Tag Archive for: #recipe

Stormy Candlelight Dinners

By Kathryn Lane

My husband and I did not celebrate
Valentine’s this year. Yet we made up for it the following night with a romantic,
candlelight dinner. Not exactly to make up for Valentine’s but as a consequence
of the deadly snowstorm that hit Texas. When our power failed, we started
lighting candles. 

Donning a headlamp, I cooked a “prepare in a
pinch” dinner of Spanish-style scrambled eggs with Spanish chorizo, cherry
tomatoes, black olives, and a hint of hot paprika on my faithful gas stovetop. 

The Valentine storm came a
little more than two months after half our house flooded during the first week
in December. A pipe broke in the master bathroom (CLEAN water, mind you!).
Nothing to do with our balmy early December weather – a pipe joint simply came
undone behind the toilet after we’d gone to bed. I awakened at 1:30 in the
morning, heard a hissing sound, got out of bed, and stepped into 4 inches of
water. Bob and I cleaned up what we could. Later that morning, he called the
insurance company. They sent out a cleaning crew that afternoon. For two months
we’ve had workers every single day except for holidays. And the storm gave them
a six-day break. The workers are becoming part of the family!

With the sadness so many
people have endured through the pandemic, I keep reminding my husband (and
myself) that our flood issues are merely an inconvenience, not a tragedy. Add
the snowstorm, blackouts, and lack of water to an already royal mess in our
house, we kept our sanity in the face of the storm’s fallout by calling friends
to make sure they remained safe. The power outages created a dangerous
situation for millions of people.

For lack of water, well, we bypassed bathing. I was thankful all
our bathrooms were functional again after the flood, at least until the winter
storm knocked out the water supply. But I won’t go there! 

In the past two months, our house has either had too much water
or none at all. But hey, we live in Texas and Texans are tough!

Below is my simple, easy recipe to
use in a pinch. What’s your “use in a pinch” recipe?

Chorizo/Cherry Tomato Eggs

tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

slices cured Spanish chorizo ham, cut into pieces – (substitute Mexican
chorizo, omitting the paprika)

1 cup
cherry tomatoes, cut in half

tablespoon finely chopped green onions

¼ cup
chopped black olives

4 large
eggs beaten

and pepper to taste

teaspoon hot paprika (optional)

tablespoon cilantro, chopped

¼ cup
shredded manchego or gouda cheese

Heat olive oil in a
skillet over medium heat. Add chorizo and onions. Cook until chorizo begins to
crisp, about 2 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes. Season with a pinch of salt. Cook
and stir until tomatoes soften and release their juices, about 4-5 minutes.
Beat eggs with salt, pepper, and paprika (if using) in a small bowl. Stir
seasoned eggs into tomato mixture in the skillet. Add olives. Reduce heat to
medium-low and cook and stir until the eggs are set, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle
with cilantro and cheese. (2 servings)

Bon Appetit.


Kathryn’s books – The Nikki Garcia
series and her short story collection – Backyard Volcano.
All available on Amazon.

About Kathryn

Kathryn Lane started out as a starving
artist. To earn a living, she became a certified public accountant and embarked
on a career in international finance with a major multinational corporation.
After two decades, she left the corporate world to plunge into writing mystery
and suspense thrillers. In her stories, Kathryn draws deeply from her Mexican background as well as her travels
in over ninety countries. 

Photos: Wine and Rose, and Chorizo and Tomato Eggs – Public Domain

Kathryn cooking with a Headlamp – Bob Hurt

The Nikki Garcia Thriller series, book covers by Bobbye Marrs

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Chocolate Truffles

by Saralyn Richard

Chocolate truffles are round candies made with creamy,
chocolate ganache centers and coated with chocolate, cocoa powder, or chopped
toasted nuts. They get their name from their resemblance in shape and size to
the edible fungi, but that is where the resemblance ends.

The first chocolate truffle is rumored to have been
created in Chambery, France, but variations soon sprang up in Switzerland and
other European countries. The Californian truffle is credited to Alice Medrich,
who, after tasting truffles in France in 1973, formulated a larger, lumpier
version and began selling them in her store, Cocolat, which soon expanded into
a chain. Thus began the American obsession with truffles.

Chocolate truffles play a role in MURDER IN THE ONE
PERCENT, the first Detective Parrott Mystery novel. Thirteen friends gather for
a weekend retreat in a country mansion in the elite Brandywine Valley, and the
sumptuous menu for their Saturday night dinner includes truffles, made by one
of the guests.

Vicki is known for her decadent candies, but when her
least favorite fellow guest is found dead the next morning, some wonder about
Vicki’s recipe.

While you ponder whether a poison could be delivered
in such a delectable bit of heavenly chocolate, here’s my mother’s easy recipe
for chocolate truffles:


2 quality chocolate bars (4 oz. each), chopped into
fine pieces

2/3 C whipping cream

1 T unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ t pure vanilla extract

One or more of these toppings: finely chopped nuts,
unsweetened cocoa powder, sprinkles

Place chocolate in a heat-proof
bowl, and set aside.

Warm the whipping cream until it

Add butter to the chocolate.

Pour heated whipping cream evenly on
top of chocolate and butter.

Pour mixture into a square baking

Let the mixture sit for five

Add vanilla.

Stir until chocolate has completely

Cover with plastic wrap, placed
directly on the chocolate mixture to prevent condensation.

Refrigerate for two hours.

Scoop the set truffle mixture into
two-teaspoon-sized mounds. Roll into balls.

Roll each ball into toppings, as

Serve at room temperature.

Cover and store at room temperature
up to four days, or in refrigerator for up to two weeks.

If you’d like the menu
and more recipes from the gourmet meal served in MURDER IN THE ONE PERCENT,
sign up for my monthly email newsletter at http://saralynrichard.com.


Award-winning mystery and children’s book author, Saralyn Richard has
ink in her veins. A former urban high school educator, she’s living the dream,
connecting with readers through her books: A
Murder of Principal
, Naughty Nana,
Murder in the One Percent, and A Palette for Love and Murder. Saralyn
participates in International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America, and
teaches creative writing. Follow her at https://www.amazon.com/Saralyn-Richard/e/B0787F6HD4?ref_=.


Dead Zone

by Bethany Maines

Welcome to the day where no one is on-line, but everyone is at the grocery store. Hopefully, you are successfully home from such an excursion and have yet to launch into the holiday madness of bake, travel, eat, travel, flop face first onto the pile of laundry on your bed because you didn’t have time to put it away before you left. My hope for you, dear reader, is that your home with your feet up reading a good book and sipping hot cocoa, cider, or the nog of your choice. That is also my dream for myself, so let’s dream the impossible dream together.

The dream starts with good books. Check this space on Friday for a Stiletto Gang book guide featuring some awesome giveaways, sales and just a general list of good things to read. But here are some of mine that you can snag for a quick, easy and cheap!

Blue Christmas – Want a hilarious romantic holiday thriller? Simply join my newsletter and get this one for free. It’s as easy as that.
Link: bethanymaines.com/free-e-book/

An Unseen Current – Murder, mystery, a hunky Sheriff’s Deputy, a granddaughter / granddad detective duo, oh, and there’s a dog.  The third in the series, An Unfamiliar Sea, comes out in January.  Grab book one for $.99!
Link: Amazon

Shark’s Instinct – Crime, humor, and a heroine and hero that are more than they seem, the Shark Santoyo Series follows a duo that have the odds stacked against them.  Buy book one for $.99 or check it out on Kindle Unlimited.
Link: Amazon


Now let’s talk Nog.  I personally do not believe in egg nog.  Too much egg.  Not enough nog.  But I do believe in cocktails.  So with that in mind I suggest the Moscow Mule.  Served in a festive copper cup (but really can be drunk out of anything) try this drink with a slice of lime as a garnish.

Main alcohol: Vodka
Ingredients: 4 oz Ginger beer, 1 1/2 oz Vodka, 1/6 oz Lime juice
Preparation: Combine vodka and ginger beer in a copper mug or highball glass filled with ice. Add lime juice. Stir gently and garnish with a lime slice.
Served: On the rocks; poured over ice.
Drinkware: Copper mug or highball glass

Good luck out there my friends. Don’t let the holidays be anything less than jolly!


Bethany Maines is the award-winning author of the Carrie Mae Mysteries, San Juan Islands Mysteries, Shark Santoyo Crime Series, and numerous
short stories. When she’s not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some
serious butt with her black belt in karate, she can be found chasing her
daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel.
You can also catch up with her on Twitter, FacebookInstagram, and BookBub.

Free Book! Free Recipe! Free Time?

by Bethany Maines

Ok, it’s the day before Thanksgiving and that means that you
are either baking like a mad fiend or you’re kicking back while someone else
bakes and wishing that you could be done with work so you could go home and get
your holiday on.  My mom does the
hosting for Thanksgiving and that means I skate by making the easy stuff like
cookies, pies, and the cranberry sauce. 
Only I make cranberry relish because it’s easier, and far, far tastier
than the gelatinous glop that comes out of a can.  (See below for the recipe!)

Hopefully, you’re in a similar position when it comes to the
holiday cooking and you’ll have a little free time to read something new this
weekend. And because I’m feeling ever so thankful for readers like you, the first
5 people to comment get a free e-book version of my short story collection
Tales from the City of Destiny. I will also be drawing one name after the five
person cut off, so leave a comment no matter what, and then hop over to the
Girlfriends Book Club for a second chance to win on my second blog of the day!  I will contact all winners by Friday 11/27.
Cranberry Relish:
  • 1 bag cranberries (the bags usually have holes, so a quick
    tip is to rinse them while they’re still in the bag and let the water drain
  • 1 orange (don’t forget to remove the sticker)
  • 1 cup white sugar (use less or more depending on taste)
  • Optional: pinch of cinnamon 
Directions: Rinse everything.  Chop orange in quarters.  Put orange and cranberries into food processor and
chop.  Add cup of sugar.  Chop until everything is of relish
consistency.  Put in bowl.  Pretend you slaved for hours.  Eat.

Bethany Maines
is the author of the Carrie Mae Mystery series and 
from the City of Destiny
. You can also view the Carrie Mae youtube video or catch up with her on Twitter and Facebook.


By Bethany Maines

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I feel it would be traditional
to catalog the things I’m thankful for. 
Currently, I’m thankful that I don’t have to pee. 
For those of you who aren’t Facebook friends or who missed
the announcement, I am, what the old novels describe as, “in the family
way.”  All the magazines these days
describe it as having a baby bump. 
I describe it as having someone jump up and down on my bladder all day
It is our first foray into parenthood and we’re looking
forward to it.  Clearly, we’re not
looking forward to it as much as our parents and some of our “Auntie”
friends.  Which I figure is only
natural – they get to have all the fun of a baby with none of the actual
work.  My father, in particular,
seems to be laying in stocks of sugary snacks, and cataloging noise making
toys.  He’s taking grandpa-hood
seriously and if this baby girl doesn’t think he’s the awesomest grandpa ever,
it won’t be for lack of a well-organized campaign that includes flanking maneuvers,
propaganda, and bribes. 
Meanwhile, my brother seems to be on permanent rant about
which baby names are “stupid.”  As
far as I can tell he doesn’t like any baby names.  Which is very freeing in the sense that any name my husband
and I pick will obviously fall short of the extremely ridicu… er… lofty rules
my brother seems to have.  Not that
I was planning on obtaining his opinion on a name anyway, but it’s always nice
to know where one stands.
All of which, leaves me feeling extremely grateful. For as
annoying as my friends and family are, well, the fact remains that I have a
whole truck-load of friends and family! How could I be any luckier?  (I could win the lottery.  Just throwing that out there God, in
case you’re listening.)  Tomorrow, I
will be baking pies and trying not to over stuff myself surrounded by people
who love me and will also love my baby. 
And that really, is pretty much the definition of a good thanksgiving.  I can only hope that you out there in
Stiletto land will be as lucky.  And
in appreciation for welcoming me onto your computers I offer up this extremely
simple recipe that has replaced cranberry sauce at our house.
Cranberry Relish
  • 1 bag cranberries
  • 1 large orange
  • 1 cup sugar

Directions: Place all ingredients in food processor and chop
finely.  You may need to quarter
the orange to fit into the food processor, but you do not need to peel it.  Add more sugar and a touch of cinnamon
if desired.  Keeps for at least 2
weeks in fridge, but it doesn’t usually last that long.  Also great on pancakes and toast.
Bethany Maines is the author of
the Carrie Mae Mystery series and Tales from the City of Destiny. You can also view the Carrie Mae youtube
video or catch up with her on Twitter and