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ANWA Member since Oct. 2003 - Chapter President of "Write to the Point" writing group.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wacky Wednesday's Recipe For Pumpkin Pie Filling...

I've posted this recipe last year but feel like it's worth posting again because it's Pumpkin season. Time for goblins and pumpkin pie filling. Enjoy...
Pumpkin pies are great. When they're made out of home-made pumpkin that makes them all the greater! Yes, pumpkins are good for something other than Jack-O-Lanterns...

Recipe for Homemade Pumpkin:


Clean Pumpkin of all seeds and gooey strings.
Cut into Large chunks (cut into 1/8's vertically then cut each in half horizontally).
Put 1 chunk into 9X9 glass Micro dish with abt 2 Cups of water.
Cook in Microwave for 20-30 minutes.

Scoop out the cooked Pumpkin (without water) leaving the rind behind for the trash. Put into a blender and whir on high until smooth. (May need to add a little of the water to start)
Pour into a large bowl and cool.

After the whole pumpkin is done & cooled; Measure 3 cups of cooled Pumky into 1 quart Freezer zip-lock bags (Don't add spices - just plain pumpkin) freeze. (3 cups equel about the same as a recipe that calls for the larger 1 pound can, so I freeze it in that portion making it easy to use.) 

Cook in 350 degree oven for about an hour depending on oven and size of pumpkin... again add water in the bottom of the cookie sheet to keep them moist. I think this way is faster in the long run because you can put more in the oven at one time.

Follow above directions after done. Then freeze and enjoy. Thaw to make Pumpkin Pies or Pumpkin bread/muffins or whatever with favorite recipe for some homemade pumpkin treats at Thanksgiving or whenever the mood strikes.  :O)
I hope you enjoy this recipe.    ~Joyce

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday's Musings...

Due to popular demand I am posting these two recipes:
Apple Syrup:
2 Cups Apple Juice
1 Cup Sugar
2 TBSP Corn Starch
1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 stick Butter/Marg.
Mix Corn Starch and Pumpkin Pie Spice together with 1/4 Cup Apple Juice until dissolved. Set aside.
Bring Apple Juice and Sugar to a slow boil until all sugar is dissolved. Slowly add Corn Starch mixture and continue cooking and stirring. When it becomes thick-ish add butter/margarine. Stir until dissolved and take off burner and use - best while hot.

Indian Fry Bread:
(Makes 24 wedges)
2 Cups Quick Mix
1 Cup White Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
2/3 Cups Milk/water (I use 1/3 Cup each)
Deep Cast Iron Skillet for cooking (or what ever is your favorite)
Cooking Oil abt 2 inches deep (I use Light Olive Oil)
While oil is heating to HOT (abt 375) - mix well the dry ingredients together well. Then add the liquid and mix well then knead a few times to get all the flour mixed in. split in half and roll out one half at a time on floured surface. Roll as you would a pie crust. Slice circle into 12 wedges. Do the same with second half.  By this time your oil should be hot... be careful not to burn yourself or to get the oil TOO hot. If you see its smoking then turn it off for a few minutes while you finish making your wedges.
Cook 3/4 wedges at a time until golden brown... drain on paper towels until all are cooked or if you serve while you're cooking - dig in. Serve with apple syrup and whipped cream/cool whip; powdered sugar; peanut butter; or even ice cream!


Quick Mix:
(13 cups mix)

8 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour
1 TBSP Baking Powder
1 TBSP Salt
2 tsp Cream of Tarter
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 Cups Instant Nonfat Dry Milk
2 1/4 Cups Vegetable Shortening
In a large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients. Blend well. With pastry blender, cut in shortening until evenly distributed. Mixture will resemble cornmeal in texture. Put in a large airtight container. Label. Store in a cool, dry place. Use within 10-12 weeks.  (OR Freeze for future use.)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Freaky Friday...

Yesterday was a freaky day for me... SICK, Sick, sick.... Post next week.  Sorry...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday's Musings...

Tonight as I sat mechanically watching TV - my husband said to look out the window at the sunset. I did. I grabbed my camera. This is a sample of the beauty of Arizona sunsets!

I hope you have enjoyed your visit.  :O) 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday's Fractured Features... Writing - Hobby or Job?

I've often thought other people have a different sun and moon or something that makes them have more hours in their days than I do... for they seem to get way more done in their writing efforts than I do. This has reminded me of one time when I was at a SCBWI writing conference in Utah where we had classes with a certain teacher throughout the conference... my teacher happened to be LDS Author Dean Hughes. Each day we went to class and he coached and taught us the fine art of our craft. One of the things he said that stuck with me (but I haven't as yet been able to make myself apply) is: he said that each day he got up and showered and dressed for work, had breakfast with family, then went in his den, closed the door and went to work. If you're working from home you have to treat it like a job or you will never get your work completed.
 Those profound words were re-iterated in a magazine article I recently read. It said, "You can't add more hours to the day, but you can supercharge those you already have. As often as possible, put writing first; before the kids wake up; before you go to work, before you run that errand, turn on the TV, check your e-mail and Facebook posts, or take a break. Putting writing before other intentions ensures you will get it done ...Writing time is work time, and it's as important as any other kind of work. Don't kid yourself that you can write while watching TV, or that you'll get to it after the next phone call. Set yourself up for success by writing in environments that are friendly to your focus. ...explain to family that writing time is 'do not disturb time' unless it's an emergency. Hang a sign on your door. Sit at your computer every day at the appointed time, whether or not you feel like writing... at least 20 minutes a day until it's a habit and you can spend more productive time."
So in essence if you want to be a published author... you have to treat your writing time not as a hobby but as a profession. You need to put the time and effort into it as you would if you were going to work for a high class company. Hours spent in writing time, in research, in rewarding self for job well done, time for "going home" and leaving work at work, play time, etc.
Now that I've been reminded of Dean Hughes and the lessons learned I hope to be able to be more productive at following this counsel!
... Joyce

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tuesday's Off Day - New Things...

So I've been trying to be more diligent in my writing and blogging... Today's a day of new beginnings toward that quest. A New Look and hopefully more conscientious about my blogging abilities, capabilities, and write-abilities! 
I will keep my Monday Musings; Wacky Wednesdays; and Fractured Fridays but I will not try to write on each of those days each week... I'm going to try for one of them a week and if that doesn't work I'll hop to every other week.
One thing though... don't plan on a lot of writing from me for the next couple of weeks because starting this week-end I will be having our family come in for our Smith Family Reunion... consequently I'll be involved with family gatherings etc.
Therefore you may ask why I'm starting with New Things today instead of waiting - well simply because I have time today and I may not have it in the next couple of weeks and I want to get it going... so after the 6th of July, when they all go home, then I'll be more apt to be busy with this again.  :) 
Hence once again stay tuned... and be patient with me.
Thanks, Joyce

Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday's Fractured Features-

For the past little while I have been saturated with life's adventures... And I have chewed off all my fingernails! Grrr
Our 50th wedding anniversary came and went with a fantastic man I'm proud to be married to. We spent a wonderful day. We went to the Temple where we were married 50 years ago and felt at peace and saw some old friends there too. We went and did a little shopping then dinner & a movie.
Next came our son's wedding & me in charge of making the wedding cake... now that was a project. We got to the building and someone was supposed to be there but we found it locked. I had the cake in the hot car! Grrr. The icing was then too soft and when my husband decided to carry said cake into the building un-aided he messed up the whole side of the cake! I was a bit miffed. But luckily I had brought frosting and tubes and tips to put a semi fix on it.
Wedding over I had all of the huge white table cloths I had borrowed from a friend to try and get all the stains out of from peeps that were careless in their eating - & they had spills of red punch on them too. I ended up washing them in four loads and did those four loads five times counting the pre-wash cycle, adding up to 20 loads of wash, taking the whole day long to get them spotless white again. Whew!
Then all table cloths clean and folded I needed to move the box away from my bed (which I had used as my folding table) so I could sleep that night and not bump into said box... bad idea! In moving it I hurt my back!!! I've been two & a half weeks getting my back to settle down so I could move around again.  Grrr
Now I've been back to working on my novel and feeling decidedly unqualified to be a writer/author so I stopped writing long enough to make a mock up cover to help get me pumped up about my writing again. Now I'm wondering if my title is the best title ever. So stay tuned to Monday and we'll see the solution I come up with.  :O)
Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday's Fractured Features...

My blog followers... you are not forgotten! I've been busy trying to make a picture video for my anniversary and I'll get back to you soon! Thanks following me and your patience.
~ Joyce

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday's Fractured Features... A Recipe

Pasta Sausage Meal

12 ounces of Orecchiette or I used 16 oz. Large Shells Pasta
2 Bunches Broccolini, or Broccoli Florets
2 Small size Zucchini, cut in chunks
9 yellow Cherri Tomatoes, cut in fourths
8 oz. of sweet Italian turkey Sausage, Or I used 16 oz. Jimmy Dean Country Mild Sausage - roll
                      sausage into small balls I used a teaspoon to cut amount.
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 large egg
Freshly ground pepper
½ cup grated ricotta. Or sprinkle with parmesan cheese and Mozzarella
Small sprigs of Fresh herbs cut with scissors into small pieces. (Rosemary, Sage, Lemon Thyme, Spicy Globe Basil, and Mexican Tarragon).
                                           {Underlined ingredients are the choices I used.} 

1.      Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs, adding the broccoli during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta and broccoli. (I did this differently - continue to read below.)
Add olive oil to this to keep noodles from sticking
Use teaspoon to form balls
 2.      Meanwhile, roll the sausage meat into small bite size meatballs. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
roll balls perfectly with hands
My stove cooks hot so adjust accordingly


Be careful because Snoopy is waiting for one to drop.
 3.      Pour off any drippings from the skillet, then add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, the garlic, red pepper flakes ½ teaspoon salt and the fresh herbs. Cook over medium heat, stirring 1 minute.  (I ran out of room in my pan of noodles so put the herbs, olive oil, garlic, red peppers and salt in my electric skillet and cooked 1 minute then added the zucchini & cooked for about 2 minutes, then added the broccoli. Continue cooking until vegetables are done. I then added the meatballs and pasta in my electric skillet and continued with the egg water.)

4. Whisk the egg with the reserved cooking water in a small bowl, then add to the skillet and stir until the sauce thickens slightly. Season with salt and pepper.

5.  Sprinkle with the cheeses; continue to heat until cheese is
                 melted and serve.

 ~ Hope you enjoy this... my family did.  :O)


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wacky Wednesday...

It’s Wacky Wednesday don’t you see,
Time to tell you ‘bout wacky ol’ me –

By Joyce P. Smith
Everywhere there are bees to see,

There are bees in the tree.

There are bees on the tower,
There are bees on every flower.


Bees are in the feeder,
Are there bees on my reader?

Hey there’s a hole way up there high,
"Plug all those holes" I sigh.

I tell you it’s not a drill,
There are bees all over the sill.
There are bees all on the floor,
There are some bees by the door.

Oh no, there are bees in the wall!

Lots of bees-  think I’ll bawl

Is there a comb of honey?
I surely wish it were money!
Is honey in my wall?
It shouldn’t be there at all…
Nope, it shouldn’t be there at all!
~ Joyce P. Smith

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday's Fractured Features... Book Review

Deadly Undertakings by Gregg Luke

A Fiction - Suspense/Mystery
            The majority of us try miracle creams, moisturizers, and some even go for face-lifts as we try to stay young looking with our wrinkle removal choices, the proverbial fountain of youth. Gregg Luke takes this thought to some very vivid and alarming notions in this rewarding whodunit, Deadly Undertakings. Luke’s knowledge as a Pharmacist helped make this story and the characters come to life for the reader. His attention to detail keeps the reader enthralled in the story. Luke does use a lot of “big” words throughout, but I like novels like that, where my vocabulary increases as I’m reading.

It begins when 78-year-old Beth walks into her mother’s home and finds her in her bedroom laid out perfectly on top of her bed - with no pulse. She’s wearing in a clean pressed dress as though ready for burial. The whole room seems too neat, too precise. Another thing that’s bizarre is that she has a white handkerchief tenderly covering her face. Beth removes the hanky only to find a silver fifty-cent piece on each eye; she immediately calls 911 due to the curious and strangeness of the death of her 101-year-old mother.

In comes Salt Lake City’s Rebekah Smith, assistant State medical Examiner and her tutor, mentor and good friend Dr. Sandeep Mahesh. As they examine her body they discover there’s no blood in the circulatory system. As an increasing number of centurions are brought to the morgue, they try to determine the cause of death. The pacing in this novel kept me on the edge of my seat with anticipation for what might happen next. “Sandy” spends time tutoring Rebekah and helping her see the big picture by looking for what isn’t apparent. What do the centurions have in common other than long healthy lives?

Rebekah then turns to her boyfriend, special investigations officer Josh Logan for help in solving this strange puzzle; not only the centurions dying but the way they’re lain out neatly and the missing blood from their systems before the EMT are called. She and Josh set out in physical and computer searches to see what they can dig up. These characters have their own flaws and problems in life but set out single mindedly to solve the problems and mystery of the centurions who are losing their lives in such an un-natural setting. You can tell they’re in love, but Luke keeps it neat and clean, engaging you in their story.

In the meantime Dr. Robert Lansing, one of Rebekah’s head honchos, continues to sexually harass her and make her feel uncomfortable in his presence. His lascivious innuendos and incessant flirtations drive her to distraction. This mixed with the comings and goings of the police bullpen, where Rebekah is nicknamed CK (Crypt Keeper) by Josh’s co-worker; then the formidable Ms. Mossberg at a nursing home, all mixed together keep you guessing. What I like about a good suspense, mysteries, or thriller is if they can keep me guessing to the very end; and I’m not easily surprised – Luke has done a good job here.

As the clues pile up, so does the danger for Rebekah because of her inquisitive mind. Will Rebekah and Josh find out who the serial killer is before they themselves become a target? Is the perp working alone or is there a mastermind? I enjoyed this book through all of the ups, downs, snags and surprises. Luke’s resolution to the story keeps you in a nail biting suspense as the intensity builds and comes to a surprising conclusion. If you like a good whodunit, I highly recommend Gregg Luke’s Deadly Undertakings.

Gregg Luke taught one of the classes at a writing conference I recently attended. When I got home rather than go right to work on my own novel, I decided I would both work on my novel and read Gregg Luke’s book Deadly Undertakings. My plan was to use Deadly Undertakings as a work-book of sorts since the novel I’m writing is in the same genre. I love Luke’s writing style and own all of his books, which I have very much enjoyed. I was able to talk to him several times throughout the conference and he encouraged me to complete the novel I’m writing. So with all of this in mind I set forth, with pencil in hand, on which turned out to be a nail biting, suspenseful, reading marathon.  :O)

Deadly Undertakings turned out to be ever much as good as any of the other novels by Luke that I’ve read, maybe even better. I must agree with Brooke Ballard, CPhT., when she said, “Gregg Luke has a vivid imagination, which has resulted in his most twisted, creepy, and agonizingly intense novel yet. I loved it!”  

I likewise loved it which was the cause of the reading marathon and my husband wondering when I was going to come back to earth. I’m thinking I need to get Gregg Luke to agree to be my tutor, and mentor me in writing my novels.  :O)

Again, Deadly Undertakings is highly recommended – I would give it five stars. If you haven't read it... go enjoy!  ~ Joyce