My Gift to You

December 23, 2020

Holiday Greetings to one and all!

I’ve been trying to figure out which of my books to offer as a gift to everyone. I don’t offer my books for free very often so if you’ve wanted a copy of my cookbook now’s the time. From December 24th to the 28th you will have the opportunity to download a digital copy of The Scottish-English Texan: 56 Teatime Recipes. So far, the response has been very positive and I’m grateful for all the 4 and 5 star reviews.

My cookbook has a few original recipes included with classic tea time favourites. Included are US and British equivalents for measurements, oven temperature conversion chart, and cooking terms for US and British. Included is a section on Spirited Beverages. There’s a difference between whiskey and whisky (and not just the spelling). There is also a bartender chart for standard and metric measurements for common and uncommon alcohol quantities. We can’t forget the children! There’s a section on cambric tea with cookies and sandwiches to delight kids of all ages.

Click on the title below the book cover to pick up your copy of the book, Thursday the 24th! https://www.amazon.com/Scottish-English-Texan-Teatime-Recipes-Heritage-ebook/dp/B00B76Y7SW

Hugs and blessings, my friends. I hope you find some recipes that will become family favourites.

Happy Holidays!

Tambra Nicole

Get Out Those Kitchen Gadgets

September 17, 2020 Tambra Nicole Kendall

Do you have a Babycakes machine but don’t use it much? I have the one with the interchangeable plates. I like that it doesn’t heat up my kitchen like the oven does. I’m in Texas and the temps are still in the 80s. But you can also make small batches and that’s nice, too.

You can make more than cake pops in them. Why not try a batch of hush puppies? Or Pizza Bites? I forgot where I got this recipe or else I would attribute it to the person. These would be great for a family movie night or game night (like Monopoly or Scrabble).

Cake Pops with sprinkles

Babycakes Pizza Poppers

2 cups Bisquick
2 tsp Italian Seasoning
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 c Mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cup Pepperoni, finely chopped
1/2 cup Cooked Sausage, finely chopped
Pizza Sauce, warmed

In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.  In a small bowl combine liquid ingredients and add to the dry ingredients.  Fold in cheese, pepperoni and sausage.  The batter should be a thick pancake batter consistency, if it get too thick, stir in more milk until it reaches desired thickness. 

I put the batter into a gallon plastic bag and cut off a corner (remember
there are chunks of meat so the opening will need to accommodate)
 to easily fill the wells.  Cook for 4 minutes. ***A note from Tambra: You might have to cook a little longer than the recipe calls. I always make a test batch of a couple and adjust as necessary.

Pinterest has lots of Babycakes recipes sweet and savoury. Better Homes and Gardens has a Stocky Pecan Upside Down Babycakes recipe. You can find it here: https://www.bhg.com/recipe/cupcakes/sticky-pecan-upside-down-baby-cakes/

With Autumn arriving for some folks here’s a recipe that sounds perfect for the holidays: Apple Butter filled Apple Cider Cupcakes. Take a look here: http://www.pluggedintocooking.com/2011/10/apple-butter-filled-apple-cider-cupcakes/

This Ham and Cheese Puffs recipe looks good. http://www.partyfood2go.com/2011/06/babycakes-ham-and-cheese-puffs.html

I haven’t used my Babycakes maker much but with the weather cooling down a bit I plan to use it more and for making Smudge some homemade dog treats while I have it out. Have any of you made your homemade dog treats in the you Babycakes treat maker? I have the Dog Treat maker and it occurred to me that it was a Babycakes for dogs, so why not use my machine to make Smudgie pupcakes?

If you have one of these treat makers and aren’t sure how to use it, I found a blog post that might help you and don’t forget to search YouTube. https://www.lovefromtheoven.com/cakepops-with-the-babycakes-cake-pop-maker-and-a-babycakes-cakepop-maker-giveaway/

China cup, gold spoon and a pink rose

Now, let’s talk Air Fryers. When I bought mine I wasn’t sure if I would like it or if I would use it much. Whenever my Air Fryer goes where dead appliances go, I will get another one. Stephanie Manley of CopyKat Recipes has a huge variety of recipes (not just Air Fryer). Stephanie can be found here: https://copykat.com/category/type/air-fryer-recipes/. The Blue Jean Chef has some great Air Fryer recipes and tips. You can find her here: https://bluejeanchef.com/reces/cooking-method/air-fryer/

Mini frosted donuts

These appliances are a blessing to a person who has health issues. I have two Instant Pots, the 6 quart and a mini 3 quart. I use them so much I have them sitting on my kitchen counter. Getting an Instant Pot for Christmas was the best present I could have asked for! I make pork loin that falls apart it is so tender. Recently, I made turkey tenderloins and they came out wonderful. Pinto beans come out great, too.

The learning curve on these kitchen helpers isn’t steep. A little experimenting and using a notebook to write down your adjustments is all you need.

I hope this post has given you some ideas on how you can get more use out of these kitchen gadgets sitting on the shelf. Have a tea party or a picnic to celebrate…anything you want.

Teddy Bears Picnic

Hugs to all, stay safe, and be kind.

Tambra Nicole

Make the Most of This Time

 

July 20, 2020

Hi y’all,

I hope you and your families are doing well. There are so many changes to adapt to it can be overwhelming. Stress levels are up for a multitude of reasons. My wish is that you find something of use in this blog post.

Recently, I learned gardening is being used as therapy in the UK and it’s helping people. If this interest’s you and you haven’t done it before. Start out small. Educate yourself in the area you’re interested in and have fun. Here’s a link if you’d like learn more about green therapy: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/may/13/green-therapy-gardening-helping-fight-depression

If you’ve always wanted to write books but keep putting it off, do it. Start with a short story. Find a group of writers. Want to write fiction and nonfiction? Lots of us do! I have a teatime cookbook and a journal both available on Amazon.  Or, you might be interested in nonfiction such as memoirs. I have a friend, Joan Neubauer,  who’s written a great book on this topic. You can find her book here: From Memories to Manuscript: the Five Step Method of Writing Your Life Story

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The Scottish-English Texan: 56 Teatime Recipes

I create stories to entertain people, an opportunity to be transported to another place, or assist someone by looking at something in a way that gives them greater understanding,  For my visual art, my goal is to bring beauty to the person looking through my portfolio.

Monet's Roses

Tambra’s Watercolour and Gouache tribute to Claude Monet

Having delicate health means every single day is a precious gift. I focus on what I can I do today: finish edits on my novella, tweak that short story for middle graders, try to sketch and paint a mermaid in ProCreate. From the time I was twelve years old, I knew I wanted to be a writer and artist. Of course, these are not optimum conditions, but my drive to continually be creative is an integral part of me. Not being able to create makes me physically sicker.

I challenge you left-brainers out there to be creative (in a positive way, please.) Colouring is a stress reducer. Cooking can be creative, building something from wood, woodburning, soap making, sewing, gardening, learn to play a musical instrument, recycling/upcycling items. If being creative is new to you don’t automatically say what you’ve done is a piece of crap. A new skill takes time to learn so give yourself a break and have fun.

Make the most of the time you have right now. What can you learn, create, and share with others? I believe I was given the gift of storytelling and writing as well as art. Not everyone will like my writing and art, but some will. Being creative reduces stress and stimulates areas of your brain that will help you think of out-of-the-box solutions in your life.

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Smudge Alpin MacRuff

I hope you find a creative activity is fun, that you can share with family and friends.

Maybe we can take away something positive from 2020. A deeper understanding of how precious life is and how to make the most of it. Smudge Alpin MacRuff wants you to be kind and love one another.

Wishing you peace and love,

Tambra Nicole and Smudge

 

In These Difficult Times: Creativity is a Secret Key

Being chronically ill I’m home a lot. Doctor visits range from two to four times a month. If I’m feeling good that means I can drive into town to pick up a few things at Walmart or the resale store and then a coffee from Starbucks.

Vintage illustration of a cup of coffee and a coffee grinder.

I’m telling you this because I had to change my mindset when I lost my job. Being pissy about my situation wasn’t going to make it better or bring back my health. After dealing with the grief and anger I had to make some changes. I had started writing children’s stories and articles in 1990, so I had a foundation in it when I forced out of my job. It ended up being my saving grace along with having sewing and crafting hobbies. Creativity was and is the key for keeping depression and negativity to the curb (at least most of the time for me). Having hobbies can bring great joy and relieve stress. The writing and the art crafts saved me.

Old Books on a shelf.

My plans for next few months are to finish final edits on an erotic paranormal novella and publish it. Finish polishing two middle grade short stories that I’ve had sitting in my computer and publish them together so the kids get two funny stories. Then, start plotting a Gothic romance gaslight/steampunk story. I’d like to finish some junk journals and maybe do a bit of sewing. I’ve always wanted to learn more than two stitches in crochet so that’s something to consider. Do I have the energy for all of this? Not all at once, that’s for sure but I look forward to getting up in the morning and writing stories that make people happy. Or teaching my creative writing workshop and helping writers understand aspects of the craft better. I’m thrilled to have assisted so many wonderful people over the years.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to write a book. Now would be a great time to start it. There are novels, short stories, novellas, a collection of short stories with a wide variety of genres to write in: romance, science fiction, fantasy, high fantasy, Western, children’s: picture book, middle grade, young adult, new adult, historical romance, historical fiction, contemporary romance, women’s fiction, literary fiction, mysteries, cozy mysteries, thrillers.

If your child wants to be a writer National Novel Writing Month, nanowrimo.org has a Young Writer’s Program you can check out with your budding novelist. There’s also journaling to express feelings or it can be used as a way organize your life while being creative.

These strange times could be a blessing in some ways. You have the chance to make more memories together with this extra time together. There’s a chance someone may want to learn to cook. There are beginning cookbooks for kids, beginning cooks in general, then there’s specialized categories such as French cooking. Take photos of the meals and add them to a document or blog and track your progress, comments on how it turned out and if you want to change anything for the next time you want to make it. You could also take a blank hardback book and create your own cookbook.

Illustration of the word menu with old fashioned cutlery.

Our Cairn terrier, Smudge keeps us laughing as well as vigilant because he’s a stinker that runs off with things the minute your back is turned. The TV remote, ink pens, paper of any kind can go through the terrier shredder. He loves being outside, is curious, intelligent and loves people from young to old. Pets are a comfort and a blessing and I’m grateful to have my Smudgie. Petting a dog or cat lowers blood pressure.

Smudge Alpin MacRuff in 2019.

My husband is doing a few things in the yard while he’s off and playing some video games. We’ve been watching classic Doctor Who on BritBox, Farscape and Highlander, enjoying each other’s company.

Have a romantic dinner with your spouse at home. Remember why you chose each other.

Getting grumpy during these difficult times isn’t going to make things better. That kind of mindset will make you and everyone around you feel worse and that leads to ugly, nasty things none of us want or have time for. We do need to wake up and learn from this pandemic. Each of you know know what that teaching is. We may not be able to go back to our old way of life, we might have to adjust to a new normal. Be grateful you’re still here to have the opportunity for another day, another chance.

Sending hugs and positive thoughts to everyone.

I pray all of you are healthy and not getting each other’s nerves too badly. What have you found that helped you and your family during this time of confinement?

Sending this with love and light,

Tambra

P.S. : You can find my books on Amazon. I believe my teatime cookbook in ebook is free with Kindle Unlimited. I price all my books with people’s budgets in mind so as many people have access to my books as possible.

Valentine’s Day Recipes and a Few Ideas

I have an Instant Pot IP-Duo60, which is a 6-quart size. The size is great for just us. I use it this appliance frequently. In fact, my sweet hubby got me an IP Lux Mini for Christmas.

With Valentine’s Day coming up I thought I’d offer up some menu ideas for those who are celebrating at home instead of going out. When you’re loved by family and good friends, your richly blessed. A day to celebrate love is a good idea.

I’m sure there are those out there who are going to complain about the commercialisation. Well, quit grumping about it and celebrate it in a less commercialised way. Make them a card and write the words of your heart. How good they make you feel when you’re with them. How you appreciate the things they do for you.

A sincere effort should be appreciated by the recipient. Giving a token that means something, an item they will treasure by you. Take look at what Etsy has to offer. There are many great artisans and a price range to fit most budgets. Plus, you’ll be supporting craftspeople and their unique items.

So, here are two recipes for your consideration:

Garlic Herb Pot Roast from WellnessMama.com

5 minutes prep time, 40 minutes cook time

Serves 6+

3-4 pound beef chuck roast

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves fresh, minced

1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning or equivalent dried herbs of your choice

2 Tablespoons coconut oil or butter

1 onion, peeled

6 large carrots, peeled

1-pound of chopped potatoes

2 cups bone broth

¼ cup of red wine, optional

4 ounces of cremini mushrooms, optional

½ teaspoon dried thyme, optional

Cut beef into 2-inch or smaller cubes. Place on a plate and sprinkle evenly with spices and set aside.

Turn Instant Pot to “Saute” setting and melt the coconut oil or butter in the pot.

Thinly slice an onion and add. Saute for 4-5 minutes until tender and slightly browned. Deglaze the pan with the red wine if you’re using it.

Add roast pieces in a single layer on top of the onions.

Pour broth over the roast.

Put on the lid, lock and set to seal.

While roast is cooking chop the carrots into 1-inch pieces.

Press the cancel/warm button to stop the Saute setting, then press the “Manual” button and set the time for 40 minutes.

When the time is up, turn off the Instant Pot and carefully release the pressure by pushing the lever to the “venting” position until all of the steam is released.

When the pressure releases open the lid and add the carrots and potatoes. Quickly replace the lid, turn the lever back to seal and press the Manual button for 10-minutes.

Repeat the venting process and check the carrots and potatoes for doneness. (You might have to add another 10 minutes.)

You can use the liquid to pour over the roast and vegetables or you can use it to make a gravy.

happy-valentine-day-1453206530PEgLarisaKoshkinaPubDomainPics Heart and flower graphic by Larisa Koshkina/Pixabay

Tambra’s Pork Loin with Mushrooms (Instant Pot)

45 minutes, plus 5 minutes then Quick Release

You might not have exactly the same ingredients I do, so use what you have. Don’t have A1 or Lea&Perrins, but you do have French’s Worcestershire, use it instead.

2-pound pork loin, cut in half

Brush on A1 sauce or Lea & Perrins Steak Sauce to all over pork loin

Sprinkle some steak seasoning or chicken seasoning

2 tablespoons Olive Oil or Coconut Oil to brown

1 ½ cups Bone Broth/Vegetable Broth or Chicken Broth

*I use Better than Bouillon and it works great, too

Small can of mushrooms, add the liquid with the broth

Trivet that comes with the Instant Pot

Plug in Instant Pot and turn on the Saute function. Add the olive oil or coconut oil. Take one half of the pork loin and lightly rub around the bottom of the pot. Now, add the other half of the pork loin. Brown. Remove to a plate while you add the broth and the can of mushrooms.

Place the trivet in the Instant Pot and the pieces of pork beside each other.

Put the lid on and make sure the lever is set to “Seal”.

Press the Manual button for 45 minutes. Let it go 5 minutes more and then do a Quick Release.

You can serve this with rice or mashed potatoes; the liquid is great to pour over the meat or you can make gravy. Add some steamed vegetables and you have a meal. Leftover meat can be shredded and barbeque sauce mixed in for sandwiches the next day.

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For other recipe ideas, pick up my book The Scottish English Texas: 56 Teatime Recipes, available at Amazon.com. A Valentine’s Day tea would wonderfully romantic. You could make the pork loin and some of the recipes from my tea book. Take some photos and put them in a memory book with notes written by both of you about the special things that were said, how you felt.

Kids can write messages on construction paper hearts with chores or things they’ll do without complaint. Maybe have 5 hearts. This needs to fit in with the child’s age. Example: Fold their clothes and put them away. Empty the dishwasher. Clean their room. Have the kids think of what they want to do. Place them in a decorated container so the recipient can pull one out.

While the craft supplies are out they could make Valentine cards for their grandparents. Pinterest has lots of great crafty and DIY things to do.

Whatever you decide, I hope your holiday is filled with love and happy memories.

Hugs to all, Tambra

PS: My website is up https://tambrakendall.com It still needs a bit of tweaking but at least I’ve got one again. Yay!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflections on 2018

I hope this post finds you happy and looking forward to the upcoming holidays with family and friends. My gift to you is one of my favourite recipes. You’ll find it at the bottom of this blog post.

December has always one of my favourite months of the year. I’ve always loved the holiday decorations and the traditions that bring comfort and are shared with generations of family. In this post I’m sharing some wonderful vintage Christmas cards/photos of terriers. I hope you enjoy them!

The heavenly aroma of glazed ham, crusty hearty bread, and desserts to satisfy young to young-at-heart.  When everyone brings a dish to share it always seems to have an extra helping of love with each one. Having experienced lean years and trying times have made me appreciate the blessings even more.

ArtDecoScottieChristmasTree

I’ve been thinking over what has transpired throughout the year and what I’d like to change. Finding a way to get some of my health issues under control is at the top of my list. When your sick all the time (at least for me), each day is a gift. A sparkling blessing. This attitude is a choice. Acting like an ol’ grumpy pants makes me feel worse, so I look for the beauty, for the laughter around me. Writing books is great therapy, it’s fun, and hopefully they will make someone feel good. I believe that words that come from the heart will touch another’s heart in the way it’s needed most.

There are so many books I want to write, edit, and submit. I want to get much better at sewing. So many items of clothing and things refashion/recycle/upcycle. I’ve been experimenting with creating junk journals and I like it very much. Finding a book from the thrift store or garage sale that can be given a second life into a journal, to be kept and treasured feels right to me. Thank you to all the creative souls on YouTube who have shared their knowledge. You gave me the courage to try this area of creativity.

ArtDecoScottieDogBlessMyWhiskers

There is so much to learn! So many places to see and things I want to experience and I’m so grateful to have my husband by my side.  He’s intelligent, funny, handsome and I love being with him. Sometimes we say the exact phrase at the same time. We love dogs, Doctor Who, science, and laughing together. A few years ago our vacations were going to all the caves we could in the area we were visiting at the time. One of the things I have on my New Year’s ‘goal for a better life list’ is to say “I love you” more. I intentionally did not say resolutions because if I failed I felt guilty and depressed. Once I made a list of the most important goals I wanted to accomplish things went much better. I also added what steps were needed to make the goals a reality.

ArtDecoFoxTerriers

ArtDecoScottiesFireplaceChristmas

Reflecting on the previous year is a privilege. I’ve learned things and grown spiritually. Learning from failures is a stepping stone closer to getting whatever it is right. My writing isn’t perfect but it doesn’t suck furballs either. Some will like it, others won’t. As long as my stories and my art enrich the lives of those who buy it or are gifted with it, I’m thrilled.

Be kind to others and to yourself. If this time of year stresses you and your family out, brew a pot of coffee or tea and discuss what the biggest culprits are come to a solution. Not all people can do this, I totally understand.  When I evaluated the problem I took action and with it came peace.

In summary, reflect on the old and look forward to the new year ahead. Remember the blessings and hold tight to the ones in your life who love you. Make reasonable goals with actionable steps to make that dream come true. Be kind to yourself and others. Choose to be happy and reduce your stress where you can. Learn something new. Share your knowledge, find others who share similar passions/hobbies.

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I wish all of you peace of mind and heart, the courage to try something new and delight in the discovery and wonder of it.

If brownies and fudge had a baby it would be this Fudge Pie.

Tambra’s Fudge Pie

1 stick butter

2 eggs, slightly beaten

½ c. flour

3 ½ T. cocoa

1-cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Grease a 9-inch pie plate. The wrapper from the butter works pretty well for me. Or a spritz or two of oil making sure the bottom and sides have a light coating.

In a saucepan, melt together the stick of butter and cocoa. Remove from fire. Add the eggs, sugar, flour, and vanilla extract.

Mix well.

Pour into the pie plate

Bake at 325° for 25 minutes; or until the middle is done.

**This makes a small amount. I suggest doubling the recipe. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Tambra Nicole Kendall, 2018

 

Blessings and love to all,                                                                                                                               Tambra Nicole