1) Piece of founder per person (using 6 pieces for recipe)
  • 1 cup chopped crab meat (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • (4) lemons for garnish – cut into equal pieces
  • Zest and juice of (1) lemon
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs Italian flavored breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 4-5 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano

Rinse flounder and pat dry.

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Heat butter and ½ olive oil in sauce pan, add garlic and saute’ for 1-2 minutes.

Add breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, oregano (crabmeat if desired) and sauté until blended and if  adding crabmeat until cooked.

Place 2-3 tablespoons of mixture and spread in middle of flounder.  Roll flounder and hold together with toothpick.

Mix lemon zest and lemon juice together and pour over flounder.

Bake 15-20 minutes until fish turns white.

Once removed from oven top fish with any remaining stuffing.

Squeeze lemons over fish.

Fresh Apple Cake, courtesy of Deb Yarmula. 

Ingredients:

You will need (3) large mixing bowls, Bundt pan, shallow baking pan

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 ½ cups chopped Granny Smith apples – cored and peeled
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325.  Coat 10 inch Bundt pan with non-stick spray and lightly floured.

Spread walnuts in a separate pan and toast for about 7 minutes until golden.  Cool completely.

In large bowl whisk flour, baking soda, and salt.

In another large bowl combine walnuts, vanilla, cinnamon and 3 cups of the cut apples.

In third bowl beat sugar, oil, and eggs with electric mixer on medium until well blended.

Turn mixer to slow speed and gradually add the flour mixture from bowl 1. Scrape bowl occasionally with spatula.  Beat one minute longer of until well combined.

Fold in apple mixture from bowl 2.

Once all ingredients are folded together spoon batter into bundt pan. Add remaining apples to top and gently press into mixture.

Bake 1 ½ hours or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cool on rack.  Serve with a big helping of ice cream.

November 2021 Monthly Letter

Hello everyone!

It’s November!  Time flies when you’re having fun…and even if you’re not.  It just doesn’t seem fair! All we can do is to do our best, even if we’re weary.  I hope Halloween brought you more treats than tricks and now we are heading toward Thanksgiving.  We need to focus on those two words:  Thanks and Giving, especially with the holidays looming.  Many people have suffered a lot over the past year and a half, but as long as you can get out of bed and put your pants on you’re ahead of the game!  I don’t mean to be flippant—just something to think about.

Most of you know I am a news junkie.  Recently I saw an interview with a psychologist talking about all the anger people are feeling, and, unfortunately, acting out in ways that are horrifying. And most of it is displaced, like yelling at the clerk in the grocery store because the line is too long.  Do you really think they planned it that way?  I don’t think so.   I know I talked about this in my last letter but it’s a chronic problem and it’s up to each of us to try to stem the tide. All of us can do a little each day.  I don’t want to get preachy here, but I implore each of you to try a random act of kindness.  Open the door for someone.  Give a total stranger a compliment “Oh, I like your shoes!”  It will make their day, and as a result, it will also make yours.  I know life is very frustrating right now, but if everyone makes a small effort to be nice to one another,  I truly believe we can become more civil and kind, which will truly shift the energy in a more positive direction.

I say this now because as we approach the holidays people are going to be even more frustrated with lack of goods and services.  So, before you blow a gasket ask yourself, “Do I really need that thing?”  (I’m not talking about necessities, like toilet paper.)  Or if your children are becoming too demanding, reel them in.  They will only learn if you teach them.  As Crosby, Stills & Nash said, “Teach your children well.”

Now I shall step off my soapbox and talk about our contests for November.  We will be giving away (5) special links for an audio-book download version of SANTA CRUISE.  There will be a Special Holiday Contest Coming soon. Check back next week for details.

Have a wonderful THANKSGIVING!
Fern

November 2021 Recipes

Now on to the turkey and the fixings.  Left overs?  Turkey meatloaf! 

Depending on how much you have, chop 2-3 cups of turkey in a food processor…don’t pulverize it, just chop it.  Add left over stuffing and a little melted butter—2-3 tablespoons.  Form into a loaf pan and cover with foil. Bake on 325 for about 20-minutes until heated through.  As soon as it comes out of the oven spread cranberry sauce on top.  Voila!


If you are having house-guests you’ll want to have this handy and easy finger picking offering:

Ham & Cheese Sliders

  • 12 Hawaiian style rolls – split in half (top and bottom)
  • ¾ pound deli ham thinly sliced
  • ½ pound Swiss cheese
  • 6 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tsp dried minced onion
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbs chopped parsley
  • Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350.
Coat sheet pan with spray.
Place bottom of rolls on the pan.
Layer ham first and then cheese.
Place top of rolls over the cheese.
In a small bowl whisk the butter, mustard, dried onion, Worcestershire sauce.
Drizzle mixture over rolls.
Cover sandwiches with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
Uncover and bake 3-5 more minutes until tops are lightly browned.


And of course Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without Patricia Dorph’ s apple-pie recipe.

Apple Pie

Pastry  for two 9 inch  pastry pans:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cups butter
  • 2-3 tbs cold water
  • Sift flour and salt together
  • Add butter and cut it through with pastry blender until mixture is in pieces, pea size
  • Add cold water a few drops at time until moistened enough to hold together in a ball
  • Wrap in plastic and chill in fridge for 15-30 minutes
  • Take more than half for the under crust and roll out and fit into 9” pie pan

Filling:

  • 5 cups, cored, peeled and thinly sliced Granny Green and Mackintosh
  • Mix together and add to apples
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbs butter
  • Place into pie pan
  • Roll out top dough for crust and place on top
  • Make 4 slashes in top crust

Bake 450 degrees for 15 mins. Turn heat down to 350 degrees and bake for 20 to 35 mins. Remove when golden brown.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Enjoy!