May the Luck O' the Irish Be With You! @DonnaFaz #StPatricksDay

All my life, I have heard the phrase "luck of the Irish." On this St. Patrick's Day, I decided to do a little research. Here's what I discovered:

Ireland has a tragic past, yet the Irish people--through determination, hard work, and a dash of luck--have continued to prevail through every struggle.

Luck actually originated in the Middle Dutch language; the word luc means happiness and good fortune.

The phrase "luck of the Irish" was first used in the United States during the California Gold Rush to describe Irish immigrants who found their "pot of gold" while mining. Some people say this was a derogatory term to insinuate that the Irish needed luck rather than skill to find their fortune.

The Irish have a great sense of humor and an awesome pride in their country. They are loved by nations all over the world.

Green is the color of choice for St. Patrick's Day because Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle. Hmmm... wait a second. I also read that wearing green makes one invisible to leprechauns, and everyone knows those pesky fairy creatures pinch everyone they can see! 


Wherever the phrase comes from--and whatever you choose to wear today--go out and have fun!



Beautiful Buttermilk Biscuits by @DonnaFaz #Foodie #Recipes

Few people would use a word like 'beautiful' to describe these easy homemade biscuits, but that's just the way I roll. (Pun intended!) You see, I have an on-going love affair with food so it's easy for me to see any type of bread as beautiful (as well as delicious)!

Today, I'm sharing my Buttermilk Biscuit recipe. Mmmmmmm!

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup cold buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. (Preheating the oven is important.)

Measure out the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Work in the butter and shortening until you've got a crumb-like consistency. (I use my fingers, and I work fast so the butter and shortening won't melt.) Add the buttermilk and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Dough will be sticky.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and fold it a few times. Pat into an oval that's about an inch thick. I use a drinking glass to cut the biscuits into rounds. Gently reform the 'scraps' and cut into rounds. Place the dough rounds on a cookie sheet. If you like soft-sided biscuits, let the rounds touch. If you like crisper sides, give each biscuit some room on the sheet. Bake for 15-20 until they're tall and golden brown.

Alton Brown has a similar recipe, but suggests using a little less salt. Even with all those cookbooks and cooking shows under his belt, what does he know?

Here are some other delicious biscuit recipes I've found on the web:

Paula Deen offers a great recipe for Garlic Cheese Biscuits. Yum, y'all! Yum!

These Mayonnaise Biscuits look interesting, although I haven't tried them. Yet.

And for those who feel biscuit-challenged, here's a neat video from the Joy of Baking website. (Please note, I never add sugar to my biscuits.)

If you're looking for fast and easy, the Betty Crocker website has a recipe using Bisquick, that very well-known all purpose baking mix. I've added chopped herbs and a 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese to this recipe to make dumplings for chicken stew. Everyone knows a dumpling is simply a steamed biscuit!

Whether they're slathered with butter, honey, or jam - or steamed on top of a pot of thick, luscious chicken stew - there's nothing quite as delectable as a fluffy biscuit!

If you enjoyed my Buttermilk Biscuit recipe, or any of the recipes I've linked to, please use the buttons below to share this post. Thanks, and happy eating!


Falling for a Single Mom #99cents through March 5

It's A Birthday Sale!

If you haven't read these books, now's your chance.
Get this 2-book bundle for under $1. On sale through March 5th only.
Happy Birthday to me!


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A Beautiful Stranger - On Sale for #99cents #Kindle Nook iBooks

A Family Forever Series, Book 1

Now $0.99 for 4 days only!

When Sean Hudson arrives to claim his new daughter, he discovers the adoption hinges on the impossible. Unless he finds a wife immediately, the tiny orphan will be snatched away from him forever. But before Sean can abandon hope, a beautiful stranger proposes a surprising solution—marriage.

Sean swears the love in his heart is only for his soon-to-be daughter. And that is perfect for Nicki Willis, whose restless spirit yearns to have a family for just a while. But the tenderness of Sean’s touch soothes Nicki’s fears as well as little Sona’s. Now Nicki aches to become a family forever… and she refuses to believe she can’t make this dream come true.

Find this New Release:

Find this book:


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WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER Now Available for Pre-Order! #Kindle #Nook @iBooks @Kobo

Ocean City Boardwalk Series, Book 3

Cathy Whitley’s two best friends, Sara and Heather, may have found the men of their dreams… and that’s all well and good for them. But that’s not going to happen to Cathy. She allowed love to catch her off-guard once and it drained her dry, emotionally and financially. She’ll never let it happen again. Ever.

Brad Henderson has been chasing Cathy for years. He’s settled for their on-again-off-again, “friends with bennies” relationship for far longer than he expected. Attempting to swim through the rip currents surrounding her heart has left him swimming in circles.

Then Brad inherits a business worth millions from billionaire Harold Hopewell. Hopewell had traveled the world and was touched by the stories of the people he met. In death, Hopewell is giving back, leaving an unusual will filled with life-altering bequests. Brad can’t believe his stroke of luck. Now Cathy will surely see him in a new light. Right?

One way or the other, it’s time to draw a line in the sand…

Pre-order you copy today!

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Titles in the Ocean City Boardwalk Series:
The Wedding Planner’s Son, Book 6 (coming in April)

Don't miss other books in The Inheritance Series!

Roasted Eggplant Spread #Recipe AND New Cover Sneak Peek

I am just finishing up the third book of my Ocean City Boardwalk Series, WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER. If you are reading the series, you know that Cathy Whitley is the owner of The Sunshine CafĂ©. She loves to cook, and I have been adding recipes to the end of each story in the series. Here is one of the recipes I’ll be using in the book.

If you'd like a sneak peek at the book's cover, slide down to the bottom of the post.  Look for WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER on February 21st!

Roasted Eggplant Spread


Ingredients:

1 large eggplant, cut into 1/4" rounds
2 cups onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil
Sea salt + ground pepper
Crusty Bread or Pita for serving

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 425° F.

2. Arrange eggplant rounds on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes, turning once or twice until eggplant is softened and golden brown. Remove from pan and allow to cool.

3. While eggplant is roasting, heat a large skillet over medium low heat and add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add onion and stir often until caramelized. This will take about 20 minutes. Don’t rush it. The caramelizing process brings out the sweetness of the onions. Add minced garlic to the onions during the last 8 minutes of cooking so it doesn’t burn. Set aside onion/garlic mixture.

4. Peel the eggplant and discard the skin. (I use a spoon to scrap the eggplant away from the skin.) Add the flesh of the eggplant to the bowl of your food processor. Add onion-garlic mixture, holding back 1 tablespoon. Process until ingredients are pulverized and of a spreading consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place spread in a serving bowl. Just before serving, drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and place the remaining onion-garlic mixture on top. Decorate with a sprig of basil or parsley (optional).

5. Serve immediately with pita, toasted baguette, or assorted veggies. Best when eaten fresh, but will keep in the fridge covered for a couple days.

Here's a sneak peek at the cover of WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER! What do you think? This is book 3 of my Ocean City Boardwalk Series; however, it's also part of The Inheritance Series. Very cool, huh? 




Who Do You Think You Are? #Worthiness #SelfWorth


Who Do You Think You Are?


Do you remember the first time you heard that question? Most likely, we were young, and that question was meant to stop us in our tracks like the ping of a stone flung from a slingshot. How dare you speak your mind! How dare you be so big, so bold, so uninhibited! It was meant as a rebuke or a correction.

Usually the scolding came from someone we respected—a trusted friend, a sibling, a parent, a teacher. And that someone had decided we needed some sort of intervention. However, had we really crossed the line? Or was our light simply shining bright at that moment? Deciphering the difference is so important.

Our sense of worthiness is learned early in life. During childhood, our individuality, that which makes us unique, is all too often discouraged. If we were made to feel self-conscious about our opinions, our thoughts, our dreams, we can develop a sense of shame that makes it difficult for us to see our true selves.

A healthy sense of worthiness allows us to shine; it also helps us to attract and choose good things for ourselves: healthy habits, love, happiness, wonderful relationships. When we feel worthy, outside opinions matter much less and we have a greater possibility of living joyful and enthusiastic lives.

If we’re not careful, we can wear a sense of shame like a wool coat. Slipping out of that heaviness can take a bit of discipline, but it can be done. Here are a few ways we can start to shed the shame and feel more deserving.

·        Quell that critical inner voice. Weather that harsh inner coach was developed through a painful childhood or the condemning attitudes of others, we must begin to tame our thoughts and stop judging ourselves if we want to feel worthy of happiness.
·        Acknowledge your suffering and the suffering of others. Developing a sense of compassion is crucial.
·        Be kind in response to your own suffering and the suffering of others. Kindness is also an important aspect of a healthy sense of worthiness.
·        Realize that imperfection is part of everyday life and something all humans share.


Help me add to this list. What other ways can we develop a healthy sense of self-worth? Note your answers in the comment section below.