Edna’s Kitchen Presents: Sweet and Savory

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*recipes featuring wings, pizzas and desserts*

Table of Contents:

Wings:
Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Wings with Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
Beer-Brined Buffalo Wings
Sticky Ginger Garlic Chicken Wings
Baked Chicken Wings
Hot and Spicy Chicken Wings
Slow-Cooker Mole Chicken Wings

Pizzas:
Mexican Chicken Pizza with Cornmeal Crust
Garlic Butter Crusted Margherita Pizza
Mediterranean Pizza
Buffalo Chicken Beer Bread Pizza
The Cheesy ‘Shroom Pizza
Roasted-Vegetable Pizza

Desserts:
Strawberry Shortcake Poke Bundt Cake
Easy Triple Berry Cake
Layered Fruit Flag Salad
S’mores Brownies
Raspberry Lemonade Cheesecake Bars
Coffee Swirl Yogurt Cake

 

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Wings:

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Wings with Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients:
Chicken
¼ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
3 lb chicken wingettes and drummettes
12 slices bacon, cut in half crosswise

Bourbon Sauce
½ cup ketchup
½ cup bourbon
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Steps:
Heat oven to 425°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with sides with heavy-duty foil; spray with cooking spray.
Sprinkle pepper over chicken. Wrap each chicken piece with a half slice of bacon.
Place bacon-wrapped chicken pieces on cookie sheets, bacon end down. Bake uncovered 30 minutes; turn chicken; rotate cookie sheets in oven. Bake 20 to 30 minutes longer or until golden brown and juice of chicken is clear when thickest part is cut to the bone (at least 165°F).
Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, mix Bourbon Sauce ingredients; heat to simmering over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.
In large bowl, toss chicken with half of the sauce. Serve warm with remaining sauce on the side for dipping.

Beer-Brined Buffalo Wings

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon coarse salt
1 bottle (12 oz) beer
2 lb chicken wings (12)
1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoons paprika
¼ cup butter
¼ cup red pepper sauce

Steps:
Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheet with foil.
In large bowl, beat brown sugar, salt and beer with whisk. Add chicken wings; toss gently to coat. Refrigerate 30 minutes to brine.
In large resealable food-storage plastic bag, mix onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Drain chicken; pat dry with paper towels. Discard brine. Add chicken to bag; toss until evenly coated. Place chicken on cookie sheet.
In 1-quart saucepan, melt butter. Stir in pepper sauce. Heat to a simmer. Pour mixture over wings.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when thickest part is cut (165°F). If desired, shake extra pepper sauce over wings after baking. Serve with Blue Cheese or Ranch Dressing for dipping.

Sticky Ginger Garlic Chicken Wings

Ingredients:
Glaze
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons grated ginger root
1 Tablespoon Sriracha hot chili sauce, or ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Teaspoon soy sauce

Chicken
3 Tablespoons red pepper sauce
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
5 lb chicken wing drummettes
1 cup all-purpose flour

Steps:
In 1-quart saucepan, combine all glaze ingredients; bring to a simmer, stirring frequently over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.
In 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag mix pepper sauce, oil, salt, pepper and chicken. Seal bag; shake to coat. Add flour, seal bag and shake until chicken is coated with flour.
Heat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with heavy-duty foil; spray with cooking spray.
Place chicken on cookie sheets. Bake uncovered 30 minutes, turn chicken over and rotate pans. Bake 20 to 30 minutes longer or until golden brown and juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut.
In large bowl, toss chicken with glaze.

Baked Chicken Wings

Ingredients:
2 pounds chicken drummettes (24)
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons ketchup
1 Tablespoon red pepper sauce
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Paprika
⅔ cup ranch dressing

Steps:
Heat oven to 350°F. Line a jelly roll pan, 15 1/2×10 1/2×1 inch, with aluminum foil. Remove skin from chicken.
Mix honey, ketchup, pepper sauce and Worcestershire sauce in resealable plastic bag. Add chicken. Seal bag and refrigerate, turning occasionally, at least 15 minutes but no longer than 24 hours.
Place chicken in pan; sprinkle with paprika. Bake uncovered about 30 minutes or until crisp and juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut. Serve with dressing.

Hot and Spicy Chicken Wings

Ingredients:
1 cup cayenne pepper sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt
24 chicken drummettes
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup baking mix
¾ teaspoon onion salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Blue cheese dressing

Steps:
Stir together hot sauce and garlic salt until blended. Pour over drummettes; cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours but no longer than 24 hours.
Heat oven to 450°F. Melt butter in jelly roll pan, 15 1/2×10 1/2×1 inch, in oven. Stir together baking mix, onion salt and peppers. Remove chicken from sauce; discard sauce. Coat chicken with baking mix, mixture. Place in single layer in pan.
Bake 25 minutes; turn and bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and juice is no longer pink when centers of pieces are cut. Serve with dressing.

Slow-Cooker Mole Chicken Wings

Ingredients:
Chicken
3 lb chicken wingettes and drummettes
½ teaspoon kosher (coarse) salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Glaze
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1 can (14.5 oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes, well drained
½ small onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
3 Tablespoons honey
1 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate (about 2 Tablespoons)
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon kosher (coarse) salt
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Toppings
3 Tablespoons roasted salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 lime, cut into wedges

Steps:
Set oven control to broil. Spray 3 ½ – to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Spray broiler pan rack with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place on rack in pan.
Broil 3 inches from heat 10 to 12 minutes or until browned, turning halfway through broiling time. Place chicken in slow cooker. In a medium bowl, place Glaze ingredients in bowl of food processor. Puree until smooth; about 30 seconds; pour over chicken. Stir to coat.
Cover; cook on Low heat setting 3 hours. Serve with glaze for dipping. Garnish with pepitas and lime wedges.

 

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Pizzas:

Mexican Chicken Pizza with Cornmeal Crust

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 ¼ teaspoons regular active dry yeast
¼ teaspoon coarse (kosher or sea) salt
¾ cup warm water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
⅓ cup yellow cornmeal
Additional cornmeal
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (8 oz)
1 ½ cups shredded cooked chicken
1 can (14.5 oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes or plain diced tomatoes, drained
½ medium yellow bell pepper, chopped (½ cup)
¼ cup sliced green onions (4 medium)
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Steps:
Heat oven to 450°F. In a medium bowl, mix ¾ cup of the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Stir in warm water and oil. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on high speed 1 minute. Stir in ⅓ cup cornmeal and remaining ¾ cup flour to make a soft dough.
On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
Spray large cookie sheet with cooking spray; sprinkle with additional cornmeal. On cookie sheet, press dough into 14×10-inch rectangle; prick with fork. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges just begin to turn brown.
Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese blend. Top with chicken, tomatoes and bell pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake 6 to 8 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and edges are golden brown. Sprinkle with onions and cilantro.
Tips:
Use a rotisserie chicken, shredded for easy topping.

Garlic Butter Crusted Margherita Pizza

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
½ teaspoon chopped roasted garlic or chopped garlic
½ teaspoon salt
1 can refrigerated classic pizza crust
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 Tablespoon chopped roasted garlic or chopped garlic
8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh basil strips

Steps:
Heat oven to 400°F. Grease large dark or nonstick cookie sheet with shortening or cooking spray; set aside.
In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add tomatoes, ½ teaspoon roasted garlic and salt. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 to 15 minutes or until tomatoes are thickened, stirring frequently. Set aside; cool slightly.
Unroll dough on cookie sheet. Press out dough to 15×10-inch rectangle. In small bowl, mix butter and 1 tablespoon roasted garlic. Spread over dough. Bake 7 minutes; remove from oven.
Evenly distribute tomato mixture over partially baked crust. Top with mozzarella cheese.
Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown. Sprinkle basil strips over pizza before serving.

Mediterranean Pizza

Ingredients:
Crust
2 Tablespoons cornmeal
2 ½ cups baking mix
1 package fast-acting dry yeast
½ cup plus 3 Tablespoons warm water (105°F to 115°F)
Topping
½ cup basil pesto
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained, cut into ½ -inch pieces
1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 oz)
1 package (4 oz) crumbled feta cheese (1 cup)

Steps:
Heat oven to 425°F. Lightly grease 15x10x1-inch pan with shortening or cooking spray. Sprinkle with cornmeal, tapping off any excess.
In large bowl, stir baking mix and yeast. Add water; stir until dough leaves side of bowl. On work surface dusted with additional baking mix, lightly knead dough 1 minute. Roll out to 15×10-inch rectangle. Place dough in pan; crimp edges, forming a rim.
Spread pesto over dough. Sprinkle tomatoes, artichokes, mozzarella cheese and feta cheese evenly over top.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.

Tips:
Look for basil pesto in glass jars in the pasta aisle or in the refrigerated pasta section in plastic containers.
If you’re an olive fan, top the pizza with sliced ripe olives or Greek olives to continue the Mediterranean theme.
Garnish with chopped fresh basil after baking to add more color to this pizza.

Buffalo Chicken Beer Bread Pizza

Ingredients:
Crust
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 package regular active dry yeast
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse (kosher or sea) salt
¾ cup lager beer, such as a Boston lager, warmed to 105°F
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Buffalo Chicken Topping
¼ cup Buffalo Wings Sauce
2 Tablespoons lager beer, such as a Boston lager
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
1 ½ cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 oz)
1 cup shredded provolone cheese (4 oz)
⅓ cup crumbled blue cheese
2 Tablespoons sliced green onions (2 medium)

Steps:
Heat oven to 450°F. In a medium bowl, mix 1 cup of the flour, sugar, yeast, baking powder and salt. Stir in ¾ cup beer and the oil. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on High speed 1 minute. Stir in remaining 1 cup flour to make a soft dough.
On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Cover; let rest 30 minutes.
Spray large cookie sheet with cooking spray. On cookie sheet, press dough into 14×10-inch rectangle; prick with fork. Bake for about 10 minutes or until edges just begin to turn brown.
While crust is baking, in a medium bowl, mix wing sauce, 2 tablespoons beer and the melted butter. Add chicken, and toss to coat.
Remove crust from oven. In a small bowl, mix shredded mozzarella and provolone cheese. Sprinkle crust with 1 cup of the cheese mixture. Top with chicken mixture; sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese mixture and the blue cheese. Return to oven; bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is deep golden brown. Sprinkle with green onions.

The Cheesy ‘Shroom Pizza

Ingredients:
1 can (13.8 oz) refrigerated classic pizza crust
1 Tablespoon olive oil
½ clove garlic, finely chopped
1 ½ cups shredded Gruyère cheese (6 oz)
½ cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 cup sliced fresh baby portabella mushrooms
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil leaves, if desired

Steps:
Heat oven to 425°F. Spray 12-inch pizza pan with cooking spray. Unroll dough; place in pan. Starting at center, press out dough to edge of pan.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat oil and garlic with whisk. Brush oil mixture on top of partially baked crust. Top with Gruyère cheese. Drop dollops of ricotta cheese by teaspoonfuls on top. Top with mushrooms; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and lightly golden brown. Garnish with fresh basil.

Roasted-Vegetable Pizza

Ingredients:
1 medium bell pepper, cut lengthwise into eighths
1 medium yellow summer squash, cut into ¼ -inch slices
½ small eggplant, cut into ¼ -inch slices
1 package (8 ounces) whole fresh mushrooms, cut in half
2 Tablespoons roasted garlic-flavored or regular vegetable oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 package (10 ounces) ready-to-serve thin pizza crust
1 cup shredded provolone cheese (4 ounces)
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves

Steps:
Heat oven to 425°F. Spray jelly roll pan, 15 1/2×10 1/2×1 inch, with cooking spray.
Spread bell pepper, squash, eggplant and mushrooms in single layer in pan. Brush with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes, turning vegetables once, until vegetables are tender.
Place pizza crust on ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with ½ cup of the cheese. Top with vegetables. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup cheese.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with basil.

Tips:
Roast the vegetables for this recipe ahead of time and refrigerate until needed.

 

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Desserts:

Strawberry Shortcake Poke Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

Cake
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup milk
4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 eggs

Strawberry Poke Mixture
1 ½ cups sliced fresh strawberries
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Cream Cheese Glaze
¾ cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 oz cream cheese, softened
1 to 2 Tablespoons milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla

Garnish
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

Steps:

Heat oven to 325°F. Generously spray 10- or 12-cup bundt cake pan with cooking spray with flour.
In large bowl, beat Cake ingredients with an electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl constantly. Increase speed to medium; beat 2 minutes, and pour batter into pan.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, puree Strawberry Poke Mixture ingredients until smooth; transfer to 4-cup glass measuring cup, and set aside. While still in pan, poke holes in cake with end of wooden spoon at ½ -inch intervals going almost to bottom. Use a wet paper towel to wipe ends of spoon after each poke. Carefully pour poke mixture over holes in cake, using spoon to direct mixture into holes. If necessary, poke existing holes to make room for more mixture.
Cool 40 minutes; refrigerate in pan 2 hours. Remove from refrigerator, and run metal spatula around outer and inside edges of pan to loosen cake; turn upside down onto serving platter.
In a medium bowl, mix Cream Cheese Glaze ingredients with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. If too thick, add additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency. Glaze cake as desired; garnish with strawberries.

Tips:
Slice and refrigerate strawberries ahead of time, and your cake will be ready to garnish when it’s time to serve your guests.
Keep cake refrigerated until ready to serve.

 
Easy Triple Berry Cake

Ingredients:

1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
⅛ teaspoon salt
¾ cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
⅓ cup butter, melted
⅓ cup sour cream
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups fresh mixed berries, such as blueberries, raspberries and coarsely chopped strawberries
Sweetened whipped cream, if desired

Steps:

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray. In small bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In large bowl, beat ¾ cup sugar, the melted butter and sour cream with whisk until well blended. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the berries. Spread batter in pie plate. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup berries and 1 teaspoon sugar over top.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes. Cut into wedges; serve with whipped cream.

Tips:
To make 1 ½ cups whipped cream, place medium deep bowl and beaters in freezer or refrigerator to chill. Place ¾ cup heavy whipping cream and 1 tablespoon powdered sugar in bowl. Beat on low speed until mixture begins to thicken. Add ½ teaspoon vanilla; beat on high speed until soft peaks form.
To ensure success in baking, measure ingredients accurately using the right measuring equipment for the ingredient being measured. For best results, add ingredients in the order they are called for.

 
Layered Fruit Flag Salad

Ingredients:

2 cans (8 oz each ) pineapple tidbits in juice
2 medium bananas, sliced
3 pints (6 cups) fresh strawberries
3 containers (6 oz each) yogurt lemon burst
1 ½ cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
4 cups cubed (½ to ¾ inch) cantaloupe, well drained
1 ½ pints (3 cups) fresh blueberries
2 cups miniature marshmallows

Steps:

Drain pineapple, reserving juice in small bowl. Pat pineapple dry with paper towels to remove any excess liquid. Toss banana slices in pineapple liquid; drain well, discarding liquid. Reserve 18 to 20 strawberries for flag stripes; cut remaining strawberries into quarters.
In a medium bowl, mix yogurt, whipped topping and powdered sugar until well blended and smooth.
In ungreased 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish, layer cantaloupe and quartered strawberries. Reserve 50 blueberries for flag stars. Layer remaining blueberries over strawberries. Top with bananas, pineapple and marshmallows. With pancake turner, press fruit lightly to even out top. Spread yogurt mixture evenly over fruit. If desired, at this point, salad can be covered and refrigerated up to 4 hours.
If serving salad immediately, add toppings; if salad is refrigerated, add toppings up to 1 hour before serving. Sprinkle reserved blueberries in corner to resemble stars of flag. Cut reserved strawberries into quarters. Arrange strawberries in rows to resemble stripes of flag.

Tips:
You could vary this salad to suit your taste. Why not add or substitute red or green grapes, raspberries or honeydew melon? Chopped pecans, walnuts or pitted dates are also delicious in the salad.

 
S’mores Brownies

Ingredients:

1 box (16 oz) original brownie mix
Water, vegetable oil and egg called for on brownie mix box
2 cups miniature marshmallows
8 graham cracker squares, broken into small pieces
2 bars (1.55 oz each) milk chocolate candy, broken into 1-inch squares

Steps:

Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease bottom of 9-inch square pan with shortening or cooking spray. Make and bake brownies as directed on box. After removing the pan from oven, set oven control to broil.
Immediately sprinkle marshmallows and graham crackers over warm brownies. Broil with top 4 to 5 inches from heat 30 to 60 seconds or until marshmallows are golden brown. (Watch carefully; marshmallows and graham crackers will brown quickly.) Sprinkle with candy. Cool on a cooling rack, about 3 hours until chocolate is set. Cut into 4 rows by 4 rows.

 
Raspberry Lemonade Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients:

Crust
1 pouch sugar cookie mix
½ cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

Filling
2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
½ cup sugar
1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
2 eggs
⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup fresh raspberries

Steps:

Heat oven to 325°F. Spray bottom only of 13 x 9-inch pan with cooking spray.
In large bowl, mix Crust ingredients with spoon until soft dough forms. Press dough in bottom of pan. Bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven to cooling rack; cool 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon peel with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl frequently. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until just blended. Beat in lemon juice. Reserve ¼ cup filling; set aside. Spread remaining filling evenly over cooled crust.
In a small bowl, mash raspberries with fork. Push mixture through small strainer with back of spoon to make ¼ cup raspberry puree. Stir puree into reserved filling. Drop tablespoonfuls raspberry mixture on cream cheese layer. With knife, carefully swirl into top of cream cheese layer.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until filling is set. Cool 30 minutes on cooling rack. Refrigerate for about 2 hours or until cooled completely. Cut in 6 rows by 4 rows.

 
Coffee Swirl Yogurt Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup butter or margarine, softened
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup plain yogurt
¼ cup international instant coffee mix (any flavor)

Steps:

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour bottom only of loaf pan, 9x5x3 inches.
Mix flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder; set aside. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour mixture alternately with yogurt, beating until smooth after each addition.
Remove 1 cup of the batter; stir in dry coffee. Pour half of the plain batter into pan. Drop coffee batter by spoonfuls onto batter in pan. Add remaining plain batter. Swirl batters deeply with handle of wooden spoon for marbled design.
Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaf from pan; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour, before slicing.

 

More of Edna’s Kitchen on Amazon:

Welcome to Edna’s Kitchen

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I suppose it’s a good time for a formal introduction: Hello all my name is Megan and I came up with Edna’s Kitchen as a tribute to my Great Grandma Audrey and my Grandma Patricia. I started with a handful of recipes that I remembered from growing up and then expanded into new ones that I came across. The idea of this came from a short story that I wrote called ‘After the Glory’ which is loosely based on my Grandparents life after World War II.

A little something from ‘After the Glory’:

Mrs. Rachel Darling sat in front of her typewriter working on her next column for The Daily Star, the local newspaper for the area. Her column Ask Edna had recipes, gardening advice and household tips and tricks. Rachel also covered the upcoming community event section.
She enjoyed her job as a freelance writer. She still used the Underwood Standard Portable Typewriter her parents had given her when she decided to take up writing as a career.
Now that the war was over and food rationing had laxed a bit she could use some of her favorite recipes. She pulled out a handmade book that had a picture of a girl running through a field of wildflowers. It was a recipe book she had put together with her mom a lifetime ago. Rachel thumbed through it, soups & salads, main dishes and desserts.
This week’s recipes from Edna’s kitchen, Three Bean Salad, Stuffed Green Bell Peppers and Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. Rachel typed away.
Rachel had thought about putting together her own cookbook, she entitled it Recipes from Edna’s Kitchen. She thought it was cute.
With the beginning of fall just around the corner your Victory Garden needs tending to. She typed writing up the gardening advice for this week.
Rachel Darling had been married to Jim Darling for sixteen years until his untimely death three years ago. Jim was a banker a nine to five guy, everyday in a suit and tie, Monday through Friday at the office, he had passed away of a heart attack. Their daughter Susan was away attending nursing school.

Onto the recipes.

Table of Contents:

Appetizers
Spinach Dip
Hot Artichoke Dip
Roasted Garlic
Deviled Eggs

Beverages
Blackberry Mint Juleps
Cranberry-Mint Iced Tea
Lemonade Iced Tea
Sangria
Hot Chocolate
Hot Spiced Cider
Hot Buttered Rum
Cranberry Zombie
Hot Toddies
Christmosas
Candy Cane Kahlua Hot Chocolate
Snuggler Peppermint Hot Cocoa
Traditional Eggnog
Wassail

Salads
Classic Coleslaw
Strawberry Spinach Salad
Bow-Tie Pasta Salad
Cucumber Salad
Grilled Garlic Steak Salad
Gyro Salad
Artichoke-Pepper Pasta Salad
Sour Cream-Honey Fruit Salad
Poppy Seed Fruit Salad
Raspberry-Banana Yogurt Salad
Three Bean Salad
Cucumber Salad
Creamy Cranberry Salad
Waldorf Salad

Soups
Italian Meatball Minestrone Soup with White Beans
Bacon Beer Cheese Soup
Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
Bean with Bacon Soup
Vegetable Soup
Butternut Squash Soup
French Onion Soup
Split Pea Soup
Chili​

Stews
Chicken Stew
Guinness Beef Stew with Cheddar Herb Dumplings

Quick Breads
Pepper Jack Cheese Quick Bread
Apple-Bacon Mini Loaves
Sweet Potato Spice Bread

Breads
Cranberry Nut Bread
Zucchini Apple Bread
Pumpkin Bread
Banana Bread
Corn Bread
Zucchini Bread

Muffins
Apple-Cheddar Muffins
Streusel-Topped Cranberry Coffee Cake Muffins
Banana-Blueberry Muffins

Breakfast
Easy Bacon Pie
Easy Mini Breakfast Sausage Pies
Easy Breakfast Bake
Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole
Breakfast Skillet
Potato and Bacon Hash with Fried Eggs
Potato, Bacon and Egg Scramble

Quiches
Mini Quiches
Ham and Tomato Quiche
Italian Pepperoni-Vegetable Quiche
Three Cheese-Vegetable Quiche

Side Dishes
Honey Ginger Carrots
Green beans and Bacon
Roasted Root Vegetables
Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers
Roasted Cauliflower with Shallots, Orange and Thyme
Simple Roasted Vegetables
Broccoli with Sweet Red Pepper and Garlic
Sugar Snap Peas and Rice

Casseroles
Sausage, Dried Cranberry and Apple Stuffing
Sweet Potato Casserole
Tomato and Zucchini Casserole
Beef and Bean Taco Casserole
Italian Sausage Lasagna
Green Bean Casserole
Macaroni and Cheese
Frito Pie Casserole
White Bean, Sausage and Spinach Casserole

Main Dishes
Oven Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
Chicken Pot Pie
Sesame-Peanut Chicken Lo Mein
Sheet-Pan Honey-Balsamic Pork Chop Dinner
Chicken-Bacon-Ranch Pasta Bake
Stromboli Squares
Grilled Inside-Out Southwestern Cheeseburgers
Meatloaf
Beef Stroganoff
Stuffed Bell Peppers
Spaghetti and Meatballs

Slow Cooker Meals
Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Slow Cooker Baked Ziti
Slow Cooker Parmesan Honey Pork Roast
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Sweet Treats
“Berry Good” French Toast Bake
French Toast Roll-Ups
Monkey Bread Minis
Everything Bagel Mini Monkey Bread

Cookies
Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies
Snickerdoodles
White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Russian Tea Cakes/ Snowball cookies
Cinnamon Sugar Cookies
Ginger Crinkle Cookies
Cranberry Honey Walnut Drops
Lemon Glazed Caraway
Candy Cane Kiss Cookies
Chocolate Mint Cookies
Thumbprint jam cookies

Bars
Lemon Bars
Snickerdoodle Blondies
Shortbread Bites
Toffee Bars
Reindeer Bait
Chocolate Peppermint Fudge
Gingerbread Fudge
Seven Layer Bars
Pumpkin Spice Bars

Desserts
Peppermint Chiffon Cake
Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler
Pumpkin Pie
Summer Citrus Fruit
Yogurt and Banana Frozen Dessert
Fruit-Topped Almond Cake
No-Bake Lemon Icebox Pie
Apple Crisp
Pineapple Upside-down​ Cake
Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Edna’s Kitchen e-book cookbooks available on Amazon:

Also a handful of short stories by me in e-book form on Amazon:

All priced at $.99 cents or free with Kindle Unlimited

 

Edna’s Kitchen Presents: The Best of Bacon

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Table of Contents:

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus

Bacon and Tomato Cream Cheese Tarts

Bacon-Cheddar Pinwheels

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Wings with Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

Bacon and Hash Brown Egg Bake

Sheet-Pan Bacon and Egg Hash

Double Bacon Bagel Egg Casserole

Apple, Bacon and Cheddar Waffles

Chicken-Bacon-Ranch Enchiladas

Bacon-Ranch Potato Salad

Tortellini, Broccoli and Bacon Salad

Bacon-Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Bacon and Basil Pasta Salad

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

Bacon-Wrapped Barbecue Pork Tenderloin

 

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Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons butter, melted

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 lb fresh asparagus spears, trimmed

8 slices bacon

1 lemon, cut in wedges

Steps:

Heat oven to 425°F. Line 18×13-inch rimmed pan with foil. Place large rack in pan; spray rack and foil with cooking spray.

In large shallow bowl or pie plate, mix melted butter and pepper flakes. Add asparagus; toss thoroughly to coat. Divide asparagus evenly into 8 bundles. Wrap each bundle in one slice of bacon. Do not overlap the bacon. If desired, secure each bundle with 2 toothpicks; place toothpick-side down on rack. Drizzle with any remaining butter mixture.

Bake 30 to 36 minutes, turning once, until asparagus is tender and bacon is cooked through. Serve with lemon wedges.

To prepare asparagus, break off the woody end of the vegetable as far down the stalk as is easy to snap.

Tips:

Asparagus varies in thickness. For this recipe, thicker spears work better. When shopping for asparagus, choose firm, bright-colored stalks with tight tips. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to three days.

The butter mixture will cling to the asparagus better if the asparagus is cold.

Use regular-cut bacon for this recipe. Thick-cut will not cook through by the time the asparagus is done.

Using toothpicks makes it slightly easier to turn the asparagus during roasting, but they aren’t necessary if you are careful not to pull the bacon away from the bundles at each end.

Choose a large, rectangular flat rack that fits inside of the pan. Using the rack helps the bacon cook evenly, but don’t skip the step of spraying it! Thoroughly spraying the rack prevents the bacon from sticking.

Lining the pan with foil makes cleanup a breeze and protects your pan from bacon drippings that might burn and discolor the pan.

When asparagus starts flooding the supermarket, you know it’s spring! We love loading up on this vegetable while it’s in season, because it’s a whole lot more affordable than other times of the year.

 

Bacon and Tomato Cream Cheese Tarts

Ingredients:

1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent dough sheet or 1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

⅓ cup thinly sliced green onions

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

2 teaspoons heavy whipping cream or milk

½ cup chopped cooked applewood smoked bacon

6 grape tomatoes, quartered (24 pieces)

Steps:

Heat oven to 375°F. Line large cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper.

Unroll crescent dough into 12×7-inch rectangle. If using crescent rolls, press seams to seal. Cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Place dough pieces on cookie sheet, spacing slightly apart. Bake 10 to 13 minutes or until golden brown; cool 10 minutes.

In medium bowl, mix cream cheese, 3 tablespoons of the green onions, 2 teaspoons of the thyme and the cream; beat with electric mixer on medium until well mixed. Spread 2 teaspoons cream cheese mixture on top of each baked crescent square.

Top with bacon, tomatoes and remaining green onions and thyme. Serve immediately, or loosely cover and refrigerate up to 2 hours before serving.

Tips:

Crescent appetizers are best served right away, but they can also be made ahead and refrigerated up to 2 hours before serving.

Applewood bacon has a nice smoky flavor, but regular bacon also works in this recipe.

 

Bacon-Cheddar Pinwheels

Ingredients:

1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) refrigerated Crescent Dough Sheet

2 Tablespoons ranch dressing

¼ cup cooked real bacon pieces or 4 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled

½ cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz)

¼ cup chopped green onions (4 medium)

Steps:

Heat oven to 350°F.

If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough; separate into 2 long rectangles. Press each into 12×4-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough; cut lengthwise into 2 long rectangles. Press each into 12×4-inch rectangle.

Spread dressing over each rectangle to edges. Sprinkle each with bacon, Cheddar cheese and onions.

Starting with one short side, roll up each rectangle; press edge to seal. With serrated knife, cut each roll into 8 slices; place cut side down on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

 

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Wings with Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients:

Chicken

¼ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

3 lb chicken wingettes and drummettes

12 slices bacon, cut in half crosswise

Bourbon Sauce

½ cup ketchup

½ cup bourbon

¼ cup packed brown sugar

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Steps:

Heat oven to 425°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with sides with heavy-duty foil; spray with cooking spray.

Sprinkle pepper over chicken. Wrap each chicken piece with a half slice of bacon.

Place bacon-wrapped chicken pieces on cookie sheets, bacon end down. Bake uncovered 30 minutes; turn chicken; rotate cookie sheets in oven. Bake 20 to 30 minutes longer or until golden brown and juice of chicken is clear when thickest part is cut to bone (at least 165°F).

Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, mix Bourbon Sauce ingredients; heat to simmering over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.

In large bowl, toss chicken with half of the sauce. Serve warm with remaining sauce on the side for dipping.

 

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Bacon and Hash Brown Egg Bake

Ingredients:

1 lb bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium onion, chopped (½ cup)

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (¾ cup)

1 package (8 oz) sliced fresh mushrooms

2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

¾ cup milk

12 eggs

1 package (2 lb) frozen hash browns, thawed

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 oz)

Steps:

In 12-inch skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Using slotted spoon. Remove from pan to small bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Drain drippings, reserving 1 tablespoon in pan. Add onion, bell pepper and mushrooms; cook 4 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in mustard, salt and pepper. In large bowl, beat milk and eggs with wire whisk.

Spray 13×9-inch (3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray. Spread half of hash browns in baking dish. Spread onion mixture evenly on top. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese. Spread remaining hash browns over top. Pour egg mixture on top. Cover; refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Heat oven to 325°F. Uncover; bake 50 to 60 minutes or until thermometer inserted in center reads 160°F. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese and the bacon. Bake 3 to 5 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean, top is puffed and cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes.

 

Sheet-Pan Bacon and Egg Hash

Ingredients:

2 medium sweet potatoes (1 ½ lb total), peeled, cut into ¼ -inch dice (about 4 cups)

4 medium red potatoes (1 lb total), cut into ¼ -inch dice (about 3 cups)

1 large red onion, chopped (about 2 cups)

8 slices bacon, chopped

2 Tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 ½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 ¼ teaspoons salt

¾ teaspoon pepper

6 eggs

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

Steps:

Heat oven to 450°F. Spray 18×13-inch rimmed pan with cooking spray.

In large bowl, mix sweet potatoes, red potatoes, onion, bacon, oil, garlic, thyme, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Spread in pan in even layer.

Bake 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes, until bacon is crisp and potatoes are browned.

Remove pan from oven; create 6 wells in potato mixture. Gently crack an egg into each well; season eggs with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until egg yolk and whites are firm. Sprinkle with parsley.

Tips:

Yukon potatoes can be substituted for red potatoes in this recipe.

Make sure to get the red-skinned, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes for this dish.

 

Double Bacon Bagel Egg Casserole

Ingredients:

6 cups cubed (1-inch) everything bagels

1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend (4 oz)

¾ cup sliced green onions

1 cup chopped seeded plum (Roma) tomatoes (about 3 tomatoes)

½ cup chopped Canadian bacon

1 cup chopped cooked bacon

8 oz cream cheese, cut into 1/4-inch chunks

10 eggs

2 cups milk

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

Steps:

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13×9-inch (3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray. Layer with half of the bagels, 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese, 1/2 cup of the green onions, the tomatoes, Canadian bacon, 3/4 cup of the bacon and remaining bagels. Add chunks of cream cheese on top of bagels.

In large bowl, beat eggs and milk with whisk; beat in salt and pepper. Pour over bagel mixture, pressing down slightly. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese.

Bake 45 minutes; top with remaining bacon. Bake about 10 minutes or until golden brown and center is just set. Let stand 15 minutes; top with remaining sliced green onions before serving.

 

Apple, Bacon and Cheddar Waffles

Ingredients:

2 cups pancake and baking mix

1 ⅓ cups milk

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 egg

¾ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (3 oz)

1 cup crisply cooked and crumbled bacon (14 to 15 slices)

½ cup chopped apple

Warm maple syrup

Sliced green onions, if desired

Steps:

Heat waffle maker; lightly brush with vegetable oil, if necessary. In medium bowl, stir Bisquick™ mix, milk, oil and egg until mixed well. Mix in shredded cheese, 1/2 cup of the crumbled bacon and the chopped apple.

Pour 1/2 cup batter onto center of hot waffle maker. (Waffle makers vary in size; check manufacturer’s directions for recommended amount of batter). Close lid of waffle maker. Bake according to manufacturer’s directions or until steaming stops and waffle is golden brown; carefully remove waffle. Repeat with remaining batter.

Top each waffle with heaping tablespoonful bacon; serve warm with maple syrup. Garnish with sliced green onions.

 

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Chicken-Bacon-Ranch Enchiladas

Ingredients:

Enchiladas

6 slices bacon, chopped into ½ -inch pieces

5 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 can (10 oz) green chile enchilada sauce

2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (8 oz)

1 Tablespoon ranch dressing & seasoning mix

12 flour or corn tortillas (6 inch)

Sauce

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

½ cup diced onion

1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 Tablespoons ranch dressing & seasoning mix

2 cups chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)

1 cup sour cream

Toppings, as desired

Cilantro, onions, tomatoes, avocado, olives, shredded lettuce

Steps:

Heat oven to 375°F.

In deep 10-inch skillet, cook chopped bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towel-lined plate; discard drippings.

In large bowl, stir together half of the bacon, the chicken, enchilada sauce, 1 cup of the cheese, and 1 tablespoon ranch dressing & seasoning mix.

In same skillet, heat vegetable oil until hot. Cook onion and a pinch of salt in oil until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chiles; cook until any liquid is mostly evaporated. Quickly stir in flour, making sure of no dry lumps. Cook 1 minute; add 2 tablespoons ranch dressing & seasoning mix.

Slowly beat in chicken broth with whisk. Simmer about 8 minutes or until slightly thickened. Beat in sour cream; simmer 1 to 2 minutes. Spread some of the sauce in ungreased 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish, just to coat bottom.

Fill tortillas with chicken mixture, rolling up to make enchiladas. Arrange enchiladas in baking dish in two rows of six; top with rest of sauce, remaining cheese and bacon.

Bake about 30 minutes or until edges of enchiladas begin to brown and sauce is bubbling. Let stand 10 minutes before serving with whatever toppings you like.

 

Bacon-Ranch Potato Salad

Ingredients:

1 ½ lb small red potatoes (about 10), quartered

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half

½ cup chopped celery

¼ cup chopped fresh chives or green onions

¼ cup cooked crumbled bacon or 6 slices packaged precooked bacon (from 2.2-oz package), chopped

½ cup ranch dressing

Steps:

In Dutch oven or 5-quart saucepan, place potatoes and salt. Add water just to cover. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cover; simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until tender. Drain; rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well. Cool slightly.

Place potatoes in large bowl. Add tomatoes, celery, chives and bacon.

Stir in ranch dressing. Serve warm, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tip:

If refrigerating this salad to serve later, save the bacon to stir in just before serving.

 

Tortellini, Broccoli and Bacon Salad

Ingredients:

2 bags (19 oz each) frozen cheese-filled tortellini

4 cups broccoli florets

2 cups cherry tomatoes, each cut in half

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1 cup reduced-fat coleslaw dressing

1 lb bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled

¼ cup sunflower nuts

Steps:

Cook and drain tortellini as directed on package. Rinse with cold water; drain.

In very large (4-quart) bowl, mix tortellini, broccoli, tomatoes, chives and dressing. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors.

Just before serving, stir in bacon. Sprinkle with nuts.

 

Bacon-Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

1 box (1 lb) elbow macaroni (about 6 cups)

1 bag (12 oz) frozen broccoli cuts

8 slices bacon

½ cup sliced shallots

6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

4 cups milk

12 oz white Cheddar cheese, shredded (3 cups)

8 oz Gouda cheese, shredded (2 cups)

20 round buttery crackers, coarsely crushed

Steps:

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Cook and drain macaroni as directed on package, using minimum cook time. Meanwhile, cook broccoli as directed on package.

In 4-quart Dutch oven, cook bacon until crisp; drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon; set aside. Reserve 2 tablespoons drippings. Cook shallots in bacon drippings over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until mixture boils and thickens.

Remove from heat. Add 2 cups of the Cheddar cheese and the Gouda cheese; stir until melted. Stir in cooked macaroni and broccoli and crumbled bacon. Spoon mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle with crushed crackers and remaining 1 cup Cheddar cheese.

Bake uncovered 15 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted.

 

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Bacon and Basil Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

1 package (16 oz) penne pasta

½ lb sliced bacon

1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half

2 medium red or green bell peppers or 1 of each, chopped (2 cups)

4 medium green onions, sliced (¼ cup)

⅓ cup red wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

½ cup olive oil

½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Steps:

Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Rinse with cold water to cool; drain.

Meanwhile, in 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook bacon over medium heat 5 to 8 minutes until crisp; drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon; refrigerate until serving time.

In large bowl, mix pasta, tomatoes, bell peppers and onions.

In small bowl, beat vinegar and mustard with whisk. Add oil; beat with whisk until blended. Stir in basil, salt and pepper. Pour over pasta mixture and toss to combine. Cover; refrigerate 2 hours or until chilled.

Just before serving, sprinkle bacon over salad and toss to combine.

 

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

Ingredients:

Meatloaf

3 slices bread, torn into small pieces

½ cup milk

1 ½ lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef

8 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled

1 cup finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (4 oz)

¼ cup dill pickle relish

½ cup finely chopped onion

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 egg, slightly beaten

Topping

⅓ cup ketchup

1 Tablespoon packed brown sugar

Steps:

Heat oven to 350°F. Line 9×5-inch loaf pan with foil; spray foil with cooking spray.

In large bowl, mix bread and milk. Let stand 5 minutes to absorb milk. Add beef, all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon, the shredded cheese, relish, onion, garlic and egg. Mix until well combined. Shape mixture into 8×4-inch loaf. Place in pan.

In small bowl, stir together Topping ingredients. Spread on top and sides of loaf. Top with reserved 2 tablespoons crumbled bacon.

Bake uncovered 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted in center of loaf reads 160°F. Cool 10 minutes.

Cut meatloaf into slices to serve. Top with desired burger toppings, such as pickle relish, ketchup and mustard.

 

Bacon-Wrapped Barbecue Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients:

8 slices bacon

2 pork tenderloins (about 1 lb each)

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

⅓ cup sweet & spicy BBQ sauce

1 Tablespoon finely chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Steps:

Heat oven to 425°F. Line 15x10x1-inch pan with heavy-duty foil; spray foil with cooking spray.

Microwave bacon between layers of microwavable paper towels on microwavable plate 3 to 4 minutes or just until edges begin to brown but are still soft and pliable. Cut each piece in half crosswise.

Season tenderloins with salt and pepper; place in pan. Arrange bacon pieces diagonally over top of pork, pressing bacon over sides.

In small bowl, mix barbecue sauce, chipotle chile and cumin. Brush tops of each tenderloin with glaze. Bake tenderloins 30 to 35 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted in center of pork reads 145°F. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Tip:

Precooking bacon in microwave ensures bacon gets nice and crispy in the time it takes for tenderloin to cook.

 

More from Edna’s Kitchen:

 

 

A Rambling Blog About Books

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I am by no means a constant or avid reader, if a book holds my attention then I will read it. However this doesn’t occur often. That being said, what follows is a brief list of authors and books that I have read recently.    

Richard Chizmar

https://richardchizmar.com

A Long December

Gwendy’s Button Box

I stumbled upon Richard Chizmar’s work because of his collaboration with Stephen King. I am glad that I did he has a raw talent for twisting the narrative of a short story. I devoured A Long December and am looking forward to getting my hands on The Long Way Home.  

 

Cori Lynn Arnold

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5807555.Cori_Lynn_Arnold

Northern Deceit

Scalding Deceit

I know Cori Lynn Arnold from college, I know her in passing, one of those friend of a friend acquaintances. It took me awhile to get around to reading her work. But when I finally did I was not disappointed, I started with Northern Deceit and it sucked me in, the environment, characters and the fact that she wrote about where we had grown up was strangely nostalgic for me. I then read Scalding Deceit which was also entertaining and gave more backstory for the characters.          

 

Ken Bruen

https://www.goodreads.com/series/50920-jack-taylor

Jack Taylor Series

Ken Bruen’s Jack Taylor Series is also something that I stumbled upon while hanging out at libraries and thumbing through the mystery/thriller section. There are now fifteen Jack Taylor books the last one set to be released in November of 2019. I have read eight of them, so far, enjoyable, immersive stories that you can get lost in.   

 

Chad A. Clark

https://twitter.com/ChadClarkWrites

Tracing The Trails: A Constant Reader’s Reflections on the Work of Stephen King

Then there is this, I consider myself a ‘Constant Reader’ of Stephen King’s works, so I figured I would check this interesting take on King’s works by Chad A. Clark. I consider it an indepth look at all of King’s works. Personally I don’t dissect fiction on such a level, writing, especially fiction, is a form of artistic expression, in my opinion. Open for interpretation, so what you get out of it, isn’t what I get out of it. All Art is Subjective. That being said, Chad A. Clark’s take on King’s work is interesting enough to read, (honestly one of those things I read when I couldn’t sleep.) I just don’t agree with some of his conclusions.

 

Flight or Fright: 17 Turbulent Tales

Edited by Bev Vincent

http://www.bevvincent.com/

This was an outstanding collection of short stories all with the running theme of  ‘while on a plane’ I enjoyed all seventeen stories. I highly recommend this collection, just may not want to read it while flying.

 

To close this rambling post about books and authors I am going to list some of the other wonderful storytellers I have discovered over the last few years,  I recommend checking them out.

Marc Watson

https://twitter.com/writewatson  

Death Dresses Poorly

Catching Hell

A Land Without Mirrors: A Collection of Fantasy and Surrealism by Fluky Fiction

 

J.M. Sullivan

https://twitter.com/jmsullivanbooks

Alice (The Wanderland Chronicles #1)

Second Star (Neverland Transmissions #1)

 

Scott Thompson

https://twitter.com/sthompsonauthor

Eight Days

The Confederate  

 

Paige Lavoie

https://twitter.com/MrsPaigeLavoie

A Girl Called Monster

Confidence: The Diary of an Invisible Girl

 

Mark Lumby

https://twitter.com/marklumby1

Most of Me

Bag of Buttons

Rats in the Loft

 

Neil Christiansen

https://twitter.com/WriteGavinGayle

http://www.gavingayle.com/

Murder Ballad

Bishop Church

 

Alex K. Logan

https://twitter.com/AlexKLogan

Thor’s War

 

Some of my other blog posts about reading and writing.

https://cch217.wordpress.com/2019/03/01/special-guest-jm-sullivan/

https://cch217.wordpress.com/2018/11/05/question-of-the-hour-why-do-you-write/

https://cch217549678581.wordpress.com/2018/04/24/history-of-a-constant-reader/

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Megan Hinde

 

Edna’s Kitchen Presents: Simply Salads

green-salad

Mediterranean Layered Salad

Greek Salad

Dilled Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Honey-Lime Berries and Greens

Apple-Gorgonzola Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

Pear and Greens Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

 

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Mediterranean Layered Salad

Ingredients:

Dressing

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 Tablespoons lemon juice

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 ½ teaspoons honey

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salad

8 cups chopped romaine lettuce (12 oz)

1 container (8 oz) prepared hummus

1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1 medium English (hothouse) cucumber, chopped (3 ½ cups)

1 jar (6 oz) marinated artichoke hearts, drained, coarsely chopped

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced (1 cup)

½ cup coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives

1 cup crumbled feta cheese (4 oz)

Steps:

In small bowl, stir all dressing ingredients together with whisk until well blended.

Arrange lettuce on large serving platter. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Place small dollops of hummus evenly over lettuce. Layer tomatoes, cucumbers, artichoke hearts, onion, olives and feta cheese on top of hummus. Serve with remaining dressing.

 

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Greek Salad

Ingredients:

Lemon Dressing

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon sugar

1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon salt

⅛ teaspoon pepper

Salad

7 oz spinach, torn into bite-size pieces (5 cups)

1 head Boston lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces (4 cups)

1 package (4 oz) crumbled feta cheese (1 cup)

4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)

24 pitted ripe olives

3 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges

1 medium cucumber, sliced

Steps:

In tightly covered container, shake all dressing ingredients.

In large bowl, toss salad ingredients and dressing. Serve immediately.

 

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Dilled Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

4 medium tomatoes, each cut into 8 wedges (about 3 cups)

2 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced (about 5 cups)

½ cup finely chopped red onion

½ cup rice vinegar

4 teaspoons sugar

1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill

½ teaspoon seasoned salt

Steps:

In large glass serving bowl, mix tomatoes, cucumbers and onion.

In small bowl, mix all remaining ingredients until blended. Pour vinegar mixture over vegetables; toss to mix. Cover; refrigerate 1 hour to blend flavors. Toss again just before serving. Serve with slotted spoon.

 

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Honey-Lime Berries and Greens

Ingredients:

Salad

6 cups mixed salad greens

¾ cup fresh strawberries or raspberries

4 thin red onion slices, separated into rings

2 Tablespoons sliced almonds, if desired

Dressing

¼ cup lime juice

3 Tablespoons vegetable oil

3 Tablespoons honey

¼ teaspoon poppy seed

¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard

Steps:

In medium bowl, gently toss salad ingredients.

In small bowl, mix dressing ingredients. Serve dressing with salad.

 

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Apple-Gorgonzola Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

Vinaigrette

⅓ cup olive or vegetable oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Salad

1 bag (10 oz) mixed baby greens or Italian-blend salad greens

1 medium red or green apple, chopped (1 cup)

½ cup crumbled Gorgonzola or blue cheese (2 oz)

⅓ cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Steps:

In small bowl, beat vinaigrette ingredients with wire whisk until smooth.

In large bowl, toss salad ingredients with vinaigrette just before serving.

 

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Pear and Greens Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

Vinaigrette

¼ cup real maple syrup or maple-flavored syrup

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

¼ cup canola or vegetable oil

Salad

⅓ cup pecan halves

8 cups torn mixed salad greens

3 medium pears, peeled, cut into wedges

⅓ cup sweetened dried cranberries

Steps:

In small bowl, mix all vinaigrette ingredients except oil with wire whisk. Beat in oil until blended.

Place pecans in 1-cup glass measuring cup. Microwave on High 2 minutes to 2 minutes 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until browned.

Divide salad greens among 6 serving plates. Arrange pear wedges on greens; sprinkle with pecans and cranberries. Drizzle vinaigrette over salads.

 

More of Edna’s Kitchen:

 

Question of the Hour Presents: Faces on Mixer

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The Questions:

Why do you stream?

What do you get out of it?

Where do you see it going?

Is streaming what you thought it would be?

What have you found beneficial in streaming?

What has been a deterrent in your streaming experience?

Do you think streaming as a career will continue to grow?

The Answers provided by our awesome streamers on Mixer: Before we dive into their answers a Streamer is someone that live streams creative content, be it video games, tutorials, art projects or discussions.

A huge thank you to everyone that participated in answering my questions.

 

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Superblake:

https://mixer.com/superblake

https://twitter.com/superblake_01

Why do you stream?

I stream because it’s the exact same attitude I normally have when playing games and I’ve always like entertaining people. It also gives me a chance to connect with and talk to people, which I genuinely enjoy.

What do you get out of it?

Honestly? Next to nothing beyond personal satisfaction. My goal is to provide an entertaining environment for people to chill out in and watch some cool games. Obviously I have stuff like Meaty Boiz Esports which is a little more involved than that (competitive esports requires a lot of off stream work), but I don’t get paid to do this. I have as much fun as I can and try to play as many video games as I can, for as many people that want to hang out!

Where do you see it going?

I see streaming being the next big internet content machine. Live content creation is a super strong medium and it provides a unique experience for the audience, so there’s not a lot there to slow it down. For me personally? I’d love it if I could say I was a professional gaming personality, with my primary content coming from my streams. It’s already an awesome thing to get to do every day, but if I could somehow get paid to do it and develop a marketable corner of the internet for myself that’d be fucking fantastic too.

Is streaming what you thought it would be?

Streaming is sort of what I thought it would be. I grew up performing in live shows, so streaming to an audience seems like a natural fit, right? But forging those connections to small communities over the internet through a webcam is completely different.

What have you found beneficial in streaming?

Having a tight group of friends/mods. I don’t like thinking of them as ‘policing’ chat or games but a lot of the time to keep things enjoyable for everyone, it’s necessary. I also don’t think of chat as my audience, more like a group of friends over at my house causing a ruckus and having a good time.

What has been a deterrent in your streaming experience?

Honestly a big deterrent is the cost/return of streaming as a whole. To have a good, not even great, but a good stream I think you should invest money into a proper mic, computer, graphics, etc. You can succeed and start out without that stuff but it’s important to improve your stream as a whole over time. And honestly, I spend 30-40 hours a week making consistent content for free for an audience that I actively try not to monetize. If you are getting into streaming to “get rich quick” you might want to make sure you don’t quit your day job.

Do you think streaming as a career will continue to grow?

I think streaming as a career isn’t sustainable. Eventually personalities will fall as new content rises and being a personality is a very limited time thing. Moving laterally from streaming into hosting, creating other content, even working in community management is always going to be a more long term move.

 

 

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Tasty Lemons:

https://mixer.com/TastyLemons

https://twitter.com/TastyLemons_

Why do you stream?

I have played a lot of competitive multiplayer games over the years with many different people. Naturally a lot of shenanigans were had in all of these interactions over the years. I decided to share those moments by streaming them. Beam had just switched to Mixer at that point, and had integrated directly with Xbox, so it was easy to just pick up and start streaming.

What do you get out of it?

I stream purely as a hobby, so I get the enjoyment of just being able to share all of these moments with others. Gaming prior to streaming was my main outlet to relax and unwind. Now I can still relax and unwind while sharing the laughs, stories, and crazy moments that seem to occur when I launch games.

Where do you see it going?

Quite honestly I do not have much of a plan going forward. Getting partnered was a rather large step but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Just a constant battle to refine the stream and provide the most entertaining experience I can for my community. My concentration is less so on expanding but providing a more quality stream for my existing community.

Is streaming what you thought it would be?

I never had much of a notion or an idea of what streaming would be like prior to giving it a go a few years back. Truly I just kind of hit the go live button once and just winged it from there.. I can say it is considerably more work than I would have thought, but as is with any hobby/career if you enjoy the work then it does not feel so straining.

What have you found beneficial in streaming?

The people. Whether it is people within my own community, other communities, other streams, Mixer staff, people at conventions, etc. The people one can meet through streaming are generally great. Not only do I often game with a lot of these people now, on and off stream, but I actually hang out with several of them in the area I live in. Never would have met them if not for streaming.

What has been a deterrent in your streaming experience?

For me life is a big deterrent since I only stream as a hobby. I have to manage my full-time career, social life, other hobbies, and raising my small corgi child along with streaming. This is made more difficult by the fact that keeping a consistent schedule is one of the most important parts to having a successful stream. Streaming is also more than just the several hours a week you spend live. You have a ton of hours each week sunk into managing your overlays, bots, etc as well as coordinating co-streams or events with devs.

Do you think streaming as a career will continue to grow?

I absolutely think streaming as a career will continue to grow. Now, I think some people use the term ‘full time streamer’ a little loosely. Being able to become a full time streamer able to support oneself at this point takes a ton of time, effort, networking, and plain luck that is on par with becoming a professional athlete. The platforms supporting this are growing and e-sports is booming right now, but people need to understand that it is a tough career.

 

 

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Kirsche

https://mixer.com/Kirsche

https://twitter.com/KirscheMixer

Why do you stream?

I stream because of the people who come and hangout with me. The relationships I have built over the past three years. The other streamers I have seen grow and the communities they have built. It has been an amazing experience. I will be honest, I don’t have many people in my life. I find a lot of that ‘human’ connection through streaming. I know there are others like me and I want to make a place where we can all feel connected. We can laugh, cry, be weird and all of those other feelings together. There will never be judgement against someone for what they like or love. I LOVE to experience new games with my community. I love the reactions, the salt, the laughter that we share together in our experiences.

I could have the worst day in the world. I could be super down with depression. You know those days where you just want to hide in bed and sleep all day? I could be in a state of  “fuck, I don’t want to do this tonight.” I could be “I just want to quit.” I go live because of you! The people who come to hangout and support our community. I see those who support me in the shadows and you do not go unnoticed. My community is why I stream. The people, the friendships, the relationships and our history. As soon as I go live, even those nights I don’t want too and I see messages in chat. That makes my night. That brings me up and makes my day.

What do you get out of it?

Note: some of this question is answered above. When I can make someone smile or feel at home, that is what I enjoy the most. I love it when someone new joins, a regular stops by or someone comes back from a several month break and they say I made their day. I have been gaming a long time. I have been a part of and I have seen a lot of toxic environments. I wanted somewhere I could be myself and others be themselves. Somewhere where we can support each other and feel ‘safe’. When someone joins and they feel that way, it is so rewarding. We as a community gave give each other shit and laugh about it. We support and bring each other up when we are down. That is worth more than all of the subs and dono’s. You cannot put a price on relationships.

Where do you see it going?

This is a hard question. I don’t know. I want to do more things with my stream. I love to fish and would love to do an IRL fishing stream. There are many challenges producing that type of content solo. I also would love to do IRL yard work streams. I need a camera man haha!

Other than that I don’t know where we are going or what I am going to do. I am going to keep doing what I am doing now and make changes as I go. Make changes as the industry shifts. The streaming industry is so dynamic it’s hard to put a plan in place. Audience changes, game types change, and trends change. In a way I have handle my career outside of streaming like this. I had a plan to finish school and get a job, but that was it. I made and took opportunities as the came up. I made the best of them and have been successful. That is my plan for streaming. I’m going to make opportunities where I can. I will take advantage of all of the opportunities that come my way. You never know what will come of something you do or the people you meet.

Is streaming what you thought it would be?

Simple answer, no. I have watched streams for a long time. As a viewer you have a totally different perspective of what streaming is, until you do it. You think of, he/she plays a game and gets paid. Why can’t I do that? It’s a lot of fucking work. Starting out you know nothing. It’s not easy to just start up a stream and go. You have to learn a lot about technology, configuration, software, hardware, stream presence, relationship building, engagement, and the list goes on. It’s simply not just playing a game. There is so much work to do before and after the stream. There is work to be done on your off days. Some streamers take days off so they can work more! There are relationships to keep and build. There are new things to research and study. Your work is never done in the changing world of streaming and entertainment.

One thing new streamers don’t understand is that it takes time. It takes years of work. I have been doing this for 3 years. If I look at my job, I have been in IT for 16 years. In that perspective I am still a novice. I know a lot but there is so much more to learn. There is always someone else who knows something you don’t. Make those relationships and grow with each other. I can’t wait to see where I am at in 5 years.

There is this quote from @JaredFPS that resonates with me all of the time. I am paraphrasing this and I’m 100% certain I am wrong but he said “When you sleep I grind.” It’s the truth. The time you spend on something else (i.e. not your stream) others are grinding hard to get above you, to get above others. This a good thing. Competition is a good thing. What this means is you have to be always be ready for change and move with the punches. Streaming isn’t easy. To me you always have to learn, learn from others, learn from yourself and be honest with yourself. Stay away from the drama and other bullshit. People see that and remember that.

I have a lot more to learn. I continue to learn each day.

What have you found beneficial in streaming?

I spoke a lot about this above. The beneficial side to streaming is the relationships.

What has been a deterrent in your streaming experience?

The people who have used me and who use others is a huge deterrent. As soon as you get a decent following people will come to you out of nowhere. They will want to work with you and expect things from you without telling you. I have seen this happen a lot to others. I have had mods who modded for their gain. I have had people come in to support me for their gain. It’s quiet easy to see them now and when others try to do this to me and to other streamers. After a while you learn the pattern, you learn how people talk to you to get something.

The unfortunate thing is it makes me close up a little bit and question everyone I meet. Why are they here, why are they talking to me? I really hate it. I also feel the same when I reach out to other streamers. Are they going to think I am trying to use them? That is one deterrent or hurdle.

Do you think streaming as a career will continue to grow?

I most certainly do. I stream maybe three hours a night five days a week so I keep my sight on long term growth. Long term being 5-10 years, and I’m three years into streaming on Mixer. This is a hard question to answer for me to be honest. I enjoy what I am doing now. I really love the people who support me every night. So for me, growth would be to maintain this moving forward. I would, of course, love to bring more into the community. We have a tight-knit community and I am really grateful for what I have.

 

 

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PieRatKing:

https://mixer.com/PieRatKing

https://twitter.com/PieRatKing

Why do you stream?

I stream because I want to share the enjoyment of video games with others, and I have always enjoyed entertaining people. And I am freaking hilarious!!! j/k

What do you get out of it?

Filling a hole deep inside of me through the feeding of my narcissism? No, but really I get to entertain people, meet people, talk about things I love, and a sense of accomplishment. Along with learning skills that I have always wanted to, video editing, graphic design, animation: these are all things I have only learned because I have been streaming

Where do you see it going?

A household name, a statue in downtown Houston, and millions of dollars… no, I see it going to a place where I can sustain myself but also offer me different avenues to share my opinions, and other crafts with people that it may not have before. Believe me we all wish we could be six figure content creators, but most of us just want to do something we enjoy doing and be able to sustain ourselves.

Is streaming what you thought it would be?

Streaming is a lot more taxing, and hard work than I had originally thought. Between always trying to find out what direction to go, to trying to improve the experience. A lot of time and effort is put into streaming, and I know I can always do better.

What have you found beneficial in streaming?

I have found that it has boosted my confidence and releases a lot of the social anxiety I have. It also gives me a place to share myself with others, and obviously I am the best damn thing since sliced bread!

What has been a deterrent in your streaming experience?

Numbers. Always the numbers. It is the one thing I always have to remind myself is not the most important thing. I have to keep from getting down on myself about not getting enough viewers, not getting enough follows.

Do you think streaming as a career will continue to grow?

Yes, but it will become harder to get into and do the more it grows. Those who got in earliest and stuck with it are going to have the longer career. Up and comers are going to have a harder time breaking into it, and will rely on big splash over consistent growth. Just my two cents.

 

 

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Kitty_haz_Claws:

https://mixer.com/Kitty_haz_Claws

https://twitter.com/Kitty_Haz_Claws

Why do you stream?

like most people, I love playing video games, I was introduced to Twitch by a friend of mine who said to me, hey this guy is streaming and if he gets 10 viewers he’s going to buy a pizza for someone in the chat! So of course I went to watch; who doesn’t love free pizza! Needless to say, he lied about the pizza, and he was horrible at entertaining the chat. I instantly thought, holy buckets.. this guy (the streamer) is sooo bad, I can do this SO MUCH BETTER. So, I did a little research and started up he next week! Needless to say, I ended up being a lot better than him.

What do you get out of it?

I get to be social with people, be a daily part of their lives and truly get to know people. I love being able to start up a stream and truly making an impact on someone’s life. I was sent a PM few years back how someone in my community was thinking about suicide but ended up in my stream, and ended up changing their mind because I reminded them that life is always in motion, every day is a new chance at life and it’s okay to feel down.  

Where do you see it going?

I’ve been a partner for over 3 years, so you really can’t get much bigger than that; but I absolutely love showcasing unique indie games that I find. I love being able to play the weird and bizarre. I hope more devs figure out that I’m Mixer’s Indie Game Streamer and together we can work on showcasing their beautiful and weird games. 🙂

Is streaming what you thought it would be?

Yes & no. Yes because I went into it purely for a social aspect of it. To game with friends. No because I didn’t realize all the work and effort it takes to stream. All the offline work, all the networking, all the commitment it requires if you want to become anything.

What have you found beneficial in streaming?

I’ve found that I can be connected to people from all over the world and have friends in nearly every time zone. I’ve discovered games I never knew I’d enjoy and gaming with people I never thought I’d typically game with.

What has been a deterrent in your streaming experience?

The biggest deterrent in streaming is the lack of knowledge in mental health that most streamers have. Mental health is so important and it’s something I thought I had a handle on and obviously after nearly 5 years of streaming I don’t have a handle on it. People need to not be afraid to step back and focus on themselves.

Do you think streaming as a career will continue to grow?

I think streaming in general will grow, as a career…. I really don’t know. Not many people can stream and make a true career out of it. It’s so unpredictable and varies drastically from month to month. Most all the Mixer partners still have full time or part time jobs to help cover all the bills and day to day expenses.

 

 

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The Last Mage:

https://mixer.com/TheLastMage

https://twitter.com/lastmagetv

Why do you stream?

When I first started streaming I was doing it to try to make it a career. I think a lot of people, if not most, start out this way. Some find their crowd and this thought process continues. For me, I tend to stream a lot of indie games, rpgs, and lesser known titles that, naturally, don’t get the number of eyes that battle royale games may get. I started to realize after many months of beating myself up over numbers, that in the end it’s about the people who show every day to support you and have fun.

So, (this will be an unpopular opinion for many partnered streamers) I’ve stopped looking at this as a career. It’s a community to me, and I don’t expect to earn back even a tiny bit of what I put into it. My entire goal is to put a few smiles on peoples faces, be there for them when they run into tough times, and to build a community that persists even when I’m not online. My goal is to try to remember what everyone is doing outside of the stream, to check up on them after difficult school tests, and just generally be there for people.

What do you get out of it?

I’m at around 3 years of streaming now, and it’s helped me in many different ways. Many of these I never saw coming and could never have predicted. First, of course, I’ve made a ton of friends. I’ve met many of them at conventions in person and it’s comforting to know that many of them would have my back if something ever happened. I’m not talking about fist fights or online arguments, but serious things like money issues or medical issues. These are true friends and just like the friends that live near you, they’ll support you if you run into tough times.

More than that, after working on Firebot for so long I’ve met many talented developers who have taken me under their wing and taught me a ton. My actual career skills have improved significantly because of that. Also, I’ve learned a lot about just general social situations. I’m a VERY introverted guy and streamer has taught me how to step out of that shell. It’s taught me how to have a fruitful conversation with nearly anyone about nearly anything.

Where do you see it going?

Well, that’s a really hard thing for me to predict. As I said at the start, because of the games I tend to stream I don’t see the stream skyrocketing in numbers or turning into a career anytime soon. But, what I would like to do is grow enough to get new eyes on some of the mostly underplayed games out there.

Other than that, I hope that the stream continues to grow and that the community continues to build with it. It’s a very hard thing being a PC / PS4 streamer on a service almost entirely built around Xbox, but I still feel I’ve made the right choice. I’ve made too many great friends for it to have been a bad thing. I just hope Mixer continues to expand, continues to push the idea that it is a multi-platform system, and continues to innovate. Then, sooner or later, I think that indie crowd / RPG crowd will show.

Is streaming what you thought it would be?

I had spent a lot of time in and around streams before starting my own. I think for the most part streaming was what I expected it to be. What I didn’t expect was how exhausting it can be sometimes. Streaming for 8-10 hours some days can be absolutely grueling because you need to constantly keep up an active and thoughtful conversation for that entire time. For those who don’t stream, picture sitting down with a stranger in a coffee shop and talking to them for that long while trying to keep silence to a minimum.

What have you found beneficial in streaming?

I’ve met all sorts of friends, some of which will probably be lifelong friends. These types of connections are incredibly important. Not just for benefits centered around streaming, but real life as well. For example, I met a ton of friends while streaming who have taught me an incredible amount about development. Because of that I was able to land much better jobs and improve my life overall. As far as directly related to streaming, I think running a stream is VERY good practice in everyday social skills for the most part. Words can get you far and streaming is good practice for stringing those together on a whim.

What has been a deterrent in your streaming experience?

The biggest deterrent to streaming is probably the thing that lets me stream in the first place. The day job. If the day job takes a lot of energy and effort, that can really show on stream. A stressful day job can

result in all sorts of bad things from being tired to losing your temper. Because of that, I try to always keep at least an hour between work on the stream where I can try to clear my head of everything.

Do you think streaming as a career will continue to grow?

I think, in general, streaming will become more and more popular as time goes on. People will always be able to make a career out of sharing what they love, be that games or anything else. Streaming fits right in there with that.

 

 

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Sithos:

https://mixer.com/Sithos

https://twitter.com/Sithos_?lang=en

Why do you stream?

So the primary reason I stream is for social fulfillment. Before I streamed I was relatively anti-social, but through streaming I was able to develop my social skills to the point where I have even done things like run 20+ person team meeting for various jobs I have held.

What do you get out of it?

What I get out of streaming, is something that I can be truly passionate about and really develop my skills and talents on a consistent basis. It gives me something to look forward to on a weekly basis and makes my life much more enjoyable.

Where do you see it going?

As far as where do I see it going, I can only hope that this will one day lead to being something I can focus on full time and comfortable pay my bills/support my family. Up until this point, that hasn’t quite been the case, but I am proud of what I have accomplished so far and do see the potential for that to happen at some point. For now I am continuing to strive to improve in the hopes I can hopefully make that occur sooner rather than later.

Is streaming what you thought it would be?

I didn’t have any specific expectations going in with streaming. When I started I was primarily streaming one specific game so I really got to learn everything at my own pace. That being said, streaming is a lot more difficult and involved to do well than I expected initially.

What have you found beneficial in streaming?

Streaming for me has primarily been a form of social fulfillment. When I started streaming I considered myself fairly anti-social. Over the course of my streaming career I’ve become much better spoken, confident and engaging. I’ve even had instances where these skills have translated into on the job skills running trainings and meetings for large groups!

What has been a deterrent in your streaming experience?

For me the biggest deterrent has been watching other succeed due to taking advantage of others or abusing/bending rules for their own success. I’ve tried to stay as true to my core values as possible even after becoming Partnered on Mixer. Going forward I really hope to see more genuine individuals succeed and people doing scummy things be held accountable more often.

Do you think streaming as a career will continue to grow?

Absolutely yes, especially with the rise of alternate platforms. I know of streamers that are going full time on Twitch, Mixer, Facebook, DLive. The industry is continuing to grow at a rapid rate and I’m very excited for the future of broadcasting.

 

 

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DragynsLair

https://mixer.com/DragynsLair

https://twitter.com/dragynslair

Why do you stream?

The answer to this has changed over time. In the very beginning I dabbled in streaming on Twitch because it was new technology to me. I also believed it could be useful for guild events in our Final Fantasy 14 guild. When we found it wasn’t really all that useful I hung it up. A couple years later my wife and I decided we were going to travel and she wanted to document it on YouTube. Since, from a technological standpoint, streaming is similar I started streaming again to relearn all the tech involved.

While watching one of my favorite Twitch streamers I stumbled onto Beam. After a couple weeks I made the switch and started streaming there instead. I fell in love with the community and the positive and helpful disposition that was illustrated there and wanted to be a part of it. My drive to stream has become meeting and having a good time with people of similar interests that I would have never had the opportunity to meet otherwise.

What do you get out of it?

The short answer here is my community. Over the last few years I have met many amazing people and have had the opportunity to interact with a variety of other groups/communities. I enjoy and value the time I spend with those that choose to spend their time with me.

Where do you see it going?

Ultimately as long as there is a platform for me to stream on I have no intention of stopping. My goal is for my content creation to reach a break-even point and maintain that break-even point. Being a Mixer Partner has allowed me to come pretty close to realizing that goal.

Is streaming what you thought it would be?

Honestly, yes. There were a few minor surprises, but those all came from coming to Beam and entering into a very supportive and open community. My original interests were purely technical so I had no expectations going in. By the time I decided to grow a community I had already learned much from the communities I had become a part of on Beam.

What have you found beneficial in streaming?

I have made many friends that I consider to be lifelong friends that I would have never met if I wasn’t streaming. My community also is very supportive on an emotional level which helps during difficult life events.

What has been a deterrent in your streaming experience?

The deterrent for me tends to be low self esteem and low self worth. I sometimes wonder why people want to watch or hang out. Why they bother with me. If I’m having a low number day that tends to feed into it.  

Do you think streaming as a career will continue to grow?

Streaming is young. Like everything, big companies try to find a way to capitalize on it. Do I think it will grow, yes. Do I think that anyone hits the go-live button will be able to make a living off it, no.

 

 

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Halios00:

https://mixer.com/halios00

https://twitter.com/HaliosGasinova

Why do you stream?

I stream for multiple reasons. Ever felt like you don’t have a place to relax or belong and forget the world? Or maybe you want a place that you can continue to see new content all the time and not worry about seeing the same thing on a daily basis. Or maybe you want to make some friends and have a good discussion, like you would at any bar or gathering with people? These are major reason I love streaming and started The Tavern.

I loved the connected feeling I felt when I visited a community I loved to talk to while watching some interesting figure play whatever they did. I get the chance to meet people I never would otherwise, talk to them, share a laugh or a story, and not feel alone. I also get the chance to potentially turn this into a full time thing for the future, where I can provide even more content and hopefully more smiles for everyone that comes into the stream. That’s the ultimate goal!

What do you get out of it?

I love streaming and never want to stop. From playing to cooking to sometimes just sitting there and chatting, streaming is my nightly stress relief and my get away from a ridiculous world. While the strive for success can bring a lot of stress, the ultimate satisfaction of having some place I am loved and make new friends all the time is worth it every time. Even when I’m dead tired from the day, I look forward to logging in and joining everyone.

It can be tough, especially with being overnight. It doesn’t work with a ton of schedules and honestly I could probably switch tomorrow to a more normal 6-9 schedule at night, maybe even grow faster than I do now. But I refuse to change something so drastically and turn my back on the people that have supported me through and through. The community is important above all.

Where do you see it going?

I think a lot of factors have helped streaming grow and I don’t see it going anywhere as long as the content stays fresh. Viewers still grow yearly so it continues to provide. I think people will start to take notice that streaming is a legit career someday soon and it will become a whole different ball game, especially with the rise of esports that has been happening. WAIT FOR IT!

 

Once again Thank You all for participating, and if you are a streamer on Mixer and would like to be added just let me know. – Megan Hinde

https://twitter.com/cch217

One Hour at a Time

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“We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.”  Well not quite, although being on ‘something’ would make going back into retail work at 42 years of age a little easier. Before we dive into this I think we need a little backstory. I have worked in the retail industry before, many times before over the last 21 years, however working a part-time sales associate position in your early twenties is a whole different ball game than in your forties. You do it the first time for the experience so that you have more than ‘Babysitter for Aunt Kathy’ on your resume while finishing school, be it High School or College. Honestly my first experience working in retail was not bad, I learned a lot, had good managers and I enjoyed my co-workers. I was offered a Department Manager position and gave the, “I am going back to school next semester, to finish, so no thank you.” answer, of which I did go back for another year I just didn’t graduate from college. Now after being out of circulation for the better part of fifteen years, because I was able to stay home and raise my family, I have gone back to work, into the same type of job that I had during my first time as a sales associate in retail. Since going back I have come up with many questions revolving around why do people choose to work in retail. Now before I go into my thoughts and feelings on this, I do appreciate the people that work in the retail and service industries, it’s something that I can do, and I have done, I just don’t like doing it.      

I now give you…

100 days in retail hell-aka- sucking your life away one hour at a time

Every retailer has a different set of ideals or ‘rules’ this is one such set up:

Our Culture/Values and Behavior are as followed:

Service to the Customer

Respect for the Individual

Strive for Excellence

Act with Integrity

It’s all well and good, as long as you realize that it’s not going to be followed or up heald one hundred percent of the time.

A few of the questions that are on my mind:

Why choose to live and die by the clock?

How does one stay in one place for a lifetime?

The wear and tear on one’s body and soul, is not worth minimum wage, part-time hours, with no benefits.

I am all for hard work however, at what expense-injury/exhaustion/loss of family time.

In the beginning-it was good, learning the ropes, finding out the rules, responsibilities and expectations. They have a good sales pitch, I will give them that although after being part of the daily grind for 90 days you start to see it. There are people that work in one position, the ones that comes in same time, same day for so many years. I get it they are comfortable, it’s predictable they know the routine and what is expected of them and they don’t see any reason to advance any further. Personally I can’t do that, that’s like living in a cage and doing the exact same thing over and over again, it would drive me crazy. Then there are the people that start at the bottom and move up quickly into a management or supervisor position. These are your ‘bossy’ playground children, that enjoy directing traffic and telling others what to do. I also don’t think I could do this. I am the middle person, the one that knows what’s going on, knows how to answer the customers questions and can get the stupid little tasks done for each day. I work the floor so I know where everything is, or where it should be, and I don’t mind my job. It’s enough to keep me busy without having to much responsibility.

With all that being said, here are some of the customers questions that I have had:

Do you have earring backs?

Do you have jewelry boxes?

Will this stainless steel gold plated necklace turn my neck green?

Can you fix this:

Replacing watch batteries

Links in watch bands

Pins in watch bands

Can you resize rings?

Are simulated diamonds real diamonds?

If I buy this tennis bracelet will others have the exact same one?

Where are your:

Wallets

Handkerchiefs

Bandannas

Scarves

What size should I get a 7 year old girl?

Why isn’t there a boys size in between a size 16 husky and men’s size 29?

I need the earrings for migraines in a 16 gauge, don’t you have those?

Do you have those things that you put on your ring so that it doesn’t fall off?

And of course:

Do you do nose/bellybutton piercings?

I do have a smart ass, inappropriate answer for just about all of these. But there is that whole Service to the Customer and Act with Integrity thing so, if you want me to post my answers in the comments let me know.

And as always I thank you all for reading my incoherent rambling of words.

*I’m pretty sure I have lost a bit of myself by going back to work in Retail Hell*  

 

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One Hour at a Time-Part 2

Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing. -Oscar Wilde

Here is a breakdown of my typical day in Retail Hell:

I clock in at 12:51pm, (because I can clock in nine minutes early for my scheduled shift) I go walk the floor, straightening clothing racks and picking up things that are in the wrong place as I go. I see whos working and what’s going on for the day, sometimes there is new stuff to be put out, other times it just ‘clean up, straighten, and process returns’.

I get handed the Jewelry counter and Fitting Room Keys and am for the most part left to ‘do my thing’. Sometimes I am called up to cashier, because that’s fun. I’m supposed to take two 15 minute breaks, one around 3pm and the other at 7:45pm, as well as a one hour lunch off the clock usually around 5:30pm. For my first break I have to wait till someone comes in at 3:30pm to give them the keys, I have to take my lunch before the five hour mark, (I’m scheduled to work 1pm to 9pm) so five hours in is 6pm. At 6pm I am locked out from using the cash register and I get flagged if I don’t clock out by 6:09pm for lunch. Which means I get half a point on my attendance record. Quick education on the attendance policy, if you call out for any reason you get 1 point against you. If you clock out late, which for me is 9:09pm you get half a point, if you are late coming back from lunch or going to lunch you get half a point. If you call out on one of the ‘Event Days’ (which is any holiday, New Years Eve, New Years Day, Valentines Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, ect…) you get 2 points against you. If you get 5 points against you in six months you are fired, for violating the attendance policy. If you are sick you are not allowed to go home, if you are injured on the job, you are not allowed to go home, till the end of your shift. They will assign you ‘busy work’ if you can’t do your regular job.

Back to my point, I’m a Sales Associate in apparel, which covers the Jewelry counter, Accessories, Women’s, Men’s, Boy’s, Girl’s, Infant’s and Shoes. (That is a lot of things to know about each department) I help customers find things, answer questions and sell Jewelry, as well as watch over the fitting rooms and process returns, and I now know how to replace watch batteries. Which is a skill that I never wanted. (Quick note on returns it is policy to always put anything back on the floor for sale regardless of condition) So unless it’s covered in blood it goes back on the floor for sale, just think about that for a second before you go shopping at your local ‘Big Box Store’. I also have to do anything that a Department Manager, Assistant Store Manager or Store Manager tells. Which is usually be a cashier, or go clean or straighten other departments within the store.

My point to this is that I am usually the only one on the floor covering all of apparel and I am constantly being paged to be in three places at once, which sucks. But I digress. I’m 100 days in to working this lovely retail job, my biggest problem is the fact that I am paid to clean up the same mess all day everyday, and I find it very asinine. Yes, I know ‘but it’s job security’ I am also real tired of hearing that from my Department Managers, (that appear to do nothing all day, but tell me what to do)

Am I burned out, cynical and negative? Fuck yes, I wasn’t when I started in November, I was helpful, open minded, ambitious, I worked 8 weeks straight at 40 hrs a week, (which included Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve and New Years Eve) and never called out. But 100 days in Retail Hell has made me more aggressive and negative about everything. (and I hate that. I am a non-confrontational, laid back person) I have called out a few times, because my sanity (and need of sleep) is more important than the $64 I earn a day.

I am going to attempt to wrap this up a lighter note, so here are my sarcastic answers to the questions that I am asked on a daily basis.

Do you have earring backs? Yes if you purchase any of the thousands of earrings in front of you.

Do you have jewelry boxes? No, that would make to much sense.

Will this stainless steel gold plated necklace turn my neck green? Fuck if I know.

Can you fix this:

Replacing watch batteries. Sometimes, who the hell still wears a wrist watch.

Links in watch bands. Not really.

Pins in watch bands. Sometimes, depends on the age of the watch.

Can you resize rings? No, but we can send them out and you can get them back in four to six weeks.

Are simulated diamonds real diamonds? Seriously how is this even a question. Or I don’t know is simulated sex and real sex the same thing.

If I buy this tennis bracelet will others have the exact same one? Only if you hang out with others that buy overpriced, low quality jewelry from China.

Where are your:

Wallets.

Handkerchiefs.

Bandannas.

Scarves. The answer to all of these is go fucking look and you look with your eyes not your hands.

What size should I get a 7 year old girl? Kinda depends on how big or small she is, next time bring her in.

Why isn’t there a boys size in between a size 16 husky and men’s size 29? No fucking idea, bring your child in and have them try things on. Or buy a tape measure and take some measurements.

I need the earrings for migraines in a 16 gauge, don’t you have those? No this is not Target.

Do you have those things that you put on your ring so that it doesn’t fall off? No, there this thing called Amazon. Or Try buying a ring that fits.

And of course:

Do you do nose/bellybutton piercings? Only if you would like a free staph infection to go along with it.

Ok that’s all I have. I wish you all a wonderful Morning/Day/Evening/Night.

 

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One Hour at a Time -Part 3  

You all ready for this…

Walmart’s net worth is just over $386 billion.

I tried to find a quote to open with, however every approach I was taking felt overly negative. We all know that consumerism, advertising, retail work is all a vicious game of Work, Eat, Sleep, Pay Taxes and Repeat. I want to wrap up this little series of articles by sharing my experience of working in Retail Hell. (Yep, I lasted only 110 days)

So here we go, during my last week of working Monday through Friday from 1pm to 9pm as a Sales Associate in apparel I became exhausted, dehydrated, stressed out, unfocused, and lacking nutritional food, sleep, and self-care, I was done. All these factors lead to me becoming sick, the kind of sick that requires a doctor and a prescription for antibiotics. By Thursday and Friday of my last week I could feel that something wasn’t right, I was unfocused, irritable, grumpy, I felt off, I also kept dropping things, which is flat out annoying. By Monday morning I knew I was sick, I had a fever/chills, pain in my lower abdomen and pain in my back, around my kidneys. Now to be exact I had an Urinary Tract Infection, which is painful, uncomfortable and annoying as fuck. So I treated the symptoms with over the counter meds, drank a ton of water and 100% cranberry juice. Managed to find a clinic, and see a Nurse Practitioner by Wednesday afternoon, was diagnosed with a UTI and given a prescription for antibiotics, (which I paid for out of pocket) The thing that I find asinine is that I work to earn money, (to better my daily life) which makes me exhausted and sick so that I have to then go pay a medical professional to prescribe me drugs to combat an infection I shouldn’t have ended up with in the first place. If my working conditions were to provide free drinking water, (the germ laced water fountain doesn’t count) and better access and availability to the restrooms. (side note, almost every time I took a break to use the restrooms, the custodian had it blocked off and closed for cleaning, and of course there aren’t any ‘employee’ restrooms only the public ones) My bottle of 14 pills cost me four hours of work, fyi I was making $12.50 an hour. I am sure that I am rambling a bit, but my blog my words. I am feeling better but it will take another full week, complete cycle of antibiotics, and rest to get back to being myself. As life is always an unforeseen series of adventures, I get to go deal with the fact that we don’t have any hot water and that there is standing water in the basement of the house that we rent. So wish me luck and have a good day.

 

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One Hour at a Time -Conclusion

I have gone back and forth as to if I was going to wrap this up in anyway or just walk away from it completely. Since I am back to more of myself since leaving the world of Retail Hell I will finish this up.

“No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride…and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well…maybe chalk it up to forced consciousness expansion: Tune in, freak out, get beaten.” – Hunter S. Thompson Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

I got sick violated the attendance policy and assumed that I would be fired. Since they made such a huge deal about the new attendance policy. Apparently not, after missing seven shifts the HR person called me. After thinking this through for a while, I was an adult and called her back. It was a lot of blah, blah, blah from her side, ending with can you come in today. Seriously they are so hard up for bodies at work, they rolled my attendance violation back to 4.5 points, so that I would come back. So I gave them three days a week, I wanted Tuesday-Thursday 1pm-9pm, they gave me Wednesday-Friday 1pm-9pm.

I went back to work for two weeks. By the second Friday back I was beyond done. Upon my going back almost no one spoke to me, (unless they needed me to do something) not the Department Managers, not the Assistant Store Managers and most of my coworkers all gave me the cold shoulder. Now not that I was friends with any of them, but it went from a daily civil ‘Hi, how are you.’ to nothing not even eye contact. Which then leads me to question why in the fucking world would I continue to be here.

So when it was time to take lunch on Friday I got my jacket, cleaned out my locker, clocked out for the day and left the building. On the Friday of Spring Break, and a payday week. After missing another six shifts the HR person called me again, this time I didn’t return her call. Funny side note I have an app for my work schedule, (because of course there is) they post the schedule two weeks out, so this last schedule has me Tuesday-Thursday 1pm-9pm. WTF people. Needless to say I’m done. I hope you have all enjoyed my trip back in to Retail Hell, I do thank all of you for following, reading and commenting. I look forward to continuing my journey of Weaving Words of Fiction.

Reflection

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All About Me

It was a dark and stormy night…

I was born in Pullman Washington, the day after Mother’s Day, May 10, 1976. There were compilations, I had two seizures and spent two weeks in an incubator.

My parents…

My mom was born and raised in Seattle and my dad grew up in Wenatchee WA. They meet at Washington State University in Pullman WA in 1973. They were married on June 22, 1974.

My dad worked in radio he had a BA in journalism and communications. I have a photo of him performing in a play called “Under Papa’s Picture.”

My mother has a masters degree in early childhood development and has mainly worked for non-profits as a case manager testing children’s learning abilities.

My brother was born January 14th 1980, a healthy baby boy named Chip. In May of 1981 my parents moved to Alaska. McGrath AK, in the middle of nowhere.

Where my dad ran the public radio station KSKO 870 am and my mom worked for various social work agencies. She also tried running her own daycare for a while. Needless to say it was a isolated, structured upbringing, school, work, activities ect..

My youngest brother was born November 12th 1982, Marcus. In 1988 we moved to Fairbanks AK, where my dad was unemployed for two years while my mom worked (he wrote a sci-fi novel) while unemployed. Side note I never got to read it and it’s lost forever, at least to me.

In 1990 my dad went in for an interview at a radio station, and ended up  being News Director of KTVF an NBC affiliate in Fairbanks. My dad suffered his first heart attack in September 91.

In April of  1992 I got to travel to New York and sing in Carnegie Hall with my high school choir, I was 15 years old.

In November of 92 my mom moved out, she left. She also let a con-man of a boyfriend move in and bleed her dry financially and emotionally. He ended up marrying some girl he met online after spending five years with my mom.  

My dad got remarried May 22, 1995 to a strange German lady he met pen-pal style that was from New York. On Tuesday June 13, 1995 after returning from his honeymoon my dad was having chest pains and went to the hospital. He refused treatment and signed out AMA Wednesday afternoon, on the morning of Thursday June 15 he suffered a massive heart attack and passed away around 1:15 am. My dad’s widow was nice enough to hold his funeral on Father’s Day.

The insurance was a mess, because I was an adult, (I was 19) and my brothers were minors and my mom was divorced. My dad had never added his new wife, I got my share in cash and my brothers were set up with a guardian account my mother being the guardian. The money let me go to school and move away from my mother.

I went to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, (the piece I wrote called Tripping Through My Memories is the first semester after my dad died) I didn’t finish, I ran out of money and didn’t see a point in it at the time. I also meet Mike at UAF. He helped convince me to move out and live my own life. (with him)

For a while Mike and I both worked, we had friends, roommates came and went. In August of 1998 Marcus got sick, he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that was already consuming his neck and lungs. My mom took him to Seattle’s Children’s Hospital and they resided in the Ronald McDonald house. My mother never spoke to me directly about what was going on, I heard everything second hand through Chip or my Grandmother. He passed away April 30 1999.

On December 13 1998 I got on a plane by myself and flew standby into Tulsa OK, a friend from high school lived in Stella MO and I went to stay with her. In February I got Mike to also join me in Missouri.

We worked, then I got pregnant with Christopher and flipped out, (mainly from the morning sickness.) We drove to Michigan to see Mike’s parents. Ended up living in Michigan for seven months, both of us working part-time and making no money.

Mike had a friend on-line that said come to Colorado there’s better work. So March 2000 we (me at eight months pregnant) drove to Denver CO. We made things work in Denver for two years, moved outside of Denver to Greeley. Where roommates made things worse and we went back to Michigan. November 02 to November 04 we made it work in Michigan, Mike working me taking care of Christopher, we hung out with Mike’s parents they were bowlers.

November 04 we moved back to Denver (in with the same friend from 2000) and made it all work once again for three years. Side note February 13, 2005 Mike’s dad passed away and we took a quick trip driving back to Michigan for the funeral. November once again in 06 we left Denver and drove to Kansas City, Kansas, which is where Mike’s younger brother was at the time.

At this point I do realize that we have a pattern of moving on average every 2 years 10 months. Optimism that the grass is greener on the other side or that there is something more or different to experience. We hung out with Mike’s brother for two weeks it was crazy and strange, we ended up back in Stella, MO (of all places) We needed shelter and that was the only friend I had at the moment. (the friend from the Reach piece with the cats) So more craziness, that lasted till March 07, at that point we pack up and drive west, thinking Seattle but making it to Ogden UT, and re-evaluate. Mike’s dad was Navy so he has lived everywhere even overseas and in Iceland. When he was 14 his dad was stationed as a recruiter in Grand Junction CO. So we ended up there March of 2007. First time we were homeless and had to learn things as we went.

I learned a few things the hard way but it all ended up ok, Mike got to work and we had a decent apartment. Grand Junction CO a small 60 thousand ish population, college town, boom bust town because of the oil and gas industry. Mike was making good money and we were stable, then the bottom dropped out. April of 2009 everyone every where was laid off, we made unemployment work and I worked at a assisted living facility as a residential aid, I lasted a week.

June 2010 we could no longer pay rent and drove to Denver, thinking we had one more unemployment payment, (we didn’t) we had to sleep in our Jeep, I found a family homeless shelter program, we did four week in that program, during the second week someone hired Mike to help paint fences and do landscaping and odd jobs.

We moved into a motel, with weekly rates $220 a week. It was gross, bed bugs and all. Crazy people ect… We lived there for two years. (WTF why did we stay so long) Mike worked in the tire industry almost always in the 20 years I’ve been with him, and it takes a toll on you, physically. He has also gotten hurt quite a few times on the job. Another factor to moving so many times always looking for something not so strenuous.

June 2012 we left Denver and drove back to Grand Junction, getting on our feet a little quicker this time because we knew what needed to happen. Once again making it work for three years, then burnout and exhaustion of putting up with stupid people we moved to Seattle.

*I haven’t updated this and probably won’t*

 

Looking Back

It’s my Birthday and it’s my blog so I am going to ramble a bit about life. When I was born on May 10, 1976 my dad made sure to keep the Newsweek magazine of the same date. He put it in my baby book and it’s still there. Full of cigarette, alcohol, and car ads, a piece of history.

A couple other things I have from my dad, are two copies of the weekly newspaper that he helped put out when we lived in McGrath Alaska and he was manager of the radio station KSKO. The two copies that I have I was given by my Grandma when my Great-Grandma passed away, they were sent to her by my mom, they have pictures of the 4th of July parade that me and my younger brother Chip participated in. The other issue has pictures of me and my 4th grade classmates from a class trip to Anchorage Alaska. I don’t remember a whole lot about that trip except that they took us out for a nice Chinese dinner and then took us to the carnival. That’s a bad combination, for a handful of  10 and 11 year olds, a few got sick.

I also have a few postcards and a letter that my dad wrote me while I was away at Girl Scout Camp, yes I was a Girl Scout for a few years. My mom was our troop leader, we sold cookies, earned badges and I attend Summer Camp two years in a row. Camp was interesting, first year I had a counselor that read us Stephen King’s Cat’s Eye, which was a short story titled General from his Night Shift collection. The second year I managed to fall, trip down a hill and smack my right hand into a tree, thus spraining three fingers. I am not really one for outdoors.

The other letter I have from my dad was one he wrote for my choir teacher, she had all the freshman choir students do a sleepover and had the parents write letters. My dad’s letter to a 14 year old me is one of my prize positions.

Then there’s the prom picture and graduation photo. The guy I went to prom with is the guy I lost my virginity to, also the graduation photo had to be airbrushed because I had a hickey. Then there was high school graduation, I don’t recall a whole lot from the actual ceremony, except that my cap fell off while the senior choir members, me being one of them, were performing.  

The the last two photos are of me and my Grandpa, one of the only pictures I have of the two of us. And my self portrait that I did for my photography class in college, which is me in my dorm room.

Like I said rambling to you all as I flip through a box of memories.   

 

Reach

I am just going to start and we will see how this ends up, I keep some notes I wrote while being homeless last summer, so here it goes.

How to be homeless—find all the resources you can 211 information line is a wonderful start. You will need a phone book, (I stole one out of the motel we stayed in) and a detailed street map. (Had to buy one for $7 at a Fred Myers) Find a shelter program get all the local information possible. Things like where to shower and where you can use the bathroom.

Salvation Army feeding programs, hot meals or bagged lunches. Locate food banks and church pantries. Some shelter programs have communication issues between their staff and volunteers. Day Shelter vs Overnight Shelter- Rules know all the rules, find out the rules. Especially if not told up front, don’t break the rules. Engage the staff learn the routine.  

Sitting at a park, because hello, public bathrooms, which are very important to the lost wanderer. Listing to the constant traffic, planes taking off and landing repeatedly and the buses that run every 10 minutes all day every day. The city is loud, since being here I haven’t heard any silence. ( I miss the quiet)

Why do we –people make life changing decisions based on emotion? Where does that deep seeded feeling of wanting to find something better come from? You’re here it’s stable live your nine to five day job life and be grateful for what you have. Even if your not happy or healthy.

Nope- there are those of us that jump without a safety net, maybe we are delusional or crazy, or we just haven’t found where we are suppose to be. Maybe we have to venture out of the box to know that existing in the box is OK.  

It’s the little things, like privacy, getting to be naked in your own space, being able to cut your hair or toenails, without an audience of strangers around. The bathroom- that you take for granted- is the place you miss the most. I give props to this particular public park for its upkeep. Although having the bathrooms closed on the 4th of July was a bit annoying.

So you pack up your life into your vehicle, one of the things that you own outright and you drive. You have a point B in mind however the point B is never what you expect it to be. How is it that people that are given, a stable life ie- a house, money, a place to come back to, squander it. I am sorry but you have a house- that is now trashed, with stuff.

Two cases first a girl I meet in Jr. High now lives out in the middle of nowhere, because that’s where her parents retired to, was given land to put her home on and she managed to bag an internet husband. (I know harsh, but seriously) So he works she stays home and sleeps almost all day every day. In a nice four bedroom two bath house that is completely trashed, because she’s depressed, a pack rat (hoarder) and then there are the animals (oh my god the fucking animals) To many cats to count, a hand full of dogs and some full size aquariums all living inside.

All I want is four walls, a ceiling, floor and plumbing that works. A place that I can be safe, happy and clean. To raise my family in and to be able to enjoy our life.

Second case- eight years after witnessing the sad state of the first friends living conditions, we ventured out to our point B once again someone I knew back in High School that I had reconnected with over the lovely world of social media during the last few years. So we stop by and once again here is a house- totally trashed- by laziness, hoarding and depression. This person has two kids, a few cats, a dog, and her mother all living in what use to be a very nice house, with tons of potential.

Crazy, maybe I am missing something, are there more people living this way than I am aware of? Or am I just a little too OCD- with wanting the daily functions of life to be clean and organized.  I am not making labels for every shelf but I am wanting laundry done, dishes done, floors clean, general straightening up of the living space, and a clean bathroom.

But NO I am the one sitting on hard, cold metal bleachers, looking out at a softball field, listing to the constant traffic trying to figure out how to get back to a status of OK.  

 

Poetry

Clarity of Thought

What does it mean,

to think, to understand,

to reflect, to learn.

Why does your heart lean one way

and your mind the other.

good and evil,

right and wrong,

clarity of thought.

Understanding the feelings that pulse through my mind,

Why is one right and the other wrong.

I can’t clear my mind enough to get the time that I need to catch my breath.

My body is tired and rundown, exhausted.

But my mind is awake to everything.

Ready to pounce upon anything that comes it’s way.

How can my mind be so energized and my body so tired.

I have no clarity of thought.

I don’t know or understand why my feelings are so mixed and conflicted.

I am mad at the world but at the same time I want everyone’s sympathy and compassion.

 

Never

I have never seen a sunrise over the ocean.

I have never kissed a sweet loving kiss, that tasted of warmth.

I have never been loved with the love only found in a peer.

To be all these things is my only request.

That before my dying day I find trust and love.

To kiss to have the warm breath of another against my lips.

As sweet as honey, yet as pure as a cool breeze on a hot summer day.

To feel his warmth move through me, to have his lips linger upon mine.

Like the morning dew on the petal of a rose.

To hold his hand in mine, firmly but gently.

Protecting me from heartache.

The love I’ll find within him.

If only he’d let me.


Friend

Why I consider you a friend,

You are always there to listen,

Not to judge and criticize.

To enjoy the good times,

And to get through the bad.

You’re the only one who hasn’t left me.

And when you do leave for various periods of time,

You always come back.

I feel that you’re the only one who cares,

About me for who I am,

And not what I’ve done or might do.

You have helped me unlock and open,

So many hidden doors.

Thank you for being a friend, I love you.

You’ve shown me more compassion and trust,

As well as showing me more of what life has to offer,

Than anyone else.


His Eyes

His eyes are the color of the wide open sea.

His deep yet sententious voice,

Has the power to captivate me,

His hair shines like gold beneath the warm midday sun.

Be it through the gates of heaven,

Or the red hot flames of hell,

It is him that I follow.

And without his love, compassion and friendship.

I would have been lost.

He holds me safe from the cold cruel world.

He fills my soul full of life,

And my heart full of love,

That it sends me soaring like a dove.

He is honest with me,

And I am true to him.

I shall be his and he shall be mine,

For now and for all time.


Life is Like

Life is Like…
A dozen roses, all standing straight,

Full of beauty, an arousing aroma of peace,

A symbol of love and respect.

But only stay for a short while,

It brings feelings of happiness to a lonely heart,

Then fades away, so quickly to remind us

How limited our time is.

It fades away, losing a little more beauty each day,

From a bright bold color,

To a darker duller stain of color.

Its leaves dry and crumble to the surface of a table,

To be brushed away.

Its petals wither, curling the corners,

To shrink slowly in the midday sun.

Till it drops, fallen over, given up on itself.

Allowing gravity to take over,

And finally it dies.

Showing how soon we forget about time,

And the value of our own lives.


No More

I use to be happy and carefree,

But then something happened.

Something that made me not want to feel anything anymore.

My father died and everything changed.

From the moment the phone rang at 12:45 am,

My world was put on a roller-coaster.

All I felt from that point on was hurt and sorrow.

I am tired of feeling all these feelings of pain,

It has made me numb to any and all other feelings.

All I want is to be able to depart from this roller-coaster.

That all started the night the phone rang.

To have no more sadness and no more pain.

To have a time that is quiet and calm to be able to sort these feelings out.

To find my balance and clarity of thought.


Who am I…

Who am I?

Why am I so sad, why do I need to be held and comforted?

Who am I to ask such a selfish question?

I have always taken care of everyone else around me,

So why does this person, this stranger want to help me?

Someone not worth helping, I don’t deserve anyone’s help.

All I want right now is my dad,

I want him to hug me and to say that he loves me.

Why am I left to suffer from his selfishness?

He left me for his own happiness.

I don’t ever want to hurt someone that way.

Which is why I am always taking care of those around me and not myself.

I am afraid that if I stop to take care of myself and am happy,

That I may be hurting someone else with my happiness.

So where do I fit in? When will it be my turn to be happy?

Who am I and where do I belong?

Edna’s Kitchen Presents: Fun with Food

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A couple simple recipes for your dining pleasure.

Table of Contents:

Grilled Salmon with Honey-Soy Marinade

Watermelon Lemonade

Pepper Steak with Rice

Cappuccino Mousse

Mediterranean Eggs

Bacon, Tomato and Avocado Sandwich with Chipotle Aioli

Easy Sheet-Pan Beef Fajitas

 

Salmon Steak in Fryer

Grilled Salmon with Honey-Soy Marinade

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon packed brown sugar

1 Tablespoon butter, melted

1 Tablespoon olive or vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon honey

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 large salmon fillet (about 2 lb), cut into 8 pieces

Steps

  1. In small bowl, mix all ingredients except salmon.
  2. In shallow glass or plastic dish, place salmon. Pour marinade over salmon. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes but no longer than 1 hour.
  3. Heat coals or gas grill. Remove salmon from marinade; reserve marinade. Place salmon, skin side down, on grill. Cover and grill over medium heat 10 to 20 minutes, brushing 2 or 3 times with marinade, until salmon flakes easily with fork. Discard any remaining marinade.

 

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Watermelon Lemonade

Ingredients

3 lb watermelon (without rind), seeded and cut into chunks

3 or 4 medium lemons

2 medium limes

4 cups cold water

1 cup sugar

Watermelon or lemon slices, if desired

Steps

  1. In blender, place watermelon. Cover; blend on medium speed about 45 seconds or until smooth. Strain through fine mesh strainer into 2-quart or larger pitcher.
  2. Squeeze juice from lemons and limes; add to watermelon puree. Stir in cold water and sugar. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  3. Stir before serving. Serve over ice. Garnish with watermelon slice.

 

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Pepper Steak with Rice

Ingredients

1 ½ -lb beef top round or sirloin steak, ¾ to 1 inch thick

3 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup water

1 medium onion, cut into ¼ -inch slices

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

½ teaspoon finely chopped ginger root or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

2 medium green bell peppers, cut into ¾ -inch strips

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons sugar, if desired

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

2 medium tomatoes

6 cups hot cooked rice

Steps

  1. Remove fat from beef. Cut beef into 2×1/4-inch strips. (Beef is easier to cut if partially frozen, 30 to 60 minutes.)
  2. In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook beef in oil about 5 minutes, turning frequently, until brown.
  3. Stir in water, onion, garlic and ginger root. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 12 to 15 minutes for round steak, 5 to 8 minutes for sirloin steak, adding bell peppers during last 5 minutes of simmering, until beef is tender and peppers are crisp-tender.
  4. In small bowl, mix cornstarch, sugar and soy sauce; stir into beef mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute; reduce heat to low.
  5. Cut each tomato into 8 wedges; place on beef mixture. Cover and cook over low heat about 3 minutes or just until tomatoes are heated through. Serve with rice.

 

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Cappuccino Mousse

Ingredients

1 cup milk

¾ cup cold strong coffee

1 package (4-serving size) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix

2 Tablespoons sugar

2 cups whipping (heavy) cream

¼ cup sugar

Steps

  1. In large bowl, beat milk, coffee, pudding mix (dry) and 2 tablespoons sugar with wire whisk about 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  2. In chilled large bowl, beat whipping cream and ¼ cup sugar with electric mixer on high speed until stiff. Gently stir whipped cream into coffee mixture.
  3. Spoon into individual dessert dishes. Refrigerate about 15 minutes or until set.

 

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Mediterranean Eggs

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive or vegetable oil

4 medium green onions, chopped (¼ cup)

1 medium tomato, chopped (¾ cup)

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves

4 eggs

Freshly ground pepper

Steps

  1. Heat oil in 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook onions in oil 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomato and basil. Cook about 1 minute, stirring occasionally, until tomato is heated through.
  2. Beat eggs thoroughly with fork or wire whisk; pour over tomato mixture.
  3. As mixture begins to set at bottom and side, gently lift cooked portions with spatula so that thin, uncooked portion can flow to bottom. Avoid constant stirring. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until eggs are thickened throughout but still moist. Sprinkle with pepper.

 

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Bacon, Tomato and Avocado Sandwich with Chipotle Aioli

Ingredients

Chipotle Aioli

6 oz greek plain yogurt (from 2-lb container)

2 Tablespoons mayonnaise

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped

Sandwich

1 loaf (14 oz) ciabatta bread (about 12 inches), split horizontally

2 medium tomatoes, sliced

2 medium avocados, pitted, peeled and sliced

½ lb sliced pepper bacon, crisply cooked

Steps

  1. In small bowl, mix Chipotle Aioli ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Spread bottom half of loaf with aioli. Top with tomatoes, avocados and bacon. Top with other half of loaf. To serve, cut into slices 2 inches thick.

 

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Easy Sheet-Pan Beef Fajitas

Ingredients

2 cups sliced onion (¼ -inch slices)

1 medium red or yellow bell pepper, cut into ¼ -inch strips

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 package (1 oz) original taco seasoning mix

1 lb boneless sirloin steak

8 (6-inch) flour tortillas for soft tacos & fajitas

Sour cream, thick ‘n chunky salsa, chopped fresh cilantro, if desired

Lime wedges, if desired

Steps

  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 18×13-inch rimmed sheet pan with cooking spray. Add onion and bell pepper to sheet pan. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and 2 tablespoons of the taco seasoning mix; stir to coat, spreading mixture evenly in pan. Bake 15 minutes; stir.
  2. Meanwhile, cut steak into ¼ -inch strips; place in small bowl. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining seasoning mix until combined and coated. Place on pan with vegetables. Bake 7 to 9 minutes longer or until beef is no longer pink and vegetables are tender.
  3. Heat tortillas as directed on package. Using tongs, transfer steak mixture to serving platter or, if serving on sheet pan, carefully drain excess liquid from pan before serving.
  4. Spoon steak and veggies onto each tortilla. Serve with remaining ingredients. 

 

Edna has many more recipe collections for you to check out on Amazon.

Special Guest- JM Sullivan

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Today we have a special guest in the house, give a warm welcome to JM Sullivan:

Secrets don’t make friends. At least, that’s how the saying goes. I don’t know how much I agree with this statement, but I will say that I’ve made many more friends with confessions than I ever had secrets.

I can already see some of you tilting your head as you read this, so let me explain.

For those of you who I have never met (Hiiiii!), my name is JM Sullivan, and I am the host of the Twitter game #AuthorConfession, where we post daily prompts and writers from around the world ‘confess’ secrets to their WIP. It is a ton of fun and I have met so many incredible people this way (looking at you, Megan!).

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I love reading the confessions of our players and learning details about the wonderful worlds they are building. So, for my blog post today, I thought I might do the same.

Instead of just asking the questions, today I am also going to sit in the hot seat. I’ll give you completely honest answers to some of the same #AuthorConfession questions I have asked my players. The hardest part- to do it without *spoilers*

So here you have it 5 Top Secret confessions about Second Star- that nobody else has seen!

1. What is your MC’s deadly sin?
1. Wendy’s deadly sin would be wrath. She has a very even temperament and is very patient, but once her limits are pushed, she fights with a vengeance.
2. Peter’s sin is pride. Her is smart, talented, and not afraid to show it. While other character’s struggle with different sin’s Peter’s crowing vanity is what’s sure to get him in trouble.
2. What is your antagonist’s greatest regret?
1. He doesn’t know it yet, but Hooke’s greatest regret is finding the map to immortality. Chasing eternal life has ensnared the Captain, making a once renowned hero something else entirely.
3. Who does your MC love to hate?
1. Aidan Boyce. Although love is still probably a strong word. Honestly, she would just like to avoid him if she could. Unfortunately, her fellow recruit just won’t seem to let her.
4. How would your side character describe your MC?
1. With a glowing letter of recommendation. No, seriously. While Wendy would never approve of such a thing, her best friend Elias Johns makes sure that everyone realizes how qualified and talented Wendy is in a touching letter to the Fleet Admiral, Renee Toussant.
5. If you could only save one character in your book, who would it be?
1. Tootles. He is the smallest of the Lost Boys, and with his angelic face and sweet personality, he must be protected at all costs. The others are great, but Tootles will always hold a special place in my heart.

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There you have it. My confessions. Hopefully this tells you a little bit more about Second Star.

I just have one more question, but this one’s for you: Now that we’ve shared secrets does that make us friends? 😉

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Author Bio:
Teacher by day, award-winning author by night, J.M. Sullivan is a fairy tale fanatic who loves taking classic stories and turning them on their head. Although known to dabble in adulting, J.M. is a big kid at heart who still believes in true love, magic, and most of all, the power of coffee. If you would like to connect you can find her on social media at @jmsullivanbooks– she’d love to hear from you.

Buy Links:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1948583003

Online Retailers: http://books2read.com/Second-Star

Social Media handles:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jmsullivanbooks
FB: https://www.facebook.com/jmsullivanbooks/
IG: https://www.instagram.com/jmsullivanbooks/