Sunday, February 9, 2014

When In Doubt, Throw in Whiskey

A very special welcome to Elizabeth Lee! Elizabeth has the enviable series title of Nut House Mysteries. So cute! I know it makes me feel right at home. But these are edible nuts, like pecans!  A TOUGH NUT TO KILL, the first in the series, was just released on February 4th. Elizabeth has very kindly agreed to give away a copy of her book to one lucky person who leaves a comment here today. Good luck, everyone!

In A TOUGH NUT TO KILL, the one thing you wouldn’t call Miss Amelia of The Nut House in Riverville, Texas, is straitlaced.  She may be seventy-seven but you’d better not call her “Dearie” or “Sweetie” or “Honey” either, unless you want that special pecan pie of hers to be served upside down in the box.

The Nut House is where a lot of the pecans grown on the Blanchard family ranch are turned into Sassie Tassies, and fried pies, and spiced pecans, and on and on—anything Miss Amelia can come up with, all very good according to the citizens of Riverville.

The thing with Miss Amelia and her granddaughter, Lindy Blanchard, is that when they get mixed up in murder, especially when one of their own family is accused of the killing, high dudgeon comes pouring out, and trickery, and investigative skills enough to rival Sherlock Holmes.

The only trouble with solving crimes, Miss Amelia finds, is that her time in the kitchen is cut way back.  The Nut House could suffer.   She figures she’s got to come up with something fast and wonderful to keep her customers happy while she’s out visiting suspicious new friends and calling on a few old buddies like the ‘girls’,’ a set of twins in their eighties who spend most of their time in the saddle, out shooting rattlers on their spread.  The ‘Girls’ argue like two squirrels in a sack, but have a couple of solid ideas about human rattlers they’d like to take aim at.   

Since Lindy Blanchard, like her meemaw, is creative and driven, the two of them find a way to intrigue and appeal to customers while still hot on the trail of a murdering wretch.  What they come up with is adding a dash of Garrison Brothers Texas Bourbon to some real easy-to-make, do-ahead recipes, and then advertise them as all ‘Pure Texas.’

Nobody’s about to complain.  That would be like turning your back on the Texas flag.

What Miss Amelia will tell you though, if you’re a teetotaler, is to leave out the bourbon in her recipe.   Last thing she wants is your lost soul on her conscience.  But, in fairness, she did add that if you’re having a bad day, maybe you just found a dead body or were out chasing a killer—feel free to go ahead and leave out the rest of the ingredients and just drink the whiskey.

Here’s her recipe for easy-to-make Texas Outhouse Moons.


1 cup soft butter or margarine
1 cup sifted confectioners sugar
2 cups flour
3 tbsp. bourbon
2 cups finely chopped pecans
More confectioners sugar for rolling cookies

Preheat oven to 350

Cream butter and confectioners sugar together until smooth.
Add flour, bourbon, and pecans.
Mix well.
Shape into 2 inch quarter-moon crescents and place on a cookie sheet.
Bake 10-15 minutes.

Keep a close eye on these.  They should be set, but not too brown.
When cool, roll in extra confectioners sugar and get the heck out of the kitchen.

Elizabeth Lee (aka Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli) lives in the north woods, back with the deer and the turkeys and the bear.  She has published prize-winning essays and short stories but loves writing mystery novels.  Her first was Gift of Evil, from Bantam, then Dead Dancing Women, Dead Floating Lovers, Dead Sleeping Shaman, Dead Dogs and Englishmen, and Dead Little Dolly from Midnight Ink.  A Tough Nut to Kill is the first in The Nut House series from Berkley Publishing, part of the larger series: Soup to Nuts.  

Don't forget to leave a comment to enter the drawing for a copy of


  1. I must admit, I'm allergic to nuts. And yet, this series appeals to me. Probably because of all the times when I tell someone I'm allergic to nuts and they ask how I can possibly live with myself in that case.

    And they're right.

  2. Sounds delicious! Pecans have always been my favorite nut!

  3. I've got my copy sitting on my read-these-soon pile!

    Good luck everyone

  4. Elizabeth, these moons sound yummy. Looking forward to reading A Tough Nut To Kill!

  5. Great recipe, I'll have to put it on my must try list.

  6. These sound excellent. I love pecans, although I'm the only one in my family who does. I'll have to wait to try this recipe until I'm going someplace where I can share them. The series sounds excellent too.

  7. These sound yummy!! And I can't wait to read this book!

  8. Elizabeth, what a fun recipe, and what a fun post about Amelia. Love it. I'm sure this series will have plenty of nut-loving fans!

    Best, Avery / Daryl

  9. kim j
    the recipe looks great and the series looks lik a fantastic read!

  10. Fun premise! I'm looking forward to getting addicted to yet another cozy series. I may have to retire early so that I can read all of these books!

  11. Love trying out new cozy series, even though it keeps increasing my TBR list! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. kuzlin(at)aol(dot)com

  12. Welcome to our Kitchen, Elizabeth. "When in doubt, throw in whiskey" -- great philosophy and recipe, and I love your Miss Amelia. Warm congrats on the launch of your new series. Whether we eat nuts or not, I think *everyone* can relate to living in a nut house!

    ~ Cleo

    1. I sure can relate, Cleo, though I usually say it's a zoo around here.

  13. I love pecans! This book sounds awesome and so does the recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Christina Girdner - BlevinsFebruary 9, 2014 at 10:31 AM

    Great recipe I definitely have to try this

  15. This series sounds like soooo much fun! As a native Texan who grew up shelling pecans for Momma's pecan pies, I know I'll enjoy reading A TOUGH NUT TO KILL.

  16. Sounds like a great series. Looking forward to it and more recipes!

  17. I always love reading a new series. Pecans were one of the first nuts I ever tasted as a kid. My Grandmother made a pumpkin pecan pie at Christmas. Wonderful

  18. I think I'll leave the whiskey in! Excited to read this! :)

  19. Sounds like another great series.....

  20. Sounds like a winner just the way they are!

  21. Nut House Mysteries - are you writing about my family? Can't wait to read the first in this series, and try out the Outhouse recipe.

  22. You had me at Nut House mystery.... and then the Outhouse recipe, LOL!

    emmasmom AT wi DOT rr DOT com

  23. I'm always ready for another new series especially if it's a foodie!

  24. Sounds yummy! And a new series "to boot" (sly Texas reference). Sign me up!

  25. Anything with pecans and I'm there! Funny post, and sounds like a fun series. I love these 'girls' with character. Used to say they reminded me of my mother, but as I get older, someone commented that it could be me now - so I don't say that so much any more.

    Another series for my TBR list!

  26. This sounds like a really good book. Thanks for the chance to win.

  27. Would love to win this, I love new series and reading authors I haven't met yet

  28. This recipe sounds so yummy! I can't wait to try it! Thank you for the chance to win!!

  29. Timing is everything, and you ladies never fail. I have my culinary book club, Dishing Up Murder, this week. I have been stressing over what to bring, as our guest is an author I really respect: Nancy Pickard. Reading this gave me the inspiration to make some candied pecans to set out for munching during discussions. (I think I am making a chicken dish for dinner). And a Soup to Nuts series? Sounds like it was made for this book club. I'll definitely have to try it and recommend to the group.

  30. I really should read this book. Don't they say, "nuts for the nutty"? That'd be me.