Christmas Time

Hello Friends and welcome. Thank you for your visit two weeks ago when I posted my review of Suzie Carr‘s ‘The Curvy Side of Life.’ Since then things have been very busy for me and I didn’t realize how fast time really flies.

This is the time of the year when I’m feeling a lot of gratitude for what I have in my life. I do gratitude lists each day and I have found they keep me on track. Also, I’ve been doing daily writing on what is on my mind. This too has helped clear out things.

I am in the Christmas spirit and I listen to Chrismas music as I’m doing things around the house. We already put up our Christmas tree the day before Thanksgiving.

This year we are helping out others in need again. At church, we picked a little boy’s name off the Christmas tree and bought him gifts. It was a lot of fun buying him presents and I feel good knowing this lad is going to have a nice holiday. We got him some clothes and a toy. Also, we participated in a program to give toys to homeless children. I feel good knowing they will have something to play with while in transition.

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We are going to spend Christmas day doing something very special. A wish of mine came true and I’m elated. I will be making a nice meal, complete with my pumpkin pie, which I would like to share with you.

Pumpkin Pie filling recipe:

1 pie pumpkin
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 oz applesauce
1 container medium firm tofu
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 – 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

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Prepare the pumpkin:
cut open squash and clean out the insides. You can use the seeds to bake.
put pieces face down in a dutch oven and cover
bake at 350 for 45 – 60 minutes or until soft.
Cool
If it is watery, you can strain the pumpkin.
peel the skin and put the pumpkin into a food processor and puree.
Add the rest of the filling ingredients and blend until smooth.

Pie crust:

2 cups flour
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp cold vegetable oil such as grapeseed
1/2 cup + 1/2 Tbsp cold margarine
1/4 cup cold water

I usually put the cold ingredients in the freezer for about 15 minutes before using.

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Then cut in margarine.
In a separate bowl whisk oil and water. Then add to flour mixture.
Cover dough with plastic and let sit for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Roll dough onto parchment paper so it doesn’t stick into a large circle. Then you can place the pie pan over it and flip it over so the pie crust is inside.

Fill the pie crust with the pie filling. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and continue baking for another 45- 60 minutes. You should be able to insert a butter knife and have it come out clean when it is done.

You can top it with whipped cream if you choose.

IMG_1378This year we are having our Christmas party a few days after Christmas so that a few family members can be there. We haven’t seen them in years so it is going to be great to catch up with them. It is harder now since the young adults have their own schedules.

This season has been very special for us and we are doing what we can to pass the Christmas spirit on. This can be something like opening a door for someone whose arms are full with purchased items. Whatever it is, it is a big help to someone else and it is important we spread the love.

I have a lot to be thankful for and appreciate all of you. It feels good sharing each week. I want to thank everyone who left comments and reblogged my blog.

Thank you for visiting. Be sure to stop by next week when I’ll be featuring the fourth installment of the Christmas Candy series from Samantha Jacobey. You can read my reviews below.

https://lynnlawler.wordpress.com/2017/02/03/my-review-for-samantha-jacobeys-christmas-eve/

https://lynnlawler.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/my-review-of-samantha-jacobeys-christmas-carol/

I want to wish you all a happy Christmas as well as a glorious holiday season this year.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

Cover PhotoPurchase Awakened by Fate

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Meet Artist Jennifer Lynn

Good afternoon everyone and thanks for stopping by. I want to give a big thanks to Amy Dunne, who’s book, ‘Season’s Meetings’, I reviewed. This week I am speaking with Artist and Chef, Jennifer Lynn. I am proud to introduce her to you.

Author Profile 2

“Great spirits always encounter violent opposition from mediocre minds”

– Albert Einstein

Tell us about yourself.
I’m a Jill-of-all-trades. I am predominantly a Chef and an Artist. I’m formally trained through college and university and I’m a papered chef and I’m a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists. I’ve studied both trades for over 30 years. That study has taken me many places with the good fortune to meet many people around the world. I have an insane sense of humor. I live in the moment and worry very little about what others think of me. This gives me the freedom to create both food and art that people have not experienced before. I’m passionate and peaceful – if those two things can co-exist in one person I’m trying to ensure that’s possible. I meditate every morning, I work out every day, I eat well and I live well. Mind, spirt and body keep a person in a perpetual state of wellness.

Who or what influenced you to study the Culinary Arts?
I’ve had a passion for culinary my entire life. My Grandparents and my Mother were all amazingly talented cooks and bakers. I find though as I’m aging that I absolutely love baking more than anything. Yes, that means working out a lot more than before 🙂 Her professional influences are Massimo Capra, Chef John Higgins, Joanne Clayton, Jamie Kennedy, and the most influential for me Lynn Crawford – on her terms her way.

What vegan dish do you like to prepare?
I do a very large variety of vegan dishes but my favorite thing to make people, in an effort to help them understand that vegan food can be amazing, is my vegan apple pie. I love the looks on people’s faces when they’re eating it and an I announce it’s 100% vegan.

Apple PieWhere is a favorite place in nature that you like to visit?
Anywhere near water is my thing. I love to canoe and kayak and swim and just get out on the open water in a boat and fish or chill. I would love to learn how to be a better sailor so that investing in a nice boat would be worthwhile and then sail my way around the Mediterranean.

I understand you volunteer at The Soup Kitchen – Niagara Falls Community Outreach. How has the experience been and what do you like about it?
While I’m no longer active there and instead I’m working with a program to clothe and keep homeless people warm through the winter, I think volunteerism is essential to being a complete person. I believe that giving something back that isn’t about making money or improving your reputation among your peers is your way of paying society back for the many people who believe in you in your journey. It heightens your understanding of your own gratitude and how very necessary it is to always live a grateful life.

Who do you relate more to Edwina, Patsy, or Saffron from ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ and why?
lol… Most people would say I’m slightly Eddy if they’ve known me my whole life in relation to my 20’s probably. I actually don’t drink a lot and I never do drugs so I would think their assumption is that I pretty much go through life with it really not getting to me. Minus the drugs and booze, I’ve always been a business owner and very motivated to be a success.

Do you feel that your passion for Go-Karts brings the inner-child in you out?
Ha-ha! Wherever did you find out that I’m speed demon? I actually have three speed passions, Go-Karts and Helicopters and Motorcycles. I love the rumble, the giggles, the rush, the vehicle in my complete control, the unknown variables of other people’s decisions and making quick sharp decisions that will keep me safe but allow me to pick up speed – sort of like working in a cruise ship kitchen ha-ha! I think because I don’t have a lot of outlets for stress other than working out and meditation, speed takes that last bit of angst I have and brings me back to center. I’m REALLY looking forward to the new track, the Super Mario track, that’s being constructed in Niagara Falls!!! (my home).

Artist Drawn Flower

Which lesfic authors do you follow? What book would you recommend and why?What an interesting question… I’m a huge Sappho fan and wish that more contemporary writers would dive into the amazing world of verse and poetry. Perhaps that’s my next pursuit. Too many of today’s lesbian fiction writers are following the same formulas and it gets a little Harlequin Romancy. However, one of my contemporary favorites is of course Dena Blake – I’m just in love with Racing Hearts. Another is J. Robin Whitley – Finding Home.

There are hundreds of lesfic writers out there pounding away every day on their craft. I suppose in my library I’ve shown a particular taste in style which would be Elizabeth Andre, Victoria Avilan, Gun Brooke who I actually first picked up because I love that pen name! ha! Beyond being in love with the way Judy Folger writes, I wish she would return to her blog – she pushed such fascinating topics.

Did you ever attend a New York Yankees game at the old Yankee Stadium before they moved? Who is your favorite Yankee and why?

Well I only see the Yankees in Canada when they come to the Skydome, aka Rogers Centre, to play against the  Toronto Blue Jays. I proudly and very unpopularly dawn my 50th anniversary Yankees hat and sit in a sea of blue cheering my pinstriped gladiators to victory. And, Derek Jeter – hands down was my favorite player for an all-around amazing athlete and example of profoundly good sportsmanship. In the current club I have yet to pick a new favorite.

Yankees Logo 1Yankees Logo 2

Do you listen to music when preparing meals? If so what are some of your favorites?

I listen to music all the time. Seriously. I listen from the time I start my day until the time I go to sleep. Music is my heartbeat. It inspires all of my various arts including my cooking. When cooking however, I tend to select the same genre of music for the food I’m preparing. So, if I’m making an extravagant Italian dish, I’ll be playing very old Italian folk from the 30’s or earlier.

Where is a place where you’ve always wanted to visit?
I’m dying to go to Brazil. I’ve been all round there but never there. The food, the people, the vistas, the music, the history, the passion for everything they are makes me want to just immerse myself in their culture for a good year. I’ve always wanted to go there but then the fire was fueled much more when Reaching for The Moon came out in 2013 – the story of Lota De Macedo Soares and Elizabeth Bishop. I have not stopped thinking about that country at least once a day since then.

Would you ever audition to be on Chopped on the Food Network?
No and actually I’ve been encouraged to at least go on Chopped Canada. I’ve been in competitions and I’ve also done quite a few fun black box events. But, I think when we take art and make it a competition we lose a lot of the real honest creative passion that goes into creating it.

Pretty Dish 2Rainbow Cake

What was the last performance you saw?

I’m a Cirque Du Soleil fanatic. I saw Volta. As always it was thrilling. This story in particular – the story of walking your own path or developing your own style – really spoke to me. As always Cirque never lets me down.

What’s next for you?
Well my artistic endeavors are taking off greatly. I’ll be hanging in the Hub Gallery on Queen Street in Niagara Falls Canada shortly – this month. I also find myself working on various commissioned projects. It’s a bit of break from the culinary world but no less challenging and satisfying. It’s also been a lifelong pursuit of mine to be recognized as a fine artist. So, this means a great deal to me.

I want to thank Jennifer Lynn for stopping by. Do check out her links below for more about her. You can buy copies of her artwork. Also she does book covers, including author J. Robin Whitley, so check out her online print gallery. For more information regarding J. Robin Whitley, click on the link below the picture.

Book Cover Art

http://www.jrobinwhitley.net/

Jennifer Lynn’s Online Print Gallery: https://www.artpal.com/jenniferlynn/
Chef Page with Nutritional Advice: https://www.facebook.com/chefjencanada/
Artist Page – all of my own custom artwork: https://www.facebook.com/jenniferlynngallery/

Stay tuned next week as I will be featuring my review for author Blake Everstone’s ‘Ominous Tales.’

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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