Skinny Chai Tea Latte

Thoughts Before Cooking:

So Tuesday’s post was a mystery set in India, and I thought I should have an Indian/Indian themed recipe to go with it. I had planned to make some naan, but as I hadn’t yet, I thought I would borrow a chai tea recipe from my sister blog, JaneAustenRunsMyLifeI wouldn’t say I’m lazy, but as she has already done it, why not borrow it?

From JaneAustenRunsMyLife:

This recipe comes from a book we added at the library, Lose Weight By Eating: Detox Week by Audrey Johns. I was flipping through the book, processing it, when this recipe caught my eye and I had to make it.

“Oh, the irony…I’m typing this at a coffeehouse. I’m just trying to be honest here, because though I don’t often visit coffeehouses, I do once in a while when I need a quiet space to work. I made this recipe earlier today, then figured, “What the heck, let’s make sure it is as good as Starbucks,” so I headed on over to my local spot and ordered-you guessed it-a chai tea latte. So here I am, drinking my second chai tea latte of the day and typing up my recipe, which I think tastes exactly the same.

I whisk the milk by hand, and it’s very easy. It only takes a minute and you’re done (and by the way I’ve had two wrist surgeries in my whisking hand, so I assure you anyone can handle this mild activity).”

Ingredients:

  • 3 Chai Tea Bags, with the Paper Tags Cut Off
  • 2 Cups of Unsweetened Almond Milk or Milk of your choice
  • 2 Tablespoons of Pure Maple Syrup (optional)
  • Sugar (optional)
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat 2 cups of water.
  2. One heated, remove from heat and steep 3 bags of chai tea for five minutes.
  3. In a small saucepan heat the milk over medium-low heat. As soon as the milk is simmering, whisk it.
  4. Pour the tea into two cups and and add sugar, maple syrup, or other sweetener.
  5. Top with frothy milk.
  6. Sprinkle on some pumpkin pie spice (if using).
  7. Congratulations, you just saved yourself $5.04.

Thoughts After Making:

I thought it was really good, I had also learned from reading my sister blog’s post to make additional cups of tea as you end up with way more milk than tea.

For more recipes from JaneAustenRunsMyLife, go to Matcha Green Tea Blast Smoothie

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

For more drink recipes, go to Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal Smoothie

The Widows of Malabar Hill

The Widows of Malabar Hill (Perveen Mistry Mystery #1) by Sujata Massey

Thoughts Before Reading:

So I read book two first, and NEEDED to read the first book.

Plot Synopsis:

Perveen Mistry is the only female Indian lawyer. She works for her father and has just been given her first big case. Her father has represented Muslim mill owner Farid for years, and with his death some documents about his three wives’ inheritance comes across Perveen’s desk. All the women are practicing Purdah, and can only be around men related to them and women.

Muslim inheritance law is a little different from other law, so Perveen refreshes her knowledge of it, but something about the paperwork seems off. All the women want to give up their inheritance to the wakf-which is troubling but does happen-but even more so what bothers her is that one woman who is illiterate and on a previous document signed an “X”, while on this one wrote out her name.

Razia is the first wife, an arranged marriage. Sakina came next-beautiful and chosen for love/lust-and the only one to have a son. Mumtaz was the last wife, married right before Farid died. Mumtaz was met on one of the trips to the pleasure district, a musician, and the literate wife.

She goes to meet the women and is even more troubled. Their man who takes care of the estate, and them (a cousin of Sakin) is Mr. Mukri who seems to be taking liberties with his controlling of the finances and isolating the women. He is very abusive in his manner and treats Perveen like garbage.

The situation with the three wives is also extremely distressing. The second wife acts like the first wife, none know how much money they have, the third wife is treated horribly, and all think they have only one option-to put their money in the wakf. None know what Mukri spends their money on or what he plans to do with their inheritance.

Hmm…

Amina is the eldest daughter, born to the first wife and she is adorable and precocious. She’s always listening, sneaking around, and watching everything. She tries to warn Perveen about something but Perveen excuses Amina so she can speak to Mumtaz alone.

They get interrupted by Mr. Mukri who yells at Perveen and threatens her, bringing back old memories of her ex-husband. When Mukri gets distracted she leaves, but realizes she forgot her briefcase of important papers. She can’t leave it there, as it is highly confidential, so she sneaks in though the women’s entrance and finds Mr. Mukri DEAD.

As the widows are still observing purdah, the only one who can question them is Perveen. She needs to find out who the killer is before they strike again.

Thoughts After Reading:

This book was amazing. A fantastic read that I could not put down.

Not only do we have this great mystery, but also a view of Hindu, Zoroastrianism, and Muslim law-all very distinct in their law and customs.

Perveen also has her best friend move from England, Alice, and we see a view of the Indian and English relationship in 1921 India. This too was really interesting as you can see that some like the British Colonialism, some have just learned how to live with it, and others are talking about removing it.

We also get a look into Perveen’s history with her husband, and boy it was a sad one and one heck of a doozy. Poor Perveen.

I definitely recommend this!

For more lawyer mysteries, go to My Husband’s Wife

For more mysteries, go to Motive v. Opportunity

On a sad note, given the context of this book I wanted to add this:

Are you being abused?

It’s abuse when someone who should care about you does or says things that hurt you or make you feel afraid, helpless or worthless. Here are only a few examples:

  • Slapping, hitting, punching, choking, grabbing, shoving, kicking you or your kids, your pets
  • Threatening you, your kids, friends, family or pets
  • Hitting, kicking, slamming walls, doors, furniture, possessions
  • Forcing you to have sex
  • Calling you names, swearing at you, yelling
  • Controlling all the money, even money you earn
  • Blaming you or your kids for everything
  • Putting you down, making you feel like nothing you do is ever good enough
  • Treating you like a servant or slave
  • Controlling where you go, what you do, what you wear
  • Controlling who you see, who you talk to
  • Humiliating you in front of other people
  • Refusing to let you leave the relationship

If you are in danger call 911, a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

 

Motive v. Opportunity

So I have been reviewing short stories from The Tuesday Club Murders AKA The Thirteen Problems.

I typically review short stories on Sundays, but decided as these are the Tuesday Club Murders, I’ll be posting on Tuesday!

“Motive v. Opportunity” from The Tuesday Club Murder by Agatha Christie

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 Marple’s 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 and call it: The Tuesday Night Club. 

On the case!

Our fifth mystery is from Mr. Petherick, solicitor.

A wealthy client, “Simon Clode”, had a son who passed away during WWI and ended up caring for his granddaughter, Cristobel. Cristobel was the light of his life and gave him renewed life and vigor.

Cristobl passes away.

The only family he has left is his brother’s late children-Mary, George, and Grace. They are older when they come to live with him-Grace getting married to Phillip, George working in a bank, and Mary caring for the house and Mr. Clode-with each one receiving a third of the estate in the will.

Cheers!

Everything is fine until Mr. Clode becomes enthralled with a spiritualist, Mrs. Eurydice Spragg, who speaks to Cristobel. Mrs. Spragg and her husband move into the manor and do readings every night-Cristobel “begging” Mr. Clode to take care of the “dear” Spraggs.

Petherick becomes worried as Mr. Clode is getting very old and sick and could fail at any day-and Petherick doesn’t want him taken by a charlatan. He suggests to Phillip, the son-in-law, to hire a celebrated professor of Spiritualism to come to the home and determine whether or not Spragg is a liar. Phillip does so, but unfortunately the professor can’t make a firm decision whether she is real or fake.

Mr. Clode grows very ill and calls Petherick to write him a new will. £5000 would go to each of his relatives, and the rest to the Spraggs. Petherick tries to discourage him, but Clode won’t listen. So they call the servants up to witness-one pulls the fountain pen he always uses and writes the will. Petherick seals it in a blue envelope. Clode starts coughing and he helps him, the maid handing him the envelope that had fallen down and he places it in his pocket.

Hmmm…

He then is stopped by Mary who invites him to tea. He leaves his coat and a chair and when he goes to get it before he leaves, he spots Mrs. Spragg tooling around near it. When he put the coat on, the envelope had fallen out and he picked it up and left.

When he got to his office he took the envelope out and placed it on the desk. From there he got a call and while his office line was out of order went to take the call in the outer office. When he returned, he was told by a clerk that Mr. Spragg was waiting in his office he had been there for some time.

Hmm…

Two months later, Mr. Clode passed away. Petherick gathered everyone for the reading of the will and when he opened the envelope and pulled the will out-it was just a blank piece of paper.

Petherick is confused as to what happened as he witnessed everything. He runs over the events but is even more puzzled. The people with motive had no opportunity and the people with opportunity had no motive.

The maid or Mary had the most motive, but no opportunity to change it. Th maid had it for a second, and she couldn’t have pre-made it and switched it as she had no clue what the envelope would look like, Petherick brought it with him and it was blue, not something one would have laying around. The only one who could would be Mrs. Spragg, but she wouldn’t want to switch it as she was the inheritor.

Huh

How did they do it?

Thoughts after Reading:

This was a great mystery, although the first one I figured out in the whole book. (Solution below). I still:

For more Agatha Christie, go to The Blood Stained Pavement

For more from The Tuesday Club Murders, go to Ingots of Gold

For more Miss Marple, go to The Idol House of Astarte

For more short stories, go to What Strange Creatures

 

 

What Strange Creatures

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“What Strange Creatures” from Rational Creatures by Jenetta James

So here at MysteriousEats.wordpress.com I wouldn’t call us lazy, but if my older sister blog JaneAustenRunsMyLife.wordpress.com has already reviewed or posted something, we just copy and paste it minus the Austen-y things as we concentrate more on the mystery.

So my sister blog reviewed a book Rational Creatures, short stories on different Jane Austen female characters from Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion. Now most of these stories are not mysteries or have mysterious elements, so I just passed them by.

But the one that did interest me, was the Northanger Abbey short story by Sophia Rose and the Jenetta James’ one as both are mysteries!

Quick background on the story from JaneAustenRunsMyLife:

“The life of the Bertrams and their niece, Fanny Price, are interrupted when a Mr. Henry Crawford and Miss Mary Crawford come to visit their half-sister Mrs. Grant. Mary is set on winning the eldest Bertram, but finds her being struck by the younger. Henry’s sole purpose is to upset the apple cart by going after the Bertram sisters for fun, but having no intent of follow through. Will the Bertrams survive this?”

Plot Synopsis:

Mary is living with her uncle, the Admiral. He is a cruel, horrid man and it has become more unbearable living with him since her aunt passed away. Anyways, it seems to be an ordinary day, until a magistrate from Bow Street, Mr. James Hunter, comes calling about her missing friend, Miss Verity Stanhope.

Mary just laughs it off thinking that she probably ran off with some guy-either they eloped and will be back, or took off and now have to elope. But Mr. Hunter assures her that this isn’t a “normal” disappearance. She is the third in a serial kidnapping.

Where will this story take us? Is she going to become a super sleuth? Will she solve the mystery? Could it be someone she knows? Henry? Her uncle, the admiral? A new character? I’m invested.

He questions her, but there is no new information regarding her missing friend. Although Henry did leave early from the ball Verity disappeared from. And Verity always liked him. Hmmm….

Hmmm…

No, he has an alibi. It is clearly not him.

Mary keeps trying to shrug it off as an elopement as Verity was having a fortune coming her way, but Mr Hunter is not convinced. The two share a brief flirtation, and he is gone. A brief flirtation is all it could be as Mr. Hunter isn’t the type of man Mary is after.

Is he joking around?

The next morning Mary is at home with the Admiral, ugh. Things are even harder with him now that Henry is away. She tells him about an invite they received, but he declines as he will be out. He always does that sort of thing, could he be up to something nefarious? Such as…kidnapping?

Hmm…

The admiral doesn’t care about her or what she does, she can go to the party by herself. And he doesn’t care about this Verity business, as he sees her as just a dumb female.

Mary tries to stay on the idea that it is just an elopement, her friend is fine, but Mr. Hunter’s words keep coming back. She goes shopping and is enjoying herself, but then thinks how can she be happy and go out when something horrible could be happening to her friend?

She continues on her way and then she notices a carriage, it seems that wherever she goes the carriage follows. She goes, it goes. She stops, it stops.

She starts to become alarmed and wants to go into a shop when someone comes out…Mr. Hunter?

He followed her?! Is he the kidnapper?

Yes, he followed her, but just because he was worried maybe she could be next. He wasn’t going to say anything, but she was about to go into the shop of Madam Villechamp, a place where all the women who disappeared went into before they vanished.

Mary never would have gone in there, (except she was being followed), as her aunt always forbid her. Her aunt didn’t like the shop. But Mary must know what is going on and so she makes an appointment. She goes to check it out and when the assistant is out of the room she starts investigating.

She goes through the correspondence and there she finds a letter from her uncle! Her uncle’s mistress is Madame Villechamp! And he wants her to move in with him.

She runs to Bow Street and talks to Mr. Hunter, and finds out that Verity was found, it was an elopement. Mary talks with him and leaves to start a new life, going to visit Mrs. Grant and entering the Bertram’s lives.

Thoughts After Reading:

I think it was a good short story, but what about the missing women?

Their disappearances? Serial kidnapper? What happened?

For more from Rational Creatures, go to The Strength of Their Attachment

For more Jane Austen-themed mysteries, go to Suspense & Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited)

For more from JaneAustenRunsMyLife, go to The Inn at Half Moon Bay

For more kidnapping, go to Kidnapped!

Paper Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day!

So I posted the recipe Tuesday as I had a mystery that fit perfect with the holiday:

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

The city of Ludlow is gripped by a serial killer, the Valentine Killer.

Hannah Wagnor is having a hard summer. Her best friend Lillian was murdered and her ghost is haunting her, urging Hannah to investigate and get revenge.

She also can’t stop thinking of bad boy Finny Boone, who she knows has a heart of gold.

Everyone is in a panic, and Hannah makes a decision, the only way to get rid of her ghost is to find the killer. Will she discover the truth, or will she be the next victim?

Hmmm…

Thoughts After Reading:

This was not good.

The main character is practically non-existent in the personality department and none of the characters are interesting-but rude and cruel.

Bleh…

For more Valentine’s Day posts, go to Let Me Call You Sweetheart

For more young adult book, go to Not If I Save You First

For more ghosts, go to The Phantom of the Opera

For more serial killers, go to The Man Next Door

Heart Shaped Pizza with Homemade Pizza Dough

Valentine’s Day is upon us and you know I love to eat heart-shaped pizza, it’s my yearly tradition. Last year I decided to make my own, as I had everything I needed, and wanted to share it with you all this year.

This recipe comes from Teaspoon of Goodness.

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Ingredients:

Pizza Dough

  • 1 Cup of Warm Water
  • 1 Package of Yeast
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 2-3 Cups of Flour

Pizza:

  • Olive Oil
  • Pepperoni Slices (Or topping you desire)
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Spaghetti Sauce

Directions:

  1. Combine yeast and warm water. Let sit for one min.
  2. Add salt and flour and mix
  3. Knead until mixed and dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. (If dough is too wet, add flour. If dry add more water until the consistency is perfect).
  4. Let the dough rest 15-30 mins in a warm area about 20 mins.
  5. Seperate the dough into two balls.
  6. Flour a surface, wood cutting boards work best.
  7. Take one dough ball and flour it and the rolling pin.
  8. Roll the dough out to the amount of thickness desired.
  9. Top with sauce, cheese, and toppings.
  10. Cook at 450 degrees F for about 15-20 mins or until crust is brown.
  11. Cut into heart-shape.

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Thoughts After Baking:

This was very good, better than the 15 Minute Pizza Dough.

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How to Toast Almond Slices

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Ever want to bring your salads or ice cream sundae’s over the top? Toasted almonds is how!

This recipe is from GETTYStewart

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 to 1 Cup of Sliced Almonds

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spread the almonds in a single layer on  cookie sheet.
  3. Bake for 3-4 mins.
  4. Check every min until they are the desired color.
  5. Remove from the oven and pour onto a plate or platter where they can cool in a single layer. If left on the sheet or together they can continue to brown.
  6. After they cool, top salad or ice cream.

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Thoughts After Baking:

They were delicious and a great topping.

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For more on almonds, go to Orecchiette with Red Onions, Almonds, and Green Bell Pepper

Not If I Save You First

Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter

So I have been a fan of Ally Carter since tweendom as I loved the Gallagher Girls series and then of course that led to me reading her other stuff.

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I hadn’t had a chance to read this when it first was aded in the library, but then it was returned and I decided to check it out.

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Maddie’s dad is secret service and she grew up hanging out with Logan-the president’s son. Both are ten years old and want to have fun hanging out, but they have to go to a Presidential Gala. That night they are getting ready for a Gala when a group of Russians attempt to kidnap the president’s wife.

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Maddie’s dad saves them, but is injured in the process. After the operations and healing he packs up all their stuff and takes Maddy to the middle of nowhere Alaska.

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Six years later-Maddy has grown up alone with her father-bored but strong, tough, and can shoot and throw a hatchet better than ANYONE. A bejeweled hatchet as she is bored.

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But life gets all changed up when Logan, who has been misbehaving, ignoring his father’s warnings, ditching the secret service, and just acting out-gets sent to live with Maddie and her father. Maddie is furious as she wrote him letters almost every day but never ever received one back.

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Maddie hates and is furious at him, but when her father has to leave on a rescue mission and  Russians attack them and try to kill Logan-Maddie has to put her anger aside and try and save him.

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Thoughts After Reading:

I didn’t like this book. I thought it was okay, but boring. Logan just all and out annoyed me and needed to get smacked.

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For more Young Adult books, go to The Fever

For more reviews, go to My Husband’s Wife

Easy Homemade Meatballs

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So I found myself with some ground turkey and in want of making meatballs, but this time with breadcrumbs, instead of rice-like before.

This recipe comes from The Spruce Eats. 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of Lean Ground Beef or Ground Turkey
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Tablespoons of Water
  • 1/2 Cup of Bread Crumbs
  • 1/4 Cup of Onion, minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a large bowl: combine egg, water, bread crumbs, onion, salt, pepper, and combine.
  3. Add the ground beef or turkey that has been broken into chunks, and mix gently, but thoroughly with your hands to combine.
  4. Form the mixture into meatballs about 1-inch in diameter and place on a broiler pan or pan with sides.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until meatballs are brown.
  6. Serve and eat!

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Thoughts After Cooking:

These were really good, easy to make, and everyone enjoyed them.

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For more meatballs, go to How to Make Meatballs With Rice

For more from The Spruce Eats, go to Easy Northumberland Pan Haggerty