Sunday, June 29, 2014

Summer Strawberry Recipe from Victoria Hamilton

Muffin But Murder, 
goes on sale July 1st!
Learn more here.

Please welcome author Victoria Hamilton as our special guest today. 

Victoria is sharing a healthy recipe that's perfect for summer strawberry season. She also has a generous prize package and one lucky commenter will win it has won it! Learn more at the end of this post. Take it away, Victoria!

~ Cleo




It’s That Time of Year
For…Strawberries!
by Victoria Hamilton

This blog post started with a friendly chat between neighbors. 

I live in a nice, working class urban neighborhood, and I have for many years. In fact, it’s the same neighborhood I grew up in, just a block away. The other day I spent a few minutes chatting with my across-the-street neighbor, just back from walking her dog. 

The next day I was coming back from shopping when my wonderful neighbor came over carrying a beautiful big container of strawberries, fresh from her garden! Well, it so happens that I am trying to eat healthier: lots of water, more fruits and vegetables, salad every day. In that attempt I have switched from toast for breakfast every morning to smoothies. 

There are lots of recipes out there, and I know this is super easy, barely a recipe at all, but I thought I’d share one of mine, and as a bonus, I can tell you how many Weight Watchers Points Plus™ it is.



This makes enough for two!

Ingredients:

2 bananas, frozen or fresh 

2/3 cup vanilla fat-free no-sugar-added yogurt (I use a probiotic yogurt.)

1 Cup Strawberries, fresh or frozen


1 Cup unsweetened almond beverage


1 Tblsp. organic honey


Almond or vanilla extract, if desired. (I forgot to add it this time and it tasted just fine!)

Directions: 

All ingredients go into a blender and voila, you have breakfast for two at 2.5 Weight Watchers Points Plus™ each!

Some of my notes:

Frozen fruit will make a thicker, milkshake like consistency. I always have bananas in my freezer that I usually use for muffins or banana bread, but they work awesome in this. I let them thaw for an hour just to make it easier on my blender. You do have to let it blend for a while to break down all the chunks of banana.

I usually use regular 2% milk, but lately I have switched to unsweetened almond beverage for smoothies for the fat savings and health benefits. It’s great! I’m thinking of trying coconut water for a plain fruit smoothie.



So…I know a lot of you out there
 probably do the same. 

What do you use in YOUR
morning smoothie?


~::~





About Muffin but Murder

When Merry Wynter unexpectedly inherited a castle in the wilds of upstate New York, she took some time to adjust. After living in New York City it was culture shock to wind up in a castle a few miles away from small town Autumn Vale. However, far from being lonely, as she first feared, her best friends Shilo Dinnegan (a former model) and Pish Lincoln, (a retired financial advisor who now writes books on financial scams and con artists) have joined her at Wynter Castle.

It is clear that she can’t afford to keep such a huge building, even if it is her ancestral home. It must be sold! She has an upscale party to promote Wynter Castle to would-be buyers who may be able to take the place and turn it into a hotel or inn, but the post party clean-up reveals an awful discovery; one of her "guests" turns up dead in a most gruesome fashion. With Pish holding back secrets, her exasperated attraction to Virgil Grace, (the broodingly handsome sheriff of Autumn Vale) growing stronger, and a supposed cousin with a possible claim on the inheritance plaguing her daily, Merry has her hands full.

But murder comes first. Who killed the guest, and why? And how is she going to keep Virgil from arresting Pish?

*With recipes! There is one muffin recipe in Muffin but Murder for what I call "Fit For The King Muffins" and they are wonderful!



Bestselling mystery author Victoria Hamilton writes the Merry Muffin Mysteries and The Vintage Kitchen Mysteries. As Amanda Cooper, she also writes the Teapot Collector Mysteries.

Victoria's long time love of mystery novels started at age twelve when her mom handed her an Agatha Christie book and said "Read"! Thousands of novels later, Victoria is still reading. And writing.

Besides those two favorite pastimes, Victoria also enjoys collecting vintage kitchenalia, old books, teacups, teapots and other ephemera. Perfume is her secret addiction. She likes to cook, hates to clean, and enjoys time spent with friends chatting over wine or tea. She loves crafts, loathes boredom, and her guilty pleasure is "reality" TV, which she knows is largely fake, but she enjoys it anyway.

Victoria thinks that people are the most interesting study of all, and more than anything, she loves to hear from readers, not just about her books but about anything and everything.




Facebook Page

For more on Muffin But Murder and the Merry Muffin Mysteries, visit the series’ Facebook page by clicking here.


Web Home

Learn more about Victoria Hamilton, her alter ego Amanda Cooper, and all her mystery series by clicking here.

~::~


Victoria's Giveaway


This wonderful contest is now over.
Thanks to everyone who left such
kind comments.


And our winner is...

Michelle of Brockton,
Massachusetts!


Michelle won the...

* Cozy Mystery Book Tote 

* Cozy Mystery Pen

* Muffin But Murder

* Tempest in a Teapot,
written by Victoria as
 Amanda Cooper



101 comments:

  1. I just finished reading " Tempest in a Teapot" and really enjoyed it. Looking forward to reading your other books.
    Mary, Ladylotion@msn.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just finished reading the first muffin book and loved it. Can't wait to see what happens with the castle. Ronnalord(at)msn(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  3. You have a lot of my likes and dislikes. I have read and truly enjoyed your books. Keep writing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mmmmmmm..the smoothie recipe sounds good.

    littleone AT shaw DOT ca

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fit for a King Muffins? My mouth is already watering. And the smoothie sounds divine as well.

    carstairs38 at gmail

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, the muffins are seriously awesome! My favorite I've made so far.

      Delete
  6. Not too fond of bananas but love strawberries. I like to mix them into my lo-fat yogurt. Looking forward to your latest books.

    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. your smoothie recipe sounds good! truthfully? I'd rather eat muffins!! I know. not as healthy. I haven't started this series, but will have to. Sounds like my kind of read!

    Anne

    mysandycat@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Lately I've been blending strawberries, blueberries, fat free vanilla yogurt, a little apricot juice and a couple of ice cubes. I've been having on of these for lunch sometimes during the week. I like the sound of your recipe too. And the books look like so much fun!
    rencw@verizon.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds awesome, Renee... apricot juice? Where do you buy it, just the grocery store? Sounds like it would add sweetness?

      Delete
  9. This sounds like it has it all, a castle, a body, secrets and romance. I can't wait to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I enjoyed Merry's first mystery, and the muffin recipes. Looking forward to reading about her next adventure at the castle. I love berry smoothies, and using almond milk is a good idea. grace(dot)koshida(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Strangely, my comment isn't showing up. Going to see how my mom likes this smoothie recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thais series sounds interesting. Looking forward to reading it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a great giveaway....definitely looking forward to reading this series.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your smoothie recipe sounds so good and I love bananas and strawberries! Definitely going to try. Love your series and look foward to each new book.
    rjprazak6@gmail.com
    Becky Prazak

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love all your different series, you are such a diverse writer ! Really looking forward to muffin but murder :)
    kathambre@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Terrific giveaway! And, thanks for the smoothie recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Love all of your series! I must check out the teapot mysteries next!
    gingermom25@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Your latest book sounds like a fun read! All you really need is one good muffin recipe.
    ncroessner@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have the first book in the Merry Muffin series and also 2 of the Vintage Kitchen books.. . I love both worlds and their lead detectives..

    My better half is on the Dr. Fuhrman diet so I maker her smoothies using almond milk, banana, frozen blueberries (which I actually buy fresh) and strawberries when I have them in the house. I would love to win the wonderful gift pack you are offering as a prize... I have a magic bookshelf stretcher so there's always room for more books.

    NoraAdrienne(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  20. The story sounds great. I love smoothies and muffins, too. I don't have smoothies for breakfast. I go to Juice It Up and get one for dinner. I know I should just make them for myself but I'm lazy and they have all the ingredients there.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Smoothies are a wonderful afternoon snack. Bobbipad at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I actually like the smoothies without the yogurt

    ReplyDelete
  23. I love strawberries but I haven't been able to get any good ones in NJ this year.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Smoothies are so refreshing especially for this long, hot summer. Muffins sound delectable. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  25. I am intrigued with the series and love smoothies.elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Victoria! So nice to see you here. What a fabulous giveaway!

    I should get in the habit of making smoothies. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    ~Krista

    ReplyDelete
  27. Looking forward to reading this book.

    ReplyDelete
  28. What a lovely giveaway and a lovely smoothie! Yum! Thanks for sharing on MLK! :)

    Daryl / Avery

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thank you for this great giveaway. The book sounds awesome and the recipe looks delicious! :) areewekidding@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I love that strawberry season is here! When I was little my mom and I would go strawberry picking and she'd make the most amazing fresh strawberry pie. I need to eat healthier and this smoothie sounds delicious and easy-except I need to make room on my counter for the blender! Love that bag!

    cozyupwithkathy at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I'm looking forward to your latest book!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I adore your books, particularly the Vintage Kitchen series. Your characters and plot lines are always engaging.

    As for the recipe, it looks delicious. For me, I'd just substitute in non-fat plain Greek yogurt for a higher protein count. Mmmmmm....thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love muffins and that smoothie sounds wonderful and easy (I always love those easy, tasty recipes). Thanks for the chance to win.
    momzillasteel at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  34. I want to win!! Looks so good.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Looks fantastic; another great read and I hope to get a chance to read it :)
    jslbrown2009(at)aol(do)com

    ReplyDelete
  36. This looks so good! I love to read books that make me hungry! LOL!
    misstree1963@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. I love fresh strawberries in any form and the new book looks like another fun read! Thanks for the chance to win ( profjpl@gmail.com)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Love mysteries especially when they feature food!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Looks like a marvelous batch of goodies.
    And, of course, it sounds like a great read.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I just checked Tempest in a Teapot out of the library and I am looking forward to reading it. I have enjoyed other books by Victoria.

    ReplyDelete
  41. This is a new series to me but I do enjoy cozy mysteries. I'd like to uncover that muffin recipe--especially if it's healthy. I do plan to try the smoothie recipe.It looks beautiful.
    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.
    6186pep(at)msn(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  42. Have Tempest in a Teapot from the library; requested Muffin but Murder from my library. Can't wait to read them both. Thanks for writing these wonderful series.

    ReplyDelete
  43. The smoothie sounds lovely. I have a couple of lactose intolerant relatives so it'll come in handy.

    ReplyDelete
  44. That's a good neighbor! All I get these days from my neighbors is zuchinni. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) sandysheley at gmail

    ReplyDelete
  45. Christina MitchellJune 29, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    Strawberries and Muffins! What a great combination! I really liked the first book in the series and the next sounds even better!

    ReplyDelete
  46. I have been reading mysteries for decades but have only as of late fallen in love with cozy mysteries! Thanks so much for the opportunity to win these two intriguing books!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  47. I'm weird. I don't care for smoothies. My gson would like this one though. Strawberry/banana is the one he orders.
    The book sounds great. Would live to win. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops. Forgot the email.
      pmettert@yahoo.com

      Delete
  48. I'm going to try the smoothie recipe.
    tiggernelsie@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  49. I am particularly fond of the vintage kitchen series. I am looking forward to many more stories. The smoothies I concoct tend to be overly involved as I just start tossing things in the Vitamix so I don't have any actual recipes. A dessert smoothie/sorbet I like is a combo of homemade unsweetened almond milk, vanilla, unprocessed cocoa powder, a bit of date sugar, frozen strawberries and sometimes some frozen blueberries. I just adjust proportions until I get the consistency I want and the Vitamix is great at beating this into submission. Best wishes to you. Writing is a gift.....

    ozsulin@dwx.com

    ReplyDelete
  50. I'm so glad you wrote another Merry Muffin book. I really enjoyed the first one. Can't wait to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hi,

    I haven't read the Merry Muffin books but would like to start, and this looks like a great way. I am always searching for a good cozy series. lori.tuttle@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  52. I can't wait until Tues and release day.

    ReplyDelete
  53. The smoothie sounds great! I can't wait for the new Merry Muffin book. I loved the first one...great characters!

    ReplyDelete
  54. So looking forward to 'Muffin'!

    ReplyDelete
  55. I don't normally drink smoothies, but this one looks delicious. Love your books, Victoria. At the moment I'm reading Tempest, and I can't even begin to guess who the killer is!

    ReplyDelete
  56. This book is on my TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway!
    Raquel36m@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  57. Looking forward to reading a new series:)

    ReplyDelete
  58. I'm going to try that smoothie recipe. I just think I'll add a piece of toast on the side for my breakfast.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  59. Loved the first Muffin book, looking forward to the second. Thanks for the giveaway.
    dotkel50@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  60. I love smoothies. My beach body coach got me into them. I put one serving of Shakeology into my drinks, along with just about anything. I love orange juice and vanilla. I also love coffee and almond milk. I received a page of smoothie recipes when I signed up for the Shakeology. Adding the vitamins and minerals has helped me a ton!

    ReplyDelete
  61. This recipe looks really good.

    ReplyDelete
  62. strawberries , bananas, apple juice, spinach leaves, flax seeds and lots of ice. gives me enough pep in the morning! thanks for this great giveaway...another great series to get involved in!

    ReplyDelete
  63. I am currently reading Tempest in a Teapot and would like to read Muffin But Murder.

    ReplyDelete
  64. I usually don't drink morning smoothies..but when I do..I love strawberries and bananas. Thanks for the giveaway.

    Kimberlee
    girllostinabook@hotmail.com
    www.girllostinabook.com

    ReplyDelete
  65. That smoothie sounds yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  66. Love a good cozy. Especially with food.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Victoria, what a wonderful giveaway, thank you! I use vanilla almond milk quite a bit in smoothies, and my iced coffee drinks. (Hungry Girl has a great one for two points) I'm trying to get more calcium into my diet. I finished Tempest in a Teapot this weekend; it was great! If I am lucky enough to win, pull that book out and gift it to another. I'd like to let someone else enjoy it.

    ReplyDelete
  68. This sounds like a great series.

    kaye.killgore@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  69. Sounds great and can't wait to read the next book

    ReplyDelete
  70. I think the muffin series looks very good!
    Kim j
    Kjohnson952@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  71. Thanks for having such a great giveaway.

    xzjh04@ email.com

    ReplyDelete
  72. These books are the perfect summer books and I love mystery books with recipes.

    susanne@4inchina.dk

    ReplyDelete
  73. I do like smoothies, and I'm glad to read that almond milk works well in them since I have just started making the switch over to it and wasn't sure if it would change the taste or texture of a smoothie too much. Strawberries are definitely my favprite flavor of smoothie, too, so this recipe hits the mark perfectly.

    Loved Tempest in a Teapot and can't wait for Muffin but Murder. Thanks for such a fun and generous giveaway!

    michstjame at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  74. I love having a smoothie made with frozen berries for breakfast in the summer. It helps me start out cool! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  75. I designed this smoothie to fulfill all of my morning requirements: Almond milk so it's naturally low fat, probiotic yogurt for the, well, probiotics, bananas for the potassium and strawberries for the nutrients! And I didn't add that my 'blender' is actually just one of those Magic Bullet types, and it works great!

    ReplyDelete
  76. Sounds really good. I'm going to have to give it a try.

    jdh7041@hotmail.ca

    ReplyDelete
  77. The shake looks perfectly yummy! Thank you for the recipe and tahnk for the opportunity to win. annelovell12@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  78. Awesome giveaway !!! Would love to win and take the book with me to the beach in August and read it in the sand.....

    ReplyDelete
  79. This certainly sounds like a recipe I need to try. Maybe while diving into one of these series? Looking forward to both. Thanks for the giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Cant wait to start this series. Love your other books. And the recipes look great too!!

    ReplyDelete
  81. I absolutely love strawberries and bananas. I am going to have to try your recipe posted here. I just got Tempest in a Teapot yesterday and would absolutely love to get this gift pack.

    ReplyDelete
  82. I haven't thought of making smoothies for breakfast, but yours looks so delicious and guilt free I may be convinced to try it.
    I love this prize pack. Thanks for offering it to fans of your cozies.

    Lauigl [at] carolina [dot] rr [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  83. I use Silk Almond milk all the time. I'm going to try this recipe! Thank you! Thank you for the chance to win this prize package!

    ReplyDelete
  84. What a wonderful way to read a bunch of lovely reading! Thanks for opportunity!
    lynn@tangledyarn.com

    ReplyDelete
  85. Recipe sounds delicious, thank you. Love your books.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  86. Yum Yum Yum!!! Looking forward to reading and sipping :-)

    ReplyDelete
  87. I've never had a smoothie and this one looks delicious, so does the book!
    Terry P.

    ReplyDelete
  88. I love all your books! Thats some cool stuff you're giving away! 2 free books, WOW!

    ReplyDelete
  89. Hunker down with smoothie & a book. Great way to spend a summer afternoon.
    doreenrick@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  90. just read Bran New Death last week and loved it. Planned on looking for more, so I'm really glad to learn about the teapot series as well.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Yummy recipe. Thanks for sharing. I'm not too big on smoothies, but will occasionally do non-dairy milk, frozen banana, and chocolate syrup. Yum! Peanut butter added in is also really good.
    kristin409 (at) comcast (dot) net

    ReplyDelete
  92. sounds like a great recipe!!
    will share with my sister-in-law.......

    cyn209 at juno dot com

    ReplyDelete
  93. Yay thank you for that awesome recipe . I will so try it out. Neoterragoddess(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  94. That smoothie looks so good. I think I'm going to have to try it, my kids will LOVE it. Thank you for the giveaway.
    kvmatlock(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  95. Your smoothie looks delicious! Thanks for a recipe i can use. I usually blend strawberries and raspberries with ice and a little bit of apple juice for my morning smoothie.
    Elisanabby at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  96. Thanks to everyone for entering Victoria's contest! I'm delighted to announce the winning name...

    Michelle of Brockton, Massachusetts!

    Michelle’s comment was left as "michstjame" at 7:39 on June 30 and was selected by Random Number Generator. Congratulations, Michelle!

    Thanks to everyone who left comments and thanks especially to author Victoria Hamilton for sharing her recipe and generous giveaway. Stay tuned to our Mystery Lovers' Kitchen blog for more fun, cozy contests in the near future!

    ~ Cleo

    ReplyDelete