Archive for November, 2014


Posted on November 30, 2014 - by

Sour Cream Scallion Biscuits #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: These are what I call special occasion biscuits, because they are loaded with butter and sour cream, so you wouldn’t want to eat them every day. Not that you’ll have the chance, because they are most likely to be snapped up right after you serve them. They are definitely lovely enough to find a place on your holiday table, but could also accompany a hearty soup–and call that dinner!

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
four scallions, cleaned and chopped
one half teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp or so of milk as needed
  

Measure the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the chopped scallions and mix well. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Now add the the sour cream and stir lightly until the mixture is moistened and holds together in a shaggy dough. You may need to add a tablespoon of milk, if the mixture is too dry.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times, then shape into a rectangle about one inch thick.

Cut the dough into squares, to make the size you like. I made 12 biscuits out of this dough. Place them on greased baking sheet with room to grow. Bake at 450 until golden, about nine minutes.

Serve hot with more butter, and honey if you like!

And don’t forget, DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS will hit bookshelves on December 2–just in time for Christmas stockings! You can preorder the book here.

(PS, we’re really excited about the first review: Burdette infuses the mystery with Key West spirit and holiday fun along with delicious food references and recipes. This strong series continues a unique blend of island mayhem and sparkling characters surrounding a layered mystery. )

 Booklist, December 1, 2014


Posted on November 20, 2014 - by

Crab Cakes #Recipe for #Cat Week–and a #Haiku @LucyBurdette

CAT HAIKU by Lucy Burdette, in honor of Yoda on Cat Week!

White whiskers on gray
Purr box sputtering to life
What else but Cat Week

LUCY BURDETTE: You might reasonably ask, what the heck was Cat Week? And why was it happening at Mystery Lovers Kitchen?

Cats are smart and secretive and mysterious and quiet stalkers–and yet so adorable that we forgive them anything. And so they go together with cozies like butter with hot biscuits, or chocolate cake with cold milk, or fresh tomatoes with basil and olive oil… You get the picture!

I’ve had a cat in my life ever since the year I turned 13. I was desperate for a date with Mickey Dolenz for my birthday, but my mother was smart enough to give me a kitten instead. (Yoda, seen above doing his best trick, is our current feline denizen.) All my fictional characters have had cats too–Cassie had Cashbox, and Dr. Rebecca Butterman had Spencer, and Hayley has Evinrude, of course!

Evinrude posing for DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS

We each put our own special spin on Cat Week, but to my mind this theme cried out for a fishy recipe. Yoda the cat loves tuna fish, so I thought he would love crab meat too. And that would give me the chance to snap a photo of him eating daintily from a treasured crystal goblet that belonged to my mother. Right?

Wrong.

He’s a cat after all, so this is the closest he came to posing.

Now on to the recipe…

Yoda’s Crab Cakes

Ingredients

One pound crab meat, picked over to remove bits of shell

1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

Two scallions, finely minced

One half small hot pepper, minced

1/4 teaspoon celery salt

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon red and black cracked pepper

About 4 tablespoons mayonnaise

One egg, well beaten


Mix the first seven ingredients, from crab meat to pepper. Then begin adding a tablespoon of mayonnaise at a time until the mixture seems wet enough for you. Add the beaten egg.

Shape the crab mixture into cakes. This should make about eight.


Heat a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add four crab cakes at a time. Sauté them until brown, then flip and continue to sauté the other side.


Keep the first crab cakes warm while you are preparing the next four. Serve with cocktail sauce (one part horseradish to two parts ketchup) and coleslaw.

Purrfectly delicious!

Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. Murder with Ganache is in stores now.

Death with All the Trimmings will be on bookshelves December 2. Pre-order it here.

 

Yoda the cat says: “Buy the darn books so she can get off my case and keep me in catnip.”


Posted on November 17, 2014 - by

What I’m Writing @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: After I describe what I’ve been up to, you might wonder that I’ve written anything in the last two months.

As you know by now, DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS will be published on December 2. (Pre-order link right here!) The modern way to publicize a new book, especially a cozy mystery, seems to be the blog tour. So I’ve been writing blogs—lots of them—about Christmas in Key West, writing a foodie character, why I love cozy mysteries, and a day in the life of Hayley Snow, just to name a few.

Lucy Burdette and John Talbot

Three of us Reds also had a fantastic long weekend at the New England Crimebake, a conference founded to celebrate crime fiction, especially from New England. I had the honor of co-teaching a class with agent John Talbot on writing and selling the mystery series, doing manuscript critiques for aspiring writers, and attending many wonderful panels.

Angelos Pompano, Lucy, Craig Johnson, Chris Falcone

We all enjoyed the folksy humor and good nature of our guest of honor, Craig Johnson.

And then we wrung out our tension by learning line dances in our best Western garb! That’s me in the cow skirt, with Hank and her hub, the hanging judge. He’s such a good sport…

Lucy with Lorenzo, aka Ron

But woven around all these activities, I’ve been working on the sixth food critic mystery, called FATAL RESERVATIONS. I tried to take a little of my own writing advice, LOL, and think deep and long about Hayley’s stake in a sixth mystery. Why would it be her business to get involved in solving yet one more crime? Why does she care? And who would listen to a food critic’s suggestions about clues and suspects anyway? The answer came from finding one of her Key West friends in trouble—Lorenzo, who reads tarot cards at the sunset celebration every night on Mallory Square. Here’s a little snippet:

A noisy rustling burst out in the audience and the man with the palm frond hat staggered up toward the podium, shouting. “You people have been looking for any excuse to take over. Damn it, this is none of your business! The trouble with the Artistic Damn Preservation Society is right here in this room.” He spun around to point a shaky finger at a tall man several rows behind me: my friend, the tarot card reader. Lorenzo.
“You need to sit down or you’ll be removed from the premises,” said Commissioner Greenleigh. But the palm hat man darted down the center aisle, heading for Lorenzo. He flung himself across two startled women and circled his hands around my friend’s neck. Lieutenant Torrence and a uniformed cop yanked him off Lorenzo, whipped his hands behind his back, and cuffed them. He fought and cursed as they ushered him out of the room and down the stairs.
“Are you all right, sir?” the mayor asked Lorenzo.
“I think so.” Pulling a white handkerchief from his pants pocket, he patted his face and neck, now mottled red, and smoothed his hair.
“If you’re able to speak, sir, it’s your turn at the microphone,” said the mayor.
Lorenzo nodded, adjusted his collar, and came forward. By dress alone, he stood out from most everyone in attendance: long-sleeved white shirt, high-waisted black pants, black tie. All very proper and distinguished. But his face shone in the spotlight and large damp circles spread from his underarms to the body of his shirt. He looked very hot. And rattled.

And that’s only the beginning of his troubles…

Before I get back to working on the story, I can’t help sharing this advance review of DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS, from Booklist:

Burdette infuses the mystery with Key West spirit and holiday fun along with delicious food references and recipes. This strong series continues a unique blend of island mayhem and sparkling characters surrounding a layered mystery. Fans of Julie Hyzy and Laura Childs may also enjoy.

Readers, picture me dancing…


Posted on November 13, 2014 - by

Chicken and Dumplings with a Tex-Mex Twist #recipe

 

Chicken and Dumplings in Tomatillo Sauce

When I’m looking over recipes, I seem to vacillate between garden vegetables to decadent cakes, with comfort food in between.

Now that I’m headed toward the launch of DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS, I’m in the comfort food phase. If you happen to have some frozen green tomatillo sauce, this recipe is so easy. Also easy to whip that sauce up, so if you see tomatillos in the supermarket, grab them! I’ll link to the recipe for the sauce below. This is chicken and dumplings with a Tex-Mex twist–oh my mouth is watering…

Ingredients

Half a cooked chicken deboned and broken into pieces (could also use leftover turkey, about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups salsa Verde, also called tomatillo sauce *See Cook’s note
1/2 cup milk

Dumpling ingredients

1 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
One and a half cups all-purpose flour unbleached
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
One bunch scallions, cleaned and sliced
One handful (about 1/4 cup) fresh cilantro, chopped

To make the chicken, melt the butter in a large saucepan, and stir in the flour to make a paste. Cook for a minute or two longer, being careful not to burn the butter or flour.

Mix in the half cup milk and stir until slightly thickened. Then add the salsa Verde and cook a little longer, until the mixture is bubbling and thick. Add the chicken pieces. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 400.

To make the dumplings :

In a medium pan over low heat, heat the milk and butter until steaming. Then stir in the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, scallions, and cilantro.

 

Pour the hot salsa Verde and chicken mixture into a well buttered Pyrex bowl. Drop hunks of dough into the chicken. Cover the casserole and bake until the dumplings are cooked through. This may take 20 to 25 minutes. Keep checking.

*Cook’s note: I’ve made a similar recipe using jarred green salsa and it was salty to the point of being inedible. So, worth it to make the salsa yourself if you can find the tomatillos. Recipe here.

 

DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS will be out on December 2, just in time for Christmas stockings!

Pre-order it here.

 

 


Posted on November 8, 2014 - by

Surviving the Holidaze @LucyBurdette #recipe

Blog by Dr. Rebecca Butterman from Roberta Isleib’s (aka Lucy Burdette’s) advice column mysteries

My name is Dr. Rebecca Butterman. I’m a psychologist and I also write an advice column for the brokenhearted readers of Bloom! magazine. Family dysfunction? I know about this both professionally and personally LOL.

And don’t you find that the holiday season sometimes makes problems feel worse? Hollywood movies and Norman Rockwell paintings twist us up by having us believe that everything should be perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s and Hanukkah. The holidaze, I like to call them.  You pull together full-grown members of a family and put them in close contact for days—they are going to fall back into ugly, old patterns. I promise you that!

Even my friends at our picture-perfect church on the town green aren’t exempt from problems. I found that out recently when our minister called me at midnight to talk about the death and possible murder of another church member. Whoa! And naturally, he wants me to help figure things out.

Some people wonder how I—being a professional—handle my stress. One of my favorite distractions is cooking. It doesn’t have to be fancy, as long as it’s good old-fashioned comfort food.

Here’s my easy recipe for baked apples, which will make your house smell like you’ve scored the best of Christmas. And make your stomach happy and turn your heart in that direction, too.

This recipe serves two, but it’s easy to double or triple it up.

Ingredients:

Two of your favorite apples (I like Mcintosh or Macoun)
2 tablespoons butter
2 to 3 tablespoons rolled oats
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Half a teaspoon cinnamon

Core the apples, making sure not to cut all the way through to the bottom. In a small bowl, mix the butter, oats, sugar, and cinnamon well. Divide the mixture into two parts and stuff into the apples. Bake for about 45 minutes in a 350 oven, until the filling is crispy and bubbling, and the apples soft. You can add ice cream or whipped cream if you wish, but I find these apples are perfect by themselves.

The first advice column mystery, DEADLY ADVICE, is also available as an ebook. And Lucy Burdette’s fifth Key West mystery, DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS will be in bookstores December 2. You can preorder it now!

More breaking news! If you *forgot* to buy your ebook copy of AN APPETITE FOR MURDER, it’s on sale for $1.99 through the weekend!

Here’s the Amazon link, and here’s the link for Barnes and Noble.



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