Showing posts with label spinach. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spinach. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Spinach Acini di Pepe Soup -- #recipe @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE: Acini who?

Acini di Pepe, and you'll be delighted to meet her. Him. It -- what pronoun do you use for tiny yummy pasta? Doesn’t matter – you’ll love these little pellet-sized pasta in spinach soup. 

I’m a big fan of recipes from the backs of cans and boxes – they’re often the classic recipe we know and love, like pumpkin pie from the back of the Libby can or the pecan pie from the Karo bottle. This one comes from the back of the Ronzoni pasta box. I think my mother first told me about it, though how she found it, I have no idea. Now I am doing my part to make it better known!

As usual, I’ve revised the instructions but the ingredients are the original – dare I say the classic – recipe? Serve with a green salad and fresh, crusty bread, and you’ll be happy!

Spinach Acini di Pepe Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
48 ounces of chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup Acini di Pepe pasta, uncooked
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
salt and pepper, to taste
grated Parmesan

Heat the oil or butter and saute the onion and garlic until soft but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the pasta, nutmeg, and pepper; reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes. Add the chopped spinach and simmer an additional five minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with grated cheese.

Makes 8 servings.

It's a classic!

From the cover of AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #5 (Midnight Ink, 2018, available for pre-order now):  

In Jewel Bay---Montana's Christmas Village---all is merry and bright. At Murphy’s Mercantile, AKA the Merc, manager Erin Murphy is ringing in the holiday season with food, drink, and a new friend: Merrily Thornton. A local girl gone wrong, Merrily’s turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin.

When Merrily goes missing and her boss discovers he’s been robbed, fingers point to Merrily—until she’s found dead, a string of lights around her neck. The clues and danger snowball from there. Can Erin nab the killer—and keep herself in one piece—in time for a special Christmas Eve?

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. A past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Spinach Soup in Carnival Squash


Even though our daughter is long gone from the house, my husband and I still carve pumpkins to invite in all the children from the neighborhood (and beyond) on Halloween, and we hand out plenty of candy. But we’re usually slow to select and carve our pumpkins—and this year we didn’t get to it until last weekend. Off we went to our local farm stand--and then I went crazy.

I couldn't help myself!

Choosing which pumpkins to carve was easy: we prefer the traditional shape but we’ve gone over to warty ones because they’re interesting. But then at the pumpkin stand I spied a batch of crazy gourds. I picked one up and said, “It’s a swan!” And I had this immediate image of a nest of wacky multi-colored swans sitting together, so I had to buy a basket for the nest and scavenge some straw for it.

But I didn’t stop there. I stumbled upon a selection of squashes. Confession: my mother used to make acorn squash, by cutting them in half and, after removing the seeds, filling the cavity with butter and brown sugar. But despite that I hated the things—I think it was the pasty stringy texture.

But! There were some lovely striped squashes called Carnival. I looked at them and didn’t see dinner—I saw a soup bowl with dark green soup in it. Maybe with some white accents—cheese? Sour cream? So I brought home two squashes.

Then I went looking for a green soup recipe. Spinach is the obvious choice (sorrel a close second, but I couldn’t find any), and fresh spinach is easy to come by, but after that I couldn’t find just the right combination of ingredients in any available recipe. So I improvised, borrowing from at least four different recipes, old and current.

Spinach Soup in a Carnival Squash


3 Tblsp butter
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 leek, sliced (white part only)
4 cups stock (vegetable or chicken) or, if you want a creamier soup, a combination of stock and milk or cream
1 lb fresh spinach (I know it looks like a lot, but it will cook down)
1/2 cup crème fraiche or sour cream (you can mix it in or add it at the end as garnish)
Salt and pepper to taste


In a large deep pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the green onions and the leek. Stir the vegetables in the butter, then cover and let them “sweat” for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. (Do not let the vegetables brown.)

Pour in the liquid and simmer for a few minutes.

Buy baby spinach leaves if you can. Rinse them and dry them (a salad spinner is a good choice!). If they are large, remove the tough stems. Chop roughly.

Add the spinach to the liquid and cook over low heat until the leaves are wilted. Use a food processor or an immersion blender to puree the soup.

Stir in the crème fraiche or sour cream (or save it for garnish). Taste for seasoning. Heat through and serve (in those wonderful squashes, with the top sliced off and the seeds removed) with a tangy bread such as cheese biscuits.

Various sources suggested possible additions: a dash of cayenne, minced garlic, onion rather than green onion. If you want to make it heartier, cook a peeled potato along with the other vegetables until it is soft, and add chopped ham at the end. It’s a quick, simple basic recipe, so you can experiment!

Halloween may have come and gone, but the spirits are still with us! Here's the fifth book in the Relatively Dead series, Search for the Dead, which came out last week.

Find it at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Crustless Spinach Quiche

“If you want to learn to make great cakes,” my father said, “talk to your Aunt Peggy. But for great pie, learn from your mother.” Since I adore pie crust, to this day, that was good advice, and I have no trouble mixing up and rolling out a variety of tasty crusts. But some writing days, I can’t take that time. And a crustless quiche is great to have in your repertoire if any of your family or occasional guests are gluten-free.

We make this one with bacon and either fresh or frozen spinach – the classic called Quiche Lorraine – but the basic recipe can be easily adapted to any veggies you like or have on hand. Remember that some, like onions and mushrooms, will be happier on the tongue and tummy if you saute them lightly first. Bake the bacon while you assemble the other ingredients, and do any sauteeing.

The classic French way to eat quiche is for a light dinner, with crusty bread and a chilled glass of white wine. Bon appetit!

Crustless Spinach Quiche 

5 slices bacon
8 large eggs
1-1/2 cups milk (we use whole milk, but 2% would work fine)
½ cup chopped white onion
1 - 16 ounce package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained OR 1-1/2# fresh spinach, well-rinsed
1 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
a pinch of nutmeg
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake the bacon on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, about 20 minutes on one side, turning and cooking about 10 minutes on the other side. Drain well.

Raise oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Rinse the fresh spinach, or make sure the frozen spinach is well-drained. If you are using fresh spinach, saute it lightly in a large pan with the onion and about 1 tablespoon olive oil. You can add the spinach in batches, as it will cook down quickly, in only 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs and stir in the milk. Add the nutmeg and seasonings.

Spray a 9 or 10 inch pie plate or tart pan with cooking spray, and crumble or snip the bacon into the pie plate. Add the spinach and onion, then the cheese.

 Pour the egg mixture on top and carefully place into the oven. Bake until the quiche is puffed and set, or a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Allow to rest briefly, then cut into wedges and serve. 

This quiche reheats beautifully.

Murder heats up Seattle’s Pike Place Market in GUILTY AS CINNAMON, the second Spice Shop mystery from the national bestselling author of ASSAULT AND PEPPER. 

"A zesty mix of a mystery with all the right ingredients to keep readers turning pages as quickly as possible. Delicious!" -- Suspense Magazine

"Leslie Budewitz is quickly becoming one of my favorite cozy mystery writers! I love how she blends together world building and character development to create just the perfect atmosphere for her stories.” -- Fresh Fiction 

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Connect with her on her website or on Facebook.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Easy Cheesy Rice and Spinach @LucyBurdette #recipe

LUCY BURDETTE: I've been making a variation of this recipe for years--if we're counting, probably close to 30-gulp! It began as a recipe I spotted in Diet for a Small Planet, but it's evolved over the years. You can make this with spinach, or chard, or even kale--it's very easy to pull together, especially if you made extra rice for dinner the night before.

We sometimes eat this as our vegetarian main dish, with a green salad on the side. (And I must assure you that John is not even close to vegetarian, and he loves this dish.) But you could also serve it on the side of something simple and grilled.


2 cups cooked brown rice

One large bunch fresh spinach
One half large onion, chopped
4 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
Olive oil
Soy sauce

In a large frying pan, saute the chopped onions in olive oil until they begin to turn soft and brown. Add the cooked rice, stir, and cook over low heat for five to ten minutes.

Meanwhile, clean and chop the spinach. Always opt for more than you think you need--as it wilts down to nothing. Distribute the spinach over the top of the rice, continue cooking, this time covering the pan. 

When the greens are wilted (10 or so minutes), sprinkle the cheese over the top and shake on a tablespoon or more of the soy sauce, to taste. Mix it all together. 

If you haven't been hasty, some of the rice will be a little crunchy, making a delicious contrast to the creaminess of the rest. 

Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries. #6 in the series, FATAL RESERVATIONS, will be in bookstores on July 7!

After you eat your spinach, you can go over and pre-order it!

And congratulations to Krista for THE DIVA STEALS A CHOCOLATE KISS, and to Sheila for PRIVY TO THE DEAD. Hope your copies are on your bedside table!  

And PS, one more thing, Goodreads is running a giveaway for 25 copies of FATAL RESERVATIONS. You can enter to win right here.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Welcome Guest Elizabeth Craig/Riley Adams

Easy Spinach Bake
From Elizabeth S. Craig, aka Riley Adams
Hi everyone!  I’m so glad to be back at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen.   
This is my favorite blog to visit…especially around the holidays!  I lurked over here on Halloween week and am now excited that Thanksgiving and Christmas treats are on the way.
If you’re like my family, we usually have one person as the hostess for the holiday, and then the rest of us bring sides or desserts or appetizers to complement the meal.
I’ll admit that I’m usually the broccoli, or green bean, or sweet potato casserole volunteer.  In fact, we don’t traditionally eat spinach at our holiday gatherings. 
But this is about to change, because I’ve got a new favorite recipe for spinach.  There are a few things I really like about the recipe, but the biggest is that it’s so incredibly easy.  Y’all know how much I like simple recipes, but this one really takes the cake. 
That’s because it uses frozen spinach.  That’s right—none of that defrosting the spinach and getting your hands all green as you try to squeeze the excess liquid out (that was never a fun task to put me in the holiday spirit!)
Also—I really want to eat more green leafy vegetables and have my kids to eat more of them, too.  This is an easy way to encourage them to eat spinach.  To lighten this up, I’ve used light sour cream and substituted a smooth/buttery olive oil for some/all of the margarine.
I liked this recipe so much that it’s included in my next Southern Quilting mystery!  Quilt Trip (written as Elizabeth Craig) launches December 3rd. 

Easy Spinach Bake

1 6- oz. package corn muffin mix
2 eggs, beaten
8 oz. sour cream
2 10--oz. packages of frozen chopped spinach
½ cup melted margarine
½ cup grated cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a 9- by-13 casserole dish with cooking spray. Combine all the ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Now, this isn’t a gorgeous casserole, I’m afraid, but if you put it in a pretty container on your sideboard, I’m sure it’ll be dressed up nicely.
Hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving this year!
Find Elizabeth’s contact information on her website. 
Preorder Quilt Trip here.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Lemon Basil Maple Syrup dressing recipe

 From Daryl aka Avery

From a fan online, I discovered a cookbook dedicated to maple syrup: the MapleSyrup Cookbook.  I love maple syrup. There’s something so satisfying about the flavor. It reminds me of special mornings as a kid, usually on weekends, having pancakes or French toast. Now, I’ve never tapped a tree. I don’t have any maples around to do so. However, thanks to an MLK follower, Libby Dodd, I learned “how to tap a tree” after I googled “how to tap a tree.” A duh moment for me, right? Thanks, Libby! I found this site called TapMyTrees. The site is dedicated to helping people learn environmentally sustainable ways to make syrup. Enjoy exploring the site.

Though there are no pictures in this cookbook (boo-hoo; I’m one of those cookbook purchasers who
really, really likes photographs), the recipes are fabulous. The lemon-basil salad dressing caught my eye right away. It’s simple, easy and as Haedrich, the author of the cookbook, wrote: “Somebody could bottle this and make a fortune, that’s how good it is.” 

So true!!!  Hmmm. New career in store for me? Probably not.

In addition to maple syrup, I love spinach. Spinach is so fortified. It’s got a thicker-than-lettuce texture that really appeals to me. However, often I find dressings for spinach salads are too thin or too salty.

But I tossed the maple syrup-enriched dressing on a spinach salad for my stepson and his wife this weekend. Over dinner, she was delighted that I had found a dressing that stuck to spinach. That’s because of the syrup. The combination of flavors really work!


From the Maple Syrup Cookbook by Ken Haedrich


1/3 cup canola oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
satl and freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh basil
1/8 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (I added a lot more, like ½ teaspoon)

Whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl or in a measuring cup.
Taste and adjust the flavor with more maple syrup, if needed. Bottle and refrigerate.

This made enough for an 8-portion salad.  Yield: about 1 cup.
Note: I grated the lemon right over the bowl so I caught all the zest.

(for four)

2-3 cups raw spinach
½ red onion sliced thinly
½ avocado, sliced thinly


Wash spinach. Remove the stems. Put in a salad bowl. Slice the onions and avocado. Add to the spinach. Toss with ½ cup lemon-basil salad dressing and serve.

 * * *

The first book in A Cookbook Nook Mystery series is out!!

You can order the book HERE.

It's set in the fictional coastal town of Crystal Cove, California and features Jenna Hart, a former advertising exec who returns home to help her aunt open a culinary bookshop and café.

The 4th in A Cheese Shop Mystery series is out, too! 
You can order the book HERE. 

Next up: DAYS OF WINE AND ROQUEFORT preorder here
INHERIT THE WORD, available soon!

You can learn more about Daryl by clicking this LINK. "Like" my page on Facebook and "follow" me on TwitterAnd if you haven't done so, sign up for the mailing list so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests! You can also follow and "like" Avery Aames the same way:  Facebook and Twitter