A Day in the Life of R.L. Griffin

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R.L.  Griffin resides in the Atlanta area with some cool dudes: her husband, son and two dogs.  She was born and raised in the South.  She attended Georgia Southern University and moved to Washington, D.C. to intern in the United States Senate during the impeachment trial.  Falling in love with the city, she went to law school at American University, Washington College of Law.  By A Thread is R.L.’s second book, but is the first in a series of books.

Stalker Links:  Blog  Facebook  Goodreads

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Throw Back Thursday: Tortellini Salad Inspired by my tour of Rome

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I spent a great many of my formative years living in Europe. Though I was still too young to truly appreciate everything I experienced, there were a few things that stayed with me. Because I was so impressionable, I think my adult life has been most influenced by the various cuisines I was able to sample.

Our childhood memories are often our fondest. I can’t seem to remember with any clarity walking through Westminster Abbey, seeing the Mona Lisa or gazing at the Cysteine Chapel, I do remember some things- the top of the Eiffel Tower, chipping away at the Berlin Wall, the Holland Cheese Mills and the food.

Many of my memories have been lost to age, but I still remember our tour of Rome. I hadn’t quite reached my teenage years at the time. After our visit to the Coliseum, we decided lunch was in order. We chose a small restaurant with a patio view of the Coliseum. I have always had a love for noodles and cheese, so I settled on a tortellini salad dish. Of all the memories of my childhood and all the different foods I tried, that dish has stayed with me the most. The flavors, the colors, the fragrance, it is all as clear to me now as it was then. I have tried many, many times to recreate this recipe, but without a name for the dish and only a child’s memory, I have never quite come close. Until now.

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Ingredients:
Frozen Cheese Tortellini
1 Green Bell Pepper halved
Sweet, Tangy Mini Peppers
Artichoke Hearts
Catalina Dressing
Cheese Crumbles

Cook tortellini over medium heat. While water warms to a boil, clean and quarter peppers.

I use garden fresh sweet, tangy mini peppers to replicate the colors of this dish. Use two Imageeach of brightly colored red, yellow and orange peppers. Quarter these peppers and chop together in a blender.

Quarter one half of a green bell pepper and chop in a blender as well. Don’t strain the juice!

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The tortellini is ready when it floats to the top for about two minutes. You want it just on this side of al’dente. Strain cooked tortellini and let it cool for about five minutes, then run cool water over it. Pour it in a bowl.

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Use a rubber spatula to fold chopped peppers into the tortellini.

One of the things I remember most about this dish was asking my mom what the “skin leaf things” were. I chose to use artichoke hearts canned in seasoned olive oil.  If you have ever worked with fresh artichoke, you can appreciate the ease of this particular step. I do not strain the hearts. I allow a bit of the seasoned olive oil to drip into the bowl for added flavor. I peel the leaves from the stump and fold them directly into the salad. Discard the stump.

Fold at least a half cup of Catalina dressing into the salad. Many recipes I’ve seen call for Cesar dressing, but the flavor is just off to me. Catalina gives the salad just the right amount of tang and complements the peppers nicely.

Sprinkle a three cheese crumble over the top- For this recipe I used Monterey, Colby and Cheddar. I honestly believe the original recipe used a combination of three cheeses in curd form. Unfortunately, good, un-waxey curd is hard to come by where I live, so I substituted.

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Cover and chill for at least an hour. I like to make it ahead and chill overnight, allowing the juice from the peppers to soak in to the tortellini. The picture really does not do the dish justice. The colors are vibrant and the fragrance is mouthwatering.

A Day in the Life of Lisa Sanchez

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Lisa’s lifelong love of writing, coupled with her ability to weave together and intricate and compelling story has led to the release of her New Adult paranormal romance trilogy,the Hanaford Park series (Eve Of Samhain, Pleasures Untold, Faythe Reclaimed).

In her role as a busy stay-at-home and self proclaimed “cheer mom,” on any given day Lisa wears a number of different hats. From taxi driver to chef,nurse to seamstress, laundry woman to enforcer, and, of course, writer, Lisa manages to keep everything together while caring for her husband and three children. The few spare moments left in her day are usually spent reading or writing, and if she’s really lucky, possibly even catching up on some much needed sleep. Lisa and her family currently reside in Tracy, California.

Lisa is represented by the fabulous Brittany Booker of the Booker/Albert agency, and has two projects on submission and a third in the works.

Stalker Links: Webpage  Facebook  Goodreads  AmazonImage

A Day in the Life of Bethany Lopez

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Bethany Lopez was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Michigan and San Antonio, Texas. She went to High School at Dearborn High, in Dearborn, Michigan, which is where she has set her Young Adult series. She is married and has a blended family with five children. She is currently serving in the United States Air Force as a Recruiter in Los Angeles, California. She has always loved to read and write and has seen her dream realized by independently publishing her novels through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Stalker Links: Goodreads  Amazon  IAN  Webpage  Twitter  Facebook  Pinterest

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Broken Dreams Cover Reveal

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Broken Dreams Cover Reveal

Rainey Daniels has been keeping a secret since she left her hometown, three years ago. The death of a friend’s father, though, has her questioning whether or not running away from her past is what’s best for her future. Add sexy Chris Baker in the mix and she’s even more unsure. After all, life is short.
Baker is an all-around good guy with a great sense of humor struggling to keep his new bar afloat. And he always thought Rainey was hot, even when she carried a few extra pounds in high school. Hell, he thinks she’s too skinny now. He knows she’s hiding something, too, but when he pushes the issue, she pushes him away. He tries not to care; she only wants a summer fling, right? But when her life is threatened, he realizes he may just be in love with her… and then he learns her secret.
Can they find love together before it’s too late?

Anticipated Release: August 1st!

You can enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card here: http://www.dawnpendleton.com/1/post/2013/06/cover-reveal-for-broken-dreams.html

Off Topic Tuesday: Sister Wives, Polygamy USA and the Dargers

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I am shamelessly addicted to Sister Wives and Polygamy USA. I am also a regular visitor to the Darger’s family blog. Why? Morbid Curiosity.

I grew up in the deep South with traditional- monogamous- Southern values. While I don’t openly, or even privately practice Christian beliefs, the idea of “celestial unions” and “plural marriages” has always been somewhat abhorrent to me. Not so much because I believe what the New Testament preaches, but because I simply cannot wrap my head around a teaching that states in order to gain favor with God, you must have multiple wives. Now, I know there is more to it than that, but when you take out all the fluff, the pomp and circumstance, that’s pretty much what those teachings boil down to.

Last night, I was catching up on my recordings of Polygamy USA. The father of one family was reading scripture to his children, most of which were female. In one particular passage he read (and this is the abridged version) that women who do not follow these tenants-plural marriage- can expect their daughters to walk the streets as common harlots. Seriously! Watch the video!

Up until this particular episode, I found Polygamy USA to be a more palatable look at plural marriage than that freak show they call Sister Wives. There is a clear divide between the residents of CP and the disgusting pedophile that is Warren Jeffs and his band of diluted followers. The community is run by a group of people instead of a “divine prophet”. Another difference is the marriage process. In Centennial Park, it is the women who choose their husband. They are believed to receive some divine inspiration that reveals to them the name of the man God intends for them. They are also forbidden to marry until they are 18. When the woman reveals her inspiration, she and the man are given two weeks to get to know each other before they are married. Existing wives don’t have a say in it.

So what really pissed me off about this episode? Aside from the whole harlots business, there was another scene where that same man took one of his wives out for dinner to celebrate her birthday. Earlier, they held a table discussion about their finances- or lack thereof, in which the husband informed the two none working wives that one of them would need to go back to work. It is during this rare one-on-one date that the husband, who is supposed to be the sole provider for his family according to the tenants of his faith, says “Its your party, you can cry if you want to. But you can’t have whatever you want because your going to have to go back to work to help pay the bills.”

Everybody say it with me now- Ass. Hole. Not only is it her birthday, but it is one of only two nights a year she actually gets to get out of the house and away from their horde of children for a little one-on-one time with her husband. My heart breaks for her. She should feel special and loved on this day. Instead, she has even more responsibility heaped on her and in the most callous way possible.

So here is what it boils down to. These women are taught from as early as they can understand the spoken word that their place is to serve a husband divined to them by God. Their sole responsibility is to have as many children as their body can produce, provide nurturing care for not just her children, but those of her sister wives, and to remain chaste and virtuous. In exchange, the husband God has chosen for her will provide for all her worldly needs and she is guaranteed a place in Heaven (watch the first video again). This belief system just screams failure to me, a fact highlighted by this very episode.

These women are not encouraged to further their educations or to become productive members of society. They are taught to be wives and breeders with the hopes that they will be taken care of by their husband. I have three children myself. My husband has ONE wife (that aint gonna change either.) We have two incomes. Though we don’t struggle to make ends meet, one bad month could change all of that. This man has three wives and something like 18 children. Only him and one other wife work full time jobs. Most of their children are still in diapers. Thankfully, mine have all grown out of that costly phase, but you can just imagine the expense involved with providing for that many children. 32 loads of laundry A WEEK. I haven’t done 32 loads of laundry in a month.

To realistically be able to support a family of that size, all three of the wives would need to have some form of gainful employment, which totally blows the whole “husband provides” tenant right out of the water. I am all for live and let live. What I do not agree with is using a religious belief or some book written by a man to justify choices or to encourage decision making. Reality dictates that the more mouths there are to feed, the more money is required to feed said mouths. What bothers me the most is that these children don’t know any different. They are sheltered away in these little communities and are rarely, if ever, shown a different way of life. It isn’t until they become adults and experience the reality that they start to realize this might not have been the best idea.

I don’t think polygamy should be illegal anymore than I think gay marriage should be. People have a right to live how they want to live. But I don’t think I should have to pay for their decisions. If you want to have multiple wives (or husbands for that matter-which is a topic for another day) then so be it….consenting adults and all that… But put some laws in place that protect children AND tax payers. Children from polygamist relationships should have to have the same education as monogamous children. They should be taught all aspects of society from an economical (not religious) standpoint and be afforded choices and options. Laws should be put into place preventing plural unions from gaining access to welfare. If you make your bed, you have to lay in it. Translation– If your religious beliefs dictate that you should have as many children as humanly possible, you should support those children without burdening tax payers. If common sense can’t prevail, you are not entitled to aide. 

To date, the only public polygamist family I have seen that seems to be “doing it right” is the Darger family. Their appearances have been minimal so my opinion is subject to change. But from what I’ve read on their family blog and seen on t.v., they seem to be fully living by their tenants while allowing their children to experience different view points without the “benefit” of brainwashing. As far as Kody Brown and his “Kodettes”- some SWB love for ya there– they are little more than ironic comedy to me. They have abandoned their beliefs in exchange for fame and fortune. I won’t even bother quoting anything that’s come out of their mouths and don’t waste a minute reading their blogs, posts and tweets. I do however find a great deal of enjoyment visiting Sister Wives Blog. Their commentary on all things Kody Brown provides for hours of entertainment. There is also some interesting info and links on the blog about polygamy in general and some of the high profile polygamists and communities, so check them out.

Feel free to leave your comments. I wont moderate, unless your just being a douche bag.