Thursday, October 22, 2015

Cookbook Giveaway

Releases Nov 1
I'm really excited to announce that my long awaited Too Blessed to be Stressed Cookbook will hit bookstore shelves in a matter of days!

I want you to be as excited as I am, so I'm GIVING AWAY copies!!

If you’ve been following my blog (if not, subscribe now so you won't miss anything), you know there are already contest winners eagerly awaiting the Nov 1 release date for their free copies of the Too Blessed to be Stressed Cookbook

Well guess what? You can be a winner too!

All you have to do is promise you’ll post a review on Goodreads and/or Amazon after you get the Cookbook – I trust you to follow through, of course, BBFF (Blessed Blog Friend Forever) – and drop me an e-mail to that effect. (Click on "e-mail") 

Your name will go into the drawing for SIX happy Cookbook winners, to be announced right here on Monday, Nov 16.

You’ll receive your prize in time to enjoy the awesome Thanksgiving and Christmas dishes, and get a hearty chuckle over the funny holiday stories tucked between recipes like this one:

Chuckle Break: Mystery Guest
From the Too Blessed to be Stressed Cookbook

Don't you just hate it when you overcook your holiday turkey? That shriveled up thigh meat shrinks right up their naked little leg bones till it looks like the bird's wearing high-waters.

One day I was grousing about this very thing to my friend Ruth (who could give Rachel Ray a run for her money in a cook-off), and she suggested I spatchcock my next turkey.

"Um... what?" I asked, thoroughly confused. "Shuttlecock my bird? I don't have a badminton racket big enough to whack a sixteen-pound birdie. Will a tennis racket do?"

"No," she replied, trying to keep a straight face at my ignorance. "Spatchcock. It means remove the backbone and flatten out the turkey so it will cook evenly. The skin turns out crispy and the meat perfect. I won't serve turkey any other way."

I truly thought I was being bamboozled, but when I went online and searched "spatchcock," sure enough there was a video of an aproned man de-backboning a turkey then squashing it flat so the poor thing looked like it flew into the front grill of a semitruck.

So maybe I'll give it a try. And then I can tell everyone we're having a special guest for dinner this Thanksgiving - Alfred Spatchcock. 


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

I'd Rather Eat Oatmeal

Floating restaurant in Thailand
My missionary friends Lilli and Rene just got back from Thailand and in honor of the upcoming release of my Too Blessed to be Stressed Cookbook, entertained Spouse and me with foodie stories for hours.

In Bankok, they encountered floating markets on wide canals that contained little shoppes and restaurants. The restaurants were quite unique.

Get a load of those squid
Ladies in little skiffs below the platform cooked the food on charcoal and propane grills - shrimp, crab, squid, fish - and passed the plates up to the servers.

My friends didn't know the reasons behind this strange arrangement, but we theorized that maybe in case of fire, they could just shove the skiff out onto the water so not to burn down the entire wooden market.

I know that's why kitchens were often built away from the rest of the house in early America; kitchen fires from wood-burning stoves were rather commonplace and spread too quickly to save the rest of the house.

Fried crickets. Yum, right?

But the most memorable food experience of all was when my friends were served fried crickets. Rene said they're crunchy like chips but have a nasty aftertaste.

Oh. My. Salivating. Glands.

Lilli said she preferred to stay away from any foods that might hop, slide, swim, or squirm off her plate. 

All photos by Rene Palacio
Reminded me of the time Spouse and I traveled to Bavaria and picky me couldn't stomach all the pickled foods (I'm squeamish about vinegar). So I lived off instant oatmeal packets I'd snuck into my luggage from home (just add bottled water, and voila - lunch!).

Come to think of it, I lost 5-lbs on that trip. Maybe I should go to Thailand - I could shed that extra 10-lbs I picked up preparing and tweaking and preparing and tweaking recipes for the Too Blessed to be Stressed Cookbook.

So the moral of this story?

Don't become a missionary (or misson'ry as Lilli says in her lovely South African accent) unless you have an open minded palate or a crate of instant oatmeal.   

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Stress-Free Cooking

Look what's hot!  Here's the third video sample of one of the great dishes from my upcoming Too Blessed to be Stressed Cookbook (releasing Nov 1, 2015). Every recipe requires less than 20 minutes hands-on prep time to help decom-stress your life.

You can preorder the cookbook HERE

You're gonna love Cheese-Broccoli Chowder - so easy to make and deliciously rich. Enjoy!