Monday, September 28, 2015

Life goes on....

Sorry to do a rerun recipe again so soon, but here's why:

This hole is in the side of our bathtub. It was made by my knee.

Now I don't know about your house, but holes don't belong in bathtubs where I live!

My knee will survive, but I'm sore, bruised and moving pretty slow, so I certainly haven't been feeling like cooking. So no new recipe to share :(  Next week, though! I promise!

And here's the other reason for this rerun:

"A Home for His Family" is bringing some nice comments my way from readers, so I thought we'd revisit the pictures I took on my first research trip to Deadwood. Back in 2013, I was just beginning to work on this story idea about a Boston school teacher out to change the world and a Civil War veteran haunted by his past who only wants to find a place he and his brother's children can call home.

The story had to be set in Deadwood, of course! This is the center of the center of Western Romance and Tradition...

Okay, maybe you can make a case for Abilene, or Dodge City, or Tombstone, but I'm sticking with Deadwood. 

If you've read "A Home for His Family," you might remember the scene where Sarah and Olivia have a conversation while climbing the Lee Street stairs. While I was in Deadwood last Friday, I took a picture of the modern version of those stairs. Even though the mining camp of 1877 has progressed into modern times, these stairs still exist for the convenience of the residents.

Believe me, I was tempted to climb up to Williams Street. I'll certainly do it the next time I'm in town!

But first, to our rerun recipe. I hope you enjoy this glimpse into my life from a couple years ago!

Easy-Peasy Chicken Turnovers (and research trip pictures!)

We'll start with a gratuitous puppy picture!

Puppyhood is fleeting - Thatcher will turn seven months old on
Wednesday. The same day as another famous puppy in Upstate New York!

When I saw Tina's fabulous Easy Crescent Danish Rolls on Friday (click here for that recipe), I remembered my recipe for Chicken Turnovers.

Much to my family's dismay, I don't remember that recipe often enough!

It's another creation with Pillsbury Crescent Rolls - boy, those pastry thingies sure are handy, aren't they?

Chicken Turnovers


2 cans Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (or store brand)

1 1/2 - 2 cups cooked, boned chicken (I used canned)

8 ounces cream cheese

seasoning to taste (I used 1 teaspoon Tone's Rosemary Garlic)

So, here's what you do:

Soften the cream cheese, either by warming in the microwave, or letting it sit in a bowl until it reaches room temperature. Mix in the chicken and seasonings, plus a little chicken broth or milk if it isn't mixing well.

A word about seasonings - The Rosemary Garlic was really good. You can also use just salt and pepper, or onion, or garlic, or Parmesan cheese and garlic....  Or go a different route and use thyme, or tarragon....

Experimenting with the seasonings is a lot of fun!

And if you want to make more turnovers, just add another can of crescent rolls and a bit more chicken. Each can of crescent rolls you use makes four turnovers.

Open one can of crescent rolls at a time and divide each can into four rectangles. Press the perforation together.

Put 2-4 Tablespoons of your cheese/chicken mixture on one end of the rectangle. Fold over the other end and seal the edges. 

I like to crimp the edges with the end of a fork....

Bake for 18-20 minutes at 350 degrees, or until golden brown.

These are great by themselves, but I really like them with soup or chowder, as an alternative to sandwiches.

Especially tomato soup. Mmmmm..... Now that's a great lunch!

Now to the research trip - you all like westerns, right?

On Saturday, my husband and I took a research trip. I'm taking a (temporary) break from Amish historicals, and am working on a proposal for a story set in Deadwood in the autumn of 1876.

We started our tour by following part of the Cheyenne-Deadwood Stagecoach route from Newcastle, Wyoming to Deadwood, South Dakota.

This cow was hanging out near the scene of a violent gold robbery at the Canyon Springs stagecoach stop back in September, 1878.

We ended up in Deadwood, at the Mt. Moriah Cemetery. It was sobering to see how many of the headstones told the sad story of Deadwood residents who died at a young age. Civil War veterans, doctors, wives.... Many died in their twenties.

And the Potter's Field? Two sections. Huge. Many graves are unmarked.

The saddest were the children. Too many children in a very short time.

And yes, we had to pay our respects to Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Potato Creek Johnny and Preacher Smith.

Calamity Jane's last request? "Bury me next to Wild Bill." And that's where you'll find her.


Did you enjoy the research trip? You'll have to make a real trip to Deadwood someday! I know I can hardly wait to get back there - either by hopping in the car and heading north, or in the pages of another book.

The next story is brewing away on the back burner as we speak. ☺


  1. I don't mind this re-run at all! I loved this the first time we tried it!

    And I must come to SD and visit. I've set three historical novellas there, and I'm working on full length novels as part of my "Sewing Sister Society" series that started in "With This Spark"... Jan, it's so amazing to see what folks dealt with. And stayed. I'm so afraid I would have hopped on that horse, and high-tailed it back to dirty, smoggy, Pittsburgh. And isn't it funny to think of how dirty and smoke-filled those cities were 150 years ago? Times sure have changed!

    This is awesome. They have several sets of stairs like those in Ketchikan, Alaska because it's set on the shore of the island, and the island is mountainous, so you only have a few blocks of shoreline.... business district, etc. And then you're up the hills! I wish I'd had more hours to wander the area, but now my research will be wandering the area via Internet.

    So sorry about the tub, but more worried about you! Take care of yourself!!!

    1. You do need to come out here, Ruthy. There's nothing like "feet on the ground" research, is there?

      And Alaska! It's on my bucket list to make an extended visit there - maybe someday. :)

      The knee is healing amazingly well. I landed mostly on my shoulder when I fell, so still a bit stiff there this morning. I'm so thankful the tub took the brunt of the damage!

  2. First off, I am SO sorry about your knee. I hope that heals up really quickly.

    And secondly, haha! I just replied to your comment on my post "didn't someone also make chicken turnovers with the puff pastry?". Behold, it was you that I was remembering! Yours are prettier. And they looks delicious.

    Praying you're feeling more mobile very soon.

    1. After reading your post yesterday, I'm ready to go buy about a dozen tubes of the crescent rolls! Those raspberry "pop tarts" looked so good!

      Like I told Ruthy, my knee is doing pretty well, but there's a nice ring of tiny cuts around the kneecap. Kind of like a fairy ring...that sounds better than how it feels! But it will heal. Bruised is nothing compared to broken!

      Meanwhile, we're shopping for a new tub..... :(

  3. Oh Jan, I hope your knee is okay. I'm sending some prayers for healing.

    And I loved the revisit of Deadwood. I have been there. It is really an interesting place to visit. I recall an actual gunfight on the main street. (Staged for tourists of course)

    The tarts look yummy and a great idea to add to soup. Hubby will love that.

    1. Thanks for the prayers, Sandra!

      When I was in Deadwood on Friday, I passed by a couple tourists resting on a bench and heard a snippet of their conversation:

      Tourist 1: Did you find anything good in the shops?
      Tourist 2: Well, I went to a couple casinos and saw a guy get shot in a gunfight, but nothing very interesting....

  4. I can't believe you didn't break your knee! I didn't know it was possible to put a hole in a tub! That will have to go in a book sometime, Jan. Praying for speedy healing. Loved the retro pic of Thatcher and since I've read A Home For His Family, I enjoyed the visuals immensely.

    1. I couldn't believe the tub broke and my knee didn't! Thin fiberglass, I guess.

      And thank you for the review on Amazon! It means a lot :)

    2. Jan, I thought that photo was the wall beside the tub! Oh my gosh!! No wonder it cut you.

  5. I'm so sorry about your knee!! And your fall. Take care of yourself, and in the meantime, we'll enjoy puppy photos of Thatcher and this delicious recipe!!

  6. Cool pix, Jan. I always enjoy recounts of research. Thanks! I won't ask about the knee-meets-tub encounter ... just send wishes for a continuing recovery.

    Nancy C

    1. Hi Nancy!

      Research is my favorite part of writing, especially when I get to visit the settings for my stories!

      And thanks for the good wishes. :)