owl in winter

owl in winter

Monday, March 17, 2014

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Cream Sauce

I wanted to post this yesterday (Sunday), but my computer didn't want to upload a photo. As you will see, the photo of my creation is at the bottom of the page. So, here we go, because, It's all about the food.

It's been sleety and cold in the Ozarks today, a good day to stay indoors. Earlier, I spied a box of frozen butternut squash ravioli sitting in my freezer, and I wondered why I hadn't drug it out by now and done something with it. So, here we go. The sauce recipe is virtually the same as on the box but I changed it up just a little bit.

Sage Cream Sauce:

3 TBSP unsalted butter
1/4 cup chopped red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teas. dried sage
1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 1/3 cup heavy cream
Salt and black pepper to taste
A spritz of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Frozen peas

And of course, the ravioli, cooked. It takes about 6 or 7 minutes on a gentle boil to cook them through but I didn't start until I had the sauce finished.

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Saute the red onion til soft, about 4 minutes, add garlic and sauté another minute. Toss in the sage and sauté for about 30 seconds. Combine the chicken stock and heavy cream, stir in, increasing heat to high. Drop parmesan cheese in. Let sauce boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, 7 or 8 minutes, til mixture thickens and reduces by about half. Salt and pepper, toss red pepper flakes in. Add frozen peas and let them cook for 3 or 4 minutes, keeping them firm but not frozen.

Ladle ravioli on plate, pour sauce over and serve.


Monday, March 10, 2014

The All You Can Dream Buffet, and other news.

Good morning, folks. Long time, no see. I'm having a terrific amount of trouble posting from my home computer and have had for about a month. So, today I'm working from a different computer.

"The All You Can Dream Buffet" by Barbara O'Neal, aka Barbara Samuel, arrived on my doorstep on Friday. I have to tell you I've been waiting with bated breath for this newest Barbara novel to come out, for like, a year. It's finally here now, and although I want to romp through it, devouring it in wild, airless gulps, I'm forcing myself to eat slowly, to savor every chapter, to weigh each one when I've finished, and tonight I'm on Chapter 18 and I can hardly wait to get to the next chapter.

To write like Barbara does, with such easy luminousity, such color and voice, that is what I hope to be able to do in my own work. I've taken some flak for writing what is called women's fiction - from people who don't understand what women's fiction is in the first place. And that's sad.

What is women's fiction? Well, it's not genre romance, let's get that out of the way first. Women's fiction can be described as stories about women, now they interact with one another, how they overcome hurdles the great game of life throws their way, how they love (and lose), their strengths, their weaknesses, how their hearts are broken in a million pieces by a husband, a lover, a child. How they overcome the cards they're dealt. It doesn't have to be War and Peace, folks. It just has to be real.

In my own writing life, I have to say, I've been so, so busy this first quarter of 2014. I've been editing and reviewing work for other writers, yes. And I've been receiving royalty checks for the book I co-wrote with Rick East (nice, so validating, so exciting when that check comes in the mail), and I've been working on the manuscript I've been working on for so long, my own women's fiction novel.

Speaking of which, my publisher friend, Sharon Kizziah-Holmes, sent my manuscript to one of her readers for review. I waited, and waited, and waited to hear whether it sucked or what. Didn't hear anything for so long, and I finally decided, it must be so terrible she can't bring herself to say it's terrible. Sitting on pins and needles is not fun, and I sat on those things for over two months. Talked to Sharon in the meantime, she'd heard nothing, and then, finally, her reader came through, just about the time I'd decided I'd better never quit my day job.

Sharon's reader liked it. Thought some parts were a bit slow but once she got engaged, she liked it.

She liked it!!!! She had good things to say, constructive things to say, and I'm digging it. It gives me reason to work harder because, quite frankly, readers are where it's at for all of us. Readers are integral to a writer's progress.

All in all, I'm happy and pleased with this review and I'm working on the comments, to make the book better, stronger, more credible. And I can do this. I got it.

How do you feel about your newest venture? Does it have wings? Can you make it fly? I so hope and pray I can make my book fly - what about you?