Showing posts with label Dinner Club Mysteries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dinner Club Mysteries. Show all posts

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Swedish Coffee Bread, a Christmas Tradition #recipe from Linda Wiken, author


It's Christmas Week on Mystery Lovers' Kitchen and, Christmas Baking Week at my house and that means just one thing, Swedish Coffee Bread. And, I mean one thing. That's all I bake. I admit it, I'm not into desserts (although I can be persuaded to eat the odd chocolatey mousse or Yule Log). But it wouldn't be Christmas without the aroma and taste of this delicious Swedish Coffee bread.

My Mom made it every year that I can remember and my Dad would wake me Christmas morning when it was still dark out, bringing me a cup of freshly-brewed coffee and a slice of coffee bread. I loved it and didn't even mind the early hour. In fact, it was exciting, eating my treat in bed then getting washed and dressed, to drive the empty streets to our church for the early morning service. It would start with candles and by the time the service was over, it would be light outside. Magical.

I slid into the role of official Sundman Swedish Coffee Bread baker and have upheld the tradition for many years, some more memorable and tasty than others. The memory and the taste are all rolled into one. I wear her Christmas apron when I'm baking. And I know she's there with me as I'm kneading and rolling the dough, sometimes pinching her lips, often smiling. That's Christmas to me.

This year, I did try a somewhat different recipe than the standard one, mainly because it doesn't call for milk, which is something I need to avoid. I don't know if it's because of that but although the bread takes delicious, it's not quite the same. And, something else that's different, I added some almond slices to part of one loaf, because my brother-in-law likes it that way. You could also added dried fruit as an extra treat.

Next year, I'm back to the basics but this year, we'll all enjoy this tradition with a new twist!


What you'll need:

6 c. all-purpose flour, sifted
2 packages active dry yeast
1 tsp. crushed cardamom seed
1 large eggs, room temperature
2. c. warm water
1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter (or margarine) softened
1 tbsp milk (I used almond milk)
sugar for sprinkling on top





What to do:
 Pre-measure all ingredients and have at the ready. Sprinkle yeast into 2 c. warm water in a large mixing bowl and let stand for about 5 minutes until the yeast starts to bloom. Stir.

Stir in 1 egg, 1/3 c. sugar, salt, cardamom, butter and about 1/2 the flour.  Use an electric mixer or stir by hand until mixed then add the remaining flour. Continue to stir until the dough is soft and can form a large ball.


Place the dough in a greased large bowl, then turn over to grease the other side. Cover and place in a warm spot for 1 hour. It should then be doubled in size.



Punch down then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead for at least 5 minutes. It should be smooth and free from all bubbles.

Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces and shape into ropes that are approx. 1 inch wide. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use 3 at a time to form two braids. Cover with a cloth and place in a warm spot for 30 minutes.


Mix the remaining egg, lightly beaten, with the milk and brush onto the braids. Sprinkle with sugar. Now's the time to add any other festive toppings you'd like. Place in a pre-heated 375 F oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned and thoroughly baked. Remove and cool on a rack before slicing.




Dine out on the DINNER CLUB MYSTERIES

 Coming March, 2018
Marinating in Murder, book #3


ROUX THE DAY, A Dinner Club Mystery is now available in paper and as an e-book. 
Recipes included!



TOASTING UP TROUBLE, the first in the Dinner Club Mysteries is available at your favorite bookstore and on-line, as a paperback and as an e-book.  
Recipes included!







Writing as Erika Chase -- the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series are available on-line or at your favorite bookstore.

             
Visit Linda at www.lindakwiken.com
Love to hear from you at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken  
Also appearing at www.killercharacters.com
                                                                               


Visit Erika at www.erikachase.com 
 at my Facebook author page
and on Twitter  @erika_chase. 








Thursday, August 10, 2017

Peach and Cucumber Salad, something different for summer! #recipe #LindaWiken


I'm in a cottage kind of mood today, thinking back to the fab and fun writers retreat we had last month. We've been doing this for well over a decade and it's a highlight of the summer for us all.

My last recipe on Mystery Lovers' Kitchen was a veggie dish I made the second night there. Fellow MLK and good friend Victoria Abbott and I had that meal covered. My second dish for the evening was this Peach and Cucumber Salad that's quite different from what I'm used to. I cobbled the recipe together from one I found in Bon Appetit.

Take some fresh fruit and add some herbs, spices and lime juice...that's all it takes.  Now, since we were at a cottage, I took the easy way and substituted dried spices instead of using a whole clove and a cardamon pod. I also skipped the toasting of the spices and the pumpkin seed, and it tasted just fine. Maybe next time.  The chopping of the ingredients is what's most time consuming but it really is worth it. We all agreed.

I didn't get as many photos as I wanted  as things became quite hectic. But I think the recipe is fairly self-explanatory.


What you'll need: 


1/4 c. olive oil
1 garlic clove, grated
   tsp. clove
   tsp. cardamon seeds
1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. cumin
3 tbsp. parsley, chopped
3 tbsp. cilantro, chopped plus extra for garnish
pinch of Himalayan salt (or your choice)
3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
3 small cucumbers
3 yellow peaches, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 avocados, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
1/3 c. pumpkin seeds
1 small chili, grated or 1 tsp. crushed chili flakes





What to do: 

1. In a large bowl, mix the chile, parsley, garlic, lime juice and chopped cilantro with the coriander, clove, coriander, and cumin. Add 1/4. c. olive oil and stir. Season with the Himalayan salt.

 

2. Add the diced cucumber and toss then let it all sit for 5 minutes.

3. Finally, add the avocado, peaches and half the pumpkin seeds, tossing carefully to coat.

4. Serve topped with a drizzle of lime juice, sesame and remaining pumpkin seeds, and cilantro leaves for garnish.

And there you have a cool, colorful and cheery salad for any summer meal.




ROUX THE DAY, A Dinner Club Mystery is now available in paper and as an e-book. 
Recipes included!



The first in the Dinner Club Mysteries is available at your favorite bookstore and on-line, as a paperback and as an e-book.  
Recipes included!




 Coming March, 2018
Marinating in Murder, book #3


Writing as Erika Chase -- the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series are available on-line or at your favorite bookstore.

             
Visit Linda at www.lindakwiken.com
Love to hear from you at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken  
Also appearing at www.killercharacters.com
                                                                               


Visit Erika at www.erikachase.com 
 at my Facebook author page
and on Twitter  @erika_chase. 



Thursday, July 27, 2017

Lemon Almond Sauteed Greens and other colors! #recipe by Linda Wiken, author



There's nothing I enjoy better than an easy-to-make veggie dish and this is one I'll use many times over. I first tried it out at that same writer's retreat that Victoria Abbott mentioned on Saturday. So, remember her delicious spicy black bean salad and think of it paired with this dish. Of course, there was more on the menu but you'll find out about those another time.

I find lemon seems to go with everything, even more so than my real favorite flavor, lime. So, use it liberally or cut it back a bit if lemon's not your thing. The recipe I found in the newspaper calls for Swiss chard or spinach. I chose the latter because I really enjoy it. But you could use any leafy green vegetable. I also chose to use the shredder for the cabbage but I think next time, I would just slice it into thin strips.

It's easy to prepare ahead of time -- just slice the two veggies and set them aside until needed. The prep time takes longer than it does on the stove.


What you'll need:

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced or use the kind in the jar, about 1 tsp. in that case
approx. 8 c.spinach, just cut off the stems
1 c. shredded cabbage
1 tsp lemon zest
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp. sliced or slivered almonds, toasted



What to do:

Heat oil over medium heat, preferably a wok or similar pan. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds.

Add the spinach, cabbage, salt and pepper, and lemon zest then saute for approx. 2 minutes or until the greens are wilted.


Stir in 1 tbsp. of water, cover and boil for approx. 2 minutes. Stir a couple of times and remove when veggies are tender then add the lemon juice and saute for another 2 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated.


Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the toasted almonds.

And here we are, minus the photographer, ready for yet another fun meal together.


I'd like some suggestions of what other greens to substitute. What would you use?



ROUX THE DAY, A Dinner Club Mystery is now available in paper and as an e-book. 
Recipes included!



The first in the Dinner Club Mysteries is available at your favorite bookstore and on-line, as a paperback and as an e-book.  
Recipes included!




 Coming March, 2018
Marinating in Murder, book #3


Writing as Erika Chase -- the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series are available on-line or at your favorite bookstore.

             
Visit Linda at www.lindakwiken.com
Love to hear from you at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken  
Also appearing at www.killercharacters.com
                                                                               


Visit Erika at www.erikachase.com 
 at my Facebook author page
and on Twitter  @erika_chase. 










Thursday, July 13, 2017

Grilled Carrots with Cumin-Serrano Yogurt by Author Linda Wiken, @LWiken, Cozy mystery


What I love best about summer -- and the calendar tells me that's the season even if the weather doesn't agree -- is the bounty of local fresh vegetables and, my new barbecue. If you can combine the two, even better.

However, in this case, the title is misleading, I'll admit that right away. The recipe, which I found in  Bon Appetit magazine, calls for grilling but you know, it was pouring rain, so I opted to roast the veggies in the oven -- inside! I also made some other tweeks. The recipe called for spring onions or scallions but I knew one of my guests wasn't too keen on either, so I opted for King Oyster mushrooms, sliced. And then, I threw in some sliced red peppers for fun. The serrano chile was replaced by chilli flakes, because that's what I had in my cupboard. And, no cumin seeds either, so I used cumin powder. It turned out tasty and that's what counts. It also was relatively easy to do -- another big plus in my books.

The directions below are for how I did it. If you want to try it the original way, check out the magazine.

What you'll need:

3 lbs. carrots with tops trimmed to 1/2 inch
1 large red pepper, sliced lengthwise
2 King Oyster mushrooms, sliced lengthwise
4 tbsp. olive oil
salt to taste (I used Himalayan salt for added flavor)
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili flakes
1 c. plain Greek yogurt
1/4 c. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tbsp. chopped mint; extra leaves for garnish


What to do:

1.  Preheat oven to 375F. Scrub the carrots and trim the tops.
2.  Place the carrots, red pepper slices, and mushroom slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle 2 tbsp. olive oil over all. Sprinkle with salt. It takes approx. 25-30 minutes to roast once the oven is preheated.
4.  Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, combine yogurt, chili flakes, cumin, lime juice, chopped mint and 2 tbsp. olive oil.
5.  Spoon the yogurt mixture onto a serving dish and add the veggies. Garnish with mint leaves.

(The nice thing about the yogurt is it can be prepared in advance and kept up to two days in the fridge.)

Easy, right?


ROUX THE DAY, A Dinner Club Mystery is now available in paper and as an e-book. 
Recipes included!



The first in the Dinner Club Mysteries is available at your favorite bookstore and on-line, as a paperback and as an e-book.  
Recipes included!



Writing as Erika Chase -- the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series are available on-line or at your favorite bookstore.

             
Visit Linda at www.lindakwiken.com
Love to hear from you at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken  
Also appearing at www.killercharacters.com
                                                                               


Visit Erika at www.erikachase.com 
 at my Facebook author page
and on Twitter  @erika_chase. 










Thursday, June 22, 2017

Fun with Frittatas, #recipe by Linda Wiken, author, #cozymystery


I thought about calling it the Kitchen Sink Frittata but realized that doesn't sound very appetizing. It follows the same principle though, and much like Sheila Connolly's post last week, I've included whatever I had on hand.

Some nights, a gal just doesn't want to get too creative  :) or cook anything extravagant. Here again, I can't say, 'not cook' because this does take some prep time even though actual cooking time is minimal.

And, I do love my eggs. In my house, they're not just for breakfast! So, what to do that was more than a soft-boiled egg and toast? An omelette was an option but that takes even more steps. So, I decided to have some fun with a Frittata.

This recipe is thrown together without accurate measurements, suitable for two. So, add or subtract as suits your needs. I am a dairy-free eater, so mixed my eggs with a tiny bit of water, instead of milk.

Again, please do what suits you best.

I'd be interested in hearing what ends up in your Frittata!

What you'll need:

4 eggs
dash of water
handful of fresh spinach, chopped
3 mushrooms (because that's all I had on hand), chopped
fresh basil, chives, and rosemary, chopped
4 orange grape tomatoes  (orange and only 4 was what I had on hand)
sweet red pepper
1 garlic clove, slivered
1 c. thinly sliced Chorizo sausage
1 tbsp. olive oil
pinch of sea salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
enough fresh grated Asiago cheese to cover but then melt in (again, use whatever cheese is your favorite)







What to do:

1. Heat olive oil in large frying pan. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with the water.
2. Chop, slice, and sliver the veggies and herbs.
3. Saute all the ingredients, except for the eggs.


4. When the spinach has wilted and the mushrooms have that nice browned color, pour in the egg and water mixture, stirring all the while.


5. When the egg reaches a good scrambled eggs consistency, you're ready.
6. Dish onto plates and grate the cheese over top.
7. Serve with toast or as I did, some red pepper and sun-dried tomato Ciabatta bread.









ROUX THE DAY, A Dinner Club Mystery is now available in paper and as an e-book. 
Recipes included!



The first in the Dinner Club Mysteries is available at your favorite bookstore and on-line, as a paperback and as an e-book.  
Recipes included!



Writing as Erika Chase -- the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series are available on-line or at your favorite bookstore.

             
Visit Linda at www.lindakwiken.com
Love to hear from you at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken  
Also appearing at www.killercharacters.com
                                                                               

Visit Erika at www.erikachase.com 
 at my Facebook author page
and on Twitter  @erika_chase.