Wednesday, 8 April 2020

AtoZ2020 - G is for Grave - Vampire Drabbles - #AtoZChallenge

Tasha's Thinkings - Vampire Drabbles - AtoZChallenge 2020 - G

AtoZChallenge 2020 - Vampire Drabbles


Greetings one and all, and welcome to G day! Of course with a theme like vampire drabbles how could I not go with the word 'grave'? It called to me. This one is a little bit of a different take, however, I hope you enjoy it. #LGBTQ+

G is for Grave


Charlie placed the rose on the old grave.

"Goodbye, Cornelius … finally," she said before turning to the woman who had made this possible.

After 200 years of misery, it has taken a modern outlook, an extraordinary scientific brain and some supernaturally inventive, less-than-scientific surgical techniques, but Charlie was finally who she was supposed to be outside and in. No more body dysmorphia, no more torment.

"Are you alright?" Rosa asked.

"I am wonderful," she replied. "You have given me new life, now I will give you yours."

Rosa would make a wonderful vampire and together they would enjoy eternity.

Thank you so much for visiting - drop your comments and links below - I try and visit back everyone I can.

Q. If there was one thing you could change about your physical self, big or small, what would it be? Or are you happy just as you are?

This year I am also taking part as my alter ego Virginia Waytes - all about the characters and setting for my new paranormal romance podcast and eBooks, Sexy Stories - The Manor. Check out today's post: G is for Gerry


 AtoZChallenge Master List

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YphbP47JyH_FuGPIIrFuJfAQiBBzacEkM7iBnq6DGDA/edit?usp=sharing
Click here to see all the other wonderful bloggers taking part.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

AtoZ2020 - F is for Fang- Vampire Drabbles - #AtoZChallenge

Tasha's Thinkings - Vampire Drabbles - AtoZChallenge 2020 - F

AtoZChallenge 2020 - Vampire Drabbles


Welcome to F on the AtoZChallenge. Best wishes to all, I hope you are well, or at least getting better. ๐Ÿ’– This year my theme is vampire drabbles - 100 words stories using vampire themed words as the inspiration. Of course I had to go with 'fang' for F - since they are iconic.

F is for Fang



Bran lifted an eyebrow as the upstart in front of him bared half-inch long fangs.

So stupid, so young.

Among vampires it never paid to go on appearances. Bran dressed like one of the new, had the face of a teenager, but he was neither. He made sure to give the idiot his best look of distain.

"Remove yourself," he said simply.

For the first time his challenger appeared unsure.

Brad sighed, opening his mouth and letting his fangs descend fully, all three inches of them. He rarely showed their full length, but it made his point. The upstart fled.

Thank you so much for visiting - drop your comments and links below - I try and visit back everyone I can.

Q. Have you ever been mistaken for someone much younger? It used to happen all the time to my husband - he has a baby face.

This year I am also taking part as my alter ego Virginia Waytes - all about the characters and setting for my new paranormal romance podcast and eBooks, Sexy Stories - The Manor. Check out today's post: F is for Family & even more exciting - the first episode of the podcast is live! All the details are in today's post.


 AtoZChallenge Master List

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YphbP47JyH_FuGPIIrFuJfAQiBBzacEkM7iBnq6DGDA/edit?usp=sharing
Click here to see all the other wonderful bloggers taking part.

Monday, 6 April 2020

AtoZ2020 - E is for Energy - Vampire Drabbles - #AtoZChallenge

Tasha's Thinkings - Vampire Drabbles - AtoZChallenge 2020 - E

AtoZChallenge 2020 - Vampire Drabbles


Greetings fellow bloggers and welcome to the AtoZChallenge and letter E. My theme this year is vampire drabbles. Enjoy๐Ÿ’–!

E is for Energy


Eloise ran her finger down the side of Ray's face as he smiled at her, but it didn't reach his eyes. He was looking so tired. Her ancient heart skipped as she realised it would not be long.

It happened to them all sooner or later. Every human she took to her bed became weak and sick, as she thrived. Sometimes it took days, sometimes years, but it never failed.

Of course, she knew it was her that was sucking their lifeforce from them, but she could not stop. Did not know how.

Soon she would leave to save him.

Thank you so much for visiting - drop your comments and links below - I try and visit back everyone I can.

Q. Do you know anyone who is an energy vampire - not a literal one, but those who suck all the energy and joy out of a situation with their presence?

This year I am also taking part as my alter ego Virginia Waytes - all about the characters and setting for my new paranormal romance podcast and eBooks, Sexy Stories - The Manor. Check out today's post: E is for Ember

 AtoZChallenge Master List

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YphbP47JyH_FuGPIIrFuJfAQiBBzacEkM7iBnq6DGDA/edit?usp=sharing
Click here to see all the other wonderful bloggers taking part.

Saturday, 4 April 2020

AtoZ2020 - D is for Disease - Vampire Drabbles - #AtoZChallenge

Tasha's Thinkings - Vampire Drabbles - AtoZChallenge 2020 - D

AtoZChallenge 2020 - Vampire Drabbles


Good morrow gentle folk and welcome to my blog for day 4 of the AtoZChallenge. I hope you are all safe and well. For those on their first visit - this year my theme is vampire drabbles, which are stories of exactly 100 words. Best wishes to all. ๐Ÿ’–

D is for Disease


I laughed in their faces when they tried to tell me I had a disease. If only they knew.

I remain in their clutches because it amuses me. I let them see only what I wish them to see. That their little logical minds cannot begin to comprehend the truth is no shock and utterly entertaining.

One day soon I will show them the error of their scientific method. I will rend and destroy as their learning fails them, and I shall enjoy every moment. They think me caged, but blood cannot be wounded, and demonic taint has no vaccine.

Thank you so much for visiting - drop your comments and links below - I try and visit back everyone I can.


Q. What vampire trait do you think would be most useful in escaping from humans?


This year I am also taking part as my alter ego Virginia Waytes - all about the characters and setting for my new paranormal romance podcast and eBooks, Sexy Stories - The Manor. Check out today's post: D is for Drage/Dragon

 AtoZChallenge Master List

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YphbP47JyH_FuGPIIrFuJfAQiBBzacEkM7iBnq6DGDA/edit?usp=sharing
Click here to see all the other wonderful bloggers taking part.

Friday, 3 April 2020

Recipe - Soft Creamy Egg Bites ( #InstantPot / Pressure Cooker) #GlutenFree #KetoFriendly

Recipe: Soft Creamy Egg Bites

๐Ÿ’–Looking for AtoZ ... please scroll down to the previous post.๐Ÿ’–

Recipe: Soft Creamy Egg Bites


Now I have seen these called sous vide style egg bites and they do come out remarkably soft, like sous vide eggs, but they are made in an Instant Pot or a Pressure Cooker. Now this will have instructions for the Instant Pot, since that's what I have, but I assume similar things can be done with any pressure/ multi cooker. [Edit: if you want to do them in the oven because you don't have a pressure cooker, the this recipe keto breakfast egg bites has a method using a bain-marie]

I also use my Instant Pot egg bite moulds for this, but if they are not available or won't fit in your cooker, silicon cup cake moulds or ramekins would work as well. Just something smallish.

This recipe is gluten free and keto friendly and can be vegetarian or for meat eaters, depending on taste.

So there is a base recipe I have seen lots of people use which I will include first. The amounts change slightly depending on the person doing it, so this is a very versatile recipe. This is what I used.

Standard Recipe


makes 6ish bites (serves 2) - just scale up for more

Ingredients


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup / 41g cottage cheese or ricotta
  • 1/4 cup / 60 ml milk
  • 1/3 cup / 40g shredded cheese (I used a slice of smoked cheese and cheddar)
  • 45g tinned ham/bacon/sausage/veggies (it's about 1/4 tin of ham)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • herbs of choice (optional) - I didn't the first time, but anything that goes with cheese would be lovely, including green onion

Instructions

  1. Add the egg, cottage cheese, milk, shredded cheese and herbs/seasoning to a Pyrex jug (a bowl will do, but a spout for pouring makes it much easier).
  2. Use a stick blender to blend everything together until smooth (herbs might remain a bits, but don't worry).
  3. Grease the egg moulds well.
  4. Place ham/bacon/veggies into the bottom of the moulds.
  5. Pour egg mixture into each mould to just before the top.
  6. Place on silicon lid, or top with foil.
  7. Put 1 cup of water in the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  8. Put the trivet in the bottom of the pot and put the egg moulds on top of this. (The moulds should not be in contact with the bottom of the pot).
  9. Put on the lid and make sure the valve is to sealing.
  10. Use the steam option and set for 8 mins.
  11. When cooking time is finished, allow to natural pressure release for 8-10 mins.
  12. Take out of the Instant Pot and turn out onto a plate. Eat as is, or serve with ketchup or sauce of choice.
These are soft and creamy and delicious. So delicious that I decided to experiment and have a different flavour for lunch. These I made up off the top of my head and they were so yummy.

Brie and Rosemary Recipe


makes 3ish (serves 1) - scale up for more

Ingredients


  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup / 41g cottage cheese or ricotta
  • 1 tbsp / 30 ml milk
  • 45g creamy brie
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • salt
  • pepper
  • red current jelly or cranberry sauce to serve (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add the egg, cottage cheese, milk, rosemary and seasoning to a Pyrex jug (a bowl will do, but a spout for pouring makes it much easier).
  2. Use a stick blender to blend everything together until smooth (rosemary will remain a bits, but don't worry - if you don't like the bits, grind it in a spice grinder before adding it).
  3. Grease the egg moulds well.
  4. Pour egg mixture into each mould to about 3/4 full.
  5. Chop the brie into six or seven pieces and drop 2 in each mould.
  6. Place on silicon lid, or top with foil.
  7. Put 1 cup of water in the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  8. Put the trivet in the bottom of the pot and put the egg moulds on top of this.(The moulds should not be in contact with the bottom of the pot)
  9. Put on the lid and make sure the valve is to sealing.
  10. Use the steam option and set for 8 mins.
  11. When cooking time is finished, allow to natural pressure release for 8-10 mins.
  12. Take out of the Instant Pot and turn out onto a plate. Eat as is, or serve with red current or fruity jelly/sauce of choice.

These would make a wonderful starter for a dinner party, with maybe a little melba toast or crunchy salad on the side. Or equally they make a delicious light meal any time of day. Let me know if you make them.





AtoZ2020 - C is for Cure - Vampire Drabbles - #AtoZChallenge

Tasha's Thinkings - Vampire Drabbles - AtoZChallenge 2020 - C

AtoZChallenge 2020 - Vampire Drabbles


Greetings fellow AtoZers and other visitors, I hope we are all well for day 3 of this wonderful blog challenge. My word for the vampire drabbles today is 'cure' and this is what popped into my head. I very much hope you like it.

C is for Cure



Lawrence sat and watched as the horizon began to lighten, gaining a golden tint.

"Lawrie."

He did not turn, even though he could hear the distress in the voice.

"Come inside, please."

"I can't, Issie," he replied. "I've tried everything else, this is the only cure left."

She did not reply. Thinking he had won, he returned to watching the dawn.

"This is suicide."

Now he looked up, because she was right beside him.

"Go inside," he insisted.

"You die, I die," was all she said.

He glanced at the fledgling sun once before dragging her through the open door.


Thank you so much for visiting - drop your comments and links below - I try and visit back everyone I can.
Have you ever just sat and watched the dawn?

This year I am also taking part as my alter ego Virginia Waytes - all about the characters and setting for my new paranormal romance podcast and eBooks, Sexy Stories - The Manor. Check out today's post: C is for Club - The Manor


 AtoZChallenge Master List

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YphbP47JyH_FuGPIIrFuJfAQiBBzacEkM7iBnq6DGDA/edit?usp=sharing
Click here to see all the other wonderful bloggers taking part.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

AtoZ2020 - B is for Blood & Bat - Vampire Drabbles - #AtoZChallenge

Tasha's Thinkings - Vampire Drabbles - AtoZChallenge 2020 - B

AtoZChallenge 2020 - Vampire Drabbles


Welcome! It is day 2 of the AtoZ challenge, so we are on to B. Now I could not decide on just one word for my vampire drabble today, so I went for 2. I hope you enjoy my choices.

B is for Blood & Bat



"Oh Hugo, what have they done?" Eliza picked up the bat and cradled him to her chest.

He was covered in gore where his left wing was horribly sliced.

Skewering her thumb on one fang, she dripped her blood onto Hugo's wound, and he chattered quietly as the injury began to knit back together seamlessly.

"Don't worry, Darling," Eliza told her beloved pet, "Mummy will deal with those nasty humans."

Putting Hugo on his blanket, she shifted into her own bat form. If they thought they could injure helpless creatures, let them try it with one that could fight back.

Thank you so much for visiting - drop your comments and links below - I try and visit back everyone I can.
I find anyone who abuses animals completely reprehensible - how about you?

This year I am also taking part as my alter ego Virginia Waytes - all about the characters and setting for my new paranormal romance podcast and eBooks, Sexy Stories - The Manor. Check out today's post: B is for Brownies


 AtoZChallenge Master List

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YphbP47JyH_FuGPIIrFuJfAQiBBzacEkM7iBnq6DGDA/edit?usp=sharing
Click here to see all the other wonderful bloggers taking part.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

AtoZ2020 - A is for Attack - Vampire Drabbles - #AtoZChallenge

Tasha's Thinkings - Vampire Drabbles - AtoZChallenge 2020 - A

AtoZChallenge 2020 - Vampire Drabbles


Hello and welcome to my first AtoZ post for 2020. This year I decided to go for a simple theme of vampire drabbles, each one inspired by a vampiric kind of word starting with the letter of the day. I very much hope you enjoy them.


A is for Attack


I am a picky eater. I have specific requirements and it always takes me a long time to decide what to consume.

For the last five minutes I have been watching a middle-aged woman berate an employee because his shop does not carry the brand of toothpaste she was looking for. It costs a person nothing to be civil and polite. To attack another for something that is clearly not their fault is unforgivable.

I refuse to listen to more and wait outside in the dark car park. As I sink my fangs into the rude woman's neck, I smile.

Thank you so much for visiting - drop your comments and links below - I try and visit back everyone I can.

Q. Have you come across people you wish you could sink your fangs into? I know I have - I just do not understand how they think treating someone else so poorly is acceptable.

This year I am also taking part as my alter ego Virginia Waytes - all about the characters and setting for my new paranormal romance podcast and eBooks, Sexy Stories - The Manor. Check out today's post: A is for All About

 AtoZChallenge Master List

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YphbP47JyH_FuGPIIrFuJfAQiBBzacEkM7iBnq6DGDA/edit?usp=sharing
Click here to see all the other wonderful bloggers taking part.

Monday, 30 March 2020

Tasha's Thinkings 1000th Blog Post

1000th Blog Post - Confetti


Tasha's Thinkings 1000th Blog Post


So there I was preparing all my AtoZ posts when I realised that the number next to published posts said 999! Of course I had to come up with something special for my 1000th post.

My first through was fiction, so I have a little drabble to share below and I had a little more of a think, and I thought it might be fun to create a little introduction to some of the fun things posted here. In recent years I have tried to organise my tags somewhat, but I have to admit, there are a lot of them, so it an be difficult to find all the interesting things. So I have tried to organise my chaos and created something of a guide.

~*~

Drabble (story of exactly 100 words)

This is something that came into my head, probably because of everything that is going on at the moment.

1000 Years by Natasha Duncan-Drake
Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash
They shut me away a thousand years ago, at least that's what it seems. But they have made one error. They thought to drive me mad by allowing me to see what I could no longer touch with a connection to the outside. It does not allow for spoken communication, I am only allowed to view that, but it does give me words.

I have become a blogger. To share, to read, to learn, these are the gifts they have inadvertently granted me. They may have denied me physical freedom, but I have found so much more. I am home.

~*~


My Favourite Tags


First of all a little information - some of my tags have * in the front - this is nothing sinister, it's just so they pop up at the top of the list ๐Ÿ˜‰. To see all my tags I have two pages - Blog Topics for everyone not on mobile and Blog Topics Mobile because, for some reason I cannot fathom, the first one does not work on both. The first is guaranteed to be right up to date because it uses the tag widget, and the mobile version is a copy and paste I have to manually update every now and then.

1. *Food

Cheese board with fruit and chutney - Food
Photo by Lindsay Moe on Unsplash
I love baking and cooking and this is my tag for everything to do with that. There are lots of sub tags to help find specific things and they all begin with *Food:, e.g.

These are all my current Food tags:
*Food (67), *Food: Anova (2), *Food: Bread (1), *Food: Chicken/Turkey (26), *Food: Chocolate (10). *Food: Duck (1). *Food: Easy Recipes (43), *Food: Gluten Free (23), *Food: Healthy (18), *Food: Ice Cream (2), *Food: Instant Pot (1), *Food: Low Calorie (6), *Food: Meat (2), *Food: Recipes (65), *Food: Savoury (46), *Food: Sous Vide (3), *Food: Sweet (20), *Food: Tips and Tricks (5), *Food: Vegan (3), *Food: vegetarian (13)

2. *Writing / *Publishing

Write Without Fear, Edit Without Mercy
Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash
I am first and foremost, a writer. I have always been a writer since the moment I realised I could create stories too and I have been a full time author for ten years now. These are my tags for everything to do with the art of writing and getting it to readers.

Much of the content for these is in the main tag, but there are a couple of significant sub tags too:

  • *Writing: Fiction - all the fiction I have posted directly to the blog, drabbles, flash fic etc
  • *Writing: eBooks - everything about eBooks including posts on how to format them etc

3. *Art

Statue
This tag is for all my posts to do with anything artistic or crafty, including everything I have learned to do with book cover. There are a few subtags which I think speak for themselves:


*Art: Book Covers (20), *Art: Craft (5), *Art: Designing (2), *Art: FanArt (4), *Art: Photos (4), *Art: Resources (1), *Art: Scramble Square (1), *Art: The Golden Ratio (1), *Art: The Rule of Thirds (1)

4. *Blogging: Guest Blogs

Lots of hands on a keyboard
These are the posts by all the lovely bloggers who have done me the honour of guest blogging here. So many interesting things - do check them out.

5. Themed Posts

A lightbulb floating over a hand.
For a while I was posting every day with a theme for each day. I have started to focus on other things now, but these do still pop up.

6. *Reviews

Person looking at a screen and talking about what they see
You may be shocked, but I have opinions - this tag is specifically for those in relation to all sorts of things, but mostly films. These should speak for themselves ๐Ÿ˜‰

7. *Vampires

Sun going down over trees
And last, but very not least of my favourites, I have a tag for all things vampire.

It is not a secret to anyone who pops in around here that I love vampires, so, of course, I have a tag for all posts that relate to them. You'll find fiction, reviews, information, just everything vampire related.

And so those are my favourite tags, but don't forget to check out all my others as well, because I have genre tags, fandom tags and many more. (Blog Topics, Blog Topics Mobile). Thank you so much for stopping by. Drop me a comment so we can chat, I love to talk to everyone.

What is your favourite tag on your blog if you have one?

Background banner Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Recipe: Fridge Raid Creamy Pasta

Recipe: Fridge Raid Creamy Pasta

Recipe: Fridge Raid Creamy Pasta


So if this crisis has made me do anything (other than worry), it's think about food waste very hard. I've been meaning to do it for ages, but, we all know how it is, good intentions, but never the time. I started easy.

I had milk that was about to go out of date and since it's Cravendale, that usually means it's right at the end of its life because that stuff has expiry dates way longer than normal milk. So I made my own cottage cheese, which is really easy to turn into homemade ricotta with a stick blender and a little extra milk. Then I wondered what to do with my triumph and came up with pasta. All ingredients were just in the fridge or store cupboard, nothing was bought specially, hence the name of the recipe.

If you don't fancy making your own cheese because you don't have any spare milk, actual ricotta or cream cheese would work just as well. As I mentioned this is about raiding the fridge.

Serves 2 (for more just scale up)

Ingredients

For the cheese

  • 1l / 4 1/4 cups/ 34 fl oz milk (mine was semi-skimmed)
  • juice of 1 lemon or white vinegar (2-3 tbsp)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the sauce

  • home-made cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • Italian herb mix to taste
  • 1 slice/ 18g smoked cheese (or any cheese you happen to have, just something with a bit of flavour - blue would probably work well too)
  • a little oil
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • ham cut into small chunks (other options include chicken, tofu, quorn, veggies etc - whatever may be lurking in the fridge)
Enough pasta for 2 people ~150g

Instructions

To make the cheese

  1. Put the milk in a heavy base saucepan and bring to a light boil.
  2. Take off the heat and add in the lemon and the salt - stir well and set aside.
  3. Wait for 10-20 mins for the curds and whey to separate.
  4. Strain off the whey from the curds using a sieve. (We can use the whey for other things, so if we can, we should keep it).
  5. Congrats, you've made cottage cheese - it will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for days.

To make the sauce

  1. Using a stick blender, or a normal blender, blend the cottage cheese with a small amount of the reserved whey, or a little milk until smooth and creamy.
  2. Cook the pasta as instructed on the packet, drain and leave to sit in cold water.
  3. Put a kettle on to heat water.
  4. Put a little oil in the bottom of a small saucepan and heat gently.
  5. Add the garlic and fry for about a min until fragrant.
  6. Add the smoked cheese (or chosen cheese) and stir until it begins to melt.
  7. Add the homemade cream cheese to the saucepan with a couple of table spoons of milk and combine.
  8. Grind in the Italian herb mix, add the ham (or sauce carrier of choice) and stir.
  9. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more milk and heat gently until warmed all the way through.
  10. Refresh the pasta with the hot water from the kettle and drain again.
  11. Pour the sauce over the pasta, mix and serve in bowls with a grinding of pepper (optional).
This was absolutely yummy and finished up my left over milk and the ham that was going out of date tomorrow, so win/win.

Hope you are well and keeping safe. Love and hugs to all.