Thursday, November 26, 2009

Map of St.Image via Wikipedia

Floridians know where the real First Thanksgiving was. And wouldn't you be more thankful someplace warm and sunny? I know I would.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Elliott Pecan HalvesImage by Old Shoe Woman via Flickr

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

Some of you have asked for my recipe for Chocolate Bourbon Pecan pie, so here it is. The secret to success is the quality of the ingredients. Having said that, I use a frozen pie shell because "quality" and my efforts at pie crust making do not go hand-in-hand. However, if you're skilled in that area, go for it.

This recipe is in two steps. The pecans bathe in the bourbon overnight. Otherwise it's fairly quick and simple.

About 1 cup of good bourbon
1.5 cups pecan halves (fresh shelled are best)
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup dark corn syrup (I'm told you can use pecan syrup, but I haven't tried that yet)
4 oz. top quality bittersweet cooking chocolate, melted and cooled (I love Scharffen Berger for this recipe)
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted (I use margarine to keep it non-dairy, but butter would be better)
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 unbaked 9" pastry shell

Soak pecans in bourbon overnight in a covered bowl. Use enough bourbon to nearly cover nuts, a little more or less won't hurt. Stir them if you think of it. Next day, drain pecans, set aside. What you do with the bourbon is up to you.

Stir together in large bowl eggs, corn syrup, chocolate, butter, sugar, and vanilla. When well mixed, stir in pecans. Pour into pastry shell, bake in 350F oven 50-60 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Serves eight

Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

pecan pieImage by h-bomb via Flickr

Thanksgiving Prep

Pies are done, most of the groceries are purchase, picking up son tonight, farmers market tomorrow. Must be almost Thanksgiving!

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Canadian flag flying at the Maritime Museu...Image via Wikipedia

O Canada!

Good news for romance readers north of the border! Kindle editions are now available in Canada. When the nights grow long this winter and the north winds howl, what could be better than a hot pirate romance set in the Sunshine State?

I'm very pleased to have another international market open up for my ebooks, and I hope to hear back from Canadian Kindle users. Oh, and Smuggler's Bride has a bit of Canadian/US history in it. I haven't been ignoring you all these years.


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Monday, November 16, 2009

M-Edge Executive JacketImage by atmasphere via Flickr

Now that I'm a proud ebook reader owner I've noticed that we owners like to compare our units when we see other people reading digitally.

Gosh, that almost sounds obscene.

Anyway, I was at the fabulous Downtown Arts Festival yesterday and I noticed a vendor had her Kindle out, and was reading Virginia Woolf. I whipped out one of my new The Bride and the Buccaneer bookmarks and gave it to her, saying "All of Darlene Marshall's novels are available in Kindle editions, and there's a new one coming out in December." Then I pulled out my Sony Pocket and displayed its spiffy lime-green MEdge jacket, and how it displays so well on a small screen.

I also bought a beautiful black and red table from her, but hey, it's for my office!


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Thursday, November 12, 2009

A slice of pecan pieImage via Wikipedia

I was at the farmers market yesterday (briefly, it started raining again) and managed to score some of the first crop of China Honey oranges and pecans. The China Honeys tend to sell out very quickly, but I got there early enough to get a 1/4 bushel. Mmmm...sweet, easy to skin, juicy China Honeys.

But the real prize was the pecans. I'd been a bit nervous because Leo didn't have his pecans in at the beginning of November because of the unusually warm weather. Now I can shell them to make my pecan pies for Thanksgiving.

Normally my dear husband shells the pecans, but he's having a busy month so I'm giving him a break. That custom of him doing the shelling goes back to early in our marriage. We were broke, and the packaged, shelled pecans in the supermarket were too expensive for my budget. He needed to go to Tallahassee on business and on the way back passed a roadside pecan stand. Knowing how much I love pecan pie, he bought a bag, brought them home, and shelled them all for me so I could have pie.

There have been many romantic gestures from that man over the 30+ years since that time, but I'll always remember those shelled pecans as one of the most meaningful and heartfelt. And that's what Thanksgiving is all about, isn't it? Remembering our true blessings and giving thanks.
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

So long, and thanks for all the rain!

We got brushed with the edge of Ida, which dumped some much needed water over our part of the state. A couple of inches of precipitation, spread gently through the afternoon and evening, was just right for rehydrating some extremely parched areas of North Central Florida.

The excellent weekend forecast (rain chance 5%, temps topping out at 80F) makes me feel even better because I'm looking forward to attending the Downtown Arts Festival, one of my favorite fall events!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

burt's bee lip balmImage by ayustety via Flickr

I've got my galleys for The Bride and the Buccaneer! Now I need to gather my red pens, my manuscript, and my lip balm.

Why lip balm? I do the final read-through of the manuscript aloud, and this chaps my lips. In the old, pre-Bluetooth days it would also garner frightened looks from people around me in the coffeeshop. They would see this woman talking to herself, gesticulating wildly, and move to another table. But I've learned that reading the manuscript aloud is a good way to catch typos. Your mind tends to fill in the blanks while you're reading. That's why you can look at a sentence like "Hr ns ws rd frm cryng" and figure out it means "Her nose was read from crying" without too much difficulty. Your mind fills in the missing vowels.

The other thing that happens is I'll take a break from reading the manuscript, read my daily paper over lunch, and find myself reading it aloud with my lips moving. Sure catch a lot of their typos that way.

But I'm excited because galleys = book. It's the last step before publication, and now I'm really looking forward to holding my own copy of The Bride and the Buccaneer in December.
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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Dsg Alachua County Library District Headquarte...Image via Wikipedia

Had a library foundation meeting this afternoon, and the news is encouraging. Our library use is at an all time high and our endowment fund portfolio is starting to recover from its swan dive last year.

I'm not surprised the library usage is up. In tough times people depend on their public libraries more than in good times. All the more reason to work hard at ensuring public libraries stay open, vibrant and available to the people.

We also heard who our author is going to be for our next Gala. Can't say who it is yet, but it's another NYT bestselling author who I know will be a crowd pleaser. Stay tuned!
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