Sunday, March 15, 2020

Hawaiian Tea Sandwiches -- Laura Childs #bookgiveaway


LESLIE: I'm delighted to welcome back to the blog my cousin, Laura Childs, New York Times bestselling author of Lavender Blue Murder, the latest in her Tea Shop mysteries. She's also the author of the Cackleberry Club Mysteries set in rural Minnesota and the Scrapbooking Mysteries, with Terrie Farley Moran, set in New Orleans. We're celebrating the release of her latest Tea Shop Mystery with a fun recipe and some talk about tea. 

Talk to us in the comments for a chance to win a copy of Lavender Blue Murder

LAURA: What fun to be here! And a special thank-you to my cousin Leslie Budewitz for inviting me. (You see, mystery writing really does run in the family.)

In writing the Tea Shop Mysteries – and under the guise of doing copious research – I’ve been lucky enough to visit tea shops around the world. I’ve sipped Japanese green tea and eaten baked sweet potatoes in a little tea shop in Kyoto, Japan. I enjoyed high tea at a five-hundred year-old tea shop in Shanghai, China. And I’ve loved the tea and tea sandwiches that are served at all sorts of cute little Victorian and French-inspired tea shops right here at home.

Tea can be a relaxing meditation of sorts. There’s selecting your type and flavor, infusing fresj tea leaves in water that’s been brought to the perfect temperature (just short of boiling), and then waiting patiently for your tea to steep. When tea is finally ready for sipping, it not only imparts a delicious flavor but also delivers a lovely, relaxing hint of aromatherapy.

But you know the best part about taking tea? It’s the food. Namely the tea sandwiches of which there seem to be an infinite variety. We’re talking tomato and cream cheese, brie and apples, grilled shrimp, salmon and cucumber, shrimp salad, chicken salad, country paté, mortadella, ham and cornbread, prosciutto and fig, roast beef and cheddar, smoked turkey and apple, tuna salad, smoked trout, and blue cheese with pears. If you can dream it, you can make it!

I always include recipes in my books and one of my favorite recipes in Lavender Blue Murder is the one for Hawaiian Tea Sandwiches. I made three dozen of these little darlings recently to take along to a book signing, and every one was snapped up in the first twenty minutes. Yup, they’re that good. So here’s the recipe: 

Hawaiian Tea Sandwiches
 ½ cup crushed pineapple, drained
4 maraschino cherries, chopped
1 pkg. cream cheese (3 oz.), softened
6 slices bread (date-nut works great)
3 slices ham


Combine pineapple, maraschino cherries, and cream cheese.


Spread mixture on all 6 bread slices. Top 3 of the bread slices with ham.


Then add the top slice, trim crusts, and cut into quarters. 
Yields 12 tea sandwiches.



But lest you think I’m all about the food, I serve up a darned exciting murder mystery as well. In fact, here’s a little taste of Lavender Blue Murder:

As tea shop owner Theodosia and her tea sommelier Drayton enjoy a British-style day of shooting at Creekmore Plantation, gunshots explode like Black Cat firecrackers. But the distinctive pop of a handgun sounds too close for comfort. Theodosia wanders into a neighboring lavender field and discovers their host Reginald Doyle bleeding to death. Hours later, a fire rips through the Doyle’s plantation house. A shooting and a fire feel way too coincidental, so Theodosia launches an investigation. Fingers are pointed, suspects abound, and old secrets are revealed even as Reginald’s daughter-in law is missing and presumed drowned. A wild, cross-country chase with more shots fired reveals the killer. This is one of my most action-packed mysteries yet!

And, yes, with all this excitement going on I manage to include descriptions and menus for three different tea parties as well as recipes for cream scones with pear butter, prosciutto puff babies, buttermilk biscuits, London fog lattes, and lots more! So . . . are you hungry yet?

Love,

Laura Childs

Find me on my website or on Facebook at Laura Childs Author

LESLIE: I am ALWAYS hungry for one of my cousin's books! Let's talk tea, sandwiches, Charleston, or anything else Laura's post inspires. Leave a comment, with your email address, for a chance to win a signed copy of Lavender Blue Murder. (US addresses only; winner will be chosen Wed, March 18.)   

58 comments:

  1. Love Laura child’s book would like to read this one.thanks for doing this giveaway. Jcook22@yahoo.com

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  2. Nothing I love better than tea sandwiches and Tea...the thing about the books is that you can't beat Charleston for scenery and all the lovely different kinds of Tea served in China Cups...Just charming...

    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

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    1. So glad you're enjoying the books. Thank you!

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  3. What a treat to find Laura Childs as the contributor today on MLK! I love all of your mysteries, but my special favorites are the tea shop mysteries. sharonquilts@yahoodotcom

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  4. I love this series & the yummy recipes & tea brewing comments. Can't wait to read this latest one! charlenemwilson89@gmail.com

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  5. how fun that you are cousins. oh yes I am hungry now. LOL these are wonderful ideas. i do love my hot tea year round. these would go perfect as snacks with the tea. thanks for sharing. this books cover is lovely. i would love to read one of her books.
    quilting lady 2 at comcast dot net

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  6. Now I'm hungry. That looks good, and so does the book.
    kozo8989(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  7. What a delectable treat. I drink tea daily all year and have always since it is soothing and gives me pleasure. Your wonderful books are so enjoyable. Thank you for your writing. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. I’ve read all the tea books except this one. suefoster109 at gmail dot com

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  9. Taylor R. WilliamsMarch 15, 2020 at 11:58 AM

    Those sound so yummy - can't wait to try them - love this series, thanks for the chance to own one - trwilliams69(at)msn(dot)com

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  10. Love all of your series, but tea mysteries are my favorites! Have this one ordered at the library, but it will be a good while before I get it. To win it would be wonderful! I've got to try this sandwich. Looks delicious! marthajane758 (at) gmail (dot)com

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  11. Laura Childs' tea shop books totally made me a tea junkie. Before I started reading the series I was all 'meh" about tea and her books changed my opinion. Thank you :) I would love love to read this book as well. ddeville14 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. Oh my gosh, how lovely. Thank you. And I'm thrilled that you're now a tea lover!

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  12. This beautiful series is my favorite as hot tea is my mainstay constantly. The tea sandwiches look scrumptious and what I grew up with. Thanks for your great tea books. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  13. Welcome, Laura, and friends! it's a good time to enjoy the restful, healing powers of a good cuppa.

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    1. Thanks so much for having me, Leslie. It's great to be here and so much fun to read all these great posts!

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  14. Yes, yes, yes, I am hungry! And a little jealous. Mystery reading barely runs in my family, much less mystery writing ;-). Great excerpt, great recipes. Thanks for what promises to be another good read and a great giveaway.
    sallycootie(at)gmail(dot)com

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  15. This is probably going to be my favorite of all the books I’ve read of Laura’s due to this phenomenal cover. Besides lavender and purple being a favorite color palate of mine I collect and use English bone China tea cups and some teapots. So this setting is just MY kind of heavenly. I almost opened a tea room with a friend years ago but we couldn’t find the right spot and so decided against it!

    I’d be honored to win this book. Thank you for the giveaway.

    Cynthia Bayer Blain on Facebook for contacting.

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  16. I have always been fascinated by Charleston and hope to visit someday soon. Reading about it is the next best thing to being there.

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    1. Kathy, you would love Charleston. So gorgeous. Which is why I try to capture and paint of bit of its charms in my mysteries.

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    2. Right? Armchair travel is the next best thing!

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  17. I love Laura Childs' Tea Shop Mysteries! Thanks for the chance!

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    1. I forgot to put my email! almaj80(at)suddenlink(dot)net

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  18. I don't know if you need my email but it's kathyclugston3@gmail.com

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  19. I also enjoy visiting tea shops when we travel. One of my favorite ones was when we visited a small town in Scotland. The scones and tea were so delicious. I have all of your books in this series and am looking forward to reading this newest one!
    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

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  20. Laura, the sandwiches are so pretty and the cover for your book is scrumptious. Welcome to MLK. ~ Daryl

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  21. I drink tea, hot and iced. Hey. I live in the South! I've enjoyed a tea with all the goodies to eat in various places. You don't need a meal after that.
    patdupuy@yahoo.com

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  22. I love this series! It makes me feel like I'm in beautiful Charleston having tea. Can't wait to read "Lavender Blue Murder". Thanks for the chance.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  23. I really enjoy this series and can't wait to read this latest book. I am a tea drinker and this sandwich sounds so good. Looking forward to making one and enjoying it while reading this book.

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  24. I've read books in all of Laura Child's various mystery series.I'd love to read this new one, too.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  25. Love all the Tea Shop books and can't wait to read this one.

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    1. Thank you so much Cindy. So glad you're enjoying the books!

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  26. Laura, you had me at maraschino cherries in that recipe! I love them. I'm glad you do so much "research" for your books. It shows and helps the quality of the books. seboggs@comcast.net

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  27. Well this post inspires me to make a reservation for afternoon tea at my favorite tea shop that I haven't visited in a year!
    janestarcher@gmail.com

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  28. Love to read Laura's books and would enjoy winning the newest. Sandwiches sound tasty. I might prepare for an upcoming gathering of needlepoint/stitching friends!!!!

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  29. What a cool sandwich!! Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

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  30. Afternoon tea is always in good taste, don't you think?

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  31. Love this series - have every book and looking forward to reading this one! These books are responsible for me venturing away from coffee...thanks for the chance!

    Jwhite410(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  32. This is one of my favorite mystery series. We like to go on cruises and we enjoy their afternoon teas! lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

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