Originally posted 2013-04-28 05:00:00.
Before my youngest daughter could speak in more than one word sentences, she’d
formed an intense love affair with guacamole. Ate it with a spoon. And when she’d
licked her bowl clean, screamed for more. No matter how spicy I made it, she
would wolf it down, tears streaming down her plump little apple cheeks. I’m not
sure exactly when the tradition started, but since my girls were small, Guacamole
Friday has been a long-standing ritual in the Ford home. In fact, if family and/or
friends invite us for supper on a Friday, we respectfully decline. My daughters,
now teenagers, still schedule their busy social calendars around this particular
meal. Then, a few years ago, we bought a quesadilla maker, and Guacamole Fridays
morphed into Quesadilla Fridays.
Julie’s Famous Guacamole:
(Four-five makes a medium sized bowl. The avocados are the most important
ingratiate so choose wisely. Too hard will be tasteless and also kill your hand
when smashing. Too soft will be rotten when you slice them open. Ew! When
choosing avocados, squeeze, pressing firmly with your thumb. The meat right
under the skin should be soft but grow firm the deeper you press.)
Roma Tomatoes, diced.
(One less than the amount of avocados you’re using. Roma tomatoes are the
best choice because they are less juicy than other varieties.)
Finley chopped Yellow Onion to taste.
(About two tablespoons for a medium bowl.)
Chopped, fresh Cilantro.
(Don’t skip the cilantro. If you don’t like cilantro then don’t eat guacamole.
Sorry, I have unreasonably strong opinions about this and very little patience
for people who say they don’t like cilantro. It’s the best herb ever!)
Jalapeno to taste.
(I use dried, but pickled work too. Fresh is harder to control the intensity of
the heat. Two or three seeds from a fresh jalapeno will likely pack a sufficient
Garlic Powder to taste.
(I usually just shake some over the top, mix and taste. Tasting is the best part.
Sometimes I taste a few extra times just to make sure. It never hurts to be
(Squeeze half a lime over the top.)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and then stir with a fork, smashing down on the
firmer chunks of avocado, until combined.
(For obvious reasons, you’ll need two for each quesadilla.)
Pico de Gallo.
(Finely diced Roma tomatoes, yellow onion, cilantro mixed together.)
(We use a mixture of cheddar and pepper jack. For those of you who are
lactose intolerant, I’ve found that the veggie shreds, cheddar/pepper jack
mix, work well as an alternative.)
Cubed, Seasoned, Sautéed or Grilled, Chicken or Beef.
Layer bottom tortilla with chicken or beef, Pico and then cheese. Don’t over due it
with the cheese. It’ll just melt, run out from between the tortillas and make a mess.
Grill. Lightly brushing the top of the tortilla with oil will make it brown and crispy.
Unless you possess an aptitude for flipping hot, floppy tortillas stuffed with chicken,
Pico and cheese without the contents spilling out, you’ll need a quesadilla maker. I
bought mine at Target—the most magical place on earth.
Cut into wedges with a pizza cutter. Top with Julie’s Famous Guacamole.
And, do you what goes really well with quesadillas and guacamole?
A book. More specifically, my newest novel, Replacing Gentry.
A modern, Southern twist on the classic Gothic romance novels of Rebecca and Jane
Eyre, Replacing Gentry follows a woman’s precarious journey as she learns the truth
about the man she married.
When Marlie agrees to attend a cadaver ball at Vanderbilt Medical School, she did not expect to actually see any cadavers. Or, that a strange apparition would issue her a chilling message.
Despite the cadaver’s warning, Marlie is married a year later to Tennessee State Senator, Daniel Cannon, and living in a plantation-style mansion with two step sons. Add to the mix her growing suspicion that something is amiss with the death of Daniel’s first wife, Gentry; and newlywed Marlie is definitely in over her pretty Yankee head.
What begins as an innocent inquiry into her new husband’s clouded past, ends with Marlie in the midst of a dangerous conspiracy.
A modern twist on the classic Gothic romance novels of Rebecca and Jane Eyre, Replacing Gentry follows Marlie’s precarious journey as she learns the truth about the man she married.
Julie Ford: Author
Julie N. Ford graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in Political Science and a minor in English Literature. In addition, she has a Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama. Professionally, she has worked in teaching and as a Marriage & Family Counselor. She is the author of two women’s fiction novels, The Woman He Married and No Holly for Christmas, published in 2011. In addition, she wrote a romance/chick-lit novel, Count Down to Love, also published in 2011. Count Down to Love was a 2011 Whitney Award finalist. Her next novel, Replacing Gentry, is due for release April 9th, 2013.
Currently, she lives in Nashville, TN with her husband, two daughters and one hedgehog.
Originally posted 2013-04-10 22:15:00.
- 1 lb boneless chicken, skinned and cubed
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 c cornstarch, 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsps rice wine
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 sm onion, cut into squares
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into squares
- Oil for deep frying
1. Mix cornstarch and eggs in a large bowl, add in chicken and coat thoroughly.
2. Prepare the sauce by combining 2 tsp cornstarch, wine, vinegar, sugar and soy sauce in a small bowl.
3. Heat oil for frying.
4. Fry chicken in batches so that chicken is just cooked.
5. Remove chicken and let stand to drain off some grease.
6. In only a couple of tbsp of oil, fry onion and bell pepper. When they are almost done, add in chicken and stir fry until chicken reaches a crispy brown.
7. Add the sauce in and continue to stir fry. Toss around for a couple of minutes, until sauce becomes a glaze.
Serve over rice and enjoy!
*This recipe was modified from Food.com There are modifications, but if you’d like to find the original, please search Mean Guy’s General Tso’s Chicken on food.com Thanks and I hope you enjoy!
The first time I had these was when I was a kid at my Great Granny’s house. She and some ladies had a regular Bridge night where they all brought easy to eat and super yummy snacks. Granny let me and my cousin Krystle have some before we were sent off to let the grown ups have their game time. From then on, I was in love! Later, I introduced them to my bestie Stacy and it was our go to snack for an entire summer. Fabulous that it’s a cold one on hot days, but works wonderfully on cooler days as well! I am pretty certain we brought stocks in Atkins Dill Pickles up a notch that summer!
Two things before I get started:
- These never had a name, I made one up. Previously they were those ham roll thingy’s. If you have a better name, PLEASE leave it in the comments! I’ve been trying to come up with a fitting one for a while. Pick’Ams pays homage to my Granny’s Southern Belle heritage, so I used it. LOL
- I’m always looking for simple appetizers! If you know of any, leave a link or suggestion or something! Seems like I have a hard time coming up with them!
1 Jar of Dill Pickles
Cream Cheese, softened (I use low fat)
1 Package Ham of Choice
In a bowl, mix cream cheese and mayo. If you aren’t using mayo, then simply ensure the cream cheese is at a spreadable temp.
Lay out ham and pat dry.
Using a spatula, spread the cream cheese mixture over the ham.
Place pickle on ham and roll it. Chill for 24 hours or more. The chilling helps harden the cream cheese back up and holds it together.
After it is chilled, slice and enjoy!
The benefit to making twice-baked potatoes is that you also get mashed potatoes from the recipe and potato skins, depending on your taste.
My son and I like the skins, and everyone likes the twice-baked potatoes.
The recipe is fairly easy.
Potatoes (I use about 12 – 15 at a time). But I’m feeding five, so judge your numbers and interest. Each potato makes two twice-baked potato.
3. Add about 1/3 cup butter and let it melt into the hot potato flesh in your mixing bowl.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste. I add paprika, and cayenne… experiment.
6. Taste, and then add more slat and pepper according to your palate.
7. Fill potato skins 3/4 with mashed potatoes from the mixing bowl.
9. Add shredded cheddar or other cheese.
10. Put back in oven until cheese melts.
11. Serve warm.
Mike Hartner was born in Miami in 1965. He’s traveled much of the continental United States. He has several years post secondary education, and experience teaching and tutoring young adults. Hartner has owned and run a computer firm for more than twenty-five years. He now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife and child. They share the neighborhood and their son with his maternal grandparents.
I, Walter is the first in a series of books in a saga which will span continents and time to arrive in present day North America.
Each in the series will be connected, though that connection may not be obvious for several more books.
It’s almost like looking at a menorah (sic). Many lines, seemingly individual, connect to center at different points.
Walter Crofter was born into Elizabethan England.
In a country and a time where favor and politics were both deadly, can an honest boy stay true to himself?
Especially given his family background?
We’d love to hear your thoughts or comments about the recipe or the book series!!!
Leave a comment and share!
Dahlia Kennedy’s sixteenth birthday marks a decade of mysterious dahlias arriving and strange, lonely dreams of being in a forest. The only difference this birthday, however, is that for the first time, someone is there with her. And he’s practically from a whole other era.
The more often Dahlia visits Rowan in his land of Ambrosia, the stronger their connection grows. But… is Ambrosia real? Is he real? What is going on between the two of them, exactly, and why does he insist that she keep it to herself? As secrets usually go, however, it’s only a matter of time before everything comes out. And when Dahlia finds out the truth of who Rowan is, who she is, and how he really feels — it’s beyond anything she could have ever imagined.
Considering the fact that Dahlia’s cooking skills revolve mainly around eggs, I thought it would be fun to share a deleted scene from If I Speak True and share one of my own favorite breakfast recipes (that very well could be eaten for dinner). This casserole is simple and easy to prepare (which Dahlia would appreciate–though I’m not sure she would do the best at cooking the sausage). I tried to find the original post that I used, but the blog has been shut down, so I’m going to give you my variation (but sadly, without a picture). But first, part of the deleted scene! J
Being as today is Wednesday, it’s my turn to make dinner, which of course means I have made breakfast. Wednesday also means Aster is going to be pissed, because breakfast is the one thing I can make and not completely destroy, and she’s been saying for months that she is “sick and tired” of it. Not that I care—when it’s her turn she always makes Mexican even though she knows how bad it hurts my stomach. I figure, if she doesn’t care about anyone else when she cooks, then I sure as heck have just as much of a right to make eggs every Wednesday.
…The four of us sit at the table in the kitchen, in our predictable seating arrangement: Aster next to Helen and across from Acacia, me next to Acacia, and across from Helen. Acacia and I give each other crazy eyes—whoever laughs and spits their eggs out first loses—when Helen asks how my day was. I always maneuver around this question for a bit, taking in her mood and all, before deciding what to reveal. This is less due to a lack of trust and more due to the fact that I live by the “walk carefully on the path that won’t make her flip out” rule. This time of year, early January, with my birthday and the flower and such, pretty much everything I would normally say might make her freak out and fly across the linoleum floor doing panicked somersaults.
Plus, what happens to me is none of Aster’s business. She doesn’t care what’s happening in my life unless it’s to find a way to ruin it or put it down.
Acacia on the other hand, well… she’s different. The two of us have always been closer. She likes to joke that people with our stunted height should stick together; and I’m not ready to tell anyone about Rowan just yet, but if or when I am, she’ll be the first to know.
I stuff a big forkful of eggs into my mouth. Hmm. Probably could have used more pepper. Aster grunts, and I look over to find her face scrunched up. And Acacia about to laugh. And Helen staring. Whoops. I totally forgot to answer how my day went.
“Something’s. In my eggs.” Aster scowls. She spits a piece of shell onto her napkin and sets it on my plate.
I act shocked. “Sorry. Why would I want it?”
Aster rolls her eyes. She pokes the shell and it sticks to her finger. “See?” She hovers it in front of Helen’s nose. “Really, Dahlia? Is it really that hard? How is it that even though you cook this every week, you still can’t do it right?
Helen wipes Aster’s finger clean and turns to Acacia. “How’s the Henderson kids?”
“Oh,” Acacia swallow, “Good thing you asked that. I’ve been meaning to tell you—I’m watching them Valentine’s Day night. I’ll have to switch dinner with someone.”
Is a miracle about to happen? I watch Aster. Will she actually grow a heart and offer to take Acacia’s place? We know what’s was going through her head—either A) she comes across as nice for once and switches, or B) faces the possibility of eating shells twice in less than seven days.
Aster slams her fist down on the table and rolls her eyes. “Fine. I’ll switch.” Then she leans over her plate and spits out a piece of eggshell.
And now, for Breakfast Casserole!!!
You will need:
1 cup of milk
2 cups (or more) of shredded cheese (we use Colby-Jack but you can use cheddar or whatever else you feel like using)
1 can of crescent rolls
1 lb. of Jimmy Dean HOT sausage (the original recipe called for Maple flavor, so that or regular sausage is an option, too)
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2) Roll out the crescent roll and cover entire bottom of your rectangular baking dish.
3) After cooking your sausage, drain; then pour it across the dough. Spread it out evenly.
4) In a separate mixing bowl, mix the milk and eggs.
5) Evenly pour the egg/milk mixture on top of the sausage.
6) Sprinkle cheese across the top (the thicker, the better, in my opinion).
7) Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes or until edges and center are bubbling and hot!
Thanks so much for having me, Kaycee! –J
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Jessica L. Brooks: YA author. Lover of books, coffee and all things owl-dorable.
I write about near-future dystopia (PITY ISN’T AN OPTION, Cozenage #1 out now); magical realism (IF I SPEAK TRUE, forthcoming); and love to serve virtual cookies. (Here, try one — they’re tasty!) Feel free to connect with me here on my blog or anywhere else on the interwebs by searching for my username: coffeelvnmom.
So let me start by saying that this is HOT!!! So hot that Monkey was the only one in the house that could eat it… Chief threw in the towel after a bite, I made it quite regretfully through my serving. The heat was a little much. The flavor was amazing. Next time, I’ll be making the dish without the heat! 😀
If you’d like to make it without the sriracha, I think it would still be great. Let me know if you try! I’d love to hear your modifications! Also, I have to give credit to the awesome Mrs. Cheryl, as she sent this recipe along with most of the ingredients to make it in my July Foodie Penpal Box! It’s a free penpal program, you can follow the link and read more about it. They have it for countries outside of the US so be sure and check it out no matter where you are from! It’s super fun! 😀
- 12 oz pkg lo mein noodles
- 6 tbsp butter
- 3/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp Sriracha*
- Handful of Cilantro
- Sliced Green Onion
1. Cook noodles according to package directions.
2. While noodles are cooking, prepare sauce. In small bowl, stir together brown sugar, soy sauce, and sriracha.
3. In large skillet melt butter, over medium-low heat. Add red pepper to butter as it melts. Whisk an egg in a bowl and then add to the melted butter. Stir gently and cook through. Once the egg is done cooking, turn off heat.
4. When noodles are tender, drain and add them to the skillet with the cooked egg. Also add the prepared sauce. Turn the heat on low to evaporate excess moisture, and stir until everything is coated well with the sauce. Sprinkle the sliced green onion and cilantro leaves (whole) on top and serve.
*I’m putting the recipe as I made it, if you like hot then go for it! If not, I highly suggest you tone the Sriracha down.