What Would Kelly Wear?

New Year’s Eve is tomorrow and I can’t help but wonder what Kelly Quinn would wear to ring in the new year. I have a few options, many I’m confident she’d love, pinned on my Pinterest board, Little Black Dresses. I’m not going to lie, I love the research for this series.

Check out my Pinterest board and here’s a snippet from MURDER WEARS A LITTLE BLACK DRESS between Kelly and her friend, Julie about the recent turn of events at the shop. Julie is trying to help Kelly see the bright side. Not sure if that’s working out.

Kelly may be getting all dressed up for New Year’s Eve but I’ll be in my pajamas. Happy New Year!

Chocolate-Walnut Biscotti

I’m in the final stages of my Christmas cookie baking. Just a few more to bake and then I can package up the cookie tins and make my deliveries. 🙂 This past weekend the Cozy Mystery Crew held it’s first Virtual Cookie Exchange and I shared a recipe and also posted a few photos of my baking in progress and I had a request for this recipe so here it is.

Chocolate Walnut Biscotti

I love biscotti. And there’s nothing like homemade biscotti. Nope. This cookie I dip into a pool of bittersweet chocolate and then when it’s hardened, I dip it into my coffee or tea and it’s heaven!!!

If you decide to make this recipe, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Chocolate-Walnut Biscotti
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1¼ cups blanched whole almonds, lightly toasted & coarsely chopped *
  • Chocolate coating:
  • 1 lb. Bittersweet chocolate
Instructions
  1. *To roast almonds, position a rack int he center of the oven & preheat to 350 degrees. Spread almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet & roast for 8-10 minutes, shaking the pan 2 or 3 times. Keep an eye on the almonds, they can overcook quickly.
  2. For the cookies:
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. In a mixing bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt & cinnamon until blended. Add the butter and beat until well combined.
  5. In a small bowl whisk together the almond extract & the eggs. At low-speed beat in the egg mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and stir in almonds.
  6. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface & divide into thirds. With lightly floured hands gently roll each third into a 10-inch long log.
  7. Carefully place the logs onto baking sheets. I always use silicone sheets for lining my cokie sheets. Flatten each slightly with the heel of your hand to a width of 2½ inches.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes, until the logs start to brown & bounce back when gently pressed with a finger. Set the cookie sheet on a wire rack & cool the logs for 10 minutes.
  9. With a long metal spatula, carefully transfer the logs to a cutting surface. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the logs on the diagonal into equal thick slices. Place the biscotti, cut side down on a baking sheet.
  10. Bake an additional 5 minutes on each side. Be careful not to overbake. Transfer the biscotti to wire racks and cool completely.
  11. Coating biscotti in chocolate:
  12. Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler.
  13. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Dip one end of each biscotti into the melted chocolate. Place the biscotti onto the paper-lined sheet. Let the biscotti stand at room temp for one hour to set the chocolate. Store between layers of waxed paper in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
  14. Yields about 36 cookies depending on wide you slice them.

 

 

 

24 Days of Christmas cookies days 1-7

Happy Fri-yay!!!

Today I’m going to do a quick round-up of the cookies I’ve shared on my Facebook author page. During my Coffee & Chat post earlier this week I mentioned my 24 Days of Christmas Cookies. From the first of the month right up to the twenty-fourth I’ll be sharing a cookie recipe from a food blog. I thought it would be fun to discover some new cookies and new food blogs. I know not all of my friends are on Facebook so each week I’ll recap the recipes I’ve shared with links to them.

Day 1 –
Let’s begin with Orange-Cranberry Shortbread cookies from Recipes From a Pantry. What part of the cookie name doesn’t sound delicious?
Day 2 –
Sugar Swirl Cookies from A Bride on a Budget. Doesn’t that sound like a fun cookie?
Day 3 –
Gingerbread Yule Log Cookies from Food Meanderings.Quite a mouthful but this cookie was featured in Taste of Home Magazine’s special Collectors Edition: The Ultimate Cookie Swap, so it’ a tasty mouthful.
Day 4 –
Christmas Sprinkle Cookies from The Olive Blogger. Who doesn’t love a sprinkle cookie?
Day 5 –
Candy Cane Kiss Cookies from Crayons and Cravings. This little cookie will make you smile.
Day 6 –
Holy Cannoli Cookies from the Snappy Gourmet. We’ve already established I love a cute name for a cookie and this one has me dying to bake these cookies.
Day 7 –
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies form Moore or Less Cooking.I love a good crinkle cookie and this one with a caramel filling has my full attention.

Ready to bake yet? I know I am. 🙂

Happy Baking!

 

Coffee & Chat #22

Happy December! While I’m not a big fan of “wow, didn’t (insert the month) fly by” because time does move forward at a steady clip, I will admit November seemed to be over in a blink of an eye and I’m not sure why. October seemed very long, maybe it was because we had unusually warm days and summer weather had stretched way into September (we usually have the warmth but not the high humidity here) that when October didn’t turn cool instantly it just felt like a 60 day month. Then November came and all of a sudden it was Thanksgiving. Maybe it’s also because of my schedule now. I don’t have the usual mile-markers I had when I worked outside of the home for someone else. You know, office chatter about menu planning, traveling and the vacation schedule.

Right now I’m in the middle of projects. Food Blogger #3 has been officially accepted by my editor (more on that in my upcoming newsletter), SILENCED IN SEQUINS (Resale Boutique book #2) is complete and ready to go off to my critique partner and I’m preparing for the release of MURDER WEARS A LITTLE BLACK DRESS. I couldn’t resist making the cover my screen saver. I absolutely love the cover.

I’m preparing for MURDER WEARS A LITTLE BLACK DRESS blog tour. There are interview questions for me to answer and I need to print out the schedule so I know where I’ll be each day, well, virtually. 🙂

dog, Shih-Tzu, During my last Coffee & Chat I shared how Billy was recovering from his self-inflicted wound behind his ear. He’d scratched too hard and broke open a pocket of fluid (not sure what it’s officially called). It was a mess and he needed to wear a collar and go on antibiotics. Well, he got all better. Yes!!! And it was just in time for Susie to go to the vet. Yep. She had a kidney infection. We’re on the second round of antibiotics for it and she’s doing better. Fingers-crossed we’ll go into the new year all healthy.

But before we start talking about 2019, we have a few more weeks left in 2018 and during the month of December my mind wanders to baking. Baking cookies specifically. I love, love, love baking cookies but this year I am strapped for time. Even though Food Blogger #3 has been officially accepted by my publisher, I still need to finalize the recipes in the book by the beginning of January so that baking takes priority over everything else. And besides the work-related baking, I have writing to do so I’m going to be short on time this year. I’m sure I’ll get a few cookies baked, but it won’t be like other years. While I’m bummed about it, there’s not much I can do about it.

While I won’t be baking as much doesn’t mean I won’t be obsessing about Christmas cookies. And to take my obsession to a whole new level, I’ll be sharing cookie recipes from various food bloggers on my Facebook author page. If you’re not on Facebook, no worries. I’ll be doing a round-up post right here each week leading up to the last day of the 24 Days of Christmas Cookies, December 24th.

I think I’m going to wrap this up because now I want a cookie (or two) and I need to get back to writing. Thanks so much for visiting today and please drop in a comment. Let me know if you love to bake cookies this time of the year or if you leave the baking to someone else in your family.

P.S. If you haven’t subscribed to my newsletter please consider doing so. In the December newsletter I’ll be sharing the good news about Food Blogger #3 and it’s title!

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On My Desk

There’s a lot on my desk right now but what’s not on my desk are the line edits for Food Blogger book #3 and that’s because they’re done! WooHoo! I’m so excited (can you tell?) that I’ve gone thorugh the pages by editor sent back (mostly missing words and commas, freakin’ commas) and also his notes in the email he sent have been addressed. So happy. Really, really happy. Now I can focus on other writing stuff. Like getting my ducks in a row for the January release of MURDER WEARS A LITTLE BLACK DRESS, finalize the recipes going into Food Blogger #3, tidy up SILENCED IN SEQUINS for my critique partner, brainstorm some new ideas and begin work on my December newsletter. Phew.

But before any of that happens, there were some errands I needed to run. One stop was CVS to pick up some Christmas cards and Billy’s prescription. While I was there I picked up a few other things to and right now they’re on my desk waiting for me to take a break.

I got the current issue of Marie Claire. I love, love, love magazines. I think I got hookd on them when I was a kid and my mom and me would stop at the corner newsstand and she’d buy the tabloid magazines like Rona Barrett’s Hollywood. And, oh, Tiger Beat for me. Yeah, I definitely got hooked on magazines. Eventually my interest drifted from teen hearthrobs to fashion magazines and even to this day I’m all about the fashion magazine. Especially all the September issues. Which by the way, Kelly in MURDER WEARS A LITTLE BLACK DRESS, is obsessed with.

While I waited for Billy’s prescription I browsed the cosmetics section. Okay, full disclosure, I knew how that “browsing” was going to turn out. A little known fact about me is that I’m a beauty junkie. I love cosmetics and skincare. I’ve been obsessed about skincare since I was a teenager. When I had the typical teenage breakouts, I was fortunate enough to be able to go an cosmetologist. Her name was Simone France and she taught me the importance of having a good skincare routine. The monthly facials did wonders for my breakouts and instilled the value of taking care of my skin. Then when I was finishing up at fashion school, I got a job in the cosmetic buying office at Macy’s. Talk about heaven! That’s probably the only job I ever truly missed.

So when I’m let loose in a cosmetics department, whether it’s at a local drugstore or large department store or good Lord, a webite, I’m bound to leave with something. And I did!

I picked up a highlighter palette from L’Oreal, True Match Lumi Glow. I haven’t tried this before so I’m looking forward to testing it.  There were a few other True Match products I was interested in but I opted to show restraint. But, I did need some new eyeshadows I was drawn to Wet n Wild’s Walking on Eggshells. For less than five dollars and a color palette is definitely me, I added it to my cart.

But before I can indulge in reading my new magazine, there are some admin tasks to take care of. And then there’s Billy. He’s barking and that means he’s lost again in the house. I better go get the little guy and settle him back on his bed.

I’ve shared a little glimpse of what’s on my desk. What’s on yours?

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