September 30, 2009

Wednesday's Chow - 100 Calorie Snacks

Yeah, this is diversion from the yummy recipes I've been posting. But I thought as I have an extra Wednesday in this month, I'd post something out of the normal.

First, I'd like to congratulate MelPrincess for winning the drawing for the Cooking in the South with Johnnie Gabriel cookbook from me and $10 gift certificate from Hanna Rhys. And thanks to everyone who posted recipes this month. Be sure to look for them in the future when I use some for my Wednesday's Chow posts.

Here's a list of 100-calorie snacks to help fill you up so you stay away from those delicious but high calorie Oreo Cookies. It's suggested to have 2-3 snacks a day to help keep yourself from over-eating at meals.......

1 fat-free chocolate pudding cup
2 fig bars
1 slice whole wheat bread with 1 oz of turkey breast
10 almonds or cashews
1 hard boiled egg with 1/2 slice toasted whole wheat bread
1/4 cup fat-free ranch dressing with mixed raw veggies
An orange and a few dry-roasted nuts
1/4 cup 1% cottage cheese and 1 cup sliced strawberries
1 small baked potato with 1/2 cup salsa and 2 tablespoons of fat-free sour cream
20 animal crackers
1 oz mozzarella string cheese and 4 green olives
1 cup chicken noodle soup with 2 crackers
2 large graham cracker squares with 1 teaspoon peanut butter
1/2 cup applesauce

For an article and other 100-calorie snack suggestions, visit

What's your favorite snack (low cal or otherwise)? I admit, I like Oreo cookies with milk.

Anna Kathryn Lanier

September 27, 2009

Quarantined! with Guest Author Barbara Dickson

Year: 1832

Location: Somewhere off the Grand Banks, Newfoundland

You have been travelling for weeks aboard a ship bound for the New World. What little earthly possessions you have to call your own are tucked in boxes and barrels around you. You are crammed, cramped and hidden away in the bowels of the vessel. Your bed is a narrow bunk – no more than a hard plank of wood really – attached to the inner wall of the ship. There are no bathroom, washing, or laundry facilities. The food is mouldy, if there is any at all, and the water is foul. The smell of human excrement and body odour makes you heave, adding the reek of vomit to the vile mix. Vicious Atlantic storms have battered the ship, tossing it like a toy boat upon the ‘rolling main.’ Rowdy shipmate neighbours hold dog fights, drink grog until dawn, and fistfight with the crew. One passenger is raped by the First Mate; another is drowned at sea.

But these ‘minor inconveniences’ are not the worst. You face a far greater enemy onboard. It is invisible, strikes without warning, and discriminates against no one. It is ‘the fever,’ the sickness that comes from poverty, close living quarters, and inadequate hygiene. It spreads with a fury only matched by the terrible ocean storms that rage around it. Like sea foam sprayed across the worn wooden planks of the ship, typhus, cholera, and small pox slip below deck, unnoticed, sowing their deadly seed.
Each day, as deadly illness creeps through the mass of human misery, the battered and tattered ship limps closer to its anticipated destination, a country that promises an easier life, and a bright, hopeful future.

As your ship draws near, you can see your beloved destination off the prow of the ship. The crew drop anchor. But before you can tread upon your new country’s promised land, you face one last hardship. You face quarantine, something just as vile, just as dangerous, and just as deadly as life onboard ship. You’re loaded into waiting boats, and conveyed to an offshore island where you will stay until you pass inspection.

All around you is a sea of ragged humanity, living and dying, waiting to be given the doctor’s blessing, declaring you are fit to occupy the land. If you’re not infected with one of the dreaded viruses while you sailed, you are bound to catch the ‘bug’ while you wait days for inspection amongst thousands of other poor immigrants.

And, if you don’t pass? You die, your dreams forever interred along with you, who are no longer a subject of your homeland, yet neither a citizen of your new land, in a mass grave.

One such quarantine station was opened at Grosse Ile, Quebec in 1832. Its operation is a ragtag affair, with hundreds of immigrants processed each day.

Immigrant Susannah Moodie, in her book “Roughing It in the Bush: Life in Canada,” writes about visiting Grosse Ile that first summer:

“The dreadful cholera was depopulating Quebec and Montreal, when our ship cast anchor off Grosse Isle, on the 30th of August, 1832, and we were boarded a few minutes after by the health-officers...The vessel had been nine weeks at sea; the poor steerage passengers for the two last weeks had been out of food...As cabin passengers, we were not included in the general order of purification, but were only obliged to send our servant, with the clothes and bedding we had used during the voyage, on shore, to be washed...”

Mrs. Moodie is fortunate; she comes from the upper class in England, and she can afford a cabin passage. She did not live below deck.

Immigrant David Cragg, on the other hand, is a poor Englishman out of Lancaster, and is onboard ‘The Six Sisters’ packet ship bound for Upper Canada in June of 1833. Widowed, David and his eight children long for a fresh start, with cheap land, clean air, minimal taxes, and a bright tomorrow.
David’s writes of his unimpressive experience at ‘Perdition Isle:’

“...they appoint us a booth in a large building made like an entrance house of great length. All this time there is 1199 passengers performing penance here...we slept at night on beds made on the floor side by side, all together like a lot of pigs...the doctor in all pomposity came, looked us over, fooled among our goods for about two minutes and then said we were at liberty to go...”

Grosse Ile in Quebec will operate from 1832 to 1937. One year, in particular, stands out from all others – the spring and summer of 1847. The famine in Ireland has caused a mass exodus from its shores. Hundreds of thousands have fled their beloved Erin, their desperate poverty, their gnawing hunger, and their utter loss of heart and home making them easy prey to the ‘fever.’ And they died by the thousands that summer upon David’s ‘Perdition Isle.’

Gerald Keegan, an Irish emigrant from Sligo, writes of that summer in 1847 at Grosse Ile:
“They are calling now for volunteers to bring the sick and the dead to shore. The sailors are refusing to have anything to do with the task...I feel it my duty to render what will be my last service to these poor suffering creatures in offering myself as a volunteer...”

And this: “...I have to learn to acquire a reasonable amount of detachment in my contacts with the suffering and dying. Most of them are in such a deplorable condition from illness, hunger and neglect that, if I let myself go, I would fall apart from the very sight of their intense misery. It is, however, very difficult to be detached when in so many ways they try to express their gratitude for my simple services. I spent most of the day today with tears in my eyes...”

An Irish Monument is erected on the west tip of the island to remember the thousands who died. There are similar memorials scattered along the shores of the St. Lawrence River, a ribbon of blue seawater marred by the death and despair of the Irish people. From Partridge Island at Saint John, New Brunswick, to Hospital Island off the coast of St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, to Grosse Ile at Quebec City, to Montreal, Quebec, to Toronto, Ontario; tens of thousands of Irish have been laid to rest, along with countless immigration staff and clergy who died while serving at immigration stations.

Susannah Moodie will continue her journey to Cobourg, Ontario with her husband, and then north, past the growing town of Peterborough, where she will ‘rough it in the bush’ of ‘rural’ Upper Canada. After six years, she will concede defeat, and move to city life in Belleville, Ontario.

David Cragg and his family will make it to York (Toronto) and eventually buy 100 acres of farmland north in Reach Township. But David will not live to see the fruits of his labour – he dies less than two years after arriving in his Promised Land.

And Gerald Keegan? His story is the saddest of all – after laying his dear bride of only two months to rest in an unmarked grave at Grosse Ile, he himself contracts the dreaded fever and dies.

Grosse Ile at Quebec is now a National Historical Site, visited each year by countless thousands yearning to learn more about the immigrant migration that shaped North America. The Canadian Governments has endeavoured to recreate life during the quarantine station’s time of operation with tours, and restored buildings including one of the actual ‘fever sheds’ of 1847. The Irish Memorial is on an apex at the west end of the island where the wind whistles through the tree branches, the air is fresh, and the surroundings eerily quiet.

We all have a history story to tell, whether we are the first or the tenth generation to call North America our home. May we remember the personal sacrifices our ancestors made to leave their motherlands, hoping for a better life in the New World.

September 22, 2009

Wednesday's Chow - Medieval Cherry Pottage

This week’s dessert comes from a guest author, Hanna Rhys Barnes, whose debut novel, Widow’s Peak releases today from the Wild Rose Press. She shares with us a medieval pottage recipe, the original and an updated form. Thanks for being with us today, Hanna.

And don't forget, my September Recipe Extravaganza is still going on. This week's recipes need to be desserts. Post your recipe by midnight next Tuesday (Sept. 29) to be eligible for the weekly prize: Cooking in the South with Johnnie Gabriel cookbook. It has "over 150 delicious Southern recipes from Johnnie's award-winning restaurant."

Tam G. won the main dish weekly drawing. Congrats and thanks to everyone who posted those great looking recipes. I can't wait to try them out. Now, on to the Cherry Pottage Recipe.....

Hi, Anna Katherine. Thanks for letting me share the excitement of release day on your blog.

Pottage was a very popular dessert all throughout the medieval period. It is a kind of bread pudding and can be made with any fruit. Here’s the cherry version that’s featured in all three books in my Scorpion Moon Trilogy. The modern cook can use fresh cherries or well-drained canned ones(not pie filling)

Cherry Pottage-Medieval Version

Tak cheryes & do out the stones & grynde hem wel & draw hem thorw a streynour & do it in a pot. & do therto whit gres or swete botere & myed wastel bred, & cast therto good wyn & sugre, & salte it & stere it wel togedere, & dresse it in disches; and set theryn clowe gilofre, & strewe sugre aboue.

Cherry Pottage-Modern Version

2 lbs ripe red cherries or 2 cans cherries(not pie filling) well-drained
1 1/2 cups white wine
3/4 cup sugar
4 Tbsp butter
1 cup breadcrumbs
pinch of salt
flower heads of clove pinks (optional)
sugar, preferably raw sugar if available

Wash the cherries and remove the stems and stones. Puree the fruit in a blender with 1/2 cup of the wine and half the sugar. Add a little more wine as needed to get a smooth puree. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the fruit puree, breadcrumbs, remaining wine, remaining sugar, and salt. Simmer, stirring often, until the puree is very thick. Pour into a serving bowl, cover, and let cool. The cherry pottage should be the consistency of a thick apple sauce. Refrigerate until served. Before serving, decorate the edge of the bowl with the clove pinks, if desired. Sprinkle the sugar over the dish.

Easy to make and you can get in a little history lesson as well.

I’m including a $10 Gift certificate to use in this week’s drawing. I’ll also enter the winner in my Super Contest for a chance to win one of two beautiful art pieces. Visit my blog, Never Too Late For Love to see the beautiful statue and art print you could win.

Book 1 in the trilogy, Widow’s Peak is available now in Print and E-Book formats at the Wild Rose Press and in Print format from

September 21, 2009

Missing guest blogger

I'm not sure what happened to my guest blogger this week, but I apologize for not having one. I would have posted something myself, but I got called in for my first substitute teaching job for the year this morning. It was all good....7th graders who were talkative but not unruly. On Tuesday, I have high I don't mind the older kids, it's the itty bitties I have trouble with. They are too So, I'll try not to do Kindergarden through second grade.

Anyway, there's still time to enter my recipe contest, so check out the blog below the cartoon, and post your main course recipe by midnight Tuesday to be eligible to win a DVD of your choice and a copy of one of my stories (I've forgotten which one I promised, but see below, it's listed there).

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Anna Kathryn Lanier

September 15, 2009

Wednesday's Chow - Garlic Cheddar Chicken

Well, it's week three of my recipe contest and I am going to be quite busy making all the wonderful recipes being posted. First off, congratulations to Carol Jo Kachmar for winning last week's drawing. She won This week's prize will be a Bath and Body Works Sweet Pea collection: hand lotion, waterless hand foam and deep cleansing hand gel, along with a copy of my short story A COWBOY'S DREAM.

This week's recipe group is main dishes. Below I've posted a wonderful Garlic Cheddar Chicken. The best part about having this dish the other day is that I didn't have to cook, my daughter did. She found the recipe while I was in Washington DC at the RWA conference and fixed it for her and her dad. It is a really tasty dish.

So, this week's assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to post a main dish recipe: chicken, beef, seafood, vegetarian, whatever you want. Next Wednesday, I'll draw a name from all those who post a recipe. The winner will receive Betty Crocker's 20-MINUTE MEALS booklet – “over 20 easy, delicious recipes ready in 20-minutes or less,” as well as a a choice of a DVD (The Jewel of the Nile, Mamma Mia! or A Knight's Tale), plus a copy of my short story The Priceless Gift.


In addition, I'm holding a contest on the Roses of Houston's Virtual Baby Shower. Just match up the candy bars to the baby related items for you chance to win an autographed copy of Anne Marie Novark's HER RELUCTANT RANCHER.

Garlic Cheddar Chicken

Prep Time: 15m
Cook Time: 40m
Ready in: 55m
Yield: 8 servings


1/2 cup butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded thin


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat, and cook the garlic until tender, about 5 minutes.
3.In a shallow bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Cheddar cheese, parsley, oregano, pepper, and salt.
4.Dip each chicken breast in the garlic butter to coat, then press into the bread crumb mixture. Arrange the coated chicken breasts in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Drizzle with any remaining butter and top with any remaining bread crumb mixture.
5.Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Anna Kathryn Lanier
Monthly Prizes to Win!

September 14, 2009

Guest Author - Hannah Rhys

Hi Anna Kathryn. Thanks for having me.

Even though the weather is wacky (it was 85 degrees and sunny on Friday, when it should have been 65 degrees and rainy), the light is beginning to change and the days are getting shorter. My favorite time of year has arrived. Harvest Time, Autumn, Fall.

For farmers, it means time to gather in the last of the crops. For parents, it means back to school. For me, it means time for my book to be released.

Last Thursday, I was on my way out the door to go to class and as I turned to lock my front door, the UPS man was coming up the stairs. He hands me a box. I sign for it. Of course I have to look inside. Imagine my pleasure when I slice open the packing tape and find I’m staring at the cover of my very first novel! I took a copy from the box and rubbed my hand over the glossy cover. Without cracking the spine, I opened to the first page and read:

A chill wind ruffled the parchment on the table as Alaine de la Vierre paced the length of his cell-like room. If only the mere act of walking would relieve the boredom pressing against his need for adventure. Shut away in the northern most realms of the kingdom, he missed the drama of court life. . .

I have to say I was a little late for class. I’ve carried the book around with me for a the last few days.

When I got the release date from my editor, I thought, “That’s so far away.” Little did I realize how fast the time would fly.

The Wild Rose Press has released the print version of WIDOW’S PEAK a few weeks early as part of their September Specials promotion.

Here’s a bit more:


When the love of your life is taken from you, memories keep you going.
Widowed for eight years, Lady Amye De Barnard has poured her heart into making her domain prosperous and her people happy.
But, when a handsome young man falls from her tree, what can a lady do but take him home, fix him up, and fall in love.

If you're an assassin, you never think about love, unless you're disguised as
the Queen's Troubadour.
When Laine de la Vierre finds himself in the care of a beautiful older widow, for the first time he wants to stay in one place. Yet he knows if he does stay, those who hunt him will certainly find him and kill him. Will Laine risk his life for a chance at happiness? Or will he pass up the love of his life?


Morning sun streamed in through the open windows as Amye sat next to the young man's bed, silently reading her book of poetry. The small volume was the last gift Thomas gave her before leaving for Outremer. He must have spent a fortune to have a cleric copy the poems and bind the pages together in the leather cover. The parchment corners were worn smooth from the many times she had read through it. Amye did not know all of the men who penned the words, but they ardently expressed the love that she and Thomas had shared.

In the few moments he was conscious, the young stranger seemed to be in some pain. She had worried when he became fevered in his sleep, but now his deep full breaths told her he rested comfortably. He was quite handsome, almost angelic looking. The two-day growth of beard covering his swarthy face matched the dark curly hair that fell just to his shoulders. She had ordered him brought to a guest room where she and Sela had washed his body, and then Amye dressed his wounds with healing ointments. It was then she noticed the mark.
A crescent moon, the mark of the Saracens. The same mark Sir Edward had carried when he brought her Thomas' ring. Only this moon surrounded a symbol she had never seen before. A scripted letter M with an arrow at the end. What were the two men doing in that tree?
It had been obvious to her from the first he was no knight. His body was well muscled but lean, rather than bulky. And unlike a knight, his hands were smooth with only small calluses on the fingertips. The belongings on the horse they found confirmed him as a troubadour. Though they had never really met, she remembered seeing him at summer court one year. His bags held a book of songs and some scraps of parchment on which had been penned some verses of lyric poetry. Also, a beautiful psaltery carefully wrapped in a black velvet sack. The finely made stringed instrument must have cost a king's ransom. The clothing he carried was of the highest fashion. He must have been on his way to one of the courts to the south. Entertainers of his quality hardly ever stopped this far north.

"My Lady, where am I?"

The quiet, deep voice startled her from her musings, and she looked into stunning green eyes. She'd not noticed the vibrancy of their color before. But as he peered straight at her, Amye's heart began to pound so hard she thought it might leap from her chest. She took a deep breath as she stood and the beating slowed. "You are awake. This bodes well." She put down the book and moved toward the bed. "I am Lady Amye de Barnard. You fell from my tree and were brought to the castle so I might tend your injury."

"I thank you, my Lady Barnard, for your aid. I am Alain de la Vierre. Most call me Laine."
"Yes, I know."
The troubadour looked at her askance.

Amye walked over to the bedside table and held up his book of songs. "I beg your pardon, but I had to search your things. I could not have a thief or a rogue loose in my home. I have charges to consider."

"And how, my lady, can you tell I am not a rogue?" He arched a brow to emphasize his question.

"A rogue would not write in such a civilized manner. That aside, I have seen you at King Henry's court. You are a very fine court troubadour. You must sing for us when you recover." Amye felt a heated blush rise to her cheeks as a smile spread across his face.

"At your leisure, my lady." He tried to sit up but with a slight touch, she pushed him back against the pillow.

"Stay. You are still too weak. You have been unconscious for more than two days. I worried your injury might be too great for you to recover."

A sharp breath as he grasped at his side made Amye fold back the bed cover to check the cause of his discomfort. "Your wound was quite severe, so I thought it best to close it. I need to see to your stitches."

Surprise crossed his face. Though obviously still in pain, he smiled. "It seems I was most fortunate to fall from your tree and not some other."

Amye picked up a cup from the bedside table and held it to his lips. "Drink. This should help ease the pain."

He drank until she pulled it away. "My lady, does the king know you have such a fine brew wife. He would surely steal her away. I have never tasted such a fine ale in all my years. This house does boast a most delicious drink."

"Thank you." She helped him sit up so she could unwrap the binding. "You lost a bit of blood and though I could find no broken bones, there might be a more severe internal injury." She removed the sticky brown moss she used to draw the bad humors from wounds and inspected the neat row of stitching underneath.
Careful not to separate the newly healing wound, Amye pressed two fingers to the surrounding skin. It was cool to the touch, not hot as it had been when she had first stitched it closed. "`Tis healing nicely. I think we might do without the poultice now." She covered the wound with a clean cloth and rewound the binding around his chest.

"Are you hungry?" She helped him lie back, and he let out a deep breath once he rested on the bed. "I shall send for some gruel. I think you could stomach that now."

"My lady, might I meet your lord to thank him for saving my life?"

"Master de la Vierre, there is no lord at Edensmouth. My husband died in Outremer, eight years ago."

Hanna Rhys Barnes is one of those people with an evenly balanced right and left brain. She has a BA in English, but recently finished her final year as a high school math teacher.

A member of RWA’s national organization and of several local chapters, she currently lives and works in Portland, OR, but occasionally visits her retirement ranchette outside of Kingman, AZ.

Hanna’s Debut Novel, Widow’s Peak, is currently available in print at the Wild Rose Press, and She is currently working on Book 2 in the series, Kissed By A Rose.

You can visit Hanna at her website and at her blog Never Too LateFor Love

Share you reaction to gettig 'the call' or holding your book for the first time or seeing it for sale on your publisher's site....

September 8, 2009

Wednesday's Chow - Cheesy Rice Casserole

I'm still running my Recipe Extravaganza and Contest, so be sure to share your recipe with us.

Congratulations to Lexie. Her “Green” Rolls Appetizers won the first week's drawing. She'll receive a “Smart Women Read Romance” T-shirt and a bottle of Bath and Body Works P.S. I Love You lotion. Luckily, I stumbled across both posts where people were posting recipes: Wednesday's Chow and Recipe Extravaganza and Contest - Share a prize . Thanks to everyone who posted. I'll be posting some of those great recipes (15 in all) in the future. This week's prize will be a Bath and Body Works Sweet Pea collection: hand lotion, waterless hand foam and deep cleansing hand gel, along with a copy of my short story A COWBOY'S DREAM.

The contest will run this way: Each week from Wednesday to Tuesday, post recipes as comments on my blog. The recipes need to be for that week's topic. On the following Wednesday, I'll put all the names in a hat and draw a winner. The more recipes you post, the more times your name will be in the hat. I'll post the prize each week, so you'll know what you're posting for. For all the contest details, check out Recipe Extravaganza and Contest - Share a prize on my blog.

This week, the recipe should be a side dish. I've found one that would be great for family dinners, pot lucks or holiday gatherings.



1 10-oz pkg of frozen peas, cooked and drained
1 4.5-oz jar sliced mushrooms, drained
(or 4 oz fresh mushrooms)
½ pound Velveeta cheese, cubed
2 ¼ cup cooked rice

Heat oven to 350°F. Combine all ingredients in a 1 ½ quart casserole. Mix well. Bake for 20 minutes.

Serves six.

Anna Kathryn Lanier
Monthly Prizes to Win!

September 3, 2009

The Friday Record - Manifest Destiny

Hello! After taking a week or so off, I'm back with The Friday Record. It is the one weekly post I have the most difficult with because, well, because I have to DO research a subject and write about it. Often, I run out of time before I can do that. So, The Friday Record will most likely be a hit and miss in the future.

Today, I'm writing about Manifest Destiny, the notion that inspired thousands of Americans to say good-bye to their way of life and familiar surroundings and head west to the vast and wild frontier.

In 1845 a magazine reporter wrote “Our manifest destiny is to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions.” He was, in other words, giving a moral excuse to the greed and imperial ambition of the American people to expand westward. God had predestined the United States of America to stretch from sea to shining sea and it was the duty of the American people to spread Christianity and democracy across the continent.

The idea of Manifest Destiny did not originate with this reporter. Since 1803, when President Thomas Jefferson instigated the Louisiana Purchase, Manifest Destiny was in the works. It continued on with the acquisition of Florida and parts of Alabama and Mississippi in 1819 from Spain. In 1845 Texas, its own republic since winning independence from Mexico ten years earlier, was annexed into the United States. In 1846 the long disputed border with Canada in the Northwest was finally settled to be 49 degrees latitude. In 1848 the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the Mexican War, gave the U.S. New Mexico and California. And finally, in 1853, the Gadsden Purchase acquired Arizona from Mexico. This completed the contiguous states.

It was not Manifest Destiny alone, however, that spurred on the tens of thousands of people to take the harsh, dangerous journey west. It was economic depressions, in 1837 and 1841. It was word of the rich, fertile soil in Oregon. It was the gold discovered in 1848. It was greed.

As AMERICA: A Narrative History says, “Trappers and farmers, miners and merchants, hunters, ranchers, teachers, domestics, and prostitutes, among others, headed west seeking their fortunes.” THE UNITED STATES: A Brief Narrative History says, “The desire for land of their own, the search for economic opportunity, and the promise of starting over in a new region ranked high among the many and complex reasons that people decided to endure the hardships....”

The pioneers of the mid-1800's did overcome vast hardships to settle the land and fulfill Manifest Destiny. The trail alone offered up “difficulties in finding adequate food and water, hostile Indians, and the danger of being trapped by snow in the mountains.” (THE UNITED STATES) Once they reached their destination, they often had those difficulties as well as others to contend with, including death. However, the westward movement “constitutes a colorful drama of determined pioneers and cowboys overcoming all obstacles to secure their visions of freedom and opportunity amid the regions awesome vastness.” (AMERICA)

Yet, Manifest Destiny did not come without a long-lasting price to America. In addition to the hardship the pioneers suffered, “...the colonization of the Far West involved short-sighted greed and irresponsible behavior, a story of reckless exploitation that scarred the land, decimated its wildlife, and nearly exterminated the culture of Native Americans.” (AMERICA)

It is hoped that if given a chance to do it all over again, the American government and people would have done it differently. But it is doubtful it would have happened any other way. The desire of the government and the desire of the people would not have changed. As one gold seeker proclaimed, “The whole emigration is wild and frantic with a desire to be pressing forward.” A desire to own land, find economic freedom, to find freedom itself in a new life. Thousands of Americans and new emigrants were willing to endure the hardships and carve a place in history in the name of Manifest Destiny. And the government was glad they were.

Now, to put a writing lesson curve on does your story emulate the idea of Manifest Destiny? How are your characters predestined to change their lives, their ideas, their souls? What are they willing to give up to find the brass ring across the dangerous frontier?

Anna Kathryn Lanier
Monthly Prizes to Win!

September 2, 2009

Wednesday's Chow - Sunday Night Vegetable Soup

Today kicks off the first day of my month-long Recipe Extravaganza Contest. All you have to do to be eligible to win the weekly prize is post a recipe. This week, it needs to be an appetizer, soup, or salad. Post between today and next Tuesday. I'll draw the winner on Wednesday, Sept. 9th. Check out all the details on the Recipe Extravaganza and Contest post. This week's prize is a “Smart Women Read Romance” T-shirt and 2-oz bottle of Bath and Body Works “P.S. I Love You” lotion. Can I tell you how good this stuff smells?

Since autumn is just around the corner for some of you....really, here in Houston, we have about 3 more months of summer to get through. Honestly, we still have leaves on the trees at Christmas! I miss West Virginia and Colorado sometimes. Anyway, here's a cozy, easy Vegetable Soup recipe. It's even easier than the Italian Vegetable Soup I make quite often. You don't have to chop the vegetables with this new recipe.

Sunday Night Vegetable Soup

1 pound ground meat
1 medium onion, chopped
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 cup water
2 16-oz packages frozen mixed vegetables
1 ½ teaspoons red hot sauce (I make this optional)
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 11-oz can zesty tomato soup

Brown meat and onions in heavy dutch oven. Pour off fat. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 30-60 minutes.

Serves 6
To be eligible for the prize YOU MUST LEAVE YOUR E-MAIL. If I can't contact you, you won't be eligible to win.

September 1, 2009

Recipe Extravaganza and Contest - Share a prize

Each Wednesday for the past year or so I've posted a recipe. But, frankly, I'm running out of recipes to post. So, I've decided to add to my recipe book and give away prizes at the same time. I've also decided to organize the recipe posting by doing certain recipes each week: Week 1 – appetizers/salads/soups, Week 2 – side dishes, Week 3 – main courses, Week 4 – desserts and sweets. Previously, I just posted what I felt like each week.

The contest will run this way: Each week from Wednesday to Tuesday, post recipes as comments on my blog. The recipes need to be for that week's topic. On the following Wednesday, I'll put all the names in a hat and draw a winner. The more recipes you post, the more times your name will be in the hat. I'll post the prize each week, so you'll know what you're posting for.
But that's not the end of the prizes. The whole point behind doing this contest is to put recipes in my recipe book, so I can post them in the future (October 2009-September 2010). So.....if I use your recipe in the future, I'll send you a prize then, too. The post that keeps on getting!

This being the first week of the month, the recipe(s) you post tomorrow can be an appetizer, salad or soup. Have fun digging through your own recipes and remember, you can post more than one. Thanks for sharing!

Anna Kathryn Lanier
Monthly Prizes to Win!