Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Sneak Peek & Giveaway: GOURMET ON A HOT PLATE by Judy Alter

Judy Alter
Genre: Cookbook / Cooking Tips / Tiny Kitchen
Publisher: Alter Ego Press
Date of Publication: November 6, 2018
Number of Pages: 132

Scroll down for the giveaway!

Gourmet on a Hot Plate is a collection of recipes and kitchen tips compiled after living for some time in a 600-square-foot cottage, with a tiny kitchen, no stove, no dishwasher, and barely any counter space. Given these limitations, Judy Alter developed a new approach to food, one that let her get in touch with the food itself. She does not have an Insta-Pot, an air-fryer, or a microwave. Her recipes call for using either a magnetic induction hot plate or a toaster oven. In the introduction, she explains her choices for making the best use of her tiny space. 

The collection begins with appetizers because that’s where Alter began her new cooking adventure. Gradually she branched out to main dishes, light suppers, soups and salads, and vegetable side dishes. Most recipes serve two or three. There’s a suggested list of cooking tools along with lists of what to keep on hand in your tiny pantry, your refrigerator, and your freezer, and a small section on condiments and cooking hints.

These pages will guide you to making your own spaghetti sauce—or brightening up a jar of prepared sauce—to making last-minute casseroles and simmer-all-day soups. Want Stroganoff but can’t afford the expensive beef? Alter shows you how to make it with hamburger. Love tuna? She’s got recipes for you. Sections on pasta, eggs, and appetizer trays offer practical and helpful choices for casual entertaining.

Above all, this is a practical guide for cooking with joy when you find yourself in a tiny space.


Love cooking? Love the minimalist lifestyle? Your tiny kitchen doesn’t need to limit your gourmet dreams. Judy Alter’s Gourmet On a Hot Plate will inspire you with big ideas to satisfy everyone around the table. — Susan Wittig Albert, author of Queen Anne’s Lace

Whether you cook on a hot plate or have access to a full kitchen, this gem of a cookbook contains great recipes for those of us who cook for one. – T.R. Thompson

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Recipe for carnitas from
Gourmet on a Hot Plate
By Judy Alter

(image not included in book)

2-1/2 lb. Boston butt roast, untrimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 cups water

One good-sized onion, roughly chopped

6 strips orange zest (serve orange wedges as a side to the dinner)

5 garlic cloves, minced

½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 cinnamon stick

2 bay leaves

1-1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt

2 whole cloves
Ask the butcher to cube the roast for you, if you have access to a butcher. Their idea of cubes is usually pretty big chunks, but it’s a start. You just have to cube the cubes until you get something the size you want—about an inch.

Bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the cubed meat, chopped onion, orange zest, garlic cloves, crushed red pepper flakes, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, oregano, and cloves to the water and reduce to a simmer. Cook for at least an hour and a quarter, or until all the water evaporates. The meat will look unappetizingly white, but cook it longer, stirring occasionally, and the cubes will develop a nice brown crust.

Serve on tortillas with any or all of the following:
   Sour cream
   Chopped Cilantro
   Grated Monterrey Jack cheese
   Finely diced red onion
   Pico de Gallo

Brava! You have tacos de carnitas! Serve in tortillas or in pita pockets with lettuce and tomato.

BONUS! Garlic sauce: 1/2 cup fresh lime juice, 2 garlic cloves, pressed, Salt and pepper—go easy on the salt, as the meat cooked in salted water, but I suggest at least a half tsp. pepper

Without formal culinary training, Judy Alter has cooked her way through life, feeding family and friends at everything from casual dinners al fresco to elaborate meals for twenty. An award-winning author and publisher, she jokes she’ll come back in another life as a chef.

Today Alter finds herself cooking in a four-by-six kitchen where zoning laws forbid built-ins but allow anything that plugs in. So she cooks with a hot plate, toaster oven, and a large refrigerator/freezer. Given these limitations, she has developed a new approach to food, one that she says lets her get in touch with the food itself. By choice, she does not have an Insta-Pot, an air-fryer, a microwave. Her menu choices are dictated by her cooking facilities—and she loves it.

She shares her tiny kitchen tips and recipes, developed over the past couple of years, in Gourmet on a Hot Plate. Alter is the author of three previous cookbooks: Cooking My Way through Life with Kids and Books, Texas is Chili Country, and Extraordinary Texas Chefs,and a contributor to Bake, Love, Write and We’d Rather Be Writing. Her recipe for Doris’ Casserole has been included in so many books it’s almost an American classic by now.

Be part of her ongoing cooking adventure at the Gourmet on a Hot Plate blog, where she encourages discussion and welcomes recipes, comments, and questions.

 ║Website ║ Facebook Judy's Stew Blog 
║ Twitter Goodreads Amazon Author Page 
Gourmet on a Hot Plate Blog

2 Signed Copies, 1 eBook Copy
APRIL 24-May 4, 2019
Author Interview
Bonus Post
Scrapbook Page
Sneak Peek
Top Ten List

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Monday, April 29, 2019

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar April 29-May 5, 2019

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of April 29-May 5, 2019 compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Lover.

Special Events:

Fan Expo Dallas, May 3-5

Free Comic Book Day, internationally, May 4

Blue Willow Bookshop, Delia Owens will discuss and sign WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING, 7PM

Tuesday, April 30:

El Paso
The Black Orchid Lounge, The Barbed Wire Open Mic Series, 8PM

Fort Worth
The Dock Bookshop, Poetry and Open Mic, 8PM

Lark & Owl Booksellers, New York Times best-selling author Delia Owens discussing and signing WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING, 7PM [ticketed event]


Lone Star College, The Annual Gathering of Poets Dinner Reading, 5:30PM

B&N - Lincoln Park, Author visit: Chris Perondi and Vinny Valentino of The Big Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever: A Step-by-Step Guide to 118 Amazing Tricks and Stunts, 7PM

Deep Vellum Books, Athenaeum Review Issue 2 Launch Party, 7PM

Fellowship Dallas, Arts & Letters Live presents Melinda Gates discussing her new book, The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World, 7:30PM

Golden Boy Coffee Co., Spiderweb Open Mic, 6PM

Blue Willow Bookshop, Joe Kelly and Tim Kelly will discuss American History and sign their books, 5PM

Brazos Bookstore, Jennifer DuBois reading and signing THE SPECTATORS, 7PM

Discovery Green, WITS: Youth Performance Poetry Sessions, 6:30PM

Murder By the Book, James Patterson signing The 18th Abduction, 10AM [ticketed event]

San Antonio
Saturday, May 4:
BookPeople, Austin SCBWI Monthly Meeting: The Amazing Idea of Play with author Charlotte Sullivan Wild, 10AM

BookPeople, Authors from AUSTIN BAT CAVE speaking & signing The Austin Bat Cave Anthology, 2PM

BookPeople, DEB GABOR speaking & signing Irrational Loyalty, 5PM

Malvern Books, journalist and author Asher Elbein reading and signing of his new book, Ghost Days, 7PM

St. Edward's U, Writers' League of Texas workshop: "Adapting and Learning From Classic Literary Works" with Jess Hagemann, 10AM

The Published Page Bookshop, Susan Langlois reading, discussing, and signing her new children's book, Everything is Going to Be All Right - A Story About Hurricane Harvey, 1PM

Corpus Christi
By the Book Bookstore, local author Esther Bonilla reading and signing her latest work, From the Porch Steps: Little Stories To Warm The Heart, 12PM

Interabang Books, Shakespeare Unlocked, 1PM

The Wild Detectives, Shakespeare in the Bar Groundling Gala fundraiser, 7PM [tickets are by donation to Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT)]

B&N - Golden Triangle, Local author Tally Adams signing Shadow Pact, 2PM

El Paso
Murder By the Book, Rosemary Poole-Carter will sign and discuss Only Charlotte, 1PM

Murder By the Book, Sam Brown will sign and discuss Unique Eats and Eateries of Houston, 4:30PM

River Oaks Bookstore, David R. Dow reading and signing Confessions of an Innocent Man, 3PM

Writespace, Workshop: "More than Just Describing Place: The Rules of Setting and When to Break Them" with BC Oliva, 9:30AM

Writespace, Workshop: "Bring Your Writing to Life" with Marian Szczepanski, 1PM

West Irving Library, NEA Big Read Irving 2019: What is a Memoir? with Author, editor, and public speaker Lisa Dale Norton, 2PM

Laredo Public Library, Meet the Author - Hilda L. Treviño, 2PM

New Braunfels
The Book Haus, Book signing with children's author Carolyn Leiloglou, 10AM

UTPB, Permian Basin Poetry Society Poetry Readings, 7PM

San Antonio
Crownridge Canyon Park and Wilderness Area, Gemini Ink presents Poetry at the Park: The Ode and Nature, 10AM

The Twig Book Shop, Catherine Stier signing If I Were a Park Ranger, 11AM

Sulphur Springs
The Bookworm Box, May the Fourth Be With You Author Signing with Colleen Hoover, Molly McAdams, Devney Perry and Rebecca Yarros, 12PM [ticketed event]

Sunday, May 5:
Half Price Books Mother Ship, Local Author Sundays: Meet local Indie authors and pick up their latest release, while supplies last

The Wild Detectives, Bard's Birthday Bash: To Know or not to Know, 7PM

Museum of South Texas History, Sunday Speaker Series: Emma Gonzalez discussing Field Mice-Memoirs of a Migrant Child, 2PM

Writespace, Workshop: "How to Outline Your Novels" with D.L. Young, 3PM

West Irving Library, NEA Big Read Irving 2019: Memoir Writing Workshop with author, editor, and public speaker Lisa Dale Norton, 1PM

Half Price Books, Local Author Sundays: Meet local Indie authors and pick up their latest release, while supplies last

The Drawing Board, Writing Workshops Dallas seminar: Submitting to Journals & Magazines with Mag Gabbert, 3PM

The Drawing Board, Writing Workshops Dallas seminar: The Alchemy of Character with Jaye Wells, 3PM

San Antonio
Dead Tree Books, Ernest D Hernandez signing The Legend of Azul, 4PM

The Twig Book Shop, Norma Elia Cantu signing Cabanuelas, 12PM

Monday, April 22, 2019

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar April 22-28, 2019

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of April 22-28, 2019 compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Lover.

Special Events:
30 Poems for the Tricentennial: A Poetic Legacy, San Antonio, December 3-April 25

Women of Flatbed: A Retrospective, Austin, January 17-April 28

B&N - Firewheel, Sky in the Deep book signing with Adrienne Young, 6PM


Avant Garden, Write About Now: LatinX Mic featuring Gigi Bella, 7:30PM

Brazos Bookstore, Kathi Appelt reading and signing ANGEL THIEVES, 7PM

Hyatt Regency Downtown, The Houston Library Foundation proudly presents the Beyond the Page Luncheon with Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give, 12PM

Rubinstein Jewish Community Center, Author Talk with Heather Morris, author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, 7:30PM

Murder By the Book, Jeffrey Siger will sign and discuss The Mykonos Mob, 6:30PM

U Houston, Poetry & Prose presents a reading by Glass Mountain contributors, 5:30PM

UTD, Center for Values in Medicine, Science and Technology Lecture Series: The Promise and the Peril of Artificial Intelligence with Ed Finn, author of What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing, 7:30PM

Thursday, April 25:
Interabang Books, Writers’ League of Texas presents Jennifer DuBois ON THE CRAFT OF WRITING: THE SPECTATORS, 7PM

The Wild Detectives, Story Collider: Dallas launch, 7PM

El Paso
B-17 Bombers Oyster Pub, Barbed Wire Open Mic, 8PM

Fort Worth
Fort Worth Contemporary Arts Gallery, Spring 2019 Issue Release Party of eleven40seven, 5:30PM

Brasil Houston, Houston VIP Slam: Science & Sonnets, 6:30PM

Brazos Bookstore, Nell Freudenberger reading and signing LOST AND WANTED, 7PM

Poison Girl, Poison Pen Reading Series featuring Ryan Black, Esther Lin, and Giuseppe Taurino, 8:30PM

River Oaks Bookstore, Ray Viator signing Houston, Space City USA, 5PM

Spring Branch Memorial Library, Celebrate El día de los niños / El día de los libros with author Kathleen Contreras as she reads from her award-winning bilingual picture book, Harvesting Friends / Cosechando amigos, 11AM

South Irving Library, El dia de los ninos / El dia de los libros, 4PM

La Porte
La Porte Public Library, Celebrate El día de los niños / El día de los libros with author Kathleen Contreras as she reads from her award-winning bilingual picture book, Harvesting Friends / Cosechando amigos, 2PM

UTD, A Reading and Conversation with Brazilian Poet Salgado Maranho and his translator Alexis Levitin, 7PM

Sulphur Springs
The Bookworm Box, Cathlin Shahriary Live Author Takeover!, 7PM

Friday, April 26:
Deep Vellum Books, Pegasus Reading Series featuring Lauren Belmore, Machele Johnson, Kat Moore, and Morgan Smith, 7PM

Heroes Lounge, Dallas Poetry Slam: 25th Anniversary Showcase, 8PM

Interabang Books, Anna Quindlen discussing and signing NANAVILLE: ADVENTURES IN GRANDPARENTING, 7:30PM

Brazos Bookstore, Launch Event: Music & Literature No. 9 featuring Swiss author Peter Bichsel and Canadian poet Sylvia Legris, 6PM

Dupree Theater, NEA Big Read Keynote Presentation: An evening with New Yorker cartoonist and author Roz Chast, 5:30PM

San Antonio


Saturday, April 27:

Half Price Books - Clear Lake, Local Author Saturdays: Meet local Indie authors and pick up their latest release, while supplies last

Murder By the Book, Pamela Fagan Hutchins will sign and discuss Sick Puppy, 4:30PM

River Oaks Bookstore, S.C. Perkins signing Murder Once Removed, 3PM

Stanaker Branch Library, celebrating El Dia de los Niños, 1:30PM

Writespace, Workshop: "Ten Easy Steps to Writing Timely and Provocative Stories" with Marian Szczepanski, 9:30AM

East Irving Library, Día de los Niños, Día de los Libros, 2:30PM

B&N, Cowboy book signing with Bob Holt, 2PM

New Braunfels
The Book Haus, One year Anniversary and Independent Bookstore Day, 10AM

Pflugerville Public Library, Annual poetry reading from entrants in the poetry month contest and members of the Pflugerville Poetry Society, 2PM

Port Neches
Fleur Fine Books, Meet & Greet with author Thomas Schulte, 3PM

San Antonio
Gemini Ink, Workshop: "Writing Place: Homelands in Literature" with Kali Fajardo-Anstine, 10AM

Love Shack Boutique, BookishAF: Pop-Up Book Fair, 3PM

San Marcos
Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos, Barrio Writers Youth Zine-Making Workshop, 12PM

Sunday, April 28: