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

Get Ready! National Novel Writing Month is Coming!

September 13, 2020 by Tambra Nicole Kendall

A minute into November 1 me and thousands of crazy writers across the world will begin NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write a rough draft of a book 50,000 which = 200 pages. It’s free to sign up and there are forums on lots of topics and friendly people ready to help and answer questions. I am one of those people who waits until one minute past midnight into November 1 to begin National Novel Writing Month.

For me it’s been a wonderful and freeing experience. Have you always wanted to write a book? No better time to begin than November 1.

There are blogs and YouTube videos dedicated to this topic. October is also known in the writing community (at least by some of us) as Preptober. Getting an outlines or notes down in preparation for November 1.

If you have a child interested in creative writing, NaNo has a program for them, and teachers who would like to do this with their students. https://ywp.nanowrimo.org/

So many people say they want to write a book. Why not take that first step and do it. The first draft is always crappy, that’s why we edit. The draft gets the story down, the journey of the characters. NaNoWriMo pushes you to write and ignore your inner editor and write. NaNo helped me finish my first 200 page novel.

Pissed about 2020? Put it in a story. Mystery, thriller, science fiction, romantic suspense whatever genre you write in or want to write pour your emotions onto the page.

Now is the perfect time to write a book. Don’t wait for someday. Be brave and join the millions of us who help others see the beauty and wonder of the worlds within the pages of our books. We’re waiting for you. Take my hand…we’ll go together.

Tambra Nicole

Word Count Chart for NaNoWriMo

Listening to my Heart

August 22, 2020

Hi y’all,

I talk more about my writing than I do my art on this blog. When I was twelve years old (in the 6th grade) one of my teachers, **Sherry Miller said she wanted to know what each of us wanted to do when we grew up. Luckily, I wasn’t the first person. As I listened to what the other kids wanted to do it occurred to me how much of a creative weirdo I am. Not one student wanted to be an author and artist except for me.

This simple action revealed the reason why I never fit in. As an adult I embrace the freedom of having a creative mind and soul. Growing up it was okay for me to be good at art, but wanting a career in the creative arts was forbidden. Sometimes my Dad and step-mom would like a project I was working on. Offering words of support and encouragement never came. When I stopped sketching I became depressed so I learned early on not to tell anyone anything.

**Krystal Higgins was my art teacher. She made art class exciting and fun. I wanted to be like her, a free spirit, a strong woman.

I would love to tell these two former teachers that I have fought and slogged through life’s trials to achieve my goals to become an artist and author just like I said I wanted in the 6th grade.

I hope you enjoy my photography and watercolours. They are a work-in-progress just as I am. Thank you for your support and subscribing to my blog and newsletter.

**Denotes Beech Grove Middle School (Indiana)

Sending you love and blessings!

Tambra

Introducing…Smudge MacRuff

Hi y’all,

Smudge Alpin MacRuff has a new Doggy Bloggy. I guess my blog isn’t big enough for the both of us so he has his own.

In the Chewspaper, there is a section for Interview with Authors and their pets. So far, we have three authors filling out the form and getting their information together.

Come on over and join in the fun! Maybe you’ll find a new author to add to your towering To Be Read pile. We’d love for you to subscribe!

https://smudgemacruff.wordpress.com/

smudgeapril2019

Smudge Alpin MacRuff . Dis terrier wants YOU to be happy when you visit his Doggy Bloggy.

Thank you so much for your support and encouragement! Smudge and I hope you are finding the information on our blogs informative and fun!

Love to all! Tambra and Smudge

Writing Rituals

Writing Rituals by Tambra Nicole Kendall

Many writers find certain rituals comforting, placing them in the mindset to create. A favourite china cup or mug of coffee or tea, a candle, music, the curtains open so the sun shines into the room. It can be anything that gets your spirit settled and ready to create.

Some people need quiet with no music. Others write to music that relates to the current story they’re working on. I’ve found my writing ceremonies have changed with my health issues. (I’m a work in progress and still have hope to regain some of what’s been adversely affected.)

There are those of you out there who aren’t comfortable with people speaking about their disabilities. Over the past twenty years I’ve met so many writers who have a wide range of health issues. I truly believe speaking about what is working right now may help someone else. My concentration used to be better than it is now. The solution I keep coming back to is headphones that block out sound but only the music I need.

coffee-2067644_1920I’ve been reading how some people are in a frenzy of creativity while others are struggling. Don’t give up and give in to the depression. Everyone deals with crisis in their own way.  Find something positive in this chaos. We’re writers, we understand how just a change of point of view can be all a scene needs in a story.

It hasn’t escaped my notice that I’ve done a few of these type posts. The plight of my fellow writers struggling hurts my heart.

Perhaps, adjusting your writing rituals or adding some might help. I’ve ordered a DVD of Tai Chi. When I was learning it years ago I felt calmer and more focused. My plan is to do my Yang style Tai Chi and then write. I’ll report back and let y’all know if it’s made any difference.

From the time I was a child I’d always thought of reading, and later on, writing as magical. People who are suffering need the magic of our words. We have a gift that heals, that transports the imagination to others worlds and times, to inspire people to become better. That’s quite a breathtaking responsibility and pure creative magic.

What are doing my creative friends? Are your writing ceremonies still working or have you had to make adjustments? Sharing helps everyone.

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Photo by DarkSouls, Pixabay. Girl with book and magic coming out of it.

 

Sending hugs of love and blessings to all!

Tambra Nicole

Workshop Reminder!

Hi y’all,

Just a quick reminder about my upcoming workshop, The Essentials of Characterization and Plotting. If you know someone who would be interested please pass on the information. Details are below. Thanks so much!

Hugs, Tambra

old-books-on-shelf

Workshop hosted by Hearts Through History:

The Essentials of Characterization and Plotting

Instructor: Tambra Nicole Kendall

Registration Deadline: August 7, 2020

Start Date: August 3, 2020

End Date: August 28, 2020

Class Fee in USD: $15 for HHRW members / $25 for non-members

https://www.heartsthroughhistory.com/workshops/essentials-of-characterization-and-plotting/#register

 

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

 

Tambra’s Upcoming Workshop

Hi y’all,

literature-3091212_1920

A cup of hot tea and a good book is magic to the soul.

I’ll be teaching my first workshop of 2020 in August. This is the only workshop I have scheduled for the year. If anyone would like me to teach this online course I can anytime after August. The group hosting the event is the Hearts Through History chapter of Romance Writers of America. You don’t have to be a member of RWA to take the course. Here’s the link: The Essentials of Characterization and Plotting

Testimonials from former participants can be found on my website at https://tambrakendall.com

I hope to see some of you there! GoodWritingStephenKing

Hugs to all!

Tambra

 

Writer’s Creativity Journal EBook

Hi y’all,

Just a quick note to let y’all know my Writer’s Creativity Journal (ebook) is free today and tomorrow. Keeping a journal or diary, writing short stories, putting your family memories in a book is tremendously helpful at any time, but at this moment in our history it is even more important for our mental health and well being. Creativity and imagination are precious gifts.

TheWritersCreativityJournalNEWCoverwithQuote

If you’d like a copy or to check it out here’s the link: Writer’s Creativity Journal

I hope all of you are doing well and finding a way to deal with the new normal we’ve been handed. I just finished watching a course by Dorsey Armstrong, PhD on The Black Death (you can find it on Amazon Prime) and people in the Middle Ages reacted as people have done today with COVID-19.

The course was wonderfully presented and I learned a lot of new information from it.

I’m still editing the printout of the novella but am getting closer to adding the changes into the manuscript. My goal is to have it ready for purchase sometime in July. I have a reader appreciation group on Facebook if that’s something you enjoy. When the book is released I’ll have a few contests.

Romance readers of my blog, I’ll be setting an author spot at Coffee Time Romance. Y’all stop by my Facebook page and say hello. You’re welcome to ask writing questions if you’re writer.

I leave you with a Doctor Who quote: “We are all stories in the end, just make it a good one.”

Hugs to all and stay safe!

Tambra