Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Case of The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

What a joyful time for everyone, including our publisher Imajin Books!

Here's the scoop directly from Imajin.


Our big event is comprised of 4 individual events: 

1. Kindle Fire Giveaway (via Rafflecopter contest) - Dec 1-25. Prizes to be awarded Dec 25-31. https://www.facebook.com/imajinbooks?sk=app_228910107186452
 
2. Paperback Sale - Dec 1-7 - 15% off our titles (great for Christmas gifts!) ordered via CreateSpace only, using discount code: LRG4K8RH.
 
3. eBook Sale - Dec 24-Jan 7 - ($0.99, $1.99) Amazon and Smashwords http://www.imajinbooks.com/sale.

4. Special eBook Bundle Sale: DEADLY DOZEN (Dec 6-12); SWEET & SENSUAL (Dec 23-29).


Becki

PS Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

#143 The Case of French Raspberry Toast

Fresh raspberries over hot-off-the-griddle pieces of French Vanilla Toast, fried in olive oil, drizzled with maple syrup.
 
Becki
 
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Monday, September 15, 2014

The Case of Frozen Strawberry Daiquiris

Perfect for when you need to chill.
 
Frozen Strawberry Daiquiris
 
2 lime wedges, partially slit crosswise
2 rounded tsps sugar, plus more for rimming glasses
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp orange juice
1 cup strawberries
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 cups ice
 
Moisten the rim of two glasses with the lime wedges (save the wedges for final garnish). Sugar the outside of the glasses by dabbing them horizontally in a mound of sugar and turning.
 
Blend together the 2 rounded tsps sugar, lemon juice, orange juice, strawberries, vanilla and ice.
 
Fill the sugared glasses with the Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri mix and garnish with the lime wedges.
 
Serves 2.
 
Becki
 
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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Case of the Deadly Dozen

Wow! One fabulous deal! From me and all the other colourful characters in these books (plus our publisher) to you.

The DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle contains 12 complete mystery/thriller novels by award-winning and international bestselling authors: Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Catherine Astolfo, Alison Bruce, Melodie Campbell/Cynthia St-Pierre, Gloria Ferris, Donna Galanti, Kat Flannery, Jesse Giles Christiansen, Rosemary McCracken, Susan J. McLeod, C. S. Lakin and Linda Merlino.


  1. THE BRIDGEMAN by Catherine Astolfo
  2. DEADLY LEGACY by Alison Bruce
  3. A PURSE TO DIE FOR by Melodie Campbell & Cynthia St-Pierre
  4. CHEAT THE HANGMAN by Gloria Ferris
  5. A HUMAN ELEMENT by Donna Galanti
  6. LAKOTA HONOR by Kat Flannery
  7. PELICAN BAY by Jesse Giles Christiansen
  8. SAFE HARBOR by Rosemary McCracken
  9. SOUL AND SHADOW by Susan J. McLeod
  10. INNOCENT LITTLE CRIMES by C. S. Lakin
  11. ROOM OF TEARS by Linda Merlino
  12. DIVINE INTERVENTION by Cheryl Kaye Tardif
 
With an individual list price total of more than $45.00 and over 640 reviews collectively on Amazon.com, the DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle is a value-packed, rollercoaster thrill ride that takes you from amateur sleuth to detective to paranormal to ancient mysteries set in intriguing worlds and so much more.
 
Don't Miss DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle http://getBook.at/DeadlyDozen Pre-order Special: $3:99!
 
Becki
 
PS So easy to join the conversation! Click on the comment button below.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Case of Rigatoni with Broccoli

You taste the lemon, the rigatoni is comfortingly al dente, the broccoli savoury, and the toasted bread crumbs add a bit of crunch.

Rigatoni with Broccoli

4 cups rigatoni
1 bunch broccoli, in florets
4 tbsps lemon juice
4 tbsps olive oil
1/4 cup toasted breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
vegetable seasoning

Cook the rigatoni 2 minutes less than al dente then add the broccoli and cook for 2 more min.

Drain and return to the pot.

Stir in the lemon juice, olive oil, toasted breadcrumbs, Parmesan and vegetable seasoning to taste.

Serves 4.

Becki

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Friday, August 1, 2014

The Case of Pizza with Rapini and Chillies

Pizza with Rapini and Chillies

1 cup very warm water (120ºF - 130ºF)
1 rounded tsp salt
1 envelope instant yeast
3 cups flour, plus more for dusting
olive oil
pizza sauce
3 cups shredded part skim mozzarella
1 bunch rapini
2 chillies, sliced

In a large bowl, whisk together the water, salt and yeast.

Whisk in 1 cup of the flour until a loose batter forms. Stir in the remaining 2 cups flour and mix until a dough forms. You may need to add more water, up to 1/3 cup.

Start kneading the dough in the bowl and then transfer to a flat surface and continue kneading for a total of 6 min.

Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to a deep, oiled bowl. Turn the dough a few times until it's coated in oil. Cover the bowl with oiled plastic wrap. You can refrigerate the dough overnight at this point, or allow it to rise in a warm place (which can be your oven heated for 5 min. at the lowest temperature when it's cold outside and a sunny window just won't cut it) for 2 hours until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 500ºF.

Trim 1/3 off the bottom of the rapini while still bunched.

Cut the remaining rapini in half.

In a colander, rinse the stem ends under cold, running water. Drop into boiling water. Bring the water back to a boil then drain the stems over the leaves and buds, which you have also rinsed under cold, running water in the colander.


Punch down the dough and divide into 4 smaller balls. Shape each ball into a disk with your fingers. On a flour-dusted surface, roll each disk into a 12" circle about 1/8" thick.

Lay the pizza crusts on oiled pizza pans (pans with ventilation holes in the bottom crisp the crusts). Bake for 5 min., bottom rack.

Remove from oven and poke any air bubbles with a knife. Spread with the sauce, cheese, rapini and chillies and bake again for another 7 min.

Makes 4 personal 12" pizzas.

Becki

PS So easy to join the conversation! Click on the comment button below.  

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Case of a Sizzling Summer Sale!

A scorching hot message from my publisher! Join the beach book party!
 

SUMMER SIZZLES 2014—July 12-20
 
Great things come in threes this July!
 
  1. 'Share the Imajin Books Buzz' contest—share our events on Twitter and Facebook, and share your pics of our books on your ereaders or you holding one, and receive entries into a grand prize draw for a $100 Amazon gift card! Open to anyone 18+ who can use Amazon. Other prizes include three $20 Amazon or Kobo Books gift cards (winner’s choice). Void where prohibited. Draw will take place the first week of September. To enter, use the Rafflecopter form http://www.imajinbooks.com/contests-events from July 12-20.
  2. Imajin Books eBook Sale—www.imajinbooks.com/sale—most ebooks will be priced at $0.99 or $1.99 from July 12-20, Amazon and Smashwords coupon codes.
  3. Facebook Party—for one day only, Thursday, July 17th, we'll be holding a Facebook Party online and giving away prizes (ebooks and gift cards from Amazon, Smashwords and Kobo.) Join us at: https://www.facebook.com/events/659449144144070. The party begins 2:00 PM EST and goes until 8:00 PM EST. Our authors will drop by when they can. Be sure to also like our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/imajinbooks.     
Becki
 
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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Case of Happy Canada Day and Waffles with Fruit!

Do you get inspired by restaurant meals? This plate of Waffles with Fruit was inspired by a meal at Cora Breakfast and Lunch, founded in Québec, locations all over Canada. Drizzle on the maple syrup!

Go ahead and visit Cora Breakfast and Lunch (or the website http://www.chezcora.com/home) and see what inspiration you draw.

Becki

PS So easy to join the conversation! Click on the comment button below.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Case of Bloody Words


A bunch of mystery readers and writers together in the same Toronto hotel conference space starting Friday! Wanna mingle?
 
There will be readings from the latest in Canadian crime, seminars on writing in the mystery genre, a room full mystery books, including A PURSE TO DIE FOR, and a Scene of the Crime room set up for visitors to try and guess who, what, when, where, why and how.
 
A PURSE TO DIE FOR co-author Cynthia St-Pierre will be on a panel with fellow authors Rick Blechta, Mel Bradshaw, Janice MacDonald and Cathy Ace. The topic? Is the female of the species more deadly than the male?
 
No, it's not "Men vs. Women" but men and women revealing how they write female characters. Sleuths, cops, investigators, victims, witnesses, and baddies...two male and two female authors will be grilled by moderator Cathy about how they create believable female characters in these roles, and more. Is it just as tough for women to do this as it is for men? Does gender make a difference at the keyboard, or on the page? Do female characters bring something unique to these roles? If so, then what? And how? Join them for what is likely to become a lively conversation.
 
The deadline for online registrations paid by either PayPal or Interac e-transfer is June 3. You can register after June 3—you can even register at the door—but, "Unfortunately," says the Bloody Words team, "we can’t guarantee that there will be a dinner for you." http://2014.bloodywords.com/.
 
Becki
 
PS Cynthia and I welcome your thoughts. Click on the comment button below.

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Case of Cheese Topping for Fruit

You can meet someone in person or online and like him or her right of the bat. That's the case with my friend, and Cynthia's fellow Imajin Books author, Kenna McKinnon. Kenna has been doing a blog tour and on, this, the last day I asked her to share one of her favourite veggie recipes. I have purchased all the ingredients and I'm looking forward to trying it myself. I said to Kenna, "I bet I could serve this as a fruit dip as well as a topping." She agreed it would make a great dip too.

Cheese Topping for Fruit

8-oz-carton cream-style cottage cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon dark rum (or flavoring)
cinnamon

Drain cheese and press through a sieve.

Combine with sour cream, sugar and rum.

Put in small bowl and sprinkle generously with cinnamon. Chill until serving time.

Spoon over fresh berries or pineapple.

Serves 6.

 
Kenna McKinnon's middle grade book, BIGFOOT BOY: LOST ON EARTH is on sale May 23 - 30. Get it now on Amazon for 99 cents! https://tinyurl.com/mb8klzw
 
Hear about the Sasquatch sighting near Squamish, BC? A biologist has uploaded a video on YouTube that's creating controversy about whether Bigfoot (Sasquatch) is real. "It's not human," he says, "and it's not a bear."
 
Whether you believe in Bigfoot or not, Squatchers (a First Nations word for "white men who go into forest and see nothing") spend many hours, days and weeks searching for "Squatches". If the beasts are intelligent as Errl is, they will not make themselves visible to humans! I wouldn't.
 
Look what happened to Errl.
 
Read all about it for 99 cents May 23 - 30 only on Amazon worldwide.
 
By the way, the alien Bigfoot are vegetarian!
 

 
Kenna McKinnon is the author of SPACEHIVE, a middle grade sci-fi/fantasy novel traditionally published by Imajin Books; BIGFOOT BOY: LOST ON EARTH was released on October 30, 2013 by Mockingbird Lane Press, a traditional small press. A children's chapter book, BENJAMIN AND RUMBLECHUM, will be published by Mockingbird Lane Press in late 2014. THE INSANITY MACHINE, a self-published memoir with co-author Austin Mardon, PhD, CM; and DISCOVERY—A COLLECTION OF POETRY were released by CreateSpace in 2012. Her books are available in eBook and paperback worldwide on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, etc., and in selected bookstores and public libraries.
 
Her interests/hobbies include occasional runner, volunteer, reading, writing, sporadic student of hatha yoga, karate and kickboxing, weightlifting, and frequent walker. She lives in a high-rise bachelor suite in the trendy neighborhood of Oliver in the City of Edmonton. Her most memorable years were spent at the University of Alberta, where she graduated with Distinction with a degree in Anthropology (1975). She has lived successfully with schizophrenia for many years and is a member of the Writers' Guild of Alberta and the Canadian Authors Association. She has three wonderful children and three grandsons.
 
 
PS To leave a message for Kenna and/or Cynthia, click on the comment button below.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Case of Raw Apple Pie

Raw Apple Pie

1-3/4 cups raw almonds
10 dried dates
1 tbsp vegetable oil
pinch nutmeg
3 tsps cinnamon + more for sprinkling
pinch salt
2 tbsps agave syrup
3 apples
banana

Finely chop the almonds and 5 of the dried dates in a blender.

In a bowl, combine the almond and date mixture with the vegetable oil, nutmeg, 2 tsps cinnamon, salt and agave syrup and form into a ball of dough with your hands.

Press the dough evenly into the bottom of an 8-1/2” spring-form pan and chill.

Purée one of the apples, the banana, the 5 remaining dried dates and the remaining tsp cinnamon in a blender.

Spread over the crust.

Core the remaining 2 apples and slice into very thin wedges. Arrange the wedges on top of the filling.

Sprinkle with cinnamon through a fine sieve.

Serves 4.
 
Becki
 
PS Cynthia and I welcome your thoughts. Click on the comment button below.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Clue in The Case of Raw Apple Pie

Had so much fun making this video! A Clue in The Case of Raw Apple Pie.

Inspired by a visit to Rawlicious in Newmarket not too long ago, I made a raw apple pie and it was delicious! I like it better than baked apple pie and you need to know that when I was living at home with my parents, baked apple pie was my favourite dessert. It beat out chocolate! Since then I’ve matured into a more normal state but I'm telling you this pie is yum! Not too sweet, light, lovely to look at, and healthy too.

The Case of Raw Apple Pie, which will include a finished pic and the full recipe, appears in my next post.

Becki

PS Cynthia and I welcome your thoughts. Click on the comment button below.
 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Case of Easy Tomato Quiche

Have you found yourself neglecting to make a favourite recipe because it's too much trouble?

What if you could make it easier and healthier at the same time?

That would be a keeper, right?

That's exactly how I feel about this adaptation of my original quiche that had a pastry crust. In the photo above, my new Easy Tomato Quiche in a hollowed-out tomato shell is served with mixed baby greens tossed in Orange Vanilla Vinaigrette.

Easy Tomato Quiche

4 large tomatoes, with ribs and seeds scooped out, drained upside-down
4 large eggs
1-1/2 cups evaporated 2% milk
1/2 cup 2% milk
1/4 tsp salt plus more for seasoning the tomatoes
pepper to taste
grating of nutmeg
1 cup grated Gruyère

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Grease a baking dish.

Season the inside of the tomato shells with salt and pepper and set them on the baking dish.

Whisk together the eggs, evaporated 2% milk, 2% milk, salt, pepper to taste, and nutmeg.

Divide the egg mixture between the 4 shells, leaving about 1/4" at the top for expansion. Cover with the Gruyère. Bake for about 30 min. or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Serves 4.

Becki

PS Cynthia and I welcome your thoughts! Click on the comment button below.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Case of the Recent Attack on My Right Breast. Greek Salad Too!

Half-sister Anne and I tend to make light of it when something goes wrong in our lives. Weird I know. But it's how we cope.

My current bad is that I was just diagnosed with grade II invasive ductal carcinoma breast cancer, which comes with a lumpectomy and five weeks of everyday radiation.

I've been given wonderful pamphlets to read that remind me of the brochures girls are given in public school about the joys of starting to menstruate and how that will mean we have become women, but fail to mention that we will bleed for an accumulation of 3360 days—which amounts to 10 years—before it's all over.

I have been armed with websites on which I can communicate with other cancer patients. All survivors I presume.

My friends and family have been extremely supportive and I can't think of a punch line about them, but get me on painkillers and all bets are off.

Seriously, many cancer risks are beyond our control, yet I'm expecting a backlash from detractors of vegetarianism as a result of my diagnosis. Don't know why anyone would want to point a finger now but the vegetarian diet has been singled out before... More than ever I want to address it.

Straight from the website of the Canadian Cancer Society: "Vegetarian diets tend to have healthy characteristics, such as being low in saturated fat and high in fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals."

Below I'm typing out a recipe that makes me feel better because of its fresh mouth taste.

As for the future of my right breast, Anne quips, "We can rebuild it."

Greek Salad

1 cup seeded, chopped cucumber
1 cup seeded, chopped tomato
1/2 cup Greek olives, pitted
1/8 cup minced onion
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
2 tbsps olive oil
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
vegetable seasoning

Toss together all the ingredients, including vegetable seasoning to taste. Serves 2.

Becki

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

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Case of Chocolaty Chocolate Banana Muffins

Presenting my first ever guest blogger: my friend Detective Charlie Kerrian (created by author Patti Phillips)! Charlie is accompanied by his wife, Sheila, who contributes these mouth-watering muffins. I've tried them myself at home. They can't be beat! Over to Detective Kerrian—
  
Hi everyone,

Sheila and I are so happy to be here with Becki today. When not off solving crimes, she’s busy coming up with recipes, so the three of us always have lots to talk about. Becki offered to serve up a tasty lunch and I said as long as it didn’t include broccoli or tofu, I was good with that. She kept her promise (as any great detective would) and we had pasta, grape tomatoes and a great pesto sauce. I’m pretty sure it’s a featured recipe here on Vegetarian Detective.

Back during the summer when Becki was a Visiting Detective at www.kerriansnotebook.com, the mystery featuring her as the sidekick, A PURSE TO DIE FOR, had just had its one year anniversary and had become a bestseller. Sheila and I now have news of our own to share: KERRIAN'S NOTEBOOK, VOLUME 1 (a collection of my stories from the website) was recently published and is in the top #100 on Amazon for mystery anthologies. Wahoo!

To celebrate the news, we brought our Chocolaty Chocolate Banana Muffins along to share with Becki and her readers. Sheila baked them and I taste-tested them to make sure they were up to Becki’s chocolate lovin’ standards. We normally have them at breakfast, but they work well for dessert when you want something chocolaty, but not too sweet.

I promise that no bodies were found while making these muffins, nor have any bodies ever been reported in my backyard. But, if Becki ever wants to pick up a shovel and dig with me, I’m sure we can find one somewhere. There’s a suspicious looking empty lot not far from us. Just kidding, folks. Maybe. ;-)

Chocolaty Chocolate Banana Muffins

Ingredients

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 jumbo egg (or 2 large eggs)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup stone ground whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose unbleached King Arthur flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup Ghirardelli cocoa powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 ½ cups)
1 cup Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips 

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375.

Set standing mixer at slowest speed.

Cream oil and sugar.

Add egg(s) and vanilla and beat until smooth.

Add flours, baking powder, and baking soda a little at a time and beat until smooth.

Add cocoa powder and salt and beat until smooth.

Add bananas and mix thoroughly. Add chocolate chips and stir until blended.

Divide mix evenly among greased, floured muffin tins (or use baking cup papers).

Bake 20-25 minutes in center of oven or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Makes 6 jumbo muffins.
 
 
Homicide Detective Charlie Kerrian sees bodies everywhere—in the backyard, in the neighborhood, even on vacation. Join Kerrian as he recounts his take on life as a cop in this collection of his 2012 stories.
 
Viewing and Purchase Links
 
 
 
Patti Phillips is a transplanted metropolitan New Yorker/north Texan, now living in the piney state of North Carolina.
 
Her best investigative days are spent writing, cooking, traveling for research and playing golf. Her time on the golf course has been murderously valuable while creating the perfect alibi for the chief villain in her novel, ONE SWEET MOTION. Did you know that there are spots on a golf course that can’t be accessed by listening devices?
 
Ms Phillips (writing as Detective Charlie Kerrian) can be found at www.kerriansnotebook.com. Her book reviews can be read at www.nightstandbookreviews.com.
 
 
PS To leave a comment for Becki, Charlie, Cynthia and Patti, click on the comment button below.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Case of Happy Valentine's Day—Be Good to Yourself!

For those times when there's barely a moment to spare, what can a vegetarian have stored in the refrigerator/freezer?

I took my cue from Wild Wing Restaurants but instead of boneless chicken nuggets, I serve Zoglo's Golden Meatless Nuggets with Frank's RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce for dipping. And just as in the restaurant, I accompany them with carrot sticks, celery sticks and Renée's Gourmet Ranch Dressing and Dip.

This meatless small meal/snack is quicker than restaurant fast food and healthier too.

Do you live somewhere where these products are not available? Do you have recommended alternatives? If so, why not list them in the comments for other readers?

Becki

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

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Case of Hotter Hot Chocolate

During that terrible, beautiful ice storm I captured this photo. Google+ opted to enhance the image with falling snow! I was thrilled!

Just as I'm excited to share with you my enhanced recipe for Hot Chocolate.
 
I was inspired to add chilli powder to my original recipe by one of my favourite blogs, Dying for Chocolate. I was inspired to use a sugar-free natural sweetener by my waistline...
 
Hotter Hot Chocolate
 
1/2 tbsp. cocoa
1-1/2 packets (about 3/8 tsp) Krisda premium stevia extract
pinch salt
1/8 tsp chilli powder
1 cup 2% milk
 
Stir together the cocoa, stevia extract, salt and chilli powder in the bottom of a mug. Gradually add the milk to blend.
 
Nuke in a microwave on high for approximately 1 minute 45 seconds until perfectly hot then froth with a fork or a mini-whisk.
 
Enjoy!
 
Serves 1.
 
Becki
 
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