Showing posts with label cat mystery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cat mystery. Show all posts

Friday, November 11, 2011

Win a Magical Cat Mystery

We're jumbling things up a little bit to keep you on your toes.  Our Easy Holiday Dinner begins tomorrow.  And keep sending your recipes to KristaDavis at KristaDavis dot com to enter our Christmas Cookie Contest.  We're standing by with mixers and cookie cutters at the ready!

Today, Sofie Kelly is visiting with a recipe that sounds so great I want to bake it immediately (and would if I had dates!).  Sofie Kelly is the author of the Magical Cats Mystery Series, and a longtime friend of mine.  I'm delighted to brag for her, because when my book recently made the New York Times Bestseller list, Sofie's was right there in the slot ahead of me at number 26.  The only thing better than making the list is making it with a friend! Learn more about Sofie at her website.

Here's Sofie ~

When the days get cooler I use my oven a lot more. I like the extra warmth it gives to the kitchen, and I like the smell of something delicious baking. And who am I kidding? I like eating whatever was baking.

Date squares are one of my favorite fall treats. With the dates and oatmeal they’re a pretty good source of fiber so I can feel a tiny bit virtuous when I eat a second one.

Date Squares

2 cups of tightly packed, pitted dates
1 cup cold coffee
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ tablespoon orange juice

In a small pot mix the dates, coffee, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered until the mixture is thick and spreadable. Remove from heat and stir in the juices. Cool.

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup butter (you can substitute margarine)
¾ cup brown sugar
1 ¼ cup oatmeal (I use quick-cooking oats)

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until the mixture is pea-like. Mix in brown sugar and oatmeal.
Press half the mixture into an 8 inch square baking pan. Spread date mixture evenly over the top. Top with the remaining crumbs, pressing down lightly.
Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes until lightly browned. Makes about two dozen date squares.

These are great with a big glass of cold milk or a steaming cup of coffee. (They’re pretty good for breakfast, too, but you didn’t hear that from me.)
And how about a book or two to curl up with while you’re eating your date squares?

At the end of the day on Monday Krista will pick one name from comments and I’ll send that person a copy of Sleight of Paw in that kitty book tote and some other goodies from my giveaway cupboard. Could be books. Could be chocolate. Could be both. Won’t be date squares.

Good luck!

The mysterious Sofie Kelly!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Happy Cake

A few weeks ago, I heard about a fabulous new series with magical cats. I was eager to book the author, Sofie Kelly, as a guest blogger, but I couldn't find her! I finally gave up. In the meantime, my friend Darlene mentioned that her new book was about to come out. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Darlene was the elusive Sofie Kelly! She's not so elusive anymore, cat lovers everywhere can find her at Welcome to Mystery Lover's Kitchen, Sofie!

On Tuesday my newest book, Curiosity Thrilled the Cat—written as Sofie Kelly—will be available. (If you like cosy mysteries, cats, and a touch of magic I think you’ll like it.)

We’ll probably celebrate book launch day with Happy Cake. We celebrate a lot of things with Happy Cake—book launches, an “A” in math, snow days, cleaning out the basement.

The original cake recipe came from a church cookbook, the kind of recipe collection lots of church groups put out in the 1960’s and 70’s to raise money for things like choir robes or a new stove for the church hall. I love these cookbooks. They feel a bit like a time capsule. In my battered old cookbook, along with recipes for Mountain Dew Pudding and Miracle Whip Cake, there are ads for local businesses like Murphy’s Esso, and Kirks Foodliner. Mr. Murphy drove my school bus. His son, Wayne, was in my class from first grade all the way through ninth. We got our groceries every week at Kirks. (And I sighed over photos of the Mod Squad’s Michael Cole in Tiger Beat.)

The cake isn’t called Happy Cake in my cookbook. It’s actually called Jiffy Devil’s Food Cake. But in my house it’s always going to be Happy Cake, named by my daughter when she was two. Birthdays were “happy, happy day,” and birthday cake was “happy, happy cake.”

If you have a book to celebrate on Tuesday, or an “A” in math, or maybe just the fact that you made it through another January day, here’s the recipe for Happy Cake.

Happy Cake

1 1/2 cups cake flour*
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix these ingredients together in an un-greased 8 by 8 cake pan. Make 3 wells in the mixture. Add the following ingredients, one in each well:

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon vinegar

Pour 1 cup of cold water over everything and mix well with a fork. **Sprinkle half a cup of chocolate chips over the batter. Do not mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool, cut, and enjoy!

*You can use all-purpose flour but the cake is better with cake flour.

**Or omit the chocolate chips and frost with your favorite frosting.

As Sofie Kelly, Darlene is the author of the new Magical Cats mysteries from Obsidian. The first book, Curiosity Thrilled the Cat will be available February 1st.

When librarian Kathleen Paulson moved to Mayville Heights, Minnesota, she had no idea that two strays would nuzzle their way into her life. Owen is a tabby with a catnip addiction and Hercules is a stocky tuxedo cat who shares Kathleen’s fondness for Barry Manilow. But beyond all the fur and purrs, there’s something more to these felines.

When murder interrupts Mayville’s Music Festival, Kathleen finds herself the prime suspect. More stunning is her realization that Owen and Hercules are magical—and she’s relying on their skills to solve a purr-fect murder.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Our Characters Must Eat!

A very warm welcome to our guest today, Leann Sweeney. Leann writes the Cats in Trouble mysteries which have thrilled cat lovers everywhere. The Cat, The Quilt and The Corpse was the #1 bestseller on the Independent Mystery Bookseller's List when it debuted and made several top twenty lists for 2009 at bookstores across the country. Leann lives in Texas with husband Mike, her three cats, and Rosie--the smart, retrieving, golf-ball chasing, busy-busy-busy mini-labradoodle.

Our Characters Must Eat!

By Leann Sweeney

I recall listening to an editor speak at a conference more than a decade ago, well before I was published, and her saying, "Don't forget that your characters need to eat." Then, when I took a class with Elizabeth George a few years later, one of our exercises was to describe what was in the refrigerator of the character we were writing about. Yes, food is important in our books.In my first series, the Yellow Rose Mysteries, the heroine's sister is a health food devotee. And she's always trying to foist her preferences on Abby Rose. Abby prefers frozen pizza. But when I was invited to a book club meeting where the members were discussing the first Yellow Rose book, Pick Your Poison, I was confronted with just how important food was—even if it remains part of the setting. See, the book club members decided to make all the food that I'd mentioned in the book for our meeting.
I was stunned, first of all, by the amount of food. And also that I didn't remember writing about most of it. But those book lovers did. In that particular mystery, there is a funeral, and I'd forgotten how important funeral food is. Even though Abby Rose is on hiatus and I am currently writing the Cats in Trouble Series—where Jillian Hart drinks lots of sweet tea and coffee—I thought I'd share the recipe for the potato salad that appears in my first book. The book club ladies couldn't find a recipe for Dill and Sour Cream Potato Salad. One woman made one up and it wasn't half bad. But she should have called me. I know the real ingredients since I've been making this for years out of necessity. I'm allergic to eggs and there's no mayo in this one!

Dill and Sour Cream Potato Salad

4 c. diced cooked potatoes
1 c. sliced celery
3 green onions, thinly sliced
3 T. vinegar
3 T. Canola oil
¼ tsp. seasoned salt
¼ tsp. seasoned pepper
2 sprigs fresh dill, chopped, or ½ tsp dried dillweed
¾ c. sour cream—light is fine, not sure about fat-free
½ c. chopped green and red peppers
Additional sprigs of dill and tomato wedges for garnish

Combine potato, celery and green onion. Mix next 5 ingredients, pour over potatoes and toss very gently. Refrigerate several hours. Mix in sour cream and bell peppers. Garnish if desired.

This is a great summer recipe, one that can be made ahead of time and is super easy!

Have you entered the June contest at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen?

Avery Aames is celebrating the upcoming release of The Long Quiche Goodbye.

Avery's "You Be The Sleuth" Contest!

Avery’s first book in A Cheese Shop Mystery series, The Long Quiche Goodbye, debuts July 6. To celebrate its release, Avery is running a contest from June 9 to July 6! You be the sleuth! Track down the recipe on Avery's website that includes eggs, Edam, and white pepper. Enter your answer by clicking on this link: CONTEST ENTRY FORM.

One of you will win a $25 gift certificate at your favorite bookstore. Two of you will win signed copies of The Long Quiche Goodbye. Three of you will win a Long Quiche Goodbye magnet. You can ask friends for help. Spread the word and share the fun. And while you're there, consider pre-ordering a book on Avery's booksellers page.

Here is the link to Avery’s website to help get you started.