Showing posts with label giveaway. Show all posts
Showing posts with label giveaway. Show all posts

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Welcome to guest Libby Klein

Join us in welcoming author Libby Klein, who's introducing a new series--with beaches and recipes! Perfect for a dreary February. (Plus this lovely recipe isn't even in the book!) And a giveaway!

Aunt Ginny’s Lavender Madeleines

A few years ago, I travelled to Paris on vacation. Attending several days of cooking school in Montmartre was the highlight of my trip, and maybe my life.  One of my classes was themed Traditional French Desserts, and one of those desserts was madeleines. 

The French Chef who was my teacher that day would broker no nonsense. This was not a tourist class. This was college, and we were being graded. If there was any jocularity, she strongly disapproved with a string of expletives in French. 

There were a few students in the class who were neither Americans nor French, who were expecting a lighthearted activity to scrapbook about when they returned home. It did not go well for them. 

They were enjoying themselves thoroughly, tasting everything and giggling amongst themselves, when at one point, the chef had a total meltdown and started screaming up to the sky. “Oh, mon dieu! Ce qu se passe?! - Oh, my God! What is happening?!” Other chefs from different kitchens had to come in to calm her down. 

So, later, when she was already teetering over the edge, we made the madeleine batter. In a moment of temporary insanity brought on by a lack of judgement and not realizing how revered madeleines are in France, I asked, “So, madeleines are just muffins baked in a shell pan?”

“Ce qu se passe?!”

I barely made it out alive. 

This is a bonus recipe for Mystery Lover’s Kitchen readers as it does not appear in Class Reunions Are Murder. Aunt Ginny served Poppy these madeleines when she first arrived in Cape May. Of course, Poppy wasn’t gluten free yet, so Aunt Ginny’s madeleines would have been made the traditional way with wheat flour. Poppy has tweaked the recipe into a Paleo version, so she can eat them too. Aunt Ginny can’t even tell the difference. 

Aunt Ginny’s Lemon Lavender Madeleines–Paleo Version

(Small French cakes in the traditional shell shape)


1/3 cup + 1 tbsp. coconut flour 

1/2 cup arrowroot starch 
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp xanthan gum
3 eggs 
1/3 cup raw honey 
1/4 cup pasture raised butter melted (or refined coconut oil)
1/4 cup coconut milk 
Zest of 1 lemon 
1/4 cup water 

2 Tablespoons dried lavender tea 
1/4 tsp lavender extract – optional


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two madeleine pans well.

Pour hot water over the tea and steep for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl whisk together the coconut flour, arrowroot starch, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum.

Whip the eggs until thick and lemon colored.

Strain tea.

Pour the honey, melted butter, coconut milk, lemon zest, strained tea, and lavender extract over the eggs, while mixing on low.

Slowly add in the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until incorporated, and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Use a cookie scoop to evenly divide the batter among the greased madeleine molds in the pans. You should fill the madeleine molds just about entirely. Do not bang the pan or pat down.

Place the madeleine pans in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until baked all the way through and a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool in pans for 5 minutes before turning over on a wire rack to cool.

Optional – sprinkle with powdered sugar or make a glaze with 3/4 cup powdered sugar and 2 Tblsp lemon juice. Neither option is paleo compliant because of the powdered sugar, but I won’t tell anyone if you won’t.

These are lovely with a cup of tea, or a glass of lemonade.

To celebrate the launch of her new book, Libby is giving away a copy of the book and a package of coffee to one lucky winner who leaves a comment below!

About Libby

Libby Klein graduated Lower Cape May Regional High School sometime in the ’80s. Her classes revolved mostly around the culinary sciences and theater, with the occasional nap in Chemistry. She has worked as a stay at home mom, climbing the ladder up the ranks to the coveted position of Grandma. She also dabbles in the position of Vice President of a technology company which mostly involves bossing other people around, making spreadsheets and taking out the trash. She writes from her Northern Virginia office while trying to keep her cat Figaro off her keyboard. Most of her hobbies revolve around eating, and travel, and eating while traveling.

About Class Reunions Are Murder

Poppy McAllister is having a 40 year old funk.  Her life has not turned out quite the way she’d imagined. She’s recently widowed, with no marketable skills and an extra sixty pounds has crept up out of nowhere while she was living on cookies and frozen burritos. She’s been spending her nights on the couch with her black smoke Persian, Figaro, watching the Food Network and shopping the infomercials.

She’s coerced into visiting her Great Aunt Ginny’s in Cape May, NJ to attend her twentieth reunion, and help her best friend face off against two cheerleaders who bullied them throughout high school.

Her plans to get in, get out, and go home before being seen by the one who got away are interrupted when she stumbles upon the dead body of her greatest nemesis, and becomes the prime suspect in the murder.

Aunt Ginny proves to be a questionable sidekick when it comes to investigating, and to make matters worse, steamrolls Poppy into an appointment with a holistic doctor who prescribes the Paleo Diet to address Poppy’s health concerns.

Now Poppy’s stuck in Cape May while she tries to prove her innocence, get her life back on track, and stay one step ahead of a killer who’s determined to stop her from meddling.

You can order the book from:


Barnes and Noble

Friday, December 8, 2017

Bramley Apple Pie and a Giveaway

I know, you've seen plenty of apple pie recipes, but there's a reason for this one.

It all started with the apples at the Skibbereen Farmers’ Market in West Cork. You see, in England and Ireland they have Bramley apples, which are large, green, and often kind of lumpy-looking. They hold their shape in cooking and they taste good. They were first described in 1809, and are the most important cooking apple in England and Ireland. For some reason they've never really caught on in the US, so I brought a few back with me.

I needed a recipe. As I have said (too many times) already, I’m lousy at making rolled pie crusts, so I decided to use a simple one that I could press into the pie pan, and I found a nice, easy recipe.

The rest I kind of borrowed from my own recipe for Apple Goodie. I’d never made that with a crust, but it seemed worth trying. Besides, the topping for Apple Goodie is also quick and easy, and you can mix up everything with your hands (saves washing up!).

Bramley Apple Pie


2 cups flour

3 Tblsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, 
   cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tblsp water

In a food processor, mix all the ingredients until the mixture is clumpy, but stop before it starts forming a ball. Or mix with your fingers.

Find a ten-inch pie plate (metal works best—I’m not sure how the crust would brown with a ceramic or Pyrex pie plate). Dump all the crumbs into the pan. Press the dough around the sides first, then the bottom. Cover with plastic wrap and use a glass or cup and press the dough smooth all around (this helps firm it up so it holds together when you’re serving it). Remove the plastic (!).


Peel and slice your apples (I used three Bramleys, which made up between 3-4 cups. This is a shallow pie.), then toss them with some sugar, flour, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.

Put the apples into the pie pan over the crust. Lay them sort of flat, but you don’t have to be fussy.


1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Mix coarsely (fingers again, if you want) and sprinkle over the apples in the pan.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the pie in the middle of the oven (you might want to put a cookie sheet under it or on the rack below in case it oozes) and bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until what you can see of the crust around the edge is nicely brown.

Remove from the oven and let cool for a while (but you can serve it still warm). I will confess I held my breath when I sliced it, but it came out in a tidy piece. Eureka! (And it tasted really good!)

And a holiday giveaway! I have my first author copies of Many a Twist, the next County Cork Mystery, which will hit the shelves next month, and I want to share one! Leave a comment about your favorite apple pie (or apple dessert, or just about anything that uses apples) and I'll pick a winner!

"This laid-back mystery combines plenty of puzzles with a strong feeling for life in small-town Ireland."
     --Kirkus Reviews

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Super Coleslaw #recipe @LucyBurdette #giveaway @levelbestbooks

Tennessee Steve and his better half, Dorothy Rahn

LUCY BURDETTE: During the high season in Key West, our fabulous kitchen store and bakery (The Restaurant Store) sponsors an artisan market. I'm there sometimes in the Key West Writers Guild booth, and there are lots of local artists, craft beers, music, and delicious food. But our must-stop is Tennessee Steve's BBQ rib booth. Oh my the ribs are tasty! And I would not even attempt to make them. But I can and do make the healthy and delicious cole slaw that we serve along with the ribs.

I have started buying Fresh Express packages of super kale salad in the supermarket. It comes with packets of pumpkin seeds and cranberries, along with a poppyseed dressing that I don’t use because of sodium content. 

Since I always like to try to have extra vegetables on hand, especially during the holiday treat indulgence period, I decided to make a big pile of this coleslaw that I could eat for lunches and dinners all week, in addition to a rib side dish. The "recipe" is very flexible, so you could add carrots or peppers or onions or various herbs as you choose. The secret is to prepare the vegetables ahead of time, and then take them out and dress them as needed. I suppose you could even add them to soups and stews if the whim hits you.


1/2 cabbage
8 to 10 Brussel sprouts
Two broccoli stalks
Large handful of kale
1/3 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/3 cup dried cranberries, raisins, or cherries

For the dressing

2 tablespoons good mayonnaise
1/8 cup or more cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Fresh black pepper

Either chop, or even better, put the vegetables through your Cuisinart so they are all shredded. Mix.

Stir the mayonnaise with the vinegar, celery seed, salt and sugar, and then whip in the olive oil. Taste to be sure it’s seasoned to your liking.

An hour or two before serving, mix the dressing with the vegetables, then fold in the pepitas and cherries. You could even add a sprinkle of goat cheese if the mood struck you!

We served this with Tennessee Steve’s ribs and baked beans Yum! (Recipe for beans to come...)

Because my purchased copies of SNOWBOUND, this year's anthology of best New England Crime Stories from Level Best Books arrived yesterday, and because it's holiday season, and because my short story "Dorothea and the Case of the Noxious Nanny" got the lead position (wow and yay!), I'd love to give a copy away. Leave a comment telling us who on your list would enjoy the short stories (of course, it can be you.) I'll post a winner on Monday, December 11!

Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries--find them wherever books are sold! Find her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest--Instagram too...

And the next Artisan Market at the Restaurant Store is December 17, 10-2. I'll be there from 12-2! 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Guest Susan Shea

Join us today at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen in welcoming Susan Shea, author of a lovely series set in France, who gives us a delicious dessert recipe.

A mid-summer field of blooming rapeseed in rural Burgundy

Thank you so much for having me today!

Love & Death in Burgundy, the first in my new mystery series, was loosely inspired by the experiences of two middle-aged California friends of mine who moved with two large dogs and a cat to rural Burgundy on not much more than a whim. Their romantic dreams hit some snags (leaking roof, leaking stone walls, the mystery of the carte de sejour, the downpours that inevitably drench the sheets just hung outdoors to dry) but they persevered, slowly working their way into the life of their crossroads village. While most of the novel is complete fiction, the pear tree under which Katherine and her friends sit in the opening scene is a more productive version of the one I have sat under many times during my visits. The summer day in Burgundy I write about mirrors my experience there, quiet except for a passing tractor and the sounds of birds. Burgundy is famous as the origin of boeuf bourguignon, coq au vin, escargot, and pain d’espices, among other gourmet recipes. Pears poached in wine are served in restaurants in the region, but my recipe is one I’ve been making at home in California for many years.

Summer pears poached in Burgundy wine

Love & Death in Burgundy begins with a scene under a fruiting pear tree in the heart of agricultural France, so this recipe seemed perfect. I have made it several times with different kinds of pears and wine. I prefer the dessert chilled, and that also means you can make it ahead of time.

1 bottle of red wine  
(I chose a pinot made in Burgundy, France, because my new book is set there)
2 cups of sugar
2 cups of water
the juice of 1 orange
the zest of that orange, but save 4 lengths of peel for decoration
a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg
4 firm pears, peeled but not cored

Make the poaching liquid by combining everything except the orange peel and the pears in a tall saucepan and bringing to a high simmer so the sugar dissolves.

When that has happened, reduce the heat, add the pears and poach, spooning liquid over the pears at least a few times. The cooking time required will depend on the type of pear and how much poaching liquid touches the pears. You don’t want them to get mushy! (To keep them looking pretty, test them for doneness near their bases.)

Gently remove the pears from the poaching liquid and either chill them or set them aside while you bring the heat up and reduce the poaching liquid to a syrup. Spoon the syrup over the peaches and decorate with a curl of orange peel. If you cool the syrup first, you can serve the pears with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or tart lemon sorbet. 

Susan will give a copy of Love & Death in Burgundy to one lucky person who comments today.

Biography: Susan C. Shea is the author of the Dani O’Rourke mysteries, set in San Francisco ("Fresh, fast-paced and great fun." - Library Journal) and a new series, set in France (“…a pleasant getaway from hard-core killers” - NYTBR). Before quitting her day job to write full time, she was a non-profit executive for more than two decades.

You can find her at and on Facebook

About the book: After three years of living in the small town of Reigny-sur-Canne, all Katherine Goff really wants is to be accepted by her neighbors into their little community. But as an American expat living in the proud region of Burgundy, that’s no easy task.
When the elderly Frenchman who lives in the village chateau is found dead at the bottom of a staircase, the town is turned into a hot bed of gossip and suspicion, and Katherine suddenly finds herself drawn deeper and deeper into the small town’s secrets. A motherless teenager, a malicious French widow, a brash music producer, and a would-be Agatha Christie are among those caught up in a storm that threatens to turn Katherine’s quiet life upside down. As more and more of the villagers' secrets are brought to light, Katherine must try to figure out who, if anyone, in the town she can trust, and which one of her neighbors just might be a killer.

"Shea launches a cozy series that richly details life in a small French village. The outlandish antics of the eccentric locals add to the humor. Suggest to fans of Rhys Bowen's early "Evan Evans" series for the humor, the characters, and the charming setting." -Library Journal

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Welcome our guest, author Maya Corrigan!

Maya (Mary Ann) Corrigan lives in Virginia, an easy drive from Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the setting for her Five-Ingredient Mysteries: By Cook or by Crook, Scam Chowder, Final Fondue, and the upcoming mystery, The Tell-Tale Tarte. The series features café manager Val Deniston, who solves murders with her live-wire grandfather in a historic Chesapeake Bay town. Each book has five suspects, five clues, and Granddad's five-ingredient recipes. Visit Maya’s website,, for trivia and quizzes about classic mysteries. She loves hearing from readers.

Take it away, Maya...Mary Ann!


Thank you, Daryl, for hosting me again on Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen, my favorite site for great recipes and news about mysteries in which food plays a role. I’m excited to tell your readers about the latest book in my Five-Ingredient Mystery series, The Tell-Tale Tarte, coming out on June 27th.

The book’s title derives from a story about a murder, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” written by the father of the detective story, Edgar Allan Poe. As a Poe fan, I thoroughly enjoyed incorporating his life and writing into the plot of a current-day mystery. The victim and suspects in my mystery include people whose lives Poe has influenced: an actor, a scholar, and a writer. My sleuth Val fears for her grandfather’s life when an actor famed for his Poe one-man show is murdered while dressed like Granddad. She soon learns the actor isn’t the only one doing an impersonation. The search for his murderer takes Val to the home of a Poe-inspired author, Rick Usher. When she and Granddad are stranded at the "House of Usher" by an ice storm, they uncover clues to the murder, but will they live to tell the tale? 

A crucial turning point in the story occurs when Val serves a French dessert, tarte Tatin, during a book club dinner party. Mystery Lovers Kitchen already has recipes for that dessert and similar apple tarts, so instead of a dessert recipe, I’m sharing a main dish recipe, a variation on Granddad’s Scrumptious Shrimp, which appeared in Final Fondue. At the Malice Domestic convention this year, a reader told me she and her husband loved that quick recipe. Though it calls for fresh shrimp, she used frozen shrimp and said it turned out great.  

Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta

1 pound of large shrimp, shelled and with veins removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup white wine [optional]
2 large cloves of garlic, chopped fine
1 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled into small pieces

Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until it is hot, but not smoking. Add the shrimp and garlic to the pan. Cook until the shrimp are opaque (about a minute), stirring them in the pan. Remove the shrimp from the pan. Deglaze it with the wine if you are using it.

Add the tomatoes with juices. If you haven’t deglazed the pan with wine, stir to loosen any bits in the bottom. Cook at medium high until the liquid is reduced by a third. Add the shrimp and feta, turn the heat to low, and simmer until the shrimp are cooked through (around 3 minutes, longer for jumbo shrimp).

Serve the shrimp with crusty bread to sop up the sauce.
Serves 3-4 as a main course.


Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of The Tell-Tale Tart. A U.S. winner will receive a signed paperback. An international winner will get an e-book for a Kindle or Nook. To enter, comment below about your favorite tart or pie and include your email address for notification if you win. Good luck!

Visit Maya at her website or on Facebook
Sign up for her newsletter here.