Saturday, July 31, 2021

Simple Sour Cream Blueberry Cake #Recipe @PegCochran



Blueberries are in season in Michigan and the price is right.  I scored a large container and decided to make a blueberry dessert. I didn't feel like a cobbler or crumble and though I LOVE blueberry pie--it's my favorite--I wasn't up for making a pie.  I found this recipe on the Cookies and Cups blog.  It was simple and took hardly any time!  A word to the wise though: be sure to let your cake really cool before unmolding it.  The cake is very moist.  Some of mine stuck to the pan but I was able to "arrange" it back on the cake.  Hence the somewhat sad looking picture. You might want to flour your pan as well as spray with cooking spray.  And while the original instructions say to cool for 15 minutes and then invert, I would consider cooling it completely before inverting it.

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

3/4 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 2/3 cups flour

1 1/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen and thawed)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees


In a stand mixer, mix the butter and sugar until light and fluffy--about two minutes.




Add in eggs, vanilla, sour cream, salt and baking powder and mix until combined and smooth.




Fold in blueberries.


Spread batter in a bundt pan spraying with cooking spray and smooth out.




Bake 45 to 55 minutes until done. (Mine took a bit longer)




Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes and then invert onto a cake rack and cool completely.   


"A Fatal Footnote is a delightful romp in the English countryside sure to entertain any cozy mystery reader."  Open Book Society

Writer-in-residence Penelope Parish will need to use every trick in her quaint British bookshop to unravel a murderous plot that threatens to ruin a ducal wedding.

The wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Upper Chumley-on Stoke has all the makings of a fairy tale, complete with a glowing bride and horse-drawn carriage. But it wouldn't be much of a story without a villain, and as American Gothic novelist Penelope Parish is coming to learn, happy-ever-afters are as fraught in this charming British town as they are in her books.

When the Duke's former girlfriend is found murdered at the reception it's up to Penelope and her newfound family at the Open Book bookshop to catch the killer before they strike again.



Murder in the Margins has everything: England * Charming town * Book shop * Writer-in-residence * Royalty * Cute detective * Murder!



The plot thickens for American gothic writer Penelope Parish when a murder near her quaint British bookshop reveals a novel's worth of killer characters.


Barnes & Noble 

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Friday, July 30, 2021

Not Another Scone Recipe! Traditional Afternoon Tea Scones from Vicki Delany

A couple of weeks ago,  Lucy gave us a lovely recipe for scones from her new book, which is a total coincidence, because I had already planned this post.  It seems that over the years we’ve had a heck of a lot of scone recipes here at MLK (I count 55).   I hope that means we and our readers love them in all their varieties.

Here's mine.

These scones are meant to be served with afternoon tea, and they’re the ones prepared in Tea by the Sea, the tearoom in my Tea by the Sea series. The recipe is included in the first book of the series, Tea and Treachery, and with the second book, Murder in a Teacup, released last Tuesday this seemed like a good time to share it.

I got the original recipe out of BBC’s Good Food magazine, and adapted it for North American ingredients and measurements.  The recipe got a full-page feature last year in Teatime Magazine! 

Traditional British Afternoon Tea Scones as served at Tea by the Sea


2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for work surface

4  tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

85g butter (6 tbsp), cut into cubes

3 tbsp. sugar

¾ cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Squeeze of lemon juice (approx. ½ tsp)


1)   Heat oven to 425 F

2)  Combine flour with baking powder and salt

3)   Add butter cubes to flour mixture, and rub in with your fingers until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Add sugar

4)   Heat milk in the microwave for about 30 seconds until warm, but not hot

5)   Add vanilla extract to the milk with a squeeze of lemon juice

6)   Put a baking sheet into the oven

7)   Make a well in the dry mixture, add liquid and combine quickly. It will seem very wet at first.

8)  Sprinkle flour onto the work surface and place dough onto it.  Sprinkle dough with flour then fold the dough over 2 – 3 times until smooth. Pat into a round about 1 ½ inch thick

9)   With a 2 inch smooth-edged cutter dipped in flour cut the scones

1     Rework the remaining dough and continue to cut into circles

1     Place prepared scone dough onto the pre-heated baking tray and bake for 10 minutes until risen and golden on top

Scones should be eaten the day of baking, accompanied with jam and clotted cream

These freeze well.  If freezing, cool before freezing.  Defrost at 350 degrees for 12 minutes before serving.

Now available: Murder in a Teacup, the second Tea by the Sea mystery.




Thursday, July 29, 2021

Susan Hamrick’s Cock-a-Leekie Soup @LucyBurdette #giveaway

LUCY BURDETTE: In A SCONE OF CONTENTION (coming August 10!), Hayley Snow and company attend a fancy dinner party at a castle in Edinburgh, Scotland at the home of Hayley's new sister-in-law's friend. Grace the chef serves this soup at Ainsley and Dougal’s dinner. 

One of my Scotland trip mates, Susan, gave me permission to share this recipe, which I imagine to be similar to Grace’s soup. Although the addition of prunes may sound odd, Susan tells me that traditional Cock-a-leekie soup does contain diced prunes. And they give the soup a lovely sweet tinge which you would not want to miss.


4 pounds chicken thighs, bone in and skin removed

10 cups water, or water plus chicken broth

1 onion, chopped

1/3 cup barley (or can substitute 1 pound peeled, cubed potatoes)

1 cup chicken broth

7 leeks, cleaned and sliced 

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

1 sprig fresh thyme, chopped

1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp salt

½ tbsp ground black pepper

6 pitted prunes, chopped  

To prepare the leeks, trim off roots and coarse dark green tops. Cut in half lengthways and wash under running water thoroughly to remove any grit or soil. Then slice. 

Slice the celery. Chop the thyme, parsley and prunes.

In a large stock pot combine chicken, water, leeks, onion and barley or potatoes.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for an hour. 


Remove chicken, shred the meat, and discard bones. Chop meat into bite size pieces and return to the pot. 


Add rest of ingredients including the reserved chicken broth, celery, thyme, parsley, prunes, salt and ground black pepper.  Simmer for another 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.    


Serve with cheese scones and a green salad. Leftovers can be frozen.

A Scone of Contention will be on bookshelves near you on August 10. Leave a comment about your favorite soup to be entered in a drawing for the new book! 

 A scone-by-scone tour of glorious Scotland. Foodies and Outlander fans will rejoice in the references to both in this not-so-mysterious paean to Scotland. –Kirkus

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Roast Chicken with Jam and Berbere Spice #recipe by @Leslie Karst

I love roasting a chicken for a dinner party, as it’s easy to make, and nothing beats the sight, smell, and taste of a whole roast chicken, crispy outside and tender and juicy inside. So for a recent get-together of some friends, that’s what I decided to make. After perusing the door of my refrigerator—the repository of about fifteen different kinds of jams and jellies I’ve been gifted by various folks—I settled on some persimmon jam as the basis for the glaze for my chicken.

And when I looked in my spice drawer for inspiration, my eyes were drawn to a jar of berbere: a traditional Ethiopian blend of chiles, garlic, fenugreek, and other spices such as coriander, cumin, allspice, and cinnamon. With the addition of some butter and fresh herbs, it seemed like the perfect combination for my bird.

(Feel free to substitute peach or apricot jam for the persimmon, and if you can’t find berbere spice, paprika would work well, instead.)

Roast Chicken with Jam and Berbere Spice


2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons persimmon jam

1 teaspoon berbere spice

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon (or 1 teaspoon dried)

salt and black pepper

1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as canola

1 roasting chicken


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine the butter, jam, and berbere spice, then stir in the chopped tarragon.

Pour the oil in a large Dutch oven, and use a paper towel to spread it over the bottom and sides (to keep the chicken from sticking as it cooks).

Smear the butter/jam mixture all over the chicken and place it in the pot, then season with salt and pepper.

Roast, covered, for about an hour, basting every twenty minutes or so. (I roasted two birds for my dinner party, doubling the ingredients above.)

When the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F (insert an insta-read thermometer into the thigh, making sure it doesn’t touch the bone), take the lid off to allow the bird to brown for five or ten minutes more.

Once it’s cooked, set the chicken on a cutting board, covered with foil, to let it rest for about ten minutes.

Carve the chicken as you desire, then drizzle with the juices remaining in the pan. (You can also pour these juices into a pitcher to set on the table for folks to drizzle on themselves.) Yum!

🐓 🌿 🍑

The daughter of a law professor and a potter, Leslie Karst learned early, during family dinner conversations, the value of both careful analysis and the arts—ideal ingredients for a mystery story. Putting this early education to good use, she now writes the Lefty Award-nominated Sally Solari Mysteries, a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California. 
An ex-lawyer like her sleuth, Leslie also has degrees in English literature and the culinary arts. She and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i.

Leslie’s website
Leslie also blogs with Chicks on the Case
Leslie on Facebook
Leslie on Twitter
Leslie on Instagram

Praise for Leslie's most recent Sally Solari mystery, the Lefty Award-nominated MURDER FROM SCRATCH:

“Karst seasons her writing with an accurate insider’s view of restaurant operation, as well as a tenderness in the way she treats family, death and Sally’s reactions to Evelyn’s blindness.”

Ellery Queen Magazine (featured pick)

All four Sally Solari Mysteries are available through AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Bookshop.


Dying for a TasteA Measure of Murder, and Murder from Scratch are also available as AUDIOBOOKS from Audible!

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

EASY FROZEN HOT CHOCOLATE + #Giveaway News from Cleo Coyle #NationalMilkChocolateDay


Serendipity (noun):

Finding the pleasantly unexpected by chance...

From Cleo Coyle: Serendipity isn’t just any noun. It's the name of a legendary café in the basement of a New York brownstone. And as of July 9th of this year, it has reopened for post-pandemic joy (huzzah)!! Today we're sharing an easy version of their famous frozen hot chocolate, but first...

Marc and I are happy to share some giveaway news. Our publisher recently released a new paperback edition of our bestselling hardcover Coffeehouse Mystery Brewed Awakening, and Kings River Life magazine just published my article on how we came up with and developed the concept for the novel. There is a comment giveaway attached to the post...


Win an autographed copy of the 



+ A sturdy, canvas tote bag &

A collection of Cleo's recipe cards.

To enter, click here or on
the red button below...

This hosted giveaway at 
Kings River Life magazine
remains open until Sunday
August 8, 2021

Now let's take a trip