Showing posts with label pecans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pecans. Show all posts

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Welcome Joyce Tremel with Tangled Up in Brew #BookGiveaway!

Coming in October,
Joyce's new mystery
To learn more, click here.

Please welcome back a terrific author to our Kitchen--Joyce Tremel! She's got news about her new mystery, and she's sharing a delicious recipe and book giveaway. Take it away, Joyce! xoxo ~ Cleo 

Thanks so much for having me back, MLKers. I can’t believe I actually have another book coming out—TANGLED UP IN BREW releases on October 4th! It honestly seems like yesterday that TO BREW OR NOT TO BREW was released.

TANGLED UP IN BREW has four recipes, one of which is the burger that chef Jake Lambert prepares for the competition at the Three Rivers Brews and Burgers Festival. 

While the burger is certainly tasty, I decided another recipe would do more in the way of tempting yinz guys to go off any diets you may be on. So I present you with the owner of Cupcakes N’at, Candy Sczypinski’s recipe for Caramel Pecan Brownies.



1 cup butter

1 12-oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips

1-1/3 cups sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

4 large eggs

1 cup flour

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet or mini-muffin pan with approximately 48 foil cups (2 inch size). Melt butter in large saucepan. Add chocolate chips and stir until melted. Add sugar and vanilla and mix thoroughly.

Remove from heat and add eggs one at a time, stirring thoroughly after each one. Stir in flour gradually until mixed well. Fill cups to approximately ¾ full. Bake for 25 minutes. Do not overbake.



25 pieces chewy soft caramel candies, unwrapped

1 Tbsp. water

1 tsp. vanilla

Directions: Melt caramels and water in saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Drizzle caramel over cooled brownies and sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Thanks again for letting me share my recipe! 

~ Joyce

Joyce Tremel was a police secretary for ten years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail. Her flash fiction has appeared in Mysterical-e, and her non-fiction has been published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police magazine. Her debut novel, TO BREW OR NOT TO BREW was nominated for a 2015 Reviewers’ Choice Award for best amateur sleuth by Romantic Times. The second book in the series TANGLED UP IN BREW, will be released 10.4.2016, and the third book, A ROOM WITH A BREW, is tentatively scheduled for release in October 2017.

Join Joyce on Facebook here

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Visit Joyce's website here.


Brew pub owner Maxine “Max” O’Hara and her chef/boyfriend Jake Lambert are excited to be participating in the Three Rivers Brews and Burgers Festival. Max hopes to win the coveted Golden Stein for best craft beer—but even if she doesn’t, the festival will be great publicity for her Allegheny Brew House.

Or will it? When notoriously nasty food and beverage critic Reginald Mobley is drafted as a last-minute replacement judge, Max dreads a punishing review. Her fears are confirmed when Mobley literally spits out her beer, but things get even worse when the cranky critic drops dead right after trying one of Jake’s burgers. 

Now an ambitious new police detective is determined to pin Mobley’s murder on Max and Jake, who must pore over the clues to protect their freedom and reputations—and to find the self-appointed judge, jury, and executioner.



Congrats to Joyce's winner!

Marci K.

Be sure to leave a comment by
Monday 9/12 at 12 Midnight
win a signed copy of either
TANGLED UP IN BREW—your choice!

(Remember to leave an e-mail
address or a way to contact you.)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Butter Pecan Bars

From the kitchen of Peg Cochran

I had planned to share this recipe with you because it was sooooo good, and then I thought, "more cookies!"  We've just had a plethora of cookie and goodie recipes over the Christmas season.  Now is the time for some lean cuisine to fit in with everyone's new year resolutions.

But you still need cookies for your book club meeting, right?  And the PTO bake sale, no?  And to offer your neighbor when she pops over for tea, of course.  So, here is another cookie recipe you can keep in your pocket for when needed (like for after dinner tonight maybe?)  The recipe comes from our local newspaper, the Grand Rapids Press, courtesy of Jessica Webster.

The cool thing about these cookies is they can be baked in a jelly roll pan--which I did, and they come out almost like toffee, or in an 8 x 8 pan which results in a brownie-type cookie (so the article says, I made mine in a jelly roll pan.)

So without further ado, here is the recipe:

2 large eggs
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup white granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans

Beat eggs in a large bowl.  Mix in brown and white sugars (I used my stand mixer.)  Pour in melted butter and blend.

Add vanilla and flour and mix well.  Stir in chopped nuts.

Spread on a greased 10 x 15 inch jelly roll pan.  (Note:  I lined my pan with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spay which I cut to hang slightly over the edges.  That made it really easy to lift the entire pan of cookies out to a cutting board which made for easier cutting.)

Lift out of the pan by holding the edges of the parchment paper

Or, spread in a greased 8 x 8 inch square pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes if using the square pan or 25 to 30 minutes if using the jelly roll pan.  As usual, your oven mileage may vary so check frequently for doneness.  They are done when the top is browned slightly and the cookies are pulling away from the edges of the pan.  Cool before cutting.

I transferred the whole batch to my cutting board and cut into small squares--they are very rich!  And if they're small, you're perfectly justified in taking more than one.  They freeze well so keep a batch in your freezer for those times when you need a homemade cookie.

I am thrilled to annouce that Berried Secrets from my Cranberry Cove series will debut in August 2015 and is now available for pre-order!  Cover reveal very soon, I promise!!  It's darling!

Also coming soon, Hit and Nun, from my Lucille series--mid-January from Beyond the Page Publishing.  Cover also coming soon!

If you like culinary mysteries, catch up with my Gourmet De-Lite series if you haven't already.  ICED TO DEATH is out now.

For up-to-date news, stop by my web site and sign up for my newsletter or join the chat on my Facebook page

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Please Welcome Our Guest Kay Finch!

Kay Finch is the author of the new Bad Luck Cat Mystery series, with the first of the series, BLACK CAT CROSSING, coming from Berkley in September 2015. Her most recent published mystery, Relative Chaos, features a professional organizer who finds a dead body in a hoarder's garage. Kay grew up on a Pennsylvania farm, but she got to Texas as fast as she could and discovered her favorite vacation spot, the Texas Hill Country, setting of her new series.


Thanks for inviting me to Mystery Lover’s Kitchen. My family is especially delighted because I actually quit writing for a while to bake something.  I’ve had fun this year writing Black Cat Crossing, book one of my new series, and defending Hitchcock, the alleged Bad Luck Cat, from characters who believe black cats bring bad luck. As my granddaughter wisely points out, that’s just plain silly.  I’ve learned, though, that some people are dead serious about their superstition. I prefer those that claim black cats are good luck. Hitchcock is definitely good luck for me, and I can’t wait to see Black Cat Crossing in print come September.  

PECAN TARTS (from the Finch Family Cookbook)

Crust -
1 stick butter
3 oz package cream cheese
1-1/4 cup flour

Soften butter and cream cheese. Mix together, then add flour.

 Chill for 2 hours. Roll into small balls, then press into tart pans.

Filling -
1 egg
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Beat together eggs, brown sugar, butter and vanilla. Stir in pecans. Spoon 1 teaspoon in each crust. Bake at 350 F. for 25 minutes. Makes 24.

Enjoy your tarts. Don’t tell anyone, especially not my thrifty Pennsylvania Dutch relatives, that I bought pecans for this instead of shelling the bushels of pecans we picked up from our own backyard trees.

Black Cat Crossing will be available for pre-order from Amazon soon, and I’ll be shouting that from the rooftops when the time comes. Meanwhile, my Corie McKenna mysteries, Final Decree and Final Cut, and Relative Chaos are available now in print and Kindle versions.

Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping - Get the Classic #Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipe and a Lighter Version from author Cleo Coyle

This fabulous side dish recipe of buttery sweet potatoes and crunchy nut topping is a Thanksgiving tradition for many American families. With the countdown now on for the big feast, I'm happy to make it the subject of my post today...

The classic version of this recipe goes way back. You may have memories of your mother making it or your grandmother. One of the earlier places I saw it published was a 40-year-old cookbook celebrating heritage recipes from Georgia--and that recipe likely had its roots in the "sweet potato pudding" published in the first American cookbook, circa 1796.

Pam Fulk, a longtime follower of this blog, happily shared the same recipe with me a few years back. She tells me she gets raves every time she makes it. And if you've been making it for your family, you probably get raves, too. 

To download the classic version 
of this recipe, click here
* * * * *

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here or here.
Cleo Coyle's (Lighter)
Sweet Potato Casserole
with Brown Sugar and Pecans

I started with the classic casserole in the recipe above, cut an entire stick of butter, some of the sugar, and a small amount of flour. The results? I didn't miss them and neither did my husband, who is never coy about his opinion on good eats. 

To quote Marc after his first forkful, "Oh, yeah!"

The recipe is versatile, as well. You can make the casserole with brown sugar alone or with maple syrup. You can make it with dairy products or non-dairy.

Finally, I have a tip for making the process a snap on Thanksgiving day: Instead of following the traditional recipe of peeling, dicing, boiling, and mashing the sweet potatoes, try simply baking them alongside your turkey. 

If you follow my method for baking the sweet potatoes, they'll be just as moist as the boiled version, but with less fuss and cleanup. And (the best reason to do this...) baking the potatoes will help them retain more nutrition and flavor. 

Now let's get cookin'!

To download this recipe
in a free PDF document
that you can print,
share, or save,
click here.
Click here to get
the recipe PDF.


For the casserole:

3 - 4 medium to large sweet potatoes (You will use these to
        make 3-1/2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes)
1/4 cup light brown sugar*
1/4 cup pure maple syrup*
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 cup milk (cow’s low-fat milk or dairy-free almond)
4 tablespoons butter melted (or dairy-free margarine, melted)

*To make this recipe without maple syrup, increase the brown sugar to 1/2 cup and reduce the amount of cooked, mashed sweet potatoes by 1/4 cup.

For the topping:

4 Tablespoons butter, melted (or dairy-free margarine, melted)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
Generous pinch of table salt
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped

Step 1 – Easy-bake sweet potatoes (you can either bake these with your turkey or the night before your Thanksgiving meal): Wash the sweet potatoes and leave skins wet. Tap your inner serial killer and stab the taters a few times with a knife to prevent them from exploding in the oven.

Wrap the sweet potatoes tightly in aluminum foil and bake them in a well-preheated 350 degree F. oven for 90 minutes. Remove them from the oven, but do not unwrap! Allow them to cool in their foil cocoons for 30 minutes. This will keep them nice and moist. Now open and slice each potato in half.

As shown above, scoop out the still-warm flesh, 
which is now very close to pre-mashed for you.

A fork will make quick work of the mashing. 
See the photos above and below.
You want a nice, even consistency. 

Step 2 – Assemble the casserole: Measure out 3-1/2 cups of the cooked and mashed sweet potatoes and combine them with the rest of the casserole ingredients. Stir well. Pour into a well-buttered casserole dish (1-1/2 to 2 quarts in size). The dish you see below is 1-1/2 quarts.

Step 3 – Make the casserole topping: Melt the butter (or margarine) in a small saucepan. Remove the pan from heat, add the topping ingredients to the pan, stir well. The mixture should be damp and crumbly. Distribute it evenly over the casserole top. 

Bake at 350° F. for about 40 minutes. Casserole will be bubbling when finished and some liquid will appear to be pooling in the topping. Don’t worry. As the dish cools, the liquid will settle back into the casserole and the top will become crusty, crunchy, and delicious. So you'll be all set to...

Click here to get
the recipe PDF, and...

Eat with Thanksgiving joy!

~ Cleo Coyle
New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Learn about our books here.

Coming December 1st
the NEW Coffeehouse Mystery!

Now a Mystery Guild Selection

And a Baker & Taylor Fall Trends Pick

Includes great 
American recipes!

To learn moreclick here.

*  *  *

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
15 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 

(with mini plot summaries)

* * * 

Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

Get a free title checklist, 
with mini plot summaries, 

Or learn more about the 
books and meet Jack Shepard, 
our PI ghost by clicking here.

The Coffeehouse Mystery Newsletter

Fun Contests, New Recipes, 
Book News, Videos, and more...

To subscribe, click here.

* * * *

Friday, November 7, 2014

Roasted Stuffed Squash

by Sheila Connolly

Halloween is behind us, and the Thanksgiving holiday looms. I live only a few miles from Plymouth, so I can’t escape it. Whatever piffle we were handed in elementary school about the happy Native Americans bringing bounteous dishes to the hungry Pilgrims has been toned down to a more realistic story; most likely the colonists and the Wampanoags (the local Indians, who are still around and trying to open casinos) shared whatever they had, and that probably included squash.

Of that first meal Yankee Magazine tells us: “…venison was a major ingredient, as well as fowl, but that likely included pheasants, geese, and duck. Turkeys are a possibility, but were not a common food in that time. Pilgrims grew onions and herbs. Cranberries and currants would have been growing wild in the area, and watercress may have still been available if the hard frosts had held off, but there’s no record of them having been served. In fact, the meal was probably quite meat-heavy. Likewise, walnuts, chestnuts, and beechnuts were abundant, as were sunchokes. Shellfish were common, so they probably played a part, as did beans, pumpkins, squashes, and corn (served in the form of bread or porridge), thanks to the Wampanoags.”

There’s that squash. The problem is, I really don’t like squash.

My mother used to serve acorn squash, using a very simple recipe: slice in half, scoop out seeds, fill the center with brown sugar and lots of butter, bake. In my mother’s defense, Paula Deen and Martha Stewart are still pushing the same recipe. I couldn’t stand it. I admit that makes no sense, because I love all things sweet—except vegetables and starches. But my blacklist includes: sweet potatoes, yams, beets, and baked beans. Most of them make me gag.

But I am a foodie! And most fresh vegetables are now being shipped from Guatemala or Mexico, so mainly it’s squash that is available locally. And the little ones are kinda cute (like kittens and puppies, right?). So I was determined to find a recipe for baby acorn squashes that didn’t involve brown sugar, that I might actually enjoy.

And I did, or actually I found two which I kind of combined (I vetoed the one with chopped dried cherries).

Roasted Acorn Squash with Black Rice

2 small acorn squashes
2 Tblsp vegetable oil
1 cup pecan pieces, chopped

1 1/2 cups black rice aka Forbidden Rice (you may substitute wild rice, brown rice, or even white rice)
2 Tblsp butter
2 shallots, chopped
2 Tblsp fresh thyme leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Slice the acorn squashes lengthwise, and set one aside.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 

Squash halves (by the way, they're a lot
easier to slice and clean than butternut squash)

Peel and dice one of the acorn squashes. In a bowl, toss the pieces with the vegetable oil, to coat. Spread them on a baking sheet (preferably one with a rim). Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn and spread out again and roast for another 10 minutes. Two to three minutes before the squash is done, sprinkle the pecan pieces over the top so they can roast.

...and after (with pecans added)
Diced squash: before...

On a second cookie sheet, oil the sheet lightly and place the two remaining halves of acorn squash face down. Cover the sheet tightly with aluminum foil. Roast until tender. Note: acorn squashes vary in size from a large lemon to a small football, so adjust your cooking time as needed. The littlest ones take only half an hour at most, while the big (tougher) ones might take 40-45 minutes.

Lots of shallots!
In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the chopped shallots for about 2 minutes. Add liquid according to the rice package instructions (the amount will vary depending on which type of rice you use; you may use water or stock). Add salt, and bring to a boil. 

Once boiling, lower the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer gently until the rice is cooked through (check the package for timing!). This may take anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes.

The mysterious Forbidden Rice
(is that a rainbow in the steam?)

When the rice and the chopped squash are both ready, toss them together with the thyme and the chopped pecans. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

Place the roasted squash halves on individual flat bowls or plates, and season the inside with salt and pepper. Mound the stuffing into the halves. Serve warm.

I liked the recipe. The nuts add both a little crunch and flavor. I should add that this amount of stuffing will fill far more than two halves of a small squash, so if you want to serve more people, just roast more squashes. Or eat it on its own.

The latest Orchard Mystery, Picked to Die, which takes place during the apple harvest in Granford.

For some reason I'm humming the old song that starts "Come, ye thankful people, come" which celebrates the harvest. It's that time of year.