Monday, December 16, 2013

The Case of Blueberry Syrup and Imajin Books Celebrates the Season!

Merry Christmas, first from my publisher and then from me!
Imajin Books Celebrates the Season with a Massive eBook Sale

Here's the perfect opportunity to load up your ereaders (Kindle, Kobo, Nook etc.) over the holidays with fantastic fiction from a wide assortment of authors and genres.

From December 20th to January 3rd, check out the eBook Sale (link will be live on December 20th) from Imajin Books, part of their 25 Days of Christmas Giveaways event. Most titles will be priced at $0.99 or $1.99, so stock up and/or gift great ebooks to your friends and family this Christmas season.

And don't forget, Imajin Books is giving away prizes, including a Kindle Fire HD or Kobo Vox 7 HD, and two $50 Amazon gift cards. This contest ends December 25, 2013. To enter, visit You can enter multiple times a day.

To check out the ebooks on sale, visit (again, live on December 20th).

And now from me for your Christmas morning breakfast:
Blueberry Syrup

1/2 lb blueberries
1/4 cup maple syrup

Simmer together the blueberries and maple syrup for 6 min.

Delicious warm on French Vanilla Toast!

Serves 3.


PS To leave me (and Cynthia) a message, click on the comment button below.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Case of Antipasto Platter

These individual Antipasto Platters are filling enough to serve as a meal accompanied by fresh Italian bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping. You can also set a large Antipasto Platter in the centre of your table and invite diners to serve themselves as an appetiser. All that's left to do above is drizzle with balsamic glaze!

Antipasto Platter

marinated artichoke hearts
cooked beets, quartered
sun-dried tomatoes in oil, halved
seasoned, grilled zucchini slices
seasoned, grilled red/orange/yellow pepper quarters
a variety of olives
balsamic glaze

Indulge your inner artist and arrange the ingredients on your serving plate canvas. Hint: lay down a small base of vibrant green arugula to start and then add colours and textures to create a harmonious balance.

Drizzle with balsamic glaze.



PS Author Darcia Helle privileged me with a guest spot on her blog A Word Please, which is a glimpse into her world! Click on the screenshot below to see my guest post and then tour the rest of her blog.

PPS To leave me (and Cynthia) a message, click on the comment button below.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Case of Mixed Vegetable Masala with Paneer

Mixed Vegetable Masala with Paneer

1 inch ginger, sliced
2 cloves garlic
15-oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 tbsps canola oil
1 onion, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1-1/2 tsps Tandoori barbeque masala without colouring
1/2 tsp Tandoori barbeque masala with colouring
1/2 tsp chilli powder
2 cups cauliflower florets
2 cups cubed paneer
1/2 cup water
1/2 5-1/2-oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup light coconut milk
cilantro, chopped

Pulse the ginger and garlic in a blender until finely chopped. Add the diced tomatoes and cayenne, and blend.
Heat the canola oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and yellow pepper, and sauté for 10 min. or until softened.
Stir in the carrots, Tandoori barbeque masala without colouring, Tandoori barbeque masala with colouring, and chilli powder. Cover, and simmer for 10 min., stirring occasionally.
Add the cauliflower, paneer, tomato mixture, water and tomato paste. Simmer 30 min.
Stir in the coconut milk. Salt to taste.
Serve with Long-grain Rice and garnish with cilantro to taste.
Serves 4.
PS To leave me (and Cynthia) a message, click on the comment button below.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Case of Over My Dead Body! A PURSE TO DIE FOR Pre-ordering on Kobo and Nook at 99¢ US!

You know, a character like me doesn't have a whole heck of a lot of say in what her author decides to write about her. Take HIDE AND SEEK FOR GROWN-UPS for example. Cynthia St-Pierre didn't go all 50 shades in the short mystery story she wrote about me for Over My Dead Body! mystery magazine online, but I have to admit the 1 shade she did go makes me blush.
What are my customers going to think? Keep in mind, Black Currant Bay citizens are a conservative bunch. And they're already wary of me: an outsider, a designer, a VEGETARIAN!

Click on the image above to read the story (it's totally free to the public...including all the police officers who serve under my husband) and let me know what you think.
PS Here are the A PURSE TO DIE FOR 99¢ pre-order links.

PPS Happy Halloween!

PPPS (Ha!) To leave me (and Cynthia) a message, click on the comment button below.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

#118 The Case of Coconut Tofu

1 egg
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1-1/2 lbs firm tofu (slice horizontally through the thickness of the tofu)
2 tablespoons olive oil

Beat the egg in a shallow bowl.

Mix together the breadcrumbs and coconut in another shallow bowl.

Dip the tofu in the beaten egg to coat, then in the breadcrumb mixture. Pat on more breading as needed.

Fry in the olive oil in a non-stick pan until hot and golden brown on both sides.

Serves 4.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Case of French Angel Food Toast with Strawberries

What tastes a heck of a lot like strawberry shortcake but has no need for whipped cream? French Angel Food Toast with Strawberries! Take one original recipe for French Vanilla Toast, substitute angel food cake for the bread, and add strawberries. It's sweet enough that maple syrup is neither needed nor recommended and it can legitimately be served for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert!

So many riffs on French toast for me to try!

More "Breads" to Try Dipping in Egg and Vanilla

chocolate cake (without icing)
French baguette
Italian bread

More Fresh Fruit Toppings

combination of two or more fruits


PS To link to your own creations or to leave me (and Cynthia) a message, click on the comment button below.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Case of Sara Önnebo's Tomato Orange Soup


As the curtain rises, BECKI and KARL face a white tiled counter in their small apartment kitchen. Their necks are twisted so they can effectively glare at each other. BECKI holds a chef's knife.

BECKI: The test of a marriage is whether a couple can cook together.

KARL: I thought it was whether a couple could fish together.

(BECKI slumps her head down over the chopping board.)

BECKI: Am I going to have to force you to read Dr. Phil's Relationship Rescue one more time?

(KARL scoots across to the fridge and stares at a slip of paper stuck to the fridge door with magnets.)

KARL: Why don't I re-read the ingredients you've listed to see if we've got everything properly prepped?

BECKI: You do that.

KARL: 1/2 onion, chopped.

(He strains to listen. He hears nothing.)

KARL: Say check, Becki.

BECKI: Sure...check.

KARL: 1-1/2 cloves garlic, minced; 1 chillie, minced; 1/2 tsp paprika; 1 tbsp olive oil; 28-oz can diced tomatoes; 1/2 cup 2% yogurt; 1-1/2 cups water; 1 orange, juiced; salt; chives.

BECKI: Check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check.

KARL: We're naturals!

(KARL steps away from the fridge and saunters back to the counter with a swagger while BECKI heads to the stove.)

BECKI: So I'm going to sauté the onion, garlic, chillie and paprika in the olive oil on low until soft.

(KARL busies himself setting up a blender.)

BECKI: Do you want to add the tomatoes?

KARL: There's nothing more I'd like to do, honey.

(He taps her on the bum when he reaches her with the tomatoes. She steps away from the pot while he pours. The tomatoes burst into sizzle when they meet the heat. BECKI adds the 1-1/2 cups water. The soup soon comes to a boil.)

BECKI: Time to purée.

KARL: Anytime, darling (grabbing her and leading her in a waltz).

BECKI: For crying out loud! (But she smiles.)

(After carefully blending the broth in batches, BECKI stirs in the yogurt, orange juice and salt to taste then brings the soup to serving temperature.)

BECKI: Slice the baguette, will you, Karl? And fill a couple dipping dishes with this blood orange olive oil (BECKI raises a bottle in her hand)—it's the oil I used to sauté the aromaticsand some of that summer peach white balsamic vinegar we brought back from Maine.

(She ladles the steaming, orange/red soup into bowls, drizzles it with a little more blood orange olive oil and snips chives on top. Then she carries their luncheon over to the round table in their cozy dining nook.)

KARL: That went well, I think. What do you think, Becki? Did we pass the test? Are we allowed to stay married?

(He hears no response so he stares at his wife.)

KARL: Becki?

BECKI: Hmmm?

KARL: What are you doing?

BECKI: I'm studying Food Network Magazine. Seeing what other marriage tests we can do.


♥ Becki

PS This is how we made my friend Sara Önnebo's Tomato Orange Soup. To see her original recipe and much more, please visit Sara's terrific blog My Delights, "about health, food, family and other things that make my heart happy", at

To leave me (and Cynthia) a message, click on the comment button below.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Case of How to Add Sizzle to Your Summer

Who's turning up the heat this month? Imajin Books, publisher of A Purse To Die For featuring moi, because it's throwing a contest AND a sale AND a party and you are very, very welcome to join in!

The contest has everything to do with sharing about Imajin books and Imajin events to receive entries into a draw for a Kindle Fire HD with Wi-Fi. There will also be runner-up prizes of $20 gift cards for Amazon or Kobo books. Enter daily for more chances to win!

The sale slashes the price of Imajin e-books so they're ALL either $0.99 or $1.99. Yay!

The party happens August 9/10. Imajin authors of suspense, mystery, romance etc.—including A Purse to Die For's Cynthia St-Pierre—will drop in and chat with readers, plus there will be random giveaways of e-books and Amazon and Kobo gift cards.

Sound like something you're interested in? Here's the link for all the official details:


PS To leave me (and Cynthia) a message, click on the comment button below.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

#113 The Case of Being a Visiting Detective

Remember Detective Charlie Kerrian and his Favourite Sweet Potato Pie? If you've ever tasted it (recipe can be found on both our blogs, Vegetarian Detective and Kerrian's Notebook), I'm sure you remember him (as well as his lovely wife, Sheila).

Seems our Charlie is very busy these days. While he's waiting for his mystery One Sweet Motion—about murder while he was relaxing at a Jamaican resort—to be published, he's inviting a few of his detective pals, amateur and otherwise, to be guests on his blog.

Here's hoping the whole scenario doesn't imitate the Agatha Christie novel in which a varied group of guests are invited to stay on this island and one by one they're all (messily) dispatched, because...well...I'm privileged to be Charlie's first guest.

Find my post chez Detective Kerrian by clicking on the screenshot above. To be safe, I'm thinking...maybe you should do it sooner rather than later...


PS To leave me (and Cynthia) a message, click on the comment button below. Also, please don't be shy about leaving a message for Charlie on his blog. Maybe something about how you're quite fond of me and how you wouldn't want anything (messy) to happen to me...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Case of Spicy Penne and Cheese plus Happy Birthday A PURSE TO DIE FOR!

Why, oh why, bake macaroni and cheese in the oven? It just dries out. For that matter, why use macaroni?

Try this. Tell me what you think.

Spicy Penne and Cheese

1 slice whole-wheat bread, in pieces
2 cups whole-wheat penne rigate
2 cups penne rigate
1/2 cup water

1 yellow pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 chillies, minced
2 tbsps butter, softened
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Chop the bread into crumbs in a blender. Spread the crumbs in a shallow pan and bake for 10 min.

Cook the penne in boiling salted water (add the whole-wheat penne to the pot first, bring back to a boil and cook for 1 min. before adding the regular penne).

In the meantime, bring the water, yellow pepper and garlic to a boil and simmer, covered, until the yellow pepper is soft.

In the blender, blend the yellow pepper mix with the chillies, butter, Parmesan, chilli powder, Cheddar and salt until smooth.

When the pasta is al dente, drain, return to the pot, and stir in the cheese sauce.

Serve topped with the toasted bread crumbs.

Serves 4.


PS To leave me (and Cynthia) a message, click on the comment button below.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Case of Vegetable Kebabs

Here's a letter I wrote to my larger-than-I-would-like-to-be self on the advice of a self-help book that I read about losing weight. Note: I responded to myself at a later date but that will not be published.                       



May 21, 2012

Dear Rebekkah (may I leave out the Larger?)

I know you’re a nice person, Rebekkah, so I’m assuming you’ll read this and reflect on it and not rip my head off even if you want to. Please do not internalize what I’m about to say. I suspect you’re prone to do that; however, just because this is a chastising letter doesn’t mean that I don’t like you. I do like you. Very much. You’re good and kind and actually too damn accommodating!

When others eat, you eat with them to be polite. If you don’t like something, you eat it anyway so as not to offend. You make birthday cakes for people even though you know you’ll get stuck with the leftovers. The result of all that niceness is you’re…well…plump.

Let me repeat, I like and respect you. I believe it’s not what you do or what you have or what you look like that counts. It’s who you are. And you’re terrific.

Here’s the thing. You can remain nice and still be thin. There’s no law against it. See, when it comes right down to it, you won’t be breaking anyone’s heart if you insist on going to the grocery store and buying ingredients for a delightfully fresh salad instead of agreeing to take the easy road and going to Harvey’s. Maybe someone you and I both know will even offer to help clean up after the healthy meal when you are time-strapped.

I think you get the message. Put your own welfare first for once. Your own health. Your own self-esteem. Your own joy. You deserve to be the best Rebekkah you can be. A little more like me—your ideal self.

Yours (and I mean that literally),


Grrr... Here's the recipe.

Vegetable Kebabs

2 rounded tsps (for 2 cups) vegetable bouillon powder
2 tbsps hickory-smoked barbecue sauce
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tbsps soya sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
pinch paprika
pinch rosemary
pinch oregano
pinch onion powder
pinch basil
pinch parsley
16 oz medium mushrooms
2 red peppers, cubed
4 zucchinis, thickly sliced
1/8 cup olive oil

Soak at least 8 wooden skewers in water.

Mix together all the marinade ingredients—vegetable bouillon powder to pepper to taste—in a large bowl. Add the vegetables and marinate for an hour or more.

Thread the vegetables on the skewers, baste with the olive oil, and grill on the BBQ or broil on the middle rack of oven.

Here, I served them on creamy whipped potatoes and chick peas.

Drizzle with warmed marinade.

Serves 4.


PS To leave me (and Cynthia) a message, click on the comment button below.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

#110 The Case of Poutine

"Poutine is a typical Canadian dish (originally from Quebec), made with French fries, topped with brown gravy and curd cheese."—Wikipedia

Nutritionists worldwide may be screaming in horror that poutine has captured the world by storm but, proud Canadian that I am, I'm shouting, "Yippee!"

To be sure, vegetarians are reputed to eat more along the lines of tofu, broccoli and brown rice but an occasional poutine won't kill us. In fact, fast-food poutine makes quite a comforting indulgence!

Did you know that poutine gravy, which is generally made from a mix, is vegetarian? Valerie of McCormick Canada Inc. confirmed to me by phone that Club House Brown Gravy Mix contains no meat products.

Silly to write out a recipe. All you do is sprinkle French fries with cheese curds then pour brown gravy over top. Seriously...yum!

♥ Becki

PS To leave me (and Cynthia) a message, click on the comment button below.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

#108 The Case of Smokey Bean Soup

Smokey Bean Soup may be the recipe I am most proud of. Smokiness is derived from two sources (no, not mascara and eye shadow)—roasted garlic and hickory-smoked BBQ sauce—a combo that produces a surprising depth of flavour.

Smokey Bean Soup

1-1/2 cups navy or white pea beans

12 cups water, separated
6 rounded teaspoons (for 6 cups) vegetable bouillon powder
1/2 bulb garlic
olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon  pepper
1 tablespoon hickory-smoked BBQ sauce


Soak the beans overnight in 6 cups of the water.

Drain and rinse.

In a covered pot, simmer the beans in the rest of the water and vegetable bouillon powder, for 1-1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Slice the top off the half-bulb of garlic to expose each clove. Place upright on foil and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap. Roast for 45 min. Let cool.

Add the onion, carrots, bay leaf, rosemary and pepper to the beans, and simmer for 25 min.
Discard the bay leaf. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves (leaving out the papery skins) into a blender and blend with 1 cup of the soup. Return the blended portion to the pot.
Add the BBQ sauce. Add more water and salt as needed.
Serves 4.
♥ Becki
PS To leave me (and Cynthia) a message, click on the comment button below.

Monday, April 15, 2013

#107 The Case of Detective Charlie Kerrian's Favourite Sweet Potato Pie

You'll love my friend Kerrian. I give you these words from his very first post on

What makes me happy is solving cases and the honest serenity of life on the golf course. When not doing that, you can find me in the kitchen with my wife working on new recipes, or listening to music, or writing, not necessarily in that order. If friends and family behave, they can join us anytime for a great home-cooked meal and some iced coffee or sweet tea. And, always a great dessert.

Detective Charlie Kerrian's Favourite Sweet Potato Pie
(The way I made it for Karl.)

2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (no butter or anything added)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
10 oz evaporated milk
1 unbaked deep dish pie shell

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

In a large bowl, beat the mashed potatoes and both sugars. Beat in the salt, cinnamon, vanilla and eggs.

Add the evaporated milk and mix until just blended.

Pour into the pie shell and bake for 15 min.

Lower the temperature to 350ºF and bake an additional hour or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a pie rack for 1 hour.


Monday, April 1, 2013

#106 The Case of French Banana Toast

Does this picture make you hungry? Now imagine it drizzled with maple syrup. French Banana Toast is just a matter of slicing a ripe banana over hot-off-the-griddle pieces of French Vanilla Toast.


Friday, March 15, 2013

#105 The Case of Liebster Award

Yummy Cooking Made Easy! has presented my blog with a Liebster Award! Thanks RevA N!
Here are the rules for receiving this award:
  1. Post 11 random facts about yourself.
  2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, and then create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.
  3. Choose 11 new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to pass the award to and link to them in your post.
  4. Tell them about the award.
  5. No tag-backs.
11 Random Facts About Me, Rebekkah Green
  1. My mother died when I was six.
  2. When I was in my thirties, I had to make new friends because my best friend since public school turned out to be a murderer.
  3. Some people think I'm just imagining a physical resemblance to Catherine Zeta-Jones.
  4. I talk to my dead mother and she talks back.
  5. I love a man in uniform.
  6. I still get involved in murders and what have you—on the investigating end not the perpetrating end.
  7. My husband is Chief of Police of Black Currant Bay (see random fact #5).
  8. I'm a real hippie on the inside.
  9. I don't think mystery and meat go well together.
  10. Because I'm an interior designer, you'll never find cans of leftover beige wall paint in my apartment.
  11. Authors Melodie Campbell and Cynthia St-Pierre wrote about me in their novels A PURSE TO DIE FOR and A KILLER NECKLACE. 
Your 11 Questions Answered 
  1. What is your favourite food? My favourite food is down the street at a little café with white tablecloths, candles, experienced wait staff...oh...and a skilled vegetarian chef. (Wake me up for the next question as I see I am totally dreaming because there's no such spot in Black Currant Bay.)
  2. From where did the idea of blogging come? I write a column called How to Spot an Aspiring Vegetarian for The Black Currant Bay Beacon Star. Can you imagine that the population of this very small northern Ontario town is not as anxious to embrace vegetarianism as I'd hoped? I decided to expand my readership by blogging on the Internet.
  3. Are you cat or dog? Oh, cat! No offense to dog lovers. I don't dislike dogs, but cats are my fave! Even when I look at one of the big cats my heart says, "Cute kitty!" Good thing my brain says otherwise.
  4. Who's your favourite author? Right now, it's Lee Child because of a recommendation by a blogger you'll soon meet. Thanks to her I'm practically addicted.
  5. What's your dream car? Something vintage.
  6. Do you think you will still be blogging in 10 year's time? Yes, I think so. I like blogging. Do you?
  7. What do your friends think about your blog? France and Kathleen give it an enthusiastic seven thumbs up.
  8. If you won the lotto, what would you do with the money? Authentic restoration of beautiful old buildings. You probably think I'm nuts already anyway so what do I have to lose?
  9. What do you usually do in your free time? What free time? Does anyone have free time these days?
  10. What is your favourite cuisine? Italian. Carbs, here I come! Umm...feel like joining me for a walk after supper? We'll just have to make time!
  11. Which country would you like to visit next? Italy. Brochures are out on the coffee table.
My 11 Questions Asked
  1. Who would you like to chat with at a party?
  2. What would you request for a last meal?
  3. Will you share one of your favourite writing tips?
  4. Will you describe one significant childhood memory?
  5. What quality do you admire most in a person?
  6. Why is writing/blogging important to you?
  7. Do you prefer sweet or salty treats?
  8. Where would you like to live besides where you live right now?
  9. What do you see 5 years in your future?
  10. Which is your favourite social network?
  11. How do you feel about tofu?
And Now...the Liebster Award Goes to These 11 Blogs (They may well have more than 200 followers but one can't be sure since they're not all listed...)
  1. Funny Girl Melodie
  2. Kerrian's Notebook
  3. My Finnish Delights
  4. Paris Breakfast
  5. Sophia Martin's Writing Blog
  6. The suspense is killing me...
  7. Vintage Kitchen Cozy Mysteries
  8. A Kitchen Full of Women
  9. Fun & Taste
  10. Cakewalker
  11. Comfy Cuisine
Dear bloggers, looking forward to your answers! Have a Happy Easter!

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Case of Pumpkin Pie Soup and A PURSE TO DIE FOR (E-book Version) is Free on Amazon March 1-4!

Last fall when Karl and I went to a soup festival, I fell in love with a pumpkin pie soup. Kind of like going to a music festival and falling in love with a drummer...but not quite.

I created my own Pumpkin Pie Soup at home based on my Carrot Ginger Soup Reincarnated recipe. I used butternut squash instead of carrots (no fresh pumpkin this time of year in Black Currant Bay), eliminated the lemon juice, substituted pumpkin pie spices for the original spices and sweetened the dish with a little more honey. Then I garnished with Whipped Evaporated 2% Milk and minced roasted pumpkin seeds. 

Yes, it's possible to whip evaporated milk just like whipping cream and it's the coolest thing! Freeze evaporated milk in a bowl for half an hour or so. Whip and when it's almost forming peaks, whip in a little sugar and vanilla.

Pumpkin Pie Soup

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1-1/2 lb pumpkin, chopped
19-oz can chick peas, rinsed
6 cups water
6 rounded tsps (for 6 cups) vegetable bouillon powder
3 tbsps honey
Whipped Evaporated 2% Milk
roasted pumpkin seeds, minced

Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 5 min. Add the pumpkin pie spices and sauté 30 sec. Add the pumpkin, chick peas, water, vegetable bouillon powder and honey and simmer, covered, for 30 min.

Purée (wear an oven mitt and press down firmly on the blender lid because hot liquids erupt).

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Garnish with the Whipped Evaporated 2% Milk and roasted pumpkin seeds.

Serves 4.


Friday, February 15, 2013

"Elementary, my dear Watson" and The Case of Nachos with Tomato Black Bean Salsa

Thursday nights at 10:00 p.m. Karl and I watch Elementary. The tagline is New Holmes. New Watson. New York. Jonny Lee Miller stars as a quirky, modern Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock's cocaine and morphine use in the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories is cleverly updapted in this new series.

In both the original stories and in Elementary, Sherlock makes stunning conclusions based on careful observation. A fabulous gig for actor Jonny Lee. I bet he hates that everyone brings up the fact that he was Angelina Jolie's first husband. Juicy tidbit nonetheless, don't you think?

Lucy Liu co-stars as faithful Dr. Watson. She plays her part with strength and subtlety to the point I'm inclined to consider her the breakout star of the show.

Then there's Aidan Quinn, my sister's movie star crush. Anne told me once that if she ever had a son, she'd name him Aidan. Here he plays Captain Toby Gregson of the NYPD.

I'm sure the name Moriarty rings a bell. Irene Adler? Do you remember that Conan Doyle's Sherlock played the violin? You'll notice these references woven into the current tale and you'll be very, very pleased because they're Elementary.

If a solid hour of vicarious crime solving gives you the munchies, may I suggest you make yourself a plate of nachos? Home-made nachos totally eclipse restaurant/bar nachos. Why? Because just like in the case of the TV remote, you're in charge!

  • You can ensure that even the bottom layer has plenty of the good stuff.
  • Black olives? Diced avocado? Diced mango? It's fine to fool around with toppings.
  • You can bake your nachos just enough so that the cheese melts or you can leave them in the oven until the edges of the chips toast a dark golden brown.
  • Make your nachos snack-size or meal-size as you wish.
  • You ensure the quality and the freshness of every single ingredient on your plate.

Here's a basic recipe to start you off.    

Nachos with Tomato Black Bean Salsa

3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
19-oz can black beans, rinsed
1 red onion (approximately 1/2-cup volume), chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup lime juice
1 jalapeno, minced
1 tsp cumin seeds
380-g-bag tortilla chips (Tostitos Restaurant Style are nice)
200 g Monterey Jack cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Combine the tomatoes, black beans, red onion, fresh cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno, cumin seeds and salt to taste.

Spread a layer of tortilla chips on 4 oven-proof plates. Distribute half the salsa on top. Sprinkle with half the cheese. Cover with another layer of chips, then salsa, then cheese.

Bake for 15 min.

Serves 4.


Friday, February 1, 2013

The Case of Roasted Winter Vegetables and Wishing You a Happy Valentine's Day!

Here's my winter challenge. The sun sets so early that when I make dinner it's already too dark to take photos in natural light, and the fact is I've been avoiding flash food photography. So this afternoon, I prepped enough vegetables for my sweetheart and me, took photos (including this one), then stored everything in the refrigerator until closer to suppertime.

Now to dream up a menu that includes something as simple to prepare and as appetising as Roasted Winter Vegetables for February 14th. Must serve chocolate for dessert!

Roasted Winter Vegetables
24 Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
4 carrots, sliced on a diagonal
14 baby red potatoes, halved
1 medium red onion, cut in wedges
vegetable seasoning
4 tbsps olive oil
4 tbsps lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Place the Brussels sprouts, carrots, baby red potatoes and onion on a 9” X 13” pan. Drizzle with the olive oil, and generously sprinkle with vegetable seasoning. Toss to coat the vegetables.
Roast for 40 min.
Remove from oven and toss with the lemon juice.
Serves 4.