February 27, 2013

Wednesday's Chow - Herbed Chicken and Shrimp

It’s just around the corner….the Brenda Novak 2013 Annual Auction for the Cure of Diabetes.  Brenda’s annual auction runs May 1-31.  So far, there are over 750 items up for auction, with more to come.  I will be posting several baskets/items in the auction, as I have in the past.  This year, one of the baskets I’m donating is “Calling All Cooks,” a boxful of cookbooks:

Calling all Cooks

The winner of this auction will win a box full of cookbooks.

Christmas Cookies
1001 Fast Easy Recipes
Cake Pops, Brownies and More
Fun Summer Recipes
Freezer Meals
Slow Cooker Recipes
And more…..
Here’s a recipe I tried from Slow Cooker Recipes. My family really enjoyed it and I plan to make it again (I have a copy of the book myself, too).



1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 broiler/fryer chicken (3-4 pounds), cut up and skinned
¼ cup butter
1 large onion chopped
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
½ cup white wine or chicken broth
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined


Combine salt and pepper; rub over the chicken pieces. In a large skillet, melt butter and then brown chicken a on all sides. Transfer to an ungreased 5-qt. slow cooker.

In a large bowl, combine the onion, tomato sauce, wine, garlic and basil; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until chicken is tender.

Stir in shrimp. Cover and took on high 20-30 minutes or until shrimp turns pink.

I served it with rice.

Never let your memories be greater than your dreams. ~Doug Ivester 

February 25, 2013

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

So, I had a whole list of "inquiring minds" questions and now I can't find the file. I am sure I saved it, but I can't even find on my mozy.com backup. This really irritates me!  I don't recall all the questions...just goes to show I should have set up some blogs and scheduled them for release.  It's just really odd, because I had it open for over a week and I know I saved it. I highlighted the two questions I had already asked, so I would know not to use them again.....

Anyway, enough of complaining about computers, although, sometimes I really hate them!  On to this week's question (especially since I skipped last week.....just plain lazy, that's all I can say).

If you could travel back in time, what era would you want to visit?  Would you want to be just an observer (like at the zoo) or would you want to be a participant?

Inquiring minds want to know your answer, so please leave a comment.

Anna Kathryn Lanier
www.aklanier.com http://annakathrynlanier.blogspot.com/ 
Never let your memories be greater than your dreams. ~Doug Ivester 

February 15, 2013

Arbitrary Friday - Dog Breeds that Attract the Opposite Sex

Okay, it’s after midnight, I should be in a bed, but I just now came across something to blog about today.  I’m sure if I’d put my mind to it earlier, I could have found something else to blog about (I did think about blogging on disabled cruise ships)but I didn’t. It’s been a busy day.  (Belated Happy Valentine’s Day, btw).

Anyway, I just now saw this link on the AOL home page: Dogs That Attract The Opposite Sex. Well, I had to look at that page; not that I want a dog (as I have one already) nor a husband (as I have one already). But as a romance writer, I thought it would an interesting read. 

Men like women with poodles and Chihuahuas because they think the breeds suggest women are easy to bed and dumb (think of the people you see in the news who carry around Chihuahuas in their purses) but the women are NOT girlfriend material. Now, if you want to be seen as girlfriend material, get a Golden or Labrador retriever.

What breeds of dogs do women like to see him walking? Siberian Huskies, with their attractive, vivid blue eyes, ladies tend to think the owners are more manly. Women also like men with Labrador retrievers.  This breed of trustworthy and committed dog suggests that the male owner is less likely to cheat. And, like men, women are attracted to Golden retrievers as well. Women think the dog’s fun-loving, happy attitude reflects a more positive and active owner.

Check out the post HERE for more breeds to attract the opposite sex, as well as which ones to avoid!

PS, I'm blogging at Sweethearts of the West Blog today and talking about Mail Order Brides.  Leave a comment over at Sweethearts for a chance to win a copy of my own Mail Order Bride story SALVATION BRIDE.

Never let your memories be greater than your dreams. ~Doug Ivester 

February 12, 2013

Inquiring Minds want to Know

Here is today's question....please answer in the comment section.

What movie do you recommend everyone watch? Why?

February 8, 2013

Arbitrary Friday - My Weight Loss Journey

By Anna Kathryn

Here’s a new feature to my blog…..Arbitrary Friday. It’ll be whatever whimsical thing I want to talk about that day, from history to writing to what’s going on in my life.  Today, I’m going to talk about my weight loss journey.

Spring 2011

About 20 months ago (May 2011), I started watching what I was eating.  I joined a site called My Fitness Pal (www.myfitnesspal.com).  They also have an app for your smart phone.  My Fitness Pal helps you with your calorie intake each day, in that you record what you eat each meal and snack and it lets you know how many calories you have left for the day. I should be on a 1,200 calorie in-take, but man, that’s hard to do!  But this app and website helped me start on my weight loss journey. 

A few weeks after joining My Fitness Pal, I also decided to join a Zumba class given at my local community center.  The class meets twice a week and is a real cardio workout.  In the course of year, I lost 10-15 pounds. 

In July, 2012, I joined an on-line diet with my daughter, now called the Stefan Pinto C Diet (https://www.facebook.com/StefanPintoCDiet?fref=ts).  This is a three month plan in which the participants take pictures of everything they eat and send it to Stefan, who then posts the pics on his facebook page.  Wow, that really helps you watch what you eat, because you get yelled at by a lot of people you post a hamburger, fries and shake.  Stefan also passes along some great eating right tips. I lost another 15 pounds on the C Diet.

I hit a plateau with 10 more pounds to lose.  Then came the 2012 holidays!  I gained about 5-7 pounds, dang it!  Now, it’s the new year and instead of 10 pounds to lose, I have 15. But I am determined to keep plugging until I get down to my goal.  In the meantime, I have lost at least 25 pounds overall and am feeling better about myself.
August 2012

I still do Zumba and in August 2012 I did my first 5K walk.  Since then, I’ve done 3 more and am signed up for two additional ones.  I don’t run, I don’t ever plan to run. I walk and out of the 4 I’ve done, I’ve come in last place two times.  But, it doesn’t matter when I cross the finish line, just that I do finish. Because I am doing 5K’s, I’m also walking around my neighborhood, between 1-3 miles at a time.  Oh, I am also participating in Fab Abs February…a torture event to tighten up your abs.  You start off doing 10 sit ups, 4 pushups and 10 seconds of plank.  At the end of the month, you should be doing 100 sit ups, 25 pushups and 2 minutes of plank.  But hey, I’ll also have 6-pack abs, right?  LOL.

An aside note: If you walk, run or bike please look into the smart phone app Charity Miles.  This organization helps raise money for different charities, like Autism Speaks, Feeding America, Stand Up to Cancer, and several more. You can choose a different charity each time you walk, run or bike.  So, raise money for your cause while doing what you're doing already! (You have to take your phone with you.)

Are you still with me?

One of the tips Stefan passed on is the wisdom of eating a green apple before going to bed each night.  Why? Because they help with metabolism and eating one before bed helps you burn off fat as you sleep.  Then just the other day, my Zumba instructor, Ana, was telling us about the benefits of cinnamon.  So I came home and looked up information on cinnamon. It does have a lot of health benefits. Below are some links to find out more about apples and cinnamon and their benefits to your health.

December 2012

What about you?  Have you vowed to get healthier?  What is your favorite health/diet/exercise tip?

Cinnamon – Heath Benefits

Apples  –

February 6, 2013

Wednesday's Chow - Chicken-Tortellini Soup

After taking January off, I'm back with the weekly recipe.  Here's a nice cold-weather soup. Enjoy!

Chicken-Tortellini Soup


2 tsp olive oil
12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
2 14-ounces  cans chicken broth
1 ¾ cups water
1 9-ounce package refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
2 carrots cut into thin, bite-size strips
2 cups torn fresh baby spinach
1 tablespoon snipped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon


On medium-high, heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven.  Add chicken pieces and garlic.  Cook, stirring often for about 4 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink.  Remove chicken with a slotted spoon.  Add mushrooms to juices in Dutch oven and cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil.

Add tortellini, carrot strips and chicken.  Return to boil. Cover and simmer for 7 to 9 minutes or until tortellini are tender. Stir occasionally.  Add spinach and tarragon. 

Makes 6 (1 1/3 cup servings)

February 4, 2013

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Happy Tuesday!  Well, I took the month of January off from blogging here.  I figure it's time I get back into the roll of things, but I want to add something new to the blog.  So I'm going to start a new Tuesday activity, called "Inquiring Minds Want to Know", at least for now.  Basically, I'll ask a question each Tuesday and anyone can answer, reader or author alike, though some questions may be geared just toward authors.  Today's question isn't, so feel free to answer in the comment section.  Also, if you're author, be sure to add a link to your website, blog or facebook page.

What one person, living or dead, would you like to spend an afternoon conversing with? What would you ask them?

Lydia Marie Child

Sophia Brahe

Alexander Hamilton

Never let your memories be greater than your dreams. ~Doug Ivester