Showing posts with label Halloween recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Halloween recipes. Show all posts

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Welcome Author Bethany Blake with a Prize Package #BookGiveaway and Sweet Halloween Recipe

To learn more about
Dial Meow for Murder,
click here.
Like her amateur sleuth, author Bethany Blake also runs a pet-sitting business. We're thrilled that she's stopped by to tell us about the brand new entry in her Lucky Paws Petsitting Mysteries: Dial Meow for Murder!

Bethany is also sharing a wonderful October recipe and offering a generous giveaway package, so be sure to comment on the post with a way to contact you. 

Congrats to her winner, Kim Templeton!

Take it away, Bethany!

—Cleo Coyle 

🐾 🐾 🐾

Halloween is coming to quaint, pet-friendly Sylvan Creek, and that can only mean:

🐾  A one-eared, drooling
Chihuahua in a tiny clown costume;

🐾  A haunted hayride gone
horribly, horribly awry; and

🐾 The world’s cutest – angriest – black cat guarding a body in a spooky mansion.

If you’ve already “visited” Sylvan Creek by reading the first book in the Lucky Paws Petsitting series, Death by Chocolate Lab, you know that pet sitter and amateur sleuth Daphne Templeton tends to stumble into sticky situations involving pets with personality. And this Halloween is no exception. 

First, Daphne finds the town’s “professional volunteer,” Lillian Flynt, dead in a creepy, crumbling lakeside Victorian. Then Daphne and her stoic sidekick, basset hound Socrates, get stuck caring for Lillian’s prized Persian, Tinkleston, whose puffball paws hide a razor-sharp set of claws.

Daphne's stoic sidekick,
basset hound Socrates
To make matters worse, Daphne’s mother, ambitious Realtor Maeve Templeton, stands to profit from Miss Flynt’s death.

Last but not least, handsome, enigmatic Detective Jonathan Black’s ex-wife – gorgeous Elyse Hunter-Black – has arrived in town with two ghostly greyhounds. The fact that Elyse is still hyphenating her name is not lost upon Daphne’s best friend, vintage-loving Moxie Bloom. And Daphne has to agree that Elyse probably wants to get her lovely hands on more than some local real estate.

Not that Daphne sees any kind of future with Jonathan. Still, it’s all kind of confusing.

Thank goodness little Sylvan Creek is full of places to grab a soothing fall snack, whether it’s pumpkin cheesecake gelato – eaten while comparing clues with Jonathan – or sage-and-butternut squash dip, shared with hippie surfer Dylan Taggart at the historic Wolf Hollow Mill.

As for me, when I need comfort food of the sweet variety, I turn to my mother’s three-layer black-bottom pie. Recently, she was kind enough to give me the original recipe, on a yellowed card that has been tucked in a box in her kitchen since my childhood. The spicy gingersnap crust blends perfectly with a layer of bitter chocolate, mellowed by sweet vanilla and whipped cream.

In a nod to the upcoming holiday, I’m adding a seasonal twist, replacing the vanilla layer with a pumpkin mousse. I’ve also streamlined the recipe to avoid a step that calls for scalding milk and adding gelatin. (Sounds like a recipe… for disaster!) I call the revised treat Tinkleston’s Sweet & Spiced Black Cat Pie, in honor of Daphne’s latest furry family member, who tends to narrow his distinctive, orange eyes right before he pounces. Little Tinks is also a lot like the pie in terms of temperament. He’s somewhat bitter, quite snappish – but sweet at heart.

At least, Daphne and Socrates hope that’s the case! 

--Bethany Blake

🐾 🐾 🐾

Sweet & Spiced Black Cat Pie


For Crust

18 gingersnap cookies
1/4 cup melted butter

For Chocolate Layer

8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp softened butter
1 cup heavy cream

For Pumpkin Layer

8 oz softened cream cheese
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 cup heavy cream


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Crush the cookies and combine them with the butter until moistened. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a pie plate. Bake for about 10 minutes. Let cool.

Prepare the chocolate layer. Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl. Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand for about a minute. Slowly whisk the chocolate until melted and smooth. (This was honestly my first time making ganache. It was so easy!)

Gently pour the chocolate into the cooled crust. Starting to look good, right? Place the pie in your refrigerator for about one hour or until set. (Use the time to lick the whisk and bowl clean.)

Next, make the pumpkin layer. Using a stand mixer if you’ve got one, beat the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the pumpkin, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger and cloves until smooth.

Using a hand mixer or good, old-fashioned biceps, whip the cream in a separate, chilled bowl. Fold half of the cream into the pumpkin mixture. Repeat with the second half of the cream, blending until just combined. 

Carefully spread the pumpkin over the chocolate layer and smooth the top. Refrigerate for about two hours or until set and firm. Garnish with whipped cream, chocolate shavings and – if you have them – little black cats before serving.

And don’t feel badly if your slices look a little… scary.

 It’s Halloween!

🎃 🎃 🎃

About the Author

Bethany Blake lives in a small, quaint town in Pennsylvania with her husband and three daughters. When she's not writing or riding horses, she's wrangling a menagerie of furry, finned and feathered family members that includes a nervous pit bull, a fearsome feline, an immortal goldfish, and an attack cardinal named Robert. Like Daphne Templeton, the heroine of her Lucky Paws Mysteries, Bethany holds a Ph.D. and operates a pet-sitting business called Barkley's Premium Pet Care.

🐾 🐾 🐾

*Keep in touch with Bethany!

Visit her website:

Like her on Facebook  by clicking here

Follow her on Twitter by clicking here


Bonus Giveaway from Bethany!

 🎃 Halloween Haul Prize Pack

🐾 Death by Chocolate Lab

🐾 Ominous Amish Blood-Red Popcorn 

🐾 Chocolate Black Cat  

🐾 Gourmet Chocolate and Caramel Pretzels

To learn more about or purchase
Bethany's new mystery, click
on one of the links below...

Amazon  * B&N 

Thank you so much for
joining us today, Bethany!


Leave a comment on this post by Midnight, Wednesday, October 18 (Pacific Time), and you are entered to win Bethany's new book and prize package. Be sure to leave an email address, or a link to your Facebook page, or another way we can contact you if you win.

Congrats to Bethany's Winner...

Kim Templeton!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to comment
and thanks especially to Bethany Blake for her
fabulous guest post and generous giveaway!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

How to Make a Candy Apple Cocktail (with or without Spirits) for #Halloween by Cleo Coyle

Marc and I are celebrating Halloween with a fun, little cocktail that may not be scary, but it is wicked good! This Candy Apple drink has all the flavor and color of a good old candy apple. You can make it without alcohol or with spirits—an apt notion for Halloween.

However you mix it, we hope you'll drink with scary good joy!

~ Cleo

Cleo Coyle's 

Candy Apple Cocktail

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

Our drink recipe gives you great versatility. You choose your favorite ingredients and method of preparation:

* Make it a virgin drink (without alcohol) or spike it as much or as little as you like.

* Mi
x it by the glass, the pitcher, or even in a punch bowl. 

The pomegranate juice, added to the natural apple juice, provides good-for-you antioxidants--and a bloody good color for Halloween. Finally, have fun with the garnishes...

We like the idea of crusting the rim of each glass with cinnamon-sugar, which not only lends delicious flavor to each drink, but style to your service. 

You can slice an apple (through its equator) and slip the slice onto to the glass rim, as you would a lemon or lime slice. Or...

Try our idea of decorating the serving table using maraschino cherries on long skewers to mimic the look of candy apples. 

Whatever you do, we hope you have fun with the recipe, and... 

May you have a spirited Halloween!

Cleo Coyle's 
Candy Apple Cocktail


2 parts apple juice, no sugar added
   (or chilled sparkling apple cider)

1 part pomegranate juice 

(optional) vodka or gin or white rum, to taste

(optional) cinnamon schnapps (such as Goldschlager), to taste

Maraschino cherries

Cinnamon sugar (*see method below)

Ice cubes


For a Candy Appletini: Spread a generous amount of your cinnamon sugar onto a flat plate. Moisten the rim of your martini glass and place it rim-side down into the plate of cinnamon sugar. Gently turn the glass until the rim is coated with the mixture.

Into a cocktail shaker, Mason jar, or pitcher, pour the apple juice, pomegranate juice, and the optional alcohol. Add ice cubes, stir well, and pour into your glass (or glasses), straining back the ice.  

For a Virgin Cocktail: Prepare any glass as described above by crusting the rim with cinnamon sugar. Fill about half the glass with the chilled sparkling apple cider. Add the chilled pomegranate juice. Stir gently to mix the liquids. Garnish with an apple slice or maraschino cherry on a wooden skewer and enjoy!

Making punch for a party: Follow the ingredient ratios above and spike it as much or as little as you like. Do not add ice to the punch bowl or pitcher, which will only water down the flavor of the drink. Instead, fill ice trays with the 2:1 ratio mix of apple juice and pomegranate juice and add those frozen apple-pom cubes to your punch bowl or pitcher to keep the drink tasting great for a longer period of time.

*How to Make Cinnamon Sugar: Mix 1/4 cup of white granulated with 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon. This is a basic ratio, but you can vary it, adding more or less cinnamon to your own taste.

Another great idea for a party is to make 
candy apples to serve or simply to decorate the table.

Click the buttons below for Cleo's recipes...

Candy Apples with Honey 
instead of corn syrup


Candy Apples for Grown-ups!

(how to spike candy apples)

Eat (and read) with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

* * *

Our bestselling hardcover is
now a bestseller in paperback!

Coffee. It can get a girl killed.

Amazon * B&N

A Mystery Guild Selection
A Baker & Taylor "Trends" Pick
Three "Best of Year" Reviewer Lists

*  *  *

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
15 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


See mini plot summaries 
for every title and news on
 Cleo's next release!

*  *  *

Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

Get a free title checklist, 
with mini plot summaries, 

Or learn more about the 
books and meet Jack Shepard, 
our PI ghost by clicking here.

*  *  *

*  *  * 

Sign up for Cleo Coyle's 
Coffeehouse Newsletter: Recipes, 
News, Fun Contests, Videos... 
Click here to subscribe.