Showing posts with label Morgan St. James. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Morgan St. James. Show all posts

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Terror in a Teapot - Morgan St. James & Phyllice Bradner, Authors



Flossie's Fabulous Noodle Kugel

8 oz. pkg. of Wide Egg Noodles
1/4 lb. Butter (melted) (margarine substitute optional)
1 cup Golden Raisins
3 Eggs (beaten) (4 eggs optional)
4 heaping Tbsp. Sour Cream
4 oz. Cream Cheese (softened and rolled into tiny balls)
1/2 cup Sugar (to taste) mix with a small amount of cinnamon for taste and color
1 cup Milk (a little more if you like it more moist)
Package Cornflake Crumbs (optional)

Mix all ingredients with cooked noodles that have been rinsed in cool water.  Put in 8 x 10 (or similar size) Pyrex pan that has been greased with a little butter or margarine.  Top with packaged cornflake crumbs (optional) and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about an hour.  Cool and cut into squares for serving.  (You can double the recipe and freeze some, too.)
(Based on a recipe from the authors' mother, Rosetta.)


Terror in a Teapot - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Goldie Silver
- Owns an antique shop in Juneau, Alaska
Godiva Olivia DuBois - Author of the famous relationship column Ask G.O.D.
Caesar - Famous TV chef - or is he?
Flossie Silver - Female magician.
Sterling Silver - Male magician.
Two Ladies from the Russian Orthodox Church - church ladies.
Father Innocent - Retiring Priest.
Rimsky - Father Innocent's helper.
Father Augustine - Priest that will take over for Father Innocent.
Two very ugly ladies - Very possibly not 'ladies.'
Boris & Igor Dumkovsky - two very mean Russians.

Now, just what can all of these people have in common?  Well, Goldie and Godiva are twin sisters.  Caesar is Godiva's boyfriend, Flossie is the mother of the twins and Sterling is their father's brother, known to them by the affectionate name of 'Unk.'  

But where is the connection between the 'family' members and the other characters?  It all has to do with The Seven Deadly Samovars, or Tea Pots if you live in America.  It seems the Tea Pots were shipped from Russia to Goldie's shop but were lost in transit.  The Church Ladies had ordered one through Goldie as a retirement gift for Father Innocent.  When they are finally discovered they seem to live up to their name 'Deadly.'  People start dying, Tea Pots start missing and the mystery starts spinning as the twins do a little detective work to track down the missing pots and find the killer or should I say killers.

This book, as all Morgan St. James and Phyllice Bradner books, gives you suspense, humor and a special surprising twist at the end.  I can't get enough of their writings and hope they come out with yet another Silver Sisters Mystery very soon.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Can We Come In & Laugh, Too? - Rosetta Schwartz, Author


SLOW-COOKER CHICKEN AND VEGETABLE SOUP
(A dish created for Rosetta's daughter Morgan by Morgan's husband)
 
An excellent way to use up leftover roast or grilled chicken. Remove the skin and bones and chop chicken finely with a large knife, or use cooked skinless, boneless chicken breasts.
 
2 (14 oz.) cans of chopped tomatoes, including the juice
2 cups chicken broth or stock
1 cup frozen sweet corn
2 stalks celery
½ cup short-grain rice (not instant)
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cups cooked lean chicken shredded
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
 
Combine all of the ingredients except the chicken in a slow cooker. Stir well and cook on low until the rice and vegetables are tender – about 6-8 hours. One hour before the cooking time is complete, stir in the chicken. Sprinkle with the basil just before service. Serves 6-8.
 


Can We Come In and Laugh, Too? – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds, A Book and A Dish
 
‘When I was very young the only transportation was street cars. There were o buses, elevated systems, or cars. Henry Ford was still working on his Model T. As for airplanes, I believe the Wright Brothers invented their first model in 1914. Also the only form of home entertainment was the Victrola. I remember that after my parents saved enough to buy a Victrola, every couple of weeks my brothers purchased new recordings and played them while dancing around the living room. As for radios, it was many years later when the first crystal set was invented. It wasn’t until around 1946 when my daughter Morgan was seven, and Phyllice was around two, that radios became very popular. We bought a very good radio set, encased in a lovely big mahogany cabinet, and after that we listened to many good programs. Don’t ask me why everyone clustered around that radio cabinet staring at it as thought there was something to see, but that’s what everyone did back then.’
 
Rose Schwartz was born November 18, 1909. She was the youngest of ten children born to her fun-loving Latvian immigrant family. She later became Rosetta after one of her sisters decided Rose just wasn’t classy enough so when she registered her for school she told them her name was Rosetta and that’s what she was known as from then on. Rosetta married All Shifrin in the 1930s and later Max Lachman. She passed on in 2006 just a few months short of her 97th birthday. In 1988 her daughter Morgan was able to convince her to write her memoirs so the rest of the world could share a laugh from the life of this beautifully, happy woman.

 
Rosetta lived through both WWI and WWI and gives us a few stories about the hard times created by war. She tells of the time she sold Al’s extra shoes only to find out that shoes were being rationed just a few weeks later. There were the blackouts that were mandatory in hopes that if the enemy flew over they wouldn’t be able to see Chicago in the dark. She tells us about her move to Florida and later to California where many of her brothers and sisters also ended up moving to. Her stories are all warm hearted yet cheerful. Whenever there was a problem, she looked at the bright side not the dark and always found humor in even the worse circumstances. She was truly a woman that anyone would love to know and call their friend.

 
At the end of Rosetta’s writings her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews all expressed their own feelings about this lovely lady. They added to the warmth by giving their memories of the woman that was never negative, always loving and always forgave whatever one might have done wrong. This is a very uplifting story about a very special woman. I personally wish I could have asked the question ‘Can We Come In and Laugh, Too?’

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Vanishing Act in Vegas - Morgan St. James, Phyllice Bradner, Authors

 
Lamb Chops with Sweet Rice
(This is one of those “take a handful of this and a pinch of that” recipes handed down from my mother. I’ve tried to translate it into real quantities, but feel free to take creative license. It has been one of my favorites for years... Morgan St. James  Phyllice Bradner)

4 to 6 Shoulder Lamb Chops
2 cups of instant brown rice
1-1/2 cups of water (after trying this recipe, you might want to adjust the amount of water to make the rice firmer or fluffier)
1/2 cup of golden raisins
1/2 medium onion, chopped
Sprinkling of cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the uncooked instant rice, raisins, chopped onion, water and cinnamon and place in the bottom of an oblong pyrex baking pan - size depends upon how many chops you use. You can also add sliced mushrooms and/or pine nuts as an option. Salt and pepper the chops to taste and arrange on top of the rice mixture. Cover the pan with tinfoil and bake at 350° for approximately 45 minutes. Time might vary due to the oven. The chops will be baked through, the rice will be fluffy and the flavor from the lamb seeps into the rice. There is a slight Mediterranean flavor to this dish.

Vanishing Act in Vegas (A Silver Sisters Crime Caper) – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of A Book and A Dish, Think With Your Taste Buds and Stir, Laugh, Repeat.

Poor Torch.  He finally lands a great contract as a special effects director in Las Vegas, bought a condo with a view of the strip and his grandmother and great uncle are planning on paying him a visit to help him ‘settle in.’  He loves them both but he also knows them very well.  Both are retired magicians and trouble seems to be what they conjure up the most. 

“Well, Mom, the last of my stuff is loaded.  I just wanted to say goodbye before I take off.”  She kissed him on the cheek, sensing her son couldn’t wait to hotfoot-it out the door and begin his life as a swinging bachelor.  Sterling turned the sound back on, but Flossie grabbed the remote and turned it off again.  She looked at her grandson and smiled sweetly.  “So, tottelah, your Uncle Sterling and I will be there in two, maybe three days.  You know your uncle is afraid to fly so we’ll just tune up the Caddy tomorrow and be on our way.”  “Whaa-“ Torch stared at her blankly.  “Torch, honey, you’ll need help getting things in order, and no one does that better than your Uncle Sterling and me.  I’ll set up your closets and kitchen and cook some good Jewish meals for your freezer and Uncle Sterling can putter around and help you hang pictures and do little odd jobs.”  Torch looked to his mother in desperation.  Flossie jumped up and tweaked him on the cheek.  “Look, Sterling, he’s so happy we’re coming, he’s speechless.  Good thing you bought a three bedroom.  I guess we’ll stay for three or four days.  Who knows, maybe longer if we get lucky.  Magic acts are big in Vegas again.” 

Torch’s mother Godiva Silver DuBois and his mother’s twin sister Goldie Silver decide to take a trip to Vegas too.  Godiva is a famous advice to the lovelorn columnist who’s column is called Ask G.O.D.’  She is also the millionaire widow of Max DuBois which gives her the time and money to do whatever she wants at any given time.  Goldie is an over-the-hill hippi antique dealer from Juneau, Alaska and Godiva can easily afford to treat Goldie to the trip to Vegas.

Godiva loves to write her column but her favorite hobby is dabbling into the mysteries of crime with her twin sister.  So, when Goldie flew to Vegas from her home in Alaska the two twins put their heads together to solve the murder of Mara  the Magnificent.  What the twins also discover is that Mara isn’t just a magician, she is also Torch’s girlfriend and she has a secret that blows them all away!

I fell in love with the Silver Sisters after reading A Corpse in the Soup.  Their antics as well as those of their mother Flossie and their Uncle Sterling will keep you laughing along as you try to solve the murder that they always seem to step into.  Vanishing Act in Vegas was one that really lost me as an amateur reader detective.  Every time I thought I knew who had done what to who and why, I found myself scratching my head to come up with another solution because my original was all wrong.  I couldn’t help but wish I knew these people.  They were so much fun to be around even when they found themselves in trouble. 

 
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