Hobby Reads

Because everyone's hobby is having fun!



Chocolate Lasagna by Lisa Jackson

Whenever I have an impromptu family dinner, I usually make chocolate lasagna for dessert as it’s a fave and easy to throw together.  Well, except for one time when I picked up regular pudding rather than instant—uh, that doesn’t work at all.  So take note.   Anyway, I found this recipe on the Internet about two years ago and it’s been a hit with my family—especially the grandkids—every time.  There are variations I’ve tried—such as graham crackers for the crust or adding in Nutella or peanut butter to the filling but the basic recipe is wonderful.  I don’t know who originally came up with it, but here’s the recipe I use:

Chocolate Lasagna
Author: The Kitchen Snob



36 Oreo cookies (regular, not double stuffed)
6 tablespoons butter, melted
8 oz cream cheese, softened Continue reading “Chocolate Lasagna by Lisa Jackson”

Great-Grandma’s Chocolate Espresso Cake by Andie J. Christopher

In this first book in the new One Night in Miami series, readers meet the quirky Cuban/Irish Hernandez family. Alana Hernandez, the baby sister of the family, knows the second-best way to former Navy SEAL Cole Roberts’ heart. And, on Valentine’s Day, this chocolate espresso cake would be just the ticket.

Cake Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking soda
1 large egg Continue reading “Great-Grandma’s Chocolate Espresso Cake by Andie J. Christopher”

Joanne Fluke on TOUR!

Tuesday February 28, 2017 @ 6:00 pm
4014 N Goldwater Blvd # 101
Scottsdale, AZ 85251-4344

Thursday March 2, 2017 @ 6pm
6101 Frisco Square Blvd
Frisco, TX 75034

Friday March 3, 2017 @ 7:00 pm
7700 West Northwest Hwy
Dallas, TX 75225

Saturday March 4, 2017 @ 12pm
9015 Grand Ave
North Richland Hills, TX 76180

Monday March 6, 2017 @7:00 pm
Sanibel Public Library
770 Dunlop Rd.
Sanibel, FL 33957

Wednesday March 8, 2017 @ 6:30pm
2342 Bissonnet St
Houston, TX 77005 Continue reading “Joanne Fluke on TOUR!”

Salted Caramel Martini by Stepahnie Blackmoore

Mallory Shepard’s wedding planning business is off to a shaky start when a member of the bridal family drops dead at a food tasting . . .

Mallory hopes to unveil her new B&B just in time for her first ceremony as a wedding planner. The renovations to Thistle Park—the mansion she inherited in small-town Port Quincy, Pennsylvania—are almost complete. But what Mallory didn’t plan on is the bride’s aunt being poisoned at the wedding tasting and her perfect venue becoming a crime scene.

Adding to the mystery is the discovery that this is not the first murder in the bridal family, and as Mallory becomes engaged in her own investigation she learns the man convicted of the crime may not be guilty. Now she has two crimes to solve before the bride walks down the aisle—but a killer has other plans to ensure that Mallory forever holds her peace . . . Continue reading “Salted Caramel Martini by Stepahnie Blackmoore”

Coconut-Carob Cookies by Liz Mugavero

Kristan “Stan” Connor gladly turned tail on her high-flying job and moved to a quaint New England town to sell organic pet treats. But with her nose for solving murders, there’s no such thing as a quiet life…

Summer is winding down in Frog Ledge, Connecticut, but Stan’s love life and career are both heating up nicely. In between planning her new pet patisserie and café, Stan is settling into living-in-bliss with sexy pub owner Jake McGee. Love’s on the menu for Stan’s mom, Patricia, too, who’s engaged to Frog Ledge’s mayor, Tony Falco.

Mayor Falco’s dogged ambition isn’t popular among locals, but it’s his executive coach, Eleanor Chang, who’s inspired a dangerous grudge. When Eleanor is found dead, there’s a whole pack of suspects to choose from. Stan has first-hand experience of Eleanor’s unsavory business tactics. But finding out who forced her to take a fatal plunge off the corporate ladder means unearthing some shady secrets…and a killer who’s too close for comfort. Continue reading “Coconut-Carob Cookies by Liz Mugavero”

The Best of 2016

Quail Veronique by Mary McHugh

Serves six.

6 quails
3 tbsps. flour
2 ½ tsps. salt
½ tsp. white pepper
5 tbsps. butter
¾ cup dry white wine
¾ cup seedless green grapes
4 tbsps. blanched, sliced almonds

Mix the salt and pepper with the flour.
Dip the quails in the flour, salt, and pepper.
Brown the quails in the butter in a deep skillet.
Add wine, cover, and cook for about fifteen minutes over low heat.
Add grapes and almonds.
Cook until quails are tender, about five minutes.



A Real Maine Clambake by Barbara Ross

People often ask about the inspiration for novels and for me it was when fellow Kensington author Lea Wait (Twisted Threads, Threads of Evidence, Thread and Gone) told me her daughter celebrated her wedding reception on a private island where a family ran a Maine clambake. Lea and I are neighbors in Maine (where neighbors means she lives at the other end of the peninsula where I live) and we love to get together to talk books, writing and lobster.

ea’s story marinated for a while before I wrote the first Maine Clambake Mystery, Clammed Up(which takes place, not surprisingly at a wedding). At that point, I’d never been to the real Cabbage Island Clambake where Lea’s daughter’s wedding reception had been held. I wrote the early drafts of Clammed Up over most of a snowy New England winter when the clambake was shut down for the season. I actually think that was a good thing, because it ensured that everything about the Snowden Family Clambake—the family, the island, the tourists—came out of my imagination.


Continue reading “The Best of 2016”

Mandy’s Hot Chocolate For Two by Sierra Donovan

Sweetening Up the Holidays with Sierra Donovan

It’s my pleasure to write Christmas romances for Kensington. My books fall into what’s known as the “sweet” category — love stories with plenty of warmth, where things don’t go as far as the bedroom.

The latest book in my Evergreen Lane series includes another sweet element: the hot chocolate made by Mandy, the heroine from the previous book (“Do You Believe in Santa?“). In Book 2, “We Need a Little Christmas,” we discover that Mandy’s hot chocolate may contain an extra ingredient she didn’t know she was putting in. Her cocoa seems to have a way of making people who’ve never gotten along feel friendlier toward one another. I like to think of it as the milk of loving kindness … or maybe it’s just the Christmas spirit!

Once I included Mandy’s recipe in the story, I decided to try to figure out how she made it. (Tough research, but somebody’s got to do it!) Now I’m sharing my results with you. I hope you’ll find time this season to curl up by the fire or the Christmas tree with a cup. Who knows? A little holiday magic may result.

Merry Christmas! Continue reading “Mandy’s Hot Chocolate For Two by Sierra Donovan”

Keli’s Candlemas Cookies by Jennifer David Hesse

A vegan treat made with fresh oranges and poppy seeds

Candlemas, celebrated on February 2, is an old holiday with both Pagan and Christian roots. For Wiccans like Keli (heroine of the Wiccan Wheel Mysteries), it’s a cross-quarter seasonal celebration, halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Although it might still be cold in some parts of the world, there are signs that spring is on its way. Days gradually become longer and warmer. The sun is coming back. This is cause for celebration!

These cookies are perfect for Candlemas, because seeds symbolize growth and oranges are the sunshine fruit. They also work well as Yuletide treats. (Oh, and since Keli is vegan, they are egg and dairy free!)

Yield: Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies Continue reading “Keli’s Candlemas Cookies by Jennifer David Hesse”

Butterscotch Cashew Bars by Charlotte Hubbard

These thick, chewy bars are rich and satisfying. They have a place on my Christmas cookie trays every year!


1½ cups flour
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup butter, softened
¼ tsp. salt


½ cup light corn syrup
1 11-oz. pkg. butterscotch chips (2 cups) Continue reading “Butterscotch Cashew Bars by Charlotte Hubbard”

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