Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake

For a twist on the traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, I often make pumpkin cheesecake. If you want to give it a whirl this year, here’s my favorite recipe. Enjoy and have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

Crust: Crush 10 whole graham crackers and mix with 3 tablespoons of sugar and 3 tablespoons of butter. Press into a 10 inch cheesecake spring pan (bottom and 2 inches up the sides). Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Remove.

Filling: Beat together until smooth, 2 (8-oz) packages of cream cheese (works best if softened), 1 cup of light cream, 1 cup of canned pumpkin, ¾ cup of sugar, 4 egg yolks (save whites in a separate bowl), 3 tablespoons of flour, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, ½ teaspoon each of ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Beat egg whites until stiff and gently fold into the pumpkin mixture. Pour over prepared crust and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Baking times vary, so make sure the center is set. I’ve found it often takes longer than the 1 hour noted in the recipe.

Topping: Gently mix 2 cups of sour cream, 4 tablespoons of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla until well blended. Spread topping evenly over cheesecake and bake another 5 minutes. Refrigerate and serve cold.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Alaska’s Golden Days

As the temperatures plunge, what better time to introduce my favorite Alaskan author, Lynn Lovegreen. Lynn grew up in Alaska, and still lives there. She taught English for 20 years before retiring to make more time for writing. She enjoys reading, hanging out with friends and family, and hitting targets with a cowboy action shooting club. Her young adult historical romances are set in the Alaska Gold Rush, a great time for drama, romance, and independent characters. Her latest novel in the series, Golden Days, has just been released and you can read more about it below. For more on Lynn and her work, please visit her website at www.lynnlovegreen.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.

Alaska is a cold place to live until love blossoms.

Elizabeth Robinson travels by dog sled to help her family mind the store in Fairbanks, Alaska. She wants to pursue her drawing and painting, but women artists are rare in 1906, and flood, fire, and a death in the family force her to take charge at home at age seventeen. James Garrett comes north to help his uncle at a nearby gold claim. An awkward eighteen-year-old who is more at home with machines than people, he becomes a man as he falls in love with Elizabeth. When a discovery about her benefactor, the founder of the town, threatens their future, Elizabeth and James find that together they can overcome any obstacle.

Other books by Lynn Lovegreen include:


 
Quicksilver To Gold 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Adventure Scrapbook – Loreto, Mexico’s Mission San Javier

In the hills outside of Loreto, Mexico is Mission San Javier, which was founded in 1699 by the Jesuits, led by Father Francisco María Piccolo. The drive from Loreto takes about an hour and the scenery is spectacular. The road has steep grades, dizzying hairpin curves, and is quite narrow in spots. It’s normally all paved, but when we visited parts were washed out and water ran across the road in several places. The village of San Javier is small, simple, and there is minimal commerce which only adds to the overall charm of this picturesque community and important cultural site. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Adventures in Frontier Omaha

I’m especially excited to introduce, Jewell Tweedt and her newest Inspirational/Historical romance novel, A Bride for the Sheriff. The novel, along with many of her other books, is set in frontier Omaha, Nebraska. Modern day Omaha is a place I know well and it is near and dear to my heart, so without further ado, here’s a quick blurb to whet your appetite.

After four years of waiting for fiancé Cal Davidson to return, Claire Secord moves to frontier Omaha to start a new life. After all, many men did disappear during The War Between the States. Running the family mercantile keeps her busy days but at night she dreams of Cal and the life they’d planned.

Handsome sheriff Tom Maxwell befriends Claire and they begin a warm yet casual romance. When Claire is kidnapped and carried off, she must employ all her faith, skills and intellect to survive until Tom can find her.      

Reuniting they discover their true feelings and become engaged. Back in Omaha, Claire discovers Cal waiting and expecting her to return east as his bride.

Now she must decide between honor and commitment with her first love or a future of passion and excitement with her true love.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jewell Tweedt was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, the setting for A Bride for the Sheriff and the other Nebraska Brides books. She lives in western Iowa and divides her time between teaching middle school students and writing. In her spare time she reads, gardens and walks while plotting out new stories.  Readers can learn more about Jewell and her books at http://www.tweedtjewell.blogspot.com.

Other books by Jewell available on Amazon include”







Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Bears and the Bighorns

In Wyoming, black bear populations are widespread, whereas grizzly habitat is primarily confined to northwestern Wyoming, but as populations increase and habitat decreases bears will expand their territory and reestablish in previous historical ranges or in new habitats. Grizzly bears have not inhabited the Bighorn National Forest since the early 20th century, but for the sake of fiction I have hastened the return of a solitary grizzly to the Big Horn Mountains just as a deadly storm is brewing

Black and grizzly bears can be incorrectly identified if attributes such as size or color are relied upon. For a more accurate identification, it’s important to remember that black bears have no shoulder hump, tall pointed ears and a straight facial profile from nose to ear. Grizzlies have a distinctive shoulder hump, short rounded ears, and its facial profile appears dished in.

Bears play a fairly small role in Big Horn Storm, but added to an already dire and deadly situation, the encounter further degrades the characters ability to survive. The novel is a contemporary western romantic adventure set in rugged mountain country. The story combines a foreign invasion, harrowing horseback escapes, a traumatic accident, and a terrifying bear encounter, along with an attempt to reconcile the past in an action-packed thriller.