Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year!




Have a Safe and Happy New Year!

Several of my books are being released in 2011, so keep coming back to find out more. I'll have recipes, helpful hints on living well without stress, and information on my books as they become available.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Quick and Simple Stuffed Peppers

Now is the time to relax and reflect on all of the Lord’s blessings. Instead of spending hours in the kitchen, whip up this quick and simple meal that the whole family will enjoy.

Ingredients:
Cooking spray
6 medium green bell peppers
1 pound of lean ground beef
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1 small can of tomato sauce
1/2 cup of seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:
1. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray.
2. Wash and cut the tops off the bell peppers. Remove the seeds.
3. In a medium bowl mix the ground beef, onion, half the tomato sauce and breadcrumbs. You may add cheese to the mixture.
4. Stuff each pepper with the ground beef mixture and place open side up in the baking pan.
5. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over each of the stuffed peppers.
6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes.

Serve with rice and your favorite side salad.


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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!




As Christmas draws closer, don’t forget what we’re celebrating. Jesus made an amazing sacrifice for all who believe in Him. Love Him with all your heart and put Him at the forefront of everything you do.


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Monday, December 20, 2010

Gift Baskets


One of the best last-minute gift ideas is a gift basket. Select a theme for the recipient and fill a basket with items he or she will enjoy.

Ideas for gift basket themes:
• Sports Basket – Tennis balls, golf balls, towel, sunscreen, healthy snacks, books about the sport, water bottle, gift cards.
• Fashion Basket – Scarves, hair accessories, stretch rings, bracelets, hand-held mirror, hosiery, coin purse, makeup bag.
• Spa Basket – Bubble bath, bath salts, lotions, scrubs, gel mask, loofah, shampoo, body splash, facial products, manicure-pedicure set.
• Gourmet Basket – Kitchen gadgets, mixed nuts, gourmet chocolate, cheese, crackers, cookies.
• Coffee or Tea Lover’s Basket – Variety of coffee or tea, mug or cup, chocolate candy, wafers, cookies, tea biscuits.


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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Gift Exchange Ideas


One of the most joyful ways to celebrate Christmas is to exchange gifts. Whether you’re giving presents to friends at a little get-together or coworkers at an office party, come up with a theme to make the exchange more fun and interesting.

Themes for gift exchanges:
• “Steal That Gift” – Have each person bring a wrapped gift within a designated price range. When the guests arrive, have them place their gifts on a table and pull a number out of a hat. The person with the number “1” starts by choosing a gift that she opens for all to see. The person with the number “2” can choose an unopened gift or steal from the person who has already opened a gift. If someone is stolen from, she may steal from someone else or select an unopened gift. This continues until everyone has a gift. To keep the game from going on too long, set a maximum number of times someone can be stolen from.
• “Green Gift Exchange” – Instead of going shopping for new and expensive Christmas gifts, have each person bring something “green,” meaning it is recycled, re-gifted or homemade.
• “Ornament Exchange” – Have each person bring an ornament or Christmas decoration to exchange. These can be store-bought or handmade.
• “Charity Gift Party” – Instruct each person to bring a gift for a designated charity.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Easy Holiday Appetizers



Whether you’re hosting a party or bringing appetizers to a friend’s house, you can quickly whip up something tasty and fun. Add some chips, mixed nuts, cheese and crackers to make sure no one goes away hungry.

Here are some mouthwatering holiday appetizers:
• Deviled eggs – After boiling a dozen eggs, carefully cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the yolk and mash it with 1/2 cup of mayonnaise and 1/2 cup of sweet pickle relish. Scoop the mixture back into the egg white halves and sprinkle the tops with paprika. Place on a tray garnished with large green lettuce or spinach leaves.
• Stuffed celery – Wash and cut celery into 3-inch spears. Place them on a tray with the open side up. Fill some of the celery spears with pimento cheese spread that you can buy in the dairy section of the grocery store, some with cream cheese mixed with an equal part of strawberry jam, and the rest with peanut butter.
• Cocktail sausages – Simmer one package of cocktail sausages in a cup of barbecue or chili sauce. Serve in a shallow bowl with enough toothpicks for each sausage.
• Stuffed mushrooms – Cut the stems off a package of fresh mushrooms. Fill the mushroom caps with a mixture of crabmeat, breadcrumbs, Cajun seasoning and shredded cheese. Brush them with butter and bake open side up in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Stress-Free Holiday Entertaining

Holiday entertaining can send a busy person over the edge if you let things get out of hand. If you’re the one hosting a Christmas party, find ways to make it as stress-free as possible.

Pick and choose from these suggestions:
• Have a start and end time on your party invitations so people know when to arrive and when to leave.
• Clean the house a couple of days before.
• Buy enough ice for the party. Put as much as you can into your freezer and have containers of ice near the drinks.
• Prepare all the dishes the day before. Heat them up right before the party.
• Have a music play list set up in advance.
• Keep the drink list simple by offering a choice of one special punch or a variety of bottled drinks.
• Purchase as much store-bought foods as possible and transfer them to your pretty serving dishes.
• Rather than hosting a sit-down meal, provide a buffet meal or appetizers.
• Position appetizers and drinks in varying locations to prevent a bottleneck in one area.
• Use warming trays to keep foods warm. If you don’t have the money for new ones, you can often find them for a steal at garage sales and thrift stores.
• Send guests home with leftovers in take-out boxes or plastic containers.
• If you have a laundry room, fill a tub with soapy water for soiled dishes. This makes cleanup easier after the guests have left.
• About fifteen minutes before the end of the party, turn the music down and blow out any candles you have lit to let people know it’s almost time to go home.
• After everyone is gone, take out the garbage so you won’t be faced with it the next morning.


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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Quick and Simple Christmas Decorating Tips


If you have time and a knack for elaborate decorating, have fun. However, most of us find ourselves stressed out by not having time or money to do all the things we’d like to do during the holidays. I love the festive mood created by Christmas decorations, so I’ve learned to find ways to cut costs and time.

Simple Christmas decorating ideas:
• Place a wreath on the door. This may be store-bought or handmade. I have French doors, so I have a couple of basic green wreaths that I lightly decorate each year with ribbons, beads or small ornaments.
• When decorating a Christmas tree, have ornaments in a basic theme and fill in with plain glass balls. About one-third of my ornaments are snowmen or bears, and the rest are gold or white balls. You still have the impact of the theme without having to spend a fortune on ornaments.
• As you receive Christmas cards, line them up on your mantle or pin to a streamer of ribbon around a doorway.
• Frame your house, shrubs or door with outdoor lights and have one focal point that can be as elaborate as a manger scene in the yard or as simple as the wreath on your front door.
• Fill glass bowls with colorful ornaments and place them on tables throughout your house.
• Hang empty stockings on your mantle or in a line across a buffet or china cabinet.


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Monday, December 6, 2010

Delicious Potato Salad

Sometimes you want a single side dish to go with an entrée or sandwich. This delicious potato salad has the perfect blend of flavors to go with chicken or pork.

Ingredients:
• 8 small red potatoes, washed and quartered
• 8 cherry or grape tomatoes, washed and halved
• 2 scallions, washed and chopped
• 1 small can of sliced black olives
• 1/2 cup of Italian dressing
• 1/4 cup of olive oil
• 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
• Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Boil quartered potatoes until they are tender. Drain and pour into mixing bowl.
2. While the potatoes are still hot, add the halved tomatoes, chopped scallions, sliced olives, Italian dressing, olive oil, and Italian seasoning.
3. Mix well. Taste. If it needs salt and pepper, add it.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator until chilled.

This recipe serves 3 to 4 people. For a larger group, double or triple the recipe.


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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Leftover Thanksgiving Meal Ideas

I love leftover Thanksgiving turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, and various vegetable casseroles, but after a couple of days, I’m ready for some new flavors. Try adding some zing to your leftovers for a whole new flavor sensation.

Leftover turkey ideas:
• Make turkey tacos by swapping out ground beef for shredded turkey.
• Toss some leftover turkey, a can of diced tomatoes, and a couple cans of mixed vegetables into a pot and simmer for delicious and healthy soup.
• Mix shredded leftover turkey with your favorite Italian sauce and serve over pasta.
• Dice leftover turkey and add diced celery, onions, and bell pepper with a dollop of mayonnaise for a healthy turkey salad. Mix well and serve over a bed of lettuce. Top your salad with halved cherry tomatoes.

Leftover sweet potato and vegetable ideas:
• Mix 1 cup of mashed sweet potatoes with 1/2 cup of softened cream cheese. Stir in a little bit of cinnamon and add sugar to taste. Fill tart size puff pastries and bake in a 350 degree oven until the pastries are golden brown.
• Mix mashed sweet potatoes with cinnamon sugar and roll into small flour tortillas. Fry in canola oil until they turn golden brown. Drain and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
• Spray a large baking pan with cooking spray. Mix all your vegetables and vegetable casseroles in a large mixing bowl. Add a can of diced tomatoes and stir well. Pour into the baking pan. Top with bread crumbs and bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes.


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Monday, November 29, 2010

CONTEST - Tomorrow's the last day!


Tomorrow is the last day to enter this contest!



I am so proud to be an author for one of the most respected publishers in the CBA. In addition to the awesome fiction line that I’m part of, Abingdon Press has just released The Common English Bible New Testament. The cool thing is that it’s not a revision or an update of an existing translation; it’s a bold new translation designed specifically for Christians who desire to dig deeper into the New Testament. It’s written at a comfortable level for more than half of all English readers. I think anything that brings a heart for Jesus closer to Him through understanding of His word … Well, that’s something I can really get behind.

If you would like to have a hard copy of this amazing book, I’ve cooked up a little giveaway with Kay Strom.

Here are the simple rules for the contest:

Post a comment on one (or both!) of our blog posts about the contest that tells us your favorite scripture verse and why (in just a few sentences). At the end of November, we’ll each choose one winner at random. That winner will win an autographed copy of our latest novel AND a copy of Abingdon’s Common English Bible New Testament.

*Don’t forget to include your email address so I can contact you!*

BONUS BONUS BONUS: If that winner has posted a review of one of our novels on Christian Book Distributors, they will receive A SECOND COPY of this innovative Bible to give away to a friend. Perhaps as a Christmas gift?

It’s that simple for you to own your very own copy of Abingdon’s CEB New Testament. So let’s hear it! What’s your life verse of scripture, and why?


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Saturday, November 27, 2010

CONTEST - Reminder!

I'll be repeating this post throughout the month as a reminder to enter this fabulous contest!



I am so proud to be an author for one of the most respected publishers in the CBA. In addition to the awesome fiction line that I’m part of, Abingdon Press has just released The Common English Bible New Testament. The cool thing is that it’s not a revision or an update of an existing translation; it’s a bold new translation designed specifically for Christians who desire to dig deeper into the New Testament. It’s written at a comfortable level for more than half of all English readers. I think anything that brings a heart for Jesus closer to Him through understanding of His word … Well, that’s something I can really get behind.

If you would like to have a hard copy of this amazing book, I’ve cooked up a little giveaway with Kay Strom.

Here are the simple rules for the contest:

Post a comment on one (or both!) of our blog posts about the contest that tells us your favorite scripture verse and why (in just a few sentences). At the end of November, we’ll each choose one winner at random. That winner will win an autographed copy of our latest novel AND a copy of Abingdon’s Common English Bible New Testament.

*Don’t forget to include your email address so I can contact you!*

BONUS BONUS BONUS: If that winner has posted a review of one of our novels on Christian Book Distributors, they will receive A SECOND COPY of this innovative Bible to give away to a friend. Perhaps as a Christmas gift?

It’s that simple for you to own your very own copy of Abingdon’s CEB New Testament. So let’s hear it! What’s your life verse of scripture, and why?


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Friday, November 26, 2010

Moist Leftover Turkey

If you’re like most people, you have enough turkey left over to have several more meals of turkey soup, turkey sandwiches, turkey hash, or any of a number of delicious dishes. One of the biggest complaints I hear is that turkey becomes dry after refrigerating or freezing it. That isn’t necessary if you’ll just take a few minutes to steam the leftover turkey before putting it away for another time.

Here’s a simple method I use:
• Cover the bottom of a roasting pan with approximately 1/2 inch of water. You may add 1 cup of turkey stock for additional flavor.
• Layer the sliced turkey in the pan.
• Cover the pan with a sheet of aluminum foil.
• Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes.
• Remove the turkey from the oven and let it cool before sealing it in zip-lock bags.
• You may refrigerate the turkey, and it will be good for up to 3 days or you may freeze it for up to six weeks.



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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Roasting a Turkey


Roasting a turkey isn’t difficult, but it does require some basic math skills. Remember that a stuffed turkey will take longer to reach the desired temperature than an unstuffed turkey.

Simple steps:
• Before you roast a turkey, remove the bag of giblets from the cavity.
• Rinse the turkey and pat it dry.
• Place the turkey in a roasting pan, breast side up.
• Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest section of the thigh.
• Brush the turkey skin with oil or butter to help it develop a rich color as it roasts.
• Place the turkey in a 325 degree oven.
• The turkey is done when the thermometer registers 180 degrees.

The general rule of thumb for the amount of time it takes to roast a turkey is approximately 20 minutes to 1/2 hour per pound, depending on the size of the turkey and whether or not it is stuffed. Start checking the thermometer 1/2 hour before you think it will be done.

Approximate times for an unstuffed turkey:
• 6 to 8 pound turkey – 2-1/2 to 3 hours
• 8 to 12 pound turkey – 3 to 4 hours
• 12 to 16 pound turkey – 4 to 5 hours
• 16 to 16 pound turkey – 5 to 5-1/2 hours
• 20 to 24 pound turkey – 5-1/2 to 6 hours


For a stuffed turkey:
• 6 to 8 pound turkey – 3 to 3-1/2 hours
• 8 to 12 pound turkey – 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours
• 12 to 16 pound turkey – 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 hours
• 16 to 20 pound turkey – 5-1/2 to 6 hours
• 20 to 24 pound turkey – 6 to 6-1/2 hours

Keep in mind that all ovens are different, so cooking times may vary. After you remove your turkey from the oven, allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes. Otherwise, all the juices will run out, and the turkey will seem dry.


Don't forget to enter the contest for the free autographed copy of my latest novel AND a copy of Abingdon’s Common English Bible New Testament!


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Monday, November 22, 2010

Thawing a Turkey

Knowing the proper way to thaw a turkey is essential if you want everyone to enjoy their meal and not get sick. Most frozen turkeys come with directions on the label.

Here are some basic rules and guidelines for thawing a frozen turkey:
• Never thaw a turkey at room temperature.
• Thaw your turkey in the refrigerator, allowing one day per four pounds. For example if you have a 20-lb. turkey, you’ll need to thaw it in the refrigerator for 5 days. A 10-lb. turkey will need 2-1/2 to 3 days to thaw.
• If you don’t have that much time, you may thaw your turkey in cold water. Replace the water every few hours until the turkey has thawed. Then refrigerate until time to cook it.



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Friday, November 19, 2010

CONTEST - Reminder!

I'll be repeating this post throughout the month as a reminder to enter this fabulous contest!



I am so proud to be an author for one of the most respected publishers in the CBA. In addition to the awesome fiction line that I’m part of, Abingdon Press has just released The Common English Bible New Testament. The cool thing is that it’s not a revision or an update of an existing translation; it’s a bold new translation designed specifically for Christians who desire to dig deeper into the New Testament. It’s written at a comfortable level for more than half of all English readers. I think anything that brings a heart for Jesus closer to Him through understanding of His word … Well, that’s something I can really get behind.

If you would like to have a hard copy of this amazing book, I’ve cooked up a little giveaway with Kay Strom.

Here are the simple rules for the contest:

Post a comment on one (or both!) of our blog posts about the contest that tells us your favorite scripture verse and why (in just a few sentences). At the end of November, we’ll each choose one winner at random. That winner will win an autographed copy of our latest novel AND a copy of Abingdon’s Common English Bible New Testament.

*Don’t forget to include your email address so I can contact you!*

BONUS BONUS BONUS: If that winner has posted a review of one of our novels on Christian Book Distributors, they will receive A SECOND COPY of this innovative Bible to give away to a friend. Perhaps as a Christmas gift?

It’s that simple for you to own your very own copy of Abingdon’s CEB New Testament. So let’s hear it! What’s your life verse of scripture, and why?


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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Quick Thanksgiving Decorating Tips

Candle holders – If you don’t have as many candle holders as you need, use miniature pumpkins, artichokes and other sturdy vegetables and fruits. Just carve out a hole to fit the candle snugly in the top.

Table runner – Buy an inexpensive fabric remnant in an autumn color, tuck the raw edges under, and sew or glue them down. Decorate them with ribbons or other notions from the clearance bins in a craft or fabric store.

Tablecloth – Pull out an old harvest-gold bed sheet and use it as a tablecloth. If you don’t have one, check local thrift stores.

Pillow covers – Cover decorative throw pillows with orange, gold, yellow, brown and rust colored fabrics.

Leaf accent – Purchase a bag of silk leaves and tuck them around different areas throughout your house.

Scented candles – Buy pumpkin and spice scented candles from the dollar store and place them throughout your house. You won’t even have to light them to have your house smelling like you’ve been baking all day.


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Monday, November 15, 2010

Creamy Fudge with Secret Ingredient

I used to make this fudge for my children when they were in elementary school. Until they walked in on me one day, they had no idea I had a secret ingredient.

Ingredients:
• 1/2 cup of butter
• 4 oz. Velveeta cheese
• 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
• 16 oz. powdered sugar
• 2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Directions:
1. Combine cocoa and powered sugar in a large mixing bowl.
2. Put butter and Velveeta cheese in a glass bowl and microwave on 50% power until it is melted. You may use a double boiler, but it’s much faster in the microwave.
3. Add the butter and cheese mixture to the cocoa and sugar.
4. Add vanilla and nuts and mix quickly.
5. Spread the mixture in a buttered or sprayed shallow 9 by 9 in. pan or dish.
6. Refrigerate until firm.
7. Cut into squares and serve.

I recommend refrigerating this fudge—that is, if you have any left. It’s creamy and delicious, and no one will guess there’s cheese in it!


Don't forget to enter the contest for the free autographed copy of my latest novel AND a copy of Abingdon’s Common English Bible New Testament!


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Friday, November 12, 2010

CONTEST - Reminder!

I'll be repeating this post throughout the month as a reminder to enter this fabulous contest!

I am so proud to be an author for one of the most respected publishers in the CBA. In addition to the awesome fiction line that I’m part of, Abingdon Press has just released The Common English Bible New Testament. The cool thing is that it’s not a revision or an update of an existing translation; it’s a bold new translation designed specifically for Christians who desire to dig deeper into the New Testament. It’s written at a comfortable level for more than half of all English readers. I think anything that brings a heart for Jesus closer to Him through understanding of His word … Well, that’s something I can really get behind.

If you would like to have a hard copy of this amazing book, I’ve cooked up a little giveaway with Kay Strom.

Here are the simple rules for the contest:

Post a comment on one (or both!) of our blog posts about the contest that tells us your favorite scripture verse and why (in just a few sentences). At the end of November, we’ll each choose one winner at random. That winner will win an autographed copy of our latest novel AND a copy of Abingdon’s Common English Bible New Testament.

*Don’t forget to include your email address so I can contact you!*

BONUS BONUS BONUS: If that winner has posted a review of one of our novels on Christian Book Distributors, they will receive A SECOND COPY of this innovative Bible to give away to a friend. Perhaps as a Christmas gift?

It’s that simple for you to own your very own copy of Abingdon’s CEB New Testament. So let’s hear it! What’s your life verse of scripture, and why?




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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Simple Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas



Fill a punchbowl with varying sizes of pumpkins, squashes and gourds. For more color, add sprigs of greenery.

Nest a group of orange, red, and cream colored candles on a large platter. Sprinkle a selection of nuts around the base.

For a touch of whimsy, make a pinecone turkey centerpiece by tucking some colorful feathers into the wide end of a pinecone. Cut a teardrop shape out of brown construction paper and add wiggly eyes for the face. Glue it to the smaller end of the pinecone. Cut a smaller yellow teardrop shape and glue it to the face for the beak.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Deadline Dinner – Shrimp Scampi

Many shrimp scampi recipes are complicated, but this one is so easy your kids can probably make it without any help from you.

Ingredients:
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 pounds medium uncooked shrimp
• 1/2 cup of garlic or lemon spice marinade
• 1/2 cup of chopped onions

Directions:
1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
2. Add the shrimp and marinade and cook until the shrimp turn pink. You’ll want to stir it to make sure they cook evenly.
3. Add the onions and stir until they are translucent.

Serve the shrimp scampi over rice or pasta. Add a tossed salad and a side of bread for a quick and easy nutritious meal.



Don't forget to enter the contest for the free autographed copy of my latest novel AND a copy of Abingdon’s Common English Bible New Testament!


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Friday, November 5, 2010

CONTEST - Reminder!

I'll be repeating this post throughout the month as a reminder to enter this fabulous contest!

I am so proud to be an author for one of the most respected publishers in the CBA. In addition to the awesome fiction line that I’m part of, Abingdon Press has just released The Common English Bible New Testament. The cool thing is that it’s not a revision or an update of an existing translation; it’s a bold new translation designed specifically for Christians who desire to dig deeper into the New Testament. It’s written at a comfortable level for more than half of all English readers. I think anything that brings a heart for Jesus closer to Him through understanding of His word … Well, that’s something I can really get behind.

If you would like to have a hard copy of this amazing book, I’ve cooked up a little giveaway with Kay Strom.

Here are the simple rules for the contest:

Post a comment on one (or both!) of our blog posts about the contest that tells us your favorite scripture verse and why (in just a few sentences). At the end of November, we’ll each choose one winner at random. That winner will win an autographed copy of our latest novel AND a copy of Abingdon’s Common English Bible New Testament.

*Don’t forget to include your email address so I can contact you!*

BONUS BONUS BONUS: If that winner has posted a review of one of our novels on Christian Book Distributors, they will receive A SECOND COPY of this innovative Bible to give away to a friend. Perhaps as a Christmas gift?

It’s that simple for you to own your very own copy of Abingdon’s CEB New Testament. So let’s hear it! What’s your life verse of scripture, and why?


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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Holiday Tips and Recipes






Starting next week, I plan to add quick and simple holiday tips and recipes. I'll offer some of my favorite helpful hints that I've learned over the years. If you have suggestions, please send me an email at debby@debbymayne.com. My goal is to share ways to simplify lives that have become crazy-busy yet still enjoy some of the fun aspects of the holiday season.

I'll bring you some recipes, decorating tips, gift ideas, and other holiday hints that won't cost a fortune or take all day. You'll still have plenty of time to spend with family and friends.

Don't forget to enter the contest for the free autographed copy of my latest novel AND a copy of Abingdon’s Common English Bible New Testament!


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Monday, November 1, 2010

Deadline Dinner – Pizza Salad

Your kids will willingly eat their veggies if you serve them in a pizza salad. You may substitute any of the ingredients for your favorite pizza toppings. Most grocery store produce departments offer washed and cut veggies that will make the preparation a breeze!

Ingredients:
• 1 bag of washed and torn romaine lettuce
• 1 cup each of broccoli, bell peppers, onions, fresh mushrooms and sliced pepperoni or Canadian bacon
• 1 cup of shredded cheese
• 4 tortillas
• 1 cup of red Italian sauce

Directions:
1. Mix the lettuce, other vegetables, and cheese in a large bowl.
2. Pour the Italian sauce into a serving bowl and place on the table.
3. Give each family member a tortilla to make their own individual pizzas.


You and your family can eat the salad and use the tortillas as a side of bread, roll the salad into the tortillas, or place the salad on top of the tortillas and eat them open face.


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Saturday, October 30, 2010

CONTEST - Win a Free Bible!



I am so proud to be an author for one of the most respected publishers in the CBA. In addition to the awesome fiction line that I’m part of, Abingdon Press has just released The Common English Bible New Testament. The cool thing is that it’s not a revision or an update of an existing translation; it’s a bold new translation designed specifically for Christians who desire to dig deeper into the New Testament. It’s written at a comfortable level for more than half of all English readers. I think anything that brings a heart for Jesus closer to Him through understanding of His word … Well, that’s something I can really get behind.

If you would like to have a hard copy of this amazing book, I’ve cooked up a little giveaway with Kay Strom.

Here are the simple rules for the contest:

Post a comment on one (or both!) of our blog posts about the contest that tells us your favorite scripture verse and why (in just a few sentences). At the end of November, we’ll each choose one winner at random. That winner will win an autographed copy of our latest novel AND a copy of Abingdon’s Common English Bible New Testament.

*Don’t forget to include your email address so I can contact you!*

BONUS BONUS BONUS: If that winner has posted a review of one of our novels on Christian Book Distributors, they will receive A SECOND COPY of this innovative Bible to give away to a friend. Perhaps as a Christmas gift?

It’s that simple for you to own your very own copy of Abingdon’s CEB New Testament. So let’s hear it! What’s your life verse of scripture, and why?


-

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Love My Kindle!

I’m excited about the new Kindle my husband gave me for my birthday. Alison, Jason, and Emma ordered me a leather cover to go with it, and Lauren gave me an Amazon gift card to help fill my Kindle with books. It’s super easy on the eyes, comfortable to hold, and lightweight, no matter how many books I load on it. I think this little gadget will quickly become my favorite thing.


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Monday, October 25, 2010

Deadline Dinner – French Dip Sandwiches

These sandwiches are easy to make, fun to eat, and delicious.

Ingredients:
• 1 pound of thin-sliced deli roast beef
• 4 deli rolls or hoagie buns
• 1/2 pound of Swiss cheese (optional)
• 2 cups of beef bouillon made according to directions on jar

Directions:
1. Toast the rolls or buns.
2. Layer the roast beef and cheese on the buns and close.
3. Provide 1/2 cup of beef bouillon in small, individual custard cups for your family to dip their sandwiches.

Serve with coleslaw and oven fries for a quick, delicious meal.


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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Young Drivers!


My granddaughter Emma had a blast driving her cousins' little toy car. At the rate time flies, it won't be too much longer before she'll have her own real car.


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Monday, October 18, 2010

Deadline Dinner – Super Simple Chili

Everyone has a favorite chili recipe that involves a long list of ingredients and simmering on the stove for hours. This recipe is for those days when you come home from work, or your schedule has you pressed for time, but you still want something comforting to cook for dinner. It only requires a few ingredients that you might even have on hand.

Ingredients:
• 2 pounds of ground beef or ground turkey
• 2 large cans or 4 small cans of tomato sauce
• 4 cans of chili beans
• 1/2 bag of frozen chopped onions
• Extra chili powder to taste

Directions:
1. Brown the ground beef or turkey with the onions and drain. Pour into a large soup pot.
2. Add tomato sauce and beans.
3. Simmer for at least a half hour.

This recipe may be made in a crock pot and simmered all day.

Garnish with shredded cheese, scallions, or sour cream. Serve with corn chips.


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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Family Support!


My family has always been supportive of my writing. Here's a picture of my mother-in-law Bobbie, my daughter Alison, and my granddaughter Emma at a book signing I did with Sandie Bricker last year.


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Monday, October 11, 2010

Deadline Dinner – Fun Kabobs

Anything tastes better when served on a stick. If you have small children, they’ll need some assistance removing the food from the skewers.

Ingredients:
• 1 pound of meat (beef, chicken, or peeled and de-veined shrimp)
• 12 cherry or grape tomatoes
• 12 bell pepper strips
• 12 thick slices of zucchini
• 12 thick slices of squash
• 1 cup of teriyaki sauce
• 4 skewers

Directions:
1. Moisten the skewers with warm water.
2. Evenly distribute the ingredients on each skewer and place in a shallow baking pan.
3. Pour the teriyaki sauce over the kabobs, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour. You may do this before you go to work so they’ll be ready to cook when you get home.
4. Broil or grill the kabobs until the meat is done.

Serve on a bed of rice and with a side of your favorite salad.


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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Birthday and Anniversary


My husband and I were married on my 26th birthday, October 9, 1980! We've been through all sorts of ups and downs, including this most recent sad event of his mother's passing as well as many happy ones such as the birth of our children and granddaughter. I'm thankful to have such a sweet man in my life. He's a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather.


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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Little Black Dress – Accessorize!

I love clothes, shoes, handbags, scarves, necklaces, bracelets, rings, and all the accessories a girl can shove into her closet, dresser and jewelry boxes. It's fun to mix and match expensive jewelry with bright and blingy fashion items. One of the most versatile items a woman can own is the little black dress because she can change it to fit her mood, simply by swapping out an elegant pearl necklace for a gold pendant or diamond studs for chandelier earrings. Add a scarf or belt to completely change the silhouette of the outfit. Check out some ways to accessorize the little black dress.



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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Very sad news


My beautiful, fun, and warm mother-in-law passed away in her sleep this past weekend. Our family is very sad about our loss, but we're confident that she's with Jesus.


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Monday, October 4, 2010

Deadline Dinner – Vegetable Frittata

Here's another meatless meal that is packed with protein. Delicious and comforting!

Ingredients:
2 Yukon gold potatoes, diced
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 chopped onion
1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
8 large eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Boil the diced potatoes until barely tender. Drain.
In an ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil and brown the onion pieces.
Add the potatoes to the skillet and brown them
Stir in the spinach. Add a small amount of salt and pepper.
Pour the beaten eggs into the skillet. Stir lightly to mix in the vegetables.
Cook over medium-low heat until the bottom is set but the top is still slightly runny--about 5 minutes.
Place the skillet in the oven and broil until the top is lightly browned--about a minute and a half.
Remove from the oven and slice into wedges.

Serve with a lettuce and tomato salad or fruit salad.

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Visit my friend's blog!

My writer pal Tel Asiado asked me to be a guest on her blog today. Check it out and leave a message: Inspired Pen Writing.


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5 Writer Friends Having Fun

Check out this fun video 5 writer friends made. All multi-published authors, Sandie Bricker, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, Trish Perry, and I wrote the devotional Delight Yourself in the Lord…Even on Bad Hair Days. We did this video for a little after-the-writing relief.






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Monday, September 27, 2010

Ground Beef Hash

Sometimes, after a long day, the only thing that can satisfy your hunger is comfort food. You don't have to stand over a hot stove for hours to prepare this relaxing meal that will make everyone feel cozy and loved.

Ingredients:
• 1 pound of ground beef
• 1 can of condensed cream of celery soup
• 1/2 cup of water
• 2 tbsp. of ketchup
• 1 tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce
• 2 cups of diced potatoes (Use frozen diced potatoes to save even more time!)
• 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:
1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet on medium-high. Drain the fat.
2. Mix the soup, water, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce in a medium bowl. Add to the skillet with the ground beef.
3. Add the potatoes to the mixture. Stir, cover and turn the heat down to low.
4. Cook until the potatoes are tender.
5. After you put the ground beef hash on the plates, sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese over it.

Serve with steamed peas and carrots or a tossed salad.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nicene Creed

The Nicene Creed is a Christian statement of faith, and I decided to post it to remind people of what we believe when we call ourselves Christians.

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through Him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
He came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
He became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered death and was buried.
On the third day He rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and His kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father.
With the Father and the Son He is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Deadline Dinner – Shrimp and Shell Salad

A quick and easy meal that shrimp lovers will enjoy is this delicious shrimp and shell salad. It only takes about fifteen minutes to prepare, and it's the perfect meal when you want something light!

Ingredients:
• 1 pound of cleaned, cooked salad shrimp without the shells
• 3 cups of cooked shell pasta
• 1/2 cup of chopped celery
• 1/4 cup of chopped onions
• 1/4 cup of diced bell pepper
• 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
• 1/4 tsp. mustard
• 1/4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
• 4 cups of romaine lettuce
• 2 tomatoes cut into wedges

Directions:
1. Mix the mayonnaise with the mustard and Old Bay seasoning.
2. Add the celery, onions, and bell pepper. Stir well.
3. Fold in the cooked salad shrimp.
4. Chill.
5. Serve on a bed of lettuce and garnish with tomato wedges.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

ACFW

Anyone who writes Christian fiction should consider joining the American Christian Fiction Writers. This organization provides opportunities for both published and pre-published authors to learn, have fellowship, and meet once a year at the national conference. If you're interested, go to the ACFW website and click around to see everything this organization offers.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Deadline Dinner – Fish Alfredo

I've always enjoyed seafood of any kind, cooked any way. If it swam when it was alive, I'm pretty sure I'll like it. One very simple way of preparing seafood is to add a tasty sauce and serve it on pasta.

Ingredients:
• Cooking spray (Do you see a trend here? I should buy stock in Pam Cooking Spray)
• 1 pound of fish without bones
• 1 chopped onion
• 1 can of condensed cream of celery soup
• 1 can of diced tomatoes
• 1/2 cup of milk
• 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
• 4 cups of cooked linguine

Directions:
1. Spray a pan with cooking spray.
2. Put the chopped onion in the pan and sauté it on medium heat.
3. Pour in the soup, milk, and canned tomatoes. Bring to a simmer.
4. Add the fish and turn the heat down to low. Cook until the fish becomes flaky—8 to 10 minutes.
5. Serve the fish over the linguine.

Add a salad and crusty bread for a delicious meal.


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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Abingdon Fiction

One of my publishers, Abingdon Press has some fabulous fiction coming out soon. Here's a link to the fiction page on their website: Abingdon Fiction.

My editor, Barbara Scott has selected a wide range of books to suit a variety of tastes, including women's fiction, romance, medical suspense and mainstream fiction. The covers are gorgeous, so I'm extremely excited about my book, Sweet Baklava, that will be available in Spring 2011.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Deadline Dinner – Herbed Chicken

My husband and I used to have a joke about dinner. He'd call me on his way home, and instead of asking what was for dinner, he'd ask what kind of chicken we were having. I love chicken because it can be prepared so many different ways!

Ingredients:
• Cooking spray
• 4 skinless chicken breast fillets
• 1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup
• 1/2 cup of milk
• Splash of Worcestershire sauce
• A pinch each of rosemary and thyme

Directions:
Spray pan with cooking spray.
Brown chicken in the pan on medium-high heat. Remove the ckicken.
In a medium bowl, mix the soup, milk, Worcestershire sauce, and herbs.
Pour the soup mix into the pan and bring to a simmer on low heat.
Put the chicken back into the pan and cover. Cook for approximately 5 to 10 minutes or until done.

Serve with rice cooked in chicken broth and seasonings and a steamed vegetable.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Emma at the Beach




How cute is this! We took Emma to the beach, and she loved every minute of it! In the top picture, we'd just arrived. She's enjoying the water with my son-in-law, her daddy, Jason in the bottom picture.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Deadline Dinner – Open-Face Crabmeat Sandwich

When you serve a super simple and delicious dinner, your family will think you've worked in the kitchen for hours. Sshh! Don't tell anyone you threw this together in less than half an hour.

Ingredients:
• 1 can of crabmeat
• 1/2 pound of processed cheese (Velveeta or American cheese)
• Pinch of garlic salt
• 2 tbsp. of butter
• 4 split English muffins

Directions:
1. Drain the crabmeat and pour into a medium saucepan.
2. Add the cheese, garlic salt and butter.
3. Heat the mixture until the cheese is melted. Use a double boiler or stir constantly to prevent it from sticking.
4. Spread the open muffins on a baking sheet.
5. Spread the crabmeat mixture evenly over the muffins.
6. Broil the muffins until they are brown on top. Watch the oven closely because this will happen very quickly.

Serve the open-face crabmeat sandwiches with a vegetable salad.


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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Good News Blog

One of my fellow Suite101 writers has started a new blog featuring good news and accomplishments. She selected the wonderful news about the devotional Delight Yourself in the Lord...Even on Bad Hair Days that I've written with 4 other authors, Sandra Bricker, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Trish Perry. Stop by and leave a message on her blog: Out of My Mind.

This book will be available in Spring 2011.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Deadline Dinner – French Toast

Staying with the breakfast-for-dinner theme, make a batch of French toast to make your family feel loved.

Ingredients:
• Cooking spray or 2 tbsp. butter
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup of milk
• 2 tbsp. natural vanilla
• 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
• 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
• Pinch of salt (optional)
• 8 slices of crusty bread (French of Italian)

Directions:
1. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray or coat with melted butter.
2. Place slices of bread on the pan in a single layer
3. Whip eggs, milk, and vanilla.
4. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread.
5. Sprinkle the nutmeg, cinnamon and salt (optional) over the coated bread.
6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes until browned.

Provide a choice of toppings such as fresh berries, powdered sugar or maple syrup. Serve with ham or crisp bacon and slices of fresh fruit.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Emma with Great-Grandmother Bobbie



When my granddaughter Emma was here a few weeks ago, we brought her to visit my mother-in-law Bobbie. My heart melted at the sight of Emma enjoying Great-Grandmother Bobbie.


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Monday, August 16, 2010

Deadline Dinner – Veggie Omelets

Breakfast foods are comforting, so what better way to relax the family after a long, busy day than to serve them for dinner? Start with a basic omelet and add veggies and fruits to make it even healthier.

Ingredients:
• Cooking Spray
• 8 eggs
• 1 cup of shredded cheese
• 1/2 cup of diced bell pepper
• 1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms
• 1/2 cup of one other veggie (chopped broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, or olives)

Directions:
1. Spray your skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium heat.
2. Beat eggs until the yolks are well mixed with the whites.
3. Pour the eggs into the pan and turn the heat down to low.
4. When the eggs are almost set, sprinkle the cheese and veggies on top in layers.
5. Cover the skillet and continue cooking on low for approximately 2 minutes.
6. Remove the cover and using a spatula, gently fold the egg in half, covering the veggies.
7. Divide the omelet into 4 horizontal slices and put on plates. Top with fresh parsley or salsa.

Serve this delicious and nutritious omelet with toast and a fresh fruit cup.


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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hartline Literary Agency blog

My agent Tamela Hancock Murray is with the Hartline Literary Agency. This group of agents has generously committed to give some of their time to help authors reach their goals by blogging about the business of publishing. Anyone who wants a career as a writer needs to pay attention to those who know, and Tamela, Joyce, Diana, and Terry certainly have enough experience to know what they're talking about. Check out their blog and visit often.


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Monday, August 9, 2010

Deadline Dinner – Peachy Pineapple Pork Chops

Delicious and super easy to make, these peachy pineapple pork chops will quickly become a family favorite.

Ingredients
• Canola oil
• 1/4 cup of peach preserves
• 1 cup of crushed pineapple
• 1 tbsp. brown sugar
• 4 lean pork chops
• Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Mix the peach preserves, 1/2 cup of crushed pineapple, and brown sugar in a small bowl.
2. Salt and pepper the pork chops.
3. Brown the pork chops in a skillet with a small amount of canola oil.
4. Remove the pork chops from the skillet and drain the oil. Put the pork chops back in the skillet.
5. Pour the peach and pineapple mixture over the pork chops. Cover and simmer until the meat is done.
6. Remove the pork chops from the heat and top with the remaining pineapple.

Serve with rice and a salad.


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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pick an Editor's Brain

I've been a writer for about 20 years now, and I've worked with all types of editors. In fact, I've even been an editor, so I can say with authority that it's not easy for them to spend the kind of time with writers we'd like them to. There is one editor who manages to find the time to fill us in on some of the inner workings of their publishing house, and I'd like to share that with friends. Check out Abingdon Press editor Barbara Scott's recent posts on The Roving Editor blog and go back often for all the latest information.


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Monday, August 2, 2010

Deadline Dinner – Teriyaki Chicken

I love almost any food with an Asian flair. This teriyaki chicken recipe is super easy and delicious, making it ideal for nights when you only have a few minutes to cook dinner. It does require a little advance preparation, but you can do it in a snap.

Ingredients:
• Cooking spray
• 2 tbsp. lemon juice
• 2 tbsp. soy sauce
• 1 tbsp. water
• 1 tsp. garlic powder
• 4 chicken breasts

Advance prep directions:
1. Mix the lemon juice, soy sauce, water, and garlic powder.
2. Spread chicken breasts in a shallow baking pan.
3. Pour the lemon and soy mixture over the chicken.
4. Cover and place in the refrigerator. Leave it there all day until time to cook dinner.

Cooking directions:
1. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray.
2. Place marinated chicken on the pan in a single layer. Reserve the marinade for basting the chicken.
3. Bake in 350 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes. Baste the chicken with the leftover marinade and return to the oven until it is done (depending on thickness of the chicken).

Serve with rice and a steamed vegetable for a nutritious dinner everyone will enjoy.


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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sisterly Love


My daughters Alison and Lauren have always been such blessings to my husband Wally and me. Not only are they wonderful daughters, they love Jesus, and it shows in the way they live, act, walk, and talk. They’re also extremely different, but they have a deep love for each other that amazes me. I’m blessed that my adult-women daughters respect each other and embrace their differences with good humor and love. Oh, Lauren's the one in front on the left, and Alison's behind her on the right.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Deadline Dinners – Chicken and Rice Casserole

This meal is a variation of what my mother used to cook when I was growing up. I love mixing flavors, and I recommend changing things out to make this recipe your own.*

Ingredients:
• Cooking spray
• Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
• 1 package of frozen chopped spinach
• 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
• 1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
• 1 cup of milk
• 1 cup of water
• 1 cup of uncooked rice
• Dash of Worcestershire sauce
• Paprika

Directions:
1. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray.
2. Spread the rice evenly over the bottom of the casserole dish.
3. Pour the water over the rice.
4. Thaw spinach and drain.
5. Using a sharp knife, butterfly the chicken.
6. Stuff each piece of chicken with 2 tbsp. of spinach and 2 tbsp. of cheese. Wrap the chicken tightly around the spinach and cheese.
7. After all the chicken pieces are stuffed, place them over the rice.
8. In a medium bowl, mix the condensed mushroom soup, milk, and Worcestershire sauce.
9. Pour the soup and milk mixture over the chicken. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover.
10. Cook in a 375 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes to an hour.

Serve with your favorite steamed veggie and tomato slices.

*Variations:
Substitute cheddar or provolone cheese.
Use chopped broccoli instead of spinach.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Confidence


I’ve discovered that one of the most important things anyone can possess—after a relationship with Jesus—is confidence. With confidence, it’s so much easier to meet new people, maintain friendships, get great jobs, get promotions, and do almost anything we want to do. I’ve noticed that my granddaughter Emma exudes confidence, and it shows in the way she moves. Check out her runway-model strut across her backyard.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Heartsong Connection!

I'm the guest blogger at the Heartsong Connection. This is a blog for authors to share a bit about our books and ourselves with readers and other writers. I'd love for my friends to stop by and leave a comment.


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Monday, July 19, 2010

Deadline Dinners – Stuffed Hamburgers

Next time you cook hamburgers, surprise everyone with a little something extra. Here’s a recipe sure to make everyone smile after the first bite.

Ingredients:
• 1-1/2 pound of ground beef
• 4 slices of your favorite cheese
• 1/2 cup of diced green pepper
• 1/2 cup of diced onion
• 1 chopped jalapeno pepper (optional for people who can handle the heat)
• Dash of Worcestershire sauce
• Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Sauté the green pepper and onion.
2. Sprinkle the ground beef with Worcestershire sauce then mix it well in a bowl. Use your hands to get it evenly distributed.
3. Make eight 4-inch balls out of the ground beef. Pat them flat until they are approximate 1/2 to 1/3 inch thick.
4. Place a slice of cheese on 4 of the ground beef patties.
5. Evenly distribute the sautéed green pepper, onion, and optional jalapeno pepper over the cheese.
6. Carefully place the plain patties over the filled ones. Seal the edges and make sure nothing peeks out from the middle.
7. Grill the stuffed hamburger patties until they are done.
8. Place the patties into hamburger buns. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, mustard and mayonnaise.

Serve with oven baked potato wedges and coleslaw or salad.


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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Everything Dora


Last time I visited my granddaughter, I was amazed by how much she’s changed. She’s much bigger, of course, and she communicates extremely well. Her vocabulary is amazing. Obnoxious nana that I am, I don’t mind saying Emma is extremely smart. She’s opinionated, and she lets everyone know what she likes—from food she prefers to her favorite cartoon character, who just happens to be Dora the Explorer.

No matter what else is going on, if Emma sees Dora’s picture or hears Dora's show on TV, Emma stops what she's doing and squeals with delight. So I went out and bought a bunch of Dora stuff to give her next time I see her. I got her a Dora the Explorer backpack, a pink Dora baseball cap, a Dora activity and food tray, and a Dora coloring book. I’m trying to decide whether or not she’ll use a Dora lunchbox, but she’s only 18 months old, so I’m not sure.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Deadline Dinners – Quiche for the Family

Even the manliest of men should like this ham and veggie quiche. One of the best things about a quiche is you can make it with whatever you have on hand. I like adding lots of veggies to keep it healthy. Here's my basic quiche recipe.

Ingredients:
• Deep dish pie crust (uncooked)
• 4 eggs
• 1 cup of milk
• 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
• 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
• 1 cup of chopped vegetables (spinach or broccoli are my favorites)
• 1 cup of diced ham

Directions:
1. In a mixing bowl, whip the eggs with an electric mixer or wire whisk.
2. Add milk and whip some more.
3. Fold half the cheddar cheese into the egg and milk mixture.
4. Spread the vegetables over the bottom of the pie crust.
5. Pour the diced ham over the vegetables.
6. Sprinkle half the mozzarella cheese over the ham.
7. Pour the egg, milk, and cheese mixture into the crust.
8. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar and mozzarella cheese over the top.
9. Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 30 to 45 minutes, until the mixture is set.
10. If the edges of the pie crust start browning early, cover just the edges with aluminum foil.

Serve this with fruit, and you have a balanced meal almost anyone will love.


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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Deadline Dinner – Quick and Easy Chicken Enchiladas

When you want to spice up mealtime, nothing hits the spot like Mexican food. These quick and easy enchiladas take practically no time to prepare, and they're delicious!

Ingredients:
• Cooking spray
• 2 cups of shredded, cooked chicken
• 8 whole wheat flour tortillas
• 2 cans of enchilada sauce
• 1 tbsp. of taco seasoning
• 1/4 cup of water
• 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:
1. Spray an 8-inch by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
2. Pour 1/2 can of enchilada sauce into the pan and spread it around to cover the bottom of the pan.
3. In a large bowl, mix the shredded, cooked chicken with the water and taco seasoning.
4. Scoop some of the chicken onto the middle each of the 8 tortillas, dividing it evenly among them.
5. Roll the tortillas and place them in a single layer in the baking pan.
6. Cover the pan with foil and bake in a 375 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes.
7. Remove the pan from the oven and remove the foil. Sprinkle the cheese over the tortillas and return to the oven until it melts and starts to bubble.

Serve your enchiladas with yellow rice and black beans.

Garnish each plate with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, dollops of sour cream, black olives, chives, salsa, and anything else that appeals to you.


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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sweet Baklava by Debby Mayne

Check out the book trailer for Sweet Baklava, my first book with Abingdon Press. The release date is March 2011.





I'll resume my "Deadline Dinner" recipes soon. And when we get closer to the release date of Sweet Baklava, I'll throw in some fabulous Greek recipes.

Opa!

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day in the Life of Emma Grace

I combined some of the pictures of my granddaughter Emma and put them into a slide show. Enjoy!

Day in the Life of Emma Grace

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

For the Seafood Lovers!

My husband and I have been trying to eat as much heart-healthy food as possible, so I decided to post a seafood recipe. This is super simple and quick! The recipe is for 2 people, so adjust according to how many people you'll be serving.

Seafood Pouch

Ingredients:
• Cooking spray
• 2 fish fillets – any type of fish will work
• 4 jumbo shrimp
• 8 scallops
• 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes
• 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
• Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Spray the center of two 12 by 12 inch squares of aluminum foil with cooking spray.
2. Place a fish fillet in the center of each piece of foil.
3. Divide the remainder of the seafood and position around the fish fillet.
4. Sprinkle the garlic over the seafood.
5. Sprinkle the diced tomatoes over the seafood.
6. Add salt and pepper.
7. Loosely fold the foil over the fish and seal.
8. Place the seafood-filled pouches on a cookie sheet or baking tray and put in a 400 degree oven. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Remove from oven and wait 10 minutes to open the pouches.
9. Serve the seafood pouches with baked potatoes and a fresh garden salad.


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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Deadline Dinners!

I’ve decided to go in a different direction with my blog posts and offer something practical to all the busy people out there. One of my passions is food, and I know how to put a quick delicious meal on the table every night—even when I’m on a book or article deadline. Another of my passions is parenting, and I know how stressful trying to nurture a family can be.

Everyone has to eat, and I'd like to help make the job of meal prep easier for busy parents. So over the next several months, I’m going to post recipes my family enjoyed when my daughters were growing up. If you have one you’d like me to try, please e-mail it to me at Debby@DebbyMayne.com.

I'm a big believer in experimenting and substituting one ingredient for another, so if you feel like adding or switching something out, give it a try! I cook with a lot of salad dressings and soups that come in low-sodium, low-fat, and low-sugar varieties. In most cases, it doesn't make much difference in the outcome.

Super Simple Mock Swiss Steak

Ingredients:
• Cooking spray
• Whatever steak you can find on sale – enough for everyone in the family
• 1 bottle of Catalina, Russian or dark French salad dressing
• 1 cup of water
• 1 dash of Worcestershire sauce
• 1 sliced onion (optional)

Directions:
1. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray.
2. On medium-high heat, brown the steak on both sides.
3. If you like onions, add them to the skillet and sauté them until they are translucent.
4. Dump the entire bottle of Catalina, Russian or French salad dressing over the steak.
5. Pour 1 cup of water and a dash (or two) of Worcestershire sauce over the dressing and stir until the liquids are blended.
6. Turn down the heat and simmer until the steak is done according to your taste. I generally cook thinner cuts of meat about 15 minutes and thicker cuts up to 30 minutes.

Serve with rice and steamed green beans.

*Helpful hint: If you purchase a tougher cut of meat, this recipe can be cooked all day in a slow cooker, which helps tenderize the meat.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

New Food Theme!

I’ve decided to start blogging about one of my greatest passions—food. Over the next several months, I’ll feature food themes, along with recipes and fascinating facts about certain culinary treats I’ve tasted and enjoyed.

In a few days, I’ll start my first theme of “Deadline Dinners.” These are meals that I make when I’m on a book deadline and have very little time to cook. I’m not a huge fan of fast food or eating out a lot, so I’ve found ways to cut corners but still throw meals on the table that taste good and have plenty of nutrition.

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Wonderful Agent!

I’m excited to announce that my agent, Tamela Hancock Murray, is a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers Agent of the Year award. She’s amazing, and I sure hope she wins! If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be writing Shades of the Past, a contemporary story set in the Mennonite community in Sarasota, Florida, for Heartsong Presents. My contract arrived last week, and I’m loving the research!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Book Review!

Jessica Hastings, the feature writer of romance fiction at Suite101 posted a new review of one of my books. Check it out: Special Mission.

Please Don’t Feed the Alligators!


Most days I go for a 2-mile walk that takes me between a couple of lakes, around a very nice apartment complex, and then back to my neighborhood. Since this is Florida, we have all kinds of cool critters in the lake, including dorky looking Florida birds, turtles, fish, and alligators.

There’s a sign by each lake saying “Do not feed the alligators,” and it’s there for a reason. Alligators can’t be tamed, and when people feed them, they associate people with food, which makes them more dangerous.

Most days, I may see dozens of birds, a turtle or two, and an alligator’s snout as it floats in the lake. Today I was blessed with a sighting of an alligator taking a break on the bank. Fortunately, I’ve been bringing my camera, just in case I saw one, so I snapped a quick picture before he slithered back into the water. I’m not afraid of alligators as long as they are at least 20 feet away.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Ultimate Healing Through Christ!

I’ve experienced quite a bit of physical pain since my auto crash back in 1981. I was driving to work at the St. Petersburg Times, when an oncoming car crossed the median and plowed into me head-on. I vaguely remember the 60 mile-per-hour impact, but I'll never forget the mangled mess of my car. I’m fortunate to be alive, but I live with chronic pain.

Over the past 29 years, I’ve gone to chiropractors but got very little relief. My massage therapist, Jennifer Wakeman, owner of the Health and Healing Touch center, has helped me quite a bit. There were days when I walked into her center with pain radiating from my shoulders to my fingertips, and I left feeling wonderful.

Then a new pain started in the middle of my back a few months ago, and massage only helped a little. I later found out I had pneumonia, so I thought that might be the problem, but after the pneumonia cleared up, the pain was still there. So I decided to try acupuncture. I asked several people for referrals, and I kept hearing the name Ariane Jackson who owns Palm Harbor Oriental Medicine with her husband Alex. So I went there twice, and now I’m feeling much better.

As I think about my desire to heal naturally, without surgery or pain medication, I can’t help but consider how Jesus healed much more than our bodies. He came into this world and suffered way more than any of us ever will, and then He died on the cross to wash away our sins, so we could be with Him for eternity. Now that’s what I call the ultimate healing!

Celebrate this Easter season knowing you’re right with the Lord. Love Him and be thankful He cared enough to give up His life for you!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Feature and Guest Blogger!

I’m next week’s feature blogger on the Heartsong Connection and the guest blogger on EditCafe on Monday! I’d love for some of my friends, readers, and students to stop by and leave a comment.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Characterization in Fiction!

As an instructor for Long Ridge and judge for the Writer’s Digest fiction competitions, I consistently see a wide range of stories. Most of them are good—or at least have the potential for being good. However, only a few are excellent. My Long Ridge students know that when I make recommendations, it doesn’t mean I don’t like their work. In fact, it’s the opposite. I want them to take their good stories and make them even better.

When people ask me what I consider the single most important thing to work on in fiction, I generally say characterization. Here’s an article I wrote about this subject: Writing Fictional Characters to Hook the Readers.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Super Bowl Weekend!

Most years, I don’t care who wins the Super Bowl, but since I can only enjoy a game if I have someone to root for, I randomly pick a team. This year, the opposite is happening. I like both teams!

The Indianapolis Colts are a fabulous team with Peyton Manning as quarterback. I admire this man because he does his job, does it well, and seems to avoid drama in his personal life. Another reason I like the Colts is that even though Tony Dungy is gone, it’s still the team he built. And Tony Dungy, in my opinion, is everything a professional football coach should be—a student of the game, someone who cares about doing his job well, a good citizen of the community, and a man of faith.

I like the New Orleans Saint because it runs in my blood. My family is from Saints Country—South Mississippi and parts of Louisiana. Even when the Saints never won a game, people from that area still loved their football team, and Archie Manning was king. Now, years after Katrina, many people are rooting for them because they’re the team with heart, and they need something like this after all they’ve been through. I saw on the news yesterday that crime is down in New Orleans since the Saints won the play-off game!

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve spent some time thinking about which team to root for during the Super Bowl, and after much back-and-forth flipping, I’ve decided on the Saints. But it’s safe to say that if the Colts win, I won’t be devastated.

We’ll be here at home, yelling at the TV, wearing our game clothes (T-shirts in our team’s colors), and eating foods we avoid at any other time. Check out my delicious and crowd-pleasing recipes: Party Dip Recipes – Easy, Delicious and Versatile and Quick and Simple Snack Ideas for Large Groups. If you’re watching the Super Bowl with your kids, check out my Super Bowl Party Ideas for Kids and Families.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Blessed with Great Friends!

I’m blessed that I have so many friends—some strictly personal, some professional, some a blend of both, and others people I only see once in a while. They’re all friends, and they’ve all touched my life in so many ways.

As a Christian author, my writer friends and church friends overlap. I pray with both, and they are all involved in my career in one way or another. My writer friends and I critique, share ideas, make career plans, laugh or cry about edits, and feed off each other’s energy. My church friends encourage my writing, read my books, and give me ideas for future books. I love my writer and church friends!

I have neighbors who enjoy standing outside chatting on nice days. We discuss yard work, mulch, traffic on the street, and whatever else is happening in the neighborhood at the time. I’m fortunate that the people who live around me aren’t into malicious gossip. They’d much rather talk about important things, like when to trim the palm trees or what’s on sale at Publix. I love my neighbors!

I have some wonderful online buddies, too. Some of them I see at conferences once a year, and others I only chat with online. Even though I don’t see them often or don’t see them at all, I still feel a kinship with them. We share information through the Internet and give each other cyber hugs when needed. I love my online buddies!

God designed us to be social people. We feed off each other and find joy in the company of friends. I’m thankful to have so many friends who are all such wonderful blessings!

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mixed Bag Day!

Yesterday morning started out rough. I got some news I didn’t want to hear—nothing earth shattering, but not something I want to discuss. It was basically just ego shattering. Then I hopped on my treadmill to start my daily workout. I have no idea how it happened, but my foot slipped, and I lost complete control. And the treadmill kept on going. Until yesterday, I didn’t attach the treadmill safety key to my clothes. Now I’m sore but not broken—at least from what I can tell. From now on, though, I’ll clip that key to my shirt so if I fall, the treadmill will stop.

Then a friend e-mailed me and advised me to check out the Barbour fiction blog. My heart hammered as I saw my name in the top ten favorites among Heartsong Presents readers. I scrolled down and saw my latest book, Noah’s Ark, listed at #4 favorite contemporary. For the icing on the cake, the Noah’s Ark cover made #1. That totally made my ouchies much less painful!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Schedules, Emma and Suite101!

Life has been insane lately, so I haven’t posted in a while. Fortunately, things are looking good now. I should be back to a somewhat regular schedule soon.

My granddaughter Emma just turned 1 last week! I’m excited that I’ll be seeing her soon. My daughter and son-in-law are planning a big birthday party at her other grandmother's (Hi, Georgette!) house, which should be fun for everyone.

Last week, I was promoted to Feature Writer of the Dating section on Suite101. What a cool category for a romance writer! I’ve enjoyed writing articles there. I hope people who read my researched pieces are finding tidbits to make their lives easier or more fun.