Showing posts with label Book Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Book Reviews. Show all posts

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Snow Storm - Bobby Nash, Author




Bobby's Chicken Strip Recipe
(My recipe for chicken strips, perfect for a day at the track or a picnic while reading your favorite novel. - Bobby)

I package boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloins (or breasts you can slice into strips).
1 stick butter
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
1 cup fine bread crumbs

Pre-heat oven 0 o 350 degrees.
Line baking pan with aluminum foil.
Spray with cooking spray of your choice (for non-stick)
Melt better in bowl (I use the microwave)
Mix Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs in separate bowl
Place chicken in butter to coat
Place buttered chicken in Parmesan cheese/bread crumb mix.
Coat fully.
Place on tray.
Repeat until all chicken is coated.
Add light salt and pepper.

Bake for 16 minutes on 350 degrees.
Turn over at 16 minutes.
Add light salt and pepper (to taste)
Bake for an additional 16 minutes on 350 degrees.

Remove and let cool. 

Snow Storm - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

I got a call from a lawyer friend of mine.  I helped him track down some folks a few times and whenever he could, he tossed some business my way.  This one didn't seem like anything out of the ordinary.  This lady split with her husband and then she up and moves away, taking their now teenage daughter with her.  The dad, Anthony Mann needed someone to help find the kid so he could get in touch... I found the ex.  She changed her name, which was weird and set of a few alarm bells.  The daughter changed her last name as well.  At first I assumed the mother had remarried and the daughter had taken the new guy's name, but she never remarried.  Mom works for a manufacturing outfit based out of Texas and travels a lot for the job.  She owns a small home in Florida, but also keeps an apartment in Atlanta.  My guess is that's where the daughter's living these days.  I found out she was accepted to Georgia Tech.  I've not been there yet.  Something about this whole thing didn't sit right with me so I did a little digging into both the lady and her ex-husband before I did anything else.

Samson Brooks wasn't just someone Snow had worked with while undercover, he was also a close friend.  So, when he filled him in on his search for Katie Masters and informed him that her real name was Katie Manelli, Snow's ears perked up.  Turns out that she is the granddaughter of Antonio Manelli, one of the biggest mob leaders in the country.

As Brooks and Snow go to Atlanta to pick Katie up and take her to a safe place, they meet trouble of the mob kind. The problem is this mob isn't part of the Manelli family, but of their biggest rival the Roarke family.

In Snow Storm, you'll find bullets flying and plenty of action as Snow, Brooks, Snow's brother and grandfather all try to keep the two families from killing each other as well as Katie and her mother Pamela.  It has a few twists and turns that kept me reading not sure this could be accomplished.  I must say, this isn't a very lengthy book but it is one that I really enjoyed.  It also left me with enough information about Book 3 that I'm looking forward to diving into it soon.  I'll give you a hint - Daniella Cordoza will apparently be brought back into the story.  If you don't know who she is, read Book 1 - Snow Falls and you'll see why I'm excited about her appearance.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sabotage at RKO Studio (A James Murray Mystery) - Christopher Geoffrey McPherson, Author



In the five James Murray Mysteries, the lead character makes it clear loudly and often that his favorite pie is cherry. So I thought it would be fun to share a recipe from the same period as the novels: from the 1930s, here is a vintage cherry pie recipe from Julia Lee Wright's "Recipes You'll Enjoy" cookbook.

Cherry Pie
(A James Murray Favorite)

3 cups tart pitted cherries
2 cups sugar
3 tbls flour
butter
pie crust

Combine cherries with enough sugar to sweeten, flour to thicken. Line pan with pastry. Pour in fruit mixture and dot with butter. Cover with pastry that has been rolled out thinner than lower crust; cut design in top to allow steam to escape. Tuck edge of top crust under edge of lower crust and pinch together with fingers or with tines of a fork. Bake in hot oven (450 degs F) for 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to moderate oven (350 degs F) and continue baking until fruit has cooked.

Sabotage at RKO Studio (the second James Murray Mystery) - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of:  Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

... his time was running out.  There were just a few days left until the Thursday night premiere of King Kong and still no sight of the missing spider scene.  Luckily for him, the studio was otherwise humming along, the seemingly innocent "accidents' pretty much over.  No more fires, no more shredded costumes, no more missing miniature dinosaurs.  But then, the damage had already been done, hadn't it?  All productions were back on schedule.  Now, if James could only figure out what happened to the missing scene, he'd be set.

James Murray has gone to work at RKO Studio to write the screenplay for his mystery "Murder at Eastern Columbia." The rights for the movie had been bought by the studio and it was up to him to get it in shape to start the movie.  This was all fine except for a few minor problems.  One - his mind just wasn't into writing a screenplay.  Two - someone was sabotaging activities at the studio and his boss 'Cooper' has instructed him to investigate.  And three - his mind is on writing his next book.  As it turns out the two and three are becoming combined as he writes his next book about the events that are taking place at the studio.

As I read Sabotage at RKO Studio I was lost as to the reason for the events taking place at the studio.  It appears that it sits on top of an oil field so that could be the reason.  Then James meets a woman on the  streetcar who seems to get upset when he talks about the 'accidents' and leads me to believe she may have something to hide but I could see no connections.  So yes, I was baffled by the outcome of this one.

This book turned out to be a different, yet fun read.  You read the story as the events take place but you also read it in the novel form as James writes his next book.  Interesting, especially the end.


Friday, September 1, 2017

Death Overdue - Allison Brook, Author - Pre-Order Now!



Eggplant Salad


My mother used to make this when I was growing up. Since then I’ve added touches of my own ~~Marilyn Levinson


1 eggplant
2 T olive oil
2 t vinegar
¼ onion
½ red pepper
clove of garlic
2-3 T of sundried tomatoes or a small tomato cut up
fresh or dried basil
fresh or dried parsley
salt & pepper to taste


This is a mid-eastern dish. While many like to roast the eggplant over a flame, I prefer to bake it in the oven at 350 degrees after washing it and stabbing it a few times with a knife. Turn the eggplant over after 12-15 minutes  and continue to bake to complete the process. When the eggplant is soft to the touch, remove it and let it cool before preparing the salad. I usually put it in the refrigerator after it’s cooled and complete the process the following day.


Dice red pepper, sundried tomatoes, garlic and onion in a food processor with the oil and vinegar. Slice the eggplant down the middle, scoop out the flesh and add to food processor. Discard seeds and skin. Add basil and/or parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Don’t over-process. Some people like a smooth salad while others prefer a chunkier texture.

Serve as a vegetable or an appetizer with crackers. You can add whatever herb you like. Enjoy!

Death Overdue - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish


Carrie Singleton is back in Clover Ridge, Connecticut, spiked purple hair and all.  She’s staying with Great Uncle Bosco and Aunt Harriet, who offered her a home when her own mother wouldn't. As for her father—for all Carrie knows, he might be back in jail. But it’s time to move on. The job Uncle Bosco has wrangled for her in the Clover Ridge Library is boring and makes no use of her library science degree. Besides, much as she’s grown to love her aunt and uncle, she simply can’t stay in one place very long. She’ll soon turn thirty, and she’s held five jobs in as many states. it’s time to go.


The library director’s offer to be Head of Programs and Events comes as a shock. It would mean drastic changes in Carrie’s lifestyle. No more purple hair. No more black Goth outfits. No more running carefree.  She would have responsibilities. Others would be depending on her. She would have to grow up and fast.
The ghost of Evelyn Havers appears and urges Carrie to take the job. Evelyn worked in the library until her death a few years ago. At Carrie's first scheduled event, a retired homicide detective is murdered while talking about a cold case he claims to have solved. Carrie believes the two murders are linked. With Evelyn’s help she sets out to find the murderer.


Allison Brook is one author that I can't get enough of.  I've read everything she has written, I think, and have enjoyed them all.  When I started Death Overdue, I decided I knew who the murderer was after about 60 pages.  Yep, I was wrong.  I wasn't surprised when the truth finally came out, but by then I had about 6 suspects.  Finishing this book has left room for many more books to come. I can't wait to read them.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Hide and Seek - Richard Parker, Author



Chunky Chicken Satay - serves 2

I've always loved this dish but my issue with it is that it's tiny.  I use 2 inch cubes of chicken thigh meat for this but feel free to use generous cubes of chicken breast. - Richard

Measurements don't need to be exact.  Adjust for your own taste and texture preference.

Marinade

1 lemon squeezed plust zest
5 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tbsp sesame oil
2 heaped tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp Chinese five spice
2  cloves of garlic crushed


Peanut Sauce

1/2 cup creamed coconut
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
Drop of warm water.

For marinade combine all ingredients and marinade chicken for a few hours - no longer as lemon juice will break it down.

For peanut sauce add warm water to creamed coconut and combine remaining ingredients. Add more warm water or oil to get correct texture.

Skewer chicken and grill until meat is white.  Dip and enjoy!


Hide and Seek Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Lana heard her boy scream and shot to the back door.  The'd taken her eyes off him for only a few moments but when she entered the sunny yard there was no sign of her child.  She bolted to where he'd been sitting and found the stranger's bare legs scrambling over the fence with a sack containing Cooper dangling from his fist.  She could see Cooper twisting inside.  He was hoisted up and out of reach and her panicked wail energized is.  If she didn't act fast, the stranger would drop over the fence to the private lane on the other side.  She restrained his ankle firmly with both hands and started trying to lug him back.  Lana grabbed his clammy calf and then slammed her body against his shoe to trap him there.  Digging her nails in, she bit the skin above his heel.  She heard him cry out and she clamped her teeth down as hard as she could.  She wanted to shout that she'd murder him before she'd let him take Cooper but she wasn't about to loosen her teeth on his ankle.

Lana saved her son that day but the fear that wouldn't leave her took it's tolls on her, changing her life forever.  No longer did the home she and Todd had scrapped ends to buy seem safe.  Their move to a fourth floor apartment helped some but she still checked every window and every door at least three times before going to bed.  Her obsession also took her to an internet site called Right Where You're Standing.  It used GPS to direct you to local murder scenes.  Here she did a search seeking only those where children had been taken and murdered. She had high hopes that site would find her find the perpetrator who tried to take her son.  It's now almost a year later and the police appeared to have given up their search leaving her to be the only one to pick it back up.  What she didn't know was the involvement her husband Todd had taken on with his own investigation.  His form of involvement was one that could prove to be very deadly, not just for himself but for Lana too.

Hide and Seek is a book that will not only have you watching your own children but it will also become a book that you'll keep telling yourself "just one more chapter."  Well, that "just one more chapter" turned into another and another for me.  It takes you on a very winding road that is actually full of surprises!  The trials that Lana goes through are more than most of us could endure.  And no, I'll not give you clues, other than to say that if you like a book that will keep you on the edge of your chair, you'll want to get your hands or Kindle on this book ASAP.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Skeleton in the Closet (Southern Ghost Hunter Series Book 2) - Angie Fox, Author



Mississippi Mud Brownies

Brownies:
1 cup butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
½ cup chopped pecans
1 (10.5 ounce) package mini marshmallows

Frosting:
½ cup butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch pan.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 cup of butter. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa until smooth. Mix in the white sugar, eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in the flour, then fold in pecans and marshmallows. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let the brownies cool in the pan. Try not to eat them (yet).

To make the frosting: In a medium saucepan, melt together 1/2 cup of butter and 1/3 cup of cocoa. Mix in confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in the milk, a tablespoon at a time until icing is a nice spreading consistency.

Spread icing on top of brownies. Devour.


The Skeleton in the Closet (Southern Ghost Hunter Series Book 2)- Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

Ellis leaned an arm over the back of the couch.  "I need your help, Verity."  Oh my.  "This isn't a habit I want to encourage," I said even if I could talk Frankie into helping me.  It took a lot of his strength to show me the other side.  "I'm not a professional ghost hunter."  "You're good at it," he pressed.  "I almost got us killed last time."  He'd hired me to clear out some ghosts in a property he was renovating.  It hadn't exactly gone smoothly.  "I've never talked to such a new ghost."  I didn't even know if she could be found.  "And aren't you the one who agreed I shouldn't be doing this?"  He shook his head.  "You're right," he conceded.  "At some point, this has to stop.  But not tonight.  We need to know what happened in that library.  You don't have to talk to her.  I'll take any witness you can find.  The building has got to be haunted,:" he said.  "I've heard stories since I was a kid."

There has been a death at Sugarland and Ellis Wydell, who just happens to be a policeman, the older brother of Verity's ex-fiance and her new love, needs her help again in solving the murder.  Verity, along with the help of Frankie, has helped Ellis in the past and is apparently in need of her abilities to see ghosts and her ghostly contacts again.  Oh yeah, Frankie "The German" is the spirit of a 1920s gangster that was tied to Verity's land after she emptied his funeral urn out onto her rose bushes and soaked them down with water.

Sugarland is noted for it's Civil War battle where a cannon ball was fired into the wall of the library but never exploded.  Each year the 'Jacksons and the Wydells put on displays and reenactments of the battle.  This year Ellis' mother decided to have the events filmed by an historical productions company so the world would know the city's true history.  But what is the truth?  Who were the victors - the Jacksons or the Wydells?  Getting to the truth will put Verity and Ellis' lives in danger and make Verity's almost-mother-in-law hate her even more, if that's possible.

I recommend that you read Southern Spirits - Book 1 of this series first.  I did and am glad I did.  Not only was it a unique book and story but it also gave me insight as to what happens in book 2.

I read a lot of books and once in a while I run across an author like Angie Fox who writes a story that you not only read but you also hear and see everything that happens.  I felt like I was 'reading a movie.'  I could actually see the events at they took place.  I could see the characters and feel their feelings.  This is the work of a very well written story that has murder, mystery, suspense, ghosts, and yes, a bit of humor.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Dead Man's Image - Edna Curry, Author



Hershey Brownies

1 stick (1/2 c.) margarine     
1 cup sugar
4 eggs 
1 16 can Hershey’s chocolate syrup
1 cup flour    
1/2 cup choped nuts, if desired
    
Cream together shortening and sugar, add eggs and chocolte, mix well.
Stir in flour. Pour onto greased 10x 16 inch brownie pan. Bake at 350* for
25-30 minutes.


Frost with a can of chocolate frosting and cut into bars.

Dead Man's Image - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

It was just after dark when they turned off the interstate onto a winding, two-lane blacktop.  He grinned.  He knew this road, it had plenty of hills, curves and lakes.  In fact, there was one spot in particular that was dangerous.  That spot was a sharp curve overlooking a steep valley of the St. Croix River.  It would be perfect.  No one would suspect that it wasn't an accident.  As they neared the dangerous curve, he stayed fairly close to the red Chevy.  He wasn't taking any chances on losing them.  He stepped on the gas to get closer, then as they rounded the curve, he suddenly raced alongside and forced the little Chevy off the road.

Lacey Summers is a licensed private investigator but when the phone rang and it was a man asking her to take a case regarding his death, she was curious but also a bit lost.  He explained to her that he was a long-haul truck driver who had just returned home to find his picture in the paper.  He had been murdered.  She tried to tell him that all he had to do was go to the police department, show his ID and they would see that they have the wrong name for the body.  Then he explained to her that the woman who saw a man dumping 'his' body gave a description to the police and the dumper and dumpee both looked alike!  What the trucker couldn't believe after sneaking into the funeral home with Lacey was that the dead man looked identical to him.  Who was he and why was he killed?

I must be losing my touch or authors are simply adding more twists to the story.  About 1/3 through the book I had it all figured out.  I knew who did it and why.  I took my theory all the way to the last couple of chapters.  Boy was I surprised to find out that I was completely wrong.  This book took me on some winding curves that led me to a big surprise as to who and why.

Turns out this is book 2 in the series and you can bet I'm going to go back and read book 1 Yesterday's Shadow and then head for book 3 Dead in Bed.  This author is good!





Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sex, Lies, and Snickerdoodles - Wendy Delaney, Author



Soft Snickerdoodle Cookies

1 cup butter 
1 12 cups sugar 
2 large eggs 
2 34 cups flour 
2 teaspoons cream of tartar 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
14 teaspoon salt 
3 tablespoons sugar 
3 teaspoons cinnamon 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

See How It's Made
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1tps of vanilla extract and eggs thoroughly in a large bowl.
Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
Blend dry ingredients into butter mixture.
Chill dough, and chill an ungreased cookie sheet for about 10-15 minutes in the fridge.
Meanwhile, mix 3 tablespoons sugar, and 3 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl.
Scoop 1 inch globs of dough into the sugar/ cinnamon mixture.
Coat by gently rolling balls of dough in the sugar mixture.
Place on chilled ungreased cookie sheet, and bake 10 minutes.
Remove from pan immediately.  Makes 24 cookies



Sex, Lies, and Snickerdoodles - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

'Steve's cell phone rang and he stopped and pulled it from his pocket.  "Hey, Captain."  His gaze sharpened, then he turned his back to me.  Steve had kidded me about being a human lie detector ever since I participated in a university study as a favor to my former sister-in-law, the clinical psychologist.  Even before my perceptive abilities had been documented, he'd made a point of sheltering his face when he didn't want me to read his body language.  But since the Port Merritt PD captain was calling his one and only detective on his day off, anyone in the room should have been able to see that something very bad had happened.

"Tell him not to touch anything," he said.  "I'll be there in ten."  "What's happened?" I asked the second Steve disconnected, my voice a squeaky blend of breath and apprehension.  He pocketed his cell phone.  "Russell Falcon has been found."

In Trudy, Madly, Deeply (Book 1) of the Charmaine (Char) Digby series, we followed her as she became an investigative assistant for the coroner's office.  We got to know Detective Steve Sixkiller as she solved the suspicious death of a family friend and several other elderly patients whose hearts mysteriously stopped.  And who could forget Char's mother the 'actress' who is in the market for her next husband.  Author Wendy Delaney brings all of them back plus a few more in Sex, Lies, and Snickerdoodles (Book 2).

In this episode Char argues with Steve, insisting that the death of Russ Falcon was a murder.  Steve isn't saying it was or it wasn't.  Actually, he isn't saying anything leaving Char to come up with the evidence and motive on her own.  Her main target is the husband of one of Russ' flings.  But did he do it?  She believe so, even if Steve doesn't seem to think she is right.

Reading Book 2 in this series I wasn't sure who killed Russ or even if it was a murder.  I knew who I suspected but had no motive, which lead me to think that maybe his death really was an accident.  I have to admit that I had the correct character but never did have the motive until the end.  So, read this book and let me know if you came up with the same suspect that I did.  Now I'm looking forward to reading There's Something About Marty - Book 3 in this series.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Sign Off (Caught Dead in Wyoming, Book 1) - Patricia McLinn, Author



Elizabeth's Watergate Salad With Attitude

Watergate salad is served as a side dish and sometimes a dessert, depending on the sweetness of the toppings. But KWMT broadcaster Elizabeth Danniher, who first encountered the salad while working in Washington, D.C., modifies the recipe to make it more of a salad, going with gelatin instead of pudding and adding the horseradish for a surprising kick. It's also easy to make, always a plus for a busy journalist. 
This recipe fills a 9x13 baking dish, so it's great for newsroom potlucks or big family gatherings. Prep time: about 15 minutes.

Ingredients
1 3-ounce package instant lime gelatin mix
1 3-ounce package instant lemon gelatin mix
1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, with juice
1 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
1 20- to 24-ounce tub of small-curd cottage cheese
1 5-ounce can of evaporated milk
3/4 to 1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish; not horseradish sauce (more if you want it a little sassier)

Directions
Make both gelatin packages using 1 cup of hot water to dissolve the gelatin and 1 cup of cold water to cool it (you can use the juice from the pineapple to substitute for some of the cold water). 
In a large bowl, mix together the lemon-lime gelatin mixture and the remaining ingredients.
Chill for at least three hours, or even better, overnight.

Sign Off (Caught Dead in Wyoming, Book 1) - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

"Tamantha, I'm going to tell you the absolute truth.  But I have to ask you not to tell anybody.  You understand?"  She nodded.  "When you talked to me the other day at the television station, it got me looking into this case that your father's involved in.  I - we - Mr. Paycik and I - are talking to people and trying to find out things about what happened to Foster Redus."

"Oh, him. That's who some people said my Daddy killed.  They're wrong."

"Your mother agrees with the people saying that."

"Nobody listens to her.  Daddy didn't kill him.  You prove that.  That's what you promised on TV."

I shook my head.  "No.  That's not what I promise.  I promise to look into problems.  Some problems can't be fixed, and some get fixed but in a way you don't like.  That might happen, Tamantha.  Because I'm not talking to people to help your Daddy, I'm doing it to find the truth.  If your Daddy's involved - my finding out the truth could get him put in jail."

She stared for a long moment.  "You find out the truth."  She granted permission like Queen Isabella giving Columbus the okay to find the New World.  "You talk to my Daddy and you'll know.  He didn't kill that man."

Sheriff Deputy Foster Redus, man about town, especially with the women, is missing and has been missing for some time.  The 'person of interest' in his missing is Thomas David Burrell.  It seems that Redus came to see Burrell just before his disappearance and the meeting turned into a few fists flying.  Was he dead or did he just run away?  According to a couple of his women friends, he wouldn't just run off without one of them, each claiming to be the one he would choose to take along.  His wife, who had filed for divorce papers, stopped the process, apparently believing him to be dead.  And the sheriff is hell bent on blaming Burrell for his disappearance and most likely death, but without a body he had to drop all charges and just make his life as impossible as he possibly could.

Now the solving of the mystery it's up to Reporter E. (Elizabeth) M. Danniher, who's show 'Helping Out', was seen by Burrell's daughter Tamantha and convinced her that she could prove her Daddy's innocence.

I read a lot of books but have to say this one really baffled me.  From the beginning, I had no idea who would cause Redus' disappearance.  It wasn't due to there being no suspects, but because there were so many.  Normally, at least by halfway through a book, I have an idea as to who and why.  Not with this book!  It took me to the end and I must say I was a little surprised.

If you like a good murder mystery, don't miss out on this one.  I'm actually hooked on this series of books and can't wait to read Book 2 Left Hanging.  Author Patricia McLinn does have what it takes to keep my interest in a book.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Incest, Murder and a Miracle - Cheryl and Robert Currio with Morgan St. James, Authors



Herb Butter Salmon and Asparagus Foil Packs

Prep time
10 mins
Cook time
20 mins
Total time
30 mins

Easy, healthy, garlic herb butter salmon and asparagus foil packs are a quick and tasty 30 minute meal for summer nights, camping, and cookouts. The flaky salmon and tender asparagus will melt in your mouth!
Serves: 4

Ingredients
·        4 boneless skinless salmon fillets
·        salt and pepper to taste
·        1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed
·        1 lemon, thinly sliced, (plus additional wedges for garnish)
·        ½ cup butter, at room temperature
·        3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
·        3 teaspoons minced garlic
·        fresh thyme or parsley, for garnish
·         
Season salmon generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Arrange one salmon fillet and ¼ of the asparagus in the center of one 12x12 inch piece of foil. Repeat with remaining salmon and asparagus on 3 other pieces of foil. Slide lemon slices under the salmon and asparagus.
In a small bowl mix butter, Italian seasoning, and garlic. Drop large dollops of the herb butter on top of the salmon and asparagus.

Fold the foil tightly around the salmon and asparagus, being sure to seal the ends together tightly so the juices and butter doesn't run out while cooking. Grill over medium high heat for 6-8 minutes on each side, OR bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, until asparagus is tender and salmon is flaky.

Drizzle fresh lemon juice over the top and serve immediately

Incest, Murder and a Miracle - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

I always tried to be the "peacemaker" because I didn't want anyone to be mad or upset, especially at me.  My father had conditioned my obedience well by using abuse and degradation.  Maybe that's why I never told anyone what was going on and meekly submitted  to his quirks and demands.  In a small way I'm still like that, but now with everything I've gone through with Rob being sick, then dying, I speak up.  Life made me tough.  When you go through what I did, you have some choices.  Remain the meek, battered person or get stronger.  I got stronger and will never allow myself to be a victim again.  You have to stand up for your rights.  If I hadn't, Rob would not be with us today.

These are the words of Cheryl.  At the age of eighteen Cheryl was sentenced to jail for her part in arranging the murder of her sexually abusive father in an attempt to keep him from abusing her younger sister.  After her jail time she married her longtime best friend and the love of her life Rob Cuccio.  Even with her PTSD caused by the tramas of her childhood, life was finally becoming something that was livable, until Rob's heart attack hit.  He was pronounced dead which simply wasn't acceptable for Cheryl.  She begged the doctor not to give him and was finally told they would try for just 10 more minutes.  After over 43 minutes his heart refusing to beat and no oxygen to his brain, a miracle happened and Rob came back to life, starting another phase in the lives of two people who had already lived through hell once.

As I read this book I had to keep reminding myself that these events actually took place.  The sexual abuse by the father, which happens so often but seems to be pushed away.  The reporters who treated Cheryl as if it was all her fault and built the father up as a wonderful, loving person, which also happens to so many children that have been molested by family members.  The nightmares and PTSD that Cheryl went through and still does.

Then there was Rob who was laughed at by his doctor when he went in for severe chest pain.  He was basically told it was all in his head and caused from his smoking.  After several visits to the doctor with the same problems he was brushed off and not given the proper tests to determine that he really was a walking dead man.  This came to a head when he went to the hospital in cardiac arrest with one artery 90% blocked and another 100% blocked.  This is also when he actually died for over 40 minutes.  Then came the malpractice suit against the doctor who refused to believe he had a problem.

I read page after page and can tell you that I believe every word to be the truth.  I've actually known young girls who have gone through what Cheryl went through, not with their father but brothers, cousins and their friends.  They were afraid to tell anyone because of the threats that were made to them.  Like Cheryl, these were kids who actually feared for their lives and the lives of those they loved.  As for Rob, his death is a documented event.  There have been others before and after him to actually die just to be brought back but very few who were dead for so long.  His physical and mental abilities were severed to a degree but today, five years later, he is recovered without any significant physical damage or brain damage remaining.  He does what he can to keep going with his new gift of life and was named Nurse of the Year-New York in 2015.  As for his 'doctor,' you'll have to read the book to know how that turned out.

This book is well worth reading for anyone of just about any age.  As Cheryl says about their lives being made public through this book  'even if I help just one person, it will be worth it.'  I agree with her.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Freedom's Light - Robert J. Saniscalchi, Author



Gloria's Chicken Mix

Ingredients:

1) 4-Fuji Apples peeled and sliced
2) 1- medium red onion sliced 
3) 3- Red Potatoes peeled and sliced
4) 2- Chicken Breasts
5) chopped garlic to taste
6) Seasoning to taste

Cooking:

A) Pour some olive oil into large frying pan with medium heat.
B) Add Ingredients and after ten minutes put cover on and low heat.
C) Stir and Turn over chicken.  Continue cooking until potatoes are soft.
D) Slice up cooked chicken breast and mix everything into a large bowl.
E) Season to taste  

    Enjoy with a nice glass of your favorite wine.

Freedom;'s Light - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Rob was interrupted from his peaceful sleep by the ringing and vibrating of his phone.  He reached over Ashley to grab it, and what he heard coming from the other end of the line froze him, words that took some time to sink in:  "Eagle's Claw," the recording repeated over and over.  Rob put the phone down.  "Damn it!  Ashley, honey, you need to get up, sweetie," he said gently nudging her.  Ashley was slow to wake but realized something was dreadfully wrong, as soon as her sleepy eyes landed on his distressed face. "Rob, what is it?"  "Something bad has happened," Rob replied, frantically searching for the TV remove.  "I need to see the news.  There's been...some kind of major terrorist event," he said. 

What had happened was one of the worse attacks the U.S. had ever seen.  Two planes had just flown into the World Trade Center.

Rob is a member of an elite team called Light Force.  They were being sent on a mission to investigate and report back the activity that was taking place at a terrorist base in Afghanistan.  Washington believed it to be a missile with the intent to make another attack on the U.S.  What Rob and his team find is far more dangerous than a missile and they find themselves without radio contact in which to order an air attack.  Their only option is to destroy it themselves.

I'm not a fan of books regarding war but I did watch on television as the towers came crashing to the ground and the thousands of innocent people crashed with them.  After reading the first few pages of this book I found myself wanting to read more.  What takes place within the pages are fiction, I assume since I've never seen news of these events, but the possibilities of this having taken place are quite possible.  It brought home to me the true acknowledgement of those brave men and women who protect us every day at the risk of their own lives.  I recommend this book to be read by everyone in the hopes that the next time you see one of these brave men and women, you'll take a minute to stop and just say "Thank You!"

This is one of those books that I would love to see made into a movie.  You can bet I would go to the movies to see it!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Ghost Hunting Diary Volume VI - T. M. Simmons, Author



Ghost Hunting Diary Volume VI Recipe

Aunt Belle and I stopped at a little café beneath a river bridge one day. We ordered the catfish basket and it came with really delicious cole slaw. The slaw dressing had sweet relish in it, the first time we had ever tasted anything like this. Since then, we always add sweet relish to our slaw dressing.

Easy Cole Slaw

I package cole slaw mix from deli
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sweet relish

Add salt and pepper to sugar, stir to blend
Blend salt/pepper/sugar mixture into mayonnaise
Stir in sweet relish

Pour over cabbage slaw mix and chill for an hour or so

Ghost Hunting Diary Volume VI - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Nearly every call I get pleading for help from a person distressed over a haunting begins with them insisting they have a demon in their home.  In thirty years of investigating the paranormal, I've only encountered what I believe were three actual demons.  Unfortunately for me, one of those infiltrated my own home and tried to abolish what I hold dear.  Have no doubt - demons are real, and they're the nastiest, most malicious entities on the face of the earth.  They have no conscious, and while they do know right from wrong, wrong and destruction of your life (both physically and emotionally) are what they wish on their human prey.  They have patience far beyond anything within our human ability and begin their destructive infiltration slowly, in a barely perceptive manner.  If not exposed early on and banished, they will weak havoc on your entire life.

I believe I've read everything written by Author T. M. Simmons and am never disappointed.  In Book VI we go through crossing overs, of those that didn't take advantage of the crossing when they died.  You'll learn about one of her favorite cemeteries 'Cottonwood Cemetery' as well as an old nursing home 'Calvert' where many have died and many are still hanging around.  But for the first time since I've been reading this Author's work, I've never heard her write about demons and after reading her experience with one that invaded her home, I'm glad to hear that they are seldom encountered.

You may not believe in ghosts, spirits, demons, nor other super-natural beings but I can assure you that if that is the case, after reading this book you'll at least start questioning your belief.  I personally feel that I've run into maybe 2 spirits in my life.  One was standing on the side of the road in front of a cemetery.  It was raining and when lightning flashed I saw him with a child standing there in the pouring rain.  After the flash, it was gone.  No there was no place for them to hide.  The area was open and even if they ran they wouldn't have been able to hide.  This little experience was what made me want to learn more about spirits.  Yes I said learn about the, not see any more of them.  The more I read and learn the more I want to stay 'unseeing.'

So, if you are in the least bit curious, this book, along with the whole series of Ghost Hunting Diary, are a must read.  I've surely enjoyed them.  This author also writes some really good mysteries involving some of her ghosts.  Check out Silent Prey and Northwood Prey for some enjoyable reading.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Trudy, Madly, Deeply - Wendy Delaney, Author


Sylvia's Funeral Tuna Casserole

1 lb egg noodles, cooked, drained shopping list
4 cans albacore tuna fish, drained shopping list
4 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup undiluted, low sodium if possible shopping list
1/2 soup can of heavy cream shopping list
1 cup frozen green peas, thawedshopping list
1-2 tsp celery seed or to taste shopping list
salt and pepper to taste
1 small bag of potato chips crushed

Combine everything with the cooked noodles except the potato chips.
Mix with a fork to separate the tuna into edible chunks
Place mixture in a large casserole dish
Cover with crushed potato chips
Bake in a 350F oven about 30 minutes
Sprinkle top with a bit of paprika if desired
Serve hot, chips will soften when cold.
Simple mix into casserole when reheating.


Trudy, Madly, Deeply - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and a Dish

Gloria's unpainted lips pulled back into a lopsided grin. "Weren't you the one who sold me a cinnamon roll last Thursday?"

"That would be me."

"Interesting career path."


Tell me about it.'  I just prayed that path wouldn't lead to me wearing my breakfast on my shoes before the day was over.

She grabbed a form from behind the counter and slid it toward me.  "Fill this out."

Fifteen minutes later, Gloria handed me a laminated badge with the county seal that looked about as official as my library card.

"That's it?"

"That's it, hon.  She patted me on the hand.  "Try not to lose it or do anything to get the county sued."

Charmaine 'Char' Digby had just been sworn in a a deputy coroner.  Her last job, at Duke's Cafe, owned by her great-uncle Darrell Duquette, was where she served meals to most of those she would now be working with and unfortunately some that she would be investigating.

Her first 'case' turned out to be the death of a family friend who had been hospitalized for pneumonia but turned up dead due to asphyxiation.  According to one of the doctors, this was a bit unusual.  Apparently the Doctor didn't believe her death was an isolated incident.  There appeared to be several more recovering patients that died mysteriously, just before being released.  Char's task now is to find the person responsible for these deaths before another happens.

This book turned out to be one that was so different from any I've ever read.  It was an enjoyable book to curl up with at night.  It had humor and suspense, which made it even more appealing.  I followed Char through her suspicions and agreed with her, at times.  But when the true story of what was going was disclosed I was shocked.  It wasn't the 'who nor why' that I expected.  I'm now ready to go to the next chapter with Char in Book 2 'Sex,Lies, and Snickerdoodles.'






Thursday, June 22, 2017

Salads Omelets & Quiches - Arlene Lee, Author



Coconut Carrot Salad

1 cup flaked coconut
1 1/2 cup shredded raw carrots
1/4 cup seedless raisins
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Chill.  Serve on top of crisp lettuce with additional mayonnaise, if desired.  Garnish with drained canned mandarin oranges.


Salads Omelets & Quiches - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of:  Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

This is a truly unique cookbook.  It not only contains delicious, simple recipes but also word search puzzles using the ingredients and pages for coloring.

I've tried several of the recipes, including the one above for Coconut Carrot Salad.  I've made it with and without the ginger, testing it on some of my own food testers.  Some liked it with the ginger, some without but either way, the addition of coconut is wonderful!

There is a recipe for Broccoli Salad which is out of this world!  The biggest problem I had with it was sharing.  I actually wanted to keep all of it just for me.

The third recipe I tried was for a Spinach and Bacon Quiche.  It too was a hit with my food testers as well as myself.  Yes, I made a change.  I eliminated the crust and baked it in a casserole dish.  So delicious!

So, if you want some really simple recipes that are simply tasty, you might want to check out Salads Omelets & Quiches.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Charge of an Angel - Linda Diane Wattley, Author



Shrimp with Garlic Cream Sauce over Linguine

1 cup hot water
1 cup Original COFFEEMATE Powdered Coffee Creamer
8 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
3/4 cup Buitoni Refrigerated Freshly Shredded Parmesan Cheese (5 oz.) 
1 pkg. Buitoni Refrigerated Linguine (9 oz.) , prepared at the last minute
Directions:
WHISK together water and Coffee-mate until smooth.

BRING 6 cups water to a boil in medium saucepan. Add garlic; cook for 2 minutes. Add shrimp; cook for 2 minutes or until they turn pink. Drain. Peel and chop garlic.

HEAT oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.

WHISK in Coffee-mate mixture and cornstarch; whisk until cornstarch is dissolved. Cook, whisking occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken. Stir in parsley, cheese and shrimp. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Pour sauce over pasta; toss to coat.

Nutritional Information
Serving size: 1/4
Servings per recipe: 4
Calories530
Calories from Fat180
Total Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 11g53%
Cholesterol 180mg59%
Sodium 410mg17%
Carbohydrates 50g17%
Dietary Fiber 2g7%
Sugars 1g
Protein31g
Vitamin A8%
Vitamin C10%
Calcium20%
Iron15%

Charge of an Angel - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

"I will never know who I would have been if this hadn't happened to me.  That is so hard for me to live with.  I don't know the real person I was, and I never will.  How can I live with something like that?  I feel robbed - cheated.  First, my mother and my brother are taken from me.  I found out that my father is not my father, and then I find out my virginity, youth, and innocence was stolen right in front of my face.  Why me?"

Her name is Leona Marie Tillard and her life has been turned inside out.  One night she, her mother, father and two brothers went to bed as a family.  When she woke her mother was gone.  Sometime later her brother went away and Daddy will tell her nothing about where they are or why she can't see them.  Daddy was lost without her mother and needed someone to 'comfort' him.  With Leona being the only female in the house, she stepped into that position.  Then comes her Daddy's marriage to another woman who has three children of her own and her family is complete again.  So she thought.

When I ask Author Linda Wattley if this book was fact or fiction she assured me it is both.  After talking to her, we both confirmed we knew young girls who were put into a position of being sexually abused by parents, other relatives, and adults that were in their lives.  The same adults that were supposed to take care of them and lead them in the right direction chose instead to impose their own sick needs on these innocent children.  And in some instances they even included boys in their desires.

Are the children to be blamed for not telling?  No way.  The threats they receive if they tell is too fearful.  They are brainwashed to believe that what they are doing isn't wrong. Supposedly, it's all done as an act of love, a way of showing love, and proving they are loved.  If they are found out they are treated by others as being sick as well and that they should have known better, known it was wrong, refused what was being done to them.  How can you know something is wrong if someone who is supposed to take care of you and teach you right from wrong is committing the crime against you?  You simply can't.


Charge of an Angel is book one of three.  It takes you through the abuse that Leona endures, her feelings, and her ways of escaping from realty.  It will make you hurt for her and those like her.  It will make you want to really hurt the person doing this to her.  And it will have you waiting to see how life treats her as she gets out of her abusive life and goes on as a young adult.  I know I'm patiently waiting on book 2.

 
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