Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mysterious Friends and. . .Recipes


Malice Domestic. What a perfect name for a mystery conference. . .and a perfect place to reunite with old friends and make new ones. All seven Cozy Chicks gathered in a Hyatt Regency hotel in Washington, DC (actually, just across the line into Bethesda, MD) at the yearly spring gathering of mystery writers and readers from all over the country and abroad. We have loads of wonderful Canadian mystery writers who join with us every year.

The Cozy Chicks gathered for an early Sunday morning breakfast before many of us went to our respective panels. As always whenever the Chicks gather, we talked about all sorts of ideas and projects we're each involved in right now. Sharing our writing experiences with each other is the Chicks strong suit. We learn from each other and help each other. The Writing Profession is challenging, to say the least. . .and it is changing in many ways. It takes all of us to keep track of everything. Believe me, I'm really grateful to my fellow Cozy Chicks. Go, Cozy Chicks!

And, now---the last installment of the Appetizers Hot and Cold. You'll find some trickier ones here and some that are super easy. Enjoy!


Carol Norris -- She calls it "Candied Sausage." Her husband calls it "Heart Attack on a Stick:

1 package Hillshire Farms beef sausage (the long sausage, not ground); ½ package bacon;
1 box brown sugar. Cut the sausage into ½ to ¾ inch pieces. Cut the bacon slices in half. Wrap the half bacon slice around the sausage and secure with a toothpick. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Put the bacon wrapped sausage into a 9 by 13 casserole dish and crumble the brown sugar on top (use the entire box). Cook for 2 ½ - 3 hours, stirring every hour to make sure the sausage gets coated. When the brown sugar has melted and caramelized on the sausages, it is done. Remove to a serving platter (there is a lot of grease produced that is not very appetizing) and serve warm.


Jan Frick -- Hot Appetizer Polish Surprises: 1 pound ground beef; 1 pound hot sausage;
1 pound Velveeta cheese, cubed; 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce; 1 tsp oregano; 1.5 pkgs party rye bread. Brown meats and drain. Mix in pan with cheese to melt. Add seasonings. Spread about 1 tablespoon of mixture per slice of bread. (Can be frozen at this time.) Lay slices on cookie sheet, and bake at 375º for 5 minutes. (If frozen, bake 10 minutes.)

Tammy Hull -- Artichoke Dip: 2 cans of artichokes - drained; 1 cup of mayonnaise;
1 cup of grated parmesan - fresh is best,...Kraft cheese works great too.
2 small cans of green chiles - chopped - fresh roasted hatch chiles add a smokey flavor.

Kathy Kaminski -- Hot Cheesy Garlic Biscuits: 1 tube refrigerated biscuits (the plain type-no flaky layers-10 biscuits to a tube); 1 8 oz. package of your favorite type of brick cheese, such as Cheddar, Colby/Jack, etc. You’ll only use about ¾ of the brick, but it’s always good to have extra to munch on! 2 cloves garlic (or more to taste). Preheat the oven to the temperature specified on the tube of biscuits. Mince the garlic. Slice the cheese into small, bite sized pieces.
Open the tube of biscuits. Take 1 biscuit and roll it out with a rolling pin. (If you’re lazy, flatten it and just spread it out a bit with your fingers.) Place 2 or 3 pieces of the cheese in the center of the flattened biscuit along with a little of the minced garlic. Close the biscuit around the garlic, cheese filling creating a little packet. Don’t use too much cheese, you want to be able to fully close the biscuit. Take a thin slice of cheese (a shaving, really) and place it on top of the seam of the biscuit packet. Do the same thing with each of the remaining biscuits. Place the completed cheesy garlic biscuits on a baking sheet and bake according to the directions on the biscuit tube.
Serve warm.


Nora-Adrienne Deret -- Crunchy Spring Rolls -- The next best thing to fried egg rolls -- without the deep frying.These veggie packed treats will satisfy your cravings. 1-1/2 cups sliced mushrooms 1 cup sliced celery 1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth 1/2 cup red bell pepper, cut into thin strips 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced 2 oz. firm tofu, cut into small pieces 4 egg roll wrappers 1/2 cup bean sprouts 4 romaine lettuce leaves ~~~Sauce~~~ 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce 2 TB green onions, thinly sliced 1. In a medium skillet, combine mushrooms, celery, broth, pepper, and green onions. Sauté over medium heat, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in tofu. Cook, stirring, until liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool completely. 2. To prepare sauce, combine soy sauce and green onion. Mix well. Set aside. 3. Spoon mushroom mixture evenly into center of each wrapper. Place bean sprouts over filling. Brush edges of wrappers with water. Tightly roll up wrappers; press ends together to seal. 4. Spray a wok or large nonstick skillet with vegetable cooking spray. Heat wok over medium heat.Place rolls in wok; cook, turning, until golden and heated through, about 10 minutes. Divide lettuce leaves among plates. Place spring rolls on top. Serve with sauce on the side. Serves 4.