Saturday, May 25, 2019

#Smokey pork tacos by @Denise Swanson

We made this delicious taco dish a few nights ago. It was super easy, but the sauce is a bit on the spicy side. If you prefer something less spicy you can replace the chipotle with milder chili powder mixed with smoked paprika.

4 teaspoons olive oil, divided.
1/3 cup minced onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
1 small can of tomato paste
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons orange juice, divided 1
1-pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
6 corn tortillas, warmed

4 lime wedges

1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup thinly sliced peeled jicama
Dried cilantro

Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil; swirl. Add onion; sauté 2 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste and next 4 ingredients (through chili powder); cook 2 minutes. Add stock and 1 cup orange juice; bring to a boil.

 Add pork to pan; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Place pork on a cutting board. Bring orange juice mixture to a boil; cook 23 minutes or until reduced to 1 cup. Shred pork with 2 forks. Return pork to pan; toss.

Combine remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, remaining 2 tablespoons orange juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in carrot, jicama, and cilantro. 

Top each tortilla with 1/2 cup pork mixture and 1/2 cup jicama mixture. Serve with lime wedges.



The chips are down in Scumble River

School psychologist Skye Denison-Boyd had hoped that her maternity leave would be at least a little relaxing, but when she and her husband, Wally, meet with the priest to discuss their newborn twins' christening, an explosion at the nearby bowling alley rocks the rectory. And although the business was closed at the time of the blast, there's a body inside.

As police chief, Wally is inevitably drawn into the investigation, which seems to indicate that foul play is afoot again in Scumble River, and Skye can't help but do a bit of her own sleuthing. But the clues come fast and furious, ranging from an odd new stranger in town to animosity toward the gambling machines that had recently been installed at the bowling alley, and Skye finds herself wondering if this could be the puzzle that stumps her for good.

New York Times bestselling author Denise Swanson has penned another hit for cozy fans with Die Me a River, the latest installment in her beloved Welcome Back to Scumble River mystery series.

Out Now--BOOK #2 IN THE Chef-to-Go SERIES

The back-to-school season can be murder

It's the beginning of the university's fall semester and Dani can't wait for the college students to return to Normalton, Illinois―after all, without them, there is no one to support her Lunch-to-Go service, which is a vital part of her Chef-to-Go business. But Normalton University's orientation week is marred by a mysterious murder, along with a series of car-jackings and sightings of a mysterious creature in a pond on campus. And with the whole town feeling unsettled, Dani finds herself dealing once again with the infuriatingly handsome Spencer Drake, the head of security at the university.

Although Dani vowed that her life would never again be boring and routine after she quit her stifling corporate job, she had no idea that she'd end up dealing with such strange happenings―not to mention murder. But as the trouble in Normalton draw worryingly close to home, Dani realizes that if the killer isn't caught soon, she may be the next one who is found scone cold dead.

Enjoy the occasional romance?

Take one dedicated wildlife veterinarian who treats her animals as if they were her babies, add an impossibly handsome nightclub manager who’s determined to open the hottest spot in Las Vegas, and what do you have? A sweet, sexy romance that proves that no matter how much a man and woman may snarl at the idea of a relationship, love always wins.

* * *

Marco Thorne was hired by Club Wilde’s owner to open up the newest, most outrageous venue yet. He is absolutely certain that he can handle all the competition Las Vegas has to offer until his overbearing boss contracts with Lions and Tigers and More sanctuary to have live exotic animals present in the jungle-themed club. Still, he has no choice but to go along with his boss’s idiotic scheme, even if he thinks it’s the worst idea he’s ever heard.

Dr. Sage DeSantis’s entire life is devoted to keeping the animals under her care in the sanctuary healthy and happy. After the sanctuary’s owner announces that he’s renting out some of Sage’s babies to Club Wilde, she’s sickened that they will once again be exploited.

When Marco and Sage meet, the chemistry between them nearly knocks them off their feet. Although they both have experiences in their past that make them leery of love, and Sage is determined to guard her heart, Marco is all in. But will Marco be able to convince Sage to give them a chance?

* * *

Publisher’s warning: This book contains sensual consummated love scenes.

Series description:

Second in Denise Swanson’s new Delicious contemporary romance series. All books are complete with no cliffhangers and a guaranteed HEA!

Sinfully Delicious is available now!

Undeniably Delicious is coming in 2019!

For more information, please visit
Catch up with me on 

Friday, May 24, 2019

Maple Bread Pudding

I like my local supermarket, Hannaford’s. They are the third chain to occupy that space at the nearest shopping center, but it’s lasted the longest. They do keep stocking new foods, and there are plenty of healthy choices, especially among the vegetables, and I’m buddies with the fish seller.

But I hadn’t realized until recently that they produce a magazine called Fresh, which is free if you buy more than $25 of food (which of course I do regularly), and some of the recipes are interesting and the pictures are good. I finally read a copy, and decided to experiment with one of the recipes from a recent issue—something I’d never made, and a nice twist on an on old recipe.

Maple Bread Pudding


8 ounces fresh or left-over bread (about 7 cups)
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup half-and-half or light cream
2/3 cup maple syrup (I used a dark syrup, with intense maple flavor)
2 large eggs plus 3 egg yolks
1 Tblsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tblsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

You can add whatever spices you like (cinnamon, nutmeg)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch baking dish (I used a larger round Pyrex one, and it worked fine).

After toasting
Tear up your bread into pieces about 1-1/2 inches in size. Spread the bread on the baking sheet and toast in the oven until the pieces a crisp (about 20 minutes). Let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, whisk the milk, half-and-half or cream, maple syrup, eggs and extra yolks, vanilla, salt and optional spices. Add the cooled bread and stir to cover all the pieces. Let the mixture sit until the bread absorbs all the liquid (25-30 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Spoon the mixture into the baking dish and press into an even layer (if there’s any liquid left over, add that). Sprinkle the butter pieces over the top. Bake for about 50 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Ready to bake
Remove from the oven and let the pudding cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before serving (so it will firm up just a bit).

You could serve this with whipped cream if you like. I also thought about sprinkling the top with demerara sugar before baking, to add some crunch.

It’s not too sweet, and the maple flavor comes through nicely.

Hey! The long-awaited next Museum Mystery finally has a name: Digging Up the Past! Now, as soon as my publisher and I put together a cover and a jacket blurb it will go to press, courtesy of Beyond the Page. I guarantee that you will learn things about Philadelphia that you never suspected.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Salad Dinner any way you like it! #recipe from author Essie Lang

I think it's safe to say that spring has finally arrived. At least we're being treated to some long-awaited warm temperatures -- for now, anyway. So, in celebration, and because I wanted something light for dinner, I tried a new combination for my salad.

I call this, a Salad Dinner anyway you like it, because you can play with the ingredients once you've got the Romaine lettuce and shrimp in the recipe. I suppose you could even swap out  those two if you wanted. Hey -- it's any way you like it!

So, I took this basic recipe from the Add a Pinch blog and then tweaked it. And here's my salad dinner for one.

What you'll need:

8 shrimp, raw
several leaves Romaine lettuce
1 medium avocado,, cut into chunks
sweet red pepper, sliced
1/2 tbsp. shallots, diced
1/4 c. sliced black olives

Make your own Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette Dressing (I loved this so much I made extra!)

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 lime for 1/4 c. freshly squeezed lime juice; zest it first and save for later
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped


What to do: 

Make up the vinaigrette dressing first. Just combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir together.

For the salad:  Clean and de-vein the shrimp if needed, saute for approx. 3 minutes or until they are ready. Be sure not to over-cook. If they're frozen to begin with, check the packaging for instructions.
I didn't add any seasoning because the dressing will provide that.

Clean and chop the Romaine lettuce and layer in a salad dish. Add the avocado, red pepper, shallots and black olives. Top with the shrimp and then drizzle with the vinaigrette dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper and then sprinkle lime zest on top.

Enjoy with a dinner roll or slice of some exotic bread!

 What are your favorite salads?

The first in the Castle Bookshop Mysteries is now available!

  Dine out with the DINNER CLUB MYSTERIES

Here's a taste of the reviews for Marinating in Murder, #3:     

Wiken’s third entry to the Dinner Club series is a clever twist on the classic whodunit… The book will have you guessing until the very end…. All in all, an intriguing read by Wiken.” – RT Reviews

"Foodies will love this book and this series. Great recipes are included as well....A fun romp of intrigue filled with foodie fun." -- Open Book Society

ROUX THE DAY,  the second  Dinner Club Mystery is available in paper and as an e-book. 
Recipes included!

TOASTING UP TROUBLE, 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
Love to hear from you at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken  
Also appearing at

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

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Lemon cake with drizzle (regular and gluten-free) #recipe from author @DarylWoodGerber

This one made without frosting.

From Daryl:

I made these lovely lemon tea cakes for Sifting Through Clues. I adore lemon-y desserts. As I write this, I'm already craving lemon meringue pie.

What is it about sour paired with sweet that works so well? I remember as a kid loving lemon drops. My grandkids adore Sour Patch candies.  My husband couldn't get enough of sweet and sour stir-fry pork. 

I guess it's simply a delight for our taste buds. We make them work overtime when trying to figure out what is going down the gullet. Which means, of course, that our taste buds are not shy about exercise. I think we should keep them working hard, don't you? We don't want our taste buds to get fat and lazy.