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

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, mayacorrigan.com, for trivia and quizzes about classic mysteries. She loves hearing from readers.

Take it away, Maya...Mary Ann!

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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.


GIVEAWAY

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. 


Friday, March 17, 2017

Guest Fran Stewart

Please welcome Fran Stewart to MLK. She writes about a Scottish-themed shop in Vermont, and though it's Saint Patrick's Day today, we won't hold it against her. She's giving us a recipe that is both easy and fun. Plus a giveaway!




Why would anyone wonder why I write not one, but TWO mystery series with a protagonist who either can’t or doesn’t like to cook? Isn’t it obvious?

Peggy Winn in the ScotShop series likes to eat the leftovers from her friend Karaline’s restaurant. Biscuit, the librarian in the Biscuit McKee series, cooks three things – soups, bread, and cookies. Anything else is the responsibility of Bob, her ever-patient husband.

Those two characters just about sum me up. I can’t imagine how much trouble I’d have writing a series if I had to come up with recipes for each book.

That said, I do have a recipe for you, but you’ll have to improvise a lot, since it’s based to a large extent on what was in my cupboard one particular day.

I loved the moment I discovered crockpots. I can throw a whole bunch of ingredients in there in the morning, let it simmer all day long, and have a number of meals to chomp on (like about five of them – supper this evening, lunch and supper for the next two days).

I can hear you asking – “What!!!! Eat the same thing three days in a row?!!!!”

Well, yes. Food is not a high priority for me (as I’m sure you already figured out). If you don’t want to duplicate menus, feel free to freeze meal-sized batches for later.

Now, I do admit that sometimes the crazy combinations I put together end up being, shall we say, less than satisfying. Since I hardly ever cook for company, though, I don’t have to worry about it. I’m someone who can make a complete meal out of fresh homemade bread and creamy butter, along with hunks of cheese and good strong tea. Throw in some soup (even if it tastes a little weird), and the meal is even better.


So, here’s the way my throw-together soup happens:
1. Crockpot, dribbled with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to keep things from sticking.

2. Layer the bottom with a cup of rice (preferably brown) uncooked.

3. Dump an entire undrained can of Italian-cut green beans on top of the rice.

4. Add an undrained can of light red kidney beans (You can use the dark red, but they turn the rice sort of muddy looking. Not too appetizing unless you’re eating by candlelight.) If you’d rather, you can soak dried kidney beans overnight and add them during this step.

5. Chop up a smallish dill pickle and add it on top of the kidney beans. Why, you ask? Why not?

6. Sprinkle with a generous amount of pepper. At this point, I usually throw in some sort of herb or spice. The last soup I put together had a couple of teaspoons of mustard seed. I’ve also been known to add a little cumin and a fair amount of ginger.

7. Chop up some chicken (cooked or uncooked) or fresh salmon and layer the pieces over the rice and such. If you don’t want to chop, four to six drumsticks work just fine.

8. Add another layer of rice – if you make it wild rice, it’ll add a nutty consistency that’s delicious – and one more can of green beans. You could use the French-cut beans, but they’re a little harder to eat without dribbling. Once I used a can of each, and it just looked messy, so now I stick to the stubby Italian-cut version.

8. Top with four or five pieces of pickled okra, sliced thinly.

9. Add enough water to make it sort of soupy.

Cook on high from 4 to 6 hours (or on low overnight). You may need to add more water halfway through.

I almost never add salt – but you might want to in step #6 if you’re a “salty” kind of person.

That’s it. Simple. Quick. Tasty (we hope).


Fran will be giving away one copy of her book to one lucky reader who leaves a comment!


About the book:

The annual Highland Festival in Hamelin, Vermont, means caber tossing, sword dancing, and just a spot of murder...

Hamelin is overflowing with tourists enjoying the Scottish-themed games—and most of them are donning tartans from Peggy Winn’s ScotShop. And her fourteenth-century ghostly companion, Dirk, has been indispensable, keeping an eye out for shoplifters and matching customer’s family names to their clan plaid.

Adding to the chaos is Big Willie, a longtime champion of the games, but not everyone is happy to have him in town. So when he misses the first event of the weekend, Peggy senses something is awry. After Willie is discovered dead in his hotel room, the victim of a bagpipe-related crime, Peggy decides it’s up to her and Dirk to suss out a murderer—because another death would really blow... 






Find A Wee Homicide in the Hotel at:

Amazon
AmazonSmile
iBooks
Books a Million
Books a Million


About Fran:

Hoping to be judged on her writing ability and not on her cooking ability, Fran is the national best-selling author of fourteen books, including the Biscuit McKee mystery series (seven books so far) and the ScotShop mystery trilogy; as well as a standalone mystery A SLAYING SONG TONIGHT; and FROM THE TIP OF MY PEN: a workbook for writers, written to help emerging writers use the English language more effectively. She lives and writes quietly beside a creek on the other side of Hog Mountain, Georgia, after having moved repeatedly from her birth through her fourth decade. The small fictional towns she writes about embody the hometown she always wanted—except for the murders.





Friday, March 10, 2017

Pear and Ginger Crumble

What, no cake? Well, it's still a dessert. One must be careful of withdrawal symptoms.



I found this recipe in a recent newspaper, and immediately I started tweaking. Hmm, pears and ginger—that sounds promising. Kinda early in the year for juicy fresh pears, but whatever—there are plenty of pears in the market. I like ginger. I have plenty.

The original recipe called for chopped nuts. I'm not wild about nuts, and I didn't like the combination of nuts suggested with the pear and other flavors. Axe the nuts. I swapped in candied ginger, which I do like. Adds an interesting texture to the crumble on top.

The suggested oven setting of 375 degrees seemed a little high—the top gets brown long before the pears get soft. I cut it down to 350 degrees and baked it longer.


Pear-Ginger Crumble

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch-square baking pan (or any pan which would hold the same amount—a ten-inch round pan would do).

Crumb Topping



1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch of ground nutmeg
5 Tblsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup candied ginger, chopped into 1/4-inch bits

In a bowl, whisk the flour, granulated and brown sugars, salt, and nutmeg to blend them. Add the butter and stir with a fork until the mixture resembles crumbs. Add the diced ginger and toss to combine.



Pear Filling

6 pears (enough to make about 
five cups of filling), peeled, quartered,
cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/4 cup orange juice
2 Tblsp lemon juice
2 Tblsp honey
1 Tblsp grated fresh ginger

In a bowl, combine the pears, orange and lemon juices, honey, and ginger and toss. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the crumbs.




Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the crumbs are golden brown and the pears are tender. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.



Sure and it's not Saint Paddy's day yet, but here at MLK we'll be havin' a guest on the day next week, and my book's comin' out on Tuesday next, so I'd better be offerin' the giveaway to yiz now. Tell me what's your favorite Irish dish in a comment (with your email, más é do thoil é--that'd be "please") and I'll be drawing the name of the lucky winner out of a hat!


"Move over, Agatha Christie: a pub owner in County Cork fancies herself a young Miss Marple... A fine read in the classic style."
Kirkus Reviews

Snow is a rarity in Maura Donovan's small village in County Cork, Ireland, so she wasn't sure what to expect when a major snowstorm rolled in around Sullivan's Pub. But now she's stranded in a bar full of patrons—and a suspected killer in a long-ago murder.

Maura's been in Ireland less than a year and hasn't heard about the decades-old unsolved crime that took place nearby, let alone the infamous suspect, Diane Caldwell. But the locals have, and they're not happy to be trapped with her. Diane, meanwhile, seeks to set the record straight, asserting her innocence after all this time. And since no one is going anywhere in the storm, Maura encourages Diane to share her side of the story, which she'd never had a chance to do in court.

Over the next few hours, the informal court in Sullivan's reviews the facts and theories about the case—and comes to some surprising conclusions. But is it enough to convince the police to take a new look at an old case?

Find it at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

www.sheilaconnolly.com


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Super Bowl Burger #recipe + book #giveaway from author @DarylWoodGerber



SUPER BOWL SUNDAY IS COMING!

From Daryl aka Avery:  It's just a few days until Super Bowl Sunday! Who will be watching? Do you watch for the commercials or the game or the half time show? 

I love the commercials with the Clydesdales and the Dalmatian. I hope they do better this year. Last year's were sort of a bust, don't you think? But the commercials that have a message, the ones where you say, "Aww," afterward, are great!

Or how about the ones where you laugh out loud? Will anyone forget the young boy dressed as Darth Vader trying to use the force to start his parents' car? If you don't recall, the parents, from the kitchen, click on the car. The kid leaps in the air he is so shocked! It's hysterical! 

However, no matter what,  on Super Bowl Sunday, I go for the food. Normally, I don't eat a lot of salty food.  But for Super Bowl, absolutely!  Nachos, chips, guacamole, wings. I'll even splurge and have a gluten-free beer.

And burgers. I love to barbecue, and though I know the country might be under snow, you can still do a great burger inside!

Today, I'm going to share an easy recipe for a cheddar cheese burger. Why with cheese?

Well, many of you know that I write the Cheese Shop Mysteries (as Avery James). Although there won't be any new books in the series (BIG SIGH), there are seven and I'm proud of them. So to celebrate the month that the Cheese Shop Mysteries used to come out - February - I'm offering a giveaway today. See below!

Cheddar Cheese Burger

(one serving)
6-8 ounces lean hamburger meat
1 ounce shredded Cheddar cheese (about ¼ cup)
1-2 teaspoons mixed herbs (I used basil, rosemary, thyme)
1-2 tablespoons chopped yellow onion (if desired)

Preheat the broiler.

In a medium bowl, mix the hamburger, cheese, herbs, and onions (if desired). On a chopping board, form the burger into a patty.

Set the burger on an oven-safe broil pan. Broil the burger to your liking. I like 3-4 minutes a side for medium rare; 5-6 minutes a side for medium.

Serve with a hearty red wine. A zinfandel will really match with the spicy flavors of the cheese without dominating.



Giveaway



I'm offering one commenter a choice of my Cheese Shop Mysteries. Just tell me what you enjoy about the Super Bowl. And if you don't watch it, that's okay. Tell me what you like about cheese!  Leave your email so I can contact you if you win. It can be a cryptic email. I'm a mystery author. I'll figure it out. I'll pick a winner before next week!

Savor the mystery!

Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames
Tasty ~ Zesty ~ Dangerous!

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Friend Daryl and Avery on Facebook
Follow Daryl on Twitter
Follow Avery on Twitter
Follow both of us on Pinterest
Plus check out my website.


GRILLING THE SUBJECT, the 5th Cookbook Nook Mystery, is out!
The Wild West Extravaganza has come to Crystal Cove.
Click here to order.




FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE, the 7th Cheese Shop Mystery is out!
Finally there's going to be a cheese festival in Providence!
Click to order.




GIRL ON THE RUN, a stand-alone suspense is out!
When a fairytale fantasy night becomes a nightmare, 
Chessa Paxton must run for her life...but will the truth set her free? 
Click to order



















Sunday, December 18, 2016

Behind the Scenes with Shawn Reilly Simmons

We here at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen are excited to welcome guest Shawn Reilly Simmons, who's giving us a sneak peek into cooking for the stars!




Thanks to Mystery Lovers' Kitchen and Sheila Connolly in particular for inviting me over to share today!



Like many of the authors who regularly contribute to this blog, I write culinary mysteries that are inspired by my time working in a kitchen. Where my experience deviates a bit is the last cooking job I had was working as part of the crew on a movie set. That "kitchen" was really a couple of trucks and tents, constantly on the move, setting up wherever principal filming was taking place on any particular day over a four month period.

My Red Carpet Catering mysteries take place behind the scenes on movie sets, and are told from the point of view of Penelope Sutherland, chef-owner of a theatrical catering crew. There are three books so far: Murder on a Silver Platter, Murder on the Half Shell, and Murder on a Designer Diet. I'm happy to report I've been signed on for three more, all published by Henery Press.


The days cooking on a movie set are long, and most of the work takes place outside. That can be nice on a pretty day, but can be challenging when it's raining or when you're chopping vegetables in sub-freezing temps in a cold tent. Those kinds of days it's good to be assigned to the grill in the mobile kitchen. But that's exactly where you don't want to be during the hottest days of summer. That's when the tent feels much nicer.

Our team cooked for roughly three hundred cast and crew, all of whom came to eat twice a day for either breakfast and lunch, or lunch and dinner. We cooked, prepped, cleaned, broke down, set up, and drove to different spots in Washington DC during the times in between. A typical shift was at least twelve hours, but more often ended up around sixteen, most of them on our feet.

Movie stars, and the people who work on the movies they star in, don't expect burgers and fries when they call dinner break. We prepared restaurant-quality food including roast salmon, prime rib, fresh vegetables and pasta, not to mention a massive salad bar that rivals any I've seen in a restaurant. But the most important thing was we had to have it ready on time, every time. Films are shot on a schedule with lots of people on the clock. You never want to be the one holding up production.

The catering crew accommodated special meal requests for those who adhered to special diets or had allergies. We threw a few parties for the cast and crew on Friday nights when the week was a wrap, and a long week of work was done. Overall my time as an on set caterer was fun, exhausting, educational, and rewarding. And it was definitely a unique experience I'll never forget.

And now I know how to throw a giant dinner party--even though I've never had the occasion since to cook for hundreds of people. Maybe someday...

In my most recent book, Murder on a Designer Diet, Penelope and her team serve s'mores after a particularly rough night on the set. Because it's awfully cold outside in real life, even too cold for an outdoor fire for me, here's an easy way to bring s'mores inside and give them a holiday twist.


Red Carpet Catering Holiday S'mores Bars

Ingredients:

A dozen graham crackers (smashed)
A stick (1/2C) melted & cooled butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups marshmallows (20 or so of the big ones)
3/4 cups dark chocolate chips
3/4 cups white chocolate chips
6 candy canes, smashed! (keep pieces relatively uniform, no large, jagged pieces-use a Ziploc to control the scattering of candy dust)



Preheat oven to 400F. Line an 8x8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang for easy removal after baking.

Smash (I love smashing things) graham crackers in a Ziploc bag, pour into a medium-sized bowl. Stir in butter and brown sugar until well mixed, then press mixture into the bottom of your lined pan to form the crust.



Bake in the preheated oven until crust is lightly browned, about 6 minutes--don't let it get too dark!




Remove pan from oven and let cool a few minutes. Cover crust evenly with the dark chocolate chips. 




Layer marshmallows on top. Cover again with white chocolate chips, and your smashed candy canes. (Like you're making the world's sweetest lasagna!)

Pop it back in the oven until the chocolate is melted and the marshmallows are browned, 3-4 minutes depending on your oven. (Don't let it get too dark, again!)



Let s'mores rest in pan on a baking rack until cool, about 30 minutes (seriously, it will be like sweet lava in there, so be careful).

When it's totally cooled, pop your pan into the refrigerator until set, about 45 minutes. Remove and cut into squares. 




You can make this the day before and cover tightly with film if you're heading to a pot luck party.

I like to pair my s'mores with Knobby Chocolate (almond) Milk: 2C Almond Milk, 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips melted over low heat, then add a shot of Knob Creek (or your favorite bourbon) after you pull it off the stove. Happy Holidays!

And there's a holiday giveaway! 
I'll give a copy of Murder on a Designer Diet along with some holiday treats--peppermint bark & holiday tea. Just leave a comment below.



Shawn Reilly Simmons is the author of the Red Carpet Catering mysteries featuring Penelope Sutherland, an on-set movie caterer. Shawn is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America and the Crime Writers' Association in the UK. She serves on the Board of Malice Domestic, and is an editor at Level Best Books, publisher of crime fiction anthologies including the Best New England Crime Stories. 

For more details, see http://www.shawnreillysimmons.com/