****** Guest Blog Post! *****
Lexi George is here today to tell you a little bit about . . . .
Cookin’ Up Trouble
Food plays a big part in my writing, maybe because I’m from the South and Southerners are all about the eats. Fights have broken out over which is the superior barbeque sauce: tomato-based, vinegar based, or mustard based. And everybody and their Aunt Fanny has an opinion about the ‘proper’ way to make potato salad. Forget Hamlet’s soliloquy in Hamlet. To add pickles or leave them out, THAT is the question. Personally, I make my potato salad without, and throw some green olives on top, but that’s just me.
The central hub of life in Hannah, the small Alabama town where my demon hunting series takes place, is Viola Williams’ Sweet Shop Café. Miss Vi makes everything from scratch, her vegetables are locally grown and hand-picked, her cakes are fluffy, and her pies are topped with clouds of meringue. I enjoy writing these scenes, because I like food. I was that hungry kid dancing on the strings of my mother’s apron wanting to know when supper would be ready.
In the fifth grade, I discovered Farmer Boy, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book about her husband Almanzo’s childhood growing up on a prosperous farm in upstate New York. Wilder’s descriptions of the food lovingly prepared and consumed by the hardworking characters in the book left me drowning in a puddle of my own saliva. When I set out to create Hannah, I knew food would be important, and my descriptions of the food at Miss Vi’s are a tip of the hat to Ms. Wilder and her profound impact upon me as a writer.
As a busy working mom with two daughters, coming in from work and having to scrap up supper at the end of the day (and in a timely fashion), was a challenge. Here is one of my kids’ favorites, Hopping John, modified to fit my frenzied schedule. Instead of soaking and cooking the black-eyed peas overnight, I cheat and use canned.
1 15-ounce can black-eyed peas without snaps.
3 thick slices of bacon, chopped.
1 medium yellow onion, chopped.
½ teaspoon salt (Or to taste)
Black pepper to taste
1and 2/3 cups water
1 cup long grain rice
Sauté chopped bacon and onion in a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid until the bacon is brown and the onion is translucent, stirring often. (8 to 10 minutes)
To onion and bacon mixture, add black-eyed peas WITH liquid, plus one and two thirds cups water. Stir.
Add salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.
Add the rice and stir gently. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 15 minutes, without lifting the lid. Turn off the heat and let sit another 15 minutes. DO NOT LIFT THE LID.
Stir and enjoy!
What about you? Do you have a busy-day recipe you’d like to share?
*Brown rice can be substituted for white, but it takes much longer and is trickier. I have had great success with the Riceland Brand. I follow the instructions on the package and omit the salt until after it is cooked.
Thank you Lexi George for this wonderful recipe! And here’s some information about her book!
Deep South legends. Deep fried curses. Deep dish revenge . . .
This Debutante Is Having A Ball!
Way down south in the land of cotton, one belle’s plans are soon forgotten–when Sassy Peterson drives her Maserati off the road to avoid a deer and lands smack-dab in the proverbial creek without a paddle. The Alabama heiress should have known something weird was going on when she saw the deer’s ginormous fangs. Hello, Predator Bambi!
But nothing can prepare her for the leather-clad, muscle-bound, golden-eyed sex god who rescues her. Who wears leather in May? That’s just the first of many questions Sassy has when her savior reveals he’s a demon hunter named Grim. Also: Why would a troop of fairies want to give her magical powers and rainbow hair? Why would a style-challenged beast called the Howling Hag want to hunt her down?
Most importantly, what’s a nice debutante like Sassy doing in a place like this anyway? Besides feeling Grim . . .
“Sugar,” Sassy murmured. She laid her head on Grim’s shoulder. “Fairies.”
With a drowsy sigh, she relaxed against him and went to sleep.
Grim stilled. A surge of lust hit him, hard and fierce. Sassy smelled delightful, a dizzying combination of summer roses and female. Curling tendrils of her hair lifted to caress his jaw, like flowers reaching for the sun.
I am her sword and shield. The vow rose unbidden in his mind. Here and now I vow to protect her, from anyone or anything that threatens her.
An admirable sentiment, I am sure, the Provider said, but hardly necessary. She leaves tomorrow, and you return to the hunt. That is good, is it not?
Yes, of course.
Then why the hollow ache in his chest?
About the Author:
Lexi George writes snarky, Southern-fried paranormal romance for Kensington. Her debut novel, Demon Hunting in Dixie, was released in 2011, and a novella and two more demon hunter books followed. Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar, the third book in the series, was nominated for a RITA in 2014. The fourth book, Demon Hunting with a Dixie Deb, is due to be released May 24, 2016. Lexi enjoys reading and writing romance, but her first love is fantasy. A Meddle of Wizards is the story of Raine Stewart, a sheltered, sickly young woman who comes into her own when she’s transported to a magical world, discovers her burgeoning powers as an adept, and faces the evil wizard who killed her parents. Lexi’s day job as an appellate attorney requires reading transcripts filled with murder, mayhem, and worse. Perhaps this is why she enjoys stories filled with humor, action, adventure, and magical creatures. She has a violent aversion to sad movies, having been scarred by Old Yeller at the age of nine. She drinks tea, not coffee, and has never seen The Exorcist, because she is a world-class chicken. She is the third of four children, with all the attendant neuroses.
$50 Amazon gift card
Direct link to entry form