Sunday, December 9, 2018

Fast and Easy for the Holidays -- Guest authors Debra Goldstein and Barbara Ross, #giveaway




The period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s is a time for sumptuous feasts, dishes that bring back memories from our childhoods, and dazzling desserts. But in between the holiday meals and all the leftovers, we still gotta eat. Today, two authors of cozy culinary mysteries offer up easy-to-prepare dishes to consume at home or bring to a party when the occasion warrants. Debra H. Goldstein’s new book, One Taste Too Many, is the debut in her Sarah Blair Mystery series. Barbara Ross’s Steamed Open is the seventh book in her Maine Clambake Mysteries. Both books will be released on December 18, and are available for pre-order. Remember, mass market paperbacks can be lovely stocking stuffers, or a relaxing reward to yourself for making it through the holidays.


Barb: Debra, what recipe do you recommend that’s quick and easy during this crazy holiday period? When and why does your sleuth make or eat this dish in the book?

Debra: Sarah’s twin sister, Emily, a gourmet chef, wouldn’t think of taking shortcuts in the kitchen. She makes spinach pie with a thinly sliced onion and diced mushrooms that she browns in oil, drains, and uses in the pie’s layers. When Sarah, a cook of convenience, is afraid she will have to take Emily’s place in a cooking competition, Sarah prepares to demonstrate her own version of spinach pie – one that features Stouffer’s frozen spinach souffle. It definitely is a quick and easy version!


Sarah’s Spinach Pie

Ingredients

1 prepared pie crust (deep dish)
1 can or jar of diced or sliced mushrooms, drained
2 pkgs. Stouffer’s frozen spinach soufflé
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 package Durkee’s French Fried Onions



Instructions for Cooks of Convenience

Spread a layer of cheese in the bottom of the raw pie crust. Spread onions and mushrooms next. Repeat. Retain some cheese and onions to top off the pie. Place thawed soufflé in pie crust and mush it around to cover the layer below. Bake 50 minutes at 350 and then sprinkle remaining cheese and onions on top and finish for 7-10 minutes. For best results, let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Delicious as a leftover.

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Debra: Barb, same questions to you. What recipe do you recommend that’s quick and easy for holiday gatherings? When and why does your sleuth make or eat this dish in the book?

Barb: The recipe I recommend is this delicious clam dip, a great dish to bring to a gathering or serve to a crowd at your house. In Steamed Open, the sister of one of the murder suspects stress eats it as she discusses the possibility of charges with my amateur sleuth Julia Snowden. In reality it’s my husband’s famous clam dip, his most requested dish whenever we ask hosts, “What can we bring?”

Ingredients

4 6.5-ounce cans minced clams, drained, reserving liquid
1 clove garlic
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
2 Tablespoons chopped chives
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoon reserved clam liquid, plus more as desired
1/2 teaspoon salt


Instructions

Start food processor and drop garlic clove through tube. Process until finely chopped. Remove processor cover and add cream cheese, chives, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, clam liquid, and salt. Process 10-20 seconds until well combined. Turn out into a bowl. Fold in clams and refrigerate for at least two hours. Just before serving, remove from refrigerator and stir, adding more clam juice, if necessary, to desired consistency.


Serve with potato chips and/or corn chips.

Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win


About the books:

One Taste Too Many

For culinary challenged Sarah Blair, there’s only one thing scarier than cooking from scratch—murder!

Married at eighteen, divorced at twenty‑eight, Sarah Blair reluctantly swaps her luxury lifestyle for a cramped studio apartment and a law firm receptionist job in the tired town she never left. With nothing much to show for the last decade but her feisty Siamese cat, RahRah, and some clumsy domestic skills, she’s the polar opposite of her bubbly twin, Emily—an ambitious chef determined to take her culinary ambitions to the top at a local gourmet restaurant.

Sarah knew starting over would be messy. But things fall apart completely when her ex drops dead, seemingly poisoned by Emily’s award-winning rhubarb crisp. Now, with RahRah wanted by the woman who broke up her marriage and Emily wanted by the police for murder, Sarah needs to figure out the right recipe to crack the case before time runs out. Unfortunately, for a gal whose idea of good china is floral paper plates, catching the real killer and living to tell about it could mean facing a fate worse than death—being in the kitchen!


Steamed Open

It’s summertime in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, and the clamming is easy—or it was until a mysterious new neighbor blocks access to the beach, cutting off the Snowden Family Clambake’s supply. Julia Snowden is just one of many townspeople angered by Bartholomew Frick’s decision. But which one of them was angry enough to kill?
 
Beachcombers, lighthouse buffs, and clammers are outraged after Frick puts up a gate in front of his newly inherited mansion. When Julia urges him to reconsider, she’s the last to see him alive—except the person who stabs him in the neck with a clam rake. As she pores through a long list of suspects, Julia meets disgruntled employees, rival heirs, and a pair of tourists determined to visit every lighthouse in America. They all have secrets, and Julia will have to work fast to expose the guilty party—or see this season’s clam harvest dry up for good.




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51 comments:

  1. Good food and something to read...perfect for the holidays :)

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  2. Debra, I love the cat! He is gorgeous! Barb, I always love your book covers! Thank you both for sharing these recipes! I am always looking for quick, easy recipes. Thank you the book giveaway.
    debprice60@gmail.com

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    1. Barb and I think it is a scream that we write culinary mysteries, but our kitchen efforts are more limited than our words. Still, the convenience of these recipes are enjoyed by both of us. As for the cat, Kensington did a great job with the cover...and I can’t say enough about Barb’s series — each book is better than the last!

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    2. Thank you, Deb! I've been so happy with my covers.

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  3. Both books sound good! Recipes too!

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    1. We hope you will enjoy the recipes (and the books)...thanks for leaving a comment today.

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  4. Two different but both delicious sounding recipes. I will be trying them both. Who doesn't love easy but yummy when you are running to and fro during the holidays!

    Two amazing books, both of which I would LOVE the opportunity to read. "Steamed Open" is by an author whose book I adore. "One Taste Too Many" by an author whose writing I can't wait to explore.

    Thank you for the fabulous chance!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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    1. Kay, appreciate your comment. Two different authors, two easy recipes. Two different books, but definitely two opportunities to enjoy.

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  5. Thank you for hosting Barb and me today. Love sharing out culinary masterpieces and take on cooking.

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  6. I had to chuckle at the sheer panic that Sarah must have experienced in the face of having to take Emily's place. That would make for fun reading!

    As for the clam dip, I haven't eaten it in far too long. It is funny how one can forget a great thing until reminded somehow. Frankly, I actually did a stress eating session of some, many years ago, before a final exam in college.
    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

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    1. That's so funny because the scene in Steamed Open is a stress-eating scene, too.

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  7. I’m looking forward to reading both of these books! I think one reason I love culinary cozies is because I am not the best cook in the world! cking78503(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Exactly. The food and cooking are a part of the fantasy, just like the little town--and, of course, the murder.

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  8. The books sound captivating and special. The food would be greatly enjoyed along with the reading. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. I think I would stress eat the Spinach Pie in a heartbeat - my spousal unit would cheerfully hand me the fork. The SU doesn't "do" spinach (it's a weed) or seafood (it all tastes like iodine). Bonus for me!

    pjcoldren[at]tm.net

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    1. So interesting how everyone's taste buds are different-like the whole cilantro-tastes-like-soap thing.

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  10. I am a fan of the Maine Clam bake series and have been patiently waiting for your book for 6 months. I love the name RahRah!! I have named one puppy and 2 kittens Rah Rah and all 3 flew out the door at the rescue i volunteer with!! Get so many comments on the name!!! So glad to have another series to read!!
    Oneponychick66@hotmail.com

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  11. Wonderful books, great post and appetizing food. What more would we want. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  12. Thanks, everyone for the welcome and good luck with the giveaway!

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  13. They look like great books and that recipe looks delicious! JL_Minter(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  14. Recipes look delish. Great to go with a good read. My son will love the clam dish. I think I'm going to figure out how to combine. Thanks for a lovely post. deepotter(at)peoplepc(dot)com

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  15. Both the clam dip & spinach pie look & sound tasty. I like quick & easy recipes & these will come in handy at other times during the year, too.
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

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  16. Fabulous books which I definitely want to read and quick and easy recipes are perfect for the holiday season especially. Good luck in everything ladies.

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  17. Thank you both for sharing this great sounding recipes. I'm looking forward to trying them and reading your books! Happy holidays! ioncookbooks(at)yahoo(dot)com

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