Sunday, June 29, 2014

Summer Strawberry Recipe from Victoria Hamilton

Muffin But Murder, 
goes on sale July 1st!
Learn more here.

Please welcome author Victoria Hamilton as our special guest today. 

Victoria is sharing a healthy recipe that's perfect for summer strawberry season. She also has a generous prize package and one lucky commenter will win it has won it! Learn more at the end of this post. Take it away, Victoria!

~ Cleo

It’s That Time of Year
by Victoria Hamilton

This blog post started with a friendly chat between neighbors. 

I live in a nice, working class urban neighborhood, and I have for many years. In fact, it’s the same neighborhood I grew up in, just a block away. The other day I spent a few minutes chatting with my across-the-street neighbor, just back from walking her dog. 

The next day I was coming back from shopping when my wonderful neighbor came over carrying a beautiful big container of strawberries, fresh from her garden! Well, it so happens that I am trying to eat healthier: lots of water, more fruits and vegetables, salad every day. In that attempt I have switched from toast for breakfast every morning to smoothies. 

There are lots of recipes out there, and I know this is super easy, barely a recipe at all, but I thought I’d share one of mine, and as a bonus, I can tell you how many Weight Watchers Points Plus™ it is.

This makes enough for two!


2 bananas, frozen or fresh 

2/3 cup vanilla fat-free no-sugar-added yogurt (I use a probiotic yogurt.)

1 Cup Strawberries, fresh or frozen

1 Cup unsweetened almond beverage

1 Tblsp. organic honey

Almond or vanilla extract, if desired. (I forgot to add it this time and it tasted just fine!)


All ingredients go into a blender and voila, you have breakfast for two at 2.5 Weight Watchers Points Plus™ each!

Some of my notes:

Frozen fruit will make a thicker, milkshake like consistency. I always have bananas in my freezer that I usually use for muffins or banana bread, but they work awesome in this. I let them thaw for an hour just to make it easier on my blender. You do have to let it blend for a while to break down all the chunks of banana.

I usually use regular 2% milk, but lately I have switched to unsweetened almond beverage for smoothies for the fat savings and health benefits. It’s great! I’m thinking of trying coconut water for a plain fruit smoothie.

So…I know a lot of you out there
 probably do the same. 

What do you use in YOUR
morning smoothie?


About Muffin but Murder

When Merry Wynter unexpectedly inherited a castle in the wilds of upstate New York, she took some time to adjust. After living in New York City it was culture shock to wind up in a castle a few miles away from small town Autumn Vale. However, far from being lonely, as she first feared, her best friends Shilo Dinnegan (a former model) and Pish Lincoln, (a retired financial advisor who now writes books on financial scams and con artists) have joined her at Wynter Castle.

It is clear that she can’t afford to keep such a huge building, even if it is her ancestral home. It must be sold! She has an upscale party to promote Wynter Castle to would-be buyers who may be able to take the place and turn it into a hotel or inn, but the post party clean-up reveals an awful discovery; one of her "guests" turns up dead in a most gruesome fashion. With Pish holding back secrets, her exasperated attraction to Virgil Grace, (the broodingly handsome sheriff of Autumn Vale) growing stronger, and a supposed cousin with a possible claim on the inheritance plaguing her daily, Merry has her hands full.

But murder comes first. Who killed the guest, and why? And how is she going to keep Virgil from arresting Pish?

*With recipes! There is one muffin recipe in Muffin but Murder for what I call "Fit For The King Muffins" and they are wonderful!

Bestselling mystery author Victoria Hamilton writes the Merry Muffin Mysteries and The Vintage Kitchen Mysteries. As Amanda Cooper, she also writes the Teapot Collector Mysteries.

Victoria's long time love of mystery novels started at age twelve when her mom handed her an Agatha Christie book and said "Read"! Thousands of novels later, Victoria is still reading. And writing.

Besides those two favorite pastimes, Victoria also enjoys collecting vintage kitchenalia, old books, teacups, teapots and other ephemera. Perfume is her secret addiction. She likes to cook, hates to clean, and enjoys time spent with friends chatting over wine or tea. She loves crafts, loathes boredom, and her guilty pleasure is "reality" TV, which she knows is largely fake, but she enjoys it anyway.

Victoria thinks that people are the most interesting study of all, and more than anything, she loves to hear from readers, not just about her books but about anything and everything.

Facebook Page

For more on Muffin But Murder and the Merry Muffin Mysteries, visit the series’ Facebook page by clicking here.

Web Home

Learn more about Victoria Hamilton, her alter ego Amanda Cooper, and all her mystery series by clicking here.


Victoria's Giveaway

This wonderful contest is now over.
Thanks to everyone who left such
kind comments.

And our winner is...

Michelle of Brockton,

Michelle won the...

* Cozy Mystery Book Tote 

* Cozy Mystery Pen

* Muffin But Murder

* Tempest in a Teapot,
written by Victoria as
 Amanda Cooper


  1. I just finished reading " Tempest in a Teapot" and really enjoyed it. Looking forward to reading your other books.

  2. Just finished reading the first muffin book and loved it. Can't wait to see what happens with the castle. Ronnalord(at)msn(dot)com

  3. You have a lot of my likes and dislikes. I have read and truly enjoyed your books. Keep writing!

  4. Mmmmmmm..the smoothie recipe sounds good.

    littleone AT shaw DOT ca

  5. Fit for a King Muffins? My mouth is already watering. And the smoothie sounds divine as well.

    carstairs38 at gmail

    1. Oh, the muffins are seriously awesome! My favorite I've made so far.

  6. Not too fond of bananas but love strawberries. I like to mix them into my lo-fat yogurt. Looking forward to your latest books.


  7. your smoothie recipe sounds good! truthfully? I'd rather eat muffins!! I know. not as healthy. I haven't started this series, but will have to. Sounds like my kind of read!


  8. Lately I've been blending strawberries, blueberries, fat free vanilla yogurt, a little apricot juice and a couple of ice cubes. I've been having on of these for lunch sometimes during the week. I like the sound of your recipe too. And the books look like so much fun!

    1. That sounds awesome, Renee... apricot juice? Where do you buy it, just the grocery store? Sounds like it would add sweetness?

  9. This sounds like it has it all, a castle, a body, secrets and romance. I can't wait to read it.

  10. I enjoyed Merry's first mystery, and the muffin recipes. Looking forward to reading about her next adventure at the castle. I love berry smoothies, and using almond milk is a good idea. grace(dot)koshida(at)gmail(dot)com

  11. Strangely, my comment isn't showing up. Going to see how my mom likes this smoothie recipe.

  12. Thais series sounds interesting. Looking forward to reading it.

  13. What a great giveaway....definitely looking forward to reading this series.

  14. Your smoothie recipe sounds so good and I love bananas and strawberries! Definitely going to try. Love your series and look foward to each new book.
    Becky Prazak

  15. I love all your different series, you are such a diverse writer ! Really looking forward to muffin but murder :)

  16. Terrific giveaway! And, thanks for the smoothie recipe.

  17. Love all of your series! I must check out the teapot mysteries next!

  18. Your latest book sounds like a fun read! All you really need is one good muffin recipe.

  19. I have the first book in the Merry Muffin series and also 2 of the Vintage Kitchen books.. . I love both worlds and their lead detectives..

    My better half is on the Dr. Fuhrman diet so I maker her smoothies using almond milk, banana, frozen blueberries (which I actually buy fresh) and strawberries when I have them in the house. I would love to win the wonderful gift pack you are offering as a prize... I have a magic bookshelf stretcher so there's always room for more books.


  20. The story sounds great. I love smoothies and muffins, too. I don't have smoothies for breakfast. I go to Juice It Up and get one for dinner. I know I should just make them for myself but I'm lazy and they have all the ingredients there.

  21. Smoothies are a wonderful afternoon snack. Bobbipad at

  22. I actually like the smoothies without the yogurt

  23. I love strawberries but I haven't been able to get any good ones in NJ this year.

  24. Smoothies are so refreshing especially for this long, hot summer. Muffins sound delectable. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  25. I am intrigued with the series and love smoothies.elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  26. Hi Victoria! So nice to see you here. What a fabulous giveaway!

    I should get in the habit of making smoothies. Thanks for sharing your recipe!


  27. Looking forward to reading this book.

  28. What a lovely giveaway and a lovely smoothie! Yum! Thanks for sharing on MLK! :)

    Daryl / Avery

  29. Thank you for this great giveaway. The book sounds awesome and the recipe looks delicious! :)

  30. I love that strawberry season is here! When I was little my mom and I would go strawberry picking and she'd make the most amazing fresh strawberry pie. I need to eat healthier and this smoothie sounds delicious and easy-except I need to make room on my counter for the blender! Love that bag!

    cozyupwithkathy at gmail dot com

  31. I'm looking forward to your latest book!

  32. I adore your books, particularly the Vintage Kitchen series. Your characters and plot lines are always engaging.

    As for the recipe, it looks delicious. For me, I'd just substitute in non-fat plain Greek yogurt for a higher protein count. Mmmmmm....thanks for sharing!

  33. I love muffins and that smoothie sounds wonderful and easy (I always love those easy, tasty recipes). Thanks for the chance to win.
    momzillasteel at gmail dot com

  34. I want to win!! Looks so good.

  35. Looks fantastic; another great read and I hope to get a chance to read it :)

  36. This looks so good! I love to read books that make me hungry! LOL!

  37. I love fresh strawberries in any form and the new book looks like another fun read! Thanks for the chance to win (

  38. Love mysteries especially when they feature food!

  39. Looks like a marvelous batch of goodies.
    And, of course, it sounds like a great read.

  40. I just checked Tempest in a Teapot out of the library and I am looking forward to reading it. I have enjoyed other books by Victoria.

  41. This is a new series to me but I do enjoy cozy mysteries. I'd like to uncover that muffin recipe--especially if it's healthy. I do plan to try the smoothie recipe.It looks beautiful.
    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  42. Have Tempest in a Teapot from the library; requested Muffin but Murder from my library. Can't wait to read them both. Thanks for writing these wonderful series.

  43. The smoothie sounds lovely. I have a couple of lactose intolerant relatives so it'll come in handy.

  44. That's a good neighbor! All I get these days from my neighbors is zuchinni. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) sandysheley at gmail