Christmas Lace Cookies

Plumpuddingmurder

Thoughts Before Cooking:

This book had a few recipes I was interested in, and this was one that sounded good and just right for Christmas.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 Cups of Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 Cup of Melted Butter
  • 3/4 Cup of White Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon of Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1.5 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Beaten Egg
  • 1/2 Cup of Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Measure the oatmeal into a a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Melt the butter and pour it over the oatmeal. Stir.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, baking powder, flour, and salt. Mix well.
  4. Add the sugar mixture to the oatmeal mix and blend.
  5. Mix in the vanilla and egg.
  6. Add the chocolate chips and stir the mixture.
  7. Line cookie sheets with foil and grease lightly.
  8. Drop the cookie dough by rounded teaspoons. Don’t crowd the cookies together as they spread.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes.

Thoughts After Baking:

These were good but very buttery and greasy. They also cooked fast so watch out, or else you might burn them. But otherwise, very good.

For more Hannah Swensen recipes, go to Vanilla Crackle

For more recipes from Plum Pudding Murder, go to Christmas Cheese Rounds

For more cookie recipe, go to Basic Shortbread

For more dessert, go to Baked Apple Slices

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Christmas Cheese Rounds

Plumpuddingmurder

Thoughts Before Cooking:

So I love cheese.

parmesancheesetoomuch

And I especially love cheese logs. So when I saw this recipe I jumped at the chance to try it out.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Cup of finely chopped pecans
  • 8 0z Cream Cheese Brick
  • 1/2 Cup of Chopped Green Onions

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients. Pack into a round or ball.
  2. Chill for two hours to overnight.
  3. Serve with crackers or bread

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Thoughts After Cooking:

I thought it was amazing!

fantastic

I took it to a party and we ate up immediately.

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For more Hannah Sweson Recipes, go to Scandinavian Spuds

For more cheese logs, go to Gorgonzola Cream Cheese Log

For more appetizers, go to Cheesy Pesto Pull Apart Bread

For more recipes, go to Harvest Pumpkin Scones

Scandinavian Spuds

potatoes

And being so thankful, let’s get started with a potato filled recipe! 🙂

Plumpuddingmurder

Thoughts Before Cooking:

I love potatoes, so when I saw this recipe I thought it would be delicious! Let’s check it out.

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Ingredients:

  • 12 Baking Potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons of softened butter
  • 8 tablespoons of melted salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of dried crumbled basil
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 4 tablespoons of bread crumbs
  • 8 tablespoons of salted butter
  • Lemon Juice

Directions:

  1. Choose a bowl large enough to hold all the potatoes and fill with cold water. Add a teaspoon of salt and a squirt of lemon juice in the water.
  2. Peel a potato and rinse it off.
  3. Slice it the  potato in quarters, but only halfway, not completely through. Drop it in the water so it won’t discolor
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  5. Use a baking pan that will hold all your potatoes in a single layer.
  6. Use the 2 tablespoons of butter to grease the baking pan.
  7. Dry the potatoes and lay them in the pan.
  8. Drizzle the melted butter and sprinkle with salt.
  9. Sprinkle with basil and paprika.
  10. Place pan in oven uncovered for 30 mins.
  11. Take the pan out of the oven and sprinkle with bread crumbs.
  12. Melt the cold stick of butter and drizzle over the breadcrumbs
  13. Slip pan back in the oven for 25 mins.

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ScandanevianSpuds

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Thoughts After Reading:

These were very good but were much tastier when I added cheese. I love cheese.

parmesancheesetoomuch

Vertical vents made it hard to move the potatoes as they could easily snap. Next time I think I will cut them horizontally instead. But otherwise, delicious!

joker-yum

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For more Hannah Swensen mysteries, go to Mini Lemon Pancake Cookies

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

For more recipes, go to Harvest Pumpkin Scones

Plum Pudding Murder

Ready for our next Christmas mystery?

christmascookies

Me too!

startrekletsgetstarted

Okay!

Plumpuddingmurder

Plum Pudding Murder (Hannah Swensen Mystery #12) by Joanne Fluke

*Contains Spoilers*

So the first thing I notice in this book is in her acknowledgements, she thanks:

Jill Saxton for correcting my Minnesota mistakes

Joanne Fluke is from Minnesota, how could she be getting it wrong?

weird

So the beginning of this book actually is one of the strongest. We see it from the point of view of Larry Jaeger, and of course we know right away he is a major jerk.

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He has come back to Lake Eden to swindle as many investors as he can. The biggest investor is his fiancé Courtney, but even she doesn’t know what he’s doing or how much money he has squirreled away.

You_poor_simple_fools

He has everything closed up and ready to shut down for the night. All he has to do is wait for Hannah Swenson to pick up her check for the cookies and such that he is selling at his Crazy Elf Christmas Tree Lot. As he waits for Hannah and Norman to come, he hears something. He thinks it is Hannah, but he is dead wrong. Instead someone charges in and kills him “for what he has done.”

gunshooting

One Day Earlier

In The Cookie Jar, Hannah and Lisa are decorating for Christmas when Hannah spurts out another one of her random factoid, this time that shellac was originally made from female insects. Now this needs to stop.

Ijustwantittostop

I know you are trying to make her sound educated and intelligent, but none of these factoids ever sound like real conversations. They are just out of nowhere with Hannah being some kind of “I am supreme knowledge woman” and everyone just fascinated for the slightest bauble coming out of her mouth. Just no. NO MORE!!! It’s boring and stupid.

im_bored_himym

Delores, Hannah’s mother, comes in to talk with her about her best friend, and business partner, Carrie Rhodes (Norman’s mom). Delores and Carrie were supposed to take a class together about running a small business, but all Carrie seems to do is be busy lately.

seriously

She wants Hannah’s help to find out why, along with her coming to class.

veronicamarsinvestigatesleuth

When Hannah gets to the class she runs into the last person she ever wanted to see. The Professor she was having an affair with! The one who turned out to be married, and the reason she left school.

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But that isn’t who they have for their class. They have Dr. Kimberly Whiting, who is pretty boring and Hannah can’t wait to leave. When they finally do get out, Norman turns up as he came to drive Hannah home, and hopes to take her out to dinner.

howyoudoing

They head back to her place as she decides she is far too tired to go out. This works for Norman as it turns out he has an ulterior motive.

eyebrowsbowchickawowwow

No not that. He too wants Hannah to help him figure out what’s going on with his mom.

What?

Why is she acting so weird? Why is she canceling on him all the time.

HMMM

While the two are eating and cooking, Mike decides to drop by. Now as you can guess I don’t like Mike. I think it is obvious she should get with Norman as Mike has a roving eye, and just expects Hannah to be free when he is.

likevsvalueuse

Anyways. While they are all eating and having fun, Andrea calls needing help in getting a Christmas tree, and both Norman and Mike decide to come and help.

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When they get there we have another Hannah lecture and random factoid…

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They go to the Crazy Elf’s Tree Lot, which is more than just trees. While Norman and Andrea look for a tree, Mike and Hannah ride a few rides and head over to the snack bar. It seems as if Hannah’s cookies are selling like crazy, and they are running out way too soon.

After Hannah takes more orders, Mike wants to get Hannah alone…

eyebrowsbowchickawowwow

NO not that. He wanted to talk to her about Carrie.

really?

It seems she’s on everybody’s mind.

seriously

Anyway, Mike has been working extra shifts at the Tri-County Mall and thinks Carrie is a shoplifter.

What?

And what ’til you hear this. The reason why he thinks that is because she is buying a lot of stuff and looked like she didn’t want to talk to him about it.

What?

That’s all your evidence? Come on, you suck as a detective. Did you look into whether those weren’t Christmas gifts? Charity donations? Clothes for the holiday parties? Maybe she has a boyfriend. I mean come on, think about it logically. There are a thousand reasons why someone may be shopping a lot around the holidays that don’t involve stealing.

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Oh my gosh, Mike is so stupid! He’s this dunderheaded in every book.

BacktothefutureThinkMcFlyStupid

So Mike and Hannah go to see Larry and talk about cookies. After the orders are done they get back to Andrea who has bought multiple trees. Norman buys Hannah a Christmas Tree, although she thinks it won’t work with her cat.

They go to set up the tree, calling in Lonnie, a deputy and Michelle’s (Hannah’s other sister) sometimes boyfriend. Hannah finds out from Lonnie that his sister is crocheting cute animals for the Crazy Elf Larry and getting paid $10. Hannah thinks it low as Larry is selling them for $20, but hey Hannah that’s business.

seriously

The next day, Hannah is working in her shop when her mother comes in. Her assistant Luanne, a really hard worker, is missing!

Blog-Child-Support-Oh-No

No one’s seen her, she didn’t come to work, and she’s not answering the phone. They call again, but still nothing.

This is bad.

This is bad.

But such is life, and Hannah continues cooking, getting the order ready for Crazy Larry.

Now here is where I have a major problem. We are nearing the halfway point of the book and were missing something.

Murder

Instead it has been trees, cookies, etc. Now I don’t have a problem with it being Christmas heavy, I love Christmas! But as they have taken so long to reach the murder and mystery, that means that we are going to have a quick wrap up. And it is going to either be A) extremely obvious, or B) solved in a silly and stupid way. Not looking forward to it.

seriously

But back to the book. After Hannah finishes for the day she heads over to Luanne’s to see where she is and what’s going on.

It turns out that Luanne was asleep. She was given a job by Courtney to check the Crazy Elf Books and had stayed up way into the morning trying to balance the books, but to no avail. Luanne thinks it is her fault, but Hannah suspects that Larry isn’t everything he says he is.

urkelgif interesting hmm

They head to the Christmas lot as Hannah needs to deliver the cookies and Luanne return the books.

They drop off the cookies and head out to see Courtney. Luanne tells her about her problems, and that she mentioned the issue to Larry. So not only is Larry cheating the company, Courtney knows, and Larry knows that Courtney knows.

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Back at the shop the girls are cooking up cookies when Dr. Whiting, the Mayor, and Herb (Lisa’s husband stop by). When Hannah sees Herb and Lisa and it makes her think about getting married. Let me just say I am sooo tired of this triangle.

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It is totally obvious who she should be with. I mean read this:

If she [Hannah] had accepted Norman’s proposal, he’d probably look at her like that. Norman was a true blue, and he’s be the sort of husband who would never risk his marriage by having an affair with another woman.

On the other hand, if she’d accepted Mike’s offer of marriage he’d probably…Hannah’s daydream evaporated in a flash of painful reality. If she’s married Mike and he went out of town for the night, she couldn’t be sure he wouldn’t stray. It might be a repeat of his nights with Ronnie Ward and Shawna Lee Quinn. If she were Mrs. Mike Kingston, she’d always wonder what he was up to when she wasn’t with him.

What’s the issue? You like Norman, he’s perfect, and your cats get along. Besides he built your dream house.

tcomejoinus

Anyways, they get into a discussion about good business practices, and look over their homework. They notice that the wrong thing was the fact that the business was only dealing in cash. It is a bad business practice as it means the records might not be as accurate and could be hiding something. But that’s not true for every business. Like key shops.

That night Norman and Hannah go out for dinner and spot a couple hiding in a curtained booth. All they can see are the shoes, but the two want to snoop some more and Hannah pretends to accidentally spill her purse. As they pick the items up, Norman realizes who the woman is. IT’S HIS MOM!!!!

AAhhorrorifiedwhat

Hannah tells Norman about Mike’s suspicions, and Norman is justifiably angry.

angrymob

They drive around the parking lot looking at the cars and trying to guess which guy it is when Hannah has to head out to Crazy Elf to get her check. The whole lot is very quiet…

That'sOdd

And the door to his office unlocked…

weird

And when Hannah reaches for her check, she spots Larry and realizes

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And that there are bullet holes in the room

gunshooting

Meaning it is:

Murder

And this happens on page 167. Finally. Geez it was taking forever.

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It turns out that instead of being horrified at Hannah discovering another dead body, her mother Carrie wants Hannah’s help. It turns out her friend Dr. Love, a psychologist and radio show host, is the wife of Larry and the prime suspect.

possiblesuspectbecomesprimarysuspectbones

Hannah goes down to the bank to deposit Larry’s check and discovers that Larry had multiple accounts.

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So by now I figured that it is Dr. Whiting. She’s new in town, she just pops up randomly, has no real character, and is completely obvious as the killer.

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The police discover that Larry destroyed a lot of people by having them invest in his business only to give out false documentation.

Everything will be fine.

A real Ponzi

The mystery of what going on with Carrie is solved when they discover that it is Earl, a man they like and are okay with.

It was pretty dumb.

It was pretty dumb.

Norman does research on the computer and discovers one of Larry’s dirty deeds was as a large television set seller. The guy, Salvatore Bianco, who was cheated out of everything ended up killing himself. Hannah thinks the person is connected to Bianco, even though he cheated a ton of people and it could be ANYONE. The crime happened in Wisconsin so they are looking for someone from Wisconsin as to be the killer.

Hannah discovers that it is Dr. Whiting, because get this Bianco means White in Italian and her car plates have a W on it.

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Really? That a LOT of circumstantial evidence. I mean even if she is related that doesn’t mean she killed him. And of course instead of acting logical, Dr. Whiting tries to kill her, Hannah saves the day, they have Christmas dinner. Yada, yada, yada.

blahblah

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Thoughts After Reading:

I really do not like these Christmas themed books as it seems like an excuse to just cram as many recipes as they can in and the mysteries are always obvious and cheesy.

yuck_pirates_of_the_caribbean

I did not like it.

horrible

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For more Hannah Swensen Mysteries, go to Cream Puff Murder

For more Christmas mysteries, go to Death Comes to Pemberley

For more Hannah Swensen Holiday Mysteries, go to Candy Cane Murder

For more conmen, go to Peach Cobbler Murder

 For more mystery reviews, go to Snagged