Showing posts with label #bookgiveaway. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #bookgiveaway. Show all posts

Friday, December 8, 2017

Bramley Apple Pie and a Giveaway

I know, you've seen plenty of apple pie recipes, but there's a reason for this one.

It all started with the apples at the Skibbereen Farmers’ Market in West Cork. You see, in England and Ireland they have Bramley apples, which are large, green, and often kind of lumpy-looking. They hold their shape in cooking and they taste good. They were first described in 1809, and are the most important cooking apple in England and Ireland. For some reason they've never really caught on in the US, so I brought a few back with me.

I needed a recipe. As I have said (too many times) already, I’m lousy at making rolled pie crusts, so I decided to use a simple one that I could press into the pie pan, and I found a nice, easy recipe.

The rest I kind of borrowed from my own recipe for Apple Goodie. I’d never made that with a crust, but it seemed worth trying. Besides, the topping for Apple Goodie is also quick and easy, and you can mix up everything with your hands (saves washing up!).

Bramley Apple Pie


2 cups flour

3 Tblsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, 
   cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tblsp water

In a food processor, mix all the ingredients until the mixture is clumpy, but stop before it starts forming a ball. Or mix with your fingers.

Find a ten-inch pie plate (metal works best—I’m not sure how the crust would brown with a ceramic or Pyrex pie plate). Dump all the crumbs into the pan. Press the dough around the sides first, then the bottom. Cover with plastic wrap and use a glass or cup and press the dough smooth all around (this helps firm it up so it holds together when you’re serving it). Remove the plastic (!).


Peel and slice your apples (I used three Bramleys, which made up between 3-4 cups. This is a shallow pie.), then toss them with some sugar, flour, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.

Put the apples into the pie pan over the crust. Lay them sort of flat, but you don’t have to be fussy.


1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Mix coarsely (fingers again, if you want) and sprinkle over the apples in the pan.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the pie in the middle of the oven (you might want to put a cookie sheet under it or on the rack below in case it oozes) and bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until what you can see of the crust around the edge is nicely brown.

Remove from the oven and let cool for a while (but you can serve it still warm). I will confess I held my breath when I sliced it, but it came out in a tidy piece. Eureka! (And it tasted really good!)

And a holiday giveaway! I have my first author copies of Many a Twist, the next County Cork Mystery, which will hit the shelves next month, and I want to share one! Leave a comment about your favorite apple pie (or apple dessert, or just about anything that uses apples) and I'll pick a winner!

"This laid-back mystery combines plenty of puzzles with a strong feeling for life in small-town Ireland."
     --Kirkus Reviews

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Steak au poivre #recipe from A Deadly Éclair + book #giveaway

Well, I've got to say it's been quite a week. Launching a book is never easy. This week was much harder for me, for a lot of reasons that I won't go into. But add in a library luncheon and two book signings far, far, away - lots of driving - I've got to admit I'm exhausted. 

 When I'm tired, do you know what I crave? Red meat.  No kidding. And I found out some interesting information about why...

You're going to love this.  I did!

Have you heard of eating to your blood type? Here's a site that explains it: BLOOD TYPE

Type O blood people--which I am--should eat a high-protein diet heavy on lean meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables, and light on grains, beans, and dairy. The source also recommends various supplements to help with tummy troubles and other issues which he says people with type O tend to have.

Guess who has tummy troubles? Oh, yeah! Me!  And I'm celiac. Did you notice that mention about going light on grains? I guess that might be a reason. Also beans--like kidney beans--hate me. They always have. I do fine with dairy, though, so not everything is written in stone, I suppose.

Anyway, because I'm craving meat and I intend to enjoy it to the fullest, I'm going to make steak au poivre.

Let me share this delicious recipe with you. It was the first thing I made for the French Bistro mysteries. My pal, Krista, suggested it, and wow! I mean, wow! It is one of the most delicious ways to serve a steak ever! And so easy.

When I share the recipes at the end of the book, one of the characters says a little bit about the recipe. I started adding that personal touch in the third Cheese Shop Mystery and kept up the practice through the Cookbook Nook Mysteries and now the French Bistro Mysteries. I mean, who better than one of the knowledgeable characters to share the recipe, right? So today, I'm going to let Chef C, aka Camille Chabot, the main chef at Bistro Rousseau, introduce this entrée. She is a hoot of a character. I love her. She really shines in book 2. Take it away, Chef C!

From Chef C:

It’s important not to overcook this steak. It’s best served medium-rare. The sauce continues to cook the steak on the plate. Allow the savory sauce to melt in your mouth. This recipe comes to me from my mother, a Frenchwoman with a very strong will, to put it mildly. If you would like to know how to pronounce the dish, listen to this VIMEOSteak au poivre. Pronounced AW PAWH-VRE)  Bon appetit!


Steak au Poivre

4 tenderloin steaks, 6 to 8 ounces each and no more than 1 1/2 inches thick
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/3 cup Cognac, plus 2 teaspoons
1 cup heavy cream
Salt, to taste (about 1 teaspoon)

It’s important to remove the steaks from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature prior to cooking, about 1 hour. Sprinkle all sides with salt.

Crush the peppercorns using something hard like a mortar and pestle, or a mallet on a cutting board. Spread the peppercorns evenly in a pie plate. Press each fillet, on both sides, into the pepper and coat the surface. Set aside.

In a medium skillet, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat. When the butter and oil turn golden and start to smoke smoke, carefully place the steaks in the pan.

For medium-rare, cook for about 4 minutes per side; for medium about 5 minutes per side. Remove the steaks to a plate, cover with foil and set aside.

Pour off the excess fat from the skillet, but do not wipe or scrape it clean.

Now, with the skillet still off the heat, add the 1/3 cup Cognac to the pan and carefully light the alcohol with a long match or battery-operated lighter. Carefully shake pan until the flames die.

Return the pan to medium heat and add the heavy cream.

Bring the mixture to a boil and whisk until the sauce becomes thick and sticks to the back of a spoon, approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Add the extra teaspoons of Cognac and season, to taste, with about 1 teaspoon of salt.

Add the steaks back to the pan, spoon the savory sauce over them, and then set them on plates, adding more sauce, once plated.


By the way, I've got one more French Bistro themed box to giveaway this weekend on my FB author page. You have to leave a comment on my Facebook author page to enter. Don't miss out. The giveaway goes until Saturday. It's How to Sightsee in Napa Valley!


To enter to win, leave a comment to win a copy of A DEADLY ECLAIR, in hardcover or e-book.

Leave your email so I can contact you if you win. 
I'll pick a winner Friday. Good luck.  

Mimi Rousseau is throwing the bistro’s first wedding—the nuptials of a famous talk show host. She is sure things will go awry when the bride’s father shows up drunk to the out-of-towners’ dinner. By the end of the evening, things look sweet again…until the next morning, when her benefactor is found dead at the bistro with an éclair stuffed in his mouth. All fingers point at Mimi, whose loan is forgiven if he dies. It’s up to her to éclair—er, clear—her name before the killer turns up the heat.


"Talk about a culinary delight, this book is the pinnacle of deliciousness as I devoured all that was written in this exciting new series featuring Mimi and her friends." ~ Dru's Book Musings

"I have been looking forward to the book since I first saw the cover pop up on Facebook and it certainly exceeded my expectations. As a fan of the author’s Cheese Shop Mysteries and Cookbook Nook Mysteries, I knew the characters would be strong and the food descriptions would have my mouth watering and I was right." ~ Escape with Dollycas Blog

Savor the mystery!

Friend Daryl and Avery on Facebook
Follow Daryl on Twitter
Follow Avery on Twitter
Follow both of us on Pinterest
Plus check out my website.

A DEADLY ÉCLAIR, the 1st in the French Bistro Mysteries, is coming November 2017. Can Mimi clear her name before the killer turns up the heat? Click here to order.

GRILLING THE SUBJECT, the 5th Cookbook Nook Mystery, is out!
The Wild West Extravaganza has come to Crystal Cove.
Click here to order.

the 7th Cheese Shop Mystery is out!
Finally there's going to be a cheese festival in Providence!
Click to order.

GIRL ON THE RUN a stand-alone suspense
When a fairytale fantasy night becomes a nightmare, 
Chessa Paxton must run for her life...but will the truth set her free? 
Click to order

my new stand-alone suspense
A mother he thought was dead. A father he never knew. 
An enemy that wants them dead.
Click here to order.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Vicki Delany’s Strawberry Cake, as Served in Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room #bookgiveaway

Today we're delighted to welcome back guest blogger Vicki Delany, author of the popular new Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, the most recent being Body on Baker Street. She's giving away a hardcover copy so be sure to enter the draw! Here's a teaser of what's happening in this book:

Gemma Doyle and Jayne Wilson are busy managing the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium on Baker Street and adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room in anticipation of the store’s upcoming book signing with the illustrious Renalta Van Markoff, author of the controversial Hudson and Holmes mystery series. But during the author Q&A session, dedicated Sherlockian Donald Morris verbally attacks Renalta and her series for disgracing Sherlock’s legacy, only to be publicly humiliated when the author triumphantly lashes back and gains the upper hand. That is until Renalta collapses on the table—dead.

Donald insists he didn’t do it and pleads to his friends to clear his name. Fortunately, Gemma and Jayne have no shortage of suspects between author’s bullied personal assistant, her frustrated publicist, the hapless publisher, a handsome rare book dealer, an obsessively rabid fan, and a world of other Sherlock enthusiasts with strong objections to Renalta’s depiction of the Great Detective. It’s up to the shrewd sleuthing duo to eliminate the impossible and deduce the truth before the West London police arrest an innocent man in Body on Baker Street, the second Sherlock Homes Bookshop mystery perfect for fans of Miranda James and Kate Carlisle.

Renalta Van Markoff, author of the hugely popular, and highly controversial, Hudson and Holmes mystery series, is about to pay a visit to the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and   Emporium, located at 222 Baker Street, West London, Massachusetts. 

Almost everyone is thrilled, including shop owner Gemma Doyle and head baker Jayne Wilson. They’re hoping book lovers will engage in a frenzy of shopping after the author talk, and then pop into Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room next door at number 220 for afternoon tea.

After all, as the author explains:
“I try to have at least one scene involving afternoon tea in each of my books. It gives Desdemona and Sherlock a chance to get together and talk over what they’ve learned.”

I refrained from mentioning that I couldn’t imagine Sherlock Holmes, man of action, pipe tobacco, and lover of a seven percent solution, enjoying a cream tea.
                                                      Body on Baker Street by Vicki Delany

Who isn’t thrilled about the author’s visit? Prominent and dedicated Sherlockian Donald Morris who insists that Van Markoff’s books are an insult to Sir Arthur Conon Doyle and his greatest creation. Will Donald create a scene at the book signing?  Will afternoon tea be cancelled? Will Jayne’s strawberry cake go to waste?

Will Gemma once again have to eliminate the impossible and deduce the truth before the West London police arrest an innocent man?

This strawberry cake will be perfect for serving at your next afternoon tea get together. Or even just dessert with your family.

·         6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pie plate
·         1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
·         1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
·         1/2 teaspoon salt
·         1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
·         1 large egg
·         1/2 cup milk
·         1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
·         1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch pie plate. 

S-  Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.

2.    Put butter and 1 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low; mix in egg, milk, and vanilla.

3.      Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. 

4.      Transfer batter to buttered pie plate. Arrange strawberries on top of batter, cut sides down and as close together as possible. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.

5.     Bake cake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake until cake is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 50 minutes. Let cool in pie plate on a wire rack. Cut into wedges.

Cake can be served with ice cream or whipped cream and fresh strawberries on the side.

You could win a hardcover copy of Body on Baker Street. Just leave a comment and be sure to include your email address. A random draw will be made for the winner after tomorrow at 5 PM EDT. US and Canada entries, please.

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than twenty-five books:  clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. Under the name of Eva Gates, she writes the Lighthouse Library cozy series for Penguin Random House. Her newest novel is Body on Baker Street, the second in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series from Crooked Lane.  

Vicki is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada.  Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards.

Visit Vicki at On Facebook at Twitter @vickidelany