Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Connie's Tuesday Kitchen: Deviled Eggs--Those Tasty Little Darlings! By Connie Vines #DeviledEggs, #Caviar #ThanksgivingMeals, #ThanksivingSides

Are Thanksgiving Potlucks, or Family Gatherings causing sleepless nights? Wondering what you should bring to the festive table?

Soo not the case for me! No matter what I plan to bring to the table, I hear, "Aren't you going to bring YOUR deviled eggs? "

Painful sighs. Looks of disbelief...


And so, I volunteer to bring Deviled Eggs.  I fooled them all one year (thinking I'd be knocked from my lofty title of the reigning Deviled Egg Queen). I topped those little eggs with a tiny amount of caviar--thinking...well, I don't know what I was thinking.  Instead of everyone avoiding the tray, there was a stampede to the appetizer table.

What exactly are Deviled Eggs? 

Are they Magical? Or just such a pain to transport no one likes to make them?

Here's what the encyclopedia has to say! "Deviled" is in reference to the fiery spices (sometimes) added to make the egg stuffing. It's a word that goes back to the 18th century as a verb meaning to cook something with fiery hot spices or condiments.


HOW TO MAKE DEVILED EGGS

Deviled eggs are easy to make and you can make them even easier by hard-boiling your eggs ahead of time. But the key to the BEST deviled eggs is boiling your eggs perfectly and not over boiling and ending up with that green tinge around your yolk. 

Boiling your eggs: 

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low (or off) to ensure the water is no longer boiling or has bubbles and use a skimmer to place the eggs in the water. Then increase the heat back to high and set a timer for 14 minutes.

While the eggs are boiling prepare an ice water bath and set it aside. After 14 minutes, remove the eggs from the water and place them in the ice water bath.

After your eggs have boiled and cooled, the rest of this recipe is a breeze. Slice your eggs in half lengthwise, scoop out the yolk to a small bowl, mash it with a fork and place the egg white on a serving tray.

12 large eggs


6 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

salt and pepper, to taste

paprika, for garnish

To the egg yolk add mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, or plain vinegar/pickle juice (I am not a fan of apple cider vinegar), salt, and pepper, and stir it all together until creamy. Use a small spoon to scoop out some of the deviled egg-filling and place it back into the egg white.

Sprinkle a little paprika for that extra dash of devil-ness and serve them up to some happy guests.

Or change it up by adding curry powder to the mixture and leave unadorned.

**You can store the deviled eggs for up to two days in a sealed storage container  This means you can make them the day before a party, potluck, or gathering. **




Happy Thanksgiving!

Connie

XOXO

Remember all of my novels have my recipes at the end-- an unexpected present for my readers.


Monday, November 22, 2021

November is Electric With Writing Energy by Connie Vines #NaNoWritMo, #Memoir Writing, #BWLAuthors, #RandomThoughts


 Welcome, My Lovelies,

November is the month that is electric with writing energy. There is NaNoWriMo, of course (where I have yet to complete a novel in 30 days). It is also Memoir Writing Month, National NoFiction Writing Month, and Blog Posting Month.

If you completed any of the above challenges congratulations 😁

If you are like me, your rough draft is going to be VERY rough and VERY messy.



What is the best way to polish your 50,000 words?

When you complete your rough draft this week, give yourself a break.  Allow time to enjoy the holiday, and spend time with family and friends. You can re-read your work in January. 

Allow revision and re-writing to be your challenge for the New Year. 


Once you are comfortable with this final 1st draft, you may have a member of your plotting group or a trusted Beta Reader look over the copy and give feedback.   I will revise my draft a second or third time before I ask anyone to read the completed novel.

The input from another writer is very helpful.  Beta Readers often catch the items I removed/overexplained/or need to clarify.

You may wish to hire an editor, while it may seem expensive, it is often a money saver in the end.



Happy Rewriting and Wishing you much success in 2021,

Connie

XOXO



Friday, November 19, 2021

Flawed or Evil Characters in Your Story--.What Part Do They Play? By Connie Vines #RR 102, #WritingTips, #Amazon Bestselling Author,

 Nov 20, 2021 -- Describe a flawed or evil character you have or might use in a story. 


How did they become so flawed? What part will they play in the story, and what will happen to them?

Thank you, Rhobin, for this month's topic.

I find that to utilize the true impact of a flawed or evil character on a storyline, an author must have plotted either a series or a novel comprised of 80,000 words or more.

I would be inclined to choose a series if I was writing a contemporary or YA  historical novel. I'm undecided on attempting a historical fiction comprised of 80,000 words plus.

 Of course, I'd need to ensemble a multidimensional cast in my fictional drama series. Starring a patriarch/ matriarch of a powerful, complicated family. 

A generational homesteader/ rancher/ business owner/ and devoted father/mother (or controlling). Rags to riches could be the start of the story or backstory. However, poverty needs to be skimmed over, and the family must also be powerful. The hero can't be corrupt, but he can walk the line only killing/harming if 'forced' or has no other choice.

 Perhaps he/she operates in a corrupt world where politicians are compromised by influential oil and lumber corporations, and land grabs make developers billions. 

Plot twists are rampant: shifting alliances, unsolved murders, open wounds, and hard-earned respect; add constant conflict with those it borders -- an expanding town, an Indian reservation, and whatever else might cause another layer of trouble.

Everyone has flaws or a blind spot that can lead a person down the wrong path.

Examples in my own stories? 

All of my novels have flawed characters.  Sometimes it's the hero/heroine; other times not.  Disclosure will compromise my storyline or create a spoiler alert. 

Cowboys Make Great Complicated/Flawed Heroes 




YA Stories Must Be Historically Correct--but not focus entirely on Good vs Evil.

(Very few are born Evil)



Humor and Quirky Plotlines Address 'Real Issues' too.



Four Stories/ Four Genres: Contemporary/Romantic Comedy/

Cozy Mystery/Paranormal



I hope you've enjoyed my post 😄,

Connie
Please visit the blogs of these talented authors!

Anne Stenhouse http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com

Dr. Bob Rich  https://wp.me/p3Xihq-2ue

Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/

Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea

Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/

Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/

Victoria Chatham http://www.victoriachatham.com

Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobincourtright.com

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Connie's Tuesday Kitchen: Potato and Beer Soup #Connie's Tuesday Kitchen, #Potato and Beer Soup, #I Love Soup, #BWLAuthorBlog

Potato and Beer Soup



Combine 2 cups of the chicken stock and one-third of the potatoes in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer until fork-tender, 15 to 18 minutes and then blend to a smooth puree using an immersion or regular blender. 

I always make soup with what's in my freezer or leftovers.

I freeze bacon/ham etc.

I utilize my slow cooker and Insta Pot when possible.

That said, I toss the above into my slow cooker and add:



Ingredients

4 cups chicken stock (I prefer low-salt/no salt)

3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups) 

2 bay leaves

8 ounces sliced smoked bacon or ham or both

2 carrots, 1/2-inch dice (about 1 cup);  or petite frozen corn

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 small bundle of fresh thyme, tied together with kitchen twine or dried if desired

1 onion, green top trimmed, 1/2-inch dice (about 1 cup), or diced yellow onion to taste

1 cup/ 8 oz can of light beer (I prefer Coors) the final 30 minutes (the alcohol burns off, so it's okay for children to consume). 

Optional: Shredded Cheddar Cheese or Pepper Jack Cheese added to the soup after being labeled into serving bowls, stir and top with crumbled bacon if desired.

I serve with a salad and thick, crusty bread.

A filling and comforting meal for lunch or dinner.



Do you enjoy my Tuesday Kitchen recipes?  

All of my novels have recipes at the end of the story.

My latest novel, Gumbo Ya Ya, has a family recipe for Humming Bird Cake! (plus many more).



Enjoy!

Connie 

XOXO

Friday, October 22, 2021

Halloween Memories, Good, Bad, or Frightening? By Connie Vines #RR (89), #BWLAuthor, #MFRAurhor. #Halloween, #HalloweenTreats

This month's Round Robin topic: Your most frightening Halloween, or childhood memory. 🎃🍬👻

Well, as I've stated more than once, I enjoy Halloween without the gore and nightmare-making, fright-night events.

As a child, I dressed up in a homemade costume: I was a Zombie, a Genie, a Cat, but never a princess or a frightening monster.
Even as an adult, I would take my children, along with half-a-dozen or more neighborhood kids trick-or-treating, rather than sit on the porch and hand out candy.

Fortunately, my husband's favorite Halloween event was handing out (and sampling) candy from the witch's cauldron or large plastic pumpkin beside the wooden bench.

My favorite activities during the Halloween Season? I watched: "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown", I also watched the Classic Universal Studios movies: "The Mummy", "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" ( in inspiration for the gory-updated version "The Shape of Water), "The Wolfman", and "Dracula". I also watched, "The Bride of Frankenstein". Once.  "The Bride of Frankenstein and Frankenstein," caused nightmares for me. As did Mary Shelley's novel.

In all deference to Mary Shelly, "Meerkat Manor" gives me nightmares, too.

meerkat manor


So, it goes without saying, my novel, Here Today, Zombie Tomorrow, is not The Walking Death type of novella.


 Movies are recommended for skittish people: (Pumpkin = I watch/ Ghost = I can't watch)

1. Hocus Pocus 👻

2. The Addams Family (classic and updated) 🎃

3.  It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown 🎃

4. Ghostbusters (original) 🎃

5. Frankenweenie 👻

6. Halloweentown 🎃

7. The Nightmare Before Christmas 👻

8. Little Shop of Horrors 👻

9. The Munsters (classic) 🎃

10. Practical Magic 🎃

11. Casper 👻


What move do I always watch?  It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  I love, love this movie.  Snoopy in the pumpkin patch always makes me smile.

The crazy thing is, I can read and re-read the novel Dracula by Braun Stoker and watch the 1990’s movie version of Dracula and I am fine.  (Dracula, like The Phantom of the Opera, falls under the umbrella of tortured hero and love story).

Please visit these "spooktacular- blog hop participants.  What Halloween Tales are They Spinning??


Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea

Victoria Chatham http://www.victoriachatham.com

Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/

Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/

Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-2sc

Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobincourtright.com





After visiting the other participants in this month's Round Robin Blog Hop,

Stop by CTR and sign up to win a gift certificate!



Happy Halloween,

Connie














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