Irish Blueberry Scones

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Thoughts Before Baking:

So every 17th I try to make an Irish recipe in honor of the day. Usually I make some Irish Soda Bread and something else to go with it. I needed a recipe and I love scones, so when I found this recipe on pinterest, I had to make it.

This recipe comes from Kathy Strahs of  Sunny Days, Good Food: Living the Tasty Life in California, who was inspired by her Irish friend Una O’Connor

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons of Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter, sliced into pats
  • 1/2 Cup of Dried Blueberries
  • 5 Tablespoons of Milk
  • 2 Eggs, one for the batter and one to brush the tops
  • Sugar to sprinkle (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
  4. Rub in the butter with your fingers until it’s all worked in.
  5. Mix in the dried blueberries.
  6. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk the milk and one egg together.
  7. Pour the milk mixture in with the dry and gently mix until the liquid is fully incorporated.
  8. Transfer dough to lightly floured surface. Knead the dough a few times and pat it into a disc about 3/4″ thick.
  9. Slice the dough into 8 equal wedges, and transfer the wedges to the prepared baking sheet, leaving spaces between each scone.
  10. Brush with egg and sprinkle with sugar (if you so desire).
  11. Bake the scones for 15-20 mins or until the tops are lightly browned.
  12. Serve warm with butter or clotted cream.

Thoughts After Reading:

I loved these! They were absolutely wonderful and great breakfast, snack, or dessert!

For more Saint Patrick’s Day posts, go to Irish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce

For more scones, go to Harlem Tea Room Cheddar-Thyme Scones

For more holiday posts, go to Pão de Queijo

For more Pinterest recipes, go to Tortellini Soup with Italian Sausage & Spinach

For more blueberry recipes, go to Blueberry Spinach Smoothie

 

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Blueberry Spinach Smoothie

So why am I posting a recipe on a Tuesday instead of Friday? Well, Friday marks an anniversary that relates to the mystery I am reviewing this week. I also still have spinach left over that I’m trying to use up. I decided to try another spinach smoothie, this one from Alaska from Scratch.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 Cup of Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Ripe Banana (optional)
  • 2/3 Cup of Frozen Blueberries
  • 1 Cup of Spinach Leaves
  • 1/2 Cup of Milk or choice of dairy (coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk, etc)
  • 2 Teaspoons of Protein Powder (optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Honey (optional)

Directions:

  1. Blend all together.

Thoughts After Making:

I loved it! It was delicious and you couldn’t taste a bit of the spinach with all the blueberry.

Although, in comparing the two-I think I like the Power Smoothie a little bit better.

For more drink recipes, go to Power Smoothie

For more smoothie recipes, go to B is for Blueberry Smoothie

For more recipes, go to Spinach Pasta Salad

Power Smoothie

Well after last week’s recipe of Spinach Pasta Salad I had a ton of spinach left over. From there I have decided to try anything I could to use it up, including testing out a spinach smoothie from Tastes Better From Scratch.

Will the taste of blueberries be able to overpower it, or will the spinach surpass everything?

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup of Orange Juice (I don’t like orange so I substituted with Apple Juice)
  • 1/8 a Cup of Whole Grain Oats (I didn’t have any so I used Quick Oats)
  • 1/4 Cup of Greek Yogurt
  • A Bit of Vanilla Creamer
  • 1/2 Banana
  • 3/4 Cup of Frozen Blueberries
  • 1.5 Cups of Baby Spinach Leaves
  • 1/2 Cup of Ice

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients in your blender and blend. If too thick, add more juice or water.

Thoughts After Cooking:

I don’t really like using bananas in my smoothies because all the smoothie tastes like is banana.

So I added some more blueberries and a little more yogurt. After that I thought it tasted wonderful!

You didn’t taste the spinach at all or the oats. In fact, I think I’ll be making this tomorrow morning as well.

For more smoothie recipes, go to B is for Blueberry Smoothie

For more spinach recipes, go to Spinach Pasta Salad

For more drink recipes, go to Nature’s Own Cocktail

For more recipes, go to Baked Potato Soup

Blueberry Sour Cream Pie

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Valentine’s Day is coming so I thought I would post a sweet treat for you to share with your loved one(s)

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Thoughts Before Cooking:

So I wanted some pie and went to this ’50s diner that makes some really good stuff.

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They didn’t have the type I wanted so I decided to try out the Blueberry Sour Cream Pie. I loved it so much I decided to try and make it myself.

This recipe comes from Belle’s Kitchenbut I used the pie crust from my apple pie. Make sure to read the recipe all the way through before baking.

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Ingredients:

Pie Crust:

  • 2 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 3/4 Cup of Shortening
  • Ice Water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix up the shortening and flour.
  3. Add in water a tablespoon at a time until dough is more malleable. If you add to much and it is to liquid-y, then just add a bit more flour to firm it up.
  4. Put dough aside.
  5. Take a cutting board and put a little flour on the surface, rubbing it. Rub flour on your rolling pin as well.
  6. Place the dough down and roll it into a large circle.
  7. Place the dough in a cake pan or pie pan.
  8. Cover the edges of the pie crust with foil. This will keep the edges from getting too brown.

Filling:

  • 3/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of Flour
  • 1 Cup of Sour Cream
  • 1 Egg
  • 1.5 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 2.5 Blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, thaw and drain well.)

Directions:

  1. Combine sugar and flour in the medium sized-mixing bowl.
  2. Beat in sour cream, egg, vanilla, and salt over medium speed for about five minutes.
  3. Carefully fold in the blueberries.
  4. Pour batter into pie crust and bake for 30 minutes.

Topping:

  • 3 Tablespoons of Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons of Sugar
  • 1.5 Tablespoons of Butter

Directions:

  1. While pie is baking, prepare the topping by crumbling together the flour, sugar, and butter with a fork.
  2. Return to the oven and bake for 10-15 more minutes until topping is golden.
  3. Remove from oven and allow to cool throughly before slicing. Enjoy!

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Thoughts After Baking:

I only have one thing to say about it:

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I loved it and couldn’t stop eating it.

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For more pinterest recipes, go to Arugula Salad with Olive Oil, Lemon, and Parmesan Cheese

For more Valentines’s recipes, go to Brioche French Toast

For more pie, go to Schooner’s Summertime-Only Strawberry-Raspberry Pie

For more blueberry recipes, go to B is for Blueberry Smoothie

For more dessert, go to Rice Krispies Cookies

B is for Blueberry Smoothie

"Times Square's New Years Eve Ball - 1978 Technicians eye the new improved New Years ball. This version, which had halogen lamps for higher visibility, replaced a six-foot ball that had ordinary light bulbs. The lowering of the ball, which takes one minute, is down a 77-foot flagpole on top of One Times Square. (Photo by Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times Photo Archives)"

“Times Square’s New Years Eve Ball – 1978

So I’ve decided to start the tradition of always posting on New Year’s Eve, and including one tasty drink recipe.

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So here we go!

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Thoughts Before Cooking:

 

So I have a few different variations I thought I would put out there for you to enjoy, whether pre-party, at the party, or post party!

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Blueberry Smoothie

  • 1 Cup of Blueberries (Fresh or Frozen
  • 1 Cup of Vanilla Yogurt
  1. Blend together!

Yogurt Free Blueberry Smoothie

  • 1 Cup of Blueberries (Fresh or Frozen)
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  1. Blend together

Greek Yogurt Blueberry Smoothie

  • 1 Cup of Blueberries (Fresh or Frozen)
  • 1 Cup of Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract or a splash of Vanilla Creamer
  1. Blend together.

Blueberry Kale Smoothie

  1. Choose one of the above smoothies.
  2. Puree a few leaves of kale in a blender.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients.

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Thoughts After Cooking:

I love smoothies, especially blueberry, and can drink them nonstop!

Smoothie

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For more New Year’s Eve recipes, go to Virgin Appletini

For more blueberry recipes, go to Happy 4th of July Triple Berry Salad

For more drink recipes, go to Green Tea Frappuccino

For more recipes, go to Harlem Tea Room Cheddar-Thyme Scones

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Happy New Year’s Eve!

Happy 4th of July Triple Berry Salad

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Happy 4th of July!

Thoughts Before Cooking:

Happy 4th everybody! I don’t know about you all, but where I’m at it is going to be one HOT, HOT, HOT day.

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So I was looking for something that would be tasty and cool to eat/cook.

I got this recipe from The Kitchen is My Playground and the original title is Triple Berry Salad with Simple Vanilla Syrup.

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Ingredients:

  • 6-8 ounces of Strawberries
  • 6 ounces of Blueberries
  • 6 ounces of Raspberries
  • 1/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup of Water
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Place sugar and water in small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring mixture to a simmer (there will be small bubbles), and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat and cool for 5 mins.
  4. Stir in vanilla extract.
  5. Chill completely in fridge.
  6. Rinse the berries.
  7. Hull the strawberries and slice into 2-3 pieces.
  8. Place all the berries in one bowl.
  9. Just before serving, drizzle the berries with the vanilla sugar syrup.
  10. Toss gently.
  11. Serve.

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Thoughts After Cooking:

I thought this was amazing!

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I will be making this again and again and again!

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For more 4th of July recipes, go to With the 4th of July comes Apple Pie

For more salad recipes, go to Bulghur Salad

For more dessert recipes, go to Mini Lemon Pancake Cookies

For more Pinterest recipes, go to Grilled Zucchini Roll-Ups

For more holiday posts, go to Where Are You Now?

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Best-Ever Blueberry Muffins

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Happy New Year!

I hope you all have a blessed year!

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So back in November I did a post reviewing Blueberry Muffin Murder. That Friday I was going to pair it with a blueberry muffin recipe, but unfortunately I couldn’t find it and instead reviewed a cookie recipe, Dinomite’s Fluffy Bites.

But now I have found it, and I thought it was the perfect thing for your New Year’s morning.

Thoughts Before Baking:

So in Blueberry Muffin Murder they give a recipe for blueberry muffins, but when I looked at the ingredients I didn’t like it. It seemed far too sweet and sugary.

Instead, here is a recipe for blueberry muffins that I absolutely love. This comes from the cookbook, Great American Recipes. 

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 Cups of All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp of Salt
  • 1/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 4 Tbsp (1 Stick) of Butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 Large Egg, Beaten
  • 3/4 Cup + 2 Tbsp of Milk
  • 1 Cup of Blueberries
  • Muffin Liners or Non-Stick Cooking Spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a muffin pan with muffin liners or use non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.
  4. Stir in the sugar.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg, and milk.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and whisk until blended (mixture should be slightly lumpy.)
  7. Add the blueberries to bowl and stir them in just enough to combine.
  8. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups.
  9. Bake for 18-24 minutes, or until golden.
  10. Remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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Thoughts After Baking:

I love them. I think they are the perfect blend, and not too sweet, but just right. It is the Best-Ever blueberry muffin recipe.

Sorry I don’t have a pic. We ate them all before I could capture them.

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For more Breakfast recipes, go to A Hole in One

For more Holiday posts, go to Virgin Appletini

For more recipes, go to Gorgonzola Cream Cheese Log

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In other news, let’s have a quick year review.

So last year I published 59 posts, starting with one a week and now up to two!

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Out of those 59 posts, I’ve reviewed 29 mysteries. Which you should definitely check out.

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The Black Sheep Knitting Mystery Series (3 books)Cat Caliban Mystery Series (1 book)A Donut Shop Mystery Series (3 books), The Emperor’s Edge Series (1 book), The Hannah Swenson Mystery Series (7 books), The Harry Bosch Mystery Series (1 book), A Hemlock Falls Mystery Series (2 books), Jane Jeffry Mystery Series (1 book), Lucy Stone Mystery Series (1 book)A Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery Series (1 book)P.I. Cassie Cruise Mystery Series (1 book), Rosewood Series (1 book), and The Scandia Series (1 book)

And with independent mysteries: At the Corner of King Street, The BarterThe Dollhouse Murders, The Missing Mah Jong Player, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood

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With cooking I reviewed 28 different recipes; from cookies, to pie, to cake, to pasta, to appetizers, to drinks, etc.

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This blog was viewed 430 times last year.

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The busiest day of the year was October 24th, when I posted on Regency Ginger Cookies

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The top five posts this year were:

5) At the Corner of King Street  by Mary Ellen Taylor

At the Corner of King Street

4) Regency Ginger Cookies from Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke

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3) The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright

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2) Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke

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1) The Princess Plot by Kirsten Boie

Princess Plot

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So what will the next year hold? You’ll just have to follow me to find out!

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Blueberry Muffin Murder

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Blueberry Muffin Murder (Hannah Swenson Mystery #3) by Joanne Fluke

This is the third book in the series following Hannah Swenson, ex-English Literature major and now owner of cookie shop, The Cookie Jar, in Lake Eden, Minnesota. She accidentally runs into dead bodies, or people ask her to investigate, causing her to solve crimes before the police even have a smidgen of a clue.

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It’s late February and things are pretty slow. Christmas and News Years? Parties galore and business is booming. With Valentine’s Day, another flurry of activity. But once that’s over it’s dead. Snow, cold, and nothing until Easter.

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So this year, the city decided to do something different to bring in tourist and boost the economy. This year marked the first annual Lake Eden Winter Carnival.

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The Jordan High School shop class redid old sleighs to give sleigh rides. Hannah’s mother Delores helped the Historical Society create a full-scale replica of the first mayor’s house, Ezekiel Jordan. And of course Hannah, is one of the many people who has a booth for her business.

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As she is heading out to her shop, a guy attacks her from behind warning her to get against the wall or else she will be killed!!!!

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It turns out to be an old friend, Greg Canfield. Greg had moved back a few years ago and opened an import store at the Tri-County Mall. His store closed down recently, and after he sold his house he moved in with his grandmother (who lives in the same condo building as Hannah). He was out that morning and thought he’d pull a prank on his old pal. Greg leaves to get back to his stock trading, he’s making a bundle on the company Redlines and Hannah heads over to her shop.

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Hannah’s friend Lisa, has recently become her partner, and has been busy at work baking and dressing the window for the Winter Carnival.

It turns out that the Winter Carnival is going to bring much more to town. Connie MacIntyre, the star of the hit cooking show Cooking With Connie Mac, has come to town. She has numerous books, a string of kitchen boutique stores, a monthly magazine, etc.

With Connie Mac, comes Janie Burkholtz, Connie’s personal assistant, and Hannah’s sister Andrea’s very best friend. Looks like the Winter Carnival is going to be loads of fun.

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The Mayor asks Hannah to drive Connie Mac around town and Hannah agrees as she figures it will be fun.

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Andrea comes over to speak to Hannah and when she hears all about Hannah giving the tour, and of course invites herself along. Hannah agrees as she thinks it will make a boring situation more interesting.

The girls reach the inn where Connie Mac is staying and meet a grade-A jerk.

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She is rude, cruel and picky about how everything has to be. From her salad to pressing of her clothes, nothing is ever quite right and must have a thousand details done to it.

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The first stop is the library, where Connie will be signing her cookbooks, along with raising awareness for the library and the programs offered there. However, Connie doesn’t care about the library, all she wants is the money and publicity and she sure doesn’t want to be at the back of the building, but in the lobby.

Then she decides the best sleigh shouldn’t be used for the Winter Royalty, but what she should ride in on.

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I guess that is correct, as she is a royal pain.

Sorry, had to do it.

Sorry, had to do it.

After they iron out that detail they go on to the school kitchen to talk about the big banquet they are going to have. Connie manipulates people to get what she wants, and succeeds every time. She wants her cake to be on the pedestals reserved for the crown of the Winter Prince & Princess. Edna, the school cook, is very against it, until Connie promises to gift them a dinner set for 200, including glassware, silver, and tablecloths.

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Hannah can see right through everything and thinks Connie is just plan rude. She also thinks that her show is nothing special, as it seems presentation heavy over tasty.

Hannah leaves Andrea with Connie and heads back to the The Cookie Jar. There she makes some blueberry muffins, using frozen berries instead of real ones as Minnesota in February, there is no way she is getting fresh. That’s one great thing about living on the West Coast, fresh fruit all year long.

That afternoon Hannah receives a frantic call from Janie. It turns out that the van carrying Connie Mac’s Winter Carnival Cake was ruined when the car went into a ditch. And she needs a place to to cook a replacement. They want to use The Cookie Jar.

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Hannah does not want Connie Mac in her kitchen, and suggests other places; but it turns out none are available, the only place it can happen in is Hannah’s.

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Against her better judgement, Hannah agrees.

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Besides cooking there, Norman will be taking Connie Mac’s picture as well. So it can be immortalized forever that Connie Mac cooked at the Cookie Jar.

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That night as everyone is bringing stuff in for Connie Mac, Hannah tells Lisa to take the morning off. Before Hannah leaves, she lets Janie know that there are blueberry muffins in the pantry. Janie wants some, but Connie Mac has forbidden her to have sweets as she “needs to lose 20 pounds”. She doesn’t really need to, but Connie is rude and a jerk.

Norman and Hannah both leave and Norman is just as angry at Connie as Hannah. Connie is clearly super at making enemies. You all know what that means.

Murder

Norman invites Hannah to dinner, but she refuses, wanting to rest. Unfortunately, Bill is working late, and since Janie can no longer meet her and with Andrea all alone; Hannah is convinced to go out. It turns out Bill does come and brings Mike. The perfect set-up.

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The next day Hannah goes to her shop and finds it a huge mess.

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The door is open. Flour is everywhere! Mixing bowls are filled with dry batter. Sticky spoons, beaters, and other utensils spatter the kitchen. Burning cake in the oven!

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Her shop is a total mess and could have burnt to the ground!!!! What is Connie Mac’s deal? How could she have done this?!!!

As Hannah begins cleaning, she spots Connie’s handbag. Along with her coat. Janie was gone, her car, coat, etc. So….

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Connie must never have left. As Hannah looks in the store she finds her. Dead by a blow to the head, mid muffin bite.

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And a blow on the back of a head means only one thing:

Murder

Mike and Bill come and close off Hannah’s shop. Indefinitely, until the murderer is caught. This becomes a huge part of the storyline as Hannah is angry with Mike for being so stubborn and not letting her come back. Now this really bothers me, as can the police really do that? It seems in shows that they don’t keep a place of business or residence forever.

So I looked it up, and it turns out that the police can keep a place as long as they want, however they choose to revert it back to the owner as soon as possible. So there you go, Mike is just a big ol’ jerk and I hate him.

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Moving on. Not only is Hannah locked out from her own kitchen, but she is forbidden to speak to any Connie Mac employee as Mike doesn’t want her meddling. They suspect Janie as being the murderer, but Mike knows that Hannah will refuse to accept that and try to find who she believes the “real murderer is.”

And of course Hannah does not listen.

See ya Mike

See ya Mike

She goes to the Inn and talks to Sally. There she finds out that EVERYONE hated Connie and all have reasons to kill her. All the maids at the Inn hate her; Connie fired the delivery truck driver;  she threatened to fire her long-time lawyer, Alan Carpenter; Paul, her husband, was cheating on her; he keeps postponing her book, and Kurt Howe, her publisher, is looking at getting fired if he can get her to commit; etc. Plus there is always money, the Connie Mac empire is enormous, and whoever inherits will be getting a lot of moolah.

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Thoughts after reading:

This was an okay book. I thought the mystery was so-so and the investigation kind of blah.

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At one point Mike is convinced Norman killed Connie because she made a difficult photo shoot. Really? Really?

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This was dumb. Come on, Mike. Get your head out of your butt. Dumb. Why are the two cops so stupid in this series? I mean really. Come on son.

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And they spend a long time talking about ice fishing. Really? Really?

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And it turns out the reason Paul, Connie’s husband, was trying to get close to Janie is that he is secretly her biological father. It was pretty obvious and overdramatic.

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So not horrible, but not fantastic. Just okay.

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For more Hannah Swenson Mysteries, go to Strawberry Shortcake Murder

For more Midwestern Mysteries, go to Thorns of Rosewood

For more reviews, go to The Barter