Twirling_Ballerina_Cover-1600x2400Since Thanksgiving is a mere nine days away, I’m working double-time to make sure that all of my writing and photography work is finished before the holiday hits. I plan to sit back, relax, and enjoy my time with family next week. Okay, truthfully I plan to enjoy my time with family and help cook, but cooking for me is fun anyway so I don’t mind.

Now that the final preparations are finished for “The Twirling Ballerina” short story’s publication date on December 1, I’m feeling pretty festive. I’m also practically bouncing off the walls with excitement over this story because it’s one I’ve wanted to tell for a while now. It’s a story about faith, family, love, and grief. As excited as I am about its publication, I have to ask that no one try to pre-order it yet because I want to make “The Twirling Ballerina” free as a Christmas gift to everyone. Since Amazon is weird about free e-books, I have planned a 24-hour sale in which you can pick up the story for free as soon as it’s released. Don’t worry, I’ll make a blog and newsletter announcement when all of this takes place. Until then, please DO NOT purchase it unless you just want to spend the extra $0.99.

Since I am prepping for holiday feasting, I thought I should post a fun recipe for everyone. It’s a hot beverage that won me several smiles last night when I served it for the first time. Here is my version of Orange Spiced Tea. Enjoy!

Orange Spiced Tea

3 quarts (18 cups) water (purified water makes better tea than tap)
3 teaspoons whole cloves (McCormick seasonings work best)
3 1 inch cinnamon stick pieces (McCormick seasonings work best)
6 tea bags black tea (Twinings Ceylon Orange Pekoe Tea works wonders for this recipe; although you could use Lipton if needed.)
2 12-ounce cans frozen Orange Juice concentrate (I use Minute Maid)
1 12-ounce can frozen Lemonade concentrate (I use Minute Maid)
2 cups sugar

Pour the water into an 8 quart pot; add the cinnamon sticks and cloves (I use a loose-leaf tea infuser to hold everything). Bring water to a boil; remove from heat. Add tea bags to the water and set tea mixture aside to steep. You want the liquid to have a nice dark red coloring throughout (steeping about 7-9 minutes should do the trick). Remove the tea bags, cloves, and cinnamon sticks (you can reuse these to brew a second batch of plain Spiced Tea later if you wish. If not, just discard them.).

Add orange juice, lemonade, and sugar together in a 4 quart pot and bring it to a boil. Be sure to stir the mixture until the sugar completely dissolves. Carefully pour the juice mixture into the spiced tea pot and stir until completely mixed. Serve hot. This makes about 6 quarts or 24 servings. Cheers!

Until next time, may we each rewrite our world for the better!


The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the writing desk of Alycia Christine at Purple Thorn Press and Photography with love, art, speculative fiction books, and virtual baked goods for all. Please let me know your thoughts about this particular post and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, contact me. Thanks!