Saturday, April 18, 2015

Keeping it Simple in PA, with author Dana R. Lynn



Hi, everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back and I have a special guest this weekend. Dana is a woman after my own heart. She's a writer and a busy mom, living the dream while keeping things in perspective. I love her can-do attitude! So, here she is, telling us how dinner goes down when life throws you a curve ball.


             Today was one of those days.  You know what I mean. We’ve all had them. My day began with the alarm not going off. I woke up to discover I had to get myself and my entire household up and ready in record time. By the time I hopped in my car, I was ready for a nap. Then there was work. Baseball for one child, horse training for another. I had no time to spend on an extravagant meal. Fortunately, my cupboard is stocked for just such emergencies.

            Ta da! All the ingredients I need for a tater tot casserole. My family loves this hearty casserole. And the beauty of it is that it is quick, easy, and flexible. I love flexible. Don’t have ground beef? Sausage will do. We buy a pig every year at a 4H auction, so we always have sausage. Out of cream of chicken soup? Mushroom works. I have even switched out the cheddar cheese soup for a jar of cheese sauce. It’s all good.

Here’s the basic recipe:
2 lbs of ground beef, browned
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 can of cheddar cheese soup
Salt and pepper
One bag of tater tots

Ground the beef (or sausage) and put in a 9x13 dish. Mix soup together and spread over meat. Salt and pepper to taste. (I don’t even use salt and pepper usually.) Top with tater tots and bake for an hour at 350 degrees. Yummy


My family devours it. Which leaves me more time to spend with them and write.
  I recently released my first Love Inspired Suspense story, Presumed Guilty. (click on the title to find it on Amazon) Wait! I have a picture…

          
I love this cover. It looks just like rural PA to me.

Here's the blurb:
“I’m innocent!”
            After four years in prison for a crime she didn’t commit, Melanie Swanson’s finally free. Yet starting over brings a heavy load of challenges. Nearly everyone believes she’s guilty- including police lieutenant Jace Tucker. Jace’s certainty cracks only when Melanie is repeatedly attacked, and when the people around her picked off one by one. Melanie’s clearly innocent- and terrified. Someone wants her dead to keep her shattered memories from recalling the crime she witnessed rather than caused. She lost her friends, her fiancé and her freedom when she was found guilty- but proving her innocence could cost Melanie her life.
           

            I’m so glad I was able to stop by the café today. I have been reading these posts for awhile now, and it’s been such a joy to visit.


Blessings from PA!

(Virginia again) Thanks for stopping by and congratulations on your book release! 

17 comments:

  1. My buddy Dana is here, yay!!!!! So psyched to see you and I've never made tater tot casserole and now I must. Because it looks easy and filling and ol' Dave is lucky he gets sandwiches these days, and half of those he makes himself... This is wonderful, Dana, and super, mega congratulations on your debut book release!!! AAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!! Happy dancing in upstate!

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    1. Thanks Ruthy! It's been a blast so far.

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  2. Hey, Dana!!!! Loved Presumed Guilty sooooo much. Awesome debut. Here's hoping there's many more to keep me in reader heaven.

    And this easy peasy recipe looks like it would lend well to a vegetarian conversion. I've seen the veggie ground at the grocery store (think it's made from tofu -- everyone groan and I'll ignore you.) I've never tried it, but this recipe inspires me.

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    1. Ya know...I might have to try tofu one of these days. Just to say I have:)

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  3. Great debut and tater tots too. Love tater tot casseroles. Thanks for joining us.

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    1. It's funny. I don't like tater tots by themselves. But I love this casserole.

      Thanks for having me today!

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  4. Good morning to Dana, my fellow Killer Voice. Doesn't that make us sound all psycho? But there's sweet, smiling Dana baking Tater Tot casserole while she plots murder and mayhem. :) Love it!


    Happy Saturday all. I'm off to celebrate real spring like weather. I'll save you a pastry from Financier, Ruthy.

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    1. Greetings my Killer Voice buddy! I hope you are enjoying this gorgeous day. I'm sure I'm not the only one plotting murder and mayhem!

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  5. YUM!! I love tater tots so will love this casserole! Thanks for sharing with us, Dana. And congrats on your new release!! So exciting. :)

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  6. Whooohooo! And people have arrived to taste the casserole! Thanks again for stopping in, Dana! You're a great sport and can't wait to read the new debut. hugs))) <--- One arm is holding sack of groceries

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    1. LOL. Hope you bought groceries to make your own. Mine was eaten and gone before I wrote the post.

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  7. I haven't had Tater Tots for years! I don't know why, because I love them, and our kids always did, too. I have *never* had them in a casserole, but this sounds too yummy not to try. :) Yay ... always love to discover easy meals. Thanks, Dana. Congrats, too, on your debut story. Looking forward to reading it.

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    1. Thanks Carol. And the casserole is a real crowd pleaser. Whenever we have a banquet (and with three kids in all sorts of sports, 4H and scouts, we frequently go to banquets), I get requests to bring this dish.

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  8. DANA!!!

    So glad to see you here!!!

    And congratulations on that killer Killer Voices entry!

    This casserole looks like one my family would love. Meat, potatoes, saucy cheese...they'll thank you for weeks after I make this one :)

    Thanks to Virginia for inviting you to be a guest this weekend!

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    1. Thanks Jan! It was really fun being here.

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