Trudy, Madly, Deeply - Wendy Delaney, Author

1:42 PM Posted by Martha A Cheves


Sylvia's Funeral Tuna Casserole

1 lb egg noodles, cooked, drained shopping list
4 cans albacore tuna fish, drained shopping list
4 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup undiluted, low sodium if possible shopping list
1/2 soup can of heavy cream shopping list
1 cup frozen green peas, thawedshopping list
1-2 tsp celery seed or to taste shopping list
salt and pepper to taste
1 small bag of potato chips crushed

Combine everything with the cooked noodles except the potato chips.
Mix with a fork to separate the tuna into edible chunks
Place mixture in a large casserole dish
Cover with crushed potato chips
Bake in a 350F oven about 30 minutes
Sprinkle top with a bit of paprika if desired
Serve hot, chips will soften when cold.
Simple mix into casserole when reheating.


Trudy, Madly, Deeply - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and a Dish

Gloria's unpainted lips pulled back into a lopsided grin. "Weren't you the one who sold me a cinnamon roll last Thursday?"

"That would be me."

"Interesting career path."


Tell me about it.'  I just prayed that path wouldn't lead to me wearing my breakfast on my shoes before the day was over.

She grabbed a form from behind the counter and slid it toward me.  "Fill this out."

Fifteen minutes later, Gloria handed me a laminated badge with the county seal that looked about as official as my library card.

"That's it?"

"That's it, hon.  She patted me on the hand.  "Try not to lose it or do anything to get the county sued."

Charmaine 'Char' Digby had just been sworn in a a deputy coroner.  Her last job, at Duke's Cafe, owned by her great-uncle Darrell Duquette, was where she served meals to most of those she would now be working with and unfortunately some that she would be investigating.

Her first 'case' turned out to be the death of a family friend who had been hospitalized for pneumonia but turned up dead due to asphyxiation.  According to one of the doctors, this was a bit unusual.  Apparently the Doctor didn't believe her death was an isolated incident.  There appeared to be several more recovering patients that died mysteriously, just before being released.  Char's task now is to find the person responsible for these deaths before another happens.

This book turned out to be one that was so different from any I've ever read.  It was an enjoyable book to curl up with at night.  It had humor and suspense, which made it even more appealing.  I followed Char through her suspicions and agreed with her, at times.  But when the true story of what was going was disclosed I was shocked.  It wasn't the 'who nor why' that I expected.  I'm now ready to go to the next chapter with Char in Book 2 'Sex,Lies, and Snickerdoodles.'






Salads Omelets & Quiches - Arlene Lee, Author

1:31 PM Posted by Martha A Cheves



Coconut Carrot Salad

1 cup flaked coconut
1 1/2 cup shredded raw carrots
1/4 cup seedless raisins
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Chill.  Serve on top of crisp lettuce with additional mayonnaise, if desired.  Garnish with drained canned mandarin oranges.


Salads Omelets & Quiches - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of:  Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

This is a truly unique cookbook.  It not only contains delicious, simple recipes but also word search puzzles using the ingredients and pages for coloring.

I've tried several of the recipes, including the one above for Coconut Carrot Salad.  I've made it with and without the ginger, testing it on some of my own food testers.  Some liked it with the ginger, some without but either way, the addition of coconut is wonderful!

There is a recipe for Broccoli Salad which is out of this world!  The biggest problem I had with it was sharing.  I actually wanted to keep all of it just for me.

The third recipe I tried was for a Spinach and Bacon Quiche.  It too was a hit with my food testers as well as myself.  Yes, I made a change.  I eliminated the crust and baked it in a casserole dish.  So delicious!

So, if you want some really simple recipes that are simply tasty, you might want to check out Salads Omelets & Quiches.

Charge of an Angel - Linda Diane Wattley, Author

10:07 AM Posted by Martha A Cheves



Shrimp with Garlic Cream Sauce over Linguine

1 cup hot water
1 cup Original COFFEEMATE Powdered Coffee Creamer
8 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
3/4 cup Buitoni Refrigerated Freshly Shredded Parmesan Cheese (5 oz.) 
1 pkg. Buitoni Refrigerated Linguine (9 oz.) , prepared at the last minute
Directions:
WHISK together water and Coffee-mate until smooth.

BRING 6 cups water to a boil in medium saucepan. Add garlic; cook for 2 minutes. Add shrimp; cook for 2 minutes or until they turn pink. Drain. Peel and chop garlic.

HEAT oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.

WHISK in Coffee-mate mixture and cornstarch; whisk until cornstarch is dissolved. Cook, whisking occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken. Stir in parsley, cheese and shrimp. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Pour sauce over pasta; toss to coat.

Nutritional Information
Serving size: 1/4
Servings per recipe: 4
Calories530
Calories from Fat180
Total Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 11g53%
Cholesterol 180mg59%
Sodium 410mg17%
Carbohydrates 50g17%
Dietary Fiber 2g7%
Sugars 1g
Protein31g
Vitamin A8%
Vitamin C10%
Calcium20%
Iron15%

Charge of an Angel - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

"I will never know who I would have been if this hadn't happened to me.  That is so hard for me to live with.  I don't know the real person I was, and I never will.  How can I live with something like that?  I feel robbed - cheated.  First, my mother and my brother are taken from me.  I found out that my father is not my father, and then I find out my virginity, youth, and innocence was stolen right in front of my face.  Why me?"

Her name is Leona Marie Tillard and her life has been turned inside out.  One night she, her mother, father and two brothers went to bed as a family.  When she woke her mother was gone.  Sometime later her brother went away and Daddy will tell her nothing about where they are or why she can't see them.  Daddy was lost without her mother and needed someone to 'comfort' him.  With Leona being the only female in the house, she stepped into that position.  Then comes her Daddy's marriage to another woman who has three children of her own and her family is complete again.  So she thought.

When I ask Author Linda Wattley if this book was fact or fiction she assured me it is both.  After talking to her, we both confirmed we knew young girls who were put into a position of being sexually abused by parents, other relatives, and adults that were in their lives.  The same adults that were supposed to take care of them and lead them in the right direction chose instead to impose their own sick needs on these innocent children.  And in some instances they even included boys in their desires.

Are the children to be blamed for not telling?  No way.  The threats they receive if they tell is too fearful.  They are brainwashed to believe that what they are doing isn't wrong. Supposedly, it's all done as an act of love, a way of showing love, and proving they are loved.  If they are found out they are treated by others as being sick as well and that they should have known better, known it was wrong, refused what was being done to them.  How can you know something is wrong if someone who is supposed to take care of you and teach you right from wrong is committing the crime against you?  You simply can't.


Charge of an Angel is book one of three.  It takes you through the abuse that Leona endures, her feelings, and her ways of escaping from realty.  It will make you hurt for her and those like her.  It will make you want to really hurt the person doing this to her.  And it will have you waiting to see how life treats her as she gets out of her abusive life and goes on as a young adult.  I know I'm patiently waiting on book 2.

Crossover Murder: Reality TV Cozy Mysteries 2 - Nikki Haverstock, Author

12:15 PM Posted by Martha A Cheves



Strawberry Daiquiri from Captain Morgan

1.25 ounces of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
1.75 ounces of Sweet and Sour Mix
3 ounces of frozen strawberries
1 cup of ice 
Blend and garnish cup with sugar


Enjoy responsibly with a favorite book - Nikki :)

Crossover Murder:  Reality TV Cozy Mysteries 2 - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of:  Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

The plan was that we would try another live cast over the Internet of Heather welcoming Texas Shore Cowboys to the area.  Then she'd pass the microphone over to Peppin, the star of the bank and the show, who would announce the private concert the following evening at Priscilla's theater, the Fish.  Peppin would hype up the even, and we would stop the live cast.

Tomorrow, we would also do a quick live cast of the first few minutes of the convert.  Both the live casts would serve to advertise next week's episode.  One of the biggest issues with promoting the show had been a lack of commercials.  How could you advertise upcoming episodes when they weren't even filmed yet?  The best approach so far had been to have a murder on set - then the media did the advertising for you.

The cast of Savv Socialites of Fishcreek Falls, is back and Melissa finds herself solving yet another murder.  The reality show joins temporary forces with the band Texas Shore Cowboys which spices up the story as well as the action.  You'll meet Peppin who is the lead singer of the Cowboys, as well as some of the others in the band, as they come into Fishcreek Falls with their desire to party, fight and have a good time.  You'll also enjoy the sneaky antics of Heather as she does her best to discredit and destroy Melissa.

I read a lot of books and can normally come up with the 'bad guy/gal' at least half way in.  With this Author Nikki Haverstock, it seems that I know who I think it will be but the more I read the more I doubt my choice.  She will take you to the end before giving you full confirmation as to whether you are right or wrong, and that I like in a good mystery.  Oh yeah!  Bubbles is in full character throughout.  If you read Book 1 you'll remember Bubbles as being the 'gassy' dog that Melissa adopted from the shelter.  He will keep you smiling and laughing from beginning to end.

Deadly Gamble - Connie Shelton, Author

12:25 PM Posted by Martha A Cheves



Pedro's Green Chile Sauce (for chicken enchiladas)

1 T. shortening or vegetable oil
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped green chile 
1 c. chicken broth
1/4 t. garlic powder
2 T. flour
1/2 t. salt (if chicken broth is salty, start with less and taste before adding the full amount)

Heat shortening in saucepan, saute onions until glossy. Add green chile, garlic powder and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Stir the flour into a small amount of cold water in a cup and blend until smooth, then gradually stir the flour mixture into the boiling chile sauce. It will thicken pretty quickly. Taste, and add more salt if desired.

(For an added touch, I usually add about 1/2 cup diced tomato. You can also add a little chopped leftover beef or pork.)

Simmer 15 to 20 minutes so the flavors will blend well and serve over enchiladas, burritos or any Mexican dish that needs a sauce.

Pedro's Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas (Charlie's favorite!)

1 recipe green chile sauce, above
8 corn tortillas
1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 chicken breast halves, cooked and shredded
1/4 c. finely diced onion
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
lettuce and tomato, chopped, for garnish
sour cream (optional)

Make the sauce and keep it warm. Heat oil in a skillet, then quickly dip each tortilla in the hot oil for a few seconds, turning once with tongs, then placing on paper towels. You want the tortilla to be soft, not crispy. Place 2-3 tablespoons shredded chicken and a sprinkling of diced onion along the center of each tortilla and roll it up. Place the rolled tortillas in a baking dish, top with the sauce and cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 degrees about 15 minutes or just until cheese is melted. [Alternately, place two rolled tortillas on each dinner plate, top with sauce and cheese, and microwave 30-45 seconds to melt the cheese.]

Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and chopped lettuce and tomato. Typically, in New Mexico these would be served with refried beans and Spanish rice on the side.
Makes four servings, two enchiladas each.

Deadly Gamble - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of:  Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

Working on a case for Stacy North would have probably been the last item ever on my agenda.  Stacy had been my best friend and roommate in college.  My best friend, right up until the day she eloped with my finance, Brad North.  Although I came to realize later that it was all for the best, such situations do tend to put a damper on friendships.  So when she came to my office asking for my help in recovering a 'stolen/lost' Rolex watch Brad had given her for Valentines day just two weeks earlier, my first thoughts were no way.  But there was a desperation in her eyes that pulled me back from throwing her out.

Charlie Parker and her brother Ron  are partners in RJP Investigations.  Charlie normally acts as the accountant while Ron does the dirty work but he was out of town at the moment and Stacy was desperate.  She had to recover the watch before the next night so Brad wouldn't find out it was missing.  As Charlie started to pull the details out of a tight mouthed Stacy, she found that the person who took the watch was a bit more than a thief.  Apparently he was also a lover.  But after finding out that the watch had been pawned at a local Pawn shop, Charlie was able to retrieve it and return it to Stacy.  End of story.  End of case.   Well, it would have been the end had it not been for a murder that takes Charlie and Stacy deeper into an investigation that will end with Stacy being the main suspect.

I turned page after page looking for hints as to who the murderer really was.  I knew who I hoped it would be.  I knew who it wouldn't be.  I knew who I thought it would be.  Turns out that I was wrong all the way around and was in for a total surprise at the end.  This book really took me on a thrilling mystery.  I loved it and can't wait to read book 2 'Vacations Can Be Murder.'

All Lies - Lies #1 - Andrew Cunningham, Author

12:08 PM Posted by Martha A Cheves



ANDREW'S FAMOUS CARROT CAKE
His only claim to fame!
(and he stole it from his mother, who stole it from a neighbor…)

1 1/4 CUPS OIL
1 1/2 CUPS SUGAR
2 CUPS FLOUR
3 EGGS
2 tsp CINNAMON
2 tsp BAKING SODA
2 tsp VANILLA
1 tsp SALT
1 BAG COCONUT (7 oz)
2 CUPS GRATED CARROTS
20 OZ. CAN CRUSHED PINEAPPLE (INCLUDE JUICE)

MIX ALL TOGETHER AND BAKE AT 350 FOR 1 HOUR IN GREASED 9X12 PAN


FROSTING:

6-8 OZ PACKAGE OF CREAM CHEESE
CONFECTIONERS SUGAR
1 STICK MARGARINE/BUTTER
VANILLA

BLEND CREAM CHEESE AND BUTTER/MARGARINE, THEN ADD CONFECTIONERS SUGAR UNTIL IT'S SO SWEET YOUR TEETH DROP OUT (ABOUT 1/2 A BAG OF SUGAR).  ADD VANILLA TO TASTE.

**Walnuts can also be added to recipe, but since they make my ears tickle, I don't use them.



All Lies - Lies #1 - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of:  Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

My father's last words to me were "I come from a long line of idiots..."  My family did have an abnormally high incidence of stupidity running through its genes.  As far back as I could determine, my ancestors - the men, to be specific - were known for their questionable actions, actions that usually left them dead.

I (on the other hand) was 38 years old, but had never really lived.  I had no passions - well, other than baseball, which can be a pretty solitary interest.  I'd always been one of those invisible people.  If I was a character in a movie, I'd be the first one eaten by the shark.  I had worked at my current job for ten years and was good at my work.  I handled the customers well and, as far as I could determine, my staff all liked me.  I possessed a decent amount of common sense and problem-solving skills - a necessity of my job.

Del Honeycutt's life is about to take a full turn.  The death of his father will bring to light the history of crimes committed 85 years earlier by his great-grandfather and a few of his friends.  As he researches this unwanted history with the help of mystery writer Sabrina Spencer, he finds that not only is his life in danger but also the lives of Sabrina as well as the relatives of those they contacted regarding this long forgotten crime.

All Lies is unlike any book I've read.  The characters of most murder/suspense books are macho characters that decide they are the only ones that can handle the business at hand.  Not this one.  They actually acknowledge the police and even inform them (most of the time) while solving and ending the history of ancestors long gone.  This lack of 'Bad' Good Guy characters made this an easy book to read as well as one that I didn't want to put down.  If book 2 'Fatal Lies' is anywhere near as good as book one, I can't wait to jump into it!  I recommend this to all mystery readers.  It's a refreshing change.

Just a Touch Dead - Jordania Sydney Robinson, Author

11:27 AM Posted by Martha A Cheves



Hazelnut Brownies
(A Bridget Special)

box of 16 Ferrero Rocher chocolates
250g pack salted butter, plus extra for greasing
250g golden caster sugar
225g light muscovado sugar
100g cocoa powder
4 large eggs
100g self-raising flour
85g ready-chopped hazelnuts
4 tbsp Frangelico or Fratello hazelnut liqueur (or Disaronno)

Unwrap the chocolates, place on a tray and pop in the freezer. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Lightly grease and line the base and sides of a 21-22cm square tin with baking parchment.
Put the butter, sugars and cocoa into your largest saucepan and gently melt together, stirring regularly so the mixture doesn’t catch. Once the sugar granules have just about disappeared, take off the heat, tip into a bowl and leave to cool for 5 mins.
Use a whisk or wooden spoon to beat the eggs, one by one, into the mixture. When they’re completely incorporated and the mixture is smooth and shiny, stir in the flour, hazelnuts and liqueur. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 35 mins.
Remove the tin from the oven and use a cutlery knife to mark the top of the brownies into 16 squares (don’t cut through, it’s just as a guide). Use a teaspoon to push a little dent in the centre of each portion and add a frozen Ferrero Rocher chocolate into each dip. Return to the oven for 3 mins, then remove and leave to cool completely.

Once cool, cut into 16 squares. Will keep for 3 days in an airtight container.

Just a Touch Dead - Review by Martha A Cheves, Author of:  Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

My long, pillar-box-red hair fanned out around my head like a vibrant halo, my fringe artfully covering one eye.  It looked great, really thick and shiny.  Why couldn't I get it to look like that normally?  I looked closer.  No, it wasn't my hair, or it wasn't just my hair, it was a rapidly spreading pool of blood from the back of my head colouring the pavement.  Huh.  But at least my white Christian Dior trouser suite was blood free.  I'd have died it that'd had any bloodstains on it.  Oh, wait.  No, I couldn't be dead.  If I was dead I wouldn't be floating around watching.  I'd just be, well, dead.  Right?

Meet Bridget Sway.  She has been hit by a bus but she isn't really dead.  At least that's what her 'angel' Charon has told her.  She is simply on a 'day trip' giving the doctors a chance to pump her body full of drugs so it won't hurt so much when she pops back in.

Charon had her board a bus filled with a group of crying people.  Something just wasn't right but she agreed to go along for the ride.  Then Charon explained to her that the other people on the bus were actually dead.

This book grabbed me from the beginning.  It's actually a short book serving as an introduction to Bridget Sway.  It has a touch of humor, while giving you a touch of the dark side of what Bridget finds in the afterlife.  For me - I have developed the desire to read the next book in the series... Beyond Dead.