Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Get your bird on

Traditional Stuffed Turkey

12 to 14 pound turkey with the giblets reserved
1 lemon, halved
salt and pepper
butter, melted

Meat Stuffing:
4 to 6 Tablespoons butter
2 onions, finely chopped
6 ounce lean ground lamb
reserved turkey heart and liver, finely chopped
1 pound fresh chestnuts
2 cups strained turkey broth
1/2 cup raw unprocessed rice
1 lamb liver, minced
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped

Take fresh chestnuts and slit the base of each shell crosswise, boiled for 5 minutes, peel and break into small pieces.

To make broth: simmering the reserved turkey neck and gizzard in 3 cups water for 45 minutes, then strain turkey broth.

Wash the turkey in cold water, pat it dry inside and out, and leave it for 30 minutes while you cook your stuffing.

For the stuffing, heat the butter in a skillet and fry the onions until they begin to change color, then add the ground lamb and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add the turkey heart and liver, the chestnuts, and pine nuts and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring this to a boil. Add the rice and cook quickly for 10 minutes, then add the lamb liver, bread crumbs, and apples. Stir well.

To stuff the turkey, slit the skin at the back of the neck and cut off the neck down to the turkey's shoulders if the neck has not already been removed. Lightly fill the cavity, remembering that the stuffing always swells and too much swelling might cause the neck skin to burst. Sew or pin with a skewer the neck flap to the back of the turkey. Just as lightly, fill the body cavity, and sew or skewer this together.

Tie the legs to the tail and fix the wings snugly to the body. Do not bring the cord across the breast lest it mark the skin. Rub the turkey cut with lemon, salt, pepper and melted butter and place it in a large, shallow pan in a moderate oven (preheat to 350 degrees, then lower temperature to 325 degrees). Roast it according to its weight when stuffed, allowing 25 to 30 minutes per pound.

Extra stuffing can be roasted in a pan for 45 minutes or so and served with the turkey. Or it can be made into rissoles by shaping it into small balls, dipping then into beaten egg and bread crumbs, and then frying them in butter, to be served as a garnish.
Cooking Turkey

Roasting Turkey Cook until temperature reaches 170 degrees F in the breast and 180 degrees F in the thigh. Cooking times are for planning purposes only - always use a meat thermometer to determine doneness.

Turkey Thawing Hints from the National Turkey Federation

Turkeys can be thawed using one of three methods, but the most fool proof is in the refrigerator. The key to this method is to plan ahead and allow approximately 24 hours for every four to five pounds of bird weight for thawing in the refrigerator. This method is the safest and will result in the best finished product. Place the bird, in the original wrapping, on a shallow baking sheet in the refrigerator. The following chart provides good guidelines for thawing times.

Refrigerator Turkey Thawing Time (40 degrees F)

Turkey Weight Days to Allow for Thawing Turkey

8 to 12 pounds 2 to 2.5 days
12 to 16 pounds 2.5 to 4 days
16 to 20 pounds 4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pounds 5 to 6 days

If you need to thaw the turkey more quickly, you may thaw the bird in COLD water, in the original wrapping. The cold water must be changed every 30 minutes. Allow approximately 30 minutes per pound using this method.

COLD Water Turkey Thawing Time

Turkey Weight Hours to Allow for Thawing Turkey

8 to 12 pounds 4 to 6 hours
12 to 16 pounds 6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 pounds 8 to 10 hours
20 to 24 pounds 10 to 12 hours

The third safe method for thawing a turkey is in the microwave. Follow the manufacturer's directions and roast the turkey immediately after thawing.

Honey-Basted Roast Turkey Recipe

1 small turkey, 10 to 12 pounds

2 T. peanut oil

1/2 t. ground sage

1/2 t. ground allspice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 small bunch green onions

3 to 4 T. honey

Garnish: Decorative string of cranberries and bay leaves or sage leaves (optional)

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Remove giblets from turkey (reserve for gravy, recipe follows). Rinse turkey and pat dry. Rub inside and out with oil. Season with sage, allspice, salt and pepper. Stuff neck and body cavities with onions and truss, if desired. Place turkey in roasting pan. Roast, allowing 18 to 20 minutes per pound, until juices run clear with no hint of pink when thigh is pierced.

During the last hour of cooking, baste turkey 2 to 3 times with honey.

Serve with pan gravy and garnish with decorative string of cranberries and bay leaves or sage leaves, if desired.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Giblet Pan Gravy

Turkey neck and giblets

3 C. water

2 celery tops

2 green onions

Pan juices from roasted turkey

4 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place neck and giblets, except the liver, in a saucepan with water, celery tops and green onions.

Chop liver and reserve. Bring water to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer over medium-low heat for about 40 minutes or until giblets are tender. Strain broth and reserve.

Chop cooked giblets and combine with chopped liver.

In the same saucepan, bring 2 cups combined pan juices and giblet broth to a boil.

Stir in chopped giblets and cornstarch-water mixture. Cook gravy over medium heat, stirring often, until thickened.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Guest Author, Mary Eason

Please welcome today's guest, Mary Eason:)

Book Title: In The Arms Of A Stranger

Release Date: September 24, 2010

Authors: Mary Eason

Author websites: http://www.maryeason.com/

Publisher: New Concepts Publishing

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb: Everything Kate Bradshaw believed to be real about her marriage to her husband Alex slowly slipped away from her as the newspaper reports explained the sordid truth in black and white. Their marriage and Alex's seduction had been nothing more than a lie, a means of accomplishing one thing--Alex's revenge against the man he believed responsible for killing his one true love--Kate's own father.

Welcome Mary Eason, thank you for joining me. I hear you have a new book coming out soon?

Yes, in fact, In The Arms Of A Stranger is out now at New Concepts Publishing. It released, September 24th.

Tell me about the heart of your story, "In The Arms Of A Stranger".

In The Arms Of A Stranger is about two people who have been hurt in the past and are afraid to trust in love again. Kate Alexander fell in love with the wrong man when she was in college and since then, she's been on a self-imposed exile from men. Meeting Alex Bradshaw for the first time, Kate believes Alex is too good to be true. By the time, Alex asks her to marry him she's crazy in love and completely unaware of the secrets her husband possesses.

Alex Bradshaw is a man set on revenge. Kate Alexander is the woman who can help him accomplish this plan. But, what Alex hadn't planned on was falling in love with Kate. Now, Alex has to convince Kate that his feelings for her are real and not just part of his plan for revenge before he loses Kate forever.

What is your darkest moment in the novel without giving too much away?

The darkest moment occurs when Kate finally realizes she's been wrong about Alex all along. She's afraid that realization may have come too late and that Alex might have finally given up on making their marriage work.

Why do you write and when did you start?

I started writing as a pre-teen. It was a little after I first started reading romance novels. I loved everything about them. Soon, I wrote my first romance novel, filled with the usual clichés, but I was hooked from that moment on.

What is your process when you write a novel?

I usually start with an idea. It might come to me from something I've seen on TV, read about, or even in a dream, (as crazy as that sounds, I've created lots of stories from dreams). With the premise in mind, I take a few days to let the story develop in my head before putting it down on paper. It never fails, the end result, is nothing like what I believed it would be when I started the story.

What do you want your readers to pull away from your story?

I want my readers to be emotionally satisfied when they read those final words of my story. I believe a romance novel should be like a rollercoaster ride. Crazy, exciting, a thrill ride of emotion. And when it's over, it should leave you with a smile.

Is there someone in your immediate family or a friend that reads your material as you write? A sounding board?

Nope, I'm kinda a lone wolf when it comes to writing. I prefer to work alone.

What is a really romantic evening for you?

Sitting outside watching the stars at night with my hubby. And when its cold out, snuggled together in a blanket with a sky full of stars.

If there were one word to describe you, what would it be?

Sentimental. I'm a very sentimental person. I find, as I get older, that increases.

Tell us about your next project.

I love romantic suspense stories. Both reading and writing them. I'm about halfway through my next romantic suspense novel that is about a woman who is given the heart of a former spy and with that heart, comes the spy's memories of her murder and of the man she loves.

Thank you for stopping by, , we hope to see you again and wish you great success! Anything else you want to tell your readers today?

Only that readers can check out my latest work as well as learn about my latest contest on my website. I'm giving away an e-book copy of In The Arms Of A Stranger there this month. So, stop by and check it out: www.maryeason.com

Thanks so much for letting me drop in this week.

Mary Eason

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Don't judge me by my myspace

I'm still around, just not on myspace. lol I've been working really hard to get new books finished and others in the works. If you've sent me a message through myspace, I will answer eventually, I promise. The best way to contact me if you have questions about books and such is through the link on my website www.traceyhkitts.com. I check that usually once a week at least. I'm rarely on myspace simply because it won't load half the time and even when it does at least half of the features don't work. Thanks to these non-working features, I haven't been able to keep my page updated. Hopefully, I'll get to change that soon:)

Anyway, enough complaining about myspace. I just signed another contract with Ellora's Cave:) It's for a book called Fate's Embrace. It's got a sexy wizard and a wicked hot werewolf. And right smack in the middle? Well, we've got a witch who had no idea this is where she'd end up.

After I submitted Fate's Embrace (before I got the new contract) I also submitted a new work to New Concepts Publishing. It's called Three Days of Night. It's a futuristic paranormal. It takes place 300 years in the future when vampires are an endangered species.

Like I said, busy, busy, busy. Once again, I apologize to those of you who have been waiting on a message. Most of the time that feature does not load on myspace no matter how hard I try. But I love hearing from readers and I thank you so much for taking the time to write to me.

Well, I've started to ramble. Guess I'm off to watch some of The Shield. Is it just me or is Vic Mackey kinda sexy? lol

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

Today I decided to participate in the Thursday Thirteen for the very first time:) Since I'm new to this, I wasn't sure if I should post on the same topic as other people or just come up with something else. So, I decided to do my own thing and make it fun. This is a list of thirteen comic book characters that I would have sex with if given the chance. LOL

Yes, I'm a nerd. Go ahead and laugh. Btw, the order they're listed in is not necessarily how I'd pick 'em. hahahaha

1. The Joker - Yes, I know. Go ahead and make fun. He's my own madness magnified and I've always thought that was sexy.

2. Batman - Not sure why, but I gotta have him. I think it might be all the black body armor. Or maybe it's the cape.

3. Wolverine - Hell yeah. All rough and rugged and manly.

4. Mr. Fantastic - I just want to see if everything stretches, okay?

5. Magneto - Yes, he's wicked. But half the time I agree with him. It's not so much his appearance, but his attitude that I find just flat sexy.

6. Iron Man - He's a jerk for sure, but he's a hot one. lol

7. Big Daddy - That's right, I'm talking about the guy from the movie Kick Ass. Besides the fact that he was played by Nicholas Cage, I think the character was kinda hot. I know some would argue that this isn't a real superhero, blah, blah, blah. But, it's my list and I want Big Daddy on it. So, HA!

8. Dare Devil - Loving that tight red suit:)

9. Hell Boy - Seriously, there's just something about him. I love his attitude too.

10. Blade - If he's just like Wesley Snipes, need I say more?

11. Beast - This is the blue guy from X-Men. Once again, it's mostly his mind I'm attracted to. I'd always have someone to talk to. I also don't mind all the hair. lol

12. Night Owl - I know he's from Watchmen and that's a graphic novel, not a comic. Get over it, he goes on the list too. lol

13. Jonah Hex - That's right, the face doesn't bother me. But, he'd have to be the Josh Brolin incarnation:) That man is sexy as hell, even with half a face.

Now that everyone's had a good laugh, care to participate? Blog your own Thursday Thirteen and leave me a link in the comments:)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How about a little Breakfast by the Sea?

Jekyll Island is on Red Alert: These Tough and Sexy Operatives Will Leave the Island Forever Changed

On rare occasions, a writer will pen something they can’t seem to leave behind after they type out the ending. Breakfast by the Sea is one of those books. Jeff Jacobsen, the lead Alpha-male hero in the novel is forever embedded in my mind. The story, the characters, and the setting will remain in my head for years to come.

When writing a ménage romance with more than two heroes, I tend to lean toward one of these fellows right from the start, but after reviewing my notes for the novel, I never thought this would be an obstacle in this particular novel and for various reasons.

When the characters were developed, I fell in love with each of these men, feeling like they were the boys next door. These operatives were cowboys with plenty of heart. They were willing to take up arms and fight for what they believe in and more than willing to die for the person they were standing beside, especially when one of their own, a brother more than a friend, counted on them for their protection.

As much as I tried to keep Jeff Jacobsen on common ground with the others, he kept pressing his way to the forefront and mainly because there was so much story to tell about his past; too much to reveal and a lot of layers to uncover. The man behind the operative chased the demons he desperately needed to overcome and once Paige revealed her place in his life, I was toast. Jeff was mine.

Even though Jeff Jacobsen emerged as the leading hero, Callan O’Bree won over several beta readers from the start. He was noted as the perfect Irishman—handsome, charming, and full of mischief. Miles is said to be intelligent with a dry sense of humor certain to win over his own crowd. As for Adam, our fearless Super-Ops leader, he has a definite fan club for various reasons. I can’t reveal those without giving away a few spoilers.

In the end, I think readers will be very surprised at the turn of events between Paige Lambert, our heroine, and Connor, one of the heroes who could’ve easily emerged as our leading man. The way the tables turn between Connor and Paige is one of my favorite parts in the story. I think you’ll see the underlying significance of their relationship and agree, the final scene between Paige and Connor lays the groundwork for an incredibly sweet happy ending.

I’m proud of Breakfast by the Sea and hope you’ll consider purchasing this book while it’s on sale at a tremendous 15% savings. I’m anxious to introduce ‘my boys’ to you and hope you’ll love them as much as I do. Breakfast by the Sea is available today at Siren-Bookstrand.

Destiny Blaine/Natalie Acres



Natalie Acres is one of the pseudonyms for Destiny Blaine. Natalie’s books Sex Party, Sex Games, and Cowboy Boots and Untamed Hearts became the #1 Best Selling Erotica and #1 Best Selling Western books on Amazon soon after their initial release dates . Destiny Blaine’s western ménage books Domination Plantation (Aspen Mountain Press) and A Matter Among Four (Siren Publishing) have captured and claimed best selling spots on various third party retailers. Destiny Blaine is also credited for being one of the first authors of sports romance. Her sports romance books are available now at Siren-Bookstrand.

©2010 Destiny Blaine

Blurb for Breakfast by the Sea:

A beautiful woman with a checkered past runs a legitimate bed and breakfast on Jekyll Island. Several young men posing as cowboys move in Breakfast by the Sea and things become chaotic right from the start when the oceanfront B&B turns into a command center for a very determined group of special Super-Op Forces.
Pursuing a man known as the King of Hearts, five tough operatives fall for a woman they’re supposed to eliminate. When the team discovers Paige Lambert is in fact the Queen of Hearts, they can’t ignore their handler’s orders. Is the bed and breakfast owner destined to die for her past crimes or will she end up under the protective custody of the men hired to kill her?

He felt like he’d just laid eyes on her for the first time. He started at her chin, noticing the way the dark brown hair curved under her jaw, a lock of hair so delicate but there nonetheless, like it was clinging for dear life. Was that what Paige was doing? Was she frightened? Was she running scared?

His gaze traveled down her long, slender neck. He admired how she held her head high, the structure of her slender collarbone leading to a bare chest with plenty for a man to enjoy. Before he indulged too much, Paige knelt down and retrieved her clothes, shrugging into a sports bra, one she had to yank over those full mounds in order to secure them.

Damn. She was right. Snapping that neck of hers would be a terrible waste.
That’s when his mouth watered. Why hadn’t he gawked when she’d been topless? And why did he find her sexy as all fucking hell right then?

Her flat stomach made him itch. He’d love to kiss around her sunken belly button and insinuate a slow sex act, make her arch for him, beg him for more.

Finally, he studied the band of her shorts. What he’d give to lick and tease his way a little lower, strip away those shorts and show her what she’d been missing. Maybe in her body, he’d find what he’d been looking for all along. Perhaps he needed to fuck a woman he wasn’t later expected to kill. Then again, he couldn’t be so sure that order wouldn’t come.

Stop thinking!

“Is something wrong?” she asked, batting her eyelashes.

“No,” he replied, storming ahead of her. Suddenly, he wondered why she followed him then when she hadn’t trailed behind him before. He stopped, turned around, and shook his finger again. “Don’t you dare run. I’d like to have breakfast before we do that again.”

“Okay,” she said, catching up and walking beside him. “Want to answer my question now?”

“Which one?”

“How can you keep up with me?”

“Wouldn’t you like to know,” he growled.

“I’m asking.”

“I’m in great shape.”

“I can tell.”
Jeff stopped at the bottom of the steps. “Is that you coming on to me?”

She sashayed by him. “No, Jeff. That was me trying to figure out how I can outrun you next time.”

“There won’t be a next time,” he told her, grabbing her from behind and slamming her against the steps, bracing her back with his large hands.

His breath matched hers. The move knocked the wind out of both of them.

“Now what?”

“I’m not going to kiss you,” he said, thinking he wouldn’t put up much of a fight if she laid one on him.

She moistened her lips. “I didn’t think so,” she whispered, arching her neck. “What if I kiss you?”

“Is that what you’re planning to do? You have the rest of these guys by the balls, and since I’m not turning tricks to taste the pudding, what ’cha gonna do, darlin’, offer me a spoon?”

“I don’t understand your riddles,” she stated flatly, licking those full, enticing lips once more.

“Let me give you a warning. I’m the real thing, sweetheart. I’m in Jekyll Island to work. It’s something all of us do very well when we don’t have a distraction. Now, since I’ve been assigned to you for the time being, I’m setting you straight. You’ll do what I tell you, and you’ll do it with a wide smile to boot. Understand?”

“Or you’ll what?”

“I told you what I’d do. If you want to see how much I enjoy skinny-dipping, pull one of your stunts again. I’ll drag you into that ocean and make sure every tourist within ten miles hears you when you scream.”

“I already heard the guys talking. You wouldn’t rape me,” she said, narrowing her gaze and proving then that she wasn’t so sure.

“Rape? Hell, no. You’ll respond to me like a bitch in heat. I have a way about me.”

“Really? Who would’ve thought?” she asked diabolically, moving her lips to his ear. “Who can I ask to verify this? Hmm? Have you left any of your past lovers alive? Because if you have, I’d love to give them a call and invite them to join me for tea.”

Buy Link: http://www.bookstrand.com/breakfast-by-the-sea