Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal Smoothie

Thoughts Before Cooking:

Do any of you have Something Extra Raley’s Rewards? I do and I love it. Every three months you receive coupons to do with stuff you had bought; and for your birthday get a free cupcake, free box of cake mix, and a free birthday card.

FREE!!

Every now and then they give you a freebie item, and I got a free container of 1 lb of strawberries. I love starwberries, but they were very ripe and needed to be eaten ASAP. So what better way to do it then with a smoothie?

This comes from The Kitchen Paper.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Frozen Strawberries (I used fresh)
  • 1/2 Cup of Yogurt
  • 3/4 Cup of Milk
  • 1/2 Cup of Uncooked Oatmeal
  • 1 Tsp of Vanilla Extract (optional)
  • Strawberry slices to top the smoothie (optional)
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Top with strawberry slices or whipped cream.
  3. Drink immediately.

Thoughts After Cooking:

It was delicious! I highly recommend it!

For more smoothie recipes, go to Apple Pie Smoothie

For more drink recipes, go to Matcha Latte (Hot or Cold)

For more strawberry recipes, go to Strawberry Infused Water

Lowcountry Boneyard

So I was given an ARC (advanced reader’s copy) of this book in exchange for an honest review. I read it withoutI read this book first before book one and two, but decided to not change anything but leave the review the same.

Lowcountry Boneyard (Liz Talbot Mystery #3) Susan M. Boyer

I am an avid reader of mysteries, but have never been a fan of the supernatural mystery genre. I have often found them redundant, (as they seem to be the same story told over and over again); have the ghosts, ghouls, vampires, zombies, etc being the one to do all the actual work instead of the investigator or police officer; or used as just another venue to tell a supernatural love story. Most of the time when I read a synopsis involving the help of the dead, I pass it by.

However, Lowcountry Boneyard (A Liz Talbot Mystery), by Susan M. Boyer, intrigued me and once I started reading it, I found it extremely hard to put down.

Liz Talbot is a private investigator, placed on a case to look into the disappearance of heiress Kent Heyward. Assisting her is her boyfriend, and partner in business, Nate Andrews, and dead best friend from high school turned ghostly guardian, Colleen.

Liz is going to need all the help she can get as this case takes her into a world of the wealthy, involves a family with long reaching arms, and a dark secret that those involved would do anything to stop Liz from discovering.

I really enjoyed this book as the mystery was amazing. The characters are realistic in their approach to the case, not discovering the answer immediately, but going through a lot of threads until they find the one that leads to the right answer. This one had a wide collection of possible suspects and theories, leaving mystery lovers enthralled as they try to discover what really happened to Kent Heyward.

Liz Talbot is an endearing character with her Southern charm, ladylike ways, intuition, and stubbornness; all cumulating in the perfect P.I. She is equally matched with Nate Anderson, partner and lover, whose cool logic balances out her more impulsive personality. I also enjoyed the spirit of Colleen, who role as guardian has the right amount of restrictions on what she can and cannot do, allowing Liz to not diminish in her ability to solve cases, yet have a bit of help when she needs it.

After reading this novel, I am inspired to read all that came out prior, and stay on the lookout for those to come. I’d give this novel a five out of five.

For more Liz Talbot mysteries, go to Lowcountry Bombshell

For more by Susan M. Boyer, go to Lowcountry Boil

For more private investigators, go to The Key to Midnight

For more female private investigators, go to The Case of the Invisible Dog

For more disappearances, go to Kidnapped!

Easy Tomato Soup

Thoughts Before Cooking:

So true, right? So I love tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches paired together. I have shared a few grilled cheese sandwich recipes, but now it is time to share a tomato soup recipe. I don’t know exactly where it comes from, but it was shared with me from my mother.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Minced Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of All-Purpose Flour
  • 4 Cups of Chicken Broth
  • 1 6-oz Can of Tomato Paste
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Cup of Half and Half
  • Chopped Fresh Tomatoes, Optional

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, saute garlic in butter for 1 minute.
  2. Stir in flour, until blended.
  3. Gradually add the chicken broth.
  4. Stir in tomato paste and cayenne until well blended.
  5. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 mins or until thickened.
  6. Reduce heat and gradually stir in cream. (Do not boil)
  7. Garnish with chopped tomatoes if desired.

Thoughts After Cooking:

I LOVED it! This soup was so good, especially with grilled cheese sandwiches. I recommend it.

For more soup recipes, go to Iron-Rich Black Bean Soup

For more tomato soup recipes, go to One-Pot Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

For more recipes, go to Hillshire Farm Crustless Quiche

The Tuesday Club Murders

The Tuesday Club Murders AKA The Thirteen Problems (Miss Marple #2) by Agatha Christie

So I was debating whether to post this on Sunday, Agatha Christie’s birthday, as it is a short story and I do Short Story Sunday, but the title of my copy is The Tuesday Club Murders. I have to post on Tuesday! Right?

So here we go, the first story will be posted today, while the following will be on Sundays as they usually are.

Plot Synopsis:

So Miss Marple is an elderly woman who has lived in her village St. Mary Mead all her life. But even though she grew up in a small town, she has the observational skills of a hawk.

So one night there is a gathering at Miss Marples home: Miss Marple; Raymond West, Miss Marple’s nephew and a writer; Joyce Lempriére, an artist; Sir Henry Clithering, former commissioner of Scotland Yard; Dr. Pender, the elderly clergyman of the parish; and Mr. Petherick, solicitor.

They are enjoying themselves, when Raymond starts talking about unsolved mysteries.

Joyce decides they should start a club and meet every Tuesday and present a mystery. One they know they answer to: The Tuesday Night Club. 

Or Murder Club!

Sir Henry starts them off:

There are three people who sit down to a dinner of tinned lobster. Later that night all fall ill, two recovered and one died.

Mr. Jones was a traveller and a good looking man of fifty. He is married to Mrs. Jones who was average looking and forty-five. Mrs. Jones’ companion is Miss Clark, a sixty year-old stout woman.

Now no one would have thought anything of this except that shortly before the incident, Mr. Jones stayed at a hotel and wrote some mail. One of the maids had been reading tons of mystery novels and decided to go over the blotting paper and see what was written and finds part of a note:

Entirely dependent on my wife…when she is dead I will…hundreds and thousands…

That started the wheel, and they then discovered that he was very friendly with the doctor’s daughter.

Hmm…

They did an autopsy and then discovered she died of arsenic poisoning.

So they started digging-Mr. Jones was a ladies’ man, who’s wife had the money, but he only inherited $8000-not hudreds and thousands.

Dinner that night had been tinned lobster, salad, trifle, bread, and cheese. Nothing of the dinner remained so there was nothing for them to test.

They questioned the young maid, Gladys Linch, who was terribly upset-but had no helpful information.

All three ate the same food, and it couldn’t be Mr. Jones who did the poisoning as he came right when the food was being served.

Miss Clark was looked at but there was no motive-she wasn’t having an affair with Mr. Jones, and with Miss Jones dead she had to find a new job-not easy for a woman of her age.

Mrs. Jones did ask her husband to make her some corn-flour after dinner. However, she didn’t eat it. She didn’t care for it, and her companion was banting (dieting), and starving and ate it.

All guess and are wrong, except for Miss Marple. Who did it and how did she figure it out?

(I will post the end upside down on the bottom for those interested.)

Thoughts After Reading:

I loved this! Although there was no hope of me ever getting it as I’m an American. I only got it this time because I discussed this item and them with my British boss. I know I’ve read this story a hundreds and thousands of times and I just finally get it!

For more Miss Marple, go to The Murder at the Vicarage

For more Agatha Christie, go to The Secret Adversary

For more short stories, go to The Man with the Twisted Lip

For more poisonings, go to A Much Expected Murder

And in other news happy 10 years to:

Borrowed from my sister blog JaneAustenRunsMyLife

Answer:

 

 

 

Hillshire Farm Crustless Quiche

 Thoughts Before Cooking:

So I do not like quiches. I don’t like the way the egg tastes when it is baked. It just does not appeal to me.

But since Tuesday’s review was on A Quiche Before Dyinga quiche recipe was needed. So I searched throughout the web and chose this one from Hillshire Farms.

Ingredients:

  • 12 Ounces Hillshire Smoked Sausage
  • 8 Eggs
  • 1.5 Cups of Whipping Cream
  • 1.5 Tsps of Dry Mustard
  • 1/4 Tsp of Salt
  • 1/8 Tsp of Black Pepper
  • 1.5 Cups of Shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 13×9-inch baking dish.
  3. Cut the susage into 1/2 inch cubes, set aside.
  4. Place eggs, cream, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl-whisk until smooth.
  5. Stir in sausage, 1 cup of cheese, and green pepper.
  6. Pour egg mixture into the greased pan.
  7. Bake 40-45 mins or until the eggs are set.
  8. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of cheese and let stand 5 mins before serving.

Thoughts After Baking:

So I ran out of cheese to put on top, I thought I had more than I actually did. This quiche was pretty good, I ate half of it, but I’m still not a quiche fan. It is the best quiche I’ve had so far.

For more egg recipes, go to Scrambled Eggs with Spinach & Parmesan

For more sausage recipes, go to Crock-Pot Sausage, Spinach, and White Bean Soup

For more pie recipes, go to Creamy Sour Cream Lemon Pie

In other news, today is Friday the 13th!

I hope you al have a great day, however you spend it. I’m thinking Horror movies!

Rebecca (1940)

And pizza! Maybe Pizza Siciliana or Brussels Sprouts, Turkey Sausage, & Pesto Pizza Casserole

For more Friday the 13th recipes, go to London Fog Smoothie

 

 

A Quiche Before Dying

A Quiche Before Dying (A Jane Jeffry Mystery #3)

Thoughts Before Reading:

So it has been a while since we reviewed one of this mysteries. The story is of widowed mom, Jane Jeffry, getting caught up in a murder mystery and doing her best to take care of her family and solve it at the same time.

As you might have guessed, all the books in the series are reworking of famous films/literature. This one is based on the book or movie A Kiss Before Dying.

Plot Summery:

This summer it is just the girls as Jane’s youngest son, Todd, has gone off with his paternal grandparents (who hate Jane) to Disney World. Her oldest son was off with his best friend and best friend’s father on a tour of colleges.

Katie, Jane’s daughter, is staying home as she has a job as a lifeguard for the summer. The two are to be soon joined by Jane’s mother. Jane and her mother will be taking a memoir writing class, one that Jane is not looking forward to.

Jane’s mother and father worked in the state department and went all over the world, while Jane has had nothing of note in her life. In fact, Jane ends up writing a historical fiction suspense novel instead.

The only sour spot in this whole class is that Mrs. General Agnes Pryce will be one of the classmates. She is a rude boorish woman, and nobody likes her.

The class is run by romance writer Missy Harris and the other classmates are: Jane’s best friend and neighbor, Shelley; Grady Wells, mayor and president of a small company; Ruth Rogers and her newly found sister Naomi Smith; and Desiree Loftus, bohemian artist who’s gone all over the world.

Agnes is just as bad as everyone thought it would be in the class. She even forces them to attend a potluck at her bric-a-brac stuffed house. After the party-Agnes winds up dead! Poisoned!

Which member of the class is the murderer? And will they strike again?

Thoughts After Reading:

I didn’t like this.

Everything was given at the end really. Just nothing and then one giant reveal. I did not care for it at all. There was no chance to figure out the killer, no real clues, nothing.

Bleh…

For more Jane Jeffry Mysteries, go to A Farewell To Yarns

For more by Jill Churchill, go to Grime and Punishment

For more mysteries, go to A Willing Murder

A Willing Murder

A Willing Murder (A Medlar Mystery #1) by Jude Deveraux

I have never been a big romance fan, but every book lover (and librarian) has come across Jude Deverux’s name before. I mean she’s a big name in the romance game.

This is Deveraux’s first mystery and I never would have probably read it if it weren’t for the fact that when I was processing the book I happened to read this snippet on the back:

Some secrets are better left buried…

When he was done what he came to do, he patted the dirt down, then stood up. To make sure it was done right, he went around the tree again and again, stamping harder and harder, crushing what was buried beneath the soil.

As he walked away, he smiled at the peaceful houses around him. His small town was such a nice place. In fact, maybe ridding it of undesirables had been a favor to the neighborhood. A lesson had been learned, and nothing like that would ever happen again…”

WHAT!

Sara Medlar grew up in Lachlan, Florida with her brother-ugh the jerk who will not be named. She was deeply in love with someone, but a simple misunderstanding drew them apart and he married another woman and had children.

from my sister blog janeaustenrunsmylife.wordpress.com

She moved away, and became a best-selling romance novelist. After selling millions upon millions of books, she faced a big brick wall-writer’s block.

From there she needed something new and moved back home, to Lachlan, bought the beautiful old mansion she has always loved and renovated it.

She also became a godmother to the boy that should have been her grandson, Jackson Wyatt, helping care for him and encouraging him-even investing in his business.

Jackson Wyatt has had a hard life. His father was abusive and cruel, his mother leaving him-but Jackson still having to spend the summers with him (court order). When he was a boy, the girl who was his friend and he was crazy about, Cheryl, disappeared.

His stepfather, who was the only real father to him, passed away and passed on the business to him (the one that Sara invested in). His half brother joined him in the business but unfortunately, tragedy would strike again, as his brother was killed in a car accident and Jackson ended up with a broken leg.

Afterwards, he began to be depressed, so Sara and his mother decided to meddle in his life-and trick him into staying with Sara so she can keep an eye on him.

Kate has grown up with the only family she knows being her hypochondriac and manic-depressive mother, and controlling/manipulative uncles.

Family is a mess.

After her life took a downturn, she wanted something new. She discovers that she has a aunt, her brother’s sister, and decides she is going to meet her. She never knew her father-and is ready for some real answers-ones she can’t get from her mother.

Unfortunately, while she got a job, she couldn’t get a place to stay. She discovers that her aunt has a young guy living in there-and afraid that she is being taken advantage of-decides she needs to move in and protect her.

I better make sure you don’t take my aunt’s money.

Unbeknownst to her, Sara used the same fear to get Jackson to move in. Telling him that she was afraid her niece might be trying to take advantage of her.

Your help

Kate shows up and things go smoothly, until they go out to look at some property Jackson purchased, and they discover two skeletons, and that’s not a joke-I mean two literal skeletons.

One body is Cheryl and the other Jackson’s dad. The police want this wrapped up and plan on no investigation. This upsets Kate, Sara, and Jackson who want Cheryl treated right.

They all start investigating, but someone out there has worked very hard to keep this secret and will continue to do all they can to keep it that way.

Thoughts After Reading:

So first things first:

There was very little romance, which surprised me as this was Jude Deveraux. I’ve never read any of her books but I imagine them to have a lot. Correct me if I’m wrong.

I thought it was pretty good, and of course wanted to know what happened.

I liked the character’s interactions-although they all become extremely best friends in an instant and talk as of they have been friends forever-a bit premature for the time they have known each other.

The mystery was good, but I figured out the ending pretty early.