Showing posts with label Fatal Reservations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fatal Reservations. Show all posts

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Lucy's Chicken Cacciatore #Recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: I bet I've said this a hundred times if I've said it once, what can I make for my company that's mostly done ahead of time, while utterly delicious?  

It's like asking one of those magic eight balls we had as kids--this time the answer came up Chicken Cacciatore. This dish is not hard to make, and tastes even better the next day--so perfect for entertaining!


Eight boneless skinless chicken thighs
Flour seasoned with salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup cup chopped green peppers
One large onion, roughly chopped
One garlic clove, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
Two sage leaves, chopped
One bay leaf
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup wine
28 ounce can tomatoes, diced with juice
Basil and parsley, chopped for garnish


Heat the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan until bubbling. Dip the chicken thighs in the seasoned flour and brown them on both sides in the oil and butter. 

Remove the chicken to a plate. In the same pan, brown the chopped pepper and onion until soft, then add the chopped garlic and mushrooms and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. And the wine to the same pan and simmer, being sure to scrape up the brown bits at the bottom. 

In a stock pot, combine the browned chicken with the vegetable mixture, the chicken broth, and the diced tomatoes. Simmer this for at least half an hour, until the chicken is cooked and the sauce is beginning to thicken. This dish is even tastier if you make it a day ahead and then rewarm. 

Serve it with polenta and steamed spinach. Garnish with chopped basil and parsley.

FATAL RESERVATIONS is on bookshelves now! 

And you can follow Lucy on Facebook,



and Instagram!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Peach Pie #recipe for #BookClubWeek @LucyBurdette #giveaway

Aren't my friends good sports?

This is a pie for peach season--I think any book club would be happy to devour it while discussing a Key West mystery! More on the discussion in a bit, but first the recipe... 

I wait every year for the peaches in Connecticut. I buy mine at Bishops farm markets, a bushel at a time. You can also slice the peaches and add the sugar, and then freeze them in a 6 cup quantity. When you are ready to make the pie (when you're feeling sad that peach season is over,) warm the peach mixture over a low flame and then add the rest of the ingredients and proceed as written. 

This recipe is based on one I found in the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cookbook. I always use my father's pie crust because it's so easy. And I adjusted some of the flavorings, deleting the nutmeg and increasing cinnamon. I also added a quarter cup slivered almonds to the topping.

Ingredients for the filling

Six cups ripe peaches, sliced
Three-quarter cup sugar +1 tablespoon
1/4 teaspoon salt
One half teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon melted, unsalted butter
1 tablespoon cold water
1/4 cup cornstarch

Peel and slice the peaches. Stir the sugar and salt into the bowl. Let this sit for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix cornstarch with the almond extract, lemon juice, melted butter, and cold water. Stir until smooth. Stir this mixture into the peaches.

While the peaches marinate, make your crust. 

I recommend this easy version of my father's crust.
 Then on to the topping!

Topping ingredients

2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, ground in food processor
1/2 cup rolled oats, whole
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
One half stick unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup slivered almonds

 Pulse together all the topping ingredients in the food processor until crumbly.

Spread the topping over the pie. Place the pie on a baking sheet. Lay one sheet of aluminum foil loosely over the top. Bake at 375 for 50 to 60 minutes. Bake until the crust and topping are golden. I took the foil off for the last 10 minutes, going for that extra crunch

Let the pie sit for four hours at room temperature before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired. (Everyone did, even the chocoholics.)

Now, hmmm, which book to choose for the discussion? My friends and I had a very interesting chat about tarot card reading over pieces of this pie. Did we believe in tarot or horoscopes? How far should a friend go to protect another friend's confidence? (You'll remember that Hayley Snow's dear friend Lorenzo is a tarot card reader. Only he seems to have lost the ability to see his own future in FATAL RESERVATIONS.) Here's more on that book, a blog about the evolution of Lorenzo, and some of the recent reviews.

But if your book club meets around the holidays, DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS would be a perfect choice--Christmas in Key West!

Near Valentine's Day? Try MURDER WITH GANACHE.

And here are book discussion questions for TOPPED CHEF, DEATH IN FOUR COURSES, and AN APPETITE FOR MURDER, which would be good choices for any time of year!

Leave a comment about which book you'd choose--I'll be giving away a signed copy to one lucky commenter!

And you can follow Lucy on Facebook,



and Instagram!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Massive Tray of Stuffed Shells for a Crowd #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: My husband comes from a biiiggg family. So a casual get-together can grow from four people to fifteen in the blink of an eye. That happened a couple of weeks ago when we went to Maine to celebrate my mother-in-law's 102nd birthday. (I know isn't she amazing?)

I'm aware, as I write the Key West mysteries, that Hayley makes cooking for a group--on the spur of the moment--look so easy! And to be truthful, I'm not quite the kitchen whiz that she is.

But this is really a recipe you can whip up in a couple of hours and pop into the oven at the last minute. So if you're responsible for dinner, and Hayley doesn't step in, you will need a recipe like this which is tasty, but expands to fill a crowd. Here it is, my recipe for a massive tray of stuffed shells:


2 12 ounce packages large shells
Two 32 oz jars marinara sauce (your choice)
16 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
32 ounces ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella
 1 cup shredded Parmesan/Romano/asiago cheese

Cook the shells as directed on the package. Drain and spread them out on a sheet pan to cool. 

Squeeze the thawed spinach dry. Mix the cheeses and the spinach well in a large bowl. 

Oil a large pan--I used my turkey pan. Dump the sauce in the pan. Stuff each shell with a heaping tablespoon of the cheese mixture, and dredge them in the marinara sauce. Sprinkle more shredded cheese on top. 

Bake at 350 until bubbly, about 40 minutes. Serve with good bread, a big green salad, and maybe some corn on the cob.

FATAL RESERVATIONS is on bookshelves now! 

And you can follow Lucy on Facebook,



and Instagram!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

One More Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Icing #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: I know, you've seen a lot of strawberry recipes come out of this blog--and strawberry season is almost over! But I couldn't resist sharing this last cake. If we were forced to choose, I think it was our favorite.

And also in the good news department, I made it as a sheetcake. So not only does it serve a good-sized crowd, there's no fussing with layers. I'm pretty sure Hayley Snow will be making this for a special wedding pre-celebration in KILLER TAKEOUT (coming next April.) Not saying whose, in case you haven't finished FATAL RESERVATIONS...

And it would be perfect for reading while snacking on Daryl's new book, FUDGING THE BOOKS, and Peg's BERRIED SECRETS! Congratulations you two!!

For the strawberry cake:

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups cake flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon table salt

1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup chopped fresh strawberries 

Butter well a 9 by 13 inch pan, and heat oven to 350.

Using an electric mixer or food processor, beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs in one at a time. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. Add the flour to the butter mixture, alternating with adding the buttermilk. (I used a cup of milk with one tablespoon of cider vinegar instead of buttermilk.) 

Pulse in the chopped strawberries until they are small pieces and the batter begins to look pink.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out dry. Cool the cake on a wire rack.

For the strawberry icing:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
1/3 cup sugar

Beat the cream cheese with the strawberries until mostly smooth. Add the vanilla and half the sugar, beat that in. Whip the cream with the remaining sugar until thick. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese/strawberry mixture. Spread the icing on the cooled cake and refrigerate until serving. Decorate with strawberries if desired.

FATAL RESERVATIONS is on bookshelves now! 

And you can follow Lucy on Facebook,



and Instagram!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Strawberry Cake #recipe @LucyBurdette @penguincozies


Yes indeed, the sixth Key West mystery, FATAL RESERVATIONS is definitely on bookshelves, probably one near you...

I'll pause for a minute to make sure you ordered your copy...and then on to celebrating with strawberry cake!


I told you about our amazing strawberry crop, and shared the recipe for strawberry daiquiris two weeks ago.

But another of our favorite creations was this easy but elegant looking strawberry cake.


2 cups cake flour 
one stick butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar 
half teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
2 eggs 
1 cup Greek yogurt, unflavored 
1 cup roughly chopped strawberries
About 15 halved strawberries 
2 teaspoons brown or turbinado sugar, for topping

Cream the butter with the sugar
Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each. Beat in the yogurt and vanilla. Mix the dry ingredients together and add them to the yogurt mixture, beating lightly.

Pre-heat the oven to 350°.

Butter an 8 x 8" baking dish.

Gently mix the chopped strawberries into the batter. Spread this into the buttered pan. 


Arrange the halved strawberries on top.

Sprinkle the brown sugar over the top.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, checking with a toothpick to see if the center is done.  

May be served with strawberry ice cream, whipped cream, or chocolate ice cream if you must. And definitely eat with a good book in hand! 

FATAL RESERVATIONS is on bookshelves now! And you can follow Lucy on Facebook,



and Instagram!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hayley Snow's Easy Shrimp Salad #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: One of the great joys of writing the Key West mysteries is imagining what the characters would really do, and that includes what they would really eat. They are characters in a book, but they honestly begin to feel like real people. I can picture Hayley Snow and Miss Gloria on their houseboat wondering what to have for dinner. And then I can imagine them remembering that--oh joy!--there are shrimp left over from the night before.

Then Hayley goes to work. She looks in the fridge again and finds celery and onions and capers. And Miss Gloria goes out to the back deck and picks some fresh dill and a few beautiful ripe tomatoes. And then they whip up a quick but delicious shrimp salad served over greens and sliced tomatoes, with maybe a delicious leek biscuit on the side. Can't you just see it? And my husband says, where did this recipe come from? And I say...Hayley made it, of course...


1/2 pound Key West or Stonington pink shrimp
1 small, mild onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Boil the shrimp until just pink. Drain, then shell and clean out the vein. Cut these into bite-sized pieces. Add the onion, celery, capers, and dill, then mix the mayonnaise in. Serve over crisp salad greens or a sliced tomato.


FATAL RESERVATIONS is on bookshelves now! And you can follow Lucy on Facebook,  



and Instagram!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Strawberry Daiquiri #recipe to Celebrate FATAL RESERVATIONS @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE:  Whoo-hoo, FATAL RESERVATIONS is definitely here! And so we are definitely celebrating this week!

I'll pause for a minute to make sure you ordered your copy...and then on to celebrating with strawberry daiquiris!

For the first time ever, we had a super-duper crop of strawberries in our garden. We ate them every which way, and shared quite a few with a cheeky chipmunk, whose MO was to take a bite out of as many as he could reach. 

Of course I made three different versions of strawberry cake, and you'll see two of them soon.  But I decided the daiquiri recipe was the most festive--and perfect for sipping while reading...

Ingredients for One Daiquiri

1-2 oz rum (we used Pusser's, but a light rum would be fine too)

1/2 oz triple sec

1/2 lime, squeezed

1/2 teaspoon sugar (you may want a little more)

1 cup or so ice cubes

1/2 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen

And here's how to make it: Put everything in the blender and whir! I had frozen some of our strawberry crop last week, so we used those. If you use fresh strawberries, you may need to adjust the ice. Garnish with a fresh berry and a mint leaf.

Hope you enjoy the drink--and the book!

FATAL RESERVATIONS is on bookshelves now! And you can follow Lucy on Facebook,



and Instagram!

And big congrats to Leslie Budewitz, whose BUTTER OFF DEAD is in bookstores now too!