Guest Novelist,Artist Elaina Lee/ Full Day of Recipes

I am so please to FINALLY have our time with Elaina Lee. I have been playing tag with her for some time now! Elaina is a novelist whose other claim-to-fame is her beautiful designs for other writers’ book covers. Here are two of my favorites that capture the essence of the stories within:

Sarah Ballance’s  Hawthorne:

Perfect cover for Hawthorne, a haunting story

Perfect cover for Hawthorne, a haunting story

And Jeff Salter’s  Called To Arms Again:

Patriotic novel

Patriotic novel

Elaina is going to grace us with a full day of easy and delicious meals for family and friends, so I will let her speak for herself in the prepared notes she sent to me, along with her recipes with photos.

If you have any questions or comments for Either Elaina or me, please feel free to comment below.
I present to you, Elaina Lee:

Hello! I’m Elaina Lee, award-winning author and cover artist. I have two sons, one in the 10th grade, who attends high school, and another who is four and currently being homeschooled. For the past year and a half I’ve been trying to slowly wean us from processed foods. I say slowly because the teen has been having issues giving up the chemicals. When I really began to notice what we were consuming, the lack of recognizable ingredients started to bother me. If it’s going into my children’s mouth, I want to know what it is! At first the task seemed a little daunting. Then as I began to cook and make all our sweets and dinner breads and breakfasts for the week, I realized it wasn’t so hard after all! Plus, the extra money in our pockets has been nice, I’ll admit  I’d like to thank Tonette for having me as a guest today as I share some very simple and delicious recipes. I’ve covered an entire day of meals! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

BREAKFAST –

Delicious and easy Apple Scones

Delicious and easy Apple Scones


Spiced Apple Scones with Icing
These scones are very easy to make, but be prepared to get your hands dirty! To me, that’s half the fun. Sort of like when you were a kid and could ‘bake’ in the mud. *grin* We’re currently in Apple season, so finding a good deal on Apple’s should be breeze for most of you right now, depending on where you live. You will notice an apple theme going on here, as my youngest and I went apple picking for a field trip and I still have apples I’m trying to figure out what to do with! The icing is optional, another great way to make these is to sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on the tops before baking.

Ingredients –
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp baking soda
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup peeled apples, finely chopped (about two apples)
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp clove

Directions –
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a small bowl, blend the sour cream and baking soda. Set aside (make sure the bowl isn’t too small, as the sour cream expands in the bowl).

In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder cream of tartar, salt and spices. Cut in butter (if you don’t have a pastry cutter, you can use a fork for this. The butter can be softened to make this easier, but NOT melted!). Stir the sour cream mixture and egg into the flour mixture until just moistened (the batter will appear to be very dry, don’t worry). Fold in apples.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and then with your hands ‘knead’ the dough until the dough no longer has dry areas (I just fold it over onto itself a few times). Pat dough out until it’s about ¾ inch thick. This is where you’ll get messy!  Using a knife with a sharp edge coated lightly in flour, cut scones into triangles (if you can’t get them perfect, don’t worry, it won’t affect the taste). Each time you cut a new scone, be sure to re-coat your knife so it doesn’t stick into the dough. I keep a small mound of flour off to the side and just lay the knife edge down on both sides before cutting. Place cut pieces onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (this stuff is your best friend when baking!) about an inch or so apart.

If you don’t want to frost your scone, sprinkle them with a cinnamon and sugar mixture if desired.

Bake scones for 12-15 minutes until golden brown on bottom.

For the Icing –
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk (more if needed)
1 tbsp corn syrup
¼ tsp vanilla

In a small bowl sift the powdered sugar (a small strainer will do this). Add the milk and mix on a low. Add corn syrup and vanilla. If when thoroughly mixed the frosting is still in lumps, add another tbsp of milk. Add in small increments only! You want your icing to be thick.

You can either spread the icing with a butter knife OR you can spoon the icing into a bag (this is messy, but then you get an excuse to lick your fingers… just sayin’). Cut the very tip off a corner (the smaller the better). Squeeze the bag until icing comes out and now you can pipe the icing over the cooled scones.

And now your done! Yay! Delicious home-made scones! This recipe is very versatile. You can replace the spices with a dash of orange zest and orange extract and use cranberries for the fruit to make orange cranberry scones. Or remove the spices all together and use blueberries. Experiment, have fun, most of all, enjoy!!!

LUNCH –

Easy, tasty Ham Salad

Easy, tasty Ham Salad

Ham Pasta Salad –

I’m not normally a lunch making gal, I’ll admit. My family at lunch time has to fend for themselves (unless you’re the four year-old. He has it made). But this last weekend my husband, father and oldest son where building the front deck on our house so I had to come up with something. We live a good distance from any store, so I had to be able to make something that I already had in my freezer or fridge for meat and whatever my mom happened to have in her garden for produce. I was lucky enough to stumble across this recipe that is so delicious and can use absolutely anything you have on hand for produce. I’m listing what we used, but if you don’t have it and happen to have broccoli or zucchini, throw it in there! Make the dressing in the morning so the flavors mix together well by lunch. I made the entire thing in the morning and just covered the mixture without the dressing and put it into the fridge until everyone was ready to eat and then mixed everything together before serving.

Ingredients –
8 ounces pasta (shell, macaroni, spiral…)
1 pound cooked ham (I used left over ham and shredded it with a fork, but you can use cubed ham sold in packages)
1 bell pepper (I used green and banana peppers)
1 onion, chopped
1 half large pickle (or whole if you have a pickle loving family), chopped
1 tomato, diced
½ cup sliced black olives
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
2 ½ tsp beef bouillon granules
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic (or 2 tsp the pre-chopped stuff)
½ cup pickle juice

In a small bowl whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, bouillon, salt, pepper, garlic and pickle juice. Cover and refrigerate. Cook pasta according to package directions. While your pasta is cooking, prepare your vegetables. Mix meat, vegetables and pasta in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, add dressing.

This was NOT dry the next day, but we noticed the ham lost its smoky flavor, so we felt this pasta was best served the day of making it. If you’re family prefers bread and butter (sweet) pickles to dill, you can use them instead.  Don’t be scared by the ingredients, this was a hit with everyone in my family who ate it.

DINNER –

Red Beans and Rice –

Ready in a jiffy Red Beans and Rice

Ready in a jiffy
Red Beans and Rice

Being a southern family, my husband loves it when I cook the staples, Red Beans and Rice being of them. This is a simple, very flavorful meal.

Ingredients –
3 cans red beans
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 celery stalks
1 large can chicken broth (or three normal cans or a can and a box – around six cups)
2 bay leaves
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp Cajun seasoning (I use the stuff that comes in a big green shaker and is ‘Creole’ – don’t know if I can say a brand, so that’s as specific as I’ll get, LOL!)
1 lb andouille (we use just regular smoked sausage), sliced

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion, pepper, garlic, celery and sausage until sausage begins to brown and vegetables are soft.

Rinse beans and place into pot with sausage and vegetables. Add broth. Season with bay leaves, cayenne, parsley and Cajun seasoning. Stir. Bring to boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 2-2 ½ hours.

About twenty to thirty minutes before you’re ready to eat, make enough white rice for everyone. We usually make 1 ½ cups dry or 5 cups prepared.

DESSERT –

Delicious and quick dessert

Delicious and quick dessert

Apple Crisp

I love apple crisp, but for some reason had yet to make it. I needed a dessert for Tonette, and this can be one of those areas of baking that can be intimidating. Thinking of something simple that wasn’t a cookie was a challenge. While everyone loves cookies, I wanted something outside the box, but that was as easy as a cookie. Enter the crisp. I may actually make this again this weekend it was that good!

Ingredients –
6 apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup white sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger (optional)
½ tsp ground clove (optional)
2 tbsp water
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon (yes another one!)
½ cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350

Mix the sugar, 1 tbsp of flour, cinnamon, ginger, clove, apples and water together in a bowl. Set aside.

Combine oats, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and butter together. Place half the mixture in the bottom of an 8×8 dish. Gently pat to form a crust. Place apples on crust. Sprinkle the remaining mixture over the apples.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Yum!

I hope everyone enjoys these recipes and I’d like to thank Tonette for having me!

If you’re in the mood for a fun, light-hearted read to wrap up summer, be sure to check out my Southern Romantic Comedy, A Very Southern Affair. Available now for only $0.99!!!

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords

You can find Elaina at – http://www.elainalee.com

OR

www.forthemusedesign.com

Thank you so much for joining us, Elaina.I’m sure many of our readers will enjoy using your recipes, and, I hope, enjoy your work.

Don’t be a stranger!

Anyone care to ask a question of Elaina, or make a comment?

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17 thoughts on “Guest Novelist,Artist Elaina Lee/ Full Day of Recipes

  1. jeff7salter

    Yum, I do love my red beans and rice … and, as you have it here, with plenty of sausage. The only thing I miss about this dish is that we used to have yellow corn bread with it. But I had to give up corn bread because I’m off Gluten.
    But reading these recipes sure made me want to come visit YOUR house, Elaina!
    And, BTW, Elaina has done FIVE covers for me! All are wonderful but the one shown here is truly special to me.

    Reply
    1. Tonette Joyce Post author

      Oh,I could not show ALL of Elaina’s beautiful work.I chose a couple that I felt were particularly illustrative of the stories within.I just love the way she captured the idea of Called to Arms Again,
      Thanks for coming by, Jeff!
      (How about that gluten-free post, hmmmm?)

      Reply
      1. jeff7salter

        that post about my 700 days without gluten is still on my “to-do” list, Tonette. But if you saw the extent of that list, you’d prob. faint.

  2. hotlyspiced

    I agree that we all need to know what we’re eating and cutting down or eliminating chemicals can only be a good thing. There are some great family recipes here that look quick and easy to prepare. I’d like to start my day with a couple of these scones xx

    Reply
    1. Tonette Joyce Post author

      This is the theme of the blog, Charlie…people have no idea that they CAN cook and give their families real food, really easily.
      The scones are the first of these I’m going to try!
      Thank you for dropping in.(xoxo back at ya!)

      Reply
  3. sarahballance

    I’m so excited to see Elaina here! These recipes look DELISH and so do her covers. She does absolutely amazing work, so needless to say I’m thrilled with this glimpse of her kitchen. Many thanks to you both!

    Reply
    1. Tonette Joyce Post author

      Glad to have you hear and share your cover,Sarah,(you know what a fan I am of “Hawthorne”!).
      Thank you for having been my guest, as well.I have been playing ‘tag’ with Elaina for nearly a year.I am so glad I finally caught her.
      Thanks for coming in to comment!

      Reply
    1. Tonette Joyce Post author

      Oh, thank you so much,Bobbi ! I have had a couple of family explosions (!) around here and haven’t gotten around. I will be over to see you.
      Yes, I am hearing about those scones; they seem to have caught everyone’s eye!

      Reply
  4. kitchenriffs

    Gosh, some really nice recipes! I can never get enough red beans and rice, and apple crisp is one of my favorite desserts at this time of the year. Terrific stuff – thanks.

    Reply
    1. Tonette Joyce Post author

      I have never made red beans and rice, (gasp!).Now, I will have to take it on!
      I feel that I will have to tell the story of the apple crisp my mother made for a young man and the effect it had, some time soon.
      Thank you for taking the time to stop by!

      Reply

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