October 2006

Dear friends of Desert Rose Books,

Autumn Greetings Everyone!

While I was baking yesterday, I decided that the focus of this letter would have to be 'Cookies and Tea'. In response to a case of 'empty nester' blues, I turned to baking. For me, baking is therapy. Thankfully, I was able to pawn off the results of my efforts on co-workers and college students. I've always said that if I were ever marooned on a deserted island all I would request for food would be cookies; and if at all possible, some Irish tea; specifically 'Barry's Tea'....and maybe a little milk to go with all of that.

While in Ireland this summer, I decided to forego coffee in place of the tea that they serve everywhere on the Emerald Isle. As a result, I've developed quite the tea habit. I brought home a box of 'Barry's Tea' with me, but it didn't last long. I've had to switch to a British blend that is sold by a local import shop. I haven't given up on finding a source for 'Barry's Tea'. Ahhh...'Barry's Tea'.

For the last year or so, I've been somewhat obsessed with a cookie sold by a local grocery store called 'Cowboy Cookies'. Since then, I haven't been able to find them. I could no longer contain my craving for them so, I set about developing my own recipe for them. I call this version 'Cowgirl Cookies'. The recipe is included in this newsletter.

If anyone ever had to extract highly sensitive intelligence from me...(all right no cracks about me and intelligence) all they would need to do is set before me a perfectly brewed cup of 'Barry's Tea'(milk and no sugar, please) and a plate of cookies fresh from the oven. I promise you, I would sing like a canary.

At the Desert Rose Books site, I've added some new articles and a number of new recipes. Stop by and check it out.


If you know anyone who could use a new cookie recipe, by all means, please forward this newsletter.

If you have any historical fiction fans on your Christmas Gift list, please consider picking up a signed copy of 'Whispers on the Wind'. I am offering FREE SHIPPING on MAIL ORDERS ONLY from now until January 1st. Simply write 'Cookies and Tea' on the mail order form and deduct the shipping cost from your total.

Here's a link to access the mail order form: https://www.desertrosebooks.com/mailorderform.html

I hope that you enjoy this month's article that examines the sacred in our lives. As always, take time for yourself - especially as we enter into this busy time of year.

All the best,


The Sacred in our Lives

by Bridget Geegan Blanton

Take a moment and define for yourself what is sacred in your life. The word sacred is often ascribed to land, scripture and tradition. It is a characteristic that is not assigned with a casual hand. The land may have been a site of a bloody battle where remains of warriors are honored. A tradition or ceremony described as sacred is often religious and is venerated by the faithful. Yet, we can claim our own sacred beliefs for reasons of love, peace and security. When we conceive of that which is sacred, we travel to a place within that is devoid of earthbound problems. In this place, we feel the presence of God. If you can imagine what is sacred than you can take it with you wherever you go. Approach the multitude of choices that compose a single day and infuse it with what is sacred to you.

In midst of stress due to uncertainty or fear of a negative outcome, I am unable to instantaneously summon up the perception of all that is sacred to me. I haven't reached that milepost yet on the road to enlightenment, but I've come a long way. Try as I might, I cannot seem to avoid the machinations of my mind as I wait for a resolution. However, I do employ a different approach to coping with stress. I've learned a few things and they work out for me when I choose to practice them. By taking myself out of the chaos of the moment, I'm able to regain a little inner balance.

In any situation there are things that I can do to the best of my ability to achieve a desired outcome; beyond that, I can only turn it over to God and let it be. Trying to replace anxious thoughts with positive thinking has never worked for me; it doesn't feel genuine. Fear seems to unlock a Pandora's box in our mind, bringing to the forefront feelings of guilt, blame and doubt. By becoming aware of all the negativity we can begin to release it; not replace it with thoughts that seem artificial. Let's face it, all of the thoughts that have so rattled our peace of mind are fear-based. Fear is far from trust and even further away from love. I ask for help from a source outside of myself. I need this help to move past the fear and the anxiety.

What is sacred in my own life beyond the people whom I love, is my connection to a higher source, a.k.a. God. I've spent time exploring the spiritual side of life and what I've learned has made life better. I've learned simple truth not complicated philosophy. Acceptance trumps resistance and love conquers fear. I believe that I will always have a degree of attachment to a particular outcome. It's part of the human experience and it's a normal response. How we deal with our emotions is the point of the matter. Learning to quiet inner turbulence is the key to inner peace. I'm happy to report that I have also experienced periods of true peace and the occasional ability to live in the present moment. I attribute my small successes to taking all that is sacred to me wherever I go.


Cowgirl Cookies

2 1/4 c all-purpose flour

1 1/4 c butter, softened

pinch of salt

2 t baking soda

1 c granulated sugar

1 c brown sugar

2 eggs

1 t vanilla

1 small box of white chocolate or vanilla instant pudding mix

1 c roasted, salted almonds chopped

1 c oatmeal (old fashioned rolled oats)

1 c baking raisins

1 c coconut

1 eight ounce bag of milk chocolate toffee bits by Heath

1 twelve ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate morsels

I also added 1/3 c of golden syrup as a binding agent. Golden syrup can be found near other syrups at the grocery store. It's a British cooking additive and can also be found at larger import stores with a food section. The addition of Golden syrup is not crucial so, if you can't find it, don't worry, just carry on with the recipe.

Cream the butter and the sugars together with an electric mixer. Add the eggs and the vanilla (and the Golden syrup if you have it ) and cream together. Combine flour, oats, pudding mix, salt and soda in a bowl and add to butter mixture. Mix until the mixture is just beginning to combine. Add the almonds, the toffee bits, coconut, raisins and chocolate morsels. Continue mixing until combined.

Bake at 350° for 10 - 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

And now a parting thought...

We can never tell what is in store for us. -Harry Truman

Desert Rose Books hopes you've enjoyed our brief publication. As always, your comments are welcome.

Please visit us at www.desertrosebooks.com Home of the historical fiction novel, 'Whispers on the Wind' Pick up a signed copy at our online bookstore for just $14.95. Experience the writing style of Bridget Geegan Blanton. Visit the sample chapter page that portrays a portion of the new historical fiction novel, 'Whispers on the Wind'

Enjoy your day. As always, thanks for spending a little time with us. Desert Rose Books