BAKE UP A COOKIE TODAY!!! The average person consumes almost 19,000 cookies in a lifetime. It's no surprise why we celebrate National Homemade Cookies Day! Every year on Oct. 1, bakers, homemakers, and cookie enthusiasts alike, preheat their ovens to serve up these delicious treats. With a variety of options to choose from, there is no limit to the types of cookies you can create in the comfort of your own home.
National Homemade Cookies Day Activities
1. Bake someone's day
You can never just bake one cookie, so why not share them with your friends, family, and coworkers! Bake up the classic chocolate chip, or make a variety to celebrate this tasty holiday. You'll definitely brighten up everyone's day.
2. Move over Martha Stewart, it's time to get creative A great cookie starts with a strong foundation: the dough. Once you have the dough, the possibilities are endless. Add your favorite nut, dried fruit, candy, or any special ingredient to create your own signature cookie.
3. Host a cookie baking contest This year, National Homemade Cookie Day is on a Sunday. Host a cookie baking contest at your neighborhood community center, church, or at your home with friends and family. Encourage participants to create a family recipe, or share one that's been passed down to them.
Why We Love National Homemade Cookies Day
A. They're quick and delightful Cookies are one of the easier treats to cook up, and they don't take much time to bake. Whether you like your cookies gooey, or crispy, their sweetness makes every bite enjoyable.
B. They fill our tummies, warm our hearts Nothing makes us feel more at home than the smell and taste of freshly baked cookies. These nostalgic handheld circles, make the perfect snack at any time of day, and you can taste the love that goes into making them.
C. You don't have to be an expert to bake Popular brands have made it easy for us to skip the hassle of preparing the cookie dough, and allow us to jump right in at the baking step. For those wanting to "break and bake", cooking up these treats has never been easier.
While most people mention the Chocolate Chip, but my favorite is Oatmeal Raisin. Here is a recipe:
Soft & Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Yield: 26-30 cookies
Prep Time: 45 minutes (includes chilling)
Total Time: 1 hour
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract (yes, Tablespoon!)
1 Tablespoon molasses
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups old-fashioned whole rolled oats
1 cup raisins2
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and mix on high until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and molasses and mix on high until combined. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, toss the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Add to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Beat in the oats, raisins, and walnuts (if using) on low speed. Dough will be thick, yet very sticky. Chill the dough for 30-60 minutes in the refrigerator (do the full hour if you're afraid of the cookies spreading too much). If chilling for longer (up to 2 days), allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling and baking.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F . Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
4. Roll balls of dough (about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie) and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 11-13 minutes until very lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft and undone. Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will continue to "set" on the baking sheet during this time.
5.Make ahead tip: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. Baked cookies freeze well - up to three months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well - up to three months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw.
Room temperature eggs preferred. Good rule of thumb: always use room temperature eggs when using room temperature butter.
Soak your raisins in warm water for 10 minutes before using (blot very well to dry them) - this makes them nice and plump for your cookies. OR even try them with Raisinets!
A reader, Dennis Michaels sent this version of an oatmeal cookie recipe. Thanks Dennis!
Irish Triple Threat Cookies - Dessert for Two
3 tablespoons Kerrygold grass-fed Irish butter
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar*
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon Irish whiskey
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup quick-cooking 5-minute steel cut oats
Preheat the oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, cream together with an electric mixer the butter and sugars. Cream for 1 minute until light and fluffy.
Add the egg yolk (save the white for another use). Beat until combined, about 10 seconds. Add the Irish whiskey and beat another 10 seconds.
Next, sprinkle the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt over the mixture. Beat until combined without over-mixing.
Finally, stir in the oats.
Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough into your hands and lightly roll into balls. Bake for 11-12 minutes. For a slightly crispy cookie, bake for 13 minutes. Let cookies cool entirely on the sheet.
Store in an air-tight container for 3 days.
The flavor of dark brown sugar really shines in this recipe. If you only have light brown sugar, you can add extra molasses. Per 1 cup of light brown sugar, stir in 1 tablespoon of molasses.
Little Mary, the Ghost of the Memphis Orpheum
A character in soon to be published short story "Raemkai's Stairs" for the Ghostly Writes Anthology 2018 coming October 31! This is from Wiki - followed by personal notes
One of the Orpheum's most famous patrons is Mary, the ghost of a 12-year-old girl. Stories vary about how Mary's spirit came to stay at the Orpheum, but most suggest she was injured in an accident. Some scenarios include a 1921 car accident, while others say she was injured by a trolley in 1928 and carried inside, where she died.
For more than 50 years, a variety of strange and unexplained incidents at the Orpheum have convinced many of the people who have been associated with the theater that the place is haunted. Mary has consistently been described by witnesses to have braided brown hair and a white dress and is a little shy.
Performers have offered the most frequent descriptions of the ghost. Stories abound about flickering lights, tools emptied into commodes, doors swinging open and shutting loudly – events that even spooked Yul Brynner while rehearsing for The King & I in 1982.
Countless times over the past 50 years, performers have noticed a little girl in what looks like a school uniform sitting in a side box on the mezzanine. Her blank stare and ethereal appearance have upset some of those who have seen her. Yet, Mary is never known to have disrupted a performance.
A group of paranormal researchers from the University of Memphis, then known as Memphis State University, found that a ghost does, as legend suggested, live in the Orpheum and call herself Mary. Using séances and a Ouija board, the researchers found a contrasting story to the more common legend of the streetcar incident. They believe the little girl died in 1921 in some sort of falling accident in the downtown area, which had nothing to do with the theater. According to the University of Memphis group, Mary "wandered into the Orpheum after her death, and she liked it. So she stayed."
My own story of Mary:
As stated last week, I got involved with paranormal research when I attended University of Memphis (Memphis State) I also explored witchcraft and spiritualism but lost interest after an argument with the young woman who was teaching me. I formed other paranormal - curious friends and we meditated and held regressions which turned into seances and we (as in the story) used a small plug-in cassette tape player. Note, this is not a Boom Box and not a later Walkman Portable. Most students used these to record long boring college lectures. After the fire which authorities felt was arson set by a vagrant and the paranormal folks thought was Raemkai breaking the spell and torching the wires, two ghosts left. The witch ghost vanished. One evening I saw a curtain in the bathroom moving unnaturally and thought I sensed a young girl laughing and hiding. I asked and was told it was "Little Mary" who had been under the witch's control. We had always heard she was maybe about 10, not 12 and that she DID fall out of a box seat in the theater during a show. Near her was a medium-sized wolf-like creature who had also been temporarily controlled by the witch. Guess who? Raemkai stayed with us and like the fish that got away said "Right On!" and "A Nubian? I like Nubians" (about my best friend) on the tape. We also auto-wrote. The tape lasted about a week before someone over-taped it. The paper with auto-writing lasted a couple of moves. He stuck around to tell stories to Annette and I and a few others.
Now...maybe only once or twice a year, I hear from Raemkai. The visits are more frequent as I write the stories. He's like a friendly muse in many ways. When I worked as the wardrobe mistress for Ballet South, we stored our costumes in the basement of the abandoned Orpheum during time of the fundraising for it's restoration. I took another friend to see the inside and at some moment she grew pale and started pointing out a figure sitting in the box, getting up and flitting childishly nearer to us. I recognized her. It was Mary, supervising the makeover. The picture above (not sure if it's real or some sort of typical "ghost" fakery) is supposed to be "Mary" standing at one of the exit doors.
Last week Interviewed D. C. Fergerson. This week character Leanna Moonbody speaks. First a Blurb for The Singer and the Charlatan
The bar for heroes just got lower. Leanna Moonbody is a bard with one aspiration. She wants to sing in the Saul Amphitheater. Priestess Trixi has a vision of a massive pilgrimage for the faithful. But when they fund their trip by joining a band of adventurers as dangerous as they are capable, they find themselves attracting the wrong kind of attention. Caught between a lovesick noble and a deranged halfling, Leanna and Trixi will have to team up. Leanna will set up the crowds, and Trixi will bring them to ‘Our Lord’. But will it bring them fame or infamy? Don’t miss The Singer and the Charlatan, the first of The Wicked Instruments by D.C. Fergerson! If you like Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett, then this fantasy comedy will have you turning the pages and rolling with laughter! Come check it out!
Review for The Singer and the Charlatan
Enjoyable, funny, and not too heavy. This story feels like an epic fantasy with a twist. The twist is that it doesn't take itself too seriously. It's light and fun to read. Sort of like Tolkien meets Douglas Adams
Interview with Leanna Moonbody
1. Go ahead and introduce yourself.
Well, I am from the south. Like, where it gets really warm and there is a lot of water. I am 16 or 17? I don't remember, but I am sure I'm not much older than that. I could be wrong, though. I like to sing and play guitar. I am really good at it, too. On occasion, I'll rough someone up with my music. No, I don't break my guitar over heads, that would be a disservice to my guitar. I have people who do that for me, though. They rough bad guys up, I kinda watch, and when nobody is looking I help out. Oh, I hate being dirty. Who likes to be dirty? That's a good question. I take pride in my appearance. You never know who you’re gonna meet, right? So, wear your best and look your best, you might meet me.
2.Tell us where and when were you born.
South. I said that already. When? Like 16 or 17 years ago. Oh, wait...my birth was amazing. Everyone gathered and gave me gifts on the day I was born. There were three fairies and one gave me a kind personality, another gave me beauty, the last one amazing talent. Then this evil queen came to my home and demanded to be allowed to give me a gift. Wait, is that right? Maybe that was a story I read once, but it sounds right. It could be what happened. I don't know... I guess you had to be there.
3. How would you describe yourself?
Amazing. I am a kind person who loves to bring my music to others. Don't dare cross me, though, or the rugged looking guy will have to smash you on your head, and then you may not remember your life, who your parents are or what happened to you. You’ll wake up with blood all over your face (which is gross) and you will look dirty. It’s a whole big thing.
4. Tell us about where you grew up.
Is this the same question from before? SOUTH. Look at a map. Up is north, down is south. See that down part there? Somewhere around there, in a castle or at least a big house with a ton of money.
5. How old are you?
What? 16 or 17. Maybe. I am grown adult size - bigger than a halfling, but smaller than most humans.
6. Did you have a happy childhood?
We’ll file this under ‘Maybe’.
7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you?
Okay, so there was this boy. From what I can remember, he was the greatest and his music was just so captivating. He taught me everything about music. We were going to run away together and... well, it didn't go so well...and I was single again. Then I met this other guy, but he was so opinionated and tried to tell me what I should and shouldn’t do and blah, blah, blah. He made a decent pillow at camp on the road.
Oh, and apparently he had something to do with that whole smashed and bloody head full of no memories. He can be a bit of a liar, but sometimes I think his heart is in the right place. His face would be nice, too, if his mouth didn't always get in the way.
8. What do you value above all else in life?
Love and friendship. If you don't have your friends in your life, then your life is boring. I mean, who would you talk to? Who would make you smile? Who would you sleep on at night when the ground is so hard? I value all my friends, without them I would never have made it as far as I have.
9. What are you obsessed with?
Oh... this one is hard! I love dresses. Like, all kinds of dresses. I don't really like to wear the same one twice, so that can get expensive. I love different materials and styles. Oh, I also love pancakes in the morning! Like every morning. Covered in whip cream.
10.How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about?
Well, I would like to think I am a voice of reason. I really need my friend Priestess Trixi to think before she reacts in a fight. It would make explaining things to people afterwards a lot easier. The magic her god grants her has created more than one problem.
11. Biggest fear?
Peasant clothing. Yeah, I know...sends shudders down your spine, too, right? The material...the smell... the dank colors. Horrible. Just horrible.
12. What line will you never cross?
The number one line I will never cross is...using unscented soap. I mean, what is the point? Soap is supposed to clean you and you want to know your clean. Why use unscented?
13. What is the best thing that ever happened to you? The worst?
Valeria! I have a friggin’ flying horse. Who has a flying horse? This girl. BESTEST THING EVER! Although she has an attitude at times, she is so pretty!
The worst? I’d say losing every memory I have, but I don’t remember, so it probably wasn’t that important.
14. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
Who told you? Nothing. Nothing embarrassing has ever happened to me...moving on...
15. Biggest secret?
If I tell you, then my elven friend Tear might get upset. Then his pixie familiar shoots you with an arrow that makes you forget I told you. I’ve probably already said too much...
16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself?
Stunning. Yep, that sounds right.
17. What is your current goal?
Being a princess is difficult. I need to figure out how to phase out Audience Day or make someone else do it, so I have more time to write music. I want to bring music to all our different cultures and unite us together. That sounds regal, right? I think so, too, thanks! Actually, you know anyone that might want this job opening I have? You sit in a big chair and listen to townspeople whine about a whole bunch of problems and try to guess who has a serious issue and who the crazies are. Leave your name at the gate with the big shiny soldier guy at the door. If you pass his background check, swear on the sword and all that, you may be called in for an interview!
Excerpt from The Singer and the Charlatan
“Join hands,” Trixi said, getting serious.
“Ooh, this is exciting,” Leanna said with a smile, grabbing up Tear and Jonathan’s hands.
With the circle complete, Trixi looked to the ceiling.
“Lord. Oh, Lord, who is great and true. Take this offering of Form R226 and whatever leftovers we have here from dinner. Commune with me so that I may be a better Fawnspear, walking the path of truth. May it be really, really funny.”
With that, the scroll burned away before their eyes. Then, nothing. The silence became awkward.
“Did it not work?” Jonathan asked.
“Quiet,” Trixi demanded, turning her ear to the table.
The faint sound of terribly boring music filled the space all around the table. Any old ear would think it came from the building next door, but the trained ear of a Thistlite knew better. She listened to the song for a moment with her eyes closed.
Leanna joined in, leaning in to try and make out the tune. Suddenly, a loud voice spoke out, scaring her so bad she almost fell out of her chair.
“Our Lord is currently speaking with another faithful! You are very important to Our Lord! Your prayer shall be heard in the order it was received!”
Leanna broke the circle. “Oh, come on! Why did that have to be the loud part?”
“Leanna, you must be quiet,” Trixi whispered. “I’m sure he’ll be here soon.”
The group waited and listened to the ghostly instrumental for another few minutes.
The innkeep, Simon, found himself brave enough to approach their table and see what was going on.
Jonathan wondered if they were about to be thrown out for this strange ritual, but the owner did owe them one for rescuing him from Weevil.
Simon was a bald man with a lanky body. He sat down in Sante’s empty chair and began to eat what was left of his steak. He crossed one leg over the other. Everyone at the table thought the behavior was odd until they realized the music had stopped.
“Lord?” Trixi asked.
“Well, yeah,” Simon said. “You did call upon me.”
Jonathan pointed to Simon beside him, yelling at Trixi, “C’mon, we just saved this guy, now he’s possessed?”
Simon looked at Jonathan. “Oh, he won’t remember any of this, don’t worry. But he’s going to wish he had an explanation when he wakes up!”
As far as updates, you bet! The fourth book in The Wicked Instruments - Murder, Heresy, and Other Mishaps came out June 30th and was followed up with a box set of The Wicked Instruments Books 1-4. I'm currently working on a new series, but Wicked Instruments returns in 2019 with a new trilogy.
The first review for Heart of the Lotus is in! It looks like hit!
5.0 out of 5 stars
Getting to the Heart
September 25, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Passion guides the characters, as always... since the first songs offered to the gods from the Shepard Marai bin Ahu Voices in Voices in Crystal. The 4th book is a bit less sexy, no less erotic, bloody romance. Some characters need to learn the hard way.
And now, the Geoffrey Porter Interview - welcome!!
What made you want to be a writer?
Riches&Fame, truth is I was locked up in a state mental hospital, and it was my way of escaping. Still kinda is my way of escaping.
When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series. If your book is part of a series tell the readers about the others that are out for sale.
The next book is Ash, I'm hoping it's ready within 2-3 months, I don't have a set date. It's the third in my Blood of Lynken series. Epic Fantasy. But Ash is about a female warrior, besides magical items she possesses, she has no innate magical ability. Juxta, Magi is the first, and it's about an over powered main character who fights great evil. Luther, Magi is about Juxta's son and more war.
How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?
It's critical, but for me it's a problem to find the right book. I read hours every day when I was a kid.
Do you remember the first book you read?
And enjoyed, likely Robert Heinlein's Battlefield Earth.
What book are you reading now?
I'm between books, but I intend to go hunting for a new one soon.
How did you come up with the idea for the book or series, especially the title?
I wanted to get away from stories about almost all males, many of my books the main
characters are men, and I was also kind of tired of writing over powered magic users, so
swordmistress / bowmistress seemed like a solution.
Which character do you identify with most in your novel?
How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No it's entirely fantasy, there is no basis in fact in any way.
To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.
Music or video in the background, I always have coffee, and I'm normally in Linux/Ubuntu, and I reboot into windows and write using MS Word.
What is one goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?
Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
Doing promotions, finding readers. I don't have a big social reach, most of my friends on facebook don't read, I do have 400+ likes on my author page on facebook, but
I reach like 10 people if I make a post.
I'm figuring out Twitter, and I'm more serious about twitter now than facebook.
What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? IF it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can.
Lack of money. It took me a long time to get professional covers for many of the books, I have a great editor who helps me, but for a long time I was writing books faster than he could keep up.
When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
My friend Dan Leary always encouraged me, but cancer got him. Now I really got almost nobody.
How do you market your book?
Give away book 1, hope people buy book 2-3. Try to give away a lot of book 1. Hasn't worked so far but when I just discount a book, crickets.
Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us the best thing they’ve said to you.
In general it doesn't turn out well, I've had readers get very angry that I wasn't willing to say bad things about Trump, truth is I'm not on a hate bandwagon, I don't hate Trump, and I don't hate Hillary, and this drives some people insane.
Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication?
Jeffrey & Sarah. I few other people have helped, Mel, Brian, David, plus S.P. the editor who helps.
Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc. I've never done a book signing, never sold enough to think it'd work, plus I'm pretty much a recluse.
Is there a message you’d like to send through your book?
Love can overcome hate?
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I don't know any younger actors, I'd rather see some actor/actress play the role who is just
getting started, who maybe went to school and studied, than somebody who is already
Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I've have to say Bill Gates, so I tell him to tell his company to respect computer users more, we're not just dollar signs, we're human beings, and Windows is a horrible product.
Do you have any hobbies?
I build multi-player wargames. I'm trying to learn android dev, to build wargames.
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Aliens, Evil Dead 2, Blade 1-2-Trinity, Planet Terror, Terminator 1
Kung Pao, Second I guess is steak, I love sugar, but I'm diabetic, and I'm trying to lead a low-carb lifestyle. It was going good too until today, today was a disaster.
What’s your sign, lucky number.
What’s your favorite color.
What music do you hear in your latest book.
I am always playing music, never silence. Ministry is my fav band.
Do you have hobbies other than writing?
I exercise, not enough but a few times a week.
Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Focus on game development.
You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Likely talking to my parents, or quality adult naked alone time.
What do you want written on your head stone?
Never thought of that, I don't even know if I want a headstone. It's not being buried I don't like, I don't want to be embalmed, so prolly If I ever create a will I'll opt for cremation or some kind of natural burial where they plant a tree and the tree feeds on my corpse or something.
Are there any mistakes you made with your first book?
Released it when I really didn't know how to edit it, and I didn't have the money for a professional edit, so that's prolly the biggest reason many of my friends won't try another book by me. I understand how important professional editing is, but I'm very poor.
What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors?
You don't have to write every day. If you write an hour at a time, and you do that 4-5 times a week, you will finish a book, key is to not completely stop.
When in doubt, who do you trust to help you out?
Likely my family.
Tell us how we may get a copy of your book. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, paperback etc.)
Kindle + Amazon(print) are the only ways, everything is in Kindle Unlimited for now, so it can't be in other retailers, until I shut those contracts down.