Green Beans and Growing Pains

Y’all have probably noticed we here at Chicklets in the Kitchen have been enduring some growing pains. As we all get busier with our writing careers — and just plain living a good life — the blog has fallen by the wayside.

Well, it’s not dead yet. Our blog might be on life support, but I think the Chicklets will live to blog another day.

That said, we’re open to an infusion of fresh blood. If any of you would like to add your voice to the Chicklets’ kitchen, let me know. Zap an email to arlene.hittle.author@gmail.com.

Now, on to today’s recipe.

It’s summertime, and the eatin’ should be easy. At least that’s how I like it. The quicker, the better. When I’m busy writing, I’d rather not be tied to the stovetop.

And when dinner comes packed with produce, it’s an even bigger win.

This Green Bean Stir-Fry is a winner on all counts. It uses fresh green beans (and new potatoes), and takes less time than dialing Domino’s and waiting for delivery.

Green Bean Stir Fry | Chicklets in the Kitchen

The ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 2 cups fresh green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1 4-ounce red potato, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup red onion, sliced thin
  • Garlic pepper seasoning
  • 1 chicken sausage (I used Trader Joe’s Spinach Fontina flavor)

Simply heat coconut oil in large skillet over medium heat. (You could use olive oil or another kind of oil if you like, but the coconut oil gives it a lovely flavor.) Add potato and onion and cook for a couple minutes, until they start to brown. Then add in green beans and a liberal sprinkle of garlic pepper seasoning. When beans are almost cooked to desired doneness, add sliced sausage. (The sausage is already fully cooked, so it just needs to be heated through. I prefer mine slightly browned.)

That’s all there is to it.

Enjoy!

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Break out the cranberries

Does your holiday table laden with all the trimmings include cranberry sauce? Or is cranberry jelly persona non grata at family celebrations?

I have to admit, as a kid, I wasn’t much of a fan of the stuff. Mom (or grandma, or some other relative) would dump the can on a plate and slice it.

Was I surprised when I discovered cranberry sauce doesn’t have to be a sickeningly sweet, gelatinous mass. Continue reading

Characters gotta eat, right?

Less food. More sex.

That was the gist of the critique from one of the first friends who read my manuscript for BLIND DATE BRIDE. She explained that food is often a metaphor for…well, you know—and I should just get my hero and heroine in bed instead.

Being the kind of gal who loves to read steamy scenes, I took her advice to heart. Continue reading

Flavors of fall

Even though the autumnal equinox doesn’t happen until later this month, Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer. While I wish it weren’t true, fall is definitely on its way.

Autumn is like the creeping Christmas season, which now starts before Halloween if you ask retailers. It seems to come earlier every year.

How do I know? Pumpkin-flavored things are popping up all over.

First, I found a pumpkin Donut at Dunkin’ Donuts. The next day, Starbucks was touting its Pumpkin Spice Latte — here early, and celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Pumpkin Donut

Pumpkin is undeniably one of the flavors of fall. Another one is apple cider. My family used to get cider from an orchard in Kendallville, Ind., where they pressed it themselves. It was thick and sweet.  So good. You can’t buy that kind of cider in the grocery store.

 What’s your favorite fall flavor?

Guest Chick: Judy Alter

Greetings, Chicklets and Roosters. Arlene here. As I told you last week, I’ve been feeling the pressure of getting ready for my October release, “Diva in the Dugout.”

One of the ways I’ve been preparing is keeping up with all the comings and goings on the Turquoise Morning Press author’s loop. There’s a large and talented group of folks writing great stories — and blogging about them.

When I discovered that my new TMP sister Judy Alter had not one but two blogs where she talked about cooking (and life),  Potluck with Judy and Judy’s Stew, I knew she’d make a great guest chick.

Take it away, Judy! Continue reading

Help! I can’t find my kitchen

I’m about to get real.

Y’all know I write romance, like the rest of the Chicklets. And you celebrated with me when I recently announced my first sale.

Since then, I’ve been riding a whirlwind — edits, dedication and bio and art fact sheet all had to be returned in preparation for my release the week of Oct. 15.

The art sheet task alone required a solid hour of browsing stock photo sites for pictures of sexy ballplayers. (Rough assigment, eh?) And writing a short dedication and bio took nearly as long as writing the whole darn book. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration. Continue reading

Guest Chicklet: Kimberly Kincaid

Kimberly KincaidGreetings and salutations, Chicklets and Roosters. Kimberly Kincaid is back in the Chicklets’ kitchen this week, celebrating the release of her newest novella, “Outside The Lines.”

I just finished reading “Love On The Line” — don’t judge me for being behind in my reading — and loved it, so I can’t wait to see what kind of food and fun she cooks up next.

Take it away, Kimberly! Continue reading

Quick, easy dinner: Cheesy Sprouts and Sausage

While many of my fellow Chicklets are living it up in Atlanta at the RWA National Conference this week, I’m home, doing what I normally do: Work, softball, writing and Starbucks sitting.

I’d already decided not to attend conference (with good reason) when a coworker asked if I could trade vacation weeks with him — and since I didn’t have plans anymore, I agreed.

I’m slightly jealous of all the fun they’re certainly having — the late night gabfests and fun dinners with friends — and all the great info they’re sure to be learning, both in and out of workshops.

I’m already counting my pennies for San Antonio in 2014.

Until then, a Chicklet has to eat … more than 365 dinners, as a matter of fact. 😉

This Chicklet will be making more than one meal starring her new favorite food, brussels sprouts.

Cheesy Sprouts & Sausage by Arlene Hittle | Chicklets in the Kitchen Continue reading