Thursday, June 27, 2013

Out of Africa, a Barbecue: Guest Author Harry Kraus M.D.

** Wednesday July 3, 3:30 PM  Congratulations to our giveaway winner, O. Chavez!  **

See this apron? Yes, those are zebra stripes. It was a must-have, because today's guest sent this post from East Africa where he and his family serve as Christian missionaries. In addition to that incredible calling, he is a surgeon, best-selling medical suspense author, and (we learn now) a passionate foodie. I completely love this humorous and colorful post, and think you will too.  Please join me in an enthusiastic Authors' Galley welcome for:
Dr. Harry Kraus!  

"Cooking, Writing...It's All the Same to Me!"
by Harry Kraus, M.D.

The guidelines for participation in this blog were pretty easy for me.
            I cook like I write. Seat of the pants, with a bit of an outline.  I look up a recipe for something I want to make, but I just can’t resist adding a bit of this or that along the way.  Mostly, it works, but occasionally, an ingredient will threaten to take over, like a minor quirky character who is fun to write about, but doesn’t seem to understand that they aren’t the main character. Kind of like the time I made ginger cookies with about three times the normal ginger. Hey, if a little is good…
            What I’m really good at is marinades.  Like the one I made for the goat roast for the guys in the fellowship of the gray goatees last week.
            You see, there are a handful of missionaries here in Kenya, all serving in Kijabe, and all sporting gray goatees. So, in the spirit of some good fun, we decided to celebrate our little “fellowship” in true Kenyan fashion.  You see, Kenyans love nothing better than nyama  choma (grilled meat) and their favorite is goat. So I, along with the other members, decided that the guys with gray goatees should eat a gray goat and refresh our thirst with tea (also, a Kenyan favorite). Corny, I know, but often the best times are wrapped around a little craziness and involve food.  Here’s the guys, standing around the grill.

            My goat marinade consisted of garlic sautéed in butter, soy sauce, a little red pepper, basil, oregano, and a bit of white wine. Yeah, I didn’t tell my missionary bros about that last ingredient.
            You can use a similar base for all meat marinades. When I’m in a place where it is available, I love to add the shakable Parmesan cheese, especially for chicken.
            My latest novel, An Open Heart, is the first novel that I’ve written that is primarily set in Africa. (OK, a lot of my stories are touched by this continent, but here it is front and center.)

Their Messages—From Beyond the Grave—Might Destroy Him
They hover between life and death, their hearts stopped on the surgery table. And the messages Dr. Jace Rawlings’ open-heart surgery patients bring back from beyond the grave cannot be ignored. For they predict the deaths of people around him, and point a finger of suspicion straight at him.
It thrusts Jace into a firestorm of controversy and danger. A maeltsrom blown by the darker winds of political intrigue and spiritual warfare. And the forces working against him will do anything to stop him from uncovering a truth they will kill to hide. He’d come to Kenya to establish a heart-surgery program for the poor. But what he will find in that place where he grew up will put everything at risk–his marriage, his career . . . his life.

           In order to bring Kenya alive for my reader, I use things that are authentic to this setting, including the food.
            In fact, my protagonist, Dr. Jace Rawlings, goes to one of our real local restaurants in Kijabe, Mama Chiku’s Hotel, for a grand reunion with the comfort food he grew up with in Kenya. It’s all spelled out on page 34. Ugali, stew, cabbage, chapatis, and sukuma wiki.

Here’s a picture of the actual local watering hole, walking distance from our apartment and the hospital
where I (and my protagonist, Jace) work.

            The novel is part medical thriller and part romance, with a bit of political corruption, African witchcraft, spiritual war and a struggling professional marriage sprinkled in. Hmmm. Starting to sound like the way I cook. 
            A great meal can be prepared by following an exact recipe or…can be an experience of surprise and spontaneity…kind of like a good story!

Fellowship of the Gray Goatees . . . while I must say I'm grateful not to qualify, I am really looking forward to Harry's new release. It sounds amazing. One of YOU will probably get a chance to read it before me, if you are our lucky giveaway winner. Towards that happy end, Wynn-Wynn Media is offering this fun package:

A copy of Harry Kraus's An Open Heart, plus some delightful Tazo tea AND a pretty cup to sip it from! 

To enter, please leave a comment below including your e-mail address. US entries only, please. The winner will be selected (via Random.Org) on Weds. July3rd and contacted by e-mail. Please remember to leave that contact information or another name will be chosen.

Until then, happy reading . . . and Bon Appetit! 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cooking up a Sugar High: Hum Along?

Those of you who follow me on Facebook and Twitter (pardon the pun) already know that besides my passion for cooking, I'm also a fool for birds. Yes, a birdwatcher. Complete with field guides, a nerdy stalking vest, binoculars, spotting scope--and the Audubon Bird app on my iPhone. Yup, prone to squealing with joy at feathered sightings and often found with bincoular dents around my eyes.  I tote huge sacks of birdseed home from Costco and Walmart. But there is one species of birds that draws me to the kitchen: Our hummingbirds.
Like most people, I initially forked over cash for "hummingbird mix"--that stuff that looks like it came out of a Jello box and turns the water in the feeders red.

Then I found out three things:

Hummingbirds don't need the liquid to be red to attract them
The red dyes aren't healthful for these birds (or humans either)
AND it's super-easy and cheap to make your own hummingbird syrup

So today at Authors' Galley I'm combining my love of cooking with my love of birds. Voila: 

Cheap and Simple Hummingbird Bird Syrup


Water and Sugar in a 4:1 ratio

2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of sugar will make 2 cups of syrup

Fill measuring cup with 1 cup of near-boiling water. I used to microwave it, but our new house has this amazing gadget, a hot water dispenser--love it, love it (perfect for tea, pasta water, cleanup).

 Stir 1/2 cup of sugar into the hot water: 

Add cold water to the 2 cup-mark, stir again. 
Pour into your feeder:

Wait for the happy applause . . . um, grateful hums:

If you're thinking that I can't come up with an excerpt from one of my books that mentions hummingbirds, think again. 

In Trauma Plan, readers meet secondary character Vesta Calder, a diabetic recluse (with a pivotal secret!) who has a passion for birds:

Vesta lowered the binoculars and set them on the windowsill beside a tulip-shaped sherry glass. She scanned the view unaided, willing its familiar peace to wash over her. It was only a modest one-third acre, tucked between her cozy guest cottage and the owners’ much-larger home, but it held a treasure trove of foliage. Cedars, live oaks, mesquite, several crepe myrtle, a young redbud, an old hollowed-out black walnut stump—destined for destruction by the eager ladder-back and golden-fronted woodpeckers. As well as an array of wispy Texas grasses and flowering sage and salvia, jewel-bright splashes of color irresistible to the native black-chinned hummingbirds and several other species that migrated through South Texas on their way to Mexico. 

The Bluffs cottage was a balm for Vesta’s soul in every season. A peaceful, private haven. And her fourth lease in the fifteen years since she’d sold her own home . . . and begun to hide. 

I’m safe here. Even though . . . 

She picked up the binoculars again, adjusted the focus, and strained to see the slice of San Antonio Street visible beyond the trees. A few cars. None of them police or fire vehicles, though they could have used the Crockett Street route; construction for The Bluffs’ security gates had a good section of the road in upheaval. The evening news assured viewers that the routine investigation was winding down. But was it routine? Or was it . . . arson?

So, how about YOU, is there a soft spot in your heart for birds? A hummingbird feeder in your yard? 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dinner on Deadline: Author Jocelyn Green ~ Giveaway!

** Weds. June 26 1:05 PM: Congratulations to our giveaway winner, Wilma Metcalf!** 
Today I'm offering an apron to an award-winning author (and former military wife) whose novels are "inspired by real heroines on America's home front" and marked by "historical integrity and gritty inspiration."  Please help me offer a warm Authors' Galley welcome to Jocelyn Green: 

by Jocelyn Green

My poor kitchen. It’s been feeling a little neglected these days, since I’m on deadline and the last thing I think about is making dinner. In fact, if I wasn’t already planning to try a new snack recipe today, I would have to take a picture of me pouring a bag of frozen P.F. Chang’s into the skillet and turning on my rice maker.  Yep, that’s really what I’m doing for dinner tonight.
So let me show you my kitchen. 

That’s our new coffee bar on the far wall. On the left is a stack of research books I need to return to the library. On the right, we are growing some things—and apparently letting others die a slow death. My four-year-old’s can of grass is doing very well!

We have home-made menus under our vinyl tablecloth. During the summer, our kids get to order off the menu. But at night they eat whatever I put in front of them (in theory).

The rest of our kitchen is below. I’ve also included a picture of our fridge, mostly because I love the note at the top left which says, “Mom, I will obey you every day. From Elsa Green.” I’m keeping track of that one.

Now for the recipe for No-Bake Energy Bites! 
 (courtesy of
 It’s easy! Because I’m on a deadline! Here is what you need, along with a bowl and a spoon:

Yes, I had been snacking on the chocolate chips already. It happens.

1 c. dry oatmeal
½ c. chocolate chips
½ c. peanut butter
½ c. ground flaxseed (I used whole flaxseed and it worked fine)
1/3 c. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix it all together!

You can roll these into balls or spread them in a pan and cut them. Either way, spraying a little Pam on your finger tips will help the process immensely. Now put them in the fridge to set. Enjoy!

Official Green Diner taste testers:

And now, here’s an excerpt from my latest release, Widow of Gettysburg. This scene takes place July 1, 1863 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
The shots were so faint in the distance, maybe Hettie was right. Maybe, if a battle was to be had indeed, it would move farther away, not closer. Bella smoothed her apron over her green checked skirt and went into the kitchen to start baking for Hettie and her girls. She hitched her thoughts to the task as she would a horse to its post, concentrating on the dusting of flour on her fingertips, the scraping of the wooden spoon against the sides of the bowl, the spicy scent of the cinnamon and raisins waiting to be mixed in. It was something her mother had taught her long ago. When your thoughts run away, focus on what your hands are doing instead, shut out everything else. It was good advice—slaves’ hands were rarely idle. Bella’s mouth tilted up. My hands are rarely idle now. At least the driver’s whip would not reach her here.
If only her memories would stay as far away.
Footsteps flew down the staircase over the kitchen, jerking Bella’s attention to the doorway until Hettie filled its frame. Truly, the lines around her eyes and mouth spoke of a woman much older than the woman’s twenty-six years.
“Bella, come quickly.” It was a breath, spoken all at once, the kind that leaves no room for questioning. In one fluid movement, Bella dropped her spoon on the work table, wiped her hands on her apron, flicked her gaze to the window.
“No don’t! Come away from the window at once.” It was a whisper now, and frantic.
Hettie grabbed her arm then—something she had never done before—and pulled Bella forcefully out of the kitchen, down the servant’s stairs and into the cellar.
“Stay here, at all costs, and don’t make a sound.” Hettie stood silhouetted in the doorway to the stairs, the light spilling over her shoulders from behind, the shadows hiding her face. “I will keep them away from you, I promise.” She left. A latch clicked from the other side.
Bella was trapped. Again.

Oh, wow, from baking . . . to heart-pounding danger! What a great scene snippet.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Jocelyn.

And now to top things off, Wynn-Wynn Media is offering this fun giveaway package:

A copy of Jocelyn Green's first  novel, Wedded to War, a Pier 1 Lavender fizzy (bath) cube, AND a great gift-style magazine about Gettysburg.

Leave a comment below (including an e-mail address) and you'll be added to a (Random.Org) drawing. US entries only.  The winner will be announced on Wednesday, June 26th and notified by e-mail.

Meanwhile, happy reading . . . and bon appetit!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Worst Cake meets a Great Giveaway: Guest Author Ginger Garrett

**Weds. June 19th 11:15 AM  CONGRATULATIONS to our giveaway winner, "bonton," and thank you ALL for stopping by Authors' Galley! **

Today I'm excited to host an award-winning author with a passion to create novels and nonfiction resources exploring the lives of historical women: "art from history." Please wave those Authors' Galley wooden spoons and join me in a warm welcome for our special guest:  Ginger Garrett. 

The Worst Cake I Ever Baked
By Ginger Garrett

In 1996, I suspected that my boyfriend would propose very soon. When he invited me to fly across the country to spend Thanksgiving with his family, most of whom I had never met, I knew that my intuition was probably right.
Our families came from very different cultures. His family was from the Basque country in Spain. They loved red wine and women who cried easily. My family was from Texas. We loved unsweet tea and women who could handle a shotgun or a soup kettle with equal ease.
But I desperately wanted to make a good impression when I stepped off the plane. I envisioned carrying a lovely basket of treats to offer them, thus proving what a great cook (and catch) I was.
I phoned my mom for the perfect recipe. She read a cake recipe to me over the phone. “A family favorite,” she assured me. Even though the recipe was for a cake that required candy I had only seen at the circus, in the shape of orange jellies, and I did not remember ever eating it, she assured me that it would be a big hit.
So I whipped it up, too lovestruck and nervous to question my mother.
That was my first mistake.
When my boyfriend and I boarded our cross country flight, we were forced to wait on the tarmac for hours before taking off. Extra delays were added once we were in air, and the airline offered no snacks except a measly bag of peanuts. We both stared at the cake box nestled peacefully at our feet. That was my golden ticket, my assurance that everyone would want me in the family. I forbid him to touch it until the pilot announced we had to circle around the city for another thirty minutes.
When we got off the plane, I greeted my future in-laws with a half-eaten cake that was made from circus candy. And it tasted worse than it looked.
The cake went in the trash, but to my naïve surprise, the family wasn’t all that concerned. They were much more interested in whether I loved their son. Cake never even entered into their deliberations.
A year later, I was wearing his ring. And the cake? Turns out, “family favorite” was the title of the magazine article my mom had clipped it from. No one in our family had ever made one. Today, the handwritten recipe I wrote that night long ago is an heirloom I intend to pass on to my girls.
It’s a family favorite, indeed.

Oh, Ginger, I'm still laughing : "red wine and women who cry easily" vs. Texas women "who can handle a shotgun or soup kettle with equal ease"--classic! Thank you so much for sharing this memory with us, and for being the very first Authors' Galley guest brave enough to offer a kitchen blooper! 

And now here's an equally delightful treat: a peek at Ginger Garrett's newest novel:

Beyond the Drama, Her Heart Was Real

From the moment her marriage to prince Ahab thrusts her into the intrigues of palace life, Jezebel’s exotic beauty opens doors and her will breaks down walls. Torn from her homeland and wed to power in a strange country, Jezebel vows to create a legacy and power all her own. Some might call her a manipulative schemer, bent on having her way. But they don’t know the whole story, and she was much, much worse.
As she moves through the halls of power, her heart struggles between devotion to the gods she worships, the prince who loves her, and her thirst for revenge. She sparks a battle between her strangely powerless gods and the God of palace administrator Obadiah—a God who confronts her with surprising might. She will fight, though victory may cost her everything.

As a bonus, the awesome Wynn-Wynn Media has put together a great giveaway prize package:  a copy of REIGN, a cute kitchen tea towel, AND a bag of that classic (and unforgettable) orange slice candy! How fun is that?

To enter, please leave a comment below (maybe share your own recipe blooper?), including your e-mail address. US entries only, please.  I'll draw the winning name (via Random.Org) on Wednesday June 19th and notify the winner by e-mail.

Meanwhile, bon appetit . . . and happy reading!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Help Me Celebrate . . . with Salsa!

Sometimes when I hunt through Google Images for photos, it isn't such an easy match with what I'm looking for. But the photo below--a woman leaping with joy, through a color fiesta of stars and flowers and butterflies--is EXACTLY what I wanted. It looks and feels like CELEBRATION.
And that's what I'm doing this week, because of some very terrific news:

I've accepted a contract offer from Tyndale House for another 3-book series! 

Yes, it will be my third medical fiction series for this publisher, and I couldn't be more delighted to team with them again to offer readers these exciting and hopeful stories.  Just thinking about it makes me giddy--look out, I'm scattering those butterflies and stars with another "Whoo hoo" leap!

Of course, these new books are down the line aways, since there is still one more book to come in the current Grace Medical series. I'll wait awhile and not boggle you with details just yet. BUT, I do think we should celebrate with a recipe that fits the fiesta atmosphere. So here's a wonderful (and simple) summer appetizer that's a favorite at the Calverts:

Fire & Ice Watermelon Salsa

In this salsa, cool and sweet watermelon replaces the usual tomatoes, and is the perfect complement to the tang of peppers, green onion, and cilantro.  It's great on chips and a wonderful addition to grilled fish or chicken. 


3 cups chopped seedless watermelon
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 Tbl. lime juice
2 Tbl. chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbl. chopped green onion
1 Tbl. chopped jalapeno pepper (may substitute Poblano if you prefer salsa milder)
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

To fix, simply mix all ingredients in a bowl and chill. 

As you can see, it makes a pretty addition to a table of fiesta food:

I wish I could offer you all a plate to help me celebrate!

Thank you for cheering on my good news, and until next time . . .

Bon appetit and happy reading!  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Wok to the Kitchen ~ Thriller Author Creston Mapes (Giveaway)

** Weds. 12:15 PM Congratulations to our giveaway winner: Andrea S!**

Today it's my great pleasure to host another gentleman on Authors' Galley. We haven't yet met personally but we share the same literary agent, and that's almost like family. Please join me in welcoming thriller author Creston Mapes

 Greetings friends,

Well, at Candace’s advise, I scoured my new thriller, Fear Has a Name, for a food scene, and the following is what I’ve come up with. This scene occurs when our antagonist, Granger Meade, has kidnapped the only person who was ever nice to him as a child, Pamela Crittendon. They are at a convenience store in the middle of the night. Here goes:
• • •

Out in the store he said softly, “Get whatever you want. Get enough to last awhile.”
How long? she wondered. What does he have planned?
She really believed he didn’t know, that all he knew was that he wanted to be with her. She must become the world’s best actress. In her mind she must revert back to the Pamela Wagner he knew in high school, who reached out, showed compassion, wanted him to be one of the gang.
Her stomach ached. She wasn’t hungry, but she knew she must eat to stay strong and alert. She walked down the aisle nearest them. Although Granger wasn’t holding her arm, he was right there in her shadow, looking himself for food.
She picked up a good-sized bag of cashews and several crunchy peanut butter bars while he grabbed a package of teriyaki beef jerky and a can of potato sticks. At the refrigerated section, Pamela got several yogurts, a package of string cheese, and a bottled water. Granger got a tall can of Red Bull.
“Ready?” He eyed her.
She nodded.
He took several items out of her full arms and they walked back up to the man in the turban. They set all the things on the sliver of available counter space.
“And two packs of Newports—soft,” Granger said. “Not the box.” He turned his head to the side and muttered, “If you can understand English.”

It was more than a break-in. More than a stalking. It was personal. When a stalker targets his family, journalist Jack Crittendon must uncover who the person is and what his motives are--if he is to protect the ones he loves. It will lead Crittendon into a world of behind-closed-door secrets and faith gone awry, as does his investigation of a missing pastor, whose apparent suicide is more than it appears.
"Fans of Ted Dekker, Davis Bunn, Jerry Jenkins and Frank Peretti will love Creston's novels!"
  • • •

Okay, that excerpt is from book one in my new series, The Crittendon Files. I hope you’ll enjoy it over a bag of potato sticks and some beef jerky. Now on to my the recipe I want to share with you.

Cooking relaxes me and I love to cook Chinese with the wok. I made up today’s recipe long ago and it has proven to be a real hit with my wife and our four kids. I didn’t have a formal name for it until now, but let’s call it Creston’s Ginger Garlic Chicken. This recipe will serve 4-6.

• Mix the following ingredients in a bowl and set this aside--it’s your ‘sauce’: 3/4 cup teriyaki sauce, ¼ cup worchestire sauce, a shot of water, a shot of Italian dressing (if you have it), 1 tablespoon of ginger (spice), 1 heaping tablespoon of minced garlic, 1 heaping tablespoon of cornstarch. Mix this all together really well. Taste (good, isn’t it?).

• Cut up 3-4 boneless chicken breasts into small pieces, preferably diced. Cook that with Extra Virgin Olive Oil on high heat in the wok until done and set aside.

• Chop up the following items, smaller the better: 2 onions, 2-4 carrots, 2-4 stalks of celery, and 1 cup of shredded cabbage. Cook these on high with Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the wok. Put the lid on so they cook faster. You want the veggies almost crunchy, but not quite.

• Pour the chicken and sauce in with the veggies and cook on high until the sauce thickens. Mix well. Serve over rice.

Here’s where you can find out more about my thrillers and me. Thanks for having me!

Mmm, great recipe, Creston, intiguing glimpse into your new novel, and I love your kitchen! We so appreciate your "tying on the apron" with Authors' Galley.

And now friends, to celebrate Creston's exciting new release, Wynn-Wynn Media has generously offered a giveaway. It includes a copy of Fear Has a Name, plus a
 Twenty-dollar Pier 1 gift card, AND a cute potholder.  What a great prize package!

To be entered, please leave a comment below. Be sure to include an e-mail address.
 US entries only, please. The winning name will be drawn (via Random.Org) on Weds. June 12 and the lucky winner notified by e-mail. 
Until then . . .

Bon appetit and happy reading! 

Monday, June 3, 2013

You Cooked WHAT? Adventures in the Kitchen . . .

Despite what folks may think, I'm not completely adventurous with food. I'm no Anthony Bourdain, comfortable eating "parts unkown" on the back streets of  a war-riddled third world country. And there still a few things (cough--KALE--cough) that make we want to scrape my tongue with a napkin like Tom Hanks in "Big."

Still, in former life, I did cook and re-stuff snails into their shells for a deputy sheriff who loved them--a whole other story for another time. 

And I do enjoy the kind of adventure that brings a yummy new taste to my kitchen. And here is what we munched on last night at the Calvert home:

Yes, those are flowers. Squash blossoms from the zucchini in our backyard garden. 
I'd heard about how delicious these blossoms are and decided to give some appetizers a try:

Baked Stuffed Squash Blossoms

The recipe makes 12, but since I only had 4 blossoms I cut it down. This is the original recipe:

1 cup ricotta cheese (I substituted herbed goat cheese)
3 eggs, divided
1/3 cup chopped parsley
12 squash blossoms
3/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used Panko crumbs)

First very gently wash blossoms, remove stamen if desired--I did. I also did a a compulsive check for bugs, because I'm no Anthony Bourdain. I think we've established that. 

Mix together cheese, 1 lightly beaten egg, and parsley. Season with salt:

 Put remaining two eggs in a bowl and whisk. Put breadcrumbs in another bowl (or plate):

Carefully spoon a tablespoon or bit more of filling into the bottom of the blossom:

Lightly twist blossom ends together to close--no worries if they don't twist well. Not a problem.

Dip each stuffed blossom into egg, then crumbs, and transfer to a parchment or foil lined baking sheet:

 Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for approximately 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy. Let cool for a few minutes. And--voila!--here's what they look like, ready to serve:

And let me tell you: OH MY GOODNESS, these were absolutely wonderful! Delicate almost sweet flavor with a delightful crunch.  Definite keeper recipe. 

So there you go, that was my kitchen adventure.

And, just for fun, here's a short snippet from my newly released medical drama,
Rescue Team, in which heroine Kate Callison and her friend Lauren converse over some dubious hospital cafeteria fare:

“You’re smiling,” Lauren told Kate over the din of the hospital cafeteria. She waited as an overhead page for an OB department visitor repeated a second time. “And considering that your fork is hovering over a dubious-meat-source enchilada, I’d say that look on your face indicates . . .”

“That I’m really hungry?” Kate was unable to stop the spread of her smile or a betraying flush she felt at the neck of her scrubs. Lauren had phoned and texted at least a half dozen times last night, starting around 9 p.m., about half an hour after Wes drove away from her house . . .

“I did send you a text,” Kate said, wrinkling her nose as she cut the enchilada—it was an iffy entree. Not anything like last night’s amazing dinner. The flush reached her ears. 

“‘All fine. CU tomorrow,’” Lauren quoted. “You call that a post-date recap? You could never write scripts for The Bachelorette.”

Kate laughed “I didn’t call you back because I was still talking to Wes. On the phone. He called as soon as he got home and we talked until way late.” 

It was Lauren’s turn to smile. “That can only be good.”

“I guess.” Kate prodded something with her fork; she hoped it was an olive. How could she explain she wasn’t sure she could recognize “good” for certain? The words good and man had never linked up in Kate’s life experience. She only knew that today—everything today—felt better after last night. She took a slow breath. “Yes. I think it could be. Good.” Her mouth was dry. She stabbed the olive and popped it in.


And how about YOU?  Tempted to try a new recipe adventure recently? Even eaten squash blossoms?