Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Manuscripts, College Apps, and Recipes, Oh My!

Hello to everyone who commented on guest blogger Barb Goffman's post on Sunday.

We have a winner!
(but we don't know how to contact you)

Would "HSS" please contact me -- JulieHyzy (at) AOL (dot) com?


Now... for today's recipe...

Let me start off by admitting that in a pinch I always fall back on easy favorites. I might have mentioned that modus operandi before...


These past several weeks ... er ... the past couple of months ... have been super busy. After I got back from Bouchercon, I had to really put my head down to finish the manuscript that's due -- ummm -- TODAY!


Not only that, but my daughter asked for my help proofreading her many college and scholarship applications. They've been due from November 1st through - TODAY - and these are so important that I wanted to take my time helping her do her very best. (Just an aside... I really love debating word choice and comma usage with this daughter. Way fun.)

Add in Thanksgiving help at my brother's, a couple of family parties, Christmas decorating, commitments to others, and some interesting cat-transporting issues ... and the past couple of months have been jam-packed.

So... just like everyone else, when I'm pressed for time I always have a few favorites I can rely on. Today I share with you super-simple, but very tasty ham roll appetizers. I use canned asparagus cuts. They're perfect for this recipe and cheaper than the spears or the tips. My husband (who hates asparagus) always asks me to substitute dill pickles for the center in a couple. To be honest, those are pretty good too.

Here you go. Ridiculously easy... and that's why I love 'em. Plus they taste great.

Ham Roll appetizer

Deli ham sliced, not thinly. I usually ask for a thick cut and I think Krakus is the best brand. I prefer boiled ham over smoked or honey-glazed
Can of cut up asparagus pieces (or dill pickles, quartered lengthwise if you prefer)
8 oz Cream cheese

Soften cream cheese and spread a generous layer over one slice of ham.
Line up cut asparagus pieces (about 4 or 5) along one short side
Roll up starting at asparagus side
Repeat with all your ham slices until one of your ingredients is gone.
Chill for about an hour
Slice roll into bite size pieces
Place cut side down on serving plate and serve

Super simple!

This is the perfect week to share it with you because I haven’t had a chance to do anything extra cool or fancy this week. Avery’s recipe yesterday has my mouth watering, though. Mmmmm, may have to take some of this newfound free time LOL and play in the kitchen!

Wish us luck ... me on the new manuscript (Buffalo West Wing, which won't be out for another year) and my daughter on all her college apps. It is so nice to be done.

Tonight I celebrate by participating in the PARTNERS IN CRIME book group, talking about my White House Chef mysteries at the Tinley Park Public library. Dinner and discussion. Can't wait!

Thanks for stopping by today!


My White House Chef Mystery series includes State of the Onion, Hail to the Chef, and Eggsecutive Orders (coming in January). All from Berkley Prime Crime.

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  1. Julie, good luck to you and your daughter! Thanks for the easy appetizer---I love easy!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  2. Have fun tonight with the dinner and discussion and good luck to your daughter. Good luck to you too, but book will be a hit. Thanks for the simple recipe. This would be great to take to holiday get-togethers when you need something quick.

  3. Have fun at the dinner and discussion tonight. Good luck to your daughter and good luck to you, but your book will be a hit. Thanks for sharing the quick recipe. This would be great to take to holiday get-togethers.

  4. Good luck to your daughter. And love the title of your next book. Fun!

  5. Good luck to you and your daughter, Julie! I agree with Mason. These would make great appetizers when you need something quick. Isn't it amazing how cream cheese transforms everything into something special?

    ~ Krista

  6. Oh, I love those. I've never made them with
    asparagus or pickles --I'll have to try them that way -- thanks for the idea, Julie, and good luck on the manu and the apps!

  7. Thanks for the good luck wishes, everyone. And thanks, Mason, for the vote of confidence ;-)

    Jenn... if you didn't use asparagus or pickles, what did you use? Inquiring minds...

  8. My mom made these with pickles, and called them something not appropriate for a family friendly blog *grin*. They were and are a family favorite.

  9. Good luck to you and your daughter!

    My mom has been making these ham rolls since I was a kid, except she uses dill pickles or whole green onions for the center. These were always on the table at our family's Christmas Eve party.

  10. Hi Shel and Janel --

    LOL Shel! I like your mom's style!

    Janel, I never thought of using green onions. Cool idea.


  11. Julie, insanity is inherited. I got it from my mother. I could tell you stories that you wouldn't even believe.