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fish, tacos, grilled, summer, citrus, lime, cilantro, hake, mahi mahi, bobby, flay, food, network, easy, guacamole, cheese, salsaYAY! It was finally warm enough to roll out the grill this weekend! And sure, it's cold and rainy now, but it was amazing just to sit on my front stoop while I waited for my fish to cook. Fun to plan an entire meal around the fish, to make several side dishes that will (eventually) get posted.

fish, tacos, grilled, summer, citrus, lime, cilantro, hake, mahi mahi, bobby, flay, food, network, easy, guacamole, cheese, salsa

And if you're wondering where I've been these past few weeks, well, work has been hectic. We've started (yet another!) clinical study that I am more or less in charge of, and this time, we have four part-time employees. Trying to organize everyone is a logistical nightmare.

And then I get home, exhausted, and plop down in front of my absurdly large television that I am babysitting for Kevin while he is out of town, and play video games on Kevin's Playstation, That's right, I get to play video games again BECAUSE I FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT OF MY BOOK!!!

I hauled ass for two and a half months to get it done, writing at least 2,000 words a day, and now I get to reward myself with some much-deserved couch potatoing.

But we were talking about fish tacos: ...continue reading

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So the reason I've been MIA the past  few weeks is because, not only have I been frantically tryin g to finishing my book by April 15th (when Kevin leaves for a few weeks, bequeething his mammoth tv, his playstation, Xbox and stack of video games I've been drooling over for months...

I had to ready my entry for the 2014 Edible Books Competition. After last years tie for first place, I knew I had to step up my game if I wanted to take home that goofy chef's hat all by myself. So, like a good little warrior, I studied my enemies and how people reacted to the cakes. I discovered three things:

  1. They like cute animalsedible, books, competition, winner, fondant, cake, corduroy, button, bear, bed, animals
  2. The are impressed by size, craftmanship, and attention to detailedible, books, competition, winner, fondant, cake, corduroy, button, bear, bed, animals, 2014, Rochester, Library
  3. and they liked cakes that told a storyedible, books, competition, winner, fondant, cake, corduroy, button, bear, bed, animals, 2014, Rochester, Library

So with that in mind, I created a giant Corduroy cake that showed his journey to find a button and ultimately, a home.

edible, books, competition, winner, fondant, cake, corduroy, button, bear, bed, animals, 2014, Rochester, LibraryAnd I won :D

And even better than that, the library asked me if they could display my cake in the children's section! So I got to leave it there, instead of lugging it home!!!

Here's the newspaper article about the event, which includes a video of me talking all awkwardly because I'm awesomely awkward like that. 

edible, books, competition, winner, fondant, cake, corduroy, button, bear, bed, animals, 2014, Rochester, Library

 

Here he is, sitting next to his stuffed counterpart. I'm so thrilled that I won, and thankful for Beth and Kevin's help and support (literally, they supported the cake while it dried). Now that it's finished, I can vacuum up the sugar, pick the fondant out of my slippers, and get back to my book. Sigh.

Just 10,000 or so more words, Sarah, and you can play all the video games you want. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...

 

 

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oatmeal, cookies, white, chocolate, chip, strawberries, strawberry, vegan, diet, healthy, low cal, sugar, dried, cranberries, cooking, light, delicious, easy, drop, fruitKevin and I tend to eat poorly when we're together. We like to cook, and we like to bake...and we really like to eat. This means we'll get the urge for a cookie or two after dinner, make an entire batch, and then finish the cookies before breakfast the next day.

I know, it's not a great idea. But we have no impulse control. And since we're both trying to lose weight and go to the gym and be healthy adults, when my sweet tooth kicked in last weekend I decided to make a healthier cookie.

You will need:

oatmeal, cookies, white, chocolate, chip, strawberries, strawberry, vegan, diet, healthy, low cal, sugar, dried, cranberries, cooking, light, delicious, easy, drop, fruit ...continue reading

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“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Millennial Central for Mrs. T’s Pierogies. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

So hey, remember how excited I was to be a pierogy ambassador for Mrs. T's?  And how, basically, it's the coolest thing ever because I get a few boxes of pierogies (which I always buy, anyway), and I get to gush about how much I love them? And how if they didn't come in handy frozen boxes I would probably starve 1-2 nights a week because I'm too lazy to feed myself?

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Of course you do. DSC_0237Well, last time I didn't offer you any surprising recipes along with my love letter to pierogies, so this time, I'm kicking it up a notch. I present to you:

Buffalo style pierogies.
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...continue reading

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*I know, I know. I'm going to post a recipe soon! Later today, in fact. But I have tons of awesome, exciting news about my writing to share with all of my (all ten of you. Hi mom!) fans out there.

#1: 51GCRFaphSL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_My second book, Baking Bree, has reached a huge milestone I never really thought I would see: It has 101 reviews on Amazon! I was going to do a big post when it reached 100, but before I could, another one popped up. Not that I'm complaining, of course.

And though not all of the reviews are sparkling (haters gunna hate, and what not), Baking Bree is still doing great with an average 4.4 stars out of 5. I won't make you read all 101 of the reviews, but I will bullet point many of the comments that have popped up several times:

  • It's funny!

"At first, just a giggle escaped my lips as I settled in and started on this book. Then it was a quick snort. By the time I had finished reading Baking Bree, I had progressed to having tears in my eyes (the reptile dysfunction section) to banging my fist on my leg from laughing so hard (when Bree was at Simon's and he had blindfolded her)."

  • It's a fast, easy read (aka "couldn't put it down")

"This is truly one of the best books I've read in awhile. I easily found myself engrossed in it and had a hard time putting it down. I found myself saying , "5 more minutes" and looking at the clock thirty minutes later knowing that I needed to put it down and go to sleep."

  • People are excited about the sequel

"I really enjoyed this book! Can't wait for book 2 to come out!!!"

And then, just so you know I'm not conceited beyond belief, I wanted to share my absolute favorite review. Of. All. Time.

"This is a classic example of getting what you pay for. I was looking for a somewhat mindless summer read for on the beach. Mindless this was, but not in a good way. It was like eating that donut that's been sitting in the break room for a day or two. You can't stop, but you really wish you hadn't done it."

Every time I read that review I laugh. If you're going to write a negative review, folks, please make it as awesome as this one.

#2:  

All of these positive reviews have really gotten my butt in gear to finish Starting from Scratch, and as of last night, I'm 92 K words into it. So, if I keep this pace, the first draft should be done in another few weeks. Then its onto editing, cover design, more editing, and another round of editing before I can publish it. But it's coming! I promise!

#3:

Many reviews comment on the touching relationship between Bree and her nephew, Ethan, many of them asking for more of this in the next book. I promise there will be, and I also have some awesome news! In the end of BB, Bree's confidence comes with the success of her children's book, a story about TR, Ethan's beloved stuffed dinosaur. The book she writes mirrors her own story, as well as provides an inspiring message to her nephew and other kids to be yourself.

Well, I'm actually writing TR's story, and I'm so excited to make it a real thing! I'm working with one of my friends, Merrick, who is an awesome artist, and we're still in the concept phase, but I love collaborating and bringing TR to life!!!

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So, yeah! TONS of stuff going on, in addition to work, going to the gym, writing for the SWQ, trying to cook, and attempting (and failing, mostly) to not think about video games and comic books all day, I'm super busy and excited.

What are you most excited for? Starting from Scratch, or TR's story book?

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This is a random post that has nothing to do with anything, but since I'm in buffalo and left my camera in Rochester, I can't photograph anything or even upload photos I took last weekend. So voila. I'm going to rate new cider flavors I found at wegmans.

photo (6)#1: Smith and Forge Hard Cider

I've never heard of this, but it came in a 12 pack so I thought I would try it.

Verdict: Tastes fruity, with a hint of dry white wine aftertaste thing going on. Overall, not bad, definitely drinkable. Will have to add a splash of Fireball whisky and tell you how that goes, whether it adds or detracts to the flavor.

#2: Angry Orchard (My favorite) Green Apple

This is a new flavor! I love the crisp apple, so why the hell no try this one?

Verdict: Not bad! A little too fruity for me, which is surprising, I know. Tastes great with:photo (7)Super awesome fun bonus: This is where I write my books. Where I am currently procrastinating writing the first sex scene by making a useless blog post about the alcohol in my fridge.

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I have been so stinking good about writing recently! It's incredible how fast you can create a book when you dedicate yourself entirely to it. Everything else comes second. You have to immerse yourself in the world, spend hours a day with these characters so that even when you're done for the day, and you're laying awake in bed, you are planning the next scene.

I had a very successful sale for Baking Bree in February. Over 15,000 free copies were downloaded from Amazon, and I got a dozen or so new reviews. Most of them are great, though there are a few who don't appreciate my "Vulgar" sense of humor. It wasn't like I didn't warn them my characters would be swearing...the very first word of the book is "shit!"

But many of the reviews and comments on my blog and facebook group were from people asking about the sequel, which I had been struggling with. So I said, screw it. My life now consists of three things:

  1. Work
  2. Going to the gym
  3. Writing. That is, a minimum of 2,000 words a day. To non writers, that number seems foreign, so let me break it down. My first two novels averaged 130,000 words, so it stands to reason that if I write 2,000 words a day I can finish the book in roughly two months. The fast pace leaves me with a very rough first draft, but the idea of editing makes me so happy that it pushes me to get words onto the screen, even if they're stupid words and I end up changing them all.

So, the good news: I have reached the halfway point!

Bad news: I still have to finish it, and then edit the hell out of it before it's published. But I am so eager to be done with this so I can satisfy my readers' curiosity, as well as dedicate my time to something I truly miss:

Video games.

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I MISSED ELIJAH WOOD DOING ANOTHER AMA ON REDDIT. For most people who don't live on the internet like the rest of my generation, it means that I can never tell him about my undying love for him.

I can never share with him all the beautiful fan fiction that I wrote under the pen name Rebel Hobbit, the fact that I carved his initials into wet cement when I was 14 and forgot about it for 10 years until I went on a run in my neighborhood,

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that I made a giant cake of Bag End,

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That it's a running joke in my family about inviting Elijah Wood to Passover because one year I taped his picture all over Elijah the prophet's wine cup,

and a million more, horribly embarrassing things I did as a crazed fangirl that would probably creep him out to know.

So yeah, I Just wanted to vent. Even though I'm no longer filled with angsty longing for his beautiful blue eyes...ok fine. Maybe I still am. Old habits die hard.

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Irish, car bomb, cupcakes, cake, whisky, ganache, chocolate, beer, stout, guinness, baileys, cream, frosting, filled, st patties, saint Patrick's day, paddies, greenI know these aren't original by any means. But damnit, they are delicious. And I used them along with my beer cheese soup recipe for the spring edition of the South Wedge Quarterly. My editor initially didn't want to call them Car Bomb cupcakes, but as it turned out, another contributing writer was doing a piece on how these controversial drinks got their names, and why you might get dirty looks if you order one in a bar.

Apparently, it's not because they're offended by the name. They just hate making them.

Irish, car bomb, cupcakes, cake, whisky, ganache, chocolate, beer, stout, guinness, baileys, cream, frosting, filled, st patties, saint Patrick's day, paddies, greenThese boozy cupcakes are fun to make, though they do take a little more effort.  And because effort is not something I like to exert (I've been going to the gym lately, isn't that enough?) here's my article for the SWQ, word for word. You're welcome. ...continue reading

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I'm attempting to mature as an adult, while also getting in better shape. It's hard to tell whether I'm succeeding or not in my efforts, so I decided to create a point system for everything I've done in the past three days.
+10: I joined a gym
+10: I've gone two days in a row
-3: I don't know what I'm doing and I'm too chicken to ask anyone
-5: I've already lost the lock I bought two days ago
-10: there were naked old ladies blocking my locker, so I hid in the bathroom stall until they left

Total score: +2. But it's a pretty damn good start, considering I've never ever ever belonged to a gym before in my life. Baby steps. Maybe tomorrow will be the day I participate in a Zumba or yoga class? As long as I can hide in the back and avoid eye contact with everyone I should be fine, right?

Right.