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A Cornucopia of Goodness: Author & #Alaska News & a Wine Soaked #Recipe

bah-humbugI am taking a bit of a break, if you noticed. It is the holidays after all and for me this means huge bouts of depression and missing my family. Home maybe where the heart is and at this time of year, my heart is down in the lower -48 with my parents and kids. Geoff feels ambivalent towards this time of year, as do many. I struggle with my inner Grinch hourly. It is hard to be on Facebook and Twitter and even more so, this is the time I love to cook but we cannot right now so reading all the recipes is KILLING me, but it won’t stop me from sharing one with you.

The holidays have never has been religious for me even growing up. I know it is for many of my friends and many of you so I am as respectful as I can be. I have not been pagan all my life but even when I was active in the community, Yule for me was all about family, food and fun. A time of year I could give from the heart, a time where the lights twinkled and we ended the reign of the night and welcomed more light to enter into our lives with longer days coming. Now? I just hide and pretend nothing is happening. It is more for survival than anything… but I promised no more pity parties, let’s get on with some of my favorite authors news, the biggest local news for us in Alaska and a kick ass vegan recipe for an italian version of a drunken raspberry cake.


~ Author News ~

APopcorn at the Moviesll the feels goes forth with Andrew Smith. This year has been amazing for him and being part of it has been amazing for me. He is an interesting author who has no Facebook page, but interacts with his fans and friends. Grasshopper Jungle which I reviewed earlier is being made into a movie by Sony and this little fun comment is just one of many this creative and incredibly likeable authors shares. I agree, watch out for popcorn when you go and watch it because you never know… #unstoppable corn… oh and make sure you go read all the comments, they are GOLD!


Then of course, A.S. King’s news. GLORY O’BRIEN’S HISTORY OF THE Glory-OBrien_325FUTURE released October 14th of 2014 has hit the shelves and is taking the young adult readers like a storm. The New York Times just reviewed it and I read it earlier (no review yet) and I have to concur with their take on it:

“‘Navigating through Glory O’Brien’s story is like running through a minefield while drones drop bombs and snipers take aim from every tree. To which the teenager living inside my head (why won’t he go away already?) replies, “Yeah, welcome to my life.”’



But I am well known for my indie author support. One of my favorite authors has had an incredible run with her erotic series, SUGAR HOUSE NOVELLA SERIES and I am going to be writing reviews very soon for the whole set thus far. Pavarti K. Tyler, whose books I have featured as well as her, several times on the blog. I adore this woman, she is one of my heros for many reasons, and one of them is of course her writing. The others, well we can worry about that later because I also consider her one of my friends. She also published another mind blowing short stories, DEAD GIRL (read the review HERE). Her transgressive fiction is just mind blowing and anyone who likes genre bending dark reads, grab them asap!


The biggest announcement is WHITE CHALK coming to audio book. This is happening more and more with indie reads because the industry is finally out of infancy and now entering into the next phase. More and more authors are being picked up by small publishing houses which in turn are becoming bigger, better and more powerful. EVOLVED PUBLISHING is one of them.



~ Alaska News ~

Locally we Alaskan’s are joining the ranks of SMART MOVES state-wise and we passed Ballot Measure 2, legalizing marijuana. With oil revenues down and a state deficit almost double it was a few years back, we need this.


With the warm weather, I think someone has decided to stay up for Christmas. Pic taken just a few days ago by Rick Butler and shared in a group on Facebook: My Home Is Alaska. 100% unedited, uncropped, untouched, Rick wears a size 9.5. This is a brown bear track taken about 20 miles from Soldotna. Smart man that he is, he won’t give the exact location. The winter has been so mild in Alaska the bears are confused.

bears and alaska



~ And a Wine Soaked Recipe ~

Now that I have amassed a cornicopia of all the things I love except food, I better give you this recipe. It is originally found in Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen: 150 Pizzas, Pastas, Pestos, Risottos, & Lots of Creamy Italian Classics and is a step up from my every day vegan chocolate cake, in a mug or from an oven and it will take care of that left over wine from the night before… oh who am I kidding, just buy a bottle and pretend it is left over!

Leftover Red Wine Chocolate Cake with Drunken Raspberries
Didn't quite finish that red wine? Ohhh well I know, why wouldn't you. Make an excuse to get an extra bottle because this will go well with what is left over of the bottle AFTER you make the cake, plus?? It is vegan, unless you use the whipped cream!
Cuisine: Vegan/Vegetarian
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1- 9 inch cake
  • CAKE
    1½ cups of all-purpose flour**
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup of unseweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup of dry red wine
  • ½ cup of water
  • ½ of canola oil (not vegtable, canola!)
  • 2 TBSP of apple cider vinegar (I like raw organic)
  • 1 tsp of PURE Vanilla extract
    1/2 cup of dry red wine
  • ½ cup of Castor Sugar
  • 6-ounces of raspberries (usually a small flat)
  • powdered sugar for serving
    Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan and then line bottom with parchment paper.*
  2. Using a room temperature ceramic or glass bowl, whisk dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt). In a separate smaller glass or ceramic bowl, mix all the wet ingredients (wine, water, oil, vinegar and vanilla) Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Because we are looking to get the reaction started with the ingredients, it is imperative you do not over mix.
  3. Fill your prepared pan with the batter, being careful to just scrape it in. Don't worry about bubbles and doing to much evening out, this will not be like your egg batters, so don't freak if it looks wrong.
  4. Bake for 28-30 minutes, testing with a toothpick in the center to come out with only a few crumbs clinging. At the halfway mark, roated the cake carefully. Cool cake completely on a cakerack. (I cover with a piece of parchment after about 20 minutes after it is cool enough not to cause any condensation.).
    In a small saucepan, lightly wisk your sugar into the wine and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, whisking lightly as you go until it begins to boil. Let the sauce boil for about 1-2 minutes and then remove from the heat.
  6. Place the raspberries in a bowl and pour the sauce over the raspberries and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or up to 2 days if preparing ahead of time).
  7. TO SERVE:
    Slice the cake, dusting it all with powdered sugar and then top with a dollop of whipped cream (unsweetened is best or don't use more than a tablespoon for each 4 ounces of heavy cream), and a spoonful of the wine sauce soaked raspberries.
*tip: I use a torte pan which you release the sides after cooking. This makes it easier to release and you can also freeze these tortes to use later. So cook them now and prepare the frosting the day you will serve. Great idea for holiday desserts.

**The cookbook also offers a gluten-free alternative substituting gluten-free all-purpose flower plus ¾ tsp of xanthan gum. (pg 257)

This is an original recipe as I make it from Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen. The image is NOT MINE, because I don't have a photo of what I have made. Photo is from the BOOK




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