Thursday, May 6, 2021

Recipe Post feat Death Gone A-Rye by Winnie Archer Great Escapes Tour


Hello and Welcome to the blog.  I love to share recipes withe you and today I have a real treat.  

I have a recipe from Author.  This recipe is Featured in her new book 

Here's the recipe and thoughts from  ...

Death Gone a-Rye is set in spring. For me, Hot Cross Buns are the quintessential spring bread. They’re festive, fun, and have a glaze. And you can never go wrong with a glaze! Olaya’s are especially tasty. 



Olaya’s Hot Cross Buns

Yield: Makes 16 buns


For the Preferment

½ cup milk

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon instant yeast

½ cup whole wheat flour


1 stick unsalted butter

1 cup low-fat milk

⅓cup brown sugar

2 eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

3½ cups all-purpose flour

¼–½ cup raisins (optional)

For the Egg Wash 

1 egg

2 teaspoons milk

For the Glaze* 

1½ cups confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons milk


Creating the Preferment

Microwave milk until just warm. Add sugar, yeast, and flour. Stir and let sit at least 15 minutes until bubbly.

1. In mixing bowl, cream butter using the paddle attachment. Alternatively, whisk by hand. 

2. Add milk, brown sugar, eggs, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix until smooth. 

3. Add the preferment and stir until smooth. 

4. Add flour and mix until dough sticks together. 

5. Turn dough out onto work surface and knead, turning and adding only enough flour to form a smooth ball. Dough should not be sticky.

6. Add raisins to dough and knead until raisins are evenly dispersed. (Skip this step if you are not putting raisins in.)

7. Form dough into a ball and let rise for 1 hour in covered greased bowl. Dough should be almost doubled.

Forming the Buns

1. Grease two 8-inch square or round baking pans. Divide dough into two sections. Punch one of the dough balls down, and turn out onto floured surface. Roll into a 12-inch log. Divide log into 8 equal portions. Shape into balls and place in prepared pan, evenly spaced apart. Repeat with second dough ball. 

2. Cover each pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rise overnight!

            3. The next morning, preheat the oven to 350ºF. With a sharp knife, make a cross on the top of each bun. 

4. Create egg wash by mixing egg and the 2 teaspoons of milk, and brush buns. Bake for 25–30 minutes. 

5. While buns are baking, make the glaze by whisking together powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons milk.

6. Let buns cool for 5–10 minutes before drizzling glaze over top. Serve immediately. 

*Instead of glazing the buns, if you prefer, you can serve them with butter.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Whole Latte Murder by Lena Gregory Character Guest Post Great Escapes Tour


Savannah Mills

Hi, I’m Savannah Mills, and I am so excited! My best friend, Gia Morelli, recently moved to my hometown of Boggy Creek, Florida. She was having a bit of trouble, thanks to her no-good, cheating, lying, scheming ex-husband, a man I never wanted her to marry in the first place, but what are you gonna do? She made her mistakes, just like we all do, and now it’s time to move on. Thankfully, she came to her senses.

So, Gia opened an All-Day Breakfast café. She bought a beautiful historic building right on Main Street, just down the road from the park. She could only fly down for an occasional weekend, thanks to the mess her ex made up in New York, so I helped her out. 

After she ordered tables for the café dining room, my brother, Joey, and I set them up. I spread navy blue cloths over them and made matching covers for the seat cushions. I even found a gorgeous, hand-painted wooden open/closed sign for the front window and picked up some paintings of local scenery at the street fair last weekend. 

She was thrilled with how cozy and homey everything looked. Now, glass cake dishes line the counter. I can’t wait for a piece of the breakfast pies that fills them. Gia makes an amazing breakfast! I can smell the bacon cooking already, and her home fries. Mmmm…out of this world.

Oops, now my stomach’s growling. I probably shouldn’t have thought of the home fries. 

I do have to admit, though, I was a nervous wreck. Gia loved the building that houses the café, but she hadn’t yet seen her house when she moved down. Don’t get me wrong, it’s adorable, but it’s a little out of the way. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much money left after buying the café, so I had to do my best.

The development is beautiful, acre after acre of woods, filled with thickly wooded, huge pine trees that brush the clouds. And I’m pretty sure she’ll get used to the abundance of critters that roam the development that sits right on the edge of the Ocala National Forest. I saw a couple of bear cubs playing in an open field last time I was out there, and I pulled over just to sit and watch them. But the drive to the café takes about twenty-five minutes, and, well, Gia’s from Manhattan, where you can find almost anything you need, any time of the day or night, without traveling twenty-five minutes.

That was one of the things I loved about the five years I lived with Gia in New York. One of the hardest things for me to get used to was the lack of trees. I’d look up, and instead of trees dripping with moss, I’d find buildings that pierced the clouds and sometimes seemed like they were about to fall over on me.

Anyway, since Gia’s been here, I’ve pretty much claimed her spare bedroom as my own. But now, Leo and I are getting married, and amid all of the excitement of trying to find the perfect venue, and the perfect wedding gown, and the perfect everything else, I’m a little sad I’ll be moving out. At least, I will if we can ever get through this wedding without anything else going wrong.

About the book  

Whole Latte MurderEx-New Yorker and local diner owner Gia Morelli is still getting used to the sweltering Florida sun. But this summer she’ll have to deal with a more dangerous kind of heat—when she’s hot on the trail of another murderer . . .

Summer in Boggy Creek has arrived, and Gia’s best friend, successful real estate agent Savannah, is getting hitched. Now she’s enlisted Gia’s sleuthing talents in a desperate search for the perfect wedding dress. But when Savannah mysteriously vanishes after showing a mansion to a bigwig client, Gia investigates the house Savannah was trying to sell. The first clue she finds is Savannah’s car in the driveway. Inside the house, they stumble on Savannah’s potential buyer—dead. Someone had apparently closed the deal—with a two by four full of nails to the client’s head. Soon afterward, a woman’s body is fished from the lake near the same house. The townsfolk are now sweating bullets over the murders, and the heat comes down on poor Gia to find her missing friend, and track down the killer . . .

Buy the book  

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Visit the tour 

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Sunday, May 2, 2021

Peaches and Schemes by Anna Gerard


Character Guest Post 

 Mason Denman, owner of Weary Bones Antiques

            I must say, it’s about time someone brought me into the conversation. Everyone in the South Georgia town of Cymbeline knows that if you want the latest gossip, I am the man. Even if you don’t know me personally, perhaps you’ve seen me there on the main square. I’m a firm believer in owning a trademark look. Mine is my distinctive black pompadour hairstyle. (Yes, every strand of that glorious ‘do is mine; as for the color, you know what the old advertisement says about one’s hairdresser...)

Full disclosure. I also have a weakness for vintage pocket squares and wear one every day. My partner, Lowell, claims that I have forty-seven hankies. I suspect he missed a few when he made that count.

At any rate, as the divine Mr. Jagger says, please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Mason Denman, and I am the owner of Weary Bones Antiques here in Cymbeline’s historical district. Mine is not the only antique shop in our fair burg, but I humbly declare mine to be the best. Until recently, I was a sole proprietor. A few months ago, however, I convinced Lowell to join me in the business. He has his MBA, which means I let him handle the pesky financial side of owning a shop. He’s learning about antiques in between keeping the books, though it will take him a while to catch up to my forty years in the field.

But enough about me. I’m pretty certain you’re here for the scoop on my friend, Nina Fleet. She’s new in town, though she has fit in with us natives quite well despite the fact she lived in Atlanta for far too many years. She bought the Lathrop house, located a few blocks off the square, after dear old Daisy Lathrop passed on. In a manner of months, Nina has turned the place into a credible bed and breakfast inn while keeping the spirit of the old place intact.

Frankly, I don’t have a bad word to say about Nina, which Lowell will tell you is a first for me. All right, I do have one criticism. It pains me to say this, but her knowledge of fine art is, well, non-existent. Bless her heart, a few months back she brought in an oil painting she wanted me to appraise. She didn’t say it out loud, but I know she thought she’d found a long-lost Picasso in her closet. It was not, of course, which was why Daisy had stashed away that particular horror on an out-of-the-way shelf. More recently, Nina brought in a landscape that had been hanging in the inn’s parlor. While it had a primitive charm to it, again, the painting’s greatest worth lay in its frame. And bless his heart, Lowell felt compelled to buy it from her, and it now hangs in his bedroom.

Artwork aside, I will praise Nina about something else. Like any sizeable town, ours sees its share of unpleasantness, particularly with the constant influx of visitors typical of a tourist destination like ours. Recently, we’ve seen the most brutal of crimes—murder—happen right on our streets! While most people would leave the hunt for the perpetrator to our fine law enforcement officers, Nina does not hesitate to investigate, herself. And, surprisingly, she has proved quite the detective, uncovering evidence that even the sheriff misses. If she ever tires of the B&B business, I’d say Nina has a career ahead of her as a private detective.

Oops, that sound of ringing bells you hear means a customer has stepped into the shop. I must attend to business but do come visit me again next time you are in Cymbeline. I’ll be happy to spill the tea with you about anyone in to

About the book 

In Anna Gerard’s third delightful Georgia B&B mystery, Nina Fleet learns that despite the satin, lace, and buttercream trappings, weddings often prove to be anything but sweet…


Nina Fleet might be new to the innkeeping business, but she’s savvy enough to know that Cymbeline’s tourists aren’t enough to keep her fledgling bed and breakfast going. And so, Nina decides to tap into the destination wedding market by taking a booth at the Veils and Vanities Bridal Expo. The twice-yearly event is sponsored by the town’s two wedding pros: Virgie Hamilton, the sixtysomething owner of Virgie’s Formals, and Roxanna Quarry, a Gen X event planner and Nina’s new friend. But everything goes wrong during the expo’s fashion show, when Roxanna comes tumbling out of an oversized prop wedding cake, strangled to death by her own scarf. 

Virgie is arrested for the crime, thanks to Nina’s statement to the police about having overheard the woman accusing her partner of embezzlement. Meanwhile, the situation grows tense with her sometimes nemesis and current tenant, the dashing out-of-work actor Harry Westcott. Harry is concentrating on plugging his most recent side hustle …but he’s not too busy to break the news to Nina that her ex-husband is engaged to be married again.

Certain that Virgie’s only offense is a bad temper, Nina decides to do her own investigating. First, however, she and Harry retrieve Roxanna’s now ownerless dog, planning to foster him until a new home can be found. But local gossip soon convinces Nina that others beside Virgie might have had reason to murder Roxanna. As Nina gets close to the truth, she’s putting her own life at danger. And when Virgie vanishes after being bailed out of jail by an unknown benefactor, Nina fears that if she can’t find the dress shop owner in time, tying the knot will take on a whole new meaning for them both.

Buy the book

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Saturday, May 1, 2021

Simple Sunday


Pink In The Studio

 Come into the studio today . . .

Sharing a few Junk Journal Pages I've made for SWAPs.   And a few I have received.  

This year my fb group is doing a different color each month.  
For March it was Green. 
My goal is for every part of the page to be the prompted color. 
For February the prompt was Pink.  I loved the little hexagon cut papers.  I glued them to look like the Mother's Flower Garden quilt pattern. 
I always try to include a dooley.  This one is dyed wit an Avacado.  Did you know the rind of an Avacado will be Pink when you boil in water? 
I also include a shaker with glitter, sequins, and jewels. 
Lots of papers and journaling cards that I make. 
Little snippets from fabrice, textiles and paper that I make. 
This Journal page was so easy.  I had a lot of a
pink.   I sewed around the he edge and left the thread hanging for texture and interest. 
I punched out Butterflies and Flowers and left them loose so when my partner opens it they fall out.  Oh I hope she likes it! 
More Green.  My favorite part is making the pieces on my machine.  I hardly throw anything away.  Every little snippet no matter how small can be used! 
I enjoyed making this one and using the but of map.  I had received it from Europe when I did Paper Swap.  Postage is so expensive now I am not able to mail out of the U.S. 
While I had Pink thread in the machine I made a few pieces to send to my friend that makes Prayer Pockets.  I live her ministry to nursing homes and Hospice patients. 
Sorry my photos are out of order.  This is the front of the Green page with lots of goodies tucked inside.  I love the playing card with a Green Background! 

I included a Magnetic Book Mark.  Green if course!
Journaling  cards, pretty snippets all layered up in a tuck spot. 
I always make a mini notepad to include. 
Lots of fun journaling cards and spaces. 
Did I already show you this one?  
I usually always include a couple of Paint chips.  
More fun fabric snippets and mini file folders. 

Making Junk Journals is a fun and inexpensive hobby.  

Junk Journals are literally made from junk.  

But most J.J. artists make them pretty! 

I hope you enjoyed this visit to the studio.   

I'll be packing up soon.  But hopefully I will get a chance to show you the May J.J. page.  The prompt is Yellow!  

I hope your day ideas Blessed!  

And thanks for coming by! 

Friday, April 30, 2021

Foodie Friday

 A few Rustic Dinner plates . . .  

First sharing a favorite family recipe 

Cut from a magazine when we were very first married.  A little rough around the edges. You can tell I've cooked this dish alot. 
I tried a few variations of ingredients but it is never ad good. 
The funny thing is my mother cooked this Pepper Steak.  The recipe was on the box of Minute Rice.  My mother would not touch Chinese food. 
Because we are moving I have already packed the Rustic plate.  Using a few plates I will give away.  
This was a yummy meal of Pan Fried Pork Chops, Rice, Black Eye Peas and Gravy and Biscuits.
Here's  my dinner plate.  You can see the stack
Of dishes ready bro he packed. 
Missed match plates.  I love the white plates but we are down sizing.  
 I tenderized then dusted with flour and brown d some Sirloin.  Then baked in the oven with onion soup for a few hours.  Then I just stored a low sodium Brown Gravy mix.  Served over package instant potatoes. And Corn on cob.  I boiled then cut off the cob and put in a pan of butter. 
Our lunch today.  I made grilled cheese from some french bread.  I live this bread.  A warm and yummy meal with Split Pea Soup. 

The next couple weeks will be super busy getting ready to move. 

We have found a place and are waiting approval.
Fingers crossed! 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Good Morning


Character Guest Post feat. Margene Brown Southern Sass and a Battered Bride by Kate Young


The wedding party seemed to be lining up for pictures, and the guests were starting to corral near the tent. When I got inside, my crew was nowhere to be seen. I could see Paul through the window on the opposite side of the tent. I searched for my staff and nodded approvingly when I walked around the first few tables with beautifully lit candles positioned around the pink Stargazer centerpiece. From here, the wedding cake appeared to be holding up nicely. I moved closer. 

My smile faltered, and I squeaked in surprise. 

My hand went to my parted lips. 

On the floor in front of the wedding cake table lay Lucy, covered in what could only be funnel cake batter . . . 

And that’s how my day from hell began. 

Hi! I’m Marygene Brown, and I, along with my sister, own and operate The Peach Diner located on Peach Cove. A tiny little island located off the coast from Savannah, Georgia. We inherited the business my nanny started after my mama passed away a couple of years ago. Nanny always said The Peach saved the Brown family from becoming destitute and losing everything we had. I guess you could say food was the salvation for the women of the Brown family. We are foodies through and through. 

Several years ago, I fled the Peach Cove after I had a massive blowout with Mama and broke up with my high school sweetheart, Deputy Alex Myers. After I moved to Atlanta to pursue a culinary degree, I made some mistakes. Dropping out of school and marrying Mr. Wrong was a big one—thankfully, he’s now in my rearview mirror. 

Arriving home was both joyous and a little stressful. Reconnecting with the friends and family I lost touch with brought joy. My coworker Betsy is my ride-or-die BFF. She’s my personal cheering section, and I love her to pieces. The stressful part was having my mama wake me when I was dead to the world. Allow me to set the scene. 

“Wake up!” Mama shouted at my ear. 

“I’m tired,” I groaned, rolled over, and pulled the blankets over my head. 

“Marygene Francis Brown, I’m not telling you again,” Mama said.

I jolted upright, suddenly aware as my mama flipped on the lamp next to her, that she meant business. 

Wait a minute, Mama is dead. 

And my mother is indeed dead. But she appears to me none the less. 

As ridiculous as it sounds, my mama, Clara Brown, is tied to the island and has been since the day she passed. She wasn’t what you’d call a pure heart in life, and now the powers-that-be forced her to remain in limbo on Peach Cove until she makes amends. I wasn’t sure what qualified as amends, or what it would take to satisfy the requirement. For all I knew, she could be here my entire life span or be gone tomorrow. I did understand that if a soul was forced to remain as an island spirit, it created an energy around the person they were communicating with. An aura, if you will. The deceased are drawn to said person, i.e., me. The possibility that I might be insane lurks in the back of my mind often. Either way, I have to deal with Mama on a regular basis. At first it was rough, but I’m dealing with it better now. 

Back to today, I’ve also learned to heed Mama’s warnings. And she’d warned me of something awful surrounding today’s wedding. And boy had it come true. Lucy, the one covered in batter, is not only a client and my high school sweetheart’s wife but a widely loathed bridezilla. It was no secret the conflict she had not only with me but also with Betsy. So, when moments after we found her deceased, her body goes missing. It just went poof into thin air. Or felt like it went poof. No one saw anything or at least they aren’t speaking if they had.

Blame gets thrown around and Alex is losing his mind. He even accuses Betsy and me of having something to do with his new bride’s murder. Can you believe that? Yeah, it’s complicated. Now Betsy and I are on a mission to prove our innocence. Today, it has truly hit the fan, y’all…

About the book ...

At a murder mystery–themed wedding reception on Georgia’s picturesque Peach Cove Island, the bride is doing an awfully good job playing dead . . .


Marygene Brown always figured she’d marry her childhood sweetheart, Alex Myers, not cater his wedding. But the Peach Diner could use the exposure. Most of the island is showing up—although more for the role-playing murder game at the reception than for the widely loathed bridezilla, Lucy Carmichael. Marygene may have to smile through the festivities, but Mama doesn’t have to hold her peace—especially since only Marygene can hear her mother’s ghost. Mama says she sees an aura of darkness around the wedding.


So when Marygene finds Lucy lying beside the wedding cake, buried in batter, with no pulse, it looks like Mama called it. This is no game. And when the bride’s body simply vanishes, it’s up to Marygene and her best friend Betsy (cousin to the groom and no fan of the bride) to solve a real-life mystery—with a little help from Mama’s sassy spirit . . .

Includes Seven Recipes from Marygene’s Kitchen!

Buy the book 

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Visit the tour 

To read reviews, guest posts, Interviews and see Spotlight Posts with recipes click Here


A September to Remember by Carole Bumpus Except Post


Read an excerpt ... 



    . . . . Like lava flowing down a mountain, the crowd began to surge along the stone roadway with us (my husband and I) caught in the current. All were moving toward the festival grounds at the bottom of the hill. Smoke from the pits of braising meats tantalized us, along with the intoxicating aromas of simmering pasta sauces. The crowd turned toward the ticket booths, and the excitement grew. Music, laughter, and the banter of their melodious language filled the air. Lisa (our Tuscan host) recited the menu to us in English in the most delectable detail. We hungrily placed our orders. 

    Another push from the crowd propelled us into nearby tents, where we were again greeted with hugs and kisses by those who were already glowing with amiability and wine. Lisa wedged us into the two remaining spaces beside her in the middle of a long table of twenty or more of her closest friends. We had barely been seated when a trumpet sounded, and the feast began. The doors to the kitchen flew open and local waiters proceeded in great numbers to the tables, carrying plates of bruschetta—toasted bread slathered with rich, local olive oil, chopped fresh tomatoes, and succulent olives. One simple bite brought tears of joy to my eyes. The savory yet mellow flavors danced through my mouth. Bottle after bottle of local wine began to magically appear—some from the kitchen and some from under the table. 

Again, the waiters swung out of the kitchen. For the prima piatti, or first course, platters of fresh pasta were served. Plates of tortoni, Poderi’s local pasta specialty—delicate pillows filled with cheese and arugula and covered with a bubbling, robust marinara sauce —were reverentially placed before us. The masses swooned with appreciation, and we joined their ranks. 

Lisa leaned over and whispered, “I had to live here over twenty years before the older women of Poderi allowed me into the kitchen to help prepare their beloved tortoni. Yes, I could come and help at the Festa, but prepare the tortoni? Heavens, no. And the recipe? Don’t even ask!  It is still a much-guarded secret.”  She laughed with delight. 

Cecilia, who had been reserved until then, leaned over the table and shouted, “They’d perhaps have to keel you if you got your hands on the recipe.”  She grinned and sat back as handmade gnocchi with meat sauce and pasta e fagioli were whisked to their designated places along with baskets of Tuscan bread to sop up any lingering juices. 

For our secondo piatti, or second course, sizzling grilled meats of beefsteak, pork, chicken, or sausages, all on spears, were passed down the tables. Then, contorni, (vegetable side dishes) of white beans, fried potatoes and mixed green salads followed the meats. Gasp!

Filled to the brim, we all leaned back to gather our collective breath, but to no avail. We were next tempted with formaggio, the cheese course. And the finale was the dolci—dessert—presented with a majestic flourish. Lisa whispered over the tumult surrounding us, “You are to choose either a Salame cioccolata or a Mousse di ricotta.”   We moaned with delight, though we had no idea what either contained. 

“Ah,” she echoed our moan, “Mousse di ricotta is sweet, creamy custard made by my dear neighbor, Margarita.”  She pointed across the table to her kindly-looking, blue-eyed friend from Germany, whom we had met earlier. Margarita nodded politely. 

“Margarita made this dessert this morning using seventy-two eggs! Can you imagine that? Seventy-two eggs to make her most delectable Mousse di ricotta! And the Salame is not a sausage at all, but a rolled cookie filled with chocolate cream. This was prepared by dear Amelia,” she said pointing to a petite, gnarled elderly woman waving to us at from the far end of the table. Of course, we tried a little of each; we had to. Each was delicate, light, and almost floated off our tongues. 

“Mmm,” I swooned, as wine was poured into my cup, as it had been throughout the meal. Like magic, as one bottle emptied, another would pop into its place. 

    As the evening flowed into night, the air filled with music from a local band in the piazza at the top of the hill. The rhythm reverberated through the tents, and the crowd was on the move. Following a festoon of colorful lanterns, people of all ages made their pilgrimage back up the hill—wizened old women in their finest black dresses, shiny from use and a heavy iron; rotund old men in their best dark suits, a bit rumpled from the lengthy dinner; young couples in sensually-loose clothing looped together with encircled arms.  Giggling children in shorts and tee-shirts grabbed sweaters handed to them by caring parents; swaddled babies snuggled down in the arms of protective grandmothers; and the likes of us, middle-aged folks, laughing at shared stories while enjoying another paper cup of wine—all of us moving uphill to the beat of the music. 

The instant we reached the top, the harvest moon broke out above the rooftops and sent golden light cascading onto the heads of the villagers below. Despite, or because of the food, wine and the beauty of the night, everyone began to dance.  The music was a captivating mix of old and new, some rock and roll, some lilting Italian melodies, some familiar American pop tunes. But once the waltzes began, Winston and I stood back to marvel at the grace and elegance of the more skillful dancers. We enjoy dancing together, but on that night, we were not worthy. 

As night became morning, the villagers, undaunted by the late hour and copious amounts of wine, continued to dance. No match for these stalwart sorts, we crept back up the stairs to our newfound home. With exhaustion cleaving to every part of our beings, we pushed open the back windows for one last peek. The moon spilled into the room and across the bed, filling the space with light. It flowed like mercury over the ancient hills and valleys across the hills and away from us. And there silhouetted against the night sky, was the medieval fortress and clock tower, shimmering on the highest hill in Manciano. Awash with exhaustion but full of gratitude for having experienced the beauty of both people and place, we slid into bed. Our eyes flickered closed as the final songs reverberated from the streets below—or was that the heartbeat of Tuscany we were hearing?

Good Morning

 Hello all just posting a few Dinner plates. 

We are moving mid May...lots to do...