Recipe: Fastnacht (Fat Tuesday donuts)

fastnacht-kuechels

Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras is celebrated Tuesday February 13, 2018 this year.  I love to celebrate by making King Cakes, Fastnachts (donuts) and other gold, purple and green themed desserts and food.  A must have on Tuesday is definitely the Fastnachts.  The tradition started many, many years ago when my mother would make them only once a year for this special day.

As years pass I have kept the tradition going.  It’s just not Fat Tuesday unless I am handing bags of these fresh wonderful smelling fastnachts to friends and family.  There are three ways you can make these.  You can put powdered sugar on them or cinnamon and sugar or my favorite glaze.  All three are tasty and I make all three.  I make two batches per year since the family and friends list has grown.  This is easily doubled, especially when using a big Kitchen Aid mixer.  I hope you try these and enjoy as much as I do!!

This recipe is a Fat Tuesday tradition.  Fry up these tasty donuts and earn your beads!!

FASTNACHT KUECHELS (Fat Tuesday Donuts)

3 TO 4 CUPS FLOUR

1 PACKAGE DRY YEAST

½ TEASPOON SALT

¼ CUP SUGAR

1 EGG

¼ CUP COMBINED SOLID SHORTNING (CRISCO) AND BUTTER

1 AND ¾ CUP MILK

  • MIX 1 ½ CUP FLOUR, DRY YEAST, SALT AND SUGAR IN A LARGE BOWL
  • HEAT MILK AND 1/8 CUP BUTTER AND 1/8 CUP CRISCO, IN A SAUCE PAN UNTIL LUKE WARM, 110 DEGREES ON A CANDY THERMOMOTER IT IS NOT NECESSARY FOR CRISCO TO MELT, ADD TO DRY INGREDIENTS IN BOWL.
  • BEAT IN MIXER 2 MINUTES MEDIUM SPEED.
  • ADD EGG AND ½ CUP FLOUR OR ENOUGH TO MAKE THICK BATTER, recipe calls for up to a total of 4 cups, you have already added 2 so you can add up to 2 more cups.
  • BEAT HIGH SPEED 2 MINUTES
  • STIR IN ENOUGH FLOUR TO MAKE A SOFT DOUGH
  • KNEAD LIGHTLY, ADD DOUGH TO BOWL COVER BOWL WITH KITCHEN TOWEL, LET RISE IN A WARM PLACE UNTIL DOUBLED IN BOWL, ABOUT 1 HOUR,
  • PLACE DOUGH ON LIGHTLY FLOURED SURFACE KNEAD LIGHTLY, ROOL TO ½ TO ¾ INCH THICKNESS
  • CUT INTO SQUARES, APPROX 3 INCHES SQUARE, LET DOUGH SIT A FEW MINUTES, ALWAYS KEEP DOUGH COVERED WITH KITCHEN TOWEL.
  • HEAT OIL TO 370 DEGREES,
  • FRY A FEW AT A TIME, BEFORE FRYING PULL THE DOUGH A BIT SO DOUGH IS THIN IN CENTER, BROWN AND THEN FLIP AND BROWN OTHER SIDE

DRAIN ON PAPER TOWEL, SPRINKLE WITH POWDERED SUGAR OR CINNAMON/GRANULATED SUGAR MIX, I PUT MINE IN A BAG AND SHAKE.  I also make a glaze of 1/2 teaspoon almond extract and 1 tablespoon milk, I start out with 1/2 cup confectioner sugar and add until I get the proper glaze thickness.  Dip donuts in glaze and let set on a piece of foil or wax paper.

ENJOY!

Visit THE COUNTRY COOK to see where I link my recipes

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Release Day, Special Price: HIS Series Box Set Vol. 2

LIMITED TIME SALE $2.99 – Reg $5.99
Title: HIS Series Box Set Vol. 2
Author: Sheila Kell
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Cover Designer: CT Cover Creations
Romantic Suspense BEST-SELLING Author • In Sheila Kell’s passionate novels of heat, desire, and suspense, prepare to meet the hot-bodied men of Hamilton Investigation & Security (HIS) as they do whatever it takes to protect the women who have stolen their hearts.
HIS CHANCE – Devon Hamilton
What happens when one hot night in Vegas irrevocably changes his future? In HIS book four, a red-hot computer nerd and a stubborn former FBI agent are drawn together by an undeniable attraction and the chance to save lives.
HIS DESTINY – Trent McKenzie
What happens when his destiny leads him into the arms of the woman he doesn’t think he deserves? In HIS book five, a damaged man and a broken woman are connected by heartbreak and danger… and the heat of possibility.
HIS FAMILY – Blake Hamilton
What happens when a man used to being in control has to call in his family to rescue the woman he loves? In HIS book six (novella), a charismatic U.S. Senator and an assertive CEO are connected by the love they share. A love about to be ripped out from beneath them.
HIS HEART – Matt Hamilton
What happens when a man is called to protect the woman who captured then crushed his heart? In HIS book seven, two people are connected by a painful past and a love that is threatened.
If you like thrilling, edge of your seat reading with sizzling sex scenes, then you’ll love each installment of Sheila Kell’s best-selling series. 
Continue the adventure with the hot-bodied men of HIS today!
Books do not have to be read in order, but you’ll get the whole picture if you do!
HIS Series, Vol I (Books 1-3)
Book 8: HIS FANTASY (Brad & Madison)
Praise for Sheila Kell
 “Sheila Kell is a mistress of the genre…” – Readers’ Favorite
“Wow! Can Ms. Kell tell a great story.” – InD’tale Magazine
VOLUME 1

 

Amazon CA ➔ http://amzn.to/2DsSfew

 

 

  HIS CHANCE 
One night in Vegas will change everything
His hand froze and the tantalizing goose bumps that had been sprouting over her skin, as his hand lightly grazed her shoulder, disappeared. His voice commanded her attention. “Look at me, Rylee.”
Slowly, she raised her eyes and fell headfirst into his warm expression.
“I’d rather you were wearing it.”
“I—”
“It’s okay. We’ll figure it out later.”
“I—” What the hell was wrong with her? She couldn’t get a word out of her mouth. Worse, she had a guilty twinge stealing through her.
He settled back to toying with her hair again. “I have some tapes to show you of us.”
Rylee jumped up, panic flooded her. “We made—” She wrung her hands. “We made sex tapes?” she asked, full of fright at the idea. Good God, she’d been even drunker than she’d thought.
Sheila Kell is an award-winning author who writes smokin’ hot romance and intrigue. She secretly laughs when her mother, in that stern voice, calls it, “nasty.” As a self-proclaimed caffeine addict nestled in north Mississippi with three cats, she wears her pajamas most of the day and writes about the romantic men who leave women’s hearts pounding with a happily ever after built on a memorable, adrenaline-pumping story. When she isn’t writing, she can be found visiting her family, dreaming of an editor who agrees her work is perfect, or watching cartoons.
Sheila is a proud Romance Writers of America member. You can find out more on her website, Facebook, and Twitter. Join her newsletter for VIP updates, contests, upcoming appearances and news!

 

King Cake

I enjoy celebrating all holidays, Mardi Gras is no exception.  This is a pretty easy recipe if followed correctly.  I love making these every year.  I’m posting this early so you can make a practice batch.

KING CAKE

Dough Recipe

  • 14 cup butter
  • 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
  • 13 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (1/4 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 12 cup warm water, the water should be between 100 to 110 degrees
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 12 cups all-purpose flour, divided

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 34 cup granulated sugar
  • 18 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Glaze Recipe

  • ½ cup confectioner sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Also need, gold (yellow), green and purple sugar crystals.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a sauce pan, cook first 4 ingredients on low heat, stirring often until butter is melted.  Let cool until it reaches 100-110 degrees.
  2. Dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl, let sit 5 minutes.   Add butter mixture from sauce pan, eggs, and 2 cups flour. beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until smooth.  Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
  3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes; Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top; Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
  4. Using an electric mixer, mix cream cheese until smooth; Add egg and blend well; Add sugar, salt and vanilla and mix until smooth and creamy; Set aside.
  5. Punch dough down; divide in half; Turn 1 portion out onto a lightly floured surface; roll to a 28- x 10-inch rectangle; Spread half each of cream cheese mixture on dough; Roll dough, jellyroll fashion, starting at long side; Place dough roll, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet; Bring ends together to form an oval ring, moistening and punching edges together to seal; Repeat with remaining dough and cream cheese mixture.
  6. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 20 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden.
  8. Let cool.
  9. Mix glaze ingredients, add more sugar or milk as needed to make a glaze that will stick to the bread.  Pour glaze than add sprinkles alternating colors (see photo)

Enjoy!!!

Blog Tour OUR LOVE IS HERE TO STAY


Our Love Is Here To Stay
By Madison Michael

Madison has some fabulous giveaways for this tour. Remember you may visit the other tour stops to increase your chances of winning. You may find those locations here

Romance and TimeTravel Prize Package #1: Includes  Books: Outlander, Time Traveler’s Wife and Beyond the Highland Mist and  DVDs: Somewhere in Time, The Lake House, the eBook Our Love Is Here To Stay.
Romance and TimeTravel Prize Package #2: One of the books above and 1 of the DVDs plus the eBook for Our Love Is Here To Stay.
Romance and TimeTravel Prize Package #3: One of the books above or one DVD plus the eBooks Our Love Is Here To Stay.


About the Book: 
Can Love Transcend Time?

Thirty-year old Matthew Herrington is weary of solo nights in strange cities. He is ready for a change. And that is exactly what he gets when he steps into Swing Night at The Green Mill and is instantly immersed in the sights and sounds of another era. Intrigued by the club’s authenticity, Matthew is enchanted when he meets Patty, a mixture of sexy and sweet who steals his heart.

Patty Dennison has never met a man like Matthew in all her twenty-one years. A sophisticated man, he stands out from the usual Swing Night crowd. He is self-assured, smart, charming, and handsome as hell, even if he is a lousy dancer. Once he takes her in his arms, Patty is more than willing to give him a few dance lessons along with her heart.

Repeated missed dates and unanswered phone calls strain the relationship and frustrate the pair. But unraveling their mystery exposes an impossible scenario, one that will torment their sanity and test their love.


How can they make their fairytale last? Can love transcend time?

Buy Links: 
Amazon | All other formats 

Excerpt: 

 A waitress came to take it off his hands. “Another?” she queried and he nodded agreement, placing a crumpled dollar on her tray. “Too much,” she told him shaking her head no. Matthew was surprised by her response but the tray was covered with loose change so he removed his bill and left the equivalent in quarters. Everything was so inexpensive but the server still needed to make a decent living.
She gave him a grateful smile and turned to move to her next customer, carefully balancing her tray above the heads of the young people around her. In the process, she nudged Matthew slightly causing him to lose his footing and fall gently against another body. Turning to apologize he found himself staring into the clearest, lightest blue eyes he had ever seen. He couldn’t look away.
“Sorry,” he mumbled when he finally regained his composure.
“That’s okay,” she replied with a quick, bright smile. She was lovely, in a wholesome girl next door way. She had her blond hair pulled into a ponytail that curled like a hair product ad, clear-skinned cheeks that were pink with warmth and perhaps exertion, and a curvy body displayed under a bright red sweater and a flared plaid skirt.
Matthew felt his mouth go dry and his palms get sweaty. She did something to him, this fresh faced woman that he found incredibly sexy. Her red lipstick was a slash of bright color mimicking the red of the sweater. Until this moment, bright red lipstick screamed “tough broad, stay away” to Matthew but on this girl it whispered “come hither.”
“Matthew,” he squeaked out, extending his hand to shake hers. Thinking twice about it, he retracted his arm, running his palm against his pants swiftly, and hopefully surreptitiously, before he extended his hand again.
“Patty,” she responded, placing her soft fingers in his large palm. She shook like a girl. After all the bone-breaking handshakes Matthew had endured across the globe, this limp, fingers-only shake surprised him. She looked athletic, not tough but toned, and not sickly pale like most Chicagoans in winter. The handshake didn’t match the image and normally would have bothered him. Nothing about Patty bothered him. Everything about her bothered him.


Author Bio and links:

Madison Michael traded 28 years in Fortune 500 tech and management positions for a chance to spend her days with sassy heroines, sexy, rich heroes and nothing but happy endings. Growing up the daughter of a librarian, she learned to love books, especially classics and romances, and spent winters cuddled under blankets losing herself in books.
Madison is the author of three novels in the Beguiling Bachelor series, as well as several short stories. She is a member of Romance Writers of America.
After living in the northeast, southeast and the west, Maddy returned to her Midwest roots. She lives in Evanston, IL with two feline editorial assistants and great views of Chicago’s famous skyline.

Contact her at:
Website | Madison’s Blog | Maddy’s Romance Madness | Facebook | Twitter


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Chipotle Chicken & Rice Casserole

Looking for a spicy recipe, Chipotle Chicken & Rice Casserole, is a great combo of spice, cheese & yummy flavors.  The amount of chipotle peppers can make this dish mild or hot.  If your not into spicy, I would recommend only one pepper.  Like spice, then add 2 chipotle peppers & a bit of the adobo sauce.  Do you have a favorite casserole dish

Chipotle Chicken & Rice Casserole

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups lite sour cream, I use light full fat is fine
  • One 10 3/4-ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup, I use the light version of this
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 2 shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese, seperated

 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray a 13×9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In large bowl, stir together the sour cream, cream of chicken soup, chopped chipotles, salt and pepper mix well.

Add rice, chicken and a little more than half the cheddar cheese.

Place the mix in a baking dish, add remaining cheese to top.

Bake uncovered 20-25 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.

Review: Tell It Like It Is (The Northstar Security Series Book 5)

Title: Tell It Like It Is (The Northstar Security Series Book 5)

Author: Stanalei Fletcher

Print Length: 298 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1509217932
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc (December 6, 2017)
Publication Date: December 6, 2017
ASIN: B076GRHP3R

Source: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

BOOK DESCRIPTION, FROM AMAZON

When Northstar Security agent Justine Shelby is assigned to protect world-famous author Rosalee Kane, the last thing she wants is help from the author’s nephew, prickly but attractive FBI Special Agent Nelson Kane. Shelby is used to depending on herself and is content to work alone, but Rosalee and Kane make Shelby wish for something more. Of course, he may never forgive her if the assignment isn’t successful, and the threats are escalating.

Kane doesn’t trust Northstar Security, blaming them for his close brush with death. His first encounter with the deceptively innocuous agent doesn’t improve his attitude, but circumstances compel them to join forces. As things turn deadly and their every move is countered, Kane comes to depend on Shelby in a race against the clock to keep Rosalee alive. Shelby and Kane must uncover the deadly betrayal without dying first.

MY THOUGHTS

Shelby, a Northstar Security Agent, was preparing to spend her Christmas vacation at the orphanage with the kids when she received the working orders to travel with an author that was receiving threats.  Shelby was looking forward to seeing the kids, but when work makes a call you answer.  The job was Protecting author  Rosalee, the aunt of FBI Agent Nelson Kane.  The job was not going to be easy with death threats to the author and a hot FBI agent getting too close for comfort.

This book had me on the edge of my seat.  I loved the relationships of the characters.  The relationships between Shelby and Roselee and Shelby and Kane are developed at a realistic pace.  The details that the author gives makes the story jump out of the pages and into the readers imagination.  I enjoyed these characters and hope to see them in another book.  The romance and mystery are great for either fans of both genres.  A highly recommended read.

 

 

 

 

Stanalei Fletcher’s January Blowout Sale Blog Tour


Stanalei Fletcher’s January Blowout Sale Blog Tour
All 5 Northstar Security Series books are on sale for only 
$.99 during the tour only!

GiveAway: Stanalei is offering some fabulous prizes during this tour. One Lucky winner will have the chance to choose an ebook from her backlist, another lucky winner will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Certificate, and one lucky winner will have the chance to choose a print book from Stanalei’s backlist. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember to follow along with the tour to increase your chances of winning. You may find the other tour locations here

~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Series Blurb: 

Northstar Security Firm is an elite private security agency whose mission statement: GUIDED BY THE TRUTH, is the guiding principle to provide justice for those who have been wronged. Founded by former CIA agents Byron O’Neal, Katherine O’Neal, and Sean Malone, Northstar Security has a ninety-nine percent success rate. That one percent is a still open case involving Katherine’s murder and Sean Malone’s career-ending gunshot wound. Nothing is a hundred percent guaranteed, and angst over one unsolved case doesn’t stop good men and women from fulfilling their duty.

Proving Ground

Northstar Security Series Book #1

About the Book: 

A screw-up, a wild fire, and a bio-terrorist. What could go wrong?
Proving Ground introduces the high stakes world of The Northstar Security Firm. Caitlin Malone’s only hope of saving her town, maybe even the entire country, is pinned on the one man who broke her heart.

Screw-ups don’t get second chances. That’s what Caitlin Malone believes when she returns to Oregon after failing her first Northstar Security assignment. When she inadvertently stumbles across a plot to steal deadly pathogens from the bio-lab near her hometown, she sees a chance at redemption.

USDA Forest Ranger, John ‘Mac’ MacAlistair, doesn’t want to babysit the motorcycle club holding their annual rally in his national forest. To make matters worse, Caitlin is attending the rally with Mac’s estranged uncle. Having her home again brings up feelings that are better left buried.

It’s early September. Any spark will send the dry timber into a raging fire. The terrorists are counting on that distraction to work in their favor. When Caitlin is trapped by the wildfire, her only hope of rescue is pinned on Mac, the man she’s tried two years to forget. Before they can share their feelings, Mac and Caitlin must first escape the burning forest and stop the terrorists from releasing the deadly pathogens.

Buy Links:
Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

Excerpt:
…he couldn’t reach the knife. Although handy in most situations, it would be useless against a gun. His only chance of coming out unscathed in this encounter would be quick reflexes and luck. Mostly luck.
Breathing slowly, he cleared his mind, took a cautious step forward—and froze when he heard the click of the gun’s safety release.
The time it took to consider alternatives should’ve been spent backing out the door. However, in his nearly thirty years, he’d only run away from one situation, which, although dangerous to his emotional well-being, hadn’t been life threatening. He wasn’t backing down now.
The gun didn’t waver. The person behind it remained shadowed, but steady hands indicated someone other than a fly-by-night burglar. Had one of Sean’s old nemeses come after him for some long overdue retribution?
“I don’t know who you are.” Mac kept his voice calm, soothing. “But I’m pretty sure I’m not the person you want to shoot.”
The snick of a switch and a blaze of overhead light prevented more talk. Blinded by the sudden brightness, Mac stood rooted to the floor, hands in the air, not daring to make any sudden moves.
“Damn it, Mac, I could’ve killed you!”
Caitlin Malone.
Mac’s heart stirred to life. Blood surged through his veins as his breath released on a whoosh. He lowered his hands, but his body refused to budge. His reaction had nothing to do with the fact Caitlin had greeted him with a shotgun, and everything to do with the woman herself.

 

Dead Reckoning
Northstar Security Series Book #2
About the Book: 

Byron O’Neal, Northstar Security Firm’s director didn’t always run an elite private investigation firm. His early CIA years were spent chasing Soviet spies. Now his past is catching up, and Kellee, Bryon’s daughter is caught in the middle of a game of Russian Roulette. Northstar agent and former Navy SEAL, Egan Maddox, is tasked to save Kellee from the Russian mafia before it’s too late, a task that puts not only his life, but his heart on the line.

Buy Links:
Amazon | The Wild Rose Press 

Beyond Duty
Northstar Security Series Book #3

About the Book: 
When Northstar Security Firm investigates the blackmail of a U.S. Senator, agents Riley O’Neal and Mary “Chip” Anderson don the unwelcome cover of newlyweds to find two kidnapped women and stop the blackmail – and posing as newlyweds to avert a national security crisis is a lot harder than it seems.

Buy Links: 
Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

Breaking the Honor Code
Northstar Security Series Book #4

About the Book: 

Cyber-terrorism brings even the most powerful companies to their knees. When Northstar Security Firm discovers a breach inside their computer firewall, agent Sloan Cartland will do anything to help the firm’s brilliant computer tech, Allison Richards, find the culprit—even after he learns that all evidence of the hack points back to Allison.


Buy Links: 

Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

Tell It Like It Is
Northstar Security Series Book #5

About the Book: 

 

FBI agent, Nelson Kane’s Aunt Rosalee has a story to tell. Someone wants her stopped. When Northstar Security’s unconventional bodyguard, Justine Shelby, is assigned as Aunt Rosalee’s protection, Shelby learns she’s as welcome as a wiretap at the annual J. Edgar Hoover Christmas party. Ornaments start to fly when Shelby informs by-the-book, Agent Kane to stay out of the way while she helps his aunt complete her tell-all memoirs.

Buy Links:
Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

About the Author:

Stanalei’s love of writing romance stems from reading favorites such as Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Barbara Cartland, and Alistair MacLean. She has over twenty years of training in the martial arts and holds the rank of Sandan, a third-degree black belt, in Aikido.

After a taste of life on both U.S. coasts, she now resides near the beautiful Wasatch Mountain Range with her hero, who just happens to be her best friend and husband. Together they enjoy backcountry dirt trails on a RZR, visiting our National Parks, or exploring museums and ghost towns. You may visit Stanalei at: 

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