Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Guest: Madeline Iva

The beautiful and charming Madeline Iva is my guest today. She's sharing her own recipe for heart shaped cookies called LINZER HEARTS.

Please be respectful of this personal recipe. If you share it, please be sure to credit the generous Madeline Iva! And if you make these cookies, please share your results with us in the comments!

LINZER HEART COOKIES, image and recipe (c) Madeline Iva
(recipe copyright, Madeline Iva)

I made these cookies for my then-boyfriend now-husband on our first Valentine's Day together. :)
They are delicate and melt in your mouth, so take care when baking.  Surprise! This recipe is vegan. But I swear you won't be able to tell...


3/4 lb. Earth Balance (or margarine)
1 3/4 C confectioner's sugar
2 C flour
1 C arrowroot power
2 C shelled walnuts, processed until small crumbles
1 C red raspberry preserves

You will need a large heart and a small heart cookie cutters for the cookies.


    * Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

    * Cream the Earth Balance and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy, add 1/2 C raspberry preserves.

    * Add flour, arrowroot powder, and walnuts and blend -- dough will be very sticky-wet

    * Shape into two discs on saran wrap -- each disc will be one to two inches thick.  Chilling dough in fridge 3 hours is key to keeping cookies in their shapes.

    * Spread confec sugar/flour on surface--be generous. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness, cut out shapes -- and CAREFULLY lift cookies and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

    * Bake cookies 15 min. or until just starting to brown on edges.

    * Remove from oven, cool on sheet for 5 min. then CAREFULLY remove from sheet onto cooling rack.  Spread with jam preserves, top each bottom heart with a top.  Before serving, sift confectioners sugar on top.

(bonus method)

I won't lie, making these cookies is work.  Lazy folks can make this recipe into a tart and it's just as good.  Roll dough into a pie tin, put in a thick layer of preserves (blackberry jam is also good), cut out circles of dough or hearts and scatter across the top. Bake until edges start to brown--about 30 minutes.  Then cover with foil and bake another 5 min.

• • •

Madeline Iva
Madeline Iva writes romances about smart women, men who aren’t intimidated by them, and the hot feisty sex that follows. She loves cray-cray contemporary, paranormal & fantasy romances, and sometimes she likes mixing them all up together.

Book Blurb: THE LADY SMUT BOOK OF DARK DESIRES -- Four paranormal stories of erotic temptation and paranormal thrills!

My novella in this anthology is called SEXSOMNIA. Here's the blurb:

Jenny needs to unravel the mystery of what she does at night and who she does it with in order to subdue the sexual demon inside her.

Grab this book on Amazon in digital and print:


Friday, May 15, 2015

Another Four Things You Never Knew About Me

Every now and again, I like to play the Four Things You Never Knew About Me. I play this every few years to see what’s changed since I last played.

The first time I played was in September 2006. Then I played Four More Things You Never Knew About Me in October 2012. Now it’s May 2015. Let’s see what’s changed.

The answers are in no particular order, other than they came to me in that order.

Another four jobs you've had in your life:

1. Sergeant with a local Junior Sheriff program (the Explorers handled security, traffic direction, and information services during major local events, and we taught kids about working for the local police services)
2. Bakery clerk (my main evening task was preparing slabs of butter for the croissants made on the night shift)
3. Stock clerk in a ladies clothing store
4. Babysitter

Another four TV shows you love to watch:

1. Ghost Adventures
2. Bones
3. Fire Fly
4. Streets of San Francisco (guilty pleasure)

Another four movies you could watch over and over again:

1. Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet
2. Star Wars (the original)
3. Saturday Night Fever
4. Serenity

Another four books you could read over and over again:

1. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
2. The Black Lyon by Jude Deveraux
3. Dream Man by Linda Howard
4. Fear Nothing by Dean Koontz

Another four CDs you could listen to over and over again:

1. James Bay
2. Jack Savoretti
3. Hang Massive
4. Kool and the Gang ;-)

Another four places you have lived:

1. Seaside, CA
2. Shankill, Co Dublin, Ireland
3. Drogheda, Co Meath, Ireland
4. Douglas, Co Cork, Ireland

Another four places you've been on vacation:

1. Amsterdam
2. Yosemite, CA
3. Sonora, CA
4. Napa Valley, CA

Another four places you'd like to go on vacation:

1. Yellowstone National Park
2. Sweden
3. Iceland
4. Lugo, Spain

Another four websites you visit daily:

1. Tirgearr Publishing
2. The
4. Amazon

Another four of your favorite foods:

1. Chicken enchiladas
2. Mac and cheese
3. Schnecken
4. Apples

Another four places you'd rather be right now:

1. Curled up on the sofa with knitting and watching TV
2. Playing with our dogs in a sunny place
3. At the cinema watching an epic movie
4. Back in sunny California with family

I hope you had fun with this. I did, though it's hard to just pick four of anything, isn't it?! Probably why I do this list every few years!

So, what are your four favorites?

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Playing with my new camera

Here are a few photos from my new camera (Canon PowerShot SX60 HS). Still playing, but loving the zoom. What do you think?

Moon on 30 April 2015Taken at 1365mm/260x zoom...full zoom.
Hand-balanced on a 5 foot high retaining wall:
I aimed, held my breath, and hoped for the best ;-)

Corbie Crow
A type of raven with a grey body and black tail and wingfeathers,
and black hooded head.
Taken through the office window at approximately 40 feet.

Ring Neck Doves
One of two pairs which frequent our patio.
Taken through the office window at approximately 25 feet.

El Rato!
Taken across the garden at approximately 40 feet.

Male Sparrow
Taken across the garden at approximately 40 feet.