Recipe: Mom’s Pot Roast

I do pot roast in the slow cooker, and it is always delicious and tender. But my mother’s is even better, everyone in the family loves it; she uses the oven for six hours.

Size of roast and amount of vegetables is variable—are you feeding four or fourteen? How much leftovers do you want?

You need a roasting pan with lid, or a deep pan that can be covered with aluminum foil. Large: room for the roast and lots of vegetables.

To start:

One large white onion, sliced thick
Jar of mild or sweet chili sauce
Beef stock or beef buillion
Beef pot roast

Pile half the onion slices in middle of pan. Put the roast on top of those, then put the rest of the onions on it. Pour the chili sauce over it. Add enough beef stock to the pan to be at least ½ inch deep. Cover. Bake at 275 degrees for 4 hours. Check to be sure it doesn’t bake dry; add more beef stock if needed.

Add vegetables to pan. Add more beef stock to cover or almost cover veggies. Turn oven up to 300 degrees. Recover pan. Bake at 300 degrees for two hours. Test to be sure veggies are done.

Potatoes: peeled and cut into quarters; or use the small potatoes, puncturing each with a fork
Carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
Onions, cut into chunks
Corn on the cob, cut into about 3-inch pieces (or can use the frozen small cobs)
Mushrooms (whole)
Optional: Beets, peeled and cut into smaller chunks (they otherwise take longer to cook)
Optional: Sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks (they cook faster than regular potatoes)
Optional: Dried cranberries

If you have leftovers, it makes great vegetable beef stew:

Pour off the beef juice. Use flour or corn starch to thicken it a bit.
Cut the remaining beef and vegetables into bite-size chunks. Cut corn off the cobs. You can add peas or green beans if desired. (These can’t be cooked with the original pot roast, they become too mushy.)

Add meat and veggies back into juice.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Refrigerate for tomorrow’s lunch. Just reheat and serve with crusty bread (or put in bread bowls).


Recipe: Welsh Raisin Cookies

My maternal ancestors were Welsh. (But I think not so bright — they left death in the Welsh coal mines and the poverty of Wales, and came to the U.S. and were poor and died in the coal mines of northeast Pennsylvania.)

Anyway, I love Welsh foods. So you’re going to get some Welsh recipes.


4 cups flour
4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 to 1-1/3 cup butter-flavored Crisco (or use half Crisco and half real butter)*
1 to 2 tsp. nutmeg
2 eggs, well beaten
¾ cup milk
1-½ to 2 cups raisins

Mix all ingredients by hand. Roll into small balls (walnut size), flatten with floured glass.

Bake on griddle or electric fry pan at 350 degrees, 3 to 5 minutes one side, then flip and do other side same time.

* Old Welsh way would be to use bacon fat, lard or beef drippings.

Freelance Book Polishing


I’m an excellent and experienced editor and love helping authors make their books the best possible. I’m very well-read—books are my heart and soul.

Editorial Services: Developmental/content editing, copy editing, proofreading, file formatting, story evaluation, series bibles, fact checking and research.

  • I have a great deal of experience in most fiction genres. I specialize in fantasy, urban fantasy, romance, cozy mysteries, paranormal, European/British historicals.
  • I read and enjoy middle-grade stories and edit them. I love children’s picture books, but there aren’t many words in them to edit. J I do YA fantasy and adventure (but not so much YA angst or real-life unpleasantness. Being a real teenager is painful, and painful to read about.)
  • I edit most types of non-fiction, including memoirs. I do not do politics, religion, war or true crime.

I am an advisor and partner to the author and help turn the manuscript into a polished gem. My editing philosophy is  (1) Represent the reader,  (2) The editor is not the writer [explain if something doesn’t work and offer suggestions, but don’t rewrite the author’s prose], and (3) If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it [respect the author’s style].

See my blog page for more information and rates:

Some books I have edited:


Book Review: The Photo Ark


The Photo Ark: One Man’s Quest to Document the World’s Animals by Joel Satore

Copyright 2017

Joel Satore has been a renowned photographer for National Geographic (and other publications) for several decades. He spent 25 years accumulated thousands upon thousands of photos of living creatures—mammals, birds, reptiles, sea life, insects. Many of the animals are endangered or threatened. This book of incredible images is stunning; Satore shot the pictures in zoos and wildlife centers around the globe. The foreword is by Harrison Ford, who I never realized was an avid conservationist.

Besides the lush images, the text provides a lot about the status of many species and celebrates some of the “unsung heroes” who are devoting themselves to preserving special animals. I also learned about the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which analyzes animal and plant species to determine their risk of extinction. Their labels include: EX – extinct, EW – extinct in the wild, CR – critically endangered, EN – endangered, VU – vulnerable, NT – near threatened. So many species especially on islands are extinct, nearly extinct, or critically endangered due to human activities of destroying habitats and/or introducing non-native species that kill off the existing animal.

This book belongs in every library and school.

Recipe: Easy Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Hey, throw in some veggie and chocolate becomes healthy!

1 box mix dark chocolate cake
1 to 1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1-1/4 cups water
1/2 cup cooking oil (not olive oil)
1 cup shredded zucchini (be sure to peel first)

Combine all ingredients, mix well for 2 minutes. Pour into greased Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees (or whatever cake mix box says) for 50 to 60 minutes; test with toothpick to ensure doneness. Cool in pan for 255 minutes, then remove. Frost with cream cheese frosting or whatever your favorite frosting. I like to just drizzle chocolate/confectioner sugar frosting on top.

Recipe: Tortellini & Chicken Soup

Okay, it snowed here today. Last night dropped to 20 degrees, tonight’s low is predicted 19 degrees. Cold weather always makes me think of hearty soups and comfort foods. So I’ll be posting favorite recipes over the next couple of weeks!

Mmm, hot, filling, delicious Tortellini & Chicken Soup. This gets made in a slow cooker (you know, Crock Pot tm).

(You can adjust ingredients to taste. I like a lot of pepper and garlic.)

1 pound ground chicken, browned OR 1 pound cooked chicken breast, diced small
1 onion, chopped small
2 large carrots, chopped
1 T. celery powder
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. Italian seasoning
2 tsp. chicken bouillon powder (low salt)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I use low sodium)
1/4 cup cornstarch dissolved and mixed in 1/4 cup hot water
36 ounces evaporated milk (full fat) or half-and-half
12-ounce package three-cheese tortellini
5 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup milk

1. Place ingredients from chicken through chicken broth in large slow cooker. Cover and cook: High for 4 hours, or Low for 7 hours.

2. Uncover; use large spoon to skim off any fat sitting on top of soup (discard fat). Stir in the cornstarch mixture and the evaporated milk. Add the tortellini. Mix well.

3. Cover again and cook on High for 45 minutes, until soup has thickened and the tortellini is soft.

4. Add the spinach, pressing the leaves to submerge them in the soup. Cover again on High for further 5 to 10 minutes, until spinach is wilted.

5. Pour in the milk slowly to reach your desired thickness and consistency. Taste test; season with additional salt or pepper only if needed.

Eat while HOT. Leftovers can be refrigerated and reheated on stove, being careful to not have tortellini turn to mush.

Seems like my most popular posts are those that feature the pups. My three adorable Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

Seren started Rally obedience class last week, tonight is the second class. Last week he was a wild child — bouncing off the walls, barking, wanting to jump at and play with the other dogs. But once in the ring practicing the commands, he was great. Hmm, could it be because there are food treats involved in doing as told? 😉 Anyway, he may turn out to be my first Rally little champ, if he continues to do well enough to eventually compete.

Seren 0917

But he does not like being kept on leash on the porch, when he wants to run and play.


The three darlings: Seren, Fancy and Faolan (on couch in den).