My Books

Sea-Devil: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 1
Sea-Devil: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 1

You never get over your first about your first murder? When a man is murdered in her bookstore the night before her grand opening, island newcomer, Delilah Duffy, makes a name for herself as prime suspect. If Delilah Duffy hopes to create a life on the island, she must navigate through a vicious family feud, shoddy police work and the mistakes of her past. Will Delilah uncover the truth before her past and her present destroy her?

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Luna-Sea: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 2
Luna-Sea: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 2

We're all just one pain away from lunacy. A seaside inn. An elegant party. A black dress. What could go wrong? For Delilah Duffy, just about anything. With her bookstore failing, the last thing she needs is a party or another mystery to solve. With nightmares, anxiety, and panic intensifying, Delilah doesn’t know what’s real and what’s in her head. With everything at risk, Delilah discovers what’s worse… becoming a lunatic or facing one.

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Sea-Crossed: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 3
Sea-Crossed: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 3

Some secrets are kept to be kind. Torture, pain, misery - that’s all someone else wants for her. When a dinner party turns deadly, Sam goes missing, and Delilah realizes she's being watched, the “book queen with a thing for crime scenes” must battle to get her life and love back. Can love and determination save them or will dark secrets ruin her chances for a normal life? With mysterious messages taunting her and a killer eluding her, what lines will she cross to get to the truth?

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Pyra-Sea: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 4
Pyra-Sea: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 4

Everything can change in seconds. Bookstore manager and crime-solver, Delilah Duffy knows that better than anyone. When her Happily Ever After Valentine’s Day Bash ends in fiery destruction, everything she’s worked for burns with it. Pregnant and brokenhearted, Delilah fans the flames of her anger toward what she’s good at: solving crimes. Hot on the trail of an arsonist while her nemesis is on hers, Delilah fights to get her life back. Will she turn ash to treasure before the pyromaniac strikes

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My Vella Story

Water World
Water World

After a tough move with his Mom and sister from his beloved country home, Ethan isn't adjusting well to city life. In trying to escape his problems in this world, he opens another, dropping him and his sister, Abby, into Water World. This trip is no vacation, not with legendary monsters and deadly sea creatures to battle. But teaming up to help the merpeople through their home-related crisis might help Ethan and Abby navigate theirs, if they survive long enough to make it home.

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  • Jessica Sherry

Rock the Stock: How to make Chicken Stock

Whenever I go into one of my homemade chicken stock frenzies, I feel like I’ve really lost it. Like more than normal. Maybe I have. Why am I going through all this trouble for something that’s super-cheap in stores? Do I like making extra work for myself? Do I enjoy giving other shoppers a smirking head shake when I see stock in their carts while muttering amateurs under my breath?

Well, maybe. But there are other good, valid, non-snarky reasons to make your own chicken stock.

First, like the benefit to anything homemade, you control what’s in it. You can make it low salt, no-salt, rosemary-infused, lemon-scented, whatever. It’s nice being in control of something, right? Take a sec to ponder that feeling in this out-of-control world.

Second, and again like most homemade things, it tastes better. Now before you get too excited, it’s chicken stock, okay, not filet mignon with a wine reduction cooked by Gordon Ramsey. It won’t freaking blow your mind. But, since stock comprises the base of many dishes, it’ll subtly improve all your yummy and delicious masterpieces.

Third, and this may be most important, making your own stock will make you feel like a culinary badass, and who doesn’t need that?

Now, let’s rock the stock. Put on some upbeat music and get cooking.

What You Need:

  • 2-3 Whole Chicken Carcasses. Whenever you fix a whole chicken (like say, spatchcocking *wink) or buy a juicy rotisserie from Costco, simply freeze the leftover bones. Isn’t recycling fun?

  • A Large Pot

  • Freezable containers; we use round quart-sized Ziploc containers with screw-top lids

  • A strainer with a tight mesh (I use a large tea strainer) or cheesecloth

  • Ladle

  • A few hours on, let’s say, a rainy Saturday

  • A variety of aromatics… whatever you like. It’s your stock. Remember what I said about control? In my best stocks so far, I’ve used:

  • 3-4 stalks of celery (I use the leafy, inner parts of the stalk that no one eats for some reason)

  • 1-2 onions depending on the size of my batch, chopped quartered,

  • 2-3 quartered carrots,

  • a couple bay leaves,

  • a sprinkle of peppercorns,

  • two sprigs each of rosemary and thyme,

  • a couple sage leaves

I leave out the salt because we’re going low-salt in our house these days, but you do you. If you’re a salt-head, I suggest waiting until your stock is done, then add salt to taste. Garlic’s also nice, if you have it.

This recipe usually earns me 6-7 quarts of stock, which lasts a month or two depending on how many soups we make.

What You Do:

Homemade Chicken Stock
  1. Place your fresh and/or frozen carcasses into your large pot.

  2. Throw in your veg and herbs.

  3. Fill the pot with COLD water (It MUST be COLD) until everything is comfortably covered in the cold bath. Why cold, the studious readers might ask? Well, I’m no scientist, but what I understand is that the key to a good stock is a LOW AND SLOW cook, therefore it’s best to start cold and raise the temp gradually. Starting warm and the water getting too hot leads to a cloudy, not-so-yummy-looking result. If cloudy stock happens to you (don’t be sad; it really happens to all of us), don’t throw it away. It’s still edible. It simply may require a second strain, which I’ll get to in a minute.

  4. Heat on a LOW simmer for 2-3 hours. YOU DO NOT WANT A ROLLING BOIL, ever, but a baby simmer, like slightly bubbling. Like… you’ll look at the water and see that it’s hardly moving at all and wonder… should I turn it up? NO! On my stovetop, the ideal setting is 4 on an Induction cooktop.

  5. After a few hours, the stock will reduce, that is, the water level will start to go down. That’s when I know it’s done. But, if you have raw chicken in there, you can take the water’s temperature to ensure it’s at least 165 F. But really if it has been simmering at even 140 F for at least an hour then it'll still be safe. This according to hubs (But really thanks to Sous Vide Ways and their handy little Time & Temp Guide). Joe fancies himself a poor man's Alton Brown. Silly Billy (SMH). He's still cute though, I think I'll keep him.

  6. Give it a taste. Do a little chicken dance. But, don’t get too comfortable yet.

  7. Here comes the labor-intensive part… Once the stock cools, scoop out as much of the bones and aromatics as you can—this is all garbage now. Then strain your stock into their storage containers via your tight-mesh strainer or cheesecloth. I’ve never used cheesecloth, but others do. You’ll have to play with how this process works best for you. I ladle the broth through my tea strainer into the plastic container. Yes, this takes for evs. But, there’s something satisfying and zen about it, too. Remember to leave a little room in your containers if you plan to freeze them.

  8. Put your mostly full storage containers into the fridge for an overnight rest. Nighty-night, stock.

  9. In the morning, you’ll find a layer of fat at the top of each container. Skim this. Don't you wish you could take it off your thighs this easy?

  10. IF your broth is cloudy, you can go through the straining process again to rid it of excess fat or other undesirables. Don’t fret, though. A second strain is rarely needed.

  11. Now, relax. Your stock is ready for freezing or cooking or guzzling or for taking a nice, long chicken stock bath.

Okay, okay, I know what you’re thinking… that’s a helluva lot of work to save a couple bucks at Walmart. Yes. That’s true. This is a painstaking endeavor that should be reserved only for brave souls who:

  • ENJOY kitchen work,

  • Have time on their hands,

  • Want to micromanage what they’re eating,

  • Or maybe LIKE playing with chicken carcasses. That could be a thing, right?

BUT, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, it’s hella-satisfying. I mean, it’s not like win-the-lottery satisfying, but come on. It’s chicken stock.

Homemade Chicken Stock

Ah, golden and delicious.

Got any rocking stock tips? Share below. But please, no chicken stock bath pics. I'm talking to you, Barry.