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Robbie’s Roasted Garlic Hummus by Maddie Day

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees


1 large head of garlic
2 cups cooked chickpeas
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tahini
¼ cup warm water
1 lemon, juice of
½ teaspoon salt
Dash soy sauce to taste
A few drops of hot sauce to taste


Cut off a quarter inch from the top of the garlic so that the tops of most of the cloves are exposed slightly. Set on a square of tin foil, drizzles a bit of olive oil into the cut top, and seal foil around garlic into a packet. Roast in oven for forty-five minutes or until soft. Remove and allow to cool.

Using your fingers, squeeze the soft, roasted garlic out of each clove into food processor. (Options: use only half if you like a milder garlic flavor, or none at all, as desired.)

Rinse and drain chickpeas. Add the chickpeas, oil, tahini, water, lemon juice, and salt to the food processor and blend until completely smooth. Tip: Measure the oil and add it, then use the same tablespoon for the tahini so it slides off the spoon and doesn’t stick. Add a dash soy sauce and a few drops of hot sauce.

Stop and scrape ingredients off sides of food processor several times to make sure it blends evenly. If the hummus is too thick, drizzle in additional olive oil at this time. Add it very slowly, allowing the mixture to combine fully before adding more liquid.

Serve at room temperature with triangles of pita bread, raw vegetables, or crackers, or us as a spread on sandwiches. Refrigerate extra.

Continue reading “Robbie’s Roasted Garlic Hummus by Maddie Day”


Chocolate Almond Biscotti by Maddie Day


1-1/2 cups sliced almonds, toasted and divided
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips optional
1/2 cup white chocolate chips optional
2 teaspoons shortening optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. Set aside.

Place 3/4 cup of toasted almonds in a food processor and pulse until ground.

Beat butter in large bowl for 30 seconds, then add sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; beat until combined.

Beat in eggs and almond extract.

Beat in as much of the flour as you can with mixer.

By hand, stir in remaining flour, the ground almonds and the remaining 3/4 cup of sliced almonds.

On pieces of wax paper, shape dough into two 14 inch long rolls.

Place rolls on prepared cookie sheet at least 5 inches apart, flatten slightly.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near centers comes out clean.

Cool on cookie sheet for 1 hour.

Cut each roll diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices.

Place slices, cut sides down, on ungreased cookie sheets (or cookie sheets that have been lined with parchment paper).

Bake 8 minutes.

Turn slices; bake 7 to 9 minutes more or until cookies are dry and begin to crisp (do not overbake).

Remove from cookie sheets to wire racks.

Cool completely.

If desired, to make glaze or drizzle, place semi sweet chips and white chips in separate small microwave safe bowls.

Add 1 teaspoon of shortening to each bowl.

Microwave on high for 45 seconds, stirring once; stir. If necessary, microwave an additional 15 seconds or until chips are melted and mixtures are smooth when stirred.

Dip biscotti into mixtures or drizzle over tops.


Original Post On Cinnamon and Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder.


For country-store owner Robbie Jordan, the National Maple Syrup Festival is a sweet escape from late-winter in South Lick, Indiana—until murder saps the life out of the celebration . . .

As Robbie arranges a breakfast-themed cook-off at Pans ‘N Pancakes, visitors pour into Brown County for the annual maple extravaganza. Unfortunately, that includes Professor Connolly, a know-it-all academic from Boston who makes enemies everywhere he goes—and this time, bad manners prove deadly. Soon after clashing with several scientists at a maple tree panel, the professor is found dead outside a sugar shack, stabbed to death by a local restaurateur’s knife. When an innocent woman gets dragged into the investigation and a biologist mysteriously disappears, Robbie drops her winning maple biscuits to search for answers. But can she help police crack the case before another victim is caught in a sticky situation with a killer?

Includes Recipes for You to Try!

Continue reading “Chocolate Almond Biscotti by Maddie Day”

Salted Caramel Bar Cookies from Banana Cream Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F., rack in the middle position.

The Crust and Topping:
2 cups (4 sticks, 16 ounces, 1 pound) salted butter softened to room temperature
1 cup white (granulated) sugar
1 and 1⁄2 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour (pack it down in the cup when you measure it)

 The Caramel Filling:

14-ounce bag (approximately 50 pieces) square Kraft caramels, individually wrapped (If the kids help you unwrap the caramels, better buy 2 bags!)
1⁄3 cup whipping cream
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon sea or Kosher salt (the coarse-ground kind)

 Before you begin to make the crust and filling, spray a 9-inch by 13-inch cake pan with Pam or another nonstick baking spray.

Hannah’s 1st Note: This crust and filling is a lot easier to make with an electric mixer. You can do it by hand, but it will take some muscle.

Combine the butter, white sugar, and powdered sugar in a large bowl or in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat at MEDIUM speed until the mixture is light and creamy.

Add the vanilla extract. Mix it in until it is thoroughly combined.

Add the flour in half-cup increments, beating at LOW speed after each addition. Beat until everything is combined. Continue reading “Salted Caramel Bar Cookies from Banana Cream Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke”

Enter to WIN!


Hey everyone…this is Jo:

I’m so excited to share Hannah’s next mystery.  It’s Raspberry Danish Murder, and I’ve been in a baking frenzy to finish it for you.  In honor of the upcoming release, my publisher sent me a gorgeous raspberry pink Kitchen-Aid mixer to match the book.  I’ve been having so much fun making the recipes from the book, including:  Raspberry Danishes, Cherry Chocolate Bar Cookies, Upside Down Pear Coffee Cake, and Chocolate Butterscotch Crunch Cookies, that I wanted one special Hannah fan to get a mixer to match mine.  I twisted my publisher’s arm, and they finally agreed to get one lucky winner one that matched mine.

Now how will we find that one Hannah super fan who will win the raspberry mixer?

I know!  We’ll have a pre-order sweepstakes campaign.  All you have to do is pre-order Raspberry Danish Murder and register your pre-order in the form to be entered.

All the details to enter are below.   Good luck!  I hope you win!  Do be sure to send me pictures of the delicious recipes you’ve made in your new raspberry mixer.

Love you guys.



Readers who pre-order Raspberry Danish Murder before 2/27 are entered into this contest.

* 5 runner up winners receive free copy of Banana Cream Pie Murder (2/18mm) or a copy of Christmas Cake Murder (hardcover 10/18)

* Grand Prize Winner receives this raspberry Kitchen Aid





Breakfast Ideas by Lena Gregory

When I was younger, I worked the breakfast shift at my grandfather’s deli. I loved everything about it, but I especially remember enjoying the aromas; coffee brewing, bacon, freshly baked Kaiser rolls…To this day, the smell of breakfast cooking reminds me of my childhood.

When I decided to write a cooking cozy, it seemed natural to base it around breakfast, but I started wondering if there would be enough items to fill the menu. So I sat down and thought about everything you could make for breakfast, and to my surprise, the list just kept getting longer and longer. Of course, you can always go with the traditional bacon, eggs, home fries, and toast, but here are a few more suggestions from the All-Day Breakfast Café menu you may enjoy.

Omelets: Omelets can be a quick easy breakfast, especially if you prepare ahead of time like Gia does. Once or twice a week you can spend a few minutes dicing your vegetables, or frying and cutting your meat, then keep it in a covered container in the refrigerator. When it’s time to make breakfast, you just throw in whatever you want, and you have a nice, hot meal in no time at all.

There are two ways to make omelets. You can cook the eggs first, then fill the omelet and fold it over, or you can scramble the omelet ingredients into the eggs, then cook them together. Personally, I prefer everything cooked together.

And what can you put in your omelet? Pretty much anything you’d like! Some of the omelets on Gia’s menu include: Continue reading “Breakfast Ideas by Lena Gregory”

Huckleberry Pie by Jennifer Beckstrand

If you live on Huckleberry Hill, you eat a lot of huckleberries. Here is a sweet, mild recipe for huckleberry pie from my friend Lori Peterson.

2 T cornstarch
2 T flour
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 quart bottled huckleberries

Separate huckleberries from juice. Mix cornstarch and flour with a little portion of the huckleberry juice. On medium heat, heat remaining juice from the huckleberries in a medium saucepan. Add sugar and salt then the cornstarch mixture. Stir constantly over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat and add huckleberries. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Add top crust and cut slits to vent.

Bake 375 for 40-50 minutes.

Continue reading “Huckleberry Pie by Jennifer Beckstrand”

Val’s Apple Cranberry Pie by Kirsten Weiss

Leaves are turning scarlet and gold. An autumn chill snaps the air. And people are getting cozy with soft blankets and wooly mittens. I don’t know about you, but now that the temperature is dropping, baking has gotten a lot more attractive.

My new cozy mystery, The Quiche and the Dead, takes place in a pie shop, Pie Town. The owner, Val Harris, is obsessed with pie (and figuring out who killed a man in her shop).  So, in honor of the season, here’s a Fall recipe direct from Pie Town:

Val’s Apple Cranberry Pie

7 medium granny smith, golden delicious, or gravenstein apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 C frozen cranberries (you can use fresh too, but frozen berries tend to hold their shape better)
1/2 cup + 3 T granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt

3/4 c. packed dark brown sugar
3/4 flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/3 c. chilled butter, cut into pieces
1 premade pie crust.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line bottom of a 9” pie tin with a pre-made pie crust. Toss filling ingredients in a large bowl. Put in the in the lined pie tin.

Mix topping, cutting butter in until mixture like coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over apple mixture. Bake until topping is lightly browned and filling is bubbly, about 35 minutes.

Let cool. Enjoy! Continue reading “Val’s Apple Cranberry Pie by Kirsten Weiss”

Recipe for a Cozy Winter by Sharon Pape

I gripe a lot about winter – the snow, the sleet, the ice, the hail, not to mention the blizzards! I used to dream about living in a place where it was warm all year round, but the older I get, the more I’ve come to appreciate the change of seasons, especially the turning of winter into spring. Would I appreciate spring as much as if I hadn’t endured an endless winter? I don’t know, but in the interest of science I’d be willing to give it a try. Three seasons might be the best of all worlds.

Yet there are good things about winter. Just ask the people passionate about winter activities like skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating to name a few. My winter passion is all about staying inside, warm and cozy in a big sweater with a cup of tea beside me while I work at the computer or curl up in my favorite chair to read. Of course snuggly pets of all sizes are great at amping up the coziness factor.

Winter is a great time to entertain too. I love to invite close friends over for a cozy evening featuring a yummy homemade soup.  One of my favorites I learned from my mother-in-law. She called it Pasta Ceci Soup. You may know Ceci beans better as Chickpeas or Garbanzo beans – one bean, many names. Served with a fresh crusty bread and sprinkled with shredded Romano cheese, this tomato based soup is great at chasing away the winter chill and giving you a big old hug of coziness from the inside out! And it’s super easy.

Continue reading “Recipe for a Cozy Winter by Sharon Pape”

Spinach and Goat Cheese Totally Non-Murderous Quiche by Kirsten Weiss

Owning her own business seemed like pie in the sky to Valentine Harris when she moved to the coastal California town of San Nicholas, expecting to start a new life with her fiancé. Five months—and a broken engagement—later, at least her dream of opening a pie shop has become a reality. But when one of her regulars keels over at the counter while eating a quiche, Val feels like she’s living a nightmare.

After the police determine the customer was poisoned, business at Pie Town drops faster than a fallen crust. Convinced they’re both suspects, Val’s flaky, seventy-something pie crust maker Charlene drags her boss into some amateur sleuthing. At first Val dismisses Charlene’s half-baked hypotheses, but before long the ladies uncover some shady dealings hidden in fog-bound San Nicholas. Now Val must expose the truth—before a crummy killer tries to shut her pie hole.

Spinach and Goat Cheese Totally Non-Murderous Quiche


1 T olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
½ thinly sliced small red onion
1 diced zucchini
10 eggs
2 C reduced fat milk or almond milk
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
1 ¼ tsp coarse salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
¼ C crumbled goat cheese
1 C chopped baby spinach
1 T grated parmesan
Baked, 9-inch pie crust Continue reading “Spinach and Goat Cheese Totally Non-Murderous Quiche by Kirsten Weiss”

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