I gathered with fellow Virginia authors Meg Medina, Natale Stenzel and Kit Wilkinson at the Gayton Library on Tuesday night. We each read from our favorite Banned Books including Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes (Meg), A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (Natale), The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Kit) and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (me). It was not only a great cause but great fun!
Broke away from the computer the other night and drove to Charlottesville, VA for the Keith Urban and Sugarland concert. Had a great time! I’m a huge Sugarland fan and even gave them a little shout out in I’M WATCHING YOU.
I’ve been back from the Romance Writers of America’s 2009 Washington, D.C. convention for a week now but I’ve been so busy with my latest book I’ve not had much time to post. All the authors are arranged in ABC order and I had great fun visiting with folks I see each year including Monica Burns, Terri Brisban and Kathryn Caskie.
I had the great pleasure of being interviewed last week by Terry Kate the creator of Romance In the Backseat. The blog is Terry’s brainchild and is designed to bring authors and readers together. As my fellow Virginia Romance Writer Natale Stenzel drove, Terry interviewed me and asked all kinds of great questions about my latest releases, Dead Ringer and Dying Scream (December 2009). After my interview Natale and I switched seats and I drove while Terry asked Natale about her latest paranormal Between A Rock and A Heart Place. Other writers Terry has interviewed include Sabrina Jeffries and Sheila Roberts. My interview should be up in a couple of months. I’ll keep you posted…
Be sure to check out Terry’s site: www.romanceinthebackseat.com.
In just days work crews arrive and demolish and remodel my kitchen. It struck me today as I was baking that this might be the last time I bake in my oven, which has served me faithfully for fifteen years. (I still remember the first cake I baked in this oven. It was chocolate and I iced it with a vanilla cream.)
To commemorate the departure of my oven, I had to snap a picture of my banana bread, which I’ve made hundreds of times over the years. This banana is very basic and quick but it perfumes the house with a sweet scent and there is no beating the taste when it’s hot out of the oven.
1 to 1-1/2 cups ripe banana
1 tsp rum extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
Mash bananas in a bowl then add extract, eggs, vegetable oil and sugar. Mix well. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into banana mixture and stir until combined. Place the batter in a greased loaf or bunt pan and bake in a pre-heated 350-degree oven for about 50-60 minutes. (If you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean, the bread is ready.) Let the bread cool for a few minutes before turning out onto a platter. When its completely cooled, I either dust with powdered sugar or drizzle melted jam or very soft cream cheese icing over the top.
Last Friday I had the chance to work as a kitchen assistant at the University of Richmond’s Culinary Arts Center. Being a kitchen assistant is a great chance for me to get away from the computer and spend time working with other folks who love food as much as I do. This class was a Wine and Dine Friday and featured Glazed Shrimp with Oregano Roasted Shallots on Baguette, Smoked Salmon Napoleon, Pan Roasted Grouper with Ratatouille, Pesto Risotto and Basil Sauce and Lemon Tart with Fresh Blueberry Sauce.
If you’re curious about the program, check out the website: (http://scs.richmond.edu/personal/culinary/courses.html).