Winter Garden contest!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Welcome to winter! I know it hasn't officially begun yet, and as I look out my window onto the Pacific Northwest, all I see is rain, rain, and more rain, but I know that the seasons are changing, and for the first time in forever, I actually have a book coming out that is set in the winter.
Thanks so much to friend Jill Marie Landis for this beautiful, gorgeous photograph of winter. I hate to taunt you all, but you'll know how perfect this picture is once you get a chance to read Winter Garden. Thanks also to the Fireflies, who never fail to come up with great ideas for contests.
So here it is: Winter Memories. That's what we're going to be writing about for the upcoming contest. There will be TWO winners and they will be announced at the end of the year. So put your thinking caps on, remember a winter memory and start writing. For all you firefly early birds, go ahead and send your entries through the website, but I'll put out the official contest rules, etc. by Friday.
Also, a big congratulations to Kimberly Fisk, who got a FABULOUS review on her first book, Lake Magic. If you ask her nicely, I'm sure she'll post it. I would, but of course, I don't know how. :)
I can't say aloha to sign out on this sad and gray day. So I'll go with...
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
PS: That reminds me. I haven't gotten enough Thanksgiving menus on the blog, so come on ladies, I want to expand my offerings. So far, here's what I'm serving this year:
Turkey with gravy
cranberry sauce
mashed potatoes
sweet potato gnocchi with maple/cinnamon brown butter sauce
broccoli casserole--lots of cheese and breadcrumbs
green beans with shallots and garlic
homemade buttermilk biscuits
stuffing/dressing (sausage, apple, etc).
and of course, the pies.
I'm looking for more ideas, so let me know...


Anonymous Michelle said...

Did I ever tell you you're a genius? I was afraid at first to read True Colors, afraid it would be a disappointment after the stellar Firefly Lane... How silly! We all know how much I loved that book.

Now, I read the prologue for Winter Garden. Chills, I tell you, absolute chills...

And Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Everyone- I discovered a drink made with Goldschlager, sprite and grenadine called Arkansas Avalanche! PERFECT Christmas-y drink.

Let the celebrations begin!

November 17, 2009 at 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy Moly Woman, are you cooking all of this by yourself? or do you have any help? If you cook as good as you write, my gf and I are packing are suitcases from Vancouver, B.C. & heading to your front door ( rain or shine or snow). LOL, your fans in Vancouver, B.C. Canada.

Happy Thanksgiving

November 18, 2009 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger Patricia T. said...


Looked at your Thanksgiving menu to see what I might offer. A favorite tradition has always been my mother's frozen Waldorf Salad. She passed last March from cancer and I've been desperate to find a receipe similar to hers.

1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple
1 Cup of sugar
2 eggs, beaten
Dash of salt
1 Cup of Chopped celery
2 medium red appled, chopped
1/2 Cup red seedless grapes
1 Cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 Cup of heavy whipping cream, whipped

Directions: Drain pineapple, reserving the juice. Set the pineapple aside. In a saucepan, combine juice with sugar, eggs and salt. Cook stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until slightly thickened. Remove from heat; cool. Stir in pineapple, celery, apples, grapes and walnuts/pecans. Fold in whipped cream.

You can pour into a 9-in square pan. Cover and freeze until firm. Take out about 10-15 min before cutting. It serves 12.

Over the years my mother got clever and used to spoon the mixture into foil/paper cupcake holders in a cupcake tin and then froze them. Once frozen she covered them with foil or a large zip lock. This recipe can be made in advance. They last a long time for in the freezer.

Also have the best Minestrone soup
receipe for left over turkey, if you're interested.

Happy cooking.


November 18, 2009 at 3:11 PM  
Anonymous Emily said...

Are you making your sweet potato gnocchi and if so will you share your recipe!?

November 18, 2009 at 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Erin said...

I'm sorry it's so gray there!! I miss it though, I used to live in Oregon but we moved to sunny hot Arizona. I wasn't made for or born in the heat. I'm a winter child :) born in the midst of February. If I had the choice I'd escape up there, there was like no rain this year :(.
Can't wait for Winter Garden to come out and I'm awaiting the next trip to Target to get True Colors!! Happy Holidays and have a great Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!

November 18, 2009 at 7:38 PM  
Blogger Kimberly Fisk said...

Kristin, your menu sounds WONDERFUL!!

Michelle--wait until you get your hands on the whole story!!

Patricia, that salad sounds soooo good. I love recipes that are handed down. Just about my whole T-menu are dishes from my mom, grandma, aunts. I always print out my menu and have it taped up in the kitchen so I don't forget anything. (the mind is gone!) Over the years, the kids now refer to dishes like "Where's Grandma's wild rice stuffing?" :) And YES, please share the Minestrone soup recipe!!!

Emily--I'm with you. I want that sweet potato gnocchi recipe.

Erin, I have told the hubby to start building the ark. I'm one of those weird people who love rain but man, oh, man. These last few days have been unbelievable. The dogs are even refusing to go outside.

And YES, Kristin is as fabulous a cook as she is a writer!! You know, we really should encourage her to share some of her recipes. Especially her seafood ones. YUM YUM YUM!!!!!!

November 19, 2009 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger princessapr said...

I just made my cranberry sauce (see the last post or the post before that for the recipe). I doubled the batch and made it two days early and work devoured it. It definitely tasted better after sitting.

I don't think it's right to be a good cook and a good writer. You're only allowed to be good at one thing so as to leave talent for the rest of us. No wonder I'm no good at either! People are hogging talent! I get the inverse talent of reading and eating. :)

November 19, 2009 at 4:38 PM  
Blogger Patricia T. said...

Thanks Kim. Will post my minestrone soup recipe for turkey left overs.

Right now I am heart broken. My father called to tell me a 42-year-old woman I babysat for when she was a child made her transition today after a decade of dealing with breast cancer. She took her personal story and started the Stefanie Spielman Breast Cancer Research Fund at Ohio State University's James Institute. She raised over $6.5 million and was such an inspiration to many thousands of women. She was married to Chris, a former OSU football player, and they have two children. I hadn't realilzed she had a relapse. Please hold her family, mother and three sisters in your prayers.



November 19, 2009 at 11:04 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

April-- where would authors and cooks be without Readers and Eaters?

I'm getting hungry!

I hope everyone here has a fantastic Thanksgiving :)

November 20, 2009 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger Kimberly Fisk said...

Oh, Patricia. I am so very, very sorry. My heart and prayers go out to you and Stefanie's entire family. I HATE cancer. I HATE all these diseases that are robbing so many people of the life they should have. But what an amazing woman. To take her trajedy and create such a positive with her foundation. Just like the amazing woman Kristin has joined with to fight breast cancer.

November 20, 2009 at 3:22 PM  
Blogger princessapr said...

Patricia, I'm so sorry to hear that news. She and her family sound very special.

I actually just compiled my Christmas card list and didn't realize how many the world has lost to cancer until I was erasing names. I took them off the Christmas list, but they're still in my address book. It seems too soon to take them out completely.

But I try to stay grateful that I knew them instead of being overcome by bitterness which is easy to do. I hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving (in the US). Happy Thursday to everyone else!

November 23, 2009 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger Patricia T. said...

Thank you for your kind words. Tomorrow is the memorial and celebratiion of Stefanie's life.
I appreciate your postivie thoughts.

I also lost my mother to cancer last March. The months I spent with were her were so precious. We talked openly as she wasn't afraid, and I helped her understand what was happing both physically and spiritually at the end. I felt like her birthing coach and our time together was my own special service with her. It was such a beautiful sadness.

And, my husband's daughter Sarah, had a bilateral mastectomy at 43, in 2006-- the same age her mother died from breast cancer. Much like my mother she chose not to use words like "battling or fighting" her cancer -- she had cancer and she went about doing everything she could to heal. She is doing very well.

Happy coooking and have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

November 23, 2009 at 11:54 PM  
Blogger Patricia T. said...


Oh my, I originally had "Kimberly and April" on my last entry. For some reason I wasn't logged in and had to cut and paste my entry and somehow dropped your name. Didn't proof it later.

My last message was also intended for you too as a thank you for your support and prayers.


November 24, 2009 at 7:38 AM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Hi everyone! I've been away, and missed my blog friends. My husband and I had a bittersweet weekend trip. Went to SW La., had a wonderful stay in a FABULOUS casino hotel, and enjoyed ourselves to pieces. I didn't even feel 40. Yeah right! HA! Even met up with my childhood best friend that I haven't seen in 25 years. FUN! But, the trip also involved preparing for the move my 91 year old grandmother is making to assisted living this week. We are truly blessed in having found the most incredible facility I've ever seen anywhere. Ever. Anywhere! But, it's still tough to help her adjust to the idea, etc... We came back, as our kiddos can't be away for TGiving. My daughter is working much of this holiday weekend (she is a student working in a hotel spa, so seasonal business is their life). And, my husband's son has a TG birthday, so we are sticking close to home. But, it was nice to get to be there last week. And, I know the rest of my family will care for my precious, precious grandmother, in her move. Please pray for her.

Patricia - I am so sorry for the loss you are having to experience. This week will be tough, but you "sound" like such an amazing person. You'll be the strength for many around you. But, please don't forget to let someone hold you up, when needed. I'll keep you and your friends/family in my thoughts.

I don't have any recipes to share, as we're just doing our normal favorites - - fried turkey, ham, stuffing AND cornbread dressing (house divided, HA), corn pudding, sweet peas, macaroni & cheese, green bean bundles, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce (both jellied, and whole), yeast rolls, and sweet tea. YUM!! I'm hungry.

I am anxious to share my winter memories with you guys. Though, I don't think I qualify for the contest, since I believe I have a pre-read with my name on it from the first Firefly donation. Feels horrible to even accept such a LOVELY PRIZE for something that was so special to me, and not even a second thought in doing. But, I'm not stupid - - if Kristin wants me to have a copy. By gosh, I'm ready for the challenge. HAHA.

Kim - I have been sharing your upcoming pub date with all my lady friends. Can't wait for everyone to get hooked on your talented writing, as we all have with Kristin!

I'll close for now, but hope that everyone has a wonderfuly holiday, and eats more than you think you should. =)

Hugs! Lisa

November 24, 2009 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...


Thanks so much! I'm glad True colors lived up to the expectations set by Firefly Lane. I hope most readers agree with you. And that drink sounds fab.

November 24, 2009 at 5:30 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Patricia--

I am so, so sorry to hear about your friend. The word relapse just sends shivers down my spine. I will definitely be saying prayers for all of those special women in your life. It sounds as if you are a great help to them, and sometimes our prayers is all we can offer. That and the support of our caring and our friendship.

My best hopes are coming your way. And thanks for the salad recipe. I'll definitely give it a try. xoxo

November 24, 2009 at 5:35 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Patricia---one more thing. I don't know if you've had a chance to check out the tribute wall on the site, but there are some really lovely and moving tributes to other women who have lost their battle with breast cancer. I know it's not much, but sometimes just telling the story can be a little bit of healing.

November 24, 2009 at 5:37 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Thanks to everyone for the great and wonderful recipes. I can't wait to try them all. HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!

November 24, 2009 at 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This year we tried Tyler Florence's sweet potatote bannana puree. YUMMY.

November 29, 2009 at 2:44 PM  

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