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Jan 13, 2016 Blog, Uncategorized

“Margaret’s Favorite Brownies . . . ” as Seen on Virginia This Morning!

“Margaret’s Favorite Brownies . . . ” as Seen on Virginia This Morning!

As promised, here’s the recipe for “Margaret’s Favorite Brownies with Raspberry Sauce” shared earlier this week on WTVT-TV’s Virginia this Morning. It was great fun talking with host Cheryl Miller about THE VIEW FROM PRINCE STREET but possibly even more fun mixing it up in the kitchen with her.

Mary Ellen Taylor THE VIEW FROM PRINCE STREET cover image (from Amazon)Anyway, here’s the segment. If you try the recipe, please let me know how it turns out and if you like it.

 

 

 

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Jan 11, 2016 Blog

Me Talking “Prince Street” over at CBS 6’s Virginia This Morning

Me Talking “Prince Street” over at CBS 6’s Virginia This Morning

What fun today!  I was invited over to WTVT-TV’s Virginia this Morning to talk about my new Alexandria novel, THE VIEW FROM PRINCE STREET, where I spent time with host Cheryl Miller (always a pleasure!) and had a chance to say  hello to folks like Torri Strickland, the show’s producer, and others I’ve gotten to know during my visits.

Mary Ellen Taylor THE VIEW FROM PRINCE STREET cover image (from Amazon)Anyway, here’ the interview.  I hope you enjoy hearing more about the goings on in Old Town, including the latest on Witch Bottles, who is actually related to whom, and how pondering the past can open up the future.

Tomorrow, I’ll share the second segment in which Cheryl and I make Margaret McCrae’s often requested, aptly named “Margaret’s Favorite Brownies with Raspberry Sauce.”  And I’ll include the recipe, of course!

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Jan 5, 2016 Blog

New Today!   THE VIEW FROM PRINCE STREET and a Giveaway!

New Today! THE VIEW FROM PRINCE STREET and a Giveaway!

 

Mary Ellen Taylor THE VIEW FROM PRINCE STREET cover image (from Amazon)I hope your holidays were terrific and that your New Year has started with a bang. Mine has. THE VIEW FROM PRINCE STREET has just been published. In fact, today is its very first day on sale. I’m always excited to know one of my novels is on it’s way into readers’ hands, but I’ve never had one published right at the start of the new year. I feel as if there’s something extra special about having it come out in the very first days of 2016. And I’m thinking it’s a wonderful excuse to keep the celebration going!

So, let’s do it! Join me in sending THE VIEW FROM PRINCE STREET on its journey into the world by entering my latest giveaway.  I’ve got five copies of At the Corner of King Street ready to send to five winners in honor of today’s January 5th publication date!

The world of Shire Architectural Salvage, the Union Street Bakery, and whispers from colonial Alexandria await! Enter now and be welcomed to the city’s past and present, stroll around Old Town and share my love of this wonderful city. Contest ends tomorrow night, January 6th at midnight!

Wishing you a 2016 filled with friends, family and wonderful reads!

 

“Taylor’s complex tale spans three families over two centuries and includes a dose of ancient magic . . . fascinating history and emotional turmoil that is intense yet subtle. An intelligent, heartwarming exploration of the powers of forgiveness,
compassion, and new beginnings.”
Kirkus Reviews on The View From Prince Street

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Dec 18, 2015 Blog, Cookie Recipes, Recipes

You Better Watch Out, You Better Not . . . Run Out of Cookies!

You Better Watch Out, You Better Not . . . Run Out of Cookies!

I know that’s what’s already happening at my house. With or without them, of course, the meaning of Christmas and our joy in celebrating with friends and family remain the same. However, I’m figuring with just a week to go until Christmas Day and a little bit of time on my hands, I’d like to whip up just a few more treats for all the sweet teeth I expect over the next two weeks. I hope this one, a favorite among coconut lovers, comes in handy for you, too, as you enjoy this weekend of anticipation, fun and last minute prep. I may just have to make up another batch or two after the holidays to deliver to local booksellers along with a “thank you” for featuring The View From Prince Street when it reaches stores January 5th.

Coconut Sugar Cookies

Mary Ellen Taylor Holiday Cookies 2015 two

3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups butter, room temperature
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1-2 cups shredded coconut

 

 

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in extract and zest. Mix half the dry ingredients into butter/sugar mixture. Blend well. Mix in second half of dry ingredients. Scoop dough into one inch rounds and them roll in shredded coconut. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 9-10 minutes.

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Dec 18, 2015 Blog, Contests

THE VIEW FROM PRINCE STREET COUNTDOWN BEGINS WITH A GIVEAWAY!

THE VIEW FROM PRINCE STREET COUNTDOWN BEGINS WITH A GIVEAWAY!

ViewFromPrinceStreet_150

It’s eighteen days until THE VIEW FROM PRINCE STREET hits stores!  But who’s counting?  I am! And what fun is a countdown without a new giveaway? Boring. So, if you haven’t read my first Alexandria Mary Ellen Taylor AT THE CORNER OF KING STREET cover hi resnovel, At the Corner of King  Street, or your copy fell in the tub, or your dog ate it, I hope you’ll enter for a chance to win it now.  It will give you a chance to catch up a bit on the goings on at The Union Street Bakery and it will introduce you to the family behind Shire Architectural Salvage where the witch bottles’ link to Old Town Alexandria’s colonial history was first uncovered.

Good luck! And happy holidays!

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Nov 23, 2015 Blog

My Hearthside Pumpkin Cookies

My Hearthside Pumpkin Cookies

 

Fireplace_Burning WikipediaYou don’t have to be sitting in front of a blazing fire to appreciate my Hearthside Pumpkin Cookies, but it doesn’t hurt. As the colder weather begins to take over I take comfort from thoughts of hot drinks (warm grog anyone?), good food, and the glow of the fireplace.

Mary Ellen Taylor THE VIEW FROM PRINCE STREET cover image (from Amazon)As I research more and more about the hardships faced by the early settlers in Virginia for my Alexandria novels, The View from Prince Street and At the Corner of King Street, I like to think I’d have had their courage and endurance, especially in the face of the challenging and truly dangerous winter season.

Mary Ellen Taylor AT THE CORNER OF KING STREET cover hi resWho knows? Maybe I would have. It’s hard, though, to even imagine myself in that time as I’m sitting by my gas fireplace, drinking a lovely toddy heated in my microwave, and choosing from a variety of goodies whipped up in the comfort of my kitchen from ingredients that, if I wanted, I could have picked up the phone and had delivered. Not that I wouldn’t want to grow, harvest and mill my own flour, of course.

So, with thanks for all we have in this time and place, I share a recipe I think carries a taste of old Alexandria, my Hearthside Pumpkin Cookies, as I take a moment to reflect on the city’s history and all who contributed to making it what it is today.

 

Mary Ellen’s Hearthside Pumpkin Cookies

Mary Ellen's Hearthside Pumpkin Cookies2 ½ cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup or 1 stick of butter
1 ½ cups of white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Confectioners sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl blend together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. In a separate bowl cream together butter, sugar and then add the egg. Mix in pumpkin and vanilla. Add the dry mixture to the pumpkin-sugar mixture 1/3 at a time. Scoop onto a greased cookie sheet and bake 15-20 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar.

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