Monday, May 23, 2016

Chicken Italiano

My niece and her fiancé visited today. They'll be getting married soon. My southern sister gave them a cookbook as a shower gift. My niece said her fiancé has a lot of cookbooks. She usually pulls recipes off the internet--and I admitted I do as well sometimes, but there's nothing like an old-fashioned cookbook. I've got a nice collection and I dragged out some of my favorites. My new nephew-in-law was appreciative and took snapshots with his cellphone of several recipes I pointed out that everyone in the family loves.

One of my favorite cookbooks is The Texas Experience. Hubby brought it home from one of his business trips many, many years ago. (It's a 1983 edition.) 

After my niece and her fiancé left I glanced at one recipe I hadn't tried, Chicken Italiano. It was simple--my favorite kind of recipe! I doubled the sauce as I usually do because I love saucy recipes and I used only chicken breasts instead of cutting up a chicken.

Hubby really enjoyed it. I did, too. 

Give it a try! 

Chicken Italiano

1 (16 ounce) bottle of Kraft's Creamy Italian Dressing
2 packages onion soup mix
2 (4 ounce) cans of mushrooms, drained
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon oregano
2 pounds of chicken breasts, cut into chunks

Combine the Creamy Italian Dressing, onion soup mix, mushrooms, bay leaf and oregano. Pour over chicken. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes. 


Friday, May 20, 2016

Checklist for Heroes

Most of us have an certain mindset of what a hero should be. On the left is my hero, Wildon, from PRINCE OF THE MIST. He might not be your idea of a hero, but there are certain qualities every hero must have. Click on the blog post link below. You've got to see this one. It should make you laugh. :^)

Go to:

Thinking about heroes that I've recently read....


Friday, May 13, 2016

My Books Are At the Library

If you like reading free paper editions, you should get a library card and visit the local library. It's a great place to discover authors! If your library doesn't have the books you wish to read, ask the librarian. Libraries also carry ebooks, too.

Libraries are cultural centers as well featuring movies, live entertainment, informative talks, and offering many other benefits for their communities. Visit your local library today.

Friday, May 06, 2016

The Process--or Me and Matisse

When I was in college I took an oil painting course. Oils were nothing new to me. In her younger years, my mother worked in oils. I grew up messing around with Ma's paints when she wasn't looking. I loved squishing the oils around and mixing colors. I love the smell of the stuff, which is probably not a good thing but the truth is it smelled like home. I could draw quite well--freehand. I was quite sure I would get an A in the oil painting class, but that was until I met the professor.

My oil painting professor had a fondness for Matisse. Yes, Matisse created some wonderful paintings, but I am a realist at heart. I want scenes on my canvas to have a close approximation to what things look like to my eyes. To do that, I need small brushes and I work very tight--section by section. I love details--grass, hair, and rocks. That makes me happy.

My professor insisted all his students own large brushes. I knew I had no need for a large brush and it was terribly expensive, but I had to buy it anyhow. The professor wanted all his students to work on all areas of the canvas during the process. He did not want me to work in one corner at a time.

He wanted my painting to look like a Matisse. I wanted my painting to look like a Penelope Marzec. We had some basic ideological differences. I did not get an A. :^(

What has this got to do with writing? Everything. I've read plenty of books about writing. I've sat through innumerable writing workshops. I've listened to scores of writers explain their process and I've learned that everyone has a different process. Beyond the great divide of plotters and pantsters, there are various ways to get to The End.

There isn't a right way or a wrong way. There's only what works--for you. It probably won't work for someone else, but that's okay.

Despite that one professor, I never gave up painting. I've gotten some fabulous reviews for my books and some awards, but there have been some reviewers who reminded me of that oil painting professor. Obviously, I cannot make everyone happy. Still, I have not given up writing.

The fun is in the creating. The fun is in the process.

The only real rule is to do it. Put your butt in the chair and write. Now.