Pasta e Fagioli

So this isn’t from a mystery book, but it was a mysterious recipe in the fact that I wasn’t sure how well it would taste.

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Pasta e Fagioli

Thoughts Prior to Cooking:

I saw this recipe on the back of a Hunt’s Garlic and Herb can and it sounded really, really good. I decided to make it, but tweaked it a bit. You can buy a Hunt’s Garlic and Herb can and follow their recipe, or try out my variation.

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  • Bacon
  • A 14-oz package of Bird’s Eye Frozen Recipe Ready Grilling Blend containing zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, and bell pepper.
  • 1 Can of Hunt’s Garlic and Herb pasta sauce
  • 1 Can of Hunt’s Italian Sausage pasta sauce
  • 1 Cup of Carrots (optional)
  • 4 Cups of Water
  • 1 Can of Red Kidney Beans
  • Large Elbow Macaroni
  • Mozzarella Cheese

Cook the bacon in a saucepan until as crisp as you like it. Remove bacon from the pan

Take 2 cups of the frozen vegetables and cook them in the bacon pan. Eyeball the amount to see if you need to add more.

When the frozen vegetables are cooked, remove them from the pan and place them in a large pot. If you wish to add carrots, add them to the pot as well. After the vegetables; add the pasta sauces, water, and 1 cup of macaroni noodles.

Drain and rinse the red kidney beans, adding them to the pot as well.

Cook soup until it boils, then simmer until macaroni is cooked.

Stir in crumbled bacon.

Serve soup, topping with mozzarella cheese.

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Thoughts after cooking:

I loved it. I thought it not only smelled amazing but tasted amazing as well. I only wish I had taken a pic before eating it all.

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For  more soup recipes, check out my Gazpacho

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Gazpacho

This recipe is inspired from A Dash of Death (A Hemlock Falls Mystery #2)

Dash of Death

Gazpacho

Thoughts Prior to Cooking:

I read this book years ago and I really wanted to make gazpacho after reading it. The only thing was that I didn’t like the recipe they gave at the back of the book as they use vodka. Now I cannot drink alcohol at all or use it in my cooking, unless it is cooked through. I tried finding a substitute for the vodka, but came up with squat. So I decided to instead use a different recipe. This one may not be the one from the book, but I never would have wanted to make any type of gazpacho if it wasn’t for having read this mystery.

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  • 1 Cup of finely chopped, seeded, & peeled tomatoes
  • 1 Cup of chopped, seeded cucumber
  • 3/4 Cup chopped green onion
  • 3/4 Cup of sliced black olives
  • 3/4 Cup of chopped celery
  • 1 10.5-oz can of Vegetable Broth
  • 3 Cups of tomato juice
  • 1/2 Cup of white cooking wine
  • 3 Tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of hot sauce
  • Cucumber or celery sticks (optional)

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, green onion, celery, olives, broth, tomato juice, vinegar, wine, garlic powder, and hot sauce.

Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Serve cold. Garnish with cucumber or celery sticks. Makes 8 servings.

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Gazpacho

Thoughts after cooking:

I thought this was really good. It was almost like drinking a salad, the way the vegetables all mingle together.

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A Dash of Death

Dash of Death

Dash of Death (A Hemlock Falls Mystery #2) by Claudia Bishop

The is the second book in the Hemlock Falls Mysteries. In the first book, A Taste for Murder, we are introduced to the Quilliam sisters. Sarah “Quill” Quilliam is an artist in New York City, known as the next Georgia O’Keefe. She is starting to hit the big time, when she is stalled and has a block on what to paint next. Her younger sister, Meg, is an amazing chef also living in NYC. Around the time that Quill starts having trouble with her paintings, Meg’s husband is killed in an automobile accident.

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Both women need a change of scene and travel up north to rural New York. While visiting the cute, country town; the two discover a historic inn for sale. They decide to buy it, run it, and take on this new path of life.

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In the first book, the sisters find themselves having to battle unruly guests, deal with the town’s Historic Days festival, and complexities of trying to fit in in a small town. To make matters worse: someone is sabotaging the inn, a murder occurs, Quill’s friend flees and is accused, Meg is poisoned, and much more.

what have i gotten myself into star trek next gen

Now in book two, A Dash of Death. the sisters have cemented themselves a bit more into country life. Both have recovered from near misses in their last adventure, and are looking forward to the future. Unfortunately, the inn has not quite recovered as they are in need of a boost in guests and money. The group thinks they have found their salvation in TV sensation Helena Houndswood, star and creator of the show, It’s a Beautiful Life. Sadly for them, she turns out to have a major ego and becomes a huge headache for all parties.

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But she is good for business. Her show has just run a million dollar prize competition, a china plate design, of which the winner is from Hemlock Falls. She decides to hold the whole show at the Quilliam’s inn. When news of this spreads, business starts booming for the sisters with all kinds of calls coming in.

But all is not rosy. It turns out that instead of one winner, there are five. All are blue-collar women and workers at the local paint factory. And all five are nowhere near what Helena views as classy. In fact she would rather they decline and remain anonymous than set foot on being her show.

When the winners start disappearing and having “accidental” deaths, Quill starts investigating as to who could be behind it all. Is it the jealous and abusive husband of one of the women? Could one of the women be getting rid of the others in order to increase her share? Could Helena be getting rid of them so they won’t “taint” her “beautiful” show? Or is someone else behind all this?

Quill starts searching for the truth, but finds herself joining the ranks of the hunted.

KeepCalmSleuthOn

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So I really enjoyed this book. It is better than the original as that one moved a tad slow, (it had more introductions to the characters and such). This one is the complete opposite as it is constantly moving, with ever-occuring action. It is an amazing mystery with so many twists and turns that you find it impossible to put down, the need to know the answer consuming you. And the end result it worth every bit. I highly encourage any mystery lover to check this out!!!

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For more Hemlock Falls, go to A Taste for Murder

A Taste for Murder

A taste for murder

A Taste for Murder (A Hemlock Falls Mystery #1) by Claudia Bishop

We are introduced to the Quilliam sisters: Sarah “Quill” Quilliam is an artist in New York City, known as the next Georgia O’Keefe. She is starting to hit the big time, when she is stalled and has a block on what to paint next. Her younger sister, Meg, is an amazing chef also living in NYC. Around the time that Quill starts having trouble with her paintings, Meg’s husband is killed in an automobile accident.

thenannygasp

Both women need a change of scene and travel up north to rural New York. While visiting the cute, country town; the two discover a historic inn for sale. They decide to buy it, run it, and take on this new path in life.

change

In the first book, to town is getting ready for it’s Historic Days. Quill and Meg already have enough trouble trying to fit in a town where everyone knows each other practically from the womb, and now are trying to work with and around the committee members.

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They also discover they have quite a lot of unruly guests, including an older woman and her companion, whom trouble just seems to follow.

what have i gotten myself into star trek next gen

A local businessowner is murdered, followed by the companion participating in an Historic Days event.

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It’s up to Quill to investigate!

KeepCalmSleuthOn

To make things worse, someone is trying to sabotage the inn by canceling reservations, poisoning food, etc.

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Quill’s friend flees and is accused

thenannygasp

And much more.

what have i gotten myself into star trek next gen

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Thoughts after reading:

Well I really enjoyed this book. At first I found it a bit hard to get through as the author’s style is old-fashioned and a bit flowery. But it surprised me midway with a few twists and an unexpected villain.

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For more on Hemlock Falls, go to A Dash of Death