Friday, February 26, 2016

How to Doctor Homemade Frosting

Let's talk about how to jazz up that store bought frosting so that it has more flavor.

1. Extracts – Extracts are an easy and simple way to make boring store bought frosting taste amazing. Just remember to stick with real extracts as often as possible.

2. Candy – Do you buy the frosting with the mini chocolate chips? Why not make your own delicious combinations using any type of candy you like. All you need to do is chop it up and fold it in.

3. Cookies – You can also fold in crushed pieces of your favorite cookies. Just make sure it's a hard cookie or it will just dissolve into mush.

4. Flavored syrups – You can also use flavored syrups to improve the flavor. Just be sure you don't add too much or you may affect the consistency of the frosting.

5. Cream Cheese – Mix any flavor of frosting with an 8 ounce package of room temperature cream cheese for a delicious flavor. Try chocolate cream cheese, vanilla buttercream cream cheese, or even strawberry cream cheese.

6. Peanut Butter – If you love chocolate and peanut butter, try mixing 1/2 cup of peanut butter into fudge flavored frosting for a decadent combination.

How do you like to jazz up store bought frosting?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

No Foodie, but Lots of Fatal

I am reading my first biological terror thriller! THE COBRA EVENT is a story of what can happen when an biological weapon of mass destruction is in the hands of someone sinister. Since most of the characters are either spreading viruses, dying or working to solve the mystery; there is barely time for anyone to eat. While Fatal Foodies may not get much in the way of food descriptions, what we do get is a crazy good book!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Eggrolls With An Italian Accent #vegetarian

Back when I had that package of eggroll wrappers I was trying to use up, I did this.

I cooked up the tag end of a spinach and carrot and mushroom salad, along with some leftover rice, stirred in some mascarpone cheese, wrapped it in eggroll wrappers, and fried them in a little olive oil, turning them frequently to brown them all over.

So they looked like this.

Good? Oh, HELL, yes!

I suppose there might be a vegan alternative to mascarpone, but I doubt it. It's dee-VINE!

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

Friday, February 19, 2016

Homemade Twinkies

Who doesn't love this iconic snack cake? Unfortunately, the ingredients in this delicious snack are a bit questionable. Some have even said the Twinkie could survive a nuclear Holocaust. While that's probably not true, the amount of preservatives is a bit scary.

This recipe from the Brown Eyed Baker allows you to make delicious AND easy homemade Twinkies.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Pili Sans Carne #vegetarian Could Be #Vegan

YES, that's part French, part Spanish, and part nonsense. I'm fluent in gibberish, okay?

What I'm talking about it chili made with black-eyed peas and without meat. So: Pili Sans Carne.

  • olive oil
  • onions, chopped
  • garlic clove, whole
  • chili powder
  • powdered cumin
  • 1 can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • frozen corn (or canned, or fresh)
  • 2 cups water
  • enough vegetarian bouillon for the water
  • tomato paste

Heat the oil to medium low in a saucepan. Cook the onions and garlic clove until the onion is soft. Remove the garlic. Add chili powder and cumin and toast it in the hot oil.  Add the rest of the ingredients to taste.

Mine wasn't vegan because I put cheese on top. If you don't, or if you use vegan cheese substitute, yours will be vegan.

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

Friday, February 12, 2016

Book Themed Menus

Have you ever considered making a menu based on a book you've read? It can be a fun way to shake things up and try new recipes. This is especially true if you're reading a book set in another country or time period.

There are even cookbooks devoted to these types of menus and some authors have created cookbooks based on the foods prepared in their series.

The menu can be as normal or whimsical as you like. For example, you might make a goose dinner based on reading a Charles Dickens' novel or you might make a toffee pudding and butterbeer after reading Harry Potter. Or you might make a meatloaf and pistachio pudding cake after reading The Calamity Cafe, coming in June! :)

Share your ideas and menus in the comments below.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sharing a Classic

Until last week, my kids had never tried Shoney's hot fudge cake. I know...right..made me feel like a bad, neglectful mother! To ring in the beginning of softball season, I thought hot fudge cake would be a good, celebratory treat. Also, I was really craving the stuff! My kids absolutely loved it (along with the free cocoa for kids, a chicken tenders child's meal, a Junior Buffet & pineapple from my salad bar plate). Now, I've made a couple of new Shoney's fans and shared some memories. You see, I cannot pass a Shoney's without thinking of my youth. In high school, many a late-night craving for sweets was curbed by sharing a piece of hot fudge cake with my friends. Sometimes a snow day meant breakfast from Shoney's Breakfast bar. It was special to share such sweet food memories with my girls. And...I hope late night hot fudge cake runs are the wildest thing they do in high school!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Speedy #Vegan Soup

The soup is speedy, not the vegan. Well, the vegan is our #2 daughter, and she's speedy enough for all practical purposes, but I MEAN the soup is quickly fixed, okay?

Our daughter came to visit, and was here at lunchtime, so I banged this soup together.

Butterbean and Kale Soup

  • 1 can butterbeans, drained and rinsed.
  • 2 cups water
  • vegetable bouillon for 2 cups of water
  • chopped kale
  • salsa to taste
  • onion powder
Put it all together and simmer about 20 minutes, or until the kale is as soft as you want it. #2 Daughter and I like our soup spicier, so we put extra hot in ours at the table. I had been yearning for peanut butter soup, so I also added a tablespoon of peanut butter to mine.


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

Friday, February 5, 2016

Smoothies That Taste Like Shakes

Image result for smoothie clip art

Okay, so it's a new year and you're trying to eat better, but miss those delicious milkshakes. What if
you could enjoy the same great flavor but drink something healthier? This smoothie is both delicious
and easy to make.

1 packet of vanilla instant breakfast mix
1 cup milk
1 cup of frozen strawberries mixed with bananas

1.Pour the instant breakfast mix and milk into a blender and blend until the mix is incorporated.
2.Add the frozen fruit and pulse until the smoothie reaches the desired consistency.


You can use any flavor of instant breakfast you like, any kind of frozen fruit, and any kind of milk
including almond or coconut milk. Play around with the flavors until you find something you love.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Non-Toxic Chopped Salad #vegan

Charlie and I bought a pre-packaged chopped salad and loved it. Then the chopped salads were recalled because of a Listeria outbreak in our area.

But it was really really good!

So I made my own.

This is lettuce, green cabbage, purple cabbage, and kale. I should have put green onions in it, but I forgot to buy any. I mixed equal amounts of peanut butter and spicy ginger vinaigrette to make a sort of Thai dressing for it.

And it didn't make anybody sick, either.

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