March 22, 2011

Got My Cover!

And I love it! 

Sweet Success can be a motive for murder.

There aren't many things pastry chef Rita Lucero hates more than losing. But two years after her marriage to fellow baker Philippe Renier fell apart, she's still trying to get him to sign the divorce papers. Exasperated, Rita visits Philippe's high-end New Orleans shop, Zydeco Cakes, to get his signature--and discovers that her marriage is already over when she finds Philippe dead with a chef's knife in his chest.

Rita is shocked to discover the body, and overwhelmed to learn that since the divorce wasn't final, she now inherits part ownership in Zydeco Cakes. But it's a mixed blessing: the gorgeous shop is actually in financial trouble, and Rita's windfall sets her up as a prime suspect in Philippe's murder. Her former mother-in-law demands that Rita find out who killed her son, and his former employees don't know whether to trust her. The feeling is mutual--especially since the real culprit is still out there, and Rita may be the next victim served.

Coming to your favorite book store August 2, 2011!

March 17, 2011

Happy St. Paddy's Day

I found this Shamrock Cake Recipe online while I was clicking around today. Though she uses a boxed mix in this recipe, those who make cakes from scratch can easily adapt the decorating ideas. Today is this blogger's anniversary and it's also my parents' wedding anniversary. They would have been married 64 years today. The mind boggles.

So Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone, and Happy Anniversary to anyone celebrating today!

May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back.May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon the fields. And, Until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

March 11, 2011

Dishin' DVDs: Days of Wine and Roses

The other night while looking for a great old movie to watch, I came across Days of Wine and Roses starring Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick. I'd never seen the movie before, but I've long been a fan of Jack Lemmon so I decided to watch it. I had no idea what it was about, and that's probably a good thing. I might not have watched it if I'd known.

Jack Lemmon plays Joe Clay, an alcoholic public relations man who hates what he does for a living. From the very first scene, we're pretty clear on how Joe feels about his life and his career. He mistakes Kirsten Arnasen (Remick) for a call-girl he's arranged to attend a party for clients, and the two of them develop an immediate dislike for each other. Joe later apologizes for his mistake and the two eventually fall in love and get married.

In the beginning Kirsten prefers chocolate to booze, an inconvenience Joe manages to overcome by introducing her to the Brandy Alexander, which is made with brandy and creme de cocoa.

I started the movie expecting a light romantic comedy, but that's definitely not what I got. Note to self: pay more attention to the blurb next time.

Not surprisingly, both Lemmon and Remick are great in the movie. Is the acting occasionally over the top? Maybe. But having lived with an alcoholic in the past, maybe not as over-the-top as some people would like to believe. The heartbreaking thing to me is the fact that these two characters had a child. Watching what they put that child through is painful.

Recommended, but with a caveat. It's a movie you may want to avoid if alcoholism is part of your past.

March 08, 2011

March 07, 2011

Dishin' From the Kitchen: Crawfish Casserole

Since moving to the south, I've learned to appreciate the crawfish--words I never thought I'd say! 

Crawfish Casserole
serves 5-6


  • 1 lb. Louisiana Crawfish Tails
  • 1 stick margarine
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 bundle of green onion
  • 1-2 stalks celery
  • 1/4 bell pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. of cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 can of Cream of Mushroom or Cream of Shrimp Soup
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs

Cooking Instructions

  • Over medium heat melt margarine in a 5 quart dutch oven.
  • Add vegetables and saute about 10 minutes, until onions soften and begin to turn clear.
  • Add crawfish tails and saute an additional 5 minutes.
  • Take off the heat and stir in cayenne, black pepper, cream of mushroom soup, and bread crumbs.
  • Mix well and put into casserole dish.
  • Bake uncovered at 350 for about 30 minutes.
  • Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Laissez le bon temps rouler

March 01, 2011

Dishin' from the Kitchen: Jacklyn's Vegetable Beef Soup

This is one of my favorite go-to meals when I'm in the mood for comfort food. I've altered it slightly over the years, omitting celery when my daughter professed a deep and abiding hatred for it, leaving out the Lima beans when I didn't have them. It's versatile and hearty and great for a cool evening.

Jacklyn's Vegetable Beef Soup

3 pounds beef stew meat
1 pint plus 2 ounces tomato juice (I like to use V-8 Juice -- gives the soup great flavor)
1/3 cup onion, diced (I've been known to just dice the whole onion rather than mess around with the leftover parts)
4 teaspoons salt (or salt to taste)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
1 pound canned tomatoes (you can use diced tomatoes if you don’t like big chunks)
1 cup diced celery
1 can corn
4-5 potatoes cut into bite-sized pieces (use more or less, to taste.)
6-8 carrots cut into bite-sized pieces (or use the little pre-peeled carrots and eyeball how many you put in.)
1 package frozen baby lima beans (optional)

Brown the stew meat -- don't cook through, just sear the outside. Combine the juice, onion, Worcestershire sauce, seasonings and 6 cups of water in a large kettle.

Add the stew meat and simmer on low heat for 2 hours.

Add vegetables and cover. Simmer for 1 more hour.

Serve with crusty rolls and butter. Yummy! and it makes enough to last for a while.