Casino Queen (Night Hawk Casino Series)
by Cara Bertoia
I was born in the South, Charleston, SC to be exact, so I learned at a young age that everything goes better with Coke, but a Pepsi is also fine. When I saw this recipe, I had to try it, I don’t know if it’s the sugar in the Coke or the bubbles, but this is the tenderest brisket ever. I make a holiday dinner for twelve and it disappears as soon as I set it on the table. It was also great for potlucks at the casino. The best part, there are only four ingredients and minimal preparation. I prefer to cook this in a slow cooker, but you can also roast in in the oven at 350 degrees.
Coca- Cola Brisket:
Brisket: I would recommend buying a pound for every person. There will be shrinkage.
1 jar of Heinz chili sauce, (if you can’t find this I have substituted Thai chili sauce)
1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1 can of Coca-Cola, Pepsi can be substituted
The night before pierce the brisket with a fork and marinate it in the Coke.
Early the next morning mix the other ingredients together. Place everything in the slow cooker for 10 hours low, or 5 hours high. Really you can do taste tests until the brisket is so tender it melts in your mouth. Let me know what you think.
About Casino Queen
Casino Queen (Night Hawk Casino Series)
1st in Series
Setting – California
Wild Rose Press (March 16, 2022)
Paperback : 260 pages
ISBN-10 : 1509240918
ISBN-13 : 978-1509240913
Digital ASIN : B09PJWMG9Z
Caroline Popov, alone, heartbroken, and deeply in debt ends up in glamorous Palm Springs, California where Native casinos have just opened, offering employment to thousands. She lands a job at the Palm Oasis Casino where she is mentored by the charismatic tribal chairman, John Tovar.
Embraced by casino culture, Caroline works her way up to casino manager of the Night Hawk, in the High Desert of Southern California. There, she is responsible for managing multicultural team members, satisfying the demands of often unique guests, and growing revenue while rooting out corruption.
In the process of rediscovering her inner strength, she learns, you have to gamble like your life depends on it. Because it often does.
I love to see any of you out there reading Casino Queen. Send me a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will post it to social media.
About Cara Bertoia
Growing up in a strait-laced Southern family, I was always fascinated with casinos. In my twenties on a summer hiatus from teaching in North Carolina, I drove to California and became a dealer at Caesars in Lake Tahoe. Well, I can tell you that after teaching high school, handling an unruly gambler was a piece of cake. My mother highly disapproved of my working in a casino, “a place so bad it has ‘sin’ in the middle.”
Eventually, I succumbed to pressure from the family and returned east to take a high-tech job in Boston. I also began working on my MFA in writing at Emerson. I wanted to write the first realistic novel about casino life from the perspective of an experienced table games dealer. I am always amazed that normal and sometimes quite intelligent players become absolutely clueless in the casino. They repeat superstitious nonsense and no amount of logic can change their position, maybe my novel will.
While in Boston I was offered the opportunity to join Princess Cruises as a croupier. Jumping at the chance, I spent the next five years circling the globe. Sometimes life exceeds your dreams. I was awed by the wonders of Venice, the fjords of Norway, and the Northern Lights in Leningrad.
I returned from ships with a very special souvenir, my Scottish husband Ray. We went to work at the Spa Casino in Palm Springs. We now live in Hollywood, Florida, where I write about my casino years while wistfully gazing out at the ocean.
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