Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Sweet Potato, Legumes, and Rice #vegan

We had a baked sweet potato left over, so we had this for supper:

That's Jasmine rice under the black-eyed peas and onions.

I slipped the skin off the sweet potato, sliced it thickly, and coated the slices with flour. Then I melted some vegan margarine and browned the slices on both sides.

MOST delicious!

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, January 23, 2015

Something New Is Cooking!

I'm going to be doing a Southern Cafe Mystery Series. The first book in the series is titled SOUTHERN FRIED FATALITY and will feature back-of-the-book recipes. One such recipe is for Oatmeal Pie. I thought of Oatmeal Pie because I remember going into a neighbor's house when I was a little girl, and she had oatmeal pies baking in the oven. They smelled heavenly. I never got to taste the pie, but I wanted to really bad! Until then, I thought only Little Debbie made oatmeal pies.

Do you have another Southern recipe you think Southern Cafe Mystery readers would enjoy? If you (or someone you know) have a recipe you would like to have printed in an upcoming book (with a shout-out to you in the acknowledgements), please submit the recipe in an email (gayle@gayletrent.com) with the subject line "Recipe." 

You might be wondering why you'd go to all that trouble for a mere acknowledgement. Well, as they say on TV informercials, "But Wait!" If your original recipe is chosen for inclusion in the book, you'll receive a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book upon publication. "And That's Not All! (I'm still in infomercial mode.) If you send in a recipe that isn't chosen for the first book in the series but makes it into the next book, the same deal applies. You'll receive the acknowledgement, the $25 Amazon gift card, and a copy of the book upon publication. 

Sound good? You may submit more than one recipe. If more than one recipe is accepted, you'll receive a $25 Amazon gift card and book for each recipe that makes it into a book. Thanks in advance for participating! :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Major Announcement!

As a news junkie, I pride myself on being abreast of major world announcements. I am excited to share a big shake-up in the world of cookies! Oreo is releasing a new flavor! In February, Red Velvet Oreos will become available. It will be a special, Valentine flavor; only available for a limited time. Not sure if I will be trying this favor. How about you?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The First Cooking Mystery I Ever Read #amreading

Virginia Rich of The Cooking School Murders generally gets credit for the first crafty cozy. I certainly don't remember reading anything like it: female involved in something crafty (cooking) and completely uninvolved with detection, gets involved sort of accidentally, solves the murder, recipes in the back. Nowadays, you can read all kinds of crafty/artsy/jobsy cozies, including ... just for instance ... Gayle Trent's new "Amanda Lee" embroidery mystery.
But the first -- the very first -- mystery I read with food in was Rex Stout's Too Many Cooks. It doesn't qualify as a cozy, technically, because the sleuth, Nero Wolfe, is a professional detective. I maintain it counts, though, because he isn't on a case, he's part of it. He's at a gathering of top chefs when one of them turns up stabbed. Most of the Wolfe books have recipes in them, or at the very least mouth-watering descriptions of meals.

Go. Read. Drool.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, January 16, 2015

Peppermint Mocha Donuts

Peppermint Mocha Donuts

According to the Blahnik Baker, these peppermint mocha donuts are a great way to start your winter morning. For the step-by-step tutorial with plenty of photographs, click on the link above.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Gor Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 to 4 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Crushed candy canes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a donut pan with baking spray and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt and espresso powder. In a measuring cup, whisk together wet ingredients; milk, egg, olive oil and extracts.
  2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over-mix as you will have rubbery donuts. Using a small spoon, scoop batter into prepared donut pan, filling each about ⅔ full.
  3. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the donuts are baked through and spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan for 1 minute and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. While cooling, make the glaze.
  4. To make glaze, whisk together all the ingredients. Add some more powdered sugar (one tablespoon at a time) if glaze is not thick to coat donuts.
  5. When donuts are completely cooled, dip each in glaze. Decorate with chopped candy canes. Let glaze set for 20 minutes before stacking or serving. Donuts are best enjoyed within two days.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Press On

My newest kitchen gadget is a panini press that I got for Christmas. This handy machine has made me a master of the leftover makeover. For lunch I have been chopping up leftover meats and veggies and tucking them into a tortilla with a smattering of Dijon mustard and a slice of cheese. A few minutes in the panini press gives me a yummy, oooey, gooey, hot sandwich. Any of you have a favorite recipe that utilizes a panini press?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Potato Soup As You Like It #Vegetarian

Charlie made some potato soup the other day, and it was very good. HOWEVER, he likes his soup thin (as he calls it, "brothy," as I call it, "watery") and I like mine thick. When I make potato soup, I make it thick and he thins his with milk. He made his thin, which we both consider turn-about is fair play.

So I stirred some instant potato flakes into mine and added some grated cheese. If we were carnivores, I could have nuked some bacon and crumbled it up in there, too.

This is the secret to a successful marriage.

Charlie's Potato Soup

  • potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • salted water
  • milk
  • parsley
Cook the potatoes in the water with parsley. Drain off some of the water if you want the broth richer. Mash them a little, so the broth is lumpy. Add milk. Heat but don't let it boil or scorch.

Add options, if desired, like cream, sour cream, bacon, cheese, potato flakes, pepper.

Hug and be happy.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes