Showing posts with label pecan pie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pecan pie. Show all posts

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Welcome our guest - Duffy Brown!

Please welcome our guest, the fabulous Duffy Brown, author of 

Duffy Brown loves anything with a mystery. While others girls dreamed of dating Brad Pitt, Duffy longed to take Sherlock Holmes to the prom. She has two cats, Spooky and Dr. Watson, and conjures up who-done-it stories of her very own for Berkley Prime Crime. Iced Chiffon, out October, 2012, is the first in the Consignment Shop Mystery series. Duffy writes romance as Dianne Castell and is a USA Today bestselling author.

From Avery: I love interviewing our guest, on occasion. Duffy was a good sport. Her answers are so much fun!  Enjoy. And then delight in her pecan pie!  Oh, my! Delish!


Name three things in your refrigerator right now.
Oh, Lordy! There’s just me and the cats and right now with trying to finish up a book, they eat better than I do. I open the fridge door to… yogurt, sour milk, fermented oj, a slice of pizza from two days ago and one shriveled potato. Martha Stewart would cry. 
Do you cook or are you a take-out queen?
I forage. I live on popcorn, yogurt, veggies in a package, Captain Crunch dry and nuts. I really love nuts.  I can’t keep peanut butter in the house or I’d eat it in one day right out of the jar. I’m pathetic. I do really cook one day a week. Sunday my kids all come for dinner and I put on a spread with enough leftovers to pack off with each of them. Mom’s are always moms.
What three living people would you invite to a dinner party?
Michael Connelly…I have a crush. George Clooney…I have a crush and he’s from a town close to here and he’s totally darling and a real mid-west guy. Martha Stewart…and make her cook for us.
What three mystery characters would you invite to a dinner party?
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson!! My license plate is Sherlok, my cat is Dr. Watson. I’m a Holmes nut. If you read my bio you get the point.  I’d add Rick Castle from the TV show to put some levity to the evening. Loooove Castle. Such fun! 
 What's a typical weeknight dinner at your house?
I’m by myself. Usually it’s something like the cats and a bowl of popcorn and bag of dipping veggies so my teeth don’t fall out and watching re-runs of Castle or Matlock or Sherlock Holmes. Can’t do CSI when eating. Tried that once and it wasn’t pretty.
On Sunday when the kids come I do the tablecloth and napkins thing with centerpiece and candles and good china…I love pretty china and crystal. I’ll make a roast or stuff flank steak or try something new from the latest issue of Cooking Light…love that magazine.  
What does your protagonist like to eat?
Reagan Summerside has picked up all my bad habits. She’s by herself and eats sitting on the kitchen counter as she’s sold off her furniture. Money is tight for Reagan. She usually goes next door to her auntie KiKi who is the real cook and what Reagan calls the free store. KiKi always has leftover fried chicken, chocolate cake, snickerdoodle cookies, pecan crumb cake, pecan coffee.
Reagan loves eating her way across Savannah and there’s lots of talk about that in Iced Chiffon. Savannah has amazing restaurants all local.
There’s the conquistador sandwich from Zunzi’s with their secret sauce that drips down your arm and is purely orgasmic. There’s pecan chicken from the Pirate House where Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Treasure Island. Parker’s Deli makes the best meatloaf sandwich on the planet…I’ve personally seen grown men cry while eating. Miss Wilkes Boarding house has family-style eating that people wait in line for every day…been there done that, got the T-shirt to prove it. Delish.
For drinks it’s off to Jens and Friends, a little hole-in-the-wall place. Martini heaven. They have Snickers martinis, strawberry-shortcake martinis, peach martinis. All so much fun.                             
Is the food served in your book or does your protagonist cook it herself?
KiKi does the cooking…especially when trying to fix Reagan up with the latest doctor in town. Otherwise it’s eating out at the places above. No better eating than in Savannah! It’s worth going there just to get to the food! 
What/who is her favorite Food Network show/cookbook/celebrity chef?
I am totally addicted to American Test Kitchen with Christopher Kimball. Best recipes ever. They have a recipe for roasted pork shoulder that that is out of this world and the easiest thing ever. A triple-berry pie for summer that is a breeze to toss together and bakes up like heaven-on-earth. I love that show.
 Is your heroine a good cook or is she going to look around town for someone to feed her curiosity?
Food is huge in Iced Chiffon. Usually Reagan is out and about or mooching food from Auntie KiKi for the Abbott sisters next door. The sisters are professional mourners…nothing more important in Savannah than big funerals and no one gets people a weeping and carrying on like the Abbott sisters.
All the restaurants in Iced Chiffon are real and the food eaten there is what you should order. Savannah is like another character in the book…a very delicious character.
What’s her favorite cheese? [This is a question specifically for Avery's benefit. Say cheese! LOL] 

Anything blue-veined. Gorgonzola is one of my favs for sure.

Would you care to share a recipe with us?
See below. :)  There is nothing more Southern that pecan pie. Got the recipe straight from Savannah.

* * *

Thanks for having me as a guest blogger. You all are amazing. I need to go eat! After talking food I’m starving!  Hummm….maybe I should go to the grocery first. LOL
Hugs, Duffy

Duffy's Share on Pecan Pie 

There’s no food like Southern comfort food and that’s double for the holidays. Grits are most definitely a major food-group, buttermilk biscuits with butter and honey are the best breakfast food ever and red velvet cake truly is to die for. 

 Sunday dinner isn’t worth squat if the hush puppies aren’t on the table right between the fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Moon Pies are in the snack drawer next to the pralines and those apples aren’t for eating but putting in the pie mamma’s baking tomorrow.

Sushi is and always will be bait, granola is squirrel food, bone suckin’ sauce is what daddy puts on the ribs, and a spice rack is my thirty-six Bs.

You get the picture, I love Southern cooking, especially Savannah southern cooking. The city is best visited if you eat your way across it. When I was there I got the very best…and easiest…pecan pie recipe ever and I’m here to pass it on to you just in time for Thanksgiving.

Pecan Pie (yummy)


9” unbaked pie crust (if in a hurry Pillsbury in the fridge section)
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 eggs slightly beaten
1/3 cut butter melted
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pecan halves (or walnuts)


Heat oven to 350. 
Combine corn syrup, sugar, eggs, butter, salt, vanilla and mix well. 
Pour into crust, sprinkle with nuts and bake for 50 min till knife comes out clean. 
Add whipped cream, cinnamon or caramel ice cream is great. J

And when you take that first bite think of me.
Happy eating.

Hugs, Duffy Brown

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Welcome, Guest Author Ellery Adams

A Southern Dessert to Die For!

By Ellery Adams

It is impossible to set a novel in the South without mentioning food in every chapter. I love food! I love its colors, scents, taste, and texture and back when I first began writing A Killer Plot, I knew that by making my heroine the owner of a five-star restaurant, I could describe food to my heart’s content.

In A Deadly Cliché, the second installment in the Books By the Bay mysteries, Olivia considers expanding her epicurean interests by purchasing an old warehouse down by the docks and transforming it into a seafood eatery. Can’t you just picture it? Folks dining al fresco as they gaze out over the tranquil harbor, the starlight reflecting in the calm water and live bluegrass music skimming over the waves like low-flying shorebirds.

The best part about this minor plot addition is that I get to invent an entire menu for the Bayside Crab House. And what’s a boisterous, casual southern eatery without an incredible dessert assortment? So allow me to give you a sneak peak into Olivia’s next investment by providing the recipe for the Bayside Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie.

After you’ve baked these pies (the recipe makes two), why not share the extra treat with a friend? In A Deadly Cliché, Olivia is learning exactly what friendship means. Armed with this powerful weapon, she can survive a major hurricane, thieves, murderers, blackmail, and the possibility that her father—lost at sea over thirty years ago—might still be alive.

Bayside Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie


2 (9 inch) pie shells

3/4 cup white granulated sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup salted butter

4 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons bourbon

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped pecans


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

2. In a medium saucepancombine sugar, corn syrup, and butter or margarine. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cool slightly.

3. In a large bowl blend eggs, bourbon, and vanilla. Mix well.
Slowly pour sugar mixture into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Pour mixture into pie shells (I use Pillsbury ready-made shells for this pie, but if you’d like to make your own, I recommend this recipe.]

4. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes,
or until you spot a lovely golden bark.

Ellery Adams grew up on a beach near the Long Island Sound. Having spent her adult life in a series of landlocked towns, she cherishes her memories of open water, violent storms, and the smell of the sea.

Her latest release (March 1st) is A Deadly Cliché: A Books By the Bay Mystery. While walking her poodle, Olivia Limoges discovers a dead body buried in the sand. Could it be connected to the bizarre burglaries plaguing Oyster Bay, North Carolina? At every crime scene, the thieves set up odd tableaus: a stick of butter with a knife through it, dolls with silver spoons in their mouths, a deck of cards with a missing queen. Olivia realizes each setup represents a cliché. And who better to decode the cliché clues than her Bayside Book Writers group?”

Monday, November 15, 2010

First Murder Bourbon Pecan Pie

It's Thanksgiving recipe week at Mystery Lover's Kitchen! All week long, we'll be offering our suggestions for your holiday feast. Don't panic, Thanksgiving isn't until next week. We're just giving you time to plan. And because they say "life's short, eat dessert first," we're starting with a dessert today.

In THE DIVA RUNS OUT OF THYME, Sophie Winston meets Detective Wolf Fleishman for the first time and initially has mixed feelings about him. He very thoughtfully brings her kitten food and lattes, but he also questions her about a murder. What does a domestic diva serve when questioned? First Murder Bourbon Pecan Pie!

I worked on this pie recipe so long that my friends and family burned out on pecan pie. I knew it had to have a kick of chocolate but didn't want the chocolate to overpower the flavor of the pecans. I finally settled on just the right amount of coffee and chocolate to accentuate the pecan and bourbon flavors. If you hate the taste of bourbon, you can substitute whiskey. I've made it with Jack Daniel's with very nice results.

First Murder Bourbon Pecan Pie

3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee (Sophie uses Sanka)
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons bourbon (airline size bottle holds about 4 tablespoons)
2 eggs
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups roughly chopped pecans
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Microwave the butter for about 30 seconds and set aside to cool.

In a cup, stir together the instant coffee, cocoa powder, and bourbon until the coffee crystals and cocoa powder are dissolved.

Beat the two eggs in a mixer. Add the brown sugar and cooled butter and beat. Add the corn syrup, salt, and vanilla. Beat to combine all the ingredients.

Mix in the pecans.

Pour into pie shell and bake 55 to 60 minutes

A couple of hints to make it fancier. I love the look of halved pecans in rows covering the pie. But halved pecans aren't easy to cut, and it ends up being a little bit messy to serve. The solution is to used chopped pecans in the pie, and make one row of pecan halves around the edge, as in the photo above. Just position the knife between pecan halves.

If you make your own pie crust (or if you use Pillsbury), roll out some extra dough and cut it with a tiny leaf-shaped cookie cutter. Use a bit of water on the back of each leaf to "glue" it to the dough underneath all the way around the edge.


1 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons bourbon (or whiskey or rum)

Whip one cup (heavy) whipping cream.

When it begins to stiffen, add sugar --

1/3 cup light brown sugar (I don't recommend dark brown sugar here).

Mix in 3/4 cup sour cream.

Just before serving, whisk in two to three tablespoons of rum, whiskey or bourbon. Serve with First Murder Bourbon Pecan Pie!

Don't forget about my

To celebrate the December release of The Diva Cooks a Goose I'm holding a contest! Send your favorite cookie recipe to me at Krista at KristaDavis dot com and you might be one of five winners! If you sent me a recipe, don't despair, all recipes are still in the running. If you haven't sent a recipe yet, do it soon! I'll be posting another winner next Monday and it could be you!

Our friend Dave, from My Year on the Grill is trying to get a new tradition going. He says --

I hosted a neighborhood cookie/ Christmas Beer exchange... 4 couples, each one brought 4 dozen cookies and a six pack of seasonal specialty Christmas Beers. We all left with 4 dozen different types of cookies and happy! In my neighborhood, 3 of the couples, the guys are the better cooks, but we still had to butch up the contest.

Dave's not the only one who loves this idea. Apparently, variations on the Christmas cookie/beer exchange are going on all over the country. Have you been to one?

~ Krista

Saturday, July 24, 2010

His and Hers No-Fuss Summer Pies

Happy Anniversary MLK!

Leave a comment today, and you might win the Rolls Royce of ice cream scoops: a Zeroli! is your last chance to leave a comment and be entered to win this week's grand prize, a fabo Cuisinart ice cream maker

As you might have guessed from my ice-cream themed mysteries and my ample ampleness, I dig dessert. Among my circle of friends, my reputation as the Dame of Desserts, Sultana of Sweets, Pasha of Pastries means I'm bringing some confection or other to every gathering ... including this cyber-celebration for MLK's anniversary.

This is not a hardship for me. Not at all.

In the summer, though, it's tough to commit to anything that requires hours of oven time. Our air conditioner has a hard enough time keeping up with the Texas heat without also compensating for my cooking. Over the years, these two low- and no-bake pies have emerged as the all-round crowd favorites for summer picnics, barbecues, and pool parties.

Mr. Wendy, love of my life and father-figure to my cats, loves the Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie (possibly even more than he loves me). I, on the other hand, am partial to the Caramel Knowledge Pecan Pie. I'll let you pick your poison ... or, if you're not too worried about sugar shock, make one of each.

Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie


1/2 c. unsalted butter
3 ozs. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 c. chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (about 7 ozs.)


1/2 c. whipping cream
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
4 ozs. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

3-4 ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 - 4-serving boxes of instant vanilla pudding
2 3/4 c. milk (skim is fine)

For crust, stir butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat and mix in cookie crumbs. Lightly butter a 9-inch pie plate. Press crumb mixture in bottom and up sides of pie plate. Chill in refrigerator about 30 minutes.

For ganache, heat cream and butter in medium saucepan over medium heat until butter melts (but do not boil!). Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate and vanilla until smooth. Reserve 2 Tbs. ganache and pour remainder over crust. Chill about 30 minutes.

Thinly slice bananas and arrange over ganache. Following package directions for pie filling, prepare vanilla pudding and pour over bananas. Drizzle reserved ganache in a spiral on the pie, then draw a toothpick from the center to the edge of the pie at intervals around the circle. This will create a spiderweb design.

Chill the whole pie for 3 -24 hours.

* Note that you can make this dessert in a 9x13 dish. Simply make a time and a half the recipe (so use 1 1/2 sticks butter for the crust instead of 1 stick). Press crust just in bottom of pan. You'll need 3 boxes of instant pudding.

Caramel Knowledge Pecan Pie


1 1/2 c. chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (about 7 ozs.)
5 Tbs. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 c. light brown sugar
6 Tbs. light corn syrup
3 c. pecan halves
3 Tbs. whipping cream
2 ozs. unsweetened chocolate, chopped

Blend all crust ingredients in food processor. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie plate. Cover crust and freeze while making filling.

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Boil 1 minute. Stir in nuts and cream. Boil until mixture thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate until chocolate is melted and well-incorporated.

Pour hot filling into cold crust. Using spoon, evenly distribute nuts. Bake until filling bubbles all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer pie to rack and cool. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. (The last time I made this, I made Bailey's whipped cream: 2 c. whipping cream, 2 Tbs. sugar, and 1/2 c. Bailey's, whipped until soft peaks form.)

* This recipe, also, can be adapted for a 9x13 pan. Just use a time and half of all measures. (So instead of 1 1/2 c. cookie crumbs, use 2 1/4 c. cookie crumbs.)

Wendy Lyn Watson writes the Mysteries a la Mode, featuring amateur sleuth Tally Jones who solves murders in between scooping sundaes. I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM is available now, and SCOOP TO KILL is available for pre-order.

You can follow Wendy on Facebook or Twitter, too!