Showing posts with label easy vegetable. Show all posts
Showing posts with label easy vegetable. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

World’s Best Coleslaw plus a fun #Giveaway by Amanda Cooper (aka Victoria Hamilton)

Tempest in a Teapot is the
first in a new mystery series.
Learn more by clicking here.

Three cheers to my fellow bloggers who have new releases this week in their popular cozy mystery series. Congratulations to both Krista Davis and Sheila Connolly

And more happy congrats to my special guest today, who is launching her terrific new Teapot Collector Mystery series with Tempest in a Teapot.

Please give a warm welcome to Amanda Cooper (aka author Victoria Hamilton) who is sharing a recipe and a fun comment-to-win giveaway. Take it away, Amanda!

~ Cleo Coyle

* * * * 

I hate titles like that, the "World’s Best" whatever. Who really knows what the ‘World’s Best’ anything is? That’s what individual taste is about. 

We all have our likes and dislikes, and that’s so very true of coleslaw: sweet or not, coarsely chopped or finely grated, creamy dressing or oil and vinegar. So all I can give you is my own method, and it’s not even a recipe.

To start with...I’m a gadget girl. LOVE gadgets, and I’m a sucker for trying out new gadgets in the kitchen. Everyone has a mandolin, right? Or, wait a minute...not a mandolin, a mandoline

A mandolin is a stringed instrument, while a mandoline is the thingie that you slide vegetables down over a blade to slice. 

A couple of years ago I bought my sister a nifty adjustable mandoline called a One Touch. It has a dial on it, and you can dial it from very fine to very coarse. It slices cucumber so thin you can see through the slices!

I’ve always sliced my cabbage for coleslaw just using a knife, which is time consuming. Last time I tried the mandoline and wow! Fine ribbons of cabbage in seconds!

So…to my coleslaw. First, the dressing; creamy for me, please and thank you.

 I use these ingredients:



Miracle Whip

Milk (yes, milk!)

Vinegar and/or lemon juice

Celery salt

No set amounts, because that depends on how much slaw you’re making. I start with a couple of heaping tablespoons each of the mayo and Miracle Whip (MW provides a sweet tangy kick that I like) blended. I add a little vinegar and/or lemon juice, whatever I have, a scant sprinkle of celery salt, and then thin the mixture to a salad dressing consistency with the milk.

A note about vinegar: I’ve always used just plain old white vinegar in my slaw, but this last time I tried apple cider vinegar – because I had some around – and the kick to the taste was remarkable! My coleslaw went from Mmm! To Zowie! It does have a fruity taste, and that enhances the blend of veggies. My new go-to vinegar.

The veggies: Start with green cabbage, a firm, heavy head. I cut it into chunks and start slicing, or using the mandoline, until I have a nice pile of shredded cabbage, enough to two-thirds fill the container I’ll be using. Then I grate one carrot. 

Now about graters: I’ve tried a variety of graters, being gadget girl, but you just can’t do better than an old fashioned box grater. One small to medium carrot will probably be enough, unless you like LOTS of carrot. I shred it until just before I’ll graze my fingers – I’ve learned when that is by waiting too long and grating my fingers along with the carrot - then I eat the left over stub. What else are you going to do with it, throw it out? Heavens no! No food wastage.

Now for the simply blending: Pour the dressing over the cabbage and carrot and hope you have enough to coat it all. If you don’t, just make a little more dressing.

A note about sweetness: I like my coleslaw tangy, but with some sweetness. I’ll admit, I add a half teaspoon of sugar, or a half packet of sweetener to the dressing to get the taste that I like, but to each his own.

What do you like?

So what’s your preference, creamy or oil and vinegar dressing? Tangy, or sweet, or a little of both? Coarsely chopped, thinly sliced, or pulped to a fare-thee-well? Share your slaw stories!

 * * * * * 

Amanda Cooper is the pseudonym for bestselling mystery author Victoria Hamilton. She writes the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and the Merry Muffin Mysteries as Hamilton, in addition to the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper.

Cooper’s long time love of mystery novels started at age twelve when her mom handed her an Agatha Christie book and said ‘Read!’. Thousands of novels later Cooper is still reading. And writing.

But besides those two favorite pastimes, Cooper also enjoys collecting vintage kitchenalia, old books, teacups, teapots and other ephemera. Perfume is her secret addiction. She likes to cook, hates to clean, and enjoys time spent with friends chatting over wine or tea. She loves crafts, loathes boredom, and her guilty pleasure is ‘reality’ TV, which she knows is largely fake but enjoys anyway.

Cooper thinks that people are the most interesting study of all, and more than anything, she loves to hear from readers, not just about her books but about anything and everything.

About Tempest in a Teapot 
by Amanda Cooper

Sophie Freemont Taylor, failed restaurateur, chef and teapot collector, is at loose ends in Manhattan until she decides on the spur of the moment to return ‘home’ to Gracious Grove, a town in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Though not her real home town, it is where she finds respite at her grandmother’s establishment, the same place where Sophie fell in love with teapots, Auntie Rose’s Victorian Tea House. Her grandmother, Rose Freemont, aka ‘Nana’, welcomes her with open arms and twenty nine year old Sophie settles in to find her groove cooking again, even if it is ‘only’ tearoom fare. At the same time she reestablishes friendships with her childhood buddies Dana and Cissy, and her first love, Jason Murphy.

Life in Gracious Grove is never boring, but is not usually as spirited as it becomes when there is a murder at the tearoom next door, the establishment of cranky octogenarian Thelma Mae Earnshaw. Thelma has nursed a six decade long grudge against Nana, who she claims stole her beau, Harold Freemont, also known as Sophie’s grandfather and Nana’s late husband. But despite Thelma’s irascibility, Sophie feels compelled to help figure out who killed a local socialite with a baked goody at Thelma’s tearoom, Belle Époque. It’s unnerving that it occurred so close that Sophie heard the hubbub surrounding the murder by poison! Too soon the danger strikes close to home with an attack on her Nana, and Sophie races the clock to figure out what is going wrong in the pretty little town of Gracious Grove.

Facebook Page

For more on Tempest in a Teapot and the Teapot Collector Mysteries, visit the series’ Facebook page by clicking here.

Web Home
Learn more about Amanda Cooper, her alter ego Victoria Hamilton, and all her mystery series by clicking here.

Amanda's Giveaway!

This blog contest is now over.
Thanks to everyone for 
your wonderful comments!

The winner, selected by
Random Number Generator is...

Chèli from Olney, Maryland. 
Enjoy your wonderful prizes, Chèli:

* Amanda's Tempest in a Teapot mystery, 
* Cozy Mystery book tote, and 
* Cozy Mystery pen. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How to Make Cauliflower Steaks by Cleo Coyle #vegetarian #vegan

I'm making up for last week's Butter on a Stick post with a slightly healthier recipe. :)

"Cauliflower Steaks" make a nice presentation, and there are many ways to adapt this recipe to your own taste. See my links at the end of this recipe for many more ideas. Today, I'm sharing mine...

Cleo Coyle is author of
The Coffeehouse

How to Make

Cauliflower Steaks

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

(1) First preheat your oven, for at least a full half-hour, to 375 degrees F. The high heat is important to carmelization and not all ovens are at the right temperature, even after they ping. 

See my past post: Is Your Oven Lying to You?

(2) Cut the steaks: Position the cauliflower with stem-side up on the cutting surface. If the stem is overly long, trim it a bit. 

Cut the cauliflower in half first, and then cut thick "steaks" as shown from each half. The ends will fall off into florets and that’s fine. You will get 2 steaks out of a small to medium head, 3 out of a large head. 

Note: Extra florets will tumble from the ends. That's okay. They're wonderful to eat raw with a healthy dip, or see my notes at the end for other ways to cook them.

(3) Warm olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet. (If you don’t have an oven-proof skillet, that’s okay, I’ll tell you what to do below.)

How much oil? I use 1 tablespoon of oil per steak plus 1 extra for the pan. You can get away with slightly less oil, but I prefer the extra oil for the best flavor and caramelization during roasting.

(4) Season the oil: After oil is warmed but not too hot, sprinkle on your spices. I use...

½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt, and a...
generous pinch of white pepper. 

Stir lightly to mix the spices into the oil and then add the steaks. Sometimes, I take my florets along for the ride, throwing them in the pan, too, stems up, blossoms down in the oil.

(5) Briefly brown your steaks: Cook your steaks on one side for 2 minutes and then the other. I use two forks to gently flip without breaking. Now place the entire pan in the oven. (If you are not using an oven-proof pan, then use a wide spatula to carefully transfer the steaks to a foil-lined baking pan.)

(6) Roast in your well-preheated 375 degree F. oven for about 20 minutes. You’re looking for a nice browning and a test of a floret to be cooked through “to the tooth” or al dente. Do not be afraid of the browning, this caramelization is where the flavor is, and it's delicious (trust me on this)!

For a PDF of this recipe,
click here.


Here are some links to more
Cauliflower Steak ideas:

Floret fun...

Enjoy them raw before
dinner with a tasty dip, such as...
Cleo's roasted garlic dip recipe

Try them as a sub for rice in...

Or how about...
Cleo's 20-Clove Roasted Cauliflower
Anti-Cancer and Anti-Vampire :)

and be sure to...

Eat with joy!
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.

Now a National
Bestseller in Hardcover

A Coffeehouse Mystery 

*Starred Review* -Kirkus

"Top Pick"  -RT Book Reviews

"...a highly satisfying mystery."
-Publishers Weekly

See the book's
Recipe Guide
by clicking here.

* * * 

Coffeehouse Mystery
Free Title Checklist
(with mini plot summaries)

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

* * * 

Haunted Bookshop
Free Title Checklist, 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Alone in the Kitchen with a Cabbage by Cleo Coyle (Easy Vegan Recipe)

I give you The Cabbage...

It looks like a big green planet, doesn't it? See the solar warmth on the left and the chilly dark side on the right? As a food it has quite a history. As the subject of a photo, I think it should have its own atmosphere. As the basis for a recipe, it's a smart choice. It's low in fat and calories and high in nutrition. As for what to do with it, there are countless ways to go. 

I found myself alone in the kitchen with this cabbage the other day, and decided to try Extreme Simple Cooking. ESC. Our culture appears to be enamored with shortcut acronyms and our professions chain us to keyboards where the ESC key taunts us from its upper left perch. How do you like it? An ESC recipe. It lets you escape from the kitchen as fast as possible.

And to that end, away we go! May you cook it with ease and eat it with Extreme Joy. That would be EJ, I guess. :)

~ Cleo

Cleo Coyle, cabbage eater,
is author of
Coffeehouse Mysteries

Roasted Cabbage, ESC
Extreme Simple Cooking :)

As I mentioned above, cabbage is low in fat and calories and has great nutritional benefits: dietary fiber and essential vitamins and minerals for the body. Read more here

This is a delicious way to prepare it. The cabbage wedges are roasted in high heat with olive oil. While the outside edges char, the insides become tender and buttery. It's truly delicious and insanely easy. The first time you make it, I strongly suggest that you use nothing more than just a bit of salt so you can really taste the buttery sweetness of those interior wedge leaves. 

More seasonings can be added to your liking: e.g., dried garlic and onion flakes, rosemary, dill, caraway seeds, cracked black pepper, red pepper flakes, etc. Just be sure to go lightly on the seasonings because the roasted cabbage taste is so delicate.

I think a squeeze of lemon before serving is a very nice finish. If you're not a lemon fan, try a drizzle of olive oil or (if you're not a vegan) a bit of butter in good health! ~ Cleo

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


Head of cabbage 

Olive oil 
Salt (kosher or sea salt will give you nice flavor)
(Optional) Your favorite seasoning mix (suggestions in directions)


Step One - The trick to slicing: As you see in my photos, you'll need to slice up the cabbage, but there's a trick to it. You want most of your slices to include the core. The core will help keep the cabbage wedges together in the cooking. I've roasted cabbages in thick slices and also in wedges, and (frankly) I do prefer the wedges. You can experiment with what you like best.

Step Two - Prep with olive oil and very light seasoning: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously grease a heavy half-sheet pan with olive oil. Place the slices on the pan. Use a brush to coat the tops with more olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. If you use pepper or any other seasoning (e.g., dried garlic and onion flakes, caraway seeds, rosemary, dill, cracked black pepper, red pepper flakes, etc.), do so lightly. When roasted, the cabbage has a delicate, buttery flavor and too much seasoning can overpower it.

Step Three - Roast in your preheated 400 degree F. oven for 30 to 45 minutes (final time will depend on your oven and pan). FLIP the cabbage slices halfway through cooking. I use two forks to do this. Be careful and try to keep the cabbage slices together. (Yes, they will attempt to fall apart on you, but using two fork and a bit of care, you can keep them together. You can do it! I believe in you!) Roasted cabbage wedges are done when you see the edges char (turn brownish), as in my photos. 

Serve with a lemon wedge 
for a fresh squeeze of
bright flavor 
over the
finished veg and...

Eat with joy!
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 
To learn more, click here. 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.