Tuesday, October 28, 2014

EZ Homemade Applesauce

12:48 AM 0 Comments
It's Too Yummy Tuesday!

On select Tuesdays I share delicious recipes either inspired by my books or that are just plain delicious!


It's time to bob for apples! I love apples year-round, and we always have plenty in the house. When there's a bumper crop, I grab a few and make the following applesauce. Great on its own, or serve with pork chops or fried chicken! 

EZ Homemade Applesauce


Ingredients

4 medium apples (I like Fuji, but any will do!)
3/4 c. water
1/4 c. sugar (For those avoiding refined sugar, try honey or maple syrup)
Cinnamon to taste

Directions
Cut and core apples. Peeling them is optional, I usually do. Heat apples with sugar, water, and cinnamon in medium saucepan until just at a low boil. Reduce heat to medium or medium low, cover and cook 15-20 minutes until apples are nice and mushy. Remove from heat and let cool for 5-10 minutes, then mash with a fork or ricer/potato masher.

Enjoy!

~~~

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night. Connect with her on Twitter or Goodreads. She loves talking to people!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Crockpot Barbecue Chicken

12:00 AM 0 Comments
It's Too Yummy Tuesday!

On select Tuesdays I share delicious recipes either inspired by my books or that are just plain delicious!


I spent some time around a chicken coop this past week, so today's recipe is inspired by it! There's nothing like the tangy goodness of barbecue chicken, but with cooler days approaching, it might not always be convenient to zip outside to the grill. Instead, I've got a crockpot version that's so easy you may not even miss those lazy summer days standing over the barbecue! Okay, maybe not, but it's still delish! 

Crockpot Barbecue Chicken


Ingredients
8 pieces of chicken (I cut up a whole chicken, or use thighs/drumsticks on sale)
1 bottle of barbecue sauce
1/4 cup vinegar (apple cider works, but regular is good)
1 tsp red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
1/4 cup brown sugar (you could sub honey, molasses, or palm/coconut sugar)
1 tsp garlic powder (or mince up a garlic clove or two)

Directions:
Mix all the ingredients together in your crockpot except the chicken. Arrange your chicken pieces in the sauce; turn over to coat everything well. Cook on low for 4-6 hours until chicken is tender.

Enjoy!

~~~

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night. Connect with her on Twitter or Goodreads. She loves talking to people!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Why I'm Not Doing NaNoWriMo This Year

12:00 AM 0 Comments
I logged into the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) site today. It told me I've been a member for "about" 8 years. Every year since, I've started the race on November 1--and every year, I've crossed the 50k goal. Along the way, I hosted NaNo contests, mentored new writers, and come December, couldn't wait until November rolled around again. I couldn't even foresee a time in which I wouldn't want to jump on the bandwagon. Until now.

I'd been eyeballing the calendar for a while now, watching November approach on swift wings not with a sense of anticipation, but with dread. Folks who've been following my blog know I've been struggling with writing this year. There are lots of busy reasons why I've put the pen aside, but I know there is truly only one reason why my schedule has derailed writing so completely. My heart isn't in it. 

I've tried and tried again to rework my writing schedule to fit daily life, and it took me a while to figure out why my new schedules weren't working out any better than the old one. Word count has eluded me completely, and during the times words do flow, they leak all over the place without good rhyme or reason. This time of year is not traditionally when I do the bulk of my writing, thanks to other obligations, but this has been going on for some time now. And last week, I realized that what's happening is not just because of my summer life blitz or Mercury being in retrograde. It's not just that I've fallen out of discipline as a writer. It's that I just plain don't want to write. When I try to crack the whip and make myself get to it, the results show that lack of heart. My readers--and my muse--deserve more.

In light of this, I have decided not to do NaNoWriMo this year. I also pulled out of an anthology I was participating in so I could focus on family and spend some "me" time. Neither of these was an easy decision. A writer who isn't writing feels to me a lot like a fish who isn't swimming. But it's obvious that my cup is way beyond empty right now, and scheduled days off from writing for fun and such isn't cutting it. What's needed, I suspect, is an honest to goodness, sanctioned hiatus. I'll spend more time with my family, do some stuff outdoors, enjoy the holidays in a way I haven't let myself for a long time because of all the work I have to do. 

With the last book in my Lone Wolves series still unfinished, this is a tough pill to swallow. But I need to take my medicine. That book deserves my absolute best, and I seem to have lost it. I'm hoping it doesn't take long to find it again. 


On select Mondays, I like to gab about writing or whatever's going on with me. For more gab, please join me on Twitter or Facebook. I love talking to people!

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Chile Rellenos

12:00 AM 0 Comments
It's Too Yummy Tuesday!

On select Tuesdays I share delicious recipes either inspired by my books or that are just plain delicious!

Today's recipe is a celebration of savory, spicy romance! Chile rellenos have a comfort food feel with all that gooey cheese and flavor, yet there's a nice kick from the chile and sauce.

Chile Rellenos


What's not to love about melted cheese stuffed inside pretty much anything? Use canned ranchero sauce to make this a quicker prospect, or if you're feeling industrious, there are lots of sauce recipes on the internet.

Ingredients
4 poblano chiles, skinned (see HERE for info on how to roast off the skins) 
4 pieces string cheese OR 4 slices Montery Jack, cut 2" long, 1" wide, 1/2" thick
4 eggs, separated
4 Tbsp flour
oil for frying
ranchero or enchilada sauce

Directions:

Heat oil in large skillet or pot you like to use for frying. Stuff chiles with cheese sticks. Beat egg whites until stiff. Beat yolks until creamy and stir in flour. Fold yolks into whites carefully to maintain volume. Drop chiles into batter (one at a time is best), then lift gently and place in hot oil. Cook until lightly browned and turn carefully with a spatula to brown other side. Drain on paper towels and serve hot with sauce. Makes 4 rellenos.

FYI, you'll note the above ratios make this recipe easy to increase or reduce. 1 egg and cheese stick per chile, plus 1 Tbsp flour.

Enjoy!

~~~

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night. Connect with her on Twitter or Goodreads. She loves talking to people!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Putting a Manuscript on Time Out

12:00 AM 3 Comments
(Time Out Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on DiscoverySchool.com)
There are times when a manuscript needs a firm, guiding hand to get it ship-shape. There are other times, however, when the manuscript (or muse) is guilty of manhandling the writer. This isn't always a bad thing. Sometimes, letting a manuscript have its own way can be quite a boon. I've joked many times that my characters come up with much better stuff than I write on my own. On the other hand, there are books that defy every attempt to tame them into graceful, cohesive prose. These obstinate projects refuse to bend to the author's will and have no good ideas of their own. A writer may try any number of ways to "force" the words out, but they do not come. 

In these cases, it's time to STOP. Step away from the offending book slowly and let it think about what it has done.

Putting a manuscript in time out can be a frustrating prospect. When you've put so much time and effort into a project, setting it aside can feel like a failure. But just as a time out can help redirect a misbehaving tot, sticking your wayward story in a corner--for the time being--can smooth out the kinks.

This breather from begging, battling, and bribing doesn't mean all writing efforts should cease. This isn't a warning sign that it's time to consider a change in careers, or even that you should take a vacation from writing. When one child earns a time out, the rest don't get disciplined along with him. So set a mental timer for when you want to go back to the naughty volume, and then move right into the next project. 

There may be fear that once a book is in the naughty corner, it may never come out again. In my years of writing, the truth is, there have been one or two that fit that description. The first is over a decade old. Oh, I revisit it from time to time, but it continues to elude a reasonable conclusion. And so it sits, waiting for the right time, and yet without the power to stop me from completing other projects. 

I've just put another in time out for refusing to be completed in time for me to move onto holiday deadlines and NaNoWriMo. Let's hope that book is feeling more generous after we've had some much needed time apart.

On select Mondays, I like to gab about writing or whatever's going on with me. For more gab, please join me on Twitter or Facebook. I love talking to people!

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night.

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