Tuesday, June 3, 2014

World’s Best Coleslaw plus a fun #Giveaway by Amanda Cooper (aka Victoria Hamilton)

Tempest in a Teapot is the
first in a new mystery series.
Learn more by clicking here.

Three cheers to my fellow bloggers who have new releases this week in their popular cozy mystery series. Congratulations to both Krista Davis and Sheila Connolly

And more happy congrats to my special guest today, who is launching her terrific new Teapot Collector Mystery series with Tempest in a Teapot.

Please give a warm welcome to Amanda Cooper (aka author Victoria Hamilton) who is sharing a recipe and a fun comment-to-win giveaway. Take it away, Amanda!

~ Cleo Coyle

* * * * 

I hate titles like that, the "World’s Best" whatever. Who really knows what the ‘World’s Best’ anything is? That’s what individual taste is about. 

We all have our likes and dislikes, and that’s so very true of coleslaw: sweet or not, coarsely chopped or finely grated, creamy dressing or oil and vinegar. So all I can give you is my own method, and it’s not even a recipe.

To start with...I’m a gadget girl. LOVE gadgets, and I’m a sucker for trying out new gadgets in the kitchen. Everyone has a mandolin, right? Or, wait a minute...not a mandolin, a mandoline

A mandolin is a stringed instrument, while a mandoline is the thingie that you slide vegetables down over a blade to slice. 

A couple of years ago I bought my sister a nifty adjustable mandoline called a One Touch. It has a dial on it, and you can dial it from very fine to very coarse. It slices cucumber so thin you can see through the slices!

I’ve always sliced my cabbage for coleslaw just using a knife, which is time consuming. Last time I tried the mandoline and wow! Fine ribbons of cabbage in seconds!

So…to my coleslaw. First, the dressing; creamy for me, please and thank you.

 I use these ingredients:



Miracle Whip

Milk (yes, milk!)

Vinegar and/or lemon juice

Celery salt

No set amounts, because that depends on how much slaw you’re making. I start with a couple of heaping tablespoons each of the mayo and Miracle Whip (MW provides a sweet tangy kick that I like) blended. I add a little vinegar and/or lemon juice, whatever I have, a scant sprinkle of celery salt, and then thin the mixture to a salad dressing consistency with the milk.

A note about vinegar: I’ve always used just plain old white vinegar in my slaw, but this last time I tried apple cider vinegar – because I had some around – and the kick to the taste was remarkable! My coleslaw went from Mmm! To Zowie! It does have a fruity taste, and that enhances the blend of veggies. My new go-to vinegar.

The veggies: Start with green cabbage, a firm, heavy head. I cut it into chunks and start slicing, or using the mandoline, until I have a nice pile of shredded cabbage, enough to two-thirds fill the container I’ll be using. Then I grate one carrot. 

Now about graters: I’ve tried a variety of graters, being gadget girl, but you just can’t do better than an old fashioned box grater. One small to medium carrot will probably be enough, unless you like LOTS of carrot. I shred it until just before I’ll graze my fingers – I’ve learned when that is by waiting too long and grating my fingers along with the carrot - then I eat the left over stub. What else are you going to do with it, throw it out? Heavens no! No food wastage.

Now for the simply blending: Pour the dressing over the cabbage and carrot and hope you have enough to coat it all. If you don’t, just make a little more dressing.

A note about sweetness: I like my coleslaw tangy, but with some sweetness. I’ll admit, I add a half teaspoon of sugar, or a half packet of sweetener to the dressing to get the taste that I like, but to each his own.

What do you like?

So what’s your preference, creamy or oil and vinegar dressing? Tangy, or sweet, or a little of both? Coarsely chopped, thinly sliced, or pulped to a fare-thee-well? Share your slaw stories!

 * * * * * 

Amanda Cooper is the pseudonym for bestselling mystery author Victoria Hamilton. She writes the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and the Merry Muffin Mysteries as Hamilton, in addition to the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper.

Cooper’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 Cooper is still reading. And writing.

But besides those two favorite pastimes, Cooper 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 enjoys anyway.

Cooper 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.

About Tempest in a Teapot 
by Amanda Cooper

Sophie Freemont Taylor, failed restaurateur, chef and teapot collector, is at loose ends in Manhattan until she decides on the spur of the moment to return ‘home’ to Gracious Grove, a town in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Though not her real home town, it is where she finds respite at her grandmother’s establishment, the same place where Sophie fell in love with teapots, Auntie Rose’s Victorian Tea House. Her grandmother, Rose Freemont, aka ‘Nana’, welcomes her with open arms and twenty nine year old Sophie settles in to find her groove cooking again, even if it is ‘only’ tearoom fare. At the same time she reestablishes friendships with her childhood buddies Dana and Cissy, and her first love, Jason Murphy.

Life in Gracious Grove is never boring, but is not usually as spirited as it becomes when there is a murder at the tearoom next door, the establishment of cranky octogenarian Thelma Mae Earnshaw. Thelma has nursed a six decade long grudge against Nana, who she claims stole her beau, Harold Freemont, also known as Sophie’s grandfather and Nana’s late husband. But despite Thelma’s irascibility, Sophie feels compelled to help figure out who killed a local socialite with a baked goody at Thelma’s tearoom, Belle Époque. It’s unnerving that it occurred so close that Sophie heard the hubbub surrounding the murder by poison! Too soon the danger strikes close to home with an attack on her Nana, and Sophie races the clock to figure out what is going wrong in the pretty little town of Gracious Grove.

Facebook Page

For more on Tempest in a Teapot and the Teapot Collector Mysteries, visit the series’ Facebook page by clicking here.

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

Amanda's Giveaway!

This blog contest is now over.
Thanks to everyone for 
your wonderful comments!

The winner, selected by
Random Number Generator is...

Chèli from Olney, Maryland. 
Enjoy your wonderful prizes, Chèli:

* Amanda's Tempest in a Teapot mystery, 
* Cozy Mystery book tote, and 
* Cozy Mystery pen. 


  1. We like a sweet and tangy slaw, and have always used apple cider vinegar...and sugar...we use an old slaw cutter from hubby's g-grandmother, passed to his granny, to us- the blade is SHARP! I use a box shredder for the carrots...sometimes will add slices of really crisp apples..to compliment the vinegar...the perfect slaw, to me, is crisp, fresh, crunchy.

    1. Oooh... love the idea of apples! It might reduce the lifespan of the slaw though?

    2. naw- toss them with the apple cider vinegar- keeps them from going dark...add them around the top of the bowl, so each person served, gets a few slices...you don't mix them in the whole slaw.

  2. My preference? With BBQ ribs & potato salad! Creamy coleslaw. Looking forward to reading this new series! Thank you for the recipe and giveaway!

    1. Mmmm... bbq ribs. I love slaw with fish and chips, but at home, that means baked salmon and roasted red potatoes.

    2. Yes, slaw with fish & chips! Now, I'm hungry. ;)

  3. I'm definitely going to try this recipe.


  4. I'm not a coleslaw person, so my vote for world's best coleslaw is "There is no such thing." Not a fan of cabbage of mayonnaise, and it doesn't get better when you combine them.

    But it's different tastes that make the world unique, right?

    carstairs38 at gmail

  5. World's Best coleslaw... I love coleslaws of all kinds, but the best was the one that my grandmother made. It was a vinegar and sugar based one. She also added red peppers to it. Nobody has been able to recreate it since she died. We have tried but it just doesn't taste the same!

    1. I know what you mean about recipes lost to the ages... my mom's baked beans were the best, and I've never been able to duplicate them!

    2. Oh boy, baked beans with Amy's grandmother's coleslaw...I could use that for lunch! Congrats on the new books all! xo

  6. Karen:
    I love coleslaw but my fav is got to be a creamy one

  7. That is some creamy cole slaw, yummy! Thank you for the chance to win :)

  8. I will definitely be making this recipe. I am looking forward to reading this book :)
    Mary, Ladylotion@msn.com

  9. Love coleslaw, almost any way, except if the dressing is too wishy-washy. When I was pregnant with my first child in 1970 I craved it, and have tried every kind imaginable in the intervening years. Luckily, my husband likes it, too.

    We add red cabbage to ours, since we almost always have some, and it makes the slaw so pretty. One of the best slaws I ever made was red cabbage, dried cherries, and a sweet/sour dressing.

  10. You sure we aren't twins separated at birth? We should compare notes on vintage cookware (and maybe you can identify some of the weirder items that I have). Of course I have a mandoline! And I once almost visited a tea-pot museum in Wales, but it was closed that day. I vote for creamy slaw, but not too goopy. Can't wait to read the book!

    1. Thanks, Sheila... separated at birth? LOL. I'm already twinned between Amanda Cooper and Victoria Hamilton... LOL.

  11. It is hard to find good coldslaw. This sounds good.

  12. I like shredded creamy coleslaw. yum! It's finally summer up here in Northern Michigan and I'm looking forward to bbq's with coleslaw. I am looking forward to reading the new series!

  13. I make a vinaigrette coleslaw. We like to eat outside in the summer and it can stay out longer.

  14. Never thought to make my own cole slaw. Thanks for the recipe. Raquel36m (at) gmail (dot) com

  15. I would love to win this book. I've enjoyed your other series. I like kitchen gadgets.

  16. Love the concept! Should be a fun blog to visit and the new books too! Congrats!

  17. Wow was looking for a good coleslaw recipe have to give it a try no wonder you're so good at vintage kitchen love the books thank you

  18. I'm a creamy coleslaw fan. I've always used white vinegar because I'm not a big fan of apple cider vinegar. I've thought about trying a blackberry balsamic vinegar that I have. Looking forward to reading your book!

  19. Your slaw dressing recipe and mine are almost the same!! I will use the apple cider vinegar next time. I love cold slaw on a pulled pork bbq sandwich, especially when the pork is pulled off the bone of a rib just taken off the grill.

    1. Pulled pork... I'm getting so hungry!! And slaw on it? Gotta try it.

  20. Love a good coleslaw recipe, and LOVE tea & teapots! this is right up my alley!

  21. Lovely recipe. I prefer apple cider vinegar and thinly sliced. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  22. Will try your coleslaw recipe, it sounds good. I need a whole spoonful of sugar or a little honey in mine and will try some apple also. I love teapots and tea rooms and am looking forward to reading your series!

  23. I would have never thought about using apple vinegar, but it sounds good.

  24. This recipe is delightful and special. Thanks Love tea, teapots and tea rooms which I frequent. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  25. Mmm, coleslaw. Great stuff. I like mine creamy-ish with some grated onion. There used to be a product called Durkee's Dressing that my parents used on our slaw. It added a mustardy tang to the mix.

  26. I like just a taste of coleslaw now and then. Book sounds terrific - as does the giveaway!

  27. The coleslaw sounds good. I make mine with out the vinegar and add sour cream with the mayo and milk instead just a little sugar too. I can't wait to read your book especially since I collect teapots too.

  28. My absolute favorite Cole slaw is made at Das Essenhouse restaurant in Middlebury Indiana, in the midst of an Amish community. It is the oil and vinegar variety with a lovely sweetness to it. But I do love all types of Cole slaw although I admit to never having made it myself. I might give it a try with this recipe.

  29. The coleslaw dressing you make sounds just like what my Mom made--with the touch of sugar. Yum! I'd love to win your prize pack---that book sounds mighty fine, too.

  30. Read the other series - now a new one- yeah!

    Hope I win!

  31. I'm not the biggest cole slaw fan - but this sounds so tasty I'll have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing your recipe. And as a teapot collector myself I'll definitely be giving your book at try, too!

  32. Great post, Amanda, and thanks for the giveaway!

  33. Love coleslaw, I use Hidden Valley coleslaw dressing, with a dash of red wine vinegar and a squirt of deli mustard

  34. I'm still looking for a recipe for the sweet coleslaw served at Big Boy/Shoney's restaurants!