Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Honey Soy Chicken recipe for Rosh Hashanah from author Cleo Coyle

Under the Number 7
Elevated Train in
Woodside, Queens, NYC
If you blink, you'll miss one of our favorite local takeout joints in Queens. The tiny shop, under the rumbling Number 7 train, consists of nothing more than a few wooden tables, a loud kitchen, and an ordering counter, but the place has a delightfully diverse menu inspired by dishes from Chinese and Thai cuisines.

One of the dishes that Marc and I consistently order is a whole chicken roasted with honey and soy. They cook the birds on a busy bank of rotisseries. This is our copycat version. We don't have a rotisserie (and, hey, you probably don't, either), so we adapted it for the oven; and we used chicken parts so you can easily adjust the recipe amounts up or down, depending on how many people you're serving.

Because this is also the week of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish celebration that uses honey and apples to symbolize a sweet New Year, we swapped in some delicious raw apple cider vinegar for the usual Shaoxing wine. (You can also use rice vinegar.)

By the way, we love using raw, local honey, and we recommend you try a local brand, as well. The difference between good-quality raw honey and processed is huge. Raw honey is ambrosia, and a fantastic start to a delectable recipe, as well as a sweet New Year!

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.
Cleo Coyle's

Honey Soy Chicken

Marc and I love this sweet and tangy honey-soy glazed chicken, inspired by a little take-out Chinese/Thai joint where we live in Queens, New York. It makes an impressive presentation yet it's very easy to make. Just marinate, pop it in the oven, and... eat with honey-sweet joy!

~ Cleo

To download this recipe in a PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here 

Serves six


4 pounds fresh chicken drumsticks, thighs, and/or wings divided (do not use skinless)

4 Tablespoons olive oil

4 Tablespoons soy sauce

7 Tablespoons honey (try raw, local honey; it's fantastic)

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar*

1 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon sea salt, ground fine

1 teaspoon black pepper, ground fine

1 Tablespoon cornstarch**

**The cornstarch helps to thicken the glaze during cooking, but the recipe will work fine without it. The sauce in the pan will be slightly thinner.

*For Rosh Hashanah, we've swapped the usual acid in the marinade for apple cider vinegar. We use the raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and use the Bragg brand all the time. You can also substitute rice vinegar or Shaoxing wine.


Step 1—Prep the Chicken: Wash your chicken parts, pat them very dry with a paper towel, and set them aside. 

In a plastic container with a lid, measure out the olive oil, soy sauce, honey, minced garlic, ginger, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and cornstarch. Whisk well (or seal the container’s lid and vigorously shake) until the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Add the chicken to the mix, one piece at a time, making sure to coat each piece with the marinade (see photo). 

Place the container in the refrigerator and let the chicken marinate for two to three hours, or overnight.

Step 2—Cook the Chicken: Preheat your oven to 450° F. Line a shallow baking or roasting pan with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick spray. Place the marinated chicken pieces in your prepared pan, skin side up, pour any remaining marinade over the meat.

Cook for about 1 hour (an extra 10 to 15 minutes may be needed, depending on your oven). YOU MUST TURN THE CHICKEN TWICE: 30 minutes into cooking, flip each piece so the skin side is down. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, flip the chicken once more, turning the skin-side back up. This 2nd flip will allow your chicken tops to caramelize beautifully.

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
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Billionaire Blend
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This culinary murder mystery features
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secret "off the menu" coffee drinks.
Read (and eat) with joy!

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Pork Chops with Sweet-and-Sour Apple Cider Glaze

When I was going through recipe clippings recently, I pulled out a bunch that my mom must have cut out. Apparently we have the same tastes in some things. This recipe came from the December 2000 Gourmet magazine. I've made some dishes like it before but let me tell you, this time I wanted to lick the glaze right out of the pan!

In the beginning, I wasn't certain whether we would like the glaze, so I spooned a little bit on the meat and served the rest on the side. It doesn't make much glaze because it cooks down and thickens. I'm wondering if I might double the glaze next time. There will be a next time because this is a keeper for sure. It's the kind of recipe that you won't need to refer to after you make it once or twice, which is perfect for quick dinners.

Even though I read the recipe and looked over the ingredients before I shopped, I had to make some substitutions and it still came out great, so don't be afraid to vary the ingredients just a little bit.

For starters, while I looked for apple cider in two stores, it just wasn't there yet, so I substituted apple juice. I'm sure apple cider is great but it's hard to imagine that it could be any better. The recipe calls for mustard seeds. I planned to use powdered mustard but when I pulled open my spice drawer and took it out –surprise – all gone. I used prepared horseradish mustard instead, and it worked beautifully. *Note that the preparation is a little bit different if you use prepared mustard instead of mustard seeds.

What I do think is very important and shouldn't be varied is the type of meat and the cooking times. Look for a rib-in one-inch thick pork chop. Follow the cooking times exactly to avoid over-cooking.

While it ought to be served with a green vegetable, we ate fresh local corn with it. I also sliced one small red onion and two apples and sautéed them in a little olive oil, then added the exact same ingredients that are in the glaze, except I only added 1/2 cup of apple juice instead of 1 cup. Very fresh and yummy for people who love cooked apples. Southerners who are used to apples cooked in brown sugar may wish to add more brown sugar to the apples.

Pork Chops with Sweet-and-Sour Cider Glaze
from December 2000 Gourmet 
recipe by Elizabeth Vought Greene

2 1-inch thick pork chops with rib
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
1 1/2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds* OR 1 heaping teaspoon prepared mustard*

Dry the chops and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown the pork chops about 5 minutes on each side. 

Stir the cider, brown sugar, and prepared mustard* together, add to skillet and simmer, uncovered for about three minutes, turning the chops once. Remove the pork chops to a plate and set aside.

Add the vinegar and the mustard seeds* to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Simmer uncovered about five minutes until the liquid is reduced to 1/3 cup.

The original recipe returns the meat to the pan to warm it but I simply served the meat with the glaze at that point.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Welcome Kathy Aarons!

A very warm welcome to Kathy Aarons, who may quickly become everyone's best friend because she writes a chocolate mystery series! Kathy is the author of Death is Like a Box of Chocolates, the first in the Chocolate Covered Mystery series by Berkley Prime Crime. 

Today, she has graciously offered to give away a copy of her new book. To enter, please leave a comment below with your email address so we can reach you if you win.

A Chocolatier’s Gift

Learning to make chocolate was the best part of researching the Chocolate Covered Mystery series.

In Death is Like a Box of Chocolates, the main character Michelle Serrano is a successful chocolatier who loves to pass on joy through her truffles. She believes that in a world full of good and evil, her chocolates come down solidly on the good side.

Besides taste-testing A LOT of chocolate, I interviewed chocolatiers about their businesses. Isabella Knack, owner of Dallmann’s Chocolates in San Diego, invited me into her work life and answered all of my questions about the daily challenges and rewards of a chocolatier.

Chocolatiers deal with everyday concerns of any small business --- employee issues, government regulations and increases in rent or utilities. But shifts in general eating habits, like low-carb diet crazes, can have a huge impact on their success.

Chocolatiers don’t think of their job as selling products – they get to pass on a little gift of happiness with each bite.

Isabelle supplied the recipes in Death is Like a Box of Chocolates. (Hers are much prettier than mine!) My absolute favorite is the recipe for Lavender Truffles:

Lavender Truffle
Recipe by Isabella Knack


12 fresh lavender flower heads

1/3 cup heavy cream
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter


Place the flower heads and cream in a small pot. Heat on high until cream starts to simmer and melt the butter in the mixture. Take off heat and set aside to steep for 15 minutes.

Divide the chocolate into two equal 5 ounce portions, and set one portion aside.

Heat up the cream mixture again and, using a fine-mesh strainer, strain the cream into the chocolate in a small mixing bowl; discard the flower heads and bits of lavender.

Stir the cream and chocolate together until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator until somewhat firm, but not hard, for about 1 hour.

Melt the other half of the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments until liquid.

Line a baking sheet with a piece of waxed paper. Roll the lavender mixture into 1 tablespoon-sized balls, and dip into the melted chocolate mixture using a skewer or toothpick.

Place onto the prepared baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to harden.

Death is Like a Box of Chocolates

Whether it’s to satisfy a craving for chocolate or pick up the hottest new bestseller, the locals in charming West Riverdale, Maryland, are heading to Chocolates and Chapters, where everything sold is to die for…

Best friends Michelle Serrano and Erica Russell are celebrating the sweet rewards of their combined bookstore and chocolate shop by hosting the Great Fudge Cook-off during the town’s Memorial Day weekend Arts Festival. But success turns bittersweet when Main Street’s portrait photographer is found dead in their store, poisoned by Michelle’s signature truffles.

As suspicion mounts against Michelle, her sales begin to crumble and her career seems whipped. With Erica by her side, Michelle must pick through an assortment of suspects before the future of their dream store melts away…

Includes Scrumptious Chocolate-Making Recipes!

Research for the series was such a hardship: sampling chocolate, making chocolate, sampling more chocolate, and hanging out in bookstores.

After growing up in rural Pennsylvania and attending Carnegie Mellon University, Kathy built a career in public relations in New York City. She now lives in San Diego with her husband and two daughters where she wakes up far too early, and is currently obsessed with the Broadway Idiot documentary, finding the perfect cup of coffee, and Dallmann’s Sea Salt Caramels.

You can follow Kathy on Facebook or Twitter or visit her at: www.kathyaarons.com.

And don't forget to leave a comment with your email address by September 24th to enter the giveaway for a copy of Death is Like a Box of Chocolates!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Not White White Chicken Chili

by Peg Cochran

I’ve never made white chicken chili before although I had it at a potluck a couple of times and liked it.  I decided it would be the perfect use for the remains of a rotisserie chicken.   

Most white chilies are white because…well, because they don’t have anything red in them like tomatoes or chili powder.  The heat usually comes from those green chilies (diced jalapenos) in a can.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have any green chilies (they were on the grocery list and hubby was going to go to the store, but after being stranded at Lowe’s when his car wouldn’t start—he got it going just as I arrived to pick him up—neither of us had the energy to go to the grocery store.)  I had to make do with what was in the pantry which fortunately included a can of cannellini beans or this would have been even less white than most white chilies!  

After tasting it, hubby said “don’t lose this recipe”—his ultimate compliment.  So I scrambled to write it down before I forgot what I did!  It was a super quick dish to throw together and while you could start with raw chicken (sauté it after the onions and garlic), having cooked chicken meat made it so much faster. 

2 cups cooked chicken shredded or diced (approximately)

1 14-ounce can cannellini beans (or other white beans)

1 onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced or pressed

1 tablespoon olive oil (or vegetable oil)

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon oregano

1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, minced

1 cup (approximately) frozen corn

¾ 14-ounce can chicken broth (or more depending on how soupy you like your chili)

Saute onion and garlic in oil until soft.  Stir in spices and cook over medium heat for 30 seconds or so to bring out the flavors.  Add chicken, beans, corn and broth and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes to blend flavors.

Remains of rotisserie chicken

Shred chicken or dice

Drain beans and rinse well

Delicious spices!

The not white white chicken chili cooking

 Top with sour cream, diced avocado and shredded Monterey Jack 
cheese if desired

 Gigi Fitzgerald, owner of Gigi’s Gourmet De-Lite, knows how to put her clients’ cravings on ice. But catching a slippery killer is more of a challenge…

The hilarious Lucille Mazzarella is back and planning a wedding. But even the worst Bridezilla can’t create the wedding drama she’s about to face in this second book in the series

Desperate to see her pregnant daughter Bernadette married before the baby comes, Lucille is engrossed in all things wedding. Nothing will distract her from planning this Mazzarella main event. Nothing, that is, except for the murder of the mother of the groom.

Visit my web site and come join the fun on my Facebook page

Friday, September 19, 2014

End of Summer Pasta

by Sheila Connolly

After a relatively cool summer (we no longer know what normal is), the weather decided to turn hot in early September. Having forgotten what “hot” feels like (would you believe I was wearing fleece in Ireland in August?), of course I didn’t feel like cooking, or at least, making anything that involved using heat.

But I dutifully went to my small local farmers’ market, since I want to support the vendors there, and found a lovely clutch of oval yellow tomatoes that called out to me. And some little onions. I knew I had some tiny red peppers at home, and my pot of herbs has somehow survived my neglect, so I also had chives and oregano and parsley. And plenty of pasta.

I wanted simple and I wanted colorful, and this is what I came up with.

End of Summer Pasta

One pound fresh tomatoes (the yellow ones were too pretty to pass up, but you can use whatever you have handy)
4-5 small red sweet peppers (or mix and match: if you have red tomatoes, use yellow and green peppers), sliced into matchsticks
2-3 small onions
Assorted fresh herbs
Salt and pepper
Olive oil for sauteeing

Spaghetti or other pasta

Slice your tomatoes crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Slice the onions and the peppers to about the same thickness. Roughly chop the herbs.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions.

In a wide sauté pan, pour enough olive oil to cover (note: my daughter had given me some exotic gourmet olive oil, so I threw in a dash of that too), and heat over medium heat. Sautée the onions until they are limp but not brown. Add the peppers and cook for a couple of minutes, until they soften. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook over medium heat until they render some of their juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. When you’re nearly ready to serve, add the herbs and toss to distribute them (you don’t really need to cook these).

Adding ingredients one at a time

The entire cooking process should take no more than 10-15 minutes (after the chopping, of course).

Place individual servings of spaghetti in wide flat bowls, and top with a generous helping of the sauce, and serve. And bid farewell to summer.

Counting the days until October 7th!

Available for preorder now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Once in a Blue Moon Blue Cornmeal Blueberry Pancakes #recipe with Cinnamon Butter

Capital Reef National Park

LUCY BURDETTE: Earlier this summer, my husband and I attended a family wedding outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. We decided we should take a few extra days to cruise through Utah and see a couple of the wonderful national parks in that state.  I, of course, was in charge of where to eat. 

Bryce Canyon

Here are a couple of pictures of the amazing scenery that we saw the first is a photo of Capital Reef National Park, while the second is Bryce Canyon. 

Hell's Backbone Grill
In between our two days of driving and gawking, we stopped for a night in Boulder, Utah, to eat at the legendary Hell's Backbone Grill. I made reservations months in advance for dinner. They serve exactly the kind of food I like, delicious but not fussy. I ordered a spicy meatloaf and John had a chicken quesadilla casserole that was hot, cheesy, and addictive. 

Of course we had to have breakfast there the next morning. I chose blue cornmeal pancakes, which they served with cinnamon butter and syrup.  The pancakes were sprinkled with little purple flowers.

As you can see, the recipe has lingered in the back of my mind until I finally had to make it for you. Oh, and we ordered a box lunch to take with us the next day too. Three meals in less than 20 hours – that's a great restaurant.



1 1/3 cups cornmeal

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or milk with 1 Tbsp vinegar added)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
4 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for greasing griddle
2 cups blueberries

For the cinnamon butter, this is more than enough for 2 people, increase as needed: 2 tablespoons softened butter, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp sugar. Mix well.


Stir together cornmeal, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and 4 tablespoons melted butter. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until mostly combined. 

Heat the pan or griddle and melt some butter to cover. Add the wet batter to the pan and drop blueberries into each pancake. Cook over medium heat until bubbles pop, then flip the pancakes over and cook the other side, 1 to 2 minutes. 

Keep the finished pancakes in a warm (200) oven until all the batter is cooked. Serve with a small scoop of cinnamon butter plus real maple syrup.


Cook's note: Bob's Red Mill blue cornmeal was the only brand of blue cornmeal I found, and it was quite coarse. If you prefer pancakes that aren't quite as grainy, I would increase the amount of flour to 1 cup, and decrease the cornmeal to 1 cup.

 PS, they freeze well if you have too many. Then pop them in the microwave or the toaster as you need them!

MURDER WITH GANACHE, the fourth Key West mystery, is in stores now. DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS will be out in December.

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And lest you forget, DEADLY ADVICE, the first advice column mystery (written as Roberta Isleib) is finally available as an ebook.

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