Monday, November 24, 2014

Pre-Turkey Day Food and Fun

IN THE NEWS: ‘Normal Barbie’ keeps it real with cellulite, stretch marks, and acne; read more HERE
GIFTS BOUGHT FOR CHRISTMAS: Seven

Happy Monday, all!

Well, it took most of the week but I'm feeling 1,000 times better! Thank you for the well wishes!

Did some early Christmas shopping downtown this weekend--I'm all for supporting local businesses--but ended up getting myself a swanky black jumper. It looks a lot like this.
Now I just need a place to wear it. :-)

And in case you're looking for a different kind of pumpkin dessert to have for Thanksgiving, I have a yummy one.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bundt Cake with buttermilk icing

For cake

  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for greasing bundt pan
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting pan
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (from a 15-ounce can; not pie filling)
  • 3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 c chocolate chips
For icing
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
 

Make cake: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter bundt pan generously, then dust with flour, knocking out excess.
Whisk together flour (2 1/4 cups), baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together pumpkin, 3/4 cup buttermilk, and vanilla in another bowl.
Beat butter (1 1/2 sticks) and granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, then add eggs and beat 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add flour and pumpkin mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until batter is just smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. 
Spoon batter into pan, smoothing top, then bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 15 minutes, then invert rack over cake and reinvert cake onto rack. Cool 10 minutes more.
Make icing:
While cake is cooling, whisk together buttermilk and confectioners sugar until smooth. Drizzle icing over warm cake, then cool cake completely. Icing will harden slightly.


This is so tasty for dessert, breakfast or a snack!

 
And if you're celebrating Thanksgiving this Thursday, you really should know that "it's all about that baste" LOL
 



Have a great week and Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sick

Happy Monday!

Sort of.

I have been nursing a sore throat all weekend and now it's traveled into my HEAD.
My first cold of the fall/winter season.


Thus, I am completely down for the count today.
I made some chicken noodle soup for myself yesterday and plan to put my feet up and rest on the couch today. Ugh.

Enjoy your week! (and wash your hands frequently) LOL

Monday, November 10, 2014

Happy Early Veterans Day

Happy Monday, all!

Library Board meeting today so that means I'm jammed up most of the afternoon.

Boo hoo. No writing gets done on these days...

If you're in the midst of NaNo, hope you're cranking the words out! If you're not doing NaNo, like me, I hope you're still cranking out the words. And if you're not a writer, hope you're enjoying an awesome book!

***

At my church service yesterday, they showed this YouTube video in honor of our Veterans, since Veterans Day is this Tuesday.

I have to say, it choked me up. (Embarrassingly so)






If you're serving or have served in the military, THANK YOU.

In other news, I'm having my master bathroom, my powder room, and my fireplace redone now. As a result, I love Houzz.com since I'm not on Pinterest. My eyes are going but I'm getting some really great decorating ideas from browsing the website!

Do you know about Houzz? Where do you get decorating ideas from? I'd love to know!


Have a great week!

Monday, November 3, 2014

New Month, New Goals

Happy Monday, all!

IN THE NEWS: Here's The Real Reason Why That Pop Song Is Stuck In Your Head
JUST ADDED TO MY IPOD: "Fireball" by Pitbull


Well, in case you've been living in a box, it's NaNoWriMo this month and I will not be participating. At least, not officially. I don't know why but this concept just doesn't work for me.
I've tried. Oh, how I've tried.

But I am setting some weekly goals for myself which should put me in good shape--as long as I actually meet them. :)

This weekend was my mom's 81st birthday.
We had a great time with the family--and more importantly she had a great time. She's done her cancer treatments and had great results and no side effects from the chemo, which was amazing.
She feels and looks great too!


In other news,  I've been nominated for the Swoony Awards! LOL
What is the 2014 Swoony Awards?! On Goodreads, The Happily Ever After Book Club, has decided that they want to honor all the amazing authors and their equally amazing books that they have written this year!

I'm honored.

THANK YOU!

That's it for me. If you're doing NaNo this year, good luck!

Have a great week!

Monday, October 27, 2014

A week late and ... etc. etc.

Happy Monday, all!

Oops, missed last Monday in blogging.

But I had some very good reasons...

1) I had just gotten back from a wonderful four day trip with friends to sunny Florida

2) We came back to the coldest day in NJ and discovered our heat wasn't working

3) Then my husband's car wouldn't start when he tried to go to work

4) And then to top it all off, it was my BIRTHDAY- LOL!

Fortunately, all the above problems were easily resolved and I ended up having a FANTASTIC birthday day. :-)



Birthday Scraps, images for Orkut, Myspace, hi5

Now, it's back to the writing cave for me this week.
I'm a little behind schedule and need to get a crackin'.
Eeep.


In the meantime, check out this cool link on some authors sharing their best writing advice with the NY Public Library.

Have a great week!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Not Out of the Woods Yet

Happy Monday, all. Or rather, it's Monday, all.

Well, thank you for all the words of encouragement last week. My author luncheon talk went great! I wasn't nervous at all. In fact, I was probably more nervous all the days leading up to it than the actual day. LOL

Carl Bernstein was very gracious about taking pictures with us--and we took a lot. I found him to be very inquisitive too. I guess it's the investigative reporter in him.


My friend, Becky, Mr. Bernstein, and Me

Our Friends and Volunteers of the Library put on this annual event and it's always a good time.

But I'm not out of the woods yet, I have one more very loooooooooooong day today with a ceremony and brief talk to give and then I'm done. So I just need to keep it together for a little while longer and then I can CHILL.

In other news, come see me tomorrow at Ramblings From this Chick for a chance to win a print copy of Fiancé by Fate!

And that's it for me.

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Public Speaking and all that is Awful that Goes with It

Happy Monday, all!

Well, this month stinks already.

I know that's quite an opener, but I believe in being upfront and honest. :)

I have two speaking engagements this month. Not long ones. I've given bigger presentations, but still...

Does it ever get easier? I'm waiting for that to happen.

This Thursday I have a brief--I mean, BRIEF--talk to give for the Friends and Volunteers of our Library's annual Author’s Luncheon featuring Carl Bernstein.

Just in case you don't know...
Carl Bernstein is an American investigative journalist and author. Along with Bob Woodward at The Washington Post, he did the majority of the most important news reporting on the Watergate scandal. These scandals led to numerous government investigations and the eventual resignation of President Richard Nixon. For his role in breaking the scandal, Bernstein received many awards, and his work helped earn the Post a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1973.

Um, yeah...
I'll be speaking before him. Apparently, it's sold out too. Oh, goody. More people to embarrass myself in front of. :)

In other more pleasant news, there is a really nice fall author event online starting next week.


I will be blogging there at Ramblings From This Chick on October 14th and will be giving away the PRINT version of Fiancé by Fate.

That's it for me. I need to go practice my speech. :)

Have a great week!