Writers Scotch and Salad diet

The food pyramid floats on an ocean of Scotch. Salads and other dishes that complement single malts.

How the Writer’s Scotch and Salad Diet Came to Be–PLUS a Recipe and an Excerpt

OK–I teased you last week about a vampire post with this:

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And the blood sucking will commence–but not this week. I’m a guest on fellow author Peggy Jaeger’s blog where you can find a little bit about the fabulous Writers Scotch and Salad Diet along with an excerpt from Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones.

Follow this link to the fun on Peggy Jaeger’s blog.

BTW–Big News!!

Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones is a FINALIST for a Prism Award.

This prize is offered by the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Romance Writers, a chapter of the Romance Writers of America.

I’m over the moon with excitement!! The winner will be announced at the end of July at the RWA convention in Orlando, Florida. I can’t attend the ceremony–taking donations to send a deserving author to Florida–but I will be watching via a virtual link.

Seriously, being a finalist is what I wanted to happen this year. Winning would be gravy. Nice gravy. Gravy I would slurp up with gusto, but I’ve fulfilled my goal so I am just basking in the after glow already.

WHAT–you have not bought a copy of Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones!! Visit my Zoraida Page to learn more.

Sorchia’s Whisky Quiz

As winter drags on…and on and on and on… I sometimes reach for a taste of Sunshine in a Bottle to stave off the seasonal depression. Of course, I mean whisky (or whiskey—you’ll learn the difference in a minute if you don’t already know.)

Distillation to produce liquor has been around since at least 800 B.C.  We can thank the sometimes dark art of alchemy. Yep—alchemists living in the small numbered years of A.D. perfected the distillation process as they sought to transmute lead to gold.  When they stumbled on the recipe for Scotch, one can imagine, a fair number of them called it a good day’s work and retired to the banks of a nearby stream to contemplate the meaning of life. This is why –to this day—we can’t turn lead to gold.

My own whisky journey began with hot toddies prepared by my dear Dad and progressed to the current point which I like to call a mature but totally controllable addiction. Snakebite medicine, nerve tonic, or Who Hit John—whatever you want to call it—I loves me a wee dram of whisky in the gloamin’, I does. And another one a little later and after that I lose count.

What’s your favorite beverage for cold winter nights? What memories and stories spring into your mind with the first taste?

Test your knowledge with the Whisky Quiz (It’s just for fun) and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. I’m giving away something to my newsletter subscribers every month for the rest of 2017. In February, the prize is an e-copy of Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones.

 

 

Holy Guacamole: This Week’s Scotch and Salad Diet Entry

A quick little recipe today—Spring fever has hit—Hard! And all I want to do is stroll in the woods and play.

 

Guacamole!

 

  • A couple of avocados—Try to catch them during the thirty seconds between hard as bullets and avocadogreen mush.
  • Fresh cilantro—two tablespoons minced—The more the merrier.
  • Tomatoes—a couple of Romas or one large slicing tomato. ½ cup
  • Green peppers—One medium sized green, red, or yellow bell pepper. Try a jalapeno and/or a red chili pepper. Any combination will do—about ½ a cup
  • Onion—at least half an onion—1/2 cupromas
  • Lemon juice—freshly squoze or squeezed or squozen—very painful for the lemon , however you say it. ¼ cup or more

These are the starter quantities. Add more or less of any to taste—this isn’t brain surgery.

If you like creamy guacamole, dump all of this in the food processor and hit Pulse until it looks good. Sometimes, however, it’s nice to have chunky guacamole. Chop everything the old fashioned way.

Add a bit of hot sauce or a jalapeno for more heat. Salt, Pepper, and Voila!

You can add any kind of vegie you like for more flavor and more vitamins. Celery is tasty as are green onions. Or carrots.

Dip with celery sticks, carrot sticks, broccoli heads, cauliflower, or, if you must, chips.  You can make pizza crust chips or toast tortillas until crunchy, as well.

And there you have an easy, adaptable, healthy snack that takes about ten minutes to make.

 

The Scotch of the day—What else—Laphroaig.

And a nice Celtic Toast: If God sends you down a rocky road, may he give you strong shoes.

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Watch for Friday’s post about musical ghosts of Scotland and next Tuesday’s Scotch and Salad Diet offering.

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Scotch and Salad Diet—Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Fennel dressing

As I was doing the bi-weekly torture that is grocery shopping, I was delighted to find the first shipment of strawberries—at least the first shipment at a reasonable price. Before I knew what was happening, a large box of strawberries found its way into my cart and refused to leave. Not far down the vegie aisle, I also discovered fresh parsley and cilantro—apparently a mistake. They too insisted on accompanying me on my travels.

strawberries

 

For months, the best I could hope for in the way of herbs has been dried ginger roots and the occasional wilted tuft of cilantro. Fresh parsley has been the stuff of dreams. Not only was the cilantro and parsley fresh and tender, beads of moisture sparkling on the leaves, but tidily wrapped and carefully arranged. Heads will roll in the produce department for this break in standard procedure. I grabbed a bundle of each, watching furtively for the Produce Nazis to storm from the back of the store. Even the checkout lady stowed my treasures in a bag as quickly as she could, God bless her, before they were confiscated as contraband.

The Salad

For the salad: Spinach, strawberries, fresh parsley, cilantro—A bit of feta cheese would have been nice, but I was so happy with the strawberries and fresh herbs, I forgot to get any. It is a good practice to add protein to the carbs—even though these are good carbs—to balance out the nutrients. You can add cheeses or sunflower seeds to accomplish that in this salad.

For the dressing: White wine vinegar, honey, fennel seed, poppy seed, pepper, olive oil, celery seed, salt

To rinse vegies and fruit from the store, soak in water with about a quarter cup of white vinegarwp-1456541455001.jpeg. This helps get rid of any lingering bacteria that may have accumulated on the stuff as it was picked, shipped, and processed in the dingy backroom of the grocery store.

I am making this salad at the end of February so I don’t have a choice here in Missouri. My fresh spinach is just a dream—will be planting it in a couple of weeks as soon as the moon is waxing, but then it will take a good month before I can hope to pick it. I planted cilantro and parsley a week ago and am anxiously watching my planter for signs of life.

I don’t recommend dried parsley or cilantro, though, in a pinch, I suppose it would be better than nothing.

 

I used a good handful of curly parsley, chopped with my hand-dandy herb chopper. I like cilantro, so I use about half a handful of that, but it will make it pretty cilantro-ey so if you don’t like cilantro, use less or leave it out altogether. You can add just a little mint if you prefer with or without the cilantro.

Drain and tear the spinach into pieces. Slice the strawberries. Chop the cilantro and parsley. Toss them all together.

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Dressing:

Start with a half cup of white wine vinegar, a quarter cup of olive oil, two tablespoons of honey. Add spices to taste—you can see the proportions I used in this bowl–about a tsp of each. Mix and let sit for at least half an hour. Don’t refrigerate—let the flavors mix at room temperature.  Add more of everything, depending on preference. A little more honey is nice. This dressing would be good with fruit salad, too.

herbs

For this salad, I prefer to add the dressing at serving time. The thing about homemade dressing—besides the fact that it contains no preservatives or sugar—is that it won’t be mixed as well as the processed dressings. I put it out in the bowl in which I mix it  with a small ladle. You can stir and dip to get a good portion of all the goodies.

 

The Scotch

I am woefully short on funds, so Laphroaig was not on my shopping list this week. I admit I had to fight the wheel to keep my car from automatically turning into the parking lot of the friendly liquor store where bottles of the stuff sit on the shelf pining for me. Instead, I made do with a snifter of Crown Royal—yes, yes, I know. It’s Canadian but at least they spell whisky right. Plus you get a nifty little blue bag—where I will put my marbles if ever I find them again.

The Toast

May all of your herbs be fresh and all of your strawberries sweet, and may the Produce Nazis lose your trail in the snow.cr3