Nancy's Notes From Florida

Author Nancy J. Cohen discusses the writing process and life as a Florida resident.

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2015 in review

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on December 31, 2015

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Dinner Menu Chicken Tenderloins

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on June 23, 2014

Here is my dinner menu for tonight:

HORSERADISH-CRUSTED CHICKEN TENDERLOINS

1 pound chicken tenderloins
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. prepared horseradish
½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup fat free plain yogurt
2 Tbsp. skim milk
1 Tbsp. prepared horseradish
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. paprika

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise and 2 Tbsp. horseradish in small bowl. Dip chicken in mixture and then roll in bread crumbs mixed with parsley. Place chicken tenders in greased baking dish and bake for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the next 6 ingredients for the sauce and put aside. Serve baked chicken with sauce.

Chicken Tenderloins

 

I found sweet potatoes in a bag at Publix that you can microwave, so we’ll try these, and they should last a couple of nights. Fresh asparagus will round out the meal.

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I’ve been keeping busy working on my dad’s travel adventure journal and planning for my two upcoming summer releases. I’m scheduling a blog tour to celebrate the debut of Warrior Lord and have the paperback version of Shear Murder coming out in August as well. Plus I’m occupied with duties as President of the Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter. Save the date for SleuthFest: February 26, 2015!

Thank goodness some of my favorite TV shows are back on the air. Covert Affairs restarts soon, and I have to watch Falling Skies and The Musketeers (on BBC channel) that we recorded last night. I got hooked on Crossbones, too.  And Royal Pains is a favorite that’s back on. What are you watching?

 

 

 

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Fresh Corn is in Season!

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on June 2, 2014

This really works, although I had to cut off both ends. But it saves all that cleaning and works fast!

HASTY TASTY MEALS BLOG

Here in Florida the first crops of corn on the cob are available. Love me some fresh corn! Here’s how I cook it:
Place whole ear of corn in microwave oven. Place whole ear of corn in microwave oven.

Microwave 4 minutes per ear Microwave 4 minutes per ear

Carefully remove cooked ear of corn. Carefully remove cooked ear of corn.

Slice off husks at beginning of corn cob. Slice off husks at beginning of corn cob.

Shake corn cob until it evacuates its husks. Shake corn cob until it evacuates its husks.

Perfectly cooked corn emerges clean of all silk and husks! Perfectly cooked corn emerges clean of all silk and husks!

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Win a Copy of Shear Murder

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on November 25, 2013

TODAY ONLY you can enter to win a Kindle copy of Shear Murder. Join the Year-End Splash Party at The Romance Reviews :  http://www.theromancereviews.com/event.phpLook for Question No. 6!

The Romance Reviews

 

And today is a special day for me. Like my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-J-Cohen/112101588804907 and Wish me a Happy Birthday!

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Blog Tour

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on January 11, 2012

My blog tour kicks off today! Please visit these sites and leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for a set of irridescent shell jewelery and a signed copy of Shear Murder. Comments on my own blogs count this month as well, but I’d really like to thank my hosts by having many visitors to their sites on my blog dates.

January 11, Wednesday, It’s Not All Gravy, Author Interview
January 13, Friday, Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers, “Character Quirks”
January 16, Monday, Author Expressions, Author Interview
January 20, Friday, Jungle Red Writers, “Conferences, Cocktails, and Coffee”
January 22, Sunday, Buried Under Books, “Setting as Inspiration”
January 25, Wednesday, Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book, “Weddings and Murder”
January 30, Monday, Savvy Authors, “Concluding a Series”

Also, I blog bimonthly over at The Kill Zone. My next post there is Wednesday, January 18, the official release date for Shear Murder.

If you haven’t yet checked out Southern Writers Magazine, take a look at the January issue. I’m on the cover and inside in a feature article.

Another cool site is Book & Trailer Showcase. Sign up for their newsletter and enter to win prizes. I have an Author Page on this site, too.

Hope to see you around the blogosphere!

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Votes Needed!

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on March 7, 2011

I am excited to announce that  Silver Serenade has been nominated by The Romance Reviews for Best in Romantic Science Fiction/Futuristic/PNR for 2010!                         

Voting ends on March 31.  Please help me out by voting for my book at http://www.theromancereviews.com/bookvote.php

Scroll down until you see the category for Best Romantic Science Fiction/Fantasy. You’ll have my infinite gratitude. Thank you!  Tell your friends!

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Eating Tips for Christmas

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on December 25, 2010

These tips apply equally to any holiday and to your next cruise as well. Thanks to mystery author Michael Haskins for passing them along.

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they’re serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can and quickly. You can’t find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It’s not as if you’re going to turn into an "eggnog-aholic" or something. It’s a treat. Enjoy it!!!! Have one for me. Have two. It’s later than you think. It’s Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand-alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re made with skim milk or whole milk. If it’s skim, pass. Why bother? It’s like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people’s food for free. Lots of it. Hello???

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year’s. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you’ll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don’t budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They’re like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you’re never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, pumpkin and mincemeat – have a slice of each. Or, if you don’t like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it’s loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don’t feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven’t been paying attention. Reread tips: Start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving
safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO what a ride!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Posted in Florida Musings, The Writing Life, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

New England (106 photos), by Nancy Cohen

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on September 22, 2010


I’d like to share my Snapfish photos with you. Once you have checked out my photos you can order prints and upload your own photos to share.
Click here to view photos

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MARCO ISLAND, FL

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on June 20, 2010

If you’d like to escape for several days to a beach haven away from it all, visit Marco Island. There’s as much or as little as you want to do here, with expansive sandy beaches, boat rides, fine dining, shopping, water sports, and more. Driving onto the island, a two hour drive west from Fort Lauderdale and just south of Naples, we stopped at the Snook Inn for lunch. Located on a waterway, this rustic restaurant offers a scenic view along with outdoor dining. I had Baked Stuffed Shrimp while my husband had Conch Chowder and Crab Cake Sliders. Then we went for cocktails later to Quinn’s on the Beach at the Marriott. Again, we chose outdoor seating so we could watch the sun descend on the horizon.

Snook Inn

Snook Inn

We spent two nights at the Hilton with its lovely pool area, big wide beach, three dining places, plus a lounge. The food in Sandpipers and the Paradise Café was excellent, better than many other restaurants we’ve experienced, with an artistic presentation worthy of the best worldwide establishments. For dinner in the Paradise Café, I ordered Coconut Crusted Tilapia that was absolutely delish. My husband ordered Salmon Oscar, and we shared a Key Lime Pie for dessert. Here you have a choice of eating outside on a screened patio with a view of the sunset and beach or inside in the air-cooled restaurant.

The last night found us at Capri Fish House where we ate outside under the chickee hut facing a waterway. While we waited for our food (I ordered grilled grouper), a thunderstorm struck and lightning flashed all around. Rain poured down, necessitating our moving to another table to avoid getting wet.        

Snook Inn

View from Snook Inn

Other than the food, we enjoyed the beach. The lounge chairs and towels are free at the Hilton. If you want an umbrella, it costs $19 per day. We hunted for seashells, splashed in the sea foam, sniffed the salty sea air, and floated in the bathtub warm water. This mini-vacation came with its comedic moments, such as when the spouse spilled ketchup all over himself or got lost walking on the beach looking for the hotel entrance. I tried to unlock someone else’s room until I realized I was at the wrong door. Good thing our daughter came along to laugh at our mishaps. Family vacations, however short, are treasures to be stored away with memories and photos.

Quinn's on the Beach

Quinn's on the Beach

Hilton Hotel view

Hilton Hotel view

Marco Island Beach

Marco Island Beach

Nancy in the ocean

Nancy in the ocean

Capri Fish House

Capri Fish House

Capri Fish House

Capri Fish House

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

Nancy at Capri Fish House

Nancy at Capri Fish House

Sunset

Sunset

Sunset

Sunset

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TURNING LEMONS INTO LEMONADE

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on May 31, 2010

Kitchen Fiasco Number One 

I am having a dinner party tonight, and I wanted to prepare two items for the first time. One was called Olive Cheese Nuggets that I ate at a friend’s house many years ago. The couple coming tonight likes olives, so I thought this would be a great time to try the recipe. Essentially, it’s medium sized stuffed green olives wrapped in pastry. So I follow this recipe:

4 oz grated cheddar cheese

1/4 cup butter                                                                                 

3/4 cup sifted flour

½ tsp paprika

40 medium stuffed green olives (I bought a ten-oz jar of Queen sized Publix brand olives)

I mix up the grated cheddar, softened butter, flour and paprika. This is supposed to make dough. Then you wrap one teaspoon of dough around each olive and bake them. Sound okay? My mixture turned out to be dry and crumbly. No way would it wrap around an olive. I couldn’t even knead it. I added some milk I had on hand to moisten it. Still no good. Even if it worked as dough, there was nowhere near enough to wrap all those olives! This recipe must be faulty. I give up, but I don’t toss out my mixture. Instead, why not make them into cheese biscuits?

Having no idea if this idea would work or not, I add more milk, mix it all up, and make four balls out of the resultant dough. I flatten each ball in my hands, spread them out on a greased baking sheet, and bake them at 350 degrees for about twenty minutes. Voilà! Crispy cheese biscuits, a bit doughy for my taste, but edible. I don’t think I’ll add this to my repertoire, however.

Kitchen Fiasco Number Two

 

I planned to make another new recipe, artichoke and spinach stuffed mushrooms. One day ahead, I drain and chop the artichokes. This morning, I come into the kitchen and my husband confesses he ate half the artichokes, thinking it was egg salad. C’mon! Don’t you look before you eat? Can’t you taste the difference on your tongue? I send him out to get a new can of artichoke hearts. When he gets back, I put him to work (he’s a good guy to do kitchen duty) washing and de-stemming the mushroom caps. Meanwhile, I made a zucchini chocolate cake. I have leftover shredded zucchini, half the chopped artichokes from the first batch, and mushroom stems that I don’t need for the stuffed mushroom appetizer. What’s a creative cook to do?  I tossed these three ingredients in the food processor with some light mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese. I’ll microwave the mixture later to heat it and serve it as a spread to go with whole wheat crackers.

What are some of the kitchen saves that you’ve done?

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