Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Man Pizza

Charlie and I each like pizza, but from different angles.

For him, the toppings are just a garnish for the bread.

For me, the bread is just a delivery system for salt and fat.

I let him make the pizza the other day, which is only fair. This is what he made.

He said, "This is Italian street pizza. This is how I had it when I was in Italy."

I said, "This is how I had it when I was in Italy, too. Once."

Then we told each other once more about when and where we had our first pizza in Louisville. Our stories have become like old friends: We always recognize them, and we're happy when they show up. They're comfortable to be around. Some of them. There are always those ones, aren't there?

This is the last Tuesday of Story A Day May. I've written a story today about Bud Blossom, Chinese/American owner of The Golden Lotus houseboat restaurant. Hop over and read it, if you like.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, May 25, 2018

Classic Key Lime Pie

Keep the desserts coming with the fresh citrus of key lime pie with this recipe from King Arthur Flour. The creamy filling with a crunchy crust will be the perfect ending to springtime meals. Click on the King Arthur Flour link for recipe instructions as well as a link to the company's blog where the baker takes you through step-by-step directions.

Classic Key Lime Pie   Recipe

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Hey, There, Chef Boy!

So Charlie said, "Remember when the kids were little, we used to get that pizza mix in a box and make our own pizza?"

"Yeah! They called it Chef Boy!"

"Let's get one and try it. That was good pizza. Probably because we made it together."

Now, this is a man who has been cussing pizza as a rip-off and an abomination for decades. Suddenly, he's a pizza fiend. We've had pizza out at three different places in the past two months, and now he's asking for it at home.

So, we got a Chef Boy.
He also hates it when food claims to be fun. In all other instances, he hates it.
While he spread the dough, I chopped ingredients.

ALL the things!
The mozzarella balls were not a visual success, although they tasted fine.
As my grandpa would say, "That don't hurt the eatin' of it."
It was fun, and it was good. Even better was how the kids smiled when we told them about it.

It's still May, so I'm still writing a story a day. Today's is a sort of fairy tale sequel called "Broken Glass."

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Monday, May 21, 2018

At Long Last, Lonnie

That's what the fabulous T. Lee Harris who (among other things) formats and uploads and wrangles Per Bastet Publications' books into reality, said when the new book went up. The new book? LONNIE, ME, AND.... It's an entire collection of nothing in the world but stories about Lonnie and Tiny, the wives, the dogs, and Rocky, the 20-pound Maine Coon cat.

Here's a bit from "Lonnie, Me, and the Reptiles of Tybee Island"

Get 'im, Tiger

excerpt by Marian Allen

“Lookee here,” he said to the counter lady, “do fellas ever wrestle them alligators?”

Her eyes widened and she caught her breath. “I’ll have to get my manager.” She went into another room and closed the door.

A couple of minutes later, a man almost as big as I am came out. The counter lady hung back inside the doorway, a hand over her mouth.

“Which one of you heroes wants to wrestle an alligator?”

Lonnie flexed his ropey arms and said, “That’d be me.”

“You sure?”

Lonnie looked less sure by the second, but he said, “I had a Sign. I know how to beat him. You can have folks make bets, if you want to.”

“Lonnie,” I said, “I don’t hardly think Leona is gonna approve of this exercise, especially if you take bets.”

Leona is a hardshell Baptist, and doesn’t hold with gambling. Or stupidity, come to that, but she’d probably come to be pretty used to that by now.

“No bets,” the man said. “This has got to be absolutely secret. We could get in all kinds of trouble if word got out.”

Lonnie tipped him a wink, or maybe his nerve was going and it was a twitch.

“Come on,” the man said. “We got one out back of here. We keep him away from the others because he’s always trying to fight with ’em. We been looking for somebody to take him down a notch. Looks like you’re our man. Say, you ain’t that crocodile guy from television, are you?”

“That guy’s already dead,” I said, without thinking, and Lonnie gave me a hurt look.

The man led us outside and to a shed. He unlocked it, threw open the door, and flipped on the light.

He kind of crowded us in and closed the door.

“He’s over there in that corner,” he said.

The alligator was penned in a box that was not much bigger than he was. I felt kind of sorry for him, but the walls of the box were just barely taller than him, so I didn’t see how he could not get out if he wanted to. Maybe alligator legs don’t lift them up very high or something.

“Go get him, Tiger!” the man said. Whether he was calling Lonnie “Tiger,” or whether Tiger was the alligator’s name, I don’t know.

Lonnie didn’t move. Neither did the alligator. We all just stood there. Time stretched out.

Finally, I said, “Is he even alive?”

The man said, “No.” He stepped back outside, holding the door open for us. “It’s December. All the alligators are hibernating. The ones in the pond now are just fake ones, like this guy.” He snapped off the light, closed the door after us, and locked it.

I cut my eyes at Lonnie. He looked like Mr. Mad and Mr. Relieved were having a party and fighting over the tab.

He muttered, “That was a dirty trick.”

I said, “Maybe so, but I wish now I’d had money on you. I believe you could have taken a fake alligator, two falls out of three.”



at Amazon in print and for Kindle and Kindle apps. Soon to be available through independent book stores, and in multiple formats through Untreed Reads.

Meanwhile, I'm doing Story A Day May again this year, so check out my Story A Day May posts for free short stories!

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, May 18, 2018

Strawberry Shortcake

Ripe strawberries and whipped cream in between light cake come together for the perfect spring dessert in this Taste of Home contest winner.

Strawberry Shortcake

(Please visit the link above for further information.)


2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
Whipped cream
1-1/2 quarts fresh or frozen strawberries, sliced


1. In a bowl, cream sugar and shortening. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Combine dry ingredients and add alternately with milk to the creamed mixture. Spread in a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

2. Cut into nine servings. Split each serving horizontally and fill with whipped cream and strawberries. Replace top of cake; garnish with more berries and a dollop of whipped cream. Serve immediately.

Yield: 9 servings.

© 2018 RDA Enthusiast Brands, LLC

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

One Of Them Bowl Things

If you can't stand for your one food to touch your other food, bowls are not for you. I used to be One of Those People, but I got over it. It wasn't from my mother telling me -- repeatedly -- "It all touches each other in your belly."

I think I got over it because I started liking the combinations of colors and visual textures when everything's all stacked up together. I started liking flavor blends and combined -- what's the fancy term? -- oh, yeah, "mouth-feel." Doesn't sound very high-falutin', does it?

ANYWAY, I make bowls of things now. Here's a recent one:

That's lettuce (not Romaine), lemon pepper Tilapia, fresh green beans, and grated Italian cheeses.

I make the Tilapia like this:

Spread a FROZEN Tilapia filet with vegan margarine and sprinkle it with salt and lemon pepper. Heat vegan margarine in a skillet at a little below medium heat. Put the fish in, buttered side up. Cook for about 7 minutes. Turn it over and cook it for about 7 more minutes. Easy-peasy.

I'm still perkin' right along in Story A Day May. Today's story also has a kind of food in it. Hop on over and give it a read, why doncha?

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, May 11, 2018

Rack of Lamb with Strawberry Mint Sauce

Nothing says spring like fresh strawberries. Mix them with fresh mint and mouth-watering lamb for a perfect spring entree.

Recipe By: Chef John from All Recipes - I strongly recommend you visit the site for video, step-by-step instructions, and tips.

"As far as mint sauces go, I love experimenting with new ideas, especially around Easter time, and I really liked how this came out. The combination of the sweet-savory sauce and the Dijon crumb crust complemented the lamb perfectly." - Chef John



2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons honey
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
1/4 cup freshly sliced mint leaves


1 (8 bone) rack of lamb, fully trimmed
kosher salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely minced green onions
1/4 cup fine plain bread crumbs
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt


Place halved strawberries, zest from one lemon, juice from 2 lemons, water, honey, salt, and cayenne pepper in a pot over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. As strawberries begin to release their liquid, soften, and start to break down, reduce heat to medium-low and continue stirring and cooking occasionally until fruit is very soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Pass mixture through a fine mesh strainer.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C). Line a shallow baking pan with foil, bringing ends up and over sides of the pan.

Generously season rack of lamb on both sides with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Place lamb on prepared pan. Roast rack of lamb in hot oven to sear, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Combine mustard and onions in a small bowl. Pour melted butter into bread crumbs in a separate bowl; stir until mixture resembles wet sand. Season with salt.

Coat top of lamb generously with the mustard mixture. Sprinkle crumb mixture onto the mustard mixture and press down to create a crumb crust.

Roast rack until it reaches an internal temperature of 125 degrees F (50 degrees C), about 15 minutes.

Let rack rest 10 minute before slicing between ribs into four 2-rib servings or two 4-rib servings.

Mix thinly sliced mint into strawberry sauce just before serving. Spoon a small pool of the sauce onto serving plates. Place ribs on sauce to serve.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2018 Allrecipes.com

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Love My Hot Air Fryer!

I heard about hot air fryers from Cheap Lazy Vegan (no, I don't get out much). So I researched them (I little) and bought this small Gourmia one off eBay.

The recipe book that came with it was fairly worthless, but whaddya want f'nothin, a rubber biscuit?

ANYWAY, I took the booklet's advice and cooked stuff kind of the length and heat I would in a conventional whatever, and sometimes I got it right and sometimes I got it wrong. Fish was GREAT. Sweet potato fries were not, mostly because I neglected to shake the damn basket every five minutes, because ain't nobody got time for that.

If you like succulent asparagus, you would think my Parmesan asparagus was a fail, but we loved it. I tossed the asparagus with seasoned salt, a wee bit of oil, and grated Parmesan cheese. Cooked it at prolly 400F for prolly about 10-15 minutes. It came out with the tips absolutely crunchy.

#4 Daughter, the amazing Sara Marian, doesn't care for asparagus, but she loved these! The tips were her favorite. I was like, "Duh." She's so not into asparagus, she didn't realize the tips are pert near everybody's favorite. She's so cute.

It's Story A Day May, so you're invited to hop over to my blog and read today's story, "Pemmican Pete."

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, May 4, 2018

Risotto with Lemon Garlic Shrimp

Grilled shrimp complimented with garlic and lemon on a bed of creamy risotto and vegetables create the perfect dish for spring celebrations. This is an intricate recipe, so please visit Southern Boy Dishes for complete step-by-step instructions on preparing this dish.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Haitian Chicken with Pics

A week or two ago, I posted on my blog about making a recipe called Haitian Chicken. I got the recipe from a wonderful blog called Climbing Grier Mountain. But I forgot to take a picture!

So I made it again, and this time I did not forget.

It's so easy, and so good! Wonderful with or over rice. Not for the "mater hater," needless to say.

It's May, so I'm writing a story a day on my blog this month. Today's story features my series characters LeJune and June Rose: "Critter in the House."

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes