Monthly Archives: March 2016
Easter family gatherings are on the way! Spring is in the air and so are fun spring recipes. Bird nest cupcakes is one of my favorites.
Start with the cupcake flavor of your choice, bake, and cool completely.
Next, spread sweetened coconut on a baking sheet or baking dish, covering the bottom.
Then add 1/8 tsp of brown food coloring gel and 1/8 tsp moss green food coloring gel. (I use Wilton Icing Color gels- they add rich color without changing the consistency of the recipe.) Using your hand, toss the coconut around, spreading the color onto each flake. It takes several minutes of tossing and rubbing hand fulls of coconut together to incorporate colors.
Once the color is incorporated as evenly as possible, place dish of coconut in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. This will dry out the coconut and slightly toast to make a realistic bird nest look. Cool coconut completely before decorating your cupcakes.
Frost cupcakes with the icing of your choice. Using your hand, apply a large amount of coconut on top of the icing pressing it into the frosting so it will stick. Make sure coconut covers as much of the icing as possible to create a realistic bird nest effect.
Place three candied eggs in the middle of the nest and you have now created a “Bird Nest Cupcake.”
~Candice Sue Patterson writes Modern-Vintage Romance–where the past and present collide with faith. Her debut novel How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart will release November 2016. When she’s not decorating cakes, Candice is working on a new story. Visit her website at www.candicesuepatterson.com.
One hundred and forty years ago today, Alexander Graham Bell filed his patent for the telephone. I’m fairly certain Mr. Bell had no idea what he’d unleashed on the world. His cumbersome contraption of wires, diaphragms, and tubes bears no resemblance to the device resting in almost everyone’s pocket today with its slick glass screen that connects the holder to the world.
In 1876, Mr. Bell filed his patent and entered the history books. Ironically, he filed only two hours before a similar patent was filed by Elisha Gray. Not wanting to be cut out of this new emerging technology, the powerful Western Union Telegraph Company hired Mr. Gray and well-known inventor Thomas A. Edison to develop their own prototype. Mr. Bell sued to uphold his patent. His case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which upheld the Bell patent. The Bell Telephone Company would withstand many lawsuits in the years to come as it evolved into what we now know as American Telephone and Telegraph … or AT&T.
How did Alexander Graham Bell come up with the idea of such an invention? Born in Scotland, he worked his younger years with his father in London. Melville Bell had developed a written system to teach speaking to the deaf. When he moved to Boston in 1872, Alexander established a school for the deaf there. In the next year he became a professor in speech and vocal physiology at Boston University. Throughout his life he described himself as a “teacher of the deaf.” Speech was, you might say, the focal point of his life.
His background and dedication to speech and sound, along with his keen scientific mind, made him the logical candidate to invent the telephone. But he didn’t stop there. With the money he made on his telephone patent, Mr. Bell went on to found and finance both the journal Science and the National Geographic Society.
And yet – he never allowed a telephone to be installed in his study, lest it distract him from his work.
That, my friends, is the lesson for today. Jot us a comment on how you interpret the lesson as it applies to your life and work.
Good morning suspense fans and welcome to today’s Book Showcase!!! Our suspense feature for the month of March is the supernatural Christian thriller, The Club, by Christian suspense author Karin Kaufman.
Summoned by her father to Elk Park, Colorado, Melinda Maxwell hopes to finally learn why he cut off all contact with his family and became a “monster,” as Melinda calls him. Four days into her stay, and frustrated by his silence, she hires genealogist Anna Denning to locate her long-lost grandparents. Already immersed in trying to locate the family of a murdered man for the Elk Park Police, Anna agrees to the challenge.
Two clues—a severed finger and a scrap of paper with a strange name written on it—lead Anna to believe that Maxwell’s father and the murdered man are somehow connected. When a second murder victim is found, Anna soon discovers what links them all: an eccentric, and dangerous, group of occultists who come together once a year to form the January Club.
The Club is the fourth book in the Anna Denning mystery series. If you like supernaturally tinged mysteries and a heroine who battles the forces of darkness with the shield of faith, you’ll love this series.
Karin Kaufman writes mysteries, thrillers, and children’s books. Although her mysteries and thrillers are written from a Christian perspective, they don’t downplay the evil we confront in this world—or the isolation Christians sometimes feel in what is a largely secular culture. But she rejects the notion that such fiction must be dark or oppressive. Because there is also goodness in this world—love, friendship, laughter, faithful dogs, piping hot cups of coffee—and it’s every bit as real as the evil.
The Witch Tree, the first book in her Anna Denning mystery series, was a finalist for a 2011 Grace Award. Karin lives near the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains with Dakota Grace, her energetic and lovable rescued rez dog. You can find Karin on her Facebook author page, at http://www.facebook.com/#!/authorkarinkaufman, or on her website, at http://www.karinkaufman.com.
She’ll also keep you updated on upcoming writing contests and some of the best reads in Christian suspense.
To contact Kara, email her at email@example.com or by clicking the below link:
@KaraHunt2016 on Twitter
QPQ: Introduce us to the dog you’re sharing with us today.
Erin: That’s probably best done with the first two lines of my new book.
“Henry is a once-in-a-lifetime dog. Mostly because if you had two of him you’d probably shoot yourself.”
Don’t get me wrong. I love him. He can’t help it if he’s a disaster-prone canine catastrophe with megalomaniac tendencies.
His hobbies include distressing wood floors, threatening the mail truck, two-legged hopping about the yard (because he will one day fly into the tree and catch those mangy squirrels), and half-baked suicide attempts (vet ER clinic knows us by name).
Henry’s scar count: 17. And rising.
QPQ: Since you’re an author and you come up with names all the time, how did you come up with the name Henry?
Erin: Actually my hubby and I let the kids name him. They picked Henry Thomas Young for reasons we don’t know. The middle name, I’m guessing, came about because they wanted to have something formal to yell when Henry was in trouble. I’m not sure if that turned out to be coincidence, foresight, or causal. : )
QPQ: How does Henry help you in your writing?
Erin: It’s a fine line between helping and hurting. Most of Henry’s life, he’s had the hyperactive energy of half a dozen toddlers hooked on Mountain Dew, so his antics keep us in constant chaos. Sort of like living in a tornado. But that also contributes to the comedy I call my life. Not a bad thing for a humor writer.
On the other hand, to write said humor stories, I’ve had to resort to writing while I’m sitting on the living room floor with my dog literally pinned under my legs. In some warped way, he enjoys this, which makes me wonder if a doggie straightjacket would be a good purchase for us.
QPQ: Have you ever written one of your pets into a story?
Erin: Henry IS the story. At least for both my nonfiction humor books. : ) But in my fiction, I do like to include dogs. They’re always far more normal (probably an outlet for my wishful thinking), but I do give them a fun personality quirk.
QPQ: Tell us three things you and Henry have in common.
Erin: If I’m going to be honest, I’m just as messed up as my dog. I’m fine admitting that because anyone who reads my books will figure it out by page 2.
Let’s see, what else…we both like food way too much. Chocolate, in my case. And coffee. Chocolate coffee—even better. Henry, however, has a far less discriminating palate so that makes me feel superior.
Last issue (I mean, there are many, but we have limited space here), we both tend to take on anxieties over things we shouldn’t. In Henry’s case, it’s the daily reappearance of the mail truck, which Henry believes is out to kill us all. He has yet to realize that no amount of maniacal barking affects its course.
In my case, well, the economy, job security, fibromyalgia, chronic insomnia, launching my college-aged kids…I want to stress over them all, but no amount of militant worry or bald fear can affect them. They’re all in God’s hands, not mine. Which admittedly is a better plan—I don’t have the credentials to run the universe. Henry and I both agree on that.
A little more about today’s guest: Erin Taylor Young is an acquisitions editor and author liaison for Serenade Books, a publishing company she helped to found. Passionate about helping others embrace deep places with God, she teaches workshops about writing and publishing, produces podcasts, and is the co-creator of Write from the Deep and Live from the Deep with Karen Ball. She’s also an award-winning humor writer. Her book, Surviving Henry: Adventures in Loving a Canine Catastrophe, has been repeatedly accused of making readers laugh until they cry. Learn more about Erin at erintayloryoung.com where she blogs about writing, God, and her aversion to spiders.
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