Thursday, July 30, 2015

Mango Hot Dog #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: Did you mutter when you read the title of this blog? Good lord, mango hot dog? Has Lucy lost her marbles?  Has too much time on Duval Street fried her brains?

Mango Hot Dog from Garbo's Grill
But I assure you that one of the best food trucks in Key West serves a mango hot dog that is to die for. As you can see in the photo, Garbo's Grill adds sliced mangoes, sliced jalapenos, and some kind of super secret sauce, for which I did not have the recipe. 

So I wandered off into my own version of grilled hot dogs with a spicy mango relish. My guests, to be honest, looked at this with askance when it first came to the table. But every single eater was a convert by the end of dinner.


Good quality hot dogs (I used all beef, no nitrate dogs from Niman Ranch. My hub doesn't usually like natural hot dogs, but these were good!)
Good buns to match

1 ripe mango, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 small red onion, minced
1/2 tsp sugar
couple of squeezes of lemon

Combine all the ingredients, mango to lemon. 

Serve the salsa on grilled hot dogs, on toasted buns, with good mustard.

Hayley Snow will be reviewing this hot dog, eaten at Garbo's Grill, in KILLER TAKEOUT. She loved it just as much as I did!

FATAL RESERVATIONS is on bookshelves now! 

And you can follow Lucy on Facebook,



and Instagram!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Fudge Instant Pudding, Sugar-Free from author @DarylWoodGerber + book #giveaway

Lots of giveaway info on and click COMMENTS to enter today's giveaway.

From Daryl aka Avery:

There are all sorts of things I want to make for my husband now that he has to eat sugar-free. One of his favorite foods is pudding. I went searching for a sugar-free recipe online and found one on Sugar-free Mom’s site, where she made the sugar-free pudding mix and then said we can make pudding anytime, in an instant. So cool! Her picture was so pretty, I had to try it.  This will make a great gift for the holidays, too!

Bonus:  It keeps for up to six months.

Thank you, Sugar-Free Mom. I’ll be returning to your site over and over, I’m sure.

Now, I have to admit I’ve never cooked with arrowroot. I remember giving my son arrowroot cookies as a little boy. Very soft and easy to chew. Sort of like animal crackers, remember?

Anyway, per Sugar Free Mom: ARROWROOT is NOT a root and not a “flour.” It is a perennial herb, found in rainforest type climates, which has several uses in the kitchen. The starch that is extracted from the rhizome is what is referred to as "arrowroot" in cooking and dietary terminology. This starch is easy to digest and being gluten free, can be used as a flour substitute for baking and thickening purposes. 



Ingredients Dry Pudding Mix:

1/2 cup instant nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 cup arrowroot powder (flour)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup erythritol (Note: I used Swerve)
1/4 teaspoon pure Stevia extract (dry, in packets) 


Combine all dry pudding ingredients and put in an airtight container. You can store for up to 6 months. Makes 2 1/2 cups.

To make pudding, using dry pudding mix:


3/4 cup dry pudding mix
1 cup milk, 1%
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vanilla liquid Stevia (Note: I could not find this and used the chocolate version) 


In a saucepan, mix dry pudding with 1 cup milk and 1 cup heavy cream. Whisk and bring to a boil. Then turn to low heat and simmer 3-4 minutes NO MORE OR IT WILL GET TOO THICK, stirring frequently.

Turn off heat and add the vanilla extract and the liquid stevia. Stir.

If necessary, pour pudding through a sieve. [Note: I did NOT do this.] Put 1/2-cup portions into serving dishes. I used a ladle.

Cover with plastic wrap 
directly on pudding (this will keep pudding “scum” from developing) and refrigerate 4 hours. Serve cold.

(Makes 4 portions)

About Fudging the Books:

Pirate Week is sweeping through Crystal Cove and keeping Jenna Hart and her bookstore, the Cookbook Nook, plenty busy. But she’s not too swamped to also host the local Chocolate Cookbook Club’s meeting—especially because the guest of honor is her friend, candy maker and cookbook author Coco Chastain.
Click here to PREORDER

Jenna whips up a delicious event amidst the rowdy festivities, but the mood is soon broken by robberies, simmering tempers, and a dead body—Coco’s editor, Alison. The suspects turn out to be more plentiful than a pot full of gold doubloons, so to prove Coco isn’t responsible for the dastardly deed, Jenna will have to stir up some clues and figure out who’s the real sticky-fingered killer…

NOTE: This is not about “real pirates.” Pirate Week is a fun romp where folks dress up like pirates, climb rock walls, go whale watching, and take in Pirates of Penzance or hunt for missing gold doubloons.


I've set up a Goodreads giveaway for 5 lucky winners to win FUDGING THE BOOKS. It started July 15 and ends July 31.  Good luck! There is also a giveaway for the first in the series, FINAL SENTENCE.

Also I'm having a release party on Facebook on August 4th, so mark your calendars! Look for the event invitation if you already "like" me on Facebook. There will be giveaway prizes!

Also, I'll offering a giveaway August 3rd via my newsletter to someone (or a few someones) who are signed up to receive it! Don't delay. Sign up. Here's the newsletter giveaway. I put a video of this on Facebook if you want a close-up view!


Today's giveaway, as a thanks for being my fans, you will have your choice of one of the first three Cookbook Nook Mysteries OR one of any of the Cheese Shop Mysteries on the shelves + some fun swag. Leave a comment, with your email (cryptic, if you must) so I can contact you!  

And tell me what's your favorite thing to give out as a food gift!

Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames
Tasty ~ Zesty ~ Dangerous!

Friend Daryl on Facebook
Friend Avery on Facebook
Follow Daryl on Twitter
Follow Avery on Twitter
Follow both of us on Pinterest
Check out our website.

order here

FUDGING THE BOOKS, the next Cookbook Nook Mystery, is available for order: order here.

If you haven't done so, sign up for the mailing list 
so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests! 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

How to Make a Super Simple Slushie Drink and Get Your Brain Freeze On! via Cleo Coyle

Behold the super-easy, super-chilled
slushie drink made without adding
ice or plugging in a blender.

Summer in the city has its charms, but if you’re talking New York in late July, humidity is not one of them! 

Down here at sea level, the high humidity can drive the "real feel" temperature up as much as ten degrees. Not a problem for an 80 degree (F.) day, but holy meltdown, Batman, when the mercury takes a ride to 90, stovetop cooking is not a high priority at Chez Coyle. Because our little townhouse kitchen is not air conditioned, Marc and I tend to do sandwiches, chilled salads, or outdoor grilling.

Summer is also a time when we get creative with drinks. In the past, I've blogged a few favorites, including my Virgin Mojito and Virgin Sangria...

To read my past post "Tale of the Virgin Mojito," click here.

Or visit my Virgin Sangria post by clicking here.

Today I’m sharing a fun, easy method of making a Virgin Slushie Drink with a simple plastic bottle of your favorite soda and a machine everyone has—a freezer...

This method is best explained in the fun, little video below. 

If you don't see a window for the video,
click here to view it on YouTube.


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

I now use this method on
hot days to get my brain freeze on!

Here are a few tips and
the method written in steps...

The Super Simple
Slushie Drink


3 Plastic Bottles (500 ml/16.9 fluid oz) of Regular Soda (or Diet Soda)

Your Freezer


Step 1: Take your 3 room-temperature plastic bottles of your favorite soda and shake them up violently. You want to create as many air bubbles as you can throughout the liquid. 

Step 2: Immediately place these three bottles on their sides in your freezer. Close the door and watch the clock.

Step 3: You are going to give your bottles enough time for the liquid inside to become super-cooled but not so much that the liquid freezes solid. Because different freezers have different temperatures, the three bottles will serve as your timing experiment. Once you know which time works best for your freezer, make a note of it, and you can create a slushie anytime, using the results from this test. (Just be sure to use the same size bottle next time. A larger or smaller bottle will need a new timing test...)

Carbonated soda with sugar or corn syrup: 

Test bottle one at 3 hours and 15 minutes
Test bottle two at 3 hours and 30 minutes
Test bottle three at 4 hours

Carbonated diet soda: 

Test bottle one at 3 hours
Test bottle two at 3 hours 15 minutes
Test bottle three at 3 hours 30 minutes

Step 4: To test, remove the bottle from the freezer, unscrew the cap and allow the pressure to release. Then screw the cap back on and turn the bottle upside down and right side up again. The crystals will either form in the bottle or you will see them after you pour the soda into a chilled glass--watch for them to float to the top, and...

Drink with (icy) joy!

Poot (aka Mr. Many-Toes)

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 

Friend me on facebook here. * Follow me on twitter here
Learn about my books here

* * *

Once Upon a Grind:
A Coffeehouse Mystery

New paperback edition
releasing September 1, 2015...

To learn more, click here
or on the cover below...

* A Best Book of the Year
Reviewer's Pick - Kings River Life

* Top Pick! ~ RT Book Reviews 
* Fresh Pick ~ Fresh Fiction 
* A Mystery Guild Selection

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
14 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 

* * * 

Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

Get a free title checklist, 
with mini plot summaries, 

Or learn more about the 
books and meet Jack Shepard, 
our PI ghost by clicking here.

Sign up for our Coffeehouse Newsletter here.
(Recipes, contests, videos, fun info)

After you subscribe, an auto-reply will send 
you a link to several past newsletters.

Thanks for stopping by the Kitchen! 


Monday, July 27, 2015

Little Trifles of Summer

While I have been accused of being a bit of a domestic diva, I'm not in the habit of promoting products. Recently, though, while I waited for something, I killed some time (and some cash) in WalMart where I found adorable little glass trifle bowls. They're just the perfect size for a single serving. And at $2 a pop, you wouldn't break the bank if you needed enough for a small luncheon. They make cute sugar bowls, too. And would be very sweet favors filled with colorful candy and tied with a bow.

In my case, house guests arrived a few days after I bought them. And I stumbled upon the best summer dessert ever - a summer trifle. I skipped the pudding altogether and simply used cubes of cake, fresh fruit, and whipped cream.

You can make this with store bought cake. I'll never tell! Pound cake or angel food cake would be great choices. I used the Big Blueberry Cake that I posted a few weeks ago. Shh, now don't go blabbing, but you can use that cake two ways and your guests won't even notice. Cut up part of it for the summer trifle, and serve the remaining pieces as coffeecake with breakfast the next day!

Of course, any yummy berries will do. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries or a combination of whatever you have on hand.

I dressed mine up a little bit by pouring a bit of Chambord on the cake squares. You could just as easily use a different sweet fruit liqueur or rum.

Summer Trifles
(makes 4 individual trifles)

2-3 pints assorted berries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries
1/2 a cake
fruit liqueur or rum (optional)
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Wash the berries and dry on paper towels. Cut the strawberries into pieces. Cut the cake into 1-inch (approximate) squares. Beat the heavy cream until it begins to take shape, then add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until it holds a shape but isn't stiff.

Begin with cake and berries. Sprinkle the cake with liqueur. Add a dollop of cream. Repeat, ending with the cream. Top with a berry.

So refreshing!

And healthy!

A little indulgence.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Eva Gates’ Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken

Please welcome today's guest, EVA GATES, author of the lighthouse library series and AKA that energizer bunny, Vicki Delany.  Eva's an entertaining author and a terrific cook. We've been lucky enough to be invited to her farmhouse table for an excellent meal and good company. Today she's sharing an easy and delicious recipe and giveaway.  Read to find out more.

Take it away, Eva!

Sometimes, even on the hottest summer days, you just feel like a hearty, hot meal. And that’s where your slow cooker shines.  No need to heat up the kitchen, just pop the chicken in the pot with a quick and easy sauce, turn it on, and head off to the beach or out to the swimming pool.

I love this dish, and it’s very economical too.  Rather than buying expensive chicken parts, get a whole chicken when it’s on sale and hack it to pieces.  Because the meat will be removed from the bones before being served, you don’t need to worry about appearances or ensuring all the pieces are similar size for serving presentation.

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken


3 – 4 pound chicken, whole
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup blackberry jam
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp cornstarch


Cut the chicken into pieces, and remove skin.

Place chicken pieces into the slow cooker.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, blackberry jam, hoisin, olive oil, garlic, onion and crushed red pepper flakes.

Pour the sauce over the chicken. Cover the slow cooker and cook the chicken on LOW for 5 – 6 hours until the chicken is fully cooked to the point of sliding easily off the bone.  .

Remove the chicken pieces from the slow cooker and place them on a cutting board.

Cut the chicken meat off the bones and shred the meat into small pieces. Place the shredded chicken in a large bowl and discard the bones.

Whisk together the cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of cold water.
Transfer the liquid from the slow cooker into a saucepan set over medium-high heat and whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook it until it reduces and has thickened slightly, about 3 minutes.

Add the chicken to the saucepan, stir into the sauce until all the chicken is coated.

Serve over rice or small tubular pasta with a green vegetable.


This recipe freezes very well.

(I found this recipe at and made some adjustments of my own)

Eva Gates is the author of the Lighthouse Library cozy series from Penguin Obsidian, set in a historic lighthouse on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The first in the series, By Book or By Crook, was released in February and the second, Booked for Trouble, will be out September 1st.  Eva is the pen name of bestselling author Vicki Delany, one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers.

Eva can be found at and Vicki at

Follow Eva on Facebook at and Vicki at

Eva is offering an ARC (advanced review copy) of Booked for Trouble to one lucky reader (USA OR CANADA) at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen Just leave a comment to enter the draw.