Sunday, December 4, 2016

Please Welcome Guest Toni LoTempio!

Toni LoTempio is our guest today and she's sharing a recipe for a pepper steak stir-fry and a Guinevere Capri Sandwich. I know I'm going to be making both of these very soon! Take it away Toni!

Anyone who’s read my Nick and Nora mysteries knows that my main character, Nora Charles, is somewhat of a beast in the kitchen!  Not only does she make a mean sandwich, but she’s expanded into catering and makes absolutely delicious main dishes and appetizers! (which makes her cat Nick happy, of course, as he’s always in the kitchen supervising!!!!!)
In their latest adventure, Crime and Catnip, Nora is called upon to cater a museum gala, a costume ball centering on the Arthurian Era (you all remember King Arthur, Guinevere and the Knights of the Round Table, right? Sure you do!!!!).  Her buddy Chantal helped her with naming some of the delicious dishes she catered for the affair, particularly:

Morgan LeFay’s Pepper Steak Stir-Fry!
1 lb. beef top sirloin steak
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 red onion, cut into squares
1 green pepper, cut into squares
1 red pepper, cut into squares

  1. Slice the steak into 1/2-inch thick slices across the grain.
  2. Whisk together soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, and ginger in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Place the steak slices into the marinade, and stir until well-coated.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat, and place 1/3 of the steak strips into the hot oil. Cook and stir until the beef is well-browned, about 3 minutes, and remove the beef from the wok to a bowl. Repeat twice more, with the remaining beef, and set the cooked beef aside.
Return all the cooked beef to the hot wok, and stir in the onion. Toss the beef and onion together until the onion begins to soften, about 2 minutes, then stir in the green pepper. Cook and stir the mixture until the pepper has turned bright green and started to become tender, about 2 minutes, then stir everything together, and serve over rice or noodles. 

If you’re more of a sandwich type person, you might enjoy a Guinevere Capri Sandwich:


Wrap (Spinach is nice, but any kind will do)
Breaded chicken cutlets, sliced thin
Avocado, sliced thin
Fresh mozzarella
Fresh tomato slices
1 tbsp. olive oil

Place chicken cutlets on wrap, layer on tomato slices, mozzarella and onion.  Roll, then top with avocado slices and fresh arugula, drizzle olive oil right over the top of the arugula.  

Nick and Nora 3:  CRIME AND CATNIP!!!!


Nick and Nora aren’t just pussyfooting around this time as they deal with a missing person’s case and murder.

While catering a gala for the Cruz Museum, Nora Charles agrees to look into the disappearance of director Violet Crenshaw’s niece, a case previously undertaken by her frisky feline friend Nick’s former owner, a private eye whose whereabouts are also currently unknown. 

As Nora and her curious cat Nick pull at the string of clues, they begin to unravel a twisted tale of coded messages, theft, false identities, murder, and international espionage. Nora dares to hope that the labyrinth of leads will not only help them locate the missing young woman, but also solve the disappearance of the detective. That’s if Nora can stay alive long enough to find him...

Born in New York City, T. C. LoTempio is the national bestselling author of Meow If It’s Murder, the first in the Nick and Nora Mystery series. She has been a staff reporter at the young adult magazine Susabella Passengers and Friends for more than a decade. When she isn’t reporting or writing novels, she and her cat Rocco fundraise for Nathan Fillion’s charity, Kids Need to Read!


  1. Beautifully presented. Nice flavor and color combinations.
    Looking forward to the newest Nick and Nora adventure.

  2. This sounds like something I would love. A nice dinner for busy nights during the holidays!

  3. I may be nitpicking but steak recipe doesn't say when to add red pepper only green. obviously add both at same time or one after the other.

  4. Very nice! Is there no end to your talent? I wish you great success!