My name is Clarice, but most people, call me ReCe. I'm a happily married USAF spouse, mother to 3 girls, and an older sister to many....Here is my blog and here are some of my candy filled thoughts, lol

Sunday, December 16, 2012

$10 Amazon Gift Card Winner!

Asriani Purnama come on down! Congratulations for winning this $10 Amazon Gift Card! Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Is it December already?

I recently published an article on about this bread pudding I made recently for my girls Bunco group. It involves a Sara Lee pound cake and a few other ingredients that you normally would use for your morning cup of coffee.

P.S. I didn't eat the mint I placed on top of the glass, just wanted to add a bit of dramatic flair to it!

Here's the link: Sara Lee Bread Pudding 

We haven't shopped for any Christmas gifts yet! Yikes! I wonder if I can just bake all my gifts this year? Think I can get away with it?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

An Interview with Keyshia Cole's Producer and Co-Writer "PianoMan"

R&B singer and reality star, Keyshia Cole dropped another album titled, Woman to Woman, available today in stores and on Itunes. This album is sure to please listener's ears, as they hear Keyshia's sultry soul-filled voice resonate with anyone who has experienced the highs and lows of a romantic relationship. Chicago's very own Walter English III, took some time out during a show to answer a few questions about the work he did on the title track, Woman to Woman, featuring Ashanti. It's sure to be a chart climbing hit! 

Tell my readers a little bit about yourself. 

My name is Walter L. English III, and I'm a 33-year-old musician/songwriter from Chicago, IL. I began playing when I was six, took classical piano lessons for nine years, and have been a full-time, self-employed musician since April, 2007. 

How did you get involved with Keyshia Cole?

I've never had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Cole-Gibson, but I HAVE had a wonderful relationship with my mentor in the music business, Earl Powell of Eptone Productions (Los Angeles, CA). He has taught me and included me in on opportunities since 1997, and when he relocated to L.A., he promised that he would NEVER forget about me. When the track was selected by Mrs. Keyshia and her team, he left me a message to, "Congratulate ME," and assure me that I would be included in this momentous opportunity. Much thanks to Mrs. Keyshia Cole, Frederick "Toxic" Taylor, and the entire assembly of "Team Cole" for allowing me a "seat on the bus." 

What was the inspiration behind the song you helped produce and co-write for Keyshia's latest album?

As with any session with Earl Powell, we (as self-professed Christian men) began with prayer and a lil' Bible Study. After that...and a few jokes (we're also self-professed goofballs too....LOL), he wold simply turn on a piano and ask me to play the first inspired thought I had. We weren't writing "for" a specific artist; instead, we were writing whatever idea within us most requested to be unlocked. Who knew it would lead to this? God Almighty....and Earl.

What else do you have coming up?

Well, as monumental as this is for a skinny kid from Chicago and his piano, I strive to better support my two beautiful daughters (Kayla & Zemarriya), I'm still a full-time musician, and bill payments are collected full-time....So, my schedule generally consists of playing at Sullivan's Steakhouse (downtown Chicago), Way of Life Church International (Chicago,IL), and a host of corporate events, private parties, wedding and the like. 

Much thanks to Clarice Williams for allowing me the opportunity to ramble. As much as I love to type, it's time for the 2nd Piano Set at Sullivan's to start. Be Blessed, enjoy His day (Ps 118:24), and everyone you encounter in it. 


Courtesy of
"Thank You" Walter, a.k.a. PianoMan, for giving us the insights into your talented world. You can find him on Facebook and on Fandalism. 

Please support artist Keyshia Cole and the producers behind her, by picking up a copy at Target or downloading it on Itunes. This album also includes Keyshia's collaborations with Lil Wayne, Ashanti, T.I. "Forever," Robin Thicke, and Meek Mill "Zero." Get yours today! I already did! 

Please leave a comment and let me know if you bought the album or a single. If you're a fan of Keyshia Cole or seen Walter play, tell us about the experience below! 

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Thank you to author Sarah Elle Emm for tagging me in her blog, My Name is Sarah...., to participate in The Next Big Thing!  Be sure to visit her site!

According to the rules, I am instructed to answer the following questions about my next book on this blog post and then tag other authors to take part.  Seeming as we kinda hang out in the same social web circles, a lot of the authors I wanted to tag, were already tagged! LOL So...on to my blog post. 

My next book, A Fair Killer, is set for release into cyberspace and my own website right at your fingertips this December 2012! 

What is the working title of your book? 

A Fair Killer 

Where did the idea come from for the book?

This book will be the first in the Chef ReCee Jay & Friend series and the main characters are Brand Ambassadors. I used to be one myself and would see a lot of goofy mishaps in the stores and at fairs. The conversations I overheard while standing around was reality TV worthy to say the least! Add a little CSI drama in the mix and you can have a bona fide mystery on your hands! 

What genre does your book fall under?

Young Adult Cozy Mystery 

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

To play Chef ReCee, I would love Regina Hall to play her. She has that great mix of comedy and seriousness when the role calls for it. Majandra Delfino was awesome in State of Georgia and I'd love for her to play Lily, the newest intern. When I think of the other intern Jett, Justin Chon, comes to mind. A few Twilight fans may recognize that name. The character's boss, Larry Hortie and CEO of ZKD Foods, I envision Dwayne Johnson a.k.a. The Rock. It would be a fantastic cast!

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

As Brand Ambassadors, Chef ReCee, Jett, and Lilly are working feverishly, at a county fair, to not only put on a good show for their clients, but live long enough to make it to the next stop and find out who's causing their competition to drop off one by one!

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

This book will be self-published using Create Space. 

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I first came up with this idea earlier this year, so it's been about ten months. 

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Chef ReCee's character has a few quirks that's right up there with the TV character's Monk persona. Although, one spoiler alert I'll clue you in on is when a container of bleach hits a counter, that means the mystery is about to be solved!! Couple that with a few cozy mystery authors like Cleo Coyle and Mary Daheim and voila! You got yourself a pretty good comparison within the cozy mystery genre. 

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Anyone that has gone through a struggle and looked for a positive way to recover from it, is what inspires me to write this book. In an ironic twist, the character Chef ReCee is a great food ambassador, but food is also her Achilles heel. As different tragedies happened in her life, the very thing people complimented her about, became the one thing that took over her life. She began to food binge, gain weight, and as a result gained type 2 diabetes. Getting help from her Uncle Lou, she was able to shed some weight, and bounce back into the spotlight, but as murders start piling up, the stress of it, tempts her to go back to the one thing that is readily available to comfort her…Food. Everyone has something that they have to deal with and it takes more than just ignoring a problem and hoping it goes away. Life has a funny way of making you grow up and face your troubles head on, which these characters will have to do....often! 

What else about your book might pique the readers’ interest?

There will be some drama, tom foolery between the characters, and recipes! Recipes will vary from original to semi-homemade, but I can promise you that fun will be had by all who read this book! 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope I intrigued you just a little bit! Thanks again to Sarah for inviting me to the Next Big Thing! Her book, Opalescent, is coming February 2013.  If you haven’t read the first book in the Harmony Run Series yet, you can grab a copy at AmazonBarnes and Noble, or The Sanibel Island Bookshop.  

You can also enter the Goodreads Giveaway to win one of seven paperback copies of Prismatic now through December 17th, 2012.  The giveaway is in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Romania, South Africa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the U.S.A.  You can enter the Goodreads Giveaway here

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Holiday eBook Samples!

Books make terrific holiday gifts, but finding perfect books for friends and family is always a challenge. If only we could flip through a few sample pages on our own schedules. If only if the bookstore could come to us. Well guess what readers, we’re doing just that!

Twelve amazing authors have come together to offer you an amazing opportunity to sample their latest novels just in time for the holidays—12 awesome samples and quirky holiday-themed interviews in one FREE downloadable PDF.

Whether you like to read mysteries, romance, young adult, women's fiction, or suspense—this group has a book for you.

                                              First Snow – Christine Cunningham 
After The Fog - -Kathleen Shoop
A Charming Crime -  Tonya Kappes
Come Back To Me – Melissa Foster
Read Me Dead – Emerald Barnes
The Halo Effect – MJ Rose
Dancing Naked In Dixie – Lauren Clark
The Last Supper Catering Company – Michaelene McElroy
The Hurricane Lover – Joni Rodgers
The Hounding – Sandra de Helen
Milkshake – Joanna Weiss
The Ninth Step – Barbara Taylor Sissel

Each excerpt is prefaced by information about the book and its author. Concluding each excerpt is an order page with clickable links to several online retailers
You can download the PDF “Holiday Sampler” here, and share it with friends by sending them this link:
So go ahead and sample these fantastic novels from amazing writers! And don’t forget to help spread the word!
Happy holidays and happy reading!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Seafood Stuffed Portabella Mushroom w/Black Bean & Pineapple Salsa

Seafood Stuffed Portabella Mushroom w/Black Bean & Pineapple Salsa

Something fishy is going on, this Election Day, and I am going to tell you what I found out! 

While cruising along the internet, I came across this recipe, and I actually had the ingredients at home...Even the mushrooms! So, I rolled up my sleeves, after voting of course, and dived right into my catch (in a can) of the day! 

This recipe was adapted from here 

I made a few changes.....


~4 Portobello Mushrooms 

~1 Tbsp Earth Balance Butter

~1 Can Tiny Canned Shrimp (or 6 oz fresh cooked and minced)

~1 Can white Crabmeat (or 6 oz fresh cooked) 

~ Italion seasoning mix (optional)

Dash of Old Bay Seasoning 

~ Non-stick cooking spray 


Preheat oven to 350

Spray a baking dish or cookie sheet with non stick cooking spray 

Clean mushrooms and remove stems. Put caps on cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. 

Mince the stems and place in mixing bowl. Add shrimp and crab, without draining liquid. Mix well. 

In a frying pan, melt butter then add the shrimp/crab mix. Fill mushroom caps evenly with stuffing/seafood mix. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until browned. 


Inspiration for the Black Bean & Pineapple Salsa can be found here 

Black Bean and Pineapple  Salsa

    1 can of Bush Brothers Sweet Mesquite Grillin Beans 
    1 pineapple, cored, peeled and cut into small chunks
    2 small tomatoes, diced 
    3 Tablespoons of Garlic cloves, minced
    2 Teaspoons of Sea Salt 
    1 Tablespoon of Lime Juice 
I let the beans simmer on the stove for a few minutes, drain the beans, and then mix all the ingredients in a bowl.  Taste a bit and if you want more zest, add some more lime. Need it a bit salty? know what to do! LOL 

It made a lot and it's nice, smokey, and sweet. It was a great side dish and I can't wait to put some in my Falafel Pita tomorrow...Yay!!! 

I hope you guys are having a nice, quiet, and peaceful time. Meditate on the things that you are thankful for in life. 

~Keep the Sun Shining in Your Heart~ 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

MYSTERY WRITING AT ITS BEST - Guest Post by Abigail Keam

 Death By Bourbon writer, Abigail Keam, is currently on a virtual blog tour for her latest book: Death By Bourbon, and I couldn't be happier that she stopped by here! 

Official Death by Bourbon Synopsis:

Life takes a dramatic turn for Josiah when she witnesses a death at an engagement party for guess who . . . Matt.  Matt?  Yes Matt.

Charming socialite Addison DeWitt falls into a fit after taking a sip of bourbon.  That would be upsetting enough but Josiah is sure it is murder. However, no one will believe her except for Lady Elsmere and Meriah Caldwell, the famous mystery writer.  The three of them conspire to bring the murderer to justice.  It turns out that the suspect is always three steps ahead of them.

To make matters worse, Josiah's daughter, Asa, decides to move to London, Franklin leaves town and Jake starts singing a different turn.  Josiah doubts her ability to meet the future alone.  Maybe it's time to sell the Butterfly and move to Florida with the rest of the old folks.



I don’t propose to tell you how to write a best-selling mystery or get an agent or even get a publishing contract.  I can only tell you what bores me when reading a mystery and what I think is indulgence on the part of the writer.  My thoughts are subjective.  Keep that in mind.  Let’s begin with shooting the sheriff.

Always Shoot The Sheriff In the First Chapter

Last week I was on a panel with two other mystery writers.  They were knowledgeable about the art of writing and of writers past and present, but . . . (yes there is a but coming).  But when they read excerpts from their current novels, it was all I could do not to yawn.  One writer read four pages only to inform his readers “it was a dark and stormy night.”  Four pages to tell me that it was raining!

The other writer also spent an entire first chapter to tell his readers what his nemesis was thinking.  An entire chapter!  A paragraph maybe.  A chapter – no.

The first chapter should set up location, ambiance and first action of the story.  In other words – shoot the sheriff!

Don’t dazzle the reader with your wordmanship.  (Okay – I made that word up.) Dazzle your reader by pulling them into the story. 

Less Is More      

Another irritating thing is when writers use 350 pages to tell their story when they could have told it in 225 pages.  Extra fat in your mystery will not make your story better. 

Look at The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett.  My current copy of this book is 216 pages.  It is considered the greatest mystery detective story written in the English language.  There is no fat in this great tale.  Every word, every line simply drives the story to its conclusion.  Man, oh man, what a glorious ride it is for the reader! 

James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity is only 115 pages.  It’s been in print since 1936.

Am I making my point?

I’ve given you a few clues about writing a better mystery story.   Maybe you think I’m a bit over the top.  Perhaps I am, but then I sold three times as many books as my esteemed colleagues and I only read three small paragraphs.  Less is more.
Abigail Keam is the author of “Death By A HoneyBee” and “Death By Drowning”.  Both books were listed as Finalists on the USA BOOK NEWS “Best Book List 2011”.  “Death By Bourbon” is her new book.

Abigail Keam’s Social Media Contacts:
Twitter: @AbigailKeam

“Abigail Keam writes with vision and understanding. Her tale is fresh and original...after all...what could beekeeping and murder have in common? Readers will have no trouble being drawn into this charming mystery. Keam leaves the reader yearning for more. DEATH BY DROWNING is an excellent second effort by Ms. Keam. Characters and action are well wrought, and the plot sizzles.”Midwest Book Review,
Shelley Glodowski
Senior Reviewer, July 8th 2011

“Ms. Keam's writing is more like lyrical prose, leaving the readers wanting to know more of Josiah's life and clamoring for the next book.  This can be read as a stand-alone book, but I highly recommend reading the first book - DEATH BY A HONEYBEE.”

Death by Bourbon eBook Link:

Tour Wide Giveaway!

A tour wide giveaway is being offered, which features a grand prize of a set of all four of Abigail’s books, signed, plus 3 8oz honeys from Abigail’s very own been hives!  2 signed copies of Death By Bourbon have been made available for a pair of runner-up prizes. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review from First Rule Publicity from the author as part of a virtual book tour. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, November 2, 2012

Gracing Us On Another Friday! Grace Simpson Is Back!

For Better or For Worse: Is Organic Milk the Same as Regular Milk?

If you’ve done any research into organic milk, you’ll find many articles claiming that there is very little difference in the quality of the product when compared to regular or conventionally-produced milk.

This research is based on the study of the end product, but to make an informed decision, you need to investigate the way milk is produced.

You may have also seen dairy labels that say “rBGH-Free” or “rBST-Free” and immediately below, you’ll inevitably see the disclaimer, “No significant difference has been shown between milk from rBGH [or rBST] treated and untreated cows.”

This disclaimer a result of a lawsuit Monsanto (remember them?) brought against Maine’s Oakhurst Dairy. In the lawsuit, Monsanto objected to the use of the statements “rBGH-Free” or “rBST-Free” because it implied that it was undesirable.

See Monsanto created this synthetic hormone that allows cows to produce more milk and for longer periods of time and, they wanted to protect it. The hormone is actually banned in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Israel and a number of European countries. Thank goodness, public pressure has also pressured some retailers not to sell milk made with the hormone.

These hormones produce more milk, but they cause a number of problems for cows including the higher rate of mastitis, which is an inflammation of the udder, often caused when milk supply is not fully expressed. To help prevent mastitis and the resulting puss that gets in the milk supply, cows are given a large amount of antibiotics, adding even more foreign substances to our milk.

Then when milk is ready to be processed for human consumption, it goes through pasteurization. Milk is pasteurized to kill potentially harmful materials that are introduced to livestock directly, like antibiotics or through a less than sanitary collection process.

One of the worst things about the pasteurization process is that it kills the nutritional value in milk and instead of just getting rid of harmful bacteria; it also gets rid of beneficial bacteria. The sad thing is many minerals are added in after the pasteurization process when they could have been found in the milk naturally. Add to that, pasteurization has been linked to allergies, poor digestion of milk products and even heart disease.

So does organic milk solves the problems?

 Well, it’s really not that simple, so let’s walk through it.

Cows that produce organic milk are grass fed, rather than fed unnatural grains like their conventional counterparts. That’s a good start. They are also hormone and antibiotic free, so that’s another check in the column for organic. The problem is, a lot organic milk is also pasteurized, killing nutrients and making it harder to digest.

Your best bet really is to purchase raw organic milk. Raw milk contains more minerals than pasteurized milk. It also has 20 amino acids and contains beneficial enzymes. It can be expensive, but it’s milk in its natural form and provides the most health benefits. It also isn’t available everywhere, and is only permitted for sale in 28 states, so it’s not always easy to find. When you can’t find it or if it’s cost-prohibitive, you may want to consider what you’re putting in your body when you consume regular milk.


Organic milk has always tasted different to me, but in a good way! Thanks Grace for coming over. Talk to you again soon. 


"Keep the Sun Shining in Your Heart" 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sizzling Winter Blog Hop & Treasure Hunt

Hello there friends! I was given a copy of Momnesia, by author Lori Verni-Fogarsi, in exchange for an honest review! 

P.S. I'm also part of a giveaway where I'm giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner AND you can also enter to win $100. 

What's Momnesia you say? 

From the back cover of Momnesia:
She’s smart, pretty, and runs her own business. So then why does she feel so dead inside? Between work, two kids, and a husband who finds her about as exciting as furniture shopping, this is the story of a (formerly-exciting but now way-too-typical) suburban mom who diagnoses herself with Momnesiaand sets about finessing a new version of her old vivaciousness:

MOMNESIA (mahm-nee-zhuh) -noun-

Loss of the memory of who you used to be. Caused by pregnancy, play dates, and trying to keep the house cleaner than the Joneses.
She finds some adventure pursuing her own interests, and does make some new friends (including the battery operated variety), but she still feels like nothing more than a caretaker.
In between dealing with her husband’s manic-depressive behavior, drama with her friends, and some naughty Internet escapades, she questions, Is it that I haven’t been myself? Or is it that I am being myself but just different than I used to be?

It isn’t until she tosses the Invisible Rule Book altogether, that she discovers life–and love–have more to offer than she ever imagined!

My Review: Okay, I can honestly say, that I related to this story, even before I cracked open the book and read the first page. Without giving too much away, I'd like to state that, you don't have to be a wife or a mother, to understand the feeling of being overwhelmed. Having responsibilities, such as going to work or caring for other family members, can consume your life, and you forget to do things for yourself. From my personal experience, being a mom, sister, daughter, and a wife can bring a whirlwind of emotions and I will admit that my husband has given me the 'cat-face' look, (you'll have to read the book to understand what I'm referencing) which made me want to throw his game controller to the ground and set it afire, but I digress....
I want to give Lori a 'thumbs up' for her writing style and being able to draw a reader in.  This story is told in the first person and the main character gives us a glimpse of what's on her mind and the others around her. Tell me, have you ever had a judgmental neighbor or friend, whispering negative things about you, even as you strive to be the best that you can be? Or have you pulled every trick out the book to keep the spark alive in a relationship where it seems like that person could live with or without you?There are some parts of the story, that seemed to be a bit depressing, but I'm sure the author probably wanted to give the reader a bit of drama, which she did! Let me be clear and tell you, that this is NOT an auto-biography. It is a story that reminds me of this famous quote: 

From Polonius:
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!
(Shakespeare Quote) 

Author Info - Lori Verni-Fogarsi has been a freelance writer, journalist, columnist, business consultant, speaker, and author for 15+ years. She is a happily married mom of two, step mom of two more, and has two cats, both rotten. You can learn more about her at

And now on to other fun! There are tons of prizes you can win! First, enter my giveaway TO WIN A $10 Amazon Gift Card just below. 
Please give it a moment for the entry form to load. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Then, go to the main treasure hunt–the grand prize is a $100 Amazon Gift Card! Yes, seriously! Click here to go to the main treasure hunt.   Just find My ReCe's Pieces on the treasure hunt list and enter my treasure hunt clue: TREAT. You’ll be entered to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card! You’ll also find links to the many other sites so you can find their clues too, and receive extra entries! Plus, every site is having their own additional giveaway! (Are you thinking “Woo Hoo” about this Blog Hop/Treasure Hunt? Because I sure am! How cool is this?!)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Buttermilk Biscuits & Hurricane Sandy

Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe

While waiting the FrankenStorm out, what better way, to get your mind off the howling winds and rain, then to dust your hands with unbleached all purpose flour? Cold pats of organic butter in a bowl usually puts me in a happy mood. So my daughter and I, rolled up our sleeves, and made a nice mess in the kitchen. Biscuit Style!!!



2 Cups of unbleached all purpose flour 
2 Tbs of sugar

1/4 teaspoon of baking soda 
1 tablespoon baking powder (I use the one without aluminum)
6 tablespoons salted butter
1 cup buttermilk 

              Preheat Oven to 450: 

Combing dry ingredients together and mash together with a pastry blender, potato masher, or fork. It'll be a little crumbly until you add the buttermilk. Then it'll be a bit sticky. That's okay. If it's really sticky, add a tad bit more flour. If it's on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk.

Pour some flour on your hands and on your board. Be generous until you form a dough ball. Gently pat, do not pull out that rolling pin! Fold the dough about 7 times and press down the dough until it's about 2 inches thick. Use a round cutter to cut into rounds or you can shape them with your hand. We like big biscuits over here.  Cook for 10-12 minutes. This recipe will yield about 6 big and flaky biscuits.

A few tips:

The longer you handle the dough, the tougher the biscuit will be. In other words, if you're mad the day you're making this biscuits, and you're pounding on the dough, like you want to pound someone's face....STOP! Back away from the biscuits! 

Everyone who eat them will suffer. Pounding away at the dough with your hands or a rolling pin will overstimulate the gluten in this dough and that's why (scientifically speaking) the biscuit will be tough and make others sad. Don't make others in your household sad.

If you only want to make 2 biscuits for yourself, just take the biscuits you already cut out, and place in a freezer bag. It'll last up to a month. Once frozen, increase your cooking time for about another 10 minutes, but remember, ONLY YOU, know your oven best. :)

What do you like on your biscuits? I prefer honey or strawberry jam on mine. Share your thoughts below!

This post is dedicated to my Great Aunt Josephine Conway. I'm going to tell you, the same thing she used to always tell me, "You Stay Sweet Now." 

                                *** Keep The Sun Shining In Your Heart***