Showing posts with label cozy mysteries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cozy mysteries. Show all posts

Thursday, January 5, 2017

When the Weather Outside is Frightful #recipe #giveaway

Liz, Barb, and Lucy in Key West
A big warm welcome to guest authors Barbara Ross and Liz Mugavero! Be sure to read all the way down for their double giveaway!

BARB AND LIZ: For those of us who live in the northern half of the U.S., we’re coming into the season of cold and snow, ice storms, and howling winds. Some days, it’s better for both man and beast to stay tucked up indoors. Here are two recipes from our latest books, designed to bring comfort to you and to your four-footed friends during the three-dog nights to come.

For the humans—

Jacqueline’s Meat Loaf by Barbara Ross

In the Maine Clambake Mysteries, my protagonist’s mother, Jacqueline Snowden, isn’t much of a cook, but she can manage this simple meat loaf. In Iced Under she cooks it in hopes of enticing her daughter to stay over on a stormy night. In reality, this is the meatloaf my mother made and that I made for my kids a lot when they were growing up, so it feels like home to me.


2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/2 cups dried Italian bread crumbs
1 egg
½ cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard


Combine all ingredients in a bowl and work with your hands until thoroughly mixed. (It’s a cold, messy job, but somebody’s got to do it!) Form the mixture into a loaf. Cook in an oven preheated to 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

Serves 6-8.

For the canines—

Vegetable Beef Crackers


2 cups wheat flour
1 & 1/2 cups white flour
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 ounces of vegetable beef (or beef only) baby food
1 egg
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
3/4 cup water


-Combine all ingredients in bowl, adding flours last. Mix until well blended.
-On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for about 3 minutes.
-Roll out dough to 1/4" thickness and cut out shapes using mini cookie cutters of your choice.
-Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
-Cookies maybe left in oven after baking (while oven cools down) to harden for a more crunchy bite.

Yields about 35 cracker size cookies.

A tasty feast for man and beast!

Barb and Liz will be giving away signed copies of both new books, Iced Under and Custom Baked Murder. Leave a comment with your name and email to be entered in the drawing!

Liz Mugavero is the author of the Agatha Award-nominated Pawsitively Organic Mysteries Kneading to Die, A Biscuit, A Casket, The Icing on the Corpse and Murder Most Finicky. Custom-Baked Murder, the fifth in the series, will be released in December 2016. As you can imagine, her canine and feline rescues demand the best organic food and treats around. She is a member of Sisters in Crime National, Sisters in Crime New England, Mystery Writers of America, and the Cat Writers’ Association. She currently lives in Connecticut.

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries, including the Agatha-nominated Best Contemporary Novel Clammed Up, as well as Boiled Over, Musseled Out, Fogged Inn, and Iced Under. Her story “Nogged Off” appears in the holiday novella collection Eggnog Murder along with stories by Leslie Meier and Lee Hollis. Barbara blogs with the Wicked Cozy Authors and Maine Crime Writers. In the summer, she writes on her big front porch overlooking the water in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. You can visit her website at

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Cauliflower Stuffed Potatoes #recipe @lucyburdette

LUCY BURDETTE: Who doesn't love a baked potato stuffed full of cheese, sour cream, butter, and crispy bacon? But for those of us who can't or shouldn't indulge in those treats, here's another more grown-up option. These potatoes do well served alongside any meat or even stand alone as part of the vegetarian dinner if you add a lovely green salad.


6 to 8 russet potatoes
One head of cauliflower
Low salt chicken broth or milk
2 to 3 Bay leaves
3 tablespoons butter
Shredded Swiss or Parmesan cheese, optional
Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 350, and bake the whole potatoes until soft. Time will vary according to the size of the potatoes you have chosen. Meanwhile, cut the flowers off the cauliflower stalks and steam them in an inch or so of milk or chicken broth along with the bay leaves.

When the cauliflower is soft, remove the bay leaves, add the butter, and mash with an immersion blender or mixer. (Don't throw away the liquid!) When the potatoes are done baking, let them cool. Cut them lengthwise and then scrape the insides into the pot with the mashed cauliflower. Mix well, and add cheese and freshly ground pepper to taste. 

Stuff the potato shells with this mixture and bake another half hour until the tops are brown and potato skins crispy. (If you are a garlic lover, you might a couple of cloves of roasted garlic beaten into the potato mixture.)

Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries.  Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Key West-themed Dinner for #bookclub week #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: Today I have the honor of kicking off Book Club Week in our kitchen. I do so love introducing readers and book groups to my Key West series. As I was mulling over what book to choose and food to suggest, I received an email from a Connecticut acquaintance. She told me that her book group was reading AN APPETITE FOR MURDER and wondered if I could "visit" by Face Time? Of course I could! I was blown away by the enthusiasm of the group, and the Key West decorations, and the hostess's menu. I thought it would be fun to show you what they did. Luckily, Cindy Cartier, the hostess, agreed!

It makes sense to choose the first book in a series if many of the members aren't familiar with the series, which is what Cindy did. I asked her a few questions about the evening--you will really enjoy reading what she cooked up--she's amazing!

Lucy: How did you choose AN APPETITE FOR MURDER?  

The book club (Cindy is 3rd from left)

CINDY: I LOVE culinary mysteries because I LOVE food!! Growing up in an Italian household, I truly benefited from standing at the apron strings of my mother who excelled at both cooking and baking.  There was always something cooking on the stove and baking in the oven. I also love to read murder mysteries.  Having a demanding career (I am an attorney/partner at my own law firm) and juggling children 14, 5 and 2 (yes, I am changing diapers at 50 - more later,) when I can escape with a good book, it is truly a treat.  So, when I started looking up books for our meeting, I came across your books and loved the character and location. It being summer, I thought this would be a nice escape for everyone as well.  I had no idea that you lived so close to us - a real bonus!!

LUCY: Tell us about the fabulous menu and decorations that you cooked up!

Lucy's Leaning Tower of Eggplant
CINDY: As I love food (did I say that), I also enjoy watching Giada on the cooking channel - in fact, I have her on in the background as I am chasing my little ones - she reminds me so much of my mom (who I lost too young - she was 43 when she passed) and it makes me feel a little connection to her.  So, Giada had an episode where she cooked a meal for her book club around the theme of the book.  So, me channeling Giada, I wanted to do the same.  I did go a little overboard with the food, decorations and drink - but I also love to entertain and share my love of food (I do so love food).   I had the members bring some appetizers (fruit platter including pineapples and coconut; various dips with a Caribbean theme), drinks (Mojitos, Hemingway Cocktails - apparently he loved to drink these and Smore Martinis), and dessert including a key lime pie of course and a key lime dip with fruit.   

Decorations included a hot pink/lime green theme. I haven't been to Key West yet, but from the description in your book and others who have described the area, I imagined bright colors.  I included plates, napkins, etc. keeping with this theme.  I also had jelly beans (pink/green) in large glasses on the table, drink glasses with straws in the same color theme, flowers, etc. In addition to appetizers, drinks and dessert, menu was as follows:

1. Key West Chicken - I combined a few recipes
2. Caribbean Rice
3. Eggplant Towers from your book, but I grilled eggplant instead of frying. (I had a health moment.)
4. Watermelon/Arugula salad
5. Tossed salad

Recipe - Caribbean Rice:

•    2 cups long-grain rice
•    14 ozs unsweetened coconut milk
•    2 garlic cloves (minced)
•    11/2 tsps sea salt
•    1/2 tsp allspice
•    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
•    1 tbsp butter
•    1 1/2 cups yellow, orange, red and purple bell peppers (diced)
•    1/2 cup diced red onions
•    15 ozs pineapple (canned, tidbits, drained and juice reserved)
•    41/2 ozs Old El Paso™ chopped green chiles
•    1/4 cup jalapeno chilies (Old El Paso Sliced, diced)
•    1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1.    Add the rice, coconut milk, garlic cloves, salt, allspice, cayenne, and reserved pineapple juice to a medium sauce pot. Use the coconut milk can to add 14 ounces water to the rice. Stir well. Set over medium heat and cover. Bring to a boil, then stir and lower the heat. Cover and allow the rice to cook until the liquid is absorbed and air holes form in the surface of the rice, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat.

2.    Meanwhile, add the butter to a large deep skillet and set over medium heat. Add the diced bell peppers and onions. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, to just barely soften. Then remove from heat and add the pineapple tidbits, Old El Paso Green Chiles and Sliced Jalapeños to the skillet.

3.    Once the rice is tender and fluffy, dump it into the skillet and toss well to combine. Toss in the fresh chopped cilantro. Taste, then salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm as a side dish, or serve with shrimp of chicken on top!

Yoda recommends the book too
LUCY: Thanks again to all of your book club members for reading AN APPETITE FOR MURDER. And thanks to Cindy for her fabulous celebration suggestions!

If your group would like to discuss AN APPETITE FOR MURDER at one of your meetings, here are some questions to get you started. Also feel free to contact me about "appearing" at one of your book club events. LucyBurdette at gmail dot come 

(Note to self: Review the book before you talk to the ladies so you know the answers to their questions LOL!)

And here are a few other book club posts to consider if you've already done AN APPETITE FOR MURDER:

DEATH IN FOUR COURSES plus chocolate fudge pie

MURDER WITH GANACHE plus nocciolato fudge