featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019


Award-winning and bestselling Texas romance author Ann Everett lives on a small lake in Texas where she writes, bakes, and fights her addiction to Diet Dr. Peppers. Learn more about Ann and her books at her website.

Free Sites You Might Find Interesting
When I received the guidelines for this post, one of the requirements was to write 300-750 words about something that would appeal to readers—not writers. Whoa! What? It had been so long since anyone asked me to write about something other than writing, I had to put on my thinking cap.

What would appeal to me as a reader? Then I remembered when I was writing my cookbook, I found a great site that would be helpful to all cooks/bakers. That got me to thinking about other sites I’d found helpful. Naturally, I use them in my writing career, but I’d also use them if I wasn’t a writer. So, today, I want to share them with you.

These first two offer free versions, with the opportunity to buy upgrades. I have only used the free versions.

This is a site where you can remove backgrounds from photos. So, if you blog or make memes for FB or other social media sites, or, want to design homemade cards, etc., this is a great editing tool to take out all unwanted background scenery.

Next, if you have a FB account, you’ll find this tool useful. It furnishes you the ability to make a video for your FB header. When you go to the home page, you will see many examples. If you look at the bottom left-hand corner of each one, it will state that it is either free or ‘premium’ which means you’ll have to pay for those. There is a nice selection of free choices. Most are ready-made templates where you fill in your info.  Depending on your business, you may even find one appropriate for that. Check it out.

This last one will cost you a small fee. $8 for lifetime access or you can pay $1 per month and cancel after one month. The site also offers a printing service where they print labels for you, but they are fairly expensive, in my opinion. I bought the lifetime access and made the labels shown in the photo of my recipe featured today. This is a great tool if you give homemade food gifts. Such a wonderful way to personalize them.
But guess what? You can use the labels for things other than canned/baked goods. You can use them for book labels. I did one with my daughter’s name, the year, and whom it was from. A nice way to mark birthday/Christmas gifts. I think you could even use them for gift tags. Lots of possibilities!

I hope one or more of these sites will be of interest to you. I always love finding free tools!!

Praline Sauce

2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
Dash of salt
1/2 cup butter
3 Tablespoons each of dark and light corn syrups
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped toasted pecans

In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar and soda. Stir in buttermilk, salt, butter, and syrups. Place over medium-high heat and bring to boil, stirring constantly.

Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and immediately stir in vanilla and pecans. Sauce thickens as it cools.

Sweet Thangs
In Ann Everett’s Tizzy/Ridge Romance Trilogy, fictional characters Pattiecake McAlister and Sugarpie Monroe cook up delicious confections at Sweet Thangs Bakery. These recipes are from the kitchens of real life sisters, Pattie Ball and Carol Mayfield.

Inside this book, they share more than 130 homemade recipes, including luscious cakes, yummy cookies, sweet salads, delectable pies, scrumptious candy, and delightful drinks, perfect for special occasions or gift giving.

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Ann Everett said...

Thank you so much for featuring my cookbook on your blog. I hope readers will try the Praline Sauce. If they love creamy, rich, toppings, this recipe will be right up their alley!



It's definitely on my to-do list to try, Ann!