Showing posts with label Linda Wiken. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Linda Wiken. Show all posts

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Roasted Veggies on a bed of Spinach, #recipe from Linda Wiken, author





Spinach is my new favorite veggie. It must be. I use it all the time. I have it steamed or sauted at least once or twice a week; I sometimes have it for breakfast with a poached egg on top; and sometimes, I come up with something new.

Like this recipe. It may be based on something I read on one of the blog sites I regularly go to:  Food 52, Bon Appetit, Add a Pinch to name a few. Or maybe it’s from the newspaper or one of the food magazines I subscribe to -that would be a total of  four, with another two I pick up at the store whenever the front cover entices me to take it home.

I think this recipe would go great with anything – meat, fish, other veggies. And, it’s so easy to switch out the veggies you choose to include.

Let me know what you serve it with if you try it, please. I’m interested.


Here’s what I used: (for two servings)

8 medium sized mushrooms, quartered
2 sweet orange peppers, sliced
2 sweet yellow peppers, sliced
1 fennel, cut in half then sliced; use the fern part as garnish
1 lb. fresh spinach
virgin olive oil (about 2 tbsp)
regular olive oil (about 3 tbsp)
Mrs. Dash or another herb mixture to taste





What to do: 

1.  Preheat oven to 400 F.

2.  Wash then slice the veggies, except for the spinach, placing them in a large bowl. Add enough virgin olive oil to cover; add Mrs. Dash or whatever herb mixture you're using and toss.  

3.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange veggies on it. When oven is ready, place inside for about 20 minutes.
 
3. Wash the spinach, taking care to remove any sand; remove long stems; set aside.

4. When time remaining for the veggies is 5 minutes, heat regular olive oil in skillet (enough to coat the bottom) and saute the spinach for about 3 minutes. 



5. When everything is ready, place the spinach in the bottom of a serving dish and arrange the roasted veggies on top. Garnish with the fern portion of the fennel.











Thursday, April 13, 2017

Slow Cooked Beef in Red Wine #Easter #recipe by Linda Wiken, author


If a chilly Easter weekend is forecast in your area, here's a warm and filling meal that will be waiting for you after Maundy Thursday services. Just turn on your slow cooker in the morning, and you'll have an easy evening meal ready for when you are.

In my next book, Marinating in Murder which comes out March, 2018, J.J. Tanner needed to come up with a last minute recipe. That's what happens when you invite your Dinner Club over without giving it much thought. Of course, thoughts of the murder investigation were uppermost in her mind.

So, J.J. and I, pulled a new cookbook off the shelves, The French Slow Cooker by Michele Scicolone and found this wonderful recipe for beef in red wine, done in a slow cooker. Now, neither J.J. nor I can leave a recipe alone, so we added some ingredients along the way, switched-out others, and gave it a try. What I found, thanks to the advice at my local liquor store, was the better the wine, the better the end result.

The family loved it and really, it was so easy, it's going to be one of my go-to recipes when I have but a day's notice for hosting a dinner. Or, as I mentioned, ready and waiting for an after church service meal.



Here's what I used:

1 1/2 lb. beef, cut into 2-inch cubes (I chose round roast but use your favorite cut; chuck or blade works well)
1/2 c. diced tomatoes
2 parsnips, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 celery rib, sliced
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh thyme
Himalayan and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
1 c. red wine (I used an oak-barreled Merlot Reserva)
1 c. beef bouillon mix or stock
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 
1 tbsp. cornstarch with enough water to make a paste





Here's what to do: 

1. Peel, slice, and chop the parsnips, celery, onion, and garlic. Place in the bottom of the slow cooker along with the sprigs of rosemary and thyme.

2.  Pat the meat dry and then slice into 2-inch cubes.




3. Heat olive oil in a heavy frying pan and when hot, add the beef.  Reduce heat to medium and stir to get all sides browned, for about 15 min.

4. Remove the beef with a slotted spoon and place on top of vegetables. Add the wine to juices remaining in the pan and bring to a simmer for about 1 min. 

5. Pour over the beef in the slow cooker; add the diced tomatoes and the beef broth. Season with sale and pepper.



6. Cover and cook for about 8 hours at low temperature setting. Remove from juices when finished cooking. Add the cornstarch paste mix and stir, if you want a thicker sauce. Otherwise, use as is.

7.  Serve with rice or potatoes and a green vegetable, such as broccoli or brussel sprouts.



ROUX THE DAY, A Dinner Club Mystery is now available in paper and as an e-book.


The first in the Dinner Club Mysteries is available at your favorite bookstore and on-line, as a paperback and as an e-book.  
Recipes included!



Writing as Erika Chase -- the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series are available on-line or at your favorite bookstore.

             
Visit Linda at www.lindakwiken.com
Love to hear from you at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken  
Also appearing at www.killercharacters.com
                                                                               


Visit Erika at www.erikachase.com 
 at my Facebook author page
and on Twitter  @erika_chase. 







Monday, April 3, 2017

Around the kitchen table with the authors at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen



LINDA: We're back at the kitchen table and you know, we're having a lot of fun doing this monthly joint blog. From your responses, it seems that most of you are enjoying it also. We certainly hope that's the case.Today, our topic is one that is especially dear to my heart, what do you cook when you don't feel like cooking?

If I'm in that no-cooking frame of mind and ravenous, I opt for cheese (I usually have several varieties on hand at any given time), bread or crackers, and some wine. Ideal, tasty, easy and fast. But if I can hold off several minutes, I'll do a grilled cheese sandwich using my panini maker. As I mentioned, I always have some cheese on hand and these days, following a tip from fellow MLK Mary Jane Maffini, I slice a green apple to add to the grilled cheese. It adds a satisfying crispness and acidity to this old standby.

I will admit that it's easier to opt not to cook for those who don't have to worry about any other mouths to feed. I sometimes take it one step further, and like Lynn Johnston, the creator of that wonderful cartoon strip For Better or Worse, admits to doing now that she's on her own -- I eat, standing up at the kitchen counter. How freeing is that. And healthy, too, the standing up part.
The key phrase is: no cooking, no clean-up. Now, that's easy.


LESLIE: You mean, besides order pizza? Back when when one of the local restaurants had a take-out fridge, I picked up ribs for Mr. Right and crab cakes for me one evening, and mentioned to the chef-owner that I just didn't feel like cooking. He replied that he never felt that way -- which clearly means he had the right job!

On those nights, our go-to is usually spaghetti and meatballs. A couple of times a year, Mr. Right makes a good-sized batch of meatballs, using ground sirloin, Parmesan, Panko breadcrumbs, and red pepper flakes. He wraps them in plastic, 4-6 in a package, and tosses them all in a Zip-loc in the freezer. Heat the meatballs in the microwave, boil up some pasta, open a jar of marinara sauce and a bottle of red wine, and voila -- dinner!

But I do miss Chef Neil's crab cakes!

LUCY: Oh how I love grilled cheese--I've started adding sliced avocados, and the last time I made this, used both Swiss cheese and some fresh mozzarella. I make these in a frying pan with a little butter and olive oil--delicious! And we love crab cakes too, Leslie! And are fortunate to have a wonderful fish market in Key West that makes them to die for.

But if it's summertime, and the tomatoes are in season, my go-to no-cook recipe is chunks of tomatoes marinated with fresh mozzarella chunks, strips of fresh basil, red pepper flakes, and good olive oil. When it's time for dinner, cook the best pasta (I order from Eataly), sprinkle with parmesan, and dump on the tomatoes. Heaven, and so easy! (If you aren't worried about sodium, a few kalamata olives are a good addition too.)

SHEILA: My husband takes the easy way out: he makes Breakfast for Dinner, which is bacon, scrambled eggs, and toast or English muffins. My grandmother, who never learned to cook, settled for cereal and ice cream for supper (a real treat when my sister and I were kids!). Me, I have the most ridiculously well-stocked pantry I've ever seen, but there are days when I can't figure out what I want (well, maybe a French chef to drop in and throw together something, and of course clean up afterwards).


I'm fond of marinades and rubs, and things like fish which cook quickly, or spatchcocked chicken that I can just stick on a pan and bake for a while. But the most recent go-to meal is pasta. These days our market is carrying nice fresh ravioli and tortellini, which are easy (boil water, add pasta, drain--then fancy it up with whatever you have on hand) and taste really good.

LESLIE: Is there anyone who doesn't occasionally love breakfast for dinner? I was probably forty before I realized that when my mother made it for us as kids, it was usually because she felt a little in need of comforting herself!


 VICTORIA/AKA MJ

The old jokes goes like this:  'Question What's the best things she makes for dinner?  Answer: Reservations. Sometimes, that's fun, but more often I don't feel going out any more than I feel like cooking. That 'don't feel like cooking thing' comes on quickly.  My favorite rescue is a quick saute with garlic, parsley, lemon and raw peeled shrimp.  From freezer to ta table takes just a few minutes. This is so easy and it feels special.



But if it's confession time and it's just us friends here, then I'll admit that sometimes I heat up a can of mushroom soup and hide the evidence.  I may also be wearing pyjamas.  Shhh.

DARYL:

Lucy, I can never thank you enough for introducing me to Eataly. Whenever I go to NY, I have to stop in!  It's such a phenomenal store!  Linda, I, too, always have cheese around and gluten-free bread in the freezer. I love my panini grill!!! So that's definitely a good easy choice. I love cheese and wine and some sliced veggies or fruit as a meal. Simple. Slice it. Set the goodies on a napkin. Wash the knife. Done.  I'm all for taking whatever is in the fridge and making a smorgasbord, too.  Hardboiled egg, some lettuce with a drizzle of dressing, slices of cheese, and hopefully I have an avocado. When in doubt and out of everything in the refrigerator, scrambled eggs!  This [see picture] is a pretty pathetic looking empty refrigerator, isn't it? Guess what I ate last night?  LOL  FYI, I don't like to eat standing up. I still like a meal where I sit and listen to the news or go outside and listen to the birds or read a book. It depends on my mood.

KRISTA:
I confess that I'm a sandwich girl when I'm being lazy. Ham, or tuna, or peanut butter and jam are what I reach for when I want a quick and easy dinner. I have been known to make omelets or German pancakes, so I guess I do breakfast for dinner sometimes, too. Not very chic, but true.


CLEO: Marc and I are sandwich fans, too, Krista. We like to do Italian cold cuts with fresh lettuce, tomato, and banana peppers piled on crusty rolls. Or we'll put slices of salami on a plate with fresh mozzarella and drizzle it all with olive oil. Hot dogs are another quickie meal for us, and we have fun tarting them up with chopped onions and relish, or a bit of leftover chili or taco meat. Marc's Danger Dogs, on the stove or on the grill, are always guilty pleasures. Fast Tex-Mex is a quesadilla with whatever cheese is on hand with salsa and sour cream. And there's always good old peanut butter with honey, jam, or bananas for a no-fuss, no cook meal. Fun post and great ideas all!


PEG
I'm getting some great ideas from you guys! Sheila, spatchcocking a chicken and baking it is not "not cooking."  Just an FYI.  If I'm going to "sort of" cook I'll do pasta with clam sauce.  Saute garlic in olive oil, throw in two cans of chopped clams, heat and eat. If you want to get real fancy, add some chopped parsley.  But "not cooking" does not include washing and chopping parsley in my opinion.  I can't do pasta sauce in a jar--just can't. Unless it's Rao's but if I'm buying that I might as well buy a steak!  The price!  If I'm really not cooking and there aren't any leftovers in the freezer, I'll make us BLTs. 




How about you? 

What do you cook when you don't feel like cooking?

Let us know in the comments below...






Thursday, March 23, 2017

Roasted veggies recipe by Linda Wiken, author @LWiken


Have I admitted before that I'm not an enthusiastic vegetable eater? It probably stems from my childhood. My Mom wasn't a very creative cook. Our meals were the basic -- potatoes, meat, and a veggie. And that was often canned cream corn, canned niblets corn, frozen peas, or if it was fresh, it was most probably boiled. A daub of butter went a long way to add to the taste.

Veggies seldom appealed to me.

My Mom was however, a fabulous baker. All things Swedish appeared freshly baked when the ladies came over for afternoon coffee, as they regularly did, rotating houses. Christmas, of course, was a baking bonanza. Most delicious.

But back to vegetables. I've over the years learned that using them in a stir fry was a clever way to fool myself into making sure I ate a reasonable amount. But even more recently, I've gone on a roasting binge. I'm ready to try out any combination of veggies, herbs, and olive oils. And each one tastes unique.

This recipe I threw together, literally, and happily share with you.

What you need:

2 golden beets
2 large cremini mushrooms
1 leek
mix of red and yellow peppers
4 tbsp. olive oil
pinch of Himalayan salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
fresh chopped cilantro







What to do:

1.Parboil golden beets for approx. ten minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 400 F.  Thoroughly wash leek and slice horizontally. Dice peppers. Cut the beets and mushrooms into quarters. Place all in a medium sized bowl, add olive oil. Add rosemary and thyme and toss..

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread out mixture so that everything roasts evenly.

4. Place in preheated oven for 25 minutes or so.

5. Dish up and serve with your favorite carbs and meat.




ROUX THE DAY, A Dinner Club Mystery is now available in paper and as an e-book.


The first in the Dinner Club Mysteries is available at your favorite bookstore and on-line, as a paperback and as an e-book.  
Recipes included!



Writing as Erika Chase -- the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series are available on-line or at your favorite bookstore.

             
Visit Linda at www.lindakwiken.com
Love to hear from you at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken  
Also appearing at www.killercharacters.com
                                                                               


Visit Erika at www.erikachase.com 
 at my Facebook author page
and on Twitter  @erika_chase. 






Thursday, March 9, 2017

Shrimp Scampi recipe plus #bookgiveaway from Linda Wiken, author @LWiken


I love seafood. Born and raised on the West Coast and of Scandinavian heritage, it's not a surprise. I won't charm you with some of my favorites...ok, I'll just mention the pickled herring in white wine sauce in passing. Love, love, love anything to do with salmon, scallops, and shrimp.

So, I went to Shrimp Scampi for a birthday dinner I hosted a couple of weeks ago. I'd forgotten how easy this dish actually can be, once you get past the de-veining (if not already done) and I also like to remove the stomach, that black thread that resembles a vein only on the other side of the little suckers.

After that, it's a snap.

I actually tried a mish mash of recipes this time, adding some tasty fresh green onions and basil, along with a topping of Parmesan Padano cheese, grated on the spot. Also, I cut down on the amount of sale because I had only salted butter on hand while the recipe called for unsalted. It turned out really well but I also like it the previous plain way. So, your choice of what to do.

Here's what you'll need:

1 lb. large shrimp, peeled, deveined
 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
4 garlic cloves; 2 grated, 2 thinly sliced
2 tsp. chopped fresh basil
2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. white wine
1/4 c. butter
pinch of Kosher salt
3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
















Here's what to do:

1. In a medium bowl, whisk 1 tbsp. olive oil, grated garlic, and salt. Add prepared shrimp, tossing to thoroughly coat. Chill, uncovered, for up 30 to 60 minutes.

2. Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium and cook the shrimp, about 1 min. per side, until pink but slightly underdone. Use a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate.


3. To the remaining oil, add sliced garlic and red pepper, stirring for about 1 min.  Add wine and lemon juice, cooking for about 2 min. Add butter and cook until sauce thickened and butter is melted.

4. Add shrimp and any juices to the skillet and toss for about 2 min., until shrimp are fully cooked.

5. Transfer to a plate, top with basil, green onions, and parsley. Grate fresh cheese overtop.



6. Serve with rice or pasta and your favorite veggies. A fresh bread slice or roll is perfect for sopping up all the sauce.


Yay! It's Release Week for ROUX THE DAY, the second Dinner Club Mystery!
And, I'm celebrating with a book giveaway today. To be entered in the draw, leave a comment about your favorite seafood dish, and be sure to leave your email addy! A winner will be drawn on Friday midnight.   



ROUX THE DAY, A Dinner Club Mystery is now available in paper and as an e-book.


The first in the Dinner Club Mysteries is available at your favorite bookstore and on-line, as a paperback and as an e-book.  
Recipes included!



Writing as Erika Chase -- the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series are available on-line or at your favorite bookstore.

             
Visit Linda at www.lindakwiken.com
Love to hear from you at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken  
Also appearing at www.killercharacters.com
                                                                               


Visit Erika at www.erikachase.com 
 at my Facebook author page
and on Twitter  @erika_chase. 






Thursday, February 23, 2017

Roasted French Beans, Mushrooms, and Onions with Panko #recipe by Linda Wiken, author, @LWiken



There aren't many vegetables I don't like, although there are some that I feel need to be dressed up before presenting at a meal.

Cauliflower is one, green beans is another. No offence meant to green bean or cauliflower lovers!

But the great news is that it's so easy these days to do just that. Even just roasting these veggies in olive oil, salt and pepper is so easy and transforms the taste.

But I found a recipe that sounded just right, although it added a few more steps to the roasting process. This is a recipe for guests, I decided. And, of course, I played around with it, because that's what we do. I'm not sure where it originated but my guess might be online at  Bon Appetit, one of my favorite sources.

I've switched out the green beans for French beans-- love the shape and size. The choice of onion was new, too, as were the mushrooms and cheese. I'm thinking this would work great for cauliflower, too!


What you need: (to serve four)

1 1/2 lbs. French beans
6 shallots, sliced into rings
8 oz. mushrooms
8 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 c. Panko
1/2 tsp. each freshly chopped rosemary, bay, sage, and tarragon
1/2 c. grated Asiago cheese
1 lemon, zest and juice







 
What to do:

Preheat over to 425 F.  Place French beans, mushrooms and onions in a large bowl and toss them with 3 tbsp. olive oil.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and arrange the French beans mixture on them. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender and browned, approx. 30 to 35 min.

Heat the remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat.  Add Panko and herbs, stirring constantly until golden brown, about  3 min. Remove from heat and stir in Asiago and lemon zest.

Squeeze some lemon juice over the roasted vegetables and top with the Panko mixture.

Enjoy!


Book 2 in the Dinner Club Mysteries,  ROUX THE DAY, is coming on March 7th!
To pre-order, please check your favorite bookstore website.


The first in the Dinner Club Mysteries is available at your favorite bookstore and on-line, as a paperback and as an e-book.  
Recipes included!



Writing as Erika Chase -- the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series are available on-line or at your favorite bookstore.

             
Visit Linda at www.lindakwiken.com
Love to hear from you at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken  
Also appearing at www.killercharacters.com
                                                                               


Visit Erika at www.erikachase.com 
 at my Facebook author page
and on Twitter  @erika_chase. 






Thursday, February 9, 2017

Fettuccine with Grape Tomatoes and Broccoli, in Olive Oil by author Linda Wiken @LWiken #recipe


I love pasta dishes because they're usually so easy to put together. And yet, they're also ideal for a special meal, such as a romantic Valentine evening at home.

I've long ago given up using a recipe. What goes in depends on what I have on  hand. I do like to make sure there's something green though and broccoli is often my go to veggie.

For a pop of color, I've added fresh, firm grape tomatoes. And, to finish it off, it's tossed with a wild mushroom and sage olive oil I found at my local specialty store, the Unrefined Olive. This one is organic, by the way. I like to try a different flavored olive oil every time I go shopping there and so far, I've not been disappointed.

It's a totally sensual experience. I usually limit my tastings to three different olive oils, mainly because I'd never be able to make up my mind otherwise. They also have a large variety of vinegar but that's for my next trip.





What you'll need:

fettuccine noodles
1/2 c. grape tomatoes, halved
one small head of broccoli, cut into small florets
1 small garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 c. black olives, sliced
chicken strips
Asiago cheese, to grate over top
2 tbsp. olive oil for sauteing
flavored olive oil to taste


What to do:

Prepare the broccoli, grape tomatoes, black olives, and garlic. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in saute pan to medium and add the prepared items to it, stirring occasionally.


Heat enough water in which to boil the pasta. Add a pinch of salt when it reaches boiling and then add the pasta. Cook approx. 8 minutes or until al dente.


While pasta is cooking, remove the veggies from the saute pan, add another tbsp. olive oil to pan, heat and then add chicken strips. they can be fresh or frozen. Cook until ready.

When the pasta is ready, drain and add to the veggie mixture, tossing along with flavored olive oil. Remove excess oil from the chicken strips and add to the pasta.

Grate some Asiago cheese, Parmesan, or your favorite over top...and enjoy.




What do you like adding to your pasta dishes?



Book 2 in the Dinner Club Mysteries,  ROUX THE DAY, is coming on March 7th!
To pre-order, please check your favorite bookstore website.


The first in the Dinner Club Mysteries is available at your favorite bookstore and on-line, as a paperback and as an e-book.  
Recipes included!




Writing as Erika Chase -- the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series are available on-line or at your favorite bookstore.

             
Visit Linda at www.lindakwiken.com
Love to hear from you at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken  
Also appearing at www.killercharacters.com
                                                                               


Visit Erika at www.erikachase.com 
 at my Facebook author page
and on Twitter  @erika_chase.