Showing posts with label Nocciolato Fudge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nocciolato Fudge. Show all posts

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to All Our Readers at Mystery Lovers Kitchen




We hope you're having a wonderful day filled with family and friends and turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy and stuffing and vegetables and pie--or whatever your favorite Thanksgiving traditions are! We are so grateful for your visits to our blog, for your comments, for reading our books, and for making our lives a little bit richer.

We thought it might be fun to share a few of our favorite foodie gifts--to make your mouth water while you're waiting for dinner. So if you're visiting this holiday season or want ideas for the elves in your lives, here are some ideas.



LUCY BURDETTE: For immediately edible treats, I'm mad for Nocciolato, an organic Nutella-like hazelnut spread that I use to make fudge (about $10.) I took the fudge when we were houseguests at our son’s prospective in-laws’ home—it was an instant sensation.

KRISTA DAVIS: I recommend Theo Pink Salted Caramels. Perfect caramels are enrobed in dark chocolate and sprinkled with exactly enough pink sea salt. About $7.50 for four little mouthwatering wonders. I added a box to our tip for the garbage collectors last Christmas, and our trash cans haven’t been tossed to the curb since.


SHEILA CONNOLLY: My grandmother used to arrive for Thanksgiving laden with foodie nibbles (since she lived in New York, they were pretty special): all kinds of nuts in the shell, dates, giant apples and grapes. Most of them I stuck up my nose at, but she also brought wonderful macaroons from what used to be Robert Day Dean's. I'm still hunting for any as good as those. Their decorated sugar and ginger cookies were also pretty spectacular. So if you're eating Thanksgiving with children: bring sweets (and if mom is worried about spoiling their appetites, just slip them a few tastes under the table).



DARYL WOOD GERBER
aka AVERY AAMES: I love making a hot chocolate mix and putting it in a jar with a special spoon attached. I print out these directions. Dump all these things in a bowl: 2 cups powdered sugar; 1 cup cocoa; 2 1/2 cups powdered milk; 1 teaspoon salt; 2 teaspoons cornstarch. Stir. Put into jars. You can top with some marshmallows, but if you have a gluten-free recipient, don’t do that unless the marshmallows are gluten-free. FYI: Kraft Marshmallows are!  J Add a tag with directions to fill the mug half full with mix and then add steaming hot water. Stir and enjoy!





PEG COCHRAN: One of my favorite things to make and bring is a gift box (or bag) of homemade peanut brittle (recipe here).  Just add some fancy wrapping and you have a delicious hostess gift that can be nibbled after dinner or saved for another occasion (if you can resist the temptation!)


VICTORIA ABBOTT: Everyone we know is so busy.  We all want gifts that work for us. One gift that keeps on giving is a stash of refrigerator or freezer cookies. They'll be there the day or the week after when the busy hostess wants to put her feet up. She can slice off the exact number and enjoy cookies fresh from the oven without all the clean-up, with our without guests. We love to get them and this year we plan to give a brown sugar and almond version.  Or should it be the chocolate chip ones? Hmmm.


CLEO COYLE: For coffee lovers, a premium package of coffee makes a lovely gift. This year, Marc and I are excited to be giving our very own blend, "Billionaire's Blend," which was created by Holly O'Connor of One Good Woman Fine Coffees and Teas and her master roaster Shane in honor of our visit to their store in Eastern PA. The name of the blend is taken from our Coffeehouse Mystery, Billionaire Blend, and the customers liked it so much that Holly and Shane decided to keep roasting and selling it. Giving someone a gift with the word "Billionaire" in the title is a real hoot. And while this delicious blend is rich, the price is not (under $15.00 a pound, which is a good deal for premium, small-batch roasted coffee). To order it for yourself, simply call the toll free number at their shop 1-866-610-2872. Their staff is incredibly warm and friendly and they excel at fulfilling special orders. May you drink with joy!





Happy Thanksgiving, friends!





Thursday, September 4, 2014

Murder with Ganache and Nocciolato Fudge #recipe for #BookClubs #books




LUCY BURDETTE: Welcome to Book Club Week at MLK! I love book clubs--love belonging and love visiting. And I love recommending books for clubs to consider:). This time around I’d like to suggest MURDER WITH GANACHE, the fourth in the Key West food critic mystery series.

MWG is a cozy mystery starring Hayley Snow, a food critic who lives on a houseboat in Key West. Her extended family is descending on the island like a category 3 hurricane for her best friend's wedding. When her stepbrother disappears into the spring break party scene, she must put the baking of cupcakes and other wedding chores on hold in order to search for her brother. The book features Hemingway cats, and cupcakes, and wedding drama, but in the end it's about finding and embracing family in whatever form they come.
 

If you are going to choose MURDER WITH GANACHE for one of your book club selections this year (and I hope you will--I love this book, and there are so many things to talk about), as the hostess, you must resign yourself to providing something chocolate. 


You might choose hot fudge pie or chocolate cake, both swoon-worthy, but here is an easy alternative. This recipe began as Chocolate Nutella Fudge from the Tasty Kitchen--until I read the list of ingredients on the Nutella package. At that point, thinking there must be something better, I searched for a substitute, and found an organic chocolate-hazelnut spread that is really quite incredible.


Nocciolato Fudge
 

Ingredients

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (make these good quality, as it will show)
1 cup Nocciolato (organic chocolate-hazelnut Spread--I used the whole 9.5 oz jar)
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
½ teaspoon sea salt or pink salt

 

To make the fudge:

Line an 8 by 8 inch pan with two layers of parchment paper, overlap on the sides.

In a stainless steel bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, chocolate chips, hazelnut spread, and butter.
 

Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water. (The pan should not touch the water.)

Stir until the chocolate chips are melted and the mixture is smooth, 5 to 7 minutes.



Scrape the mixture into the papered pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with sea salt. (I would have used some of Krista’s pink sea salt if I’d had it on hand--so pretty!)

Refrigerate until the fudge is firm, at least 2 hours.
Lift the fudge out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut the fudge into bite-sized pieces and arrange on a pretty plate. Store leftovers (if there are any) in an airtight container in the fridge. This can also be made ahead and frozen.

 


As for what to discuss while enjoying the fudge, here are some questions to get things going:

1. Hayley’s mother says that “life develops around the kitchen table” and that “kids need to understand how food connects the people in their lives.” Hayley’s stepmom insists that life develops at work–who cares whether a mother uses a cake mix or serves macaroni from a box? Where would you stand in this argument?

2. Hayley’s parents have a disagreement about social justice on the way to the marina. How do you feel about the homeless people as presented in the book? Have you had any personal experience with homeless folks?

3. When Hayley’s brother Rory gets into trouble, the family struggles with how much to tell the police. They wonder whose side the cops are on. How do you think you might react in a similar situation? Would you trust the police to have your interests at heart?

4. Hayley says “Food meant comfort and love and even peace in my family.” If you had to sum it up, what would you say food meant to your family?

5. Hayley tells Rory “I’ve discovered that family has less to do with biology than it does with who cares enough to make the effort.” Does this statement ring true for you? Talk about a person who isn’t a blood relation in your life who feels like family.

6. When spirits are low, Hayley and her mom make comfort food for the extended family–spanakopita and Greek salad and strawberry whipped cream pie. What menu would you design to cheer up a troubled family member or friend?



 If you’d like to read some of the reviews on MURDER WITH GANACHE, you can do that right here. I was completely delighted this spring, when Woman's World magazine selected MURDER WITH GANACHE as a pick for a foodie book club. As you can see in the photo, they also recommended reading with a daiquiri in hand:).  Sounds like a good idea, right? Recipe here.

And, if you think your book club might like signed postcards from the Key West mysteries, leave a comment today with your email.


Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mystery series. DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS will be on bookshelves on December 2. You can preorder it now, from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite independent bookstore.

Follow Lucy on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

DEADLY ADVICE, the first advice column mystery (written as Roberta Isleib) is finally available as an ebook.