Showing posts with label Krista Davis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Krista Davis. Show all posts

Monday, October 2, 2017

Around the Kitchen Table -- Comfort Food


LESLIE BUDEWITZ:  The seasons are changing, and with it, what we eat. No more fresh peaches or berries. Up here in the north, the pots of herbs are coming inside, there's a colander filled with the last tomatoes on the counter, and the deer and bears have left a few apples on our ancient Red Delicious tree. It's the season for comfort food.

A few years ago, a friend went into rapture, fantasizing about a fresh ragu -- an herby tomato sauce -- simmering on her stove, and called it the ultimate comfort food. I laughed -- to me, the ultimate comfort food is mac 'n cheese, smooth, creamy, maybe with a few herbs and toasted breadcrumbs for crunch, but none of the spicy bursts of flavor of a rich tomato sauce. I gave that conversation to my girl Erin in the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries, but she plays the part of the surprised Italian girl who goes to college and discovers that to others, comfort food was grilled cheese, custard, or bread pudding. Pumpkin muffins. Breakfast for dinner. (I swear, I was probably 40 when it occurred to me that my mother made pancakes and sausage for dinner occasionally not as a treat for the kids, but because she needed a little mothering herself!)

What says comfort food to you, dear readers? Include your email address in your comment for a chance to win a terrific Mystery Lovers' Kitchen tote bag! (US and Canada addresses only, please.)



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Daryl: I've made it very clear, Leslie, in post after post that grilled cheese and mac and cheese say comfort to me.  I love adding all sorts of goodies to both. To grilled cheese? Avocado, bacon, shrimp. To mac and cheese, bacon. When is bacon not a comfort food?  I adore meatloaf packed with herbs and onions. This simply reminds me of my mother. She made a dynamite meatloaf, and her recipe (tweaked) is still what I use. My husband loved my meatloaf. And last but not least, ice cream! Any time of the day and night. I don't care how cold it is outside. I love ice cream. Which is probably why I like to make it. I love the sound of the churn. I love the aroma of vanilla and whatever else I add to the ice cream. And I like the way ice cream "chills" my stomach. It's like a
natural "anti-inflammatory."  LOL  Ah, comfort food. Do we need autumn and winter to enjoy it? Nope. Year-round comfort food is definitely a necessity.


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Sheila: When I started thinking about my go-to comfort foods, I realized I had a few semi-scientific pieces of evidence. I've been collecting recipes and cookbooks for a long time, and the first clue is to look at my well-used cookbooks and find the pages with the most grease stains. My first copy of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking has quite a few pages like that, mainly for beef and chicken dishes. (I could use the same test on the cookbooks I inherited from my mother: the recipe for chocolate sauce in her 1948 edition of Fanny Farmer's Boston Cooking School Cook Book may lead the pack.)

But a more important clue is how often I've made a particular dish over the years, no matter what the source. For that one, I think Apple Goody stands out. It's a recipe that comes from the mother of one of my long-ago roommates, back in the 1970s. I knew her mother for years, and I still get together regularly with my friend. The recipe is simple: apples, cinnamon, flour, sugar (brown and white) and butter. Bake and enjoy. I can't begin to count the number of times I've made that, both for guests or to take to a pot-luck, or just to eat myself. I even included it in one of my Orchard Mysteries.

So while the collected works of Julia Child are dear to my heart, Apple Goody is the all-time winner.


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Linda:  When I think of something comforting, I think of my Mom. I may have mentioned that she wasn't a great cook but what she made was all we needed, or thought we needed, at the time. So I'd say my comfort food is applesauce. She'd make it from scratch and I can still remember the wonderful aroma that filled the kitchen. She'd team it up with pork chops or baked beans. Often, when I wasn't feeling well, it would be an entire meal in itself. On toast, was also a good choice.
 It makes me think of being tucked up in a soft bed under a warm comforter or sitting on the couch while a storm rages outside. Of course, I'm always eating in these thoughts -- applesauce, it would seem.

I have to admit, I've never made applesauce but obviously, with such good memories attached, I should make the effort real soon. Maybe you can supply me with a tasty recipe, Sheila! 



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Krista: Linda, I remember my mom grating apples as a home remedy when I was a kid. She made applesauce, too, but it's the raw grated apples that I recall because I never could figure out why they were supposed cure anything.

Mac and cheese is a favorite comfort food for me. We never had it growing up. Never!  I don't often make it now, but I do love that creaminess.

Like Daryl, I'm a complete fool for ice cream, but mostly in the summer. As the weather cools, my consumption drops off until the special flavors come around for the holidays. Peppermint anyone?

But I'll go out on a limb here and suggest something that I have been known to whip up very late on cold nights-warm chocolate pudding. Pudding is fine when it's cold, but there's nothing quite as soothing as warm pudding, eaten straight from the pot.  


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Peg: Like Krista, we never had mac and cheese growing up! I don't really remember any comfort foods from my childhood--the association is really with things I make now like shepherd's pie and sauce bolognese and pretty much any kind of soup except tomato (which I don't care for!).  I could eat a whole bowl of mashed potatoes for dinner--that's comfort to me.  And pair them with roast chicken, and I'm in heaven!  

Lucy: I love love macaroni and cheese, but eating salty stuff is a no-no for me right now. On Sundays as a kid, we had cheese toast, baked beans, and potato salad on TV trays in front of whatever program was on--that's comfort food to me. All those carbs! These days, how about a nice peach or cherry cobbler, right out of the oven, with whipped cream?? Or a chicken pot pie?

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Victoria:  I find this whole discussion very comforting.  Food in general offers comfort to me, but there's something special about the smell of fresh bread or biscuits, warm from the oven and served up with butter. I love it when they area bit savory, like these with chives. There should be a pot of tea nearby and someone to chat with, over the warm biscuits.





Cleo: All of your comfort foods sound good to me! I'll add homemade cookies to that list...
Angel Wings (aka) Italian Bow Tie Cookies
For the recipe, click here.




As a little girl, I loved helping my Italian-born Aunt Mary make what she called "Italian Bow Tie" cookies. Some of you may remember them as "Angel Wings" or Chrusciki (the Polish version). In Hungary, they are called Csöröge. In France, Bugnes Lyonnaises. In the Ukraine, Verhuny. In any language, they are delicious and sweet comfort for those of us who remember eating them as children.

May you, too, eat with comfort and joy!






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What says comfort food to you, dear readers? 





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Monday, September 4, 2017

Around the Kitchen Table - Unusual Food Pairings







Welcome to Around the Kitchen Table, our monthly chinwag!  We look forward to the conversation with you today (and always).  Be sure to leave a comment today and you may win this terrific Mystery Lovers Kitchen tote bag.  Be lucky and have fun!

Recently I was doing some research into unusual food pairings. Amazingly, many of the articles on the subject list foods that make perfect sense to me. Who hasn't had peanut butter and jam on a bagel? After all, bagels are bread. A lot of the pairings seemed to be the silly things we eat when someone forgot to go to the store, like cream cheese on Oreos, and marshmallows in popcorn.

But I found some oddball combinations, too. Apparently, there really is such a thing as dill pickle ice cream. Has anyone tried it? Or how about Elvis's favorite peanut butter sandwich with banana and bacon? So many of the unusual combinations matched a sweet with something salty. Peanut butter and tomato sandwiches? French fries dipped in milkshakes? Potato chips in your sandwich? Pancakes instead of bread to make a sandwich?



My mom used to make German pancakes for dinner. She served a big salad first, and then I was allowed to eat my pancake (slightly thicker than a crepe) with sugar sprinkled on it and rolled up like a crepe. I still remember that lovely crunch of the sugar. My parents ate a fruit compote with theirs but sugar was all I wanted. The combination wasn't nearly as weird as my parents allowing me to do it!

What strange food combinations have you tried?


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LUCY BURDETTE: You've reminded me that my best friend and I used to eat sandwiches with gherkins and potato chips layered right in. They were delicious! Right now I'm on a serious kick with candied pickled jalapenos. I originally bought them to dress up July 4 hot dogs (no sodium in them at all!) After seeing my son-in-law chop them up and toast on cream cheese and bagels, I've been obsessed. Today I had them sprinkled over avocado toast with sliced radishes. Makes my mouth water...These are made by the Backyard Food Company in Rhode Island...


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Sheila: While I was a very cautious eater as a child (heck, the categories of food on my plate couldn't even touch each other, and I had to eat the protein first, then the starch, and finally the veggies), I've lost all my food inhibitions now. Sometimes it's easier when you travel in foreign countries, because you don't know what it is you're about to chew on, only that it smells good. In the Yucatan I sampled turtle, conch, and corn ice cream. In Australia I discovered that they put sliced beets in all take-out sandwiches, which gets kind of messy and turns the bread pink. In Washington DC I discovered sliced octopus with smoked paprika--first time I'd eaten either, but I've kept a large container of smoked paprika in my pantry ever since.


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Victoria Abbott aka Mary Jane Maffini The top of my head is blowing off with this topic!  I do have to say though, according to some, Canada's alleged national dish is POUTINE.  And what you ask is poutine?  It's a French Canadian creation that pair fresh French fries with cheese curds (lots available locally) and gravy.  It looks like road kill (I'll spare you a photo) but the taste it's unbelievably yummy.  Running a close second is a new to me product: chocolate coated potato chips.  Should this be legal?  I don't know, but I think it would give heroin a run for its money.  Just sayin'.  Think before you take that first bite! 


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Linda Wiken I used to love, as my Sunday morning breakfast treat, waffles with butter, real maple syrup, and a fried egg on top. Of course, there had to be a runny yolk involved! What a tasty mouthful that was. I'm glad you've asked this, Krista because I had forgotten all about my concoction. I'll have to give it a try this Sunday and see if it's still as yummy as I remember. And you know, because it's real maple syrup, thanks to my friend who does the entire tapping and distilling process at his lot, there are no calories!


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chocolate cheddar ice cream
Daryl Wood Gerber:  Krista, I adore french fries dipped into my milkshake. I have also eaten a chocolate omelet with sour cream on top. That was a specialty at the Egg and Eye restaurant (since closed). I never thought I'd like cheese with jam, but after writing the Cheese Shop Mysteries, that has become a go-to match for me and for my family. It makes for such a pretty cheese platter, as well. I've always liked cheese with apples and grapes, but jam? It hadn't occurred to me. I have tried bacon fudge, and bacon ice cream. I haven't tried (nor will I) pickle ice cream. I've heard of garlic ice cream but haven't tried that yet. I love salted caramel ice cream, so the sweet and savory do work for me. Oooh, maybe salted caramel ice cream with bacon?? Oh, yeah, I've got to try this! I made chocolate cheddar ice cream and shared that recipe here on MLK. It was delicious!


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Cleo Coyle: Great topic, Krista. Marc and I are always intrigued by oddball pairings—our own included!
Fudge and Fried Chicken for Christmas?
See our oddball holiday blog post here.
On the foodie front, the subject reminds us of one of the strangest food pairing posts we ever did. Fudge and Fried Chicken, as it turns out, is a tasty combination! You can see the post here, which came about after we learned that KFC fried chicken has become a wildly popular Christmas dinner in Japan. (No kidding, it’s so popular they place orders far in advance. The post explains how this foodie phenomenon came about.) The chocolate fudge, on the other hand, was a yuletide tradition in Marc’s family, so we combined the two for our holiday post. Of course, Fried Chicken and Waffles has been a beloved combo for years. As a soul food dish, it’s served at two famous Harlem restaurants: Sylvia’s and Amy Ruth's. We even paid tribute to the Amy Ruth's in one of our Coffeehouse Mysteries (Once Upon a Grind). The head chef there once said her secret to a great batter is praying before she cooks. The Amish would agree with that! They also have a version of Fried Chicken and Waffles, which they serve covered in gravy. The soul food leans toward maple syrup. That sweet and salty combo with the drizzle of syrup all over the crunchy waffles and fried chicken batter makes for truly amazing eating!

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PEG COCHRAN: My mother and grandmother also made us German pancakes, Krista! Only we had ours filled with cottage cheese that they added sugar, cinnamon and a raw egg yolk (can you imagine??) to. Then of course, sugar on top. I've eaten a lot of strange foods--like durian in Asia--but not so many odd combinations. I guess chili chocolate might be one of them. The combo of spicy/hot with the sweet and creamy really floats my boat! One time I also made chocolate chip cookies with bacon--they were good but then bacon anything... I also put 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder in my chili. And this weekend my granddaughter Camille created her own interesting combination--two waffles with peanut butter and marshmallow fluff between them. We've christened it "The Cami."
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Leslie Budewitz: Ha! Looks like I'm the first of the Kitchen Crew to flunk our Table Talk! I honestly can't think of any odd food pairings I enjoy -- and Mr. Right tells me putting salt on chocolate no longer qualifies, and dipping my fries in mustard never did qualify. In fact, he compliments my ability to pair salads, main courses, and wine in good flavor combinations. (He, on the other hand, will happily combine leftovers I think have no business getting any closer to each other than sharing a shelf in the fridge -- chili and turkey, topped with salsa, or gravy, in a tortilla? Mmm, no thanks!) Like several of my blog sisters, I love discovering new foods when I travel -- we'll talk about that next month -- but combos? Oh, yay -- I finally came up with one. At Bistro Paul Bert in Paris, we ate a chocolate torte with creme anglaise and a basil sauce. A bit odd, yes? And simply divine! Hmm, we have basil. How will it go with Tillamook's Oregon Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Ice Cream, served with my very own Chocolate-Cabernet Sauce? Come on over and we'll try it!


What strange food combinations have you tried?

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Monday, August 7, 2017

AROUND THE KITCHEN TABLE: CHAOS IN THE KITCHEN #GIVEAWAY


Welcome to Around the Kitchen Table, our monthly chinwag!  We look forward to the conversation with you today (and always).  Be sure to leave a comment today and you may win this terrific Mystery Lovers Kitchen tote bag.  Be lucky and have fun!

VICTORIA ABBOTT aka Mary Jane Maffini: My husband mentioned recently (in the kindest possible way) that when I cook, it's as though there's been an explosion in the kitchen. I would have taken great offense if a) it wasn't true some of the time and b) he didn't always volunteer to do the clean up.  He added, "It's mostly when you bake."




The evidence was clear.

I do my best to be neat, line up the ingredients in the order of use and put each one away when it's been added.  But all it takes it a few extra visiting dogs or hot and cold running relatives or (shudder) CNN blaring in the background and all is lost.  Until the clean-up crew, that is.  Except for the time there was tea on the ceiling.

For some reason, my hubby and my brother are both creative but neat cooks.  Me, not so much.

Of course, we're almost always happy with the results and the kitchen does recover whether I do it or he does.  Still, I dream of a neater future.

So what about you? Or you precise and disciplined? Or more like these exploding stars? Do you pick some dishes because they don't make a mess?  Pull up a chair and share your tips and your foibles. That's what we do around the kitchen table.

Leave  a comment and you may be the winner of TOO HOT TO HANDLE: a Fiona Silk mystery in which there's lots of chaos in the kitchen.  Be very afraid! 



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From DarylMy kitchen is often a mess when I cook.  I do my best to keep it tidy but I simply can't. I stack things
The BEFORE picture!  HA!
up. I set them in the right order. And still I feel crowded. I've got the cutting board here, the mixing bowl there. I recall a lovely disaster at Thanksgiving--our first year in our new house in Los Angeles--and I wasn't comfortable with the oven and stove and the layout. It takes time to do the dance, you know?  Anyway, my stepdaughter wanted to learn to make mashed potatoes. With all 14 of the family hovering in the kitchen!!!  I got distracted. The pot of boiling milk and potatoes boiled over. What a mess! Plus I dropped a tray of stuffing on the floor. My nephew laughed his head off!  Rarely do they see me flustered, but that night - oy!



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Linda here:
 I like to think of myself as being neat, tidy and well-organized. Okay, I like to think a lot of things about myself but a lot of it isn't true--sexy, svelte, super smart...you get the picture. So, this question that Victoria poses is very disturbing. I have to 'fess up and come clean, because it's a sure thing my kitchen counters won't be after a cooking session. And don't get me started on baking because that's when the flour settles like that fine coating of dust when drywall is being erected. I actually start out on the right track. I try to pre-measure or slice and dice everything possible so those dishes can be stacked out of sight in the sink or maybe even washed and dried. It's when the nitty-gritty starts and the clock is ticking that my cleaning karma disappears. I like to believe that my problem is not enough counter space but that's not going to change, so I better change me. Start with all un-essentials cleared away; stick to the allotted space; do only one thing at a time (a biggy for me to change); and, then proceed in an orderly progression through the directions. Easy, right? So what goes wrong?




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From SheilaI'm just back from Ireland, where my kitchen is about the same size as the one I had in my first apartment a very long time ago. A stove (or cooker) and a shiny new stainless steel sink eat up about half the counter space, and a microwave claimed the corner. So I have to think very strategically about what needs to be chopped and ready to go into a dish, and I definitely have to clean up as I work, and put things away (in the teeny-tiny refrigerator). The stovetop has flat electric burners, so I have to be careful about putting anything down on them because you can't tell if they're still hot. And I still haven't figured out how recycling works over there. Yes, there is recycling--that's the good news--but in which categories? And I swear my handyman said something about tossing the biological (food) by-products out into the back yard for the local animals. I'm not sure whether he was kidding. I did make an effort to hang up as many cooking items as possible, but it's still a challenge.



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the compost pile last night after soup-making

LUCY BURDETTE: Hmmm, I bet my hub would disagree on this, as he's usually the clean-up batter--but I try to be neat! But cooking can be a lot of work, right? Especially if you're using a food processor and a chopping board and more than one pan at a time, which is usually the case. And tasting and photographing...good heavens, that's what sous-chefs are for, isn't it MJ?



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PEG COCHRAN:  I find that my mess tends to expand depending on the space available to me. In my first house, the kitchen was small and the counter space limited. But then we moved and I had a much bigger kitchen and more counter space and my mess expanded like my stomach after Thanksgiving dinner. Speaking of Thanksgiving dinner...that one meal creates more mess than anything else I cook all year. Pots, pots, pots absolutely everywhere. Every single serving dish soaking in the sink, every kitchen utensil spread around the counter. It makes me shudder just to think about it!



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LESLIE BUDEWITZ: I'm definitely a clean-as-you-go cook. Fortunately, so is Mr. Right, since we often cook together in a small kitchen with one sink. No doubt my tendency toward kitchen tidiness came from my mother, a woman with a strong innate desire for order! Since I've been part of MLK, photographing recipes as I cook, I've returned to her habit of getting out all the ingredients before any chopping or mixing. And with the exception of the lovely farmhouse I lived in for 8 years, remodeling as I went along, I've always had a small kitchen. 

But I will admit one foible that leads to extra dishes: When a salad, a vegetable dish, or a casserole involves a lot of ingredients to be mixed together, I consistently fail to properly estimate the size of bowl needed. I might switch bowls, or pots, twice to get the right one. Happily, we share the dishwashing, too!




CLEO COYLE: We have a New York City kitchen (yep, tiny!) but we love to cook, so Marc and I learned the hard way to clean as we go. Not that a mountain of mess isn't possible on a busy day, it just leaves us with zero counter space and pots and pans piled high as the Empire State building. 


Coffeehouse Mystery #1
Click here to learn more.
Truth is, our situation inspired us to write a similar one for our characters in our first Coffeehouse Mystery, On What Grounds. Our amateur sleuth, Clare, also has a compact New York kitchen. When she attempts to fix a special dinner for her young adult daughter and the girl's new boyfriend, her ex-husband insists on "helping." The result is a little crazy and a little comical. But you have to have a sense of humor when you measure counter space by inches instead of feet. Happy cooking, everyone. May your servings be big and your mess be small! Love, Cleo




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KRISTA DAVIS: I'm so glad that I'm not the only one. But Mary Jane, I truly can't recall anything landing on the ceiling! I have a bad habit of forgetting about rice, which means it boils over. It's not so much that I forget, but I walk away to write and my mind is elsewhere. I now keep a timer on my desk to remind me that I need to check on it.

You never know who might be in the kitchen sink!
I try to be organized but somehow everything spreads. And countless other items land on my kitchen island adding to the clutter. All the vitamins and jars of dog cookies, for instance. Right now there are seven giant yellow squashes taking up a lot of real estate on the counter.

Unless it's something that needs to be rolled out (let's not even mention huge quantities of Christmas cookies—oy!), I'm least messy when baking. I learned a long time ago to put out an old dinner plate, a large spoon and a knife. That gives me a place for the paper that wraps the butter, eggshells, and all kinds of utensils that need to be washed, and keeps me from running around the kitchen for every little thing.

One of my very favorite cakes is Dobostorte. It's seven layers and a labor of love, so I don't bake it often. But those seven layers require a lot of room!


Don't forget to leave  a comment! You may be the winner of TOO HOT TO HANDLE: a Fiona Silk mystery in which there's lots of chaos in the kitchen.  Be very afraid!  
(PS remember to leave your email address so we can contact you if you win.)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

It's our 7th Anniversary. Enter our Photo Contest!




Mystery Lovers Kitchen is celebrating its
7th anniversary!

Can you believe it? We've passed our 7 year mark 
and we are heading into our 8th year 
of 
Mystery Lovers Kitchen. 

That's 7 years of sharing our recipes, our lives, our books and giveaways! If you do the multiplication, that's way over 2,000 recipes!

We have grown to 9 authors (10 actual people) and we write lots 
of delicious mysteries for your reading pleasure.

To celebrate, we are having a 7th Anniversary Photo Contest.

* * *


5 people will win a Mystery Lovers' Kitchen tote bag
and the 9 mysteries shown in the prize photo below - one from each of us!
Don't delay, enter today!

Here's how it goes:

1. Take a picture of any one OR MORE of our books (does NOT have to be one shown in the prize package below) in the following categories:
a) with a cat
b) with a dog
c) having summer fun
d) in a library
e) in a bookstore

Whose books?

Why the 9 Mystery Lovers Kitchen authors, of course.

Krista Davis * Cleo Coyle *  Leslie Budewitz  
Daryl Wood Gerber * Lucy Burdette * Linda Wiken  
Sheila Connolly * Peg Cochran* Victoria Abbott

...do what you gotta do! There's a sweet prize at stake.

2. Submit your picture via the gadget on the left.
Submission period ends midnight July 25th.

3. Share your entry (on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or else-wise,
we'll be flexible). 

We'll choose one winner in each category!

5 chances to win! Good luck!




We've posted the link for the contest in the left column
that features our cheerleading picture! 
See it?
Halfway down - below all the congratulations
to those who have won prizes in the past!

Click it!



You can read the RULES below or when you click the link and ENTER a photo, too!

Have fun!


*****

Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen’s
7th Anniversary Photo Contest
OFFICIAL RULES
NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.

ELIGIBILITY: The contest is open only to legal residents of the fifty United States (including D.C.) who are at least 18 years of age or older at time of entry. Subject to all applicable federal, state, provincial, and local laws and regulations.

HOW TO ENTER: Contestant (or “Entrant”) will click on “Enter Now”. Contestant will be prompted to authenticate and to supply their contact information, as well as one photo per category, showing a book written by Krista Davis, Cleo Coyle, Leslie, Budewitz, Daryl Wood Gerber (Avery Aames), Lucy Burdette, Linda Wiken (Erika Chase), Sheila Connolly, Peg Cochran, or Victoria Abbott (Mary Jane Maffini) in one of the five categories:

1) with a cat
2) with a dog
3) having summer fun
4) in a library
5) in a bookstore.
a
 The Contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. The Contestant is providing their information to the Sponsor and not to Facebook.

NOTE: Your photograph will be posted online into a “Gallery” and viewed by other people, who will vote for their favorites.

CONTEST TIMETABLE: The Contest will run from July 5th through July 25th.

PHOTO GUIDELINES: Photos should be in one of the following formats: ,jpg, ,gif, or ,png; and should be no less than 300dpi in resolution (suggested but not required); and should not exceed a 10 MB file size. Photo must contain a book written by Krista Davis, Cleo Coyle, Leslie, Budewitz, Daryl Wood Gerber (Avery Aames), Lucy Burdette, Linda Wiken (Erika Chase), Sheila Connolly, Peg Cochran, or Victoria Abbott (Mary Jane Maffini).

For all Entries: Entries must not be inappropriate, indecent or obscene, as determined by Sponsor in their sole discretion. Proof of submission or sending is not proof of receipt by Sponsor. Sponsor shall have the right to reject any photo submitted if it does not comply with the published guidelines. Sponsor may use any photo in any media in association with the Contest without attribution or compensation to the Contestant, his or her successors or assigns, or any other entity. Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, invalid, unintelligible, illegible, or misdirected entries, which are void.

Limit: Each Contestant may enter one photograph in each category. Multiple participants are not permitted to share the same email address. Any attempt by any Contestant to obtain more than the stated number of photo entries by using multiple/different email addresses, identities, registrations and logins, or any other methods will void that Contestant's entries and that Contestant may be disqualified.

Photographer/Copyright: Entries must be submitted by the original photographer. Do not submit a photo taken by someone other than you. You must be the sole owner of the copyright of any image submitted. Your submission of the photo is your guarantee that you are the author and copyright holder of the photo. In addition, by entering, Contestants represent and warrant that the entries that they submit (i) do not infringe any other person’s or entity’s rights; and (ii) have not been submitted previously in a Contest of any kind.

Ownership/Use Rights: Contestants retain the copyright to their photographs, and all rights thereto, except as follows. By entering the Contest, Contestants agree to have their submitted photograph displayed on the Sponsor’s Contest Website without any fee or other form of compensation, and agree that Sponsor may display winning photos in a photo gallery on their website, in their newsletter, blogs, press releases, and other communication channels at their discretion, and may make and retain copies of the photograph for archival purposes. Photos will be credited to the Contestant named in the entry form. In the event that ownership of any photograph submitted is contested in any manner, Sponsors may disqualify that photograph and discontinue use of the photograph.

JUDGING: From among all submitted entries, a Review Committee as determined by the Sponsor, will select five (5) Grand Prize winners (one photo from each aforementioned category).

PRIZES: There will be five (5) Grand Prizes awarded. Each Grand Prize package will consist of one Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen tote bag and nine paperback books. Approximate retail value (ARV) of each Grand Prize: $80.

Total ARV of all prizes to be awarded is $400.

Potential winners will be notified by an email message to the email address provided at time of entry and will have 48 hours within which to respond, after which time an alternate photo may be selected by the Judges, at the sole discretion of the Sponsor. No cash equivalent for any prize is offered, nor are they transferable to another individual. No substitution for any announced prize will be made except at the Sponsor’s sole discretion who also reserves the right to substitute any listed prize for one of equal or greater value if the designated prize should become unavailable for any reason. Winners are responsible for all taxes and fees associated with prize receipt and/or use.

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT and LIST: Winners will be announced on/about July 26, 2017 at MysteryLoversKitchen.com .

PUBLICITY/PROMOTIONAL USE: Except where prohibited, participation in the Contest constitutes Entrant’s irrevocable consent and release to Sponsor and their agents to use, record, reproduce, publish, display, perform and translate: (1) the name, likeness, voice, quotations, opinions and biographical information of the Winners, including without limitation any photograph or recording, for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration; and (2) the name, likeness, voice and biographical information of the Winners’ child, including without limitation any photograph or recording, for any promotional purpose in any media, worldwide, and/or for any other commercial or non-commercial corporate purpose, including without limitation use on merchandise or for marketing, without attribution or further payment or compensation to the Contestant, his or her successors or assigns or any other entity.

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By participating, all Contestants hereby waive and release, and agree to hold harmless the Sponsor, Facebook, Inc., and all promotions, and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, distributors, advertising and promotions agencies and all of their respective officers, directors, employees, representatives and agents, from and against, any and all rights, claims and causes of action whatsoever that they may have, or which may arise, against any of them for any liability for any matter, cause or thing whatsoever, including but not limited to any injury, loss, damage, whether direct, compensatory, incidental or consequential, to person, including death and property, arising in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from their acceptance, possession, use or misuse of the prize in the Contest, or their participation in the Contest.

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VOID WHERE PROHIBITED



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Monday, July 3, 2017

Around the Kitchen Table: Family Food Traditions and #Book #Giveaway

We're sitting around our kitchen table with cups of coffee and a delicious coffee cake. Pull up a chair and join us!

Do you have food traditions in your family? 


PEG:  Our family had holiday food traditions but other “food traditions” as well.  Saturday was ALWAYS steak night.  We never had steak any other night and even now, as an adult, I often don’t think to grill a steak on any day but Saturday. 

Sundays we either had chicken (usually roasted) or, if we went to my grandmother’s, we had pasta with her fabulous pasta sauce.  Since we were Catholic, and this was before the rules changed, we had fish or a non-meat dish on Friday nights.  If my father wasn’t home for dinner, it was often tuna salad. 

I used to spend one week every summer staying with my (other) grandmother.  My first night there she always made my favorite meal—potato soup and what we called “German pancakes.”  The German pancakes were actually crepes filled with cottage cheese sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. 

My husband and I have a few traditions other than just the steak-on-Saturday one.  Friday night is for “fun food” – like tacos, pizza, take-out Chinese, sushi, etc.  And Sunday night is usually for “comfort” food like shepherd’s pie or roast pork with mashed potatoes.   


GIVEAWAY!!

Sowed to Death comes out tomorrow!  I am giving away one copy to someone who comments below! Let us know what food traditions (if any) you follow in your family.



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LESLIE: If we messed with the menu for our annual Holiday Brunch, I suspect half our friends wouldn't come! But beyond holiday menus, we've got just a few customs. Sunday morning breakfast is nearly always baked bacon, eggs, and muffins or scones. Sometimes I bake, sometimes I defrost -- Erin's Sunday Morning Scones (from Butter Off Dead, my second Food Lovers' Village Mystery) and Krista's Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake both freeze exceptionally well! The eggs might be scrambled, an omelet, or Omelet Muffins. Pizza night isn't as predictable as it was when Mr. Right worked in another town twice a week and got home too late on Thursday to help in the kitchen. (Now that he works at home full time, his Thursday night tradition is staying up late to watch martial arts movies with the cat. Who knew cats admire both Bruce Lee and Jet Li?)

But while we might not repeat a lot of the same foods, we do traditionally cook together. Who takes the lead depends on the recipe---he handles meats and I handle baking, although he often makes his own huckleberry birthday pie! We both took the knife skills class at the community college culinary arts school, so we can share chopping duty. And we both take direction well, thank goodness!


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SHEILA: My mother was a competent cook but not a very imaginative one. Our meals were usually meat/starch/veg, with nothing as exotic as a sauce (although there was always plenty of butter!). I don't think she tried to make a homemade pasta sauce until I was in high school, and shrimp wiggle was a staple: frozen shrimp plus Campbell's frozen cream of shrimp soup, heated together and served over rice. Sunday dinners with the grandparents were always a standing rib roast with potatoes. Would you believe I've never attempted to make one myself? Of course, now you need a second mortgage to buy one.

But it wasn't that she wasn't interested in food, because she did love restaurants. Since my grandmother lived in Manhattan, those restaurants were often rather nice (which was wasted on me since until college I was a very picky eater, but at least I knew such places existed). When we were young, lunch (while shopping at the big name department stores) was often at The Women's Exchange on Fifth Avenue, a rather odd place that served such things as corned been hash patties, and had a sale room upstairs for hand-made crafts made by impoverished but genteel ladies, which accounts for the many embroidered pincushions I still have. Dinner in the city was usually at Trader Vic's, where we always had the Pu-Pu Platter. I'm not sure what heinous acts my mother thought my sister and I would commit in a nice restaurant, but I know that as an adult I took my own daughter to all and any restaurants (including a couple in Paris), and she never made a scene.



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LUCY: I think I said this before, but I believe my mother and Sheila's mother were separated at birth! The one every-week menu at our house occurred on Sunday nights, when we would eat cheese toast, baked beans from a can, and homemade potato salad on TV trays in front of the television. We loved it! And I served it to my husband, and our kids as they were growing up. 

Now my menus are all over the place, but the one thing that cannot be altered is the chocolate cake that most people want for their birthdays. Honestly, two things have changed my cooking a lot over the last few years–joining Mystery lovers kitchen (because we have to come up with new recipes all the time), and the necessity for me to eat a low-sodium diet. So nothing is set in stone these days, which is probably good for the old brain, right?


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DARYL: I can't remember any "traditions" other than Christmas, and that was steadfast: roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, stringed beans with butter. I added to the tradition when I grew up by making sure we always had a yule log for dessert. However...it's summer, so let me share one of our summer traditions. We would go to Lake Tahoe for two weeks and my mother always served peaches with milk and sugar for breakfast. We adored mornings! We always had scrambled eggs. And for lunch, it was always tomato soup and grilled cheese or cracker and cheese. We barbecued at night. Always barbecued. It could be anything from ribs to burgers to steak, but we always barbecued and sat out by the barbecue having beverages and snacks and just lapping up the beautiful smells and sounds of Tahoe at night. These are some of my all-time favorite memories!



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VICTORIA aka MJ: I love hearing about everyone's traditions and am not above stealing ideas. Peaches with milk and sugar? Mmmm. If there's a family get together in winter, there will almost always be lasagna (which my mother-in-law always made and now my daughter and granddaughter also make as do we) but this is summertime, so it's a grilling tradition in the warm months. Although there's an out of town wedding this year, four generations usually gather at MJ's house for Canada Day. We use our big green egg, which is a type of smoker and everyone thinks that's fun. The tradition, aside from 'boys' around the grill, is that everyone brings a salad. The family favorites are bean salad, lentil salad and potato salad. I can't imagine a get together without them. Now, coming in my next post, there will be an awesome new broccoli salad, from Victoria's sister. 

Despite the fact that it has rained throughout the last four gatherings, we stubbornly continue to grill, peering at the rain through the windows. Like in Roberta's family, there is an expectation of chocolate cake, which we make with mocha buttercream icing or whipping cream with Kahlua. Sometimes it's layer cake and sometimes babycakes. Same one-bowl recipe though. We swear by buttermilk and cocoa.


Have a fabulous 4th of July and a great summer! We hope you all enjoy your family favorites. Come by and share what they are.

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CLEO: I grew up in a big Italian family with so many food traditions I'd quickly run out of space listing them here, so I'll limit today's memories to this season! And summer was all about my dad's garden...

During the Depression, my father's father kept his large family fed by working a small farm from which they sold produce. Every spring, my dad helped plant 2,000 tomato plants for his family, so he had no problem tending the 100 tomato plants that he sowed for our own little family. Fresh spaghetti sauce was always part of that yield, and for those of you who've made sauce from fresh tomatoes, you know the very smell of the sauce cooking is like nothing else on earth--and the taste has an amazing vibrancy that you simply cannot get from canned tomatoes or jarred sauces. Sadly, I lost my dad four years ago this week. He went into the hospital right after Father's Day and never came out again. Now every summer, I make this delicious Meatless Italian Spaghetti Sauce from Fresh Tomatoes. The heavenly smell that fills my house always brings back those sweet memories of my father, his garden, and my childhood home.


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KRISTA: Wow, Cleo! I can't imagine 100 tomato plants, much less 2000!

In my family, we always have a traditional Christmas goose with German potato dumplings and a yule log for dessert. The yule log was often requested as a birthday cake, so my mom called it a Lincoln Log, which made it appropriate any time of year.

When I lived in Northern Virginia, just across the river from Washington, DC, it was a tradition to watch the 4th of July fireworks from the Virginia side of the Potomac river near the Pentagon. People bring radios and everyone tunes in to the broadcast that is synchronized with the fireworks. It's always wonderful! (For anyone planning to go, be sure to park your car headed in the direction you need to go when you leave. Saves a lot of time getting out of there.) Everyone goes early to claim a great spot so we always brought a picnic dinner. It became a tradition for me to bring Barley Corn Salad. For some reason, it's very popular with men and I actually got annual requests for it. There was also the year I made my own salsa and burned my hands in the process. Ouch! Wear gloves when handling hot peppers. 

Oh, and every New Year's Eve, I make cheese and beef fondue for my friends. It's the perfect leisurely meal to linger over while catching up.




LINDA:   I like your New Year's tradition, Krista! My foodie memories from childhood aren't too exciting for the everyday fare. My Mom did the basics and although it was good, there was no flare. Except at Christmas! She went all out with traditional Swedish dishes, some I've tried to re-create (not as successfully) and others, I just long for. 

Christmas Eve always, always featured Lutefisk, the infamous white fish that's been re-hydrated in lye. Yes, lye. I remember the weeks-long process. That was served with a white sauce, perhaps to mask the taste, boiled potatoes and a veggie, also boiled. It took many years before I actually started looking forward to the Lutefisk. My sister still shudders at the thought. 

And, of course, there was tons of baking -- pepperkakka (ginger cookies), sugar cookies shaped as an 'S' (for years I thought it was because that was what our last name started with -- turns out, not so), cookies with jelly centers, and my favorite, Swedish Coffee Bread. That's the one I faithfully try to make every year. Sometimes, it doesn't turn out so well, but all times, it brings back those wonderful memories.


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Do you have food traditions in your family? 
Share with us in the comments below!