We Have November Winners!

winter-1769244_1280Merry Christmas! It’s been a fun-filled time of year on our blog with our Once Upon a Christmas Giveaway II now over. Our winners were Nancy Costello and Caryl Kane. Congrats, ladies!

Now we still have our regular November winners to announce. Did you make our list?

Congratulations to Mimi on Life for winning the $10 Starbucks card given by Bonita McCoy.

The $25 Amazon card gifted by Cynthia Herron goes to GraceMamaof4. Woo hoo!

And Lisa Lickel’s book, UnderStory, has been won by Linda Yezak. Yay!

A big THANK YOU to all our faithful readers for taking the time to stop by and comment.

Disappointed you didn’t win? Next month, we’ll give away more books. See you then!

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Once Upon a Christmas Winner!

The contest is over. It’s always kind of sad when it’s over. But we had lots of entries, so after a random drawing, we’re ready to announce the winner:

bear-1294048_1280Congratulations, Nancy Costello! You have won our Grand Prize of a $40 Barnes and Noble card, and various other gifts, including several books.

We didn’t really advertise a second prize, but one reader set herself apart and drew our attention by having the highest number of entries. christmas-541784_1280So after a quick discussion we decided she needed to win a prize for persistence. Congratulations, Caryl Kane, you have won a $5 Starbucks card, and a beautiful bookmark.

Thanks, all of you for taking part in our Christmas celebration. We appreciate all of our readers and hope you will continue to make the Writing Prompts blog part of your regular reading. And stay tuned for more news about next year’s giveaways!

schutzengelchen-1690676_1280Have a blessed Holiday Season!

Betty Thomason Owens, for the Writing Prompts Crew

The Art of Cooking

by Betty Owens

cook, cooking“…no one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.” ― Julia Child, My Life in France

Want to try something fun? Open Pinterest, put the words, “Grandma’s Recipes” in the search bar and hit enter. Not only is it fun to read the recipes, but the stories that go with them. Oh, the memories—yum, the goodies!

And I had the pleasure of finding a winner. The best turkey dressing recipe of my memory was not my grandmother’s, or my mom’s (sorry Mom), but belonged to a woman named Mildred Totten, who was the lead cook at a retirement home. I worked there for several years while in my teens. We saved leftover bread, biscuits, and cornmeal muffins for a couple of weeks ahead (stored them in the cooler).

The morning of the Thanksgiving meal, we gathered in the kitchen and tore all that bread into bits. Ms. Mildred melted butter in a huge skillet and added chopped veggies then mixed it all together. She used an ice cream scoop and placed mounds of dressing into well-greased institutional-sized muffin tins. Then she baked them in the oven. They smelled wonderful and came out like a muffin, moist in the center, slightly crunchy on the edges. Placed next to warm, sliced turkey, and topped with turkey gravy, they were scrumptious and disappeared as fast as she could bake them.

retro-1321078_1280Serving up a delicious meal is truly an art! Yes, this month’s topic, “The Art of Cooking,” is a timely one, don’t you think? Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away. Many of our authors will also share a recipe. The one I found that inspired my special cooking memory is found HERE. My clan actually prefers a plain bread stuffing (not corn meal) and I usually rely on the bagged croutons that are already seasoned. But this year, I might try this recipe and see if anyone notices. Shhh! Don’t tell on me.

The true art to cooking is making and serving something that inspires memories (good and bad). Maybe your favorite remembered meal inspires laughter in your home. Yes, I have some of those, too. I’ve also messed up recipes that turned out to be a family favorite. That’s how some of our greatest inventors happened upon life-changing inventions. It all started with a mistake and voila! You have a masterpiece.

dinner-table-1433494_1280And don’t forget the presentation. I’m not great at that, but one particular anniversary, I nailed it. No, not literally. I “created” beef bourguignon (bur-gen-yon). Technically, it’s a beef stew with layer upon layer of flavor. I served it on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes with a side of crusty French bread. Our best china, tablecloth and candlelight, a floral centerpiece. I went all out. But the food stole the show—a true winner. It was labor intensive, and a little on the expensive side, but worth every penny.

I hope you’ll check back in from time to time and see what’s cooking at the Writing Prompts blog. And don’t forget, our holiday giveaway is in full-swing. You can win a gift card, free books, and whatever else we can find to give. It’s the holiday season! Leave a comment on any of our Monday and Friday posts for a chance to win, throughout the month of November. Complete our writing prompt for a double entry. For all the details about the giveaway, click this link: Once Upon a Christmas.

What’s your all-time favorite food memory? Have you created a winning recipe?

Writing Prompt: Your best friend Millie has invited her husband’s new boss and his wife to dinner. She calls you the morning of the dinner, panicky. “I can’t do this. Can you help me? I don’t know what to cook!” How will you come to the rescue and save Millie’s dinner?

An Easy Pumpkin Spice Cake Recipe

15 oz. can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
12 oz. can evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 box spice cake mix
1 cup butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray (floured spray works well).
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar and cinnamon until well-combined.
  4. It will seem a little thin, but this is perfect.
  5. Pour the mixture into the baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle dry spice cake mix on top of pumpkin mixture.
  7. Drizzle melted butter over the top.
  8. Bake for 55-60 minutes. (The middle may still jiggle a little, but it’s done–don’t over bake–it’ll be too dry). It will continue to set up as it cools.
  9. Cool for 30 minutes or longer before slicing and serving.
  10. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream & a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon. Can also be served with ice cream.

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October Winners

thanksgivingThanksgiving is at our doorstep and Christmas will soon be here. But at the Writing Prompts blog, we still have time for a few more book winners. Are you on our list?

Gail Pallotta’s romance, Barely Above Water, has been won by Caryl Kane. Congrats!

Amanda has been picked to win her choice of Aaron Gansky’s books. Congratulations!

Shauna William’s book, Serene Courage, goes to J. Kimball!

And drum roll, please!

The $25 Barnes and Noble gift card from Betty Boyd goes to Vona! Congrats!!!

A big THANK YOU to all our faithful readers for taking the time to stop by and comment.

Disappointed you didn’t win? Next month, we’ll give away more books. And don’t forget our Once Upon A Christmas Giveaway II. Just leave a comment on a Monday or Friday post to be entered. See you then...onceuponachristmas-2016

It’s Time For Once Upon a Christmas Giveaway II!

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Christmas will be here before we know it and YOU can help the Writing Prompts Crew celebrate! When you leave a comment on any of the regular posts (Mondays and Fridays) from now until November 29th, your name will go in the drawing for some great prizes. We’ll announce our winner on December 1st so you’ll have your gifts early this year if you’re one of our winners. But you have to enter…

You will once again love this year’s celebration! We’re giving away a basket full of goodies! One blessed winner will receive a Barnes and Noble gift card while others receive books—among other things—just our way of thanking you for visiting our blog.

  • When you go to the extra trouble of leaving a comment, you’re entered.
  • When you answer one of our writing prompts, you receive another entry.
  • Bonus entry: There’s one more way to gain an additional entry in the giveaway that only our blog readers will know about!

You’ll find a Christmas picture in the sidebar of this blog. (Hint: it says “Once Upon a Christmas). :)⇒⇒

If you have already “liked” our Facebook page, click on over there and comment in the top post on our Writing Prompts Crew Facebook page—you can just type a single word or a phrase to tell what the picture is. (We’ll have a special holiday post pinned on the Facebook page). For instance, if you see a picture of a candy cane on the right side of our blog (sidebar), go to the Facebook page and type “candy cane” in the comments. Got it?

If you haven’t “liked” our Writing Prompts Crew Facebook page, you can find it here. Just click “like” and you’ll be able to enter. (You can actually click that picture over there and it should take you to the Facebook page). Be sure to come back, though!

Be vigilant! The pictures may change several times, so you can reenter on the Facebook page whenever you see a different picture.

christmas tree

 

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Autumn and More Winners

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Autumn has arrived in all its colorful splendor. I love the cool evenings, falling leaves, and football. And I know you’ll love the three new winners in September.

Who are they?

Tracey Lyon’s  novel, A Changed Agent, has been won by Lientjie Human. Woo hoo!

Lori Stanley Roeleveld’s book, Jesus and the Beanstalk, goes to Caryl Kane! Congratulations!

Angela D. Meyer’s novel, Where Healing Starts, is gifted to DK Stevens. Yay!

 

A big THANK YOU to all our faithful readers for taking the time to stop by and comment.  It’s such a simple way to win. Just leave a comment on a Wednesday or Saturday post and you’re entered to win that specific book or gift card.

And don’t forget that next month we’ll give away more books. See you then...

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Book Winners in August

autumn-922378_1920Summer is winding down and autumn is right around the corner. We have six new winners in August.

Who won?

Mary L. Hamilton’s YA novel, See No Evil, has been won by Caryl. Woo hoo!

Maria I. Morgan’s Bible Study, Outrageously Fruitful, goes to Jaclyn! Congratulations!

David Mike’s memoir, Dishonor, is gifted to Second Iron. Yay!

Alice J. Wisler’s historical fiction, Under the Silk Hibiscus, has been won by Lisa Worthey Smith. You go!

Betty Thomason Owen’s historical fiction, Carlotta’s Legacy, goes to Crystal A. Murray.  Awesome…

Eva Marie Everson’s Christmas novella, God Bless Us Everyone , has found a home with bb4Him .:)

A big THANK YOU to all our faithful readers for taking the time to stop by and comment.  It’s such a simple way to win. Just leave a comment on a Wednesday or Saturday post and you’re entered to win that specific book or gift card.

Disappointed you didn’t win? Next month we’ll give away more books. See you then...