Sunday, September 18, 2016

Welcome our guest, Ellen Byron + Bananas Foster cake #recipe + #giveaway




Ellen's debut novel, Plantation ShuddersA Cajun Country Mystery, made the USA Today Bestsellers list and has been nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards. The second book in the series, Body on the Bayou, launches September 13th. Ellen has also written for television, as well. Her credits include Wings, Still Standing, Just Shoot Me, and more. As a journalist, she has written over 200 magazine articles for national publications. Plus she writes plays!  Learn more about Ellen on her website: www.ellenbyron.com


Here's a taste of Body on the Bayou:

Maggie Crozat agrees to be frenemy Vanessa Fleer’s Maid of Honor, but when Vanessa tops the list of murder suspects, meeting this Bridezilla’s wedding demands takes a backseat to keeping her out of jail. 

Publishers Weekly says, “A tight plot, an appealing setting, and a smart, good-hearted protagonist with a caring, supportive family and lots of friends give this story everything cozy mystery readers could want.”


Take it away, Ellen! PS  THERE'S A GIVEAWAY BELOW, SO REMEMBER TO LEAVE A COMMENT!


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Bananas Foster is an iconic dessert served at an equally iconic New Orleans restaurant, Brennan’s. Bananas are flambéed in a sauce of butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dark rum, and banana liqueur, and then served over vanilla ice cream. Legend has it that the dish was invented at the restaurant in 1951 as a way to advertise the fact that New Orleans was a major hub for imported bananas from South America.

The dessert’s irresistible blend of bananas, sugars, spices, and liquors can be applied to a variety of dishes. Google “Bananas Foster” and you’ll get a long list that ranges from pancakes to bread pudding to ice cream. When I was creating recipes for Body on the Bayou, the second in my Cajun Country Mystery series, I knew I wanted to tap into this uniquely NOLA treat, so I came up with a recipe for Bananas Foster Coffee Cake. Laissez les bon bananas roulez!




The cake ingredients:

3 ripe bananas, sliced
6 tablespoons butter, divided (3 at a time)
2 ounces dark rum
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 ounce banana liqueur (note: if you don’t have this, use 3 oz. Rum)
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups Bisquick


The streusel ingredients:

2/3 cups Bisquick
2/3 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold butter or margarine


Instructions to make the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350, with rack in center level of the oven.

In a large skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the dark brown sugar and stir to combine. Add the rum and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring often to blend the ingredients and keep them from crystallizing. Add the banana chunks and cook for 2-3 more minutes, gently stirring to coat the bananas with the thickening liquid. Scrape the caramelized banana mixture into a medium heatproof bowl. Use your spatula to break up the bananas into small pieces (but don’t mash them into pulp). Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter until melted, then add the vanilla. Let the mixture cool down to warm, then quickly whisk in the eggs.



Place the 2 cups of Bisquick in another medium-sized bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the Bisquick and stir together.

Instructions to make the streusel:

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, and cut in the butter. Use a pastry blender to combine ingredients until the streusel is crumbly.



To put it all together:

Put half the cake batter in a 8” by 8” buttered cake pan. Top with half the streusel. Top that with the rest of the cake batter, and cover that with the rest of the streusel.






Bake for 35-45 minutes. Try not to over-bake, or it will be dry.

Serves 6-8.




*
I am offering a giveaway today, a hardcover copy of BODY ON THE BAYOU plus some swag.   Leave a COMMENT and tell me if you've ever been to the bayou. Remember to add an email address (cryptic if you'd like) so I can contact you if you win!




PLANTATION SHUDDERS: A CAJUN COUNTRY MYSTERY, available from Crooked Lane Books
BODY ON THE BAYOU: A CAJUN COUNTRY MYSTERY, available September 2016
Sign up for Ellen's Cajun Country newsletter at ellenbyron.com
Connect with Ellen on Facebook.
And on Twitter @EllenByronLA



105 comments:

  1. I have never been to the bayou, but I've always wanted to visit!
    karen(dot)kenyon(at)rogers(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. It's such a great part of the country, Karen. Hope you get there.

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    2. Nelly B is my Google name, BTW!

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  2. Yes! I love the bayou. Haven't been in a few years, but will be returning soon. Also love this Bananas Foster Coffee Cake recipe; and the book sounds amazing! EMS591@aol.com

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  3. Yes, I have been to the bayou. Of course, the food is my favorite part. Dmskrug3 (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  4. I have not been to the bayou, would love to one day. Thanks for the chance :)
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

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  5. I went on my first visit to the Honey Island Swamp in Louisiana this week. We traveled by boat through several slow moving, offshoot branches of a river but I don't think this is a bayou. And I was lucky to try Brennan's Bananas Foster this week in NOLA. It was delish, so thanks for the recipe and chance to win a hard copy of your newest book!
    grace dot koshida at gmail dot com

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    1. I've been on a bunch of swamp tours, but this one sounds great!

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  6. I never been to the bayou! I have a good friend that lives there I would love to go and meet her. Wonderful review thanks
    Penney penneyw(at)sbcglobal.net

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  7. I've never been to the Bayou but would love to do so some time. I have a cousin who lives in Slidell Louisana. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net.

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  8. I have been to Louisiana a few times. Most of what I've seen has been from the road. I've never been in the bayou. suefoster109 T netzeronetzero.net

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  9. This is a part of the country I have never been. Someday I will make it there. So many great places here in the US to explore! I have Plantation Shudders out from the library. I would love to win book 2 here. Thanks for the chance!

    Bec
    Rlewis11797 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. Thanks so much. Enjoy the book and good luck

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  10. I have never been to the bayou but this book sure sounds good and so does the recipe
    ninaatmyhouse at yahoo dot com

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  11. I have never been to the bayou but this book sure sounds good and so does the recipe
    ninaatmyhouse at yahoo dot com

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  12. No, I have never been to the New Orleans area. Not yet, anyway.

    ElaineE246 at msn dot com

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  13. That's a very interesting recipe--I think I'll have to try it. Thanks for the contest--I'd love to win your book.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  14. While I've visited New Orleans several times I never made it out to a bayou. Thanks for the chance to win your book and for your amazing recipe!!! kimdavishb (at) gmail (dot) com

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  15. This cake sounds like a great variation of bananas Foster.
    I've been to New Orleans, but not out into the bayou.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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  16. The book looks awesome to read!! The recipes also looks delicious. Thank you for the chance to win

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  17. Yes.I was down to New Orleans and we took a swamp tour and saw the gators and some coons.
    judytucker1947@gmail.com

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  18. I have never been to the Bayou. The recipe looks enticing. Thanks for this great giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  19. I have been to New Orleans once and can't wait to go back. I was only in the "city" area. I loved it!! jawdance@yahoo.com

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  20. I have not, but visits via books have certainly piqued my interest! This is one of my father-in-law's favorite desserts, the bisquick sure makes it sound easy! :) Thanks for the chance to win!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

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  21. I've never been to the Bayou but I did visit Florida gater area. I was 7 and we went on a glass bottom boat to the Indian Village to watch a man wrestle a gater. Does that count?

    I'm totally annoyed with my local library. For the past year ALL of the new books they buy are e-books. I have to go one county over to find dead tree version of the books I want to read. Thankfully they had Plantation Shudders and I ordered it. This way when I win this wonderful giveaway I'll have already enjoyed the first book. LOL

    NoraAdrienne (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Wonderful. And I'm a paper goal, too. Trying to get used to my Kindle.:-(

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  22. I would enjoy visiting the bayou and Louisiana. The cake would be yummy. Many thanks for the giveaway. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  23. FYI, Nelly B is an old Google name I can't get rid of, but it's me, Ellen Byron. And my replies will be sporadic because I'm in NOLA for Bouchercon with super-limited service. But I'll do my best and I love all the comments!

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    1. I believe I speak for all of us when I yell JEALOUS!!! Hope you're having fun! Thanks for taking the time to check in with us. Says a lot that you take time out for the readers.

      Bec
      Rlewis11797 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    2. Lol!! A great time, but tiredzzzzz. And I'm nothing without readers. You're our heroes!

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  24. This cake sounds delicious. I visited New Orleans many moons ago in the early 1980s with my parents. We did a brief bayou visit and took a tour of a plantation, but most of our time was spend in the French Quarter. I'd love to go back as an adult.

    cozyupwithkathy @ gmail dot com

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    1. Oh, you should. But sounds like your parents did a great job of giving you an overview

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  25. look like great book would love to read
    greeneyes2755@yahoo.com

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  26. I have been to New Orleans but did not take a bayou tour. I do like "les bon temps!" rebarger@bellsouth.net

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    1. Then I hope you'll like my book. Merci!

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  27. I have been to Caddo Lake, Texas which is a bayou, Texas Style, I guess. Lots of trees with Spanish moss hanging from them, turtles sunning on logs, and a great catfish restaurant with amazing hush puppies, that you can only get to by boat. Bananas Foster is one of my favorite desserts ever -- can't wait to try the cake. Thanks for sharing! bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

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    Replies
    1. Caddo Lake sounds beautiful. I hope to visit it sometime

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  28. Looks yummy. The only bayou I've been to is the Blue Bayou restaurant at Disneyland :-). Would love to checkout the real thing some day. Thanks for the giveaway.
    sallycootie@gmail.com

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    1. LOL, I've been to the Blue Bayou, too.

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  29. I've never been to the bayou. I have been to New Orleans, maybe even twice, but that was so, so long ago, I don't remember much at all.
    Bananas Foster (original) sounds good- something I'd like to try. Your adaptation for the coffee cake sounds delish, and a recipe I do intend to make. Can rum flavoring be used instead of actual rum? I'm more likely to have the flavoring on hand, but wouldn't want to mess up the recipe.
    I am certainly looking forward to reading BODY ON THE BAYOU.
    donna (dot) durnell (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

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    1. You can absolutely use rum flavoring instead of rum. I think that's a great idea, and will try to include that as an option in future editions - should I be so lucky!

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  30. No I haven't had the opportunity to visit , but I would love too ! The recipe looks delish !
    kathambre@yahoo.com

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  31. I've never been to the Bayou. Thank you for this chance. areewekidding@yahoo.com

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  32. I have accidentally entered NEW Orleans when a truck blocked the exit sign on I-10 for Houston. Sounds lik ea good read.

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    1. Funny! Hope you get there under more opportune circumstances in the future. :-)

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  33. Loved Plantation Shudders, can't wait to read Body on the Bayou!

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    1. Thank you so much! That means a lot to me. Good luck. :-)

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  34. I've never been to the Bayou but from the stories and shows I've seen based on it, the Bayou sounds like an area that can be exciting to visit. robeader53@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. Oh, it is. Amazing food, fascinating history, swamp tours... it's a must-see in this country.

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  35. No I haven't but would love to visit. Parkeremma2003 at yahoo dot com

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    1. Jennifer, by random number selector, you are the winner. I'm going to put you in touch with Ellen so you can work out details. Congrats! ~ Daryl

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  36. Yes, I noticed the mosquitoes and the moss hanging from the trees. They don't have moss like that in NB. I thought it looked rather eerie. Did enjoy the different kinds of food.

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  37. Lovely post, Ellen! Thanks for joining us at Mystery Lovers Kitchen.

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  38. never been to the bayou but the story and treat looks great. -mollie. iemercedez@aol.com

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  39. I have never had a opportunity to visit the bayou yet...looking forward to your book...and the Banana Foster recipe looks tasty and wonderful. Thanks for sharing both.

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  40. I have been to the bayou and I was amazed at the beauty and peacefulness of the bayou. We took a boat tour and it was so interesting. I love the beauty of the South and the Antebellum homes and plantations. It's my favorite place to vacation. Can't wait to read "Body on the Bayou".
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  41. I have been to the bayou and I was amazed at the beauty and peacefulness of the bayou. We took a boat tour and it was so interesting. I love the beauty of the South and the Antebellum homes and plantations. It's my favorite place to vacation. Can't wait to read "Body on the Bayou".
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  42. I've never been there, though I have it on my bucket list!
    mjhopper (at)cox(dot)net

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    1. Funny,I just replied to someone that they should put it on their bucket list!

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  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  44. I look forward to reading this new series. Thank you for this opportunity.

    Mommy_to_zoe@hotmail.com

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  45. Never been to but would love to see and experience the bayou.
    Pugpower63@gmail.com

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  46. I have never been to the bayou, would like to go sometime.
    lclee59(at)centurylink(dot)net

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  47. I visited the bayou in Lafitte LA last month!! I visited my daughter's in-laws and my soul felt calm and free sitting on the porch of an old southern house. I drank coffee in the morning on the porch watching trawlers going out to fish and 'gators looking for food or just curious. It was the most amazing experience and feeling looking out on bayou and the beautiful moss covered trees! I cannot wait to go back and I am definitely going to be looking for your books.

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    1. Oh, that trip sounds wonderful. Just perfect. Now I want to visit your daughter, LOL! I hope you do find my books and they remind you of your wonderful visit.

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  48. I haven't been to the bayou but I have visited Louisiana and I have been around Cajuns and their food but in Texas after they moved there. I did see moss hanging out of trees on my way to New Orleans. Thank you for the chance to enter the contest. Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

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    1. I love Spanish Moss. It's so iconic, isn't it?

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  49. Never been to the bayou, only in good reads. Thanks for the chance to win this book!! nschwenkner at g mail dot com

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  50. Never been to the bayou, only in good reads. Thanks for the chance to win this book!! nschwenkner at g mail dot com

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  51. I have gone to the bayou, but it's been a while! This series looks great, and the cake looks delicious! Thanks for the chance to win!!!
    magicgirl2357@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks so much. Time for a return visit?? ;-)

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  52. the closest i came to the bayou is Vadallia LA. not sure i would enjoy it, too many bugs and gators. but know i would love the food! thanks for the chance to win the book. i do love visiting the bayou in book form!! kayt18 (at) comcast (dot) net

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    1. Well, there are a lot of bugs, although I have to say, my last two visits have been wonderfully bug-free. Little gift from the insect gods. ;-)

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  53. I have never been to the bayou but I would like to visit someday. Your cake sounds delicious. I'd love to read your book. Hope I get lucky.
    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  54. We boated on the bayou years ago down around Thibodaux. It was gorgeous! Your coffee cake looks absolutely deadly.

    Pat D patdupuy@yahoo.com

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    1. Isn't it magical? Good luck! And LOL, the cake's not as deadly as it looks, happy to say. But it's tasty!

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  55. I have never been but have always wanted to go. Thank you for the chance to win.
    frauenb@aol.com

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  56. I have not been but wanted to visit. Thanks for the chance to win! kristilewis.lrc@gmail.com

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  57. The winner, by random number generator, is Jennifer H. I'll put you in touch with Ellen. Congrats! And thanks Ellen for playing along! ~ Daryl

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  58. Sorry I missed this!! Thank you for the recipe and all of the fun!! I'll be reading this soon. Congrats to Jennifer...aren't these books great!!!

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