Please welcome our almost Halloween guest,
Linda O. Johnston!!!
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Hi, Mystery Lovers Kitchen, and most especially Avery Aames. Thanks for inviting me to blog here today.
I’m Linda O. Johnston, and the mysteries I’m currently writing are part of the Pet Rescue Mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime. The second one, THE MORE THE TERRIER, is an October 2011 release. The first one, BEAGLEMANIA, was published in March of this year. This series is a spinoff from my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mystery series.
I have to admit that it’s a special delight to be here among such wonderful writers who also create delicious dishes to eat. Neither my protagonist Lauren Vancouver nor I are great cooks. Both of us are empty nesters, although I’m still happily married and Lauren isn’t. Having no kids at home these days is one of my excuses for not cooking much that’s exciting, particularly since I have a kind and patient husband.
Lauren is much more inclined to do all she can to feed the animals in her special no-kill animal shelter, HotRescues, located in LA’s San Fernando Valley, than to cook something special for herself. Her kids are both away at college. Of course she does have a love interest, Captain Matt Kingston of Los Angeles Animal Services. Maybe she’ll start trying new recipes out on him one of these days.
When I first launched BEAGLEMANIA, I wanted some special treats for people who came to my signings. I prevailed on my friend and neighbor Ian Grimbaldeston, who’s an excellent chef, caterer, party thrower, artist and more, and he baked some delicious people-biscuit cookies using the recipe below. For my events, he used some dog biscuit shaped cookie cutters that I had picked up at a pet boutique. I needed to be very clear with people that, notwithstanding the shapes, the cookies were for people and not dogs--particularly because of the chocolate chips.
If you bake these you can use other kinds of cookie cutters where it says to cut the dough into rectangles. If they’re Halloween cookies, you can use appropriate pumpkin-shaped cookie cutters, and I’d imagine a bit of orange food coloring would help with that theme.
Me? Well, I prefer people biscuits. They really turned out cute--and, yes, tasty.
I’m always interested in cooking things that are quick and easy, so feel free to chew me out about that--or to offer suggestions.
You can find me at my website: www.LindaOJohnston.com. Or, you can friend me on Facebook. I also blog weekly at KillerHobbies.blogspot.com. My fellow Killer Hobbyists also write mysteries, and theirs are themed around their hobbies such as scrapbooking, needlework, quilting, rubber stamping and crocheting. I was invited long ago to join and I love being part of their group, even though my invitation was the result of my mysteries centering around pets--and pets aren’t hobbies, they’re family!
Chocolate Chip and Rosemary Shortbread
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened to room temperature
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Cream the butter with sugar. Mix in the rosemary, salt, and flour, 1/4 cup at a time. Sprinkle in the chocolate chips, and stir by hand until well-distributed.
Gather the dough into a ball. Cook's Note: If the dough begins to soften or feel greasy, chill the dough for 15 minutes.
Roll the dough out into a rectangle of 1/2-inch thickness and cut into rectangles about 1/2-inch by 2-inch. Place the dough on a cold ungreased baking sheet. Prick the top with a fork. Bake the shortbread for 25 minutes, or until the dough starts to turn a golden color. Remove the shortbread from the baking sheet and let cool completely on a rack.
To win a copy of Linda's THE MORE THE TERRIER, post a comment today. One of you will be selected to win. The winner's name will be posted here right before midnight, EST.