|Tempest in a Teapot is the|
first in a new mystery series.
Learn more by clicking here.
Three cheers to my fellow bloggers who have new releases this week in their popular cozy mystery series. Congratulations to both Krista Davis and Sheila Connolly!
And more happy congrats to my special guest today, who is launching her terrific new Teapot Collector Mystery series with Tempest in a Teapot.
Please give a warm welcome to Amanda Cooper (aka author Victoria Hamilton) who is sharing a recipe and a fun comment-to-win giveaway. Take it away, Amanda!
~ Cleo Coyle
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I hate titles like that, the "World’s Best" whatever. Who really knows what the ‘World’s Best’ anything is? That’s what individual taste is about.
We all have our likes and dislikes, and that’s so very true of coleslaw: sweet or not, coarsely chopped or finely grated, creamy dressing or oil and vinegar. So all I can give you is my own method, and it’s not even a recipe.
A mandolin is a stringed instrument, while a mandoline is the thingie that you slide vegetables down over a blade to slice.
A couple of years ago I bought my sister a nifty adjustable mandoline called a One Touch. It has a dial on it, and you can dial it from very fine to very coarse. It slices cucumber so thin you can see through the slices!
I’ve always sliced my cabbage for coleslaw just using a knife, which is time consuming. Last time I tried the mandoline and wow! Fine ribbons of cabbage in seconds!
So…to my coleslaw. First, the dressing; creamy for me, please and thank you.
Milk (yes, milk!)
Vinegar and/or lemon juice
No set amounts, because that depends on how much slaw you’re making. I start with a couple of heaping tablespoons each of the mayo and Miracle Whip (MW provides a sweet tangy kick that I like) blended. I add a little vinegar and/or lemon juice, whatever I have, a scant sprinkle of celery salt, and then thin the mixture to a salad dressing consistency with the milk.
A note about vinegar: I’ve always used just plain old white vinegar in my slaw, but this last time I tried apple cider vinegar – because I had some around – and the kick to the taste was remarkable! My coleslaw went from Mmm! To Zowie! It does have a fruity taste, and that enhances the blend of veggies. My new go-to vinegar.
The veggies: Start with green cabbage, a firm, heavy head. I cut it into chunks and start slicing, or using the mandoline, until I have a nice pile of shredded cabbage, enough to two-thirds fill the container I’ll be using. Then I grate one carrot.
Now about graters: I’ve tried a variety of graters, being gadget girl, but you just can’t do better than an old fashioned box grater. One small to medium carrot will probably be enough, unless you like LOTS of carrot. I shred it until just before I’ll graze my fingers – I’ve learned when that is by waiting too long and grating my fingers along with the carrot - then I eat the left over stub. What else are you going to do with it, throw it out? Heavens no! No food wastage.
Now for the simply blending: Pour the dressing over the cabbage and carrot and hope you have enough to coat it all. If you don’t, just make a little more dressing.
A note about sweetness: I like my coleslaw tangy, but with some sweetness. I’ll admit, I add a half teaspoon of sugar, or a half packet of sweetener to the dressing to get the taste that I like, but to each his own.
So what’s your preference, creamy or oil and vinegar dressing? Tangy, or sweet, or a little of both? Coarsely chopped, thinly sliced, or pulped to a fare-thee-well? Share your slaw stories!
Amanda Cooper is the pseudonym for bestselling mystery author Victoria Hamilton. She writes the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and the Merry Muffin Mysteries as Hamilton, in addition to the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper.
Cooper’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 Cooper is still reading. And writing.
But besides those two favorite pastimes, Cooper 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 enjoys anyway.
Cooper 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.
About Tempest in a Teapot
by Amanda Cooper
Sophie Freemont Taylor, failed restaurateur, chef and teapot collector, is at loose ends in Manhattan until she decides on the spur of the moment to return ‘home’ to Gracious Grove, a town in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Though not her real home town, it is where she finds respite at her grandmother’s establishment, the same place where Sophie fell in love with teapots, Auntie Rose’s Victorian Tea House. Her grandmother, Rose Freemont, aka ‘Nana’, welcomes her with open arms and twenty nine year old Sophie settles in to find her groove cooking again, even if it is ‘only’ tearoom fare. At the same time she reestablishes friendships with her childhood buddies Dana and Cissy, and her first love, Jason Murphy.
Life in Gracious Grove is never boring, but is not usually as spirited as it becomes when there is a murder at the tearoom next door, the establishment of cranky octogenarian Thelma Mae Earnshaw. Thelma has nursed a six decade long grudge against Nana, who she claims stole her beau, Harold Freemont, also known as Sophie’s grandfather and Nana’s late husband. But despite Thelma’s irascibility, Sophie feels compelled to help figure out who killed a local socialite with a baked goody at Thelma’s tearoom, Belle Époque. It’s unnerving that it occurred so close that Sophie heard the hubbub surrounding the murder by poison! Too soon the danger strikes close to home with an attack on her Nana, and Sophie races the clock to figure out what is going wrong in the pretty little town of Gracious Grove.
For more on Tempest in a Teapot and the Teapot Collector Mysteries, visit the series’ Facebook page by clicking here.