Friday, October 11, 2019

Super Super SUPER Simple Recipes


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HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: So--there are recipes and recipes. For instance, there is the gorgeous voluptuous Julia Child French Onion soup that honestly takes hours and HOURS but it's fabulous, but did I say it takes hours?
And then there are tomato Santas. 



And tomato porcupines. I think that's a potato at the base. 


(I saw these on Funny Food Recipes on Facebook--and it is totally addictive.)

Look at these sailboats! HOW did they think of these?


Anyway. They count as cooking, right? Just ask the amazing and talented Debra Goldstein. Deb is incredible, a real friend of Jungle Red and a truly stalwart member of the writing community. She was president of the Guppies! Fabulous.  AND she was a judge. so she knows everything, and now she's got another wonderful new book. 

But she--her main character at least--knows her limitations. And thats in the realm of...cooking.


Finding Recipes to Avoid Freaking Out in the Kitchen 
            by Debra H. Goldstein

Some people are afraid of spiders, some fear dead bodies. Cooking from scratch petrifies me. 

The irony - I love to entertain. 

Early on I realized there were two easy solutions to my dilemma: host dinners at restaurants or have caterers, long gone before the guests arrive, make their dishes in my serving pieces. This still left me with a problem when I was asked to bring a dish to an event where everyone was expected to contribute to the table. It didn’t take too many instances to educate my friends to automatically assign me bread, soda, paper products, or anything else that needed to be purchased from the grocery store.

Sarah Blair, the protagonist of my Kensington cozy mystery series, shares my fear of the kitchen. For her, cooking from scratch is more frightening than murder. Luckily, she has a twin sister, Emily, who is a gourmet chef. Emily usually comes to the rescue when Sarah needs to serve something, but when she doesn’t, watch out.

For example, in One Taste Too Many, the first book in the series, Sarah knew starting over after her ten-year marriage, from which she only emerged with RahRah, her Siamese cat, would be messy. Things fell apart completely when her ex dropped dead, seemingly poisoned by a taste of Emily’s award-winning rhubarb crisp. 

With RahRah wanted by the woman who broke up her marriage and Emily wanted by the police for murder, Sarah had to figure out the right recipe to crack the case before time ran out. Unfortunately, for a gal whose idea of good china is floral paper plates, catching the real killer and living to tell about it potentially meant facing a fate worse than death – being in the kitchen.

In Two Bites Too Many, the newly released second Sarah Blair mystery, things are looking up for Sarah following her unsavory divorce. Settled into a cozy carriage house with RahRah, she’s managed to hold on to her law firm receptionist job and – if befriending strays at the local animal shelter counts – lead a thriving social life. In fact, Sarah has it more together than her enterprising twin whose plans to open a gourmet restaurant hit a real dead end.

When the president of the town bank is murdered after icing her twin’s business, all eyes are on the one person at the scene with blood on her hands – Sarah’s sharp-tongued mother, Maybelle. Determined to get her mom off the hook and help Emily’s business endeavors, Sarah must gather the ingredients of the crime together quickly to bring the true culprit to justice and once again avoid doing time in the kitchen.

To prep both books, I had to overcome my fear of the kitchen long enough to find recipes using pre-made ingredients that were also funny. 

My favorite one, Jell-O in a Can, which I’ll share with you today, was popular in the 1950’s.

1 20 oz. can of sliced pineapple (the recipe recommended Dole pineapple as it was an ad for Dole and Jell-O)
1 3 oz. pkg. of Jell-O gelatin, any flavor choice
1 cup boiling water
Optional: 1 banana or other type of fruit

Open the can and pour off the pineapple juice but leave the pineapple in the can. Dissolve the Jell-O in boiling water and permit it to cool slightly before pouring the Jell-O and water mixture into the can, over the pineapple. If desired, place the banana or other fruit in the center of the rings of pineapple.

Chill until set.

To serve, run a knife around the inside of the can and tip it out. (Before rimmed flip-top cans, one pushed the jelled mixture through and out using the bottom of the can.) Slice between the pineapple rings and serve.

After all these years, I doubt I’ll ever be comfortable in the kitchen, but I know, especially now that Kensington and I have inked a new deal to continue the series through at least book 5, I’m going to have a ball finding comical, but doable, recipes using pre-made ingredients to share.

HANK: Oh, I have to say. I adore you, Debra, but that sounds AWFUL. :-)  But the book deal? DEE-licious.  Hurray!

(I do like these:)

How about you, Reds and readers? What are some easy fun recipes? Let's say: four ingredients. And they don't have to be as cute as this!


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Judge Debra H.Goldstein writes Kensington’s Sarah Blair mystery series (One Taste Too Many, Two Bites Too Many). She also authored Should Have Played Poker and IPPY Award winning Maze in Blue. Her short stories, including Anthony and Agatha nominated “The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place,” have appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies including Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Black Cat Mystery Magazine, and Mystery Weekly. Debra serves on the national boards of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and is president of the Southeast Chapter of MWA and past president of SinC’s Guppy Chapter. Find out more about Debra at www.DebraHGoldstein.com .









94 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Debra, your series sounds absolutely delightful. I’m looking forward to meeting Sarah and Emily . . . congratulations on your newest book [and your contract] . . . .

    Somehow l managed to miss Jell-o in a can.

    Oh, my goodness, Hank . . . a recipe with only four ingredients?!!! My head hurts trying to think of one. [But I love the Funny Foods.]

    Okay . . . how about Apple Dump Cake? [Dump cakes are so easy, even Debra’s Sarah Blair could make one.]

    Spray a 13x9 pan with cooking spray.
    Spread four cups chopped apples in the pan.
    Dump [evenly, please] one box of Super Moist yellow cake mix on top.
    Pour three-fourths of a cup of melted butter over the cake mix, covering as much of the top with butter as possible.

    Bake at 350 degrees forty-five to fifty minutes . . . cake should be light golden brown, mostly dry on top and bubbly around the edges.

    Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream on top.

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    1. Joan, we used to make these at a girlfriend's house when I was in high school, except we used a can of cherry pie filling.

      Hank, there are a million "dump" recipes, all just as easy.

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    2. Dump recipes sound easy...maybe. let's see turn on the oven. Open the mix, but chopping apples?(Sarah would probably use pre=cut slices) Joan and Karen.... thanks for the tips. Maybe in the future, Sarah will close her eyes and try one of the recipes.

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  3. I can serve you a meal in four steps.

    Take TV dinner from freezer.
    Place in microwave.
    Heat according to instructions.
    Enjoy.

    Of course, I am disqualified because the meal has a lot more ingredients than the number you requested, Hank.

    Congrats on the series extentions, Debra!

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    1. Mark,
      You and I are on the same wavelength. Recently, I recall, we both nuked burritos the same day. Last night, Joel got meatloaf and mashed potatoes … only took four minutes each, plus 2 minutes of standing. I put both in my own dishes...Joel didn't know the difference :) Thank you for your good wishes on the series' extension and for stopping by.

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  4. Yum! Simple. A piece of toast (or more), peanut butter and apple slices. Simple, right? Or just peanut butter and apple slices.

    Or a bowl of cherry tomatoes?

    Congratulations on your novel and welcome to Jungle Reds, Debra Goldstein.

    Diana

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    1. Sounds simple … and Sarah and I know how to open the bag the bread comes in.. Do you use smooth or chunky peanut butter?

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    2. Hank, it's yummy.

      Debra, Love that. Thanks for my first laugh this morning. Opening the bag that the bread comes in. Organic chunky peanut butter with less salt. Not a big fan of salty food so I always look for less sodium /less salt if possible.

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    3. It sounds yummy, but healthy. I'm not sure Sarah would be inclined to go that way, but her twin, Emily, the gourmet chef would.

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  5. I'm halfway through Two Tastes, Debra, and loving it!

    For a writers' group Halloween party I plan to make Deviled Eyeballs...I mean, eggs. Make deviled eggs - hard boiled eggs, mayo, a touch of mustard, and salt and pepper. Add a little blue food coloring to the yolks for green eyes. Top each with half an olive. Extra credit if you make bloodshot lines on the whites with red food coloring! Easy and a big hit.

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    1. Sounds delicious and properly yucky. Glad you are enjoying Two Bites Too Many!

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  6. Debra, congrats on the books!

    I'd like to contribute something witty, pithy or full of wisdom to today's topic and question. But for me, the simple cooking recipes involve only one instruction.

    That is pick up the phone and dial the desired takeout joint.

    As an off-topic aside, Edith Maxwell was an absolute joy last night as she made an appearance at my local library's mystery book club! Thanks Edith, as always you rock!

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    1. Regarding takeout, there are online apps for takeout delivery too.

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    2. Jay, first let me agree that Edith rocks. I love her books and listening to her speak. As an aside, I also highly recommend all of the Jungle Red Writers books - different, but I enjoy all.. and have most of them in my personal library.

      Why do I have so much time to read? Because I, too, use the phone to call in takeout or make reservations. A trick I learned even before I got married...and luckily, the way I cook, Joel is a big proponent of following this recipe for a happy marriage.

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    3. Edith - Really glad you thought so!

      Hank - Yes, that's me...troublemaker extraordinaire.

      Bibliophile - I'm sure there are plenty of apps, but given that I still use a flip phone, that's not going to work for me.

      Debra, I have read or at least have in my TBR pile at least one book from each JRW blogger. As for the cooking, I used to like to cook. I didn't do anything all that spectacular but I did make dinner on Sundays and the like. But since it is just me now I don't have the desire to put in the effort to make a meal all that often anymore.

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  7. Welcome Debra and big hooray on the extension of the series! I don't think Hayley Snow is capable of a four-ingredient dish, but Miss Gloria is: cooked macaroni, tunafish, mayo, pickle relish. Done!

    Debra, do you have a twin? If not, what drew you to writing about a pair of sisters?

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    1. Whoa—That actually sound good... is it?

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    2. Your dish actually sounds like something Sarah might try. I know Hayley isn't capable.. I love reading her adventures! Although I don't have a twin, I am the mother of fraternal twins. My daughter arrived on this earth nine months mentally older than her brother -- they are so day and night, the teachers never believed they were twins. As for the sisters, I have one who is a gourmet cook. She shadowed my mother while I flopped on the couch watching Perry Mason. We both learned something. Consequently, I took our relationship and combined that with my children = Sarah and Emily.

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    3. I think Debra has twin children, but she'll confirm that!

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    4. I am also the Mother of fraternal twins, a boy and girl. Yes, my daughter was born so far ahead of her brother. She wrote the book of her life, which my son tore up and never read. My daughter is a Chemical Engineer and my son a Battery Engineer. I like short simple recipes! I can cook well but don’t have the time or the inclination to do it. I rather work with my legal clients, helping to solve their legal issues.

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  8. When I edited a business newsletter we had a section for "deadline dinners", and for one meeting everyone brought their own favorite last-minute, desperation dinner choice. Some were more appetizing than others.

    I can't remember most of them, sorry. But I have one I made up as a side dish: cans of beans, at least three different kinds/colors, drained. A bunch of fresh chopped parsley, Italian dressing to taste, and lots of fresh ground pepper. If you want it to be a main dish, don't drain the beans, and pour it over cooked rice. I also like to add steamed frozen edamame for a color pop, or chopped red pepper.

    Serve cold, or warm it up, depending on the season. It's actually delicious, and looks like you've been cooking all day.

    I also want to know where the twin part came from. (I'm married to a twin, and both my parents were twins!)

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    1. As I mentioned above, I am the mother of twins. I also have first cousins who are identical twins (mirror images). Raising my children, I kidded I had a home lab because of observing how different they are. When my earlier books were orphaned and I wanted a new series, the idea of using twins - polar opposites - seemed like a natural.

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    2. Yes, twins are perfect for a mystery! As long as it is not a surprise twist, right? As the rules of detection require :-)

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    3. In the early 80's I started a book on the dynamics between twins, because I found them so fascinating. The differences between identical and fraternal twins, for instance, and between same sex and opposite sex fraternals, are so clear, in every case I could find.

      My husband and his brother could not be more different; it's hard to believe they are even related.

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    4. I am the parent of fraternal twins, a boy and girl. Your book sounds like a book I would want to read. You should finish it.

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    5. If there is a surprise twist to my twins (live or fiction), I don't think it would be honest to me or to the readers. So, no surprises. Simply day and night. I have identical twin cousins, mirror images of each other, and it was fascinating to watch them do science projects in secret as children -- they ended up doing the same things. Not so in my house or in my books. Susan, even though Sarah and Emily are twins, they definitely are fraternal - one is blonde and short; one tall and dark … and polar opposite personalities.

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  9. Three ingredients. Four, if you want to show off. It's called Stuff: 8 oz of cottage cheese, 8 oz of Cool Whip, 1 box of jello (flavor of your choice). Cool Whip and Jello can be fat free/sugar free or the full monty, also your choice. The fourth ingredient would be an 8 oz can of fruit of your choice, drained well.

    Mix the cottage cheese and cool whip in a mixing bowl, add fruit if desired. Open box of Jello and poor powder into mixture and stir until color is evenly distributed. Cover bowl and put it in refrigerator until it is set. To serve, spoon into bowl or cup and eat. Protein, fruit, tastes like dessert and it's refreshing. And NO cooking. It's the only thing I can do!

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    1. Mary … I love the name of your recipe! Stuff!!!!!! That's what I do with everything … stuff here, stuff there.. I hope you will let me "borrow" the name for a future book.

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    2. Mary. Seriously. I am having a hard time imagining that, I have to admit! I wish you could send us a photo… I can’t even imagine this! I guess if you think about the cottage cheese as being like ricotta, and then… I am not quite convinced. :-) but if you say so :-)

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    3. Debra, I'd be thrilled if you used Stuff in a book! Hank, don't knock 'til you've tried it (as my mother always said to me as a picky eater). I don't eat cottage cheese ever unless it is in Stuff! The jello doesn't turn out to be like gelatin since you only pour the powder in. I just makes the the rest of the ingredients have a little more 'body'.

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    4. That is so unlikely… I have to try it when I get back home!

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  10. Bisquick has a series of "Impossible" recipes that all have a limited number of ingredients. The "impossible" is because, like the dump cake recipes, the filling rises to the top or sinks to the bottom and mixes in the oven while heating.

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    1. But it does require reading the directions and opening the box? Sarah and I are uncomfortable opening and reading beyond a certain point --- the same with grocery shopping. Thanks for the ideas though…..

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    2. That sounds so fascinating! Like a science experiment. Worth it to try ....

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    3. Sorry, Debra. I have never made any of them, but I remembered the Impossible Hamburger one as being super easy. Can't find that recipe now, though.

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    4. Super easy is the name of the game for me. If I cook more than two nights in a row, my husband wants to go out. Does that tell you something about my cooking?

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  11. Hank and the other Jungle Red Writers, thank you for having me here today. It's always fun to be with any of you or to visit the blog! I'm especially envious of the great pictures Hank found...I will need to look for some of them in the future - not to mention making notes of the wonderful recipes being shared here today. Somehow, Mark's is closest to my cooking style, but the others seem doable.

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    1. It's a pleasure to have you Debra, thanks for bringing your funny post and lively conversation to the Reds!

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  12. Oh, those sleeping bears are so adorable!

    Congrats on the book deal, Debra! When I want something easy, I go for taco salad. Break up some tortilla chips, brown up ground beef (or turkey or whatever) season, and toss on the chips with lettuce, cheese, and salsa. If you want to go almost-wholly pre-made, buy a bag of shredded lettuce and grated cheese. :)

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    1. I do that, too! Yummy! and add sour cream and black olives.

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    2. We add guacamole and tomatoes. Salsa dressing.

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    3. I tried that recipe last week... but it was a disaster. I forgot an ingredient or two. We ended up eating it as a taco salad... and then both raiding the closet for junk.

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  13. Debra, I love the descriptions of your food and will look out for the series as I love to read about cooking. I’m also laughing! because as some Reds and readers may remember that I have some recipes in your pages thanks to Julia, you can blame her. So sitting and thinking of what I could offer with three or four ingredients, I realized that my signature- Smoked Trout Pate - has two ingredients and two seasonings but as it involves using a Cuisinart may not be the best Debra and Sarah recipe though Emily would love it. Then I recalled last nights meal! Supermarket roasted chicken and a box of greens! Hope it fits the bill.

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    1. It fits the bill perfectly. I love chicken (as does Sarah), but Joel doesn't. Depressing isn't it? Is a Cuisinart the same as a slow cooker? Someone gave me one of the latter a few years ago and I've used it twice. Once the week I got it and a few weeks ago when I defrosted and hadn't realized my range/oven had blown up a few days earlier.

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  14. I made that pineapple jello thing when I was a kid. I mean, molded salad! What could be more elegant?
    Simple meal: corn tortilla wrapped around any kind of leftover. I met Debs last night at Murder by the Book. The audience loved her talk.

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    1. Too early! Your books sound like a lot of fun. I can relate to an inept cook, Debra.

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    2. I am honest enough to admit I'm not only an inept cook, I'm a person who finds the kitchen absolutely frightening..... my sister, like Sarah's is just the opposite. She thinks it is wonderful.

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  15. Hi Debra, I just ordered book 1 of your series. It sounds like a lot of fun. How about a spinach souffle? 1 egg, 1/3 C milk, 1/3 grated cheese 2 10 oz cartons chopped spinach. Beat first three things together, thaw, and squeeze water out of spinach. dump in with egg mixture, heat oven to 350
    dump into small casserole dish. cook until done. (oh all right cook for 20 mins or microwave for 3 mins. Too scary? naw you can do this if it turns out bad, just eat it in the dark.

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    1. I had a friend who used to make this from Stouffer‘s frozen spinach soufflĂ©. She would put it in her own casserole, and then say she made it on her own. Until we all found the boxes in the wastebasket. oh, ‘Debra! There’s an idea for you!

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    2. Coralee and Hank, the second recipe in the back of One Taste Too Many is Spinach Pie made with Stouffer's frozen spinach soufflé. I bring it whenever someone is stupid enough to assign me to bring a vegetable instead of doing the group's grocery shopping :). I love it... and btw, it tastes even better as a leftover.

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  16. Welcome, Debra! Thebooks sound like great fun. Food and mystery novels are the perfect pairing.

    I love to cook... but I hate to fuss. So I'd make that onion soup (in fact I did a few months ago... start by roasting beef bones and vegetables and making a stock... it did take a long time but the taste was spectacular.) On the other hand I can't ice a cake to save my life. It always looks like a chimpanzee tried to spackle a wall. And that's insulting the chimp.

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    1. This is my go to one bowl chocolate cake. I promise it won't look like spackle. Trust me. I am a nurse.
      https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/17981/one-bowl-chocolate-cake-iii/

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    2. Hallie, I am so glad to hear there is something you don't do well! I have a feeling your cake while maybe a bit spackled is delicious.... Mine would be missing an ingredient or fall flat. I hate to think what Sarah's would look like :)

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    3. I'm with Hallie. The one time I baked a cake, the cake came out fine but when I tried to frost it, my mother just shook her head in embarrassment for my pathetic attempt. She had to take the frosting knife thing out of my hands to save us all from the continuing humiliation.

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  17. This obviously isn't the right subject for me. Just last night Julie and I were talking bout how, other than frying up some fish, I find it impossible to make a meal that feeds two. Therefore we end up eating leftovers. Tuesday I made a big pot of Poulet Grandmere, took half to a sick friend, and we still got two meals and a lunch off the rest. Last night I made Jacques Pepin's orecchiette with tuna and fennel, raisins and pinenuts, garlic and onion and green pepper. We have enough for two more evening meals. I see no point in standing in the kitchen for hours and not producing enough food to feed Coxey's Army.

    Burp

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    1. I am with you, Ann. I can't make a meal that just feeds us two. Fortunately, I love having leftovers for a couple of days' lunches. That Jacques Pepin's orecchiette recipe sounds delish, but Rick would not eat the pine nuts, the raisins, the fennel, or the green pepper... sigh.

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    2. One day I will make it just for you. It's one of our favorite meals. However, leaving out the pine nuts, the raisins, the fennel and the pepper, then substututing a can of mushroom soup, would leave you with tuna casserole!

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    3. Ann and Deborah, let's keep this simple -- what time should I send Joel over for dinner? I'll pay the airfare.

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  18. As the daughter of the family cook, we all learned to cook. Mom's siblings, especially the PhD types, seem to turn cooking into science classes, nothing is intutive....and they insist on making Thanksgiving dinner. Don't get me started on their attempt at gravy.

    Four ingredients? Edith took deviled eggs already. Egg salad sandwiches? Hard boiled eggs, which might be beyond Sarah's comfort level but she really needs to be able to boil an egg. Anyway, hard boiled eggs, mayo, little mustard (either yellow or something fancier), a LITTLE curry powder and salt/pepper, which shouldn't count. Okay, you do need bread so there is a fifth ingredient. Oh, I know, Cucumber Sandwiches: bread, butter, sliced cucumbers, salt and pepper, which is one ingredient. Cut the crust off the bread, butter (cover the top of the slice of bread completely, on one side) arrange the slices, a little salt and pepper. This sandwich does not have a top, it's a single slice of bread and each slice can be cut into quarters or simply in half.

    Debra, will I hurt myself laughing at Sarah's failed cooking attempts? I could use a chuckle once in a while. Congratulations on the series and contract.


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    1. If you like recipes like Jell-O in a Can, expect some laughs. Thank you for the congrats. BTW, in the first book, One Taste Too Many, Sarah learns how to crack an egg. Don't tell, I still can't do it, but she now is proficient at cracking them .. using them is another story. Thanks for the recipe... When I get home from the Southern Festival of books, I'm going to go out and buy some of the ingredients.... curry powder, cucumbers, etc.

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    2. I am haunted by a thing that I think I read that said it wasn't good to crack an egg on a cup or bowl. Did I dream this?

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    3. Hank, I may have actually read this on JRW, but I crack many eggs; on bowls, cups, with knives etc. etc. Then I read, crack an egg on its side on the counter and the yolk will not break. This does appear to work as I have been doing that since I read it sometime last summer.

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    4. Emily, my gourmet chef, explained that you have to keep it away from the cup or bowl to avoid contamination, but she also explained how to break it with one hand. I don't personally succeed doing it either way ---- if I use the counter, I contaminate that; I figure make a few eggs in the cup and heat them well (plus run the cup through the dishwasher) and I should be safe. Joel still is alive and he is my test case.

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  19. Debra, your series sounds delightful, and I'm still chuckling at the recipes. Love those little bears! While I can cook, I'm never very good at what to take for parties, so keeping some of today's suggestions in mind!

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    1. Chuckling is good... Joel has been doing it for years. He thinks it beats crying over dinner.

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  20. Maybe it's just my childhood in Alabama, but that Jello-in-a-Can looks pretty good to me. Also, Debra, I'm delighted to see you succeeding at culinary mysteries for those of us who love food - but don't really want to cook it.

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    1. Julia, thank you. It seemed like such a natural for me to write about when my other books were orphaned and I still wanted to write mysteries with cozy elements. Small Southern towns came easy, but cooking, baking, and crafts are things that don't come naturally. Happily, there are many readers just like me :).

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  21. Getting ready to board a plane! More to come! you all just talk amongst yourselves! And oh, I will announce Yesterdays winner :-)

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  22. More than four ingredients, but for something simple that screams "I made these from scratch" try the Blueberry Muffins recipe in The James Beard Cookbook. I double the amount of sugar the recipe calls for. Delish!

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    1. Sounds divine. I will have to ask a friend to make them … so Sarah and I can taste them.

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  23. Jello-in-a Can? Hahaha! How have I not heard of that before? My mother used to fix orange Jello with sliced bananas, but it was in a bowl or dish, not a can, and I loved it. It seems the only Jello I ever eat these days though are those little Jello cups you can buy at the grocery store. I get the sugar-free ones, and they're actually pretty good.

    A four ingredient recipe I'll offer up is my baked beans, which my family has always enjoyed. It's my mother's recipe, but when I say recipe, that's a bit of a loose concept because I don't measure
    anything. However, I will try to guesstimate for here. The ingredients for a large dish, 9 x 12, are 1) at least two large cans of pork and beans (probably one smaller can, too--just make sure it's a good full dish of them), drain the cans of their liquid 2) brown sugar, try 3 to 4 tablespoons and in the future adjust to your taste, and mix in 3) ketchup, a hard one to measure, as I just squirt some lines of it across the beans, not a great amount, and mix it in 4) bacon, lay uncooked strips of bacon across the bean mixture, covering it. Bake for around an hour at 400 degrees. Check it, starting at around 45, 50 minutes. It's done when the bacon looks cooked and the liquid in the beans is absorbed pretty well, but not bone dry.

    Debra, this series sounds like so much fun. It will have to go on TBR list for sure. Congratulations on your new book deal and this new wonderful book.

    Oh, and I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the tea with Debs in St. Louis on Wednesday. She and A Bitter Feast were a fantastic hit. It was a small affair, limited tickets, and I'm glad I got tickets as soon as I saw the event, and everyone there was in love with Debs and her Duncan and Gemma series. The tea and quiche and scone were delicious, and I bought some tea to bring home.


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    1. Kathy
      Thanks for stopping by.... there are a million Jell-O recipes. Apparently, the 1950's magazines loved them. Thanks for the baked bean recipes. I'll have to try it.

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  24. Hi, Debra! So happy to see this series out in the world.

    As a fellow mother of twins, a lot of my recipes had to be hearty because, gosh, growing boys can eat! Now that they're gone, I am becoming a non-cook but I have two tried and true recipes with four ingredients:

    1. Olive oil, garlic, pasta, shrimp
    2. Butter, cream, pasta, mushrooms (or peas)

    A salad with each, and you're eating well.


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    1. Ramona, I didn't realize you also have twins. Isn't it funny that once they are out of the house, the cooking even becomes less. Of course, when my son was about three and I mentioned dinner, he went out to the car. I'll have to try your recipes.

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  25. I call this Our Just Desserts. Check the ethnic section of your supermarket, looking for Cannoli shells. If you can find these, we're in business. Next a tub of Ricotta. Confectioners Sugar. Mix in the sugar with the ricotta until you have a nice filling consistency. I prefer Butterscotch chips. But chocolate chips will do. Mix them in but not too many. Gently with a knife fill the shells. Top the ends with a few more chips. Serve and chill the leftovers. B'teavon.

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    1. David.. sounds delicious! Of course, if I can't find the cannoli shells.....

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  26. Wow! Having been on the road for 5 plus hours to do a 3 hour drive, thank you for all your comments and for those who answered some of the questions for me (true friends!). Now, back to answer all of your wonderful comments --- and steal all of your delicious recipes (though Sarah and I may be a little tentative trying them).

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  27. David, if you can't find the shells, toast a frozen waffle, top with ricotta cheese and Nutella. Dessert! Or mix salsa con queso with regular salsa and eat with Tostitos Scoops. You could scoop with some vegetables but salsa had vegetables. LOL.

    I enjoyed your first book and have the second on my TBR list. Trying to read a lot of books to donate for the library book sale next week.

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    1. Sally .. love the idea of a frozen waffle - something I know how to find in the frozen food section. Thank you for reading One Taste Too Many. Hope you enjoy Two Bites Too Many.

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  28. Once again, a big thank you to Hank and the Jungle Red Writers for hosting me, today.... not only from Sarah and me .. but from Joel, who might get a homecooked meal thanks to all of the above recipes at least twice before the end of the year.

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  29. SO wonderful to have you here! ANd the food was delish. Congratulations on everything!

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  30. Debra, these books sound like so much fun.

    Here’s a recipe my husband and I love, Chili Mac.

    Prepare canned Mac ‘n’ cheese.
    Stir in a can of chili (we like the kind with beans).
    Season to taste (lots of garlic for us!).
    Serve over boiled hot dogs.

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    1. Jaden (Beth)… thanks for adding another recipe for my "collection." Congrats on your new Trouble book.

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