Friday, December 1, 2023

Kathy's Kitchen Crawfish Cornbread

People who know me well know this probably wouldn’t be in my kitchen, but my friend, author Mary Lou Cheatham, had this recipe on her blog recently as something different for a holiday meal.

 

Crawfish Cornbread

 

Ingredients

1 pound crawfish with fat, or sausage if you desire      

2 cups cheddar cheese, grated

1 box Jiffy® Cornbread Mix

3 eggs

1 stick butter (unsalted)

1 can cream style corn

1 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s®

1 teaspoon red pepper

2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ cup red bell pepper, chopped

½ cup onion, chopped

1 bunch green onions, chopped

 

Preparation

·      Sauté onions and peppers in butter until tender. Add crawfish to vegetables and cook for 5 minutes. Set aside.

·      Mix together cheese, cornbread mix, eggs, corn, seasoning, jalapeños, and baking soda. Add crawfish and vegetables to mixture. Pour into greased 9” x 13 " pan or cast iron skillet and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into middle.

                                                                                                           Cathy George

 

About Crawfish Cornbread

Crawfish Cornbread is indescribably delicious. Each bite is memorable.

 

The delicate blending of flavors and textures is indeed masterful. The spices deliciously complement the unique flavor of the crawfish tails. The delicate lacing of herbs, green onions, red bell peppers, and jalapeño peppers is masterful.

The moist texture of the cornbread mixed with the smoothing texture of the sharp cheddar cheese, catapults this truly extraordinary dish into a category all its own. Each bite renders itself memorable, as it bathes the diner's mouth with textures and flavors uniquely broad, delicate, and delicious.

Notes written by a friend who is an expert consumer of delicious food

 

This sounded so delicious. I wrote to Mary:

I suggested to Murray that we make this, minus the crawfish. Sorry.:)

 

Mary was generous enough to send me this recipe:

 

Paula’s Mexican Cornbread 

1 cup self-rising cornmeal mix 

1 can whole kernel corn, drained 

3-4 Jalapeño peppers 

1 large onion diced 

Approximately 1 cup milk 

1 pound mild cheddar cheese 

1-2 pounds ground beef (Variation: substitute sausage for ground beef.) 

 1 can Ro*tel® tomatoes 

 

Brown ground meat in skillet. Drain well. Add Ro*tel® tomatoes. Cook until all liquid evaporates. A little garlic powder adds flavor to this meat mixture. Mix meal, corn, onion, peppers, half the cheese, and milk until batter is easily stirred. Use enough milk to give the mix the consistency of thick cake batter. Pour half the batter into greased 9 X 13” pan. Spread meat mixture over batter, cover with remaining batter, and cover with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until you smell it

 

I was ready to make this, but Murray beat me when he found a similar recipe for the crockpot. He cooked it on low for 5 hours and served it with salsa, sour cream and shredded cheese. I’ll have to be quicker next time. So yummy. 

Friday, November 24, 2023

Guest Author, Mary Lou Cheatham

 I am so happy to have Mary on my blog today. She was one of the very first authors to help with my stories when I started writing again about ten years ago. I appreciate her mentoring me, and I love her stories.


 

The Longer I Live

 

“The Longer I Live” serves as a title for some new popular songs. Country singers perform a version; a man with an operatic voice performs another one on Broadway. Since I’ve reached the age of eighty, this phrase runs through my mind every day. I know my purpose is to honor God and love Him forever.

Yet, as the days go by and I enjoy youthful vitality, I realize the specific goals of my life at this time—my calling. I feel a strong compulsion to be about the tasks assigned to me. 

My thoughts go to the story of Caleb, one of the most inspiring characters in the Bible. His name means “whole-hearted.” He was faithful, bold, and brave. When Caleb was forty, he went with Joshua and some more strong men to spy on the living conditions in the Promised Land.  When they returned to the desert, only Joshua and Caleb reported words of encouragement, saying that the Israelites could take the land. Forty-five years passed, and Joshua had the job of dividing the land among the tribes. Caleb, who was eighty-five, spoke up and reminded Joshua to give him a promised mountain. Caleb could have chosen flat land, which would have served his family well for farming, but Moses (instructed by God) had promised Caleb the mountain.

Caleb had the strength to climb it, and he led his family to drive out the giants, who called Hebron their home. Caleb’s descendants spread through the hill country known as Hebron.

Here’s an excerpt of the account from the Bible:

And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children's forever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God.

And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.

As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.

Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims [giants] there, and that  the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.

And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance.

Joshua 14:9-13 (KJV)

 

What do I get from this passage?

 

When I was a ten-year-old girl, I felt a strong calling to write novels. As my life progressed, other callings filled my time and heart. I became a wife, teacher, mother, and nurse. Then when I reached sixty, the day came to return to the desire of my childhood.

Over the years I’ve written novels. It has been my goal to entertain readers and challenge them to examine their relationships with the Lord. God has led me to friends, such as Kathy McKinsey, who have helped me develop essential skills along the way.

Now, as I begin my ninth decade, I must conquer my mountain. Every day on earth has a purpose. I’m as strong as I ever was, but the forms of my strength have changed. The biggest challenge I face—the steepest mountain—is to place my books in the hands of those who need to read them, as I pray that their eyes and hearts will be open.

---

My most recent novel is All Her Dreams of Love. You can find it on Amazon. Lately, I’ve been placing reels and posts on Instagram and Facebook.


 

In rural post-Civil War Mississippi, the virgin woods offer cover for bands of outlaws. Underdeveloped roads provide limited transportation for the settlers. Most farmhouses stand miles apart. All Her Dreams of Love weaves tension into an inspirational romance set in a harrowing struggle to survive.

When Nancy O’Reilly lies in bed at night, the cries of bobcats, panthers, and owls in the nearby Cohay Swamp remind her how lonely her life is. She doesn’t know how she can manage their remote farm while she takes care of her little son. Because she has a baby on the way, she experiences tender feelings, and she needs the gentle touch that her husband has provided.

Without the man she loves, Nancy doesn’t know how she can carry on. Where will she find the strength?

Friday, November 17, 2023

Guest Author, Jodie Wolfe

Jodie, thank you for sharing with us. This story sounds like so much fun.

 

 

A Sneak Peek into Wooing Gertrude

By Jodie Wolfe

 

The print copy of my new book released today, Wooing Gertrude. I had so much fun creating Gertrude Miller. She’s on the verge of all her dreams coming true…or is she? 😊 Here’s a sneak peek at the back cover and first page of the story which is book three in my Burrton Springs Brides Series.

 


Blurb

Enoch Valentine has given up finding peace for his past mistakes. He throws everything he has into being the new part-time deputy in Burrton Springs, Kansas while maintaining the foreman position at a local horse ranch. But when trouble stirs on the ranch, he questions whether he's the right man for either job.

Peace has been elusive for most of Gertrude Miller's life, especially under the oppressiveness of an overbearing mother. She takes matters into her own hands and sends for a potential husband, while also opening her own dress shop. Gertrude hopes to build a future where she'll find peace and happiness.

Will either of them ever be able to find peace?

 

Tagline

The seamstress with a knack for trouble wasn’t who the deputy envisioned.

 

First Page Peek

 

Burrton Springs, Kansas

August 4, 1877

Gertrude Miller’s life couldn’t get any better. She grinned, patting her pocket. Her fingers traced the two skeleton keys. After months of planning and preparing she finally had moved into her own place a week ago, away from the overbearing reach of her mother. In two days, she’d be opening the clothing shop beneath her apartment.

She studied the trail leading into town hoping for a wisp of dust indicating the stagecoach was on its way, but saw none. Smoothing the light blue flowered fabric of her skirt, Gertrude’s hand settled against her churning stomach. What would George Witt think of her when he arrived? Would he see past her faults and still find her loveable? Would he like the place she picked for them to live?

The many letters he’d written to her crinkled in her reticule, as she clutched it close to her heart. His last missive declared he planned to marry her shortly after arriving. Mama would have a conniption, which was why Gertrude hadn’t breathed a word to her mother that she’d marry tomorrow after the church service. Mama would try to do everything in her power to prevent it. Gertrude didn’t plan to say anything to her until they were sitting side by side in the church. No use creating a stir ahead of time.

Her dress hung from a hook in her new place waiting for the blessed event. She’d spent hours sewing it and adding yards of intricate lace she’d crocheted.

 

The book explores the theme of finding peace in the middle of storms. You probably guessed that Gertrude has to go through a series of problems before she learns this lesson. I hope you’ll pick up a copy and join her journey.

 

Bio


 

Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and Faith, Hope, & Love Christian Writers (FHLCW). She's been a semi-finalist and finalist in various writing contests. A former columnist for Home School Enrichment magazine, her articles can be found online at: Crosswalk, Christian Devotions, and Heirloom Audio. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at www.jodiewolfe.com.

 

Social Media Links

Website: https://www.jodiewolfe.com

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jodie-Wolfe-553400191384913

 

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jodie-wolfe

 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/JodieAWolfe

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15220520.Jodie_Wolfe

 

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jodie-Wolfe/e/B01EAWOHXO/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

Purchase Links

https://www.amazon.com/Wooing-Gertrude-Burrton-Springs-Brides-ebook/dp/B0CCXGB3GB?ref_=ast_author_dp

 

Ebook: https://pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1635

 

Print:

https://pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1636

 

Thank you for allowing me to stop by for a visit today!

Friday, November 10, 2023

Guest Author, Diana Leagh Matthews

 Thank you, Leagh, for this article. It reminded me of the joy we had when our kids were small, and we all had so much fun singing together.

 

 

The Songs We Choose to Sing

by Diana Leagh Matthews

 

Victor Hugo said, “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."

Music has been proven to have healing power to help stroke victims, dementia patients communicate, or assist individuals with a brain injury to heal. It also has a way of bringing people together whether through friendship, at a dance, or in worship.

In my new novel, “Carol of the Rooms,” I explore the power of music on the mind and soul. Terri Neely is a modern-day Scrooge, who has hardened her heart and become consumed by money and business. Her heart has grown calloused toward those around her. Music—which should soothe her—only irritates and angers her.

When she has an experience similar to the one in “A Christmas Carol,” she not only views the past but hears the soundtrack of her life. Listening to the songs that compromise her life reveals how each experience has truly impacted her heart, beliefs, and outlook.

 


 

https://www.amazon.com/Carol-Rooms-Diana-Leagh-Matthews/dp/B0CLH94VX7

 

We all have those songs that speak to our hearts and resonate with us. Often these songs remind us of the good times such as hanging out with friends, our first kiss, or falling in love. What song played at your wedding, or did you sing to your children when they were young?

Music is a powerful force. Studies have proven it can reduce stress and blood pressure, help us learn, stir up memories, or decreases anxiety and depression. Depending on the type of music we listen to, the beat and timbre can make us happy and full of joy or raise our blood pressure and create anger.

Every day we are faced with choices. How we react impacts our consequences and the ultimate outcome.

In my novel, Terri had options of how she could react. Instead of facing the issue head on, she shut down and lived in anger and misery. This anger pushed others away until harshness and loneliness emanated from her. A mental block formed, and she couldn’t grasp where she went wrong or how the music in her life impacted her soul.

To be honest, there’s been times when I’ve been like Terri. Where pain, abuse, and betrayal have wounded me deeply to the point that it’s difficult to trust myself or others. Unlike Terri, I’ve worked hard to cut through the lies and treachery, to surround myself with scripture and uplifting music. To choose to sing a different song than what I’ve been handed.

Saul, in the Bible, stood by and watched as Stephen was stoned for preaching the Word. (Acts 7:54-60) Sometime later, Saul was on the road to Damascus where he had letters approving his intention to arrest and prosecute believers of Christ. A light blinded him and a voice from heaven spoke to him. Saul lived as a blind man for three days but by the time “something like fish scales fell from his eyes he could see,” his life and heart had been forever changed. (Acts 8)

Saul would later become known as Paul. He preached fervently for the Lord but endured many hardships including being shipwrecked and imprisoned. However, he also wrote half of the New Testament.

Even when in prison and facing an unknown future “Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.”  (Acts 16:25) Paul chose to see past his circumstances and to trust the Lord.

We always have a choice whether it’s in the music we listen to or our reactions. Sometimes it feels as if we’re all alone and it doesn’t matter but others are watching. We never know how our choices or the song we choose to sing impacts others. What song are you singing?

 

To celebrate my new release, I’m hosting a Christmas extravaganza with special guests, giveaways, and a ton of fun. Please join me at https://www.facebook.com/groups/994850748295488

 

Bio:

 



Diana Leagh Matthews shares God’s love through her story from rebel to redeemed. Her day job is as a volunteer coordinator, but at night she writes and hunts genealogy. She gives programs as a speaker, teacher, vocalists, and presents historical monologues. Leagh (pronounced Lee) is the author of Carol of the Rooms, History Made Real, 90 Breath Prayers for the Caregiver, and others in the Breath Prayers series. She also writes the history behind hymns at DianaLeaghMatthews.com. While there you can sign up for her monthly newsletter where she shares all her news first.

 

 

Friday, November 3, 2023

Guest Author, Heidi Glick

 I have such admiration for someone who has six pets.:) And, I love Christian suspense.

 

 

Writing Journey

My writing journey started when I was thirteen and growing up in Southern California. My church had a live action nativity that guests walked through. I wanted to try out for the part of Mary, but the only noise I can make is joyful and off key. An adult suggested I write my own play, and from there, I began creating stories on my mom's old school word processor. Probably because I grew up in California, I first dreamed of writing Christian screenplays. In college, I tried my hand at silly poetry and a story involving a plesiosaur. After college, I wrote a little. When I moved to Ohio, I wrote my first novel and entered it into a contest. Unfortunately, I knew little about fiction writing at the time.

I worked as a technical editor for many years and wrote two articles. Years later, I joined American Christian Fiction Writers, which accelerated my knowledge of the craft. In 2013, Pelican Book Group published my first novel, Dog Tags. Then in 2014, I co-authored an infertility devotional with five other ladies. I completed my graduate degree, had two children, and put writing aside while I cared for my kids. When my children attended school full time after the pandemic, I resumed writing. In the summer of 2023, Pelican Book Group released my second novel, Hold for Release. On November 1, 2023, Pelican Book Group will release my Christmas novella, 12 Days. Recently, I began line editing for Scrivenings Press. Also, I am currently working on a three-book, environmental thriller series set in Cincinnati.

Readers can follow me on various social media platforms:

http://heidiglick.weebly.com/
http://www.facebook.com/authorheidiglick
https://twitter.com/HeidiGlick1
https://sleuthsandsuspects.blogspot.com/

 


 

Scott Newton retires from the sheriff' s office after a fellow officer is killed. Wracked by sorrow and the need for justice, Scott grows distant from his girlfriend, aspiring crime writer, Lindsay Billings. But, when Lindsay goes missing, and Scott discovers her research on the missing person cases thought to be the work of a serial murderer known as the Christmas Killer, Scott vows to find her at all costs. Police have never found the bodies of the people who went missing many Christmases ago, and Lindsay won't become just another statistic.

 

Then, someone kills again in Blanchardville. Police locate a corpse atop one of seven inflatable swans on a pond, and another body in a pear tree. Scott receives odd texts from Lindsay's phone and deduces they're from the killer.

 

In order to save Lindsay, Scott agrees to meet the madman and play his game. As time runs out, Scott must learn to trust in God again, no matter what.

 

Bio:

 


 

Heidi Glick has a B.A. in biology from Cedarville University, a Master of Technical Communication from Utah State University, and a passion for writing Christian fiction. Additionally, she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Faith, Hope, and Love Christian Writers and has written two articles for Intercom. Before becoming a suspense writer, Heidi taught science to middle and high school students and edited science documents. Heidi resides in rural Northwest Ohio with her husband, two children, and six pets.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Be Like Jesus

Philippians 2:3-5: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

 

My family often prays, “Help us be more like Jesus today.”

 

I like these verses from Philippians. I understand them. Be humble. Put others’ needs above my own.

 

But what about the part that says to have the same mindset as Jesus in my relationships?

 

That’s not possible. Look at the next verse.

 

Philippians 2:6: Who, being in very nature God,

    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

 

Jesus is God. How can I possibly be like him?

 

In my relationships? How did Jesus relate to people?

 

In John chapter 8, he was the one who stayed with the woman caught in adultery.

 

In John chapter 9, he accepted the formerly blind man, who was thrown out of the temple.

 

And, oh, what about the demon-possessed man in Mark 5? The violent man who could no longer be bound with chains?

 

Mark 5:15: When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.

 

That’s how people who Jesus has related to can be seen—dressed and in their right mind. That’s how Jesus can make me seen, after all my garbage.

 

That’s how he wants me to relate to others.

 

And no, I can’t do it in my own strength. But I don’t have to. There is a better strength I can draw from.

 

Philippians 2:13: for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. 

Friday, October 20, 2023

Psalm 17, Confident Prayer

A prayer of David.

Hear me, Lord, my plea is just;

    listen to my cry.

Hear my prayer—it does not rise from deceitful lips.

Let my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right.

Though you probe my heart, though you examine me at night and test me,

you will find that I have planned no evil;

    my mouth has not transgressed.

Though people tried to bribe me,

I have kept myself from the ways of the violent through what your lips have commanded.

My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not stumbled.

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;

    turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.

Show me the wonders of your great love,

you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings

from the wicked who are out to destroy me, from my mortal enemies who surround me.

They close up their callous hearts, and their mouths speak with arrogance.

They have tracked me down, they now surround me, with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground.

They are like a lion hungry for prey, like a fierce lion crouching in cover.

Rise up, Lord, confront them, bring them down;

    with your sword rescue me from the wicked.

By your hand save me from such people, Lord,

    from those of this world whose reward is in this life.

May what you have stored up for the wicked fill their bellies;

    may their children gorge themselves on it, and may there be leftovers for their little ones.

As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face;

    when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.

 


Oh, Lord, David had a confidence to call on you when he needed you, the trust that you would help him. Teach me, help me have this confidence. Through any trouble, remind me of the hope and joy of one day seeing your face. 

Friday, October 13, 2023

Guest Author, Angela D. Shelton


I really enjoy Angela’s variety of stories.

 

 

Ever wondered where authors pluck their story ideas from? I used to be just as curious—especially when it came to spine-chillers from the likes of Stephen King. (No offense, Mr. King. I’m just too chicken to delve into your realm of horror.)

 

Inspiration often comes from the most unexpected places. My latest ah-ha moment? Reading Peter Zeihan’s eye-opening non-fiction work, “The End of the World is Just the Beginning.” Zeihan, a geopolitical strategist who consults for big names like the U.S. Military, delves deep into the looming population crisis and its ramifications.

 

And let me tell you, the signs are all around us. Case in point: a local restaurant I love recently shut its doors—not because it lacked customers, but because it couldn’t keep staff. The owner spilled that it’s not just about hiring—it’s the nail-biting uncertainty of whether staff will actually show up to work—on time—every day.

 

This got me thinking: What if a catastrophic event changed everything we know? What if Atlanta got leveled in a war, and those who survived vowed never to let a population crisis happen again? And what if, at the heart of this new world, was a teenager named Lexi?

 

Enter “Rise of the Y,” my newest young adult novel. Meet Lexi—a seventeen-year-old who balks at the idea of government-mandated husbands, careers, and lifestyles, all in the name of ‘optimal genetics.’

 


 

I’m thrilled to share this story with you. Packed with suspense, sprinkled with romance, and driven by a narrative that holds a mirror to our society, “Rise of the Y” aims to captivate and provoke thought in equal measure. Can’t wait for you to dive in!

 

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CJ86WHWJ 

 

About the Author

 


Tales of Courage, Love, and Faith from the Cattle Fields to the Battlefields.

Angela D. Shelton, winner of the 2023 Christian Indie Awards in the young adult category, crafts spellbinding narratives in both young adult and romance genres. As a healthcare accountant, her life extends well beyond spreadsheets and ledgers. Alongside her husband, Tom, she passionately manages a thriving cattle ranch nestled within Georgia's picturesque landscapes.

Her inspiration doesn't end at the ranch gates. Drawing from hands-on agricultural experiences and Tom's rich knowledge of military and law enforcement, Angela weaves enthralling post-apocalyptic worlds in her acclaimed series, Collapse. This collection spotlights a brave family from a charming Georgia town, who, faced with a crumbling global supply chain, finds salvation in farming just in the nick of time.

Angela's latest literary undertaking, the riveting Rise of the Y, escorts readers into a dystopian realm set among the ruins of Atlanta, Georgia. Her storytelling mastery, combined with real-life insights, makes her novels not just compelling reads but immersive experiences. Whether it's a tale of resilience, romance, or rebellion, Angela's words resonate with readers, leaving an indelible mark on their hearts.