Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Easiest Baked Fish in the World

LESLIE: We usually eat fish once a week, and this is the easiest cooking method ever—except, of course, fish cooked by someone else! It checks all the boxes—it’s yummy, zesty, and pretty.

And it scores high on ease of prep and clean-up. It’s also a highly versatile method that works beautifully on just about any kind of firm white fish—cod, flounder, halibut, tilapia.

For some reason, as I was writing this, I found myself singing "'Swim,' said the mama fishy, 'fast as you can,' and he swam and he swam right over the dam!"

This is perfect with a green salad or asparagus, fresh rolls, and a glass of white wine! Singing optional.

(I seem to have misplaced the photo of the ingredients, so I'm giving you a shot of my new supervisor instead!)

The Easiest Baked Fish in the World

1-1/4 pounds firm white fish
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, thinly sliced.
1 tablespoon capers, optional
3 tablespoons melted butter
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon Italian herb blend
(or substitute ½ cup Italian herbed breadcrumbs)
2-3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a glass or ceramic baking dish with parchment paper. Lay the fish fillets in the dish, in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the lemon slices on top, add the capers if you’re using them, and drizzle on the melted butter. Bake 12-15 minutes, until fish turns opaque in the center and cuts easily. Remove from oven. Mix the breadcrumbs and herbs together and sprinkle over the fish, then garnish with the parsley and serve.

Bon appetit!

The lemon slices are the eyes, and a bit of parsley fell off just right to be the nose...

From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.

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 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.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Quick and Easy Red Cabbage

Feeling a little guilty about all the Easter candy? Me, too. This might be just the ticket to redeem yourself.

I bought a lovely red cabbage without a clue what I would do with it. We love German-style red cabbage with red wine and ideally, chestnuts. But it screams winter to me and the weather has been so lovely that I wanted to make something lighter.

This is super simple, doesn't have many ingredients, and it doesn't have to cook all day. One of the other nice things about it is that you can cook as much of the red cabbage as you want. No need to use an entire head.

I cooked this in a cast iron skillet, but I'm sure any pan would do. You could also add some thinly-sliced red onion if you like.

Quick and Easy Red Cabbage

4 tablespoons of butter
1/3 of an average head of cabbage
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (to taste)
1 tablespoon salt
2 apples
1 pint of fresh blackberries

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Slice the red cabbage as thin as you can and cut into small pieces. Add to the pan and cook, turning now and then. Sprinkle with the apple cider vinegar. You may want to increase the amount to taste. Peel apples, core, and cut into bite size pieces. Add to pan. Continue to cook and turn for about 20-30 minutes. The cabbage should be soft, but with a slight crunch. Add the blackberries and toss well before serving.

Cut the cabbage into small bits.

Add apples.

Slightly crunchy and oh-so-healthy!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

POULET A L'ORANGE #Recipe @PegCochran #Easterweek

Doesn't that sound fancy?  The original recipe came from AllRecipes and it's actually called Chicken with Orange Sauce  but I thought the French version had a nice ring to it.

This is an easy dish that you can make for a weeknight meal or if you want to do something different for Easter, this would be lovely with the fresh orange flavor.  And if you call it Poulet a l'orange, your guests will be doubly impressed!


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves or 4 - 6 chicken thighs depending on size (bone in or out, it doesn't matter)
2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar, divided (I used the Splenda version)
2 cups orange juice
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour

What to do:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Place chicken in baking dish (I used a square Pyrex dish)  Spread mustard over the chicken and sprinkle with the chopped onion.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup brown sugar over the chicken to coat lightly.  Add enough orange juice to cover chicken.  Dot with butter on top.

Bake 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and pour sauce into a saucepan.

Sprinkle chicken with remaining brown sugar and return to oven.

Whisk flour into the sauce in the pan, adding any leftover orange juice.  Cook over high heat until the sauce thickens.

Remove chicken from oven when sauce is done and serve with sauce.


    It's June in Cranberry Cove and Monica Albertson's plan to sell cranberry relish to chain stores is taking off. The cranberry bogs are in bloom, and local beekeeper Rick Taylor and his assistant Lori Wenk are bringing in bees to pollinate the blossoms.  When a fatal prick fells Lori, the buzz is that Rick is to blame.

    In trying to clear her friend’s name, Monica discovers that more than a few people in Cranberry Cove have felt the power of Lori’s venom, and it looks as if this time she may have agitated the hive a bit too much.  With the fate of the farm on the line, Monica must get to the bottom of the crime before another victim gets stung.


    Barnes & Noble

    Friday, April 14, 2017

    Lemon Cookies for Easter

    Recently my market had yet another unexpected item: pink lemons. Well, they’re not very pink. The outside looks yellow, and the interior is kind of pinkish (maybe they get pinker as they ripen?). They’re said to have a more intense flavor that the all-yellow lemons. I’m a sucker for new foods, so I thought I’d give them a try.

    Since Easter is looming, I decided to go with flowery cookies, with pink sugar sprinkles in honor of spring. (I do have cookie cutters of sheep and bunnies and cows, but it’s hard work using them without mangling the poor little animals, so I though flowers were safer.)

    Lemon Cookies


    1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

    1/4 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp baking soda
    Pinch of salt

    2 small lemons (the pink lemons are 
       very small, so I used more than two)

    5 Tblsp butter, softened
    1/2 cup sugar

    1 large egg, separated

    1/2 tsp lemon extract


    Note: This dough will need to chill for 3 hours. When you're ready to bake your cookies, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

    Sift together the dry ingrdients.

    Grate the zest from one lemon into a bowl (if you’re using a stand mixer, this can go into the big bowl. BTW, those lemons may look small, but one lemon produced a lot of zest!).

    Squeeze three Tblsp lemon juice (more than two small lemon(s worth!) into another bowl.

    Add the soft butter to the bowl with the lemon zest and beat until combined. Beat in the sugar gradually, then beat for one additional minute. 

    Add the egg yolk (set the white aside) and half the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.

    Add the lemon juice and, the lemon extract, and the rest of the flour mixture and beat until combined.

    Form the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap or put in a plastic bag. Refrigerate for at least three hours.

    When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven and line the cookie sheets (see above!) Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out to about 1/4-inch thick. (Note: when you start rolling, the dough will crumble and refuse to cooperate. Keep at it and it will all come together nicely.) Cut out your cookies and lay them on the parchment paper.

    Whisk the egg white you saved with a dash of water, then spread in on top of the cookies. Sprinkle with decorative sugar or whatever you like.

    Bake 8-10 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. (Rotate the pans once while cooking.)

    Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then remove to wire racks to finish cooling.

    Find a helpful sheep and serve!

    These have a great lemon flavor, and they’re not too sweet. 

    My latest book, Cruel Winter, has a wintry scene on the cover. I'm pretty sure you don't want to see that!

    So I'll just throw everything at you and you can find a book that's set in spring. (Check my updated website for details.)

    Have a lovely Easter!

    Thursday, April 13, 2017

    Slow Cooked Beef in Red Wine #Easter #recipe by Linda Wiken, author

    If a chilly Easter weekend is forecast in your area, here's a warm and filling meal that will be waiting for you after Maundy Thursday services. Just turn on your slow cooker in the morning, and you'll have an easy evening meal ready for when you are.

    In my next book, Marinating in Murder which comes out March, 2018, J.J. Tanner needed to come up with a last minute recipe. That's what happens when you invite your Dinner Club over without giving it much thought. Of course, thoughts of the murder investigation were uppermost in her mind.

    So, J.J. and I, pulled a new cookbook off the shelves, The French Slow Cooker by Michele Scicolone and found this wonderful recipe for beef in red wine, done in a slow cooker. Now, neither J.J. nor I can leave a recipe alone, so we added some ingredients along the way, switched-out others, and gave it a try. What I found, thanks to the advice at my local liquor store, was the better the wine, the better the end result.

    The family loved it and really, it was so easy, it's going to be one of my go-to recipes when I have but a day's notice for hosting a dinner. Or, as I mentioned, ready and waiting for an after church service meal.

    Here's what I used:

    1 1/2 lb. beef, cut into 2-inch cubes (I chose round roast but use your favorite cut; chuck or blade works well)
    1/2 c. diced tomatoes
    2 parsnips, peeled and sliced
    1 large onion, chopped
    1 celery rib, sliced
    1 garlic clove, chopped
    1 sprig fresh rosemary
    1 sprig fresh thyme
    Himalayan and freshly ground pepper to taste
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1 c. red wine (I used an oak-barreled Merlot Reserva)
    1 c. beef bouillon mix or stock
    1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 
    1 tbsp. cornstarch with enough water to make a paste

    Here's what to do: 

    1. Peel, slice, and chop the parsnips, celery, onion, and garlic. Place in the bottom of the slow cooker along with the sprigs of rosemary and thyme.

    2.  Pat the meat dry and then slice into 2-inch cubes.

    3. Heat olive oil in a heavy frying pan and when hot, add the beef.  Reduce heat to medium and stir to get all sides browned, for about 15 min.

    4. Remove the beef with a slotted spoon and place on top of vegetables. Add the wine to juices remaining in the pan and bring to a simmer for about 1 min. 

    5. Pour over the beef in the slow cooker; add the diced tomatoes and the beef broth. Season with sale and pepper.

    6. Cover and cook for about 8 hours at low temperature setting. Remove from juices when finished cooking. Add the cornstarch paste mix and stir, if you want a thicker sauce. Otherwise, use as is.

    7.  Serve with rice or potatoes and a green vegetable, such as broccoli or brussel sprouts.

    ROUX THE DAY, A Dinner Club Mystery is now available in paper and as an e-book.

    The first in the Dinner Club Mysteries is available at your favorite bookstore and on-line, as a paperback and as an e-book.  
    Recipes included!

    Writing as Erika Chase -- the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series are available on-line or at your favorite bookstore.

    Visit Linda at www.lindakwiken.com
    Love to hear from you at my Facebook author page and
    on Twitter  @LWiken  
    Also appearing at www.killercharacters.com

    Visit Erika at www.erikachase.com 
     at my Facebook author page
    and on Twitter  @erika_chase. 

    Wednesday, April 12, 2017

    Carrot Strawberry Bundt Cake for #Easter #recipe from @DarylWoodGerber

    Perfect for a book club event!

    It's Easter week!!

    From Daryl aka Avery:

    For those who celebrate Easter, happy pre-Easter. May you find a recipe on our blog that suits your fancy. 

    For those who don't celebrate Easter, happy Spring.  And may you ALSO find a recipe that pleases you. Let's face it, food is food. Enjoy!

    So...I had a small party and I always serve veggie platters, and I had lots of little carrots left over and thought, aha, I know what I'll make for Easter week. I also had some strawberries that weren't quite at their peak. You know what I mean...hard but sweet. I went searching for a carrot cake with strawberries on the Internet and found...

    A strawberry carrot cake made in a Bundt pan. It was made using regular flour. I tweaked it to make it gluten-free, but for those of you who can eat gluten, feel free to swap out the gluten-free flour for regular flour and OMIT the xanthan gum.

    As for the Bundt pan...my fellow MLK'ers were recently discussing the value of a Bundt cake pan and whether you really need one to make a cake. Many people simply use a tube pan. I like the shapes of a Bundt pan, plus I think the cake has more room to "breathe" when cooking. But that's just me. See,  I ADORE my Bundt cake pan. I've had it for years. It's stoneware from Pampered Chef. I attended a party one time and helped out the hostess by buying a number of items - that I still use! My chopper. My pizza round bakeware. And my Bundt pan. It cooks so evenly.

    But now to the nitty gritty. When making this cake, which was not hard, I was not very excited about the way the photograph for the icing turned out. Honestly, it looks sort of weird. It tasted terrific!  But  for "beauty sake" I might leave the chopped strawberries out of it in the future, you know?

    No matter how you make it, enjoy! 

    Strawberry Carrot Gluten-free Bundt Cake

    2 1/2 c. gluten-free flour
    1 1/4 c. packed brown sugar
    1 c. finely shredded carrots
    1/2 c. vegetable oil
    1/2 c. low-fat plain yogurt (*or sour cream) (*or ¼ cup milk + ¼ cup cream cheese – you might want to pre-mix this to get out lumps)
    1/3 c. water
    1/2 c. chopped pecans (if desired)
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1 tsp. nutmeg
    1/2 tsp. baking soda
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
    2 eggs
    1 c. finely chopped strawberries
    Strawberry Cream Cheese Glaze

    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease Bundt cake pan.

    In a large bowl, beat gluten-free flour, brown sugar, carrots, oil, yogurt OR sour cream, water, pecans (if desired), baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt, xanthan gum, and eggs, on low speed for 45 seconds, scraping bowl constantly.

    Then beat on medium speed another minute, occasionally scraping bowl.

    Fold in strawberries.

    Pour the mixture into the Bundt pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10-15 minutes. Run a knife around the rim and the center of the Bundt pan. Turn the Bundt cake upside down and remove cake from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack, at least 1 hour.

    Meanwhile, prepare strawberry cream cheese glaze.

    2 oz. cream cheese, softened
    1-2 tbsp. mashed strawberries
    1/2 tsp. vanilla
    3/4 c. confectioners' sugar
    1 tsp. milk, if needed

    Beat all ingredients except sugar in small bowl on low speed until blended. Gradually beat in sugar until well blended.  If needed, add 1 teaspoon milk to thin.

    Spoon onto cake. Serve. Wrap any uneaten cake with plastic and refrigerate.


    Perfect for a book club event!

    A couple of weeks ago, I also shared a delicious little treat for kids (or adults) that are in the shapes of Easter eggs. Here's the link for Breakfast Yogurt Popsicles (made with protein yogurt, blueberries, and granola!) LINK

    Savor the mystery!

    Friend Daryl and Avery on Facebook
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    Plus check out my website.

    A DEADLY ÉCLAIR, the 1st in the French Bistro Mysteries, is coming November 2017. Can Mimi clear her name before the killer turns up the heat? Click here to order.

    GRILLING THE SUBJECT, the 5th Cookbook Nook Mystery, is out!
    The Wild West Extravaganza has come to Crystal Cove.
    Click here to order.

    FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE, the 7th Cheese Shop Mystery is out!
    Finally there's going to be a cheese festival in Providence!
    Click to order.

    GIRL ON THE RUN, a stand-alone suspense is out!
    When a fairytale fantasy night becomes a nightmare, 
    Chessa Paxton must run for her life...but will the truth set her free? 
    Click to order


    my new stand-alone suspense
    A mother he thought was dead. A father he never knew. 
    An enemy that wants them dead.