Thyme Lentil Cakes…Mmmmm

OK! I recently took an at home blood test and found out that I have an A+ blood type. (I recommend finding out, it’s pretty nifty) I looked into changing some of my eating habits, so that they are more conducive to the blood of the A’s, and, If I’m being honest, I regret that decision a little.

I’m supposed to be mostly vegetarian…Sure, they let you have SOME types of fish… but, they want me to cut out all red meats, all pork products, a large quantity of seafood (including Halibut, Shrimp, and scallops) and all dairy…

What does that leave you?! (you may be asking yourself with dread… as I was, the moment I found out…)

Vegetables (not all of them… they cut some of those out too) and Legumes. (I’m being slightly over dramatic… I can also eat sardines and salmon… and a few other obscure fish that I’ve only heard about in text books..)

But… I digress!

This post is me attempting to find something tasty to eat, that will follow *mostly* along the lines of an A+ blood type. I’m not disciplined enough to cut out all of the things it recommends (silly sensitive digestive tract) but, It’s nice to know so that I can make an informed decision about the things I eat.

This morning I made up some Thyme Lentil Cakes, I hope you enjoy them! BTW… I totally made this up, so feel free to wing it as you see fit!


Thyme Lentil Cakes

1 Pkg Lentils ( I think they are roughly 2.5 cups? But, don’t quote me on that…)

1 C Onion, Diced small

3 Celery stalks (on the smaller side)

1 T Garlic, Minced

1 Egg

1 (Generous) cup of Goats Cheese (I know.. Your thinking…But, I thought she couldn’t have dairy… You’re right, I’m cheating!!)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Enough to coat the bottom of a pan

TT-Salt, Pepper, Thyme (TT=To Taste)

Water or Chicken Stock

1. First, take the lentils and rinse them well. I’ve read somewhere that you should soak them for 24 hours before cooking because they contain some sort of chemical which prevents sprouting…I didn’t, but if you want to, knock yourself out!

2. Then place them in a pot and bring them to a boil in the water or chicken stock, whichever you have on hand or choose to use. I used stock because I’m a rebel and I wanted a chicken like flavor:P Boil for around 30 minutes, or until the lentils are soft, but not mushy. If you soaked your lentils, this will take less than 30 minutes.

3. Strain the lentils and pat yourself on the back… you’re practically done! You know, besides the rest and more difficult part of the recipe. I cooked my Lentils yesterday and refrigerated them over night, but I don’t know that this is necessary. You might want to put them in the fridge for a little bit, so that they cool down and can be made into the cakes without second degree burns. Totally up to you.

4. While the lentils cool, dice your onions and celery. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet and saute the veggies until softened. At the last minute, throw in your garlic and continue to saute until the garlicky goodness makes you hungry. I’m pretty sure this is actually a tried and true cooking technique.. I could be wrong.

5. Put half of your Lentils into a food processer and pulse until made into a paste, or whatever. Give it a hefty processing, and call it good.

6. Mix the lentils (in both mashed and whole form) with the sauteed veggies, and goats cheese. Add your seasoning. This is all to taste, so feel free to grab a spoon and make it taste the way you want it to.

7. After you get it the way you want it, throw in the egg, and mix well.

8. Form into patties with your awesomely dexterous hands, and then place on sheet pans with parchment and freeze. Don’t know if this step is needed, but it made for an easier searing later. If you’re hungry, form and plop them in pan.

That’s pretty much it! I seared mine in clarified butter (that’s butter that has the milk solids removed) and then stacked them as such:


Steamed spinach



Lentil Cake

…Repeat once more.

Super Tasty!! Hope you guys enjoy, and if you make them, please feel free to let me know how they turn out!


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Another Day at Work

Sorry I’ve been away as of late…Super busy at work! I’m going to hopefully nab time to write a more extensive post tomorrow, but for today…I share a photo of said all consuming day job!


Valdez, Alaska @ it’s finest!Image

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7 Ways to Show Your Writing a Mother’s Love

A mother’s love is a funny thing. It seems to me an unending, ever fruitful, and often times colossal, force to be reckoned with. Take for instance my mother:

  • Hard working owner of a B&B
  • Devoted Peony farmer
  • Grandmother/fill in mother of two full-time Grand-babies
  • Volunteer for multiple organizations
  • Doting wife
  • Loving Daughter

And that’s in a nut shell. The list of my mom’s to-dos goes on and on and on…and on. Yet, she still manages to come to my blog, and read every single one of my posts. If you go back right now and check in the comments section, she is often the first person (ok…Sometimes the only) to comment.

Those comments are always filled with affection, support, joy, and genuine happiness at having read something I wrote. Why? Because she’s operating with a mother’s love. When a mom loves her child, she will go above and beyond to make sure they feel that devotion.

After reading my mom’s last loving comment, I got to thinking…Why shouldn’t our writing get a mother’s love? After all, these words are our babies, are they not? They are the infants of our mind, and deserve that same sort of diligent affection that my mother finds time to shower me with.

So… I made a list.

7 Ways to Show your Writing a Mother’s Love

  1. Dedication: Let’s start here. I’m needy and forgetful. My mom knows this. If she didn’t constantly remind me that she loved and adored me…How, oh how, would I ever remember, or believe it? You’re writing is the same way. It’s needy. If you don’t dedicate yourself to writing daily, and express your devotion by getting words on the page, your skills will slowly start to rust. So, as I begin to wither without my mother’s constant reminders of devotion, our writing too will suffer without our attention. We must devote ourselves to writing, and improving our relationship with the written word.
  2. Confidence: I don’t know about your mom, but mine is a permanent resident of the ‘Brittney Fan club’. It is her faith that often times drives me to bigger and better things. So I say, give this confidence to your writing. An author once told me, “We are only as good as we believe we are.” Have faith in your ability to not only write, but to write well, and let that confidence bring your words to a greater level. It won’t come easily, but knowing that you are a Writer, that this is a tangible thing you can embrace, may give you a needed push to carry on.
  3. “You can do better”: When I was a child, my mother used this statement often. It’s not that what I had done was wrong, or unsatisfactory, but she knew that I was capable of so much more. Push your writing to be better. Don’t settle for mediocre or subpar verbiage. Explore, prod, and excel. Always. Give yourself goals, and push your own boundaries until your writing reaches the levels you want it to. Don’t give up on it.
  4. Nourishment: Mom’s feed us, so we must feed our writing. Attend seminars, read, go to writing conferences, and never stop learning. Feed your inner writer with knowledge!
  5. Freedom: My mom was rather rad, in that she let me have more freedom as a child than most parents. However, at any given age…in certain cases much later than others… we all must fly the coop.  Our moms have to let go — to give us our freedom. Give this to your writing! Allow the inner writer to just write. Don’t worry about grammar, or spelling or using the correct language… Just write. Give it creative freedom, and you may find something beautiful and outrageous. Something that would never have come to you in the confines of your own strict rules.
  6. Knowing when to walk away: Not going to lie… This drove me crazy!!! When we would argue, my mom was always the first to walk away. ‘Give me space’…’I’m done talking about this right now’…We’ve heard them all before! But, what I didn’t realize until I was out and about getting into crazy shenanigans… is that these moments of our relationship, were simply another type of love. I’m stubborn… and I didn’t get it entirely from my dad. When she walked away it was because she knew neither of us were going to give. She was giving us the space needed to breath, the space needed to soak in each other’s side. Know when to walk away from your writing. It needs space, and so do you! Give yourself time to let go of your stubborn streak, and come back to the pages with a new found openness. It could be that you really don’t need that scene with the rubber duck and polka-dot umbrella. Or, maybe, that scene is the Bee’s knees, and needs velociraptors with light sabers… Only you can decide… We walk away so that we can more clearly see if we need to kill our babies. She, as of now, has let me live.
  7. Love: Just pure and simple. My mother loves me. She tells me, in not only her words, but in her actions as well. I feel that love, and other people are able to see it. If you truly love your writing, and you express that love through devotion to your craft…Readers will see it and they will feel it through your words.

Give your mom a hug… She certainly deserves it!



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Growing up

As a child I often wondered — what will I be when I grow up? A question, I personally think, is pretty common. We look around us, the great wide world, as ripe as a fruit, and we dream of adventures to come. We look at our parents, our aunts, uncles, coaches, grandparents, Tv stars, anyone who’s anywhere above one inch taller than us, and we KNOW that they have it better.

I remember sitting in Home Economics class, learning to balance a checkbook, and thinking, “One day… One fantastical, explosively exciting day, I will actually need to balance a checkbook.”

That day came, and now it wont seem to leave me alone. It follows me around like the smell of newly stepped in dog feces. I’ve tried to rub off this day — to leave it on a rug, or some newly budding grass… But, alas, it holds tight.

I spent my whole childhood waiting for the day that I would “grow up”, and I now spend the days wondering when I get to be a kid again. When it’s ok to be carefree and excited about life. When deciding what I’m going to be… not what I have to be, to pay bills, but what I WANT to be… is the greatest question I need to ponder.

I’m making a decision today. I’ve decided that although I may never get to be a child again, with few cares, and little angst… I can be as excited about the little things as I once was. That I can dream, and I can look forward to becoming something better. That I should embrace one of the truest changes that has taken place.

I have the power to choose.

When we are young, life happens around us. It is this vast entity which we are unable to comprehend in entirety. Much as it is now. However, as adults, we are given so much more freedom, so many more choices.

No longer are our options: Fireman, Cop, marine biologist (I liked dolphins), or an apprentice glass blower (trip to italy)…

We can be anything we choose to be, and we are the ones who make the choices, and take the actions that will get us to these points.

So, I suppose I’m saying embrace who you are, what you’ve become, and where you want to go. Take time to marvel at life’s wonders, and let yourself be a child every once in a while. Embrace the strange that is you.

I may never take joy in balancing a checkbook again, but that doesn’t mean the wonder has to be left entirely to younger days.



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Be a Chuck Norris for Your Writing

I’ve recently been chatting it up with a new Twitter friend John Davis, and something he said has really stuck with me. (Check him out @johndavisbooks …Why? Because he rocks!)

He said, “Brittney, you’ll find that I’m like the Chuck Norris of Self-Publishing.” It’s probably true…He’s quite impressive. But, more than that, the line stayed with me as a way of writing life. I want to be my own writing Chuck Norris. Don’t you? I sure hope so, because that might be the difference between a published novel that sells, and one that falls flat. I realize that Chuck Norris has a towering reputation of Badassery, but how did he obtain it?

Hard work? Determination, dedication, and desire? Sure. He put his blood, sweat, and tears into becoming the towering icon that he is today. It wasn’t easy, and he probably didn’t always follow the rules. .

I mean, isn’t Chuck Norris, by definition, the man who breaks the mold? I’m not saying that you should throw well-studied, and popular writing rules out the window so that you can be a maverick. I’m saying, try something new, be bold and don’t give up. Forge new paths and let your voice be heard.

My writing deserves a voice, and I’m sure your writing does as well. Let’s go forth and Chuck Norris the shit out of the writing world – Travel to the writing Virgin Islands, and leave them simply called “the Islands”.

Thank you John (and Chuck), for keeping me happily on the writing path. 🙂

Cheers to writing euphoria!


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7 steps to a Successful Literary Pitch

I recently returned from the #WDCE (Writer’s Digest Conference East) in New York City. What an experience! The atmosphere alone was worth the money and time spent going. I was able to meet a lot of young writers as wide-eyed and bushy-tailed as I was (am), which has, even in just the few days since I’ve returned home, been invaluable.

I attended the conference with no intention of making a pitch to an agent — Being more concerned with getting my creative juices flowing again, and checking out the self-publishing world. My how plans change!

I wrote a pitch for my book on Friday and delivered it with no…ok, very few….mistakes to 12 agents the following day! It was both a terrifying and liberating experience. As a writer, I do love to talk about my work…my Precious, if you will. Taking into consideration the things I was able to glean from the conference, I have been making, and continue to make, adjustments to the novel. My hope is to have it ready, or as ready as it can be, to send out very soon. I will only get that one chance to impress…so here’s hoping I do!

I’ll try to keep you better updated as time goes on!

Now, Without further ado: 7 Steps to writing a solid pitch, as given by Chuck Sambuchino. (Well, from the notes I jotted down while he was speaking.)

First: Introduce yourself and be polite.

Second: The agent wants to hear four things.

  • Genre
  • Title
  • Word Count (if you know it)
  • Is it complete?

Third: Log line: Character, their vocation along with something that makes them different, and why they are in the story.

Ex: Tammie Johnson is a no-holds-barred New York City Cop, who struggles with a drug addiction and the need for speed. ( I don’t know.. something like that)

Fourth: The Pitch

  1. Introduce the main Character. Ex: 35-year-old Tammie Johnson was born and raised on the streets of New York City.
  2. Introduce something unique or different about your character. Ex: She used to believe in the system, but now with 15 years on the force, she struggles with a very real drug addiction and spends her nights illegally racing cars on the street for cash.
  3. Inciting incident. Why is this a story? Ex: When she witnesses the brutal murder of a close racing friend, Tammie decides to clean up her act and find the evidence needed to put the guilty party behind bars.
  4. Conflict. What’s stopping your character from doing what they want? Ex: But, the culprit knows she witnessed the murder, and is now out for her blood as well. Tammie must find a way to put the man behind bars without exposing her own hand in the illegal car racing world, or worse, ending up a corpse herself.
  5. Complications. What are some SPECIFIC examples of things that get in her way. Ex: While fleeing for her life and looking for clues, she’s forced to dress like a clown, gets attacked by a seemingly rapid Chihuahua, and on one occasion is forced to defend herself using only a crimson, 6 inch stiletto heel, and her wits.
  6. Vague wrap up. You want to give them an idea of the possible outcome, but not tell them the end of the book.. You want them to WANT to read it! Ex: When Tammie is given an anonymous tip, she must decide to pursue the lead, or give up. For this white rabbit might lead her to the answers she’s been looking for, or down a dark hole — one that’s 6 feet under.
  7. Stakes. What happens if the character fails. This doesn’t have to come at the end…Just make sure you put it in there. My examples show that if Tammie doesn’t catch the killer, she could end up dead herself.

Ok! Well, that’s all I got. I’m sorry for the pitch given in the examples, I came up with that seat-of-the-pants style while writing this..:P If you would like more, or better, examples of a successful Pitch — check out Chuck Sambuchino’s Blog, Guide to Literary Agents. He also plays a mean Piano, and sings a sweet rendition of Hallelujah. I was lucky enough to meet Chuck at the Conference and he is a must read for anyone looking to pitch their book to a Literary Agent.

Do you have any pitch-agent related horror stories? Please share in the comment section below!

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Pinterest…That sly Mistress…Nutmeg Mask!!!

As some of you know I am a cook on a Tug boat in Valdez, Alaska. My schedule consists of working two months on, and then two months off. Sure, the time off is GREAT! But, I do tend to get burnt out and bored at work. What are some of my go to practices to prevent ripping my hair out, you ask?  I’ll tell you…

  • Movies
  • Reading
  • Book tapes
  • TV series on Hulu
  • ifunny on my cell phone…Soooooo addicting
  • Walking laps around the boat
  • Writing
  • and… Pinterest. Oh sweet Pinterest.

This post is primarily about that devishly sweet mistress, Pinterest. She draws you in, encouraging you to trying new and bizarre things. My friend is currently purchasing a photo of a deer with flowers on its antlers… Don’t ask me. Stranger things have happened.

Each night, we try to find something on Pinterest that we want to try out and give it a whirl. Yesterday was a homemade sugar scrub. Tonight was Honey, Nutmeg, Cinnamon masks…. About a week ago we tried a self-made pore strip recipe and made the mistake of putting it all over our faces… Just so you know, that recipe can also be used as a hair removal system if placed in the proper areas. My forehead was as smooth, and as hairless as a baby’s bottom. Ouch. As Jasmine says…. A major Pintrocity.

So! Without further ado….Nutmeg mask!

Nutmeg Mask

2 T Honey-The darker the honey, the more antioxidants

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp Cinnamon

-Mix together and spread on face; rubbing the paste into your skin will act as a gentle exfoliant. Leave on for 30 minutes and then remove with water and a gentle circular motion. This mask is supposed to be great for stressed out skin, reduce inflammation, and exfoliate all while giving you a more even skin tone, and blah blah blah. It’s Great!

Give it a try, and let me know if you dug it!

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