What does Easter mean to you?

Happy Easter Weekend, everyone!

Welcome friends – new and old!  It’s Holy Saturday – April 11, 2009 – and this year I’m celebrating with the release of my Rosette – By Another Name – Now Available at www.whiterosepublishing.com

Can I tell you how AMAZING it feels to write that? This is my first true release -And, in celebration, I’m offering An Easter Lily Spring Cleaning Giveaway in honor of my characters! (see today’s contest information for what YOU CAN WIN at the bottom of this post…)

I had the pleasure of being interviewed earlier this week at Romance Junkies – along with my fellow Easter Lilies. I was asked about the theme of this story — Redemption — and what it really means to be redeemed.

By Another Name – Blurb:

What happens when a reformed high school bully falls for the girl he tormented seven years earlier? When Kade Sinclair crashes into the girl of his dreams, she quickly wrecks his heart. Not one to take no for an answer, he pulls out all the stops to win her over. What he learns changes his life forever.

Rosalee Timmons is coming home. A single mother, new business owner, and the object of the most popular guy in town’s attention–starting over will be the biggest hurdle of her life. She may be hiding behind a new name, but that doesn’t heal the old scars on her wounded heart.

When Kade realizes that confident, aloof Lee is actually little Rosalee Timmons all grown up, it seems he hasn’t a snowball’s chance. But when opportunity knocks, he finds a way back into her life. Will Lee accept an apology seven years in the making, or will Kade give up before she finally gives in?

Perhaps because the path I’m walking in this life has taken several jigs and jags, I’ve had to “do things over” a time or two. Like the kids game. I watch my daughters do the time honored tradition of the “do over” as they play pretend. They don’t care for the way things are headed, so they shout! “do over!” and move on in a different direction.

Check my “About” page if you want to see where I’m coming from – spiritually – but what I’d like to share with you all is this: Easter is the perfect time for Do Overs. Spring Cleaning of the soul…It’s a time for righting old wrongs, or at least facing them. It’s about checking your heart. And most importantly, about making amends.

So, if I might be so bold, I invite you all to check your own hearts… see if there is an area of your own life that needs renewal — a do over of your very own. Sweep out those old cobwebs, clean out those closets & drawers, and throw open the blinds! let some sunlight shine onto your soul.

You Found It!!!

You Found It!!!

In honor of my character Rosalee “Lee” Timmons – a phenomenal caterer in her own right – I’m delighted to give away a “Chef’s Delight” package!

All you have to do to win is comment by Monday Morning! either your favorite family recipe, house hold cleaning tip, or if you are so inclined – a moment in your own life where you realized you needed a do-over!  All names will be entered! TWO winners will be selected!!!

Enter to Win A Chef’s Delight – GRAND PRIZE:

  • A Cooking Gift Basket – Surprise cooking odds & ends AND my EXCELLENT (highly coveted) Scone Recipe
  • I’ll also be giving away a copy of each title from the Easter Lilies Bouquet:

  • Under the 5th Street Bridge
  • Wildflowers In Bloom
  • By Another Name
  • Remember! Join the blog hop for our ULTIMATE grand prize.  Find all 4 sparkly Easter Eggs…  Put some more romance in your basket by visiting Sharon Donovan at the next post in our blog hop tour tomorrow – April 12th, 2009: http://sharondonovan .blogspot. com

    If you’ve missed any part of our blog hop – start over here: http://www.silverjames.com

    (FYI -to my Inspy friends – my fellow blog-hoppers write in all heats or romance – so be advised! and blog-hop at your own discretion! – They’re lovely people, and excellent authors in their own genres… each and every one.)

    Good Luck! and have a happy Easter…

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    About Ashley Ludwig

    Ashley Ludwig is an Editor for Patch News, Orange County and Los Angeles. She is also an inspirational romantic suspense author.

    32 responses to “What does Easter mean to you?”

    1. Skhye says :

      Girl, my scone recipe is highly coveted too. We should have cookoff. Bwah ha haaaaa

      Happy Easter!

    2. Ashley says :

      Skhye – Methinks a dual is about to commence… what’s your favorite tidbit to fold inside? I personally love orange zest and cranberries…

      Happy Almost Easter!

      ~Ash

    3. Lyn says :

      Great post, Ashley. You have my mouth watering with this talk of scones too. Have a lovely Easter!

    4. Ashley says :

      Lyn,

      DON’T let Skhye fool you – It’s not just the recipe. It’s the TECHNIQUE, preparation, and ultimate presentation of those said scones. 🙂

      What’s a mama to do? My daughter refuses any fruit I try to stuff inside hers? Slathered with butter and clotted cream. With tea that’s more sugar and milk than tea!

      Thanks for your comment, sweetie! and Happy Almost Easter!

      ~Ash

    5. Tessa says :

      Big congratulations to your release today!!! What a big moment for you. And thank you so much for the very beautiful post and inspiring words. Certainly there are times in life when you need a renewal. I was in sucha moment some years ago, when I felt I wanted to do something new, when I started asking myself if what I did really was the right thing. It all enede that I started with a new job, which I find very rewarding, not economically, but I know my work means something to many people.

      It’s so important to sometimes take a break and look at your own life, listen to your heart, as you say. I wish you a very inspiring spring and life in general. I can’t wait to read your book. And the scones… sounds tempting!

    6. Ashley Ludwig says :

      Tessa — If you haven’t seen it, I have a FREE read called “Tessa Takes a Chance!” LOL!

      Check out the link on my “Novellas & Short stories” Page — You should take a peek! since you and my heroine have the same name!

      I agree – starting over can be such a leap of faith. Glad to see that things are going well for you. Sometimes TIME is a gift that can’t be measured by money.

      Many blessings, and thank you for the congratulations!

      Who wants the scones recipe? Perhaps we should post it here? Let me know… I’m open…

      ~Ashley

    7. Val Pearson says :

      Ok, Lets see, a recipe … hmmmm since I am up to my eyeballs in deviled eggs, I am gonna submit a deviled egg recipe. It’s one of my kids favorite foods. Second, I read By Another Name and LOVED it! Great job!

      Items Needed: (for 12 Deviled Eggs)

      6 hard boiled Eggs (large)
      3 tablespoons mayonnaise or salad dressing
      1 tablespoon sugar
      1 teaspoon mustard (honey mustard is great!)
      1 teaspoon vinegar
      salt & pepper to taste
      paprika (optional)

      For easier peeling use older eggs near the SELL BY date, as fresh eggs are extremely difficult to peel.

      To boil eggs, place eggs in enough cold water to cover completely, bring to a rolling boil over high heat.

      Reduce heat to a lower MEDIUM BOIL and cook an additional 12 minutes.
      Promptly chill eggs in ICE WATER until chilled so yolks stay bright yellow…keep adding ice as necessary….rapid chilling helps prevent the “greenish” ring to appear around the yolk.

      Remove shells from eggs, and halve lengthwise with a knife.

      Carefully remove the yolks, and place in a medium bowl.

      Mash yolks with a fork, and add remaining ingredients.

      Very carefully spoon mixture back into the egg white halves. Garnish with a light sprinkling of paprika (optional).

    8. Sharon Donovan says :

      Hey Ashley! Aren’t scones the best? Oh and did you ever try that Irish soda bread recipe? Seems I’m making it again for Easter. LOL Mega congratulations on the book release and Happy Easter. Loved the post. Oh, Val…deviled eggs are my favorite? What time is dinner!

    9. Skhye says :

      I can’t post my scone recipe. EVER. It’s one I modified slightly from some woman’s magazine. And it’s got a Mediterranean ambiance. 🙂 I once made them for a ceramics sale at a class I was taking. We were selling our stuff to the campus folks at a jr. college. Well, they have a cooking school. The profs from the school came by. My art teacher took them to the scones. And they all descended upon me, wanting to know what was in the scones or if I’d give them the recipe. They looked quite conspiratorial when I told them I couldn’t give them the recipe–that it was top secret. So, they kept on guessing ingredients. Well, I told them if they’d buy my ceramics, I’d give them the recipe. They didn’t get the recipe. 🙂 Bwah ha haaaa! So, it’s MINE! I feel like I own Frankenstein. LOL

    10. MarthaE says :

      Hi Ashley! Ahhhh – scones! We had them in London a few years back with clotted cream!!! YUMMMM! My DH made some recently and I think he put cream cheese in them cause he didn’t want them so dry. He is our creative chef…. I do not cook at all so I don’t have a recipe to share. One cleaning tip: I have found that glycerin soap works really well to get out stains! I don’t know why but it works.
      Your books sounds wonderful…. we all need redeeming and forgiveness in a BIG way and in lots of little ways too. I’ll be checking out that free read you mentioned. Congratulations and Best Wishes for a very successful release!! Have a Blessed Easter!

    11. Ashley Ludwig says :

      Val! I’ll be making your deviled eggs for Easter – once the munchkins find all the eggs!

      Wait. Is that wrong? To make deviled eggs on Easter? Maybe I should wait til Monday! LOL! Thanks for the recipe!

      ~Ash

    12. Ashley Ludwig says :

      Sharon – Awe – thanks for commenting! Saying today’s been exciting is understatement of the century. I’ve been posting, commenting, blogging, and whatnot for a YEAR since getting my first contract and only now do I have a real title for SALE! 🙂

      At any rate – Thanks for dropping in!

      ~Ashley

    13. Ashley Ludwig says :

      Skhye – You tease. You total, terrible tease!

      Look, kiddo. We’re going to have to get those scones traded one way or another. Maybe we’ll just have to do it by post. We could VERY well have a scone stand off developing!

      FYI – I used to sell my scones to a local coffee shop when I was in college. They were a HUGE hit, and my mother still insists I bake them whenever I visit. Scones, my spectacular veggie lasagna, quiche, AND creme brulee. NONE of which my family will eat. Oh well… 🙂 What do you say! I fear we’re at an impasse.

    14. Ashley Ludwig says :

      MarthaE – thanks for your note. GLYCERINE! I have some. I also have two little stain makers in residence that keep me awful busy!

      Lovely to have a hubby that’s a great cook. Mine cooks – but only in self defense as he likes to eat at 4:30pm – and my girls and I are late eaters. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing. This easter I’m trying to remember to keep my head about me, to keep my voice even, and to remember the reason for this season is much more than chocolate bunny ears.

      Thanks for popping in…

    15. Mary Ricksen says :

      Hey either one of you can make me some scones anytime. I do Italian well, but my scones come out like lead.

    16. Denise says :

      Scones, huh? I have a recipe that doesn’t come out so well. Let me in on your secret — please!!! Okay. Favorite family recipe. Actually, I have many. The one I’m sharing is for Thanksgiving, but anytime will do for chocolate, right?
      Pumpkin cookies
      4 c. flour
      2 c. uncooked oats
      2 tsp. baking soda
      2 tsp. cinnamon
      1 tsp. salt
      1 1/2 c. butter, softened
      2 c. brown sugar
      1 c. granulated sugar
      1 egg
      16 oz. pumpkin
      1 tsp. vanilla
      1-2 c. chocolate chips
      Mix all ingredients together and drop spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. This recipe makes A LOT of cookies. 🙂 Enjoy!

    17. Pam P says :

      I love scones, but I leave all the baking to my sisters, I just eat and enjoy. One sister makes a great Irish soda bread, another deviled eggs. One easy one we like even I can make – Monkey Bread: Just quarter those frozen Pillsbury biscuits, layer in tube or bundt pan, drizzling cinnamon mix and chopped nuts (optional) over layers and bake, pull apart and eat.

      Happy Easter!

    18. Michelle B. says :

      Michelle’s Luscious Ambrosia Cake

      INGREDIENTS:
      • 1 (18.25 ounce) package SuperMoist white cake mix
      • 1 1/4 cups water (can replace some of the water with pineapple juice for more flavor, make sure it is the natural juice & not syrup.)
      • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
      • 3 egg whites

      • 1 teaspoon grated orange & lemon peel
      • 2 teaspoons orange & lemon fresh squeezed juice
      • 2 tablespoons flaked coconut & a handful of chopped mandarin oranges (to add to pineapple filling)
      • 1/2 cup or so of flaked coconut to cover top & sides also mandarin oranges to decorate
      DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease (or lightly spray with cooking spray) bottoms only of two 8- or 9- inch round pans
      1. Beat cake mix, water (or water / pineapple juice), oil and egg whites in large bowl on low speed 30 seconds; beat on medium speed 2 minutes (or stir 3 minutes with wire whisk). Pour into pans.

      2. Bake 8-inch pans 27 to 32 minutes, 9-inch pans 23 to 28 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Decrease bake time by 2 to 3 minutes if using dark or nonstick pans.) Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Then take a knife & run around the edges, flip over onto a plate (may need to tap slightly to get it out of the pan…if a piece sticks to pan use a spatula or pastry scrapper to flip it out onto the cake in the spot it was torn from…this will be covered up by the filling.) Then chill overnight in the refrigerator covered with saran wrap (make sure to put a few tooth picks in cake to prevent it sticking to the wrap, needs to be well covered but not touching cake.).

      3. Fill layers with Pineapple Filling. Don’t take cake out of the fridge until you are completely done making filling & frosting & are set to assemble & decorate the cake (Frosting the cake is easier when it is chilled). If you are using a cake stand or a decorative plate or tray slide the bottom layer on to it before beginning to assemble. Also, if you want to ensure a clean display of the decorative plate of stand you can have a piece of wax paper on it before placing the cake & decorating…when you are finished you can slide it out and Voila!!) Frost side and top of cake with frosting. Sprinkle coconut over top & decorate with mandarin orange slices (make sure to drain in colander for a time so they aren’t too wet when placed on the frosting…if needed you can pat dry a little with a paper towel.). Store loosely covered.
      PINEAPPLE FILLING Ingredients:
      • 20 ounces crushed pineapple in juice (if you decide to put a 1/3 to ½ cup of the pineapple juice in place of the water when making the cake replace it with fresh squeezed lemon & orange juice)
      • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
      • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
      • 8 ounces cream cheese
      • 1 large egg yolk
      • 1 tablespoon lemon & orange fresh squeezed juice, also add a bit of zest from both for an extra touch of flavor).
      Preparation: Bring pineapple and 1 cup sugar to boil. Meanwhile, mix cornstarch with a little water to make a medium thick mixture; pour into the boiling pineapple mixture. Cook until thickened and clear; remove from heat and cool. Mix together 1/4 cup sugar and cream cheese. Stir until well blended. Add yolk, stir well, and add lemon & orange juice. Fold in & stir the cream cheese into cooled pineapple mixture. Set aside until ready to use.
      For Ambrosia Cake add in a couple of tablespoons of flaked coconut & bits of mandarin orange.
      NOTES: Use this filling with a sweet yeast dough to make a roll: Make dough, let rise once, form into rectangle, fill and roll up. Bake seam side down. Slice and serve when cool. The original recipe doesn’t give oven temperature or time, but I usually bake at 350 until nice and light brown.

      Fluffy White Frosting
      “This is the type of frosting that is cooked over the stove, then whipped. This goes well on almost any type of cake.”
      Original recipe yield 1 frosting for two layer 8 or 9 inch round cake

      INGREDIENTS:
      • 1 cup white sugar
      • 1/3 cup water
      • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
      • 2 egg whites
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • If desired add a bit of orange & lemon zest.
      DIRECTIONS
      1. In a saucepan, stir together the sugar, water and cream of tartar. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbly.

      2. In a medium mixing bowl, whip the egg whites and vanilla to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar mixture while whipping constantly until stiff peaks form, about 10 to 15 minutes. Frost the cake of your choice. Wait to take the cake out of the fridge until you have the filling & frosting complete & are ready to assemble & decorate.

    19. Ashley Ludwig says :

      Michelle B – Ambrosia Cake?! I think I’ve died and gone to heaven… this just looks like it’d take all day to make, but what a treat!!! I’m going to have to try it.

      Thanks so much for participating!

      🙂

      ~Ashley

    20. Ashley Ludwig says :

      Pam P – You’re so funny! My sister and I battle it out every year about fudge. Well, I battle. She makes fudge that would make angels weep. And every year, I try and I fail. I didn’t try Skyhe’s recipe for fudge this year even though I promised I would. NEXT year. I promise. I think.

      We are SO making Monkey Bread for tomorrow! But you have to tell me – what is in the cinnamon mixture?! Cinnamon? Sugar? Nuts? Butter? Brown Sugar? ACK! I’ll have to go to the store.

      ~Ash

    21. Ashley Ludwig says :

      Denise – Some recipes are tried and true and I trust your judgment, my chocolate loving friend. The pumpkin cookies will be a FABULOUS fall treat.

      I considered growing a pumpkin this year, but we just don’t have the room. One day, I’ll have a sprawling house with an amazing view toward the pacific, where I can plant my vegetable garden in more than a 2 x 5 area… ahem. And get Rachel & Ellie their horse. *sigh* By the way… when CAN we come visit? 🙂

      ((HUGS))

      ~Ash

    22. Ashley Ludwig says :

      Mary – Italian is a wonderful treat. ALWAYS. My sauce always turns out different. Sometimes it’s FANTASTIC and other times it’s just got no zing. I do like making meatballs and loading them up with Parmesan cheese. Feel free to share! We’re feeding a finicky family around these parts.

      Thank you everyone for these wonderful tips and treats! The cleaning tips are great, as well. I’ve recently subscribed to “The Fly Lady’s” theory of housekeeping. 15 minutes of de-cluttering a day is changing my life… 🙂

      Happy Easter, you all! I’ll duck back in as I can.

      Please keep commenting as the winner will be posted TUESDAY morning.

      ~Ashley

    23. PhyllisC says :

      I have never tried scones. I’ve always wanted to but just haven’t tried to bake them. I do like the suggestion of adding orange zest and cranberries. Yummy! My recipe is for Banana Pudding. It is very rich and very good. My grand kids call me Nana so my granddaughters call it Nana Pudding, because they love it. Here is the recipe:

      8 oz. softened cream cheese
      1 can sweetened condensed milk
      1 large box vanilla instant pudding
      2 cups milk
      8 oz. cool whip
      1 box vanilla wafers
      4 – 5 bananas

      Combine cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, instant pudding and milk. Mix with hand mixer until well blended. Spoon in cool whip and mix well. Layer pan with vanilla wafers and bananas. Spoon in pudding mix and spread evenly in pan.

      I always double this recipe. If you can’t find a large box of pudding, then two small boxes will work. Make sure that it is instant and not the kind that you cook.

      I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter!

    24. Judy Cox says :

      We barbecue or cook seafood for holidays. Let me correct that statement, my husband barbecues. I have a husband who loves to cook, it relaxes him!!

      I have never eaten a scone! Do people from the south cook them? Is this a form of cookie? I am going to keep these recipes and try them. They sound really tasty.

      Happy Easter everyone!

    25. Ashley Ludwig says :

      PhyllisC – you’re in for a treat.

      Skhye? Are you breaking before I do? I’m not sure I buy all of her big talk. Until I’ve tasted them, they’re just another sweet biscuit. haha.

      Thank you for the Nana Pudding – I bet my daughters will LOVE that.

      Happy Easter – and hope you get to enjoy some quality time with your family…

      This has been so much fun.

      I’ll be on as much as I can tomorrow afternoon/evening, and it is my pleasure to answer everyone’s post individually.

      Thank you so much for your support of “By Another Name”

      Happy Easter to EVERYONE!

      ~Ashley

    26. Ashley Ludwig says :

      Judy,

      My ancestors hailed from Baton Rouge, and my mom grew up in Gulf Port, Miss. – among other places. The relationship I have with barbecue is passionate, to say the least. Seafood is another story altogether.

      SCONES are delightful. They are a treasure. There is nothing more civilized than afternoon tea with scones, clotted cream, and bone china. It centers me in a way I cannot express. I have introduced my daughters to the fine art of real tea parties with real tea and conversation (at 3 and 5 – this becomes a bit problematic, but is worth every spilled drop if I can inspire the same relationship my mom and I share…)

      I am continuing my stand off with Skhye — however, in the spirit of the season, I just might break down and share the time honored secret recipe that so many have coveted. 😉

      I’m going to sleep on it. Until tomorrow. For real, this time.

      ~Good night! and good reading.

    27. Judy Cox says :

      This is a small world!! We moved to Holden, La 25 years ago (this is 20 miles east of Baton Rouge and I am originally from Gulfport, Miss. I was born and raised and went to school there!! I am going to make scones. I love tea!!

      Judy

    28. Pam P says :

      Speaking of fudge, my mother makes one from an old My-T-Fine pudding recipe we all love, a harder, candy-like consistency. The whole family fights over it if she doesn’t bring everyone an individual tin, lol.

      Here’s one Monkey Bread recipe, though we just quarter and don’t bother rolling into balls:
      Monkey Bread

      ½ cup margarine
      ½ cup chopped nuts
      1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
      2 T water
      2 10-oz cans refrigerator biscuits

      Heat oven to 375. Melt margarine in small saucepan, then coat the
      bottom and sides of a tube pan with 2 T melted margarine. Sprinkle
      3 T nuts over bottom of pan. Add remaining nuts, brown sugar and
      water to remaining margarine and heat to boiling, stirring
      occasionally. Remove from heat. Separate dough into 20 biscuits;
      cut each biscuit in half and shape into a ball. Place 20 balls in
      bottom of pan. Drizzle with half of the caramel sauce. Repeat
      layers. Bake @ 375 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Invert
      immediately onto waxed paper and remove from pan. Serves 10.

    29. RobynL says :

      congrats on your release (throws confetti);
      I needed a renewal in my life after having to put our puppy wuppy down; I was so saddened by this after 11 yrs. and needed to get out of the house. Our dog, Sam, was my shadow and we spent every waking and sleeping hour together.

      I decided to try a job where my neighbour/friend had just started as Director of Care. It is a Personal Care Home for residents of Level 1 and 2. I LOVE it and it has changed my ‘many headaches’ to ‘hardly any’. Yippee!!. I do work 12 hr. night shifts though which took some getting used to. I can see a difference in the resident’s lives and they tell me so. They are always asking ‘are you on tonight’ and when I say yes they say good.

    30. Ashley Ludwig says :

      RobynL – Thank you very much… I’m sorry for your loss. Our dogs become part of our family. Ours is 9 this year, and she has no idea she’s a dog at all. We are together all the time, too. I think I’ll go hug her again.

      Great news on the job – it sounds like a delightful turn for your caring heart. We all reach a critical mass when enough is enough and we need a change. Well done, taking your leap of faith. Many blessings to you! Those long nights should lend for a few solid reading hours!

      ~Ashley

    31. Ashley Ludwig says :

      Hey, everyone!

      First, thanks everyone for playing. This was a really fun day. Secondly, I’m now POSTING the WINNERS!

      The Trio of Easter Lilies stories goes to: Judy Cox! Congratulations Judy… please shoot me an e-mail with your contact information – and I’ll get those to you straight away.

      The Basket of Chef Treats goes to…. Phyllis C! Phyllis – please e-mail me with your address and I’ll be happy to send it!

      ashley@ashleyludwig.com

      Congratulations! and enjoy the rest of your egg hunt!

      ~Ashley

    32. Ashley Ludwig says :

      PhyillisC – Just got your package off in the mail – apologies for the delay, but I think you’ll enjoy it! 🙂

      Please let me know how the scones turn out!

      ~Ashley

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