Monday, November 25, 2013

USA Today's Best Selling Author Tiffinie Helmer is in the kitchen

Welcome to the kitchen, Tiffinie, a USA Today's best selling author. We’re excited to have you here. Especially knowing that you’re going to share some Alaskan secrets. Many of you may know Tiffinie Helmer from her books, all set in Alaska. If you do not, please check her website. Now, everyone settle in because we’re going to start things a cooking in the kitchen.

Mary: Tiffinie, can you give us a brief bio about you and Alaskan fishing?

Tiffinie: I grew up in Alaska and have commercial fished for salmon since I was a little kid. Now my kids fish with me. If you've seen Deadliest Catch that will give you an idea of what we do. It's wild, and dangerous, and absolutely thrilling.

Mary: Does Alaska have any special holiday traditions that you’ve brought home with you? If so will you share?

Tiffinie: Most of the Alaskan holidays revolve around the sun. On June 21st there are all sorts of Midnight Sun celebrations. Nobody sleeps and we eat like we'll never eat again. There is usually a huge salmon bake with all sorts of fish and seafood. Golden Days is another unique holiday in Fairbanks, during July 17th – 22nd where we dress in period clothing and celebrate the gold rush days. We also celebrate December 22st since that is when we start gaining more daylight, but that one is usually accompanied with lots of drinking. Don't judge, it's really cold outside.

Mary: Now to the good part, can you share a holiday recipe that your family loves?

Tiffinie: I have to do a salmon recipe. Fisherman, remember. This is one of my favorite salmon recipes and we always have salmon during Thanksgiving and Christmas. I've even tried this salmon recipe smoked and it's amazing.

Wild Alaskan Salmon fillet (don't do the farm fish that stuff is nasty)
Marinade:
½ c cup Soy Sauce
½ cup Brown Sugar
¼ cup Sriracha Sauce (also known as Rooster Sauce and found in the Asian isle of the grocery store)

Cut the salmon fillet into 1 to 2 inch strips after pulling the pin bones out with pin bone tweezers or pliers. I put the salmon in a gallon Ziploc bag and add the marinade. I leave this in the fridge overnight or up to 48 hours. The longer you leave it, the more marinade gets into the meat of the salmon. You can grill or bake this or even smoke it if you have a smoker. For baking, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place salmon on an aluminum covered baking sheet (for easy cleanup) and bake for 10 minutes.

I love fish prepared this way and eat it like candy. The leftovers (if there are any) are my favorite. I don't even bother to reheat it and eat the salmon cold with my fingers. Amazing!

Mary: That sounds awesome. My husband loves Salmon, so I will be making it! One more thing before I move on. I know that you do something awesome! No, I don’t mean your books, although they’re awesome. And no, I do not mean your great recipes. I mean your pottery. Can you tell us how you got started and give us a bit of background about the process.

Tiffinie: I began my love affair with pottery in high school. I studied in college and then had 4 children, and everything I wanted to do was put aside until they were older. About 10 years ago I took a community class and that was it. I fell in love all over again and was surprised with how much I had retained. Kind of like riding a bike. I was mentored by a local teacher and when he retired, he sold me a lot of his equipment. I now have my own studio in my garage (who really parks cars in their garages anyway?). I supply the local coffee shop (ArtCity Coffee in Springville, Utah) and sell to a growing list of customers. You can check out some of my art here: https://www.facebook.com/hobblecreekpottery

Mary: Okay last, but not least, will you please tell us about your latest or upcoming book? Please share where people can find you, web site, social media, etc.

Tiffinie: DEATH CACHE is my latest book out and will be released November 29th, Black Friday. This is the 4th book in the Romance on the Edge Novels but can be read as a stand-alone. It’s also my most thrillerish book with a really hot romance.

Blurb:
She shouldn't have played…
Gallery owner Tern Maiski has always had a way with men, but the one she gave her heart to disappeared without a word. Now he's competing alongside her and four others in a high-tech treasure hunt, and her pride isn't the only thing on the line. So is her life.

He doesn’t play by the rules…
Geophysicist Gage Fallon's relationship with Tern has been cataclysmic from the beginning. He cared too much, too fast and their passion threatened to consume him. Now he's back on firmer ground and competing in a game that will risk more than his heart.

Once their group is dropped off in a remote area near the Arctic Circle, it quickly becomes clear that instead of hunting for treasure, they're the ones being hunted. And the killer is dead serious about caching them in.

Website: www.tiffiniehelmer.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tiffiniehelmerauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TiffinieHelmer

Thank you, Tiffinie, for joining us today! I hope you can join us again soon.

Thank you, Mary, for having me. It's always a joy!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Spicy Sweet Potato Casserole

Spicy Sweet Potato Casserole Serves 12

4 Med Yams or sweet potatoes, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Oregano (fresh if possible)
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp Black pepper
1 tsp ground chipotle chili pepper
4-8 cloves Garlic (depending on size), minced
1 bunch Green onions, chopped
1 Jalapeno seeded and chopped
1 cup fat free half and half

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, toss yams/sweet potatoes with the olive oil and coat well. Then
add the spices, garlic, onions, and jalapeno and mix thoroughly. Arrange the sweet potatoes in a 9 1/2-inch oblong baking pan, arrange in layers. Scrape out any chopped veggies over the top. Cover with foil and bake until tender about 30 minutes.

Remove the foil and pour the cream over it evenly. Return to oven and continue baking uncovered for approximately 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Vacation food

My husband and I just returned from our anniversary trip. Now, I'm all about the food and our resort had several restaurants to choose from. I was so excited. However, the Italian was sort of Italian and the French was sort of French, etc. If you get what I mean. So the food was good but not great. I had really wanted to bring back a new recipe to share. Alas, that did not happen.

We were able to sample some Dominican food on our excursion to a small village in the mountains. It was rice and beans, yucca, and something that looked like, well it was spaghetti and meat sauce. Tasted good but I thought, huh?

Anyway, I'm going to experiment with some recipes for Dominican food and if they turn out I'll share. Meanwhile, I'm trying to line up some authors who like to cook and will share their secret recipes with us. So, stay tuned.