Moroccan Chicken Salad

Do you love summer salads?  Here is my recipe for Moroccan Chicken Salad.  The coriander and cinnamon contribute to the signature flavor.

Moroccan Chicken Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 12cup butternut squash, diced
  • 3 beets, boiled until tender
  • 14 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 hard cooked egg, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced or shredded
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper
  • Handful of dried apricots or dates
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce
  • 14 cup Girard’s champagne dressing
  • 14cup roasted almonds
  • 3 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. To make the spiced chicken: combine coriander and cinnamon with olive oil to make a paste. Spread on chicken breasts with a bbq brush or fingers; cook chicken in pan or grill (I used my Foreman grill and it worked well) until fully cooked. Let chicken cool and slice.
  2. While chicken is cooking, roast diced squash in a 400 degree oven for about ten minutes (I used my toaster oven).
  3. Toss all other ingredients together with the champagne dressing to taste. Top with sliced chicken & almonds.

What to Wear to the Romance Writers of America Conference in San Diego

An author’s goal is to learn about craft and marketing. If an author is not connected to a publisher, he or she might pitch to an agent or editor. In any case how we present ourselves is important.  We’re networking!  It’s scientifically proven that people are attracted to pretty people. A successful author must dress like one.

Dressing to impress is business casual. Men wear slacks and shirts. Half of the women authors wear pretty shirts with dress slacks or nice capris with pretty shirts. A third will wear long or knee-length skirts. The remaining group will wear full suits (in my opinion, over-dressed) or jeans (okay if denim is navy).  AC is on high.  Carry a sweater or blazer. Don’t dress like the hotel staff in black pants and a white blouse.

You will find me in capris wearing comfortable sandals or ballet flats.

capris

RWA is a little different than sexier Romantic Times conference.  At RWA be sure to wear a bra. Do you write hot? It’s fine to show your writing style in the way you dress, but keep it classy not trashy-tight or (bra-less) revealing.

Wear comfortable shoes but not sneakers. At the end of the day authors in high heels walk wear hurting pained expressions. A polo shirt is business casual while a Hawaiian shirt is not.  If you write New Adult romance don’t go overboard on hair accessories and flowers.  Another distraction for networking is facial and tongue piercings.

Keep makeup clean and professional.  Avoid the night club look.

Try the sport of kiteboarding!

As with flying any kite, when kitesurfing you always stand with your back to the wind. If you are facing the same direction as the wind, the position of the kite from left to right is discussed in terms as if you are standing in the center of a large clock and the kite is near one of the numbers. Straight ahead is 12:00 and 90-degrees to your right is 3:00. To your left 90-degrees is also 12:00. The kite will always remain between 9:00 and 3:00 because if it goes any farther the wind will no longer hold it aloft.

kiteboarder

Photo is courtesy of Matt Gibson who is an adventure travel writer and photographer.

Do you have a favorite song? Mine is Without You, sung by Harry Nilsson.

Without You was featured in a 2016 commercial for Heinz that first aired during the Super Bowl. Do you recall the pack of dachshunds dressed like hot dogs run toward a group of humans dressed as ketchup, mustard, and other sauces.

Harry Nilsson wrote many songs he sang, but Without You was written by Badfinger members Peter Ham and Tom Evans. Both of these artists committed suicide. Nilsson’s version added an orchestra and gave the song a dramatic production. When Nilsson recorded it, he initially played the song slow and dark, accompanied only by piano. Producer Richard Perry recalled to Mojo magazine April 2008 that he had to persuade an unwilling Nilsson to record it as a big ballad.  Nilsson died of a heart attack at the age of 51.

Harry Nilsson

Toning upper arms– for self-confidence!

Along with completing my next novel, I am toning upper arms. Are you ever self-conscious about upper arm flabbiness? Aerobic exercises such as swimming, running or bicycling do not work out upper arms specifically, but they are still beneficial activities for upper-arm firming, as they help you lose weight all over your body. Targeted exercises that utilize resistance training, coupled with a regular workout routine and sensible diet will help get your arms ready for short sleeves before you know it.  I’m doing 30 lady-style push-ups and weights.  My arms are getting toned like the women below, photos courtesy of Jupiter images, Comstock.

arms

arms2

 

Sweet Potato Bread– light version!

Sweet Potato Bread has nutritional value!  My recipe calls for very little sugar and yogurt.

sweet potato bread

Ingredients

6.75 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup canola oil

2 large eggs

1/2 cup packed shredded peeled sweet potato (about 4 ounces)

1/3 cup raisins

1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Baking spray with flour (such as Baker’s Joy)

3 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Dash of salt

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through cloves) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine yogurt, sugar, oil, and eggs. Add yogurt mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Gently fold in sweet potato, raisins, and pecans.
  3. Scrape batter into a 9 x 5-inch metal loaf pan coated with baking spray. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan; cool completely on wire rack.
  4. Combine cream cheese and remaining ingredients in a bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until smooth. Spread frosting evenly over bread.

Easy as pie– cooking steel cut oatmeal with quinoa!

I had steel cut oatmeal left over after making Irish brown bread. You can’t put steel cut oatmeal in the microwave and expect it to taste good.

Porridge with berries (1)

Here is my recipe which adds quinoa (a seed rather than a grain).

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 1/2 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1/2 cup well rinsed quinoa
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit of any kind
  • Pinch of salt, if desired
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups (32-ounces) water
  • maple syrup, peanut butter (chunky or smooth) or raw honey for topping
  • your favorite toppings such as; toasted walnuts, sliced almonds, dried or fresh mango, dried cranberries, dried cherries, hemp seeds, sliced apple, bananas, fresh or dried blueberries, sliced strawberries, raspberries

 

Directions:

Pour 4 cups of water into a Dutch oven, add all ingredients except the toppings, bring mixture to a boil which happens within 5 minutes, turn off the heat, give it a stir, and let it sit overnight. Easy as pie.

In the morning open the lid.  The quinoa and steel-cut oats absorbed the water.

Kathleen’s red potato salad

Leave the potato skins on. That’s where the nutrients reside!

potato salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 12 lbs uncooked red potatoes
  • 3 slices turkey bacon (Louis Rich or other brand name)
  • 12 cup scallions, chopped
  • 14 cup reduced-calorie mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 14 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground

 

Directions:

  1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan and pour in enough water to cover them; set pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 minutes; drain. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice each into quarters.
  2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a hot skillet or in the microwave until crisp; drain on paper towels. Break bacon into small pieces.
  3. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl; add bacon and scallions. Add mayonnaise, vinegar, parsley, salt and pepper; mix until blended. Yields about 3/4 cup per serving.

Reading Deadly Alliance at The Ripped Bodice in Los Angeles

Owners of the all-romance bookstore, The Ripped Bodice, invites Lady Jane Salon OC (organized by authors Beth Yarnall and Louisa Bacio) for a takeover every second Sunday afternoon of the month. Four of us ( Maggie Marr, Stacy Wise, Jenn LeBlanc, and I) read passages from our latest releases.  Wine was available courtesy of Beth, and I made Irish Brown soda bread, served with gooseberry and rhubarb (the big hit!) jam and butter.  The Ripped Bodice was packed with about 25 readers seated in folding chairs in front of the stage (where authors read) which was the front window!

Deadly Alliance is on discount today for 99 cents!

Below is my brown soda bread–

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I bought two jars of Follain jam to serve with homemade brown soda bread.

Follain makes jams and preserves in Ireland, the country teeming with rolling green hillsides, old castles, and legendary warm hospitality.  I will serve brown soda bread with Follain jam and Kerrygold butter a week from today, at The Ripped Bodice Bookstore in Los Angeles.  I will read scenes from my book, Deadly Alliance.  My book takes place in Lake Arrowhead, California and Malihide Village, Ireland.

Kemberlee Shortland, co-owner of Tirgearr Publishing in Ireland, took generous time to  give me some insider information, and here it is below:

The West Cork village where Follains is made is called Ballyvourney…bal-ee-vor-nee. It means ‘town/place of the beloved’. In Irish it’s spelled Baile Bhúirne. Baile/bally means place, town/village and is pronounced ball-ya. Bhúirne is also spelled Mhúirne is pronounced voor-neh which became voor-nee in English. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballyvourney If you look on this page, you’ll see Coolavokig listed…that’s where we lived…Coolavokig Lower. SO much history in the region. Emphasis on SO😉 In the main town of Macroom there’s a place called the Meeting of the Waters. This is where Brian Boru battled with the McCarthy’s who ruled the region in the 900s. Boru eventually became the King of Munster…one of the five provinces at the time (there are now four), and he eventually became Ard Ri, High King, of all Ireland. He was the first and only ruler who ever governed over Ireland as one nation and not broken between North and South. He’s a true legend who can be documented to his birth, where as many Irish legends are just that… the stuff of fireside tales. Kerrygold distributes worldwide. I’m not sure if they make the butter here and export. I heard they just ship their labels around the world then produce the butter in those places. I don’t know. I do know they also export other Irish products like Old Dubliner Cheese, which is really tasty if you like sharp cheese.

Follains is good jam. They’re the only one I know who makes Loganberry. http://www.follain.ie/our-products/extra-fruit-loganberry-jam There are several dialects of Irish, but this jam company is in West Cork (the village over from where we used to live) where Munster Irish is spoken. So Follain is pronounced full-oyn in that dialect, and is an Irish word meaning healthy. Some Irish tidbits in case anyone asks.

 

follain-graphic