Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Erin's Spur-of-the-Moment Shrimp Florentine - #recipe #bookgiveaway

LESLIE: "Where do the recipes come from?” readers often ask. There are nearly as many sources as recipes—some suggest themselves from the situation, some spring from the ingredients in season (in both series) or the spice I’m featuring (in my Spice Shop series). Some are dishes I’ve eaten in real life that simply have to be recreated on the page.

And sometimes, they are just as spur-of-the-moment for me as they are for my characters. I had spinach and tomatoes. I had shrimp. I had that recurrent need for dinner.

I also had a jar of spice that had been a Christmas gift. If you’re a foodie, you know what I mean—friends and relatives who are less adventurous in the kitchen see something in a shop and think it looks too good to pass up, but what would they do with it? “I know,” they say. “I’ll give it Leslie.”

If you’ve got a jar like that, it might be just the ticket. An Italian herb blend is the perfect seasoning for these ingredients. Or try an herbed salt or a Cajun spice blend. Go on—mix it up! Erin and I dare you!

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy of AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES

PS -- I'm dreaming of Christmas on my Facebook Author page, with daily giveaways through June 5. Pop over and join the fun!

Congratulations to Krista Davis for the release, today, of THE DIVA COOKS UP A STORM, Domestic Diva Mystery #11 (Kensington). You KNOW Sophie has a shelf full of bottles and jars of curious ingredients she’s been given—and you know she’d whip this dish up in no time!

Erin’s Spur-of-the-Moment Shrimp Florentine

Florentine means “with spinach.” Alternate translation? Quick and yummy! Erin used a blend with sundried tomatoes, parsley, horseradish, lemon, and other herbs and spices. Try an Italian blend, an herbed salt, or a Cajun spice blend for a different flavor punch!

1–2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon or 1 clove minced garlic
2 slicing tomatoes or 2–3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon of your favorite spice blend
2–3 cups (or handfuls!) fresh spinach
20–24 medium shrimp, cooked
Cooked jasmine rice or a short, sturdy pasta, such as penne or rotilli

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Saute the garlic until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook over medium-low heat until soft, 3–5 minutes. Toss in the seasoning and stir well to blend. Add the spinach and cover for 2–3 minutes, until spinach is soft. Toss in the shrimp and stir; cover and cook until shrimp are heated, another 2–3 minutes. Serve over rice or pasta.

This recipe is flexible, and easily increased. Serve with a green salad. It pairs well with red or white wine.

Serves 2.

What food gifts have you most enjoyed? Which ones have most baffled you? Got a favorite non-recipe recipe? Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy of AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES! (US & Canadian addresses only, please. The winner will be chosen Thurs, May 31.)

"Clean-as-a-whistle dialogue, endearing characters, and a solid plot make this cozy a winner." --- Publishers Weekly

From the cover of AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #5 (Midnight Ink, June 2018, available for pre-order now):  

In Jewel Bay---Montana's Christmas Village---all is merry and bright. At Murphy’s Mercantile, AKA the Merc, manager Erin Murphy is ringing in the holiday season with food, drink, and a new friend: Merrily Thornton. A local girl gone wrong, Merrily’s turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin.

When Merrily goes missing and her boss discovers he’s been robbed, fingers point to Merrily—until she’s found dead, a string of lights around her neck. The clues and danger snowball from there. Can Erin nab the killer—and keep herself in one piece—in time for a special Christmas Eve?

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. A past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.


  1. You had me at shrimp! I love shrimp and spinach and this recipe will be made as soon as I get some shrimp in the house!
    Congratulations on the book! Strangled with Christmas lights? I would never look at a Christmas tree the same way again!
    Thank you for the chance to win the book.

    1. Ha -- one drawback of the creative ways we kill in cozies! But keep in mind that things are often not what they seem...

  2. Shrimp & spinach & tomatoes tell me I'm going to love this dish. I'm going to use a Cajun spice blend. Friends & family have given me some great cookbooks over the years but no food gifts. :( Our daughter gave us beignet mix & Cafe du Monde coffee one year & my absolute favorite Christmas gift was a pound of Tiger Paws from The Chocolate Tree, a fantastic shop in Beaufort, SC. lnchudej@yahoo.com

    1. Oh, I love that Cafe du Monde coffee for a treat, though Mr. Right finds it too bitter. Whatever Tiger Paws are, I love them!

  3. What a perfectly delectable summer recipe. I don't receive food gifts but I would love to since they are just what I would appreciate. I do give food gifts to many friends and relatives since everyone loves food and unique treats.saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. For years, my mother said of gifts "If i can't eat or wear it, I don't want it," and I'm beginning to agree!

  4. That looks delightful! I love how simple it is. I was gifted freshly ground cacao from a country a friend had visited. I am counting down the day until the release of As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles. Happy release day to Krista! Thank you for the chance to win!

    1. Ooh, fresh cacao! What did you do with it?

  5. A shrimp salad is refreshing and with spinach even better. Love it. Food gifts give me great pleasure. I have given yummy crackers, spreads and snacks to many for celebrations. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  6. Looking forward to the new book.The recipe sounds great. I have never been gifted anything "foodie" or spicy. Closest I've come is a tea sampler. ( nvictoria77@yahoo.com )

    1. A tea sampler sounds like a great gift!

  7. Your recipe looks scrumptious, and I love that I can use my own choice of spices. The best food gifts we have received for Christmas are a tower of treats, Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit, and Entenmann's Toffee. Thanks so much for the opportunity to win a copy of As The Christmas Cookie Crumbles! bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

    1. Love holiday food gifts, and yours sound like winners!