Friday, November 27, 2015
Would you love to be the owner of this Sweet Grass Basket and a $100.00 Amazon gift card? You could be. All you need to do is join my newsletter. The contest will run from NOW until December 15, 2015. On December 16, 2015, I will announce the winner in a special Holiday newsletter. All members of my newsletter on December 15 will be eligible. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been a member. The only restrictions I have are you must be 18 years of age (by signing up for my newsletter you’re confirming that you are) and you must be a USA resident. So sign up NOW and enjoy the perks of being one of my followers! (click NOW)
PERFECT, shame on you. To understand how special this basket is to Darcy, you need to.
Dylan Kincaid totally screwed up Thanksgiving and now he’s faced with Christmas. Thrown into the frightening role of both mother and father while his brother and sister-in-law are off serving their country, all Dylan wants is to make Christmas perfect for his two nieces. But time is running out.
Down on her luck Charleston, S.C. restaurateur, Darcy Witherspoon is licking a wounded ego when she arrives in Black Moose, VT and meets the handsome Maple tree farmer. Wanting a happy holiday herself, she teams up with Dylan to make a perfect Christmas.
Neither is interested in a holiday affair, but the magic of Christmas has something more everlasting in store for the couple. An absolutely perfect love!
Perfect is also available at:
A happy little Christmas love story! A quick read with little antagonism, it was a cute book that made me smile. ~ December Kindle reader
It was a nice warm and fuzzy book. Just wish I knew what will happen next.
Love at first sight!!!! ~ December Kindle reader
Christmas romance at its best! Loved ever minute of it! Looking to read more from this author.~ November Kindle Reader
Enjoyed this book very much. Even though I dislike winter it made me warm and cozy.~October Kindle Reader
I really liked this story. It made me feel good. I liked the characters and loved that happy ending. If you want a short book that gives you a warm fuzzy feeling, this will fit the bill. ~ Sept. Kindle Reader
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
This year, Thanksgiving is at your house and you’re beginning to wonder why you agreed to host the family event. Relax. I’ve got tips for you.
Why should you take my advice? Well, I’ve hosted Thanksgiving, among other events, for more than twenty years for small, large and huge groups. And, I’m not only an award-winning author, but also— a long time ago— an award-winning restaurant manager. So, I have some experience at preparing feasts for many. Organization is one of my talents.
It’s always good to have a plan, so let’s start.
First, you need to do is decide three things. What style of dining you want your party to be—buffet or sit down. The style will play a part in your menu. You certainly don’t want to serve soup at a buffet, at least not at your home. Too many opportunities for spills.
Second, how many will be attending your celebration? If you really envision a sit down dinner, you’ll have to limit the guests, or have a second sitting, even a third sitting. Extra sittings is not my idea of a fun-filled day.
Third, menus for Thanksgiving can range from the traditional Norman Rockwell’s portrayal of roast turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce to Wild Salmon and rice. Make the holiday your own by combining traditions of guests. If invited family or friends offer to make dishes, let them, but ask if they intend to cook or bake their dish before arriving. Seriously, I’ve had someone bring their unbaked dish to dinner, expecting room in my oven and time to bake it.
My last tip has nothing to do with the meal. Activities. You’ll have a household full and while dinner is part of the agenda, it’s not the whole day.
While I love watching football not everyone does, so have other activities planned. My children and grandchildren love playing bingo. A game set can be purchased at a dollar store along with prizes. And while very few think of November as a time to fly a kite, it is great fun and a way to burn off the 5 thousand it is said Americans consume on Thanksgiving .
Now with your style, guests and menu decided, make a game plan.
Two weeks out from the holiday:
1) Confirm guests and time.
2) Review recipes and make shopping list for all dishes.
3) Anytime this week, check china, silverware, glassware and all serving dishes and platters, including salt and pepper shakers (wash & fill), butter dishes, gravy bowls, bread baskets, etc. Wash them and store them until ready to set your table.
If you’re planning to use paper or plastic-ware, buy it this week, especially if you’re thinking of holiday theme. You don’t have time to run from store to store searching for the last few packs on the shelves.
4) Check tablecloths, napkins, and any other decorative items, such as candles and candleholders. I’ve come for my candles only to remember they were used during the last storm. Purchase wanted items now.
5) During this week, you could actually arrange your furniture and set your table to ensure enough elbow room. It’s better to have the space all planned now then to try to arrange it during the days you’ll be baking and cooking. Arrange for extra necessary table space or seating.
1) Double check your grocery list and head to the store. (It’s a good idea to buy extra plastic containers and Ziploc bags for guests to take leftovers home.)
2) Think about your cooking timeline. I have one oven and a lot to bake, so I start my timeline at 1 pm, since my family usually sits down then and I work backward. The star of my dinner is the turkey, which I know must come out of the oven by 11:45. It has to sit and can be kept warm. So, depending on the size of the bird is when the turkey must go in my oven. 11:45 works, because my stuffing and corn pudding needs to bake for an hour so it can go in the oven then, along with mash potatoes and yams or any other dishes that need to be warmed. (It’s a good idea, especially if you have limited space, to put all baking dishes in the oven beforehand to ensure they fit) At 12:45, those food items come out and rolls go in for the last fifteen minutes while all other food is put into dishes and placed on the table. During the last hour, veggies can be steamed or warmed.
3) Cleaning. Honestly, I do a light house cleaning before the holiday, because the house is going to need a deep clean after the crowd leaves.
Two days before the holiday:
1) Some dishes can be made now. I find stuffing and candied yams taste much better when made ahead.
2) If you possibly can, set your table.
3) Make ice if you don’t have an ice maker.
Day before holiday:
1) Other dishes can be made early. Ie: mashed potatoes, pies, desserts, veggie trays.
2) I put my applesauce and cranberry sauces into bowls and refrigerate.
3) I’m live in northeast PA and have already used my outside gas grill as an extra cold storage unit for items prepared ahead. Think out of the box when space is limited.
You’re organized and ready. Stay with your timeline and if something hiccups, don’t sweat it. Your friends and family only will know what you’ve done not what wasn’t done.
Enjoy the day!