Tourist Tuesday

This week’s tourist Tuesday is keeping with the ‘spooky’ October feel… Nothing says creepy like fog. Add an old building and it’s a writer’s dream come true.

 

This is actually where I work for my crazy day job. 🙂 I’d love to hear what some of your spook factors are.

Tourist Tuesday

I love bridges… I’m not really sure why. Maybe it’s the ‘crossing over’ thing. The mystery of what is on the other side. I mean I am a writer 😉 And I do view all places as possible body dumping sites.

Here are a few of my favorites.

 

Do you have ‘things’ that attract your interest for some unexplained reason? I’d love to hear.

Monday’s Listifylife

This week’s listifylife are things I do to relax….

Anything that involves the beach is relaxing for me… reading at beach…writing at the beach…sitting at the beach.

DSCN2141

Make Time to sail away from life

Reading anywhere is relaxing. I usually have at least two books going sometimes three. One book that stays in my bedroom for nighttime, early morning, or ‘asthma’ reading. (Our bedroom is the only room with AC so when the humidity rockets, I’m like a little kid and get sent to my bedroom until I can breathe). The other travels with me in my purse. During the ‘warm’ months of cold Michigan, I have one on the porch.

Crocheting and needle point/cross stitching. I try to do 1 and 1/2 baby blankets a month. One blanket a month is donated to Project Linus and a blanket every other month to our church’s baby ministry.

project-linus

 

Cooking – I include my drink ‘inventions’ that I feature on Thirsty Thursday under this.

20160406_190238

My black moon martini

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journaling- I use journals for many different things. It’s a place of reflection, a place for venting, and a place of dreaming. I follow the ‘no’ rules of journaling. I have read tons of books on journal trying to figure out the ‘key.’ How do I make journaling work for me? I have some really ugly journals…but about two years ago, I figured how to journal for ME and since then it has been very relaxing. A companion to journaling is my day planner. I ‘decorate’ the week every Sunday night. It’s a great way for me to shift from my ‘all writer’ mindset to my ‘crazy day job’ mindset.

 

Tasty and Thirsty Thursday

This week’s Thirsty and Tasty features one of my summer favorites – strawberries. While, I’m a vodka girl at heart, rum enhances the tones of strawberries to entirely new level of yumminess.

For the thirsty portion… this is the lovechild of a wild night of ‘romance’ between a rum runner and daiquiri on a Caribbean beach 😉

 DSCN3609

You’ll Need…

1 cup fresh lime juice
2 cups strawberries

2 cups spice rum (Caribbean rum)
1 cup coconut rum
2 cups pineapple rum
Orange juice or soda (depending on your preference)
Soak the strawberries in the coconut and pineapple rum overnight. The day you are serving, mix in the spice rum. Add the juice or soda at the time of serving.
For the tasty portion is a jelly I love – I mean will pick an English Muffin over a doughnut if I can have this sort of love.  While, I know few people still can because the stuff in the store is close to the homemade stuff without the gross sticky mess…. But this is unique and sooooo soooo tasty that it’s worth the mess.

DSCN3610

You’ll need:
2lbs 3oz strawberries
1/3 cup water
½ cup lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
3 tablespoons powdered pectin
4 cups sugar
4 tablespoons coconut rum

 

What you’ll do:
Wash, hull and chop strawberries. Place strawberries and water into a large pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 5-10 minutes, until very soft and ready to puree. Puree in a blender, food processor or in the pan using an immersion blender or mash to leave chunks if you like! I’m a chunky girl 😉

Cover jars with water and bring to a boil, boiling for 10 minutes while you prepare the jam. Once the time is up, turn the heat off and leave jars in canner until ready to fill with hot jam.

 

Whisk lemon juice and pectin into strawberry puree. Bring to a boil over high heat and then add the sugar all at once. Bring to a rolling boil (will foam a lot, and you cannot stir it down) and keep at a rolling boil for 1 minute. Then turn the heat off and whisk in the coconut rum. Bottle the jam immediately into hot jars.

While you are boiling the jam, place the lids into a pan of previously boiling water. Do not simmer or boil, just let the lids heat through in the few minutes while you make the preserve and then fill the jars, removing the lids from the water when you are ready to place them onto the jars to seal.

 

Immediately spoon the hot jam into hot jars, leaving a 1/4 inch (0.5cm) headspace. Remove bubbles, wipe rims and seal.

 

Process sealed jars of jam in boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes (start timer once water returns to a full boil). When time is up, turn heat off and rest jars in water for 5 minutes before placing onto a towel-covered bench overnight to cool.

 

Check jars have sealed before labelling and storing in a cool, dry and dark place for up to 12 months (I’ve never had a batch last that long). Jar lids should not flex up nor down when pressed.

Misspelled words….

listifylife2-341x250.jpg

The top five words I struggle with that are super easy…

Tomorrow (I always want to spell it Tommorrow –  you just can’t have too many double letters.)

Thursday (I truly feel that the r should come before the u.)

Surveillance – there are just too many vowels.

Penguin – the only bird I like – birds don’t blink so they creep me out but I like penguins and given the fact we had 3 inches of snow on April 10, I’m thinking I could have penguins playing in my backyard so it’s a shame I can’t spell penguin.

Foreign – the g… I keep forgetting where to put it…and ei or ie thing

So those are my top 5 misspelled words for #listifylife… but in truth I’m a horrible speller and rely on auto correct WAY.TOO. MUCH. And this can lead to problems of its own. I’m sure you’ve all read the funny post on autocorrect changing a word resulting in an entirely different meaning… here’s mine…

The PTO president was recruiting volunteers among the school staff for the school carnival. I volunteered for the ‘dick’ pond… Oh. My. This led to days of teasing. My coworkers felt they needed to help learn the difference between a duck and a dick. I received pictures of ducks and ‘dicks’. Someone sent be a rubber yellow ducky and a dick – each labeled. For weeks, I received these types of things, my co-workers can be oh so helpful.

I’d love to hear of any mishaps you’ve had with a typo or autocorrect

Tasty and Thirsty Thursday

This week’s tasty and thirsty is brought to you by International dark sky week. I’m so lucky to live less than 2 miles from Lake Michigan, I enjoy the stars often (unless mother nature is having issues and has decided it needs to snow the entire first week of April).

I’m calling the martini – The stroke Of Midnight. While vodka is my go to for martinis, I made this with dark spiced rum for two reasons.

#1 – One of my good friends perferres rum over vodka

#2 – it gave me the color I wanted 🙂

Stroke of Midnight….
1 ½ ozs kahula
1 oz dark spiced rum
1 oz amaretto
½ oz coconut flavored rum

Combine in shaker with ice. Shake until blended. Enjoy 🙂

midnight cake.jpg

I love this cake… it’s moist…it’s chocolate without being in your face chocolate. And it’s dark going with my dark sky theme.

What you need for the Cake:

  • ⅔ cup dark cocoa powder (Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa to get that deep dark color and less of the make your teeth hurt sweet)
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee (I used kahula flavored)
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • ⅓ cup shortening
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1⅔ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Butter for greasing the pans
  • Cocoa for dusting the pans

What you need for the Frosting:

  • 1 ½ sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup dark cocoa (again I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa to get that deep dark color)
  • 4 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

What you do to prepare the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve cocoa powder and cayenne with hot brewed coffee and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream shortening, oil and sugar until well combined.
  4. Add eggs and beat until light and creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Slowly add in coffee/cocoa mixture, buttermilk and vanilla and beat until batter is smooth.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to wet and beat on low speed to incorporate. Scrape down bowl and beat until all ingredients are well combined.
  6. Butter the bottom and sides of two cake pans and sprinkle the inside of the pan with cocoa powder, shaking out excess. Pour batter evenly between two pans and place in center of oven.
  7. Bake 30-40 minutes or until tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean. Depending on your oven, you may need to rotate cake pans half way through. The use of olive oil in this recipe requires it to cook a few minutes longer than most cakes.
  8. Cool pans on wire racks for ten minutes then carefully invert out of pan onto rack to cool further.

 

What you do to prepare the Frosting;

  1. Sift cocoa powder with confectioner’s sugar in a large bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and cocoa powder mixture along with buttermilk and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy. Add additional buttermilk or whole milk if frosting is too thick.
  2. Place a small dollop of frosting on a cake dish to hold the cake from sliding and place one cake on the frosting. Frost the top of that layer. Place the second cake on the first and frost the entire cake, top and sides.

Have a great week!

Writer’s Wednesday

Here is the UNEDITED opening for my new WIP…Mock cover

 

“What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is up for grabs,” Jennifer giggled as she snatched Geoff’s doughnut.

“There’s an entire case of them.” He pointed the counter.

“Good, now I don’t feel guilty at all.” Jennifer sunk her teeth into the chocolate cake donut and her crystal blue eyes danced with merriment.

Standing, Geoff smiled. He couldn’t believe he’d been so stupid to think he’d wanted another woman. Guilt curled its ugly fingers around his stomach and squeezed. No, he wouldn’t let ghost from the past ruin their day. Jenn had forgiven him. End of story. “Do you want more coffee? Or another donut for yourself?”

“Are you trying to get me fat?”

Geoff shook his head and put his hands up in surrender. “You’re beautiful and perfect the way you are.” Leaning over he lightly kissed her forehead and the faint springy smell of honeysuckle from her soap filled his airways. “Love you.”

“To the moon and back,” she completed.

As he walked to the counter, he stopped and turned to his left. From the corner of his eye he’d sworn, he’d seen – nothing. Just people enjoying their sunny Saturday morning.

“A madcap coffee,” he ordered.

The woman nodded, tears filling her eyes. “Please sir,” she whispered handing him a folded piece of paper.

It seemed as if opening it had sucked all the air from room making it possible for his lungs to function and sent his heart into over-drive.

Geoff,
You are a man who holds so many lives in his hands.
You either walk out the back door.
Not a word to your wife or anyone.
Or I blow up the entire coffee shop.
Ask the wonderful barista for a view of the beautiful bomb I created for just this occasion.

Geoff lifted his eyes and the woman held up her arm. It was a bomb. No doubt.
The sweet scent of honeysuckle from Jenn’s soap lingered in his lungs as he stepped out into the alley.

Little things that make me happy…

This weeks #listifylist is the the little things that make me happy….the list is much longer but I highlighted just few.

Doughnuts…..

Pink_frosted_sprinkled_donut

Books…..

Charlie (He’s just 31 lbs so he’s still little)….

DSCN0084

 

 

 

Pink_frosted_sprinkled_donutDoughnuts….

Dog…..

Small sparkly shiny things….

shiny 2

 

 

 

More doughnuts……Pink_frosted_sprinkled_donut

 

 

 

snowmen…..

martinis…..

DSCN1633

And…. doughnuts 🙂

donuts

What are some of the things of the little things in life that make you happy?