Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Christmas Without Deadlines....

A Christmas without deadlines...that's what I thought I'd have.  But now I'm thinking it's truly just an urban myth!  LOL. 

I handed in my latest Harlequin Romance on November 30 - right on the due date.  Whenever a book finally leaves and crosses cyberspace to my editor, a huge sense of relief follows.  I've spent the last 2 weeks catching up on all things promotion and Christmas.  It's been great!  Doing up blogs and interviews and guesty type things I have lined up for my duet - the first book hits the shelves January 12.  I held my 3rd annual 12 Days of Christmas Contest - always so much fun!  I read - for enjoyment, sometimes in the middle of the day when I'm normally working!  I finished up my shopping, did some baking, went to Christmas concerts...without the heavy burden of a looming deadline.  Last year and the year before I had early January deadlines.  It has been wonderful not having that this year! 

But that doesn't mean I'm deadline free!  I know that I still have a book due end of February, so I can't get too lax about it all.  I have edits to do for a book coming out in April and I'm expecting revisions to hit my inbox anytime.  I'm currently editing another book that I hope to submit by the end of the month. And so deadlines are still a big part of December, even if they aren't quite as pressing.

It has struck me lately that this is a wonderful position to be in, and I feel particularly blessed.  It wasn't very long ago that I was sitting in the slush pile waiting, hoping for The Call.   These deadlines mean I have work and that is something to be very, very thankful for.

And through it all, I have held to my resolution to spend quality time with my family.  I hope all of you are blessed with the same warmth and joy of the season with those you love around you.

Now here's my gift to you - a recipe so very easy that my youngest has made it her signature "treat" she makes each year. 

Chocolate Peanut Clusters

3/4 lb semi sweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups peanuts (or nuts of your choice)
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Melt chocolate with condensed milk over low heat until smooth.  Mix in nuts and drop by spoonfuls on a baking sheet covered with waxed/parchment paper.  Cool in fridge until set.

Merry Christmas!



Caroline said...

Great recipe! I think I'll make them for my DH - he loves kiddie biscuits! Glad you are enjoying your "free" time (lol) - but it still sounds as if you are busy, busy, busy! Have a great Christmas! Take care. Caroline x

Rebekah E. said...

Thanks for the great recipe, my daughter would love to make these.

Deb said...

Have a Merry Christmas, Donna!

Pat Cochran said...

Thanks for the chocolate cluster
recipe! I was looking for a gift
for all the nephews, something easy to do, and this seems to just fit
my needs!

Pat Cochran

Donna Alward said...

It is so easy and very very yummy. Like fudge.

Actually, rather than dropping in spoonfuls, you could probably spread it in a pan and then cut it for more uniform shapes. We've never done it that way, but you could.

And Caroline - I thrive on being busy. There's just a thin line between busy and manic sometimes! LOL

cheryl c said...

Donna, I just wanted to pop in and tell you how much I enjoyed MONTANA, MISTLETOE, MARRIAGE!:-)

Laney4 said...


Thanks so much for sharing such an easy-to-make recipe with us! I've just written condensed milk on my grocery list and hope to make the clusters next week.

Ditto re Montana, Mistletoe, Marriage - perhaps I'll finally get to read it between Christmas and New Year's! (Hope springs eternal!)

Yes, I too am blessed to have (some) great family and friends, ha ha! We love having people over, especially during the holidays. There still seem to be deadlines, as some of us work most days, but the thought of curling up with a book in my pj's, wrapped up in a fleece blanket, definitely constitutes being blessed!

Thanks for another great blog. My gift to you is my butter tart recipe, also very easy to make, and don't worry about being exact, as I never measure the ingredients:

Laney's Butter Tarts

1 cup (250 mL) brown sugar
⅔ cup (160 mL) corn syrup
2 eggs
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
24-34 frozen mini tart shells (or make your own)

Mix all above ingredients well. (I use the electric mixer.) Pour into tart shells. Bake in 425oF (220oC) preheated oven for 13 minutes. * Can add raisins if you like.

Linda Henderson said...

I love getting easy recipes. Thank you and have a wonderful and safe holiday season.

Michele L. said...

Oh yum! I love anything with chocolate and so simple! Thanks for sharing!

Have a fun holiday! Merry Christmas!

Donna Alward said...

Laney! Mmmm....butter tarts! Thank you! I ADORE them. I like caramel flavours even better than chocolate! And I hear you on reading - I'm hoping to get more reading time over the holidays too.

And thank you Cheryl. ;-) Glad you enjoyed it!

CJ Carmichael said...

Hi Donna, I'm enjoying a dead-line free December, too! Isn't it great? Now I'm going to order some books, including your latest. Next I may do some baking. Nanimo Squares are a traditional favorite I haven't made yet. If you want an awesome fudge recipe (but it isn't simple) check out my Desk Diary on my website.

Take care and Merry Christmas from C.J.

gigi said...

Thanks for the recipe. I love those that come with botch free guarantee.
Merry Christmas!
Wishing you a busy and prosperous new year.

penney said...

Thanks for the recipe Donna I love your books.

Dina said...

Wow, you 1st line: A Christmas without deadlines, that is me this yr, I have not really shopped and I'm not a good power shopper, wil be my best though, lol.

Mary Kirkland said...

Oh wow, those recipes sound so good. Thanks for sharing.