Category Archives: tuesday tip

Scrambled Eggs #TuesdayTip

I was walking past one of the local restaurants on the way to work and noticed a morning wrap that seemed appealing. It had scrambled eggs, pastrami, hash browns and of course, the wrap. I started thinking and got rid of the wrap and hash browns since I’m watching my carbs. Come to think of it, I’m not really a fan of pastrami so that went as well leaving me with . . . SCRAMBLED EGGS! Eggs are a fav of mine and they are so good for you! I usually like mine once over medium, but of course that requires bread for dunking or grits for mixing, so scrambled is my next choice for a protein packed breakfast.

But how do you make the PERFECT scrambled egg? Since mine are invariably too hard and on the hard side, I searched the web for you and came up with these possible recipe suggestions. Enjoy!

    • https://www.incredibleegg.org/recipe/basic-scrambled-eggs/
    • http://armagazine.com/2n5aTTL
    • http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/perfect-scrambled-eggs-recipe-2107541
    • https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/bas-best-soft-scrambled-eggs

scrambled eggs

P.S. – I bet sexy caterer Carlo from the At the Shore series knows how to make perfect scrambled eggs. Will definitely have to have him make some from Emma when he finally convinces her to spend the night.

Spaghetti Squash #TuesdayTip

It’s not unusual for hubby and me to have a meatless meal during the week. We’ve always found it filling to load up on a lot of veggies, usually over pasta. We still do that fairly regularly, but try to make the pasta healthier by using whole grain versions of buckwheat soba noodles instead of traditional pasta. Another thing that we do when time allows is to use spaghetti squash instead of pasta or as a side dish instead of a carb like rice or potatoes.

Spaghetti squash is packed with folic acid, potassium, carotene, vitamin A, and fiber and is only 42 calories per 1 cup serving (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaghetti_squash).

I usually start off my spaghetti squash by nuking it in the microwave and then roasting it in the oven. Once it’s cooked, you remove the seeds, shred the insides and top it with spaghetti sauce, pesto, or any other kind of sauce that you like! You can even be decadent and make a nice cheese or alfredo sauce since you are saving some calories by using the squash.

Here are some cooking suggestions and recipes for you to try:

    • http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/properly-prepared-spaghetti-squash-162765
    • https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-spaghetti-squash-in-the-oven-178036
    • http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/spaghetti-squash-with-marinara-recipe-1950473
    • http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a52327/cheesy-baked-spaghetti-squash-recipe/
    • https://www.marthastewart.com/275670/spaghetti-squash-recipes

Overnight Oats #TuesdayTip

Like always I’m working on eating healthier and losing weight. One of the things I’ve been trying to focus on is eating a healthy breakfast since studies show that helps in balancing your blood sugar levels and recharges your metabolism.

One breakfast item I’ve always loved is oatmeal, but if you’re like me and running around in the morning, you oftentimes forget to get it ready to take to work, which is were I usually eat breakfast since I get into the office early. I resolved to do better by packing the oatmeal at night and for good measure, adding in my unsweetened vanilla almond milk (saving those animal fats for cheese!).

Making the overnight oats made sure I wasn’t forgetting them, but I got to wondering if there was any benefit to them versus hot oatmeal. Voila, apparently there is! Not cooking the oats allows for the absorption of more nutrients, the overnight oats can be creamier, and they swell more which means the same dry amount will be larger in volume. That will lead to feeling more full. All pluses. For more on the benefits of overnight oats, check out:

    • http://www.eatthis.com/health-benefits-overnight-oats/
    • https://drhealthbenefits.com/food-bevarages/food/health-benefits-of-overnight-oats
    • http://www.bistromd.com/articles/why-you-should-be-making-overnight-oats

Add some fruit or even some chia seeds for extra anti-oxidants and protein!

Christmas Cookie Recipes #TuesdayTip

I’ve never been a big baker, although I love making bread. Cookies, not so much, although I love eating them! So today I’ve rounded up some Christmas Cookie recipes that I plan on trying and maybe you’ll give them a shot as well. Not to mention that I’ve heard it from a good authority, namely the jolly old man himself, that Christmas Cookies have no calories since their only ingredient is love. (Yes, corny but what the heck!) So here are 12 recipes, one for each of the twelve days of Christmas!

    Oreo Coal Recipe: http://bit.ly/2kM7Ptx
    Creme Brûlée Sugar Cookies: http://bit.ly/2kKZExD
    Soft Christmas Cookies: http://armagazine.com/2kL0CKh
    Struffoli: http://bit.ly/2kLkCwd
    Walnut Snowball Cookies: http://bit.ly/2kL0LgN
    Gingerbread Cookies: http://bit.ly/2kM9sr9
    Classic Christmas Sugar Cookie Cutouts: http://bit.ly/2kO5ePE
    Snickerdoodles (one of my favs!): http://bit.ly/2kKiepG
    Italian Christmas Cookies: http://bit.ly/2kNdujh
    Cream Cheese Spritzes: http://bit.ly/2kIiZ2u
    Chocolate Crinkle Cookies: http://bit.ly/2kLGSGv
    Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies: http://bit.ly/2kMzF97

Hope you enjoy them!

Christmas Cookie Recipes

Stuffed Mushrooms – #Tuesday Tip

I think I mentioned that you’ll get to see more of Carlo, Emma’s caterer and Prince Charming, in What Happens in Summer. A Sea Kiss Christmas (tentative title) is Emma and Carlo’s story.

So you may be wondering, why make Carlo a caterer? Well, I love to cook and eat and food is sensual. I can picture some sexiness with Emma as Carlo feeds her something fabulous.

Today I’m sharing with you a recipe I made for Thanksgiving and which was a big hit! It’s also very versatile as you can change up the ingredients for lots of fun variations.

Stuffed Mushrooms

    12 Extra-large stuffing mushrooms
    3 cups cooked rice
    4 Italian Sausages
    1 cup diced onions
    1 stalk celery diced
    1/2 diced carrots
    1/2 cup parmesan
    2 cups ricotta cheese
    2 cups gruyere
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup red wine
    salt and pepper to taste
    olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 350.

Wash mushrooms and remove stems. Chop stems into small pieces. Cook diced mushroom stems in olive oil at high heat until almost golden. Add carrots, celery, onions and cook until onions are translucent. Remove skins from Italian sausage and add to onion/mushroom mix. Break up the sausage until it is in very small pieces. Drain off grease and cooking juices and cool.

In large bowl, mix cooked rice, 1 cup gruyere, 1/4 cup parmesan, ricotta, onion/mushroom/sausage until well-blended.

Grease 9×13 pan. Lay mushroom tops in pan. With a spoon, place about 1/4 cup of mixture on each mushroom. Make a nice little mound with the mix. When you are finished filling all the mushrooms, drizzle a little olive oil over each one, then some parmesan and finally the gruyere.

Cook for about 30 minutes and remove pan and add water/red wine to the bottom of the pan to deglaze juices that are already there. Cook for another 15-20 minutes. If gruyere on top is not yet brown, broil for about 2 minutes.

Remove mushrooms to serving dish. Take water/red wine/mushroom drippings from pan and place in a small saucepan. Reduce by half and then stop mushrooms with this sauce. If you want to make it decadent, finish the sauce with a tablespoon of butter.

Variations

  • Substitute hot Italian sausage or chorizo for some kick.
  • Replace rice with 3 cups stuffing. My fav is Stove Top Corn Bread Stuffing
  • Try goat cheese instead of ricotta for a sharper taste.
  • Use crab or chopped shrimp instead of the sausage. This is a little trickier since the crab and shrimp can dry out.
  • Of course if you’re not a fan of gruyere, try any good melting cheese, like asiago or fontina.

#TuesdayTip – Writer and Reader Conferences – Liberty States Fiction Writers

I love going to conferences. I always learn something new and I love meeting both old friends and new people at various conferences! There is something about being surrounded by readers and writers that always helps revitalize my creative juices. Plus, there is the opportunity to network and expand business connections and possibly connect with an editor or an agent. I met my agent at a conference and it was the best thing that’s happened to me in quite some time!

Today I’m sharing with you a conference that I’ll be attending in March 2018. It’s a fun reader and writer conference in NJ. Just a word or two of disclosure – I am currently the President of this organization (my way of paying it forward) and a founding member. I hope you’ll check out the Liberty States Fiction Writers Conference and come and spend some time with me! I’ll be sponsoring the Mardi Gras themed party together with the Book Obsessed Chicks and will also be presenting a workshop.

Registration is now open for the conference which features the fabulous Julie Kenner and Dee Davis as the keynote speakers and presenters. We’ve also got some amazing workshops on getting organized, handling rejection, social media, creating fight scenes with a professional stuntman and more! You can find out more about the conference at http://www.libertystatesfictionwriters.com/.

Caponata #TipTuesday #CooksTreat

It’s that time of year when there is a bounty of vegetables available to cook. One of my favorites is eggplant. Whether grilled, a la parmigiana or rollatini, it’s a tasty treat!

Today’s tip is how to make caponata which is a type of eggplant spread. It’s great over crostini or if you want, tossed with pasta.

Caponata

Ingredients:

    1/2 cup olive oil
    1 onion finely chopped
    1 celery stalk finely chopped (I like the inner hearts with the leaves)
    2-3 garlic cloves finely chopped
    1 1/2 pounds eggplant diced into half inch cubes (remove some of the skin to reduce bitterness)
    4-6 Roma tomatoes, diced (remove the seeds and skin if you wish. I normally don’t)
    1 8 oz can tomato sauce
    1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
    2-4 tbsp sugar
    1/2 cup capers (rinsed clean of salt or squeezed to remove vinegar)

Directions:

    Put 1/4 cup olive oil in large skillet and heat.
    Add onion and celery and saute until you they are just starting to get a caramel color.
    Add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic, and heat.
    Add the eggplant and stir until the eggplant is getting browned.
    Add the apple cider vinegar and deglaze the pan.
    Mix in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, capers and sugar.
    Cook until all the vegetables have melded together. About half an hour.
    Salt and pepper to taste. Also, caponata has a sweet/sour kind of taste to it. Add vinegar/sugar to taste.
    Place in a container or toss some with pasta!
    Caponata will keep for about a week in the fridge.

I hope you enjoyed today’s Tuesday Tip!