Sunday, March 29, 2015

Welcome Amanda Cooper!


We're excited to have Amanda Cooper with us today. You might know her as Victoria Hamilton. As Amanda Cooper, she writes the Teapot Collector Mysteries. If you share her love for china (I know I do!) and all things related to tea time, check out her fabulous Pinterest board. But today she's having an inner struggle that I can relate to all too well. 

Don't miss her amazing giveaway at the end!

Here's Amanda!



I’ve been trying to eat better lately, but for someone who likes food and cooking, it’s not always easy. 




 

A conversation with myself goes like this:

Self: You should eat more fruit.
My other, brattier self: How about a big, fat raspberry?
Self: How about you grow up?
Bratty Self: Is jam fruit?
Self: No, jam can’t be considered fruit. Too much sugar.
Bratty Self: But fruit is booooring!
Self: What’s boring about a lovely juicy apple or a pear? Or a handful of grapes?
Bratty Self: Hmm… a couple of apples, a pear, a cup of grapes. Maybe some dried cranberries and pecans. Oooh, time for a fruit salad, but not a boring old fruit-only fruit salad, a super deluxe kick ass fruit salad. And I will call it…

Caramel Apple Salad
Makes: 4 – 6 Generous servings.

Ingredients

2 Honey Crisp or Royal Gala apples (or whatever kind you like best!)
1 pear, whatever type you prefer
1 – 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup seedless grapes (I used a mix of green and Sable Black seedless grapes.)
¼ cup dried cranberries (or raisins, or omit)
¼ cup chopped pecans (or walnuts, or omit)
½ cup fat free Greek yogurt
2 - 3 Tablespoons caramel topping, to taste
Cinnamon to taste, if you like.

Method:

1 – Blend the Greek yogurt and caramel topping together until smooth. Add cinnamon, if you’re using it. Set aside.
2 – Wash the fruit. Dice the apples and pears. The size of the dice is a personal thing; coarsely, but not big chunks.
3 – Sprinkle the apples and pears with lemon juice and toss, so they won’t brown.
4 – If you have very large green grapes like I did, you may want to slice them in half.
5 – Chop the nuts coarsely.
6 – Combine the fruits, nuts and dried cranberries or raisins, then coat well with the sauce.

And… done. It’s that easy. I just love the caramel apple flavor of this salad, but for a sweetening ingredient you could substitute honey, maple syrup, or even a fruit syrup. A blackberry syrup would be lovely! This will last in the fridge a day or two, but I doubt it will last that long!

Blend topping and dice fruit.



Combine fruit and nuts.

Even more elegant when served in a teacup!
~::~

Shadow of a Spout:
Avid teapot collector Rose Freemont takes a break from her Victorian tea house only to find a new mystery brewing elsewhere...

Leaving her home in Gracious Grove behind her, Rose is off to the annual convention of the International Teapot Collector’s Society. Her granddaughter Sophie is minding the tea house while she’s away. Rose is eager for tough cookie Zunia Pettigrew to appraise a prized antique teapot she believes may be a holy water vessel from China.

But when Zunia declares the pot a fake, Rose is really steamed. After Zunia’s found dead beside Rose’s dinged-in teapot, Sophie must rush to her grandmother’s aid and find the real killer—before Rose is steeped in any more trouble…

To learn more about Amanda Cooper and the Teapot Collector Mysteries see these pages:


Killer Characters – 21st of each month: http://www.killercharacters.com

Victoria Hamilton/Amanda Cooper on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorVictoriaHamilton



~::~

About Amanda Cooper:
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.

Giveaway!
Open to US AND Canada Readers. Comment to enter to win a prize package including…
· Grace Teaware Teacup and Saucer
· English Tea Shop Tea
· Signed copy of Shadow of a Spout
· Cozy up to a good mystery! Tote Bag




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