Showing posts with label appetizer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label appetizer. Show all posts

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Philly Cheese Steak Sliders for a Crowd #Recipe @PegCochran

Once a month we get together with friends for what we call "Saturdays at Seven."  We bring our own drink (wine, beer, soda, whatever), our own glass and either an appetizer or dessert to share.  We take turns hosting and having all that taken care of makes it easy on the hostess.

We can end up with as many as thirty people so you need an appetizer to feed a number of people.  I came upon this recipe for making Philly cheese steak sliders without the work of making them individually.  I thought they would fit the bill nicely.


1 package Hawaiian rolls
6 or more slices of provolone cheese
2 packages of Steak Umms (or similar product)
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
Butter (approx 3 tablespoons)

Cut the rolls in half (if not already cut).  Separate the tops from the bottoms.  Spread the bottoms of the rolls with mayo and arrange in a large baking pan (mine was 9 x 13.)

Saute onion and pepper until soft.

Saute steak slices until cooked.  If you use Steak Umms, They will shred as you cook them.  No need to defrost--just throw them in the hot pan.

I remember my mother making us sandwiches with these maybe once but I'd forgotten (or never knew in the first place) that they came in these super thin frozen slabs!

Drain cooked steak.  Spread shredded steak over the rolls in the pan (no need to place it on each individual roll.)

Spread pepper and onion mixture over rolls.

Top with as many slices of provolone cheese as you need (don't worry if the cheese overlaps some of your rolls)

Replace the tops and drizzle with melted butter.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Cover and bake for another ten minutes.  Bake until tops are starting to brown and cheese is oozing.  Depending on your oven this may take more or less time.

Slice, serve and stand back to accept the compliments.  These were a huge hit!

If you're having a gang of friends over to help decorate the tree, these Philly cheese steaks will keep them full and happy!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How to Make Perfect Coffee Bacon with Maple-Espresso Glaze plus a Special Giveaway from Cleo Coyle

WARNING: Once you start eating this beautiful, smoky-sweet bacon, you won’t be able to stop!  At least, that’s been my experience and Marc’s, my husband and partner in crime writing. 
Click here to learn more.

Our readers may recognize a version of this treat from our bestselling Coffeehouse Mystery Dead to the Last Drop, set in Washington, DC.

Assistant chef Luther Bell cooks it up for customers of the new Village Blend Jazz Space, a relaxed supper club co-managed by our amateur sleuth Clare, who soon feels more than the heat of the kitchen when she becomes a prime suspect in the kidnapping of the President’s college-age daughter. Forced to go on the run with acting federal agent Mike Quinn, Clare must solve the perplexing mystery in order to save her good friends, Mike’s law enforcement career—and her own bacon. 

* * *


Marc and I hope you enjoy the recipe and...we invite you to check out a very special giveaway, along with an insanely easy recipe for Cherry Streusel Coffee Cake...

TO ENTER, CLICK HERE or on the photo below
and jump to our Cherry Coffee Cake post
where you can enter our giveaway...


Now let's get our bacon on!

How to Make Perfect Coffee Bacon 
with Maple-Espresso Glaze

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

While there are plenty of recipes out there for coffee bacon or glazed bacon, this one is our own—one my husband and I tweaked to perfection, in our opinion, anyway! 

One strip of this beautiful bacon evokes the glorious flavors of a pancake breakfast—
the sweetness of maple syrup, the earthiness
of coffee, and the unctuous richness of smoked meat...

Now you may be tempted to change the recipe—say, use regular bacon instead of thick-cut. Or make the bacon on a rack instead of a sheet pan or leave out the espresso powder (aka instant espresso). 

Our advice is don't do it, follow the recipe! Thick-cut bacon works wonderfully in this cooking process; regular or thin-cut will burn to a crisp! A rack will drain too much grease, which is necessary in the cooking for both flavor and caramelization. (It would also become caked with the glaze, making a royal mess.) And the deep earthiness of that espresso powder is needed to balance the cloying sweetness of the maple syrup and unctuousness of the bacon. 

Finally, be sure not to undercook the meat. The real key to perfection is watching for the slight char on the edges of the strips. That char assure you that the sugars have properly caramelized in the glaze.

You can serve the finished bacon with coffee, grapefruit, and slices of melon for an amazing breakfast (that's how Marc and I are eating it this morning)! Or make this a show-stopping side dish as part of a larger brunch, or try it as a fun snack or dinner appetizer. It’s also fantastic in a BLT. However you serve it, one thing is certain... You will be eating with sheer joy!

To download this recipe in
a free PDF that you can print,
save, or share,
click here.

Click for the free recipe PDF.

Cleo's Coffee Bacon with
Maple-Espresso Glaze

Makes 6 bacon slices


6 Thick-cut bacon slices (must be thick-cut)

2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar (dark gives deeper complexity)

¼ teaspoon espresso powder
(aka instant espresso,
     see my note and the end of the recipe) 

1 Tablespoon hot coffee

1-1/2 teaspoons pure maple syrup

Optional addition: For a smoky-spicy note, add ¼ to ½ teaspoon chili powder to the glaze. For more heat try chipotle chile powder or ancho chile powder. Start with a little and taste-test the glaze until you reach the level of spiciness you like. (And, yes, there is a difference between "chili" and "chile" powder. Learn more here.)


(1) First preheat your oven to 375° F. Place bacon slices flat on a rimmed baking sheet covered with parchment paper. You want the slices to warm up a bit before going into the oven, so lay out the bacon before making the glaze. 

The parchment paper is there to absorb grease and prevent the bacon from sticking to the pan. Believe me, the process is messy, and you’ll be glad you used the parchment paper!

(2) Measure dark brown sugar and espresso powder (aka instant espresso) into a small bowl. Add hot coffee and whisk with a fork until sugar and espresso granules are dissolved. Whisk in maple syrup. 

(3) Brush each slice with your coffee-maple-glaze. 

(4) Bake for 10 minutes at 375° F. Flip the bacon, brush the other side with more of the glaze. Increase the oven temperature to 425° F. Bake for another 10 to 13 minutes. 

Watch closely to prevent burning. Bacon is not done until the edges show caramelization—they should look slightly charred. (See my photos below as a guide.)

(5) Drain grease: Allow the bacon to cool a few minutes and the sizzling to stop. Then move the hot bacon slices to a baking sheet or counter surface that’s been covered with waxed paper or parchment paper. Do not use paper towels, the glazed bacon will stick! Serve and eat with sheer joy!

*Note on Espresso Powder: 

Espresso powder (or instant espresso) is not made of ground espresso beans. It is freeze-dried espresso that dissolves quickly in liquids. A good quality brand to look for is Medaglia D’oro. You can use any brand of instant espresso in this recipe, but do not substitute instant coffee. It gives a harsher and more sour flavor than instant espresso, which brings a richer, earthier note.

Eat (and read) with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of  
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Friend me on facebook here. * Follow me on twitter here
Learn about my books here

* * *

Our newest mystery is now

a bestselling hardcover!

Coffee. It can get a girl killed.

Amazon * B&N

A Mystery Guild Selection
A Baker & Taylor Fall "Trends" Pick
Three "Best of Year" Reviewer Lists

Dead to the Last Drop 
is a culinary mystery with 
more than 25 delicious recipes!

See the free illustrated 
Recipe Guide by clicking here.

*  *  *

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
15 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


(with mini plot summaries)

* * * 

Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

Get a free title checklist, 
with mini plot summaries, 

Or learn more about the 
books and meet Jack Shepard, 
our PI ghost by clicking here.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Eggplant pate aka baba ganoush @LucyBurdette #recipe

LUCY BURDETTE: sometimes you need an appetizer that's a little different from chips and salsa, right? Or even on the healthy side? Baba ganoush is the answer! The combination of roasted garlic and eggplant is oh-so-yummy, your guests won't even realize they are eating something healthy!


One large eggplant
Four garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Olive oil
Two heaping tablespoons tahini
One lemon
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise.  Place it cut side down on well oiled pan. Place the garlic cloves on a little piece of foil, drizzle with olive oil, and close the foil into a little packet. Roast the veggies in a 350 oven until they are soft, 30 to 45 minutes.

When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, scrape the insides into a bowl.
Next squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their papery skins into the bowl and mash, along with the cumin, 1 teaspoon olive oil, the tahini, and the parsley. Squeeze half the lemon over the top, and grind some fresh pepper over that. Mix everything well together and taste for seasoning, adding the rest of the lemon and salt and pepper as needed.

To serve, drizzle half a teaspoon of sesame oil over the top of the dip and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with pita chips, or pita squares, or cut vegetables. 

KILLER TAKEOUT is coming in April, but available for pre-order today!

And you can follow Lucy on Facebook,
and Instagram!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Roasted Beet & White Bean Dip #Recipe @Peg Cochran

I know what you're thinking.  I don't NEED another dip recipe.  The holidays are over.  New Year's is past.  I'm on a diet.  Yes, but...will you be hosting your book group this month?  Or your knitting club?  Or having a party for Super Bowl Sunday?  Or taking something to a potluck?  See?  You're going to need this twist on the standard hummus recipe.

1/2 lb. medium red beets, cleaned and trimmed
1 15-ounce can white beans
2 TBLS tahini
1 TBLS fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. minced garlic (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (or to taste)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Wrap beets in foil.  Place on a baking sheet (in case they leak) and bake for one hour until tender when pierced with a fork.  (Don't assess tenderness by squeezing the beets--they will still feel hard even though a knife pierces them easily.)

Wrap beets in foil
Ready for the oven

As soon as beets are cool enough, peel and coarsely chop.  
Add to food processor with rest of ingredients.  
Taste and add more salt or garlic as necessary.

Blend until smooth. Chill, drizzle with olive oil if desired and serve with pita chips

I found this made a LOT of dip.  I'm going to experiment with freezing some so that I have it on hand next time I need an appetizer for company or a party.

Lucille is BACK!  And this time she's cooking up trouble along with Thanksgiving dinner.  

One reviewer said:  "It always feels like home when I go to visit Lucille and Frankie... Peg Cochran writes this series in a way that you feel like you just walked in the front door of your favorite cousin’s house as soon as you start reading and that feeling doesn’t stop until the end of the book. I always hate to say good bye to Lucille, and I hope I’ll be able to visit them again." 

Available now as an audio book!  Berried Secrets, #1 in my Cranberry Cove Series

Coming in May 2016!  Berry the Hatchet, #2 in my Cranberry Cove Series

Sign up for my newsletter on my web site and join the fun on Facebook!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Brewing Up Murder Party with Joyce Tremel and Cleo Coyle + Double #BookGiveaway!

Joyce and Cleo are celebrating their new December mystery releases with a joint recipe post and giveaway.

Congrats to our winner - "Amanda"!

You first party host is Joyce Tremel!

To learn more about
click here.

First I want to say thank you to Cleo for asking me back, and especially for sharing her blog day with me. I’m honored to share a release day with her, too! When I visited here back in September 2014, the launch of To Brew Or Not To Brew seemed so far away, but the time since then has just flown by. It seems like yesterday that I got the call from my agent that the proposal had been accepted, and now I’m actually working on the third book in the series!

To learn more about
To Brew or Not To Brew:
A Brewing Trouble Mystery, 

click here.

To Brew or Not to Brew is a cozy mystery and features a female brewmaster named Maxine “Max” O’Hara who is opening a brewpub in Pittsburgh. And when she finds the body of her assistant in an empty beer tank…well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out what happens! 

The book also features a couple of recipes. Max’s hunky new chef Jake comes up with his own twist on a Pittsburgh favorite: Pierogies. They are delicious if I do say so myself. The recipe is in the book but I’ll repeat it here.



Jake’s Filling


1 cup cooked shredded chicken (or 1 can of chunk chicken)

1/3 cup Frank’s Red Hot (or other hot sauce)

1 – 8oz pkg. cream cheese

½ cup ranch dressing

¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions: Heat chicken and hot sauce in saucepan. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing and heat until cream cheese is melted and mixture is hot. Mix in cheddar cheese and heat until cheese is melted and mixture is hot and bubbly.

Basic Pierogi Dough


2 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

1 egg

½ cup sour cream

¼ cup butter softened

Directions: Mix flour and salt. Beat egg and add to flour mixture. Add sour cream and butter and work until dough loses stickiness. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Boil water in large pot. Roll dough on floured surface to 1/8 inch thick. Using a large glass or cookie cutter (3-4 inch diameter), cut dough into circles. Place 1 tablespoon of filling on each circle. Wet edges of circle, fold, and seal completely using fingers or tines of a fork.

Place pierogies in boiling water. When they float to the top, remove with slotted spoon and drain. (At this point, they can be frozen until later, if desired. Place in boiling water again to defrost.)

Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a non-stick pan. Add pierogies and brown on each side. Drain on paper towels.

Arrange on a plate and serve with ranch dressing for dipping.

The filling used in the pierogies also makes an excellent dip for tortilla chips or spread on crackers. I usually make a batch and keep in warm in my mini-crockpot. Yum!

Thanks so much for having me here, and I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Find Joyce on Facebook here

Follow Joyce on Twitter here.

You second party host is Cleo Coyle!

To learn more about
Cleo and her husband
(and partner in crime-writing)
click here.

Thanks again to Joyce for joining us in the Kitchen today and making our release week festive and fun!

As most of you know, I collaborate with my husband to write The Coffeehouse Mysteries, a long-running series of amateur sleuth mysteries set in a charming Greenwich Village coffeehouse.

In DEAD TO THE LAST DROP, we take our hardworking single mom and coffeehouse manager to Washington where she attempts to successfully open a new branch of her beloved Village Blend. 

It's an exciting time for Clare, especially when the college-age daughter of the US President becomes a fan of her coffee and the relaxed Jazz Space on the shop's second floor. Then the First Lady befriends her and even arranges for her to contribute ideas to a temporary Smithsonian exhibit on Coffee in America

To learn more about
Dead to the Last Drop:
A Coffeehouse Mystery,
click here and
scroll down.
But when a State Department employee suspiciously collapses in her shop and the President's daughter goes missing, Clare finds herself wanted for murder and conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Now she must solve both mysteries—and discover who framed her—or she may find out firsthand that Washington is murder.

If you are new to our Coffeehouse books, don’t hesitate to pick up DEAD TO THE LAST DROP. You can read it as a stand-alone story, and if you like the read, you have fourteen more in our series to enjoy. But don’t miss this Washington entry. It’s embedded with twists, turns, and hidden secrets about our nation’s capital that were inspired by my own experiences while living, studying, and working in D.C.

DEAD TO THE LAST DROP is also a culinary mystery, with an appendix of more than 25 wonderful recipes.

And speaking of recipes, I have a holiday favorite for you today, my easy Candy Cane Frosting that quickly brings Christmas cheer to any plain old cake, cupcake, cookie, or pan of brownies...

Cleo Coyle’s

Candy Cane Frosting

For a keeper copy of this recipe,
click here and save and then
you can share or print.


The Origin of Candy Canes

In 1670, in Cologne, Germany, a choirmaster wanted to solve the problem of noise caused by children in his church during Christmas Eve services. He asked a local candy maker for some sweet sticks for them. In order to justify the practice of giving candy to children during worship services, he asked the candy maker to add a crook to the top of each stick, which would help children remember the shepherds who paid visit to the baby Jesus. From Germany, the candy canes spread to other parts of Europe. Around 1882, people began hanging them on Christmas trees and in the early 1920s, Chicago confectioners the Bunte Brothers filed the earliest patents for candy cane making machines. 

Eat with Joy to the World!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of  
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Friend me on Facebook here. * Follow me on Twitter here
Follow me on Pinterest here * Learn about my books here

Congratulations to "Amanda"
who won the signed copies of 
Joyce and Cleo's new books!