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Celestial Goldfish

February 2017

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Feb. 26th, 2017

Celestial Goldfish

Sunday Quote believes this to be true

Originally published at BethCato.com. You can comment here or there.

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”
~Henry David Thoreau

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Feb. 24th, 2017

Celestial Goldfish

Rhysling Nominations! Three of them!

Originally published at BethCato.com. You can comment here or there.

The Rhysling Award is the top award in genre poetry. The past two years, I’ve been thrilled to have one poem nominated each year. This year, I somehow managed to get THREE on the ballot.

shockedcat

Those three poems are:
“The Box of Dust and Monsters”, Devilfish Review 17

“The Death of the Horse,” Remixt Magazine 1:8

– “Morning During Migration Season,” Star*Line 39.4

If you’re in the Science Fiction Poetry Association, you’ll soon get the nominees bound together in a book; thanks for reading and considering my work! The volume will also be available for the public to buy. On an offhand note, “The Death of the Horse” will also be included in my forthcoming collection Red Dust and Dancing Horses (now available to preorder).

Red Dust and Dancing Horses

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Feb. 22nd, 2017

Celestial Goldfish

Bready or Not: Yeasted Waffles

Originally published at BethCato.com. You can comment here or there.

If you’re in need of a quick-fix breakfast, whip up a batch of these yeasted waffles! Chill the batter for at least 4 hours and you can start using it; the batter can stay in the fridge up to 3 days.

Bready or Not: Yeasted Waffles

I was really impressed with how this batter kept, too. I noticed no difference in the taste for day to day, and I kept it chilled for the 3 day max stated in the original Eating Well recipe.

Bready or Not: Yeasted Waffles

That said, these do taste different than normal waffles. There’s yeast in there! I found them to have a slightly sourdough flavor, which was not off-putting in the slightest.

Like any homemade waffles, the cooked waffles also keep very well frozen between layers of waxed paper. You stick the frozen waffles straight into the toaster like you would the store-bought version.

Bready or Not: Yeasted Waffles

No matter how quickly these waffles are cooked up, they make for a convenient and delicious breakfast!

Modified from the original from the March/April 2016 Eating Well Magazine.

Bready or Not: Yeasted Waffles

Bready or Not: Yeasted Waffles

This waffle batter needs at least 4 hours to chill and can stay in the fridge for up to 3 days. This makes for a super-fast breakfast (or breakfast-for-supper) for days in a row! The yeast lends these waffles a taste similar to sourdough. Recipe makes about 10 waffles using scant half cups of batter.

  • 2 3/4 cups almond milk or other milk
  • 6 Tablespoons butter cut into pieces
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour, or mix
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 packet active yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter over medium until the butter is melted. Set aside to let cool until it's just warm, about 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add in the milk mixture followed by the eggs and vanilla extract. Stir together until just combined.

Refrigerate the batter for at least 4 hours, or up to 3 days.

Preheat waffle iron. Gently stir the batter to reconstitute. Use about scant 1/2 cup of batter for each waffle; the waffles will expand as they cook, and the iron might overflow on the first attempts you get a feel for the right amount to pour in.

Return any unused batter to the fridge for later enjoyment. Cooked waffles can also be frozen.

OM NOM NOM!

Bready or Not: Yeasted Waffles

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Feb. 19th, 2017

Celestial Goldfish

Sunday Quote loves this quote

Originally published at BethCato.com. You can comment here or there.

“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”
~ G.K. Chesterton

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Feb. 15th, 2017

Celestial Goldfish

Bready or Not: Chili and Coffee-Rubbed Sliced Roast Beef

Originally published at BethCato.com. You can comment here or there.

For this day after Valentine’s Day, we’re not talking chocolate or sweets. Instead, let’s go straight for a big chunk of meat: using a chili and coffee rub to make sliced roast beef!

Bready or Not: Chili and Coffee-Rubbed Sliced Roast Beef

I was pretty intimidated the first time I tried a basic recipe for this dish. It didn’t help that it made way too much rub, which I tried to use up anyway, which meant the roast started smoldering like a log when it started cooking. Whoops.

Bready or Not: Chili and Coffee-Rubbed Sliced Roast Beef

Despite the hassles, my husband loved the end result, so I resolved to re-do the recipe and get it right. I think my husband’s feedback on each iteration was just a big hint to keep making these roasts.

Bready or Not: Chili and Coffee-Rubbed Sliced Roast Beef

He likes these served up as sliders. On a piece of aluminum foil, I use my dinner rolls, add a piece or two of meat, a dollop of coarse mustard, and a sprinkling of shredded cheese. I close the rolls and pour some melted butter on top, wrap the sliders in the foil, then bake until the cheese is melted. Perfection.

Bready or Not: Chili and Coffee-Rubbed Sliced Roast Beef

I think this roast beef has spoiled us. This recipe gives you the freshest meat possible, and if you catch eye of round roasts on sale, whoa is this a bargain!

Bready or Not: Chili and Coffee-Rubbed Sliced Roast Beef

Bready or Not: Chili and Coffee-Rubbed Sliced Roast Beef

A Bready or Not Original! Use an eye of round roast to easily make the best roast beef sandwiches you’ve had in your life.

  • 1 Tablespoon dried onion
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons coffee, finely ground
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 to 2 1/2 pound eye of round roast

Move your middle oven rack down a slot to be near the bottom and preheat oven to 475-degrees. Use a small roasting pan, or prepare a rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place a rack on top of it. Apply nonstick spray.

Combine the first seven ingredients in a small bowl. If the rub is too thick, add a touch more orange juice or water. Spread the mixture all over the roast.

Bake meat for 12 minutes, then turn it over and bake for another 12 minutes. It may start smoking because of the thick seasoning on the meat; if so, turn on the vent and keep an eye on things.

Without opening the oven, reduce heat to 300-degrees. Roast for another 30 minutes, or until a thermometer registers 120-degrees in the center.

Let the meat rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Don't remove the crusted seasonings.

Wrap the roast in parchment paper and then encase in plastic wrap. Refrigerate it for 8 hours or overnight.

Serve the meat by cutting it into thin slices. Serve in hot or cold sandwiches, wraps, on crackers, or eat straight out of hand.

OM NOM NOM!

Bready or Not: Chili and Coffee-Rubbed Sliced Roast Beef

Feb. 12th, 2017

Celestial Goldfish

Sunday Quote is a bit overwhelmed

Originally published at BethCato.com. You can comment here or there.

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”
~Philip Pullman

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Feb. 10th, 2017

Celestial Goldfish

Huge VNSA Book Sale in Phoenix this Weekend

Originally published at BethCato.com. You can comment here or there.

My husband knows that for Valentine’s Day each year, I don’t want jewelry. I don’t want stupidly overpriced flowers that will be dead in a week. I don’t want a dinner out at some crowded restaurant. Nope. I want a trip to the VNSA Book Sale at the Arizona State Fairgrounds.

VNSA

The VNSA Sale in 2015.

This event takes place the second weekend of February each year, and it’s GINORMOUS. One of the biggest book sales in the country. Years ago, I fought the crowds and lines to be among the first in the door on Saturday, but I have found that I much prefer Sunday. The selection is picked over, yes, but the crowds are fewer AND most of the books are half off.

If you’re in the Phoenix area, check out the sale website for info. The event itself is free, but you have to pay to park. Also, be sure to bring your own hand cart or a sturdy tote bag. Shopping carts are few and always in use.

Note that I’m not actually affiliated with the sale in any way. I’m just a hardcore reader who loves to share the joy with other hardcore readers. If you go, I wish you all the best in your treasure hunt!

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Feb. 8th, 2017

Celestial Goldfish

Bready or Not: Japanese Milk Bread Rolls

Originally published at BethCato.com. You can comment here or there.

This recipe for Hokkaido-style milk bread rolls makes 8 delicious soft, airy, amazing rolls.

Bready or Not: Japanese Milk Bread Rolls

I couldn’t help but be intrigued when I saw this recipe featured in a King Arthur Flour catalog. It relates to the cultural fusion that plays a major role in my latest book, Breath of Earth.

Bready or Not: Japanese Milk Bread Rolls

See, yeast breads in Japan were a real life kind of steampunk innovation. European bakeries began to open in major Japanese cities in the 1800s, but they didn’t become more popular until later in the century when bakers began to fuse more Japanese flavors like adzuki paste into rolls. These kinds of sweet bread (kashi-pan) play a small yet vital role in my next book, Call of Fire.

Bready or Not: Japanese Milk Bread Rolls

This particular roll isn’t sweet unless you add some jam on your own. These are more of a combination between a standard dinner roll and an egg-based bread like challah.

I usually don’t make breads that involve a pre-ferment stage, but I was pleased with how easy this was to make. I had the dough mix and rise in my bread machine, but you can mix this by whatever method you choose.

Bready or Not: Japanese Milk Bread Rolls

This is modified from the recipe at King Arthur Flour. They note there that this can also be made in loaf form. I also have my own recipe for doing a full loaf of Japanese-style Milk Bread (Shokupan). This is my usual load bread that I make about twice a week.

I can tell you, my husband wouldn’t mind if I made these rolls a lot more frequently as well.

Bready or Not: Japanese Milk Bread Rolls

Bready or Not: Japanese Milk Bread Rolls

This recipe, modified from King Arthur Flour, produces 8 airy and delicious Hokkaido-style milk bread rolls. It uses a fermented starter called a tangzhong that is mixed into the bread dough.

  • Tangzhong (starter)
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 3 Tablespoons whole milk or half & half
  • 2 Tablespoons bread flour
  • Dough
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 Tablespoons nonfat dry milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup whole milk or half & half
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) melted unsalted butter
  • optional: an egg or extra milk for a wash

To make the tangzhong:

Combine the starter ingredients in a small saucepan on low heat. Whisk until no lumps remain and continue to beat until it's thick and the whisk leaves no lines across the bottom of the pan; this takes 3 to 5 minutes. Pour it into a cup and set it aside to cool to room temperature.

To make the dough:

Combine the remaining dough ingredients and add the tangzhong. Continue to knead by hand, mixer, or bread machine until a smooth, elastic dough forms. Add more milk or flour if necessary to achieve the right texture.

Shape the dough into a ball and set it in a lightly greased covered bowl for about 60 to 90 minutes. It should be puffy, not necessarily doubled in size.

Prepare a small cake pan by lining the bottom with a cut round of parchment paper. Use nonstick spray on the base of the pan so the parchment stays in place, then spray the top of the paper and the sides of the pan.

Gently deflate the dough and divide it into 8 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place them in the pan. Cover it with plastic wrap and let the rolls rest for 30 minutes to an hour; keep an eye on them in case they rise fast!

Preheat the oven at 350-degrees. Gently brush the rolls with milk or an egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon water).

Bake the rolls for 25 to 30 minutes, until they are golden brown on top. To check for doneness, use a digital thermometer inserted into the center of the middle roll to see if it is at least 190°F. If the rolls must cook longer, cover them with foil if they are very brown.

Remove rolls from the oven. Let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Japanese Milk Bread Rolls

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Feb. 6th, 2017

Celestial Goldfish

Breath of Earth on the Locus List!

Originally published at BethCato.com. You can comment here or there.

Huh. Breath of Earth made the 2016 Recommended Reading List at Locus in the Fantasy category. How about that?!

Breath of Earth

This is the time of year when initial nominations are due soon for some major genre awards. The Nebula deadline is February 15th. I do hope folks keep Breath of Earth in mind. It’s available for sale at all the usual places and is also found in many libraries worldwide.

I’m also asking readers to consider my story “The Souls of Horses” from Clockwork Phoenix 5–which also made the Locus list under anthologies! Ellen Datlow recommended my story on Twitter and it was also called out in a starred Publishers Weekly review of the anthology. The story can be read for free in its entirety online. If you’re a SFWA member, the PDF is available for download in the forums; look in the 2016 short stories section. Actually, take a look in the novel section, too. You might find some pleasant surprises.

Clockwork Phoenix 5

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Feb. 5th, 2017

Celestial Goldfish

Sunday Quote thinks there’s some sports thing today?

Originally published at BethCato.com. You can comment here or there.

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”
~Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

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