Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cheaters Chicken Stroganoff from Laura Marie Altom

Welcome to Laura Marie Altom, whose latest book is A BABY IN HIS STOCKING, a heartwarming Christmas romance. (How cute is that cover and title?!) In a moment, Laura Marie is going to share an incredibly heartwarming Christmas story from her own life. Seriously, it's going to melt your heart. But first, here's a little bit about A BABY IN HIS STOCKING:
Wyatt Buckhorn is only a pal. If sharing scorching kisses that leave a woman feeble-brained means they're pals! But that's all the oilman-slash-rancher can be to Natalie Lewis. Five months pregnant and jilted, Natalie refuses to trust any man, least of all a man who is the definition of playboy. Throw in that every run-in turns into a fiery encounter, and "just friends" gets complicated. Which is a shame, because Natalie's life is messy enough.

Besides, she knows Wyatt's secret--he's sterile, and so enforces a strict kid-free rule. But when circumstances have them caring for a whole clan of Buckhorn youngsters over the holidays, Natalie sees a side of Wyatt that's definitely kid-friendly. Weakening defenses, and even weaker knees, have Natalie determined to destroy Wyatt's anti-family policy . . . before he leaves town for good.

A Chat with Laura Marie Altom

Share a special holiday memory with us.

When our boy/girl twins were high school freshmen, our son asked if a friend could stay with us for two weeks. His mother had just been evicted and he had nowhere to go. Of course, we welcomed him into our home. He was skinny and literally had nothing except the clothes on his back and a few extra, threadbare shirts. Two weeks flew by and Russell grew more at ease in our home. When the time came for his mother to get him, he became sullen. Only she didn't come.

Months passed and she still hadn't picked up her child. By this time, I was mad. How could a mother do this to her kid? My husband and I called a family meeting and had a talk with our twins about how they wanted to proceed. Would they be okay with us claiming Russell as our own? They agreed and we hired a family law attorney. Russell's mother finally made an appearance--in court. With a simple signature, Russell officially became our son.

We wanted that year's Christmas to be extra special. What could we possibly give Russell to show him how much he'd grown to mean to us, and how permanent his new home was? We decided to give him a kitten, but that was easier said than done! You would think in a town the size of Tulsa, Christmas kittens are easy to find--wrong! LOL!! Hubby and I drove for an entire day to pick just the right kitty.

For two days, our dogs pitching a fit, we hid the kitten in the master bedroom. Keeping the secret was so much fun, and when it came time for Russell to be given the coveted last gift of Christmas morning, we placed Foxy in his arms. That was such a special year. We take for granted how blessed we are to have the basics, but seeing our lives through Russell's eyes, everything felt new.

Russell and our twins are now college sophomores. Like any family, we've had our share of emotional ups and downs. With Christmas 2011 fast approaching, I'm excited to put all of the year's worries aside to instead focus on what's truly important--family.

These are pics of Foxy then and 23lb Foxy now!! She dwarfs our Yorkie, Daisy!!

If you were to win an all-expenses paid vacation, where would you like to go?
Bora Bora!!! I have a serious thing for palm trees, and that crazy aqua-colored water you only see in the tropics. My idea of the perfect day would be exploring some isolated cove, snorkling and lounging and maybe picking up a few shells. If a hunky waiter wanted to bring fancy umbrella drinks, that would be great, too!!

Your parents sent you to a dude ranch when you were a kid. Did that experience inspire your Buckhorns series?
Hmm, wish I had some great romantic tie-in, but nope, the Buckhorn Ranch is WAY ritzier than the place I stayed!! LOL!! I do have magical memories, though. Learning to barrel race, escaping our cabin in the middle of the night to stare up at the stars, jumping into the pool on sweltering Oklahoma summer afternoons. Dude ranch was the best!!

Cheaters Chicken Stroganoff

Since Hubby's an engineer and works a traditional nine-to-five day, I always feel a little guilty for living the writer's lifestyle of lounging in my PJs all day. Sure, I might be typing away, but still, I know I've got it pretty good!! LOL!! As such, I pretty much always have dinner ready for when Hubby gets home. We've been married 22 years, so I guess he likes my cooking!

I loathe following recipes--it's way more fun to just play, so this is my much easier take on a traditional beef stroganoff that usually gets me nice, clean plates. To my way of thinking, that's the best compliment my family can give!!

That said, here are there ingredients. Feel free to add more or less of everything. For me, it's all about personalizing it for your family's tastes.

• Three or four skinless, boneless chicken breasts split and diced into bite-sized cubes • One diced medium sweet onion • 1/3 of a stick of butter. • Salt to taste

Melt butter in a generous skillet, then saute chicken and onion until chicken is cooked. Sprinkle salt over all a few times while stirring.

• 1 can cream of mushroom soup • 1 cup sour cream • 1/4 to 1/2 cup white wine • 1 small can of mushrooms or 1 cup fresh (If using fresh, saute them with the chicken and onions.)

When chicken is cooked, add remaining ingredients and stir. Now's the time to get out your tasting spoon. You might want to add more wine or salt.

I usually pair this with a fresh veggie, or as in the picture, a light spinach side salad. A nice glass of wine is always yummy!! Hope you enjoy!!

Did Laura Marie's adoption story touch your heart? Be sure to post a comment here to let her know. And don't forget to buy A BABY IN HIS STOCKING!


  1. Yes indeed, Laura's adoption story did touch my heart. What the Altom family did was just AWESOME! I bet Russell has enriched their family as much as they have enriched his life. I am glad to hear/see there are still people out there that are this caring and selfless. :-)

    Thanks for the recipe, I will be trying it out soon. Also, I can't wait to dive into this book! I have it on my wish list now. :-)

  2. Warms my heart to read about them finding the Russell piece that was missing from their family.
    I cannot imagine the pain a child deals with, when a birth parent abandons them in that way. God bless the families who recognize gifts that come in unexpected wrapping and timing.

  3. Dorthy and Grammabecket--

    Thanks so much for your sweet comments. Russell is for sure a blessing in every sense of the word!! Just grabbed him a few gifts today and got misty, thinking back to his first holiday with us.


    Hope you enjoy my recipe and book. Please remember on the recipe that everything's a "guestimate"! LOL!! Once the chicken's done, taste as you go and have fun!! :-)

  4. Yes the story did touch my heart. It's great to know that there are people out there that are this caring.
    Great recipe for Chicken Stroganoff.

  5. I love reading Laura & Russell's story. It's always wonderful to learn of people with such open hearts. Love your recipe, it's exactly like one I make (except the wine) that the family loves. I was actually going to make it tonight LOL.

  6. Joanne and mmbourassa--

    I so much appreciate you stopping by to read about my family's journey with Russell. He's doing great and excited for Christmas, but Foxy his kitty is most excited about batting all the ornaments off of our tree!! LOL!!

    Hope you enjoy the recipe. It's super easy for those nights when you don't feel like getting too fancy!!