Free Las Vegas Reading Series Tonight!

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You guys! This will be so much fun! The Writer’s Block is sponsoring EXPO, which is a reader’s series featuring five Las Vegas authors who will read five minutes of their work. I’m delighted to participate in tonight’s reading alongside Dayvid Figler, Kayla Miller, P Moss, and Amanda Skenandore. The event is free and you don’t have to RSVP. Just pop on by and say hi!

Friday, March 10, 2017

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The Writer’s Block

1020 Fremont Street

Las Vegas, NV, 89101

 

 

Miss Murder’s Easy Finnish Cake Recipe

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Boys and Girls, today I am going to impart the wisdom that Sister Kaameriinaan taught me in Finland! (Yes, I’m nostalgic for Finland. We lived there briefly ten years ago.) She invited Niko and I over for a day of baking and drinking Pepsi Light in order to keep us out of Luke’s hair while he studied for his finals.
STEP ONE:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take three identical drinking glasses and fill the first one with six eggs. Next, fill the second glass with flour, up to the same level as the eggs. And fill the third glass with sugar, also to the same level as the eggs and flour. Got that? Three equal parts eggs, flour, and sugar.
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STEP TWO: Now toss one teaspoon of baking powder in with the flour, and mix the eggs, flour, sugar, and baking powder in a bowl. If you’re really doing this the Finnish way, you’d use your hands instead of a spoon, but whatever floats your boat.
STEP THREE: Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. That is VERY important, otherwise this whole experiment is all for naught! Then pour the batter onto the baking sheet. Use a spatula and spread it so that it fills the entire sheet. Yeah, I didn’t do that, and paid dearly, so heed my words, O children. Bake it for anywhere from 7 to 20 minutes, peeking in on it to make sure it doesn’t burn. It’ll cook quickly, because it’s so thin.
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STEP FOUR: (Also Picture 2) Hooray, it’s cooked! Pull it out, let it cool for a bit, and then slather the entire top of the cake with something sweet. What, you ask? Who knows?! Hence the adventure! I used orange marmalade, because I’m nuts about the stuff, but you can use any type of jam, or chocolate syrup, whipped cream or crushed nuts…you get the picture. Knock yourself out!
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STEP FIVE:  Carefully (carefully carefully!) peel the cake off of the paper as you go, and roll it up into a tube. Make sure it’s cool enough that the cake doesn’t just fall apart, but not so cool that it becomes a permanent part of the parchment paper.
STEP SIX: Decorate! This is the fun part! I used whipped cream as frosting, but you can use real frosting, or anything else that you want! Frost it, don’t frost it, use sprinkles or again, chocolate syrup or edible flowers…after the whipped cream, I grate some chocolate on top or sprinkle on some cocoa powder.
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This cake is totally a freezer cake, so you can toss it in there and forget about it until you’re ready to wow company. Or the spouse. Or the UPS man, bless his brown-shorts-covered soul. It’s also pretty when you slice it, and that’s very important. Because pretty things make the world go round.

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!