Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice
This first day of winter, also called the Winter Solstice, falls on Tuesday,  December 22, 2015 . Because of the tilt of the earth, the northern hemisphere, is facing away from the sun.  It is the shortest day of the year, and the least amount of sunlight.
When I lived in the northeast, New York,  it was cold, wet, and somewhat miserable the entire season. However, one can't deny the beauty of the first snow blanketing the ground, Jack Frost on the windows, and icicles hanging and sparkling from tree branches. The first snow was always a sight to see especially when the moon cast its blue shadows on the sparkly white, untouched snow.
I have fond memories of winter walks to school in freezing weather. To get winter beauty, you have to put up with the cold!

Enjoy your winter where ever you may be!

Sunday, October 11, 2015



Autumn, when leaves drop, colors pop, and those lazy days of summer transform to our next season. This year the first day of Autumn or Autumn Equinox, was September 23. It is when daytime and nighttime are an equal 12 hours long.

When I lived in the northeast, New York, this was the most beautiful time of year. The weather changed from hot and muggy to crisp, clear and fresh and the autumn colors of the leaves were spectacular. Nothing can erase the memory of walks to school, crunching “a million leaves” along the way.
I think autumn is when Mother Nature does her best in decorating the world with beauty.

Enjoy Autumn!

Monday, August 3, 2015

I saw from the beach

 I Saw From The Beach

I saw from the beach, when the morning was shining,
A bark o'er the waters move gloriously on;
I came when the sun o'er that beach was declining,
The bark was still there, but the waters were gone.

And such is the fate of our life's early promise,
So passing the spring-tide of joy we have known;
Each wave that we danced on at morning ebbs from us,
And leaves us, at eve, on the bleak shore alone.

Oh, who would not welcome that moment's returning
When passion first waked a new life through his frame,
And his soul, like the wood that grows precious in burning,
Gave out all its sweets to love's exquisite flame

Thomas Moore

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Charolette Russe-a cozy mystery

Charlotte Russe,  a Cozy Mystery
Second Edition
Paisley Preston, 27, a starving student, is sure to fulfill her lifelong dream: finish her PhD program and publish a children’s book. When an earthquake hits, she finds a hidden jeweled box and 1867 document worth half a million dollars. She enlists good friends to help unravel the 2 mysteries and an unsolved murder until betrayal rears its ugly head. Threats are made on her life bring danger and involvement of the LAPD, turns things upside down. The jeweled box and the document take the investigation to Russia, Brazil, New Orleans and Washington DC for research where Paisely’s dreams go to a place she never imagined.

Author's Notes
I ran into an old college roommate and reminisced about our early college days in the 1970’s. We lived in an apartment in the surfing capital of the world, Huntington Beach, California. My neighbors were people from all over; rich, poor, talented, untalented all looking for their dream. The characters of this story were born from that apartment building just a block from the beach.
A downstairs neighbor of ours, Sandy, had an inlaid wooden box she bought at a thrift store. She was unemployed and barely making it, as we all were. We were all trying to get through college. The three of us took the box to a group auction house for a free appraisal. It was worth thousands of dollars. She instantly became rich and we never saw her again. My roommate and I always wondered what happened to Sandy. I hope she had a good life.

Charlotte Russe is a dessert invented by a French chef, Antoine Carene who named it in honor of the daughter his Russian employer, Czar Alexander. It is a type of dessert served hot or cold. A container is lined with sponge cake or lady fingers. It is then layered with fruit puree and filled with custard or whipped cream. It can be complicated or simple to prepare
I remember Charlotte Russe as young girl growing up in New York in the 1950’s. A version was sold in Candy stores throughout the five boroughs of New York. The Russe was served in a paper cup layered with cake, a layer of cherry puree, then whipped cream and a cherry on top. You pushed up on the bottom of the cup as you ate. I remember going after the cherry and getting a nose full of whipped cream!

I wrote this Cookbook of recipes from my cozy mystery, Charlotte Russe, after many reader request for the food cooked, served and enjoyed by the characters in my novels.

Charlotte Russe
3 pkgs. ladyfingers
1 c. sugar
1 c. whipping cream
12 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
Raspberry sauce (recipe follows)
Line a 10” spring-form pan with ladyfingers, sides and bottom. Reserve rest of ladyfingers. Soften the cream cheese and with electric mixer, cream the cheese, sugar and vanilla. Whip the cream (or use 2 cups Cool Whip and fold into the cream cheese mixture). Layer half of cream cheese mixture on top of the ladyfingers and top with more fingers and finish with the cream cheese. Cover and chill.
Raspberry Sauce
1 (10 oz.) package of frozen raspberries
tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Kirsch liqueur or cooking sherry

(Continue from previous page)
Defrost the berries, combine all and strain, (if you don’t like the seeds). Pour over the Charlotte Russe.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Crepes Suzette, a cozy mystery

A Cozy Mystery

        The idea for this book came to me many years ago. I was attending College and had a roommate who was in the process of searching for her biological family. She was unfortunate to have had a difficult childhood with her adoptive parents but fortunate to have found a wonderful relationship with her biological mother. She was in the process of finding her father when we graduated and went our separate ways. I hope she was successful. To read more about this mystery go to

Crêpes Suzette is a French dessert consisting of a crêpe with caramelized sugar and butter, tangerine or orange flavoring and, topped with liqueur served flambé.

4 eggs, well beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup sifted all purpose flour
1 Tbl brandy
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Melted butter
Suzette Sauce
Mix well, add ingredients except Suzette Sauce. Let stand in refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours. When thicker than heavy cream, add a little or milk. Heat a 7 or 8 inch skillet and brush with melted butter. Put in 1 generous tablespoons of batter working quickly, tip and tilt the pan so that the batter flows evenly over the bottom. Cook quickly. As soon as the pancake browns on one side, turn quickly and brown the other side. Proceed until all of the batter is used. Reheat the Suzette Sauce. Makes 32 crepes.

Suzette Sauce
Cream 1 cup unsalted butter until light and fluffy. Add grated rinds of 1 small orange and 1 lemon and ¼ cup of sugar. Melt in top pan of chafing dish over direct heat. Add juice of 1 orange and heat to reduce mixture to half.  Add 2 oz. (1/4 cup) each of brandy and Curacao or Cointreau and 1 oz (2 tablespoons) Kirsch. Ignite with a match. Then add the crepes, one at a time. Bathe each in the sauce, fold in quarters, and put to one side of the pan. When all are ready to serve, sprinkle with a little sugar, pour on about 2 oz of brandy and ignite.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

SLIVERS OF GLASS, 1955 Noir Murder Mystery

1955 Noir Murder Mystery

People often ask me why I wrote a noir murder mystery in 1955.
As I was contemplating this book, memories of my mother came flooding back. A native of New York, I was young and impressionable. Sitting on my mother's bed watching her get ready for a day of shopping.
HI remember how she would stand in front of her vanity mirror adjusting her hat so it would sit just right with her hair style. Then she would put on her left glove, hold her right glove in her left hand, slip her purse over her left arm and hold my hand as we left for the bus.
I’ll never forget her high heel shoes. They matched her purse, belt and hat, always a perfect match! My mother was a lady in dress, style and manner.
She passed away 2 years ago. Regardless of the era, she was in style to the end.
This book is written in my mother's memory

For a peek at this inspired novel see

A very popular dessert in the 1950’s, served at the famous Coconut Grove Night Club in Los Angeles. The “Grove” was known for its great cuisine. The Coconut Grove is featured in one of the scenes in Slivers of Glass, a Noir murder Mystery.

2 oranges or tangerines
2 bananas
Shredded coconut, unsweetened

Peel the oranges or tangerines, pull the pieces apart; cut the pieces across the middle. Peel the bananas and cut them into thin slices.
Cover the bottom of the bowl with orange pieces. Sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons of sugar over the oranges (depending on the sweetness of the oranges/tangerines). Put some banana slices on oranges, and then sprinkle a little coconut over bananas.
Do the same thing for the next layer, first the oranges, sugar, bananas and coconut. Make more layers, using all the fruit.
Sprinkle coconut on top. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate for 1 hour. Serves 3-4

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Tax Time


I found this joke and had to share it:

What's the definition of a good tax accountant?
Someone who has a loophole named after him.

For other humorous jokes, poem, etc see. They are great!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

St/ Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day
          March is the perfect time of year to bring out your green and enjoy everyone being Irish with their positive outlook in life. Here is an animated greeting for the special day for the Irish and everyone who celebrates with them.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Romance of the Tango

The Tango

    I have always enjoyed watching people dance the Tango. (I’ve never been coordinated enough to even attempt it.) The dance exudes romance and love when performed.
    I found out that the Tango is a dance came from European and African cultures.  The dance originated in lower-class districts of Buenos Aires and Montevideo. The word "tango" was first connected with the dance in the 1890s. It soon became popular throughout society.
    In the early years of the 20th century, dancers and orchestras from Buenos Aires travelled to Europe, and the first European tango craze took place in Paris, soon followed by London, Berlin, and other capitals. Towards the end of 1913 it hit New York.
    In Argentina, the Great Depression, and restrictions introduced after the overthrow of the Hipólito Yrigoyen government in 1930 caused tango to decline. Tango became widely fashionable and a matter of national pride under the government of Juan Perón. Tango declined again in the 1950s as a result of economic depression and the banning of public gatherings by the military dictatorships. Slowly the dance has gained popularity again.
    Talk about a history!!

For a fun look on “How the Tango Conquered the World” click on the link below.