Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Welcome Guest Blogger - Sheila Connolly

Thanks so much to you all for having me here (and I wish you'd stop making me hungry when I read your blog in the morning!).

I was one of those kids who refused to eat a lot of things. Onions. Mushrooms. Tomatoes. Beets. Even mayonnaise and ketchup! I also kept all the foods on my plate separate and ate them one at a time. Luckily my mother believed in good basic food, and found plenty of fresh vegetables that I would eat. My father worked for duPont and followed their high-protein diet, so we always had some kind of meat. And I always loved dessert.

Now I'm surprised to find that I'm a foodie. I can date my conversion to the year I turned 21 and went to France for the first time. I found myself in a restaurant eating country paté with Dijon mustard and those lovely, tiny cornichons. I had never eaten liver, mustard, or pickles but there they were, all on the same place–and I loved it. One appetizer changed my life.

But when I started writing mysteries, no one told me I'd be writing recipes too. I think it went to my head, because in my most recent Orchard Mystery, Red Delicious Death, I created a complete restaurant. I gave it a menu using all local foods. I am now a convert to the locavore movement and haunt my local farmers markets (including winter markets–yes, they exist). And of course apples are very versatile–you can include them in savory dishes as well as sweet.

Apple Slaw is one of the recipes from the book. If you're bored with regular cole slaw, this is a nice alternative, with a little sweetness from the apples and the parsnips. The sour cream lightens it up a bit and helps balance the sweetness. And it's very colorful!


4 carrots, shredded

3 small parsnips (the big ones get too tough), shredded

2 apples, peeled and cored, then chopped or shredded (Granny Smiths work well–you want a tart, firm apple)

1/4 head red cabbage, shredded

1 small red onion, sliced (optional, if you don't like onions)

2 Tblsp. chopped parsley

2/3 cup mayonnaise

2/3 cup sour cream

1 Tblsp. ketchup

1 tsp. sugar

salt and pepper to taste

Using a food processor to shred/slice the ingredients makes this quick and easy.

Combine the shredded apple and vegetables in a large bowl and toss. In another bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, ketchup, sugar, and salt and pepper. Combine with the vegetable mixture (you may not want to add it all at once–you don't want it to be soupy). If you're not going to eat it quickly, chill.

You can experiment with other vegetables as well. Try celery root or jicama!

Lila wanted to help!

Sheila Connolly has been an art historian, a financial consultant, a political fundraiser, and a professional genealogist. Now she writes mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime: the Glassblowing Mysteries as Sarah Atwell, whose debut book, Through a Glass, Deadly, was nominated for an Agatha Award; and the Orchard Mysteries, under her own name. Sheila's new series, the Museum Mysteries, also from Berkley Prime Crime, will debut in October 2010.

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Don't forget about our contest! We’re celebrating cupcakes now that Jenn McKinlay’s SPRINKLE WITH MURDER is out in bookstores near you! If you’d like to win cupcakes from Crumbs Bake Shop, send us an e-mail atMysteryLoversKitchen@gmail.com or leave a comment with your idea of the wackiest cupcake ingredients you can think of.

To celebrate the April release of CUT TO THE CORPSE, Jenn is giving away an autographed copy of the book. All you have to do is visit the contest section on her web page (http://www.jennmckinlay.com/) and cast your vote for Team Nate or Team Dom. For those of you who read the first book in the series STUCK ON MURDER, you know that
her heroine Brenna is going to have to make a choice! Help her out and cast your vote today!


  1. What a great twist on a cole slaw recipe. This will make a great hit at summer cookouts we have. Thanks for sharing.

    I love the photo of Lila, such a cutie.

  2. I love the addition of carrots, parsnips and apples to this salad. It sounds great!

  3. I hope that my son will grow out of his picky stage soon, because it drives me nuts! Reading that current foodies were picky children gives me hope. :)

    Thanks for the slaw recipe. Salads feel "right" at this time of year.

  4. Oh, I love your story of finding foodie love in France - could there be any better place on earth to find it? :-) RED DELICIOUS DEATH is on my TBR stack and I'm looking forward to another wonderful Sheila Connolly read. (I'm also a lover of slaw and I like the flavors you've put together.) Have a great week, Sheila, and thanks for hanging out with us mystery writing cooks today!

    Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  5. Lila is hoping the slaw recipe includes tuna.

    Thanks for joining us today, Sheila. I love the cover of Red Delicious Death! Makes me want to dive right in.

    I'm also fascinated by the parsnips in this recipe. I've used them in soups, but I haven't tried them raw.

    ~ Krista

  6. I've been wanting to try this book. I just love the cover. Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  7. Juju, try the book, the series. It's great. And Sheila, I can't wait to try to slaw. Yum with the apples. Great touch!


  8. I was one of those kinds of kids too, Sheila! That's so funny. I grew up eating Pop Tarts, Spaghetti-o's, and Beanie Weenies and that was it! Amazing how we changed!

    I love this slaw recipe--it's gorgeous and I can only imagine how tasty it is. What a pretty book cover! Thanks for visiting us today...

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  9. I really enjoyed RED DELICIOUS DEATH and I look forward to making the apple slaw. I think it'll be a big hit with the kids who work at our daylily garden.

  10. I love your series, Sheila! Apples have always
    been the perfect food for me and I love learning about them in your series. Thanks for joining us and sharing the delish recipe!

  11. Love, love, love this series. Just received my signed copy (!!!) of Red Delicious Death from you via the contest at Deb's blog. It now has been added to my ARC/Signed shelf on my desk. Love the apple slaw recipe, normally I don't like sweet with savory but this one I'm going to check out! It's spring (well, almost), and I'm in the mood for crunch!

  12. Thank you all for stopping by and saying nice things about Red Delicious Death (which was sooo much fun to research!).

    For some reason nobody ever told me about parsnips--they're a late discovery, but now I love the flavor. And I'm still learning about apples. Who knew there were so many kinds? And, yes, they taste different. Have you ever seen an apple with bright pink flesh? Definitely wow.

  13. I have to agree, the book cover is beautiful. Definitely catches my eye.

    And that slaw sounds so good, different ingredients than my typical slaw. Thank you for sharing.