Showing posts with label Leslie Budewitz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Leslie Budewitz. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Chicken Julia - #recipe @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: A few years ago, Mr. Right and I spent a month in my France for my mumbledy-mumbledy birthday. For me, it was a dream come true. For him, it started out as something he agreed to because it was my dream—and ended up as possibly his favorite trip ever, for a man who’s traveled much of the world.

It was the people (seriously!), the art, the history, the landscape, and the food. The food, the food, the food. When we returned home, we set about transforming ourselves from decent home cooks to good ones. That Christmas, he bought me an armful of Julia Child cookbooks and videos, while I bought him a raft of kitchen accessories.

One of our go-to recipes we simply call “Chicken Julia,” based on a recipe in Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking. The sauce is incredibly simple, and so rich and flavorful--the perfect illustration of the importance of a simple technique like deglazing the pan and using the juices as the base for the sauce.

I'm honestly not sure I'd ever used fresh tarragon before we first made this recipe; now, I keep a pot growing on the back porch during good weather and do my best to nurture it inside through the Montana winter. In fact, I've kept the current pot going over two seasons--last fall, it had gotten quite leggy so I cut it back and dried the leaves, then forgot it in the laundry room. A couple of weeks later, I discovered that it had sent up new green shoots. Looks like it will keep going this year, too, making my 99 cent annual quite the bargain. (That's it in the terra cotta pot.)

Even if you can't grow your own tarragon, do try to find some fresh stuff at least once when you make this recipe. I can pretty much guarantee it will become a staple in your house, too!

Chicken Julia

2 boneless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup dry white wine or French vermouth
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon

Place the chicken breasts in plastic wrap and flatten with a mallet or the flat of a large chef’s knife to about ½ inch thick. Season with salt and pepper. Melt butter in a large saute pan, add the oil, and heat. Saute the chicken breasts, about one minute a side, until thy are springy to the touch; be sure they are done but not overcooked—Julia says the juices should run clear or yellow with no pink. Remove the chicken; the sauce won’t take long to cook, but keeping them in a warm oven is a nice touch.



Deglaze the pan with the wine or vermouth. Add the shallots, stock, and vermouth, and cook two to three minutes, stirring, to make a sauce. Plate the chicken and divide the sauce, pouring it over the chicken.


Serves two. Bon appetit!  

From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 8, 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.


Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

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! 



🍴

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!



🍷

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?




🍀

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.



🌸


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?



🍸

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!



🍒



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




🍰

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.)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Mr. Right’s Smoked Fish Dip -- #recipe @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: Mr. Right loves smelly fish. This makes him enormously popular with the cat, aka Mr. Kitten. I, on the other hand, can take it or leave it. That’s okay—boys need their bonding experiences, and enjoying a can of sardines or a bite of smoked salmon together is good for the male psyche.

But then the packages began arriving.

Mr. Right keeps close ties with several high school friends. One—who shall remain nameless—is actually referred to in our house as He Who Shall Remain Nameless, because of his tendency to show up on short notice mere days, or in one case, 20 minutes, after his name comes up in conversation, despite living several hundred miles away.

These days, Nameless lives in Eastern Washington taking care of his elderly father. By that I mean they fish. They get in the camper, drive across the valley, and fish. Or they drive across the state, or around the West, and fish. Nameless smokes those fish, mainly trout. And then he packs them up, freezes them, and sends little padded envelopes full of smoked fish to us.

To both Mr. Right’s surprise and mine, I love it. Especially in this dip, which Mr. Right created to showcase the newest batch, smoked over cherry wood. (Nameless is working out a maple-smoked process for the next catch.) While we used the smoked trout, this dip would also work beautifully with salmon, or any other smoked fish. Although we haven’t tried it yet with a dash or two of cayenne or smoked paprika, we think it would be tasty.

I’m sure Nameless would approve. In fact, I think I hear a truck and camper in the driveway...


Mr. Right’s Smoked Fish Dip

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces sour cream
½ to 1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 green onions, chopped
4 ounces smoked fish, chopped

Mix the cream cheese, sour cream, and lemon juice until smooth and well-blended. Stir in the chopped onions and fish.

Serve with crackers or toasted slices of baguette. Eat and enjoy!



From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 8, 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.



Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Main Course Salads -- Roasted Shrimp, Pepper, and Avocado Salad #MLKphotocontest @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: Summer is a great time for salads that serve as main courses. This one does require turning on your oven for half an hour, but if you don’t mind that, it’s super easy. The radishes may seem a curious addition, but they’re fun—a little heat and flavor, with a crisp texture that’s nice on the teeth while the avocado teases the tongue.

Slice up some crusty bread, or serve with hearty, seed-studded crackers, and a chilled Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc, and enjoy!

And there's still time to enter our 7th Anniversary Photo contest! Look left to the Cheerleader photo for the details -- and get your books camera-ready! (Pics of e-readers, or in bookstores or libraries work, too.) Five winners will get a fabulous Mystery Lovers' Kitchen bag with five signed books by MLK authors! #MLKphotocontest

 Roasted Shrimp, Pepper, and Avocado Salad

2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
3 poblano peppers, seeded and sliced
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 pound shelled shrimp
4 radishes, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons lime juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
6-8 ounces mixed green
1 avocado, sliced

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment pepper.

Toss the shallots, peppers, oil, and chili powder; spread on the baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Add the shrimp, stir to coat, and roast for 5 minutes. Cool slightly.

Meanwhile, mix the radishes, lime juice and salt. Use the paper to dump the roasted mixture into your serving bowl, add in the radish mixture and greens. Stir to combine and top with avocado slices.









From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 8, 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.



Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

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.

GENERAL RULES: By entering or participating in the Contest, Contestants agree to be bound by these Official Rules. Sponsor assumes no responsibility for electronic hardware, programming or software malfunctions, or failures, or line connections, accessibility or availability, or technical failures of any kind, or unauthorized human intervention, or the incorrect or inaccurate capture of any entry or other information, or for the failure to capture any such information. Sponsor and Facebook, Inc. are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by entrants, or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest; (2) technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; (3) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Contest; (4) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Contest or the processing of entries; or 5) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from Contestant’s participation in the Contest or receipt or use or misuse of any prize. Further, if, for any reason, the Contest is not capable of running as planned by reason of infection by virus, bugs, worms, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which, in the sole opinion of the Sponsor, may corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Contest, Sponsors reserves the right, at their sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest, and select the winners for the Contest, from the entries received prior to the action taken or in other such manner as deemed fair and appropriate by Sponsors.

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.

SPONSOR: Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen, PO Box 523, Newbern, VA 24126.

VOID WHERE PROHIBITED



This Contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Inc.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Thyme for a Backyard Party -- Tequila-Thyme Lemonade & Lemon Thyme Shortbread


LESLIE BUDEWITZ: Readers of my Spice Shop series tell me they like seeing how the herb in the title is woven in to the story. Thyme was clearly the perfect herb for a mystery delving into the past, as in the third Spice Shop mystery, KILLING THYME (December 2016).

Pepper and her mother, Lena, who is visiting from Costa Rica, have a strange encounter with a potter new to the artists’ stalls in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. In Pepper’s childhood, her family lived with another couple and their children—including Pepper’s employee and BFF, Kristen—in a big house on Seattle’s Capital Hill that belonged to Kristen’s parents. The house, loosely based on one friends of mine lived in in the early 1990s, has recently been remodeled after decades of neglect. Kristen and her husband celebrate the conclusion of the remodel with a backyard party, and invite the potter. During a tour of the house, Kristen reveals a surprise discovery she made during the remodel. When the potter turns up dead a few days later, Pepper is drawn into investigating the ties between the mysterious potter’s death and an unsolved crime from thirty years ago that threatens not only her beliefs about her family, but her life.

Whew. Sounds heavy, doesn’t it? Not at all—and especially not if you serve it with these treats from the party, both in KILLING THYME. And both would be lovely for a holiday gathering as well, as we celebrate both Independence Day in the US and Canada Day with our friends to the north.

And Happy Release Day to Peg Cochran -- Sowed to Death, in her Farmer's Daughter series, is out today!

Tequila-Thyme Lemonade

Serve as a spiked lemonade, or at cocktail strength, or allow guests to choose. Tequila adds a fun summer flavor, but gin, vodka, or white rum are also tasty—and it’s equally delicious without alcohol.

1-1/2 cups sugar
8-10 sprigs thyme or lemon thyme
2 cups fresh lemon juice (about 10 lemons)
1 cup tequila (or other alcohol) for spiked lemonade; 2 cups for cocktail strength
cold water
thyme sprigs for garnish (optional)

In a small saucepan, bring sugar, thyme, and 1 cup cold water to a boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved—about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool, allowing the thyme to continue infusing the syrup.

Juice the lemons.

Strain the syrup into a medium bowl, and discard the thyme sprigs. Strain the lemon juice into the bowl, and discard the pulp. Stir the mixture and pour it into a serving pitcher. Add six cups of cold water. Chill at least an hour before serving.

To serve, add the tequila to the pitcher, garnish, and serve over ice. Or set out a variety of alcohol and a jigger, and allow guests to choose their own flavor and strength. In a standard highball or cocktail glass, ½ ounce of alcohol will “spike” the lemonade, while 1 ounce will make a standard-strength cocktail.

Makes 8-10 servings.









Lemon Thyme Cookies

The herbs give these shortbread squares a light, summery touch that would be terrific in any season. Serve with lemon sorbet for an elegant pairing.

½ cup butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or lemon thyme leaves
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Coarse white or granulated sugar, for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup white sugar and mix until combined. Add thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice, and cardamom, scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary to get all ingredients combined. Gradually stir in the flour and mix.

Form the dough into a ball. To make it easier to work, divide dough into three equal portions. Roll each out on a floured surface into a 6 X 4-1/2 inch rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 1-1/2 inch squares with a knife or a serrated pastry wheel. Sprinkle with coarse or granulated sugar. Place squares on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 12-15 minutes, until edges and bottom are golden. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 36 small cookies.












From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 8, 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.



Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

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