Sunday, May 11, 2014

Welcome author Edith Maxwell with a Guest Post and Giveaway

To learn more ororder, click here.

We're in for a treat with our guest today. Edith Maxwell is a former organic farmer, and she is sharing a wonderfully fresh and healthy recipe with us as well as a special giveaway. (See more at the end of this post.)

Edith is also sharing news about her upcoming release, 'Til Dirt Do Us Part, the second entry in her Local Foods Mystery series. 

Now take it away, Edith!
~ Cleo

* * * 

I’m delighted to be a guest again on one of my favorite blogs. I was an organic farmer about twenty years ago for a few years, and I love immersing myself in that world again as I write the Local Foods Mystery series. The second book in the series, ‘Til Dirt Do Us Part, takes place in the fall. As it opens, Farmer Cam Flaherty is hosting a farm-to-table dinner under a big tent, with chef Jake Ericsson cooking up food from from her farm and several other farms to serve to eighty guests.

I was inspired by a local farm-to-table dinner that we attended when I was writing the book. As far as I know, unlike in my story, one of the Cider Hill Farm guests didn’t end up dead the next day! The chefs at our local Phat Cats Bistro, who made the meal, even gave me the recipe for their Sweet Potato Empanadas appetizer to include in ‘Til Dirt Do Us Part.

Fall is Brussels sprouts season. They are strange-looking plants in the field, waist-high stalks with the little heads hanging on like aliens.

Jake makes this dish for Cam in the last scene in the book, which will be out May 27 from Kensington Publishing. If you think you don’t like Brussels sprouts, you might change your mind after you fix this recipe. (The leaves are delicious, too, but that’s another recipe.)

Brussels Sprouts and Shallots
in White Wine Reduction
from Edith Maxwell

Serves six


4 T fruity olive oil

1 T butter

12 large shallots, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise, about 3/4 lb

2 garlic bulbs, cloves peeled and left whole, about 40 cloves

2 1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed

2 T chopped parsley

1 cup white wine (or red, if you prefer)

1 cup chicken stock

1 T Dijon mustard

In a heavy casserole with a tight lid, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. 
Add the shallots and garlic, and saute until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts, toss to coat with the oil and cook about 5 minutes.

Add the wine to deglaze the pan. Cook 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the parsley and chicken stock, stir well and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and braise just until Brussels sprouts are tender. 

Remove Brussels sprouts, add the mustard, and reduce liquid. 

Add back Brussels sprouts, toss to heat and coat with sauce. Serve warm.

To serve as a casserole, cook brown rice or couscous, spread it in an oven-proof serving dish, top with the finished  recipe, grate fresh Parmesan or Romano on top, and warm in the oven for fifteen minutes.

Author Edith Maxwell
Visit her online

About Edith...

Former organic farmer Edith Maxwell writes the Local Foods Mysteries about farmer Cam Flaherty, a Locavore Club, and locally sourced murder (Kensington Publishing). 'Til Dirt Do Us Part (May, 2014) includes rescue chickens along with murder and mayhem down on the farm.

Under the pseudonym Tace Baker, Edith writes the Speaking of Mystery series (Barking Rain Press), featuring Quaker linguistics professor Lauren Rousseau in small-town Massachusetts. Bluffing is Murder releases in November, 2014. Edith holds a PhD in linguistics and is a long-time Quaker.

She also writes award-winning short crime fiction, and blogs every weekday with five other New England cozy mystery writers at A technical writer and fourth-generation Californian, she lives north of Boston with her beau, three cats, and an impressive array of garden statuary.

Edith is the mother of two adults sons, both excellent cooks, writers, and supporters of their mother's books, and one of whom is now a farmer and served as Edith's chicken consultant in 'Til Dirt Do Us Part.

(Twitter) @edithmaxwell

Congratulations to
Angie Young!

Angie is the winner of our
comment-to-win contest.
Angie will receive the first book in
 Edith's terrific Local Foods Mystery series,

And don't forget, the
second book in her series...

'Til Dirt Do Us Part,
will be out on May 27, and is

now available for pre-order.

Thanks again to Edith

 for joining us today and...

Happy Mother's 



  1. Thank you for the chance to win, the book looks great :)

  2. I remember the first time I saw a stalk of Brussels sprouts (I was in my 20's!). My reaction was an incredulous, "that's how they grow?" But I've always eaten them, and I'm happy to have a new recipe.

    Happy Mother's Day!

  3. what a cool sounding series, definitely going to check it out!

  4. This sounds like a good series. I try to use local produce when available.

  5. Thanks, Amy, Sandy, and Sue! I do, too, Sue, although I got a bit tired of root crops this winter. Glad spring has come to New England, with summer crops not far behind.

  6. OMG - "little heads hanging on like aliens." Still laughing~!

  7. Welcome back to Mystery Lovers Kitchen, Edith! I can't believe you were a farmer. That's such hard work. I love the photo of the Brussels sprouts. That's not something you see very often. Beautiful scarf, too!

    We love Brussels sprouts and reductions, so I have a feeling this recipe is right up our alley.


  8. The recipe sounds good, the book sounds even better.

  9. I love the shallot and white wine reduction part...just not sure about the brussel sprouts ;) I try to be locavore and am lucky enough to live in an area that makes it relatively easy to do so! I look forward to reading both of your series!

    cozyupwithkathy at gmail dot com

  10. Thanks so much, Kaye and Katreader!

  11. Happy Mother's Day! Thank you for this wonderful opportunity. The book sounds awesome and the recipe looks and sounds delicious! I love Brussels Sprouts. :)

  12. What a great giveaway, thank you.

  13. My best friend has an organic farm that's been in her family for generations . She's been providing this DC superb girl great produce forever!! Even the eggs taste different that store bought eggs. New topic for cozies. Would love to win this one and try it out. Sounds like a winner!!

  14. Just wish the farm to table dinners weren't so very expensive. I'd love to go to one.

    1. It was a bit expensive, Libby, but it was a deductible research expense. ;^)

  15. Happy Mothers' Day. My mom used to make the frozen Brussels sprouts and I never liked them. One day, as an adult, I decided to buy and make the fresh ones and I found out how good they are. Now, my son, who is the cook in the family, makes them all of the time. (I also learned to like liver by making it myself because the ones that made it for me made it taste like shoe leather.)

  16. We always buy the huge stalks of Brussels sprouts at the farmer's market. A new recipe to try! Thanks for the idea and the entry to win the book!

  17. I would live to read this series! It sounds just like where I live, Lancaster County PA.

  18. I can't believe that I'm 54 years old and didn't know that brussel sprouts grew like that. I had to laugh when my hubby bought me seeds to grow some but when I saw how far apart they are supposed to be planted, I decided they would have to wait til next year when we have a bigger garden, now I see why, lol. Thanks for the recipe it sounds wonderful.

    I really wish they would make these robot tests so that you can read them a little better, I even asked my daughter...neither of us got it right, trying again, lol.

  19. I ate lunch before reading this post, and STILL feel as if I have room for Brussels Sprouts and Shallots in White Wine Reduction. Also, I feel a deep need to visit Phat Cats Bistro. Two of my favorite words in one restaurant name (cats and bistro, in case you were wondering!).

    Thank you for making me hungry for good food, instead of that processed gunk.

  20. Sounds like a great series. Would love to read it.

  21. Happy Mother's Day , I'd love to read this book, I go to the Farmers Market every week. Loving the recipe will have to try it soon :)

  22. This recipe might even lure my husband into having a serving of brussels sprouts! Thanks for stopping by today!

  23. Thank you for a chance to win a copy of A Tine to Live, A Tine to Die. This sounds like a series I would like to try.

    twbooks (at) cox (dot) net.

  24. I can't wait to read this one.... afarage(at)

  25. Oh my goodness! I went outside to shovel organic compost with my farmer son for a couple of hours and look at all these splendid comments. Thanks so much, Robyn, Kimberly, Ronna, Ikleback, Linda, Marilyn (my mother's name...), Steph, Debbie, Pamelicious, Angie, Debbie, Peg, and Tlwalcher. Pamelicious, come on up to Amesbury and we can go to Phat Cats together! It's just down the block (and they are Facebook). I'm delighted that I could share Brussels sprout and my farm series with you all.

  26. I was getting my book list ready to order a few books from Amazon after I opened my book gifts from my daughter. A Tine to Live, A Tine to Die on my long of books to be ordered if I am not the lucky recipient of this giveaway. I enjoyed the write ups about these books very much and really hope to get both of them very soon. Organic food is something that I am using more and more due to allergies so this series is very interesting to me as a mystery and with respect to gardening/farming.
    Thank you for the chance to win Edith's book.

  27. My daddy loved Brussels sprouts. We always called them little cabbages, but we (sister & I) didn't always want to eat any. Now my hubby also likes them, but not as much or as often. They're always a bit bitter tasting to me. Maybe I will try this recipe and see if I like them any better.
    Don't have to 'try' any reading to KNOW I will like your book(s). :)

  28. I meant to thank you for the delicious sounding recipe. My granddaughter who is only ten, loves Brussels Sprouts as much as I do, so we fix them all different ways, but I will be anxious to try your recipe, Edith. Stories about Massachusetts are great as that is where we have lived since college and that is like 52 years already with CT. being our birth state. Books about New England are among my favorites. What a lovely scarf as a gift for one lucky pre-orderer. Thank you, Cynthia

  29. Thanks, Ceblain and Donna. Ceblain, I hope the orrganic produce helps your allergies. And Donna, I find Brussels sprouts to be sweet and nutty,but of course everyone has different experiences of taste.

  30. Hi Edith ~ We used to do organic farming for awhile too, so I know I'd enjoy your series! Thanks for the chance to win a copy of A TINE TO LIVE, A TINE TO DIE, and for the Brussels sprouts recipe. Happy Mother's Day!

  31. I'd love to hear your take on my stories, Lynn in Texas!

  32. Sounds like a FUN series. i have always been one of the people who LOVES brussels sprouts! thanks for the recipe!

  33. Looking forward to reading both of these! Thank you for the recipe (I love Brussels sprouts) and for the opportunity to win!

  34. Happy Mother's Day! I tried growing brussel sprouts one year and they are funny to look at. Unfortunately we got cabbage worms so not many sprouts. They are one of our favorites.

  35. Happy Mother's Day to everyone. Looks like a great cozy mystery. Love the recipe.

  36. Happy Mother's Day. I tried Brussels sprouts and found that they are not for me, but it won't stop me from reading your latest release. Congratulations!