No Churn Peach Lavender Ice Cream

“There are some things, after all, that Sally Owens knows for certain: Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.” 
Alice HoffmanPractical Magic


Thanks to Cooking with a Wallflower

You know my passion for lavender. Since Lavender Beach came out I’ve had several requests for my recipe for lavender ice cream. The problem is I don’t have one. But Andrea over at her website, Cooking with a Wallflower does. Her recipe is a No Churn Peach Lavender Ice Cream to die for!! It’s lavender infused ice cream with little bits of fresh yellow peaches. This no churn peach lavender ice cream is the ultimate summer dessert. Check out Andrea’s recipe. I intend to make this first chance I get. Thank you Andrea for letting me repost this from your blog!!

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Gardening during the drought

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Sometimes I think I need my head examined for trying to have a garden during a drought. Everything’s so brown and some days I feel like the stingy amount of drink I give the lettuce is a luxury. Lettuce is about all I have left. The lavender is struggling and so are my daisies. I follow the stringent guidelines of water restriction both inside and outside. We haven’t washed our cars in months. I’ve moved most of my regular plants indoors to keep them from frying in the blasts of August heat. But let’s face it, if California doesn’t get some relief soon, I’m not sure a garden is worth the effort.

To give you an idea of how bad things are, the trees located behind my house are dying…slowly. Pine, cypress, and the cottonwood that are located in what we used to refer to as the “greenbelt” are turning brown. The roots are searching for water that doesn’t come. The grass, once lush and green, has turned to what resembles straw.

I’ve always loved a garden setting. But here locally people are replacing their yards with rock, stone, or letting them go burnt brown naturally. I don’t judge. Whatever others feel they need to do for a yard during this drought is certainly understandable. Even though a few of the more elite are snubbing their noses at restrictions, we all wonder how long it will take to get rain. The media talks about some monster El Nino supposed to hit this winter. Cities are gearing up for torrential rain, floods, and they make evacuation plans and practice scenarios if mudslides occur. But for now, everything bakes. And we here in Southern California can only dream about a good downpour.

My idea of the perfect garden. This one’s in West Philly thanks to Farmer Liz.

 

So wherever you are, if rain is in your forecast, enjoy it. Not everyone is that lucky. 🙂

 

Beat the heat. Read.

summer-heat

What better way to deal with the triple digits of summer than to stay put and settle back in your easy chair to read. Nothing like getting your hands on an adventure to another realm, a touch of romance, a splash of suspense, or a hard-edge mystery to  get your mind off the August doldrums. Get your beach read on before school starts!

 

 

And the Liebster Award goes to…

images

Getting to know new blogs is a fantastic way to connect with more people. Katherine at The Fashion and Mind…Travel! blog has nominated Romance, Suspense, & Chocolate for the Liebster Award, which we gratefully accept.

In order to keep the nominating process going and allow you, the readers, to find more and more interesting blogs, I’ve been tasked to answer ten questions and then nominate other blogs to hold that honor. First, I’ll answer the questions thrown at me.

What’s your favourite color?

Bluegreen. Tomboy that I was, in first grade I used to fight to keep that particular crayon all to myself. I know, selfish, huh? But I’d gladly share all the others, so there is that. 🙂

Coke or Pepsi?

Personal preference, definitely Coke. But I have a few characters who favor Pepsi. I have no idea why that is. 😉

What is your most prized possession?

My imagination. It’s gotten me through tough spots from teen years to an office environment.

What does the perfect date for you look like? With whom? Place?

A walk on the beach or a hike in Big Sur with my hubby.

What is your passion in life?

Hands down, writing is my passion.

Best compliment you have received?

I get letters, emails, and Facebook messages  from readers who tell me they connect with my characters.  That IS the ultimate compliment.

What does a perfect day look like to you?

Any day I can get in a thousand words minimum writing is a perfect day.

Your dream vacation? Worst vacation? Best vacation?

I have yet to experience Hawaii. It’s on my bucket list though. The worst vacation would be when we took off for Florida in the middle of a thunderstorm. Turns out lightning hit our house while we were gone. Then on the flight back, we hit horrible turbulence which convinced half the passengers we were going down. To this day it’s the scariest flight I’ve ever been on.

Who do you most admire in life?

People who have the courage to follow their hearts. People who stand against the criticism of the world when all that world wants to do is hurl insults at them for wanting out of a toxic relationship, who want nothing more than to be happy.  As Jay Leno once said, you want a soulmate, not a cellmate.

If you were president, what is the first thing you would do?

Declare all Fridays free chocolate and coffee day!


That’s it for my part. Now to nominate the other blogs I enjoy. These blogs don’t have to do a thing, participate or not, it’s up to you.  But I highly recommend giving them a look-see.

I Didn’t Have My Glasses on

Helle Gade Photography

Backyard Edible Gardening

Crafts and Coffee

Be Like Water

Bitch Can Write a Book

Bookmobiles A History

Everything Else Thrown In

Jump For Joy

Keep blogging and connecting,

Vickie

An Ambien state of mind

“I’ve been all over the world and I’ve never seen a statue of a critic.”
~ Leonard Bernstein

I don’t sleep much, never have. That’s especially true when I’m in the middle of a manuscript. My mind is usually going in seven different directions anyway, let alone when I try to sleep while forging through plot lines. But I must say I do my best thinking when I’m at my most quiet, in the middle of the night, in the darkness and silence. That’s the way it’s always been. In high school when I had a writing assignment, I got it done first in my head. Images come and go, some warm and fuzzy, others, not so much. But I have to “see” the scene in order to nail it. Engaging in the scene often makes for a crazy few months until completion.

There’s a point when the lack of sleep starts taking its toll. I think it’s that way for most writers. When that happens I need a break, of mind, of spirit, of soul, and recognize when it’s time to get away to recharge. Everyone needs downtime. In these waning days of July when the heart longs to travel, I’m going to hike into a forest long enough to do research, trek down a sandy shore I’ve never experienced before to get my creative juices flowing again.

As always, here’s to all of you having a happy, creative August!

Pfeiffer-California-hiking-trail-ak-avenue

San Diego abounds with fun and food

“People who love to eat are always the best people.

– Julia Child”

On our weekend trip to San Diego we may have missed out on its infamous Comic-Con by days but we made up for it by eating and drinking our way around town while there. Our destination’s purpose was a beachside wedding. The event turned out to be uber romantic and a lot of fun with dancing, plenty to eat and drink, and hooking up with old friends we hadn’t seen in ages.

Sunday morning we met same friends for brunch at a little cafe they favored called Hash House a Go Go. Apparently it’s claim to fame was when it had been featured on Food Network once upon a time. The place is located off the 163 on 5th Ave. They have other locations in places like Nevada, Connecticut and Illinois.

When we were there it was crowded, lots of people waiting and I began to wonder if it was even worth hanging around. The food turned out to be quite good. They serve buttermilk biscuits which were a hit with the hubby. The breakfast bacon sandwich is so huge you couldn’t possibly open the mouth wide enough to stuff a single bite  inside. In fact, it’s  big enough to be split between two people. Anyway, the trip made for a fun weekend before getting back down to the nitty gritty of plot lines.

Hash House

Photo credit Hash House a Go Go Website

Bacon Waffle @ Hash House a Go GO

Hash House a Go Go

Be sure to have a great week at whatever you do!

Lavender Beach is here!

Lavender Beach

Lavender Beach

There is courage in each step, no matter how small

After losing her leg in Iraq it’s been an uphill battle for Eastlyn Parker. When Nick and Cord decide to confront her in Bakersfield, the ex-helicopter pilot reluctantly agrees that starting over in Pelican Pointe might be the only option for her. It won’t be easy though. She has addiction problems that go beyond her low self-esteem.

After a long absence, Cooper Richmond has come back to his childhood home. In an attempt to escape his own painful memories, he’s traveled the world over as a photographer. But no matter where he goes, he’s locked in an emotional void. His approach to life is merely to get along. He does that with his books and his train store.

But when Eastlyn walks into Cooper’s shop, their brief encounter blossoms into attraction. Both are cautious. Both have trust issues. But if these two have the courage to leave behind their baggage once and for all, and set their sights on the future, there may still be hope for a happy ending.