Christina Cole Romance

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What’s for Dinner — Tilapia, the “Family-Friendly” Fish

I love tilapia. I’ve often heard it referred to as “Jesus” fish since, according to legend, it was the fish served to the multitude.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

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I’ve also heard it called the “family-friendly” fish. It is, indeed. Everyone loves tilapia. It’s light, it’s sweet, and it makes for a delicious meal.

Today, I’ll be using tilapia to fix crispy fish sticks served with broccoli coleslaw. I love fish, and my mouth is already watering at the thought.

Here’s the recipe I found at Real Simple:

fish-sticks_300Crispy Fish Sticks with Coleslaw

Ingredients for Coleslaw

1/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt
Black pepper
1/2 small head green cabbage, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
(Note: I’m adding broccoli to ours.)
 2 Carrots, grated

Ingredients for Fish Sticks

6-ounce tilapia fillets, split lengthwise
1/2 cup flour
2 large eggs, beaten
 1-1/2 cups canola oil (more if needed)
(Note: I’ll be using sunflower oil.)
1-1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup ketchup
 (Note: I’m going to serve it with cocktail sauce.)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add the cabbage and carrots and toss well.
  2. Season the tilapia with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Place the flour in a medium bowl, the eggs in a second medium bowl, and the panko in a third medium bowl. Coat the tilapia with the flour (tapping off any excess), dip in the eggs (shaking off any excess), then coat with the panko (pressing gently to help it adhere).
  3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the tilapia in batches until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side, adding more oil to the pan if necessary. Serve with ketchup and coleslaw.

This recipe serves 4.  Calories: 241 per serving. You’ll find complete nutritional information at Real Simple.

You’ll also find more delicious recipes for tilapia, including blackened tilapia, grilled tilapia, and a tilapia salad. I’ve got my eye on the fish cake with greens recipe. That one’s definitely going on my menu soon.

10 Easy Tilapia Recipes


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A Thought for Today: Change

 

Butter

If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies.

Sometimes we get stuck in ruts in life. Sometimes we feel that things will never change. Truthfully, changes are taking place around us — and within us — each day. Even though the positive changes we desire may seem slow in coming, we can recognize and celebrate every small step we take toward our goals.

Butterflies have long been a symbol of change and transformation. It’s amazing to see the process taking place.

Life caterpillars morphing into butterflies, we are continually in a process of becoming. We change, we grow, we learn. It’s not always easy, and sometimes we’ll struggle, but if we stay focused on the positive results we seek, we can become who and what we hope to be.

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Who are you becoming?


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A Thought for Today: Choices

Camus

Life is the sum of all your choices – Albert Camus

Although we may sometimes feel as if life is something that happens to us, the truth is we play a role in creating our future through the choices we make. Each day, we make choices that affect our health, our happiness, our relationships.

Wise choices can bring us closer to the life we want; poor choices leave us struggling to get through each day.

Most of the time, we know what’s right. We know healthy foods are better for us than fattening desserts. We know it’s important to get enough rest. We know the importance of treating others with kindness. Yet time after time, we make choices we later regret.

At other times, we simply make wrong choices. Maybe we misjudged someone or something. Maybe we didn’t have all the information we needed. For whatever reason, our choice proved not to bring us the happiness we expected. It happens.

So make choices today that you won’t regret…and when you make a mistake, learn from it and make new choices for tomorrow.

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What choices are you making today?


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Exciting News!

Not the Marrying Kind by Christina ColeDo you have “Kindle Unlimited“? If so, you can now download and read Not the Marrying Kind for free. It’s the first book in my “Sunset Series” — stories of life and love in the old west.

The minister threw a sharp look over his shoulder and jerked his head toward Joshua Barron. “That man could be dangerous. You know nothing about him. He shows up in Sunset, worms his way into a job at the ranch, and he’s putting on quite a show of righteousness. It’s all an act, Katherine.”

From – Not the Marrying Kind

Please share the news and let others know that they can now download Not the Marrying Kind with their Kindle Unlimited membership.

Use Sunset Series
Meet the men and women of Sunset, Colorado
Coming in January 2016
The Sheriff Wore Skirts


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Tweet, Tweet

Are you on Twitter? I am, although I don’t actively keep up with tweets going by. I don’t see how anyone could. All the same, it’s almost a matter of pride with me to say that I was on Twitter before most folks — my children included — had even heard of it.

Yes, I post regularly to Twitter, but only because my account is connected to my Facebook page. Anything I post on my Facebook timeline goes out into the twitter-sphere as well. I’m also “following” a lot of folks on Twitter, but seriously, folks, who’s got time to sit and read hundreds of messages as they scroll by?

All the same, I must confess I’ve had a lot of fun on Twitter. I remember the “duck” game. Oh, how I laughed. It’s the simple game of taking a famous quote and replacing a word with “duck”.  Imagine, for example, Teddy Roosevelt proclaiming, “Walk softly, and carry a big duck.” Or, for laughs, former president Bill Clinton informing the world that he did not “have sex with that duck.”  I remember contributing Richard Nixon’s immortal words: “I am not a duck.”

We kept the game going on Twitter for days. It was great fun.

NietoAnother Twitter-fest that kept me hanging on was the time Mexico’s presidential hopeful — and now president — Enrique Pena Nieto — fumbled on a television program when asked to name a few of the books that had influenced him in his life. He couldn’t think of any other than the Bible, and he managed to confuse a few authors’ names.

But that was only the beginning of his problems.

His teen daughter Paulina turned to her Twitter account and using very offensive slang terms and racial slurs, attempted to defend her father. Her tweet went viral then spun off into thousands of hilarious tweets, such as the game of “Books Pena Nieto Should Read.” My favorite? “How to ruin your father in 140 characters or less.”

The daughter’s boyfriend also jumped into the fray, Paulina made her apologies, and her Twitter account quickly disappeared. You can read about it here.

LA Times – Reporting from Mexico City.

And then, of course, there’s Alec Baldwin. I stopped “following” him long ago after yet another of his Twitter rants. He’s still at it, I see.

Alec Baldwin Arrested In New York – Turns to Twitter

So, why am I posting about Twitter? It’s because of today’s question in my little Q & A a Day” book.

In 140 characters, or fewer, summarize your day.

Yes, technology today is everywhere, and the Internet Culture now influences virtually (no pun intended) all we do.

My day is just beginning, but I suppose I could tweet my plans…in fact, I just did. If you follow me, you’ll find my little post:

th

Thanks for visiting today.

Follow me on Twitter @KCChristinaCole

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Make a Mess!

Creativity

I say these words over and over because they’re so very true. I don’t recall the source, but I do remember when I first heard them. I was sitting on the living room floor, surrounded by a mess of papers, drawings, art supplies, books, and snacks as I worked on a project. Yes, creative people make big messes.

It was then as I began the “cleaning up” process that I fully understood this little saying. As I sorted through ideas and inspirations — keeping some and discarding others — my mess turned into a completed project.

I approach fiction from this perspective, too. I make a huge mess with story ideas all over the place. I scribble notes on odd scraps of paper. I grab research books to keep close at hand. Putting a story together does get very messy indeed.

For what it’s worth, my current project — The Sheriff Wore Skirts — is a disastrous mess at the moment. Even though I began with a synopsis for the publisher, now that I’m working on the story, I’m seeing new possibilities. New characters are emerging. New complications and conflicts are happening.

What do I do?  I let it happen. It’s wondrous fun.

To me, it’s much like working a jigsaw puzzle…only first, I have to create all the pieces.

I won’t use them all. As with any creative project, I’ll find myself throwing away things that aren’t needed, sorting out what’s right for the story, getting rid of ideas that don’t fit. Gradually, the mess will be picked up. The research books will go back on the shelf. The little scraps of paper will be tossed aside. A finished manuscript will come together, ready to go to the publisher.

Don’t ever get discouraged when your creative efforts result in a huge mess. That’s how it’s supposed to be. It’s a process, and making a mess — the bigger, the better — is the first step toward success. Celebrate all the mixed-up, confused ideas. Scatter the pieces of your own puzzle around so you can look at them from different angles. Pick things up and play with them. Enjoy the mess!

Then begin the cleaning-up process. Throw away or set aside things you know you don’t need. Find what’s most important and build around it. Add in possibilities that might work. Discard ones that don’t work.

Slowly and surely, as you clean up the mess — whether it’s an art project, a poem you’re writing, a recipe you’re cooking, or any other endeavor — you’ll see a beautiful creation shining through.

 

 


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Playing by the Rules

I’ve been browsing through The Writer’s Guide to Character Traits, written by pyschologist Linda Edelstein. It’s an interesting book, and I’ve enjoyed reading about various adult personality types.

I’ve always believed that understanding is a key component of good relationships — in real life and in fiction, as well. So from time to time, I’m going to share a bit of information regarding Edelstein’s basic personality types. Perhaps this knowledge will help us build stronger relationships — and for the writers among us, create realistic characters.

Today, I’m sharing a few thoughts about conformists.

Conformity2The conformist believes in following rules and regulations, going along with others, and acting in a responsible manner.

Conformists are staunch supporters of law and order in society, and generally consider themselves to hold high moral standards.

Life with a conformist can be comfortable. These folks don’t like to “rock the boat” or make a fuss about anything…unless someone goes too far afield of their traditional beliefs and values, in which case the conformist can become rigid and dogmatic. They will then insist on upholding what they perceive as “right”.  They can be extremely intolerant, demanding that others conform to their way of thinking.

There’s a bit of interesting history behind the word, Conformist.

In England, Conformists were individuals whose religious practices were in line with the requirements of The Act of Uniformity. These acts — there were several — established rites and rituals for the Church of England, specifying prayers books to be used and the order of services performed.  Those who opposed the acts were called Noncomformists.

Today the words have come to mean anyone who “goes along with the crowd” or one who “marches to a different drum”, respectively.

Our society sends very mixed messages about conformity. We place children in classrooms and teach them to behave in very specific ways. We give them rules to obey.

  • Sit at your desk.
  • Raise your hand to ask a question.
  • Walk in single file as you leave the classroom.

At the same time, we speak of individuality, the need to recognize our own uniqueness, and the importance of learning to think for oneself.  Little wonder we’re often confused about who we are…and who we’re supposed to be.

Overall, despite our efforts to teach it and instill conformist values in our children, conformity gets a bad rap throughout history.  Ralph Waldo Emerson spoke out against it.

nonconformist-quotes-2

So did President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Conformity-president-quote

 

Conformists rarely stand out in society. They’re content to follow others and can make valuable assistants, always well-versed in “company policy” and willing to do what’s asked of them.

In fiction, we find two kinds of conformists. We sometimes see a character who is intent on following all the rules — to the detriment of their own happiness. My latest release, “No Regrets“,  features a shy young woman who, in the words of the hero, is stuck being…

“…the prim and proper Miss Richards, the quiet little mouse who never disturbs anybody, has never once told a lie, and who would never think of breaking any of society’s rules.”
We see the overbearing conformist at times, too, in the guise of a well-meaning parent or a moral leader. As conformists, they often join others in their intolerance.  I’ve included these characters in my stories, too, most notably the women of the “Ladies’ Charitable Society” in my fictional town of Sunset, Colorado.  Here’s a quick look at the ladies, from “Keeping Faith“.
Not only Mrs. Gilman, but all the other women as well wore black. They reminded Tom of a bunch of crows perching in the parlor, hovering about, ready to peck the eyes out of him and his mother if they made a wrong move.
Maybe conformity is best treated as a useful tool, not as a way of life. There are times and places where perhaps it’s best to go along,  to do what’s expected, and to accept little things that aren’t really worth making a fuss about.

Yes, rules are important. So are laws.  Sometimes we do need to follow others…so long as they’re leading us in the direction we want to go.

When all is said and done, the most important thing is knowing who we are and living our life fully.
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