Lookit! Kichin Helpin!

COOK LIKE A WRITER, by The Book Posse, is born!  Join us for our pièce de résistance, the cookbook to end all cookbooks.  (Sorry Emeril.)  This one’s got wit, and cooking help, and me!  ~grin~

A cookbook written by a group of passionate authors who have cooked up recipes just as juicy as their novels. Their goal? To change the world one word and one tasty bite at a time, while having fun in the kitchen with foodies worldwide.

And the best part? It’s available free! Check it out, here. You’ll never leave the kitchen again.

And as a teaser, here are some extras from my coauthors:

Nancy Lauzon’s Easy Vegetarian Squares

Selena Robins’ Treadmill Cookies

Tasty Tuesday – Workday Meatloaf

Let’s face it:  whether you work outside the home or are a full-time homemaker, there are those days that you just want the meal without the work.  Never fear, Dear Reader, Aunt Noony has something for you.  Don’t I always?

Workday Meatloaf
Ingredients

2 eggs, beaten
3/4 C milk
1/2 C fine, dry bread crumbs
Do yourself a favor, and get the seasoned bread crumbs.  Getting the plain ones just yields bland meatloaf.
1/4 C finely chopped onion
2 T snipped parsley
1 t salt
1/2 t ground sage
1/8 t pepper
1 and 1/2 pounds ground beef (680 grams)
Do yourself another favor and really shop for the best ground beef you can afford.  If you can, go to a local butcher shop.  If you’re only shopping at the local grocery, then buy as lean of beef as you can find.  I like to use 90/10, which means there’s only 10% fat left.  If you can find ground round, use that; even better, ground sirloin.
For variety, you can try other ground meets as well.  I have a friend who swears by ground buffalo for her meatloaf.  When I’m minding our food variety, I’ll use ground turkey.  Experiment to see what flavors you enjoy.
Directions

Meatloaf is super simple.  See all those ingredients up there?  Get out a large bowl and dump ’em all in there.  I like to mush it around and squeeze it through my fingers, both because it’s cathartic (who doesn’t want to smash something at the end of a long day?) and because it helps ensure the ingredients are well mixed.  If you really don’t want to get your hands dirty, use a good, sturdy wooden spoon.
Put your oven at 350 F, 177C.  Put the meat in a loaf pan and smooth it out.  I like to use the flat of a teaspoon to texture it, but that’s up to you.  Put it in the oven for 50 minutes.
Bonus Glaze

Mix 1/4 C catsup, 2 T brown sugar, and 1 t dry mustard in a small bowl.  Make sure the mustard gets well mixed, as it has a tendency to clump.  Spoon the glaze over the meatloaf and bake another 10 minutes.
C’est fini, Dear Reader.  It really is that easy.  Serve with some steamed corn and a baked potato and you have a nice, full meal.  It serves six.  It stores well in the fridge and makes very nice meatloaf sandwiches the next day.
Join my other Tasty Tuesday compatriots!
Tuesday Yummy Pot Roast, by Nancy Lauzon

Cupcakes For Dinner, by Selena Robins

Paniolo Cornbread, by Renee Wildes

And stay tuned for COOK LIKE A WRITER, by the Guerrilla Chicks, coming February, 2013.  Join me and my Tasty Tuesday compatriots as we show you our stuff – in the kitchen.  More than a hundred recipes with a dash of fun, an extra helping of humor, and some good, old-fashioned stick-to-your-ribs food.  Yum!

Tasty Tuesday – Apple Pie Oatmeal

Welcome to the Guerrilla Chicks’ continuing Tuesday feature, Tasty Tuesday!  Every Tuesday, this band of intrepid writers brings you the news from the kitchen.  Since not all of us are cooks, you’ll learn things about food and eating that you never anticipated.  Watch out; you just might become a gourmand.

One of my favorite breakfast recipes involves preparation the night before. This is the magic of the slow cooker. If you haven’t invested in one of these handy gadgets yet, I highly recommend you try one out. They make the kitchen a more friendly place because they can be cooking something toothsome while you’re doing something else – like sleeping.

Apple Pie Oatmeal

This serves about four people. There are three in my household, and we tend to have at least a serving for leftovers, depending how hungry folks are in the morning. One thing I like to do with this is cook it and leave containers next to it so folks can spoon some and take it to work with them. It’s especially welcome on cold Winter mornings like we get here in Chicago and, since none of us are morning people, we don’t have to stuff it in our face right away. We can eat on the train. Much better than fat and cholesterol bombs one can find in fast food places.

Ingredients

1 C steel cut oats

I’ve tried other kinds of oats with this, and you definitely want slow-cooking ones. They’re hard to find, at least here in the states. Traditional grocery stores seem to only carry the quick-cook kind and ‘regular’, which cook in 5 minutes (and, therefore, aren’t “regular”). If you poke around other kinds of stores like Whole Foods and locally-owned groceries, you can find things like steel cut, Irish cut, etc. I like Irish cut too, and this is one recipe where experimenting pays off.

4 cups water
1 t cinnamon or cake spice
1 t vanilla extract

I know, I know, I’ve said it before and I’ll likely repeat myself. The best place to buy spices is The Spice House, and they have a fantastic website that is filled with good information about herbs and spices. Another excellent resource is the Frontier Coop.

Not all cinnamon is alike. For one thing, due to the embargo with Vietnam after the war with the United States, most Americans lost their palate for real cinnamon. Much of what we had available wasn’t the cinnamon of our grandmothers. Now the embargo is over, you can explore a whole new spectrum of flavor. Check out the different kinds of cinnamon available to your tongue.

My absolute favorite for seasoning, though, is their Cake Spice. Seriously yummy stuff, folks.

Don’t scrimp on your vanilla extract, either. For the love of Pete, do not use “vanillin” or “vanilla flavor.” Spring for the real vanilla extract and poke around, see if you can’t find Madagascar vanilla. It’s like sex on a spoon.

1 C fresh apple, cored and diced

I never knew all the amazing variations of the humble apple. I grew up with Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith. Then Fuji and the Japanese Apple Pear. The Red and Golden Delicious are disgusting, mealy and gross. Don’t consider them part of the apple family. Try Pink Lady, Rome, or Macintosh. Failing that, you can use any apple that’s good in pies; Granny Smiths hold up well and I like Fuji in this recipe too.

1 C dried berries

You can use raisins if you have to, but look around for dried berries. It’s hard to find unsweetened cranberries, and if you’re watching your processed sugar intake that’s not desirable. But the other day at the store I found a bag of mixed berries. They were fantastic in this – cherries, cranberries, and blueberries. Yum city.

Directions

Are you ready for this? This is for all my lovely readers who tell me, “I just don’t cook.” This isn’t even cooking; if you can wash a pan, you can make this recipe.

You see all those ingredients up there? Dump ’em in the slow cooker. Stir. Put it on low and let it sit overnight.

That’s all there is to it.

A word to the wise: once everyone has served themselves, take the remaining stuff and put it in a storage container in the fridge and FILL THE POT WITH HOT, SOAPY WATER. Do.not.leave.it.til.you.get.home.from.work. TRUST the Noony. Unless you LIKE cleaning concrete out of stuff with your bare hands, do yourself a favor and pre-clean.

The Tasty Tuesday Bus

Check out the other wonderful Tasty Tuesday posts my compatriots have prepared for your gustatory enjoyment.  Make 2013 a year to remember by trying new recipes in your home kitchen!

A Taste of Nostalgia, by Moira Keith

Stay-In-Bed Soup, by Nancy Lauzon

Great Balls of Italian Soup by Selena Robins

Tasty Tuesday: A Good Cuppa

Okay.  Let’s get down to brass tacks.  It’s morning, but doo tamned early.  Whadoyoodo?

Coffee.

Rinse the pot.

Get fresh beans.  We keep ours in the freezer.  There is debate on this.  Some say don’t freeze, it’s not good for the oils.  Others say freeze, otherwise the oils go rancid.  Others say refrigerate.

As I was saying, get the beans out of the freezer.

Don’t use ground.  Why?  Because grinding DOES make it stale.  It’s better to grind your own if you can.

Grind your coffee.  I fill the grinder lid halfway full, but you’ll get used to how much with practice.  You could, gasp, read the manual.

After you have some coffee.

Get fresh water, fill the reservoir, put the grounds in the filter, and PUT THE BOT ON THE PURNER.  Don’t forget that part.  Leave the pot off and you get a mess.  Ask me how I know this.

~shudder~

Don’t ask.

As it’s brewing, and I highly suggest you get an interruptable brew pot, get some Valrhona cocoa.  If I’d meant some other kind of cocoa, I’d’ve said some other kind of cocoa.  Valrhona is the best.

Get some Raz al Hanout.  Sprinkle into your cup.

Get some good, high quality, dark honey.  I like Polish pine honey, but there are many many MANY to choose from so go nuts and try different ones.  Put about a teaspoon in the mug.

Pour coffee.  (Now you see why I told you to get an interruptable pour pot, yes?)

There.  That’s better, isn’t it?  For one thing, now you can spell.

Coffee.  It is necessary.

For some other scrumptious recipes for Tasty Tuesday, visit my buds.  Selena’s got something toothsome (I swear, that woman could cook pocket lint and make it to die for) and Nancy shares her special shortbread.  ~watering mouth~  Who wants to stage a raid and steal these two ladies?  We need something to go with our coffee, after all.  And mulled wine!  LOFF! ~gets map~

Mulled Wine, by PG Forte

My Grandmother’s Shortbreads, by Nancy Lauzon

Pouding Chomeur by Selena Robins

A Taurusless Tasty Tuesday

Yes, I know.  Tauruses and food go together like cats and catnip.  Would I disappoint?  Would I stay up too late and forget to post a recipe for my faithful readers?

Moving right along, then, to share with you my other compatriots’ offerings, who did not stay up too late, who did not forget to type or post, and who are lovely human beings galloping into the void of fast food to bring us real food and real conversation!

Without further ado, then, I bring you…  TASTY TUESDAY!

PG Forte rings in the season right with “Pumpkin Martini.”  Say, YUM!

Nancy Lauzon brings us something as American as Apple Pie.  Or… “Spaghetti Pie.” (Which is extra fun since she’s from Canada.  I just adopted her as an honorary countrywoman.  Or she adopted me.  Or we adopted each other.  There was an adoption going on.)

Selena Robins wonders, “So, How Does One Eat a Taco?

Please stop by and peruse these wonderful choices and be sure to tell ’em, the Tauruses sent ya!

A Taurusless Tasty Tuesday

I know, I know, what’s a Taurus without food?  Sadly, she is me, again this week.  My pals do not disappoint, and have cooked up some come-hither comestibles to please even the most discerning of palates.  Please stop by and give them some love.  Tell ’em the Tauruses sent you!

Pumpkin Spice Cake (yum!!!) by Pg Forte

Pizzeria by Nancy Lauzon

Honey, I Shrunk the Dinner (Love the title) by Selena Robins

Taurusless Tasty Tuesday

I know, I know, Tauruses love food.

They also love sleep, ergo this is aTaurusless Tasty Tuesday – but my compatriots do not disappoint!  Check out these awesome entries (and I love the Mars Bars idea, I totally have to try that).

Red Flannel FTW by Pg Forte

Lentil and Sausage Soup by Moira Keith

Men are from Mars Bars by Nancy Lauzon

Dinner a La Leftovers by Selena Robins

Tasty Tuesday: Romance Is In the Mayonnaise

Anticipation makes the sex better. There’s a lot to be said for a good “quickie,” but one shouldn’t overlook the power of seduction and foreplay. And foreplay doesn’t just mean the tongue, the hands, or massage. Sometimes, foreplay is literally the play that comes before.

When you have your next date night, and if you don’t have a date night scheduled, best get on that right away, plan to make a special dinner for your lover. If you’re fortunate enough to have more than one lover at the same time, then simply multiply the recipe for the mouths you’re feeding. Bonus tip: if your lover works outside the home, make enough to pack for lunch the next work day. Talk about afterglow. Make them remember you with every bite.

Rowr.

So. Lessee. What can we make that will make them think of us under the fluorescent lights of the office, or wherever they are the next day.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces boneless chicken breast, skinned
  • 6 T dry white wine

If I meant cooking wine, I’d’ve said cooking wine. If you have any of that abominous stuff in your fridge, throw it out right now and go to Trader Joe’s or your local liquor supplier and get yourself a good, inexpensive Chardonnay.

If you can’t use alcohol, then use chicken broth.

If you don’t have chicken broth, go get some. You can buy it in the can or in an aseptic package that will stay in your fridge and keep for a week or two. It’s useful in cooking – cook your rice with it, or make mashed potatoes from scratch. Even warm up a cup like tea in the microwave when you have the munchies but don’t want to pack on the pounds. It’s satisfying since it’s protein and satisfies the urge for salt. Yum.

It occurs to me that I’m using abbreviations. Here’s a quick lexicon:

  • T = Tablespoon
  • t = teaspon
  • C = Cup (8 fluid oz)

Okay, now where was I? If you keep interrupting like this, we’ll never get to dinner. Sheesh.

  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 2 t honey

You can use sugar, but honey is just as sweet and better for you. Try all the different varieties out there, don’t just assume orange blossom is the only kind you can have. Pine honey is lovely, and there are a bunch of others out there.

  • 2 small cloves garlic minced or pressed in a garlic press
  • 0.5 t curry powder – if you can, get yours from The Spice House. This place is amazing. Once you try it, you won’t go back to supermarket, dried-out spices. Trust me.
  • Dash of ground pepper

If you don’t have peppercorns in a grinder, go out and get a grinder and some peppercorns (Spice House has lovely ones). You can get grinders anywhere from Target to fancy cooking stores like Sur la Table or Williams Sonoma. Fresh pepper is worth it.

  • 1 t cornstarch
  • 2 T cooking oil – anything will do, but high quality extra-Virgin olive is yummy
  • 2 C broccoli flowerets
  • 4 green onions (scallions), cut into ½ inch or 1 centimeter pieces)
  • 2 T mayonnaise
  • 1 C cooked rice with 1t of turmeric (also get from Spice House); I like California Hinode Brown Rice but any cooked rice will work; cook it in 2 C of broth instead of water

Directions

Using a rice maker or pot, cook the rice according to the directions on the package, using chicken broth instead of water. While it’s cooking, prepare the chicken, below.

Cut chicken into thin strips and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine wine or broth, lemon juice, honey, garlic, curry powder, and pepper. Whisk well to blend.

Add chicken to bowl, rubbing the chicken and making sure it gets coated by the liquid.

Let chicken stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes in the marinade.

Drain chicken, reserving marinade. If needed, add enough broth to make ½ C liquid. Stir in cornstarch, set aside.

Preheat a medium skillet over high heat, then add oil.

Stir-fry broccoli and green onions in hot oil about 90 seconds or until crisp-tender. Remove from skillet.

Add chicken to skillet. Stir-fry about 2 minutes or until tender.

Push chicken from the center of the skillet and return the vegetables. Stir in the cornstarch mixture.

Cook about 1 more minute, stirring constantly, until heated through.

Remove from heat and stir in the mayonnaise.

Add the turmeric to the rice and stir well. Serve rice in small bowls or plates, and spoon the chicken and vegetables over the top.

For dessert, use your imagination. Bonus tip: soak the rice pot in hot, soapy water. TRUST me. You’ll be glad in the morning when you don’t have a gelatinous concrete mixture in your pot or rice maker.

Join the Other Tasty Tuesday Participants

Come on and visit the other Tasty Tuesday participants for some sexy, simple recipes to help revitalize your kitchen time. Enjoy!

Inspiration Cake by Pg Forte

Sometimes you feel like a nut… by Selena Robins

Taurusless Tasty Tuesday!

I know, I know; Tauruses and food ought to be a perfect mix.  But after a full three days of being on the committee to run the conference is exhausting!  Go figure.

But we’re not going to leave you hanging! Two of our Guerrilla Gals are hosting Tasty Tuesdays for you and have gone above and beyond to bring you sexy, tasty morsels. Please stop by and share the love. Tell ’em the Tauruses sent you!

Suicide Chicken Wings by Nancy Lauzon

Antioxidant Little Pricks by Selena Robins

Simple Stuffed Figs by PG Forte

A Taurusless Tasty Tuesday!

Sadly, the Tauruses are recipe-less for Tasty Tuesday. In our defense, Rachel is coming for a visit and we have the Third Annual In the Trenches with the Writer Conference this weekend.  But my fellow Guerrilla Gals don’t disappoint and have filled in with their recipes in our absence. Stop by and tell ’em the Tauruses sent you!

The Sexy Spellcaster by PG Forte

A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin; Sausage and Peppers by Moira Keith

Sinful Cinnamon Pinwheels by Nancy Lauzon

Pesto Making Season by Selena Robins

Enjoy!