Showing posts with label strawberry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label strawberry. Show all posts

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Strawberry Daiquiri #recipe to Celebrate FATAL RESERVATIONS @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE:  Whoo-hoo, FATAL RESERVATIONS is definitely here! And so we are definitely celebrating this week!

I'll pause for a minute to make sure you ordered your copy...and then on to celebrating with strawberry daiquiris!

For the first time ever, we had a super-duper crop of strawberries in our garden. We ate them every which way, and shared quite a few with a cheeky chipmunk, whose MO was to take a bite out of as many as he could reach. 

Of course I made three different versions of strawberry cake, and you'll see two of them soon.  But I decided the daiquiri recipe was the most festive--and perfect for sipping while reading...

Ingredients for One Daiquiri

1-2 oz rum (we used Pusser's, but a light rum would be fine too)

1/2 oz triple sec

1/2 lime, squeezed

1/2 teaspoon sugar (you may want a little more)

1 cup or so ice cubes

1/2 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen

And here's how to make it: Put everything in the blender and whir! I had frozen some of our strawberry crop last week, so we used those. If you use fresh strawberries, you may need to adjust the ice. Garnish with a fresh berry and a mint leaf.

Hope you enjoy the drink--and the book!

FATAL RESERVATIONS is on bookshelves now! And you can follow Lucy on Facebook,



and Instagram!

And big congrats to Leslie Budewitz, whose BUTTER OFF DEAD is in bookstores now too!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Strawberry Tart

by Sheila Connolly

The last of the local strawberries… I hadn’t been to a farmers market this spring, so I kind of over-indulged when I was in Northampton, buying two overflowing quarts of beautiful ripe berries.

There are only two of us at home these days, and that was a lot of strawberries. First round: the old stand-by, strawberry shortcake, with home-made shortcakes and plenty of whipped cream. Didn’t use up even half of the berries.

Also in Northampton, I visited one of my favorite used bookstores, The Raven, where I bought (1) a four-volume edition of the History of Middlesex County, published in 1927 (maybe only a Massachusetts genealogist can get excited about that); (2) Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (which somehow I’d never read); and (3) two cookbooks. I can’t stop myself.

One of these cookbooks was Seasonal Fruit Desserts, by Deborah Madison, which had lots of nice recipes (I’m always on the lookout for new apple recipes). But what struck me was that there were not one but two new pie-crust recipes! I may have mentioned (often) that I am pie-crust challenged—these two may be numbers 14 and 15. But hope springs eternal!

So there I was with a pile of strawberries and a new pie crust recipe—but I couldn’t find a single recipe I liked. So I snooped around and combined several, and this is the result.

Strawberry Pie

The crust:

8 Tblsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, 
     at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
grated zest of one orange (optional)
1 cup all-purpose flour

Butter a 9" round or square tart pan.

Beat the butter with the sugar and salt with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again until smooth.

Add the flavorings, then the flour, and mix just to combine. 

Scrape the batter into the tart pan (be sure to gather up all the bits of flour from the bottom of the bowl).  With an offset spatula, spread out the batter, pushing it up against the sides to make a rim.

If the batter is too soft to handle, refrigerate it for 10 minutes.

When making your tart, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the tart pan with the dough and set it on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, until it just begins to brown.

Remove from the oven and let cool (it will shrink down a bit).

Lemon Curd:

Wait, what’s that doing here? Call it mortar, so you have something to set your strawberries in, to bind them to the crust. (You could also use a simple pastry custard without the lemon.)

2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tblsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1-1/2 tsp grated lemon peel

Grate the peel from the lemon. Squeeze the lemon to extract the juice. (One large lemon will provide both enough juice and peel for this recipe.)

Whisk the eggs, sugar and lemon juice in a small heavy saucepan. Add the butter and the lemon peel. Place over medium heat and stir until the butter melts. Keep stirring until the curd thickens to the consistency of pudding, which should take about 5 minutes.

Place in a small bowl, then press plastic wrap on the surface (to prevent a skin from forming). Chill at least 2 hours.

Putting it all together:

Remove the rim from the tart crust and place the crust on a serving plate.

Spread a thin layer of the lemon curd to cover the bottom.

Arrange the strawberries on top of the curd.You can use whole strawberries, or slice them as I did (tastes good either way!). 

Melt some jelly (seedless—take your pick from any red jelly you like) and brush over the top of the berries.

Chill to set—then eat quickly! This tart gets soggy overnight.

P.S. The other pie-crust recipe from the Seasonal Fruit Desserts cookbook? A more typical rolled crust, but made with maple or brown sugar and a bit of whole-wheat pastry flour. Now, what kind of filling should I try?

Privy to the Dead, still in its first month. I promise there's nothing disgusting in the privy!

Have a wonderful (and safe) Fourth of July!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Strawberry Rhubarb Yogurt Cake #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE:  My mother used to make stewed rhubarb, which I was never crazy about--too slimy and no crunch for balance. However, it is rhubarb season and our one plant looks so healthy and gorgeous--I had to use it! I added in a traditional rhubarb sidekick--strawberries--and swapped out sour cream for nonfat yogurt. So it's not as dangerous to your waistline as it could be...

This cake is the result. I think even food critic Hayley Snow would approve.


2 cups flour
one stick butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar +2 teaspoons
half teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup Greek yogurt, unflavored
2 cups diced rhubarb and strawberries

Mix the fruit with two teaspoons sugar and set aside.

Cream the butter with the remaining sugar.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each. Beat in the yogurt and vanilla. Mix the dry ingredients together and add them to the yogurt mixture, beating lightly.

Pre-heat the oven to 350°.

Grease well an 8 x 8" baking dish. Layer half the batter into the square pan. Over that, sprinkle half the fruit. Layer on the remaining batter, and the fruit over top. Sprinkle the remaining fruit on top of the cake.

Bake the cake at 350 for about 45 minutes. The top should be browning, and a toothpick stuck into the middle should come out clean. If the middle is still gooey but the top is getting too brown, cover the pan with foil.

This cake can stand on its own, or be served with ice cream. It's just as good the second day, or even the third, should you have any left!

When she is not blogging and cooking, Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries

Fatal Reservations, the sixth book in the series, will be in bookstores on July 7, but you can certainly order it now!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Summer Strawberry Recipe from Victoria Hamilton

Muffin But Murder, 
goes on sale July 1st!
Learn more here.

Please welcome author Victoria Hamilton as our special guest today. 

Victoria is sharing a healthy recipe that's perfect for summer strawberry season. She also has a generous prize package and one lucky commenter will win it has won it! Learn more at the end of this post. Take it away, Victoria!

~ Cleo

It’s That Time of Year
by Victoria Hamilton

This blog post started with a friendly chat between neighbors. 

I live in a nice, working class urban neighborhood, and I have for many years. In fact, it’s the same neighborhood I grew up in, just a block away. The other day I spent a few minutes chatting with my across-the-street neighbor, just back from walking her dog. 

The next day I was coming back from shopping when my wonderful neighbor came over carrying a beautiful big container of strawberries, fresh from her garden! Well, it so happens that I am trying to eat healthier: lots of water, more fruits and vegetables, salad every day. In that attempt I have switched from toast for breakfast every morning to smoothies. 

There are lots of recipes out there, and I know this is super easy, barely a recipe at all, but I thought I’d share one of mine, and as a bonus, I can tell you how many Weight Watchers Points Plus™ it is.

This makes enough for two!


2 bananas, frozen or fresh 

2/3 cup vanilla fat-free no-sugar-added yogurt (I use a probiotic yogurt.)

1 Cup Strawberries, fresh or frozen

1 Cup unsweetened almond beverage

1 Tblsp. organic honey

Almond or vanilla extract, if desired. (I forgot to add it this time and it tasted just fine!)


All ingredients go into a blender and voila, you have breakfast for two at 2.5 Weight Watchers Points Plus™ each!

Some of my notes:

Frozen fruit will make a thicker, milkshake like consistency. I always have bananas in my freezer that I usually use for muffins or banana bread, but they work awesome in this. I let them thaw for an hour just to make it easier on my blender. You do have to let it blend for a while to break down all the chunks of banana.

I usually use regular 2% milk, but lately I have switched to unsweetened almond beverage for smoothies for the fat savings and health benefits. It’s great! I’m thinking of trying coconut water for a plain fruit smoothie.

So…I know a lot of you out there
 probably do the same. 

What do you use in YOUR
morning smoothie?


About Muffin but Murder

When Merry Wynter unexpectedly inherited a castle in the wilds of upstate New York, she took some time to adjust. After living in New York City it was culture shock to wind up in a castle a few miles away from small town Autumn Vale. However, far from being lonely, as she first feared, her best friends Shilo Dinnegan (a former model) and Pish Lincoln, (a retired financial advisor who now writes books on financial scams and con artists) have joined her at Wynter Castle.

It is clear that she can’t afford to keep such a huge building, even if it is her ancestral home. It must be sold! She has an upscale party to promote Wynter Castle to would-be buyers who may be able to take the place and turn it into a hotel or inn, but the post party clean-up reveals an awful discovery; one of her "guests" turns up dead in a most gruesome fashion. With Pish holding back secrets, her exasperated attraction to Virgil Grace, (the broodingly handsome sheriff of Autumn Vale) growing stronger, and a supposed cousin with a possible claim on the inheritance plaguing her daily, Merry has her hands full.

But murder comes first. Who killed the guest, and why? And how is she going to keep Virgil from arresting Pish?

*With recipes! There is one muffin recipe in Muffin but Murder for what I call "Fit For The King Muffins" and they are wonderful!

Bestselling mystery author Victoria Hamilton writes the Merry Muffin Mysteries and The Vintage Kitchen Mysteries. As Amanda Cooper, she also writes the Teapot Collector Mysteries.

Victoria's long time love of mystery novels started at age twelve when her mom handed her an Agatha Christie book and said "Read"! Thousands of novels later, Victoria is still reading. And writing.

Besides those two favorite pastimes, Victoria also enjoys collecting vintage kitchenalia, old books, teacups, teapots and other ephemera. Perfume is her secret addiction. She likes to cook, hates to clean, and enjoys time spent with friends chatting over wine or tea. She loves crafts, loathes boredom, and her guilty pleasure is "reality" TV, which she knows is largely fake, but she enjoys it anyway.

Victoria thinks that people are the most interesting study of all, and more than anything, she loves to hear from readers, not just about her books but about anything and everything.

Facebook Page

For more on Muffin But Murder and the Merry Muffin Mysteries, visit the series’ Facebook page by clicking here.

Web Home

Learn more about Victoria Hamilton, her alter ego Amanda Cooper, and all her mystery series by clicking here.


Victoria's Giveaway

This wonderful contest is now over.
Thanks to everyone who left such
kind comments.

And our winner is...

Michelle of Brockton,

Michelle won the...

* Cozy Mystery Book Tote 

* Cozy Mystery Pen

* Muffin But Murder

* Tempest in a Teapot,
written by Victoria as
 Amanda Cooper

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Coffeehouse Banana Split: my grown-up take on a kiddie classic with Magic Shell Chocolate by Cleo Coyle

The ice cream shop banana split is a classic childhood favorite. (Okay, so it's an adult favorite, too.) Typically, the banana is split lengthwise and served in a long dish with three ice cream scoops topped with chocolate and strawberry sauces, whipped cream, and chopped nuts.

The history of this dish dates back to 1904 Latrobe, Pennsylvania, where a 23-year-old apprentice pharmacist (who enjoyed inventing ice cream treats at the pharmacy soda fountain) first came up with the banana-based, triple scoop sundae. 

While in my youth I had no problem polishing off a banana split, these days that three-scoop boat is way too large for me to sink in one sitting. And after a full meal? In the vernacular of my Queens' neighborhood...Fuhgeddaboudit!

On the other hand, a taste of that heavenly combination would be a pleasant finale to any meal. If you think so, too, then voila!

Below you'll find my "Coffeehouse" version of this American classic. Basically, it's a fast, fun way of fancying up the kiddie sundae for the adult table. There's a nice "wow" factor in the look of it, too. If you make it, I sincerely hope you will...

Eat with (summer) joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

Cleo Coyle's
Banana Split 

To download this recipe in a PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here.

My adult take on this childhood favorite starts with--

* A splash of Kahlúa at the bottom of an espresso cup. If you're not a fan of coffee liqueur, then try Baileys Irish Cream or a chocolate liqueur. If you'd rather not use alcohol, then simply omit it.

* Next comes a modest little scoop of gelato (or ice cream). In my photos, you see vanilla bean gelato. 

* Finally comes a whole strawberry and piece of banana, skewered by a Popsicle stick and covered in chocolate and nuts. The key to the recipe is using magic shell chocolate. I prefer to make my own, and I'm happy to show you how in the recipe following this one. In the meantime here are the...

Ingredients for
Chocolate-Dipped Fruit Skewers...

13 ripe strawberries (try to select uniform sizes close to 1-inch)

3 medium bananas (ripe but still firm)

1 cup magic shell chocolate (recipe follows this one)

1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, or peanuts, your choice)

13 wooden Popsicle sticks


Step 1 - Prep and chill fruit: Remove green stems and hull the strawberries. For tips on hulling, click here to download another strawberry recipe of mine. Cut bananas into 1-inch pieces with flat ends. Do not use pointy banana tips. Place these fruit pieces in the freezer for 30 minutes (but no more than an hour). This will help prevent the fruit pieces from splitting in the next step.

Step 2 - Make your fruit skewers: With a paring knife, cut a shallow slit on the bottom (pointy) end of a chilled strawberry. With a firm grip on the berry, gently push the end of one Popsicle stick through it. Keep pushing until you see the stick protruding out the top end of the berry. Gently spear that end downward, into (but not completely through) a piece of banana. The little fruit skewer should now be able to stand upright on your plate (as in my photos). 

Troubleshooting tip: If you can't get it to stand up, you probably have too much of the Popsicle stick pushing through the banana. Adjust the fruit along the stick so the flat of the banana is on the plate and not the end of the Popsicle stick.

Step 3 - Re-chill: Once all the fruit skewers are finished, return them to the freezer for another 15 - 20  minutes to chill them up again. For instructions on making magic chocolate, go to the end of this recipe.

Step 4 - Prep plate: Cover a plate with plastic or aluminum foil. (If you don't, the chocolate may stick to the plate.)

Step 5 - Dip, sprinkle, and chill: Gently dip the fruit skewers into the warm magic chocolate. As you pull it out, allow the excess chocolate to drip off. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and stand it on the foil- or plastic-covered plate. 
When all of the skewers are finished, place them in the refrigerator or freezer for 10 minutes to set. 

STORE: You can keep the finished skewers in the fridge for many hours before dinner or even the day before. Or you can wrap them gently in plastic or foil and keep in the freezer for two to three weeks.


Although many versions of this basic recipe are posted all over the Internet, the original source appears to be award-winning Chef Thomas Keller, who allowed The New York Times to reprint his recipe.

The secret is the extra virgin, cold pressed coconut oil, which liquefies around a modest 76 degrees F. yet firms up fast when taken below that temperature. That's why you'll see a chocolate shell form quickly if you drizzle it over scoops of ice cream. 

Likewise, for my "Coffeehouse" Banana Split recipe, once the fruit is chilled and dipped, you can place it in the fridge and watch a shell form very quickly.

Makes 1 cup


14 ounces (2-1/4 cups + 2 Tablespoons) chocolate chips*

1/4 cup extra virgin, cold pressed coconut oil**

*Chocolate chips can be milk chocolate, semi-sweet, or dark (bittersweet). In my photos, you see milk chocolate chips.

**Coconut oil is a very healthy oil IF you purchase the right kind--extra virgin, cold pressed. For a fast tutorial on what kind of coconut oil to purchase (and which I use and why), see my past recipe post, here.

Directions:  In a microwave-safe container, stir together chocolate chips and coconut oil. Microwave for 15 to 20 seconds then stop and stir the chips. Chocolate burns very easily so be sure to heat the mixture in short intervals. Return the container to the microwave for another 15 to 20 seconds. Stir again until chocolate is melted and smooth. 

This mixture is now ready to use in the above recipe or you can drizzle it over very cold ice cream and the "magic" shell will quickly form. The chocolate should stay in its liquid form unless chilled. If the mixture begins to solidify, return it to the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds and stir until melted and smooth once again.

Eat with 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
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.

2 Week
Countdown to...

A Brew to a Kill

Last year's hardcover
bestseller, releasing
in its paperback 

To learn more,
click here. 

"A foodie's delight...
And a satisfyingly
rich mystery."

~ Kirkus Reviews

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


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.