Showing posts with label contest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label contest. Show all posts

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Celebrate! Elegant Date #Cake with Sticky Toffee Sauce #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: My turn to dance around shouting "celebrate! celebrate!" (I'm the one waving purple orchids...) I have to pack in a lot today: a recipe, an update on our wonderful friend and writer Jenn McKinlay, and an explanation of the double contest. So don't quit reading early!

I was a later addition to Mystery Lovers Kitchen, appearing first as a guest in 2011 with one of my favorite summer dishes, the leaning tower of eggplant. I was thrilled to be invited as a full-timer. It's a lot of work, of course, but I love this community so much. And I've become a more inventive, accomplished cook, besides writing all the foodie mysteries.

And now for the cake...I tasted this cake during our trip to Japan and have been meaning to make it ever since. I did see an Ina Garton recipe that I think called for three sticks of butter--but I wanted us to be able to move on the dance floor, so here's my pared-down, elegant and luscious version of date cake. But whatever you do, don't skip the caramel sauce!


3/4 cups pitted, quartered dates
3/4 cups water
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt


For Sticky Toffee Sauce:
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup cream
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, place the dates, water and vanilla and bring to a boil. Simmer until soft (might take 5 minutes.) Remove from the heat, add the baking soda, mix well. Let the mixture cool. Meanwhile...
Cream butter with sugars. Beat in the eggs. Add the dry ingredients, and finally the cooled date mixture. (Do not worry about leaving little chunks of dates--they will provide some nice texture.) Pour the batter into a well-buttered cake pan. (I also added a layer of parchment paper and buttered that for good measure.) Bake at 350 about 40-50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn the cake out onto a platter. 

For the sauce, mix brown sugar, cream, butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until thick, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and add a splash of vanilla. 

Poke holes in the cake and pour the sauce overall. 

Serve warm if possible. 

Even better, serve with homemade whipped cream--this is a party after all!

And now an update from the incomparable Jenn McKinlay:

I'm still chugging along on my three series for Berkley Prime Crime -- Library Lover's, London Hat Shop, and Cupcake Bakery mysteries.  I'm finishing my other series the Good Buy Girls written under the name Josie Belle and have no idea what's next.  I like to follow the uncharted course.

WHAT A CATCH is one of my fave posts, probably, because I am hankering for some fried catfish right now:

When my next door neighbor was painting
his living room, he asked my husband if he
would babysit, or rather fish-sit, his fish of
unknown origin for him until the room was
done. That was a year and a half ago and
the fish of unknown origin is still living on top
of our piano, blowing bubbles and waving
his fins at me. Read the post here

Oh, and in a related update, we still have the neighbor's catfish.  He continues to blow bubbles and wave his fins at me.  The neighbor has moved to Pennsylvania, so I don't think I'm going to be returning Kevin (yes, we named the fish after the neighbor) any time soon.  It's okay.  I've grown quite fond of Kevin, but if you tell the Hub or hooligans I said that I will deny it.

I was such a newbie when I started writing mysteries.  I didn't belong to any groups or organizations. I'd never done the conference thing.  When Krista Davis asked me to join the blog, it was my first connection to any other mystery writers.  They were all so generous and kind with their information and encouragement and their recipes, that I really felt like we were all hanging out in a big kitchen, sharing food and snippets about our lives.  


Now for the contests! #1 Leave a comment here today telling us what you'd serve at a celebration and you'll be entered in a drawing to win the Key West mystery of your choice. Don't forget to leave your email and which book you'd like...

#2 Go to this link to enter the photo contest, which runs until July 24. Prizes are these fabulous bags and books from each of us at MLK!

Follow Lucy on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Comment to Win an NYPD Coffee Mug and help Cleo Coyle countdown to A BREW TO A KILL

My NEW comment to win
contest is now at this link... 

Click Here and leave a comment
TODAY on  my Fresh Fiction blog
for a new chance to win
an NYPD mug and a 
signed copy of my new
A Brew to a Kill.

Good luck!

Below is last week's contest
and it is now over.

Help me celebrate a fantastic Kirkus 
review that was published in this week's printed issue. The review is about A Brew to a Kill, my 11th Coffeehouse Mystery, which goes on sale next week. 

The NYPD plays an important role in almost all of my Coffeehouse titles. No surprise since the cops of New York's Sixth Precinct are addicted to the coffee that my amateur sleuth Clare Cosi serves in her landmark Greenwich Village shop.

In A Brew to a Kill, you'll meet a brand cop character, a detective from the Highway Patrol division named "Mad Max" Buckman. Max works for AIS, the Highway division's Accident Investigation Squad, and he becomes Clare's biggest annoyance and her greatest ally as she works to solve the crime of a brutal hit-and-run that takes place outside of her coffeehouse.

In tribute to the NYPD and the coffee
they run on, I'm giving away a
signed copy of my book and this
fun NYPD Latte Mug, which is also
also fun to use for soup or cereal.

Comment on this post and
you'll be entered to win it!

Contest now over.
Winner announced

More than
20 fun recipes!

More to come next week
about my new book,
including a sneak peek
at the featured recipes!

In the meantime, help me celebrate
my very good news on BREW,
which includes...

"Completely entertaining!" 4-1/2 Stars!

* A Mystery Guild Featured Alternate Selection

* AudioGo audiobook release (digital and CD formats) 
scheduled for later this month

* A Fresh Fiction Featured Book for August

"Coyle lavishly details an ethnically diverse
New York City in her lively 11th coffeehouse
mystery featuring Clare Cosi..." 


" won't be easy to solve this case! A foodie’s delight, packed with information on coffee and desserts, along with appended recipes and a satisfyingly rich mystery."

Cleo Coyle's
Key Lime Coolers

Key Limes are still in season, but they won't be for long! That's why I'm baking up this favorite today. I've shared this one before with you here in the Kitchen, but for those of you who missed it, I hope you enjoy it as much as Marc and I do. 

FYI: You can make these babies with other limes, too, including the standard Persian limes found all year long in local grocery stores. To get the recipe click here to download a PDF that you can print, save, or share. Or read the original blog post by clicking here.

Yes, this is me - Cleo Coyle
Learn about my books here.

Friend me on Facebook here.
Follow me on Twitter here.
Read with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.

To get more of my recipes, enter to win
free coffee, or learn about my books, including
my bestselling 
Haunted Bookshop series, visit my online coffeehouse:

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Winner - Cheese Shop Mystery Giveaway

And the two winners of today's book giveaways are:

Katreader and Miss Kallie.


Contact me, Avery, via email: avery at averyaames dot com with your mailing address and tell me your choice of A Cheese Shop Mystery, THE LONG QUICHE GOODBYE, LOST AND FONDUE, or CLOBBERED BY CAMEMBERT! A signed copy will go in the mail to you.

Say cheese!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cookie Contest - Sweet Heat Salty Bacon Buttons


The second selection that I am posting for the cookie contest comes from one of our regular commenters, Dave.
Many of you might know 
Dave as "A Year on the Grill" and/or ERecipeCards. He has supplied a fabulously different cookie. Sweet, salty, and wow!  

And they’re gluten-free. Way to go, Dave. 

And they only have 4 ingredients.  Double-wow. 

Espresso coffee, cayenne pepper, bacon, and chocolate.

What's not to like about bacon?
I used Ghirardelli's 60% chips. 



1 bag “dark chocolate” chocolate chips
1 STRONG shot of espresso
1 pound thick cut bacon (Fried, dried and diced)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Melt the chocolate (Microwave in short bursts, stirring in between). [Note: I used a 70% setting.)

Add the Espresso Shot and mix well. (Note: a shot from my espresso machine was about 4 tablespoons of coffee. I would bet you could make some strong coffee as a substitute, if you don't have an espresso machine.)

Line up tiny cupcake papers (candy-sized) and add 1/2 teaspoon of melted chocolate in the bottom of each paper.
Add a tiny (and Dave means tiny) pinch of cayenne spice to the top of each.  Not enough to change the taste to a pepper chocolate, but just enough to add an interesting taste.  About 1/4 of a normal pinch is plenty. [On the right is a picture of a teaspoon of spice on the espresso coffee plate.]

Top with 1 teaspoon of crumbled crispy bacon and press into the chocolate.

Dave didn’t say how many this made. My batch made: 3 dozen.

You do not have to bake.  Again, how cool is this?!

Allow the sweets to cool and, as Dave says, watch as the "traditional" sugar cookies sit there while these become the life of your party!

Now, I will admit that these sound a bit more like “candy” since there is no flour involved, but…who cares. Brownie, candy, bar, cookie. They’re all bite-sized desserts.  You be the judge.

Also, baker's note: I noticed that the chocolate was hardening between batches (I could only put 12 liners into my tray at a time), so I re-microwaved the chocolate for about twenty seconds each time. This made the chocolate a little soft, so the second and third batches needed a longer time to cool. I put them in the refrigerator, and they cooled faster.

Dave has provided a great demo of these delights on his Dave’s ECardRecipes website. Here’s the LINK. 

JUST FOR FUN...being the "cheese" lady, I made the last few of these, substituting Parmesan cheese for the bacon, and then I did a few with bacon AND Parmesan. Yum. Just a twist.

P.S.  BOTH DAVE AND MY COOKIE CONTEST FINALIST FROM LAST WEEK, DENISE, HAVE WON SOME SWEET COOKIE CUTTERS FOR BEING FINALISTS!  [DAVE, if you see this message and miss all the others I've sent, write me.  Avery at averyaames dot com  DENISE, yours are in the mail!]

* * * *

You can learn more about me, Avery, by clicking this link.

Chat with me on Facebook and Twitter.

And if you haven't done so, sign up for my mailing list
 so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests!

And watch for CLOBBERED BY CAMEMBERT, coming out February 2012.

* * * * * * * *

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cranberry Almond Brownies Recipe

Our cookie contest is on!!!!  What beautiful cookies (including bars) coming our way...and therefore your way.

And I am having so much fun.

Denise Zaky offered this recipe, which she found from King Arthur Flour, but she amended it, so we’re using the recipe that she provided. King Arthur Flour asked for candied cherries and their flour, of course. Denise amended to suit her cupboard’s needs – as I would have done.

Now many of you know that I need to eat gluten-free, so I made two batches of these. One with all of Denise’s ingredients and one gluten-free. 

{And one more, which I’ll explain at the end of this post.} My taste-testers were over on Thanksgiving and loved the brownies!!!  All of them. What was interesting is they couldn’t taste the difference between my first batch of brownies, GF or regular. Ha!  But again…read on for the “rest of the real” story.

Cranberry Almond Brownies from Denise Zaky


           1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped

·         1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur (brandy or apple juice)

·         3/4 cup semisweet chocolates

·         1/2 cup butter

·         1 cup sugar

·         1/2 teaspoon salt

·         2 large eggs

·         3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour  [**NOTE: for gluten-free, use ¾ cup sweet rice or rice flour and 1 teaspoon Xantham gum]

·         1/2 teaspoon baking powder

·         1/2 cup diced almonds

·         1/2 cup Semisweet Chocolates

            If you want to have chocolate for coating these delicious morsels, you’ll need one more cup of Semisweet Chocolate and 2 tablespoons water or milk.  (*see note below)


1) Place dried chopped cranberries in a microwave-safe container,  
sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Amaretto and cover. Microwave for 45  
seconds. Set aside to soften and cool. (Note, I forgot to chop these. But they were fine because they’re small.)
Gluten-free 9" round

Regular mix 8x11" rectangle
2) Melt together the semisweet chocolate and butter over low heat, or in the microwave. {If you do in the microwave, which I did, only go on medium high for 15-20 seconds at a time so they don’t overcook.) Stir in the sugar and salt. Whisk well. Set aside to cool to lukewarm. [Okay BIG NOTE -- the rest of the real story – I forgot on the first batches to add the sugar and they turned out great, so I think that’s because the original recipe called for unsweetened chocolate and sugar. Since Denise had called for semisweet chocolates, the sugar was already in the mix, so to speak. When I remade the brownies using the sugar, they were a tad too sweet, but I think they both worked. It just depends on what mood you are in, don’t you think?]

3) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8" x 8" square pan or  
9" round pan.  [I used an 8 x 11 rectangle for the regular brownies and an 9" round for the GF to make sure I didn't get them mixed up.]

4) Whisk the eggs, one at a time, into the chocolate mixture. Stir in  
the flour (or gluten-free flour and Xanthan gum) and baking powder, then the soaked cranberries and extra semisweet chocolates.

5) Spread batter into the prepared pan. Bake the brownies for 25 to 30  
minutes, until set. Remove from the oven, and cool before cutting.

6) To dip brownies in coating chocolate: Cut brownies into 1 and 1/4" squares,  
patting crumbs into sides of brownies. Wrap and place in the freezer.  [Note: I did not put them in the freezer. Once cool, they were fine to dip. But you could freeze. I’ve got extras in there right now. Yum!]

All the brownies looked like this without chocolate! Light and fluffy.
7) Melt the 1 cup of semisweet chocolates and water or milk.  Melt coating chocolate by microwaving it in 15-second  bursts, and stirring between bursts until most of it is melted. To  make a dark, shiny glaze, mix ½ cup + 1 tablespoon hot milk with the  melted coating chocolate. Stir vigorously, until the grainy mess  smoothes itself into a dark, shiny glaze. The glaze will be firm but  not hard, like the chocolate glaze on your favorite snack cakes.

8) Using a chocolate dipping fork [I used wooden skewers], skewer a brownie and plop the brownie into the glaze, and  pull it out. Allow excess chocolate to drip back into the dipping bowl to remove excess coating.  Place on parchment to set.  [Note: I used a long barbecue-style toothpick; I could have used a fondue fork, I imagine]  **Also, I had two separate bowls to do the dipping between regular brownies and gluten-free brownies.

Yield: Denise said 3 dozen dipped brownies but I only got 16 brownies from 8 x 11 pan. I think perhaps mine were cut too big? Whatever...delicious!!!! And so pretty and glossy.

* * * *

You can learn more about Avery by clicking this link.

Chat with Avery on Facebook and Twitter.

And if you haven't done so, sign up for my mailing list
 so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests!

CLOBBERED BY CAMEMBERT, coming out February 2012.

* * * * * * * *

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lost and Fondue - book giveaway winner

The winner for the LOST AND FONDUE book giveaway is:


Okay, I have to admit that's an interesting blog-name. So fill me in on its origin when you...

Contact me, Avery, at avery (at) averyaames (dot) com and 
provide your mailing address.


Thanks to all for entering!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pub Party for Murder by Mocha! Enter to win a Gimme Coffee Latte Cup (made in Italy) from Cleo Coyle

Congrats to James "Library Jim"
who won this adorable cup and
a signed copy of my new
Coffeehouse Mystery: MURDER BY MOCHA,
now a Top-9 National Mystery Bestseller
in Hardcover! 

My original post is below, but
I'll have a NEW contest starting shortly.
Check back HERE or at
my Web site for the link to the

Cheers ~ Cleo 


Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse
We have 3 new releases to celebrate this week. Sheila's Bitter Harvest, the 5th book in her Orchard Mystery series (Congrats, Sheila!) and my own Murder by Mocha, the 10th entry in my Coffeehouse Mystery series...

I’m also celebrating the release of Coffeehouse Mystery #9, ROAST MORTEMwhich came out last year in hardcover and is now a national bestseller in paperback! 

Isn't the cover pretty?

ROAST MORTEM was also a "Favorite Book of the Year" Reviewer's Pick for 2010 by To read more about the story or purchase the book, click here



<< Madame's Osso Buco 

Clare Cosi's
Doughnut Muffins 

Clare's Blueberries 'n' Cream Coffee Cake Pie
5 minutes to stir together, yet impressive to serve

Find this and many more recipes in my culinarymystery Roast Mortem

Next week, and in the coming weeks of August, I'll tell you more about my new hardcover release, MURDER BY MOCHA, share some of its delicious recipes, and have more fun contests, some of which will test your knowledge of MURDER BY MOCHA's characters and story. To learn more about my new release or purchase it, click here or here or visit your favorite local bookseller...and stay tuned. 

I  hope you enjoy my release month as much as I plan to!

For those of you who are brand new to this blog or my series, check out the official book trailer below or visit the About the Coffeehouse Mysteries page of my Web site by clicking here.

Cleo Coyle's
"Gimme Coffee!" Latte Cup CONTEST

Thanks to all of you who entered last week’s Countdown to Release contest. Your notes and comments meant a lot to me. 

Last week's winner: Nan of Northern New England and Letters from a Hill Farm blog. Congrats, Nan!

This week's prizes were won by...

James "LibraryJim" 
of Tallahassee, Florida!

My new contest is starting shortly.
I'll post a link HERE and on
my Web site so stay tuned!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of

To get more of my recipes,
win free coffee or learn about my 
bestselling Coffeehouse Mysteries, 
and Haunted Bookshop Mysteries,
visit my virtual coffeehouse at...