Wednesday, December 11, 2013


There are many ways writers work through knotty problems of characters not talking or plot points not working. My guest, romance author C.H. Admirand, tells us one of the ways she handles recalcitrant story issuesshe bakes.

As an author, there are days when the story just isn't flowing the way it should and my characters aren't talking to me. This happens from time to time and to clear my head, I can either do mindless mundane household chores or wander into my sanctuarythe kitchen and
start baking.

When my hands are busy smooshing butter in a deep bowl, adding in flour, sugar, spices, etc. my mind is free to go where it wants, oftentimes solving a plot point, or deciding just where I need to take my characters next.

But sometimes, all of that free-thinking has my recipes going haywire. Let me share a few pics of what was in my mind an epic failure—but the taste-test (provided free of charge by the men in my life) proved that while it might have looked like and epic failure, the flavor was stellar. LOL!

My daughter’s friend, Courtney, never tasted the chocolatey-peanut butter goodness of Funny Bones before Drakes’ Cakes closed their bakery. But, she heard about my sadness over not being able to buy them anymore and shared a recipe she had for peanut butter filled chocolate cupcakes.

They looked great in the picture, so I figured I’d give it a try. Well, there is one tiny tidbit you need to know. I never—well that’s not true, I rarely (closer to the truth) follow a recipe. I change it A.) Because I don’t have a particular ingredient, or B.) Because I don’t like a particular ingredient. LOL! Welcome to my kitchen.

Anyway, I didn’t have any paper muffin cups, so I decided to use my square shaped muffin tin instead. Mistake number one because the square shaped muffins weren’t as deep as the standard muffin tins.
Then I changed the recipe because A.) Things taste better with whole milk, and B.) I didn’t have any 2% milk. ;)

So far so good…


Here’s a picture of what they looked like after I struggled to extract them from the muffin tin—EPIC FAILURE! But I continued to salvage what I could. *sigh*

Meanwhile, I baked another batch and tried to add less in the muffin tins so they wouldn't do the whole Vesuvius-thing. The results were a little bit better—not so much oozing up over the sides of the muffin tin to form one large muffin. *sigh*

Here’s a pic of them iced before mega-consumption—yes and here is where I finally smile because although they didn't look like the picture, they tasted like “I’ll have another one—just to make sure.”

A BIG thank you to Ms. Courtney for sharing her recipe! And of course to my guys for being willing to try any baked good—no matter how ugly it might be before it’s iced. ;)

How do you handle creative projects when the ideas are flowing?

Happy Reading!


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Discover a New Love

There's No Place Like Home...

Grace Mulcahy thought she'd finally gotten Apple Grove, Ohio, out of her system. Then she's lured back for a family barbecue and spies a broad-shouldered hottie hanging out at the grill. He somehow seems utterly at ease, whether flipping burgers or horsing around with her hellion nephews. Why didn't her brother-in-law tell her he had such gorgeous friends? Suddenly her mouth is watering for more than her best friend's famous pie.

Some fires aren't meant to be fought…

When firefighter Pat Garahan sees Grace, it's like a five-alarm bell goes off and he's the one ablaze. She says she wants to leave Apple Grove, but he will do whatever it takes to keep her around. The life of a firefighter isn't an easy one though, and he'll have to prove their immediate spark can have a lasting chance at love…EXCERPT (Chapter 1, publisher website)


C.H. Admirand was born in Aiken, South Carolina, but 
grew up in New Jersey. She has been delighting readers with her Secret Life of Cowboys Series, featuring three cowboy brothers with Irish charm, as well as the Small Town USA Series, with the quirky characters of Apple Grove, OH. She lives with her husband, who is the inspiration for all of her heroes’ best traits, in New Jersey. For more information, please visit You can also find CH: Facebook and Twitter


Kat Sheridan said...

When a story is giving me fits I often turn to baking as well. And like you, I tend to leave out any ingredient I don't like. Unlike you, my failures never taste very good! I'm lucky to have a hubs who's honest with me and patient about letting me try again!

Shonna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C.H. Admirand said...

Hi Kate, doesn't it just clear your mind when you bake. I'm so glad I'm not alone, you're the first author I know of who bakes to get past troubling spots in their story ;)

Well, not all of my epic failures tasted good. There was the time I mistakenly added baking soda instead of baking powder in a muffin recipe. They looked great and tasted horrible! Never took a pic of those, though.

I thought these cupcakes were funny, so it was safe to share;)

C.H. Admirand said...

Waving to Shonna! I love your story about the cookies. Your hubby is definitely a keeper ;) I have a few cooking war stories that I could share, but it might have to be over those beignets at the Cafe DuMonde ;)

C.H. Admirand said...

Good Morning, Sia!!! Thank you so much for inviting me to guest blog today and for letting me share my latest Epic Failure in the kitchen ;)

~Sia McKye~ said...

Like Shona, I had an epic failure but with cooking. I've always been a good cook with things I know. When I first was married I was dealing with a husband that came from a pretty traditional Italian family. I knew very little about cooking Italian foods and my mother-in-law was a fabulous cook. So there was quite the learning curve there.

But one recipe my husband loved for wild duck. His mom browned it in butter and then added wine. Came out with a nice glaze.

I had never cooked with wine. Let's just say, the duck was swimming in wine. Glaze? What glaze, it had disappeared in 3 inches of wine, lol! I've since learned but hubs and I still laugh over that one.

C.H. Admirand said...

OMGoodness, Sia, that must have been really difficult. Good thing you and your hubby can laugh about it. ;) It's the laughter that helped me get over most of my epic failures in the kitchen and life ;)

Johanna Garth said...

I've read that anything where you're moving around allows your mind the freedom to work out those thorny plot problems. Baking seems like the perfect fix, except for all the concentration on the recipe required! For me, sometimes a long walk is the best remedy.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Doesn't matter what they look like - it's all in the taste.
I'm a musician and sometimes I do my best thinking while practicing.

shelly said...

Tweeted! The cupcakes looked yummy!

Sheila Deeth said...

My husband bought me a gluten free cake book so perhaps I should try baking too. And, of course, I will have to change recipes when I don't have the right types of flour!

C.H. Admirand said...

Hi Johanna, that's very interesting. I agree and do love to take long walks in the woods. I like to take pictures so I have the woods in the different seasons ;)

C.H. Admirand said...

Hi Alex another great way to let your mind wander while you play music. We have two musicians in our house, so I know how easy it is to get lost in the music. ;)

C.H. Admirand said...

Hi Shelly - thanks for tweeting ;) Well...I'm not sure about how they look, but the taste was really amazing. I added a splash or two of leftover coffee from breakfast to the icing, gave it a nice mocha flavor ;)

C.H. Admirand said...

Hi Shelia - that's a great idea. There are so many different ways (and substitutions) to bake sweets so that everyone can enjoy them ;)

Mason Canyon said...

C.H., I love the fact that you use whole milk when it calls for 2 percent. I NEVER have 2 percent on hand so I'm with you on the idea that everything taste better with whole milk anyway. The cupcakes may not have come out looking like the photo, but they still look yummy to me. Wishing you much success.

Sia, hope the weather isn't too bad your way.

Thoughts in Progress

Jo said...

So how about sharing the recipe? Sounds good.

Distractions are often good for clearing the mind, not just for authors. Often solutions occur when you aren't thinking about the problem.

~Sia McKye~ said...

CH--Yah, we laugh over quite a few things from those early days.

Johanna, that's true. I do a lot of good thinking while doing dishes by hand or working with my animals and when something is particularly a knotty problem I walk.

Alex--yup, taste is the thing. Music is a wonderful way of working through problems.

Shelly--you're a sweetheart!

Sheila--I have to do gluten free in most of my baking. Takes some practice to get things good. :-)

Mason, I'm with you. Always use whole milk. I tend to stay away from anything artificial. Use real butter and real sugar.

Lots of snow, Mason, and very cold and more snow expected Friday. You watch, by Christmas Day there won't be a speck of white on the ground. lol!

Jo--that's true. We put the knotty stuff on a back burner while doing something else. The wheels are still turning on that problem. I love those oh wow moments when the answers manifest. I tend to stop a moment and think, wow, that's it!