Posts Tagged ‘Murder with Ganache’


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 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…

Follow Lucy on Facebook

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And Pinterest.


Posted on September 28, 2014 - by

Best Fudge #Recipe for #Bookclubs


LUCY BURDETTE: At least once a year, we have Book Club Week at one of my group blogs, Mystery Lovers Kitchen. I love book clubs–love belonging and love visiting. And I love recommending books for clubs to consider:). This time around I suggested MURDER WITH GANACHE, the fourth in the Key West food critic mystery series.

As you probably already know, MWG is a cozy mystery starring Hayley Snow, a food critic who lives on a houseboat in Key West. Her extended family is descending on the island like a category 3 hurricane for her best friend’s wedding. When her stepbrother disappears into the spring break party scene, she must put the baking of cupcakes and other wedding chores on hold in order to search for her brother. The book features Hemingway cats, and cupcakes, and wedding drama, but in the end it’s about finding and embracing family in whatever form they come.

If you are going to choose MURDER WITH GANACHE for one of your book club selections this year (and I hope you will–I love this book, and there are so many things to talk about), as the hostess, you must resign yourself to providing something chocolate.

You might choose hot fudge pie or chocolate cake, both swoon-worthy, but here is an easy alternative. This recipe began as Chocolate Nutella Fudge from the Tasty Kitchen–until I read the list of ingredients on the Nutella package. At that point, thinking there must be something better, I searched for a substitute, and found an organic chocolate-hazelnut spread that is really quite incredible.

Nocciolato Fudge

Ingredients

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (make these good quality, as it will show)
1 cup Nocciolato (organic chocolate-hazelnut Spread–I used the whole 9.5 oz jar)
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
½ teaspoon sea salt or pink salt

To make the fudge:

Line an 8 by 8 inch pan with two layers of parchment paper, overlap on the sides.

In a stainless steel bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, chocolate chips, hazelnut spread, and butter.

Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water. (The pan should not touch the water.)

Stir until the chocolate chips are melted and the mixture is smooth, 5 to 7 minutes.

Scrape the mixture into the papered pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with sea salt. (I would have used some of Krista’s pink sea salt if I’d had it on hand–so pretty!)

Refrigerate until the fudge is firm, at least 2 hours. Lift the fudge out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut the fudge into bite-sized pieces and arrange on a pretty plate. Store leftovers (if there are any) in an airtight container in the fridge. This can also be made ahead and frozen.

As for what to discuss while enjoying the fudge, here are some questions to get things going:

1. Hayley’s mother says that “life develops around the kitchen table” and that “kids need to understand how food connects the people in their lives.” Hayley’s stepmom insists that life develops at work–who cares whether a mother uses a cake mix or serves macaroni from a box? Where would you stand in this argument?

2. Hayley’s parents have a disagreement about social justice on the way to the marina. How do you feel about the homeless people as presented in the book? Have you had any personal experience with homeless folks?

3. When Hayley’s brother Rory gets into trouble, the family struggles with how much to tell the police. They wonder whose side the cops are on. How do you think you might react in a similar situation? Would you trust the police to have your interests at heart?

4. Hayley says “Food meant comfort and love and even peace in my family.” If you had to sum it up, what would you say food meant to your family?

5. Hayley tells Rory “I’ve discovered that family has less to do with biology than it does with who cares enough to make the effort.” Does this statement ring true for you? Talk about a person who isn’t a blood relation in your life who feels like family.

6. When spirits are low, Hayley and her mom make comfort food for the extended family–spanakopita and Greek salad and strawberry whipped cream pie. What menu would you design to cheer up a troubled family member or friend?

 If you’d like to read some of the reviews on MURDER WITH GANACHE, you can do that right here. I was completely delighted this spring, when Woman’s World magazine selected MURDER WITH GANACHE as a pick for a foodie book club. As you can see in the photo, they also recommended reading with a daiquiri in hand:).  Sounds like a good idea, right? Recipe here.

And, if you think your book club might like signed postcards from the Key West mysteries, leave a comment today with your email.

Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mystery series. DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS will be on bookshelves on December 2. You can preorder it now, from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite independent bookstore.

Follow Lucy on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

DEADLY ADVICE, the first advice column mystery (written as Roberta Isleib) is finally available as an ebook.


Posted on September 10, 2014 - by

Hayley Snow: A Character’s Work is Never Done @LucyBurdette

by Hayley Snow from Lucy Burdette’s Key West food critic mysteries
As many of you know, MURDER WITH GANACHE was published last February. Hooray! I was very proud of my part in this book. We made it through spring break, a family reunion, and a wedding, and hardly anyone died. I don’t mean to joke about that because murder is a very serious thing and not one bit funny at all.

It’s just that we characters get a little slap-happy sometimes, you know? My writer and I threw a big launch party and visited some book clubs and went all over the world online. And we got some very good publicity too!

Isn’t this the coolest thing ever? It was featured in Woman’s World, the March 10 issue. Of course they didn’t mention me or Evinrude or Miss Gloria, but if the ladies who buy the magazine read the book, they’ll find out soon enough who’s who.

So you might think that I could rest on my laurels for a while–eat some good meals and write up a few easy reviews. But no, that’s not how this mystery business works. We’re on to the fifth Key West adventure–in fact it’s due out in December.

And I found some notes on my writer’s desk that made me very, very nervous. Things like: What would make Hayley’s life more difficult? What would test her physically, emotionally, morally? What might expose her deeper side to the world?

Good gravy, can a character not get a rest? What do you think, how worried should I be?

You can find Lucy Burdette’s Hayley Snow Key West mysteries wherever books are sold. Find out more about the books on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.


Posted on September 4, 2014 - by

Caribbean Salad a la Paseo #KeyWest #Recipe

LUCY BURDETTE: Even Kenny Chesney said it when he performed at a free concert at the Hogs Breath Saloon two years ago: It’s hard to choose healthy foods in Key West! (Actually, I don’t think it’s only Key West–it’s eating out everywhere.)

Anyway, there’s a new restaurant in town that used to be the Paradise Cafe, where we bought our Cafe Con Leche in the morning and our Cuban mix sandwiches at lunch. It’s now called Paseo.

Hayley Snow reviews this restaurant in MURDER WITH GANACHE (2/2014). Of course she has to order a little of everything, including the fat and juicy Caribbean roll and the roast pork dinner. But I always enjoy the Caribbean salad so I decided to try making the dish myself. It’s not only colorful and healthy and easy–it’s delicious!

 

 

Caribbean Salad a la Paseo

2-3 skinned chicken filets
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp sesame oil
4 Tbsp soy sauce

Lettuce
Red cabbage, shredded
Cooked beets, slivered
Cilantro, cleaned and chopped
Avocado
Tomato

Mix together the sugar, sesame oil, and soy sauce, and marinate the chicken filets in a glass bowl–an hour at least or even overnight. Grill the chicken until just done and set aside.

Wash and dry the lettuce, tear into pieces, and put a nice amount on each plate as the bottom layer. (I included some arugula and red leaf lettuce, but Paseo uses romaine.) Cut about a quarter of the red cabbage into slivers and layer than in next. Cut cooked beets into matchsticks and put them on top. Tomatoes and avocado are not part of the Paseo dish, but I added some around the edges. Cut the chicken into strips and place them on top of the salad.

Cover all that with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro, to taste. And serve with vinaigrette.

Vinaigrette: 1 teaspoon French mustard (don’t use the yellow stuff!), 3 tablespoons vinegar (red wine or balsamic), 6 tablespoons good quality olive oil, splash of water. Whisk it all together until emulsified, taste to see if it needs salt.

I bet even Kenny Chesney would love this!

TOPPED CHEF is on bookshelves on now, followed by MURDER WITH GANACHE. DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS is coming December 2 with more Key West adventures and food..

And click here to follow Lucy on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


Posted on August 31, 2014 - by

What’s In the Cards? @LucyBurdette

 

By Lorenzo the Tarot card reader from Lucy Burdette’s Key West Food Critic mysteries

I can’t tell you how often I get this question: Do you tell good fortunes or bad?

I hardly know how to answer, except to say: You draw the cards, and then you allow me to see what’s there. I simply tell you what I see. There’s no such thing as a bad card really, that’s what I try to explain.

Well, one exception maybe. The Tower. People hate to draw the Tower–it scares them, with flames licking and lightening bolts and people flinging themselves out of the building. Some kind of change is coming, that’s what it means.

And my poor friend Hayley Snow, she’s drawn that card more times than I can count. And it freaks her out every time. I’m not talking out of turn when I say that girl finds more trouble than anyone on this island.

But this is always my advice when I see something in her cards that she doesn’t like: There are two worlds, a world of fear and a world of love. And you get to choose which one you’ll live in. 

And second, if you don’t work through your pain, you don’t grow.

Have you had that happen in your life, where something awful leads to something good?

Lucy Burdette’s fourth Key West mystery, MURDER WITH GANACHE, is available wherever books are sold. Follow Lucy on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest


Posted on February 28, 2014 - by

Book Discussion: Cafe con Libros

March 13 at the Key West Public Library, 9:30-11 am


Posted on February 20, 2014 - by

Press on Murder with Ganache

 Thrilled to death with the reviews that have been coming in for MURDER WITH GANACHE:

Polar Vortex be damned!  Reading Murder with Ganache by Lucy Burdette is like reaching into a pre-heated oven for a dish that is seasoned with all the correct ingredients – mystery, romance, family conflict and food.  Readers just know that each morsel is going to taste scrumptious and they will soon be back at the buffet longing for another helping. BOLO books

Lucy Burdette gives depth to this book by dissecting the modern family in all its divorce, remarry, reshape, share kids, make nice, stay enraged, give up, try again glory and gloom. Hayley’s caring yet determined nature often provides the healing salve that lowers the anxiety level and heals torn relationships. The author’s background as a clinical psychologist clearly enriches her handling of this material.

The constant charms in the Key West Food Critic Mystery books are, as one might expect, the attention to Key West and the attention to food — as nourishment, me delight, art, business and social lubricant.

Phil Jason, Florida Weekly,

So, in conclusion, a book escape to add to your weekend rotation, among other titles, that is as good as it looks and twice as sweet.  The story line will make you care what happens to our cast of characters and their furry friends help lighten the mood along the way.  A perfect read for teen readers and beyond; it’s clean, it’s fun, it’s as the name implies, cozy….so cozy on up to it and enjoy a reading experience chock full of fun and spirit that can’t be ignored.  Insatiable Readers

It really helped that the characters were strong.  I had no trouble keeping any of the cast and their relationships straight as I progressed through the book.  They all felt real, and I truly cared about the outcome.

The plot was also strong.  I was enjoying things even before Rory disappeared, and once that happened, I had a hard time putting the book down.  The twists were great, and the fact that I liked the characters truly made it even harder to put down. Carstairs considers

In this compelling mystery Burdette successfully balances the serious topics of homeless youth and divided families with bad tourist cuisine, excellent cooking, and a mother’s quest to find true love for her daughter. Hayley may lose her mind, her job, and possibly her life, but she will always have her family’s love. Not to mention an appreciation of excellent food. Kings River Life

But Hayley Snow is beyond easy to root for. In Murder with Ganache, Burdette once again shows that she’s as skillful at spinning a yarn as her protagonist is at baking pastries. And unmasking killers.  Florida Book Review

I thoroughly enjoyed this fast-paced, fun mystery, the tropical setting, and the completely calorie-free guilty pleasure of reading about some amazing food (recipes are included in the back of the book) and, of course, the cats. If you can’t afford to go away for spring break, this book is the second-best thing.  Ingrid at the Conscious Cat

Lucy Burdette skillfully brings all those elements together in a strong mystery that manages to showcase Key West and food while bemoaning the tragic loss of a young girl. Lesa’s Book Critiques

This page-turner kept me up half the night – I had to finish reading this book. Lucy Burdette does not disappoint. This has to be my favorite book in the series. The author has also provided some very yummy recipes. So, if you like your mystery with a little Key West Style, then you should be reading Murder with Ganache. Myshelf.com


Posted on January 24, 2014 - by

Press Release: MURDER WITH GANACHE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 22, 2014

Key West People and Places Populate New Culinary Murder Mystery

Lucy Burdette’s fourth Key West food critic mystery, MURDER WITH GANACHE (NAL/Obsidian,) features the spring break party scene, a beach wedding gone awry, and a dangerous case of missing teenagers. As in her other books, Burdette populates her fictional story with real life characters and Key West locations. Readers will recognize places like the Hemingway House, Paseo restaurant, Project Lighthouse, Salute, the Casa Marina, and a clue discovered on the Courthouse Deli bench’s Facebook page.

“People enjoy reading about places they’ve been and food they’ve eaten,” Burdette explains. “Plus, I had fun weaving in my experience in the Citizens’ Police Academy last spring. Details of the main character’s ride-along with a police officer and experience with a SWAT team rescue came from those sessions.”

The Key West mystery series stars Hayley Snow, a food critic who lives on a houseboat at Tarpon Pier. In MURDER WITH GANACHE, her extended family is descending on the island like a category 3 hurricane for her best friend’s wedding. When her stepbrother disappears into the spring break party scene, she must put the baking of cupcakes and other wedding chores on hold in order to search for the missing teen. Says Burdette: “The book features Hemingway cats, and cupcakes, and wedding drama, but in the end it’s about finding and embracing family in whatever form they come.”

Lucy Burdette is the pen name for Roberta Isleib, who is a resident of Key West. This is Isleib/Burdette’s twelfth published mystery. Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She is a past president of Sisters in Crime.

Burdette will be celebrating the book’s launch with a happy hour book signing at Kelly’s Muse, 301 Whitehead street on Wednesday February 5 from 5 to 7. She will also be the featured speaker at the Cafe con Libros series on March 13, 9:30 to 11 am at the Key West library.

For personal interview or more details, email Roberta Isleib (Lucy Burdette) lucyburdette at gmail dot com


Posted on January 15, 2014 - by

MURDER WITH GANACHE Book Launch Party

Everyone is invited to a book launch party/happy hour for MURDER WITH GANACHE on February 5 from 5 to 7 pm at Kelly’s Muse, 301 Caroline Street, Key West. Author copies arrived yesterday–that means the books will be in stores soon…and the cover is even prettier than I imagined!

Author copies of Murder with Ganache



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