Thursday, July 20, 2017

Roasted Tomato #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: you may be scratching your head and saying why, why Lucy, do we need to roast tomatoes? We have been waiting all year for fresh tomatoes and we want to eat them exactly as they are. My answer? If you have a garden, or a neighbor who has a garden, or you haunt the local farmers market, you may find yourself with a tumult of tomatoes--way more then you can possibly eat before they start to go bad. And at that moment, you will thank me for this recipe! (Which is really more of a suggestion or a reminder than it is an actual recipe.) Once the tomatoes are roasted, you can freeze them in batches for soups and sauces, where they add a rich deliciousness to the flavor...


A tumult of tomatoes
Olive oil
Salt or garlic as you wish

Cut the tomatoes in halves or quarters, depending on their size. Toss them with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt or fresh garlic, as you wish. On a large sheet pan, prepared with oiled parchment paper, lay the tomatoes out.

Roast at 350 until collapsed and beginning to brown. This could take 2 plus hours, depending on the size of the tomatoes. You could add herbs such as thyme or basil, but I would do that later in the cooking process so they don't burn.

That's it! Stir into pasta, or add into soup instead of canned tomatoes, or serve on their own as a delicious side...

Now, did you post an entry to our 7th anniversary contest? It's so easy and the prizes are amazing. Here's the dope...

Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries--find them wherever books are sold! Find her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest--Instagram too...

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Shrimp shish kebab w/infused oil #recipe from @DarylWoodGerber

You don't have much longer to enter our 7th Anniversary Photo Contest. It ends July 25.  
Have you posted 1-5 pictures yet? 
Here's where you enter: 


or you can click the photo of the cheerleaders in the left column. See it?
Don't miss out winning 9 of our books plus a darling MLK tote bag! 
Read the rules. View other entries!

Here are two cute entries. You can view more when you click on the link above.

And now...for a delicious recipe.

This summer, I've really been getting into infusion oils. What are they? Oils "infused" with other flavors like rosemary, thyme, lavender, lemon, herbes de Provence, and more. I was gifted some infusion oils for the holidays and hadn't quite gotten around to using them, but in May, I decided to go for it. I've been grilling using them ever since. They add a subtle flavor to all my fish dishes and to lamb, pork, chicken, etc. Haven't tried any on a steak. Don't think I will.  LOL

This last week, I decided to try them on shrimp kebabs. Loved it!

You can make your own infusion oils. I haven't done to yet, but I found this blogger, A FAMILY FEAST, who gives you the steps to do it. Also JUST PUTZING AROUND THE KITCHEN. I'll try making them in a few weeks, after I turn in two books. Until then, you can check these bloggers out.  If you don't want to make your own, you can purchase infused oils at lots of places, like Williams-Sonoma, etc. 

I am using Pour Olive brand. For today's recipe, I used infused lemon.


(serves 2)
7-8 large shrimp per person
1 zucchini cut in thick slices
1 red onion cut in eighths
1 teaspoon herbs (your choice)

Brush all the items with infused oil. Lace them on a skewer, alternating textures and colors. 
Sprinkle with a dash of herbs of your choice. I used Parisienne herbs by Penzey's.

Light your grill to medium-high, about 350-400 degrees. Brush or spray the grill with olive oil.

Grill the kebabs (use oven mitts to rotate them - the metal gets hot). Cook about 6-10 minutes, rotating 2-3 times.

Serve on the skewer or off.

Very easy! Pretty. Tasty.

Savor the mystery!

Friend Daryl and Avery on Facebook
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Plus check out my website.

A DEADLY ÉCLAIR, the 1st in the French Bistro Mysteries, is coming November 2017. Can Mimi clear her name before the killer turns up the heat? Click here to order.

GRILLING THE SUBJECT, the 5th Cookbook Nook Mystery, is out!
The Wild West Extravaganza has come to Crystal Cove.
Click here to order.

FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE, the 7th Cheese Shop Mystery is out!
Finally there's going to be a cheese festival in Providence!
Click to order.

a stand-alone suspense
When a fairytale fantasy night becomes a nightmare, 
Chessa Paxton must run for her life...but will the truth set her free? 
Click to order


my new stand-alone suspense
A mother he thought was dead. A father he never knew. 
An enemy that wants them dead.
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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Main Course Salads -- Roasted Shrimp, Pepper, and Avocado Salad #MLKphotocontest @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: Summer is a great time for salads that serve as main courses. This one does require turning on your oven for half an hour, but if you don’t mind that, it’s super easy. The radishes may seem a curious addition, but they’re fun—a little heat and flavor, with a crisp texture that’s nice on the teeth while the avocado teases the tongue.

Slice up some crusty bread, or serve with hearty, seed-studded crackers, and a chilled Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc, and enjoy!

And there's still time to enter our 7th Anniversary Photo contest! Look left to the Cheerleader photo for the details -- and get your books camera-ready! (Pics of e-readers, or in bookstores or libraries work, too.) Five winners will get a fabulous Mystery Lovers' Kitchen bag with five signed books by MLK authors! #MLKphotocontest

 Roasted Shrimp, Pepper, and Avocado Salad

2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
3 poblano peppers, seeded and sliced
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 pound shelled shrimp
4 radishes, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons lime juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
6-8 ounces mixed green
1 avocado, sliced

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment pepper.

Toss the shallots, peppers, oil, and chili powder; spread on the baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Add the shrimp, stir to coat, and roast for 5 minutes. Cool slightly.

Meanwhile, mix the radishes, lime juice and salt. Use the paper to dump the roasted mixture into your serving bowl, add in the radish mixture and greens. Stir to combine and top with avocado slices.

From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 8, 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Calabacitas con Queso

Recently I spotted a recipe for Calabacitas in one of the cooking magazines I receive. It piqued my interest but I soon forgot about it. Fast forward a month, and I found a recipe for Calabacitas con Queso in one of my cookbooks with the note "Pleasant and summery. Snap to make." Hah! Didn't recall ever having made it before.

It's perfect for this time of year because it uses all the wonderful things that are getting ripe in our gardens, like zucchini, tomatoes, and corn. But there was a problem. Our corn is only a foot high and our tomatoes aren't quite there yet. This is one we've been watching carefully, waiting for the right day to pick it.

However, I did have zucchini. As it turns out, calabacita is Spanish for zucchini, however, it can also be made with yellow squash. So I winged it with grape tomatoes and frozen corn. It was delicious. It's not spicy, in fact, it isn't loaded with spices at all. Jack cheese gives it a lovely savory and tangy flavor. You could easily add spices if you like. Add beans or tofu and it would make a great main dish for vegetarians. And it might just convert some hubbies and kids who aren't fans of eating vegetables.

I served it with chicken tenders but it would go great with salmon, or anything off the grill.

Calabacitas con Queso
serves four as a side dish

1/2 large yellow onion
1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves
15-20 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (or use one regular tomato)
1 small to medium zucchini or yellow squash
1 cup of frozen corn
4 ounces Jack cheese
salt and pepper

Chop the onion. Pour oil into a skillet and cook the onion over medium low until soft. Meanwhile, dice the garlic and half (or chop if large) the tomatoes. Cut the zucchini or squash into 1/2 inch pieces. Add the garlic, tomatoes, and zucchini (or squash), and frozen corn to the pan. Stirring frequently, cook 8 to 10 minutes or until the zucchini is soft.

Grate the Jack cheese. When the vegetables are done, add salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with the cheese. Cover about 15 seconds, just long enough for the cheese to melt.

Half the tomatoes.
Add the veggies and cook.

Sprinkle with cheese.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Guest Post and Giveaway! Welcome Kathy Kaminski, Blogger and Sisters in Crime Chapter President

Please welcome former police officer and current mystery maven, Kathy Kaminski! To honor her longtime support of mystery writers, we're sharing a giveaway to inspire your mystery reading. Congrats to the winners of our two gift cards. Scroll down to find out who won! Now...take it away, Kathy! 
~ Cleo

I’ve been a fan and follower of Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen for years, so you can imagine my delight when Cleo Coyle invited me to join you today. For those who may not know, I’m the Kathy behind the cozy mystery blog, Cozy Up With Kathy. I’m also the President of Murder on Ice, the Western and Central New York Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

This is a very special year as Sisters in Crime is celebrating its 30th birthday. Dedicated to promoting female crime writers, SinC is an amazing organization. It’s not just for writers either. While Sisters in Crime provides tremendous support for both published as well as aspiring authors, it also welcomes other members of the publishing and book community-and that includes fans. If you enjoy mysteries, I encourage you to seek out a local chapter and join in the fun. If you live in or near Western or Central New York, I hope you’ll consider coming to one of our meetings or events. I’d love to meet you in person!

Now for the food. 

From watching Wok with Yan on PBS as a kid to being a devotee of the Great British Baking Show now, I consider myself a bit of a foodie, but, when contemplating a recipe to share I came across a dilemma. I consider myself a good cook, but I take after my Grandma Gertie. When it comes to dishes I’ve developed, I use a bit of this and some of that. 

"How much chicken?" 
As much as you’re going to eat. 

"How much parsley do you add?" 
Keep putting it in until it looks right.

I admit, not so helpful. My other recipes, which have actual amounts written down, are more autumnal and holiday based, and I wanted to share more summery fare. Then it dawned on me. While Grandma Gertie never wrote down her recipes, my other grandmother, Lucy, did.

Once my mom was married and out of the house, her mom started making a recipe that once she shared everyone requested. Having a party? Ask Lucy to bring her pineapple squares! 

Lucy’s Pineapple Squares

A note on this recipe: I went to my mom’s house and the two of us made her mother’s recipe (this very one!) for the first time. We hadn’t eaten it in over 20 years, and since neither of us ever saw her make it, we had to make a few educated guesses and may make some changes in future efforts. My mom wasn’t happy with the filling and thought we didn’t use the tapioca correctly. She found another way to make the filling, so I’m including both versions, the first is from the original recipe. --Kathy

For the Crust:

4 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon salt
1-¾ cup butter
¾ cup cold milk

Directions: Work dough as for pie. Divide dough in half. Put one half in the bottom of sided cookie sheet.

For the Original Filling (version 1):

2 medium size cans crushed pineapple 
7 Tablespoons tapioca 
1 cup sugar 

Directions: Mix and spoon into pie crust. Top with remaining rolled out dough. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes.


For An Updated (Improved) Filling (version#2)

2 cans (20 oz each) crushed pineapple, undrained
1 cup sugar
4 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Directions: Combine the first 4 ingredients and cook until thickened and clear (3-5 minutes). Stir in butter and lemon juice. Cool slightly. Spoon into pie crust. Top with remaining rolled out dough. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes.

For the Topping:

Small package of cream cheese (We actually used half of a large package, which is slightly more, and that worked perfectly.)
2 Tablespoons softened butter
1-½ cups confectioners’ sugar 

1 teaspoon vanilla (We estimated.)
milk "small amount to get spreading consistency" (Mom and I didn’t need any.)
Walnut pieces, crushed (1/2 cup or so)

Directions: Beat together the cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla. If the frosting is too thick, add a little milk until it has a good spreading consistency. (Mom and I didn't need to add any milk in our version.) When the pineapple pie is completely cool, then frost. Sprinkle the frosting with crushed walnuts if desired. Cut into squares. 

Thanks so much for joining me today! I love passing down recipes from the past. I hope you give my grandmother’s pineapple squares a try-and please, let me know if you make changes and how it all worked out! I'd also like to know...


Kathleen J. Kaminski is a bookworm with a myriad of interests including art deco architecture and Victorian funerary art, not to mention mid-19th century Utopian societies.

As a former police officer who currently works on the forensic unit of a psychiatric center, Kathy is naturally drawn to mysteries. She’s the Kathy behind the blog Cozy Up With Kathy which features author interviews, reviews, and other mysterious topics. Although the focus of the blog is cozy mysteries, Kathy is a voracious reader and welcomes all genres to her library and her blog.

Kathy lives in Western New York amid piles of books, five cats, two rats, and an off track thoroughbred named Harley. She currently serves as President of Murder on Ice, the Western and Central New York Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

Visit Kathy's Blog Cozy Up With Kathy
Join Kathy on Facebook 
Follow Kathy on Twitter: @KatreaderKJK 

Learn more about
Sisters in Crime by clicking here. 

Learn more about Kathy's
SinC Chapter "Murder on Ice,"
by clicking here.

Thank you so much
for joining us today, Kathy! 


Answer Kathy's question - DO YOU HAVE FAMILY RECIPES? -- in the comments below, and you will be entered in our random drawing for two $10.00 gift cards (to Amazon or Barnes &, your choice). 

The contest is now over.

Congratulations to our two winners:



BECKY (@ Becky's Place)

Saturday, July 15, 2017

When In Rome...Indulge in a Spritz! #Recipe @PegCochran

Hubby and I recently spent two weeks in Italy--a dream vacation, a celebration of our 15th wedding anniversary and something to cross off our bucket list!  While there we were introduced to the "spritz" which could very well be the Italian national drink!

They're light and refreshing in the summer heat--light enough to indulge at 11:00 a.m. after a morning of sightseeing.

There are basically three kinds of spritzes--con (with) Aperol, con Campari and con Select.  All are infusions of herbs, roots and fruit.  Campari is also used to make a Negroni (Campari, vermouth and gin) and an Americano (Campari and vermouth.)

Select, which is available only in Venice, is a deep red and the sweetest of the three.  Aperol is next and is a vibrant red-orange.  Campari is the most bitter and adds more of a brownish color to the drink.

Upon returning home, we had to continue with our spritz addiction and I readily found the ingredients in our Italian gourmet shop.

3 parts Prosecco or other sparkling wine
2 parts Aperol
1 splash of soda water

Fill your glasses with plenty of ice.

Add an orange slice--we had to make due with a clementine!

Add three parts Prosecco

Add two parts Aperol and a splash of soda water.

An olive is optional--some bars included one while others didn't.


Cin Cin!!


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Mystery Lovers Kitchen crew 
and a custom designed tote bag!

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