Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving with your friends and family! Remember...there is always, always, ALWAYS something to be thankful for!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Contest Update

Received my award certificate from the Southern Magic Romance Writers of America chapter today. I didn’t win first place in the Linda Howard Award of Excellence Contest, but it was a fun experience, and I’m honored to have been a finalist. ❤️🖊❤️

Friday, November 17, 2017

Sweet Potato Banana Bread

Happy Homemade Bread Day! How about something a little different, like sweet potato banana bread? YUM!

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup shredded sweet potato (4 ounces)
  • ⅔ cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium)
  • 1 (6 ounce) container plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar (see Tips)
  • ½ cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted
Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat bottom and sides of a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with cooking spray; set aside. In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and cloves. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture; set aside. In a medium bowl stir together sweet potato, bananas, yogurt, brown sugar, eggs, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture; stir until evenly moistened. Fold in pecans. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. If necessary to prevent over-browning, cover loosely with foil for the last 15 minutes of baking. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack. Wrap in plastic wrap or foil; store overnight before slicing.

Tips: We do not recommend using sugar substitute for this recipe.

Nutrition info: 16 servings; Serving size: 1 slice; Per serving: 143 calories; 6 g fat (0 g sat); 1 g fiber; 20 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 0 mg cholesterol; 8 g sugars

(Recipe and photo courtesy of Eating Well)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The (Romantic) 12 Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas – December 12th marks the first day of this traditional countdown with a romantic twist. If some of these seem corny or inappropriate for your spouse – make up your own for that day. The important thing is making it truly memorable, romantic and fun for YOUR spouse:
  1. On the first day of Christmas… Buy your spouse one box of their favorite cereal and lace it with lots of “prizes.” Throw in some golf tees, Hershey kisses, toy cars or whatever would bring out the child in them. 
  2. On the second day of Christmas… Take out your two engraved toasting glasses from the china cabinet and use them. Reminisce the day you first sipped from them. If you never had any, engrave your own by buying some stencils and etching paste at a craft store. 
  3. On the third day of Christmas… Have three meals together. You could go all out with breakfast in bed, a picnic lunch and a candlelit dinner. Better yet, spend less time preparing the meal and more time sharing it together. 
  4. On the fourth day of Christmas… Put the pedal to the metal and four on the floor. Take a peaceful drive for the day. Go to the country, sight see in the city or cruise around town looking at Christmas lights. 
  5. On the fifth day of Christmas… Fax or deliver a photocopy of your five fingers (plus the rest of your hand) to your love at work. Tell them you can’t wait to be together to hold the real thing. 
  6. On the sixth day of Christmas… Give her a half dozen of her favorite flower – one at a time. Leave one on the pillow, one on her car seat, one at her office, etc. 
  7. On the seventh day of Christmas… Count your blessings by gazing into the Heavens. If the night is overcast, arrange glow-in-the-dark ones on the bedroom ceiling. 
  8. On the eighth day of Christmas… Buy an 8-pack of crayons and together design and color a personalized coloring book of happy memories you have shared. 
  9. On the ninth day of Christmas… Cats aren’t the only ones with 9 lives. Take out your scrapbooks, photo albums or home movies and spend the day soaking up the sweet memories of your past lives together (adolescent, teenager, dating, engaged, married, parent) and then began planning for the future ones (empty nest, grandparent, retirement).
  10. On the tenth day of Christmas… Massage your sweetheart’s aching shoulders for ten minutes. Throw in a back scratch, a foot massage and a hair brushing if you are feeling extra generous. 
  11. On the eleventh day of Christmas… Bake or buy her eleven of her favorite cookies (since most recipes make one dozen, these will be bigger than usual – she won’t complain). Stick a wooden skewer through the side of each cookie and then wrap the cookie in a colored plastic wrap. Place them in a box or vase as you would a dozen roses. 
  12. On the twelfth day of Christmas..Present your sweetheart with a custom made twelve month calendar for the new year. Use personal photographs or your own drawings to make it unique. Highlight special days for the New Year. 
(Article courtesy of The Romantic Vineyard)
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