Charlaine Harris


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  • crossfox

    New Ilona Andrews BLOOD HEIR is out! Spinoff from the Kate Daniels series featuring Julie, Derek, and Ascanio. I just started it, and it’s just what the doctor ordered.

    in reply to: Off-Topic Question of the Day #2252

    Charlaine’s, of course, and Naomi Novik’s was another favorite.The new books by Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews (EMERALD BLAZE), and Ben Aaronovitch (FALSE VALUE). I worked my way through Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s Liaden Universe space opera series. Dana Stabenow’s most recent Kate Shugak.

    in reply to: New Book Releases 2021 #2249

    Thanks to both of you! Some good books coming up to while away cold days!

    in reply to: Happy Holidays! #2223

    So glad to see you made it here, BigMama! Love to you and your family. Have a great New Year!

    in reply to: Private mode? #2185

    Thank you Dawn!

    in reply to: Recipes #2180

    Last one, because it’s about time for barn chores. Posting this because ihearteric made it for a class, and she said it was a hit. She used ground turkey, and said she wouldn’t prebake again because they had to throw away the first pumpkin. OTOH she didn’t know whether the second one cooked through, because everyone gobbled up the filling and no one ate any of the pumpkin. So there’s that:

    This looks like a fun Halloween recipe, from the Staff Favorites column in the Food section, from Washington Post Book World contributing editor Evelyn Small.


    Much of this meal can be made a day in advance: Complete the first baking of the pumpkin and the beef-and-rice mixture, then cover and refrigerate. The baked pumpkin can accompany the beef and rice as a side dish.

    1 sm-med pumpkin, reg. soccer ball size
    1-2 TBP olive or canola oil
    1 med onion, finely chopped, about 1 C.
    1 C. finely chopped button mushrooms, stems OK
    1.5-2 lb lean ground beef
    freshly ground black pepper
    2 TBP low sodium soy sauce
    2 TBP brown sugar
    1 10 3/4 oz. can lowfat cream of mushroom soup
    (sub. cream of chicken OK)
    1 8 oz. can water chestnut slices, drained and sliced
    1 1/2 C. cooked wild rice

    Preheat oven to 350F. Have ready a sturdy rimmed baking sheet.

    Cut off the top of the pumpkin as if carving a jack o’lantern, set aside for a lid. Discard pulp and seeds, leaving a clean hollow space. Place on baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes. Set aside.

    Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over med. heat until it shimmers. Add onion and cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Add meat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook several minutes, stirring to break up clumps of beef, until no pink remains. Add soy sauce, brown sugar and soup, stirring to combine. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add water chestnuts and cooked rice.

    Transfer mixture to pumpkin; cover top with aluminum foil and bake about 30 minutes or until mixture inside has heated through and pumpkin flesh is tender when pierced with a fork. Transfer to a serving platter; decorate with a jack o’lantern face and serve warm.

    Note from me: there is a sinfully good Afghan dish made from stewed or baked sweetened pumpkin with a yoghurt-ground beef sauce. In restaurants it’s called kadu, which I suspect just means pumpkin.

    in reply to: Recipes #2178

    This is a variation on the Hot Fruit Salad above. Apparently you can only edit posts while you’re still on the page. This one was posted by arotre:

    I am sure this is the Curried Hot Fruit that Charlaine was referring to in her GS series as it is served at every special occasion in the Mississippi Delta, probably because it is so simple and it tastes so good:


    1 can each: pears, apricots, peaches, pineapple chunks
    1 can seedless Bing cherries
    1 cup brown sugar
    2 t. curry powder (or to taste – some people use 1)
    3/4 stick butter
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/2 cup dry sherry

    All cans of fruit are approx. 14-16 ozs. Drain fruit well and cut in large pieces. Grease a 3 quart baking dish with butter. Melt and cook together for several minutes the sugar, curry powder, butter and ginger. Put layer of fruit in greased dish and pour half the sauce over. Repeat with remaining fruit and sauce. Pour sherry over all. Cook in 325 oven for 1 hour. Serve hot. You can serve as a hot side dish, in place of a salad or as dessert with a dollop of sour cream or ice cream. And if you don’t have sherry bourbon will work, or brandy.

    My daughter doesn’t think its Thanksgiving or Xmas without this and spiced apple rings.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by crossfox.
    in reply to: Recipes #2177

    And this is our traditional Christmas gift to my siblings and their families. We get real presents for the small fry, but the adults mainly stick to homemade goodies like my SIL’s granola, maple syrup from my brother, and this fudge:

    This is our standard Christmas fudge. We call it Idiot Fudge because it has two main ingredients, plus whatever options you decide to add. The recipe was adapted from one which had a lot of extraneous ingredients like sugar (both the main ingredients already have that) and vanilla (hello? it’s FUDGE!). This is chocolatey enough for the most serious addict.


    18 oz. (1 1/2 bags) chocolate chips (We use a mix of Ghirardelli Double Chocolate [edit – now marketed as 60% Cocoa Bittersweet] and Semisweet; double chocolate [bittersweet] by itself will screw up the texture.)

    1 can sweetened condensed milk (e.g. Eagle brand or Carnation)

    optional powdered candy canes – pound on a cutting board with a hammer while still in the wrapper, then pour out of wrapper

    [edit – this year I added 1 tsp peppermint extract to the milk as it simmered for the mint batch and it worked well]

    Heat sweetened condensed milk in a heavy saucepan over low heat until just barely simmering, stirring occasionally to heat evenly. When hot, add the chocolate chips, shake pan to distribute evenly, and watch until they all turn shiny.

    Stir immediately to mix evenly until the fudge appears silky – don’t stir longer than necessary, or the texture will turn grainy. Turn out immediately onto waxed paper in a 13x9pan, spread immediately with knife or large spoon, and allow to cool to room temp before cutting.

    The powdered candy canes can be added before the chocolate chips and shaken to mix with the milk, or sprinkled over the top of the hot fudge once it’s spread.

    This fudge is very fast to make, but you have to be on top of the timing if texture is important to you. It tastes just as good if it gets grainy, but the mouth feel is not as sublime.

    in reply to: Recipes #2176

    Another winter comfort food recipe from BigMama:

    It is in this thread! Back around #322 in Oct. 2006. I remembered it having cabbage in it, but it doesn’t. You could add it as a layer before you put the final tomatoe layer on. Here it is again:


    Put the following as layers in a dutch oven or large pot which can go in oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    4 medium potatoes, sliced
    1 cup sliced carrots (I use more cause I LOVE carrots)
    1 large onion, sliced
    1 pound uncooked ground sausage–I buy Jimmy Dean mild patties cause I don’t like to handle meat-if you get it in the tube, make it into a large flat patty that covers the veggies underneath–if you do like me and use patties, single layer them over the veggies
    2 cups cooked rice
    1 can field or blackeye peas
    1 pound sausage (done as above)
    1 large can diced tomatoes (pour over top)
    Bake for two hours.

    in reply to: Recipes #2175

    And this pork roast from robwri, because another board had a discussion of pork roast yesterday, and it’s a popular subject:


    This stuff is pretty good. I got it from my dad who copied it out of a magazine.

    4 pounds of pork roast
    2 tablespoons of sea or kosher salt
    2 tablespoons of liquid smoke
    1 tablespoon of grated ginger
    2 gloves of crushed garlic
    2 tablespoons of soy sauce

    Preheat oven to 350
    Rub ingredients over roast
    Wrap securely in aluminum foil
    Cook for ~ 3 hours or until tender
    Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes

    You can either shred it or eat it in slabs.
    Serves 8

    350 kcals, 16gm of fat, o carbs 50gm protein and a 2180mg of sodium.

    in reply to: Recipes #2174

    This one, originally posted by Ms. Harris, seems like comfort food right now:


    1 medium can apricot halves
    1 medium can pear halves
    1 medium can pineapple chunks
    3 large bananas, sliced
    1 medium can wild blueberries
    1 medium can applesauce
    1 medium can cranberry sauce
    brown sugar

    Place apricots, pears, pineapple, bananas, and blueberries in colander to drain. Pour blueberries in last to allow juice to go through other fruit. Mix cranberry and applesauces well. Put half this mixture into the bottom of baking dish, saving remaining half to go on top. Put well-drained fruit over bottom layer of cranberry and applesauce. Pour rest of the sauce on top. Dot with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake at 350 until fruit is bubbly, about 45 minutes.

    *I sometimes use blueberries that I’ve picked myself and frozen. This will affect the color of the completed dish. As you can see, this is easy to make, though the canned fruit can be expensive. This recipe originally came from CANE RIVER, a wonderful cookbook that was a wedding present many, many years ago.

    in reply to: Recipes #2173

    I just spent an enormous amount of time reading through that rabbit hole. This recipe from originalhulijing seems like another one that should be preserved for posterity, so to speak:

    Gracious Plenty Parmesan Breadsticks:
    Cooking time: 36 minutes
    Prep time: 25 minutes plus standing

    You Will Need
    3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 cup Parmesan cheese
    2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon pepper
    2 teaspoon rapid-rise dry yeast
    1 1/4 cups very warm water (120°F to 130°F)
    1/4 cup semolina flour or cornmeal
    1 teaspoon olive oil

    What to Do
    1. Mix 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, Parmesan, rosemary, salt, pepper, and yeast in a large bowl. Blend in water. Add 1 1/2 cups more flour to form a soft dough. Dust work surface with flour. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, working in remaining flour to keep dough from sticking. Divide dough into two equal pieces. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rest 10 minutes.

    2. Sprinkle two 16 x 12-inch sheets of wax paper with 1 tablespoon semolina each and pat dough pieces into 10 x 6-inch rectangles. Brush with oil and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate 1 piece of dough.

    3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and sprinkle with half of remaining semolina. Cut unrefrigerated dough crosswise into 20 equal strips, each about 8 inches long. Hold dough strips by the ends, twisting and stretching until about 12 inches long. Place twists 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Let rise, uncovered, 10 minutes.

    4. Lightly coat breadsticks with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 10 minutes. Remove breadsticks from oven and lightly coat again with cooking spray. Bake until golden and crisp, about 8 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.

    Makes: 40 breadsticks

    Per serving (1 breadstick): Calories 56, saturated fat 0.5 g, total fat 1 g, protein 2 g, carbohydrate 9 g, fiber 0 g, sodium 163 mg, cholesterol 2 mg, calcium 40 mg.

    in reply to: Recipes #2172

    Here’s one that FCD posted that seems seasonally appropriate, especially this year:


    Version 1, for when someone else is making it:

    Squeeze two key limes into a 12-oz or 14-oz mug
    Mostly fill the mug with water
    Microwave until hot
    Stir in a scant quarter-teaspoon of grated ginger
    Then stir in as much local honey as you need to make it drinkable.
    Sip slowly, inhaling the steam.

    (This got me through Martian Death Flu one January. The hospital was turning people away left and right, and still had patients being kept on gurneys in the hallway. My doctor said I was sick enough to be admitted, but my hubby looked around and decided he could take better care of me at home.)

    * * *

    Version 2, for when the sick person makes it:

    Microwave a mug of good lemonade or limeade, like Newman’s Own, until very hot. Stir in a pinch of ground ginger if you can lay hands on it without having to climb or knock anything over. If you do knock something over, say a few words that nobody has any business listening to anyway, sit down on the floor, and drink your hot lemonade. Hold mug in both hands and sip slowly, breathing as much of the steam as you can. Then go back to bed where you belong.

    in reply to: Recipes #2168

    Back in the day, we had a very active recipe thread. I should go back and copy/paste some favorites to start.

    in reply to: I am happy today because… #2164

    Hey guys! *dancing around the gym floor* Thank you Dawn!

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