Posts Tagged ‘Death with all the Trimmings’


Posted on January 11, 2016 - by

Hayley Snow Eats Key West: part 3

Lots of folks write to ask me for restaurant recommendations in Key West. I couldn’t do any better than Hayley Snow. So here are a few of her favorites:
Death with All the Trimmings copy 2from DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS:

Kojin Noodle Shop, Southard Street

“Then I roughed out a review of the Kojin Noodle shop–its light and savory dumplings, irresistible cold sesame noodles with shrimp, and the more adventurous pho and dragon bowl. I pulled the container of dumplings out of the bag, offered one to Wally, and then dragged another through a pool of spicy sauce and popped it into my mouth. Instant ecstasy.”

Latitudes, Sunset Key

“I tweaked my lead-in paragraph, which was all about the setting: the short ride across the harbor to Sunset Key on the private people ferry, the palm trees wrapped in Christmas lights, the flickering torches lining the path that lead to the restaurant, the aura of wealth and privilege. Then I moved on to the amazing, spicy, condiment-laden, bloody Mary–thinking I could use one of them before facing Ava. ”

Coles Peace Bakery, Eaton Street

“The lunch rush was in full swing, including a cluster of women ordering holiday pies and platters of Christmas cookies. I wormed my way to the counter, paid, and grabbed my sandwiches. The tantalizing smells of mustard and roasted pork and dill pickles called to me all the way over to the police station.”

Fatal ReservationsFrom FATAL RESERVATIONS:

Firefly, Petronia Street

“My eye caught on pimento cheese with spiced saltine crackers and a plate of fried green tomatoes–was it too early in the day for pimento cheese? My mouth watered at the prospect, which I took as a definitive no. Eric and I did the best we could with all the food that was delivered. The fried chicken with a thin crisp waffle and spicy maple syrup was my favorite, although Eric was crazy about the cheese grits and the kale salad.”

Old Town Bakery, Eaton Street

“I drove by the Old Town Bakery this morning and they had a special sandwich on their chalkboard. Italian with ham, soppressada, basil pesto, fontina, spinach, and tomato. On one of their homemade French bread loaves. Doesn’t that sound like heaven?”
“Absolutely. Dessert?” I asked.
“I’m on a diet,” he said, his voice halting and mournful. “I have to tap everything I eat into this smartphone app that adds the calories up on the spot. I think I’m already over the limit for today.”
“So the chocolate OMG brownie?”

And a few more suggestions:

Pepe’s Café, 806 Caroline Street, homey and cute

The Café, a mostly vegetarian place, 509 Southard Street, love their food, setting isn’t much

Salute! On the beach, 1000 Atlantic Blvd., can’t beat the setting

Coles Peace Artisan Bakery, 1111 Eaton St, carry out yummy sandwiches

Santiago’s Bodega, 207 Petronia St, little plates

Blue Heaven, 729 Thomas St, KW classic, courtyard seating with chickens

El Siboney, 900 Catherine St, homestyle Cuban comfort food, filling but not fancy

And here are a few others in a previous post


Posted on December 16, 2015 - by

Key Lime Parfaits

People look at me with suspicion if I show up somewhere with a key lime dessert (and that’s with some good reason–I did off someone with a key lime pie in AN APPETITE FOR MURDER). But there’s no reason you shouldn’t have this delicious recipe, perfect for a holiday party. They will never suspect a thing…

Beep! Beep! Beep! There’s a calorie alert associated with this recipe. You should not go in with the idea (as I did) that a Key Lime Parfait would be a light dessert because  of the citrus…

With that warning out of the way, here’s the story behind the recipe. The fifth Key West mystery (DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS) features a New York chef who’s just opened a restaurant in Key West. She wants her new menu to reflect some of the tastes and history of the island, and this key lime parfait is one of the desserts she offers. So of course I had to try making one, and this is the result.

Key limes are smaller than regular limes–and here I have to tell the truth–kind of a pain to juice. John helped me and it took all the limes in a pound bag to end up with 1/2 cup of juice. (Next time, I might try the recipe with regular limes.)

INGREDIENTS

5 whole graham crackers, crushed, to make about one cup
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice

key lime zest
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Crush the graham crackers. (Easy way–place the graham crackers in a ziplock bag, seal the bag, and roll them to crumbs with a rolling pin.)

Mix the crumbs with the melted butter and brown sugar. Spread this on a foil-covered baking sheet and bake for ten minutes or until golden. Let this cool, then break into crumbs again.

Meanwhile, whip the cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla. (I used my food processor, which was a snap.) Set half of this aside for the topping.

Mix the condensed milk with the lime juice. The citrus will cause the milk to thicken. Gently stir in one cup of whipped cream.


Now comes the fun part, in which you layer the parts you’ve prepared. I chose wine snifters–next time I would try something taller and thinner, as these servings were BIG.

Layer in some of the baked crumbs, then some of the key lime mixture, and repeat. When you have distributed all the ingredients, top with dollops of whipped cream and sprinkle with more crumbs and some zested lime if you want a stronger flavor.

And then lean back and enjoy the compliments!  (and by way, DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS makes a Perfect Stocking Stuffer!)


Posted on December 27, 2014 - by

Mojitos for the Holiday Season

LUCY BURDETTE: Before visiting Cuba last month, I had never tasted a Mojito, never mind made one. But now it’s my new favorite drink. And I think it would be a perfect holiday libation, what with the red and green coloring–red from the bitters, and green from the mint.

First I’ll take you on a tour of some of the drinks I tasted (all for your benefit of course, in order to bring you home something spectacular.)
Here was the one that was most perfect:


This one was very good too:


This one took the prize for the most bilious color (though I drank it
anyway):

And this was the daiquiri that I was forced to order when the bar was out of mint:

And here’s my recipe:

Ingredients
one lime, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
4 to 5 sprigs mint per glass
2 teaspoons sugar
1 to 2 ounces rum, depending on how strong you want the drink
Club soda
Ice
Bitters

Start by crushing several slices of lime, several slices of lemon, the mint, and 2 teaspoons of sugar in the bottom of an old-fashioned glass. Add the rum and stir. Fill the glass with ice. Fill the ice with club soda. Mix and add a splash of bitters on top.

This might be the perfect drink to sip on while reading a Key West mystery!

Cheers! Merry Christmas! Happy holidays! Happy New Year!


Posted on December 7, 2014 - by

Festive Coconut Shrimp for a Book Launch #recipe @LucyBurdette @penguincozies

LUCY BURDETTE: I am so excited about DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS hitting shelves this week! So of course, I spent a long time thinking about what recipe would be festive enough for the launch of a brand new book.

First I looked at the recipes in the back of the book. But you’d already seen Chef Edel’s cheesy polenta with spring vegetables and Parmesan crisps, as well as the decadent Key lime parfaits, and Hayley’s mom’s spaghetti Bolognese recipe. Obviously, a recipe for hot dog casserole was not up to the big day, LOL.  (Though I did get some fan mail last week in which a reader told me her husband had already made that dish and the whole family gave it a thumbs up!)

Then it hit me – coconut shrimp! In the fifth Key West mystery, Hayley’s mom is working as a caterer at Small Chef at Large for the winter season. (Based on the real-life Jennifer Cornell.) During one of the scenes, they are preparing coconut shrimp for a wedding:

My mother, swathed in a white apron, stood before an eight-burner gas range, fishing shrimp out of boiling oil and placing them on paper towels to drain.
“It smells wonderful in here,” I said. “What’s on the docket tonight?”
“It’s a wedding at the Oldest House on Duval Street,” Mom said. “The bride is a woman after my own heart—after choosing her man, she’s focused her heart and pocketbook on the menu.” Mom clapped her hands. All business.
“Will you taste this sauce, honey?” she asked, clip-clopping across the kitchen in her green clogs to grab two bowls of dipping sauce. “Jennifer usually serves the coconut shrimp with mango chutney, but I was thinking something a little more spicy and Asian might be a fabulous contrast.”
She handed me a small plate containing a piping-hot shrimp coated in a crispy coconut crust.

 

So here’s my attempt to replicate that recipe and celebrate the new book.

Ingredients (dinner for two people, hors d’oeuvres for four)

1/4 pound large Key West pink shrimp, peeled and deveined (You may leave the tails on for a little extra visual oomph)

1/2 cup flour

One egg, beaten

1/2 cup dried unsweetened coconut, with more as needed

Vegetable oil (I use canola)

Prepare the shrimp by washing and peeling and deveining, and then pat them dry. Prepare three shallow bowls, one for the flour, one for the beaten egg, and the third for the coconut. (If you notice in the photo with the raw shrimp, the ones on top are Argentine pinks, while on the bottom are the Key West local pinks. We preferred those!)

Dip the shrimp in flour, then egg, and finally coconut, and set them on a plate until you have prepared all of them.

Now heat the vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed skillet. When the oil is hot, fry them several at a time until they are crispy and brown. This will only take a few minutes.

I served the shrimp with two sauces, one simple mango chutney from a jar.

The other, a combination of 2 tablespoons of Thai sweet chili sauce mixed with 2 tablespoons of orange marmalade.

If you plan to serve these for dinner, add white rice and a green salad.

DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS can be found wherever books are sold.

And big congrats to my Mystery Lovers Kitchen blog sisters, Krista Davis for THE GHOST AND MRS. MEWER and Cleo Coyle for ONCE UPON A GRIND!

DON’T FORGET: Mysteries make great stocking stuffers!


Posted on December 5, 2014 - by

Trimmings is Launched!

This has been a whirlwind week–so exciting to celebrate the launch of a new book. #13 for me–but it never gets old! I thought you might enjoy this interview from Jungle Red Writers…
Today all the Reds are humming Christmas carols and wearing Santa hats to celebrate the launch of Lucy Burdette‘s fifth Key West food critic mystery, DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS. Lucy herself is simply floating so we thought of some questions to ask about the new book…although she did edit out some of our best suggestions like: What do you really think of skate? (Hallie) and Have you ever eaten cod cheek? (Hank)

REDS: Seriously, tell us what are the best–and hardest–things about writing a cozy mystery series?

LUCY: I’ll start with the hardest part: Suspension of disbelief. My readers must be persuaded to suspend disbelief in every way—characters, plot, setting, everything! For example, what business does a food critic have solving murders? Since Hayley Snow’s profession does not explain her involvement with criminal investigation, the sleuthing must evolve because of her relationships with other characters and because of her own personality and history. Challenging!

What I enjoy most is learning more about the characters with each book I write. Do you know that I had no idea Miss Gloria would become such an important character when I started out? A series is always full of surprises…and so is the Key West setting.

REDS: Speaking of relationships, this story has a lot to do with Hayley and her mother. What do you find most interesting about this duo?

LUCY: I love writing about the push and pull of the mother-daughter relationship over time. Hayley is “finding herself” as a true adult, and her mom is revealing herself as a regular person with flaws and fears, not just a mother. I lost my mother when in my early twenties so I think I get extra satisfaction imagining the transition of Hayley and Janet Snow’s relationship–how it changes and matures in ways that I didn’t have the chance to experience.

REDS: What’s so special about Key West during the Christmas season?

LUCY: So many things! It’s funny how just a string of white lights around the trunk of a palm tree looks festive. But Key West does a lot more than that. They hold a lighting decoration contest, a lighted boat parade, the hometown holiday parade..

And don’t let me forget to mention the Winter Wiener Wonderland which is a parade of costumed dachshunds. (I marched in that last year with John and Tonka—we all wore hot dog costumes.) It was so much fun to work all of those events into the book!

REDS: What was the best thing you ate while in training for this writing this book and the book launch?

LUCY:  Now you’re getting to the heart of the matter:). The recipes in the back of the book are mine, except, of course, for the Jungle Red cocktail, which is Susan’s brainchild. And I’m crazy for the Scarlet O’Hara raspberry cupcakes (which are also wonderful with mocha icing…)

Thank you readers for all your support! The new book can be found wherever books are sold, including independent bookstores, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.

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 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 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.


Posted on October 25, 2014 - by

Trouble in Paradise #KeyWest

 

by Lieutenant Steve Torrence from Lucy Burdette‘s Key West food critic mysteries


People seem to have this idea that cops in paradise (the island of Key West in this case) have an easy life. Shovel in a couple of doughnuts, walk along the beach, drink a cup of Cuban coffee, ride our (fill in the blank) cruiser/bike/horse up and down Duval Street–plum assignment right?

What they probably don’t know is that our little island gets a couple million visitors a year. That’s right, a couple million. Spring breakers, New Year’s Eve revelers, FantasyFest attendees–we’ve got a party for every occasion and all the trouble that goes along with that.

We attract a lot of homeless “tourists” too. And believe me, our residents and visitors don’t care to see those folks on the streets. They don’t want to see them panhandling or drinking or sleeping or worse…it’s a delicate balancing act, keeping the peace.

 

The real Steve Torrence

I have a little extra on my plate too, in the form of a new island resident named Hayley Snow. She’s a nice kid, with a nice family–and I’m glad I was able to help out with her brother this spring. But she scares me–she’s gotten the idea that she notices things the way a cop might. And she takes that further than she should.

 

How many ways can I think of to say “stay of out of it” in a nice way? Got any ideas about how to get the message across so she stays safe?


Add caption

MURDER WITH GANACHE, the fourth Key West mystery, is in stores now!

DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS will be out on December 2, but you can pre-order wherever books are sold…

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