Showing posts with label Cranberry Cove Mysteries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cranberry Cove Mysteries. Show all posts

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Burrito Bowls #Recipe @PegCochran

This is more of a “how-to” than it is a recipe since there is room for lots and lots of variation and individual choices and preferences.  Mexican foods (or foods with Mexican flavoring) are always a huge hit with my husband.  But we don’t go out to eat that often, so I prefer to make my own.

This is a “sort of” version of a Chipotle burrito bowl although making it yourself allows you to control what goes in it!

Suggested ingredients:

Ground beef, turkey or shredded, cooked chicken
Taco seasoning – either from a packet or your own mix
1 Cup rice—I used brown rice
1 Cup Salsa—I prefer fresh salsa but bottled will work as well
1 Can Black beans or your choice of kidney or pinto
1 Cup corn
Sour cream
Chopped onions
Avocado, diced
Diced tomatoes
Ranch dressing
Cilantro (optional)

Saute ground meat if using with Taco seasoning and enough water
but not so much it turns soupy.    
Mix black beans with corn.  Dice toppings.

Mix one cup of rice with one cup of salsa.

 Mix ranch dressing with chopped cilantro or cilantro paste (in a tube--usually near the fresh herbs)
Build your bowl:  layer rice/beans/ground meat in a bowl and add toppings of your choice.  Drizzle with dressing and serve with tortilla chips if desired.


The county fair is the highlight of the year for the small town of Lovett, Michigan—especially for food-and-lifestyle blogger Shelby McDonald, who writes as the Farmer’s Daughter. She’s submitting jams and jellies she’s created from the produce she grows at Love Blossom Farm in hopes of harvesting a blue ribbon.

But the townspeople get more than just the excitement of hayrides, tractor pulls, and cotton candy when Shelby’s neighbor and volunteer fireman, Jake Taylor, extricates the body of Zeke Barnstable instead of a dummy during a demonstration of the Jaws of Life. The fact that Jake and Zeke were known to be at odds plants suspicion in the minds of the police. As evidence against Jake grows, Shelby knows she has to plow through the clues to weed out the true killer and save her friend.

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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Cheese #Recipe @PegCochran

It's summer and it's too hot and humid to turn on the oven or stove.  What to do?  Here's a lovely fresh recipe that only requires one pot of boiling water so it keeps your kitchen...and!  I scaled the recipe back for two people but the amounts below are for a pound of pasta...however many that feeds in your particular family!

1 lb. pasta (shape of your choice--from spaghetti to shells--it's up to you)
6 Roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
1 lb. mozzarella cheese--preferably fresh
1/3 cup chopped basil
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

If you are using mozzarella that comes in a block, you will want to shred it.  I bought fresh mozzarella termed "ciliegine" which apparently means cherry sized.  I cut those in half.  You want bite-sized pieces basically.

 Chop tomatoes

Add oil, minced garlic and salt and pepper

Add mozzarella cheese

Sprinkle with basil

Add warm pasta and toss

Enjoy warm, at room temperature or cold

Saturday, July 15, 2017

When In Rome...Indulge in a Spritz! #Recipe @PegCochran

Hubby and I recently spent two weeks in Italy--a dream vacation, a celebration of our 15th wedding anniversary and something to cross off our bucket list!  While there we were introduced to the "spritz" which could very well be the Italian national drink!

They're light and refreshing in the summer heat--light enough to indulge at 11:00 a.m. after a morning of sightseeing.

There are basically three kinds of spritzes--con (with) Aperol, con Campari and con Select.  All are infusions of herbs, roots and fruit.  Campari is also used to make a Negroni (Campari, vermouth and gin) and an Americano (Campari and vermouth.)

Select, which is available only in Venice, is a deep red and the sweetest of the three.  Aperol is next and is a vibrant red-orange.  Campari is the most bitter and adds more of a brownish color to the drink.

Upon returning home, we had to continue with our spritz addiction and I readily found the ingredients in our Italian gourmet shop.

3 parts Prosecco or other sparkling wine
2 parts Aperol
1 splash of soda water

Fill your glasses with plenty of ice.

Add an orange slice--we had to make due with a clementine!

Add three parts Prosecco

Add two parts Aperol and a splash of soda water.

An olive is optional--some bars included one while others didn't.


Cin Cin!!


Nine signed cozy mysteries from the 
Mystery Lovers Kitchen crew 
and a custom designed tote bag!

To Find Out How To Enter, Click Here!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

POULET A L'ORANGE #Recipe @PegCochran #Easterweek

Doesn't that sound fancy?  The original recipe came from AllRecipes and it's actually called Chicken with Orange Sauce  but I thought the French version had a nice ring to it.

This is an easy dish that you can make for a weeknight meal or if you want to do something different for Easter, this would be lovely with the fresh orange flavor.  And if you call it Poulet a l'orange, your guests will be doubly impressed!


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves or 4 - 6 chicken thighs depending on size (bone in or out, it doesn't matter)
2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar, divided (I used the Splenda version)
2 cups orange juice
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour

What to do:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Place chicken in baking dish (I used a square Pyrex dish)  Spread mustard over the chicken and sprinkle with the chopped onion.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup brown sugar over the chicken to coat lightly.  Add enough orange juice to cover chicken.  Dot with butter on top.

Bake 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and pour sauce into a saucepan.

Sprinkle chicken with remaining brown sugar and return to oven.

Whisk flour into the sauce in the pan, adding any leftover orange juice.  Cook over high heat until the sauce thickens.

Remove chicken from oven when sauce is done and serve with sauce.


    It's June in Cranberry Cove and Monica Albertson's plan to sell cranberry relish to chain stores is taking off. The cranberry bogs are in bloom, and local beekeeper Rick Taylor and his assistant Lori Wenk are bringing in bees to pollinate the blossoms.  When a fatal prick fells Lori, the buzz is that Rick is to blame.

    In trying to clear her friend’s name, Monica discovers that more than a few people in Cranberry Cove have felt the power of Lori’s venom, and it looks as if this time she may have agitated the hive a bit too much.  With the fate of the farm on the line, Monica must get to the bottom of the crime before another victim gets stung.


    Barnes & Noble

    Saturday, March 18, 2017

    Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake #Recipe @PegCochran

    Yes, St. Patrick’s Day was yesterday but I had to take a dessert to a St. Patty’s Day-themed party last weekend and this was so delicious I wanted to share the recipe with you.  It comes from Bay Area Bites and I didn’t do anything to change the recipe (a first!)  Except I did use bourbon since I didn’t have any Irish whiskey but it was suggested that that would be a fine substitute.

    I even invested (a whopping $9.99) in my first bundt pan for this cake!  

    Making it was quite the adventure, I must admit.  First I solved a mystery! I invested in an oven thermometer because I suspected my new oven runs cool.  Does it ever!  It indicated it was pre-heated to 325 when the thermometer read only 225!  No wonder the chocolate roll cake I make every Christmas didn’t turn out this year—my oven was off.

    I forgot to take my butter out to soften it so I had the bright idea of popping it into the microwave for ten seconds.  Good idea except I hit one minute by accident.  Yup—melted butter all over the inside of my microwave.  And those were my last two sticks so everything had to go on hold while I went to the grocery store.

    Then I was about to put the cake in the oven when I noticed a bowl on the counter—full of the whiskey soaked raisins that were supposed to go in the cake!  I managed to gently stir them in and finally got the cake in the oven!

    It was worth the effort—it was rich and moist without being overly sweet.   


    Butter or nonstick spray for greasing pan
    3/4 cup Irish whiskey
    1 cup strong coffee
    1 cup golden raisins
    5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
    1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    1 3/4 cups sugar
    3 eggs
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    2 cups all-purpose flour, more for dusting pan
    Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
    Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan.
    Pour whiskey and coffee over raisins and set aside.
    In a double boiler over simmering water, melt chocolate. Remove from heat and let cool.

    Cream one cup butter until fluffy. Add sugar and beat until well combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla extract and melted chocolate.
    Whisk together the salt, baking soda, cocoa powder and flour. Stir one-third of the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, until just combined. 

    Add one-third of the coffee-whiskey mixture and stir to combine. Repeat two more times, alternating flour and coffee. 

    Fold in the soaked raisins at the end. Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, approximately 50-60 minutes. 

    Transfer cake to a rack and let cool for 15 minutes then unmold. Optional: for a more potent whiskey flavor, sprinkle warm cake with about two more tablespoons whiskey. Let cool, then sift confectioners’ sugar over cake before serving.



    Saturday, December 31, 2016

    Rigatoni al Forno #Recipe @PegCochran

    This recipe comes from an OLD Craig Claiborne's New York Times Cookbook that I've  had for close to 40 years (it's dated 1979.)  The back cover has fallen off along with the spine and large chunks are loose.  But it still has some great, tasty and not terribly complicated recipes.  I changed virtually nothing in the recipe--it's perfect as it is.

    This sauce would be excellent simply served over plain pasta as well.

    I made this for Christmas Eve and I think it would be perfect for New Year's Eve or New Year's Day.


    7 tablespoons butter (I used less)
    2 cups chopped onion
    1 pound mushrooms, sliced
    1 pound ground pork or Italian sausage
    1 tsp minced garlic
    3/4 tsp fennel seeds
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp dried
    3/4 tsp crushed sage
    3/4 tsp crushed oregano
    1 dried pepper, chopped (optional--I didn't use)
    6 cups peeled Italian plum tomatoes
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 cup water
    1 cup chicken broth
    1/4 cup chopped parsley
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 pound rigatoni or ziti
    1/2 lb mozzarella cheese cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    2 cups grated Parmesan

    Heat 3 tablespoons butter and add onion.  Cook until wilted.  Add sliced mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms give up their liquid.

    Continue to cook until liquid evaporates.

    In a separate skillet cook pork or sausage meat (remove casing.) I used pork for a milder flavor.   Add meat to the mushrooms and stir.  Add garlic, fennel (if not using sausage), basil, sage, oregano and red pepper if using.  Cook about three minutes, stirring.

    Add the tomatoes (I wasn't sure if the recipe meant fresh or canned but I used two 28-ounce cans including juice.)  Add salt, pepper, water, broth and simmer for one hour, stirring frequently.

    Add parsley and simmer 15 minutes more.  Stir in olive oil and set aside.  (I did not add the olive oil feeling there was enough fat in the sauce already.  I was also afraid the sauce would be too thin so I added about half a can of tomato paste.  I had the pan on the barest simmer and forgot to turn the stove off so probably cooked it for two to three hours in the end.  It thickened up nicely and was perfect!)

    Cook pasta for eight minutes (it needs to be al dente since it will cook more in the oven.) Drain and run cold water to stop the cooking.

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    Spoon a thin layer of sauce into your casserole dish (13.5 x 8.75 is recommended--don't know what mine was.)

    Add a single layer of pasta.  Scatter half the mozzarella over it.  Top with one tablespoon Parmesan. 

    Continue making layers of sauce, pasta, mozzarella and Parmesan ending with sauce and Parmesan.  (Use about 1/2 cup Parmesan and save the rest for serving at the table.)

    Dot with remaining butter (I omitted the extra butter because...well just because.)

    Bake 30 minutes uncovered until hot and bubbling.  Makes 8 to 12 servings.  (We served six adults and one child with plenty of leftovers.)

    Coming May 2017

     Coming July 2017