Friday, September 17, 2021

Spicy Chicken and Rice from Vicki Delany

I love this quick and simple dish for busy nights. I usually have these things in the fridge so I don’t need to make a run to the store.  This recipe feeds four but can easily be halved for two or for one with a meal another night. If you’re a family of big rice lovers, you can increase the amount of rice, and the stock proportionally.

Spicy Chicken and Rice 


8 chicken thighs

1 tablespoon chili powder

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

½ red pepper, diced

½ green pepper, diced

1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced, or to taste

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup long-grain rice

2 cups chicken stock or water

Juice of one lime


Season chicken with one teaspoon chili powder, salt and pepper. Heat oil in skillet on medium heat and brown chicken about five minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove from skillet and reserve.

Pour off fat leaving about one tablespoon. Add onion, peppers, jalapeno and garlic. Sauté together for three minutes or until peppers soften slightly. Add remaining chili powder, stir together then add rice, stock and lime juice. Bring to boil.

Reduce heat to simmer and return chicken to pan, tucking it into rice. Cover and simmer 25 to 30 minutes or until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through.

NOW AVAILABLE: DEADLY SUMMER NIGHTS, The first Catskills Summer Resort mystery from Vicki Delany 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Twinkie Tiramisu @AngPompano #giveaway

LUCY BURDETTE: Today's guest is an old friend and I pretty much insisted he come to our blog to share his Twinkie recipe. Who didn't love that treat back in the day? It was my favorite. I also loved his new book, Diet of Death, featuring reluctant food columnist, Quincy Lazzaro. Be sure to leave a comment at the end to be entered in today's drawing! Welcome Ang!

 ANG POMPANOThanks for having me back Lucy. I’d like to share my, or I should say Quincy Lazzaro’s, Twinkie Tiramisu recipe that your readers might enjoy making. I made up this recipe for my new book DIET OF DEATH but soon found out that Twinkie Tiramisu is a real thing on the Internet. 

First a little background. In DIET OF DEATH Quincy Lazzaro jumps at the chance to fill in for Betty Ann Green until she is free to write the “Cooking with Betty” food column. And why not? If he does a good job, he is promised a job as an investigative reporter. 

At first, Quincy doesn’t realize that Betty doesn’t exist. What he is painfully aware of is that he can’t cook. A gourmet meal to him is tuna eaten from the can and washed down with a glass of orange juice and Coke. 

Lucky for Quincy, his neighbor, Mary Ticarelli is an excellent cook and willing to help by supplying him with recipes for the column. Mary also has an ulterior motive. If and when Quincy gets the investigative reporting column, she expects to use her Miss Marple-like skills of observation to help him solve crimes. When a Diet Guru from Westport, Connecticut is murdered she fully expects to help her young protégé find the killer. Quincy balks and Mary won’t give him a tiramisu recipe that his editor is demanding. So, he makes up a recipe of his own and learns a lesson. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Especially in Westport. 

Quincy’s Twinkie Tiramisu Recipe

A Twist on a classic tiramisu that uses the popular snack cake, Twinkies, to replace ladyfinger cookies.

Prep Time 10 Minutes


10 to 14 Twinkies halved lengthwise (1 box contains 10. I used 14 Twinkies to make 3 layers in an 8x8 dish.)

3 tablespoons instant espresso coffee

¾ cup granulated sugar divided into ½ cup and ¼ cup

8 ounces whipped cream cheese

8 ounces Cool Whip Whipped Topping

2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup

2 tablespoons of chocolate powder

2 teaspoons of vanilla

2 tablespoons of Amaretto liquor (I was working with my grandson so I used Amaretto Coffee Creamer.)


1. Boil 1 cup of water. Add the espresso instant coffee powder, chocolate syrup, and ½ cup sugar. Whisk to dissolve. Let cool to room temperature.

2. Combine cream cheese, vanilla, Amaretto, and ¼ cup sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Fold the Cool Whip into the cream cheese mixture.

3. Dip each Twinkie half into the expresso mixture. Cover the bottom of an 8x8-inch baking dish with the dipped Twinkies.

4. Spread 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture over the Twinkies

5. Repeat for the next two layers

6. Sprinkle chocolate powder over the top of the last layer

7. Refrigerate for 4 hours

Voilà! Enjoy your simple and delicious tiramisu!

Any reader who leaves a comment is eligible to win a copy of DIET of DEATH. Choice of paperback (U.S. only, please) or E-book anywhere. Giveaway ends on 9/17.

About Diet of DeathBetty Ann Green is the Oprah of the cooking world. No wonder cookbook authors, celebrity chefs, and weight-loss experts alike would kill for a mention in the “Cooking with Betty” column in On Topic Magazine. Diet Guru, Dr. Alan Tolzer, is no exception. 

He craves the chance for instant success for his latest Westport Diet Book with an interview by the columnist. It’s enough to make him swallow his pride and try to patch up his long-standing feud with the reclusive Betty.

No surprise there. 

Everyone sells their soul in one way or another in the cooking industry. But murder is on the menu when Betty’s assistant, Quincy Lazzaro, arrives for the interview. Quincy becomes entangled and his complicated relationships with both Betty and investigating police sergeant Nina Estevez is nothing less than a recipe for disaster. Bringing the murderer to justice without exposing the secret to Betty’s success proves to be more difficult than sticking to a fad diet.

Order the book here.

About the author: Ang Pompano’s short stories have appeared in many anthologies, including Malice Domestic’s MYSTERY MOST EDIBLE. His first novel WHEN IT’S TIME FOR LEAVING, was nominated for an Agatha Best First Novel Award. A member of Mystery Writers of America, he was a awarded a Helen McCloy/MWA scholarship for a novel in progress. He served for many years as a board member of Sisters in Crime New England and has been on the New England Crime Bake Committee for fifteen years. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Annette, and their two rescue dogs.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Miso Butter #Recipe by Mia P. Manansala @MPMtheWriter

This two-ingredient spread is an absolute game changer. You probably think I'm being hyperbolic (and I often am), but I've been obsessed with miso butter since I was first introduced to it at Momofuku (David Chang's restaurant in NYC). It was part of a corn appetizer that seemed so simple on the surface, but was absolutely bursting with flavor. As good as that dish was, I never thought about making it at home until I had a burger topped with miso butter (sadly, I can't remember where) and I saw how versatile miso butter could be. Now rarely a month goes by without me whipping up a batch, and it lasts for weeks in the fridge.

What can you use it in? Just about anywhere you'd use butter! White miso (there are various types of miso, and white/shiro miso is the mildest and sweetest) has a salty-sweet flavor that brings unbelievable depth to a variety of dishes. Boring steamed veggies are immediately perked up when tossed with miso butter, and because the miso is so flavorful, you don't need to use huge amounts, keeping your veggies healthy. One of my favorite fast breakfasts is miso butter toast topped with a fried egg--simple and satisfying. Top burgers, steaks, and/or fish with a pat of miso butter. Mash it with your potatoes. There are even dessert recipes out there that use miso, and I'd love to see one that makes use of miso butter!

All you need for this delicious spread!

Miso Butter Recipe


1 stick (8 TBSP) of butter, softened

4-6 TBSP of white miso (also known as shiro miso)


  1. Mash butter and miso together with a fork or wooden spoon until there are no more streaks/clumps and the butter and miso have come together into a homogenous mixture.
  2. Enjoy!

Cast of Characters
(my butter is missing a sliver because my husband snuck some while I left it out to soften)

Mash softened butter and 4-6 TBSP of miso together until well-combined, with little to no streaks or clumps in the mixture.

Enjoy! Keeps in the fridge for weeks thanks to the fermented miso paste.

Have any of you ever tried miso butter or any other compound butters? What are your faves? Let me know in the comments!

If you liked this recipe, make sure you sign up for my newsletter! I include a Filipino-themed recipe every month, as well as giveaways and book recommendations!
One of BuzzFeed’s Highly Anticipated Mystery Novels of 2021!
The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer….
When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She’s tasked with saving her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case.
With the cops treating her like she’s the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila’s left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block…


Order from my local indies for signed, personalized copies:  

The Book Table (Oak Park, IL) 

Centuries & Sleuths (Forest Park, IL)

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

How to Survive a Hurricane and Make New York’s Famous Hot Dog Onions by Cleo Coyle

If you follow me on Facebook, then you already know Marc and I (and the rest of our Queens neighborhood) are in the midst of post-IDA hurricane cleanup. The flash flooding in our area was unexpected and unprecedented, and I posted more about it here, if you're interested.

"New York's Strongest" helping us
and our neighbors after Hurricane Ida.

Meanwhile, "New York’s Strongest" (the official nickname for NYC’s hard-working sanitation crews) have been living up to their name these past two weeks, putting in countless hours, combing the streets for pickups of mountains of trash—ruined personal possessions, furniture, and appliances. 

We lost plenty, along with our neighbors, but we still consider ourselves lucky, given the tragic outcome for others who lost their lives in the flash flooding, and our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to their families.

Not long after Ida departed, we found ourselves marking the 20th Anniversary of September 11th. And I also posted about that important anniversary. You can read my remarks on Facebook here, Twitter here, and Instagram here.

Given these trying times, Marc and I have been reflecting on the fact that after all these years, and all we’ve been through, we still (yes, still) love New York, which is how we came to choose today’s recipe. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do, and we hope (like us) you will count your blessings today. Life is a gift.

Cleo Coyle writes two
bestselling mystery
 series with her husband.
To learn more, click here.

A Recipe Note from Cleo

In our 14th Coffeehouse Mystery, Once Upon a Grind, our amateur sleuth (coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi) delivers caffeinated magic to the crowds of people who throng to Central Park for the city’s Fairy Tale Fall Festival.

Click to learn more.

After a long day, which includes discovering a crime scene in the oldest and spookiest part of New York’s famous park, Clare joins her longtime friend, NYPD Detective Lieutenant Mike Quinn, for a late night bite at a humble hot dog stand, where Clare expresses her love of (no, not Mike) but New York’s Hot Dog Onions, a sweet-and-savory relish that’s equally delicious on hamburgers.

For decades, these onions have been part of the city’s hot dog eating tradition. At one time, almost every vendor had his own recipe. This is the one we make at home, and it’s very close to what you once found at New York’s hot dog carts and stands, including the still-standing Papaya King’s hot dog "palace" on Manhattan’s Upper East Side (the very one Tony Bourdain raved about).

Alas, the quality of this condiment now varies widely in the city from good to...not so great. Likewise, the jarred version of these onions (that you may see on store shelves) is nowhere near the delicious quality of a freshly made sauce, so buyer beware—and consider making your own. Today's recipe will help with that!

Cleo Coyle’s
New York Hot Dog Onions
from Once Upon a Grind

Makes about 2½ cups


2 teaspoons olive oil
5 large red onions, sliced thin and chopped fine
1 (11-ounce) can vegetable juice (V8)
½ cup water
1 teaspoon ketchup
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
½ teaspoon white granulated sugar
½ teaspoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


Step 1—Sauté the onions: In a medium-sized pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onions. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low and let the onions sauté slowly for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

Step 2—Start the simmer: Add the vegetable juice, water, ketchup, spices, and vinegar and cook the mixture over low heat for 1½ hours, stirring often and making sure nothing sticks to the side of the pot.

Step 3—Serve: The perfect sweet-spicy garnish for hot dogs, hamburgers, sandwiches, or crackers. New York onions are traditionally served hot, but they are just delicious at room temperature.

Eat (and read) with joy!

New York Times bestselling author
of The Coffeehouse Mysteries and
Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

This is me -- Cleo (Alice) 
with my husband Marc.

Visit our online coffeehouse here.
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