Monday, September 30, 2019

A Hearty Welcome to our New Blog Mates, Maya Corrigan and Ellie Alexander

Well, you can all see that we have been growing in the past year, and as of tomorrow, October 1, we'd like to welcome the newest members to Mystery Lovers Kitchen, Maya Corrigan and Ellie Alexander. These two authors are quite exceptional.

Raised as a girl to love crime fiction, Maya went on to teach college classes in writing and literature. Good thing for us and her fans, however, she turned to writing mysteries. In her newest series, she combines her passion for mysteries and food in the Five-Ingredient Mysteries, set in Maryland's Eastern Shore, not far from where she lives. She loves theater and crossword puzzles and is a delightful woman. Kid you not, I don't think I've ever encountered Maya where she isn't wearing a smile.

Speaking of smiles, Ellie Alexander, who also writes as Kate Dyer-Seeley, is about as perky an author as you can find.  She is a Pacific Northwest Native and all her books are set there.

       Wave hello, Maya and Ellie, from 3,000 miles away!

Ellie loves the Pacific Northwest so much so that it becomes its own character in her books. She writes the Bake Shop Mysteries, Sloan Kraus Mysteries, and more. She loves testing recipes. She shares lots of her successes on her social media pages. She also shares photos of her love for brewpubs, coffeehouses, and hiking.

Welcome, ladies. May your time spent with Mystery Lovers Kitchen and its fans be rewarding. We're thrilled you are joining us.


So who saw the article on Facebook about the son who changed his mother's diet and helped reduce her dementia and confusion? While she ate a lot of fresh veggies and fruit, the main foods she ate were blueberries and walnuts. Of course, I was skeptical. But then the mail came and the headline on a magazine was about eating right. And guess what was front and center. Blueberries and walnuts.

While they might not have all the desired powers that are being touted, I figured it wouldn't hurt to sneak them into our diet. My mom has been very picky lately, but I think she'll eat these parfaits!

They're really very simple. I used the handy dandy food immersion gadget to break up walnuts into tiny bits. Then I made a vanilla pudding, intentionally using less cornstarch so it would be very soft. I cooked some frozen blueberries, and topped it all off with sweetened cream. Of course, you could be even healthier and substitute yogurt for the pudding!

Almost Healthy Parfaits
Makes 3-4 parfaits depending on the size of the glass.

Vanilla Pudding

2 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups milk (I use 2%)
1 egg
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a heavy-bottomed pan, mix together the cornstarch and the sugar. Whisk as you pour in the milk. Crack the egg into the measuring cup you used for the milk. Whisk the egg. Cook the milk mixture over medium high heat until it begins to bubble. Simmer for one minute, whisking the whole time. Remove from heat. Add a little bit of the milk mixture to the egg and whisk to temper it. Pour the egg into the milk mixture and whisk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for one more minute, whisking or stirring the whole time. Remove from heat. Stir in the  butter and the vanilla.

Set aside to cool.

Minced Walnuts

1/3 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Place walnuts and sugar in an immersion cup. Using the chopping blade, chop the walnuts until they are fine.


1 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar

Pour frozen blueberries into a small pot. Add water and sugar. Cook until combined. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.


When everything is cool, spoon the pudding into the bottom of a parfait glass. Top with a sprinkle of walnuts. Add a spoonful of blueberries. Repeat. Top with a dollop of whipped cream. (You can also add whipped cream to the middle of the parfait if you like.)

Cook the berries.
Make the pudding.
What an image looking through the glass. Those crumbs are walnuts!


  1. Looks like I need to load up on blueberries and walnuts!

  2. I’m so excited to be baking in the kitchen with all of you!

  3. Thank you for the warm welcome to Mystery Lovers Kitchen, Daryl. Waving to Ellie from across the country. I'm happy to be part of a group of great mystery writers and enthusiastic cooks, and looking forward to sitting around the virtual kitchen table with all of you!

    1. Waving right back at you from the other coast ;-)

  4. Wonderful choices. I love both series by these authors. Everyone should read them.

  5. I usually have yogurt and blueberries for breakfast. Adding chopped walnuts will make it even better.

  6. Welcome ladies. Thank you for the recipe. I like eating walnuts and blueberries. One blueberry to one walnut. Such a great snack.

  7. Welcome Ellie and Maya! I'm so glad you're going to be a part of this wonderful blog!

  8. Welcome Maya and Ellie. Love all your books (both of you) .

  9. Welcome, Maya and Ellie. So excited to have you with us!!! XO -Daryl

  10. Welcome, Maya and Ellie! Now we are twelve!

  11. Good and good for you, too.
    Well done!

  12. Welcome to the Kitchen, Maya and Ellie! We are delighted to have you join our MLK family. Our followers here are the best. May your time with us bring you joy.

    With much love,

  13. Welcome Maya and Ellie! I'm so excited to see you're becoming part of the MLK team and look forward to your recipes!