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Maggie's Starring Role by Emily Mims - Book Tour + Giveaway

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Granny Johnson’s Turkey Dressing and Gravy

This recipe is a treasured one
from my childhood. We would gather at my grandmother’s home on Christmas Eve,
nearly forty of us some years, and this would be on the menu every year, along
with a big turkey and candied sweet potatoes and everyone’s favorite side dish.
One of my proudest accomplishments is learning to make it just like Granny did.
The recipe is admittedly complicated, but the end result is more than worth it!

(1)     Two pans or baking sheets of homemade biscuits. Any homemade
biscuits will work.

(2)     Three recipes of buttermilk cornbread below.  (Two if just the 6 of you.)

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cups yellow or white cornmeal

2 tablespoons flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2 cups buttermilk or something
like ½ and ½ if your bunch doesn’t like buttermilk

2 large eggs

Heat oil in 10 inch cast iron
pan, pie pan, or whatever in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, soda
and salt. Mix and make a well in center. 
Add buttermilk and eggs and pour into skillet or pie pan.  Bake 20-30 minutes or until golden. (The time
kind of depends on the oven.  Just watch
and don’t let it burn.)

(3)     Dressing itself.

Cornbread and biscuit mixture
described below

10-15 eggs, fewer if 2 recipes,
more if 3

1-2 cups onions, fewer if 2
recipes, more if 3

Salt to taste

Rubbed sage to taste-I usually
end up using most or all of a jar so buy 2.

Whatever turkey juice collects in
the bottom of the pan-I always add water to the bottom of the pan to get more
juice.  If the turkey juice is loaded
with butter, so much the better.

LOTS of chicken broth-I’ve seen
the time that, with three recipes, I’ve used almost a gallon of broth.  The cornbread and biscuits soak up the fluid
like crazy.  This may seem like a lot,
but that’s what makes it moist and creamy. 
Too little and it will be dry.  
Don’t try to do this with the little cans-buy several cartons.  Better yet, make your own.  I collect chicken parts for several weeks-the
skin and bones of breasts or the backs and innards of whole chickens or both
and boil them for several hours.  It’s
way cheaper to make your own.  If you do
buy the cartons, be careful about the amount of salt you add as those are
frequently salty already.

Cuisinart biscuits and
cornbread.  Mix in a 3 cornbread/2
biscuit ratio by volume until cornbread is gone. (Eat rest of biscuits for
breakfast.)  Cut up and boil onions until
they are soft and clear.  Add onions and
cooking broth.  Add eggs.  Add turkey juice and chicken broth until
downright wet and it stirs easily.  Add
salt (carefully if using prepared chicken broth) and sage to taste.   (Note-at this point if it grew in the pan
and you have a lot more than you think you can use, freeze part of it to bake
later.)  Bake in large, deep baking
dishes like Corningware or a Dutch oven. 
(It will dry out in a cake pan.) 
I usually cover mine so it stays moist. 
Cook 1 ½ hours or until set throughout but you can and should stir it
occasionally so it cooks evenly and doesn’t get hard along the sides of the
pan.  If it starts to dry out add more

Please, please cook this
separately from the turkey itself.  With
this many eggs, I worry about it not getting up to temperature in the cavity of
the turkey.

I usually make the cornbread and
biscuits the day before so they can cool completely before I run them through
the Cuisinart.

You will need a HUGE mixing bowl
to do this.  My mixing bowls are those
great big metal ones that are actually wider than my sink.  Treat yourself to one if you don’t have one.


Innards and neck from turkey

½ cup of flour

Two boiled eggs

Some turkey broth from turkey if


Boil the innards from the turkey
in 1 or two cups of water.  Keep adding
water for an hour or two until you have the goodness from the turkey parts.

Brown the flour in the oven 13-20
minutes until it’s light brown.

When dinner is close, remove the
innards and the neck.  If desired, chop
the liver, gizzard, etc. and return to the broth.  Add the flour and stir until it reaches the
consistency you desire.  You can also add
a little of the broth from the turkey itself to add a bit more flavor.  Add salt but do it carefully as some of the
ingredients already have salt in them. 
Slice the boiled eggs and add to the gravy.

Note: This can be cut down to one
cornbread recipe, one sheet of biscuits, 5 eggs, ¾ cup onion plus whatever
broth is needed for a smaller dinner.  I
made it last night to go with a baked chicken and used the juice from the
chicken along with the broth.  It was
good but did suffer some from not having the actual turkey juices.

Maggie’s Starring Role

Durango St. Theatre Series

Book Two

Emily Mims

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Company

Date of Publication:  Sept. 23, 2019

ISBN: ISBN 978-1-951055-16-5

Number of pages:  198
Word Count: 68,000

Cover Artist: Boroughs Art Department

Tagline: It’s all about the money, honey.

Book Description:

Maggie Gutierrez’s job is to keep the Durango Street Theatre afloat financially. In other words, she spends her days sticking her hand in people’s pockets in the hopes of pulling out cash. Well, euphemistically.

The Harrington Foundation grant would go a long way to ensuring the theater’s continued survival, but the administrator of the grant is the guy she used to crush on in a big way, and the last time they saw each other…let’s say things didn’t go so well. As in, he blames her for his father’s death.

Soooo…what’s a girl to do? Anything she can to get that grant, including spending time with him, which takes them down a road that might just lead to a forever neither envisioned.

Books2Read     Smashwords     Amazon    BN     Kobo


She settled into
her desk chair and Kirby sat down across from her. “So are there any questions
I can answer for you?” she asked, cursing the faint flush she could feel on her
cheeks. She wasn’t sure if it was from wanting to impress him on the theater’s
behalf or Kirby himself.

“No. Not a one.”
He leaned forward with an unreadable expression. “Don’t get your hopes up about
the grant. The only reason I came today was because the Rileys insisted. I have
no intention of letting those people award their grant to the Durango.” She
caught a smirk starting to cross his face before he schooled it into impassivity.

The rustling
coming from the other office stopped. Maggie willed herself not to look up at
the gap at the top of the temporary wall. “May I ask why? Don’t we meet the
parameters of the grant?” she asked, feigning confusion.

“Actually, you
do. If things were different, I would be happy to see them award the grant to
the theater. But with things the way they are, I intend to see that they send
the grant another direction. I’m sure you understand.”

Maggie’s heart
sank as she looked at him. So the grant was lost because of his antipathy
toward her. He really was going to take his anger with her out on the whole
theater. Damn him, she thought hotly. He was a prick. Some things never change.
The grant might be gone, but he wasn’t going to get away with a stunt like
this. She’d be damned if she let him walk out the door with no repercussions.
He was going to explain himself to everyone at the Durango and the chips could
fall where they may. She had nothing to lose. “No, I’m afraid I don’t
understand. If we meet the parameters of the grant, why are you so determined
that it go elsewhere?”

“Because of your
association with the theater,” he said, his voice calm and his expression cold.
“I absolutely refuse to work with you. You are directly responsible for my
father’s death and I will not work with you, have anything to do with you, or
award the grant to the theater that employs you.”

“So let me be
clear. You’re mad at me, so you’re willing to take it out on everyone here at
the Durango, despite the wonderful proposal, and even though we meet the
parameters and need the money desperately. Do I have that right?”

“I wouldn’t have
put it that way, but yes. You have that right.” He leaned forward. “Karma’s a
bitch, isn’t she?”

“Oh dear. I am
so disappointed.” She leaned forward so that they were barely a foot apart.
“Especially since your old friend Josh Goldstein, who’s my boss and the
executive director of the theater, assured me you’d be fair despite your
feelings toward me. Why, he sat in that office next door, the one he’s sitting
in right now eavesdropping on this entire conversation, and said you weren’t
the kind to take out your feelings about me on the theater.” She looked up and
raised her voice. “Did you hear all that, Josh? Guess you were wrong. He
doesn’t plan to play fair.”

“Yes, I heard
every damned word,” Josh yelled.

“I did, too,”
Rachel shouted from her office two doors down.

“So did I,” a
deep voice piped up from the lobby.

Kirby’s face
morphed from a vindictive smirk to unmasked horror. “You…you knew they were
listening,” he gasped. “You knew they’d hear every word.”

“They needed
to.” Maggie regarded him steadily. “You’re breaking faith with the Rileys and
you’re breaking faith with us. I told you yesterday we both needed to behave in
a professional manner. Instead you decided to use the grant as a weapon to pay
me back for something in our past that you hold against me. You’re being unfair
to the Durango and you’re being unfair to the Rileys. Somebody needs to know.
Hopefully someone who will inform the Rileys of your duplicity.”

Kirby opened his
mouth but glanced up and closed it again. He muttered something under his
breath as he stood up and yanked the door open, slamming it behind him.

Maggie leaned
her elbows on the desk and put her chin in her hands. That had been sneaky, but
damn it, Kirby had no right to punish the theater because he was mad at her.
They deserved a fair shake, and if that meant getting Kirby in trouble for
admitting he was using the grant as a weapon, so be it. She giggled as the sound
of raised voices filtered into her office. Good. Josh was giving Kirby a
deserved ration of shit. And if she wasn’t mistaken, the voice she’d heard in
the lobby was none other than Wade Baxter. The Rileys’ grandson. She smirked
even as she rubbed her aching temples.

Yes, Kirby, Karma can be a bitch.

About the Author:

Author of nearly forty romance novels, Emily Mims combined her writing career with a career in public education until leaving the classroom to write fulltime. The mother of two sons, she and her husband split their time between their home in San Antonio and a second home on Lake Buchanan, and make frequent trips to Tennessee to visit their grandchildren. For fun, she plays the piano, organ and dulcimer, and plays her ukulele and sings in two different performing groups. She says, “I love to write romances because I believe in them. Romance happened to me and it can happen to any woman-if she’ll just let it.”



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  1. Thanks for hosting me today! Merry Christmas to you and your readers.
    Best, Emily

    1. You're very welcome! :) Merry Christmas to you, too!

  2. I like the girls dress on the cover. Congrats on the release.


Please try not to spam posts with the same comments over and over again. Authors like seeing thoughtful comments about their books, not the same old, "I like the cover" or "sounds good" comments. While that is nice, putting some real thought and effort in is appreciated. Thank you.