Monday, January 16, 2017

Healthy and low calorie Jambalya

It's that time of the year again when we all try to eat healthy. About seven years ago I lost 78 lbs and I kept it off for five years then life stressed me out and now I need to lose 30 lbs to get back to when I'd lost all my weight. Just a fair warning. I'll be sharing a lot of my low calorie dinners with you. And here is my first.

2 Sausage sliced
2 Garlic Cloves chopped
1/2 cup Green bell pepper chopped
1/2 cup onions
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup chicken broth
3 tomatoes chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1/2 Jalapeno
1/2 cup celery chopped
1 cup okra
2 cups rice

Add oil to fry pan and brown sausage slices then add vegetables and spices cook until onions are translucent slowly add broth and then simmer until thickened, and cook rice then mix together. Serve with a salad and rolls. Pairs well with a Riesling.

1 1/2 cup serving 338 calories for Jambalaya.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Stephanie Queen is sharing Grandma's Gravy - aka marinara sauce

Welcome Stephanie, she will be sharing a family recipe. Even though I'm posting the actual recipe, watch the video. Very interesting!

USA Today Bestselling Author Stephanie Queen is a romantic at heart and a writer by nature. So of course she loves creating stories where the good guys always win--as they fall in love. Although she's lost count of all the jobs she had before she settled on being a Novelist, her favorite was selling cookies as a Keebler Elf. She is a graduate of UConn (go Huskies!) and Harvard U and lives in New Hampshire with her family, her cat, Kitty, and a troop of fun-loving friends who all enjoy her cooking.

Stephanie Queen’s Recipe for Grandma’s Gravy (aka marinara sauce)
2 28 oz cans Crushed Tomato
1 lg can Tomato Paste
3-4 cloves of Fresh Garlic
4 medium – large bunches of fresh large leaf basil
¼-1 whole Sweet Onion, chopped finely
Olive Oil
Approx. 1- 1 ½ lbs combined Pork, Sausage and beef (cuts/amounts as preferred, but include some with bone-in)

In large heavy dutch-oven pan, cover the bottom with a generous amount of olive oil and add the meat. Saute on medium heat until lightly brown, turning over 2-3 times.
Remove meat from pan and lower heat.
Add chopped onion, chopped garlic and basil. Tear basil before adding. Saute for a few minutes, adding more olive oil.
Add tomato paste, stir, saute for a couple of minutes.
Add meat back in. Mix in with tomato mixture. Add olive oil and stir to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
Turn heat up to medium and add two cans of crushed tomatoes and one half can of water. Stir this mixture thoroughly.
Cover mixture and heat, stirring occasionally, until it begins to bubble.
Turn heat down and simmer for 2-7 hours, stirring occasionally.

Beachcomber Investigations (5 Book Series)
From Book 1: From USA Today Bestselling Author Stephanie Queen
Beachcomber Investigations - Book One
A romantic detective series novel
Ex-special ops legend Dane Blaise is desperate to recruit Shana George away from Scotland Yard to partner with him in his new venture, Beachcomber Investigations. She has impressive skills and if he’s honest, he needs her to keep him grounded. But most of all, Dane wants to keep Shana on the island of Martha's Vineyard because he can't get past his insane longing for her.

Shana’s boss David Young forces her to decide on the spot when he assigns an important case to Beachcomber Investigations. She chooses to partner with Dane, going with her gut--or more accurately her heart--rather than her brains. They may be good partners in crime-fighting, but they are all wrong for each other in every other way possible. He's soulless and lost and likely has more wounds from his past than the bullet and knife scars scorching his body. But she's crazy. About him.

Their big assignment is to protect Dane's old special ops buddy, Acer. They need to find whoever paid a sniper to take a shot at Acer--before the sniper takes another shot and doesn't miss.

Dane and Shana need to be on top of their game to keep Acer alive, and not on top of each other. But each of them is secretly worried whether that’s possible--and worried about what will happen if it’s not.

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Thanks Stephanie, I cannot wait to try this recipe!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Bison Meatloaf!

It's that time of year again when everyone, anyway, everyone I know starts counting calories. In 2008 I started watching portions and calories and by 2009 I'd lost 78 lbs I kept it off for about 5 years. I'm a stress eater and well here I am and I need to lose 30.2 lbs to get back to what I was. We're going on our grandson's graduation trip, a cruise. So that is my goal to lose it by then. From now on until then, unless I have guests in the kitchen, I will do my best to have the calorie and nutritional values.

Bison Meatloaf and Potatoes
20 oz. package of Ground Bison
1/4 cup Chopped onion
1 tsp. brown mustard
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1/2 Jalapeno chopped
1/4 tsp. Chili powder
1/4 cup Shredded White cheddar cheese

Pre heat 375 degrees. Makes 4 servings.
Mix everything in a bowl and make into a roll and place in oblong baking dish or small bread loaf pan. The bake for 45 minutes on Meatloaf: 293 calories per serving. Grams: 2 Carbs, 15 Fat, 27 Protein, 97 Cholesterol, 1 sugar. Potatoes: 1 cup of cooked cubed potatoes with 1/2 tbsp of Land o'lakes light butter w/canola oil, seasoned with salt and peppers. 135 calories Green salad 15 calories. Dressing - Bolthouse Yogurt dressing 2 tbsp. 35 calories. This dinner pairs well with a Sabastiani Cabernet Sauvignon.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Rebecca York shares a Christmas recipe and book with us.


Makes about 60 cookies.

1 cup softened butter (2 sticks)
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose white flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup dark raisins

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 2 cookie sheets.
2. In a large bowl, mix butter, sugar and eggs thoroughly. Set aside
3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, and salt, and mix well.
4. Stir dry ingredients into butter mixture. Stir in raisins. (And 1 cup pecan pieces, if desired.)
5. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheet. Bake in center of oven 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are puffed and begin to brown around the edges.
6. With a metal spatula, transfer cookies to cooling racks, and repeat with additional batches. When cool, store tightly covered. Cookies will keep up to 2 weeks.

BLURB FOR WHITE CHRISTMAS: The snow is coming down so fast, Amelia Parsons doesn't see the speeding car until it's too late. One moment she’s crossing an ice-rutted street in St. Stephens, Maryland. In the next, she's flying into the air, and the world goes black. She wakes, confused, in what appears to be Santa’s workshop during the holiday rush. If that’s not strange enough, a hunky FBI agent named Daniel is there, demanding to know why she’s involved in a plot to ruin Christmas. Can she convince him she's not the villain and then work with him to find the real saboteur?

In Rebecca York's White Christmas, when her heroine gets hit by a car and goes into a coma, she ends up at Santa's workshop. One of the interesting characters she meets is Mrs. Santa, who spends the busy season making cookies to feed the workshop staff. (Yes at Santa's workshop, cookies and hot chocolate are a nourishing meal.) Rebecca also loves baking cookies, so she's given you one of Mrs. Santa's favorite recipes--spice cookies called Rocks.

REBECCA YORK BIO: A master of paranormal romantic suspense, Rebecca York is the author of over 150 books. A New York Times and USA
Today best-seller, she has written paranormal romantic thrillers for Berkley and romantic thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue. Her romantic-suspense series, Decorah Security, is set at a detective agency where agents have paranormal powers or work paranormal cases. She also writes an Off-World series where each story is a science fiction romance taking place on a distant planet in the far future.

The first of her Berkley Sensation paranormal romantic suspense novels, KILLING MOON, was a launch book for the imprint.

She also wrote the popular 43 Light Street series for Harlequin Intrigue. In addition, as Ruth Glick, she has authored or co-authored 15 cookbooks.

Kindle e-book: Paperback:

Thank you, Rebecca, for sharing your delicious recipe. White Christmas looks great, I think I better pick up a copy. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Monday, December 19, 2016

Patricia Preston with a recipe for Cake in a cup!

Hot Fudge Cake in a Cup by Patricia Preston

Here’s how to make a tasty desert in only a couple of minutes!

First, you’ll need a box of angel food cake mix and a box of regular cake mix. I chose fudge for the hot fudge cake. Using a large bowl, mix the two boxes of cake mix together. You’ll also need a storage container to put the mix in, so you’ll have it whenever you want to make yourself a desert.

IMPORTANT: Do not use any cooking spray, oil or Crisco in the cup.

To make hot fudge cake, you’ll need chocolate syrup. Cover the inside base of a round cup or mug with chocolate syrup. IMPORTANT: Do not use any cooking spray, oil or butter in the cup.

In a separate dish—I use a measuring cup—mix 3 tablespoons of the cake mix with 2 tablespoons water. Pour this mix on top of the chocolate syrup.

Put in microwave for about 50 seconds if 1100 watts. The recipe calls for 1 minute but I’ve found that the cake is done by 50 seconds especially using a 4 or 5 inch diameter mug.

Flip cup over onto desert plate and all you need to do is add ice cream. This recipe can be used to make all kinds of different cakes and without toppings, they are very low calorie. I also make pineapple upside down cake which tastes great! Use pineapple cake mix and angel food. Put brown sugar in the bottom of the cup, top with pineapple pieces and then add mix. Microwave and enjoy. To make a large cake, I would think you can triple the recipe, use larger bowl and microwave longer. I have never tried that. I can vouch for the chocolate and the pineapple. Also made strawberry once and put fresh strawberries on the top.

Author Bio
Patricia Preston writes fun, spicy romantic novels with a feel-good atmosphere where love matters most. In her new contemporary series set in the fictional town of Lafayette Falls, Tennessee, romance creates havoc, heartache and humor for a cast of unsuspecting doctors until they realize love heals all. Besides contemporary romance, she also loves writing short comedies and historical romances set in New Orleans. Must haves in her writing cave include sweet tea and music. Besides writing, she loves bargain hunting, movies, taking country road trips, and anything containing chocolate. Her dream-come-true would be a townhouse in the French Quarter.
Web site, Amazon Page, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest

One week in your arms:
Six years ago, ambitious med student Marla Grant gave into temptation with a gorgeous man. Now a
busy doctor and a loving single mom, the past comes back to haunt her when she learns the powerful, persuasive man of her long-ago fling and the unsuspecting father of her child is cutting off the charitable contributions to the community clinic where she works.

Billionaire Carson Blackwell has never forgotten bright, beautiful Marla. When he discovers that she runs the clinic his grandmother's foundation funds, it's the perfect chance to put an end to his ongoing infatuation and use his leverage to cement a new business deal. He needs a fake girlfriend for one week in Hawaii, and Marla is just the woman for the job. It's a win-win situation, until they realize the attraction between them isn't feigned, and the heat has never died down. Only the secrets they're both keeping stand in the way of a future together and a love that could last a lifetime.
Christmas Christmas Sale  99¢ !  Nov 27 to Dec 31.
Buy Links:
Amazon Nook Kobo iBooks
Read the first chapter

Thank you, Patricia, for visiting The After Work Cook. Both the hot fudge cake and the pineapple upside down cake sounds awesome.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Christmas Cookies

Welcome, Qwillia Rain she will be sharing a cookie recipe.

I want to thank Mary for letting me share my recipe on her blog today.

When I was a child, Christmas was the holiday when my maternal grandmother would go all out making cookies and candies. Divinity, fudge, gingerbread, sugar cookies, dog food (my family’s nickname for her special peanut butter pinwheel candy), pies, pumpkin-zucchini bread and all manner of goodies filled her house with yummy smells and warmth.

In 1989, the Monday before Thanksgiving, she passed away, and many of her recipes were lost – the orange chiffon cake, apple pie, pumpkin-zucchini bread, and fresh whipped honey butter haven’t been found, but I did find the sugar cookies and gingerbread recipes, and my aunt unearthed the divinity and fudge recipes. And every Christmas, I make sure to stir up a double batch of sugar cookie dough – one to cook and one to eat raw. I freeze the raw dough and ship the baked cookies and dough overnight to my mom and sister on the West Coast.

Nine years ago, on December 18th, started my journey as a published author with the release of Santa’s Elf. In the novel, Christmas is right around the corner and the heroine loves all the decorations and joy that go with the season.

For the hero of Santa’s Elf, Christmas is the worst time of the year, and cookies only make matters worse. Despite the fact that Dayton has been dubbed the “Sexy Santa of San Diablo”, and that he’s a toy maker with the last name Kringle, he’s very much a bah, humbug kind of man when it comes to holiday cheer.

That all changes when he makes a deal with the heroine, Elfina. Some time around his Elf, drags feelings and emotions out of Dayton that he’s buried most of his life, the biggest being the ability to enjoy the smell and taste of fresh-baked cookies.

My Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is modified from the version you find on the back of a chocolate chip bag.

Cookies For Christmas

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar (I prefer dark brown instead of light brown sugar)
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (I use vanilla bean paste in the same measure)
2 eggs
2 ¼ cup unbleached flour (organic or whole grain if you can find it)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ -1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (optional)
½ - ¾ tablespoon ground ginger (optional)
12 ounces (1 package) chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger. Set aside.
In large bowl, using a mixer, cream butter and sugars together until smooth. Add vanilla and eggs and mix until just blended.
Carefully add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until thoroughly blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
On an ungreased cookie sheet (non-stick works best), drop the cookie dough in rounded teaspoonfuls (I use a 2-inch cookie scoop) about 2 inches apart.
Cook for 9-12 minutes or until the edges begin to turn a golden brown.
Remove from oven and place cookie sheet on cooling rack for 5-10 minutes.
Carefully remove from cookie sheet when still slightly warm, place on plate or in airtight container.
This recipe should make approximately 5 dozen cookies.
If you don’t want to bake all of them at once and would like to save some for later, drop in rounded teaspoonfuls (or use a cookie scoop) into a freezer safe container, and place in the freezer.
I’ve used semi-sweet, milk, white, and dark chocolate chips in these cookies. I’ve also mixed white, dark, and milk chocolate chips, as well with great results.

Santa's Elf
After four years of unrequited love, and steamy fantasies, Elfina "Elf" Jeffries has just about given up on gaining her boss's attention. How was any self-respecting woman supposed to seduce a man who was oblivious to her cues? Then the first gift arrived...

Every Santa needs an Elf, and Dayton Kringle is no exception. His offer for a temporary affair, just long enough to get from Christmas Eve to New Year's, will satisfy a four-year craving.

His is a simple design:
One beautiful Elf
Twelve sexy gifts
A little spanking
Some light bondage
And ten days of no-strings sex

...make one very satisfied Santa. But when the ten days are up, will he be able to give up the Elf of his wildest Dominant dreams?
Link: Amazon
Web site

Thank you, Qwillia Rain, for sharing these delicious looking cookies. Santa's elf looks pretty good also.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Guest Author - Scottish Shortbread

Welcome Jo-Ann Carson author of A Highland Ghost for Christmas. She is sharing a great recipe!

Old Fashioned Scottish Shortbread
Many years ago a Scottish lady gave me this recipe and I've been using it to bake shortbread every Christmas since then. I hope you love it as much as I do. Unfortunately Cullen couldn't eat it, but he said it smelled “perfect.”
1 lb. butter
1 cup fruit sugar (though to be honest I usually use regular)
4 cups white flour
pinch salt
1. Cream butter and sugar together.
2. Gradually add flour and knead it into the dough.
3. Put the dough in a flat tray. I like to use pie plates.
4. Roll (And here is the secret to good shortbread. The term "roll" means to beat the top of the batter with the back of a spoon.)
5. Cut into pieces
6. Prick the top with a fork.
7. Bake one hour (or until edges brown) at 350 degrees.
8. Sprinkle with sugar.

Blurb – A Highland Ghost for Christmas
Jilted by her fiancé, librarian Maddy Jacobson is nursing a broken heart, when her best friend gives her an early Christmas present. Intended to be a fun, psychic reading in a spooky, tea house, the gift turns out to be life changing. Maddy becomes haunted by a mischievous, Highland ghost.

Ruggedly handsome, Cullen Macfie, the Highlander, has been dead for over three centuries, and never in all those years has he been as attracted to a woman, as he is to Maddy. He falls hopelessly in love and decides to woo her.

Can there be a future for a librarian and a naughty, Highland ghost?

A Highland Ghost for Christmas is a sweet, romantic comedy guaranteed to warm the cockles of your heart, make you laugh out loud and leave you craving a man in a kilt … and shortbread, of course.

Buy Amazon
Thank you Jo-Ann for sharing your yummy recipe with us. I will be trying this for our Christmas party!