Thoughts on the wild, the weird, and the romantic from author Joy Nash

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Joy Nash is a USA Today Bestselling Author and RITA Award Finalist applauded by Booklist for her "tart wit, superbly crafted characters, and sexy, magic-steeped plots."

» Friday, July 31, 2009

this sure beats Here Comes the Bride...

Priceless! Wish I'd thought of this for my wedding... no, scratch that - my mother would have FREAKED!

Here's hoping this couple really does last "Forever" - I have a feeling they will :-)



» Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chocolate Zucchini???

Feast or famine!

Some summers my garden is overtaken by squash borers and refuses to produce a single zucchini (zucchino??). That's not the case this year - I've got zucchini coming out my ears!

I sent out a plea on facebook for recipes and got some fantastic suggestions and links to recipe sites. Grilled zucchini, zucchini lasagna, stuffed zucchini, zucchini bread, zucchini frittata...

By far the most unusual -- and tasty -- recipe is Chocolate Zucchini Cake. This cake was so moist and yummy! My two teenage sons, who would not be caught dead eating zucchini on its on, practically inhaled it. I found it here

I omitted the cinnamon and the nuts. I didn't make the icing glaze, but just used cream cheese icing from a can. 45 minutes cooking time was plenty for my oven - I think 50 minutes would have dried the cake out a bit too much. I suspect this cake would be great with coconut, but since the kids don't like coconut, I didn't try it. If you do, let me know how it turns out!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

* 2 1/2 cups regular all-purpose flour, unsifted
* 1/2 cup cocoa
* 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 3/4 cup soft butter
* 2 cups sugar
* 3 eggs
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
* 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
* 2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
* Glaze (directions follow)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

1 Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.

2 With a mixer, beat together the butter and the sugar until they are smoothly blended. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. With a spoon, stir in the vanilla, orange peel, and zucchini.

3 Alternately stir the dry ingredients and the milk into the zucchini mixture, including the nuts with the last addition.

4 Pour the batter into a greased and flour-dusted 10-inch tube pan or bundt pan. Bake in the oven for about 50 minutes (test at 45 minutes!) or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes; turn out on wire rack to cool thoroughly.

5 Drizzle glaze over cake.

Glaze: Mix together 2 cups powdered sugar, 3 Tablespoons milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until smooth.

Cut in thin slices to serve. Makes 10-12 servings.

I dare you to TRY to eat just one piece. It can't be done!!!

Joy Nash

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A Little Light Magic

Summer at the Jersey Shore has never been so hot!

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» Friday, July 17, 2009

Harry Potter!

I'm happy to report that I'm not yet too old to stay awake through a midnight movie :-)

DH and I took 6 teenagers (including 3 of our own) to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last Tuesday night for the first showing at midnight. I thought the movie was very well done, and the chemistry between Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint is by this time about as natural as can be. Helena Bonham-Carter is a totally magnificent Bellatrix Lestrange.

It was interesting to watch the character of Dumbledore change from all-powerful and all-knowing wizard to frail and sometimes uncertain old man as he prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of good. I heard quite a few girls in the theater sniffling during the death scene, and I felt a bit like crying myself. It was as if we were all losing a grandfather.

As usual, it was unfortunate, if unavoidable, that so much content from the book couldn't be included in the movie (without making me stay up until dawn rather than 3am, at any rate). Even though the movie was titled "HP and the Half-Blood Prince," the entire mystery of figuring out who was the Half-Blood Prince was pretty much left out of the movie.

Looking forward to Deathly Hallows I + II. I'm so glad they decided to make two movies for the last book!

All the (sleepless) best,


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» Friday, July 10, 2009


Beware! Sometimes the creepiest things happen in your own back yard.

I found that out in a big way a couple days ago. I’m lounging on the back porch when I feel some kind of insect crawling/buzzing near my ear. Not thinking too much about it, I brush it away. What happened next was bizarre. Instead of flying off, the thing dashes RIGHT INTO MY EAR!

OMG! I slap at my ear and dig my finger in. The thing burrows in deeper. I jump up and shake my head like a crazy woman. I can feel the thing crawling around in my ear, and it is about the WORST THING EVER. I don’t even know what kind of bug it was! But it wasn’t any tiny little thing. A fat fly? Or…OMG - a YELLOW JACKET? OMG! How long before it stings me? Images of Star Trek: Wrath of Kahn explode in my brain. I know just how Chekov felt when Kahn’s slug thing slithered into his ear.


I run inside the house screaming for my husband, who’s in the basement playing video games with the kids. He yells back for me wait a minute. Wait a minute? Wait a minute? While some alien bug burrows into my brain and takes over my thought processes? I can feel the thing wriggling. I’m clawing at my ear. “Wait a minute” suddenly sounds like grounds for divorce.

“No!” I scream. “I need you NOW!

My panic must have cut through the video game haze. The DH bounds up the steps, my son and daughter on his heels.

“I’ve got a bug in my ear! Get it out! Get it out now!”

I’m thinking DH will need tweezers, or will have to haul me to the emergency room, but luckily as soon as I stop clawing at my ear long enough for him to look, the bug decides that maybe this nice dark hole isn’t quite the safe haven it had supposed. It crawls out and drops onto the floor.

It’s a creepy skinny black beetle with pincers.

My hands are shaking, I can’t breathe, and my ear is bleeding from a gash inflicted by my fingernail. DH gallantly scoops up the monster and disposes of it. I gulp in a lung full of air and try to calm down. My son thinks this is the coolest thing. My daughter puts her hands over her ears and declares that she’s never going outside again in her entire life.

DH says he hopes the thing didn’t lay any eggs while it was in there.