Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Cooking and Baking Can Be Great Stress Relievers

By Joya Fields

For some people, the holidays bring the added stress of cooking and baking. But guess what? For a lot of people, cooking and baking IS their stress reliever.
In Sidelined Afterlife (Book 3, Hauntings at Inner Harbor), my just-released contemporary romance with a ghostly twist,  heroine Veronica loves to chop, stir and sauté her way through bad times. When her psychic-medium powers (a “gift” she hates) bring a ghost to her doorstep, she makes a batch of salsa to calm herself. When her sexy doctor neighbor needs her help getting rid of a ghost, she chops her way through a batch of gazpacho to clear her head and make the right decision. And when she finds herself alone with the handsome doctor, making a batch of chocolate mousse with him brings them closer together.
For Veronica, helping ghosts cross over isn’t an easy job. Neither is trusting a man like Hunter—handsome, successful and powerful. But cooking helps her get through the stress and clears her mind enough to focus on what she needs to do. It also enables her to see beyond past hurt and fall for Nick as they help the young ghost.
So maybe this year, instead of looking at cookie baking as one more thing on your to-do holiday list, maybe you can stop and smell the cookie dough. LOL. Enlist a friend, spouse, or your kids to help. Have fun measuring those ingredients and making a little bit of a mess. Then take a deep sniff of that vanilla extract, melted chocolate or peppermint, and let your senses take it all in. Let the baking and cooking be part of your fun, not part of your workload. Smell it. Feel it. Create and experience.
Then go help some ghosts cross over! Ha ha. Okay, we’ll leave the ghost part to Veronica, but hope you have fun baking, cooking, and enjoying the experience this holiday season. In the meantime, here’s one of my favorite cookie recipes—potato chip cookies. Hope you enjoy and find lots of fun in the cooking part of your holiday preparations. Be sure to check an exclusive excerpt from SIDELINED AFTERLIFE.

Potato Chip Cookies
1 cup butter
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup crushed potato chips
¾ cup chopped pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour
Colored (or white) sugar for topping

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together. Add crushed potato chips and nuts. Fold in flour. Form into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Slightly wet the bottom of a flat-bottomed drinking glass and then dip in topping sugar (white…or use red/green for Christmas). Press balls of dough flat with tumbler. Bake at 350F for 15-17 minutes or until browned at the edges. (Makes 3 dozen cookies. Recipe can easily be doubled).

Sidelined Afterlife
Psychic and medium Veronica Matthews hates being able to communicate with the dead and the nearly departed.  What good is it if she can’t lead the police to the victims of violent crimes before they die? But when her neighbor comes to her for help, she’s torn—until she understands that the ghost haunting him is more dangerous than any she’s encountered….
After losing his wife in a tragic accident, ER doctor Hunter Anderson’s only solace is his work and a ghost is jeopardizing that. Turning to his neighbor seems like his only choice, but spending time with the passionate woman, and her sassy attitude, might do more than save his life…
She can’t risk her heart. He’s afraid to love and lose again. Can a ghost help these two souls to live again?

Joya Fields has had over 100 stories and articles published in local and national magazines. Her debut novel, a romantic suspense, was a NJRW GOLDEN LEAF WINNER FOR BEST FIRST BOOK OF 2012 and was nominated for RT Book Reviews 2012 Indie Press/Self-Published Contemporary Romance award. Since then, she’s published four more books with even more on the way .

Connect with Joya
Twitter: @joyafields
Amazon Author Page

1 comment:

Joya said...

What fun it is to be a guest at the Decadent blog! Thanks for hosting me and I hope everyone enjoyed some great cookies this week. :)