Thank you, Edie, for this opportunity to share my love of the Thanksgiving and Yule seasons with you and your readers. Thanksgiving and Christmastime are all about celebrating community and sharing what we have with others, which is just one of the reasons I love them both. Creating and eating great food is another. I’m pleased to be able to share, create and be part of a rich and vital writing community also celebrating the season with our Christmas bundle from Authors of Main Street: Christmas on Main Street, presented by Joan Reeves. I’m excited about the bundle, which features eleven wonderful authors who write small town romance, as well as my contribution to it, “A Potters Woods Christmas”.
“A Potters Woods Christmas” is a short story, a prequel, that will lead into the next Warrior Chronicles book. I loved writing it and returning to the magic that is Potters Woods for Christmas. In a very real sense the characters who live there are committed to making their community strong and vital. The word “family” for them encompasses all those they love and let into their lives, and in a very real, often, over-the-top-legendary way, they set out to make their world a better place. I love the idea that small town people can impact one another’s lives for the better, and sometimes not, in huge ways. I’m also fascinated by ordinary people who impact others in extraordinary ways. Quirky, loving drama, after all, occurs all the time in small communities where little is secret and much is misunderstood.
Quirky family is what this season seems to bring out, so why not celebrate it? Everyone has their own weird uncle, flamboyant aunt, or shy, introverted child genius who can’t relate to her well-meaning but clueless parents. Some of us are blessed with all that and more coming together for the holiday season. I also have two communities, a martial arts community and a Scottish community, that are filled with character-rich people I’m not related to by DNA but nonetheless are part of my family and our celebration of the seasons. The wild and weird doesn’t end, it just keeps on giving its unique gifts of life, laughter and love, inevitably sprinkled with those cringing moments of, Deity-help-me-get-through-this-with-a-smile, and if not a smile, please help me keep homicide off the table.
I find in these moments, comfort food helps.
So as you gear up to celebrate, here’s a comfort food recipe I love:
Shrimp Alfredo Pizza
Homemade alfredo sauce, enough to cover the crust. (1-Tsp. butter, melted; 3 Tsp. organic heavy cream stirred into butter over low heat in saucepan; add three handfuls freshly grated parmesan cheese and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Stir until fully melted and creamy.) Spoon onto crust.
Cover alfredo with a light sprinkling of mozzarella cheese, some fresh basil cut into thin ribbons, minced garlic to taste. Add bite-sized pieces of cooked shrimp or whole small shrimp (100 count). Cover again with a light sprinkling of mozzarella and a dusting of fresh Parmesan. Bake at 425 for approximately 18-20 minutes. YUM!
And if you’re not nuts about the idea of alfredo pizza, here’s a recipe for the best dark chocolate cake I’ve ever had:
2 C sugar, 1 3/4C flour, 3/4 C cocoa, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 1/2 tsp baking soda, 2 eggs, 1 C milk, 1 stick of melted butter, 2 tsp vanilla, 1 C boiling coffee. Mix all ingredients together except for the coffee. When well blended, add the boiling coffee to the thick mix. It will be VERY runny. Bake in a prepared pan for 35-45 minutes at 350.
French Silk Frosting
2 1/3 sticks soft butter, 5 C powdered sugar, 2 tsp vanilla, 4 oz. baking chocolate (100%), 4 Tbs heavy cream. Blend all frosting ingredients together and add extra cream as necessary until light and creamy. For the inside filling omit the chocolate and only make 1/2 of the frosting recipe. Try this cake and you’ll NEVER make another chocolate cake recipe again. It’s that good!
What’s your comfort food?
Slainte! (Gaelic cheer to your good health)
Bard in Training
Potters Woods books:
SPARRING PARTNERS | FIGHTING FATE | DEFENDING DESTINY
CHRISTMAS ON MAIN STREET BUNDLE (A POTTERS WOODS CHRISTMAS) On sale for only 99 cents!