Showing posts with label Berkley Prime Crime. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Berkley Prime Crime. Show all posts

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Please Welcome Guest Faith Black, Editor at Berkley Prime Crime

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

by Faith Black (adapted from 100 Days of Real Food)

  • 2 ¼ cup whole-wheat flour (or white whole wheat flour)
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt or vanilla flavored
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • chocolate chip (optional)
  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease pan.
  1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl mix mashed bananas with yogurt, honey, eggs, oil, and vanilla.
  3. Fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until blended. Do not overmix.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  5. Bake large loaf for 40 – 50 minutes or until it comes clean with a toothpick.

I use white whole wheat flour so it's not quite as dense (but is still a bit healthier).  And I threw in some chocolate chips because I had them in my pantry and because, why not?  The rest of the ingredients are so gosh darned healthy, you can afford to splurge a little, am I right? Also, I used vanilla Greek yogurt rather than plain because that's what I had in my fridge--in fact, I had all of these ingredients already in the pantry which made this both an easy and economical baking experience last night.  And it meant we had a tasty healthy breakfast treat with our coffee this morning.

Gather your ingredients

Mix well

Don't forget to set a timer!

Delicious for breakfast or a snack!

Faith Black is a lifelong reader of mysteries. 

It began, as it so often does, with Nancy Drew, and then a beloved teacher introduced her to the great Agatha Christie through And Then There Were None (with the last chapter removed so none of the students could read ahead and spoil the ending). So it was like finding the holy grail to get a job at Berkley working on so many wonderful Prime Crime titles and getting to revel in mysterious happenings every day.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pub Party for Murder by Mocha! Enter to win a Gimme Coffee Latte Cup (made in Italy) from Cleo Coyle

Congrats to James "Library Jim"
who won this adorable cup and
a signed copy of my new
Coffeehouse Mystery: MURDER BY MOCHA,
now a Top-9 National Mystery Bestseller
in Hardcover! 

My original post is below, but
I'll have a NEW contest starting shortly.
Check back HERE or at
my Web site for the link to the

Cheers ~ Cleo 


Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse
We have 3 new releases to celebrate this week. Sheila's Bitter Harvest, the 5th book in her Orchard Mystery series (Congrats, Sheila!) and my own Murder by Mocha, the 10th entry in my Coffeehouse Mystery series...

I’m also celebrating the release of Coffeehouse Mystery #9, ROAST MORTEMwhich came out last year in hardcover and is now a national bestseller in paperback! 

Isn't the cover pretty?

ROAST MORTEM was also a "Favorite Book of the Year" Reviewer's Pick for 2010 by To read more about the story or purchase the book, click here



<< Madame's Osso Buco 

Clare Cosi's
Doughnut Muffins 

Clare's Blueberries 'n' Cream Coffee Cake Pie
5 minutes to stir together, yet impressive to serve

Find this and many more recipes in my culinarymystery Roast Mortem

Next week, and in the coming weeks of August, I'll tell you more about my new hardcover release, MURDER BY MOCHA, share some of its delicious recipes, and have more fun contests, some of which will test your knowledge of MURDER BY MOCHA's characters and story. To learn more about my new release or purchase it, click here or here or visit your favorite local bookseller...and stay tuned. 

I  hope you enjoy my release month as much as I plan to!

For those of you who are brand new to this blog or my series, check out the official book trailer below or visit the About the Coffeehouse Mysteries page of my Web site by clicking here.

Cleo Coyle's
"Gimme Coffee!" Latte Cup CONTEST

Thanks to all of you who entered last week’s Countdown to Release contest. Your notes and comments meant a lot to me. 

Last week's winner: Nan of Northern New England and Letters from a Hill Farm blog. Congrats, Nan!

This week's prizes were won by...

James "LibraryJim" 
of Tallahassee, Florida!

My new contest is starting shortly.
I'll post a link HERE and on
my Web site so stay tuned!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of

To get more of my recipes,
win free coffee or learn about my 
bestselling Coffeehouse Mysteries, 
and Haunted Bookshop Mysteries,
visit my virtual coffeehouse at...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Welcome, Guest Hannah Dennison

Welcome one of my favorite people, Hannah Dennison.

Hannah is the author of the Vicky Hill Mysteries. Her fourth book, Thieves! (Berkley Prime Crime) is out in stores now!

In addition to being an excellent author, Hannah has done a variety of jobs. She wrote obituaries, worked in an antique shop, was secretary to a Formula One World Champion, a hostess in a nightclub, a flight attendant, and an assistant at New Line Cinema. To read more about the adventures of “Hannah,” check out her darling biography on her website.

Take it away, Hannah!

* * *

It’s such an honor to be invited to be today’s guest on Mystery Lovers Kitchen. Thank you! Alas, unlike many of my fellow authors’ protagonists, my amateur sleuth, aspiring investigative reporter Vicky Hill, has no prowess in the kitchen.

As the reluctant obituary reporter for the Gipping Gazette, Vicky has more experience in eating traditional English fare like Dundee fruitcake and Victoria Sponge at post-funeral shindigs. And when she’s not solving murders in the English market town of Gipping-on-Plym, you’ll find her at various Women’s Institute meetings helping judge the Bottled Jam Boil-Off or sampling the Best British Pudding.

Speaking of puddings (yes, the Brits call dessert “pudding”), I want to share my absolute favorite. In fact it was on the menu at my wedding. It’s super easy to make and very fast, especially if you don’t have time to make your own meringues.

Eton Mess has been around since the 19th century. It’s traditionally served at Eton College’s annual prize-giving celebration picnic on the “Fourth of June” (actually celebrated on the last Wednesday in May). There is a rumor that the dish was created by an over-excited Labrador who sat on a picnic basket. No doubt this anecdote will join the annals of the great-unsolved mysteries of the world.

Ingredients to Serve 8

1 basic meringue recipe or 8 meringue, store bought shells

1 vanilla pod, scored lengthways and seeds removed

2 heaped tablespoons of superfine sugar (caster sugar in UK)

9 oz strawberries hulled and sliced

9 oz raspberries

1 pint of double cream

1 teaspoon good quality balsamic vinegar

Handful of toasted flaked almonds


Whip the double cream with the vanilla seeds and 1 tablespoon of sugar until you have soft peaks. Don’t over-whip or the cream will go thick and cloddy.

Take half the strawberries and half the raspberries and put them into a bowl with the rest of the sugar and balsamic vinegar.

Mash up with fork.

Put flavored cream and mashed up fruit (not together yet) into the fridge until meringues —if you are bravely making your own—have cooled down.

To assemble:

Break up your meringues into a bowl.

Fold the vanilla cream and mashed-up fruit together till well mixed.

Layer into serving dish or glasses and sprinkle with toasted almonds.

*Put this together right at the last minute so the meringue doesn’t go soft.


6 large egg whites

10 ½ oz superfine sugar (not granulated)

A pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 300 F. Line baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Whisk egg whites in the bowl on medium speed until they form firm peaks.

With mixer still turning, gradually add the sugar.

Turn whisk on high for about 7 minutes until the meringue mixture is white and glossy. If it’s grainy to the touch, then whisk a little longer.

Dollop blobs of the mixture onto the baking tray and pop in the oven for about an hour.

The meringues should be crisp on the outside and gooey in the middle.



Thank you, Hannah. What a fun recipe. And what a delight to have yet another Vicky Hill mystery to enjoy. I adore Vicky and I'm sure our readers will, too.

Visit Hannah at her website.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sweeeeeeeet Potatoes


I just got the cover copy for my next book, LOST AND FONDUE. And Krista's great blurb is on the cover! How lucky am I?

Don't you love it?

[If you don't, please don't tell me. I'm feeling go-o-o-o-od.]

And when I'm feeling good, I love to write. and you want books, don't you? More tasty mysteries?

I'm busy at work on book three, CLOBBERED BY CAMEMBERT. And a couple of other to-be-named projects. I read an article recently, an interview of Ken Follett and David Morrell, both of whom could easily return millionaires. [Remember, they've been writing for years and years and their books are hardbacks that sell billions. Most writers...well, let's just say we won't see all those extra zeroes that those two guys do. But we love what we do.] Anyway, a question was posed to them. Why are you still writing? Both men said, "Because they have to." They have stories inside them that they want to share. They are writers, first and foremost, trying to entertain an audience. It inspires me (probably all of us on MLK) to read words like this. We have lots of stories in our heads. We'd like to see many of them make it to the page.

And so the writing continues for all of us on this blog.

But we also love to cook and share our recipes, and we write about characters that cook and share their recipes. [Some of us even have characters that like to take over blogs and write the posts at Killer Characters. Again, that's another story.]

But writing and sharing recipes--it's the perfect storm, no? We're so glad you're all here to share the joy with us.

Now as we approach Thanksgiving and the holidays AND KRISTA'S NEW RELEASE! I like to see how many easy, tasty recipes I can make. A standard side dish for the holidays is sweet potatoes with marshmallows melted on top. It's not really my thing. I'm more of a mashed potatoes kind of girl. But I do like sweet potato chips or sweet potato fries when I can find them freshly made. So I thought...what about homemade sweet potato chips with cheese?
[Okay, swat me now, but you knew this recipe MIGHT have cheese, didn't you?]

It was easy--this batch didn't turn out as crispy as I'd like but that's because I didn't use enough oil, I think--and yet it was pretty and tasty!

First you peel the sweet potatoes and slice them thin. You baste a baking sheet (a stone baking pan might have been better than using foil) with oil. Lay the sweet potatoes out, single file, on the sheet. And bake until crisp. [This will vary because of different ovens but figure 15 to 20 minutes.]



2 sweet potatoes

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons blue cheese, shredded or shaved

2 tablespoons canola oil


Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel and slice sweet potatoes.

Brush baking sheet with oil. Lay sweet potatoes, single slices, on the oil. Sprinkle with salt.

Bake for 10 minutes. Flip the sweet potatoes slices and bake 10 minutes more.

Remove slices and drain on paper towels.

Set portions on 4 plates. Garnish with crumbled blue cheese.

That's it. I set these beauties next to a lovely slice of turkey [I can eat turkey all year long] and a fall salad, and the dinner was yummy! Served with a crisp sauvignon blanc. The tart of the wine really enhances the flavor of the salty but rich foods.

By the way, our archives of recipes number over 400 now. You can scan the right side of the blog to find them, by category, some by author.

Here's the link to a pumpkin seed fall salad that I posted last year that is downright scrumptious!

Coming soon...a sneak preview of LOST AND FONDUE on my website.

* * *

If you'd like to know more about A Cheese Shop Mystery series and want to download a few other recipes from me (on recipe cards), click on this link to my website: Avery Aames. I've posted recipes in the "morsels" section. There's lots of other fun stuff, as well. And sign up for the fan club to get in on the next contest...coming soon.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

White House Worthy Rice

Like Avery, I attempt to recreate restaurant treasures at home when I discover something particularly special. Not long ago, I took my daughter and her boyfriend to lunch at Bandera, a club-like restaurant in Chicago that can be easily missed if you don’t know it’s there. On the second floor of its north Michigan Avenue location, it is accessed via escalator immediately inside the street-level doors, and boasts great views of the bustling street below.

The menu had changed since I’d last been there. Lots of new and exciting offerings. But that day I decided to have the restaurant’s specialty—broasted chicken. Not a particularly exciting choice, but it smelled divine. The waitress informed me that they were testing out a new rice, and that the side dish on the menu was no longer available. I’m not usually much of a rice girl, but because my chicken choice was safe, I decided to be adventurous with my side. “Sounds great,” I told her. Am I glad I did. The chicken was fabulous, but the rice was superb.

I couldn’t wait to try making this at home, but I had no idea where to start. Then I remembered something from my White House research. One of the early menus prepared by our current White House chef, Cristeta Comerford (the real chef, not my fictional Ollie), included Basmati rice. At the time I had no idea what that was, but the name stuck with me.

Grown in India and Pakistan, Basmati’s name translates to “fragrant one,” or “the soft rice.” I chose baby Basmati which I found at my local grocery store, and went to work, trying my best to recreate the combination of flavors I had so thoroughly enjoyed. I'd like to think this side dish is similar to the one served in the White House.

Like Avery and her artichokes (yum!), I think I’ve gotten pretty close.

(But the White House has much fancier serving bowls!)

Cilantro Rice

2 cups water
1 T olive oil
1 cup baby basmati rice

1 pinch cumin seeds, crushed
1 t parsley
1 T chives, chopped
1 ½ T fresh cilantro, chopped
1 egg
2 tsp salt
3 T butter

Bring water and olive oil to a boil. Add rice, cover, and reduce heat to low. Set timer for 8 minutes. While rice is simmering, combine cumin, parsley, chives, and cilantro in a small bowl. In a separate small bowl, beat the egg, like you’re making scrambled eggs. When the timer goes off, stir the egg into the rice, making sure it’s well combined. Add herb mixture, stir well, and cover. Set timer for 5 minutes. When time’s up add salt and butter, stir, and cook for an additional minute or two. Transfer to bowl and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Thanks! Hope you enjoy!

Julie Hyzy’s White House Chef series features State of the Onion, Hail to the Chef, and Eggsecutive Orders (coming in January). All from Berkley Prime Crime. Check out Julie’s website at