I met Donnell when we were Golden Heart finalists together in 2010. Now she’s a debut author for Bell Bridge Books. Her book THE PAST CAME HUNTING was a 2007 Golden Heart finalist – and how cool is that cover? She is also pleased to announce she recently sold her 2010 Golden Heart finaling book, DEADLY RECALL, to Bell Bridge as part of a two-book deal. To learn more about Donnell or read a sample chapter, check out her web site at www.donnellannbell.com.
What’s cooking, Donnell?
I think it’s an absolute scream that I’m a guest on Chicklets in the Kitchen because a great cook I’m not. But Abigail needed a guest author, and I do have a very special recipe I’d like to share, so bear with me.
When perusing a cookbook if I don’t know what an ingredient is, I won’t even attempt it. In my defense, though, I think the problem is psychosomatic.
Fifteen years ago, my husband and I moved into “my” dream home. Notice I say “my” dream home because, you see, a house is an object, and my chemical engineer/ husband holds to the belief that you should never fall in love with something that cannot love you back.
Nevertheless, I fell in love with the house. The kitchen…not so much. The kitchen was outdated when we moved in, and the appliances, too, on their last legs. I had huge visions of fixing the place up and making it the perfect residence. My husband, on the other hand, had huge visions of paying off the mortgage. Let’s just say when you’re paying off a mortgage at the speed we were working toward, a remodel wasn’t going to happen.
Further, as the kitchen existed, it wasn’t exactly incentive for me to become Julia Child. So, I stuck to simple meals and concentrated on becoming a better writer.
A few years ago, we managed to pay off our mortgage. By then, however, our children were entering college, so guess where they money went that time? You got it… Colorado State University and Texas Christian.
Hence, my kitchen remained outdated, and I remained out of it for that very reason. I continued focusing on what inspired me– the craft of writing.
Time, good or bad, has a way of marching on, and my children grew up, and they graduated. By now, however, I no longer even considered remodeling my kitchen. The economy had spiraled downward, and this time it was me saying, save every dime.
Did I mention I was married to an engineer? As big as he is into saving, this time it was him saying if we’re going to do this, there’s never going to be a better time.
You can see the before and after pictures. I now live in my dream home and my dream kitchen. It’s amazing what happens when you love your surroundings. Just as a muse inspires one’s writing, inspiration occasionally strikes me as I stand in my brand new kitchen. I’m still not the best cook in the world; writing continues to be my all-time passion. But I do seem to enjoy cooking more—particularly if I can pronounce the ingredients. Here’s a meal I love and hope you will too.
Fabulous Chicken & Artichokes
4 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
Garlic cloves pressed or diced
1 cup Best Food mayonnaise (reduced fat will work, too)
1 can artichoke hearts
7-10 diced mushrooms
1 cup parmesan cheese.
Heat oven to 375˚
Combine olive oil, garlic and chicken and bake uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes.
In a bowl, mix artichokes, mushrooms, mayonnaise and spread over baking chicken. Spread parmesan cheese over the chicken concoction. Bake another 30 to 35 minutes.
I like to serve this with rice or pasta, salad or brussel sprouts.
Donnell, if I had your kitchen, I’d never leave! That would make my husband happy *laugh*. And I love my kitchen, but MAN, yours is awesome! So do any of you have any remodeling stories? Comment for a chance to win a copy of The Past Came Hunting.