Friday, February 04, 2011

Texas-Style Super Bowl Party Recipes

We always have a Super Bowl buffet of finger foods and easy to serve items so we can nibble our way throught the big day. It's very important to have time to see the commercials that run during the Super Bowl. I love them! So much, in fact, that my hero in the July, 2011 "Brody's Crossing" Harlequin American Romance, The Texan and the Cowgirl, gets to star in a 2012 Super Bowl commercial. Okay, it's fictional, but it's a good idea!

I haven't made this first recipe yet, Bacon-Apple-Jalapeno Pop 'Ems, but it looked good to my daughter, April Renno, so I'm posting the link. We're going to try it on Sunday.

In Texas we like our blackeyed-peas, and since the real Black Eyed Peas are entertaining during halftime at the Super Bowl, here's a recipe we call Texas Caviar. You can serve it with any type of crackers or chips, or as a side dish to barbecue or almost anything. (Have you tried the seasoned baked pita chips? They are great and wonderful for dips.)

Texas Caviar
2 cans (15 or 16 oz each) black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 or 16 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (11 oz) corn or equivalent of defrosted frozen or fresh corn
1 large red onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup (or a little more to taste) cilantro or Italian Parsley washed and chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Cumin Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Mix all ingredients and let marinate in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Makes 8 - 10 servings (or more if you use as a dip.)

Cumin Vinaigrette: Combine 2/3 c apple cider vinegar, 1 T. Dijon mustard, 1 1/2 t. ground cumin, 1 t. minced garlic, 1 t. ground blackk pepper and 1/2 t. salt. Whisk in 1/2 c. olive oil.
(Victoria's Note: Cumin contains tumeric, which has been shown in some tests to reduce dementia, so this is actually a health food dish, especially when you consider that blackeyed-peas are a traditional good luck food served on New Year's Day!)

You can't go wrong fixing a Crock Pot full of queso. Use a brick of Velveeta and two cans of Rotel tomatoes with green chilis, or substitute "real" cheese for half of the Velveeta. Add everything in a big microwave bowl and "nuke" it until it's hot, stirring often. You can also add 10 - 12 ounces of browned sausage or up to one pound of browned lean ground beef to the hot queso.

From my Facebook friend and high school classmate, Barbie Kinney, I have this meatball recipe we are trying on Sunday. I'm not sure of the name of the recipe, but several people have mentioned it as the "one with the grape jelly."

Easy Meatballs
1 pkg frozen meatballs or make you favorite meatballs from scratch, about 2 pounds of meat
(I make my meatballs from lean beef/eggs/breadcrumbs/salt & pepper, roll them into small balls, and bake on aluminum foil, sprayed with PAM, in a 400 degree oven until browned. Turn once. Much easier than frying!)
3 bottles Heinz Chili Sauce
1 c. grape jelly

Warm meatballs in Crock Pot/slow cooker if not already hot, stir together chili sauce and jelly, pour over meatballs and warm.

From another Facebook friend and former classmate, Jan Caffee Lewis, here's a suggestion. "I love [the] spinach dip on the back of Lipton's vegetable soup mix. Put in Hawaian bread [make a bowl] (cutting up some pieces to dip too!). Put out some veggies and yum yum." Note from Victoria: Spinach dip goes well with the Texas staple, tortilla chips, also. I love the blue corn ones with flaxseed from Target.

Since we're talking about a Texas Super Bowl, you can't go wrong with barbecue, either. Buy some shredded/chopped beef or pulled pork barbecue at your favorite place to make Barbecue Soft Tacos. You can also get it prepared in the meat section of your grocery. Serve it with flour tortillas to make barbecue soft tacos. Provide shredded cabbage and/or lettuce, shredded cheese, corn relish, salsa, and anything else that would make a yummy taco. Keep the beef warm in a slow cooker.

Last but not least, here's an idea from Memphis that involves barbecue beef or pork. My friend Becky Russell and I did a girl's road trip last summer to my hometown of Louisville, KY, up to Indianapolis, and over to her hometown of Carey, Ohio. Our first night we stopped in Memphis and ate at B.B.King's on Beale Street. Becky had some delicious and unusual nachos. Here's how they were made (I think!)

Barbecue Nachos
Multi-color tortilla chips (red, white/yellow, and blue)
Shredded or chopped barbecue
Barbecue sauce (slightly sweet - not too "vinegary")
Sour cream
Shredded Mild Cheese

On a large plate or platter, layer tortilla chips, barbecue and cheese. Drizzle with sauce. Repeat until you have a nice mounded platter. Warm in oven until cheese melts. Drizzle with sour cream. (Note: I believe the restaurant used a pastry bag or a squeeze bottle for the barbecue sauce and sour cream because of the excellent "presentation.") You can also add pinto or red beans to this dish, or serve the sour cream on the side.

I hope these recipes give you some ideas for having a Super Bowl party or family buffet. If you don't feel like cooking, you can always get a pizza and cut it into squares or triangles to make it fancy. Have fun and I hope your team wins (although I'm cheering for the Packers.)

Super Bowl Party Recipes - Coming Soon

The monthly recipes will be up soon. I have all of them in a little pile beside my computer, but we had a family medical crisis this morning with my 92 year old father-in-law, delaying the input of the recipes. I thought you might enjoy some Texas treats since the Super Bowl is in my "backyard" this year. I will get those up very soon this afternoon and apologize for the delay.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

A Few Things I've Learned...

On Saturday, it will be my daughter’s 18th birthday. We won’t be home~we’ll be in Orlando, Florida. She and I and some friends of ours are all going to Universal Studio’s Harry Potter World. I’m very excited about this trip for a couple of reasons:

1) I get to spend time with my daughter, who isn’t around much now and will be around even less when she goes off to college in August.
2) I love the Harry Potter series. I read all but the last one aloud on car trips. (I had a great sorting hat voice, if I do say so myself). As a writer, I never cease to be amazed at what a fellow writer can dream up. As a mom, thinking about the books brings back memories of a far different time in our lives.
3) Orlando is warm. Okay, maybe not sitting-out-by-the-pool warm. But it’s a far cry from Cincinnati’s weather. Tonight’s low? 8*.

Mainly I’ve been excited because it’s given me something to think about besides, well…that my daughter is eighteen. (how did that happen?) When Lesley goes off to school, I know it won’t be the end of our relationship. But things will probably change at little bit. They did for my son and me.

However, I would like to think I’m a little bit smarter now. After all, she’s taught me a lot. So, with that in mind, here’s one more list…of things I’ve learned from my daughter:

1)It’s okay to laugh. A lot.
2)It’s okay to change your mind. Again.
3)Sometimes texting really is the best way to communicate.
4)Chi Hair Straighteners really are worth the money.
5)Haagen-Dazs Chocolate ice cream can make any day better.
6)It’s a perfectly fine dinner, too.
7)A girl can’t have too many cute coats. Or shoes.
8)Or purses.
9)Boyfriends are great to have…for three months.
10)Shopping is a necessary way to expend energy.
11)Telling someone you have PMS and to leave you alone isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
12)Girls. Love. Dads. No matter what.
13)Everything changes~Always. Even if you’re not ready.

So tonight when we hop a plane to Florida and get ready to explore Hogwarts in person, I plan to thoroughly enjoy my time with her. I’m ready to laugh, go shopping, eat ice cream, and maybe even be warm. And, I’m willing to bet that Lesley might even teach me something else…

Anyone else care to share what you’ve learned from one of your kids?

Shelley Galloway

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


In case you missed it ESTELLA was the January winner of free books from Lee McKenize and Cathy McDavid.

I posted it early by mistake, my bad.

Please leave a comment, if it's only to say hi, and your name will go into the drawing for free Harlequin American books in February.

Thank you and stay warm. It's bitterly cold in Texas.
Her Christmas Hero - Dec '10

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

You Say It’s February?

I’m muddled up in writer time again. Is it really the first of February?

I ask not because our cool, rainy Southern California winter has finally yielded to an unseasonable dose of sunshine with temperatures nearing 80, but because I tend to get confused between real time, writing time (in the book I’m currently working on) and current-release-book time.

In an unusual confluence of circumstances, these seem to be more or less the same. I’m not sure when that last happened. Here’s what I mean:

Item one: It really is the first of February (I think).

Item two: I have a February release, Officer Daddy. It’s the latest entry in my Safe Harbor Medical series within the Harlequin American line.

Item three: Officer Daddy actually starts in February. It doesn’t stay there, because it involves an unplanned pregnancy as well as a bit of a mystery, and I have to follow my obstetrician heroine, Nora, through her early months of gestation. It ends in April.

Item four: I’m currently writing another book in the series that also starts in February. It’s not the book that follows Officer Daddy – that’s Falling for the Nanny, due out in June – or the one after that, tentatively entitled The Surgeon’s Surprise Twins and due in October. It’s the book after that. By this time, Nora has happily given birth and is on maternity leave from Safe Harbor.

So while I’m fairly sure that this month is February, I’m still trying to straighten out which February.

On top of all that, I’m re-editing one of my Regency romances from many years ago so I can make digital copies available to Kindle and Nook readers. A Lady of Letters will be the fourth Regency I’ve posted – of six that I sold – and it takes place in early March. Well, that’s almost February.

Wherever you are, I hope your weather’s bright and cheery for Valentine’s Day. Because as we romantic souls know, that’s what’s really important about this month.