Showing posts with label vegetables. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vegetables. Show all posts

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Super Coleslaw #recipe @LucyBurdette #giveaway @levelbestbooks

Tennessee Steve and his better half, Dorothy Rahn

LUCY BURDETTE: During the high season in Key West, our fabulous kitchen store and bakery (The Restaurant Store) sponsors an artisan market. I'm there sometimes in the Key West Writers Guild booth, and there are lots of local artists, craft beers, music, and delicious food. But our must-stop is Tennessee Steve's BBQ rib booth. Oh my the ribs are tasty! And I would not even attempt to make them. But I can and do make the healthy and delicious cole slaw that we serve along with the ribs.

I have started buying Fresh Express packages of super kale salad in the supermarket. It comes with packets of pumpkin seeds and cranberries, along with a poppyseed dressing that I don’t use because of sodium content. 

Since I always like to try to have extra vegetables on hand, especially during the holiday treat indulgence period, I decided to make a big pile of this coleslaw that I could eat for lunches and dinners all week, in addition to a rib side dish. The "recipe" is very flexible, so you could add carrots or peppers or onions or various herbs as you choose. The secret is to prepare the vegetables ahead of time, and then take them out and dress them as needed. I suppose you could even add them to soups and stews if the whim hits you.


1/2 cabbage
8 to 10 Brussel sprouts
Two broccoli stalks
Large handful of kale
1/3 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/3 cup dried cranberries, raisins, or cherries

For the dressing

2 tablespoons good mayonnaise
1/8 cup or more cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Fresh black pepper

Either chop, or even better, put the vegetables through your Cuisinart so they are all shredded. Mix.

Stir the mayonnaise with the vinegar, celery seed, salt and sugar, and then whip in the olive oil. Taste to be sure it’s seasoned to your liking.

An hour or two before serving, mix the dressing with the vegetables, then fold in the pepitas and cherries. You could even add a sprinkle of goat cheese if the mood struck you!

We served this with Tennessee Steve’s ribs and baked beans Yum! (Recipe for beans to come...)

Because my purchased copies of SNOWBOUND, this year's anthology of best New England Crime Stories from Level Best Books arrived yesterday, and because it's holiday season, and because my short story "Dorothea and the Case of the Noxious Nanny" got the lead position (wow and yay!), I'd love to give a copy away. Leave a comment telling us who on your list would enjoy the short stories (of course, it can be you.) I'll post a winner on Monday, December 11!

Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries--find them wherever books are sold! Find her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest--Instagram too...

And the next Artisan Market at the Restaurant Store is December 17, 10-2. I'll be there from 12-2! 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Harvest Stew

LESLIE: A few years ago, after the epic month in France that turned Mr. Right and me into serious home cooks, we took a knife skills class at the local community college. We’re probably due for a refresher, and maybe the meat and poultry version, but I have to tell you, lining up the veggies for a big soup or stew, or a chopped salad, got a lot easier.

Before the class, we had only one chef’s knife, a lovely 10" from a set of Henckels an old boyfriend had given me. That Christmas, we were definitely on the same page. We each bought the other one a chef’s knife and a French cookbook!

And this soup, based on a recipe published in the Missoulian a few years ago by Greg Patent, a renowned cookbook author who lives in Western Montana, does require a fair amount of chopping. The upside is that it makes a lot, and as with most soups, the flavor improves over time. So you’ll get at least another dinner and maybe a couple of lunches for the extra effort. The flip side is that it doesn’t require a long simmer, so you’ll save a little time that way.

The Parmesan broth is the curiosity here. If, like us, you often buy Parmesan or Asiago in chunks and grate it yourself, toss the rinds and last chunks in a sealed bag in the back of your cheese drawer in the fridge, or in the freezer, and when you’ve got half a cup or so, make this stew. If you don’t have any rinds, use a good vegetable broth and add lots of Parmesan later. The last time we made this, I added about one additional cup of broth to thin the soup.

I’ve always added the kale in the order written, but it might work to add it at the end, with the corn and zucchini, to keep that brighter color.

A mix of red and white potatoes works nicely—not Russets, best for baking, but Yukon Gold or another white with a slightly waxy yellow skin.

If you’re not accustomed to using leeks, be aware that they can hold a lot of dirt, but are easy to clean. Trim the root end and cut off most of the dark green leaves, leaving a couple inches of the paler green above the white. Then slice the leek in half lengthwise. To wash, hold each half under a stream of running water. You’ll see the dirt magically float away.

As Patent notes in the original recipe, you could also use chard leaves, diced sweet potato, parsnip, or rutabaga. A spoonful of basil pesto is a lovely garnish, but not necessary. The bread and wine, however, are essential!

Harvest Stew 

4 ounces Parmesan rinds
4 cups water, plus more as needed (or other broth if you don’t have rinds)
1 bunch kale, tough stems and ribs removed, and coarsely chopped
Olive oil
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 large carrots (8 ounces total), diced
1 large leek, white portion plus one inch of the light green, washed well, sliced thin
1 pound small red potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (peeling isn’t necessary)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried whole thyme leaves
1 pound fresh tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large can (16 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 medium zucchini (8 ounces total), cut into 1/2-inch cubes, or butternut or other squash
1 cup corn (I used frozen and didn’t thaw it first)
1 cup chopped parsley

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired

If you’re using Parmesan rinds, put them into a large microwave-safe bowl and add the 4 cups of water. Cook on high power 4 to 5 minutes, until the rinds are softened and the water has a definite Parmesan flavor. Spoon out the rinds and cheese chunks, and set the broth aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop in the kale leaves. Cook, uncovered, until kale is tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour into a colander and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking. Allow to drain well.


Pour 4 tablespoons olive oil into a large stock pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, carrots, leek, and potatoes. Stir well, cover, and cook 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, thyme, kale, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, and broth. Stir, taste, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until potatoes and carrots are tender.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the zucchini and corn kernels, and sauté 2 to 3 minutes, just until zucchini begins to brown. Add to soup along with the parsley. 

If the soup is too thick, add more vegetable broth or water. Taste, adjust seasoning, and serve. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

A crusty loaf of bread and a glass of wine make this a bit of winter heaven.

Makes 6 servings.

From the cover of KILLING THYME (October 2016, in paperback, e-book, and audio---large print coming soon!): 

At Seattle Spice in the Pike Place Market, owner Pepper Reece is savoring her business success, but soon finds her plans disrupted by a killer…

Pepper Reece’s to-do list is longer than the shopping list for a five-course dinner, as she conjures up spice blends bursting with seasonal flavor, soothes nervous brides fretting over the gift registry, and crosses her fingers for a rave review from a sharp-tongued food critic. Add to the mix a welcome visit from her mother, Lena, and she’s got the perfect recipe for a busy summer garnished with a dash of fun. 

While browsing in the artists’ stalls, Pepper and Lena drool over stunning pottery made by a Market newcomer. But when Lena recognizes the potter, Bonnie Clay, as an old friend who disappeared years ago, the afternoon turns sour. To Pepper’s surprise, Bonnie seems intimately connected to her family’s past. after Bonnie is murdered only days later, Pepper is determined to uncover the truth. 

But as Pepper roots out long-buried secrets, will she be digging her own grave?

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 2015-16 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.

Swing by my website  and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebookwhere I often share news of new books and giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas Week: Whipped Sweet Potatoes With Pecans and Maple Syrup #giveaway #Christmasweek

By Victoria Abbott aka Mary Jane and Victoria Maffini aka Santa's Elves - with giveaways!

Are you all getting ready for the holidays?

Everyone is excited around here!  Peach is hiding, but excitedly.


We are continuing our veggie challenge even during (our fabulous and fun) Mystery Lovers Kitchen Christmas theme week here at Mystery Lovers Kitchen.  Santa is also doing a giveaway.  Make sure you read all the way. 

We may be skirting our good intentions just a bit with brown sugar and maple syrup in this sweet potato dish.  But hey, ‘tis the season.  

We did a survey elsewhere about favorite holiday veggie dishes and sweet potato dishes were very strong contenders for top spot.  We thought we’d dress them up a bit and have been experimenting all week with proportions and with and without eggs and cream. Without won. We also tried whole pecans (prettier) and chopped pecans (tastier).  We ended up liking the chopped pecans better, BUT the whole pecans looked prettier. That's what you're seeing!  But suit yourself if you're making it.
A word about proportions: the nice thing about cooking with veggies is you can increase and decrease ingredients to suit your preferences.  We might add a bit more brown sugar if using whole pecans, or we might not.  Time will tell.
The resulting dish was sweeter than we usually make our sweet potatoes, but we thought it was worth it, especially as our holiday dinners tend to be savory.  We liked that it can be made up to two days ahead too.  


Note from Santa:  even though MJ and Victoria are continuing their veggie challenge (leave a comment to get your name in the draw for the pretty platter at the end of the post), I., Santa, am offering all good little cooks and cozy readers here a chance to get an audio of The Hammett Hex!  Just leave a comment and you’ll go in the Santa hat.  And your name will also go in the ‘platter draw’. Ho. Ho. Ho.   


Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup and Pecans


4 sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
1/8 cup tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter, melted  
Juice from half a lemon
½ teaspoons salt
1 pinch ground nutmeg
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 pinch pepper
¾ cup chopped pecans(or whole)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
 3 tablespoons butter, melted (not a repeat – this is for the topping)

In large saucepan of boiling salted water, cover and cook sweet potatoes until tender, about 18 minutes. Drain and return to pot. Using electric beaters, immersion or your old traditional masher, beat or mash until very smooth.  

In bowl, beat together maple syrup, two tablespoons of melted butter, lemon juice, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper; beat into sweet potatoes. 

Transfer to a greased 9 x 9-inch ceramic baking dish. (If you are making ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to two days; bake for 10 minutes longer if it has been in fridge.)

Stir pecans with brown sugar; sprinkle over potatoes. Drizzle with three tablespoons of butter. Bake in 375 °F oven for about 50 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  We did bake one of our versions at 400 °F because we had something else in there and it was just fine!  It’s the holidays and we need our food flexible.

This serves six people but it would be easy to double it if you find yourself with hot and cold running relatives for the hols. Have fun and eat up!

When not fussing about Christmas, Mary Jane and Victoria Maffini write the book collector mysteries, as Victoria Abbott.  Coincidentally any or all of these books would make a great gift for someone on your list who likes cozy mysteries with a book theme.  Lovable crooks included at no extra charge.


We hope you have the best of seasons, full of fun, food, festivities and yes, vegetables.

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Make sure you leave a comment for both draws.  Here's a reminder about the veggie tray!