Showing posts with label cat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cat. Show all posts

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Welcome our guest, Laurie Cass!!!

Please welcome author Laurie Cass!

Laurie Cass grew up in Michigan and graduated from Eastern Michigan University in the 80’s with a (mostly unused) Bachelor of Science degree in geology. Currently, Laurie and her husband share their house with two cats, the inestimable Eddie, and the adorably cute Sinii. When Laurie isn’t writing, she’s working at her day job, reading, yanking weeds out of her garden, or doing some variety of skiing. Laurie also writes the PTA Mystery Series under the name Laura Alden.

Take it away, Laurie/Laura:

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From Laurie:

You know how it goes. There’s a church dinner or a family get-together or an office event or a neighborhood party and you’re called upon to bring a dish to pass. There’s no getting out of it; something must be concocted. This broccoli salad is one of the two recipes I’ve sweet-talked out of a friend and it’s now a standard potluck contribution (the other is bite-sized sausage-cheese balls, in our house also known as the Moist Balls of Fun). 

Warning: if you want to have any salad for your own family the next night, 
you’d better put some aside. There is rarely any left!


Broccoli Salad

2-3 large bunches of broccoli, cut into small, bite-sized pieces (about 4 cups, chopped)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 lb. crumbled bacon
1/2 cup onion (optional - personally, I never put it in)
Add salted sunflower seeds to taste

Dressing - add just before serving
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
2 T. vinegar  

Mix broccoli, golden raisins, bacon, optional onion, and sunflower seeds. Just before serving, add the dressing about 1/4 cup at a time until you reach the desired amount of goo-iness. Be careful not to overgoo.
This version has onion!

Make-ahead tip:  cook the bacon in advance, then freeze. And don’t thaw the bacon before cutting the strips into crumbly bits; it cuts up easy-peasy when still frozen.

Bacon cooking tip:  bake the bacon. Take a cookie sheet and line it with parchment paper. Place a wire rack on top of the parchment paper, lay bacon strips individually across the rack, then cook in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees until desired doneness is achieved, 20 to 30 minutes. Longer if you’re using thick-sliced bacon.

What's not to love about bacon??! 

Note from Daryl (who invited Laurie) - um, where's the recipe for the Moist Balls of Fun???!!!  :)  Thank you for joining us!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Welcome our guest Sofie Kelly!

Welcome our guest, Sofie Kelly!

Sofie Kelly writes the New York Times bestselling Magical Cats Mysteries.

The next book in the series, CAT TRICK, will be available February 5thVisit Sofie at

Let Them Eat Cake

   Have you ever had one of those days when all you want to do is to eat a cake and wallow in a little self pity? The problem is, when those days happen there never seems to be a cake handy, or if there is, let’s face it, someone else in the house is going to notice that you ate the whole thing. Not to mention what eating a full-size, double layer cake with frosting is going to do to your thighs. Days like that are perfect for Cake in a Mug.
 Cake in a Mug is not a gourmet recipe. It’s not fancy, but it tastes pretty good and if you share it with a friend or two it’s not that self-indulgent. And it beats the heck out of standing over the sink eating Hershey’s Chocolate syrup off a spoon. Not that I’ve ever done that.

Cake in a Mug
4 tablespoons cake flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons chocolate chips

   Mix the flour, sugar and cocoa in a large mug. (A two-cup measuring cup will also work.) Add the oil, milk and egg. Beat with a fork. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on the top. You can substitute butterscotch or peanut butter chips instead.

 *Cake flour makes a finer textured cake, but you can use all-purpose flour. I use rice milk in this recipe, but soy milk or cow’s milk works just as well.

 Microwave on high power between 3 and 4 minutes. How long depends on how powerful your microwave is. Don’t worry if things overflow a little.

Slide a knife around the inside of the mug and slide the cake on to a plate.
Cut into two or three pieces—or not, depending on just how bad the day’s been—and enjoy.

I’d love to hear how you all decompress after a bad day. Any cake involved?

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Monday, September 27, 2010

The Cat's Meow


Yesterday's winner for a copy of Diana Orgain's latest book, Motherhood is Murder, is Babs!

Babs, send me an email at avery (at) averyaames (dot) com with your snail mail, and Diana will pop your prize in the mail.


And now, for our Monday post:

I dared to go to Hollywood the other day. Famous for its sign, movie stars, Mann's Chinese Theater, the Hollywood Bowl.

I was afraid that the traffic would be bad. Afraid!!! You know, an hour to drive ten miles kind of thing.

We moved back to the Los Angeles area a year ago. We love Los Angeles and the opportunity to do so
many creative things. There are museums, theater, musical events. We love it. But, yes, the traffic is the oddest hours...and easy/swift at other times. Go figure!

Still, I braved it because I wanted to see a friend, and she works a half hour from Hollywood and lives a half hour north. It is convenient for her to meet halfway.

Well, surprise, surprise, the traffic was minimal. It took me 20 minutes. Parking was simple. And we went to a fun cocktail and raw bar restaurant called The Hungry Cat.

Charlotte's rescue Ragdoll cat, Rags, approves!

What a delight this restaurant was. Good lighting, good seating, a fabulous looking bar and raw bar. And the menu had such unique choices on it. My girlfriend and I each had a raw bar selection. I went with the Pacific Blue Shrimp, lightly marinated in a lemon spice oil. Yum! She did oysters on the half-shell. And then we split a salad.

The salad was so good that I tried to recreate it for this post. I didn't ask for the recipe, so this is "my" version. It was simple and simply delicious! Their recipe called for Pecorino cheese. What I had at home was a yummy Collier's Cheddar. I've used this wonderful cheese before in an MLK recipe. I believe the Hungry Cat recipe had some kind of nut in the dressing, perhaps crushed pine nuts. Or it could have been that the Pecorino had a decidedly nutty flavor. Whatever the reason...I decided to add sunflower seeds.

In a word...fabulous!

Lemon Avocado Salad

(enough for two to split)
Red lettuce
Butter lettuce
1/4 cup Collier's Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup egg whites (boiled eggs, yolks removed) diced
1/4 cup Avocado, (peel removed) diced

4 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Optional: 2 Tablespoons sunflower seeds (or pine nuts, minced)

Stir the dressing ingredients together.

Lay the lettuce (untorn) on the plate.
Top with the chopped items and the dressing. It's best if you cut it and mix yourself, once served.

Simple, delicious, elegant. Serve with a baguette of bread and a glass of Pinot Grigio.

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If you'd like to know more about The Long Quiche Goodbye and want to download a few other recipes from me (on recipe cards), click on this link to my website: Avery Aames. I've posted recipes in the "morsels" section. There's lots of other fun stuff, as well. And sign up for the fan club to get in on the next contest...coming soon.