Sunday, November 17, 2019

#Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bites by Ellie Alexander

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is almost upon us? I don’t know about you, but my favorite part of our annual Thanksgiving feast is dessert! The only problem is there are always way too many choice, and I’m usually stuffed from all that turkey. Hopefully today’s recipe will solve your Thanksgiving dessert woes. These pumpkin pie cheesecake bites are just that—bite sized! They’ll allow you to sample everything on the dessert table and maybe even say yes to seconds. Plus they are quick and easy to bake, which is always a good thing in my kitchen!

Do you have Thanksgiving dessert traditions? In addition to these pumpkin pie cheesecake bites, I’ll be making a mincemeat pie for my dad. It’s not Thanksgiving without a mince pie according to my dad, my kiddo and all of the cousins absolutely disagree! 

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bites

1 pre-made pie crust
4 ounces cream cheese (at room temperature)
½ cup pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon rum extract
Whipping cream and cardamom for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out pie dough and cut into two-inch circles. Press circles into a mini muffin tin. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until pie crust is golden brown. Remove pie shells from muffin tin and allow to cool completely.

Whip cream cheese, pumpkin purée, spices, and rum extract on medium speed for 3-5 minutes until thick and creamy.

Scoop mixture into mini pie shells. Top with whipping cream and a dash of cardamom. Serve immediately. 

I’m so excited to have not one but two new books out in the world! A CUP OF HOLIDAY FEAR, the 10th book in the Bakeshop Mysteries and BEYOND A REASONABLE STOUT, the 3rd book in the Sloan Krause Mysteries.

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Saturday, November 16, 2019

Cranberry Orange #Cake #Recipe @PegCochran #Thanksgiving

Cranberries and Thanksgiving are nearly synonymous! What's a Thanksgiving feast without cranberry sauce?  But cranberries are good for other things as well, as you will see with this cake hubby termed "a perfect blend of sweet and tart."

Although cranberries are harvested in late September or early October and processed and shipped to stores for your pleasure at Thanksgiving, maintaining a cranberry bog is a year-long job.  Fall is harvest time; in winter the bogs are flooded and frozen over.  Farmers spread sand over the ice so that it will filter onto the vines when the ice melts and nourish the plants and choke out weeds.  Spring is a time for weeding and cleaning up the beds and in summer, bees are brought in to pollinate the cranberry blossoms.

There is a lot of information on cranberry growing in my Cranberry Cove series along with intriguing murders, investigations and tantalizing recipes!

Cranberry Orange Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 box vanilla instant pudding and pie mix (4 serving size)
1 cup water (or water combined with orange juice) **
1/2 cup softened butter
1 to 2 tsp. grated orange peel (I used at least 2 tsp. for a stronger flavor)
4 eggs
1.5 cups fresh cranberries

** I squeezed 1-1/2 oranges and replaced a 1/4 cup of the water with the juice for one cup total.

Cinnamon Ribbon

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts)
1 to 2 tsp. cinnamon 


1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon orange peel

Heat oven to 325 degrees and grease and flour a bundt pan or tube pan. 

Mix the sugar, chopped nuts and cinnamon for the cinnamon ribbon.

Beat cake mix, pudding mix, water, butter, orange peel and eggs on low speed for 30 seconds.  Blend on medium speed for two minutes.  Stir in cranberries.  Pour half the mixture in the pan.

Sprinkle sugar/nut/cinnamon mixture over batter and cover with remaining batter.

Bake 57 to 65 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool well before removing from pan.

To make glaze:
Heat juice over low heat and stir in confectioner's sugar and orange peel.  Add a splash of milk if necessary to create a glaze that can be poured but isn't too runny.

Drizzle glaze over cake.

 Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Pre-order Now! 


New York City, 1939. A rising star at the Daily Trumpet, Elizabeth “Biz” Adams has been sent to the World’s Fair—billed as the “World of Tomorrow,” a look toward a brighter future even as the drumbeats of war grow louder—to cover a robbery. What she stumbles upon instead is a dead woman, dumped into the Aquacade’s pool with a nylon stocking wrapped around her neck.

Elizabeth snaps a photo as the police arrest Joey Dorman, a gentle young hot dog vendor who made no secret of his obsession with the murder victim. Even though she’s thrilled that her photo makes the front page, the fear and confusion evident on Joey’s face are haunting. So Elizabeth vows to prove his innocence—or his guilt—with her partner at the Daily Trumpet, Ralph Kaminsky. Meanwhile, her romance with Detective Sal Marino is heating up, and Elizabeth is more determined than ever to follow her heart.

But when Kaminsky’s efforts to expose the real killer land him in the hospital, Elizabeth is forced to continue the investigation on her own. And as she tries to narrow down the long list of suspects, she discovers a dark secret running through the Fair—a secret some would kill to protect.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Gluten-free Dairy-free Blueberry Scones from Vicki Delany

I don’t eat either gluten-free or daily-free but when I had a guest over the summer with dietary restrictions, I wanted to make her something she could enjoy. I was making scones for everyone else, so I made this version for her. It turned out pretty good.

Gluten-free dairy-free blueberry scones


·         1/4 cup coconut oil 
·         1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
·         4 tablespoons lemon juice
·         1 tablespoon lemon zest
·         8 tablespoons maple syrup 
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         Pinch of salt
·         1 1/4 cup ground almonds
·         1 cup fresh blueberries
·         1 1/4 cup gluten-free flour
·         2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder 
·         1/4 teaspoon baking soda 


1.                   Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2.       Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave
3.       Once melted, add the milk to the same bowl along with the lemon juice, lemon zest, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, ground almonds and blueberries
4.       Sift in the flour, baking powder and baking soda
5.       Mix well until a dough forms - it should be soft, but firm enough to mould easily.
6.       Line a baking tray with greased baking paper
7.       Place dough on baking tray and shape the dough into a slightly elongated circular shape about 2 cm/1 inch thick  
8.       Carve the surface of the dough into eight - cut in half first, then each half into half, and each quarter into half again. Do not cut all the way down through the dough.
9.       Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until browned and an inserted skewer comes out clean
10.    Leave to cool slightly before cutting
11.    Tastes best when fresh, but keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days

 Vicki Delany's latest book is READ AND BURIED, a Lighthouse Library mystery by Eva Gates. 

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Skillet Fried Rice and Italian Sausage recipe from #Essie Lang, author

It was a check-the-fridge and see what's for dinner kind of night, fresh snow on the ground, bone-chilling temperatures, so no real desire to go out and stock up on ingredients. Fortunately, I had recently read in another one of my online digests about a fried rice, sausage and dish made in one skillet. And, even more fortunately, I had what I needed for my version.

I pulled out the Basmati rice, unwrapped the frozen Hot Italian sausage, rescued the one lone mushroom from my fridge, and found packages of fresh cilantro and dill, along with cloves of garlic. This would do just fine, especially when I also had some eggs.

I didn't spice this up too much because of the sausage but that would be something to consider if using a milder one. Also, I remembered it called for Soy sauce but I used my trusty Tamari (gluten-free) and also threw in some saffron that really needed to be used up.

Broccoli would have made a nice, green side dish but I decided instead to dish out the meal on a large Boston lettuce leaf.

And there you have it, a quick and easy, tasty full meal that's made in one skillet, with lots of opportunities to jazz it up depending on what sauces or spices you would choose.

What I used:

White rice, cooked according to package instructions
1 Hot Italian sausage
1 mushroom
1 clove garlic
1 shallot
sprigs of fresh cilantro
fresh dill
pinch of light brown sugar
pink of salt
olive oil for cooking
dash of Tamari sauce
3 eggs, beaten

What to do:

1. Prepare rice according to package instructions. When ready, add chopped cilantro, dill and saffron.

2. Slice sausage into 1/4 inch rounds and saute in hot olive oil, leaving for 3-4 minutes. Add diced mushroom, sliced shallot, and sliced garlic. Stir and continue to saute for another 3 minutes.

3. Divide mixture in two and push to each side of skillet, leaving a clear pathway in center of skillet. Pour the eggs into that space and let sit around 2 minutes. (I decided to cover the pan to help it along). After that, gently swirl the eggs until you've scrambled them all, then mix into the rice and sausage.

4. Serve and enjoy.

I'm happy to announce that book #2, DEATH ON THE PAGE, will be released in March, 2020

coming March, 2020

  The first in the Castle Bookshop Mysteries is available in hardcover, e-book, and audio!

  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

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

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