Sunday, November 27, 2016

Turkey-Dinner-in-a-Braid by guest author Ellen Byron #giveaway

We're delighted to welcome today's guest, Ellen Byron to Mystery Lovers' Kitchen . You may already know her from her exciting debut mystery, Planatation Shudders and its many award nominations. The second in the series, Body on the Bayou is now available. And, she has some exciting news about a giveaway. Read on...and welcome, Ellen! 

Tired of turning Thanksgiving leftovers into an endless parade of dry sandwiches? I know I am. That’s why I created a recipe that transforms all that stuffing and turkey bits  into a delicious dish. 

Because my series is called The Cajun Country Mysteries, I usually focus on Cajun and Creole recipes in my books. But as a public service to post-Turkey-Day kitchens everywhere, I made an exception and included the following recipe in Body on the Bayou, the second book in my series. 

Today I get to share it with the wonderful readers at, and since the holidays are coming up, I’m also doing a very special, first-time-ever giveaway featuring a paperback edition of my first Cajun Country Mystery, Plantation Shudders, a hardcover edition of Body on the Bayou, and some really fun swag. Just be sure to post a comment before noon tomorrow to enter the draw. Happy happy, joy joy!


2 crescent roll packages (or use the new crescent roll dough packages instead)
2 cups turkey chopped
1 cup chopped broccoli, peas, or string beans
1 cup diced potatoes (optional)
1 cup stuffing
2 teaspoons gravy
½ cup cranberry sauce
½ cup mayonnaise
1 egg white, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons French-fried onions (the kind you use in a green bean casserole)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Mix the turkey, gravy, mayonnaise and cranberry sauce together in a medium bowl.
Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhand on each side. 
Open and unroll the crescent roll doughs one at a time. Arrange the first dough horizontally across the width of the pan toward the top, then place the second one below it, and seal them both together either with a rolling pin or clean fingers.

Cut the long sides of the dough into strips about 3” deep and 1 ½” wide. Important: you want to leave around 6” in the center for the filling, so adjust the strips accordingly.

Spoon the turkey mixture evenly over the middle section of dough. On top of the turkey, layer the stuffing, potatoes (if you choose to use them), and your green vegetable.

To braid the dough, lift the first two strips across from each other so that they meet in the center, twist each strip once, and then lay them both down on the filling. (You may have to pull or pinch the dough a bit to stretch it.) Continue to do this until you’ve twisted all the strips. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect. Tuck the ends of the braid up to seal it on both ends. Brush the braid with the egg white, and sprinkle with the French-fried onions

Bake 20-30 minutes, until a deep golden brown.

You can either serve it on the cookie tray, or lift up both sides of the parchment paper to gently move the braid onto a serving dish.

Serves 8-10.

Ellen's debut novel, Plantation Shudders, made the USA Today Bestsellers list, and was nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards. The second book in her Cajun Country Mystery Series, Body on the Bayou, offers “everything a cozy reader could want,” according to Publishers Weekly, while the Library Journal says, “Diane Mott ­Davidson and Lou Jane Temple fans will line up for this series.” A TV veteran, Ellen has written for many hit sitcoms, including Wings and Just Shoot Me.


  1. Excellent recipe and book!

    1. Thanks, Liz. And feel free to leave out the veggies, "NoVeggieGirl." ;-)

    2. Haha, everyone always gets that wrong, no worries ;) I'm actually a daily vegetable eater - the NoVeggieGirl part refers to the fact that I don't blog anymore - my blog used to be called VeggieGirl and so that's what people used to call me; so when I stopped blogging, I kept telling readers "I'm not VeggieGirl anymore" and it became a bit of a joke with friends that I had to keep saying "LizNoVeggieGirl."

  2. This looks like fun. suefoster109 at net zero. Net

  3. This looks so yummy!

  4. Great idea! It looks so good! Thanks for sharing!

  5. What a great way to use leftovers! I haven't read this series so am excited for the opportunity. Thanks for the recipe & chance.

  6. I'm always looking for ways to repurpose leftovers. Thank you for the chance to win. Dmskrug3 at hotmail dot com

    1. So am I, which is why I created this recipe. Hope you get to make it. :-)

  7. So great to have you join us today, Ellen! And, thanks for such a delicious recipe.

  8. Thanks for your great recipe and giveaway. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  9. A really delectable recipe. Thanks for your great post today. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. What a good idea. I have made this kind of loaf as a Reuben and with chicken or ham, but never thought of using the turkey that way. I boiled the carcass yesterday to make broth for gumbo and this is another great idea. And thanks for a great giveaway.

    1. I love the idea of Turkey Gumbo. One of my favorite magazines, Louisiana Cookin', just had one that I shared on my FB page. I'm sure yours is even better!

  11. This sounds delish ! Thanks for the chance to win and such a yummy looking recipe !

  12. That looks delicious! I need to make this soon. Thank you for the giveaway.

  13. Replies
    1. You flatter me! But I am pretty proud of myself for this recipe.