Friday, November 11, 2011

Win a Magical Cat Mystery

We're jumbling things up a little bit to keep you on your toes.  Our Easy Holiday Dinner begins tomorrow.  And keep sending your recipes to KristaDavis at KristaDavis dot com to enter our Christmas Cookie Contest.  We're standing by with mixers and cookie cutters at the ready!

Today, Sofie Kelly is visiting with a recipe that sounds so great I want to bake it immediately (and would if I had dates!).  Sofie Kelly is the author of the Magical Cats Mystery Series, and a longtime friend of mine.  I'm delighted to brag for her, because when my book recently made the New York Times Bestseller list, Sofie's was right there in the slot ahead of me at number 26.  The only thing better than making the list is making it with a friend! Learn more about Sofie at her website.

Here's Sofie ~

When the days get cooler I use my oven a lot more. I like the extra warmth it gives to the kitchen, and I like the smell of something delicious baking. And who am I kidding? I like eating whatever was baking.

Date squares are one of my favorite fall treats. With the dates and oatmeal they’re a pretty good source of fiber so I can feel a tiny bit virtuous when I eat a second one.

Date Squares

2 cups of tightly packed, pitted dates
1 cup cold coffee
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ tablespoon orange juice

In a small pot mix the dates, coffee, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered until the mixture is thick and spreadable. Remove from heat and stir in the juices. Cool.

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup butter (you can substitute margarine)
¾ cup brown sugar
1 ¼ cup oatmeal (I use quick-cooking oats)

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until the mixture is pea-like. Mix in brown sugar and oatmeal.
Press half the mixture into an 8 inch square baking pan. Spread date mixture evenly over the top. Top with the remaining crumbs, pressing down lightly.
Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes until lightly browned. Makes about two dozen date squares.

These are great with a big glass of cold milk or a steaming cup of coffee. (They’re pretty good for breakfast, too, but you didn’t hear that from me.)
And how about a book or two to curl up with while you’re eating your date squares?

At the end of the day on Monday Krista will pick one name from comments and I’ll send that person a copy of Sleight of Paw in that kitty book tote and some other goodies from my giveaway cupboard. Could be books. Could be chocolate. Could be both. Won’t be date squares.

Good luck!

The mysterious Sofie Kelly!


  1. I have a Bengal cat who thinks she's magical and I should do all her wishes. I'd love to read this book.

  2. The squares look delicious.

    Unfortunately, my dog doesn't consider cats magical, having borne the indignity of living with one equally unreceptive to cohabitation. Thank goodness for tall bookshelves.

  3. Looks yummy! My grandma used to make date nit pinwheels and I always loved those.

  4. Hmmm...I have dates in my cupboard and I could be convinced to make more coffee for this recipe. :)

    I have a Golden who loves to bark at cats if he happens to see one cutting through his yard. Hopefully he'd let me read a book on cats without much of a fuss, LOL!

  5. I have a Siamese Mix who is rather magical and mysterious herself. This series is on my list to read (maybe I need a magical cat to conjure up a magical spell to give me more time.) I think the date squares would be great for breakfast. After all a date is a fruit right? And it's got coffee - so perfect for breakfast!

    Beverly aka Booklady

  6. My father ran a bakery, and I have his recipe for date squares. The recipe makes way too many. Having no talent to figure out how to cut down the recipe, I think I will use your recipe.

    Both of the magical cat books are wonderful combining two of my favorite things- libraries and cats.

  7. Sounds yummy, and the caffeine is included! The books sound great, too!

  8. I've always maintained that date squares are a perfect breakfast food--dates are a fruit, there's oatmeal, orange and lemon juice and coffee. How more balanced a breakfast food can you get?

    A big thank you to Krista for inviting me to visit today. It was wonderful to be on the New York Times best-seller list with her. For future reference, I'd like to see her next Diva book make the list and maybe, just maybe we could persuade her to do a little celebratory dance with her boa. If she will I'll make my devilishly good Devil's Food cupcakes.

  9. Sofie, so glad you could visit today. How lovely. The tote is adorable and so are the titles of your books. I've got one on my night stand. [It's in a big stack!} I've got to find more time to read!! But I can't wait. And I adore dates.

    Cookies and bars. Oh, yum. The holidays are going to be tasty.


  10. My sad old cat (she's 16) barely can lift her head. Or she's just too lazy to lift her head one of the two, but i promise to read aloud to her

    Formerly Year on the Gril

  11. I remember my mother and grandmother making date squares. Boy does that bring back memories! I must make my own for the holidays and this recipe looks scrumptious.

    I haven't read the Magical Cats Mystery Series but it is now on my 'books to read' list. I'm looking forward to adventures with Kathleen and her magical kitties!

  12. Just bought Slight of Paw, have'nt read it yet, though. Would like to get the rest of them first. The Date Squares recipe looks and sounds delicious. Will be printing it out and trying that. Thanks for the chance to win your prizes.

  13. Congratulations to you, Sophie! I've got your latest on my TBR list. Love these date squares....mmm! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  14. Sofie,

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your wonderful date bar recipe. I am copying it and adding it to my recipe collection. I love to bake during the holiday season.
    I have a tabby cat that loves to sit on the counter and watch me bake and i have to be careful she is attracted to vanilla flavor cookies and loves to take a bite.
    I am adding your book series to my TBR pile.

  15. I think I will make these date squares for Thanksgiving dinner!!! I grew up with so many cats and I always thought they were magical!

  16. I have a friend who loves dates and I always bake something with them for him at Christmas. Have to remember this recipe!!

  17. I love dates by don't often find recipes using them. Will certainly try your recipe.

    Little Lamb Lost

  18. I have never had dates. I may give this recipe a try.

  19. I am convinced that cats have some kind of intuitive ability. Three years ago when I was in a toe to knee cast after surgery, KC , who belonged to neighbors several houses away came for a visit every single morning. She would always lay her head very gently against the cast for a moment in what I took as a gesture of sympathy.

  20. Uh oh. I see Sofie is getting me in trouble. Hah! It's a deal. The next time we make the NYTs list together, Sofie will share her Devilishly Good Cupcake recipe,and I will dance in my boa! : )

    ~ Krista

  21. What a sweet story, Sofie!

    ~ Krista

  22. My dad always made Date Nut Roll for the holidays. I need to find the recipe & start the tradition again.

  23. Magic and cats, what more could a girl want, I have the cats but no magic. That's why I NEED the book!

  24. This recipe sounds like the recipe my mother used to make at least once or twice during the holiday season---and I lost the recipe---now I can make them again! My two cats think I should start reading this series so that I can recognize their magic.

  25. I've never cooked with dates. This is one recipe everyone is going to want to try when it's done.

  26. This recipes sounds great and I would to try them but since I am allergic to citrus with the lemon and orange juice I can't eat them. Now if it was just lemon juice i could make a subsitute but with the added orange I can't. Oh well will just have to dream about them.

  27. I do love your series. The recipe sounds yummy too.

  28. The date squares sound yummy. My husband loves dates, hates coffee - I'm hoping the other flavors override the coffee! Thanks.

  29. The Magical Cats is one of my favorite series! And not only because my name is Kathleen, I love libraries and live with 3 cats of my own (along with a dog, rats, and a horse who has his own place). Give Owen & Hercules a virtual pat from me-and a hello from Seneca, Aleister, and Calumet. The recipe sounds great too!

  30. I have witnesses to Krista's promise that she will dance in her boa. I'm counting on you all to spread the word when her next book comes out so we can hold her to her vow! I promise to come back with the cupcake recipe. You've all been very welcoming

  31. Love dates. Must bake. Love cats but hubby allergic. So sad.

  32. Can't wait to try these. I have 5 cats and one has the ability to put me to sleep whenever he lays down near me.

  33. Just finished "Curiosity Thrilled the Cat" and loved it. I cannot wait to read the second in the series. I have two cats who make every day magical just being around them. Love the recipes in the books,too!