The second book in the series, , launches September 13th. Ellen has also written for television, as well. Her 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.”
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.
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!
BODY ON THE BAYOU: A CAJUN COUNTRY MYSTERY, available September 2016
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