Monday, March 1, 2021

Breakfast on the Go! by Connie Vines

Today I thought I 'dish out' a favorite breakfast recipe of mine.
Why it this a favorite of mine?

  1. It's transportable
  2. It's make-a-head and freezable.
  3. It is loaded with protein and yummy.

Breakfast Egg Cups Recipe

 Serves: 8

 Prep Time: 10 m
 Cook Time: 20 m
 Print this Recipe  Save to Prepear What is Prepear?
1 – cooking spray
6 large – egg
1/4 cup – milk
1/8 teaspoon – salt
1/8 teaspoon – black pepper, ground
1 medium – bell pepper, red
3/4 cup – spinach
1/4 cup – cheddar cheese, shredded


Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and  set aside. Preheat oven to 375°F.
Whisk the eggs and milk together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Dice the bell pepper into small pieces. Stack the spinach leaves, roll them up, and slice them thin. (This method is called chiffonade.)

Add the peppers, spinach, and shredded cheddar to the egg mixture.
Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 minutes until centers are set and no longer runny.
Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Extras may be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to a month. Microwave thawed egg cups on high for 45-60 seconds or until hot.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 78 4%
Fat: 5 g 8%
Carb: 1 g 0%
Fiber: 0 g 0%
Protein: 6 g 12%
Sugar: 1 g

You may add different veggies, meats, cheeses, to your personal preference.  You may also use a cupcake liner instead of oil or non-stick cooking spray..



Monday, February 22, 2021

Monday Snacks! This Week it's Afternoon Tea by Connie Vines

I adore Afternoon Tea. I love setting the table with my Royal Albert china and presenting all of all the tasty offerings on my small two-tier cake serving plate.

Traditionally (in the UK and former Colonies) Tea is served around 4PM.

I, however, enjoy my meal in place of the standard American lunch. I prepare my sandwiches the night before and wrap them in wax paper and then plastic wrap so they stay fresh.

Afternoon tea is a light meal composed of three course of tea sandwiches and savories, followed by scones with clotted cream and jam, and ending with sweet pastries. Everything is bite-sized and eaten with fingers. Afternoon tea time is around 4PM, between lunch and dinner.


Cucumber sandwich

Thank you to everyone who took part in our survey to find the nation's favorite Afternoon Tea sandwich. credit: The

We can now reveal that smoked salmon and cream cheese on granary bread was the top choice.

The poll also revealed that the cucumber sandwich, which is traditionally associated with afternoon tea, was the preferred filling for just 8% of participants.

We asked our customers to name their favorite sandwich combination and a clear winner soon began to emerge. 

Granary bread was the top choice overall, but white bread was still the preferred companion to the cucumber and cream cheese sandwich.

Top 10 Afternoon Tea sandwiches:

1. Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese

2. Egg Mayonnaise & Cress

3. Chicken & Mayonnaise

4. Cucumber & Cream Cheese

5. Cheese & Chutney

6. Ham & Mustard

7. Prawn & Mayonnaise

8. Beef & Horseradish

9. Tuna & Mayonnaise

10. Roasted Vegetables & Cream Cheese 

Since I'm from the USA, this has been a delightful discovery. I began with strawberry sandwiches (see photo) but I've vowed to try each a  sandwich on this list. (Not in one day, of course).

I've also started began following The for more ideas!

Have a Marvelous Monday!


Saturday, February 20, 2021

Where Do I Get ideas For Stories? By Connie Vines

Where do I get ideas for my stories?   

I imagine every author has a 'wave link' that attracts stories.  

Native Americans believe that Story Tellers have a responsibility
to give a 'story' life.  Therefore, the story finds the story teller.

Is this a good thing?
It is if it's any 'easy' story to write.

However, the path from beginning to The End is seldom easy.

My first romance novel, came to me during a family vacation in the mid-west.  We were in a café and bit of banter between a woman and a cowboy popped into my head (in my case, dialogue is what seems to be the 'jump-start' mode to 99% of my stories).  Later during a rodeo in Nebraska I watched a bull-riding event.  This is when Lynx Maddox walked on to page one.  This novel was awarded numerous awards and was fun to write.  I had a vague plotline which my characters seldom adhered to.  While every writer loves all the characters in his/her novels (well, aside from the villains), Lynx is still my favorite.

While I was writing my first romance novel, I was also researching my first historical YA novel.

I was involved in the Indian Education, Title IX Programs, and served on the PAC (parent advisory committee for K-8 school district). I also facilitated workshops for the Native American children in the district.  

Larry Sellers (Cloud Dancing) actor/stuntman in "Dr .Quinn, Medicine Woman" on television. hosted a workshop.  We were speaking during the break. I told him about the novel I was working on.  He advised me to complete my story and shared his experience as a child in boarding schools. (He only spoke Sioux when, as a five-year-old, he was sent to a boarding school.) He, and others, endured terrible hardships--hardships even worst for students in the late 1800's.  

The research required locating archived materials, visiting Native American boarding schools, interviewing adults who had attended the school or could recall stories told to them by parents or grandparents.  My characters are not molded after a particular person, but a composite of the  people I interviews or read about. This story tore at my heart. The stories I heard and the shawl of sadness which still effected those, even in old age, always stays with me.

This novel, Tanayia--Whisper upon the Water, took five years to complete.  
The novel was nominated for a National Book Award and The Frankfurt e-Book Award.

I'm ready to begin the 2nd in this series because the story is starting to call to me.  Right now it is only in the basic plotting stage because stories dealing with the dark side of humanity are emotionally draining to write.

I also write in multiple genres.  In genres you would probably not expect a writer who is so immersed in historical research to dapple in.

My first published magazine article was featured in "Junior Medical Detective" and later appeared in the Thomas Gaye Educational Series.  The story was titled, "A Candle in the Dark" and it was about the Salem Witchcraft Trials.

I write Sassy and Fun Fantasy, and anthologies (on of which will be available in April 2021).

Available now

Fall of 2021
Currently, I finishing my anthology (Gumbo Ya Ya: for women who like Cajun romance).
This anthology covers multiple genres: Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance, Cozy Mystery, A Ghost Story, and...I don't wish to spoil the plot for the 5th story. 

Cajun stories?

My husband is from Louisiana and New Orleans and the French Quarter are one of my favorite vacations spots.

Café Du Monde with coffee au lait and beignet dusted with a mountain of powdered sugar are my personal faves!

Romantic Suspense
Rodeo Romance, Book 2

Happy Reading!


Please stop by and visit the other talented authors participating in this month's blog hop:


Saturday, January 23, 2021

What's on your 2021 To-do List? By Connie Vines #RoundRobin, #WritingTips

 What is on your writing to-do list for this year? 

Do you have any long-range goals or just wrap-ups?

My writing to-do list for 2021. 

Working from home with Zoom meetings and workshops, you would assume more writing would be accomplished. 

Not so, it seems.  

I usually write 9:00pm 2:00am but I've had to make a change because I can no longer  function on only 4 hours of sleep (well, not for more than two days-in-a-row). 

So here I am, at 12-noon, typing on my keyboard, sipping boysenberry tea and trying not to be distracted by the 'day-light' view of my garden.

Gardenia blossom and new buds

My 1st hibiscus blossom 

I have projects to complete during January and February: my anthology (Cajun) and 2nd novella in my fantasy series.  I also have outlines for a YA historical, and Book 3, of  my Rodeo Romance Series.

I do have long-range goals, also. I plan on posting author interviews on my blog(this one 😃 ) and additional book reviews "I Dug-It". I am toying with the revival of my cooking/ gardening blog.

Now to the nuts-and-bolts!

I have a 2021 calendar dedicated to my daily word-count and mechanical pencil!

I seldom share my fascination with office accessories. I love calendars, journals (with those colorful tabs (alpha or month), college-ruled notebooks, folders, pens (not gel), markers and erasable white/black boards, clamps...well, you get the picture.  And I'm exercising extreme self control in purchasing 1 calendar for all of my project 'word-counts' (all entrees will be color-coordinated, of course)

Since my office is in upheaval, due to a flooring install in February, I'm working at my sewing table in the guest room. It's hardly ideal because I have to lean back so don't face-plant into the computer screen. 

I guess moving back into my dedicated office needs to be added to my 2021 to-do list!

Visit my co-Round Robin participant's blogs to see their plans and surprises!

Happy 2021, Everyone!


> Skye Taylor
> Victoria Chatham
> Beverley Bateman
> Connie Vines
> Dr. Bob Rich
> Anne Stenhouse
> Diane Bator
> Fiona McGier
> Judith Copek

Rhobin L Courtright

Marci Baun

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Christmas Teaser. . .Who Doesn't Love a Holiday Romance? By Connie Vines #RR #RoundRobin

Welcome to my Blog!

Today is our December Round Robin Blog Hop. 

 Todays Topic: A story excerpt, flash fiction, or short story.

I have chosen an excerpt from my contemporary romantic suspense novel, "Brede" Book 2, Rodeo Romance Series.

Setting: Northern New Mexico, USA

Brede tried to focus on the things Kate did that reminded him of other city women, but he couldn't. Though he hated to admit it, He liked the way she made his coffee, and he liked the way she waited up for him. If he stayed out late in the lambing pens. He also liked the way she smiled at him. She had one of the most dazzling smiles he'd ever seen.

She poured two cups of coffee.

He reached for his cup at the same moment she reached for it. His fingers grazed the top of her hand.

She glanced up at him through her lashes, but she didn't move.

He studied her for a moment, taking in the serious set of her mouth. Touching wasn't such a good idea right now. 

"If you change your mind about going to town into the morning, I'll understand."

"I know. But I think it's for the best."

He inhaled the scent of her hair, floral and womanly.

She sighed when his arms went around her. She snuggled closer, coffee forgotten, telling herself that this was nothing more than a comfort hug between friends. She knew this wasn't the case. What she was feeling for Brede went far beyond the boundaries of friendship. She had no right to harbor those feelings, but she couldn't deny them either.

"You're welcome to stay at the ranch.--"

She placed her fingertips over his lips. "If someone is trying to kill me, I'm putting you and everyone else on this ranch in danger."

"That's the very reason you should stay."

She shook her head. The sweetness of his words, his generous offer of help, brought tears to her eyes. It would be so easy to stay, but that didn't make it right.

"If you're worried about the kiss..."

"No." she denied, too quickly. She was worried about how much she'd enjoyed his kiss, and how easy it would be to kiss him again.

He gave her one of his rare, heart-stopping smiles, and Kate wanted to clutch his shoulder for support. Instead, she pulled back to get a good look at him. "I'm a grown man," he reminded her. I can take care of myself and so can my men. No one is going to show up on this ranch and harm anyone."

He did look big, strong, and invincible. Still, fear clung to the edges of her mind. Whoever had hurt her didn't play by the rules. Brede might not like to admit it but the remoteness of this ranch would work in her attacker's favor. He had stalked her. That meant he could be outside watching them now. Waiting for an opportunity to strike again.


Trouble is something hard-edged rancher, Brede Kristensen, knows all about. A widower with rambunctious young daughter, a ranch to run and an ornery cook who has just run off, Brede doesn't need another problem. 

Beaten and left for dead, Amberlynn Maddox has no memory of her past.  Accepting Brede's offer as temporary ranch cook, the woman, now called Kate, discovers the sexy rancher with his protective nature and sizzling kisses has claimed her heart. 

When a madman discovers Amberlynn's hiding place, no one is safe from harm; not Brede, his young daughter--or Amberlynn herself!

Please stop by and visit the other wonderful authors participating in this month's Blog Hop:

Margaret Fieland

Skye Taylor

Victoria Chatham

Diane Bator

Helena Fairfax

Anne Stenhouse

Fiona McGier

Dr. Bob Rich

Beverley Bateman

Rhobin L Courtright

 Wishing all of my readers and visitors a blessed holiday season.


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