Showing posts with label Hank Philippi Ryan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hank Philippi Ryan. Show all posts

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Two #Cocktail #Recipes! Double Book #giveaway @SusanMacNeal @HankPRyan

LUCY BURDETTE: When I realized that two of my fabulously-talented writer pals from Jungle Red Writers have books coming out in the next ten days, I decided you'd like to hear from both of them. And what could be better for celebrating new books than specialty cocktails? Hank writes nail-biting suspense featuring reporter Jane Ryland, and Detective Jake Brogan. And Susan writes a meticulously-researched historical mystery series featuring spy Maggie Hope. So please welcome Hank Ryan and Susan MacNeal to our kitchen!

First up, Hank Phillippi Ryan with THE AGATHA COCKTAIL:

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: This drink was concocted from the inside out! I had heard about something called pink grapefruit liqueur-- we found one called Giffard Creme de Pamplemousse Rose.

And that sounded delicious! But what, I wondered, should  we create from that? Pink grapefruit liqueur sounded like it should go with vodka, and fresh lime… Right? So my husband and I experimented – – someone has to do the hard work – – and came up with the pink grapefruit martini.

And then of course it needed a name. So what is fabulous, unique, and highly desirable? We called it the Agatha.

The Agatha

Four parts vodka
One part pink grapefruit liqueur - Giffard Creme de Pamplemousse Rose
One part fresh lime juice

Shake shake shake with lots of ice in a cocktail shaker.
Pour into a chilled martini glass… Use a clear one, because this drink is gorgeously pink.
Squeeze a segment of fresh lime to each drink, and drop the lime into it.

This is so delicious, Jonathan and I even battle over who gets to have the shaker full of ice. (We share.)
You may want to experiment – – lucky you – – to see how you prefer the sweetness of the liqueur with the tartness of the lime.

Sadly, I have no picture of this but imagine a very pale pale pink cosmopolitan.

As for what Jane Ryland drinks, my protagonist is a red wine girl. And this is her favorite wine. Surprisingly, it is one of mine too. 

And here's a little about the book, WHAT YOU SEE, on bookshelves this Tuesday!
Why would a father abduct his own child? A wedding is planned in Jane Ryland's family, but there's a calamity instead. Nine-year-old Gracie—supposed to be the flower girl—has been taken by her stepdad. Where are they? Is the girl in danger? Reporter Jane Ryland learns there's a limit to the bonds of family—and learns to her peril what happens when loved ones are pushed too far.

Meanwhile, Detective Jake Brogan's got a doozy of a case. At Boston's historic Faneuil Hall, a man is stabbed to death in front of a crowd of tourists snapping photos of the murder on their cell phones. Solving the case should be easy, but the pictures and surveillance video lead to a dark conspiracy of extortion and stolen lives. WHAT YOU SEE puts Jane and Jake face to face with deception, intrigue, and—if they make the wrong decisions—disaster.

Note from Lucy: now for Susan's recipe! The fun thing about this is that she has scenes in the White House in the new book in which President Roosevelt is actually making his cocktails!

SUSAN ELIA MACNEAL: First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt wasn't a huge fan of her husband's cocktails, which he mixed each night at "Children's Hour" — but every once in a while he could tempt her with an Old Fashioned, especially with lots of fruit.

Here I've created an especially fruity recipe, light on alcohol, that Mrs. Roosevelt may have found pleasing. Cheers!


2 sugar cubes
4 dashes Angostura bitters
1 slice lime
1 slice lemon
1 slice orange
1 maraschino cherry
1/2 teaspoon grenadine
2 ounces bourbon or rye whiskey
Club soda

In a cocktail glass, place the sugar cubes and sprinkle with bitters. Add citrus slices, cherry, and grenadine. Muddle the citrus. Add bourbon. Fill glass with ice cubes and top with club soda. Stir to combine. 


About MRS. ROOSEVELT'S CONFIDANTE, on sale October 27: It’s December ’41, just days after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor. England’s intrepid, code-breaking spy Maggie Hope is accompanying Winston Churchill across the pond to The White House where Churchill and President Roosevelt are in the midst of history-making discussions involving how best to join forces to defeat the Axis powers and win the war. When one of the First Lady’s aides is mysteriously murdered and Eleanor Roosevelt herself is implicated in the crime, Maggie finds herself embroiled in a scandalous conspiracy that could jeopardize America’s participation in the war—and ultimately, the world’s fate.


SUSAN ELIA MACNEAL is the Barry Award–winning and Edgar, Dilys, and Macavity Award–nominated author of the Maggie Hope mysteries, including Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, Princess Elizabeth’s Spy, His Majesty’s Hope, and The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent. She lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her husband and child.

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN is the on-air investigative reporter for Boston's NBC affiliate. She's won 33 EMMYs, 13 Edward R. Murrow awards and dozens of other honors for her groundbreaking journalism. A bestselling author of eight mystery novels, Ryan has won multiple prestigious awards for her crime fiction: five Agathas, the Anthony, Daphne, Macavity, and for THE OTHER WOMAN, the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. 
Hank will be giving away THE OTHER WOMAN  or THE WRONG GIRL or TRUTH BE TOLD--reader's choice! And Susan will be giving away a copy of MRS. ROOSEVELT'S CONFIDANTE. Leave a comment with your email to be entered in the contest.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Easiest Recipe in the World by Hank Phillippi Ryan

*****Winners for Hank's books are as follows: winners of THE OTHER WOMAN are CEBlain and, Susan Hampton, of THE WRONG GIRL are Carol Baier and Cherielynne538 at yahoo dot com. Please email Hank at hryan at whdh dot com to arrange the particulars...

Let's give a big Mystery Lovers Kitchen welcome to today's guest, TV reporter and thriller writer and all-around fabulous friend, Hank Phillippi Ryan!HANK: Easiest recipe in the world! Got you, right?

Since I know over the holidays you all made elaborate Buche de Noel and complicated framboise souffles and labor-intensive duck a l’orange and now, you’re simply out of cooking energy, right? Well, voila—here’s the easiest recipe in the world.

I always make this on nights when I get home late and still want to come up with a delicious dinner that's quick and easy.  The recipe has just a few ingredients--the key is a little parallel processing to make sure all the elements are ready at the same time.  It's one of those recipes where you think you know what it's going to taste like--but it doesn't! The total of the hot peppers and the garlic and the cheese is more than the sum of the parts.

Read the whole recipe through first—that’ll make it easier to organize.

Hank's " Pasta on a Deadline"

Your favorite pasta  (Penne works well, so does farfalle. Short pasta works better than long pasta. Spaghetti will work, but not as well. This recipe serves, well, three. Ish.)

Water for cooking pasta

One tablespoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup or a little more olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 cup or more yummy bread crumbs

1 bunch broccoli rabe, chopped smallish

Grated Parmesan cheese  (the best quality you can)

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Put uncooked pasta in boiling water

2. Put olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl, and put in the microwave.  (I know you'll wonder if you really need the red pepper flakes--you do!)

3.  When pasta is two minutes from done, cook oil mixture in microwave for
one and a half minutes on “reheat.”
4. At essentially the same time, add the chopped broccoli rabe to the cooking pasta.

5.  Take the oil mixture out of the microwave (careful, it’ll be HOT!) and mix in the bread crumbs to make a paste.  The consistency should be oily, not stiff, so add bread crumbs gradually. 
6. When the pasta is done, the broccoli will be done.  Drain the pasta/broccoli  in a colander and return to hot pan.

7.  Quickly add the oil and breadcrumb mixture and stir to coat pasta.
8. Serve instantly with grated cheese and fresh pepper. (You don't want this to get cold!)

Recipe notes:
**I've used regular broccoli, instead of broccoli rabe, and also chopped spinach--and it still works perfectly. The peppery flavor of the rabe is a nice addition, though. Sometimes I add hot grilled corn kernels at the same time as the oil mixture.

Use grilled zucchini instead of the broccoli, but DON’T put it in the boiling water, of course, just add it with the oil.

You can also heat the oil mixture in a sauce pan. The key is, you're just heating the oil, not cooking it.

Add grilled chicken! Add grilled shrimp!

And for gluten-free-ers, I have discovered Bionature rice pasta—it’s terrific and not cardboard like most substitute type pastas.   And you don’t really need the breadcrumbs—I’m a no-carb type, so I leave them out.
Happy New Year, all! And let’s see---let’s give away a copy of THE WRONG GIRL to one lucky commenter--and the Mary Higgins Clark award winning THE OTHER WOMAN to another!

Just tell us in a comment—what’s your favorite accompaniment to pasta?

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN is the on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affiliate. She’s won 30 EMMYs, 12 Edward R. Murrow awards and dozens of other honors for her ground-breaking journalism. A bestselling author of six mystery novels, Ryan has won the Agatha, Anthony, Macavity, and most recently, for THE OTHER WOMAN, the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award.
Her newest thriller, THE WRONG GIRL, (What if you didn’t know the truth about your own family?) is a Boston Globe bestseller and was dubbed ""Another winner!"" in a Booklist starred review. She’s on the national board of Mystery Writers of America and 2013 president of national Sisters in Crime.
 Visit her online at  on Twitter  @hank_phillippi and Facebook.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

MLK Welcomes Hank Phillippi Ryan

 LUCY BURDETTE: We're so delighted to be hosting Hank Phillippi Ryan today. She is an investigative reporter with four--soon to be five--books under her belt. And she's won more book prizes and Emmies than you can imagine. And even with all that going on, and a book launching next week, she's here to talk food. With no further ado, I give you our dear friend Hank!

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN:  I used to cook. I did. My friends and family will attest to it--I cooked Beef Wellington and Potatoes Anna, and lemon soufflés and Julia Child's Vichyssoise and Boeuf Bourguignon. I offer my tattered and splatted cookbook pages as proof.

But these days…ever since my life was kidnapped by the mystery world--my cooking has sacrificed glamour for, well, speed and convenience. We eat a lot of grilled salmon from Whole Foods, photos of which I will spare you.

But there are some meals, we found, that are quick and delicious but feel--luxurious.

Two special favorites are Mark  Bittman’s Chicken Parmesan (a la River Street, our address) and cauliflower faux-tatoes . (Because they taste like mashed potatoes.)  Put these together with a green vegetable--and you’d think you'd created a gourmet masterpiece. And the whole thing takes about twenty minutes.

For the chicken. One or two boneless skinless half per person. (Jonathan and I each have one and a half.)

Preheat the oven to broil.

Preheat the other oven to 350. (If you don’t have two ovens, read through this, and you can work it out.)

But the breasts on a broiler pan--line the top with foil so it’s easier to wash, and easier to turn the chicken.

Liberally sprinkle the chicken with high-quality grated parmesan.

Put the chicken under the broiler for five minutes.

MEANWHILE: Put cauliflower florets (enough for however many people you’re serving) in a microwave dish with a touch of water, and zap for two and a half minutes of so, until just tender. 

Mash the cauliflower with a masher thing, then add ground black pepper, and low fat sour cream, and cream cheese, and grated cheddar cheese. However  much you want. You can’t go wrong, and mix til it’s chunky but voluptuous.

Ooops. Five minutes is up. Turn the chicken to the other side, coat the uncooked side with more parmesan, put under the broiler for five more minutes.

Meanwhile! in the glass bowl of cauliflower goop, cover the top with thin slices of cheddar cheese (optional—we didn’t do it in this version), and then a sprinkling of parmesan. (Avery, are you listening? This is a very “cheesy” dinner.)

Put this in the 350 oven. And cook til bubbly. It'll be at least 15 minutes.

Time to do the chicken again. Now, your chicken is broiled on two sides to for a total of ten minutes.  (I like chicken well done, so you might prefer four minutes a side.) Put ANOTHER  layer of parmesan on the chicken, then close the over door and turn the temperature to 350.

Cook for ten-15 more minutes. (It may get smoky, sorry, open a window.)

Your cauliflower is almost done! Turn that over to broil, and place the cauliflower dish under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is brown.

Your chicken is done! It will be glistening and crispy and smell fabulous, juicy on the inside, and crispy-cheesy on the outside.

Your cauliflower is done! It will be mashed-potatoe-y on the inside, and gorgeously cheesey on top.

Oh, we should have made peas.  Peas are great with this. Green beans, also wonderful.

Serve, and love. A crisp white wine, and you are set! I’m a red kind of girl, and what author could resist this label?

Agatha, Anthony and Macavity award-winning Hank Phillippi Ryan is the on-the-air investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affiliate.

Her newest thriller, THE OTHER WOMAN, comes out in hardcover September 4 from Forge. A starred review from Library Journal says “a dizzying labyrinth of twists, turns, and surprises. Readers who crave mystery and political intrigue will be mesmerized by this first installment of her new series.”

You can read more at her website, or friend her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

And two more bits of breaking news--Hank's fabulous interview/book trailer can be seen here.

And she will be giving away a copy of THE OTHER WOMAN to one lucky commenter! thanks Hank! 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Welcome Guest Blogger - Karen E. Olson

Please join me in welcoming Karen E. Olson to Mystery Lovers' Kitchen today. I loved getting to know Karen when she, Hank Phillippi Ryan and I were invited by the incomparable Molly Weston to visit North Carolina. Molly set up a book tour extraordinaire! We visited stores, libraries, classrooms, and we even had time to stop for some authentic barbecue! But the best part of the trip was getting to know Karen, Molly, and Hank. These are some fabulous women!

You've all met Hank here on the blog and I'm sure you've picked up some of her books. Now, I hope you check out Karen's tattoo shop mysteries. Does Karen have a tattoo? Nope. And I confess that as a tat-less person myself, I didn't know if I could get into the stories. Don't let that stop you. Her protagonist Brett Kavanaugh is a strong, fearless, and creative woman with a complicated life. You will love meeting her. I recently finished PRETTY IN INK - tattoos and drag queens. Can it be any more fun? And loved every roller coaster moment.

Okay, enough of me talking. Here's Karen:

When Julie asked me to guest blog, I had a little bit of a panic. You see, I don’t cook anymore. I haven’t cooked in years. Because my husband does. Every night.

He’s a great cook. He whips up chicken marsala, steak and broccoli stir fry, Arctic char with a maple syrup and soy sauce glaze, all after his usual nine hour work day. He likes it.

I’m not going to take that away from him.

Because he’s in the kitchen so much, he’s become a lot more aware of what we’re eating, and because of some health issues, about six months ago he decided that he’s going to try to get us off processed food as much as possible.

He’s making me spice muffins with raisins and sunflower seeds for breakfast, so I don’t have to stop for a bagel in the morning. He even started making his own bagels, trying recipe after recipe until he found one that got it right. He makes all our bread, and the one week we had to buy a loaf because he didn’t have time, well, let’s just say we don’t want that happening again. He’s tending a garden this summer, with lettuce, carrots, arugula, tomatoes, basil, green beans, and zucchini. He shops at the farmer’s market for what we call happy eggs from happy chickens, he buys fresh fish at a local store, and he gets all our beef and chicken from a local butcher.

Let’s say we’re eating pretty well and it’s incredibly healthful.

We took it one step further last weekend.

We made our own mayonnaise.

I’d had a boyfriend years ago whose mother used to make her own mayonnaise. By hand. It took what seemed to be hours. Making mayonnaise seemed very intimidating.

But we pulled out our trusty cookbook by our favorite New York Times columnist Mark Bittman. We had all the ingredients. We had a food processor. And he said he would only take 10 minutes to make.

He was right.

It was the most amazing mayonnaise ever.

Mark Bittman’s mayonnaise recipe:

1 egg

1 tsp dry mustard

2 tbl fresh lemon juice

1 c canola oil (it says you can use olive oil, but we tried that first and the flavor was too strong. Canola was much better, much more neutral)

salt and pepper to taste

Put egg, dry mustard, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and 1/4 c of the oil in a food processor. As you mix, pour the rest of the oil in very very, very slowly. It should start to get thick when you’ve poured about half of it in. If you want it thicker, you can add up to a 1/4 c more oil, but we found the consistency perfect for the potato salad we made with it.

Karen E. Olson is the author of the tattoo shop mystery series, including THE MISSING INK, and PRETTY IN INK.

DRIVEN TO INK, the third in the series, will be out Sept. 7.

Check out her books at www. or her blog at

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Prime Time - Dinner Time

Let’s welcome our Sunday guest!

Award-winning investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan is on the air at Boston's NBC affiliate. Her work has resulted in new laws, people sent to prison, homes removed from foreclosure, and millions of dollars in restitution. Along with her 26 EMMYs, Hank’s won dozens of other journalism honors. She's been a radio reporter, a legislative aide in the United States Senate and an editorial assistant at Rolling Stone Magazine working with Hunter S. Thompson.Her first mystery, the best-selling PRIME TIME, won the Agatha for Best First Novel. It was also was a double RITA nominee for Best First Book and Best Romantic Suspense Novel, and a Reviewers' Choice Award Winner. FACE TIME and AIR TIME are IMBA bestsellers, and AIR TIME was just nominated for the AGATHA Award for Best Novel of 2009. (Of AIR TIME, Sue Grafton says: "This is first-class entertainment.") DRIVE TIME, February 2010 from MIRA Books, just earned a starred review from Library Journal.

Hank's short story "On The House" is now an AGATHA nominee for Best Short Story of 2009. Hank is on the national board of Mystery Writers of America. Her website is Hank Phillippi Ryan.

For fun, Hank would like to offer copies of her books to three commenters today! Wahoo!!!! [They’re great, by the way.] She said you get to pick the TIME book of your choice. So comment to your heart's content!

Take it away, Hank!


What did you have for dinner when you were a little girl? Did your mother cook? I have a vague memory of--pot roast? And little tiny peas from a can. Big standing rib roasts on holidays. Stringy turkey. (Sorry, Mom.)

And oh--yes, of course, fried chicken made in an incredibly heavy cast iron pan where the top was just like the bottom, and the kitchen smelled like chicken and oil (which is not that bad!) for days. Thinking back--we had a big greasy deep fryer thing, that you plugged in. My little sister and I had the idea to make batter dipped onion rings, which was truly the messiest thing ever. There were batter splatters in the kitchen for--months. And you can imagine how indelible the batter dots were, once they dried.

We used to make pizzas from a box, and we thought it was delicious. Put water in a bowl of floury mix, mix until it was sticky, and roll it out onto a pan. Dump on that canned tomato sauce and a packet of cheese. And sometimes fried hamburger. We thought it was a huge treat! It must have been before there was carry-out pizza. (Who else remembers that?)
I don’t think I’d cook any of that now. Too greasy, too fried, too pre-fab. Although I’ve been known to sneak an onion ring or two from my husband’s plate in restaurants. (Do you sneak bites of your companion’s food? We'll talk about that another day.)

Cooking now is so different from my mom’s day. It's all about doing it fast--in my world, at least. I have a full time job as a reporter, and ANOTHER full time job as a mystery author. And another full time job as a wife. So something’s gotta give.

I will confess, cooking was one of the first things I had to cut back. Used to be? I’d come home from working at Boston’s NBC affiliate, and unless there had been big breaking news or an especially tough story, cooking dinner was one of the few things that would really relax me. It’s fun, it’s rewarding—but you do have to concentrate, and the craziness of a day in disguise or going undercover with a hidden camera or scouring through court records would fade away as I calculated what to make for dinner. I came up with some fantastic sauces, great toppings for grilled fish, and exotic new pasta combinations.

And dinner parties? Back in the day I used to go all out. Elaborate, experimental, no holds barred.Soufflés, beef Wellington, pommes Anna, poached fresh pears with wine and cinnamon. No recipe was too complicated, no prep too difficult. I loved it.

Today? Forget about it.

Now, let’s just say it’s lucky that my dear husband is patient. There’s a lot of pizza. And brown-rice sushi. And carry-out grilled salmon.

But there’s got to be a way, I thought, to make it fast but still healthy and delicious.

One way--is to add fresh ingredients to prepared items. Does your grocery carry-out counter have orzo salad? It's orzo, and red onions, and black olives—you’ve seen it.
Perfectly good, but unquestionably pre-fab. But here's how to make it fresh and wonderful...just add fresh crumbled feta cheese and chopped up fresh basil. Suddenly, the flavors pop. It also looks beautiful.

If you want to get even fancier: pop two ears of corn, still in the husk! into the microwave.
Heat on high for about two minutes. The corn will steam itself! Carefully, carefully peel off the husks. (It’s okay to wait until it’s cool enough to do without harming yourself.) Then--brush a little oil on the corn on the cob, and put it under the broiler until about half the kernels get toasty. Cut the corn off the cob, and mix it into the orzo salad. Don’t worry if some of the kernels stick together, it’s prettier that way.
Suddenly, you have a fantastic fresh salad. And you boosted the delicious level in about 4 minutes. And it’s totally company-worthy.

Now, like my main character (and alter ego?) reporter Charlotte McNally, I’m figuring out ways to make food tasty and beautiful—but also, well, fast. And when friends stop by for drinks and chat—we sit out by the pool and watch the summer sunset and, as we say, “soak up the niceness.” And for that, you need appetizers. Here are three that are elegant, delicious, and of course, fast. And then, a never-fail dinner recipe that you can do with whatever you have in the fridge. Because—who has time to plan?

Charlotte NcNally’s Three Super-fast Appetizers—and one Dinner on a Deadline!

Built-in BLT’s

16 cherry tomatoes (sniff in the store to make sure they smell like tomato, not cardboard), halved
1-2 leaves romaine lettuce, torn into small pieces
2-3 slices bacon, crisply cooked and broken into small pieces
Fresh parsley or basil

Scoop out most of the inside of each tomato half. Place a dollop of mayonnaise in each half. Stick a torn piece of lettuce into each. Pop in a shard of bacon. (These will look beautiful.) Arrange on a serving tray and garnish with sprigs of fresh parsley or basil.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Quick Caprese

Note: This is easy finger food, but if you want to provide little forks, it’s delicious for guests to dip each tomato into a pool of extra high quality balsamic vinegar. Splurge on the vinegar!

Fresh mozzarella cheese, in cherry tomato-size balls
Fresh basil pesto (may be store-bought, who’ll know?)
16 cherry tomatoes (sniff in the store to make sure they smell like tomato, not cardboard), halved
Fresh parsley or tarragon
Fresh basil, finely chopped

Slice each mozzarella ball into three pieces. Put a dollop of pesto on each tomato. Top with a slice of mozzarella. Arrange on tray with parsley sprigs, or stalks of tarragon and tomato halves for garnish. Sprinkle basil on top of the cheese. Done!

Yield: 6-8 servings

Quicktime Taste of Tuscany

Note: Consumer reporter alert - be sure to wash the outsides of the melons before you cut them to prevent salmonella!

1 cup bite-size chunks of fresh cantaloupe
1 cup bite-size chunks of fresh honeydew melon
30 strips prosciutto
Fresh herbs
Fresh basil, finely chopped

Wrap each melon chunk with prosciutto, and secure with toothpick. Arrange on tray with herbs from your garden (or the grocery). Sprinkle basil across the top to garnish.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Here’s one more secret--and it’s such a fast delicious dinner that Charlie McNally makes it all the time. Or--she would, if I didn’t do it for her.

Fast Pasta Primavera for two

Pasta for two
Vegetables—see below
1/3 or more cup olive oil
Garlic-infused oil if you have it
Garlic (crushed from a jar or fresh)
Red pepper flakes
Grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh ground pepper
Fresh basil, chopped

Boil water for pasta
See what vegetables you have—maybe a lonely leftover zucchini or yellow squash? If so chop in chunks, add some olive oil and broil.
If you have spinach or broccoli, or broccoli rabe? Wash and chop.
Check the pasta water. Is it boiling yet?
In a cereal size type boil, dump in about 1/3 cup high quality olive oil, a dash of garlic-infused oil or basil-infused oil. Add a chopped up garlic clove. Or half a teaspoon of crushed garlic from a jar.
Shake in a couple of shakes of red pepper flakes. Put it in the microwave. But don’t turn it on!
Is the pasta water ready?
Dump in the pasta.
When the pasta is one minute from being done, dump the raw broccoli or broccoli rabe or spinach into the simmering pasta water.
Start the microwave! Heat the oil mixture on high for one minute.
Meanwhile, the pasta will cook for that final minute along with the vegetables.
When the pasta is done and the veggies are still bright green, drain in a colander.
Slide the pasta and vegetables back into the pasta pan.
(If you’ve broiled the zucchini, mix that into the pasta now.)
Pour in the hot oil, and stir.
Now you’ve got a delicious mix of pasta and vegetables.
Top with lots of Parmesan cheese and fresh pepper—add some fresh chopped basil if you have it.
Quick—and delicious!


Thanks, Hank! You've given us a feast. You're the best.


We have a NEW CONTEST. Win a set of
COOKIE CUTTERS from Wilton. To enter the contest, all you have to do is leave a comment!

Check back on March 2, when the cookie cutter winner will be announced -- oh heck, check back every day! There's always something fun going on ;-) But that's when Jenn McKinlay will launch her new book Sprinkle with Murder, as well as a new CONTEST. One you won't want to miss!

Also, don't forget to enter Jenn’s
Name the Cupcake Contest. Go to her website to enter. You and your cupcake might be the lucky ones to be written into BUTTERCREAM BUMP OFF.

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!