May The Lights Of Chanukah Shine Bright Within You!

May The Lights Of Chanukah Shine Bright Within You!

Time certainly flies and I still need to order gifts and I still haven’t made those gingerbread cookies that I want to try. Maybe I’ll just go with cupcakes made from a box mix. Small steps lead to bigger ones, right? That is how I am approaching writing my first book. I am a total novice with so much to learn. I wish I was a natural writer. You see I have a problem. I bet many of you have the some one. Perhaps together we can solve this problem. I will share what I’m doing to solve it from time-to-time as I progress. So what is my problem? I can’t sleep at night because an idea for a story pops up in my head and I will begin a book. I am on attempt numbers four and five currently. I am currently working on two books. I come up with the plot, or some semblence of one. I come up with the location. I even come up with the characters. But then I get stuck. I cannot for the life of me come up with the conflict. I hate conflict. I avoid it in my own personal life at all costs. So, I give up. Well, I decided to read all the advice I can afford or lay my greedy little hands on offered by many generous authors. One author, Jason Haas in his book, How To Write A Novel, has given me new insights that are helping me. Let me share how and where I am in my work.

Mr. Haas has taught me how to develop my characters. He shares his character worksheet with his readers. Work sheets! Wow! What a great idea!!! Thank you, Jason Haas!!! So now, I am getting to know my characters. I always wondered how authors did this. I am loving this part of the writing process. I get to see the characters as a whole now, not as a shell. Using this method, I’m seeing the conflicts they have gone through already in their lives. When I have finished doing character sheets for all of my characters, I will have to sort out their individual conflicts and see if and how they combine with each other. I have a good feeling that this may help me come up with at least some comflict situations. I haven’t gone past the chapter on character development in How To Write A Novel, which I purchased as a Kindle book from Amazon.com, but I am sure that it will be just as helpful as this chapter. So far I have completed (or mostly completed) worksheets for five characters. I have to share what my favorite part of Mr. Haas’ method is, I hope he doesn’t mind. Mr. Haas suggests that at the top of the worksheet page for each character that you insert a photo of the actor that you would like to play your character in the movie version of your book. I have to share the names of the celebrities I have chosen thus far: Katie Pavo (who I have never heard of before, but will look for her now), Ann Margaret, Sean Connery (he’s so sexy), Nathan Fillion (he’s so loveable), and Brad Pitt. By choosing celebrities, I now can picture my characters more clearly. I have at least four more characters to work on. I’ll let you know when I’ve finished.

Another big help to meet is a program that I downloaded from the internet. It is called “Anthemion Writer’s Cafe.” I am using their free version, but am dying to get the full version. It has been a great help in organizing my thoughts and ideas. I have to save up for it after the holidays, unless someone wants to buy me a present! Using help from sources like these has really helped me greatly and so I see progress for the first time and I know that I will actually complete the two books I am currently working on. It may take me a while, as I find I can only work on them in short sputs, meaning like two hour tops a day. I get a headache after that. I get so intense when I’m writing.

Ok, enough about that subject for today, I have to return to real life. Today’s main project is to design my Chanukah and Christmas cards, then I must work on my books. So, without further ado, here is today’s recipe which I exported from my MasterCook program which is another one of my recipe dbase programs:


Let's get this beauty cooked!

Let’s get this beauty cooked!

* Exported from MasterCook *

Beef Rib Eye Roast with Madeira Sauce

Recipe By :Susan Parenti

Serving Size : 12 Preparation Time :0:15

Categories : Main Dish

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method

——– ———— ——————————–

5 pounds beef rib eye roast

2 cloves garlic — crushed

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper — cracked

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves — crushed

1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves — crushed

1/4 cup shallots — finely chopped

1 cup ready-to-serve beef broth

1/2 cup Madeira wine

1 tablespoon tomato paste

Apple slices — if desired

Italian parsley — if desired

Combine garlic, salt, pepper, thyme and tarragon to form paste; rub evenly over surface of beef rib roast. Place roast, fat side up, on rack in shallow roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer into thickest part of roast, not touching fat. Do not add water. Do not cover. Roast in 350 degrees F (moderate) oven to desired degree of doneness. Allow 18 to 20 minutes per pound for rare; 20 to 22 minutes per pound for medium. Remove roast when meat thermometer registers 135 degrees F for rare; 155 degrees F for medium. Cover roast with aluminum foil tent and allow to stand 15 to 20 minutes. Roast will continue to rise approximately 5 degrees F in temperature to reach 140 degrees F for rare; 160 degrees F for medium.

Meanwhile skim and discard fat from drippings in roasting pan. Add shallots; cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to medium-high. Deglaze pan by adding beef broth and Madeira wine to pan, stirring to dissolve browned meat juices attached to pan. Add tomato paste; continue cooking until liquid is reduced to 3/4 cup, stirring frequently. Trim excess fat from roast before carving. Serve roast with sauce.

Garnish roast with apple slices and Italian parsley.


“National Cattlemen’s Beef Association”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 342 Calories; 17g Fat (48.5% calories from fat); 40g Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 93mg Cholesterol; 378mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 5 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 1 Fat.

NOTES : A beef rib eye roast will yield three 3-ounce cooked, trimmed servings per pound.

Nutr. Assoc. : 9042 0 0 0 3159 3158 0 117 4080 0 0 0

I think this roast sounds delicious. I have not tried it out. I think it would be perfect with you potato latkes, some carrot tzimmes and purple string beans (yes, there is such a thing!). For dessert? Chanukah cookies, of course!

DISCLAIMER: I have received no compensation in any form from Jason Haas, Writer’s Cafe nor MasterCook. All opinions are strictly my own and my endorsements of these products and resources are because I use them and fully believe in them. ~Marilyn


Menorah Clipart:  http://poetrysync.blogspot.com/2013/11/hanukkah-candle-clip-art-pictures.html

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