Tomato Soup: Chicklets in the Kitchen

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s the end of summer and I have a glut of tomatoes, especially cherry tomatoes. Fortunately, the variety I chose for this year has that cherry tomato sweetness but isn’t too sweet. What to do with a giant bowl full of cherry tomatoes? Why tomato soup, of course! A few random Amish Paste and Early Girls found their way into the soup as well but it’s all good. The batch ended up making 3 pints of soup. Half a pint made it into my lunch but the rest I froze for future meals. Happy cooking and eating.

Hardware

4 Quart Pot

Cutting Board

Knife

1 or ½ pint freezer containers

Immersion Blender

 

Ingredients

Bowl full of cherry tomatoes, washed

¼ cup sliced onion

2 med garlic cloves, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

Slice the onion and garlic. Cut the tomatoes in half.

Click here to see more.

 

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. What do you do with your tomato abundance? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Fair Is Over: Monday Blog Post

ZoeMeme001

Newest News:

Totally missed writing last week’s Monday blog post because I was doing final Fair clean-up. But now, that is over and I had time over the last week to get rid of my fair-brain, and get back to writing.

Zoe Ohale rewrite came back from my editor. Now that I’m done with the fair I’ll have time to go over the last edits and get it ready to release. I’m still working with my cover designer on alternate titles. I still want my “A” Team to review possible covers and get to select which of the draft covers will be my release cover. If you’d like to be in on the action, respond to this blog and let me know your name and email address. Do it now cause who knows when I’ll finalize those covers and get ready to release. Cover reveal will be to the “A” Team first, then the newsletter subscribers, then here on the blog. Want to be in the know first? Comment on this blog to join the A Team.

front

I am trying something new. A mug offer. Since we’re close to Halloween, I thought I’d do a Halloween themed mug. It has a picture of my daughter’s Chihuahua, Phoebe, in a pumpkin. She really didn’t like being in the pumpkin, hence my caption. You can find the mug at https://www.gearbubble.com/chihuahuapumpkin2016. I’m thinking of putting my book covers on mugs, too, for a memento. What are your thoughts?

Giveaways:

The Red Hot Summer Giveaway is over. My first prize, a copy of Mystery at the Fair, went to Michael Fritz, and the 2nd prize, a $10 Amazon Gift card went to Sammy’s Book Obsession.

spooktacular-author-giveaway

Now, it’s the Halloween Author Group Giveaway. You can find the Rafflecopter link on my website. You do have to sign up to Rafflecopter but after that, you’re free to click away. I have links to it on my facebook and twitter pages, too. This giveaway I offer a free ebook, Recall, or for second prize, a copy of my Halloween Tales ebook. Over a hundred prizes from 30 authors plus a grand prize of $100 Paypal Cash. It’s not hard to enter, there are multiple ways to enter, and it doesn’t cost you anything. You could easily win a prize. If you haven’t entered yet, enter today and every day!

Instafreebie September 18- 20th, 2016

Instafreebie September 18- 20th, 2016

Starting 1 September, I’m involved with a group doing a promotion on Instafreebie. The main promo is going to be today, September 19th. There are a lot of authors involved and we’ll be cross promoting the books so you get the best selection of cozy mysteries we could put together. My link on Instafreebie is https://www.instafreebie.com/free/rXIZT and the book is free! I know! Last week I said .99 but nah, it’s free! Hashtags for the giveaway will be #instafreebie, #mystery, #Cozy20, #freemystery, #20Mysteries. The full link is http://annertan.com/free-mystery-books/ Please share the tweets and posts. Let everyone in on the fun. Check for us on Facebook and Twitter.

Shout Out:

Author Kim Bailey Deal

Author Kim Bailey Deal

On September 21st, my author interview is with Kim Bailey Deal, author of Women’s Fiction, short stories, poetry and creative non-fiction. She’s been published in several blogs and magazines, including Pilcrow & Dagger’s August/September issue, http://pilcrowdagger.com/issues/. She lives in Tennessee with her husband and can be found at www.kimbaileydeal.net. Check out her website!

Garden News:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. Paste, Early Girl and Cherries. It’s still all about the tomatoes and zucchini. I foisted off gave two big zukes to my brother-in-law Saturday. I used up a lot of cherry tomatoes making tomato soup. I blogged about that on the Chicklets in the Kitchen blog due out on the 25th. I’m turning chopped zucchini into breakfast hash with chopped left over pork chops. The Swiss Chard and broccoli plants I planted a week ago are doing well. Days are warm and nights are cool. Just what those plants like. How’s your garden doing? Are you enjoying an abundance of something? Do tell.

Where Will I Be?:

The wonderful people at Dog-Eared Pages Book store (http://www.dogearedpagesusedbooks.com/) were nice enough to put a few of my Mystery at the Fair books on their shelves. If you’re in Phoenix, stop by the shop and say hi to the nice people there.

FallFest2016

9th annual Fall Festival in Pine, AZ. October 8th and 9th. http://pinestrawberrybusinesscommunityaz.com/fallapple.html. I’ll be there all weekend as part of the local author book signing. My hubby will be there as part of the chili cook-off with his Hot Italian Sausage chili at 11am on Saturday the 8th. There are also crafters and a very excellent antique show scheduled, not to mention music and food!

Want more details about this event? Click here for more information.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up prizes on both the regular and the Brown Rain newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team! I’m getting ready to share some things on the Zoe Ohale book. I’d love to see you there.

Newest Book Release:

Kindred Spirits released on March 14th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad

Newest News:

Happy Labor Day everyone. My mom and dad were blue collar workers and both were in unions. Mom, because she worked for White Mop company making steel mop heads, buckets, wringers and such, was a steel worker. Dad was a Laborer, meaning he did the heaviest grunt work in the construction world. I’m proud of both of them for providing all of us kids a home, food, clothes, and a knowledge of the value of a dollar and hard work. Thanks Mom and Dad.

Zoe Ohale rewrite is with my editor for the second time. I’m am working on my cover and it’s taking longer than I thought. I still want my “A” Team to review possible covers and tget to select which of the draft covers will be my release cover. If you’d like to be in on the action, respond to this blog and let me know your name and email address. Do it now cause who knows when I’ll finalize those covers and get ready to release. Cover reveal will be to the “A” Team first, then the newsletter subscribers, then here on the blog. Want to be in the know first? Comment on this blog to join the A Team.

Color Logo for Print 051216 500X320

The Northern Gila County Fair again took up a lot of time last week with meetings, last minute details and other work. The fair starts this Friday, the 9th, at 8am, so this week will be filled with the setup in preparation for the opening. I also attended a meeting for the Book Festival finalizing details of a new venue. All of my book festival goers and authors, stay tuned for an announcement about that. Are you in Central Arizona this coming weekend? Come to the fair! www.NorthernGilaCountyFair.com

Giveaways:

13516250_10153776031376317_3183914869650072987_n

The Red Hot Summer has been extended to the 8th, so you have just a little more time to get in on the fun. You can find the Rafflecopter link above on my website. You do have to sign up to Rafflecopter but after that, you’re free to click away. I have links to it on my facebook and twitter pages, too. This giveaway I offer a free ebook, Mystery at the Fair, or for second prize, a $10 Amazon card. Over a hundred prizes from 50 authors plus a grand prize of $150 Paypal Cash. It’s not hard to enter, there are multiple ways to enter, and it doesn’t cost you anything. You could easily win a prize. If you haven’t entered yet, enter today and every day but hurry, only 14 days left!

Instafreebie September 18- 20th, 2016

Instafreebie September 18- 20th, 2016

Starting 1 September, I’m involved with a group doing a promotion on Instafreebie. The main promo is going to be September 19-20th. There will be a lot of authors involved and we’ll be cross promoting the books so you get the best selection of cozy mysteries we could put together. Click on http://annertan.com/free-mystery-books/ and then click on the book cover to take you directly to the book you want. My link on Instafreebie is https://www.instafreebie.com/free/rXIZT and the book, Mystery at the Fair, is free! I know! Last week I said .99 but nah, it’s free! Hashtags for the giveaway will be #instafreebie, #mystery, #freemystery, #20Mysteries. Please share the tweets and posts. Let everyone in on the fun. More details as they come out. But check for us on Facebook and Twitter.

Shout Out:

L&M Cover

On August 7th, my author interview is with D. M. Simpson, author of Lyric and Michael. An author of paranormal romance, Dawn lives in Florida with an assortment of pets, kids and husband. You can find Lyric and Michael at http://www.amazon.com/DM-Simpson/e/B00KYRQQTI as well as her newest book, Christine and Daniel!

Garden News:

AugGarden007

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. Paste, Early Girl and Cherries. Then there’s the zucchini. Lots and lots of zucchini. We eat them at just about every meal. I made a spaghetti sauce from mostly cherry tomatoes on Saturday because I had so many. Some paste and Early Girls went into the sauce, too. I thought it’d be sweet but an application of red pepper flakes gave it a nice balance. Yay! Sunday I froze a bumper pick of green beans. We’ll have plenty for all winter long. That’s very satisfying. How’s your garden doing? Are you enjoying an abundance of something? Do tell.

Where Will I Be?:

The wonderful people at Dog-Eared Pages Book store (http://www.dogearedpagesusedbooks.com/) were nice enough to put a few of my Mystery at the Fair books on their shelves. If you’re in Phoenix, stop by the shop and say hi to the nice people there.

FallFest2016

9th annual Fall Festival in Pine, AZ. October 8th and 9th. http://pinestrawberrybusinesscommunityaz.com/fallapple.html. I’ll be there all weekend as part of the local author book signing. My hubby will be there as part of the chili cook-off at noon on Saturday. There are also crafters and a very excellent antique show scheduled, not to mention music and food!

Want more details about this event? Click here for more information.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up prizes on both the regular and the Brown Rain newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team! I’m getting ready to share some things on the Zoe Ohale book. I’d love to see you there.

Newest Book Release:

Kindred Spirits Ad

Kindred Spirits released on March 14th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Garden and Zoe: Monday Blog Post

ZoeMeme001

Newest News:

Zoe Ohale rewrite is DONE! Whew! It took a lot of thought and some shifting around of chapters but it’s done. I’m now working on my cover and my “A” Team is going to get to select which of the draft covers will be my release cover. If you’d like to be in on the action, respond to this blog and let me know your name and email address. Do it in the next day cause I’m finalizing those covers and getting ready to release. Cover reveal will be to the “A” Team first, then the newsletter subscribers, then here on the blog. Want to be in the know first? Comment on this blog to join the A Team.

The fair again took up a lot of time last week with all of the coordination required to get everything “on the table” at that same time. I’m also attended the Book Festival volunteer thank-you luncheon so that took up a few hours of my time as well.

I met with my editor at the local paper, Pete Aleshire of the Payson Roundup. I’m now an official “stringer” with the paper and filled out the paperwork to get paid for my hiking stories in the new Trails book the paper put out. It is not, unfortunately, on Amazon. But if you’re going to be in central Arizona and like to hike, let me know, I’ll send you a copy for $5 plus shipping. Nine of the hikes in the book were written by me. Photos for those hikes are by my hubby, Randy Cockrell, and our hiking friends Randy Wilfong and Jim Hadder. The photos are mislabeled as being all by my husband. But I know who took them!

Giveaways:

Summer Giveaway

The Red Hot Summer giveaway ends on Labor Day, just 5 days away, so you’re running out of time to get in on the fun. You can find the Rafflecopter link above on my website. You do have to sign up to Rafflecopter but after that, you’re free to click away. I have links to it on my facebook and twitter pages, too. This giveaway I offer a free ebook, Mystery at the Fair, or for second prize, a $10 Amazon card. Over a hundred prizes from 50 authors plus a grand prize of $150 Paypal Cash. It’s not hard to enter, there are multiple ways to enter, and it doesn’t cost you anything. You could easily win a prize. If you haven’t entered yet, enter today and every day but hurry, only 14 days left!

Instafreebie September 18- 20th, 2016

Instafreebie September 18- 20th, 2016

Starting 1 September, I’m involved with a group doing a promotion on Instafreebie. I’m starting on 1 September by selling Mystery at the Fair for just .99. I know. A whole ebook for ninety-nine cents! The main promo for free books is going to be September 18-20th. There will be a lot of authors involved and we’ll be cross promoting the books so you get the best selection of cozy mysteries we could put together. Hashtags will be #instafreebie, #mystery, #freemystery. More details as they come out. But check for us on Facebook and Twitter as well.

Shout Out:

Author LeeAnn Jackson Rhoden

Author LeeAnn Jackson Rhoden

I missed shouting out my author interviewee for August 24th, LeeAnn Jackson. You can go back on the website blog page and find the interview. You’ll want to pick up her links and check out her books for sure.

Garden News:

AugGarden007

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. Paste, Early Girl and Cherries. Then there’s the zucchini. Lots and lots of zucchini. We eat them at just about every meal. I didn’t make the zucchini pizza yet, instead I’m going to blog late (August 25th) on Chicklets in the Kitchen with Peach Shortcake. I’m still eating through my peaches too! How’s your garden doing? Are you enjoying an abundance of something? Do tell.

Where Will I Be?:

The wonderful people at Dog-Eared Pages Book store (http://www.dogearedpagesusedbooks.com/) were nice enough to put a few of my Mystery at the Fair books on their shelves. If you’re in Phoenix, stop by the shop and say hi to the nice people there.

FallFest2016

9th annual Fall Festival in Pine, AZ. October 8th and 9th. http://pinestrawberrybusinesscommunityaz.com/fallapple.html. I’ll be there all weekend as part of the local author book signing. My hubby will be there as part of the chili cook-off at noon on Saturday. There are also crafters and a very excellent antique show scheduled, not to mention music and food!

Want more details about this event? Click here for more information.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up prizes on both the regular and the Brown Rain newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team! I’m getting ready to share some things on the Zoe Ohale book. I’d love to see you there.

Newest Book Release:

Kindred Spirits Ad

Kindred Spirits released on March 14th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Peach Shortcake: Chicklet’s in the Kitchen Blog Post

PeachShortcake005

Mid-Summer in my neck of the woods means peaches. My peach tree tends to ripen late July, depending on the weather. It held off to the 1st week in August when all the peaches ripened just about at once. Nothing like an avalanche of peaches to make you put on your thinking cap. After giving away a LOT! I decided peach shortcake would be just the thing. Now it’s not complicated, but after all those peaches, I didn’t have too much brain power left. And it’s hot! So why not peach shortcake for supper. Or breakfast!

Hardware

Medium Bowl

Cutting Board

Knife

Individual serving bowls

 

Ingredients

Bowl full of peaches, washed

½ to 1 cup sugar (your choice)

Can of Whipped Cream

Shortcake

PeachShortcake001

Cut the peaches in half, remove the pit, chop up and put in the bowl. Continue until all of the peaches are chopped up. Read the rest at Chicklets in the Kitchen.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

 

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

August Already: Monday Blog Post

Crowd at the Payson Book Festival 2016

Crowd at the Payson Book Festival 2016

Newest News:

So I have had a week’s recovery from the Payson Book Festival, held July 23rd. It was a great success with over 90 authors and over 600 visitors. Food, music, story-telling, author presentations and all of those authors selling books from every genre, fiction and non-fiction, imaginable. As the committee, we’re all involved in the wrap-up phase. Financial sheets need to be filled in, evaluations and feedback forms reviewed and reports compiled, and sponsors, volunteers, festival goers and authors need to be thanked. We’ll have our after-action meeting on the 8th to go over what went well and what we can do better. The evaluations everyone leaves for us goes a long way to help us sort good and popular aspects of the festival from those not so good.

AuthorShout.com has been a fantastic promoter for me the entire month of July. I’m so pleased with the publicity they’ve been giving me. My book, Kindred Spirits, was on their site for the month of July. http://authorshout.com/recommended-reading/ Take a look around the site. It will be worth your while if you’re looking for a new to you author and fine reading.

Giveaways:

The Smashwords.com’s Summer/Winter Sale is now over. Four of my books, Mystery at the Fair, A New Start, First Encounter, and Lost Rainbows, were free on the site. A good many of you did go and get free books. I hope you enjoy them. They’re still available on Smashwords.com with my other books, as well as on Amazon, Kobo, Itunes, Barnes and Noble and other retailers for both paperback and ebooks. On my website, I have direct links to every book and where it is retailed.

SpringIntoReadingGiveawayPromo

The Red Hot Summer giveaway is still in full swing. Just click on the Rafflecopter link. You do have to sign up to Rafflecopter but after that, you’re free to click away. I have links to it on my facebook, twitter, and website pages. This giveaway I offer a free ebook, Mystery at the Fair, or for second prize, a $10 Amazon card. Over a hundred prizes from over 50 authors plus a grand prize of $150 Paypal Cash. It’s not hard to enter, there are multiple ways to enter, and it doesn’t cost you anything. You could easily win a prize. If you haven’t entered yet, enter today and every day.

Shout Out:

Book Festival flier 2016 FINAL Front Pg

Let me give a big shout out to Payson Book Festival co-committee members Carol and Bing Brown. They have a back ground in media, both newspaper and radio, and Carol was a professor at Arizona State University teaching communications and media. They were responsible this year for both doing the grant work to gain us a grant from Arizona Humanities, and handling all of the media blitz involved in advertising the book festival all around the state of Arizona. They sent news releases to every paper we had an author from, arranged advertising in the Arizona Republic and electronically on the East Valley Tribune. Skilled writers and media persons, they were instrumental in the success of the 2016 Payson Book Festival. Thank you, Carol and Bing.

Garden News:

Garden014

The yellow beans are ripening, as are the cherry and early girl tomatoes. I can hardly wait. Yellow beans, especially, are only available in cans. I look forward to having them fresh in the summer. The peach tree branches are groaning under the weight of the ripening peaches. The birds have already begun pecking at the fruit. The hot weather and lack of monsoon rain has killed my youngest apple tree. It was about 3 years old and I’m very sad it’s died. I’ll have to go to the garden store in September and get another. The weather should be cooler and the new tree will have time to get some roots established before winter sets in. How’s your garden doing?

Where Will I Be?:

FallFest2016

9th annual Fall Festival in Pine, AZ. October 8th and 9th. http://pinestrawberrybusinesscommunityaz.com/fallapple.html. I’ll be there all weekend as part of the local author book signing. My hubby will be there as part of the chili cook-off at noon on Saturday. There are also crafters and a very excellent antique show scheduled, not to mention music and food!

Want more details about this event? Click here for more information.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up prizes on both the regular and the Brown Rain newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team! I’d love to see you there.

Newest Book Release:

Zoe Ohale is out for editing and is 100% done at the editors’. Now that the book festival is over, I’ll get to the further edits. If you’re a Brown Rain Series fan, I think you’ll like Zoe Ohale. You may remember a short story I published on my blog on 8/20/15, Extra Baggage. That was the second story about Zoe. The first, Betrayal Moon, is in the Forward Motion anthology, due out in the next couple of weeks. Just 17, Zoe has been an orphan living on the streets of Baia Mare since she was 12. Street smart and fiercely independent, Zoe has been offered the chance to move back into legal society by the police officer that arrested her a few months ago. But first, she has to help protect the little kids in her group, help her friend save her father from assassination, and find a criminal ring that just stole all of the physical credits being delivered to the Planetary Bank of Baia Mare. The book, the first of a series, should be out in August, if I can find time to work on it between the Book Festival and the Fair.

The third book in the Brown Rain Series, Kindred Spirits, released on March 14th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Chili Cook-Off: Flash Fiction Friday Post

Chili Cook-off

Chili Cook-off

This story is based on my Jean Hays series. For the recipe, go to my blog post Chili Spice Mix, Chicklets in the Kitchen.

 

Jean and Karen and Karen’s daughter, Peggy, were in the bowling alley bar. Jean sipped her beer. “I haven’t had beer this good since I was in Germany.”

“I’ll have to admit; I do love these craft beers. Clever of the bowling alley to upscale their bar.” Karen poured a second glass from the pitcher on the table.

“Mom, did you read today’s paper?” Margaret drew the twice weekly paper from her tote. “The chili cook-off is in two weeks.” She handed the paper to her mother.

Karen opened it and looked at the community activities section. “Oh, yeah! I haven’t entered that in a few years.” She grinned at Jean. “Want to enter?”

Jean laughed. “The way I cook? What would be the point?”

“Come on. About time you learned to cook the southwest way. That New England boiled dinner stuff has got to go.”

Jean’s mouth fell open. “That’s comfort food, I’ll have you know.”

“Maybe so. But it’s dull. Spice up your life.”

“I don’t know. I suppose I can just open a chili spice packet.”

Both Karen and Peg gasped. “Don’t you dare! I’ll tell the judges and have you kicked out.” Karen shook her head.

“Well then, what do you do?”

“I use my mom’s spice recipe. You’ve had it, by the way. I use it as a dry rub on ribs.”

“Oh, the ones we had last week? Those were wonderful.”

“Good. Go on line, search for chili recipes. Find one that seems good to you. Then go to the store and look at the ingredients in canned or jarred Mexican food. Modify the recipe so it’s yours. Make a test batch or two of chili. Then bring it to the contest.”

Jean snorted. “That’s all, huh?”

“Well, you have to enter the contest now.” The three of them laughed.

The next day Jean went on-line to the contact given and entered the chili cook-off. Then got on her computer to search for recipes. She focused on prize-winning ones. No sense getting just any recipe. After jotting down ingredients from a handful she found she noted that most of them were quite similar. She started a new list, one that contained the same ingredients that they all did. Then Jean considered the differences. It seemed that the small amounts of different herbs and spices were the key. Time to go to the grocery.

She spent some time looking at the canned and jarred prepared Mexican food. Most of it contained the basic flavors she had on her base recipe. A few, however, did go outside of the box. Making notes about those different flavors, she gathered all of the ingredients and went home to whip up a batch of chili spice.

Jean made some averages on measurements. Many of the recipes used almost the same amounts. It was her additions that caused her pause. She decided to base her amounts on the other recipe’s small additions and give it a try.

The first batch was way too hot, as far as she was concerned. She cut back on the ancho peppers. The second batch had too much cilantro. It was the fifth batch that she liked the best. Writing down her recipe, she went back to the store to refresh her supplies. The cook-off was two days away.

She borrowed a crock pot from Karen and carefully transported the chili to the cook-off. It was a fund-raiser so people bought tickets, then after getting one ounce tastes, selected the chili they liked best, second and third, by dropping the tickets into cans at the exit.

Jean and Karen were next to each other and enjoyed talking to all of the people who came by to get a taste of their chili. Chief White, the Greyson Chief of Police came by. “Hi Karen. Glad to see you back. Your chili is always a favorite.” He held his little cup out to Jean. “Glad to see you entering, Jean. Is the chili hot?”

She shrugged. “I’d say medium, but everyone’s taste is different.”

“We’ll see. Later, ladies.”

Karen elbowed Jean. “Two years. Why don’t you ask him out for coffee?”

Jean rolled her eyes. “Oh for gosh sakes. He’s not interested. Remember, he thinks we’re both bubble heads.”

Karen laughed. “Keep telling yourself that.”

Jean was scraping the last half ounce of chili from the crockpot when time was called. Several of the competitors had run out half an hour before. She hoped it was because they’d been too generous or hadn’t brought enough, not that theirs was better.

It took forty-five minutes before the organizers got on the microphone to announce the winners. Jean didn’t know the third place winner, though Karen seemed to and clapped when the guy’s name was announced. Then the announcer said, “And second-place goes to returning cook, Karen Carter!”

Jean jumped up and down and hugged her friend. “How great! And after you’ve been out of it for so long.” Karen went up and got her small trophy and certificate. Jean was looking the prize over when the announcer said, “And this year first-place goes to newcomer Jean Hays!”

Karen hooted in Jean’s ear. “You won!” She jumped up and down. “You won!” She shoved Jean, still shocked, toward the announcer.

Jean stumbled forward, applause washing over her, blushing. The announcer, the head of the organization, held the first prize cup between them as they faced a photographer. Jean smiled and nodded at the congratulations and managed to get “Thank you all so much,” out of her mouth.

At their table, Karen hugged Jean again. “I guess I can’t say you can’t cook anymore.”

Jean shook her head. “I guess not.”

 

Thank You!

951 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Chili Spice Mix: Chicklets in the Kitchen Post

Finished Jar of Chili Spice Mix

Finished Jar of Chili Spice Mix

I know. I missed May and June. I can only plead that I was super busy but I haven’t forgotten you. Today I’m talking about chili spice. What’s that? It’s a spice mix that I use to flavor my chili! I know a lot of people just by those little packets at the store. That would work except I’m Celiac and most of those packets have additives in them that I can’t eat. Well, what’s a girl to do who likes chili? Make it myself. There are tons of recipes out there for the spices for chili. I started with a recipe that is courtesy of Tyler Florence from Food Network. I added my own twists.

This spice mix can also be used as a dry rub. I love it on spare and country ribs, especially.

I’m still trying to perfect my dish but here’s the recipe.

Read more at Chicklets in the Kitchen.

 

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you make your own herb or spice mix? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Chicken Cordon Bleu: Chicklets in the Kitchen

Finished Chicken Cordon Bleu

Finished Chicken Cordon Bleu

Once in awhile, I like to get fancy and in February, I did just that. I happened to have ham and swiss cheese on hand and boneless chicken breast in the freezer so I decided to make chicken cordon bleu.

The first time I ever had this dish was when my husband and I were stationed in West Germany in the late 70’s. We went to a local Gast Haus (pub) in the small town where we lived and I spotted it on the menu. I’d heard of it in movies and books. Here was my chance to try it. It arrived on a plate by itself and covered the entire plate. Crispy and golden brown on the outside, the inside was a delight of tender white chicken wrapped around a ham and cheese center that just oozed out onto the plate when I cut into it.

I’m still trying to perfect my dish but here’s the recipe.      Click here to see the rest.

 

 

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Have you ever had chicken cordon bleu? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

A Friend Visit: Monday Blog Post

Me on the left and friend J.A. Marlow on the right at Montezuma's Castle National Monument

Me on the left and friend J.A. Marlow on the right at Montezuma’s Castle National Monument

Have you had a close friend visit you? One that hasn’t been to your area before? I love it! I get to show off the best stuff in my town and surrounding countryside. All the best tourist stuff. All the best restaurants. Saturday we went to the Montezuma Castle and then the Montezuma Well. Okay, look them up, central Arizona, Verde Valley! Anyway, we felt a nosh coming on and supper with brother-in-law many hours away. So we stopped in the tiny town outside of Montezuma’s Well called Rimrock, AZ, and stopped in this restaurant we’ve never been to before. It’s called Vintage Café on the left side of the road as you drive to Montezuma’s Well. It’s also in a depression, only the sign sticking up. Do not let that deter you. This is a fabulous place. It’s in a new building with a fantastic patio. The interior is hallmarked with black and white checks which the wait staff uniforms reflect. They are knowledgeable and friendly. Even before I tasted the food I could tell from the menu that I wanted that place transported to my town of Payson. The chef is knowledgeable with food allergies, I’m celiac after all. As I expected after just seeing the restaurant and the menu, the food was To. Die. For. Hubby had an appetizer (we were having his brother over in just 4 hours for dinner) of chicken wings. He pronounced them the best he had ever had. My friend and fellow author, J.A. Marlow, http://jamarlow.com/,  had a BBQ sandwich which she absolutely loved. I ordered an appetizer of 3 mini-tacos, filled with barbeque pork topped with a jalepeno slaw and it came with a small side salad of red and green cabbage, sweet dried cranberries, chopped walnuts and a finely chopped green which may have been kale but I’m just guessing. It was delicious! The best little side salad I think I’ve ever had. Best of all it was not drowning in dressing. I love that light touch. The mini taco’s were not too spicy, despite the jalapeno warning. Anyway, I’m totally recommending this place. Drive a long way, it’s worth it.

You all, I was on coolerbs.com site last week and I loved it. He has such a great blog. Did you miss it? Not to worry. Check out http://coolerbs.com/2016/02/17/connie-cockrell-what-it-means-to-be-a-writer/ and read my guest blog. Check out the rest of his site while you’re there. He’s a great guy and a wonderful author. Stay tuned for his guest blog to my site!

Since I’ve had company I haven’t gotten into my final edit and the formatting for Kindred Spirits. I know! I seem like such a powerhouse! Still, I’m only one person and there are only 24 hours in a day. I’ll get it done, I promise. Time is about out for people interested in receiving an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) for a review. If you’d like to be an ARC reader and do a review for me, let me know. You do not have to have read the first two books of the series to enjoy the third book. So if you’d like an advance copy, let me know today! You’ll want to get this in advance of your friends.

Just to let you know, the next Author Interview is Wednesday, the 24th, with the fabulous D’Elen McClain (http://wickedstorytelling.com/). I was so pleased when she agreed to be one of my author interviews. Watch for it on Wednesday!

I’ve not mentioned the Payson Book Festival in awhile. The second year is definitely on and planning is going full throttle. New this year is a pre-event, a poetry slam for the youth of the area to be held sometime in June. Organized by the Arizona Humanities Council, it’s being supported by not only the Payson Book Festival but by the Payson Ministerial Christian Fellowship. They’re publicizing and fully supporting this opportunity for the youth of this area to become involved in the expression of the written and spoken word. Not only that! We’re having a special event for authors arriving early with a workshop on publishing. We’ll have a panel of publishers here to talk about the current state of publishing and answering our author’s questions. These are two wonderful additions to the festival and we couldn’t be more happy to add them to our calendar of events.

It’s still February and even in central Arizona that means a slow growth time. However, those sprouts in the deep garden bed are certainly green onions. I have begun watering since there hasn’t been any precipitation here for at least three weeks. I’ll have to water out in the front yard too as the lavender is growing and the one flower pot out front has hyacinth. But they’ve migrated to the bottom of the pot. What that means is that they expend all of their energy getting shoots to the surface. I get no flowers. A disappointment. Why don’t I dig them up and get them nearer the surface? Because I have marigold seed scattered across the top of the soil. If I disturb the soil, I lose the marigold. If I leave the pot as is, I lose the hyacinth. It’s a difficult decision.

Used my new patio door for Saturday’s dinner with brother-in-law and my friend. I LOVE being able to get in and out of the door with trays without turning sideways. So happy with my decision to have the work done.

Our new giveaway is called Luck O’ The Authors. This is going to end at midnight St. Patrick’s Day. That means a lot fewer contestants. Go to www.conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways to enter the Rafflecopter. Even if you’ve sighed up for all of the authors, there are daily ways to win. Check it out!

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’m about to send out my February newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website blog posts. If you like the content, please encourage your friends to sign up, the newsletter is shareable, send it to whomever you think will like it. You’ve already missed out on great offers. Sign up now.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr