Posted in Cooking, Home

Pie People by Krista Davis

My friend and fellow author, Leslie Budewitz, says people fall into one of two categories. We are people of the pie, or we belong to the clan of the cake.  I found this hilarious, but I have to admit that there may be some truth to it. I grew up with cakes. My mom baked a cake or pastry every Saturday morning when I was growing up. Only rarely did she bake a pie!

That’s actually not too surprising to me because my mom was born in Germany where cake is readily available at every proper café. Pies not so much. According to my research, pies go back ancient Egypt and Rome but it was the British who seized the idea and eventually brought it to America. Germans bake a lot of pastries and their strudel is well known, but pies take a back seat. I’m told that’s changing. Still, it accounts for why I am definitely from the Clan of the Cake. Continue reading “Pie People by Krista Davis”

Posted in Cooking, Home

Poppy’s Strawberry Spinach Salad by Lee Hollis

One of the reasons I get excited about writing the Hayley Powell Food & Cocktails Mysteries is because I just love to eat. Every book allows me to try several new recipes, and usually each story features a different kind of food theme. In Hayley’s first adventure Death of a Kitchen Diva, there was a full seven course meal. In the last book, Death of a Cookbook Author, I focused on yummy casseroles. The series has included recipes for southern fried cooking, meals on a budget, dishes with ingredients such as chocolate, bacon, pumpkin, as well as cupcakes and Christmas-themed stews and treats. Next year, Death of a Wedding Cake Baker will have not only a perfect wedding cake recipe, but a host of hors d’oeuvres, entrees and salads appropriate for a wedding reception!

But Hayley isn’t the only character who is a foodie. When Poppy Harmon is not out solving her cases for the Desert Flowers Detective Agency, she spends her free time indulging in her two favorite past times – watching TV crime shows and whipping up a tasty meal in her kitchen.  Cooking calms her down and focuses her mind. She has solved more than one case in her kitchen. Although as you know if you have read her first book Poppy Harmon Investigates, her “partner” Matt Flowers, who is the face of the agency, is usually around to take all the credit.

Here is one of Poppy’s favorite recipes when she is on the go and needs something simple to eat on her way out the door.

Poppy’s Strawberry Spinach Salad with Homemade Poppy Seed, Honey  Vinaigrette & Sugared Walnuts for Two




2 bowls

4 cups baby spinach leaves

½ red onion sliced thin

3 ounces crumbled feta cheese (more or less for taste)

8 strawberries stems removed and sliced

4 slices cooked bacon, diced

1 Clementine peeled and in segments


Poppy Seed Honey Vinaigrette




2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 cup honey 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 ½ tablespoons poppy seeds

1/2 cup Honey


Candied Walnuts


1 cup walnuts

¼ cup brown sugar

Candied Walnuts:

  • In a non stick frying pan on medium low heat add your walnuts and brown sugar.
  • Mix together until combined and keep stirring until all the sugar is melted and coats all of the walnuts. Stir nuts about one more minute without burning and empty out on parchment paper to cool.


  • Divide the spinach, red onion, crumbled feta, strawberries, Clementine and bacon between to bowls.


  • In a mason jar or bowl with a whisk add all of your dressing ingredients and shake or whisk until well mixed add your desired amount and top with the candied walnuts.
  • Yes, candied walnuts are fattening, but Poppy is exercising more now that she has hit the streets of Palm Springs to solve crimes. Plus, she’s not acting on her 1980’s TV detective show Jack Colt, PI so it’s no longer necesary to watch her figure so closely anymore!




Lee Hollis begins a delightful new series in which Poppy Harmon and her friends find that life after retirement can be much busier—and deadlier—than any of them ever anticipated . . .

When Poppy goes from complacent retiree to penniless widow in a matter of weeks, the idea of spending her golden years as the biggest charity case in Palm Springs renders her speechless. With no real skills and nothing left to lose, Poppy uses her obsession with true crime shows to start a career as a private eye . . .

But after opening the Desert Flowers Detective Agency with help from her two best friends, Violet and Iris, Poppy realizes that age brings wisdom, not business—until she convinces her daughter’s handsome boyfriend, Matt, to pose as the face of the agency. It’s not long before Matt’s irresistible act snags a client desperate to retrieve priceless jewelry burglarized from an aging actress at the Palm Leaf Retirement Village. Or before Poppy stumbles upon the bloodied body of the victim’s arch rival . . .

In a flash, Poppy’s innocent detective gig is upstaged by a dangerous murder investigation riddled with slimy suspects and unspeakable scandal. As she and her team uncover the truth, Poppy must confront the secrets about her late husband’s past and swiftly catch a killer lurking around the retirement community—even if it means turning her world upside down all over again.

Praise For Lee Hollis And The Hayley Powell Mystery Series

Death Of A Pumpkin Carver

“The mystery is well-written and the story will keep any reader’s attention. After meeting these hysterical characters there is no doubt that you’ll go back.” —Suspense Magazine

Death Of A Bacon Heiress

“A fun mystery that will have readers enraptured.” —Kings River Life magazine

Death Of A Christmas Caterer

“A fun Christmas cozy.” —Library Journal

Death Of A Coupon Clipper

“Hayley is a likable heroine that readers will cheer for.” —Parkersburg News and Sentinel

Death Of A Country Fried Redneck

“A snappy pace, fun characters and a clever plot. A tasty entrée for the culinary cozy crowd.” —Library Journal

Death Of A Kitchen Diva

“Lee Hollis’s debut mystery featuring food columnist Hayley Powell is delicious and satisfying. Another course, please!” —Carolyn Hart, New York Times bestselling author





Posted in Cooking, Home

Lemon Ice Cream with Strawberries by Meera Lester

1 cup superfine sugar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 cup whole milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh sliced strawberries
Combine the sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a large bowl.

Slowly pour the cream, milk, and salt into the lemon-sugar mixture and stir constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes.

Pour the lemon-cream mixture into freezable individual molds or bowls or into an ice cube tray, and then cover with foil and freeze until the ice cream is completely firm, about 3 to 5 hours, depending on the type of mold used.

Unmold the ice cream, garnish each serving with the sliced strawberries, and serve at once.


Continue reading “Lemon Ice Cream with Strawberries by Meera Lester”

Posted in Cooking, Home

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie by Sharon Farrow

Dying for Strawberries
Sharon Farrow

With seasonal crowds flocking to its sandy beaches, lively downtown shops, and the Berry Basket, a berry emporium with something for everyone, the lakeshore village of Oriole Point is ripe for summer fun—and murder.

Much has changed for Marlee Jacob since she returned to Oriole Point, Michigan, three years ago. Between running the Berry Basket, dodging local gossip, and whipping up strawberry muffins, smoothies, and margaritas to celebrate the town’s first annual Strawberry Moon Bash, the twenty-nine-year-old hardly has time for her fiancé, let alone grim memories of her old life in New York . . . Continue reading “Strawberry-Banana Smoothie by Sharon Farrow”

Posted in Cooking, Home

Strawberry-Chocolate Eton Mess by Colette London

Whites of 4 eggs (save yolks for another recipe)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

GET READY: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a bain-marie by filling a small saucepan with a few inches of water and bringing to a boil; reduce to a very low simmer, then proceed with meringues. Continue reading “Strawberry-Chocolate Eton Mess by Colette London”

Posted in Creativity, Home

The Sweet Symbolic Strawberry by Sharon Farrow

The Berry Basket series is set in Oriole Point, a fictional resort town along the shores of Lake Michigan. My heroine, Marlee Jacob, owns a berry themed store, one of many unique businesses that draw million of visitors each year to her picturesque village. Because the beaches are the number one tourist attraction, summer is high season. So when I began to plot Book One, I decided on a June setting to launch the series. As someone who lives and works in just such a Michigan lakeshore town, I know June is when tourist season really kicks off. Since each of the books in the Berry Basket series focuses on a different berry (and the murder surrounding it), strawberries needed to be the focus of my debut book. They are the first berries to ripen,  and the reason why June’s full moon is known as a Strawberry Moon.

As soon as I learned about the Strawberry Moon, I included it in Dying for Strawberries by creating a festive event called the Strawberry Moon Bash. The day before the event begins, Marlee’s superstitious friend Natasha asks her to interpret a disturbing dream she had about strawberries. Conversant with all things berry, Marlee tells her that strawberries represent happiness and purity; the Cherokee regarded it as a symbol of good luck. However, she does warn how a dream about strawberries may portend a forbidden desire, or that someone they know has a secret. And Marlee soon learns all of the above are correct. Continue reading “The Sweet Symbolic Strawberry by Sharon Farrow”

Posted in Cooking, Home

Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes by Stephanie Blackmoore

Champagne is usually reserved for festive occasions like weddings, but it’s a versatile flavor that can bring some zing to an ordinary dessert. These strawberry champagne cupcakes would be equally at home at a wedding celebration or on a lazy summer day!

Makes one dozen.


1 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sugar
½ cup coconut oil Continue reading “Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes by Stephanie Blackmoore”

Posted in Cooking

Strawberry Avocado Salad by Christine d’Abo

When you have kids, it’s not always possible to have a romantic dinner with your significant other outside of the home. Which is just fine! Poor Alyssa in 30 Days, isn’t much of a cook. But for Harrison, she’ll do her very best.

Luckily for her, it doesn’t have to be complicated to be wonderful. Here’s a recipe that I used for a delicious take on a boring old salad.

2 Tbs white sugar
4 tsp olive oil
1 Tbs cider vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
2 cups salad greens
1 avocado – peeled, pitted, sliced
Strawberries, sliced
½ cup chopped pecans Continue reading “Strawberry Avocado Salad by Christine d’Abo”

Posted in Cooking

Strawberry Bites For Pups & Nutty’s Pumpkin Purrs with Liz Mugavero

Author Liz Mugavero is an animal lover from Connecticut whose canine and feline rescues demand the best organic food and treats around.

Just like the character Kristan “Stan” Connor from the Pawsitively Organic Mystery series, Liz likes to make sure pets are eating healthy. Continue reading “Strawberry Bites For Pups & Nutty’s Pumpkin Purrs with Liz Mugavero”