Showing posts with label brunch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brunch. Show all posts

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Asparagus with fried egg by Linda Wiken, author #giveaway #new release

I'm so excited! My Dinner Club Mysteries have now launched, with the first book in the series, TOASTING UP TROUBLE out this week! So, besides presenting a recipe today, I'm also doing a giveaway. But first, the food!

If you have the time in the morning to get creative with breakfast, here's a healthy and tasty alternative to a plain old fried egg. It would also be great for a brunch! Or lunch, or even dinner.
And, although it take a bit more time, it's really very easy to do.

Here's what you'll need:

one egg egg
handful of asparagus spears
shaved cooked ham (as much as you'd like!)
1/2 c. panko
half clove garlic, slivered
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper


And here's what you do:

In a skillet, saute asparagus in 1 tbsp. olive oil for approx. 3 minutes.

While still crisp, remove and keep warm. Add panko and slivered garlic; saute until golden.

In another skillet, add 1/2 tbsp. olive oil then fry egg to sunnyside-up perfection.

Layer on plate -- start with asparagus, then add the shaved ham, the fried egg and sprinkle with the panko mixture. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.


It's here -- TOASTING UP TROUBLE released last week! 

It's the first in the Dinner Club Mysteries and you can win a copy by leaving a comment on today's blog. The lucky winner's name will be drawn tomorrow at noon. Good Luck!

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

Visit Linda at
Love to hear from you at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken  
Also appearing at

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

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Whole Wheat Sour Cream Pancakes with Blueberries, Strawberries and Maple Whipped Cream #recipe #mystery @abbottmysteries


Sometimes things just come together!  We had weekend guests, a new griddle on our stove, a new pancake flipper and a supply of berries, plus some whole wheat flour from our nearby mill.  Snooping through and combining recipes with our own favorite flavors (maple syrup) and methods resulting in these very tasty pancakes.  We loved them!

Whole Wheat Sour Cream Pancakes with Blueberries, Strawberries and Whipped Cream

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour + 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp lemon zest (optional but delicious)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
3/4 cup milk
2 extra large eggs at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup fresh blueberries (frozen would be fine too)
3 - 4 strawberries, chopped, plus extras for garnish
canola or other quality vegetable oil for griddle
3/4  cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp flavoring for cream: sugar, maple syrup or liqueur
butter for topping pancakes (optional)


Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, zest and salt in a bowl.  In another bowl combine sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla extract and maple syrup.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix until just combined. Don't overbeat! Lumps are your friend.

Add the blueberries and strawberries.

Whip cream with flavoring until thick. Set aside.

Pre-heat the griddle (or skillet if you're using)  Pour the pancake batter 1/3 cup or less at a time and cook until bubbles appear on top and pop.

Next time, I'll try 1/4 cup. The bottom should be golden.  We invested in this great pancake flipper on a whim and we love it.

 Flip the pancakes over and cook for another minute or so until they are nice and brown.

Stack 'em high. Serve with whipped cream and berry garnish if that suits you, or maple syrup and/or butter.


You can save any extras (again in a bag!) in fridge for a day or so or in the freezer.  When you are craving pancakes, just pop a couple in the toaster.

TIP: make sure your baking powder is less than six months old or it won't perform as well. Are we the last people in the world to learn this?

This was a terrific warm weather brunch and we enjoyed it outside in the screened porch

Good-bye winter! Hello, berries!

The shadowy body known as VICTORIA ABBOTT is collaboration between artist and photographer Victoria Maffini and her mother Mary Jane, author of three mystery series.  Together they write the book collector mysteries.  

 By the way, we  (THAT'S VICTORIA ABBOTT) are very excited that THE MARSH MADNESS was shortlisted for a Bony Blithe Award, for 'mysteries that make us smile'.

We think THE MARSH MADNESS might make YOU smile. If you haven't read it yet, it's easy to get!  HERE  Or ask your favorite bookseller.  

And if you have read it, then keep in mind that THE HAMMETT HEX is now ready for pre-order.

Or wherever you like to order books!

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.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Eggs Romanoff, two ways


The first breakfast my hunny ever made me was Eggs Romanoff, a marvelous combination of eggs, mushrooms, and Swiss cheese, served with mimosas. I was already in love with him, but that cinched the deal.

Turns out they were a family favorite in his childhood. When we went looking for recipes—to pin down measurements, which are somewhat elusive in his cooking—the recipes we found bore little resemblance to the dish he remembered.

Mr. Right is also responsible for one of our favorite new egg dishes, the omelet muffin. After we made the eggs Romanoff by the traditional method, he decided he wanted to try them again using a technique from the omelet muffins, adding a pinch of baking powder to make the eggs puffy and more quiche-like, with a homogenous texture. Both are equally wonderful.

Call it a new family tradition!

Plan two ramekins for each person. The recipe is easily increased.

Eggs Romanoff, two ways

two mushrooms, washed and sliced
2 ounces Swiss cheese, sliced
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
four eggs
scant 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) cream
scant 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) white wine or dry vermouth
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

My sweetie’s traditional method:

Butter four ramekins. For each, line with Swiss cheese. Layer in half a mushroom. Add half a tablespoon parsley.

Add one egg, yolk unbroken, one tablespoon cream, and one tablespoon wine or vermouth. Season with salt and pepper.

Place ramekins in a flat baking dish. (Four will fit nicely in an 8X8 inch pan.) Add hot water, about half way up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake 35-30 minutes, until eggs are firmly set.

For a puffier, quiche-like egg:

Ingredients as above, plus:

½ teaspoon baking powder

Prepare the ramekins and line with the sliced cheese and mushrooms.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, wine or vermouth, seasoning, and baking powder. Pour the egg mixture into the ramekins. Bake as above.

Both methods serve 2.

From the cover of GUILTY AS CINNAMON: 

Murder heats up Seattle’s Pike Place Market in the next Spice Shop mystery from the national bestselling author of Assault and Pepper.

Pepper Reece knows that fiery flavors are the spice of life. But when a customer dies of a chili overdose, she finds herself in hot pursuit of a murderer…

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 president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website  and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebookwhere I often share news of new books and giveaways from my cozy writer friends.