Tag Archives: Recipes

Blogiversary Guest: Luanna Stewart

Hi friends! Can you believe it? ALBTALBS is five! Five! I know! We’re limping along here, and I’ve got a bunch of fun guests this month. I also have to say I LOVE this post and OMG COOKIES. Thank you, Luanna!!! She’s kicking off all the wonderful festivities with delicious treats.

I’ve asked everyone participating in the blogiversary festivities to come up with a list of “Top 5” or “5 Favorite” or just anything remotely related to the number 5. 😀

My Five favourite cookie recipes:

Yes, it’s the season for New Year resolutions. But I’ve never met a resolution that hasn’t failed. Whether it’s to eat less, or exercise more, (or vice versa? I suppose there could be people who need to put on weight and slow down) I generally get to late January and my willpower goes on hiatus.

If you’re like me and need a sweetie to end a meal, or you need a mid-day boost, here are my five all-time favourite cookie recipes. The first four are from either my family or hubby’s. The last one, for which I’ve given a link, makes the best chocolate chip cookies ever invented, ever. You may notice a preponderance of butter in these recipes. That’s because, as far as my family recipes go, these were developed in the olden days, when butter or lard were the fats of choice for baking.

Shortbread Cookies
1 cup butter, softened 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup powdered sugar 1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 cups all purpose flour ½ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 300 F. Cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla and mix until smooth. Mix in flour, cornstarch and salt. Beat well. Roll on floured surface to a thickness of ¼ inch. Cut in festive shapes. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 10 minutes, or until there is barely any colour along the edge. Cool on wire rack.

Pecan Fingers
1 cup butter, softened ¼ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 Tablespoon water
2 cups all purpose flour ¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups pecans, finely ground
Cream butter, sugar, vanilla and water. Add flour, salt and nuts. Mix well. Chill for one hour. Preheat oven to 250 F. Form dough into small rolls, about the size of your little finger. Bake for 1 hour, dust with extra powdered sugar while still warm. Cool on wire rack.

Sugar Cookies
½ cup butter, softened ½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup powdered sugar ½ granulated sugar
1 egg 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour ½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
Cream together butter, oil, sugars, egg and vanilla. Stir in flour, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar. Mix well. Chill for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350 F. Scoop 1 Tablespoon of dough, roll it into ball, and place on parchment lined cookie sheet, spacing a few inches apart. Flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass dipped in coloured sugar. Bake for 8 or 9 minutes, or until golden around the edges. Cool on wire rack.

Currant Squares
I cup flour 1 cup butter, softened slightly
1 Tablespoon powdered sugar pinch of salt
Mix well, press into bottom of 8×8 pan. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes.

1 cup currants pinch of salt
1 cup brown sugar 2 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla 2 teaspoons flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
Mix well and spread on crust. Bake at 350 F for an additional 25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into small squares.

Joy’s Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans


Portrait of a GirlAn old crime
and an irresistible new lead…

When her wealthy art dealer father died, Heather James was expecting a fortune. Instead, his bank account was empty and Heather’s working in a bakery, wondering exactly what happened to her father’s millions…until someone tries to kill her.

Tony Simons is on the trail of an art theft cold case that’s practically giving him frostbite. He’s hoping that by sticking close to Heather – the daughter of his deceased prime suspect – he’ll find the answers he needs. Instead, he’s finding himself distracted by a gorgeous woman who drives him crazy in every way imaginable…

Now Tony’s in serious trouble. Even if Heather can’t – or won’t – tell him where the stolen paintings and money are, she may well have stolen his heart.

And now someone wants her dead…

Bio: Luanna Stewart has been creating adventures for her imaginary friends since childhood. As soon as she discovered her grandmother’s stash of romance novels, all plots had to lead to a happily-ever-after.

Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Luanna now lives in Maine with her dear husband, two college boys, and two cats. When she’s not torturing her heroes and heroines, she’s in her kitchen baking something delicious.

Writing under the pen name Grace Hood, she has two novellas published with The Wild Rose Press. She is excited to have a book published under her own name with Entangled Publishing.

Whee! Not only did Luanna share all those awesome recipes – I cannot wait to try the last one!! (Although – sans pecans, of course) – she’s also offering a prize!!! One lucky commenter will get a $5 Starbucks giftcard! … >.> Or you know, nobody comment so the prize defaults to me. *angelface*


Birthday Girl Jessa Slade!

Hi friends! I’m half back (ok so physically back to home base but mentally … floating around Pluto?) but also back in the sense that we’ve got another Birthday Guest Birthday Post! Whee!!! And from the fabulous Jessa Slade too! I love that we have such a variety of voices, and that this one is perfectly chill to top us off. <3

Thanks for having me for a birthday post!

Sometimes when you get to be a certain – ahem — age, one forgets to be excited about birthdays anymore, and it’s good to be reminded that birthdays are meant to be fun! Toward that end, I want to share my birthday brunch recipe with you. But since I am that certain age, it’s going to be a healthy birthday brunch. Hold the groans!

Birthday Brunch

  • Homemade Brunch Bars
    1½ cups old fashioned oats (toasted)
    ½ cup fun seeds (chia seed, flax seed, sprouted buckwheat, sprouted millet, quinoa, hemp seed, amaranth, etc.)
    1 T cocoa powder
    1 tsp cinnamon
    ¼ tsp salt
    ½ cup peanut butter
    ¼ cup maple syrup or honey
    ¼ cup almonds, chopped
    ¼ cup mini chocolate chips (let’s be honest; I used more than this)
    Sea salt, to sprinkle
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Toast the oats to a golden brown. Toasty oats stay crispier.
  3. After toasting, combine the oats, seed mixture, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix well.
  4. In a small bowl, heat the peanut butter and maple syrup (microwave or stovetop) until they mix well. Add to oat mixture.
  5. Stir until dough forms.
  6. Add to a greased 9×9 pan. Sprinkle and press almonds on top.
  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until set.
  8. Remove from oven. Sprinkle and gently press on mini chocolate chips and sea salt. Lick fingers. Let sit until slightly cool then cut into 8 bars.

Kale-Berry Smoothie Base
One handful each:
— Kale leaves minus the hard center stem
— Blueberries
— Raspberries
— Other dark berries
1 C orange juice
Half an apple
Half a lemon
Cayenne pepper (a little goes a shockingly long way!)

  1. Blend the kale and orange juice until liquefied.
  2. Add everything else.
  3. Don’t inhale the cayenne. Makes enough for several days.
  4. Mix 3 spoonfuls of the base with 3 spoonfuls of Greek yogurt.


Okay, full disclosure: There will be birthday cake too. 🙂

Healthy AND happy can be a bit of a tricky balance, I think, but it’s a worthy goal because I have a lot of books left to write. One of my latest projects — writing as Elsa Jade — is just wrapping up its first round of books. The Mating Season Collection is six authors contributing three stories each to a shared world of sexy wolf shifter alpha males searching for their true mates.

You can get my first title Wolves of Angel Rest #1: HERO for 99¢ at Amazon or free with Kindle Unlimited.

Please share in comment one way you stay healthy or happy or both. I’ll be giving away three copies of Wolves of Angel Rest #2: JOKER as a birthday gift. Happy reading!

JokerLeela Jones had a mission: kill a werewolf. Instead, she was captured by one. Now Bastian Villalobos, bad boy of the Mesa Diablo pack, has a werewolf hunter on his hands. Wolf shifters and hunters have always been mortal enemies. But under the hungry light of the mating moon, they might be lovers too.

BIO: Jessa Slade writes paranormal romance, urban fantasy romance, and science fiction romance, while her alter egos Jenna Dales writes sexy contemporary romances and Elsa Jade writes sexy shapeshifting romances. Basically, whatever catches her fancy at any given moment.

Food for Shannon Stacey and Winners!

You’ll notice that (at present) I’ve given up on feeding Shannon Stacey’s family. I still can’t quite pinpoint what they will/won’t eat… and every so often she posts that they all enjoyed something I thought was “forbidden!” Also, it needs more time and pictures.

I remember though, that Shannon was crushed when she found out caesar dressing normally has anchovies. Fish is on the “no no list.” Although you really don’t (or heavens, shouldn’t taste fish in caesar) – but the knowing can affect things.

So, I’ve found a recipe for basically caesar salad without anchovies! Yay!

It also includes grilled romaine, which is one of my new favorite things. It works in the winter even if you live in one of those cold snowy areas, if you have a grill pan. This is the one I have. I love it.

And now the recipe? Super simple. Basically five ingredients for the dressing – sans salt and pepper. (Which everyone has, right?) I found it at food 52. I’ve been making a lot of their recipes lately, with great success, even adapting them.

Doesn’t it just look delicious? And you know, if you wanted a more substantial meal, you could add in some grilled chicken. Cook the chicken first on the grill/grill pan – and then the lettuce. Extra flavor, pot double duty. I see no drawbacks.

And now, the winners! (I know it’s what you all care about. 😉 And that’s okay!)

First up – BA Tortuga’s great spotlight. The winner is… Pam! You know the drill!

The winner of Not Wicked Enough (I do love that cover!) by the fantastic Carolyn Jewel is Diane D. – please send me your address (via the contact form) to claim your prize.

And remember when Joely Sue Burkhart was so sweet and shared a lengthy excerpt with us? Well she also offered up a prize. Her lucky winner is Jeanne Miro.

Pam, Diane, and Jeanne, you have until the end of Saturday, March 10 to contact me. (Let’s go with EST – 11:59 PM and all.)

And remember – there are still many other giveaways open at the blog and to come! Thanks for sticking around. Xoxo