Hi Everyone! I hope that all of you are having a happy holiday season. Today, I am thrilled to have Tish E. Pahl here to talk about her short story Crow Bait and Switch.
Hello! I’m Tish and Megan asked me to guest blog today as part of our Athena’s Daughter’s Vol. 2 Kickstarter. I have a story in the anthology, Crow Bait and Switch, and it is the first story I’ve had published since my days writing short stories for Star Wars. If you are looking for a last minute gift, a pledge to Athena’s Daughters is easy and will guarantee some awesome speculative fiction!
As it is Christmas Day, I thought I’d tell you about a very important holiday tradition in our home. Cookies. During the months of December and January especially, I’m a mad baker. I’ve just spent the last 14 hours with butter and sugar, I have chocolate in my hair, and I nearly blew the motor out of my KitchenAid mixer trying to incorporate the last of the flour in a batch of biscotti.
When I first started serious cookie baking, I was a strict adherent to Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Christmas Cookies book. I think it’s out of print now but an enterprising person on Tumblr walked through the whole, complex recipe for Caramel Chocolate Chews here. Anything that involves making 1½ pounds of homemade caramel is not for the faint of heart. I have learned my lesson after repeated visits by the fire department and now, never, ever attempt to caramelize anything after a glass of wine.
A couple of my standard cookie go-tos now come from Better Homes and Gardens. These ginger cookies are always a favorite, they make a huge amount and the dough freezes beautifully. I’ll make up a batch, roll a dozen small balls (though the recipe calls for giant) in Wilton Sugar crystals (available on Amazon), and freeze the rest.
Having tried many, many recipes, I’ve come down in favor of Alton Brown’s Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. I do the same thing here as with the ginger cookies – make a dozen, freeze the remaining dough, and when invading hordes of teenagers descend upon my home, I’m ready to put another dozen or two in the oven.
This year, I tried something very daring and made chocolate hazelnut macaroons!
(That’s BHG’s picture, not mine). I’ve always been intimidated by the many steps for macaroons but I’m really pleased with how they turned out.
These Salted Caramel Chocolate Thumbprints are another family favorite. Make sure the butter is cold; I usually freeze them before putting them in the oven so I don’t end up with butter shortbread spread all over the cookie sheet.
If you like the recipes, I can come back some time and share some of my cooking disasters. Apart from the aforementioned problems with caramelizing, I once made a Thanksgiving dinner in Romania in half of an oven where the only temperature control was “big flame” and “little flame.”
For now, though, I hope you have a lovely holiday and Happy New Year. I’ll be back in January on Megan’s blog to talk about my story for Athena’s Daughters 2, Crow Bait and Switch. I personally think that Morgana, a conniving, genetically modified talking Crow, flies away with the story. I hope you’ll support us!
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Tish E. Pahl is a principal in a law firm. At her day job, she advises on the federal regulation of drugs, dietary supplements, cosmetics, foods, and medical devices and regularly teaches a crash course in drug law. With Chris Cassidy, Tish wrote for Star Wars, with stories published in the Tales from the New Republic and Star Wars Gamer magazine. Tish is also a prolific producer of derivative genre, fantasy, and science fiction content. She lives in the Washington, D.C. area with her husband, son, and two demanding dogs.