After last week's heavy duty subject, I decided to go with something a little more lighthearted today. Just a peek into my life. Sorry, y'all. I'm as down-to-earth and no frills as they come. And apologies for posting so late. The Mister has bronchitis (Yep, I passed it on) and I'm playing chief cook, maid and bottle washer for one sick cowboy. I don't mind. He always takes good care of me when I'm down. And he's a cutie pie which helps.
My long, sugar-filled obsession with Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond’s recipe collection continues. Like many of my heroines, I'm not the world's greatest cook – with the exception of a few tried-and-true recipes. (Remind me to tell you about the time my then six-year-old asked me at the dinner table, "Mom, are you sure about this?")
Still, I'm tenacious – borderline obsessive about things I am interested in. That includes ghosts and writing and cooking. (And the Mister :0) And not to mention how much the Pioneer Woman and I have in common.
She loves earrings and so do I. Ree's husband Ladd is a cowboy and my husband has two cows. And she's a style junkie, in a laid back sort of way, which at my age, I can appreciate. Ree always looks so put together in her boots and jeans whereas I prefer capris and flip-flops but still, she's the first to admit she feels overwhelmed from time to time. As do I.
I know there are differences. She’s a redhead and I’m a blonde (kind of) but aside from those two things we are very much alike. Just two post-forty women working hard, trying to keep the family together, fed and happy.
This week's recipe inspiration from Ree Drummond was No Bake Peanut Butter Bars. Since they were “no bake” desserts I figured I was a shoo-in.
Of course, it was not. For some reason, my food processor went berserk on me and didn’t grind up all of the vanilla wafers so I ended up with big chunks of cookies. Not very appealing look but I made it work. I think.
Then I had to spread the cement-like material into the casserole dish. That was a struggle, especially as I forgot to butter it first. I had to "unstuck" the bottom layer, butter the dish and reapply it. I got my work out. (Notice all the cool Pioneer Woman gear? It did not help.)
Not very appetizing looking but at this point I had chocolate melting on the stove. No turning back now. Note to self, when Ree says double boiler what she really means is a Pyrex bowl in a saucepan of boiling water. And further note to self, said bowl should be round and not oval-shaped. But that's another story.
Okay. This proves that chocolate makes everything look better.
So far, this part was my favorite. Who doesn’t love pounding something into small pieces? Mission accomplished. Just like Ree. Except I used a can of tomato sauce. I couldn't find my mallet until after the nut banging session was over. But it looks good posing in the photo. However, it's doesn't look like Ree's mallet. Darn it. (Add that to the Pioneer Woman must-have list. She gets me every time.)
And with a sprinkle of the nuts, everything looks kosher. Right? My family obediently smiled and chewed on the bars but I noticed that the initial leftovers were not moving out of the kitchen very quickly. So like the good aunt that I am, I passed a plate off to my nephew. Still waiting on the plate to come back. He also smiled and nodded encouragingly.
Probably not going to try this particular recipe again. Back to the beginner's class for me. Nope, I'm not the world's greatest cook but I continue to look forward to trying new things. And I’ll keep trying until I get it right. Just not this particular recipe.
Which brings me to my next point. Some of you have probably heard that I am starting a brand-new series. And what's surprising is that this series has no ghost in it. Zero. That's right, no ghosts. It's not that I'm off ghosts or giving up on that aspect of the paranormal but I thought it would be fun to write something wacky for summer.
Namely, stories about a smart, sassy yet shabby trailer park owner named Arcadia Shabeaux. In Arcadia's world, family is everything—even if that family member is running short on brain cells. Set in fictional Lake Dennis, at the Shabby Hearts Trailer Park and Campground, everyone pulls together in a crisis. You know what they say, teamwork makes the dream work. And Arcadia has big dreams.
There are paranormal elements to the stories including a mysterious Bigfoot and an unusual curse that makes Arcadia irresistible to the opposite sex. And even… Well, I can't spoil everything. Needless to say I've planned a fun romp for summer readers. I do hope that you love it.
The first book in the series is called A Touch of Shabby which will be followed by two other books, Shabbier by the Minute and Shabby by Night. The first book in the series will be $.99 for the first 24 hours when it goes live which is May 31. Pick it up before June 1 to get that price. I hope you love Arcadia and all her crazy Cajun family and friends. I can't wait to see what kind of trouble she gets into.
One more thing. I'm working hard behind-the-scenes to put together the rest of the remaining two books of the Return to Seven Sisters series. Those books will include A Garden of Thorns and A Wreath of Roses. I have so much more to share, so many more surprises but I think that's enough for now. I'll be sharing updates on new releases on my Facebook page. I usually try to put up covers along with the links to preorders but not everything will be available for preorder, I'm thinking.
Contrary to popular belief, there are no ghost writers here. Just little ol’ me, banging on a keyboard for on average, six hours a day.
So that's it. Thanks for coming along on this ride with me. And more than that, thanks for listening and reading and being a friend.