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French Canadian Tourtière
My mother in law makes the best Tourtière for Christmas Eve every year. This meat pie is served with mashed potatoes and vegetables.
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup, mashed potatoes
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup cold water
1 Tbsp. water
- In a large skillet, combine the onion with the olive oil and sauté for 10 minutes on medium heat, until onions are soft and golden. Mix the ground pork and beef together in a bowl. Add the mixed ground meat to the onions and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring it.
- Add all the remaining ingredients (broth, spices, mashed potato, salt and pepper) and mix together. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.
- Cool in the fridge for about 2 hours, until completely chilled.
- To make the pastry, cut the butter into small cubes and chill them so they are very cold. Using a food processor or a pastry blender, chop up the butter into the flour and salt until it is small and crumbly, the size of very small peas. Pour in 1/2 cup of the ice cold water and mix into the flour. Add more water, 1 tablespoonful at a time, until the dough comes together into a ball. Wrap and cover them in wax paper or plastic, and let them rest in the fridge for 1 hour. Remove from the fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Roll out each disc on a floured surface to about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness.
- Line a 9 in. pie plate with the first disc of dough. Spoon in all the meat filling, patting it down lightly to compress it a bit. Brush the pie rim with water and place the second circle of dough on top, pressing the edges together to seal.
- For the egg wash beat the egg and water together and brush the mixture all over the top of the crust and around the edges.
- Cut a few vents in the top of your pie.
- Bake at 375F for about 50 minutes or until the top of the crust is golden.
Yield: Makes 1 pie, about 8 servings
If you came from Jo Richardson http://jrrichardsonfics.wordpress.com/blog/. Fantastic. Did you check out her book
Cursed Be The Wicked? It’s about a writer coming home to Salem, with a lot to hide!
This week we’re writing about Thanksgiving…
I was never great with school writing tasks, especially Thanksgiving essays where I needed to tell the world what I’m grateful for.
But I took on this assignment, so I shall prevail!
Here’s a few unique reasons that this year has been especially good…
1) My husband’s inventive, creative side as well as his outstanding skill and bedside manner have made him one of the most sought after surgeons in his field. His work ethic is unbelievable. Seriously, I’m unsure how he does so much and can use coherent sentences at the end of the day.
2) My children are growing up into amazing individuals. I love their company and their ability to laugh at all the absurd things life throws at them. Their inability to clean the kitchen will be discussed in another post.
3) My dog’s tumor is benign. And the weight he gained while recuperating is forcing me to exercise more.
4) I’m published. Three books have hit the Amazon “stacks” in 2014. Two with my sometime writing partner Susan Scott Shelley. We made a few lists along the way, but even more important, we’ve gained a few fans. Next year, Susan and I are publishing a few books separately. Read her, she’s awesome!
5) My parents are about to celebrate fifty years together. And fifty years of traveling the world together. They are not only healthy this year, but they’re tearing their way across the golf courses of Southern Florida.
6) My brother’s business is thriving, and his wife loves her job where she truly makes a difference to kids in the classroom and at her house every day. And her ability to live with my brother makes her a saint (I lived with him for 16 years…I know).
7) Snow on ski slopes.
8) Almost all music, except that song my daughter keeps playing over and over and over again.
9) Landlines, especially when my iPhone decides it doesn’t feel like putting a call through.
10) And chocolate…no exceptions.
The release of a new novella by Susan Scott Shelley and me is today! OMG. What started out as a lark, turned into a pretty cool novella. Susan and I spent hours in my kitchen and hers plotting and revising “Flirting on Ice.” We’re damn proud of the result.
After all that time together, I’ve discovered a few things about Susan you may be interested to know.
Susan takes sports seriously. She’s crazy smart about players, stats, and rankings in both football and hockey. I can’t tell you the number of times she rewrote a few plays I created for our fictional hockey team the Atlantic City Hustlers. Thank God she did or the team would have been playing four quarters and skating over the end zone.
In addition to her sports expertise, she can make a heroine likeable, probably because she is likeable herself. While this may not seem like a feat to some people (and yes I’m talking to all you “nice” people out there), I tend to make my heroines unlikeable to the extreme (and no, I don’t think there is a parallel with me and unlikeable heroines. Do you?) Working with Susan, we created a heroine who is truly a person I’d want to hang out with.
The villain in the story is not evil to the core, but he is selfish and greedy. Just enough evil to make you root for the hero. I would have had him kill a few people and kick a puppy or two, but Susan was opposed to random violence in a romance. That’s not to say there’s no tension in the book, just less blood than I’d like.
In celebration of the release, we’re doing a Release Day Power Play. Whoever gets the most likes or tweets from their hockey social media posts will make a donation to Hockey Fights Cancer,and we encourage all of you to donate too. It’s a great cause.
And we may publicly humiliate the loser too, although I hate being publically humiliated, so that part is optional!
‘Do you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all….. about our writing of course!
This week’s questions are from Eden Ashe.
If you came from LaNora Mangano’s blog, welcome! If not, head on over there to see her answers! http://jeanne1965.wix.com/finding-lanora#!blog/c112v
How much free reign do you give your characters during a story?
My character Simon, a secondary character in my book “Untrue Colors,” took over the series and attempted to take over the first book as well. His personality was so strong that his POV ended up in every story, despite being the primary hero in only one of them.
His elevated position as the main character of the series helped make the stories better. His position as an embedded agent in MI-6 gave him access to information and resources I couldn’t give to my civilian characters. In addition, his love for the women in his life went to the extreme, and the feelings he brings into the books are more powerful than in my other heroes. Ironically, he doesn’t want to love as deeply as he does, it’s his biggest flaw and most endearing characteristic.
Here’s one of his scenes as the not quite hero in “Untrue Colors:”
The knock continued, more rapidly and aggressively. Simon placed his finger on Valerie’s lips to keep her quiet and then pulled out his gun.
“Who is it?” he called out in English, stepping to the door clothed only by the Beretta in his hand.
“Open up, lover boy.” Nicola’s voice penetrated the wood and scorched his veins.
What the hell did she want? He opened the door, knowing she’d never leave until she gained entry. Nicola, wearing black leggings, knee high black boots, and a long gray transparent shirt, pushed her way past him without so much as a glance at his naked body until she arrived at the foot of the bed. If he had to choose at that moment between Valerie and Nicola, he’d have to flip a coin. They both oozed sex.
Not one to be disturbed by his state of undress, Nicola examined him from shoulder to toe, making his manhood retreat at the indignity, and then she turned to Simon’s last bit of sanity, the beautiful woman lying in the bed. “Am I interrupting anything?”
“Not anymore.” He slipped on his jeans and threw Valerie her little black dress.
I’ve started a new series that deals with a police officer named Bob. His brother Dex has begun to take over the series almost like Simon did. Some men just crave the spotlight!
Have your characters ever done something so out of the blue that not only changed your story, but changed the tone and maybe even the genre you were originally going for? (Like your contemporary romance turned into a spicy paranormal)
Suspense slips into almost every story I write. I can’t help it. My characters crave action and danger. My first novel, however, was women’s fiction. As I wrote the sequel, I added blackmail, murder, and kidnappings. Not exactly women’s fiction. The third book in the series had even more intrigue and soon I was addicted to adding suspense to my stories.
The women’s fiction book is lost under my bed forever, but the two sequels I colored with suspense are both on their way to being published.
Do you have one character in your head that is sort of boss over all the rest? Or do you decide who to work on and when?
I’m fairly rigid about what books I’m working on at any one time. Mostly my own self-imposed deadlines force keep blinders on me so I can finish a project by a certain date.
Characters are free to give me any ideas they want at any time and I respect the process enough to take five to ten minutes to write down the ideas or even the bits of dialogue that come through my head. Each story has a Scrivener file and has spots for research. Characters, and plot ideas. I prefer full immersion into a story, however, and will leave those pieces until I can delve into the whole book for a period of time.
Head over to Mishka Jenkins’ blog and see how she answered… https://awriterslifeformeblog.wordpress.com/
Welcome from Mishka Jenkins’ blog. https://awriterslifeformeblog.wordpress.com/
It’s all about the Book Boyfriend!
Book boyfriends don’t live in my house. They’re not invited. They tend to be control freaks. Yet, there is always room in my reading list for a re-read of my favorites.
Who is my ideal book boyfriend?
- He has ambition.
- He doesn’t complain about problems, he fixes them.
- When he falls for a woman, he falls hard.
- He knows his way around a female body.
You want names?
JERICHO BARRONS, the Fever Series, by Karen Marie Moning
ROARKE, In Death Series, by JD Robb
JAMIE FRASIER, Outlander Series, Diana Gabaldon
I am dying to know who Xio Axelrod chose… Let’s go check it out… http://www.xioaxelrod.com.