Polka Dot Macaroni and Cheese

elbow-macaroni

So as I stated in my book review of Peach Cobbler Murder, I don’t like Peach Cobbler at all not one bit.

IDon'tlikeit

And since I don’t like to eat peaches in any other form than just eating the fruit, I decided to just skip it all together and post something completely different.

Thoughts Before Cooking:

So my niece wanted to make this recipe called Polka Dot Macaroni and Cheese, but when I looked at the recipe it asked for Cheddar cheese soup and some other stuff that didn’t sound good. So instead I choose a Paula Dean recipe for Macaroni and Cheese and added the extra items to make it “Polka-Dotted”.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups of uncooked Macaroni
  • 4 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of Minced Onion
  • 4 Tablespoons of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 3/4 Teaspoons of Dry Mustard
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Paprika
  • 2 Cups of Milk
  • 3 Cups of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 Hot dogs (I use Hebrew National as they are the best)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking dish.
  3. Boil 6 cups of water, add macaroni, and cook until al dente.
  4. Drain the pasta.
  5. In a large saucepan, melt the butter.
  6. Add the onion and cook, stirring constantly until tender.
  7. Add flour, salt, dry mustard, and paprika; mix well.
  8. Add milk and stir for 5 minutes, or until thickened.
  9. Add 2 cups of shredded cheese and stir until melted.
  10. Stir in the macaroni and pour into the prepared dish.
  11. Cover the macaroni with remaining cheese.
  12. Cut the hot dogs into penny-thin slices.
  13. Sprinkle on top of the macaroni.
  14. Bake for 45-50 minutes.

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polkadotmac&cheese

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Thoughts After Cooking:

I’ve never been one for the hot dog and Mac & cheese combo; but I loved this. The Mac and Cheese is of course phenomenal, but the hotdog added an extra boost.

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For more recipes with macaroni, go to Pasta e Fagioli

For more recipes, go to Cocoa M&M Cookies

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Peach Cobbler Murder

PeachCobblerMurder

Peach Cobbler Murder (Hannah Swenson #7) by Joanne Fluke

So we haven’t reviewed a Hannah Swenson Mystery in  while. Let me do a quick review. Hannah is still in a love triangle with Mike and Norman; although it is clear that Mike is not the right guy. Just dump him already!

movingOnsherlocknotinterested

Hannah’s brother-in-law has been elected Sheriff, although I don’t think he is smart enough to have that job.

I don't think so.

And Hannah’s mom is dating some English Earl. An English Earl visiting small town Minnesota in the winter? Come on now, that’s super suspicious! Why would a rich Englishman choose smallsville snow capital of the States to visit? Sounds like a conman to me. A real Earl would want to visit Miami, L.A., or something.

BacktothefutureThinkMcFlyStupid

Just an FYI for all you readers: I HATE PEACH COBBLER!

IDon'tlikeit

I think it is gross, liquidly, and pretty much like eating wet bread. That being said, I will not be making any, whether the recipe is from this book or something else. Just so you know.

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The Review:

Shawna Lee Quinn, (Hannah’s nemesis as she is cute, blonde, thin, and extremely interested in Mike)

Hate her that's so raven

Has just opened up a bakery, the Magnolia Blossom Bakery, across the street from The Cookie Jar, with her sister; the wealthy, widowed, and just as beautiful, Vanessa.

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Everyone in town has been visiting the Magnolia Blossom Bakery, except Norman because he’s awesome, and business has been slow.

im_bored_himym

So Lisa and Hannah come up with the bright idea of sending Hannah’s sister Andrea over to spy and find out whether or not their desserts are really all that good Andrea also has a real knack for manipulating information, so they know she will get the skinny on everything.

gotthis

When Andrea returns with the desserts, it turns out that this “true Southern bakery” is nothing but average, their only “Southern dish” being peach cobbler. Andrea also discovered that nearly everyone in town is at the bakery “helping Hannah” by spying to see of the bakery is really that good.

I can’t believe that Andrea feel for that.

Icannotstandmorons_Laura

Hannah is worried about the bakery putting hers out of business, and with baited breath they test the desserts.

Sabrina the teenage witch salem dum di dum dum dum

It turns out that the desserts are okay, with the peach cobbler tasting vaguely familiar.

Deja Vu

Looks like the Bakery might continue to cause issues for them.

Aw+man+i+missed+the+porn+raid+again+i+am+_9614058b2062adb4c677dd212977b011

They also introduce a side story about Hannah and her cat mousing (but not really) but we’ll skip that as it is boring, dumb, and useless padding.

movingOnsherlocknotinterested

So the next day Hannah’s mother, Delores, call her to propose a way for Hannah to beat the Magnolia Blossom Bakery. She tells Hannah to create her own peach cobbler and the afternoon meeting of the Lake Eden Quilting Society will do a blind test taste to see who’s is better. And Hannah agrees as it may be her only chance.

dearlordhelpme

She makes a testing batch and it gets warm applause by all.

gotthis

Herb and Lisa love the Minnesota Peach Cobbler that they ask for her to make it, in addition to her cookies and cake. Hannah agrees, and all this talk about cobbler reminds Lisa’s father, Jack, of something he did. He invited Shawna Lee to Lisa and Herb’s wedding.

luke-noooo-o

Valentines’ Day has arrived,

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Also the day of Herb and Lisa’s wedding. The Cookie Jar is closed for business as it will be busy with the preparations for the wedding.

Wedding

While she is working, a knock at the door shows that Mike has sent her flowers for Valentine’s Day! Hannah is thrilled! That is, until she discovers from her chatty delivery man that the flowers he is sending Shawna are her favorite and twice as expensive.

ohnoyoudidn't

I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again. Stop this love triangle!

Ijustwantittostop

It is crystal clear who she should be with: NORMAN!!! Just marry him already. Jeez!

seriously

Angrily Hannah reads the card from Mike:

Happy Valentine’s Day! I volunteered to work during the wedding, but I can make the reception. Save the first and last dance for me? I’ve got something special for you and I’ll follow you home.

To Hannah all is forgiven, but I’m like dump the chump!

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So back to business, except Hannah gets a call from Lisa telling her that Shawna is going to bring a peach cobbler. As hers is a gift, Hannah’s will have to stay unmade.

Aw+man+i+missed+the+porn+raid+again+i+am+_9614058b2062adb4c677dd212977b011

Hannah is upset, but quickly gets over it as Norman gives her a ruby pendent for Valentine’s Day.

Aw, how cute.

Aw, how cute.

That afternoon, during the wedding, Hannah notices that Winthrop, her mother’s boyfriend, has disappeared.

That'sOdd

He comes back with her mother’s rice, but he seemed gone for such a long time.

HMMM

However, Hannah can’t think on this too long as the limo driver broke a bone and can’t drive, leaving Hannah the only one to do it.

As Hannah is helping hand out desserts, she and Sally are upset that Shawna has yet to arrive with her dessert. Where is she and where is her cobbler? To Hannah’s dismay Mike has also failed to show up and her mind starts going to only one conclusion.

2013-11-27-bradpitt friends ugh slap face stupid

Hannah makes plans with Norman for after the wedding as with Mike, you snooze you loose.

See ya!

See ya!

After the wedding, Hannah makes a quick pit stop to unload the leftovers. While in her shop she notices that the Magnolia Blossom Bakery’s lights are still on. She calls to warn them, but all she gets os the answering machine.

Hannah grows uneasy and starts to wonder if maybe there was a robbery. And in true Baby-Sitters Club fashion, she heads over there by herself with no weapon  to investigate. The thought that she should probably phone the police doesn’t even cross her mind.

Seriously?

doyouwanttodie

She goes in and finds Shawna’s dead body, shot.

gunshooting

Mike and Norman come on the scene and Hannah let’s Mike take over. It turns out that he was headed to Shawna’s place as they had an “appointment” before his date with Hannah. And Shawna had missed it.

Hannah is furious with Mike, even more that he repeatedly called Shawna, but the simple courtesy call to let Hannah know that he was running late neveer even occured to him to place.

jerk-gif

Hannah goes home after answering a few questions and she and Norman discuss strategy to figure out who the murder is. Hannah is eager to solve this as she looks like the #1 suspect. 1) Everyone knew the Cookie Jar was going down. 2) Shawna was also dating Mike. 3) Hannah Hates Shawna.

thisisbad

On a happy note, they discover that the Magnolia Blossom Bakery wasn’t making a real “Southern peach cobbler” but using a frozen one and passing it off as their own.

fake2

The next day Mike comes over and tries to pass off his “thing” with Shawna as just pure, platonic friendship. Yeah Right! And he does some bogus flatterly to get Hannah to forgive him. Forgive? More like forget!

good-byeNeverwantyouinmylifeHomeAlone

Hannah goes out that night with Norman to talk strategy further. They are going to be joined by Andrea and while they wait to be seated, Hannah looks at the stiffed and mounted bear and gives a paragraph lecture in her head why the story of shooting it is false. All I can think is why? Why, Joanne? Why is this in here? It doesn’t further the plot. It doesn’t bring depth to the characters. All it is, is a extremely strange tangent.

nobodycares

Later, Hannah and Andrea resume their investigations at the mall. They stop at the Logo store. She finds shirts on sale for a $1, Lake Eden Gulps, and buys them all for her softball team. She also recruits the girl working there. Now isn’t that cheating? This woman has nothing to do with The Cookie Jar, it’s not really fair.

How rude

And this softball team, we never see it again.

See ya!

Andrea talks to Kyle at the flower shop, while Hannah gets distracted by Mike. Mike takes Hannah out to eat, but the real reason why he does this is because he wants an Orange Julius recipe for Vanessa.

seriously

Ugh! Dump this CHUMP

He’s going to the house to get it ready for Vanessa as he has a key.

holdupwaitamin

Yes a KEY!!! And what to you think he was going to use that key for, really? Dump HIM!!!!

See ya!

See ya!

Hannah returns the usage, by asking him about the investigation. Mike tells her that he is at a halt, he can’t find  suspect who doesn’t have an alibi, and there are hardly anyone really who has a motive to murder her.

Hannah and Mike go back to her place where she makes the Orange Julius and gives it to Mike. He gives her an extremely passionate kiss, and then tells her:

“Thanks Hannah. I really don’t know what I’d do without you. You’re the best friend I ever had.”

FRIEND!!???

FRIEND!!???

Best friend!!!??? Best Friend????!!!! DUMP HIM NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

good-byeNeverwantyouinmylifeHomeAlone

The next day Hannah gets to work at five in the morning, and spends the whole drive worried about seeing Vanessa and Mike together. When she gets there she discovers an awake Mike, and passed out Vanessa.

suspicious Hmm

Andrea comes in mad at Minnesota snow, and complains, but Hannah refutes it saying there is no place like it. Actually this is wrong. Most of the Midwest resembles itself. The only real unique place, truth be told, in the United States is California. It has everything.

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As they are talking, Andrea sees Shawna Lee across the street.

What?

It actually turns out to be Vanessa. From far away the sisters look exactly alike.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

So yes, the reason why she was killed was because someone thought she was Vanessa. Now who would want to kill Vanessa? I don’t know but it definitely opens up a can of worms.

HMMM

So Hannah calls up Norman to help her out, and is it just me or in every book does it look like he and Hannah do less of their “real work” and more of their hobby of “detective work”.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

They want more information on Vanessa, but no one knows her married name. After her husband croaked, she changed it back to her maiden name of Quinn.

That afternoon, Hannah heads over with Andrea to check out the bakery supplies and fixtures Vanessa is selling, along with trying to pump out any information they can out of her.

It turns out that Vanessa is from Macon, Georgia the same place that is headquarters of Pretty Girl Cosmetics. And guess who just happened to choose Lake Eden as the site for the big Pretty Girl Cosmetics corporate retreat at the same time Vanessa came to town, the VP Gloria Travis.

coincidenceithinknot

It turns out that last year Gloria was engaged to Neil Roper, head of Pretty Girl, and then miss thang came along and Gloria was thrown over for her.

jerk_alert32

They question Gloria and she tells all. Neil broke his leg and wasn’t completely healing right. His house keeper quit after she had a heart attack, so he hired a physical therapist, Vanessa Quinn. Gloria tried calling him, but he was asleep, out, on drugs, etc. Three weeks later, he was married to Vanessa. He died and she got everything. Gloria is positive that Vanessa drugged him, forced him to marry her, and them killed him.

Gold Digger and Grave Digger

Gold Digger and Grave Digger

Now Gloria, I’m with ya on murder, but I don’t think she forced him to marry her. A hot 2o year old with the perfect body can easily beat out a pretty, but middle-aged woman.

Sad but true.

Sad but true.

Gloria found out that Vanessa was there, made the retreat there, and went to talk to her to try to get her to confess. When she got to the bakery she found Vanessa dead, but then got closer and saw it wasn’t Vanessa but Shawna.

Before Hannah and Andrea can process all that, they get called by their mom to come over as she has something important to share.

Uh-oh

Uh-oh

They get over there and it turns out that when their mom was snooping in her boyfriend, Winthrop’s, house, she found a picture of Shawna Quinn. She sends her girls over to investigate whether or not he is a cad.

At his place, they discover that Winthrop has no real pictures but fakes to look “homey”. Only one type of person would do such a thing. A CONMAN.

Charles Ponzi

Charles Ponzi

The next morning Hannah thinks about everything, and starts to wonder is it Shawna or Vanessa in the picture? And what is the connection?

IndianaJonesHmmMaybe

They come up with the idea to check the photo to see who took/printed it. When they find out they call, pretending they want a copy of the photo. It turns out a Bobby Joe Peters paid for it. Who is Bobby Joe?

What?

Norman does his usual vague, but perfectly problem solving computer research, and finds out that Bobby Joe and Winthrop are the same person. He is a con artist and usually has a female accomplice.

Uh-oh

Uh-oh

Hannah sneaks into Winthrop’s house to return the photo to his apartment. While there, who should come in but Winthrop? It turns out that he and Vanessa planned together to kill Neil. Vanessa was supposed to cut him in on the inheritance and insurance money, but turned on him and he ended up in jail. He was trying a new scam on Delores, but when Vanessa came to town, he was ready all about payback.

paybacktime

Only problem, he accidentally killed Shawna.

oopsmybad

Delores comes in and saves the day. They then get Vanessa, and Hannah trades the best lawyer for buying everything in the bakery for the cheap sum of $1000.

YayHappy-Success-GIF

At the end of the book both guys ask Hannah to marry them. And she tells them to wait for her to decide.

thenannygasp

Guess one wedding wasn’t enough.

Wedding

But who will it be?

Sad but true.

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Thoughts After Reading:

I thought it was a pretty good mystery. I mean it had a few problems: like that whole mousing subplot

im_bored_himym

And the fact that no one was suspicious of Winthrop?

seriously

And the fact that Hannah still wants to see Mike?

2013-11-27-bradpitt friends ugh slap face stupid

But the actual mystery was good. And the rest was an enjoyable read.

likeit

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For more Hannah Swenson Mysteries, go to Sugar Cookie Murder

For more mysteries featuring the murder of the wrong person, go to A Dark and Stormy Knit

For more mystery reviews, go to The Saint Valentine’s Day Cookie Massacre

 

Cocoa M&M Cookies

So I don’t know how your guy’s Valentine’s Day went, but this is typically mine.

Valentine'sDay

Except I don’t pig out, I bake some cookies!

cookies

Thoughts Before Baking:

So this recipe comes from the Hershey Cocoa Cookbook, published in 1979. Oh yeah it’s an oldie but a goodie. I’ve been making these for years and I just love this cookie.

I especially like to make these either right after Christmas or Valentine’s Day as the M&M packages are all on sale for 80¢ or less.

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Ingredients:

  • 2/3 Cup of Shortening
  • 1.5 Cups of Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2/3 Cup of Dairy Sour Cream
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Cups of Unsifted All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup of Hershey’s Cocoa
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 2 Cups of M&Ms

Directions:

  1. Cream shortening and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add eggs, sour cream, and vanilla; beat well.
  3. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; blend into creamed mixture.
  4. Stir in M&Ms.
  5. Drop them by the tablespoonful onto a lightly greased cookie sheet, cool on wire rack.

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Thoughts After Baking:

Sorry for no picture, but these cookies do not photograph well. But that doesn’t matter as they taste delicious!!!!

joker-yum

They are one of my favorite cookies to make. I just love them!

cookies

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For more cookie recipes, go to Sand Tarts

For more desserts, go to Gingerbread Men Cookies

For more holiday recipes, go to Brioche French Toast

For more recipes, go to Oven-Crispy Creole French Fries 

The Saint Valentine’s Day Cookie Massacre

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Yes I don’t usually post on Sundays, but as I just had the perfect book for this holiday I decided that I would post early.

St.ValentineMystery

The Saint Valentine’s Day Cookie Massacre (A Hatter’s Cove Gazette #1) by Elisabeth Crabtree

So I got this book off BookBub for free, and as anyone knows who uses the site, it’s kinda hit ot miss. Sometimes the free books you get are fantastic, and others rotters. I really loved this character and the story. But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.

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The Review:

Kat Archer is an investigative reporter.

investigate

She was working in Miami at a newspaper, but after ten years began to get nostalgic. She decided to move back to her hometown of Hatter’s Cove, FL.

When she was 16 she interned at the Hatter’s Cove Gazette and had a major crush on one of the reporters, Hayden. Of course, as he was five years older, nothing happened between them.

Aw+man+i+missed+the+porn+raid+again+i+am+_9614058b2062adb4c677dd212977b011

When Kat returned, she discovered that Hayden now owns the Gazette, but sadly it is in dire straits. It appears that someone else has opened up a newspaper in the town, and took almost all the reporters that worked ay the Gazette.

suspicious Hmm

While Kat was luckily able to get a job on the paper right away, she was unluckily given the Lifestyles section instead of the hard-hitting, investigative work she really wants. In the last three months she has covered every dog show, cat stories, bird expos, and reviewing the town’s restaurants.

joker-yum

Sounds kind if sweet, huh? The cushy restaurant reviewer’s job? Well, Kat hates it. Apparently no one in her town that owns a restaurant can cook, causing her to get food poisoning, stale food, etc.

creepyew

The rest of the team is Rosie, sports extraordinaire and sports writer; Beatrice, cantankerous and a grumpity grump that does the crossword puzzle and other stories; and Simon, the new intern.

Today is Valentines Day, and Kat’s old family friend, Miss Dolly, has just switched from catering to opening up her own store: Dolly’s Cookie Jar and Sweets Emporium. She especially asked for Kat, and how can she refuse.

Aw, how cute.

Aw, how cute.

She heads out, taking Simon along with her.

At the opening, Kat and Simon run into Evan, a reporter that jumped from the Gazette to the new newspaper, The Herald. He thinks he is God’s gift to women, and wants to date Kat. She is definitely a no on that.

movingOnsherlocknotinterested

Then Benny comes, Simon’s nemesis, and starts taunting him again. This opening is raring to go.

Not-Good

Dolly kicks Benny out as she can’t stand him after he messed up her catering business.

See ya!

See ya!

Dolly opens and the whole town seems to come, including Tiffany Wallace. Tiffany is a convicted killer.

What?

Six years ago on her 18th birthday, she killed her father, and she’s out now because her charge was knocked down from murder to manslaughter. Apparently she killed her father because he didn’t approve of her wanting to marry Benny Yates. He threatened to cut her off. It sucks for her, as she killed her father, she didn’t inherit any of his money.

well that's just great anchorman

Vivian Wallace, Tiffany’s stepmother, is also there. She and Dolly had been in the catering business together, but Vivian made a mess of the fiance and the business closed, along with their friendship. Dolly went on and continued to thrive as she had talent, she also married Rich Fairchild, ex golf pro. Vivian’s business was utterly destroyed, but she managed to bag the wealthiest man in town.

Later that night Kat is planning on spending Valentine’s Day alone; but gets a call about some great information. Kat decides to follow the instructions and meet. When she arrives on the scene she finds Benny’s dead body…

StarTrekTheOriginalSeriesHesDeadJim

Right next to a bag of Dolly’s Cookie Jar and Sweets Emporium bag. Later to be revealed as full of poisoned cookies.

Why was Benny calling Kat? What information did he have? And who killed him? Kat is on the case!

gotthis

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Thoughts after reading:

I loved it.

loveitSupernatural

The mystery was great! I I thought I knew what was coming, but then that twist got right in there and showed me that there was still a bit I did not catch.

yougotme

I also really, really want Officer Luke and Kat to get together.

Please!

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For more mysteries featuring investigative reporters, go to the Thorns of Rosewood

For more reviews, go to A Dark and Stormy Knit

Brioche French Toast

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Happy Valentine’s Day

I know you all are thinking, what? Valetine’s Day is Sunday. Yes, you are right, but I thought that I would post a great recipe to make for your loved one today, just in case anyone out there needed any ideas.

My-Fathers-Daughter-by-Gwyneth-Paltrow

Thoughts before Cooking:

Ever since I have heard the word “brioche” uttered by Hugh Jackman in Kate & Leopold I have wanted to sample some of my own. I was like yes, give me some.

And later in the film he makes this yummy dish for her breakfast:

kate&leopoldStrawberrieontoasts

I don’t know what it was, but when I looked through this cookbook and I saw Challah or Brioche French Toast, I just heard Hugh Jackman’s voice in my head saying “brioche” with that amazing accent and had to make it.

Of course it is not exact as I am on a budget and can’t get the same things Gwyneth Paltrow can afford to buy

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • 1 Loaf of Brioche or Challah Bread
  • 2 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Teaspoon of Sugar
  • 1 Banana Peeled, or 1 case of Strawberries
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Maple Syrup

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the vanilla and eggs.
  2. Add the milk, and whisk the whole mixture
  3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat
  4. Dip the bread in the egg mixture and place in the pan.
  5. Sprinkle the top with a little bit of sugar.
  6. Cook for 2 minutes, or until brown, and flip over.
  7. Repeat step 5.
  8. Remove toast to plate and top with fruit and powdered sugar
  9. Add maple syrup and enjoy.

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BriocheFrenchToast

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Thoughts After Cooking:

I loved this.

fantastic

It was so good I’ve made it three more times since then. Just absolutely delicious.

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For more recipes from My Father’s Daughter, go to Spaghetti Limone Parmeggiano

For more French Toast, go to Pumpkin French Toast

For more breakfast dishes, go to Breakfast Puffin Muffins

For more holiday recipes, go to Oven-Crispy Creole Seasoned French Fries

A Dark and Stormy Knit

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A Dark and Stormy Knit (A Black Sheep Knitting Mystery #6) by Anne Canadeo

Since Silence of the Llamas, there have been a few changes with the Black Sheep Knitting Group. Valentine’s Day is looming and Maggie is deciding on what classes to teach. Phoebe has finally left Josh, as he hasn’t been treating her right for a while. And even though every citizen voted against it, the mayor has instituted meters in the downtown business area. All the merchants hate it, but are just as stuck as the tourists and shoppers.

Hate this.

Hate this.

But Maggie gets a surprise that morning when she finds all the meters covered in knitted kitty covers.  Yep the Knit Kat Graffiti Artists, (knitting protest artwork group) has struck again.

Catburglarcat

Charlotte, Phoebe’s new artist friend from college, starts hanging out. Let’s hope this friendship doesn’t go south like Crystal in Knit, Purl, Die

HMMM

In fact Phoebe has become such great friends, they all go to the art gallery to see Charlotte’s work.

Double double yay

The group also decide to knit things for a homeless shelter to honor Valentine’s Day.

cupcake_kisses-valentine's_day_cards_for_kids-nancy_kubo-daiquiri-pink

The day of the art show, the whole gang head out to the college. They meet some professors, but then Charlotte gets a text from Quentin, her ex who won’t take no for an answer.

Blog-Child-Support-Oh-No

She tries to flee, when Quentin comes crashing in. The girls try to help her, but Quentin comes through, knocking Phoebe out of the way.

jerk-gif

After that, no one knows where Charlotte is. They talk to the security guards, give statements; but then as they search everywhere they can’t find her.

Uh-oh

Uh-oh

The next day Phoebe goes to Charlotte’s apartment to check on her and see if she is there. But then, finds a dead body.

StarTrekTheOriginalSeriesHesDeadJim

They call the police and start thinking that mybe it was the Knit Kat group. Charlotte was a member and Phoebe found her dead body covered in yarn, almost like some kind of a statement.

suspicious Hmm

After the cops look more into the murder, they discover that Phoebe was wrong. That isn’t Charlotte’s dead body but Beth Shelton, some one who looks like Charlotte from behind.

What?

So who killed her? Someone after Charlotte? Or Charlotte herself?

suspense

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So I didn’t really like this one as much as the other books.

horrible

Charlotte and the other characters were too new and didn’t have enough background as to who they were.

What'sHappening?BigBangTheory

Plus this mystery was extremely easy to solve.

im_bored_himym

I think out of all the books in the series this one and A Stitch Before Dying are the weakest and the least interesting. Hopefully the next book will be better, I’m looking forward to it.

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For more Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries, go to The Silence of the Llamas

For more books with mistaken identity, go to Grime and Punishment

For more mystery reviews, go to Fool Moon

Oven-Crispy Creole Seasoned French Fries

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With Superbowl Sunday coming up, I decided to share a tasty recipe that is sure to be a hit. I also just want to take this moment to share my support for South Carolina Panthers, go team!

YayHappy-Success-GIF

Moving on…

foodie

Thoughts Before Baking:

So this recipe comes from this Food Network magazine. In the magazine they call it Emeril Lagasse’s Oven Crispy French Fries with Paprika-Parmesan Salt, but I decided that was too long for a title and renamed them.

I love fries!

fries

And I decided that I would give these slightly healthier ones a try. As I didn’t want to spend money buying creole seasoning when I only need one tablespoon, I decided to make my own. It only cost like 30¢ that way.

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Creole Seasoning Ingredients (from Epicurious)

  • 1/3 Cup of Paprika
  • 3 Tablespoons of Dried Oregano
  • 3 Tablespoons of Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons of Dried Basil
  • 2 Tablespoons of Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of Granulated Onion
  • 4 Teaspoons of Dried Thyme
  • 4 Teaspoons of Granulated Garlic

Directions:

  1. Mix all the spices together in a bowl.
  2. Store in airtight container for three months.

 

 

French Fry Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Baking Potatoes (about 1.5 lbs), scrubbed well
  • 1/4 Cup of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of the above Creole Seasoning, Emeril’s Original Essence Seasoning, or other Creole Seasoning
  • Salt
  • 1/2 Cup of grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon of Sweet Paprika (I couldn’t find any so I used regular)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Onion Powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Pat the potatoes dry and cut them lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices. Turn each slice flat and slice again lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices.
  3. Place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl and add olive oil, creole seasoning (or Emeril’s seasoning), and 1/4 a teaspoon of salt.
  4. Toss well to combine.
  5. Transfer the fries to a large baking sheet, arranging them in lines and not allowing any to touch.
  6. Roast the potatoes for 15 mins.
  7. Turn them over and roast another 15 mins or until brown and crispy.
  8. While potatoes are cooking, combine cheese, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  9. When potatoes are crisp and brown, sprinkle with mixture.
  10. Serve Hot.

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Thoughts After Baking:

I thought these fries were really good, but the sheet needs to be greased or else the fries all stick.

luke-noooo-o

I also thought the fries were better without the paprika-parmesan salt. But other than that, they were really delicious.

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For more holiday posts, go to Best-Ever Blueberry Muffins

For more recipes, go to Italian Wedding Soup

Fool Moon

Fool Moon

Fool Moon (The Dresden Files #2) by Jim Butcher

Since Chicagoan wizard, Harry Dresden, last battled the evil wizard in Storm Front things have been really quiet for Harry.

On one hand it is great that he hasn’t had any death threats, mobsters following him, the White council breathing down his neck, etc.

Lordoftherings LifeisGood

On the other hand, no cases means no food or rent.

thisisbad

So Harry has been forced to live off the good cheer of friends, and girlfriend Susan (I like her but I don’t like them together).

Then one day, Harry gets asked by a wizard he is training, Kim Delaney, for a powerful spell to contain a person. As that is dipping into areas he doesn’t want to go (hello, white council), he refuses.

Its-Not-Going-to-Happen-Mean-Girls

As Harry is trying to figure out what to do next for money, he is called in by the Chicago police force. Murphy has been furious with him ever since the last case they worked on in Storm Front and has purposely not been calling him because she was furious. But now she needs him. They discovered one of Johnny Marcone’s men brutally mutilated.

creepyew

But that’s not why she called him in…you see there were also some strange-looking paw prints at the crime scene. And it was a full moon.

coincidenceithinknot

You got it: Werewolves.

Now in this universe there are many types of werewolves, who each have their own types of changes. The type Harry is after? A Loup-Garou. And the only way you can kill them, is with inherited silver turned into bullets.

Where we gonna get one of those?

Where we gonna get one of those?

The FBI has been called into this and give Harry a tip on the motorcycle gang, The Streetwolves. Harry investigates, but finds that they are not the right type. They are Lycanthropes, which in this universe, do not change shape only their mind; inner beasts. Harry manages to escape them, but they have now put a hit on him.

well that's just great anchorman

Harry then gets called in by Johnny Marcone. He knows that this werewolf is after him, and tries to get Harry to sign on as a bodyguard. Harry refuses (once again), and when Marcone leaves he drops the name Harley MacFinn and the Northwest Passage Project. Harry gets some information about Harley MacFinn and figures he is the one that is the loup-garou.

gotthis

Harry goes to investigate, but gets arrested. It turns out they found Kim’s destroyed body next to a summoning circle in Harley’s apartment.

what have i gotten myself into star trek next gen

Harry then meets Harley’s girlfriend, Tera West, a wolf that can become human (I guess a werehuman?). She tells Harry he needs to help Harley, that he has been taken and jailed by the police and the FBI. If Harry doesn’t do a protective circle, then a lot of people will die.

Uh-oh

Uh-oh

Harry hurries over, but it turns out that some of these law enforcement officers are dirty, and have made a deal to become Hexenwolves. Once again Harry has a lot to deal with and hopefully he makes it out alive.

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Thoughts After Reading:

I loved this book.

loveitSupernatural

It was just as good as the first one and really drives you on. I found it hard to put down, and ignored other commitments to read it.

My favorite part has to be when Murphy, queen of the disbelief of werewolves, shoots Harley with her silver bullets. When Harry asks her about it, it turns out her aunt passed on antique silver jewelry. Murphy never wore them and just had them hanging around, so she decided why not turn them into bullets and see if they worked.

eh

Got to love her.

fantastic

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For more on The Dresden Files, go to Just Because You’re Paranoid, Doesn’t Mean a Demon’s Not After You: Storm Front

For more Supernatural mysteries, go to The Barter

For more reviews, go to The Italian Wife