Showing posts with label Bouchercon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bouchercon. Show all posts

Friday, October 13, 2017

Almost No Apple

(Otherwise known as Haddock in Cider)

All right, enough with the curry and the apples. Except, well, I’m trying to wean myself from all things apple, in case I ever run out, and this is sort of a step in that direction. No, there are no apples in this recipe, but there is hard cider. One step at a time.

Haddock seems to be plentiful this year for some reason, so we’ve been eating a lot of it—fresh and local, never frozen. So I had haddock on hand, and, wonder of wonders, I also had cider (left over from a recent visit from relatives). The rest was easy! this is a quick and simple recipe that combines some interesting flavors.

Oh, and it’s adapted from an Irish cookbook. I’m getting palate in training for my next trip to West Cork, just over a month away.



2 Tblsp flour
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 haddock (or similar firm white fish) fillets

2 Tblsp minced shallots
Sprigs of fresh thyme

4 slices lemon
1-1/4 cups (hard) cider
1 Tblsp unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an ovenproof baking dish.

In a shallow bowl (or pie pan), combine the flour, salt and pepper. Dip the fish fillets in the mix and place in the buttered dish.

Sprinkle with the shallots and thyme. 

Place the lemon slices on top, then pour the cider over the fish and dot with butter.

Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes (depending on the thickness of your fillets), or until the fish is flaky.

Remove the pan from the oven and preheat the broiler. Remove the foil from the pan and place the dish under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, or until the fish is lightly browned. 

Serve with rice or noodles.

Just to change things up a little, here's an early sketch of what became the cover for A Late Frost. It's fun to see the process!

A Late Frost will be released on November 7th.

Available now for preorder from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

And if you happen to be at the mystery conference Boucheron in Toronto, grab me and say hello!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Beignets #Recipe @PegCochran

This week a lot of mystery writers are attending Bouchercon--an annual mystery writer/editor/agent/publisher conference.  It's being held in New Orleans and my Facebook feed is filled with people talking about beignets, eating beignets and pictures of beignets.

What are beignets?  They are a sort of fried doughnut and a specialty of New Orleans--no visit is complete without at least one!  The best place to get them is at the Cafe du Monde which is always crowded with people drinking coffee and eating beignets.  

Since I didn't get to go to Bouchercon (although I did make my fourth trip to New Orleans in June), when I happened upon this beignet mix in the grocery store, I decided to make my own!

I know it's cheating to use a mix...but the real challenge is in rolling these out and frying them...and waiting long enough for them to cool so you don't burn your mouth when you eat them!

So...start with a box of Cafe du Monde beignet mix (available by mail order).  Add water.

Put a good bit of flour on your counter and roll out your dough to about 1/8 inch thick.  I found it was a little sticky but by dusting with flour, it was fine.  (I did divide the recipe because if I'd made the entire recipe we'd be eating way too many beignets!

Cut dough into squares--more or less.  Mine weren't even but they still worked and still tasted good!  One cup of mix made about a dozen beignets.

  Heat a couple of inches of oil in a pan to 370 degrees (use a thermometer to check your temp--it took a lot longer to heat up than I expected.)

 Drop two or three squares of dough into the hot oil--I found using a metal spatula to get them off the counter worked best.  My squares sometimes stretched out to unusual shapes but that didn't in any way affect the deliciousness of the beignets!

When the beignets have risen to the top and turned golden brown on both sides, remove from the hot oil.  Dust with powdered sugar while still warm.  You can't eat the beignets at Cafe du Monde without coming away awash in powdered sugar so don't hold back!

I started out using my powdered sugar shaker and finally resorted to pouring powdered sugar into a mesh strainer.  You want PLENTY of sugar!

 They are so, so good!




And for your reading pleasure...No Farm, No Foul is now available!


On her blog, The Farmer’s Daughter, Shelby McDonald is growing her audience as she posts recipes, gardening tips, and her experiences raising two kids and running Love Blossom Farm in the small western Michigan town of Lovett.

Working the farm is demanding but peaceful—until that peace is shattered when the minister’s wife is murdered on Shelby’s property during a fund-raiser for a local church. But the manure really hits the fan when Shelby’s good friend veterinarian Kelly Thacker emerges as the prime suspect. Shelby decides to dig in and find the murderer by herself. As more suspects crop up, she’ll have to move fast—before someone else buys the farm. . . .

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Apples & Chicken

It's apple week. We're celebrating apples. How fun is that? And in a minute, I'll turn to apples, but first I have to share that I was at Bouchercon Conference this past weekend where I was lucky enough to connect with librarians, booksellers, and lots of author pals and fans.

Some were bloggers and guest bloggers from Mystery Lovers Kitchen, like Lucy Burdette, Sheila Connolly, Mary Jane Maffini, Hannah Dennison, Rochelle Staab, and Julie Hyzy!

Authors: Tammy Kaehler & Lucy Burdette

Me, Julie Hyzy & Sheila Connolly

Rochelle Staab & Julie Hyzy
Myself, Mary Jane Maffini, Hannah Dennison & Gigi Pandian

By the way, Julie won the Anthony for best mass market paperback novel.  Woo-hoo to Julie.

Others were simply fabulous friends who happen to be fabulous authors.

Cleveland was an interesting city. It was blowy the first day, wet the next, but I still made it out to take pictures, which I've shared on my Facebook pages.  And the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was fabulous! We went there our opening night.

You can't "read" them all, but what an array of signatures on this "art" guitar!  Wow.

Now, I'm back and getting ready to crack down on my writing.

But first, back to APPLES!

Do you love them? I do - in all sorts of colors. Red, yellow, green, red-yellow, this list goes on.

I decided to make something really simple. Here's why. In A COOKBOOK NOOK MYSTERY series (which comes out next July...9 months and counting), I'm writing a new character, Jenna Hart, who is an avid reader and admitted foodie, but she is not a cook. She's never had the confidence, never taken the time. When she moves home to Crystal Cove to help her aunt start up the Cookbook Nook and café, she needs to find herself and expand her likes and abilities. Cooking is one of those things. But simple is the best way to start for a new cook, don't you think? Here's what her aunt and chef-friend tell her: five items or less. Possible? Sure.

With apples and chicken, it was easy. This recipe turned out like baked apples. Warm, lovely. Not a lot of color after the apples were cooked, but homey and yummy.

I went to my local greengrocer, Tapia Brothers.  They have fabulous produce and boxes upon boxes of freshly picked apples. Yum.

Now, the interesting thing about apples is they're pretty going into the oven, but once baked, the color sort of drains out. Luckily not the flavor, and by simply adding a bright green vegetable, the plating becomes beautiful and inviting. Enjoy.


1 roasting chicken, cut up
1 large onion, sliced
3 apples (I used Gala), quartered, seeds removed (no need to take the skin off)
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 tablespoons Bouquet Garni [Penzey's Spices is a combo of rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, dill, marjoram, sage and tarragon] If you don't have you can make a combination of any of the above.]

Heat the oven to 300 degrees.

So pretty going into the oven
Line a 9 x 13 pan with enough foil that you can pull it over the chicken. Place the chicken on the foil. Season with spices. Add the onions and apples, already sliced or quartered.

Fold the foil over the chicken and seal with a crimp so no steam will escape.

Bake for at least one hour. I did not do the following, but if preferred, open the foil, remove the onions and apples, and turn the oven to broil. Broil the chicken for 5-10 minutes until chicken turns golden.

Plate chicken, onions, apples and add a vibrant green vegetable.

You're done.

[If you prefer your apples a little sweeter, before baking, sprinkle the dish with 3-4 tablespoons brown sugar. But these apples were so sweet, the dish didn't need it.]

After baking, the color from the apples disappears. They become "baked." But oh, so sweet!


REMINDER: To save this recipe (and any that are posted on MLK,  
click the Print Friendly button below 

(it looks like this but don't hit this one).  Choose PDF to print. 

The 4th in A Cheese Shop Mystery series: 

You can pre-order the book HERE. 

You can learn more about me, Avery, by clicking this link.

Chat with me on Facebook and Twitter.

And if you haven't done so, sign up for the mailing list
 so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests!

Also, you probably know about my alter ego.
Daryl's new series: A COOKBOOK NOOK MYSTERY series
debuts July 2013

"Like" Daryl's page on Facebook and "follow" Daryl on Twitter.
"She" doesn't say all the same things "Avery" does. Promise.

Say cheese!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Welcome Guest Blogger - Kaye Barley

What can I say about Kaye Barley? I just love her to pieces. She's one of the most kind, upbeat, and supportive readers out there. I "met" Kaye on the Dorothy L. listserv way back when... gosh, I can't even remember how long ago that was ... and was extremely excited to find out she planned to attend Bouchercon in Baltimore - her first Bouchercon ever. That meant I would finally get to meet this lovely lady in person. And I did.

Kaye is so great. She reads everything it seems, cozies (yay!), thrillers, suspense, you name it. And she's an avid and loyal fan. Just get her talking about Lee Child...

At the last Bouchercon, in Indianapolis, I was lucky again to meet up with Kaye quite a bit. She won a spot at the MWA-sponsored Hot Ticket events and there wasn't a person who won who was giddier or more grateful than Kaye. She's the best. She hosts a fabulous blog - Meanderings and Muses where she hosts more authors you can imagine an where I've been fortunate to guest.

Please welcome Kaye Barley!

I'm a huge fan of Mystery Lovers' Kitchen, and quite honored to be invited as a guest. Many thanks to my sweet friend Julie for the invitation. Who, by the way, just celebrated her wedding anniversary - Happy Anniversary, Julie!

But I'm not much of a cook, truth be told.

Which does cause me to ponder from time to time a question which has no obvious answer. WHY do I have all these cookbooks?

I am addicted to cookbooks. I have a few favorites from way back and always seem to use the same old standbys over and over. And yet, I keep buying new ones. Silly, really. Especially when it's now so easy to get any recipe you could possibly want by browsing the internet. Including all the scrumptious mouth watering recipes I find right here. Lord knows, I could use the shelf space for something besides all these cookbooks I rarely use; like mystery novels, for instance.


Where was I?

I'm not much of a cook.

But, I do love to bake.

I love all the fun specialty pans put out by Bundt (especially the mini-bundts), and love trying new cake recipes. It's not unusual for me to bake a cake every week when I'm on a roll. But right now we're going through the hottest summer ever here in Boone. And we do not have A/C; few homes here in these mountains have A/C, actually. So, no way am I going to turn on the oven for an hour to an hour and a half until this weather breaks. Check back in February, when we have several inches of snow on the ground. If we haven't lost our power, there's probably a cake in the oven.

But just because it's too hot to bake, the urge doesn't go away, nor does the craving for cake (another addiction, I'm afraid).

Donald reminded me that there's a cake I used to make all the time, but haven't in awhile for some reason. AND it only stays in the oven 15 or 20 minutes. Hooray! Perfect!

It's the ultimate summer cake recipe 'cause it's quite light, and topped with luscious fresh fruit. Let your imagination take over and top this torte with whatever is in season and makes your heart sing. It's easy, it's quick, it's delicious and it's pretty. What more could a gal ask for in a dessert?

My friend Gigi gave me this recipe many years ago. Gigi? If you're out there - we still love this torte, sweetie; Thank You!!

German Fresh Fruit Torte - Obsttorte mit frishem Obst

Grease torte pan carefully, then flour.

Beat 3 eggs on high speed till very foamy.
Add 5 Tbsps. warm water while beating.
Add 1 cup sugar - beat vigorously.
Turn mixer to slower speed and add 1 cup of flour, and 1 tsp. baking powder.
Add 1 tsp. vanilla flavoring (or almond, or rum).
Pour into pan and bake at 350 for 15 or 20 min., till top is lightly golden. Remove to cooling rack immediately.
When completely cool, arrange fruits of your choice as desired.
Use Dr.Oetker (found in your local grocery store) clear glaze over the top.
(if you'd rather make your own glaze, you're on your own - I never have, but I'm sure there are recipes on-line, or even in one of those cookbooks I have . . . )
Top with a big dollop of whipped cream.

Thanks again, ladies of Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. I loved being here!

Kaye Barley is an avid mystery fan. Kaye and her husband Donald, along with their corgi Harley Doodle Barley, live in the beautiful North Carolina mountains. She is also mistress of the Meanderings and Muses blog - - where many writers and fans from the mystery community stop by to play and chat about a wide variety of topics. It's also where Kaye rambles and meanders about whatever might cross her mind on a given day, be it a giggle or a rant.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bouchercon Excitement

OUR NEW CONTEST: Win a $25 Williams-Sonoma Gift Card! For details on how to enter, simply scroll down and see our contest announcement...

I'm taking the day off from recipes and instead choosing to talk about celebrations. As in - let's have Cosmos!

As my blog-sisters have already so kindly announced, at Bouchercon this weekend I was awarded both the Barry Award and the Anthony Award for State of the Onion in the Best Paperback Original Category. Wow! Wow! Wow! I am wildly excited, and there were times during the ceremonies Thursday and Saturday nights that I could barely breathe, let alone talk.

This is right after the Barry Award ceremony concluded. I seriously never imagined winning. I was ecstatic just to be nominated. Really, really. Having never been shortlisted before, I didn't know if people were lying when they said "It's enough of an honor just to be nominated," but they're not. That is totally true. I was so happy to have been nominated and I worried for the coming of Bouchercon, because that meant my nominee status was about to end.

But then the unexpected happened and they called my name. Wow. What an incredible feeling.

Before I go any further, I want to say thank you to everyone who has ever read any of my books and commented favorably on them -- whether it be to a friend, or in an Amazon review, or on Dorothy L., or online anywhere. Thank you. There were enough people who liked the book to vote for it and I am completely blown away by this. I never expected to win. Never.

I'm telling you - this was so totally unexpected.

But, in the spirit of good food and ... spirits... let's talk about celebrating. Do you have a go-to celebratory treat? My husband and I go to Cooper's Hawk restaurant when we're in the mood to celebrate and we might go there tomorrow night. (Kid-related stuff prevents going out Monday.) Cooper's Hawk is a local, very cool restaurant, and it's definitely a go-to ... both for special events and for when we just need a great evening out. So, tonight!

My celebratory drink is the Raspberry Lemon Drop which I posted here a while back. When I can't get that, I opt for a Cosmo.

Can I take a commercial break here and tell you how great the women on this blog are? Daryl was at Bouchercon all weekend and Saturday, on our way to Lee Child's party, she told me to take today off from posting a recipe (thank goodness... I'm still totally nuts in the head!) and she took a boatload of pictures when I was too stunned to even realize pictures should be taken. The shots on this blog are ones she took (or had taken with her camera). Is she a doll or what? Everybody around Bouchercon wasn't calling her Daryl, or even Avery. They were all calling her The Cheese Shop Lady. Isn't that cool?

I had no Internet access whatsoever for the whole trip, so Daryl texted Cleo with all the news, and then Cleo updated this blog. Thank you Cleo! That was the nicest congratulatory post! I love these women. I know you all do too. What a great group!

Here's a picture Daryl took at the party. Lee Child looks fabulous, of course. I did that "smile too hard" thing ... oops. But hey, what's a couple extra chins when you're having so much fun, right? LOL

Anyway, I wanted to share my excitement with everyone on this blog, and I wanted to also share some fun pictures. You'll recognize a few familiar faces and names, I'm sure. I posted pictures of the actual awards (they're *gorgeous*) on my other blog: Here.

The weekend was as fabulous as it gets. The only thing that could have made it better would have been if Curt and the girls could have come down. Indianapolis is close enough ... only about three hours away... but my youngest had a marching band parent event that night and we couldn't both be in both places...

But, no complaints. This was my best Bouchercon ever. Just a wonderful, fabulous event and so incredibly well run. Jim Huang, Mike Bursaw, Austin Lugar, and so many others did an amazing job. (I hate to name names because I know I'll inadvertently leave people out.) This was a great Bouchercon because there were so many new, innovative ideas. So many great opportunities. Loved every minute!

So, without further ado, here are some photos:

With Sheila Connolly who has guest-blogged here. Sheila writes the Apple Orchard mysteries, and as Sarah Atwell, the Glassblowing mysteries. And she's got a new series coming out too!

From L to R, Neil Plakcy who writes the award-winning Mahu series (Mahu Surfer, Mahu Fire, Mahu Vice), Rosemary Harris whose Pushing Up Daisies was nominated for an Anthony for Best First Novel, me and Hank Philippi Ryan whose Prime Time won the Agatha for best first and whose Air Time was recently released and is on the IMBA bestseller list. (Along with Face Time in pb!)

Here I am with Chris Grabenstein whose The Crossroads won an Anthony for Best Children's/Young Adult.
I love Chris. He's great and so much fun!
This is Gigi Pandain (oh, I know I'm spelling that incorrectly), me and Daryl smiling for the camera.

Thanks for listening. Thanks for supporting me and for all the great and exciting good wishes and thanks for being part of this blog!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Congratulations to Julie Hyzy - Winner of the 2009 Anthony and Barry Awards!

Hi there. Cleo Coyle here. A quick congratulations to Tina, who won last week's Mystery Lovers' Kitchen contest! Thank you for entering, Tina!

OUR NEW CONTEST: Win a $25 Williams-Sonoma Gift Card!For details on how to enter, see the announcement (above)...

And now...

I did have a recipe to share with you today,
but I'm kicking it into next week! With the news we just received, I know we all just really want to take time out to wish Julie Hyzy "Congratulations!"

So leave your comments
below for...

Our own Mystery Writing Cook



Best Paperback Original
of the Year!


Click book cover to visit
Julie's blog


Mystery Lovers, you can see the complete list of winners from yesterday's Bouchercon presentations by visiting Lesa's Book Critiques Blog post just click here

Leave your comments for Julie
by clicking the comments link below...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bacon Appetizers

What do we do when we’re short on time like I am this week? We turn to our favorite easy recipes because we can pull something together and we can to do it fast!

Today I’d like to share with you two easy, easy bacon-based appetizer recipes. These are pretty enough (if you use fancy toothpicks) to serve at parties, but easy enough for home when the family sits down to play a board game together.

My family loves to snack. I think we like snacks better than full meals, to tell you the truth. And sometimes I make party appetizers just to keep in the fridge for general snacking purposes. With our crazy schedules there seem to be fewer and fewer times we can all sit down as a family.

Some of our favorite appetizers have made the leap to “side dish” in this house. I’ll bring more of these to the blog in the coming weeks. They’re ridiculously easy, which is why I like them, but they’re also so delicious, which is why we keep serving them.

Bacon-wrapped Water Chestnuts

You can make as many or as few of these as you like. For each single appetizer, here goes:

1/3 of 1 slice of uncooked bacon
1 water chestnut
1 toothpick
Barbeque sauce

I usually use whole water chestnuts, but when I went to make these for the blog pictures, I accidentally opened a can of sliced. No problem. Instead of wrapping the bacon around one chestnut, I simply wove the toothpick through it and speared two or three sliced chestnuts along the way. Careful, though. Water chestnuts will crack if you shove the toothpick in too forcefully. When the bacon and chestnut are set, cover with barbeque sauce and bake at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet until the bacon is cooked and the sauce is bubbly.

Bacon-wrapped Olives

For each:
1 Large green olive with pimento
1/3 of 1 slice of uncooked bacon
1 toothpick

Wrap olive with 1/3 bacon strip and secure with toothpick. Bake on cookie sheet at 350 degrees until bacon starts to crisp.
(These are super salty, but oh so addictive)

Ridiculously easy, just like I said, right? You may want to place the finished appetizers on a serving plate that is microwave safe. When I’ve included them on a buffet table, they sometimes get a little cold. Twenty seconds in the microwave and they’re great again.

Thank you, Blog Sisters: Avery, Jenn, Riley, Cleo, and Krista, for all your good wishes at Bouchercon!! I am so excited and can’t wait for this one. I leave tomorrow and I know that, win or lose (Barry Award and Anthony Award), I’m going to have a wonderful time. For those of you coming to Bouchercon, please say hello! I’ll be talking about Mystery Lovers Kitchen and my books (and offering a handout) at my Criminal Consumables panel on Saturday and at the Book Bazaar giveaway on Sunday.

Additionally, please stop by the Midwest Chapter MWA table to enter to win a ticket to sit down with some *very* Big Name authors. We are pulling names on site for a chance to join a small groups (about 10 people each) to chitchat with: Carolyn Hart, Lee Child, Charlaine Harris, PJ Parrish, Wendelin Van Draanen, Sue Grafton, Michael Connelly, David Morrell, and Sara Paretsky. This kind of program has never been offered before and you can only enter at the MWA-Midwest table. You don’t have to be a member of MWA to win.

Just bubbling with enthusiasm here….


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

Sign up for Julie’s newsletter on her website at

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Walking Tacos

For years my family served Walking Tacos at parties. Whether it was a birthday bash during the grammar school years, a Halloween party during middle school, or a band get-together in high school, Walking Tacos have been among the most-requested foods at our house.

Portable, easy, delicious, and perfect for big crowds, this delightful treat has been a go-to recipe for me since I first learned about them from my sister-in-law years ago. They're called "Walking Tacos" because you walk around while you eat them.

I used to make these with ground beef but now that my youngest has adopted a vegetarian lifestyle, we've been Walking-Taco-less for a couple of years. Lately we've defaulted to serving our teenage guests cheese pizza, but that can get boring pretty quickly.

But wait! Hope is on the horizon! Morningstar Farms makes "Meal Starters" which are soy-based meat crumbles that act and taste a lot like ground beef. My daughter and I decided to see if this veggie-friendly item would work to bring back the Walking Tacos she used to love so much.

And guess what? It did. The taste was spot-on!

Now, before I provide the recipe, let me share a few tips with you. You can make this, exactly as described below, with either the veggie option, or with real ground beef. If you're making this for a crowd, you'll want to brown your ground beef on your stovetop, but then once it's seasoned, place it in a crockpot to keep nice and hot.

Also, if you're feeding a crowd (as we often do) you may want to buy the mini-chip bags in bulk. We get ours at Sam's Club -- usually 50 small bags at a time. (See, I really did mean a crowd!). Most kids eat two bags, but this makes great leftovers, so we always prepare extra and it never goes to waste.

Ready? Here goes:

Walking Tacos
(multiply as needed)

1 lb ground beef or veggie substitute
1 pkg taco seasoning (I use McCormick original)
+/- 6 small bags of chips (We like Cool Ranch Doritos, but this works well with regular Doritos and Fritos)
Chopped onion
Chopped tomatoes
Chopped lettuce
Shredded cheddar
Sour cream

Brown ground beef/heat beef substitute. Add Taco Seasoning and water as directed on package. Heat until beef/substitute is cooked through.

To Assemble:

Choose a bag of chips. Crush them (you may want to allow a little air to escape before you start sqeezing the bag. We've had a few bags explode with first-timers!)

Add a heaping spoonful of cooked and seasoned ground beef/substitute

Add shredded cheddar, and (as desired) chopped onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and sour cream.

Grab a fork and you're good to go! You eat right out of the bag as you mingle and chitchat.

One small word of warning. If you add a lot of ground beef to your bag, the bottom gets pretty hot. Just hold a napkin there (convenient for when you need to wipe your mouth!) and you're all set.

We're thrilled to know we can start serving these again here at the Hyzy house. My older two daughters won't have a problem with the meat version, but since they're not home that much these days, it looks like it's Morningstar Farms for us.

I hope you enjoy this. It's super easy and everyone who's ever tried it here, has gone on to serve it at their parties. It's genius!

On a personal note, although I'm super swamped with my current manuscript, I'm very much looking forward to Bouchercon. Just over a week from now--I can't believe it. I hope to see some of you there!

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

Julie’s *next* newsletter is coming out very soon. Sign up to subscribe at