Coffee & Chat #21

Happy Wednesday! It’s not going to come as a surprise that our weather here in Connecticut has been hot, humid and rainy. The Holy Grail for feeling miserable. I’m counting down to September 22nd, the first day of fall! Considering how the summer has been it’ll probably be 90 degrees with 70 percent humidity. But it’ll be fall.

I missed last week’s Coffee & Chat because I was taking care of my patient, Billy. We ended up at the vet’s office yet again. But he’s on the mend and going for a follow-up on Friday. I’d really love to stay away from the vet’s office for one month. I’m trying to get Billy to go with me on that idea. Just 30 days without visiting the vet. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

By Saturday he was much better, though he’s still wearing the cone to keep from scratching behind his ear, and I was able to go out to attend our niece’s baby shower. We left for New Jersey and arrived with a few minutes to spare. The weather was horrible on the drive down. But since we were inside and with family celebrating the upcoming arrival of our new nephew, the afternoon was lovely.  Along with the baby gifts for my niece, I baked her a batch of her favorite Double Chocolate Crescent cookies. I also love these cookies and usually only bake them at Christmas but I wanted to spoil our niece a little. If you’d like to bake these cookies you’ll find the recipe here.

Our neice wasn’t the only one to leave with new clothes for her baby. My sister-in-law, Alice, gave me the cutest little outfit for Susie (she also gave me one for Billy and I’ll be sharing that pic soon). The shirt pretty much sums up my little diva. She’s little and totally fabuous. I can’t wait to put the bows in her hair. Though, since her head is so tiny probably only one will fit. 🙂

I’ll wrap up this post with a puppy photo. Last week I visited my friend, Carolyn, to play with puppies. Her dog, Penny, had a litter of puppies six weeks ago and they are so precious. And full of energy! I was there for an hour playing with them and I was exhausted. I hope to go back next week for another puppy fix. Can you blame me? Look at the face of the pup dubbed Pippa.

Thanks so much for visiting with me today. I’m currently at work polishing Food Blogger book #3. Copyedits for book #2, THE HIDDEN CORPSE, have arrived and I’ll tackle them next week. Have a great day!

Debra

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Friday Reads

Happy Friday! Not much has changed with the weather since my last Friday Reads post. The weather pattern is in a rut – hot, humid, rainy. Ugh. I got no other words for it. So my plan for the weekend is again to stay inside with the A/C and read.

By day, Florrie Fox manages Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. By night, she creates her own intricately detailed coloring books for adults, filling the pages with objects that catch her eye. There’s plenty of inspiration in her new apartment—a beautiful carriage house belonging to Professor John Maxwell, Florrie’s boss. He offers the property to Florrie rent-free with one condition—she must move in immediately to prevent his covetous sister and nephew from trying to claim it.

When the professor’s nephew, Delbert, arrives, he proves just as sketchy as Florrie feared. But the following morning, Delbert has vanished. It’s not until she visits the third floor of the store that Florrie makes a tragic discovery—there’s a trap door in the landing, and a dead Delbert inside. The esteemed Professor Maxwell is an obvious suspect, but Florrie is certain this case isn’t so black and white. Doodling clues, she begins to consider other colorful characters on the scene, all with a motive for murder. With a killer drawing closer, Florrie will need to think outside the lines . . . before death makes his mark again.

I am enjoying this book so far. Florrie is charming and the cast of characters surrounding her are very interesting individuals. I’m quite fond of Mr. DuBois, Professor Maxwell’s butler. Yes, a butler!

What are you plans for the weekend? What book are you currently reading?

Coffee & Chat #20

Happy Wednesday! We’ve had nice weather for the past few days and now it’s all downhill – back to high levels of humidity. Not gonna lie, I’m counting down the days until fall. Beautiful, cool, crisp fall. The photo below makes me very happy.

While we wait for fall to arrive, there are some brand-spanking new cozy mystery releases from my friends and fellow Cozy Mystery Crew authors. Shari Randall’s AGAINST THE CLAW is the second book in her Lobster Shack Mystery series. MIDNIGHT SNACKS ARE MURDER is the second book in the Poppy McAllister Mystery series. If you’re looking for some end of summer reading here are two really good options.

 

I’m finishing up THE SUBWAY GIRLS. I shared that read with you a couple of weeks ago in this post. I’ve been trying to carve out reading time in the evening but I’m not always successful. Another thing I’m trying is using my Fitbit Alta HR again. I’ve been remiss about wearing it primarily because it’s been so hot and I don’t like wearing any jewelry or a watch. Yuck. I feel like I’m melting and then to have jewelry on just makes it feel worse. My gold stud earrings have become my go-to everyday. But, I do feel I need the reminder of the Fitbit to make sure I get up and move. I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to do that. I never had a problem in my old day job. But now? I get really into what I’m writing and I don’t want to leave, to miss what happens next or forget how I want to rearrange the sentence if I happen to be editing.

Anyway, I started wearing my Fitbit again on Saturday and on Sunday I selected a solo challenge, Vernal Falls Trail. It’s 15,000 steps and I completed it early Tuesday morning. Along the way, I was sent notifications of photos of th trail to mark the landmarks I would be passing if I actually was walking the trail. When I finished the trail I got a badge from Fitbit. Cool, right? It was fun and different. I’ll definitely do another challenge.

From My Desk:

I’m moving forward on book 3 in the Food Blogger series. It’s due to my editor November 1st. This part of the process is slow and at times seems neverending but I know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and it includes two little words – the end. Yeah, this writer’s favorite phrase. I should be done with the manuscript at the end of this month.

One question authors get frequently is whether or not we work on multiple projects at the same time. I do. But I’m not writing two or more books at the same time. Each project is in a different phase. Along with doing this final pass through on book 3, I’m brainstorming a new book idea. Next week I’ll share the two new books on plotting I’m using.

Thanks so much for visiting with me today. It’s kind of dreary here right now with rain and of course, humidity. A good day to stay inside and write. What are you up today? Let me know in the comment section.

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Double Chocolate Crescent Cookies

Merry Christmas in July!!!

Today is July 25th and I thought I’d bring a little merriment to the day and share a cookie recipe I bake at Christmas. I bake several types of cookies for Christmas but this one is a favorite.

I’m not going to waste time. It’s like a zillion degrees today with matching humidity so I’m going to get right to the recipe.

What’s your favorite holiday cookie? Stay cool & bake on!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Double Chocolate Crescent Cookies
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cup flour
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ pound butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup mini (or regular) semi-sweet chips
  • confectioners' sugar for dredging
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, cocoa, and salt.
  3. With an electric mixer set at medium speed, beat butter and sugar until fluffy and light in color. Beat in vanilla and egg until well combined. Reduce speed and beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Don't worry if the dough seems a little crumbly or dry. Work the dough gently with your hands to bring it together into a ball and then gently press down so it's flattened and easy to start forming balls.
  5. Shape dough into approximately 1¼ inch balls (I use a tablespoon measure for this part). Then roll the ball into a log about 3 inches long and taper the ends.
  6. Bend each log into a crescent shape (for uniform crescent shapes, use a donut cutter, gently shaping the log inside the cutter and remove the cookie cutter).
  7. Place cookies about 2 inches apart on a prepared baking sheet (either with parchment or silicone baking sheet) and bake until the edges are set but still soft, about 10-13 minutes.
  8. Carefully remove from the cookie sheet and immediately dredge in confectioners' sugar. If not handled carefully they will break. Let cool completely before dredging them a second time in confectioners' sugar so that they are completely coated.
  9. Depending on how uniform in size the cookies are you can get two dozen cookies.

 

 

 

Friday Reads

Happy Friday! The weekend is just a few hours away and here in Connecticut we’re going to get another slap of humidity and rain for an extended duration, like all the way to next Thursday at last check. That’s way too long for oppressive humidity. Way too long. So my big plans for the weekend includes air conditioning and reading.

The premise of this book captured my imagination and interest. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book that wasn’t a mystery or suspense. So immersing myself in this book has been a welcomed break from my usual reading. And this is the first book I’ve read that takes place in two eras – 1949 and present day.

I’m cheering for Charlotte, she’s standing up against her parents because she wants to do something they oppose. She’s determined to make a career for herself in advertising when all she really can expect to be is a typist, maybe a secretary if she gets lucky. Olivia is trying to save her job at the upstart advertising agency she joined after they lost an major account.

Their lives will intersect and I’m almost at that point in the book. Maybe instead of bemoaning the impending weather I should be grateful for the opportunity to stay inside curled up with this book.

What are you reading this weekend?