Tasty Tuesday: On Hold for a While #colonial #recipes #hiatus #IARTG

Tasty Tuesdays are a highlight of my week, and I hope they are for you too. After my recent surgery, it’s become necessary to scale back on my writing and all activities actually. Turns out the damage done to my rotator cuff was more extensive than the MRI revealed. The surgeon did a fantastic job of fixing it, but now my right arm is in a sling that immobilizes the arm. For 4-5 weeks! So I’m sadly going to have to pause in posting my cooking blogs for one month. But never fear! I’ll pick up again the end of August right where we left off: various ways to cook fish, especially salmon, duck, and lobster as soon as I’m physically capable of whipping up something delicious, both figuratively and literally!

One last thought. Evelyn’s Promise, A More Perfect Union book 4, is on sale through the end of July, so it’s the perfect time to grab your ebook copy for only 99 pennies! Blurb and links below.

Happy reading and I hope your summer has been fantastic!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union historical romance series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Evelyn’s Promise is on sale until July 31. Grab your copy today and feel free to share with your friends and family. Evelyn’s story is one of my favorite in the series!

Evelyn's PromiseThe fourth and final story in the A More Perfect Union historical romance series follows the trials and decisions of Evelyn and Nathaniel as they try to adjust to life after the British occupation of Charleston.

Determined to make her own way in the newly independent America and live free of the dictates and demands of another husband, widow Evelyn Hamilton faces soaring post-war inflation as she struggles to provide for herself and her infant son.

Militiaman Nathaniel Williams visits Charlestown, where his heart is ensnared by a smart, beautiful widow, forcing Nathaniel to make the hardest decision of his life.

B&N: http://bit.ly/1SCcwTJ

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1nW5AEd

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1nifyz4

iBooks: http://apple.co/1UVyy1p

Google: http://bit.ly/1XbQsyc

Adjusting to Post-surgery Limits #writerslife #amwriting #planningfortheworst #hopingforthebest #IARTG

I promised I’d be back, and here I am. The shoulder surgery went well but ended up being more extensive than hoped. The rotator cuff was torn like an onion, one layer at a time, until only 10% of it was intact. The surgeon grafted it back together and otherwise cleaned up the shoulder. I have staples in the outside area of the top of the shoulder and widespread greenish-yellow bruising. Pain was pretty intense to begin with, but has lessened day by day. So instead of wearing a shoulder immobilizer for 1 day I need to wear it for 4-5 weeks. Of course, it’s on my right shoulder/arm, which is my dominant hand. Challenges abound as a result but I’m determined to make some progress with my writing despite the limitations.

It’s amazing how much we use each body part without thinking twice about it. Until it’s injured or unavailable to use, that is. I’ve been on Percocet pain killer and a muscle relaxant since the surgery, but as of today am switching to using Aleve instead to manage the discomfort. I want and need a clear head to write and revise. I think it was Hemingway who once said, “write drunk, revise sober.” I’d rather be sober for both, personally!

I’m going to keep today’s post short so I’m not overdoing my arm and thus my shoulder. I merely wanted to let you all know that I came through the operation without any complications.

One last thing. Thanks for being there and reading my stories as well as my blog. I appreciate it!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union historical romance series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Like I said, Evelyn’s Promise is on sale through July 31. Grab your copy today and feel free to share with your friends and family. Evelyn’s story is one of my favorite in the series!

Evelyn's PromiseThe fourth and final story in the A More Perfect Union historical romance series follows the trials and decisions of Evelyn and Nathaniel as they try to adjust to life after the British occupation of Charleston.

Determined to make her own way in the newly independent America and live free of the dictates and demands of another husband, widow Evelyn Hamilton faces soaring post-war inflation as she struggles to provide for herself and her infant son.

Militiaman Nathaniel Williams visits Charlestown, where his heart is ensnared by a smart, beautiful widow, forcing Nathaniel to make the hardest decision of his life.

B&N: http://bit.ly/1SCcwTJ

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1nW5AEd

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1nifyz4

iBooks: http://apple.co/1UVyy1p

Google: http://bit.ly/1XbQsyc

Tasty Tuesday: Fish Types and Cooking Techniques #colonial #dinner #cooking #fish #shellfish #IARTG

Tasty Tuesday time! Today we’re talking about the kinds of fish and shellfish colonial cooks had access to and what they did with them. Let’s start with some general observations about the kinds of fish and shellfish Hannah Glasse talked about preparing. We need to keep in mind that The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, while printed in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1805 by Applewood Books of Bedford, Massachusetts, is based upon earlier cookbooks from England, so not everything we read from Mrs. Glasse will be available to the colonial cook. They had to wing it at times based on the available foods in their region.

Art of CookeryThe Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy includes the following fish and shellfish receipts by title, which gives us a good overview of both the kinds of fish she had access to and how she prepared them:

  • To Dress Fish
  • Lobster Sauce
  • Shrimp Sauce
  • To make Anchovy Sauce
  • To dress a Brace of Carp
  • To stew a Brace of Carp
  • To fry Carp
  • To bake Carp – I think she really likes this kind of fish…
  • To fry Tenchwhich includes instructions on how to clean and skin the fish, but this fish is not found in America as far as I can tell
  • To boil a Cod’s Head
  • To bake a Cod’s Head
  • To broil Crimp, Cod, Salmon, Whiting or Haddock
  • Oyster Sauce is made thus
  • To dress Little Fish – she notes little fish such as “smelts, roach, &c.” which are not widely available in America
  • To broil Mackerel
  • To boil a Turbot
  • To bake a Turbot
  • To broil Salmon
  • Baked Salmon – I’ll share my take on this next week
  • To broil Mackerel whole
  • To broil Herrings
  • To stew Eels with broth
  • To dress a Pike
  • To broil Haddocks when they are in high Season
  • To broil Cods-Sounds – I had to look this one up. It’s an English dish that features the bladder of the cod fish. Yum?
  • To dress Salmon au Court-Bouillon – Watch for this one on July 25
  • To dress Flat Fish

The list goes on and on! Other kinds of fish dishes she includes use Lampreys, Sturgeon, Cod, Scate (i.e., Skate), Soals (i.e., soles), Lobsters, Crab, Prawns, Craw-Fish (i.e., Crayfish), Oysters, Mussels, and Scollops (i.e., scallops).

Of the kinds of fish she includes, only the following would have been readily available to an American colonial cook: Carp, cod, sole, haddock, pike, eel, mackerel, salmon, etc.

The deep sea fish would have been ordered from afar, either overseas or from the New England fishermen, as would anchovies and flat fish I’d think. I’m not an excerpt on the history and distribution of the various kinds of fish. I tried to figure out what “crimp” are but came up short, for example, so I don’t know what kind of fish it is or whether that species would have been available in the colonies and early America. Any ideas?

Methods of cooking the fish include frying, baking, broiling, and stewing. The number of recipes that call for breading or battering and then frying the fish I found curious, given the inherent risk of fire of such a cooking method. But I guess if you like your fish fried, it’s worth the risk. Also by adding a hot sauce to the fish, the dish would stay hot longer for getting the entrée to table and still being warm for serving. Surely the cooks knew this and that is why so many of the recipes include a heavy sauce? After all, I don’t think they’d want to serve cold fish after it was cooked.

The term “dress” according to the Oxford English Dictionary means the following:

  1. Specific and technical uses. a. To prepare for use as food, by making ready to cook, or by cooking (also intr. = passive); also, to season (food, esp. a salad).

To Mrs. Glasse this may mean frying the fish or adding a sauce. I’ve come to find that all of the sauces tend to be very rich and heavy, and thus complicated to make. I’ll try some of the sauces going forward, but hubby and I have found we’re not such big fans of them so watch for me to simplify and lighten the sauces when I do use them. Since I’m only cooking for two, I needn’t worry about how long the dish needs to stay warm. That’s one of the main advantages we have over the cooking methods and locations of the 18th century. Plus we have microwaves…

Next week I’ll share a salmon recipe with you. I’ve included two on my plan because it’s one of my favorite foods. Trying new ways of preparing an old favorite sounded like a fine idea. We shall see what we think!

Also, Evelyn’s Promise, A More Perfect Union book 4, is on sale through the end of July, so it’s the perfect time to grab your ebook copy for only 99 pennies! Blurb and links below.

What kind of fish is your favorite? How do you prepare it? Talk to me! I love to hear from you!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union historical romance series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Like I said, Evelyn’s Promise is on sale for the next week or so. Grab your copy today and feel free to share with your friends and family. Evelyn’s story is one of my favorite in the series!

The fourth and final story in the A More Perfect Union historical romance series follows the trials and decisions of Evelyn and Nathaniel as they try to adjust to life after the British occupation of Charleston.

Evelyn's PromiseDetermined to make her own way in the newly independent America and live free of the dictates and demands of another husband, widow Evelyn Hamilton faces soaring post-war inflation as she struggles to provide for herself and her infant son.

Militiaman Nathaniel Williams visits Charlestown, where his heart is ensnared by a smart, beautiful widow, forcing Nathaniel to make the hardest decision of his life.

B&N: http://bit.ly/1SCcwTJ

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1nW5AEd

Amazon ebook: http://amzn.to/1nifyz4

iBooks: http://apple.co/1UVyy1p

Google: http://bit.ly/1XbQsyc

Planning Ahead – Surgically Speaking #writerslife #amwriting #planningfortheworst #hopingforthebest #IARTG

I’m a glass-half-full kind of gal. People who know me well – or probably even casually – know that I look on the bright side as much as possible. But that by no means should suggest that I do not see the other viewpoint and make plans accordingly. Detailed plans at times. I’ve talked before about my business plan and the detailed schedule I have for what I’ll write when, looking years into the future. Plans are not set in stone but on “paper” or computer file, both of which are changeable.

Today, July 17, 2017, I’m having shoulder surgery to remove a bone spur and clean up the bits and pieces it broke or rubbed off the surrounding tissues, like the rotator cuff. The surgeon has performed this procedure many, many times and is highly regarded for his skill. I’ve also had many operations myself and thus know the way it usually works. So I’m really not worried about the surgery and recovery. In fact, I’m anxious to be on the recovery side!

That said, I’ve been working on a 130,000+ word historical women’s fiction story, the first in a series my agent is shopping. One of my goals this week was to finish all revisions to it. I’ve been reading through the main character’s papers (she is a real, well-known, and beloved American woman) and taking notes from her letters as to what she was concerned about when and any other insights her own words might reveal as well as those gleaned from the historical footnotes. Then weaving the relevant tidbits into the story. I’ve finished the major revisions but not all the fine tuning. I’ve printed out the manuscript for a final scrub and assessment but not quite finished like I would have liked. But close.

Why was that my primary goal this week? Because stuff happens. Bad reactions to anesthesia can lead to complications that lead to things I refuse to focus on. But I know it might happen. I wanted to have my story complete enough that an editor could polish it up and it could be published. I haven’t spent years working on it to languish on my laptop unread by my fans!

I fully expect to back at work by Wednesday this week. Tuesday I know I’ll be in an arm sling, and start physical therapy the next day. I’m expecting two sessions of PT each week for 4-6 weeks. Plus the at-home exercise. That’s all I know about my recovery process. Until the surgeon gets in and looks around, he won’t know either.

But just like my hubby and I have set up a trust and wills and such for our personal property and finances, I wanted a plan for when things don’t go as expected for my writing. But stay positive! That’s my focus. I’ll be back in my chair working on my stories very, very soon.

In the meantime, tomorrow’s Tasty Tuesday post is already scheduled to post, so you all won’t miss out on the next adapted and tweaked colonial recipe.

Also, Evelyn’s Promise, A More Perfect Union book 4, is on sale through the end of July, so it’s the perfect time to grab your ebook copy for only 99 pennies! Blurb and links below.

Happy reading, folks! Thanks for following and supporting me in my writing career. And like Arnold Schwarzenegger famously said, “I’ll be back!”

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union historical romance series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Like I said, Evelyn’s Promise is on sale for the next week or so. Grab your copy today and feel free to share with your friends and family. Evelyn’s story is one of my favorite in the series! The fourth and final story in the A More Perfect Union historical romance series follows the trials and decisions of Evelyn and Nathaniel as they try to adjust to life after the British occupation of Charleston.

Evelyn's PromiseDetermined to make her own way in the newly independent America and live free of the dictates and demands of another husband, widow Evelyn Hamilton faces soaring post-war inflation as she struggles to provide for herself and her infant son.

Militiaman Nathaniel Williams visits Charlestown, where his heart is ensnared by a smart, beautiful widow, forcing Nathaniel to make the hardest decision of his life.

B&N: http://bit.ly/1SCcwTJ

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1nW5AEd

Amazon ebook: http://amzn.to/1nifyz4

iBooks: http://apple.co/1UVyy1p

Google: http://bit.ly/1XbQsyc

Tasty Tuesday: Lamb Pie #colonial #recipe #howtomake #lamb #dinner #entree

I must admit my adaptations of colonial recipes for Tasty Tuesday are becoming more aggressive. At least for this recipe. I’ll explain as we go.

First, as always, comes Hannah Glasse’s receipt from The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy:

Art of CookeryTo make a savory Lamb or Veal Pie.

Make a good puff paste crust, cut your meat into pieces, season it to your palate with pepper, salt, mace, cloves, and nutmegs finely beat; lay it into your crust with a few lamb-stones and sweetbreads seasoned as your meat; also some oysters and force-meat balls, hard yolks of eggs, and the tops of asparagus two inches long, first boiled green; put butter all over the pie, put on the lid, and set it in a quick oven an hour and a half, and then have ready the liquor, made thus: take a pint of gravy, the oyster liquor, a gill of red wine, and a little grated nutmeg; mix all together with the yolks of two or three eggs beat, and keep it stirring one way all the time. When it boils, pour it into your pie; put on the lid again. Send it hot to table. You must make liquor according to your pie.

I know many people who make their pie crust from scratch. That’s not something I’ve mastered and I find it simpler to buy ready-made crust from the store. But by all means, if you enjoy making your own, you’ll not hear anything but praise from me. More power to you!

The mystery in this recipe for me is with regards to the pie lid. I didn’t take the time (sorry, my bad) to research into what a “good puff paste crust” might be, figuring I needed to keep my final recipe as easy to make as possible or I’d probably never make it again. Thus my choice to use ready-made crusts. But in writing this post, I did take the time to dig a little deeper and found out that there are three distinct kinds of pastry crust: puff paste, standing, and short crust. The puff paste does take quite a bit of time to prepare, so I’m glad I didn’t worry too much about using that kind of crust for my adaptation of this receipt. If you’re curious, you can find out more over at Savoring the Past. For me, the store crust tasted good and was easy, too.

Two ingredients that I either don’t know where I’d find, if in fact I wanted to, or just didn’t bother looking: lamb-stones (i.e., testicles) and sweetbreads (i.e., pancreas). Here again, if you’re more adventurous than I am, go for it!

This is yet another recipe that calls for brown gravy made from the first recipe I adapted, the broth. I made a good quantity and then froze it in individual Ziploc bags to use as needed. Same with the broth, for that matter, as I didn’t want to have to make it frequently. Here’s one of the things hubby and I have discovered: we’re not as big a fan of so many dishes with rich sauces. Especially ones that use so much heavy spices like mace, cloves, and nutmeg. I think a decent substitute for this recipe instead of using the gravy would be to use a small amount of both the oyster liquor and the asparagus water and add the remaining ingredients into that. It would be a lighter taste, not quite as rich but still tasty. And fewer calories, too.

As I’ve said before for other recipes, I’m not a huge red wine fan and don’t typically have any on hand or open. So I used chardonnay instead. If you prefer red, though, that’s fine as well.

So here’s my recipe, which I may make a different version of later. I’m not sure I’ll make force-meat balls again, for instance. But only time will tell. Here goes:

Betty’s Lamb Pie

 

Sauteeing Force-meat balls
Force-meat balls

Ingredients: 

Pie crust for two-crust pie

½ pound lamb, cut into bite-sized pieces

Ground black pepper, to taste

Ground mace, to taste

Ground cloves, to taste

Ground nutmeg, to taste

2-3 oysters, chopped

16 force-meat balls, browned and drained

2 yolks of hard-boiled eggs

Asparagus-canned1 14.5-oz can asparagus spears, drained (I used 50% reduced sodium)

1 cup gravy

¼ cup oyster liquor

2 oz. white wine

1 egg, beaten

Instructions:

Lay one pie crust into 9” pie pan

Combine meat and seasonings in a small bowl; layer in pie pan

 

Lamb Pie ready to top
Lamb Pie ready to top

Add chopped oysters and browned meat balls, egg yolks, and asparagus 

In a saucepan, combine the gravy, oyster liquor, wine, and egg. Stir well and heat until boiling.

Pour gravy into pie pan.

Add top crust and crimp edges as for any two-crust pie.

Place in a preheated 350 deg F oven for 45-60 minutes, until the crust is brown.

Note that I didn’t use butter “all over the pie” since I had poured the gravy mixture in which I figured would keep everything moist enough.

Lamb Pie interiorThe resulting pie was very good if rich for our tastes. The overall concept is a good one, and one I can tinker with another time. So how adventurous are you with your recipes? Do you make your own crusts? Eat organ meats?

Starting next week we’ll be talking about fish and cooking techniques. Looking forward to trying to make lobster and salmon!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books (including excerpts) and upcoming events.

Here’s the first book in the A More Perfect Union series, Emily’s Vow:

Emily's Vow Finalist SealEmily Sullivan’s greatest fear is dying in childbirth, as did her twin sister and their mother. Despite her half-hearted protests, her father insists Frank Thomson is the perfect man for both her protection from the vengeful British and as a husband. Frank always loved Emily despite her refusal to return his affections. A patriot spy posing as a loyalist officer, when Frank learns Emily’s been imprisoned for her father’s privateering, he risks his own neck to free his love.

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1wZML3a

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1obL3tT

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1FCoy5L

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1t75sMh

Google: http://bit.ly/13Bll94

Between the Lines: Civil War Guns and Ammo #amwriting #PNR #research #historical #weapons

Before we get to this week’s blog post, I’ve announced the winners of the July 4th giveaways, so please check here to see if you won either of the swag bags. Now on to today’s topic.

Have you read The Touchstone of Raven Hollow yet? In it, I talk about how Tara and Grant stumble upon some Civil War era pistols. In order to make sure I had my facts straight, given that I am no gun expert, I went to two men who are experts, Brad Butkovich and Tripp Corbin, and they filled in the details for me so I could ensure my story’s facts made sense.

Here’s what I asked:

Q: I need to know about Civil War era pistols and ammunition. I’ve heard from a local man here in south-central TN that the CW troops used caves and sink holes to stash their weapons and supplies. If present day people stumbled upon such a stash, what condition would the pistol and the ammo be in? Would the gun still fire? Misfire? Explode in your hand if you tried to shoot it? If either of the latter, how much damage to the hand/person would there be? Thanks for any help you can give me.

Brad gave me an extensive reply including this picture of a Remington Model 1858, which he said was a popular pistol for both sides during the war. He told me that “firearms hate moisture” unless when they were packed that grease was smeared over them to protect them. If not greased, then the guns would rust and be worthless as a firearm. But if they were in a dry cave, and wrapped with burlap or packed in wood crates, they’d survive. He noted that the wood would deteriorate but their contents might survive. He cautioned that “a sinkhole would be right out” because of the “direct contact” with moist earth over 150 years.

Remington Model 1858Brad also talked about issues with attempting to fire such old weapons. How rust could cause misalignment between the cylinder and the barrel, which would cause problems. “The round will jam between the cylinder and the barrel, and those explosive gasses will have nowhere to go but to the side and back toward the user.” The result? The gun would explode and mangle the hand, or “a flying hammer, or spring, could take out an eye, nose, knock out teeth, etc. easily. Even kill.”

Well, I didn’t want to kill Grant, so I had to choose what could go pretty bad without such a dire outcome. Rather, I wanted Tara to be forced into revealing her, um, hand – literally by having to heal Grant using her touch. So a mangled hand sounded like an appropriate situation for Tara to have to face her fear of revealing her abilities to this man she’d grown fond of.

Tripp added some more details on the ammunition. He told me that black powder becomes “unstable over time” as the components separate. Therefore, it might have a more explosive effect or not fire at all depending on the amount of moisture the powder had been exposed to. The kind of gun also plays a part in how the ammo detonates. Both men agreed that misfires were common both then and with later models and ammo. I used Brad’s suggestion that the first time trying to fire the gun it not detonate, but the second time it would go off, for good or bad.

So there you have it. The historical facts that are the basis for the pistol Grant ends up carrying with him into Raven Hollow and that becomes the catalyst for Tara’s big nearly-calamitous reveal to him.

If you haven’t read The Touchstone of Raven Hollow, I hope I’ve piqued your curiosity! This is one of my favorite stories so far… But then I’m pretty fond of all of them. Happy reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

The_Touchstone_of_Raven_Hollow_600x900He dug for the truth and found her magic…

Tara Golden has hidden her healing power all her life. But occasionally, she uses her abilities on people passing through town, sure they’d never figure out what saved them. Now a tall, sexy geologist is asking questions she doesn’t want to face, and he isn’t going to take no for an answer. There’s no way she would reveal her abilities and her gifted sisters for a fling.

The latest medical tests divulge geologist Grant Markel’s fatal condition is cured, but the scientist within him won’t accept it’s a miracle. When he meets the sexy, mystical witch who may hold the answer to his quest, he’s determined to prove she’s full of smoke and mirrors despite their mutual attraction.

When they are trapped in an enchanted valley, Tara must choose between her magical truth or his scientific beliefs. Can she step from the shadows to claim her true powers before it’s too late?

Amazon: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-kindle

B&N: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-BN

Kobo: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Kobo

Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Amazon-AU

Amazon CA: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Amazon-CA

Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Amazon-UK

iBooks: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-iBooks

Google: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-GoogleBks

Tasty Tuesday: Beef Collops #colonial #recipe #howtomake #beef #entree #whatsfordinner

What better way to celebrate America’s Independence Day than by adapting a colonial recipe into a modern version? This next colonial recipe was very easy to make for Tasty Tuesday! It’s delicious, too!

First, as always, comes Hannah Glasse’s receipt from The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy:

Art of CookeryBeef Collops.

Take some rump steaks, or tender piece cut like Scotch collops, only larger, hack them a little with a knife, and flour them; put a little butter in a stew-pan, and melt it, then put in your collops, and fry them quick for about two minutes; put in a pint of gravy, a little butter rolled in flour, season with pepper and salt; cut four pickled cucumbers in thin slices, half a walnut, and a few capers, a little onion shred very fine; stew them five minutes, then put them into a hot dish, and send them to table. You may put half a glass of white wine into it.

 

IMG_2389
Beef steak cut into collops

This one didn’t have nearly as many changes necessary to put it together. As I’ve said before, I omit salt in most recipes unless it’s required for rising (like cookies and such). I’m very sensitive to salty foods and my hubby has had issues with kidney stones in the past, and that’s one of the possible culprits. So instead I use herbs and garlic to provide flavor.

 

 

IMG_2388
Have all ingredients ready

For the “pickled cucumbers” I used “stackers” that are flat slices of pickle and then diced them to be about the same size as the pieces of walnut. Again, this was with an eye for how the ultimate sauce would present when served.

 

I estimated the size of a walnut based on the pieces I had on hand, and then chopped them up a bit more to make them easier to blend into the sauce.

Capers are not something I have used in the past so I didn’t have them on hand. While I was visiting a dear friend and fellow author, Linda Joyce, she let me sample one from her stash. They are quite tart and briny, so if you do want to use some, just use a couple since this recipe is not for a large quantity.

 

IMG_2391
Collops frying

This recipe calls for brown gravy made from the first recipe I adapted, the broth. I made a good quantity and then froze it in individual Ziploc bags to use as needed. Same with the broth, for that matter, as I didn’t want to have to make it frequently.

 

So here’s what I ended up with and I think I may have to make this one regularly. Yum!

Betty’s Beef Collops

Ingredients

¾ lb steak, cut up into small pieces about the size of a matchbook

¼ cup flour

½ cup brown gravy

2 T butter

1 T butter rolled in flour

1/8 tsp pepper

½ T garlic, chopped

1 T walnut pieces, chopped

1/8 cup onion, diced

¼ cup white wine (optional)

Instructions

 

IMG_2393
Ready to serve!

Have all ingredients at hand before beginning. 

Lay steak on a cutting board and lightly score both sides.

Sprinkle flour on both sides.

Melt 2 T butter in deep skillet.

Fry the collops quickly until browned.

Add remaining ingredients, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and then serve.

If you want to reduce the amount of butter, you could fry the collops using cooking spray, but I’d keep the piece of butter rolled in flour to provide the gravy/sauce. We really did enjoy this for dinner the other night. It’s fairly simple to make and yet is very tasty indeed!

Wishing all my American fans a very happy Fourth of July!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books (including excerpts) and upcoming events.

Literary Classics International Book Awards - Youth Award Winning Book
Literary Classics International Book Awards – Youth Award Winning Book

During the 1800s, daring and courageous girls across America left their unique mark on history.

Milly Cooper galloped 9 miles through hostile Indian Territory to summon help when Fort Cooper was under attack.

Belle Boyd risked her life spying for the Rebels during the Civil War.

Kate Shelly, when she was 15, crawled across a nearly washed-out railroad bridge during a ferocious thunderstorm to warn the next train.

Lucille Mulhall, age 14, outperformed cowboys to become the World’s First Famous Cowgirl.

These are just a few of the inspiring true stories inside Hometown Heroines—American Girls who faced danger and adversity and made a difference in their world.

B&N: http://bit.ly/2em4lh9

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2eNm5Ap

Amazon ebook: http://amzn.to/1nY0qXH

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In Honor of July 4th #giveaway #writerslife #readers #swagbag #American #celebration @LJWriter @HODRWA

In honor of America’s Independence Day, July 4, I’m going to give away this packed tote bag full of books and an array of swag. Everything from bookmarks to jewelry to lip balm and pens and much more! (Note: Due to postage costs, I must limit entries to the United States only.)

HOD Luncheon swag bagTo enter to win, be sure to follow my blog and comment below with your favorite couple from one of my books and why they’re special to you. Or follow my blog and comment with your favorite title of my books and why.

As a refresher, here are the titles and main couples in each.

A More Perfect Union historical romance series:

Emily’s Vow: Emily Sullivan and Frank Thomson

Amy’s Choice: Amy Abernathy and Benjamin Hanson

Samantha’s Secret: Samantha McAlester and Trent Cunningham

Evelyn’s Promise: Evelyn Hamilton and Nathaniel Williams

Secrets of Roseville paranormal romance series:

Undying Love: Meredith Reed and Max Chandler

Haunted Melody: Paulette O’Connell and Zak Markel

The Touchstone of Raven Hollow: Tara Golden and Grant Markel

And don’t forget Hometown Heroines: True Stories of Daring, Bravery, and Adventure. These real girls from the 1800s really are inspiring to me!

Plus, I’ll choose a second winner to receive this beautiful Bridesmaid gift bag author Linda Joyce handed out at the Heart of Dixie Romance Readers’ Luncheon last month with some cool goodies inside. The pretty scented soaps smell really nice! I was tempted to keep it for myself, but want to share the love! And I’ll even let the winner of the gift bag choose any one of my books that I’ll autograph to you or another person of your choice. Sweet, eh?

Linda Joyce gift bagI’ll choose the winners on Friday, July 7, to give people chance to enter since there’s the holiday tomorrow and I’d expect many folks will be outside celebrating rather than on their computers.

Also, look for another Tasty Tuesday post tomorrow on making a really yummy beef entrée you won’t want to miss.

Good luck! Happy Fourth of July!!!!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union historical romance series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

The Touchstone of Raven Hollow (Secrets of Roseville Book 3) is available now! Grab your copy today!

The_Touchstone_of_Raven_Hollow_600x900He dug for the truth and found her magic.

Tara Golden has hidden her healing power all her life. But occasionally, she uses her abilities on people passing through town, sure they’d never figure out what saved them. Now a tall, sexy geologist is asking questions she doesn’t want to face, and he isn’t going to take no for an answer. There’s no way she would reveal her abilities and her gifted sisters for a fling.

The latest medical tests divulge geologist Grant Markel’s fatal condition is cured, but the scientist within him won’t accept it’s a miracle. When he meets the sexy, mystical witch who may hold the answer to his quest, he’s determined to prove she’s full of smoke and mirrors despite their mutual attraction.

When they are trapped in an enchanted valley, Tara must choose between her magical truth or his scientific beliefs. Can she step from the shadows to claim her true powers before it’s too late?

B&N: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-BN

Kobo: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Kobo

Amazon: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-kindle

Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Amazon-AU

Amazon CA: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Amazon-CA

Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Amazon-UK

iBooks: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-iBooks

Tasty Tuesday: Scotch Collops #colonial #recipe #howtomake #lamb #entree

Ready for a delicious adaptation for Tasty Tuesday? This recipe for Scotch Collops took some serious thought to update to something my hubby and I might enjoy. And that we could afford. Here we go!

First, as always, comes Hannah Glasse’s receipt from The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy:

Art of CookeryTo dress Scotch Collops.

Take a piece of fillet of veal, cut it in thin pieces, about as big as a crown piece, but very thin; shake a little flour over it, then put a little butter in a frying-pan, and melt it; put in your collops, and fry them quick till they are brown, then lay them in a dish. Have ready a good ragoo made thus: take a little butter in your stew-pan, and melt it, then add a large spoonful of flour; stir it about till it is smooth, then put in a pint of good brown gravy; season it with pepper and salt, pour in a small glass of white-wine, some veal sweet-breads, force meat balls, truffles and morels, ox palates, and mushrooms; stew them gently for half an hour, add the juice of half a lemon to it, put it over the collops, and garnish with rashers of bacon. Some like Scotch collops made thus: put the collops into the ragoo, and stew them for five minutes.

 

Lamb Cuts
Lamb cuts

Whew! This one was a challenge on several fronts. First the call for veal (again) which in my area is running around $26/pound. Out of my price range. So what might I substitute? I thought of chicken, but then realized the veal would have a beef-like flavor, not a poultry taste. What else is lean and has a hearty flavor? After some thought, I decided to use leg of lamb cut thin and into small pieces. Off to the store I went… But the only leg of lamb in my local Publix grocery store was organic and cost $36! Nope. My hubby stopped at Sam’s Club on his way home, and they were sold out of leg of lamb, too. So I went to a local meat store the next day and they also were sold out of leg of lamb. I don’t understand why nobody had any all at the same time. But the lady at the meat store pointed out a package of frozen lamb cuts. Small pieces with bone, it turns out, but they were approximately the right size and shape. Or at least close enough. So that’s what I used. However, next time (and there will be a next time) I’ll use the leg of lamb cut to shape.

 

Notice that Mrs. Glasse says to “have ready a good ragoo” which meant I needed to fix that before I started sautéing the lamb. So let’s look next at the ingredients for the ragoo.

Butter, flour, a pint of brown gravy, pepper, salt, white wine, veal sweet-breads, force meat balls, truffles and morels, ox palates, mushrooms, and lemon juice. Whoa. Veal sweet-breads? What are they? Off to look them up only to find it’s the pancreas of the calf. Um. No. I couldn’t bring myself to include them. Sorry, Mrs. Glasse!

 

Fried Force-meat Balls
Fried Force Meat Balls

Okay, so force meat balls. I’d made them earlier about the same time I made brown gravy from the broth, so now that I know they’re going into a brown gravy dish, I put some into a heated frying pan and browned them on all sides. Since I made them with butter shavings, I didn’t need to use any other oil or spray in the pan. Then when they were browned I removed them from the pan and set them aside to continue with the ragoo recipe.

 

 

Diced Mushrooms
Diced Mushrooms

Truffles and morels and mushrooms? First, I knew truffles are a kind of fungus, but I had not heard of morels before. Turns out they’re related also to truffles and mushrooms. If I’ve eaten either of them, I couldn’t tell you what they tasted like. If you have and would like to let me in on the experience, I’m all ears. However, both truffles and morels are expensive and difficult to locate. That’s not the point of adapting these recipes, to make it expensive and challenging to prepare. So I only used white mushrooms readily available from my local grocery store.

 

Ox palate was next. You know, the actual roof of the mouth of an ox? Nope, sorry. I’m not even sure where I’d locate one. I could find ox tongue at my local meat store which was a good sized piece of meat (believe it or not), but no palate. So I skipped that ingredient as well. I did think about how back in the 18th century they used every piece of the animal they’d butchered. To make broth or stew or whatever. I wonder what happens to the pieces we don’t see at the grocery store? Research for another day!

 

Sauce for Collops
Ragoo
Sauteeing Lamb Collops
Sauteed Lamb Cuts

I mixed the other ingredients together to simmer while I fried the bacon “rashers” or thin slices  – in my case, I used what I had on hand: 2 slices of bacon halved. Once the ragoo and the bacon were ready, I sautéed the lamb cuts to brown them and cook them to medium doneness, then put them in a dish and poured the hot ragoo over, garnishing the finished dish with the bacon.

 

Here’s my adapted recipe…

Betty’s Scotch Collops

Ingredients:

1 lb. Lamb, boneless, cut thin

¾ cup flour, divided

2 T + 1 T unsalted butter

1 cup brown gravy

2 oz. white wine (I used chardonnay)

16 force-meat balls, browned

5 mushrooms, diced

2 oz. lemon juice (equivalent of juice of ½ of one lemon)

2 slices bacon, halved and fried until crisp

Instructions:

Cut lamb into small, thin pieces.

Scotch Collops
Scotch Collops ready to serve

 

Sprinkle ¼ cup flour over the meat.

Set the meat aside while you make the sauce or “ragoo”…

Melt 1 T butter in a saucepan.

Stir in ½ cup of flour until smooth.

Add gravy, seasonings, wine, force-meat balls, mushrooms and cook gently for 15-20 minutes.

Add lemon juice.

Melt 2 T butter in a deep skillet.

Brown the collops over medium-high heat.

Remove to a serving dish.

Pour the ragoo over the collops.

Garnish with bacon slices and serve.

Hubby and I really enjoyed the combination of flavors. The only problem we had was the numerous small, sharp bones that the lamb cuts contained. That’s why next time, and in my recipe above, I’m calling for boneless lamb.

You can probably tell from the ingredients that this is a rich dish. We had enough for two meals for each of us. I’d recommend pairing it with something light, like steamed broccoli or a tossed salad and maybe some garlic toast.

I hope you enjoy this one as much as we did! What do you think about truffles and morels? Have you tried them?

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books (including excerpts) and upcoming events.

Emily's Vow Finalist SealIn 1782, the fight for independence becomes personal…

Emily Sullivan’s greatest fear is dying in childbirth, as did her twin sister and their mother. Despite her half-hearted protests, her father insists Frank Thomson is the perfect man for both her protection from the vengeful British and as a husband. Frank always loved Emily despite her refusal to return his affections. A patriot spy posing as a loyalist officer, when Frank learns Emily’s been imprisoned for her father’s privateering, he risks his own neck to free his love.

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Between the Lines: The Cumberland Plateau #amwriting #research #geography #conservancy

Why did I choose the Cumberland Plateau as the location for Raven Hollow, my fictional remote valley in The Touchstone of Raven Hollow? Because it’s close to my fictionalized town of Roseville, Tennessee, and has some really interesting features associated with it.

 

IMG_2411
Closeup of a topographic map of the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. Franklin-Marion State Forest is right-center on the photo. Russell Cave is off the bottom right in Alabama.

 

A few weeks ago I talked about my recent trip to the Russell Cave National Monument and our hike in the real Franklin-Marion State Forest. Both the cave and the forest are located within the Cumberland Plateau which is part of the Appalachian mountain range. The Nature Conservancy is taking steps to protect this American treasure.

 

Cumberland Plateau-prd_016644-Nature Conservancy
Photo courtesy of the Nature Conservancy

The area has been home to humans for tens of thousands of years. Imagine what it must have been like to be among the earliest of humans who lived in this region. All the towering mountains cover with thick hardwood forest. What a spectacle the fall colors across the Appalachians must have been. They still are, but the forests are not as extensive as they were before we started clearing for homes and businesses and roads.

 

IMG_2374Still we can visit the many state and national parks dotted across the area to get a glimpse into what the wilderness might have looked like way back when mankind walked among the towering trees and crossed the many rivers and waterfalls.

Today the more remote areas of the forests are being developed or used for recreational purposes, most damaging the use of ATVs among the fragile plants and waterways. As they say when entering a park of any kind, leave on footprints, take only memories.

My hubby and I enjoyed our time in the Franklin-Marion State Forest, and we made sure to leave it as we found it for the next people who visit.

What’s your favorite park, state or national or even local? Where would you like to go that you haven’t been before?

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

The_Touchstone_of_Raven_Hollow_600x900He dug for the truth and found her magic…

Tara Golden has hidden her healing power all her life. But occasionally, she uses her abilities on people passing through town, sure they’d never figure out what saved them. Now a tall, sexy geologist is asking questions she doesn’t want to face, and he isn’t going to take no for an answer. There’s no way she would reveal her abilities and her gifted sisters for a fling.

The latest medical tests divulge geologist Grant Markel’s fatal condition is cured, but the scientist within him won’t accept it’s a miracle. When he meets the sexy, mystical witch who may hold the answer to his quest, he’s determined to prove she’s full of smoke and mirrors despite their mutual attraction.

When they are trapped in an enchanted valley, Tara must choose between her magical truth or his scientific beliefs. Can she step from the shadows to claim her true powers before it’s too late?

Amazon: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-kindle

B&N: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-BN

Kobo: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Kobo

Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Amazon-AU

Amazon CA: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Amazon-CA

Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Amazon-UK

iBooks: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-iBooks

Google: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-GoogleBks