Monday, June 27, 2011

It's Picnic Time!

Starting this Friday, you'll see some changes here.  We're so sorry to see Julie Hyzy leave, but we know you'll enjoy Ellery Adams, our newest addition to Mystery Lover's Kitchen!  Sheila Connolly and Mary Jane Maffini will be posting on alternate Fridays from now on.  Wendy Watson will continue to post vegetarian delights on Saturdays, but every second Saturday of the month will be pie day with Ellery Adams! 

For once, I'm writing about a season during the same season.  I had Halloween decorations up in the summer when I was working on THE DIVA HAUNTS THE HOUSE.  Fortunately, this time around, I'm writing about picnics and outdoor living during the summer.

I've been enjoying all the wonderful fruit the season has to offer, but I'm working some long hours, and chocolate has been calling my name, so I put together a chocolate coffee cake.  The perfect thing with a cup of coffee or tea during a writing break.  Even better, it's an ideal treat to take along on a picnic or a boating excursion, because it's not messy and doesn't require a fork.  Bake it a day in advance so you won't be rushed on picnic day.

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour
2/3 cup skim milk
1/4 cup mild flavored oil (olive or canola)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
(optional additional 1/2 cup chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter an 8x8 baking pan.  For easy removal, you might want to place parchment paper in the bottom or dust the bottom with flour.

Cream the butter with the sugars.  Add the eggs and mix well.  Add the baking powder.  Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time, adding milk and oil in between. Add the vanilla.  Stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips.

Bake 45 - 50 minutes.
Cool on a rack.  Run a knife around the edges twice and turn out.  If desired, melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips and drizzle over the top.


  1. K - The new blog schedule is very exciting, and (you're right) it's sad to see Julie go. But I know she joins us in wishing our brand new addition good luck. I'm looking forward to Ellery's first (pie) post of the year!

    Your choco chip coffee cake looks mighty fine to me. I'm typing these words late at night in NYC (writing break, just like you) and wishing I had a slice to go with my joe. Until someone makes us a "click here" button for tasting, looks like I'll have to use your recipe to bake my own. :)

    Have a great Monday,
    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  2. I'm going to miss Julie so very much! But I am VERY excited about pie postings!!

  3. This looks appetizing and I think I'm going to bake this one of these days and I'm definitely adding the chocolate glaze.

    Welcome to Ellery!

  4. I'm going to miss Julie! But I am excited about our new line-up, too. :) Pie!

    And...Krista, I think you should rename this recipe Writer's Ambrosia. It sure sounds perfect for a writing break to me!

  5. Krista, I will miss Julie, too, but I'm thrilled for all the new energy and excitement coming into our group. New recipes, new books. Double-yummy. Love chocolate chip coffee cake. You've inspired me to get out my baking utensils. I need me some of that!

    I think I'll add a little cream cheese icing to it, but a dab of extra yum.


  6. Cleo, everyone who works late at night needs, (correction) *deserves* a little pick-me-up. Chocolate chip coffee cake would be perfect for that!

    ~ Krista

  7. Wendy, we're very excited that Ellery has agreed to join us. I can't wait to hear more about her new series.

    ~ Krista

  8. Dru, I'm excited that you're going to try this sometime. Shh, I just had a piece for breakfast and really enjoyed it.

    ~ Krista

  9. Writer's Ambrosia! LOL! I think you're right, Elizabeth. I'm always prowling the kitchen for a quick bite during a writing break and this fits the bill perfectly!

    ~ Krista

  10. Cream cheese icing would be delicious, Avery. Maybe add a little chocolate to it? Ooooo, why didn't I think of that?

    ~ Krista

  11. IT's A PLOT... I was one author away from owning a complete set of the MLKers. Now, I am 2...

    Ah well, certainly worse things than reading about pies and I so desperately need help with a crust... but I digress!

    I am single mindedly focusing on ideas for a planned visit from my kindergarten age nieces in a couple of weeks. My idea of babysitting while the parents go somewhere is to cook with them.

    I'm changing chips to M&Ms (and by all means an extra 1/2 cup), adding a crumb crust.

    A little Irish Coffee for me, some frozen hot chocolate for them and wacky Uncle Dave strikes again!

  12. Dave, we're trying to keep you on your toes by switching things up! ; )

    You know at the time, I didn't feel like a crumb crust, but what if you scattered a few chocolate chips on top about five minutes before it finishes baking for a little melted chocolate on those crumbs?

    ~ Krista