Wednesday, April 27, 2016

VOLCANOS and SHORTBREAD with author Nicci Carrera

My guest today is Author Nicci Carrera who is sharing her shortbread recipe and a hair-raising volcano experience.

Where to find Nicci on the Web: (blog)
Good morning! Lynda, thank you so much for inviting me to your blog on this special day, release day for my second book. 

Recipes and Writing Prompts

Volcano Reflections
A volcano can change your life if it doesn’t kill you first.

In the early morning, I wandered outside to my private swimming pool. I ran for a dive as I did every day, but today the smooth surface of water reflected red lava spilling down the black flank of the volcano that forms the backdrop for my house in Hilo, Hawaii.

The significance of the reflection hit me as the water sliced around my hands. The icy rush and pressure of the pool joined the blunt force knowledge I was about to be engulfed in fire. Mount Kilauea’s lava flows must have shifted during the night. A stream of fire was heading right toward my house.

I surfaced, gasping for air. The taste and smell of ash hit my senses. I exploded from the shallow-end, water streaming off my body, and stumbled up the pool steps. The metal hand railing was warm to the touch as I pulled myself hand over hand out of the heavy water. I sprinted for the door, and that’s when I saw her.

My neighbor, Michelle, stood behind the sliding glass patio door, staring at me with her mouth hanging open.

Everything after that was a blur. We escaped together, and both my house and her parents’ house, where she was staying at the time, burned...

(See writing prompt at the end of this article)

English Shortbread

Hint: I use a Silpat on top of a flat cookie sheet for all cookies. Silpats are incredible; I highly
recommend getting one: But you do need a nice flat cookie sheet. I use one like this:
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Extra fine sugar for sprinkling on top.

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg.
3. Sift together flour and baking powder.
4. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture, stirring well to blend.
5. Knead dough lightly until it  holds together.
6. Roll dough on floured surface to 14 inch square.
7. Cut into 49 (2 inch) squares or cut with a cookie cutter.
8. Place squares or cookie cutter-shaped dough about 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet (or Silpat lined baking sheet).
9. Drizzle a thin coating of extra fine white sugar over the cookies.
10. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Remove from baking sheets; cool on racks.

Makes 49 squares, or numerous other shapes! I make hearts for Valentine’s Day and shamrocks for Saint Patrick's Day.

Writing Prompt:
Using Nicci's Volcano experience, write about how she and Michelle might have assisted others in the neighborhood to escape with them. In your account include a helicopter, stubborn helicopter pilot, two troublesome neighborhood teenagers, and one overly excited poodle. Oh, and turn this into a humorous scene! Have fun...


  1. Great writing prompt, Lynda! I look forward to seeing what people add to the story!

  2. Hi Nicci, Love the blurb and the recipe. Congrats on the release of Volcano Reflections. :)

  3. Great story! I will give the recipe to my daughter and son-n-law to try. They love to bake together. This story is captivating and I just might give it a try. I could use a fun diversion at the moment from the wedding day blues that are fast approaching on May 7th.