Showing posts with label foodies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label foodies. Show all posts

Thursday, January 1, 2015


Happy New Year!!!!!


We hope you and yours will have a wonderful new year, full of new challenges, exciting joys, delicious successes!

Here are a few of our resolutions. We're sure you could add to the list:

Daryl aka Avery:
I resolve to not beat myself up. [I'm really good at asking too much of myself...perfectionist, type A, whatever you want to call it.  I resolve, resolve, resolve to do better.]  I also resolve to think happy, positive thoughts whenever I meet an obstacle in the road, i.e. a curmudgeon, a stickler, a sourpuss. Bah humbug. Who needs to get upset just because someone else is not smelling the roses? I resolve...and this is the tastiest resolution...I resolve to try all sorts of new recipes, not just my go-to recipes. Hopefully I can share them all with you. And lastly, I resolve to read more. I must find the time. Between writing and promoting and family and, well, life, it's hard, but I must, must, must read more!! Books and stories matter. How about you?

Sheila: My top-of-the-pile resolution? Get my filing done! Yes, gentle readers, I save things on paper (as well as electronically). I get a special thrill from stumbling upon an article I clipped out five years ago and finding a great story idea, and it does happen. But not when all those lovely ideas are still in stacks on the floor. Heck, my cookware is better organized than my paper records, and the cookware takes up an entire pantry as well as part of the kitchen.

Part of my vintage bakeware collection--I ran out of shelves so now they
hang on the wall
And we all need to resolve to enjoy the journey. Writing isn't always easy (or maybe it's all the other stuff that comes with it that isn't), but we are writing books that make readers happy, which is a good thing and should make us happy as well.

Krista: I love that Sheila! I'll add that to my list - remember to enjoy the journey!

I'm very big on resolutions and have found that they can really make a difference. This year I'm going to de-clutter. I'm attacking the attic, the basement, and the garage. In other words, the places that seem to collect things that really ought to move on. Oh, and I'm cleaning out my clothes closet, too. I just read that the best way to do that is to empty the whole closet on your bed, because you can't sleep until you organize it all! Don't think I'm going that route! But I do plan to take clothes to the women's shelter and Goodwill. And all the things I've tossed in the box marked Ebay are finally going to be sold. Yup. This is the year.

While I'm de-cluttering physical things, I'm going to reconsider my daily schedule. Too often, my plans are sabotaged by things that demand priority. I'm not quite sure how to handle those unexpected must-be-done now items. Suggestions welcome!

Peg: Krista, I love the idea of dumping your whole closet out on your bed!  Knowing me, though, I'd just go sleep in the guest room!

I resolve in 2015 to make time for ME.  I know that sounds selfish, but it's not really--I put everyone and everything ahead of the things I need to do for myself.  And the biggest thing I need to do for myself is to exercise.  Not so I'll fit into a size zero (as if that would ever happen--I like to eat too much!) but to stay healthy.  I want to work on my flexibility because I get stiff and achy after so many hours in front of the computer. I also want to increase my stamina (my girlfriend, who is the same age I am, just ran a half-marathon so that blows my excuse of being too old to run right out of the water.) I also want to build strength. I'm pretty strong already, but my granddaughter keeps getting heavier, and if I want to pick her up, I've got to keep up!  What's on your list for the new year? 

LUCY BURDETTE: I like some of your ideas a lot! Enjoy the journey, read more, stay positive! But to do all that, I think I have to watch how much time and energy gets sucked into the Internet. Honestly, I nip over to research one fact, and fifteen minutes later, I can't even remember what I went for.
And in order to read more, I need to check out of device-land earlier.

I was going to resolve to make a croquembouche or tower of profiteroles, but make that a "maybe." The profiteroles, a definite!

Happy new year friends!! xo

Cleo Coyle: Marc and I have the same resolution for 2015. Last year, we each lost a good friend. Both were good men and great writers. Losing them so young has changed our outlook, and we resolve to carry that change into the new year. 
Every sunrise is precious; every sunset worth pausing to appreciate. Each day is a gift, and we resolve to see it as another chance to choose joy. 

Wishing all of our readers and blog followers 

an abundantly Happy New Year!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Comfort Food for Summer - Bare but not naked spaghetti

I'm very excited to announce that the cover for the third in A Cheese Shop Mysteries series is done, CLOBBERED BY CAMEMBERT, and I love it.  I hope you do, too.  The book comes out in January.  But that is months away, and we're talking

I know it's summer, and I should be thinking about barbecues, and gardening, and sports to do outdoors. But I had a craving for comfort food and spaghetti. I'm in the midst of writing book 4, TO BRIE OR NOT TO BRIE, and I'm coming into the home stretch (the last third). That makes me hungry. I need brain food, i.e. comfort food.

Because I need to eat gluten-free, I don't indulge in carbs very often. Sure, I can have potatoes and rice and such, but restricting my diet has made me realize that I don't "need" those things. I get them in my cereal and the sweet breads that I make (like banana bread and coffee cake), so at night, I don't usually eat the extras. I stick to protein and vegetables and a glass of wine (that's my carb).

But last night, I needed carbs. In the form of spaghetti. I use this terrific brand that I found in the stores when I lived in Connecticut and can't find in the stores I frequent in California (don't know why...have complained), so I get it in bulk online through Amazon. It's called Bionaturae Gluten-free (spaghetti or linguine).  It holds together great, has a great texture, and to me, doesn't taste like it's not the "real" thing. From what I hear, Italy tests all of its people at a young age for celiac disease, so Italy--being a pasta nation--is on top of what it takes to make a great gluten-free pasta.

That said, I also wanted as fresh as possible, so I made sure I had fresh tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, and turkey.  Yep, turkey. I like the lighter meat in this Bare but not Naked version of spaghetti.  It seems a little more "summery" (if you will).

Douse with Parmesan cheese and yum!

(*Yes, this can be made with regular spaghetti)


1 pound gluten-free pasta (cooked 11-12 minutes, to tender)
1 pound ground turkey meat
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 zucchini, sliced
2 fresh tomatoes, cut into chunks
8 mushrooms, sliced thick
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 cup red wine
4-8 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded

Heat large saute pan. Add 1 tablespoon oil, turkey (broken into smaller chunks), onion.  Put on the saucepan lid. Cook on low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally (yep, got to remove that lid to do this) so turkey doesn't stick to pan and browns on all sides. Add water and wine, add vegetables and herbs.  Cook for another 20 minutes on low, with lid on. No need to stir.

Cook pasta according to directions, cooking approximately 11-12 minutes until tender. Drain in a colander.

Plate pasta on 4 plates. Spoon turkey mixture onto the pasta, making sure you add the juice that is in the bottom of the pan to each portion. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Adorn with small salad or pretty green salad green leaves.

Serve with gluten-free breadsticks.


Book 2 in A Cheese Shop Mystery series launched last month: LOST AND FONDUE . 

If you'd like to order a copy, click this booksellers link on my website. It's available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and independent booksellers.

To see a trailer for LOST AND FONDUE, click HERE

To read an excerpt of LOST AND FONDUE, click HERE.

If you'd like to know more about A Cheese Shop Mystery series and want to download a few other recipes from me (on recipe cards - including FONDUE), click here: RECIPES.

Say cheese!

Be sure to catch me (or my characters) the fourth of every month at Killer Characters blog, and on Facebook, and on Twitter: @AveryAames.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Welcome our guest, Diana Orgain!

Welcome our guest, Diana Orgain!

Diana Orgain is the author of the BUNDLE OF TROUBLE and MOTHERHOOD IS MURDER. She holds a B.A and M.F.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University with a minor in acting. Diana has acted professionally both on stage and in national commercials. She’s written several plays, which were produced at San Francisco State University, GreenHouse Productions, and PlayGround. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and three children. Visit her at

For fun – leave Diana a comment about your favorite hamburger additive (carrots, spinach, egg?) and why you love it and she’ll randomly pick someone to win a copy of her latest book MOTHERHOOD IS MURDER: A Maternal Instinct Mystery

Take it away, Diana!

First off thank you to the wonderful bloggers here at mystery kitchen for hosting me. And, what better topic for mystery kitchen than “hidden veggies”? I have three small children and believe it or not the recipe I use for hamburgers is not really to hide anything from them (like sneaking in veggies so they don’t protest). No, mostly I use this recipe because I discovered that hiding zucchini in hamburger (or meatballs) not only adds an extra nutritional punch, but it keeps the burgers moist! I’ve tried carrots – but I find they alter the texture of the burger too much and spinach while having no real flavor (therefore undetectable by the little ones) didn’t add the moisture I like so much with the zucchini.

- 1 medium zucchini (shredded)

- ½ small onion (minced)

- 2 cloves garlic

- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

- 1 tsp Italian seasoning(oregano, basil, thyme and rosemary)

- salt and pepper to taste

- 1 pound lean ground beef

> Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high, or heat an indoor grill pan to medium-high and spray with oil.

> In a large bowl, mix zucchini, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Add the ground beef, mixing with your hands until well combined.

Thank you, Diana, for a wonderful post! I love the hidden vegetables idea. Terrific. To all our fans, enjoy!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Back to School BLOG PARTY

It's "Back to school" time, so
we're celebrating all week long.


With recipes for lunches and contests and fun!

To all the moms out there, you rock!!

Fun facts: Because today is labor day.
If you'd like to know more about
how Labor Day got started,
click this link for the Department of Labor!

Br-r-r-r-ing! Lunchtime!

You know kids swap what's in their lunchbox, don't you? My son did all the time. Until I came up with items that he loved. It didn't always have to be a sandwich. He liked leftovers. Leftover pizza.
Leftover spaghetti (cold!). Nibbles of cheese and salami. Sliced apples with peanut butter dip. I tried to be creative. And I'd grill him when he got home to make sure he ate what I'd given him. [Oh, I didn't grill him, but I did ask leading questions. It's the mystery writer in me, right?]

So what can you make that is fun, flavorful, and the winner that no kid will swap for lunch? Not just any old cheese and baloney or peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

How about a recipe right out of The Long Quiche Goodbye? Peanut Butter Apple Pie Sandwich. It's got everything in it. Apples, raisins, cheese and peanut butter. It is downright satisfying. And it's EASY!!!

Peanut Butter Apple Pie Sandwich


2 slices of your favorite bread

2 slices sharp Cheddar or Edam cheese [I used a delicious Cheddar made at Mississippi State]

2 slices of your favorite apple [I use a pippin, skin on]

10-20 California raisins [I use Sun-Maid]

2 Tbs. of Creamy Peanut Butter [I use Jif; - hence the picture above.]


  • Spread peanut butter on a slice of bread
  • Dot each with raisins
  • Layer on the apples and cheese
  • Add the other piece of bread. [You can put peanut butter on it, too].
  • Slice and enjoy.
[Note: For this picture, I used a thicker harder bread so it would photograph well and you could see the inside layers. When you use a nice, soft piece of bread, it all melds together.]


If you'd like to win a prize this week,
enter a comment on that day.
Check back the next day to see if you won!
There will be a different winner every day this week.

Today's prize
A "COOL" lunch box! Star Wars "Clone Wars".
What could be better?
And a blue ice football from Rubbermaid to stow inside.
Even cooler!

For more recipes from Avery, click HERE.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Chicken Parmesan with a Twist

I used to cater (for a brief moment in my life).

It was a way for me to make a little cash during college. I also waited tables, managed a restaurant, and ran the kitchen at a camp. I learned how to make hordes of food for, well, hordes. When I got married, we liked to have a little holiday party. Soon the holiday party became 100 people. At my house. It wasn't a problem. I like a crowd. Expensive, but not a problem. Yes, I'm a little bit weird, I know. Please don't hold it against me. My sister gets nervous having a more than three people over. I get it.

 [My husband and I have since pared our party down to just family again. It's lovely, manageable. I'm growing increasingly sane.]

Anyway, when I catered, one of my specialties was making fried chicken. Oh, how I love fried chicken!!! But because I now have to eat gluten-free, fried chicken is out. No ifs, ands, or buts. No regular flour. So I've learned to be creative. Sure, I could dredge the chicken in rice flour and fry away, but I still want something crunchy. I came up with making my coating out of gluten-free rice cereal.

And then I decided to add cheese. [I know, I know. I'm a little cheese-happy this past year.] I thought if I added cheese to the
mix, it might make the fried crust chewy.

Well, it did!

Here's my experimental recipe.

By the way, it's not just for people who need to eat gluten-free. It's delicious, if I do say so myself.



4 breasts of chicken
½ cup rice cereal
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg whites

Mix rice cereal, spices and cheese. Spread evenly on 9x13 pan that has ben covered with foil.
Rub chicken breasts with egg whites. Press skin side down on the rice mixture.
Seal the foil and bake chicken in oven for 1 hour at 300 degrees F.
Remove from oven. Turn oven to broil. Open foil and turn the chicken, meat side up. Return to oven for 10 minutes on broil.
Serve warm.
* * *
If you would like a DOWNLOADABLE version of this recipe,
click this LINK.

Visit Avery at her website.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Say Cheese!

Have you ever been in a restaurant, eaten something so delicious you believed you’d faint, and then thought, “I could make that”???

I went to a fabulous restaurant in New York City called La Masseria on 48th. On the menu that day was an appetizer that made my mouth water: artichoke hearts baked with Taleggio. Taleggio is an Italian washed-rind, cow’s milk cheese. A washed-rind cheese is washed or “rubbed” by hand with a moist cloth soaked in a brine solution of rock salt and water to inhibit growth of mold and encourage the growth of bacteria. Taleggio has a strong aroma but a tangy, slightly salty flavor. It melts like a dream. Ripe Taleggio will be soft enough to cut with a dull butter knife. The reddish-brown crust should be uncracked.

Later that week, I tried to copy the recipe, and I have to say I got pretty darned close. I’m no chef. I’m an author and I write The Cheese Shop Mysteries that will be coming out from Berkley Prime Crime next July, but I’m always on the alert for a new cheese-based dish.

I’d like to share my version of the appetizer. Enjoy and remember when you’re done eating, remember to smile and “Say Cheese!”


Makes: 1 PORTION


1 tsp. olive oil
3 canned artichokes (in water), or 3 fresh small (2”) artichokes cooked tender, and halved
2 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 clove garlic, sliced
2 oz. white wine
2 oz. Taleggio, diced
Pinch salt
Pinch nutmeg


Saute olive oil, artichokes halved, mushrooms sliced, garlic sliced, white wine.
Put into casserole pan.
Top with Taleggio, diced, pinch salt, and pinch nutmeg

Bake 400 degrees, 6 minutes until cheese is bubbling.

Serve hot.
The Cheese Shop Mysteries, by Avery Aames, are coming out in July 2010 from Berkley Prime Crime.

Learn more about Avery at her website -- and sign up for her newsletter, a monthly event with tidbits, mini-histories of cheese, and future contests.