Showing posts with label guest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label guest. Show all posts

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Ooh, Muffins! Guest Lynn Cahoon and a #bookgiveaway

LESLIE: I met today's guest, Lynn Cahoon, last fall at Bouchercon in New Orleans, where we shared a panel talking about food in mysteries. She writes the Tourist Trap mysteries, featuring Jill Gardner and the crew from South Cove, CA, and the brand new Cat Latimer mysteries, set in small town Aspen Hills, Colorado, where Cat runs a B&B and writers' retreats The second Cat Latimer mystery, FATALITY BY FIRELIGHT, comes out on Tuesday!

Leave a comment below for a chance to win the first in the series, A STORY TO KILL!  

LYNN: Muffins. They were the first thing we made in Intro to Home Economics my freshman year. We learned not to stir this batter too much as it loses the air that keeps muffins light and fluffy. Yet, you have to stir them just enough or you’ll get a mouth full of baking powder.

It took a lot of practice but I played with muffin recipes after school until I could mix up most anything into a batter. This one I call the kitchen sink recipe.

When I started writing my versions of a bed and breakfast mixed with a writer’s retreat in the Cat Latimer mysteries, my enjoyment of different breakfast breads came in handy. I’d love to be Shauna and be able to try out new recipes to wow the guests.

Shauna’s Special Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pre-heat oven to 400. Grease 12 muffin tins (or use spray oil).

Mix into a large bowl
· 2 cups all-purpose flour
· 1⁄3 cup light-brown sugar, packed
· 1⁄3 cup sugar
· 2 teaspoons baking powder
· 1⁄2 teaspoon salt

In a separate bowl, mix
· 2⁄3 cup milk
· 1⁄2 cup butter, melted and cooled
· 2 eggs, lightly beaten
· 1 teaspoon vanilla

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix together, but don’t over mix.

· 2 cups (one 12-ounce package) semi-sweet chocolate chips
· 1⁄2 cup walnuts, chopped
· 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Pour into prepared muffin tin and bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cool. Enjoy!

Leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win the first book in the series, A STORY TO KILL, by midnight Monday, Feb 27. (US addresses only, please.) 

From the cover of FATALITY BY FIRELIGHT:

Cat Latimer’s Colorado bed-and-breakfast plays host to writers from all over. But murder is distinctly unwelcome . . .
To kick off a winter writing retreat, Cat and her handyman boyfriend, Seth, escort the aspiring authors to a nearby ski resort, hoping some fresh cold air will wake up their creative muses. But instead of hitting the slopes, they hit the bar—and before long, a tipsy romance novelist named Christina is keeping herself warm with a local ski bum who might have neglected to tell her about his upcoming wedding.

Next thing Cat knows, her uncle, the town sheriff, informs her that the young man’s been found dead in a hot tub—and Christina shows up crying and covered in blood. Now, between a murder mystery, the theft of a rare Hemingway edition, and the arrival of a black-clad stranger in snowy Aspen Hills, Cat’s afraid everything’s going downhill . . .

Lynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today best-selling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. GUIDEBOOK TO MURDER, book 1 of the series, won the Reader's Crown for Mystery Fiction in 2015. She's also pens the Cat Latimer series. A STORY TO KILL, and FATALITY IN FIRELIGHT are available in mass market paperback. She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies. Sign up for her newsletter at and find her on Facebook and Goodreads.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Darcy Merriweather’s Peppermint Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies -- Guest Heather Blake

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: Welcome to our guest, Heather Blake, joining us to celebrate the May 3 release of GONE WITH THE WITCH, the sixth book in her Wishcraft Mysteries!

One of my favorite flavor combinations is chocolate and peppermint. So much so, that I keep a year-round not-so-secret stash of Ghirardelli peppermint bark for those days when I need a little something to calm my nerves. Lovable witch Darcy Merriweather, the main character in my Wishcraft mysteries, shares a similar trait of turning to chocolate and peppermint when anxiety hits, though her stash consists of York Peppermint Patties, which she prefers frozen.

In honor of our love for chocolate-peppermint combinations, I came up with this cookie recipe to share with all of you. These cookies are cakelike, moist and dense. Leave as is when pulled from the oven or drizzle with a mint-chocolate ganache on top for an extra bit of gooey goodness. These are great with a cup of coffee, tea, or tall glass of milk.

What’s your favorite go-to stress food? Leave a comment by midnight, Monday, May 9, and you could win a signed copy of IT TAKES A WITCH, the first book in the Wishcraft series.

Darcy Merriweather’s Peppermint Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1/2  c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1/4 tsp. pure peppermint extract
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c. semisweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a bowl, cream together butter and sugars until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, then add the extract. 

In a separate bowl, sift (or whisk if you don’t have a sifter) together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cocoa powder. 

Gradually add dry ingredients to wet mixture. Mix well. The dough will be thick. 

Fold in chocolate chips. 

Set mixture in freezer for ten minutes to firm up. 

Once firm, roll the dough into balls (I used two spoons to shape the dough), and place a couple of inches apart onto an ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheet. 

Bake for 11-13 minutes. 

Let set for a few minutes before moving to a cookie rack to finish cooling. 

Once cool, drizzle or glaze with chocolate-mint ganache (optional).

Makes 18 cookies

Chocolate-mint ganache

2 oz. semisweet chocolate
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2-3 drops of peppermint extract (a little goes a long way).

In a double boiler (I use a glass bowl nestled over a simmering pan of water), melt chocolate and butter. Remove from heat, add extract, stir. Let cool. Drizzle over cooled cookies.

Heather Blake (aka Heather Webber) is the author of more than twenty novels and has been twice nominated for an Agatha Award. She's a total homebody who loves to be close to her family, read, watch reality TV (especially cooking competition shows), drink too much coffee, crochet, and bake cookies. Heather grew up in a suburb of Boston, but currently she lives in the Cincinnati area with her family.

Visit her website, or connect with her on 
Facebook or Twitter, @booksbyheather

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Guest Barbara Ross serves up True Love, Fish Tacos, and a #bookgiveaway

True Love Fish Tacos for Valentines
by Barbara Ross

When I found out my Mystery Lovers Kitchen guest post would run on Valentine’s Day, I spent a lot of time consternating about which recipe from my new Maine Clambake Mystery, Fogged Inn, I would offer up. I needed something romantic. Nothing seemed to suit.

But then I realized one of my recipes had a very romantic backstory. On the day before Valentine’s last year, my daughter Kate called us to announce her engagement. Her fiancé, Luke, is a wonderful young man, a research scientist Kate was introduced to by one of her high school friends, who had married one of his high school friends. And so a match was made.

Kate’s not much of a cook. During her years in Manhattan and London I used to joke that she stored her sweaters in her oven. But a return to Boston and a grad student’s budget finally got her into her kitchen. Meanwhile, across the country, Luke was also in grad school and using his limited spare time to perfect this fish taco recipe among others. He generously shared it with me for Fogged Inn.

They’ll be married in May.

(Leslie says: And aren't they just as cute as they can be?)


To celebrate true love and Valentine’s Day, two lucky readers will win an autographed copies of Fogged Inn (to be released on February 23rd). Leave a comment below by midnight, Monday, February 15th, to be entered.   

Luke’s Fish Tacos

½ cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1/2 small shallot, finely chopped
1 medium jalapeño, diced
Juice of one medium lime
 Salt and pepper to taste
2 cilantro sprigs

Taco and Toppings
8 corn tortillas, warmed
2 jalapeños, chopped
1/2 shallot, finely chopped 
2 tomatoes, chopped
Chopped cilantro sprigs
1 lime cut into wedges for squeezing
1 small head radicchio, chopped

1 pound any seasonal white fish
2 tablespoons butter

1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

To make the sauce
Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix. Prepare at least 1 hour in advance and let sit in the refrigerator. (If you have leftover sauce, it makes for a great chip dip!)

To make the fish
Cook fish in butter and ½ teaspoon of the seasoning until the fish  is opaque. Squeeze lime juice from one wedge on the fish, then break up the fillet.

To serve
Serve fish on warmed corn tortillas with toppings and sauce.

Serves: 4

About Fogged Inn: An autumn chill has settled over Busman's Harbor, Maine, but Julia Snowden is warming up the town by offering lobster stew at the local diner. When her landlord discovers a dead body in the walk-in refrigerator, Julia must figure out who ordered up a side of murder.

Nothing's colder than a corpse--especially one stashed inside a sub-zero fridge. The victim spent his last night on earth dining at the restaurant bar, so naturally Julia finds herself at the center of the ensuing investigation. Lost in the November fog, however, is who'd want to kill the unidentified stranger--and why. It might have something to do with a suspicious group of retirees and a decades-old tragedy to which they're all connected. One thing's for sure: Julia's going to make solving this mystery her early bird special…

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries, Clammed Up, Boiled Over, Musseled Out and Fogged Inn. Clammed Up was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel and was a finalist for the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. Barbara blogs with a wonderful group of Maine mystery authors at Maine Crime Writers and with a group of writers of New England-based cozy mysteries at Wicked Cozy Authors.

She loves to hear from readers. You can find her at her website at , or on Facebook at , on Twitter @barbross, or on Pinterest at

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Christmas in Christmas Town -- Guest Vicki Delany #bookgiveaway

Today we welcome Vicki Delany to the blog, with a very special treat---and a giveaway! Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of REST YE MURDERED GENTLEMEN, the first in her new Year-Round Christmas Mysteries, out now!

It wouldn’t be Christmas without cookies.

The town of Rudolph New York is the setting for Vicki Delany’s new series, the Year Round Christmas mysteries. The first book, Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen, was released this month. Rudolph wants to be known as America’s Christmas Town and to the delight of the townsfolk a reporter for a big European travel magazine is in town to write an article on them. Excitement is high at the semi-annual (yes, they have two a year) post-Santa Claus parade reception in the town hall. The party is being catered by Vicky Casey, owner and chief baker of Victoria’s Bake Shoppe.  Vicky’s gingerbread is rapidly becoming a Rudolph institution as is her ginger cake and hot chocolate with ginger tonic. Also prominent at the party are Vicky’s special Molasses Spice cookies. 
Too bad someone slipped poison into the special cookie Vicky made for the special guest ... 

Vicki Delany’s Molasses spice cookies (poison not included)

·         2 cups all-purpose flour
·         1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
·         1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
·         1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
·         1/2 teaspoon salt
·         1 1/2 cups sugar
·         3/4 cup (6 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
·         1 large egg
·         1/4 cup molasses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a shallow bowl, place 1/2 cup sugar; set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat butter and remaining cup of sugar until combined. Beat in egg and then molasses until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in dry ingredients, just until a dough forms.

Pinch off and roll dough into balls, each equal to 1 tablespoon. Roll balls in reserved sugar to coat.

Arrange balls on baking sheets, about 3 inches apart. Bake, one sheet at a time, until edges of cookies are just firm, 10 to 15 minutes (cookies can be baked two sheets at a time, but they will not crackle uniformly). Cool 1 minute on baking sheets; transfer to racks to cool completely.

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers. Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen is her twentieth book, and the first in the Year Round Christmas cozy series from Berkley Prime Crime. Under the pen name of Eva Gates, she is the national bestselling author of the Lighthouse Library series, the latest of which is Booked for Trouble.  Vicki lives in Prince Edward County Ontario, and she is the current president of the Crime Writers of Canada.

Find Vicki at Twitter @vickidelany or Facebook: evagatesauthor

Vicki is offering a copy of REST YE MURDERED GENTLEMEN to one lucky reader (US  or Canadian addresses only). Please leave a comment by midnight, Monday, November 23, to enter. Vicki would love to know what your favorite holiday baking is. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Guest Laura Childs, serving Cream Scones and a #bookgiveaway

Leslie here, delighted to welcome my cousin---really, truly; I'm not being metaphoric---the fabulous Laura Childs, New York Times best-selling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Cackleberry Club Mysteries, and Scrapbooking Mysteries, and next summer, a new thriller series under her real name, Gerry Schmitt. And it's wonderful that she's talking about her dogs. Dogs play a role in many of her books, and family collie, Duke, was the first dog I ever loved!

Leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win a signed, harcover copy of PARCHMENT AND OLD LACE, the newest Scrapbooking Mystery!

A funny thing happened to me in the kitchen the other day. My dogs decided to watch me make scones. These are two snooty, deign-to-even-take-notice Chinese Shar-Pei named Asia and Moosha. Yet they seemed delighted when I measured out all the ingredients, transfixed when I mixed the flour and butter with my fingers, and sat – staring and immobile – while my scones baked in the oven.  What was the result of all this kitchen love? A great pan of scones that was enjoyed by all!  (See photo of them noshing away.) And because I manage to slip tea drinking and scones into pretty much every mystery I write, I thought you’d enjoy my basic cream scone recipe. 

Basic Cream Scones
 2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter, chilled and diced
½ cup cream
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add butter and, using fork or fingers, mix until ingredients form a coarse meal.  hisk egg and cream together in a separate bowl and then add to flour mixture. Knead gently to thoroughly moisten and form dough. Add more cream if mixture is too dry. Drop dough (about a ¼ cup’s worth) onto lightly greased baking sheet, spaced about 1 inch apart.  

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Yields 1 dozen scones.  

Note:  This is a basic recipe, so you can always toss in a cup of chocolate chips or butterscotch chips if you prefer your scones a little sweeter!

Leave a comment on this blog post by Sunday, October 11, for a chance to win a signed, hardcover copy of PARCHMENT AND OLD LACE.

Here's the scoop on the newest Scrapbook Mystery, PARCHMENT AND OLD LACE: 

In this cozy-thriller from Laura Childs, scrapbook maven Carmela Bertrand tries to track down the killer of a young bride-to-be who’s been brutally murdered in a New Orleans cemetery. Could it be the conflicted groom, stalker attorney, jealous bridesmaid, or crazy mother-in-law to be? As Carmela sorts through this dysfunctional group of suspects, snippets of antique lace and parchment become critical clues in the case. And it all comes to an enormous head at a raucous casino party that ends with a frantic chase through an abandoned theme park. Scrapbooking tips are included along with recipes for Pecan Pie Muffins, Sweet Potato Casserole, Big Easy Butter Chicken, and more.

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. 

Little Girl Lost, the first in her new hard-edged thriller series written under the name Gerry Schmitt, will be out in June, 2016.

Learn more at Buy the books at Amazon, B&N, BAM, IndieBound, or your local mystery or independent bookseller. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Ellen Byron's Bourbon Pecan Bread Pudding #bookgiveaway #recipe

Mystery Lovers' Kitchen welcomes Ellen Byron, whose first novel, PLANTATION SHUDDERS: A Cajun Country Mystery, will be published August 11 by Crooked Lane Books.

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of PLANTATION SHUDDERS!

 One of my first jobs out of college was working as a cater-waiter for an up-and-coming Connecticut food maven named Martha Stewart. I’ll never forget the first time I met her. I took the train from Manhattan to Westport, cabbed to a house that looked straight out of the 18th century, and stepped into a living room filled with early American antiques. A woman was using a crème brulee blowtorch to assemble a three-foot-high gingerbread townhouse that sat on a table in the middle of the room. “Hi, I’m Martha,” she said without losing focus on her task. “Welcome. The kitchen’s on the left.”

Thus began a two-year relationship that earned me a few photos in a book called “Entertaining,” and wonderful memories of an extraordinary woman.

That's the young Ellen, second from the left, next to Martha. 

As I wrote my first book, Plantation Shudders: A Cajun Country Mystery, it became clear that I couldn’t set a series in an area so famous for its cuisine without including a few recipes. I decided to make up my own, which proved really hard. I was ready to give up. But then I thought, WWMD? What would Martha Do?  She’d power through until she was satisfied with the results. I watched her do it at event after event. So that’s what I did. My favorite of the three I created is Bourbon Pecan Bread Pudding. It’s very boozy and very New Orleans. Thanks for inspiring me, Martha! I hope I get to share the recipe with you someday.


5-6 cups croissants, torn into pieces
½ cup unsalted, toasted, chopped pecans
3 large eggs
¾ cups sugar, white or turbinado – your choice
1 cup milk – any percentage is fine
1/3 cup Bourbon, plus 1 teaspoon 
1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Dry bread uncovered at room temperature for 12 hours.  (You can also dry the bread in a 250 degree oven for one hour.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter an 8” x 8” baking dish

Arrange the bread in the dish. Sprinkle the pecans over the bread, making sure they’re evenly dispersed.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, milk, 1/3 cup bourbon, cream, vanilla, and salt. 

Pour it slowly and evenly over the bread. 

Cream the butter with the brown sugar and teaspoon of bourbon, then dot the pudding with the mixture.

(Note: you can chill the pudding, covered, for anywhere from an hour to a day before baking, but this is optional.)

Bake the pudding in the middle of the oven until it’s slightly puffed and golden, and the middle has set – approximately 40 minutes.

You can top with a dollop of whipped cream, ice cream, or hard sauce, but I like it straight up!

Serves 6.

Leave a comment below by midnight, Mon, Aug 10, for a chance to win Ellen's PLANTATION SHUDDERS prize package, including a signed copy of the book, an alligator cookie cutter, and beads for your next Mardi Gras party! 

For more about Ellen and PLANTATION SHUDDERS, visit her website -- -- and sign up for her newsletter! 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Guest post -- Piper Lamb's Freezer Pickles

Meet Piper Lamb from the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries

by Mary Ellen Hughes

I’m excited to be a guest on Mystery Lover’s Kitchen to share one of my pickling recipes! Writing a Pickled and Preserved mystery series means I’ve tried a great variety of recipes that my character, Piper Lamb, cooks up in the back kitchen of her pickling shop. Piper absolutely loves pickling, which is why she left her hum-drum job (and an ex-fiancé) in Albany to set up a shop in Cloverdale, NY.

I don’t have as much time to make pickles and preserves as Piper does, what with having to write about Piper’s murder-investigating adventures, so my favorite pickles are these quick and easy – and wonderfully tasty—freezer pickles.

I put up bunches of them in August, when my husband’s vegetable garden is overflowing. But cucumbers are also available in the supermarkets at all times of the year. There’s no cooking or canning required, and the pickles last in the freezer for months. When they’ve been defrosted and are refrigerated, they’ll be good for at least three weeks—if they last that long!


8 cups sliced cucumbers
2 medium-sized onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons pickling or kosher salt
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon celery seeds

 Wash and slice the cucumbers. Stir in the sliced onions, then sprinkle with pickling salt. Mix well, cover, and let stand for 3 hours. Rinse the cucumbers and onions well, and drain thoroughly.

Combine sugar, vinegar, and celery seeds, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour the brine over the cucumbers, mix and cover, then refrigerate overnight.

Spoon the cucumbers and onions into straight-sided containers and cover with brine, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Seal and freeze. When ready to defrost, do so in the refrigerator for eight hours.


Piper Lamb knows how to make fruits and vegetables keep for months. Unfortunately, it’s the people around her who are expiring too soon…

After her fiancé left her, Piper came to Cloverdale to rebuild her life and open up her shop, Piper’s Picklings, to sell pickles and preserves. When her ex decides to drop in for a visit—just as things are heating up between her and a local Christmas tree farmer—Piper finds herself in a jam.

But there are other visitors to worry about…

An Italian soccer team is set to play the Cloverdale All-Stars in an exhibition game. Their manager, Raffaele Conti, was a bitter rival of Piper’s dill supplier, local farmer Gerald Standley. After Conti is found dead in Standley’s field, Piper must work to clear Gerald’s name and find out who relished killing Raffaele before the town is soured by another death.

About Mary Ellen:

Mary Ellen Hughes is the author of the Pickled and Preserved Mystery Series, which began with THE PICKLED PIPER and continues with LICENSE TO DILL. A third book, SCENE OF THE BRINE, will be released by Berkley Prime Crime in January, 2016.

She has also authored the Craft Corner Mysteries and the Maggie Olenski, Math Teacher Mysteries. Mary Ellen lives in Maryland with her husband and is happy to have time to spend on her writing after having raised two wonderful children and several delightful cats. (The cats were easier.)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Welcome our guest, Connie Archer!

Connie Archer is the author of A Soup Lover's Mystery. Connie grew up in New England, ice skating on neighborhood ponds, clamming on the beach at Cape Cod, and skiing in Vermont. As a girl, she spent several years wading through Caesar’s Gallic War journals and the twelve books of the Aeneid. After majoring in biology in college, she did an about face and earned a degree in English literature. Since then she’s worked at many different jobs — laboratory technician, cocktail waitress, medical secretary, and dinner theatre actress, to name just a few. Connie lives in Los Angeles with her family and a cat named Basil.

* * *

From Connie: A very special thank you to the authors of Mystery Lovers Kitchen for inviting me over today and giving me a chance to talk about my favorite soup.  Well . . . I have a lot of favorites, but frankly, there is one that has become an obsession – a holy grail of soup, if you will. 

There’s a small lunch place that I go to occasionally, mostly because they have great soups.  They rotate their choices on a daily basis, but one soup has become so popular, that it’s now offered every day of the week. 

That soup is my favorite and it’s become an obsession because I’ve been trying to re-create it at home for the past few years.  Have I come close?  Yes.  Close.  But not exactly the same.  Granted, I’ve come up with some soups that are almost the same, but not quite.  What is this fabulous soup, you may ask? 

Well, it’s called “Chicken Tortilla.”  I’ve ordered tortilla soup in other restaurants and discovered there are great differences.  And this one wouldn’t be considered an authentic Mexican tortilla soup, at least from what I’ve read, but I’m not overly concerned with authentic. 

This holy grail of soups, is a thick tomato-based soup with small bits of chicken, carrot and corn.  You’d think it would be easy to whip it up in the kitchen, wouldn’t you?  Here’s a picture of it. 

I get hungry just looking at it.  My lunch place serves it with cheddar cheese on top and a bag of little crunchy tortilla strips.  (I try to be good and forego the cheese --- ooops, sorry, Avery!) 

Recently, in complete frustration, I broke down and asked begged Albert at the counter for the recipe.  He and Arnold know me pretty well by now.  In fact, as soon as I walk in, they don’t even ask for my order.  My soup is waiting for me at the cash register. 

Albert shook his head. “No dice.” 

“Why?” I asked.

He leaned over the counter.  “I’ll tell you a secret.  It’s my favorite soup, too.” Sheepishly, he admitted he had asked the cook for the recipe and the cook refused him. 

“No!” I exclaimed. 

Albert nodded sadly.  “I told him I work for the company.  I don’t understand why he won’t share the recipe.” 

(See . . . I wasn’t crazy.  This IS a great soup!) 

So – here’s my latest attempt to re-create Chicken Tortilla Soup. 

Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 tbl. butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped fine
2 cups chicken broth or chicken bouillon
1 chicken breast, cut into small cubes
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 carrots, chopped very fine
1/2 cup corn (frozen or canned)
1-28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tbl. maple syrup or brown sugar
dash of cayenne pepper
3 tbls. cornstarch dissolved in small amount of water

Saute the garlic and onion in butter, add chicken broth to the pot.  Add chicken cubes, cumin, chopped carrots and corn and simmer for 5 minutes or so until the carrots are soft.  

Add crushed tomatoes, maple syrup (or brown sugar), cilantro, and dash of cayenne.  Simmer for another 10 minutes.  Then mix the cornstarch and water together until dissolved and add to the pot, turn up the heat and stir until the broth is thick. 

Serve with grated cheddar cheese and tortilla strips. 
Serves 4

If you’re inclined to try it yourself, I’d love to hear about it!  Enjoy!

Connie Archer is the author of A Spoonful of Murder (, A Broth of Betrayal ( and just released, A Roux of Revenge ( 

When a band of travelers arrives in the village of Snowflake, Vermont and a dead stranger is found by the side of the road, the past returns with a vengeance.  Long kept secrets will be revealed, lost loves will be found and the lives of many in the village will be irrevocably altered. 

You can visit Connie at
Twitter:  @SnowflakeVT