Monday, November 28, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Pink Heart Society: Must Watch Friday :: 12 Men of Christmas

The Pink Heart Society: Must Watch Friday :: 12 Men of Christmas: Tis the season for Lifetime Holiday Movies! There is nothing better on a bustery winter day than cuddling on the couch with a good romance. ...

Primal Chocolate Bread

Apparently, the kiddos and I are enjoying primal quickbreads! We're baking almost every day - two loafs at a time! I love to bake, and the way the house smells when something delish is in the oven. And I love that my kiddos haven't even noticed they're getting less grains.

Primal Chocolate Bread

Heat oven to 325. Grease your small loaf pan. Mix together ::


1/2 cup almond butter
2 eggs
1/4 melted butter or coconut oil
1/4 cup applesauce
2T cocoa powder
2T honey or maple syrup
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Pour into the pan and bake for 40-45 minutes

Primal Cheese Bread!


My new favorite recipe for quick-breads works for savory loafs too! You can only imagine how relieved I am. Makes me want to make some tomato bisque or broccoli cheese soup...or even a grilled cheese sandwich.
Primal Cheese Bread

Heat oven to 325. Grease your small loaf pan. Mix together ::


1/2 cup almond butter
2 eggs
1/4 melted butter or coconut oil
1/4 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup shredded cheese
1/2 t baking powder
pinch of garlic powder, onion powder...if you have it

Pour into the pan and bake for 40-45 minutes It smells...so good! Next time, I think I'll make it was parmesan and a pinch of dried oregano. Bread is back!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Woah There

Yes, I need to post about Las Vegas and Thanksgiving and such...but DOOOOD. The neighbors tree is in my yard! Yelp!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Primal Cherry Almond Fudge Bread

I love cherry almond fudge ice cream. I miss it, but not enough to deal with the post-sugar hangover. Instead, I tried to recreate the flavor in a quick bread. Since my standard recipe uses almond butter, that was covered. For fudgy flavor I used mini-chocolate chips. Now cherries...

There are two options. Soak dried cherries in hot water, and puree. Or, if you have fresh or frozen cherries, place them in a saucepan with a bit of water. As they cook, smoosh the cherries with a fork. When they are rich and syrupy, puree. Either way makes a tasty cherry mixture for this recipe, topping pancakes, or serving over simple sauteed chicken. Yum.

PRIMAL CHERRY ALMOND FUDGE BREAD

Heat over to 325. Grease your small loaf pan. Mix together ::


1/2 cup almond butter
2 eggs
1/4 melted butter or coconut oil
1/4 cup cherry puree
2T honey or maple syrup
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Once that is combined, stir in the juice from 1/2 a small lemon or a 1/4 of a large one. About a teaspoon. Pour into the pan and make for 40-45 minutes.

My little diva seemed to like this one best...but it could be all the chocolate. Either way, I'm glad to have found a way to lessen the amount of grains she eats.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Primal Applesauce Bread


After months of no bread, I seem to have an addiction to the promal variety. This version is amazing toasted with butter.

Heat over to 325. Grease your small loaf pan. Mix together ::

1/2 cup almond butter
2 eggs
1/4 melted butter or coconut oil
1/4 cup applesauce
2T honey or maple syrup
1/2 t baking soda
1 T cinnamon

Once that is combined, stir in the juice from 1/2 a small lemon or a 1/4 of a large one. About a teaspoon. Pour into the pan and make for 40-45 minutes.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Las Vegas Plan

I'm thrilled to be spending this weekend on a girls-only getaway to Las Vegas! I love Las Vegas -- the vibrancy and expectancy of the place. And this time I get to see it through fresh eyes since two of the chicas have never been.

We have big plans...which makes me wonder how many we'll actually get to on our adventure We each chose one thing to do...and I've been wondering what this says about our character...

Moi:: Minus 5 Ice Bar -- because it looks cool on TV. And I get to wear a fur coat and a Russian hat.
Tease:: Helicopter tour -- because we've never been on a helicopter, and she's never been to Vegas so why not see it in all its glory! (did I mention she has horrid motion sickness?)
J:: New York New York roller coaster -- this is my friend who went ziplining with me...she likes this stuff. It's her birthday, or I might skip it.
YaYa:: CSI Crime Scene Experience -- I think she's always secretly wanted to be a Charlie's Angel
Lass :: Brazillian restaurant -- Bring that sword over here, I want some meat!

I swear, we are all perfectly respectable, happily married-with-children ladies... which means we're due for some fun. Which is probably why we're looking to work in Coyote Ugly (think they'll let us Zumba on the bar?)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Workshop Notes :: Writing Sex with Delilah Marvelle

After missing my local RWA group meetings for an entire year, I decided I needed to go and check in with my local writerly peeps. And because this month's workshop promised to be a scorcher. After all, Delilah Marvelle writes sizzling historicals, who better to talk about writing sexy?

Here are my notes::

What really makes for an interesting sex scene is delving into your character in a way you don’t in the rest of the narrative. We are different people when the clothes come off. What changes when you are stripped down to basics?

• Have a plan with your love scene. What are you digging for in that love scene – kinky, steamy, rough, soft, emotional, make-up…what?
• Do a sexual arc for your characters. This is reflected in love scenes. Who are they and how do they relate to their partner.
• Be original. Don’t worry about writing the perfect love scene. They don’t always need a bed, to be completely naked.
• Use the language the character would use. Just because they are having sex, doesn’t mean they have a different background
• The end result is not the climax itself, but what the reader takes away from the scene once the climax is over.

When a love scene is written really well, you learn something about the characters. In a love scene you should be exchanging something unexpected between the characters. Some kind of revelation. Doesn’t have to be huge, something a reader would miss if they skim the scene.

Dialogue in a sex scene has one person – to express mutual desire and affection. Talk, look, be dirty. Humor is always helpful, makes things pop.

Less is sometimes more, especially when it comes to dialogue in a love sceen. You Tarzan, me Jane applies. Centers on looks, desires, feelings.

Erotic Inspirations – erotic photography (these images are from Duclerck free erotic magazine)

Love scenes should be a 3some not a 2some the writer should be that involved

Be a sensualist, find your inner French girl, slow your thoughts down and bring out those moments, make it special.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Primal Banana Bread

Last week's Primal Pumpkin Bread didn't make it a day, so more gluten-free treats were in order. And I just happened to have a lone ripe banana. In a house of nearly green banana eaters, these baby was heading for the freezer (chopped up frozen rip banana makes for great smoothies). And now...it is bread.

Hubba Bubba wants me to mention that he can tell there is no grain in the 'bread', and that I should not be calling it bread and...blah blah blah. He's mad that banana won't be in his smoothie.

PRIMAL BANANA BREAD

Heat over to 325. Grease your small loaf pan. Mix together ::
1/2 cup almond butter
2 eggs
1/4 melted butter or coconut oil
1 ripe banana, mashed
2T honey or maple syrup
1/2 t baking soda
A handful of walnuts

Once that is combined, stir in the juice from 1/2 a small lemon or a 1/4 of a large one. About a teaspoon. Pour into the pan. Top with walnuts (or chop and stir them in, but my diva doesn't do walnuts, so having them on top makes them easy to remove) and bake for 40-45 minutes.

Yummy plain, amazing with cultured butter.

I really enjoy having a baking outlet again. And something quick for breakfast. I don't always have time for an omelet.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Primal Pumpkin Bread

In July I stepped into the world of the Primal Blueprint. I'd read the book a month before at the reccomendation of my Zumba instructor, and a lot of the science behind it resonated with me. As did knowing that if I didn't get my metabolic syndrome under control, it wouldn't be long until I'd be jabbing by fingertips -- a scary thing for anyone, but especially a writer who taps keys with said fingertips for hours a day.

I'm doing well on it - 35 pounds closer to goal weight, fewer headaches and tummy troubles, and  my plantar faciaitis is even improving. I can't figure out how to make it jive with traveling - though watching a friend do it at the last conference does give me hope. Not enough to skip conference cheesecake this time, but maybe someday.

I've been on it long enough to notice the side-effects of stepping off the plan. The first few days after are like a hangover. Which always leaves me wondering why I stepped off in the first place.

I do miss baking, though. And eating cakes, cookies and muffins. My grandfather once told me that if I ate nothing but fluffy, flaky things I'd be a fluffy, flaky person. Now, he was talking about my odd obsession with fruit salad - the kind that is more marshmallow than fruit and full of coconut flakes. It was a joke. But it did stick with me, making me wonder if muffins caused my muffin top.

I've decided it wasn't muffins, but what I was baking with. I strive to be grain-free, and limit starches and processed foods as much as I can. But it is pumpkin bread season, and since I missed zucchini bread season (made it for the kids, though I'm starting to feel guilty for giving them grains) I didn't want to let another favorite food pass me by.

So, I found a way to do it healthfully. Without grains and an entire cup of sugar.

PRIMAL PUMPKIN BREAD

I use a small loaf pan...I think it is 3x8 or so. I make them small because usally they are just for me, and since there are no preservatives they won't last forever. But, my princess hasn't met a paleo bread she doesn't like, so I may have to up my quantity.

Heat oven to 325. Grease your small loaf pan. Mix together ::

1/2 cup almond butter
2 eggs
1/4 melted butter or coconut oil
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 t cinnamon
2T honey or maple syrup
1/2 t baking soda

Add in chocolate chips or raisins -- I've been using regular sized chocolate chips, but just found the organics in mini-chips, which would work better.


Once that is combined, stir in the juice from 1/2 a small lemon or a 1/4 of a large one. About a teaspoon. Pour into the pan and bake for 40-45 minutes.

Be amazed by the results, and don't expect the bread to last long. You won't be tempted by the Starbucks offerings again.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Private Scandal Review

Such a well-written review from Joyfully Reviewed. I wonder where Vanessa was when I was struggling to write the query letter for this book ;) She did a great job summing up the book.

  • Private Scandal is an engrossing tale which involves you from the beginning until the end.
  • Private Scandal was an engaging read that had this reader wondering if there would be sequels to tie up those things left open in the end.


 And yes...sequels are planned :) Thanks for asking.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Twitter Grammer Lessons

Twitter is educational. Yes, some people post it to say they are going to have a snack, but today there was a fab grammer tweet stream going on, all sparked by this Tweet from Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches Trashy Books.
  • Isn't it funny how writing lesson sticks w you? I.e: never leave "this" or "that" undefined. E.g. "there is so much bacon in this." *twitch*
Here are some of the great responses
  1. Grammar Rules: "i" before "e", except after "c" and in "Medeiros". Teresa Medeiros
  2. Comma before FANBOYS. For, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. - Vivian Arend
  3. Write simply. If nobody talks like that, nobody wants to read it. Amanda Garlock
  4. "A LOT. TWO WORDS. EVERY TIME." Elizabeth DeHoff
  5. HS English teacher had a sign on her door that said "Abandon HOPEFULLY all ye who enter here." Her pet peeve, became mine. Laura Curtis
  6. There is 'a rat' in separate! Jill Myles
  7. People are whos! Not thats! Makes me crazy when people say "She's the one that taught me" Or, "He's the one that got away." Sarah Maclean
  8. "embarass" only has one 'r', just like "bare ass". JenniB
  9. the difference betwen "principle" and "principal"- the Principal is your pal (but not really). Thank you, Ramona Quimby! RedHeadedGirl
  10. God created spell check for a reason. Use it. Christina Dodd
  11. In my 10 years as English teacher, I did not let a student leave my class without knowing how to spell "definitely". Julie Cohen
  12. Exclamation points should be used sparingly. You get maybe one for your whole life. Use it well. Christina Mctighe

  13. Apostrophes indicate a possessive, not a plural. If your doormat says "The Smith's", I assume it is labeled to deter theft. Lady Liberal






My editor knows I get creative with grammar, but maybe this will help a little.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Foodalicious : Cinnamon Rolls



Bread dough
 
Cinnamon
 
Brown sugar
 
Butter
 
Icing (butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

This Week in Jenna Land...

It's NaNoWriMo!! I've had such good luck with the NaNo program. I love writing enmasse and sharing daily accomplishments. Writing is solitary, so knowing there are so many others out there trying to do the same thing I am...is heartwarming.

This week I need to...

  • Write 8500 words. On a story I have yet to think up. Gotcha.
  • Get my hair did...I missed my last appointment, so I'm a bit dark and shaggy. The conflict? Um...it interferes with babygirl's preschool schedule. Gah.
  • Final soccer game of Happyboy's season! Can I get an Amen? Soccer seems like such a good idea when you sign them up, but by Halloween I can't wait for muddy practices to be over.
  • Volunteer at the boys' school. I know, no volunteering during NaNo...but I really like being with the kids. Kids are funny!
  • Make a reservation for Minus 5 Ice Bar for the Vegas girls trip. (Yes, I have a girls weekend during NaNo...yes, I'm skerred)
  • Finish blogging  ECWC
  • Figure out Tumblr. At conference it was a social media platform I hadn't heard of, and someone suggested I use it to do a photo a day to show my passion for photography. I wonder if that's too much pressure, though. I love photography...but my skillz are in the blocks stages. I'm not even at Lincoln Logs, let alone Legos.