Sunday, August 18, 2019

Please welcome guest author Allison Brook aka Marilyn Levinson + book #giveaway

A former Spanish teacher, Marilyn Levinson writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and novels for kids. Her books have received many accolades. As Allison Brook she writes the Haunted Library mystery series. DEATH OVERDUE, the first in the series, was an Agatha nominee for Best Contemporary Novel last year.

Welcome, Marilyn. 

What is your latest book BURIED IN THE STACKS, the 3rd in the Haunted Library Mystery series, about?

Librarian Carrie Singleton is building a haven, but one of her neighbors is misbehavin'. Can resident spirit Evelyn help Carrie catch the culprit who made her a ghost?

You continue to write as Marilyn Levinson. What are a few of your other mysteries?

Other mysteries include the Golden Age of Mystery Book Club series and the Twin Lakes series. Among my YAs and books for kids are: GETTING BACK TO NORMAL, AND DON’T BRING JEREMY, which was a nominee for six state awards, and RUFUS AND MAGIC RUN AMOK, an International Reading Association-Children’s Book Council “Children’s Choice."  

Where do you live?  

In Long Island, where many of my books take place. 

What’s on the menu?

Apricot Chicken is one of my standard go-to recipes when I’m having people over for dinner. Leftovers are easy to freeze or serve the following day—though there usually aren’t any left to save.

This  delicious recipe can be made with apricot or orange marmalade. Please note that when cooking I do not use exact measurements so feel free to add or minimize ingredients to your liking.

Apricot Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup of flour
2 eggs beaten
2 t  soy sauce
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
Enough olive oil and butter to brown chicken breasts then sauté scallions and mushrooms

3/4 cup of marmalade  I use Smucker's Sweet Orange Marmalade or Apricot Marmalade
1/3 cup dried apricots cut up
2 T water as needed
2 T soy sauce
1 t garlic powder or chips
1 t parsley (dried or fresh)

3 scallions cut up
3 mushrooms cut into pieces

Dredge chicken breasts in flour, dip in eggs and soy sauce, then dredge in panko breadcrumbs. Brown in olive oil and butter on both sides then remove from frying pan.

Sauté scallion and mushroom pieces for five minutes.

Place chicken, scallion and mushroom pieces in baking dish.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan heat marmalade, soy sauce, water, apricot pieces, garlic and parsley and bring to a gentle boil. Cook 2 or 3 more minutes, then pour over chicken.

Bake for half hour 325 degrees uncovered.

prior to baking



Today, Marilyn/Allison is giving away a copy of READ AND GONE to one commenter.  Have you read a mystery about a ghost or a mystery set in a library?  Leave your email so she can contact you if you win.  Winner picked Tuesday.

Twitter: @MarilynLevinson @AllisonBrookML

Saturday, August 17, 2019

It's Zucchini Season #Recipe @PegCochran

It's zucchini season!  Vines are full of ripening squash and gardeners are looking for new ways to cook and serve their stash.  There's nothing particularly gourmet about this "recipe" (it's more technique than recipe) but it is very tasty.  And it's a change from cutting the zucchini in circles or sticks.  And bonus! Non-zucchini eaters seem to like it this way.

You'll need:
Seasoning of your choice--I like like Herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning
A bit of olive oil for sauteing.

Trim ends of zucchini and scrub under running water with a vegetable brush.

Cut zucchini to fit the tube on your food processor.  Insert the grating blade and grate zucchini.

Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan and add zucchini.  Add a liberal dose of seasoning--I use Herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning, pink sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Saute until zucchini is softened slightly and thoroughly warm.  Serve and enjoy!

Amazon Reviewer:  "Peg Cochran creates engaging characters and a wonderful sense of time and place. The mystery is well plotted and full of twists. There’s a little bit of humor, a splash of romance, and great historical details."

An intrepid 1930s Manhattan socialite uncovers deadly secrets during an assignment to the Hamptons in this riveting historical cozy mystery for readers of Victoria Thompson, Anne Perry, and Rhys Bowen.

Westhampton, 1938. To the dismay of her well-to-do family, Elizabeth “Biz” Adams is quickly establishing herself as a seasoned photographer over at the Daily Trumpet. Growing more confident in her decision to pursue a career, Elizabeth is thrilled when she and her reporter sidekick, Ralph Kaminsky, are sent to Long Island to cover the story of a young maid found dead in one of the glamourous summer homes in the devastating aftermath of the Great New England Hurricane—also known as the Long Island Express.

At first it’s assumed that the young woman was caught in the terrible storm, but when a suspicious wound is found on the side of her head, the police suspect murder. The maid’s death becomes even more tragic when it’s discovered she was pregnant, and with Elizabeth and Kaminsky at the scene of the crime, the Daily Trumpet scoops all the other papers in town.

The young woman’s boyfriend emerges as the likeliest suspect. But as Elizabeth follows the story, she begins to wonder whether someone in the household of the maid’s employers might be responsible—someone who’ll stop at nothing to keep the truth about the baby’s paternity hidden.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Perfect for Summer: Garden Chicken Salad

by Vicki Delany

Last time, I showed you how to make my personal vinaigrette dressing, the only one I ever eat any more.

Now, what to do with it.

I live alone so I’m often cooking for just one.  The quickest, easiest thing to make, and one of my favourites to boot, is a simple chicken salad.  What could be better in summer when the lettuce and other vegetables are so fresh and you don’t feel like a heavy meal or having the oven on.

It is simple.  Here’s what I do. Obviously you can add any and all salad ingredients you have on hand.  I use chicken breasts.  If you think they're expensive, buy the ones with bone in and de-bone them yourself. It's easy. 

I use my countertop grill a LOT. You could also grill your chicken breasts in the oven under broil or on the barbeque.

Lettuce doesn't get any fresher
 A few fresh from the garden vegetables

 The chicken is done

I add dried cranberries and a handful of sunflower seeds for extra crunch

Toss and pour on dressing

And it's ready! 

Coming August 27! SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT, the fourth Year Round Christmas mystery from Penguin Random House. This one is set over Thanksgiving, so there’s plenty of good eats. But maybe you want to avoid one of the dishes in that pot luck spread. Just sayin’

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Lake Superior Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes @LucyBurdette #recipe

LUCY BURDETTE:  We had two big family reunions this summer. My side of the family gathered on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in a town called Grand Marais, which is on the edge of Lake Superior. What gorgeous country! It was lots of fun, although the cousins who live there reported that they have difficult winters with many, many feet of snow.  (I'll stick with Key West.)

One morning a few of us went to a diner where my sister ordered blueberry buckwheat pancakes. My vegetable frittata was quite delicious, but her pancakes lodged firmly in my mind. I encouraged everyone to return to the West Bay Diner the next day before we took our plane home. This time we realized that Ellen Airgood, the owner/chef of this cute diner, is also an author! 

We had a great time chatting with her and I am now reading and enjoying her book called South of Superior. (She also has written several YA books and will have another women's fiction novel out next year.)

You can imagine that once I got home I had to try making the blueberry buckwheat pancakes. Here was my attempt at Ellen Airgood's Lake Superior Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes.


-3/4 cup buckwheat flour
-3/4 cup all purpose flour
-1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (low-sodium is fine!)
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1 and ¾ cup milk, with 1 tablespoon cider vinegar stirred in
-1 tablespoon sugar
-2 large eggs
-2 tablespoons butter, melted
-1 cup blueberries

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and sugar. In another bowl, beat together the milk, eggs, and melted butter. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing only enough to combine them. Stir in the berries.

Preheat a large griddle or skillet over a medium flame and add a tablespoon or so each of butter and canola oil. Ladle the batter onto the skillet. Flip the pancakes when bubbles have formed on top. Cook the other side until golden brown. Keep the first pancakes warm in a low oven while you make the rest.