Friday, September 28, 2012

Sweet-- RELEASE (Cover Reveal)

First, I just want everyone to know how excited and nervous I am to be writing this blog today! Seriously! 

You see, I have been given the wonderful opportunity to participate in the cover reveal for a great up and coming Indie author, M.R. Merrick!  

The cover for the third installment of his Protector Series

After uniting the shifters and calling in reinforcements, Chase has to face his toughest challenge yet: learning to control his emotions. But as tensions rise and his powers grow, controlling his emotions becomes the least of his problems.

Terrorized by a multi-shifter who is hell-bent on turning him, Chase questions just how far he’s willing to go to stop his father.  Meanwhile, Tiki’s virtuous nature has placed him in the middle of Vincent’s past, leaving Chase to oppose a senate of vampires and defend a demon he hates.

Trying to balance his friends, his enemies, and his inner demons, Chase is left searching for answers about the Mark, his destiny, and where he can find the next soul piece. Stopping Riley is his top priority, but as more obstacles arise, he finds himself doubting all the decisions he’s made - especially regarding Rayna.
One thing is for certain: Chase has finally realized that he doesn’t know anything. The light doesn’t always quell the darkness, the monsters don’t always stay in the shadows, and the past doesn’t always stay in the past - sometimes, the demons inside are the hardest to fight.
A fitting cover for the series thus far, it is dark, eerie, and intellectually stimulating. The arch beckoning you to read the adventure inside. Follow Chase and Rayna as M.R. Merrick takes us on another adventure through his creative mind. Make sure to check it out on December 10, 2012!! I know I will!!!
If you haven't read the first two books in the series here are some helpful links.
Exiled (Protector Series #1)                             Shift (Protector Series #2)
Helpful links: GoodreadsM.R. Merrick

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dirk Pitt (Character Time #1)

For my first character time I decided to focus on one of my all time favorite book characters to get things started off with a bang. So without further ado, I give you my first character star from the great author Clive Cussler........Dirk Pitt.

Why do I love Dirk? Well, let me tell just some of the reasons why he is an awesome character!!

Dirk is one of those characters, who if he were in a movie, on TV or Broadway would steal the show, and that's what he does in his books. Even with all the suspense, excitement and predicaments that Clive Cussler creates, I can't help but wonder what will good ol' Dirk do next?

He is incredibly unpredictable, except when it comes to rescuing damsels in distress and taking down the bad guy. Loyal to his job, the sea and those he calls friends, he will do anything to protect them; even if it means he has to pay the ultimate price-his life!

You see Dirk is not afraid to die, oh no, he is the type of person who would welcome death especially if it came defending his country, honor or sea. His lifelong friend Al Giordino says that Dirk would "spit in the eye of the devil." He never backs down from a fight, even if it's not his, he is incredibly intelligent, sharp as a tack and funny to boot. He is as laid back as a surfer, but can most definitely blend in with Washington's elite. He's Indiana Jones, meets James Bond meets McGayver. He is the all around guy you want in your corner, men want to be him and women want to be with him....he is Clive Cussler's best character.....Dirk Pitt!!

Check out the link below to see Clive Cussler's collection of Dirk Pitt novels.

If you have any suggestions for character time please let me know the name of the character and the name of at least one book I can find them in. Who knows your favorite character could be next!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Nutella Chocolate Mousse

I wasn't originally going to post this recipe, but after a few requests for the recipe, I decided what the heck! But first I need to make sure that everyone is aware that when I cook I don't usually measure. I am much more of an eyeball it kind of girl. The only time I measure is when I am baking cookies or something I have no idea how to make and I have to actually follow a recipe. Normally I just make it up, even if I am baking, so keep that in mind when you read the recipe that follows. That being said, I do promise however that this recipe is amazing. My entire family loved it, including my husband who usually doesn't enjoy chocolate. So without further rambling here is the recipe for the following yumminess!!

Nutella Chocolate Mousse
Yield: 7 individual servings

1 small container of Nutella (not sure of the ounces because I used about half of a large jar)
2-2.5 Cups of heavy whipping cream
1/4 Cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Sliced Strawberries

First, place a metal or stainless steel bowl and whisk or beaters in the freezer. While those are chilling, place Nutella in a microwave safe ceramic or glass bowl, (don't use plastic, glass or ceramic is better for heat distribution); I use the microwave because I am too lazy to use a double broiler, but if you prefer more control over the melting of your chocolate please use one. I started melting mine at 1 minute and stirred it about half way through. You don't want to burn your chocolate so make sure you stir, keep in mind when Nutella melts it will not be super runny like most chocolate. Just melt it until you can stream chocolate off your spoon. Once it is melted set aside to cool.

In chilled stainless steel bowl whisk heavy whipping cream and sugar. This will take a while, I suggest the use of a mixer, but if you are looking for a work out use a hand whisk. Once you see the cream thickening up, add vanilla, mix until blended. This is a good point to stop and taste your whipped cream. I don't particularly like a sweet cream for my mousse the chocolate is sweet enough, but if you desire a sweeter taste this is a good time to add a little more sugar. Continue mixing until your cream forms relatively stiff peaks. Meaning that when you pull out the beater the cream should stand up, or if you stick your finger or spoon tip in the cream the whole will remain. Add about 1/4 of the chocolate to the cream and fold in, until blended. (Do not stir because your cream will turn to liquid.) Continue to add cream folding until mousse reaches the desired chocolate flavor. Spoon into individual bowls and chill in the fridge for about an hour. Remove from fridge, top with favorite fresh fruit and DEVOUR!!

Happy eating :))))

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A 3 year old's Addiction

There comes a point in everyone's life where you become obsessed with something. You know when you were a kid and everything had to be about your favorite TV show, Rainbow Brite? (I know this dates me, but I am willing to do so to make a point) You just had to watch that show, you wore your hair in pig tails with ribbons just to be like her and you absolutely had to have a Rainbow Brite birthday! Well okay, it may not necessarily be about Rainbow Brite, but any show or anything that you just could not get enough of, whether it was your favorite show, band, movie or even your crush. Everyone has had those moments of pure obsession. 

Well this obsession, addiction or whatever you want to call it started early for my youngest son Scott. Which makes me wonder, how many more things will he be obsessed with throughout his life? In order to understand his "addiction" you first have to understand something about our family. You see we are a gaming family, and yes I mean video games. We all play games, of course we all have our favorites, mine is any Call of Duty and Halo, my husbands is Skyrim or any Fallout. My children will play just about anything they can get their hands on. We play games with each other and against each other. In other words we strongly believe that the family that games together stays together!!

Now it is usually expected for a 12 and 11 year old to play video games, and even my 7 year old. And in most cases you can expect a 5 year old to at least play a DS, but when people find out that my 3 year old plays, and can actually handle the controls (properly), they are just blown away. Our kids might as well be born with a controller in their hands. He has been "playing" since he was 2. Now of course he was not always so good, but of course like wine, he get's better with age.

So, where does this addiction come in? Well let's just say that when I am so kindly woken up by my son in the morning, I can always tell how my day will go based on the first words out of his mouth. You see, most days my son wakes me up to, "mom, can I play my DS?" or "can I play XBOX?" If either of these are the first words out of his mouth in the morning, then I know I am in for a fight, especially if I say no. If I say no, it is the end of the world to my son, and he is not shy about letting you know just how upset he is with your decision. At first he cries a little, but then he decides to ask again, but now he begs, he sticks out his bottom lip, cocks his head just slightly down and looks up at you through those sad little eyes and says please. Instantly your heart melts and you want to give into him, but you know you can't because it is the principle. Besides, its only 7 am, even in a gaming family it is too early to play games. So of course you say no, again. Now my son loses it. He yells at you and demands to play games. He stomps his feet, balls his hands into fists, tells you that your mean and so on. 

After that, he asks to play games about every 2-3 minutes until we either give in or we can think of something better to do, which to him there are only two better things, shopping, and playing outside, and naturally us adults don't always want to do those things. So, as much as it pains me to say, we usually give in about an hour or two later, if he hasn't forgotten, but we always hold to hope that he will forget, of course he never does.

Who can say no to this face?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

What's for Dinner?

There are two kinds of food that make me drool.....sandwiches and anything fried. I think I will eat anything if it's fried, so why not a sandwich? My original inspiration comes from a deep fried Monte Cristo sandwich I had at a restaurant several years ago, but recently I find my thoughts dreaming about that deep fried sandwich. 

Working in restaurants has given me an insight to many great recipes, one of them just so happens to be the inspiration for my favorite sandwich. My family calls it my sandwich, because I am the one who introduced them to the wonderful joy that this sandwich brings. I call it my Southwest Turkey Panini. It has all my favorite sandwich components: turkey, green chile, bacon, tomatoes, red onion and cheddar cheese all tucked in on two thin slices of sourdough bread. And when I say green chile I don't mean pablano or jalapeno peppers, for those of you from New Mexico you know exactly what I'm talking about. 

Now this sandwich is amazing as is, but trust me when I say deep frying it took it to a whole new level making it!

I know many of you might wonder how the sandwich didn't fall apart during frying and the only thing I can tell is that it is due to how long you keep the sandwich in the panini press because I did have one fall apart on me, and trust me it wasn't pretty. Once I made all my panini's I made my batter. For this I cheated, I just used a basic pancake batter that I watered down so that it could easily coat the sandwich, then I placed in vegetable oil that I preheated to 350 degrees and let it cook to a nice golden brown. Due to the incredible amount of oil I immediately placed them on paper towels, blotting until I couldn't feel oil anymore.

Keeping with the theme of the Southwest serve a jalapeno lime ranch dressing on the side for dipping. Now that is the New Cristo! Now wipe that drool off the corner of your mouth and go create something awesome in the kitchen!! :)