Off The Cuff-Connor in the Kitchen – Grilled Cheese Dippin’ Sticks

By Dee Kruzic

Hey, hey everyone! I’ve missed you! Sorry Connor and I have been away for so long. As all of you can imagine this crazy thang we call life can get a little out of hand. I’ve recently been diagnosed with migraines (HOORAY! God, not so loud…), my new novel is coming out on May 30, and the kid is training for his first triathlon of the summer. Yeah, that’s right. I’ve got myself a cute little athlete! Now that things have calmed down, I’m back on track (track…triathlon…get it…I’ll stop now).

For this edition of Connor in the kitchen, we decided to try something new with an old favourite – grilled cheese! My momma taught me how to make greasy, buttery, gooey grilled cheese when I was younger. It was always a messy delight to munch on, accompanied by the standard bowl of t’mater soup. YUM.

As an adult, I’ve tried sprucing up my grilled cheese in a variety of ways – adding in sautéed mushrooms and onions and peppers, or using Swiss cheese and ham, or even some mozza and pepperoni (I call those grilled cheezzas – you’re welcome). Connor isn’t into all the fluff and fanciness that those options offer. He’s a bread ‘n cheese kinda guy. So what could we do to change up the standard grilled cheese for him and make it a bit more fun?

And so Grilled Cheese Dippin’ Sticks were born. *light shines from above*

These are a neat, and healthy, variation of the traditional grilled cheese sammich, as they’re not tossed in a frying pan but instead baked in the oven! And the bonus is they are JUST as delicious! They may take a few extra minutes to prepare, but it’s time well spent, and Connor absolutely loved them. You can still spice these babies up by julienning some veg and rolling those up in the centre, too. Variations are endless. As are dippin’ choices! My son is a ketchup monster, but you can mix it up and dip yours in Ranch, sriracha ketchup, or concoct your own….er…concoction!

Have you tried something like this before? What would be in your ultimate Grilled Cheese Dippin’ Stick?

Until then, from the monkey and I … Bon Appetit!

 

Dee

Grilled Cheese Dipping Sticks

Here’s what you need to make 6 cheesy sticks:

  • 6 slices of bread – white, whole wheat, whatever you like!
  • Cheese – I prefer shredded cheese! Any type ya like! I find it melts better
  • Butter, softened to room temp for easy spreading
  • A knife
  • A rolling pin
  • A cookie sheet
  • Patience and an endless supply of paper towel, if your little one is assisting

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Carefully cut the crusts off each slice of bread.

Take a rolling pin to those suckers! Roll each slice out thin. Do NOT roll it too thin or you’ll be cussing, believe me.

Add some cheese to each slice – sprinkle that yumminess on!

Roll up into little cigar shapes.

Coat each dippin’ stick with butter. You can also add a little butter on the inside of the seam to help it stick better.

Please each dippin’ stick seam side down on the baking sheet.

Bake in 450°F oven for 6-7 minutes; flip ‘em over, and bake for an additional 6 minutes, or until the entire stick is brown and crispy.

Serve, dip, and enjoy!

Dee’s Bio!

Dee is a single mom livin’ the life with her son, Connor, and two furry babies, Cassie and Max. Always having loved the written word, Dee is an author of erotic romance under the pen name Madison Night, and has decided to venture out into the world of blogging – mainly because she can’t keep her typing fingers quiet. They always have something to say! Lover of music and food, aspiring traveler, animal lover and more! Have a topic you want Dee to cover in her Off The Cuff column? Send The Scoop a message, and let her know!

 

Save

Deja Revu – May 21, 2017

Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.

Val’s Variety Show

By Valari Roberts

This week:  A GIVEAWAY!!

Hallo!  I received a ridiculous amount of books all at once (from Goodreads Giveaways) today, and discovered that I had TWO of one book, thanks to a slight mishap! I contacted the author, not feeling right just keeping it without letting him know, in case he needed it back, and discovered that he is quite generous! He agreed that it would be nice to give the extra copy away to an interested reader, so that someone can read it with me! The giveaway will be at the end of this post, and I have a couple of requests.

First: PLEASE, only enter if you are truly interested in reading the book. He spent money to have it sent and printed, and I’ll be spending money to send it to you.

Second: Read it with me? It is a collection of shorts, so we could read each story at the same time, when it’s convenient for both.

Third: Could you pretty please leave a review? Anywhere you usually do. Heck, I’ll even add it to my review page here on the blog, if you like!

These are obviously not requirements (how would enforce them if they were, right?), but I would be most appreciative if you did. Now, time to let you know about the book!

​ALLONS-Y!!

41yj4rtl0hLTitle: Once More Silver Dollare

Author: F. Louis Miller

Print Length: 303 pages

Publication Date: October 26, 2016

Genre: Romance

Synopsis: ​One More Silver Dollar-Love Stories, is a story about a man turning fifty who realizes that with half his life over he needs to record his cherished memories before they are lost to the mists of time. This leads him to reflect on his career, his family, and his life as a young man, when he was young, handsome and knew many beautiful young women. He sits down with a ghost writer and unravels the tales of his many love affairs with a host of beautiful, intelligent, and impossibly sexy young women with whom he had relationships.

The novel traces his life from childhood and the awakening of his sexuality, his loss of virginity at age eighteen and the numerous experiences he had with a host of young women until he met his wife at age 30 and married. The stories include humorous escapades, frightening encounters, and even tragic circumstances.

Goodreads  ~  Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Save

Save

Deja Revu – May 8, 2017

Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.
Picture

Meme

Picture

Contemporary

Paranormal

Romance

Picture

Contemporary

Fantasy

Religious

Romance

Picture

Non-Fiction

Romance

Picture

Romance

Save

Meet Jodi Zulueta aka Eldwenne!

Jodi Zulueta is a fandom jewelry maker based out Tennessee. She creates hand-made wire-wrapped jewelry based on characters from tv shows such as Supernatural, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time, Stranger Things, and more.

 Fans at conventions across the country love going to her popular booth to see her lovely new pieces of jewelry. Jodi’s jewelry is also very popular with the actors whose characters she bases the jewelry off of. Her Etsy store eldwenne is also a fandom household name.

 Jodi is also the host of a weekly livestream show called “So Get This” where she interviews cast from Supernatural and The Walking Dead as well as fans of the shows and artists also inspired by these shows.

Editor’s Note:   You can find Jodi’s jewelry at her site at Eldwenne’s Fantasy  or at a con near you.)

   How did you come up with the beautiful & unique name Eldwenne?

ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO OR SO I HAD AN INCREDIBLY VIVID DREAM WHERE I WAS IN THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE PEOPLE IN THE DREAM WERE CALLING ME ‘ELDWENNE’ – IT DIDN’T EVEN SEEM OUT OF PLACE.  IT REALLY STRUCK A CHORD WITH ME AND I KNEW THEN THAT MY BUSINESS WOULD BE CALLED ELDWENNE’S FANTASY – ELDWENNE, ME, MY FANTASY – CREATING HANDMADE JEWELRY.  MY FANTASY HAS NOW BECOME A REALITY AND I’M BEYOND GRATEFUL.

 

 How long have you been a jewelry designer & how long does it take you to create a piece?

I’VE BEEN MAKING JEWELRY SINCE I WAS A LITTLE GIRL.  I’D GET JEWELRY AS GIFTS AND I’D TAKE IT APART AND PUT IT ALL BACK TOGETHER THE WAY I THOUGHT IT SHOULD LOOK.  AS I GOT OLDER I STARTED EXPERIMENTING WITH FOUND OBJECTS AND DEVELOPING MY OWN STYLE.  IN MY 20s I DISCOVERED WIRE AND I FELL IN LOVE. I’M 100% SELF-TAUGHT.  I FOUND THAT IF I FIGURED THINGS OUT ON MY OWN, THEN MY STYLE WOULD BE UNIQUELY MINE.

 

AS FAR AS HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO CREATE A PIECE – IT REALLY DEPENDS ON THE PIECE.  THERE ARE SOME PIECES THAT INITIALLY WHEN I CREATED THE DESIGN TOOK ME A WHILE, BUT NOW AFTER MAKING THEM SO MANY TIMES I CAN DO IT FASTER, BUT THEN THERE ARE OTHERS THAT ARE SO INTRICATE THAT NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES I’VE MADE THEM, THEY TAKE HOURS BECAUSE OF THE COMPLEXITY OF THE DESIGNS.

ADDITIONALLY, I PAINT A LOT OF THE GLASS I USE IN MY PIECES AND THAT PROCESS IN ITSELF TAKES TIME.

 

What inspired you to make fandom jewelry & how fast does the inspiration for a new piece come to you?

 

MY FIRST FANDOM PIECE WAS CASTIEL’S GRACE (MISHA COLLINS OWNS THIS, BTW).  I HAD BEEN GOING THROUGH AN INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT TIME. MY HUSBAND WAS DIAGNOSED WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER AND WAS HOSPITALIZED TWICE, WE HAD THREE YOUNG CHILDREN AND AN OLDER CHILD IN COLLEGE, I HAD JUST BEEN LAID OFF WORK (I WORKED IN THE FINANCIAL INDUSTRY FOR OVER 20 YEARS, EVEN THOUGH I HAVE A DEGREE IN ART).

*Note about photos: (credit Jody Zulueta-all rights to these photos are Ms. Zulueta’s and can’t be used without permission.)*

 

 WHEN I WAS LAID OFF, I DECIDED TO TAKE A LITTLE BIT OF TIME OFF BEFORE LOOKING FOR ANOTHER JOB BECAUSE I WAS SO MENTALLY/PHYSICALLY DRAINED FROM EVERYTHING. I DISCOVERED NETFLIX.  WHICH LED TO ME FLIPPING THROUGH AND FINDING SOME WEIRD SHOW CALLED ‘SUPERNATURAL.’ I WATCHED THE PILOT.  IT WAS OK.  THEN I WATCHED THE NEXT EPISODE.  AND THE NEXT EPISODE.  I BINGE-WATCHED EVERY SEASON THAT WAS THERE AT THE TIME AND THE INSPIRATION JUST EXPLODED.  THE CHARACTERS ARE SO WELL-WRITTEN.  THERE’S AN EMOTIONAL INVESTMENT IN THE STORIES AND THE CHARACTERS.  I ALWAYS EXPRESSED MYSELF BEST THROUGH VISUAL ARTS, WHETHER IT WAS A PAINTING OR A JEWELRY DESIGN. 

 AS FAR AS HOW FAST DOES THE INSPIRATION COME – IT HAPPENS PRETTY QUICKLY.  IF I HEAR/SEE A LINE FROM A SHOW THAT RESONATES WITH ME, IT INSPIRES ME AND I NEED TO SET TO WORK ON IT IMMEDIATELY. THAT DOESN’T MEAN THE ACTUAL PIECE IS FINISHED THAT FAST – IT JUST MEANS THE COMPULSION TO WORK ON IT HITS ME FAST AND HARD, LOL.

I COULD BE DAYDREAMING ABOUT A SCENE AND IT WILL INSPIRE ME. 

THE TITLES OF MY PIECES ARE WHAT COME FIRST BECAUSE THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I WAS THINKING OF BEFORE I MADE THE PIECE.  FOR EXAMPLE, THE TENACITY OF DEAN WINCHESTER, MY FIRST DEAN WINCHESTER PIECE, WAS THE RESULT OF ME THINKING ABOUT HOW DEAN APPROACHES OBSTACLES WITH EVERYTHING HE’S GOT.  NO HALF-ASSING.  SO I THOUGHT HE WAS TENACIOUS, HENCE, THE TENACITY OF DEAN WINCHESTER. 

 FROM THERE, AFTER I HAVE THE TITLE, THE REST IS KIND OF A ZONE I FALL INTO IN THE CREATIVE PROCESS AND THE PIECE IS EVENTUALLY DEVELOPED.

 . What is your fav piece you have designed?

THAT’S HARD – THAT’S LIKE ASKING IF I HAVE A FAVORITE CHILD, LOL!  SERIOUSLY THOUGH, I THINK ONE OF THEM IS THE BOND OF TEAM FREE WILL.  IT INCORPORATES A LOT OF DIFFERENT TECHNIQUES INTO ONE PIECE AND IS A GOOD REPRESENTATION OF WHAT I CAN DO.

What inspired you to become a vendor at conventions?

NOT LONG AFTER I BECAME INTERESTED IN SUPERNATURAL (OK, NOT INTERESTED.  OBSESSED) I GOT MY HUSBAND HOOKED ON IT AS WELL.  HE WAS DOING SOME RESEARCH ON THE SHOW AND DISCOVERED THAT THERE WERE CONVENTIONS FOR IT.  HE SUGGESTED I APPLY TO VEND.  MY APPLICATION WAS ACCEPTED AND I’VE BEEN DOING IT EVER SINCE – OVER 4 YEARS NOW.

 Your fav celebrity reaction to one of the actors seeing your jewelry?

WOW – THERE ARE A LOT…ANY TIME A CAST MEMBER APPRECIATES A PIECE I’VE DESIGNED INSPIRED EITHER BY THE CHARACTER THEY PLAY OR BY THEIR OWN PERSONALITY (I DO ACTOR-INSPIRED PIECES AS WELL) IT BLOWS MY MIND.

 RUTH CONNELL, KIM RHODES, BRIANA BUCKMASTER, AND SAMANTHA SMITH HAVE ALL BEEN SO INCREDIBLY SUPPORTIVE AND HAVE GONE OUT OF THEIR WAY TO SHOW THEIR APPRECIATION FOR MY WORK.

ANOTHER MOMENT THAT FLOORED ME WAS RECENTLY AT VEGASCON.  I HAD MET ALAINA HUFFMAN (ABADDON) ABOUT A YEAR AGO, FOR A TOTAL OF 2 MINUTES, AND SHE SAID, “OH! YOU’RE THE ONE THAT MAKES THE FIRE OF ABADDON PIECE!” THAT WAS AMAZING.  SO IN VEGASCON SHE WAS TELLING ME HOW SHE SEES SO MANY PEOPLE WEARING PIECES OF MINE AND SHE WAS DESCRIBING THE PIECES.  SHE SAID SHE RECOGNIZED MY STYLE SO SHE COULD TELL WHICH ONES WERE MINE. 

 RACHEL MINER – WITHOUT ME EVEN TELLING HER I WAS A JEWELRY DESIGNER, REMEMBERED ME FROM FACEBOOK AND TOLD ME HOW MUCH SHE ENJOYS LOOKING AT MY WORK.

 I COULD GO ON AND ON ABOUT HOW THESE INCREDIBLE HUMAN BEINGS HAVE GIVEN ME SUPPORT AND INSPIRATION…

 What fandom do you want to create jewelry for next?

I HAVE SEVERAL LINED UP: STAR TREK, MAGICIANS, AND CONTINUING TO EXPAND MY STRANGER THINGS COLLECTION (I HAVE 2 DESIGNS CURRENTLY)

Favorite city you have been?

HMMM…I LOVE NASHVILLE BECAUSE IT’S ONLY 45 MINUTES AWAY FROM MY HOME AND I CAN BRING MY ENTIRE FAMILY WITH ME.  IT’S HARD BEING AWAY FROM EVERYONE.

Do you make non fandom jewlery & if yes what is your fav piece you made?

I DO MAKE NON-FANDOM PIECES – I JUST RECENTLY STARTED A SERIES BASED ON FINDING EMPOWERMENT AND STRENGTH – IT’S CALLED ENCHANTED REALITY AND USES SEMI-PRECIOUS STONES.  MY FAVORITE PIECE FROM THAT LINE IS PROBABLY MY QUARTZ AND MOONSTONE WRAPPED IN COPPER TOTEM.

. Do you have any advice to any up & coming self jewelry makers wanting make their own business?

IF YOU’RE TRULY PASSIONATE ABOUT IT – YOU WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN.  BE PREPARED FOR A LOT OF HOURS.  YOU WILL BE YOUR OWN DESIGNER, MANUFACTURER, MARKETER, POSTAL SERVICE, ACCOUNTANT, ETC. IT’S NOT INSTANT SUCCESS, IT TOOK ME OVER 9 YEARS TO BUILD MY BUSINESS. DON’T GET DISCOURAGED.

CUSTOMER SERVICE IS KEY AND YOU NEED TO HAVE A THICK SKIN TO HANDLE SOME OF THE ISSUES THAT CAN ARISE.

AND I CAN’T STRESS THIS ENOUGH – ALWAYS ALWAYS BE RESPECTFUL OF OTHERS’ INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY.  NEVER COPY SOMEONE ELSE’S WORK AND THAT INCLUDES USING ARTWORK FROM OUR BELOVED SHOWS SUCH AS SUPERNATURAL AND THE WALKING DEAD.  THERE’S NOTHING WORSE THAN FINDING OUT THAT YOUR WORK IS BEING USED BY SOMEONE ELSE AND EVEN WORSE – THEY’RE PROFITING FROM IT.

Since we are a lifestyle & beauty blog. Fav makeup brand & fav type of make up to wear?

I LOVE ELF LIQUID EYELINER.  I ALWAYS GO FOR A CAT’S EYE LOOK. RIMMEL IS MY FAVORITE BRAND FOR MASCARA AND BROWS.  LORAC HAS LIPSTICK TO DIE FOR. I NEVER WEAR FOUNDATION UNLESS I’VE GOT SPOTS AND EVEN THEN I ONLY DAB IT ON THE SPOTS IN LIEU OF COVERING MY FACE.

Save

Save

Save

Asher Black (The Five Syndicates Series) by Parker S. Huntington

By: Michele Lemieur

 

Amazon

A month or so ago, I received an email from an author who read my review.  Eeeek!  I was surprised and then honored that an author selected me to receive an ARC (advanced release copy) based on my review!  Reviews are important to other readers and authors.  Does it have “wow factor”, hot sex with characters that make you wanna smoke after reading or poor plot with lame characters?  Every review helps someone.

~Blurb~

He was supposed to kill me. I had done the unthinkable. I called the cops on him, on his family, but he let me live. We became friends, and then… we fell in love. Lucy Ives is a foster kid, running from her turbulent past. On her first night in New York City, she accidentally calls the cops on the mafia. But when their fixer comes to kill her, he ends up sparing her life in exchange for a favor—be his fake fiancé or die.

Enter the world of the Mafia only to understand the true meaning of family….Asher’s family.  Not brought together by blood, but something much deeper. Trust, honor, and an unwavering bond of protecting someone else’s life with your own.  No one messes with what is His.

I truly enjoyed this book and can’t wait for the others in the series.  An occasional chapter from Asher’s POV would have given more insight into the Mafia component to the story then just his spoken word in conversations. I couldn’t help but swoon over Asher and his bruiting, alpha maleness.  Lucy, well Lucy sure loved to push his buttons.  With secrets of her own, Lucy’s strength and confidence grew helping her to fight her demons.

Learn more about Parker S. Huntington and her future projects at her Blog!

 

Save

Deja Revu, May 1, 2017

Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.
Picture

Original

Meme

Picture

Contemporary

Fantasy

Picture

Contemporary

Paranormal

Romance

Picture

Fantasy

Graphic Novel

Historical

Paranormal

Save