Monday, September 21, 2009

Sourdough Starter Pancakes

Hey guys! Happy Monday. :) I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Hubby is due home this week so I am super swamped trying to get my to-do list whittled down. I thought I'd give ya a link to a recipe I found for So
urdough Pancakes. You can make these from the recipe I gave you for the sourdough starter. Have fun!

Sourdough Pancakes


Things You'll Need:

1 c sourdough starter
2 Tb vegetable oil
1 egg
2 Tb sugar
3/4 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Step 1
Pour one cup of sourdough starter, or sponge, into a clean mixing bowl.

Step 2
Stir in two tablespoons of vegetable cooking oil.

Step 3
Add one egg and two tablespoons of sugar. Mix well.

Step 4
Stir in ¾ cup of flour. If you want pancakes that are more “sour”, see the tip below.

Step 5
Dissolve one teaspoon of baking soda and ¼ teaspoon of salt into a tablespoon of warm water.

Step 6
Right before you are ready to cook the pancakes, add the baking soda mixture to your sourdough pancake batter. Gently fold it in.

Step 7
Let your sourdough pancake batter sit for a few minutes, while it foams and rises in the bowl. This is a good time to prepare any bacon or sausage you are having with your pancakes.

Step 8
Heat your griddle or pan until it is fairly hot, grease it, and pour ¼ to ½ cup of batter onto the skillet for each pancake. Cook on each side for 1-2 minutes. Serve hot.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

State Fair = Rain

It's that time of year. I've always loved the beginning of the school year because it means the start of college football!! Go Sooners!! I can sigh with relief when the kiddos are occupied more often with homework, activities, and renewed friendships. But it also signals the start of the Oklahoma State Fair. We used to take the boys when they were little but we're old and grouchy now. The boys stopped enjoying the looooooong lines. It stops being fun when they figure out the rides last 2 minutes and we have to stand in line for 20. And it rains. Every year. It has become a standing joke that you know when the fair is in town because we have rain. Every day. And this year is no different.

Normally I would LOVE the rain. I hate driving in it because of the way people drive, but I love the smell. The cool air it brings with it. I enjoy spending time out on the patio because everything seems refreshed and clean. But this year...hubby has to monkey around on the top of water towers. They can't climb and weld when it rains. No work - no pay. At this point the rain is causing delays in the crew completing a tank. They plan to be home by next Tuesday. Oh well. So life goes on. We often have to make adjustments in our lives for the unexpected.

Which makes me think of my writing. How many times have you had a story idea play out in your head...but when you began putting it on paper, it doesn't work for whatever reason. Maybe the conflict can't be sustained to the end. Maybe one of your characters doesn't have believable motivation. Do you roll with the punches and revise? Or make adjustments?

I haven't had the misfortune of having to scrap a story yet. I have had a crit partner who has. Sometimes it's easier to just move on. You can't submit an unwritten story. I do have two manuscripts that I've put away. I love the storyline, the characters, but for various reasons I'm at a standstill on them. But we push on. Do we need a good kick in the buttocks for inspiration? I often do.

I got one the other day. Awhile back I was clicking around the blogosphere within my writing buddies circle and was fortunate to find Jody Hedlund. She usually has such informative and interesting posts, and I was thrilled for her recently when she announced she'd signed with an agent. But wow. WOW. She can now add published author to her name!! Congrats to Jody for being offered a three book contract with Bethany House Publishers. Doing the Snoopy dance for ya girl!!

What wonderful inspiration to those of us on the journey with her. And a good kick in the hiney to get busy. I've got two WIP's as we speak. My first manuscript was a series contemporary targeting Harlequin Superromance. I received a rejection on a partial with some really great editorial suggestions on how to strengthen the heroine's internal conflict. I had placed third in a contest and was recently encouraged to send the revised first chapter to another contest for feedback. The assistant editor suggested I resubmit...we'll see if I can fix it. The other WIP is a historical, and a huge challenge for me. I'm having "issues" as to how to begin the story. But that's another blog post. ;) The trouble is finding time to work on them.

I thought I would post my recipe for the Sourdough Starter. Erin...I forgot that I have your old email addy and it kicked it back to me. So here ya go...

Sourdough Starter

1 ½ ounces fresh compressed yeast
3 cups warm water
1 ounce granulated sugar
1 pound 8 ounces unbleached flour (I use bread flour)

In a plastic container with a large opening so your starter can expand with each feeding, dissolve yeast in the water and add sugar. Stir in the flour using a wooden spoon, until you have a smooth paste. Make sure the container is pretty large. I use a gallon size freezer bag and put it inside of a plastic bowl to keep it from falling over. After I add ingredients I can pull the bag out and squeeze the bag to mix the contents.

Cover loosely to allow gases to escape (I leave a corner of the plastic bag open) and place in a warm spot in your kitchen for 2 to 3 days. The mixture should bubble and give off a sour odor. Stir down the starter once a day during this time and make sure to stir in any crust that’s formed. After this point, store the starter in the fridge.

The starter needs to be fed every 10 days, otherwise it will die. Add half as much flour and water as the original recipe if you aren’t using the starter regularly. Use less if you’re actually using your started regularly. Stir in the flour and water and keep refrigerated.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

And he's gone...

The hubster is officially out of the building. The first item on my to-do list was to try out several new recipes for bread. I put together a sour dough starter for future loaves, and have dough rising for a loaf of foccacia. I've also pulled out the ingredients for chocolate gooey butter cookies. The turtle brownies for hubby's birthday didn't last long. I think for dinner tonight we'll have beef and rice. I usually make 1/2 pound burgers and cook until medium. In the same pan, I add butter and sautee finely chopped sweet onions, garlic, and italian seasonings. Add flour until the butter/oil makes a paste and add heavy cream until it becomes a gravy. I make a cilantro rice and lay the beef patties on the rice and cover with the gravy.

I guess I'll have to quit playing on the computer so I can clean the carpets in the kitchen. Hopefully it won't wipe me out because I need to get little man's schoolwork done and try to make some headway with the restaurant business plan. It doesn't look like I'll have the time to work on my chapter until tonight. Maybe since hubster is gone...I can get little man in bed early. Keep your fingers crossed. ;)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Back to Chaos

If I've learned one thing from traveling with hubby to his jobsites, it's that I was on VACATION. I hate the driving and living out of a suitcase, but I have to actually work at home.

I am glad to be home though and sleeping in my big bed. The weekend was spent getting things back to our normal, chaotic schedule. And...little man had a running virus. We had to run back and forth with him to the bathroom all weekend. *sigh* Sorry if that was TMI. LOL...He's getting really cranky with me today because I'm forcing liquids down him. No other symptoms...just an upset stomach. My hands are raw from the constant washing. I do not want his running virus. ;)

I found the architectural drawings my mom originally had drawn up for the building that we're wanting to use for the restaurant. And it doesn't look good. My mom and aunt had some incredible ideas for what they wanted to do...but we won't need a back lobby because I can't handle patio seating right now. And they wanted to add a drop ceiling. Not only is it expensive and complicated...but I LOVE the high, old tin ceilings. I think we can live with the kitchen set up. It's larger than what we need or planned on having. But at least we won't need to expand when we blow up the town and become a huge overnight success. :)

I haven't had a chance to work out my actual logline yet for my historical. Hubby leaves out again in the morning to go back to work. His boss is thinking that they'll be back in Oklahoma by next week. Hopefully I can get little man busy working on schoolwork tomorrow and spend a little time on my logline. I need to also finish my chapter for my series contemporary romance.!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Going home!

I could hardly sleep last night for some reason. Maybe I'm excited about going home today? That's a given. I may have to come back to Memphis in a couple of weeks to help hubby get the 5th wheel home, and that'll be for one night only. But I think I'm nervous about taking a class on cake decorating. It begins on the 17th and I received an email reminder last night. I actually got butterflies. Wow. I've been cooking, baking, and experimenting with food since I was 13 years old. Maybe it's because I'll have someone grading me this time. Eh...I face the crowd everytime I cook.

Thank you so much for your well wishes for my husband. Hopefully the antibiotics will kick in soon because the swelling is getting alot worse. Since we're going home, he'll go see our family doc tomorrow.

Loglines. *sigh* I feel like doing a dramatic swoon at just hearing the stupid word. But I am sooo glad I am not alone in my angst. Man, give me a chance with a one page synopsis and I can kick some word booty. One or two sentences. Ouch. So what I worked on last night? I looked at the loglines for two of my favorite movies. Here's what I found.

Tombstone: Wyatt Earp tries to live a normal life with his family but is forced to fight outlaws, leading to the infamous showdown at the OK Corral.

Steel Magnolias: Story of female friends in a small town and the hardships and happiness they endure together.

Now, I can see the Tombstone logline working because you've got strong key words and historical facts. Wyatt Earp. Forced to fight. And the infamous showdown at the OK Corral. But when I look at Steel Magnolias...I'm thinking it probably wouldn't have pulled me in if I hadn't already seen the movie.

So I made a list of the elements in my Native American historical romance. It can also be considered a paranormal because of the dreamwalking. My goal today is to look at the list and start trying to put sentences together.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Well, hubby had an interesting birthday. Considering he spent three hours in an AM/PM clinic. He's had a bump on his arm steadily swelling the last few days. It began with what we thought was a mosquito bite. It's not. He's a welder and often goes without wearing his leather welding shirt when the temperatures are extremely hot outside.

Have you ever had a small you accidently touch yourself with a curling iron or grease pop on you while cooking? They hurt like all get out. I know his job requires him to work in extreme temperatures, but it's not as bad as when he was in Iraq. So why not endure the leather shirt to keep from having small burns all over his upper body?

One of his burns has apparently gotten a staph infection. The swelling has tripled in size and his forearm is extremely painful and hot to the touch. They've started him on antibiotics and something for pain. I doubt he'll take the pain meds because he needs clarity when climbing up a hundred feet in the air to dangle from a harness, or to walk on a 6 inch wide platform.

So last night as we're falling asleep. I teased him with a line from one of our favorite movies, Tombstone. If you've ever watched it, it's where Sam Elliot's character, Virgil Earp, has been shot in the arm and is told he'll lose the use of it. He tells his wife something like, "I've still got one good arm to hold you with Ellie."

At least I got a goofy grin. Maybe it wasn't such a great birthday, but he still got a warm, gooey turtle brownie.

Okay...back to business. Loglines. If you were having a conversation with someone, how many of you can just toss out a decent one or two line description of your book. Several editor or agent pitches rely on a high concept logline to hook immediate interest.

I personally suck at it. So it peaked my interest when I received an email from one of my Yahoo groups, it was a virtual class on loglines from Rosemary Clement-Moore. It's the Four Elements of a Winning Pitch through the Candy Havens Writer's Workshop. And just what I needed. So I thought I would share my process as I go through the motions.

The first thing she has us doing is looking at the movie descriptions in TV Guide, or the online guide for your cable/satellite service will work. Also...look online for your favorite movie descriptions. Study the strength of the verbs to create a mental image. She also has us look at how the irony in a logline or title can add strength to your hook.

After I work on crits today, I'll start listing the unique elements of my story and strong verbs to tie it together. Interested in playing along? If not...sit back and enjoy my pain. ;)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Happy Birthday to the Man

Today is my hubby's birthday. Of course it's just a reminder that I'm old. He whines about turning 32 and the grey hairs taking over. I whine because...well, let's just say I'm a "few" years older than my husband. Little man and I went shopping today and bought hubby a new watch. And I made million calorie turtle brownies. Just oozing with caramel. Yeah, there goes what pounds I had managed to shave off my "voluptuous" figure. And mom called from home today to tell me we needed to hurry home because an 8th grader died of the Swine Flu here in Memphis. Does she not realize how big this city is. We're not even within city limits. Hubby's work crew is staying in Southhaven, just south of Memphis.

I didn't have a chance to work on crits or my chapter today. But while we were out shopping, I looked for Linda Howard's new book, Burn. No luck. I wonder if that's a good sign that it'll be a great read. That's our first selection for the Book End Babes book club. I've conned, um, convinced a few friends to join with me.

Nothing exciting to share or pass on today. Just hope you guys had a productive day!

Monday, September 07, 2009


I want to share an interesting industry blog I ran across when I got a recommendation from a friend. The Warriorwriter's Blog has a wonderful post today about fear. I think it's something every writer has dealt with at some point in their career. It really hit home with me this morning because I've been struggling...and not sure why. I thought maybe it was because my life is so chaotic with the different directions I'm being pulled in right now. That may play a big part of my issues with not writing, but I think fear could be a part of it.

If you've ever had writer's block, she urges you to dig into your brain for the reason why. She talks about writers avoiding rewrites, and I can tell you that I am definitely NOT guilty of that. If anything I can't turn off my anal internal editor. But I think the one thing that struck me as interesting was she mentioned changing genres as a symptom of fear. Do I agree? I wonder. I've wanted to change genres a couple of times. I thought that came from the unknown though, not knowing where my voice fits and wanting to experiment. Is it fear of pushing through my issues on a current ms?

Good question. What do you do when you're blocked? Have you ever wanted to change genre? If you get a her post for today.

Sunday, September 06, 2009


Yesterday was a good day...and a bad day. It started out with soooo much excitement. College football is one of the only sports I love to spend time watching. I get so excited this time of year. The heat of summer is sliding away, and it's time for my Oklahoma Sooners to play some football! We really get into our game days. Always a cookout or muchies available and our family and friends know where they can come to watch the games.

That wasn't going to change just because we're in Memphis with hubby's job. The guys are feeling down because of some big problems that arrived with the roof they were supposed to put on the water tank. Which means a delay in going home and takes away the possibility for bonus. So hubby and I thought we'd cook for our second family here on the jobsite. I smoked a pork roast so we could have pulled pork sandwiches with cole slaw and hubby's favorite cheese dip. He put together my favorite jalapeno poppers. He cuts them in half, scrapes out the inside veins and seeds, fills with cream cheese, wraps them in bacon and grills until bacon is crispy. I think I was able to swipe three of them. LOL. They go pretty fast in this crowd of big ol' manly-men. One of the wives made baked beans and corn-on-the-cob. So we had an awesome meal!

But the game is another story. My Sooners not only lost their game, but our quarterback was taken out with a shoulder injury. We probably won't know how serious it is until next week. *sigh* The back up played well. But this season is looking a little rough at this point. Oh well, ya win some-ya lose some. I'm a diehard fan and will cheer my guys on regardless. Plus...I think everyone will still show up for chow. I'll have to have something ready for the guys to eat while they play armchair quarterbacks. LOL.

So I wasn't so bad. Good food, good friends. The guys also had a good talk last night and decided to work today on their day off. For free. They won't get paid, but they wanted to go in to the jobsite to see if they can figure out how to fix the problems on this job. Their Foreman is a great boss and they want to help him out. This crew is our second family. We take care of each other. That my what it's all about.

Hope you guys had a great weekend!! Anything fun or exciting?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Busy, busy, busy...

*deep breath....release*

Summer is officially over for me. My oldest is a sophomore in high school and has decided to let us know that he's not going to college. He's determined to enlist as soon as he turns eighteen. He knows I'm not happy with his decision and I'm sure I'll continue to voice my opinion, but it's a family thing. He's following quite a few family members into serving our country. He's keeping college in mind because he says he'll be able to go on the GI bill if he decides to go later. I won't go all political because this post would become a very angry rant. And I personally hate when people cram or politely hint their politics down my throat. little one has also started his homeschooling. He's in the first grade this year. WOW. Time sure flies.'s our logo!

The restaurant planning goes well. I've got our logo and marketing plan developed. The business has been incorporated and we received our federal ID number. I'm in the process of filing our Oklahoma business registration form, and we're waiting on the architectural drawings to be completed before we can begin construction. I'm also working on finalizing the menu. We've got a basic idea of what we'll serve, but I've got to put together a full menu with descriptions for the food service company.

Well...we're back in Memphis as this job is closing out. Hubby thinks they'll be finished with this water tank by the 16th. I am so ready to be home for good. After this hitch...the traveling has to be over for me. Their next tank is within 30 miles of home and the tank after that is in California. Too far for me and little man to tag along. And the restaurant will need my full attention as soon as contruction begins. At least the oldest kiddo is getting excited and seeing his role in the family business.

As for my writing...I'm polishing a contest entry for my RWA chapter FAB contest. It has to be sent by midnight tomorrow. I'm also heading over to pull files and crit for my peeps. Like I said...summer is over and I don't have anymore excuses for being a bad critter. LOL.

*deep breath...and release*