Saturday, May 28, 2016

PEACH SLAB PIE RECIPE FROM ALI BLAKE

By Mary Kennedy

                                                                         

Hi everyone! Ali Blake from the Dream Club Mysteries here. We're busy as ever at Oldies But Goodies,and now that summer is here, we're getting ready to add Peach Slab Pie to the menu. You know what a slab pie is, right? You don't need a fork or plate to eat it. We just cut off a square and plop it on a cardboard "to go" plate and the customers go on their merry way. It's one of our most popular "hand held" desserts.  It's perfect for a quick snack when you really want to get back to strolling along the Riverfront, visiting a Savannah mansion, or soaking up the sun at Forsythe Square. And you don't have to wait for "peach season," you can use frozen peaches, as I explained in the recipe below.

                                                                           

The recipe is super-easy. Here goes.

Ingredients

1
box Pillsbury™ refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
3/4
cup packed brown sugar
1/4
cup cornstarch
2
tablespoons lemon juice 
9
cups fresh peaches (or you can use frozen sliced peaches, thawed and drained from four 10-oz bags) 
1/2
roll Pillsbury™ refrigerated sugar cookies
DIRECTIONS 

 Preheat over to 400 degrees. In large bowl, mix brown sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Stir in peaches to coat.  Roll out pie crusts to fit a 10 by 16 inch pan or baking dish. Spoon mixture into crust-lined pan.  Break cookie dough half into coarse crumbs; sprinkle evenly over filling. (Wrap and refrigerate other half of cookie dough for another use.)  Put pie in oven and immediately reduce heat to 375 degrees. Bake 50 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cook for 20 minutes, cut into squares and serve. Serves 10 to 16 as "hand-held" or large brownie size portions.

                                                                           

Now the best part. If the customers decide to eat in, at one of our little umbrella tables, I top the pie with whipped cream (or cinnamon ice cream).  It's also delicious plain and easier to carry in the "to go" version. 
                                                                                  

I hope you try this delicious recipe!! Bon appetit and thanks for stopping by. In case you'd like to learn more about the Dream Club and what Ali and Taylor are up to, the paperback version of book 3, A Premonition of Murder, is available for pre-order, right now, and it's on sale for $5.92. 

                                                                                    
                                                                             

Mary Kennedy

Friday, May 27, 2016

Spring = Rhubarb Season!!!

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

My mother always grew rhubarb. I admit, I wasn't a convert until I made rhubarb crisp for Mr. L (and my parents). Rhubarb tends to be bitter, but put enough sugar in it and it's De-Lish!  So if you come across rhubarb (and now I have a very nice stand of it in my own yard thanks to transplanting parts of the crop from my mother's yard), it's time to make not only my favorite rhubarb chutney, but also rhubarb crisp.

3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 cups sliced fresh rhubarb or frozen rhubarb, thawed
1 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, optional

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add the rhubarb and toss to coat. Spoon into an 8-inch square baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, butter, flour and cinnamon until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over fruit. Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly and fruit is tender. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream if desired.

Yield: 8 servings

Do you have a favorite rhubarb recipe?  If so -- please share!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

THE MIDNIGHT VISITOR







MJ here. I was away this past weekend at the best college reunion ever—reports to follow next week— and returned home all mellow and well-fed and happy, to discover that the dogs had encountered their nemesis. 


Let’s step back and say that there is a policy about not letting the dogs dash forth into the blackness ahead of the human.  However, this policy appears not to have been enforced in my absence.  The human (for the sake of anonymity, we’ll call him “Dad”) was carting a collection of plastic containers to the recycle box when the pooches shot by him.  The signs of excitement had been there, may I add. As well, there had been indications of a skunk.  I had been suspecting a certain neighbor smoking dope, although others preferred the skunk theory.

Dad described the Sunday midnight incident, including dialogue. All the dialogue went like this: NO NO NO!

Daisy and Lily vanished into the bush.  NO NO NO! Seconds later a panicked skunk fled and bolted between “Dad’s” legs.   I will try to refrain from mentioning that the commands WAIT! And STAY! appear not to have been employed.  Seconds after the skunk raced between “Dad’s” legs, Lily dashed between “Dad’s” legs followed by Daisy. They probably figured they would finally catch up with a squirrel.  NO NO NO!  By this time plastic containers were scattered all over the lawn. 

The pooches cornered the poor skunk,  by the large rock, and naturally misinterpreted the cues of  the white stripe, the back turned and the lifted tail. NO NO NO!

Lily got it full force.  “Dad” couldn’t let her back in the house, until he had Googled some remedies on his tablet (I am not making this up). The dogs wailed at the door until he found that tomato juice and vinegar are effective.  Of course, we didn’t have tomato juice.  He mixed up a combo of pasta sauce and cider vinegar and bathed Lily before she could be let in again.  She was well and truly rinsed  (and probably delicious) before re-entry.  Hours later, the household got to sleep.  Don’t ask me where “Dad” let the traumatized Lily sleep. I’d be embarrassed to tell you.  Let’s just say it’s my bed too and I wasn’t there to get a vote. 

You’ll be glad to know that neither dog has suffered any ill effects (naturally it was Victoria Day and the vet was closed). Daisy and Lily would absolutely do the same thing in a heartbeat.  All luckily our sofas, chairs and bed had cuddly dog blankets on them, since washed with Nature's Miracle Skunk Odor Remover. The pooches had a second bath with that. They still are pretty aromatic and as a household though, we do really still reek.  You get a bit used to it, so I am really glad I have no meetings set up for the next few days. Victoria and I are off to an awards banquet on Friday (The Marsh Madness is nominated) and we may be doused in Febreeze.

 
Here are the girls, happily sleeping it off under my desk.  Gee, thanks.


I have heard that spraying is not good for skunks and if you ask me, the little “Mouffette”  (French for skunk as skunk as now a bad word here) was the only innocent party in this whole fracas. 

Why not come by and tell us your skunk successes and horror stories?  Sympathy for the skunk or “Dad” and dogs also accepted.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Fun in the Sun

Duffy Brown here and ready to celebrate summer. This week is Memorial Day and the official kickoff of long days of sunshine.

I just love summer...heat and all. Bring it on. I love being out in the sun and opening windows and letting in fresh air. Temps have to hit 92 before I turn on the AC. I just remember all those days cooped up inside with the windows closed and freezing outside and try to soak up as much of summer as possible while it’s here.

This is the season of planting my garden and picking flowers for inside. It’s the season of fresh fruit. Watermelon, cantaloupe, cherries, peaches right off the tree and this year is apple year at my house and I can pick them right off my very own tree. Is there anything more fun than that!


It’s time to get out the bike and bike rack for some great rides not so close to home. It’s time to get out the grill and toss on burgers and veggies and hotdogs.


We had sailboats for years and Memorial Day marked the beginning of sailing season. Every Sunday the whole family sailed. I think it’s one of the main reasons my kids are so close today.

So what is your favorite thing about summer? What are you looking forward to the most? Dragging out the grill? Biking? Fresh right-off-the-vine fruits and veggie? Windows wide open?  

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

KNIT TO BE TIED

by Maggie Sefton



It's hard to believe, but the 14th Kelly Flynn mystery novel will be released in about two weeks on the 7th of June.  Yes, you read that right.  This book is the 14th Kelly Flynn mystery.  Wow.  That even surprises me.  Kelly and the Gang have had so many adventures over the past eleven years since the very first Kelly Flynn---KNIT ONE, KILL TWO---appeared on the scene.   Killers, victims, suspects.  All kinds.  We've truly had the Good, the Bad, and the Innocent in the Kelly Flynn mysteries.  And that's true for #14, the latest mystery----KNIT TO BE TIED.  Here's a a brief blurb description-----



Kelly Flynn and her friends at the Lambspun knitting shop in Fort Connor, Colorado are welcoming a new face into the fold. Shy, sweet, and pregnant Nancy Marsted would like to knit a baby hat, and the Lambspun knitters are more than happy to show her the ropes. They soon learn the father of Nancy’s baby isn’t quite the man she dreamed he was. Far from it.  Then one dark night a speeding car fatally mows down the dad-to-be and strikes a cyclist, who’s a friend of Kelly’s.  There are no clues to the driver’s identity. Everyone worries that a crazed killer is on the loose. Now it’s up to Kelly to try to discover who the culprit is before he’s driven to kill again.



Monday, May 23, 2016

FRENCH CREPES--OOH, LA LA!

By Mary Kennedy                               
 
As many of you know, I went to Paris last summer with my son (who took this fabulous picture of the Eiffel Tower.) Paris was as marvelous as ever and I re-discovered one of my favorite French treats--crepes! I say re-discovered because I went to college in Grenoble eons ago and loved crepes back then, too.
 
A lot of folks think crepes are for dessert...and they're certainly delish served with berries and whipped cream.
                                                               
 
You can also add cherries...and sprinkle with powdered sugar...
 
You can drizzle them with chocolate, add ice cream, or whatever filling you like...
 
 
Today, I'd like to tell you how to make wonderful "dinner" crepes. They have no sugar, are light and delicious and I filled mine with roast veggies and rice. This is basic, very simple recipe, so let's get started. This is what the finished product will look like.
 
 
Here's the recipe. (Told you it was easy!)
 
Crepes (makes 3). I used a nine inch diameter crepe pan, and no fancy gadgets.
 
Ingredients:
 
I cup flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
 
Directions:
Mix eggs and flour. Add all other ingredients. Stir. There may be a few lumps, don't worry about them. Heat a crepe pan on high heat (a crepe pan looks like a little frying pan, nearly flat. You can buy them on Amazon, not expensive at all. They sell fancy crepe-makers. You don't need one, a pan is fine.) Melt some butter or cooking oil in the pan and pour in 1/2 cup of the mixture. Cook the crepe for about a minute or so and then loosen the edge and flip to the other side. Cook for about another minute. Now, reduce the heat a little and cook the next crepe the same way. Reduce the heat a little more and cook the third. These burn easily, so be careful!
 
Filling for a (veggie) dinner crepe.  I had a big pan of roasted veggies in the fridge (red and yellow peppers, chopped broccoli, etc) and I added some sautéed mushrooms. Then I added some cooked, leftover wild rice mixed with a little sour cream.  Put filling in a line in the center of the crepe and fold both edges in.  You really can use whatever you have. You can use quinoa or couscous instead of rice.  It helps if the rice is moist, so sometimes I use Rice a Roni.  Place the crepes seam side down to serve. You can re-heat these in microwave if they get cool while you are filling them.
                                                        
 
I also made a cheese sauce to go with them. Just melt some flour and butter in a heavy bottom pan and stir to make a roux. Now add some milk and grated (or small chunks) of cheddar and keep stirring. Add a little ground mustard if you like. Pour on top of the crepes. You can top with a little parsley or chives if you have any on hand.
                                                          
 
The recipe listed above will make three crepes and since I tend to use a lot of stuffing, one and a half crepes per person is plenty. They are also good as leftovers (if you are lucky enough to have any!)
 
I hope you try this recipe and let me know what you think! Bon appetit!
 
Mary Kennedy

o


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Getting To Know You…

Hello. Shelley Giusti ­
Thanks so much for talking time to be interviewed. Nothing more fun than getting to know those we chat with online.

Where do you live now? 
Erie Pennsylvania

 Pets? Kids? Hobby? 
I have a sassy Yorkie named Bella, who believes she is a princess. My hobbies are knitting and crocheting( more so on the crocheting part lately) and cross stitching. Getting together with my crochets friends on Tuesday Night. And I have two adult kids.

  ­Upcoming plans?
 This years plans are a trip to D.C., Ohio and North Carolina. It is also the year the Tall Ships come back so we will be going to that this year.

 What do you do for fun?
 I like to go to the movies and when I can be outside walking by the lake and a lot of reading outside( well maybe not until summer)

 Do you travel? . Got a fav place? 
I do travel and my favorite place is going to D.C There is so much to see there and no matter how many times I go I still haven’t seen it all yet.

 How did you come to reading mysteries?
 It was about 15 years ago and I happened to be at Borders (when they were still around) .My first novel I read was One for the Money by Janet Evanovich and it grew from there, I got introduced to Cozy Mysteries and fell in love with the books and wanted more. I do read other genres and authors, Mary Higgins Clark , Brad Thor etc. ­

Do you have a fav mystery show? Movie? 
The Artful Detective has been one of my favorites and I love Miss Fisher. 

 Do you have a fav book that you reread from time to time? 
Anything by Agatha Christie , I have read several of hers a few times. ­

Do you remember the first mystery you read? 
That would be One for the Money by Janet Evanovich.

 Is there a character in a book or movie that you’d like to pal around with? 
For sure Miss Fisher. ­

Tell us anything else about yourself. We all love meeting new friends. I am a book blogger and reviewer I host a Cozy Mystery Book Club and a craft corner at our local Library. I have had the pleasure of meeting so many of my favorite Cozy authors at Malice and full filled two bucket list wishes. One to meet Tonya Kappes in person and the other was to go to Lambspun yarn shop from Maggie Seftons books in Fort Collins Colorado.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

SPOTLIGHT ON: Truffle and Sweet Marie


Introduced by Mary Jane Maffini

Please meet Truffle and Sweet Marie, the rescued miniature dachshunds from the Charlotte Adams, professional organizer mysteries. Um, they'd like to speak for themselves.




Greetings.  We hope you bring treats.  We are Truffle and Sweet Marie, miniature dachshunds who own Charlotte Adams.  We are what they call a ‘bonded pair’ and we had been abandoned on a median on the highway when Charlotte spotted us. We were very afraid of all the speeding cars and the noise. 
  
Charlotte was able to figure out how to get us into her car and home to her apartment.  Treats were involved. Charlotte named us for chocolate. Truffle is black and tan and reminds Charlotte of dark chocolate truffles.  Sweet Marie is brown (dachshund people say ‘red’), but brown.  Charlotte called her after a Canadian chocolate bar that she was fond of.  It didn’t take long for us to settle in and help Charlotte improve her life. 

Our author, Mary Jane Maffini, says that we are a lot like her princess dachshunds, Daisy and Lily, but we believe we are unique. 

For one thing, Truffle is a boy and would never have a name like Lily. 

No one from our other home was looking for us.  That was good, because we didn’t want to go back to where we were before.  Ever.  And they were the people who left us on the highway.  We like it here in the second floor apartment of the big yellow house.   We like to sleep on the sofa. And play on the bed.  

 And we like Charlotte’s pillows.

 We’re not sure about the cat downstairs, but you can’t have everything.   

Charlotte is very kind, but doesn’t realize always that we want her to stay with us all the time. She brings us along when she meets her friends, but sometimes she insists on going ‘to work’.  What’s that about?  We are here and needing treats or a drive or a walk or a pat.  We let her know. 

We know that Charlotte is in books and we are trying to figure out how to read them.  It won't be long now!


 
We do know what's in some of the books. In Organize Your Corpses she took us to work with her.



 We are little (about twelve beautiful pounds each) and we fit in the passenger seat of her Mazda Miata perfectly. We would like to drive it, but that’s apparently not in the cards. 
 

That time when Charlotte was meeting her client, the very scary retired high school teacher. Helen ‘Hellfire’ Henley, we were able to dash through the door of the big old house with all the mess everywhere and find ….  Well, we’re not supposed to mention what we found because it might ruin the set-up, whatever a set-up is.   We weren’t allowed back ‘to work’ for a while after that.


Another really scary time, in The Cluttered Corpse, we actually saved Charlotte’s life when she was trapped in a very bad, dangerous place surrounded broken … oh right. Another secret. 
We think we would make very good detectives. We have the fedoras!  




 Charlotte isn’t sure. 

But she has been training us to be therapy dogs and we plan to surprise her by doing all the right things at the right time when we are asked to.  We think that will bring lots of treats.  Maybe you think we can’t do it.  May we suggest that you find out in The Busy Woman’s Guide to Murder. 

We are taking hundred dollar bets!  You could pay up in … oops!  Here she comes.  We’re out of here.  


Until the next time!
Big kisses!
Truffle and Sweet Marie

MJ here!  I hope you enjoyed meeting Truffle and Sweet Marie.  I will be without internet on the weekend so won't be able to respond to your comments, but will check them out later.  Hugs to all!