Welcome Guest Leigh Morgan!

A Potters Woods ChristmasThank 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”.

aomsx-800x500“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

DSCN8648One pizza crust. (I buy pre-made crust)

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:

Chocolate Cake

choc cake 237x1772 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)

Leigh Morgan
Bard in Training

Potters Woods books:

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21 Responses to Welcome Guest Leigh Morgan!

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    Leigh, I read your short story, and I loved it! There are a lot of great authors in the anthology, and I’m looking forward to reading their short stories/novellas. What a great way to get to know new authors.

    The chocolate cake dessert looks yummy, and I think I’m going to make the alfredo pizza tomorrow. I’ve never made Alfredo sauce from scratch before, and now I know how. Thank you for being our guest today and for your yummy recipes!

    • leigh morgan says:

      Both recipes are easy and wonderful! If you’re interested I’ll send you our recipe for homemade french silk frosting to go with the cake. The frosting is a treat by itself! Alfredo isn’t hard to make as long as you keep the heat low and use organic heavy cream. I’m not sure why it makes a difference, but it does. I keep my alfredo thick for pizza and more creamy for pasta. It’s also nice as a layer in lasagna if you’re feeling creative. Enjoy!

      • Edie Ramer says:

        Leigh, I have been buying organic when it’s available. Not all stores have it. I’ll be sure to shop at Sendik’s for the ingredients. Thanks for the extra advice on alfredo sauce. 🙂

        Though the chocolate cake looks great, I probably won’t make it. One reason we’ve been making a lot of pies lately is that we can portion it into exact pieces, with not cheating. With cakes, we do a lot of cheating.

  2. Amy R. says:

    Hi Leigh! Um, that chocolate cake looks very comforting. I love chocolate cake. Any type of “bread” or “carb” though is my comfort food. Dipping bread in baked potato soup? Yes, please! Any quirky family is a great reason for comfort food. We all of those family members that bring out their best at holiday gatherings! I still look forward to them and have learned how to deal with certain members over the years. Congrats on the anthology!

    • leigh morgan says:

      Thanks for visiting with me, Amy! I’m right there with you on homemade soup and warm crusty bread for dipping. Love bread and balsamic with really good olive oil too! I guess I just love good food :D!

      I love stories about those loved one’s who are so steeped in character that they leap from the page into our hearts. I think this Christmas bundle is filled with love ~ just the thing for the ever chilling evenings this holiday season.

      May your holidays be joyous and filled the many textures of love and acceptance for family quirkdom 🙂

  3. Mary Hughes says:

    Oh my goodness, I am so hungry now! Thanks for the recipes, but especially for the reminder that it’s not just about the greeting-card version of Christmas 😉

    • leigh morgan says:

      Thanks for visiting, Mary! I’m making myself hungry ;). Time for some ‘ZA, I’m think’n. The holiday season is always stressful, even when that stress is good. I think it helps to honor that truth and roll with it.

  4. Vince Milewski says:

    Holidays would not have eternal memories without stories about quirky family members – they add the spice to the meal and gathering. The cake recipe sounds outstanding – I will have to try it sometime soon 😀

    • leigh morgan says:

      Vince, you’re full of sass…I know for a fact you’ve made this cake more than once! You are so right about the spice of life sharing meals with family creating treasured moments. Smiling, cringing, laughing and figuratively strangling…it all leads to memories worth having.

      You, sir, should post your carrot cake recipe. Another comfort food home run!

  5. 😀 Small town stories are wonderful I can’t wait to read your story! Thanks for the delicious recipes. Think I’ll try them this weekend!

    Congratulations on your story in Christmas on Main street boxed set. Sell tons. 🙂

    • leigh morgan says:

      Thanks for visiting, Carole! I was just at the beauty shop getting a hair cut, spouting the virtues of getting 11 wonderful stories for .99! Talk about small town ~ it’s still called a “beauty shop”, not a salon, and gossip reigns supreme a midst the balloon dryers and shampoo stations!

      I love both recipes, I hope you enjoy them and that your holiday season is filled with light, laughter and much love.

  6. Jill James says:

    Leigh, can’t wait to read your story in the set. My comfort food is baked ham, mashed potatoes, and peas. It was a lot of Sunday dinners when I was a kid.

    • leigh morgan says:

      Hello, Jill! Even though I’m a vegetarian (although I eat fish) I still love the scent of ham baking. There isn’t anything like it. Mashed potatoes are a perennial favorite. I always make at least ten pounds for Thanksgiving because everyone loves them! I can only eat peas raw and in the pod. It’s been that way for me my whole life; a foible I’ve never outgrown. The couple who used to babysit me always served canned peas. The only way the husband could get me to eat any of them was to call them “smart peas”. I counted every pea I ate and naturally assumed I was that many times smarter for the effort.

      Hope your holidays are wonderful!

  7. Edie Ramer says:

    I never said my comfort food. It’s chicken soup. My mom made the best chicken soup with matzo balls. That’s what I make, too.

    • leigh morgan says:

      I make homemade chicken soup for my son at least once a month because it’s his absolute favorite. I start by browning organic, free range, chicken breasts in my giant cast iron skillet. When it’s browned I throw it in a giant pot, pour water into the skillet to get the remains, throw than in the pot with the chicken and the organic chicken stock (I life full-circle stock) and then cook the onions and carrots in the skillet until the onions are translucent and the carrots begin to caramelize. I add them to the pot with whatever other vegetables I have on hand and lots of firm organic celery. When it’s cooked together for at least a few hours, I add thick Amish noodles and some Herbs de Provence, or fresh herbs when I have them, and serve. It’s always better though the second day. I’m with Amy ~ add lots of great warm bread for dipping!

  8. Welcome to MM, Leigh, and all the best with your Christmas bundle. I love Christmas stories!

    • leigh morgan says:

      Thanks, Michelle! Me too, although I love any story that involves time traditionally spent with family. Thanks for visiting. I LOVE your covers, BTW :), they tell a story all by themselves. Simply lovely.

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