Friday, March 28, 2014

Last Friday of the Month Recipe~Olive & Cheese Penguins from Elysa Hendricks plus an Excerpt from Must Love Cats

When I saw the picture of these, I just knew I had to make them.  
Now can I eat something so adorable?


1 can of jumbo or large black olives

1 can of small black olives
(I dislike black olives, so next time I'm going to use green ones. Strange looking Penguins, but tastier - at least to me. Maybe I'll color the cheese red and they'll be Christmas Penguins.)
1/4 to 1/3 pound of soft cheese, such as fromage blanc, or cream cheese (softened.)
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced into rounds
Frilled Toothpicks

For the feet:
Cut a triangle out of the carrot rounds. The big piece will be the feet.

Take the small piece and cut into small slivers for the beak of the penguin.

Next take a large olive and cut a quarter inch wedge from it.

Now stuff olive with soft cheese and smooth out.

Take your carrot feet and place the cheese filled olive on top, then place a small olive on top of the large olive.

Use a toothpick to secure. Poke a small hole in the middle of the small olive and then place a carrot beak in the hole.

You can use strips of pimento as scarves around the Penguin's neck and tiny cloves for their eyes.

Killed in a car wreck Thomas Cash (TC) Riley is given a chance to redeem himself.
With the help of a little girl and a young boy, can TC bring together two damaged people, remember his past, and save his soul?
And can he do it all as a cat? 

Daniel pulled his car into the gravel lot alongside the quaint, white clapboard farmhouse. His gaze focused on the classic lines of the lovingly maintained building, at first he didn't notice the slim woman standing arms akimbo at the base of a ladder propped against the house.

As a successful, commercial architect, he admired and envied those who designed houses, creating warm, welcoming, comfortable homes for people. At one point that had been his dream, but pressure from his father convinced him otherwise.

"The money and prestige is in public buildings. No one remembers who designs houses." His father's words came back to him. At the time, Daniel hadn't had the nerve or the courage to argue, to bring up famous architects who'd designed homes. He was well aware that of those, the public, which included his playboy father and socialite mother, only Frank Lloyd Wright's name was recognizable. As always to avoid conflict, to gain his parent's approval, he'd fallen into line.

Marrying Hannah had been the only time he ever went against his father's wishes. Maybe his parents’ objection had been what drew Daniel to her. Even if his father had forgiven him, that relationship had been doomed. But his parents had died before he could reconcile with them. And now Hannah was gone as well. All that remained was Alana.

"Daddy, look! A bird boy!"

Alana's delighted shout and a child's scream drew his attention to the boy clinging precariously to the steeply slanted roof. A makeshift parachute wrapped around his arms, and tangled around his thrashing legs prevented him from gaining a good grip on the roof's shingles. Another look at the woman confirmed his fears. Her ashen face reflected her terror at what was about to happen. A fall from that height, more than twenty feet, would certainly injure, if not kill, the boy.

"Stay here," he told Alana and bolted out of the car. His gaze went from the boy to the ladder. No help there. The old wood wouldn't hold his weight. What other option did he have?

"TC." He heard Alana call out.

His attention focused on the boy, he ignored the streak of black and white racing past him. With only one chance, he calculated the boy's height, weight and the angle of his fall and positioned himself below.

"Hey, son," he called softly.

The boy turned panicked eyes toward Daniel.

"Everything's going to be fine," he reassured the boy. "Let yourself slide down. I'm going to catch you."

The boy nodded in acceptance. Panic drained from his eyes. Daniel felt a punch of fear mingled with gratitude for the boy's instinctive trust.

He held out his arms. "Let go now."

Without hesitation the boy released his grip on the shingles. He slid down then the cloth wrapped around him snagged. His body twisted sideways. He was coming down head first in a different direction. Too fast. Daniel dove to the side, hoping to at least break the boy's fall. He braced for the impact.

He heard the woman's gasp. At the last moment, as the boy plunged off the edge of the roof, his body jerked to a halt to dangle about fifteen feet above Daniel.

Quickly Daniel righted himself below the boy and looked up. At the edge of the roof the cat stretched spread eagle, its claws clinging to the fabric of the makeshift parachute and the shingles. Though its slight weight was no match for the boy's, it had stopped his headlong plummet for a critical few seconds.

Daniel's eyes met those of the cat. For an instant he could have sworn the cat winked at him. Then with a yowl the cat retracted its claws and the boy dropped neatly into Daniel's outstretched arms. They tumbled together to the ground.

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Elysa Hendricks is 5'6" tall. She has brown eyes and curly hair. She's an author, a wife, a mother, and a daughter. Everything else is subject to change without notice. Here "real" life motto is: Boring is good. Excitement is vastly overrated. So she saves all the adventures for the characters in her books.
Find Elysa:


  1. Hi Elysa, Nice to have you here! I love the recipe and can't wait to read more about TC! Think the excerpt is great.

  2. The penguins are TOO cute. I do like black olives, so I think I'll try this.

    What a cute story premise, with TC cat redeeming himself. Sounds terrific.

  3. It is a cute premise, isn't it. Fun idea, I hope Elysa will talk more about TC's adventures.

    PS, tell us how you liked the recipe. It's so fun.

  4. Leslie Ann,

    Thanks so much for having me here today. I hope everyone enjoys the olive penguins.

    TC is one of my favorite characters. I'm working on his next adventure/life BLAME IT ON THE CAT. With each "life" he learns a bit more about himself and gets closer to redeeming himself, but his path isn't an easy one. :-)

  5. If you like stories with cats, check out my short Christmas story A KITTEN FOR CHRISTMAS. Only 99 cents at Amazon.

    Two Christmases ago when Dani Martin lost her parents and fiance in a car accident she gave up on love.

    Jackson Connor has finally realized his dream of owning a farm when he's presented with the result of a one-night stand he had years ago - a son.

    On Christmas Eve, a snow storm, a little boy, and a kitten bring together two lonely, damaged people.

  6. The penguins are adorable! ==I don't like black olives either so I'll have to make mine Christmas penguins.
    And for anyone wondering... Must Love Cats is a great read! I highly recommend it.