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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Get In My Belly: Chunky Tomato Soup with Parmesan Croutons

Looking for a delicious soup to ease your way into fall but is still reminiscent of the summer? Look no further!

I modified this recipe from Chef Steven Satterfield's version of a similar soup.

Chunky Tomato Soup
serves 4


1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and finely chopped (leeks work well too...but not quite as interesting)
3/4 teaspoons dried thyme
3 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups water
Two 28-ounce cans peeled Italian tomatoes—drained and finely chopped, juices reserved

Home-made Parmesan croutons

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, fennel (or leeks) and thyme and cook the vegetables over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion and fennel are softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the water and the tomatoes and their juices and bring to a boil. Simmer the soup over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by one-third, about 30 minutes.

Remove from heat. Using a good quality immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth but still slightly chunky. Serve the soup with homemade croutons and your favorite cheese sprinkled on top.

Also, if you like a spicier tomato soup - add 1/2 teaspoon good quality red chili flakes to the olive oil while it's heating. Saute for 1 minute. Then add the onion and fennel.

MAKE AHEAD The soup can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Win an opulent Gilded Age Prize Pack fit for an Heiress!

Susan May Warren is thrilled to announce the release of her latest historical book, Heiress!

Find out what the reviewers are saying here!

Heiress, a richly complex historical romance, is the first in Susan's three book Daughters of Fortune series. In honor of Heiress’ debut, Susan is hosting a FABULOUS Gilded Age Giveaway and giving away an opulent prize pack fit for an heiress!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A $100 gift certificate to ModCloth.com
  • A sleek silver iPod™ Shuffle
  • A beautiful strand of Pearls
  • Titanic DVD
  • Speakeasy Compilation Music CD from Starbucks™
  • Heiress by Susan May Warren

Click one of the icons below to enter. But do so soon - this giveaway ends 10/5/11. The winner will be announced Thursday, October 6 on Susan’s blog.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Introducing Gabby, God's Little Angel!

A note from Sheila Walsh ...

I'm so excited to announce that the first book in my new children’s series, Gabby, God’s Little Angel releases this month! The official release date is the 20th, but it's available now to pre-order. Would you like to help me spread the word? I’d love for you to post Gabby’s video trailer on Facebook, twitter, Google+, blog or website … and in exchange I’ll send you a thank you gift! (details below!)

Meet Gabby:

More about Gabby:
This first book in a delightful new series offers a comforting message for young readers-God loves you very much and is always watching over you!

What little girl wouldn't love her very own guardian angel? Parents and children alike will be won over by this humorous tale of Gabby, a guardian angel in training who has much to learn about taking care of God's little ones. Her new assignment is to protect a young girl named Sophie, but Gabby soon realizes that watching after Sophie is a bigger challenge than she had expected! After a close call while riding her pony, Sophie learns what the Bible says about guardian angels: "He will put his angels in charge of you. They will watch over you wherever you go" (Psalm 91:11 ICB).

I set out to develop a new character that young readers would embrace and delight in, and out from my pen and from my heart poured a new series, Gabby, God’s Little Angel. Gabby is an adorable guardian angel in training who finds that she has so much to learn about taking care of God’s children.

I am so passionate about teaching the little angels in your own lives just how much God loves them. I pray that through my new little friend, Gabby, they will discover this truth and rest assured that He is always watching over them!

Would you like to help me spread the word about Gabby’s arrival?

I’d love for you to post Gabby’s video trailer on Facebook, twitter, Google+, blog or website … and in exchange I’ll send you a thank you gift! (While supplies last.) You may enter once per platform (once on Facebook, once on your blog, once on twitter, etc...).

Here is how to do that.
Pick up a custom embed code at this link: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfwhWae_h04&feature=channel_video_title) and Embed the code into the HTML screen of your blog/website. Or link to the video here: http://youtu.be/sfwhWae_h04 Or just click SHARE when you're at YouTube and post it straight to your Facebook wall, blog or Twitter.

After you post it, please click this link to fill out the entry form (super simple – just name, email and link to your blog/Facebook/twitter/Google+) or send a note to my publicist, Amy (amy@litfusegroup.com)

And here's the fun news:

Everyone who participates will be entered into a drawing to receive:

30 people will receive a signed copy of Gabby, God’s Little Angel

10 people will receive a copy of the latest Gigi, God’s Little Princess book

5 people will receive both copies of Gabby, God’s Little Angel and Gigi, God’s Little Princess

…ONE lucky person will receive a $25 Starbucks card and an array of best-selling Sheila Walsh books!

And … as a Thank You -  The first 100 who post the video will ... receive a free copy of Sheila’s How to Be God's Little Princess. (Just be sure to share the video and go here to fill out the entry form.)

How fun is that?!

Again - if you need help or have questions please email amy@litfusegroup.com. Winners will be announced on 10/4 during Sheila's FB party!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

To celebrate the release of her first Christmas book, Suzanne Woods Fisher has teamed up with her publisher, Revell, to bring you the "Christmas in September" iPad Giveaway! The winner will be announced on 9/27 at the A Lancaster County Christmas Facebook Party! Details below. Tell your friends and join in the fun (9/7-9/27).

Oh and be sure to follow the blog tour here - many of the bloggers have copies of the book to giveaway! 

Suzanne and Revell will be presenting one merry winner with a Christmas Prize Pack (valued at over $600):

  • A Brand New iPad 2 with Wi-Fi
  • $25 gift certificate to iTunes
  • A copy of A Lancaster County Christmas

To enter, click one of the icons below. But, hurry the giveaway ends on 9/26.

But, wait! There's more! The winner will be announced at the A Lancaster County Christmas Facebook Party on 9/27 at Suzanne's author page. During the party she'll be revealing something *BIG* - you won't want to miss it. She'll also be hosting a book chat, trivia contest and giving away a few early Christmas presents! Hope to see you there.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Get in my Belly: Broccoli and Tortellini Salad

This is one of the most referenced recipes in my homemade Way Yum Food Cookbook! A great recipe for any time of the year.

It's from an Allrecipes recipe that I modified a smidge: "Crisp, fresh broccoli and cheese tortellini with a creamy dressing are the basis of this salad. Raisins, sunflower seeds and red onion dress it up."


1/2 lb bacon
20 ounces fresh cheese-filled tortellini
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
3 heads fresh broccoli, cut into florets
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 red onion, finely chopped


Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook tortellini in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain, and rinse under cold water.

In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar to make the dressing.

In a large bowl, combine broccoli, tortellini, bacon, raisins, sunflower seeds and red onion. Pour dressing over salad, and toss.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Win a custom made period dress ... and a KINDLE from Rosslyn Elliott!

To celebrate the release of her debut novel, Fairer Than MorningRosslyn Elliott is giving away two fabulous prize packages. The first is brand new KINDLE in her Fairer Than Morning Kindle Giveaway. Then on September 20th she's giving away a $200 gift certificate toward a Custom-Made Historical Reproduction Dress (from Recollections) during the Fairer Than Morning Book Club Chat Party on Facebook! Sigh...romantic.

Fairer Than Morning is receiving wonderful reviews - Library Journal said, "A well-written historical series debut…". Read more reviews here.

Be sure to join the fun and enter the Kindle contest - 

One winner will receive:

* Kindle with Wi-Fi

* Fairer Than Morning (for Kindle)

To enter just click one of the icons below. But, hurry, giveaway ends on 9/19. Winner will be announced on 9/20 at Rosslyn's Book Club Facebook Party. Details and official rules can be found when entering the contest.

Then be sure to RSVP for Rosslyn's Facebook Party! During the party Rosslyn will be chatting with guests, hosting a book chat about Fairer Than Morning (don't worry if you haven't read the book yet - you could win a copy!) & historical Fiction, testing your trivia skills. She'll also be giving away that $200 gift certificate toward a FABULOUS custom-made period dress from Recollections!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter