It’s Christmas, and this year Emily Halliday is trying something new at
the struggling revival movie theater she runs for her
great-grandmother. After all, how many times can you show It’s a
Emily was hoping to make a little profit on “Holiday Hijinks,” her
“counter-programming Christmas” event. What she never
expected—plot twist—is that an unexpected guest will turn her own
life into a romantic comedy.
Holiday Hijinks is the first in a new series of cozy romances set in the
small Pacific Northwest town of Silver Birch, Washington. A short
read (15K) for a busy time, Holiday Hijinks introduces a whole
new cast of characters while bringing back “cameos” from the
“Meredith Manor Hotel” books, which are also set in Silver Birch.
If you love movies and food and romance as cozy as flannel jammies,
Holiday Hijinks is the Christmas read for you.
**Only .99 cents!!**
Washington, D.C., Katherine Moore now lives in a small Pacific
Northwest town very much like Silver Birch. She has worked as a food
writer, a caterer, and a movie extra as well as a freelance lifestyle
reporter and staff writer for magazines in Honolulu, Los Angeles, and
Let the Feasting Begin
I mostly grew up in Virginia, so Christmas meant visits to my maternal grandparents’ house
where my mother and aunts turned the occasion into a foodie version of the Olympics. Mickey
looks strong coming into the sides with her corn pudding but contenders Helen and Mabel could
offer her a real challenge with their bacon-wrapped Brussels sprouts and green beans
In most families, everyone would divide up the dishes and one person would bring the
sweet potatoes and one person would bring the mashed potatoes and so on. Amateurs the
women of the Moore family would scoff. And so my mother would bring grated sweet potato
pudding, Aunt Mabel would bring the candied yams, and Aunt Helen would offer sweet potato
timbales with crushed cornflakes on the outside and marshmallows hidden inside like sweet
It was the same with the other side dishes—especially for potatoes. There were always
mashed potatoes, potatoes roasted with root vegetables until crackly and delicious, and boiled
red potatoes with butter and parsley. (The day after Christmas morning, my mother always
sliced up the leftover boiled potatoes and fried them with onions for breakfast. I was convinced
she made extra just so there would be plenty for breakfast.)
The one thing everyone agreed on was pie. No one really liked mincemeat pie or
pumpkin pie so the majority ruled and the dessert was pecan pie. I loved pecan pie, so I was
fine going along with everyone. But I also love pumpkin pie, just not enough to buy a whole pie
Imagine my delight when I discovered the joys of baking things in a mug. This Pumpkin
Pie for One became one of my favorite solo holiday indulgences.
Pumpkin Pie For One
1 microwave-safe mug (10 ounces or larger)
1 tsp. butter, preferably unsalted
2-3 small gingersnap cookies, crushed fine
Melt the butter in the bottom of the mug. (Use the low power setting)
Stir in the crushed gingersnaps and press into the bottom of the mug to make a crust.
1 Tbsp. whole milk
2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1⁄2 tsp. cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp. nutmeg
1⁄4 tsp. ginger (May substitute 1 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger)
Mix the milk, egg, brown sugar, pumpkin, and spices together in a small bowl.
Pour “pie filling” into the mug over the crust.
Put the mug on a microwave-safe plate and nuke at full power for 2 1⁄2 to 5 minutes. (Cooking times vary
—check on it after two minutes and remove the “pie” when a knife comes out clean.)
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