Miss Murder Takes a Holiday

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My husband gifted me with a night’s stay at the hotel a mile from our house. So I was close enough I could be accessible if the house burned down or the kiddo’s heads exploded, but I was otherwise off limits.

I wrote on the balcony. I laughed at 20 minutes of vintage South Park (Drugs are bad, m’kay) until I realized with horror that I was wasting time. I took a long, hot bubble bath, and then crawled into nice, clean sheets that I didn’t have to wash. It was such a wonderful, wonderful night.

Gamut BOGO Promo!

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Chocolates for Valentine’s Day is awesome, but chocolate AND great literature? Even better! For the month of February, Gamut Magazine is doing a special Buy One, Get One event. For every subscription you buy, you’ll receive a second subscription to give to someone you love. Gamut pays ten cents a word for our acquired work and you’ll find fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Help support a magazine that supports authors. You can find that great deal here.

I Was a Beekeeper for a Day!

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Last July, I spent a week in New York attending a writer’s retreat and a horror writer’s conference. While I was hanging out, author, friend, and beekeeper Patrick Freivald showed a few of us around his beehives.

I’ll admit it was scary at first. We donned our beekeeper’s suits and veils, but the sound of bees buzzing right by my face made me nervous. I practiced deep breathing until I realized that the bees weren’t the least bit interested in me. They were busy with their honey.

We were only there for about an hour, but I learned so much! Honey is heavy. Bees are fascinating. Harvesting honey is much harder and hotter work than I ever could have imagined, and I have a new respect for beekeepers.

If you’d like some of Patrick’s delicious honey, you can buy some from Frog’s Point Honey. I thought I appreciated it before, but seeing the love and effort that goes into it, from human and bee, makes it that much sweeter.

 

Easy 90 Minute Bread Recipe

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Easy? YES. Can anyone make it? YES. Do you have to be a baker in order to whip it up? Absolutely not. This is a quick, easy recipe that makes gorgeous round bread with only a mixer and a cookie sheet, cast iron pan, or pizza stone.

I originally came across this recipe here, and they have beautiful pictures of the bread. Please stop by and see what you think!

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I usually do half wheat and half white flour, and it turns out beautifully. You will need:

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups of warm water
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2¼ tsp active-dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 4 cups=bread flour (I do 2 cups of white and 2 cups of wheat)
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (optional)
  1. Put warm water (warm enough that it gives your hand a little sting), honey and yeast in your mixing bowl. Stir until the honey dissolves and then let it feed the yeast for about five minutes. Then add flour, the coconut oil (or melted butter, if you’d prefer), and salt.  Knead for ten minutes on low using a dough hook (or with your hands if you don’t have a mixer. No big deal!), then cover the dough with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
  2. Flour a flat surface and put your dough on it. Knead it a few times by hand, shape it into a ball, and cover it with the towel to rise again for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. If you’re using a pizza stone or a cast iron pan, put them in the oven and let them preheat inside.
  4. After the dough rises for the second 30 minutes, put it directly on the pizza stone, cast iron skillet, or cookie sheet. Cut two slits in top for steam to escape. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees for the stone or cookie sheet, and 35 minutes if you’re using a skillet. After you pull it from the oven, run some butter over the top to keep it soft.

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This is wonderful with my Easy Crock Pot Potato Soup Recipe or my Easy Zuppa Toscana Recipe. (See a theme here? If it isn’t easy, I’m not making it.) I hope you enjoy!

Miss Murder’s Easy Zuppa Toscana Recipe

I know. “Easy” and “Zuppa Toscana” don’t seem like they should go hand-in-hand, but they do. This is our weekly Sunday dinner because it’s delicious, simple to throw into the crockpot, and nourishes the soul as well as the belly.

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Ingredients

1 pound ground spicy Italian sausage

4-6 potatoes, chopped (I prefer golden for the mellow flavor)

1 chopped onion

2 TBLS minced garlic

1/2 pound bacon

32 oz chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup kale

3 TBLS flour

Brown sausage. Cook and chop bacon. Add sausage, bacon, chopped potatoes, garlic, broth, and onion to crockpot. Add water to cover vegetables, then cook on HIGH 3-4 hours or LOW 5-6 hours or until potatoes are soft.

30 minutes serving, mix flour and heavy cream together until smooth. Add cream mixture and kale to the crockpot, stir, and let cook for 30 more minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

I hope you enjoy one of our favorite recipes! This is amazing with bread, breadsticks, or rolls, and it’s easier than you’d think. Have a wonderful day!

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2016 Reading Lists!

There are few things cooler to me than seeing somebody’s favorite reads of the year. I’m always trying to catch up on super cool books. But I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to actually end up on somebody’s list!

Apocalyptic Montessa

Apocalyptic Montessa was mentioned on The Baked Scribe.

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Detritus in Love was mentioned on Char’s Horror Corner and Gingernuts of Horror.

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Little Dead Red was mentioned on Wag the Fox.

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Water Thy Bones (Gutted) was mentioned on James Everington-Scattershot.

If you have a minute, please stop by and see the other wonderful books that made these lists! Thank you. 😀