horseheader1.jpeHAPPY HALLOWEEN!

For all of you die-hard nutritionalists — or just for all those who want to eat cleanly, here’s my recipe for Halloween Brownie Protein Bars.


1 3/4 cups Egg White protein powder — I use Jay Robb

1-4 cup Rice Protein Powder — organic if possible

2 Tblsp. edible vegetable glycerin — or maple syrup if you can’t find the vegetable glycerin at your health food store

7-8 teasp. pure stevia — get at a health food store

3 tblsp. cocoa powder — organic if possible

4 tblsp. butter

5 – 6 tblsp. coconut oil — get at a health food store, please — the kind you find in most grocery stores is not a good source

If too gooey, add more protein powder.  Pat flat and cut into pumpkin shapes, adding pecans as decoration.

Okay, it’s not like this is as good as a cookie, but it’s healthy — gives you the protein the body so needs and tastes better than any other protein bar out there on the market.  HAVE FUN!



NanoRama! Let’s Be Buddies!

nano_participant_icon_large.gifWell, tomorrow is the first of November and some of us have been waiting for the big day.  I know there are probably quite a few of us doing NaNoWriMo (National Write a Book in a Month), and if you are, please buddy me so we can root for each other’s progress!

I’m CherylStJohn

What are you working on?

I’m going to work on two different contracted books.  First I’ll work on one that isn’t due for a while, but I want to be writing until I get a revision letter for the one that’s due sooner, then I’ll switch and work on that one.  Make perfect sense?  I know, I confuse myself sometimes.

Do you use your Alphasmart or a laptop for Nano?  Gives my backside a break from The Chair.

 Go Nano-ers!

Witch Finger Cookies


I have two boys, so the creepier the Halloween treat, the better.  Since we live in the country, trick-or-treating isn’t an option, though they still manage to load up on sweets.  We grow our own pumpkins and have a blast carving them—here’s two from last year, Harry Potter & the Puking Pumkin  🙂

Last year these cookies were a big hit at the Junior High.  They gobbled up these delicious witch fingers and goblin fingers (no green coloring for goblins, added a few creepy cuts and scars).


Witch Fingers

Yield: 5 dozen

1 cup –  Butter, softenedWitch
1 cup – Powdered sugar
1 – Egg
1 tsp – Almond extract
1 tsp – Vanilla
2 2/3 – cups Flour
1 tsp – Baking powder
1 tsp – Salt
3/4 cup – Almonds, whole blanched **I used roasted almonds

Few drops – Green food coloring

1 Tube red decorator gel  **I used a tube of decorator’s milk chocolate instead of gel—the tube is warmed in the microwave to melt the chocolate—when the chocolate cools it really holds on those fingernails—being a chocoholic, I also painted the fingers with chocolate    *A friend of mine used sliced almonds for fingernails, those also turned out nice. 


In bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg, almond extract, vanilla and food coloring. Beat in flour, baking soda, and salt. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Working with one quarter of the dough at a time and keeping remainder refrigerated, roll a heaping teaspoonful of dough into finger shape for each cookie. Press almond firmly into narrow end for nail. Press center together to create the knuckle shape–you puff it out rather than squeeze it in. Using paring knife, make slashes in several places to form knuckle.Place on lightly greased baking sheets; bake in 325F (160C) oven for 20-25 minutes. Let cool for 3 minutes. Lift up almond, squeeze red gel (or chocolate) onto nail bed and press almond back in place. Remove from baking sheets and let cool on racks. Repeat with remaining dough. 

Baker’s tip:The cookies will puff up while baking—shape them THIN.

Wishing everyone a Safe & Fun Halloween! 

Tips For Using Excess Candy

I have to restrain myself from laughing here because I NEVER have any excess candy! But if you do, here are some things you can do with  it.

Peanut Butter Cups — Melt and pour over cake or ice cream as a sauce or press into the center and make thumbprint cookies.

Candy Corn — Fold candy corn into pancakes or roll them into popcorn balls and puffed rice treats. Or when icing a cake, use them as a bottom border in place of piped icing. They also work well on top of iced cupcakes.

Snickers, Baby Ruth, M&M’s — Use a food processor to quickly chop bars into bits, then fold them into cookie dough in place of chocolate chips. Or use them to top brownies and other baked bars. Or some cooks use this candy to decorate cookie pizzas, or fold them into softened ice cream to make your own blizzards.

Peppermint Patties — Put them in brownie batter by layering them on the bottom half of the batter, then spread the other half of the batter on top and bake. Yummy!

Lollipops and other hard candy — Make stained glass cookies by cutting out the middle of sugar cookies and putting crushed hard candy in the hole, then bake.

Gingerbread Houses — You can use all kinds of candy to decorate gingerbread houses next month. Necco wafers make good roof tiles. M&M’s or Skittles make excellent door knobs. Licorice string can border windows. Gumdrops make pretty flowers. Hard candy makes windows. Snickers, Baby Ruth and bars like that can be broken up to use in lots of ways. Your imagination can run wild.

Jack-o-Lantern Jumble–yum!

We LOVE this snack at our house.  I must’ve made oh, a gazillion batches over the years. 

Jack-o-Lantern Jumble

4 cups Corn Chex
4 cups Rice Chex
1 cup salted peanuts

Combine above in a large bowl and set aside.

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire jackolantern-jumble.jpgsauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 cup candy corn

In small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, peanut butter, Worcestershire sauce, salt and garlic powder.  Cook and stir until butter and peanut butter are melted.  Pour over cereal mixture and toss to coat.

Spread into greased 15 x 10 pan.  Bake 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Cool.  Stir in candy corn.  Store in air-tight container.

Makes 2 quarts.

Amazing Five Minute Fudge

fudge.jpg1  12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
2/3  cup sweetened condensed milk (half of a 14-oz can)
1  tablespoon water
3/4  cup chopped walnuts, toasted if desired
1  teaspoon vanilla

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper; set aside. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and water.

Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 1 minute more, or until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, stirring every 30 seconds.

Stir in nuts and vanilla.

Pour mixture onto prepared cookie sheet and spread into a 9×6-inch rectangle, or drop mixture by rounded teaspoons onto prepared cookie sheet.

Chill about 30 minutes or until firm.

Cut fudge into 1-1/2-inch squares. Makes 24 yummy pieces

I’ll Take My Cowboy With a Mustache, Please

5clark.jpg5bt-church.jpgYes, those men and their marvelous mustaches.  And I’m talking *real* mustaches, not thin scraggly excuses or unshaven stubble or five o’clock shadows.  No, let’s take a look at some mustaches that have taken time and testosterone to cultivate.   

5clint-eastwood.jpgSo what is it about a cowboy with a mustache that sets him apart from all the rest?  Mustaches are often culturally associated with wisdom and virility, and it’s not difficult to understand why.  There’s something about a mustache that sings of maturity…masculinity.   A subject that comes up often among writers is the youthful appearance of so many celebrities, cover models and singers.  While there’s no disagreeing that Matthew McConaughey and Ben Affleck  are fine-looking fellows, there’s something about maturity that speaks to us as women. 

5connagher.jpgNow I know there are those of you who will disagree, in fact a recent survey discovered that an alarming number of women would refuse to kiss a man with a mustache.  So, is facial hair a matter of taste? 

A big argument against mustaches has been that they’re out of style because so many men wore them in the seventies.  The seventies?  Men have been shaving — or not shaving — selectively since the stone age!  Shaving with stone razors was technologically possible from Neolithic times.  The oldest portrait showing a shaved man with a mustache is a Scythian horseman from 300 BC. 

5redford.jpgHistorically, military men have often worn moustaches; in fact the number of nations, regiments and ranks were equaled only by the number of styles and variations. Generally, the younger men and lower ranks wore the smaller and less elaborate moustaches. As a man advanced in rank, his moustache would become thicker and bushier, until he was permitted to wear a full beard. 

I’ll bet you didn’t know there’s an American Mustache Association.  Neither did I, but they’re gung ho on protecting their rights to bear whiskers.   

5outsidertim.jpgAt The World Beard & Moustache Championships 2007 there were 6 subcategories in the moustache category: Natural Moustache – may be styled but without aids.

Hungarian Moustache – Big and bushy, beginning from the middle of the upper lip and pulled to the side.

Dalí – narrow, long points bent or curved steeply upward; areas past the corner of the mouth must be shaved.

English – narrow, beginning at the middle of the upper lip the whiskers are very long and pulled to the side, slightly curled; the ends are pointed slightly upward; areas past the corner of the mouth usually shaved. .Imperial – whiskers growing from both the upper lip and cheeks, curled upward

Freestyle – All moustaches that do not match other classes. 

5gettys.jpgOther types of moustache include:

Fu Manchu – long, downward pointing ends, generally beyond the chin

Pancho Villa – similar to the Fu Manchu but thickerHandlebar – bushy, with small upward pointing ends.

5paradise.jpgHorseshoe – Often confused with the Fu Manchu style, the horseshoe was possibly popularized by modern cowboys and consists of a full moustache with vertical extensions from the corners of the lips down to the jaw line and resembling an upside-down horseshoe.

Moustachio – bushy moustache, with hair sometimes growing down the sides of the mouth.

Taylor moustache – a thin row of fine dark hairs along the upper lip.

Pencil moustache – narrow, straight and thin like a pencil, closely clipped, outlining the upper lip, with a wide shaven gap between the nose and moustache. Also known as a Mouthbrow.

Walrus – bushy, hanging down over the lips, often entirely covering the mouth. Popular during the American Civil War.

The GG – bushy hair grown only over the corners of the mouth, shaved in the middle. 

5duval.jpgGrooming is essential.  Sideburns are optional.  But I prefer a man with a mustache any old time. 

So, what’s your preference?  Clean-shaven or sporting a cookie duster?  Who is your favorite mustachioed hero?  And my final question — have you seen any mustaches on book covers?

Stop back for my follow-up gift for you! :::wink:::wink:::