Chardonian Biscuits a.k.a Biscotti

For anyone that has read You Are Mine, you know that Serena likes drinking hot chocolate, often accompanied by a biscuit.

Biscuits and chocolate. I devour them, not even taking the time to dunk the thin, sweet wafer in my thick drink.

Chardonian biscuits are a type of biscotti. If you’ve never had them before, what are you waiting for? They’re super tastySAM_0371, and I love them dipped in nice, thick Chardonian hot chocolate. The original recipe is from Allrecipes, but has been modified for a more Chardonian taste. The biggest change is using vanilla flavoring instead of anise, but if you like a licorice sort of flavoring, then by all means, go with the original recipe.

Since hot chocolate season is starting again, I thought it’d be the perfect time to share the recipe. Enjoy!


Chardonian Biscuits

Recipe derived from Biscotti Recipe on Allrecipes. They also have a video on their website that does a great job showing you how to make them.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


3 1/4 c. flour

1 T. baking powder

1/4 t. salt

Combine with:

1/2 c. vegetable oil

3 eggs

1 c. sugar

1 T. vanilla

Place half of the dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet in a log the length of your cookie sheet. Roll out to 1/4″ thick. Repeat with the other half on its own cookie sheet. Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown. When cool enough to touch, cut into 1/2″  sticks. Toast in the oven an additional 5-8 minutes on each of the newly cut side.

When cool enough to touch, dunk in Chardonian Hot Chocolate and enjoy!SAM_0383


Chardonian Hot Chocolate

On Tuesday I promised more details about why I’m giving away a mug, and here we are. I know it’s getting to be the warm season when hot drinks are being overtaken by icy cold ones, but I’m a rebel. I drink hot chocolate any time of the year, and so does the main character, Serena, in You Are Mine. Except I don’t drinhotchocolatek the same type of hot chocolate as her. Mine is the regular hot chocolate like you can make with a mix. Hers is a hot chocolate, thick and rich, made only from scratch. It’s almost pudding like. And I thought, wouldn’t it be fun if I could make her hot chocolate? Yes, it would! I spent the winter figuring out this recipe. Let me tell you, it was one of my favorite writing related projects yet. The recipe below is fairly simple, just requires patient.

Also, I no longer like hot chocolate from a mix. I’ve been ruined to the easy hot chocolate life.

This could be your hot chocolate mug!

Don’t forget that you can win a mug to use for this rich recipe (or whatever else you like), along with bookmarks and a signed paperback of You Are Mine. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but it’s a good sized mug. I’m quite in love with it. ♥

Giveaway now closed.

Continental US only.

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If you can’t wait to see if you win the giveaway to meet Serena, you can buy You Are Mine at the following places.

Purchase You Are Mine:

Amazon || Kobo || Barnes and Noble

Smashwords || CreateSpace

Chardonian Hot Chocolate Recipe:

In a large sauce pan mix —

2/3 C. Sugar

3 T. Cornstarch

1/2 C. Cocoa powder

Dash of Salt


Add  —

1/2 C. Water

Turn on medium low heat and stir until the mixture dissolves. Don’t wait too long or your cornstarch will start to thicken and you’ll have a harder time getting a nice, smooth consistency. Once dissolved, slowly add while whisking–

1 C. Milk


Then whisk in —

2 C. Milk

Turn to medium heat (I usually go one tick above medium) and stir constantly for about 5-10 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the mixture thickens. Do not boil.

Take off of heat, pour in your favorite mug, and enjoy!


*Note: Will thicken more as it cools. Also, it easily develops a skin so I like to keep a spoon in it as I drink and give it a little stir every once in a while. Optional: You may use less cornstarch or add more milk if you want it to not be quite so thick.


Lazy Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese (With Bacon!)

After the craziness that was last week with the announcement of my book release, this week has been strangely calm. Won’t last long since I’ll soon have my book back with edits needing applied, and things will only get crazier from there to May 6th and beyond. But for now I’m enjoying a more relaxed week, including making easy recipes. Since you all have been so great and supportive, I wanted to share one of my favorite, lazy recipes and how I discovered it.

I’m lazy. Very lazy. That’s your random fact about me for the day. But laziness has it’s advantages. For our purpose today, that advantage is when I discovered Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese. See, I may be lazy, but I also adore good food.

One night I was feeling lazy *cough*like usual*cough* and decided something quick and easy was going to be what was for dinner. Grilled cheese it is, I told myself. But then I also told myself I didn’t want plain grilled cheese. That just wouldn’t make my palate happy.

Enter the conundrum. Do I stop being lazy and make something happier? Or do my taste buds buck up and eat the grilled cheese? Then I remembered I could make tuna melts with pineapple slices. Still simple, but taste wise I was feeling very ~meh.

So googled some and found a jalapeno grilled cheese- uh, yum! But when I looked at the recipe I was like, what? Is that even a type of cheese? (Don’t even remember what it was now, something odd). And it wanted me to take a bunch of weird steps with jalapenos and I thought, self this might taste good, but I don’t have the ingredients and it’s not a lazy recipe. To which I replied, well self, we’ll just have to fix those issues, now won’t we? (Then I stopped talking to myself before someone caught me at it.)

And so the lazy man’s (or woman’s) Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich was born. And quickly became one of our favorites. Hope the recipe isn’t too lax for you and that you can enjoy it’s gooey, spicy, bacony goodness.


SAM_0237Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Serves 2

First, if you don’t know how to make grilled cheese, go to a search on goolge or pinterest and find out. Then come back and have your taste buds blown. Seriously. This is one of the easiest, but best foods I’ve ever made. It’s quickly become a staple at our house. I wish I would have thought of it sooner.

  • 4 Bread Slices
  • Slices Munster, Mozzarella, Provolone, or any other of your favorite white, gooey cheese
  • Cream Cheese, brought to room temperature
  • 3-4 slices of cooked bacon, in bite size pieces (can leave whole, but easier to bite into)
  • 2 good sized Jalapenos, deseeded

Slice jalapenos in little half circles. Or whatever size you like them. Saute them in the left over bacon fat from cooking the bacon over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. This method will make it a little peppery-smokey in your house. Or you can microwave them. (See? Very relaxed recipe). You can even leave them uncooked, they’ll just have more of a fresh taste than a softer jalapeno popper taste.

Once they’re cooked, assemble your sandwiches.

Butter, spray with olive oil, or use be really naughty and use the left over bacon grease.* I know, unhealthy when you know how it will kill your arteries but so yummy. Spread cream cheese on the non greased side of one bread slice. Sprinkle on jalapenos and bacon. Heck, add more jalapenos and/or bacon than the recipe calls for if you like. Top with the cheese of your choice. Finally, top with the 2nd slice of bread, greased side facing out.

Cook over a mediumish heat (yes mediumish, I told you it was lax). Do what works for you, but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn (unless of course you like burned, then by all means, go ahead and burn it). Once golden on both sides, remove from heat.

If desired, slice into triangles or squares. And prepare to have your mind blown over how easily your taste buds are brought scrumptiousness.

*note, you can butter the outside of the bread after the sandwich are made, but things tend to fall out of the sandwich, my way of thinking, better to get your hands a little greasy and wash them when you’re done.