FUN RECIPES TO FOLLOW
Skip over my drivel (albeit insightful and downright entertaining,) if you prefer, but DO NOT pass up on the opportunity to sample the tasty delights Linda Joyce has in store for us. Like these luscious cupcakes..yummy!
Summer Solstice–the longest day of the year. More sunshine and happiness for everyone. Everyone who isn’t above the Arctic Circle that is. Folks in my old stomping grounds of Barrow, Alaska have been enjoying twenty-four hour daylight since mid-May and will continue to do so until August. The summer solstice there means Nalukataq–the blanket toss–celebrations of a successful whaling season. It means the ice that has covered the Arctic Ocean for months and months will soon break away from shore and folks can head out to their fish camps.
Here in my new home in the Ozarks, it means a party on the deck, overlooking the pond where the ducks swim merrily. I kind of miss frozen bodies of water and summers where the temperatures soar to 60 degrees–for an hour or two at a time.
I do have to say that this summer solstice is particularly fun. The brilliant Linda Joyce has worked with several authors to create a summer solstice blog hop. Not only will you get to meet tons of great authors, you’ll find the ingredients to numerous, mouth-watering recipes.
I think I’m going to start with Kathy L Wheeler’s Pomegranate Martini–trust me, Kathy won’t steer you wrong on booze, basketball or books.
I’m dying to try Gina Hooten Popp’s kolaches and have you ever known me to turn down an after-dinner cocktail or any cocktail for that matter? So, some of Sandra Sookoo’s After Dinner Iced Coffee for me, please.
Visit Linda’s blog for the ingredients for each recipe, as well as other tantalizing tidbits, (my tidbit appears below the menu) such as book covers and tasty morsels about each author whose name appears on the menu below. Her blog also has links to each author’s blog or website where you can find additional details about the author and her book AND the full recipe. Here’s Linda Joyce’s blog link: http://lindajoycecontemplates.wordpress.com/
Blackberry Gin and Tonic by J.K. O’Hanlon –Three Ingredient Cocktails
Pomegranate Martini by Kathy L Wheeler – Quotable
Japanese Chicken Wings by Jan Morrill –The Red Kimono
Sweet & Sour Hawaiian Meatballs by Vonnie Davis – Rain Is A Love Song
Easy Stuffed Mushrooms by Alicia Dean – Liberty Awakened (Isle of Fangs, Book 1)
7 Layer Salad by AJ Nuest – She’s Got Dibs
Mandarin Orange & Spinach Salad by Barbara Barrett – And He Cooks Too
Pesto Chicken by Nancy Parra – Gluten for Punishment
Taquitos by Calisa Rhose – Risk Factors
Linda’s Summer Shrimp Boil by Linda Joyce – Bayou Born
Oven Fried Peach Chicken Juli D. Revezzo – The Artist’s Inheritance
Betty’s Nutty Pork Chops by Betty Bolte – Hometown Heroines
Kolaches by Gina Hooten Popp – The Storm After
Chocolate-Cherry-Coconut Cupcakes by Luna Zega – Tokyo Tease
Fruit Compote by Brenda Sparks – A Midsummer Night’s Demon
After Dinner Drinks
After Dinner Iced Coffee by Sandra Sookoo – Winging It
Luna’s Chocolate-Cherry-Coconut Cupcakes:
Even if you don’t make the entire recipe, you HAVE to make the frosting. It is by far the best frosting I’ve ever tasted. I just wish I had invented it AND it’s easy peasy.
Folks, these are some decadent cupcakes.
1 package 12 oz white chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter cubed
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 packages (1.9 ounce each) Mounds bars
1/2 semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening
24 maraschino cherries, well drained
3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons coarse sugar
1. For ganache, place white chocolate chips and butter in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over the chips, whisk until smooth. Stir in coconut extract. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
2. In a large bowl, beat the pie filling, buttermilk, and eggs until well blended. Combine flour sugar and cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually beat into pie fill mixture until blended.
3. Fill paper-lined muffin cups one-third full. Cut candy bars in half; place half a candy bar in center of each cupcake. Cover each with 2 tablespoonfuls of batter.
4. Bake at 375 for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
5. Meanwhile, in a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Dip cherries in chocolate mixture, allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed-paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until set.
6. Remove ganache from refrigerator; gradually beat in powdered sugar until frosting is light and fluffy. Pipe over cupcakes, sprinkle with coarse sugar. Garnish with chocolate-covered cherries.
Passion in the Orient…
All-American girl next door, Natalie, jumped at the chance to see the world when offered a job in exotic Japan. Reality, however, proves much harsher than her many dreams…until her co-worker–and the star of her every fantasy–turns up the heat. Kentaro steps behind her on their morning commute, turning the crowded train ride into a journey of sensuality. With every sway and turn, the sexy Asian god’s touch tortures and teases, arousing her with the speed of the bullet train. But this is only the beginning. Kentaro unlocks a world of exotic pleasures surpassing Natalie’s dreams.
“How’d it go with the guy you work with?” Sanchez asked.
“He still hasn’t really talked to me but . . .well . . . he kind of touched me on the train.”
“He touched you?” He bristled as if ready to defend my honor, which I had to admit warmed my heart a little. Before he worked himself into a rage, he asked. “Touched you, how?”
Too embarrassed to go into details, I skimmed over our interactions. “Well, he stood behind me and touched my stomach.” My cheeks flamed. “And well, today, he pulled me against him.”
“What do you mean?”
I raised my eyebrows hoping he’d get the gist of our exchange, but he gave no indication of comprehension. “You know…he pulled me against him so my well…backside…was against his front side.”
“Was he hard?”
The flames burning my face and scorched their way to my scalp. I nodded.
“Hot damn, Natalie. I think the guy noticed you!”
“He told me to wear a skirt tomorrow. What should I do?”
He grinned. “You should wear a skirt.”
“Therein lies the rub.”
He looked at me like I was insane. “I’m guessing he means something short and sexy.”
“Hell yeah.” Another grin, bordering on lecherous.
“I don’t have anything like that,” I explained.
“Let me see.” He stood, grabbed his wine and headed toward my bedroom.
Stumbling over myself, I finally gained my balance and hurried after him. While I wanted a man in my bedroom, one searching my closet wasn’t what I had in mind.
“Good God, woman.” Sanchez glanced at my clothes. “Do you work in a morgue?”
The scraping sound of hangers sliding across metal filled the room. “Brown, gray, black, oh, more brown. Look at this, it’s . . . nice.” He held up a gray cardigan sweater.