Sunday, March 20, 2016

Honey Dijon Pork Chops

4 boneless pork loin chops (5 ounces each)
1 teaspoon salt-free lemon-pepper seasoning
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
Sprinkle pork chops with lemon pepper. In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, heat oil over medium heat. Brown chops on both sides.
In a small bowl, whisk orange juice, mustard and honey until blended; pour over chops. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 5-8 minutes
Remove chops from pan; keep warm. Bring sauce to a boil; cook until mixture is reduced to 1/4 cup, stirring occasionally. Serve with chops.
Yield: 4 servings.

I found this recipe on Taste of Home's site I've been desperate to find lower sodium recipes for my mom. This one was definitely a winner, though mine had to have a little more sodium then this one, as my lemon pepper wasn't sodium free, so I just used less.

My mom enjoyed it, so that's one for the win column.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Goddess Fish Promotions Book Review: An Unfolding Trap

An Unfolding Trap
by Jo A. Hiestand


GENRE: British mystery



Since his infancy, Michael McLaren has been the target of his paternal grandfather’s anger. So when the patriarch sends an invitation to heal the rift, McLaren travels to Scotland, eager to meet and finally end the feud. But the welcome never happens. If Grandfather hadn’t invited him, who had?  And why?

In Edinburgh, a man standing beside McLaren in a bus queue is killed in a hit-and-run accident. After an attack leaves McLaren for dead on a wintry moor, he’s convinced someone from his past is trying to murder him.

As McLaren trails the hit-and-run driver from the medieval ‘underground city’ of Edinburgh to the Boar’s Rock the MacLaren Clan’s ancestral meeting place the assaults intensify, and he’s plunged into a very personal hunt for a World War II treasure. The puzzle is fascinating; he just has to stay alive to solve it.



The upper landing was dimly lit, so as not to spoil the theatricality of the underground scene. But tiny strips of lights shone from beneath the stair treads, defining the path to the bottom. His left hand slid slowly along the metal railing, gripping more firmly as he paused to find each successive step. He felt the small torch in his jacket pocket but didn’t remove it. He needed his eyes to acclimate to the darkness.

He came to the second landing and the railing snaked back on itself, yet still angled downward. McLaren could see a small pool of light at ground level, a dozen stairs below. It seemed to come from a small door to the right. He took a deep breath, steeling his nerves, and descended.

At the bottom of the spiraled staircase he stood for moment, letting his eyes become accustomed to the near darkness. The ceiling was not much more than head high and seemed to mock his fear of confinement. Ahead he heard a voice relating the Close’s history. The voice sounded thin, bouncing off the hard walls.

He took a few steps past the bottom landing and looked around. The gloom intimidated him, threatened to suffocate him. Ahead and to his right pinpricks of weak yellowish light displaced some of the gloom and defined the areas through the maze, but murkiness filled the majority of the expanse. He moved slowly, his feet gliding over the rough ground, his hand skating over the wall. His fingers touched the bumps and small protuberances, skimming over them as though he were reading Braille.


Review: I'm a sucker for British mysteries and I read one from the McLaren Mystery series awhile back and loved it, so I was anxious to read this one. I read Shadow in the Smoke back in December. Michael McLaren is a great private investigator.

In this book there's a potential family reconciliation, but things are never what they seem and that reconciliation doesn't really happen, because his grandfather insists that he wasn't invited. That's mystery number one.

Then there's a hit and run, with a man standing beside Mike in a bus queue. Mystery 2

This is a book that will keep you turning the pages to discover who dun it. 

This is book 5 in the series, but all books are stand alone novels and if the two I've read are any indictation, great reads!

Rating: 5 stars

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British. Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times, and lived there during her professional folk singing stint. This intimate knowledge of Britain forms the backbone of both the Taylor & Graham mysteries and the McLaren cold case mystery series.

Jo’s insistence for accuracy, from police methods and location layout to the general feel of the area, has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research. These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the detail filling the books.

In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English. She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.
Her cat Tennyson shares her St. Louis home.


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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Goddess Fish Promotions Book Review 2 Broads Abroad

2 Broads Abroad: Moms Fly the Coop
by Deborah Serra and Nancy Serra Greene


GENRE: Nonfiction, Motherhood, Travel Memoir



When sisters, Deborah & Nancy, discovered that motherhood was a temp job they decided to run away from home. After packing up that last kid for college, and facing the sad stillness of their suddenly quiet homes, they decided to leave the country. 2 BROADS ABROAD: MOMS FLY THE COOP is a funny, irreverent, occasionally poignant travel tale of their impulsive road trip around Ireland.

In this witty warm-hearted adventure, they experienced some of Ireland’s quirkier history while sharing universally relatable stories of maniacal school coaches, neurotic neighbors, and tiger moms. Having kicked that empty nest into their rearview mirror, the sisters took off careening down the wrong side of the road, making questionable choices, getting trapped in a medieval tower, sneaking Chinese take-out into a famous cooking school, drinking way too much, and gaining a changed perspective on their lives ahead.



Your youngest is leaving for college? Aw, empty nest?” Then, sappy eyes followed by a plaintive grin and, “What will you do?”

Before my sister and I decided to run away from home we were bothered by that question. There was something minimizing about it, minimizing and not completely untrue. Motherhood had been so deceptive, the greatest paradox in life: every single bleary-eyed day felt a month long, and the years went by in an instant. They flashed by like lightning and left a desiccated scorch mark wearing my clothes. It was disagreeable to imagine what life would be like childless: there would be the family tree, and there would be the mom who’s the center of the family tree, standing leafless, bare (and it has been a while since I looked good bare). There was some solace as I glanced around me to see my younger sister, Nancy, would be standing there bare as well. We were embarking on this progeny-shedding calamity simultaneously as both of our youngest daughters, Nicole and Olivia, were leaving for college the same week.
I knew that Nancy hadn’t really focused on it yet. And then, we met at Fashion Island in Newport Beach near her home to get a birthday gift for our mom. We ran into two of Nancy’s neighbors, Vicki and Susan.

Nancy,” Vicki asked, “doesn’t Nicole graduate from Corona Del Mar High School this June?”

Yes,” Nancy said. “She’s going to the University of Washington.”

Oh,” Susan lifted her eyebrows, “you must be devastated.”

What?” Nancy looked confused. “No, actually I was happy for her. She worked really hard. It was her first choice school.”

But so far away!” Susan added in that annoying singsong tone.

Nancy shifted her feet, a move I knew well as her sister. It was something she always did when she was being told something she did not like to hear.

It’s not that far.” Nancy said.

It’s a plane ride. You need an airplane to see your daughter.” Susan said loudly.

Yeah.” Nancy turned to me in an effort to change the subject. “You remember my sister, Deborah?”

Of course.” Vicki smiled. And we exchanged hellos. Vicki seemed normal, but I had an inkling that I might have to slap Susan.
Susan continued on with her one thought. “With your son gone already, and soon Nicole, well, Nancy, I guess you’re all alone now.”

Nancy shifted her feet again. “I’m still married, Susan.”

Sure. Sure. Right. So that’s better than nothing, huh?”

Nancy and I both froze. Did she just say that?

You know,” Vicki tried to cut off Susan, “when Terrie’s youngest left she bought a Chihuahua puppy. Cutest thing you’ve ever seen. And the Walkers gave a room to an exchange student from Sweden,” she explained happily.

Nancy nodded. “That sounds like a good plan.”

Susan opened her mouth to speak again and I wasn’t sure whether I should just smack her now and be done with it, or let her continue. I made the wrong choice.

Remember Pam Winthrop?” Susan leaned in. “When her son left she started eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s every day until she put on 60 pounds. Sad, really, tragic. Even her kneecaps were fat.” Then Susan turned to me, “So, Deborah, isn’t your youngest graduating, too?”

I’m leaving the country,” I said.

Susan cocked her head. “What?”

I’m leaving the country,” I repeated matter-of-factly.

So am I,” Nancy said. I looked at her. I saw the decision in her eyes. “I’m going with Deborah. We’re taking a long trip together – a sisters trip.”

You are?” Susan sounded a little thwarted, which Nancy found gratifying.

Yup, in the planning stages.” Nancy smiled at Susan who was clearly disappointed that we were not miserable as anticipated. “Nice to see you though, Susan, Vicki. Got to go. In the middle of booking flights and stuff. So much to do!”

We turned away and strode with purpose toward the door.
I whispered, “Susan’s a real gem.”

She did me a favor.”


I’ve been so busy I just wasn’t thinking about it.”

And I haven’t been able to think about anything else,” I said. “When I’m awake in the middle of the night it runs over and over in my mind.”

Nancy said, “When I heard that crap Susan was dealing, all of a sudden I realized, there’s no way am I plodding into that sunset with fat kneecaps carrying a Chihuahua.”


Review: This book made me long for a sister that I'm close to. (I have a sister, but our relationship, not so close). They have the kind of relationship that is enviable.

All of their children are out of the nest, so its safe to say that this is a severe and severely funny case of empty nest syndrome.

If you don't get loads of laughs while reading this, well, you might need a cast on your broken funny bone.

I loved the sisters antics. It really had me smiling the whole way through.(And this is from a 40 something single woman without children)

This is definitely a must read

Rating: 5 stars

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Deborah Serra has been a sought-after screenwriter for twenty-five years having written for NBC, CBS, Sony, Lifetime, Fox, and others. She was a recipient of the 2012 Hawthornden Literary Fellowship. Her first novel was a semi-finalist for the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Award given by the Faulkner Society in New Orleans, LA.

Nancy is a graduate of San Diego State University. She worked in medical sales before stepping away to raise her two children, at which point she became: Team Mom, Snack Mom, PTA member, Assistance League Volunteer, and the list is never-ending. Nancy was the editor and publisher of the Buffalo Hills Echo newsletter with a circulation of 1400. She also designed and managed her community website.

Buy Link:



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