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Well mark me as totally wrong! This cookbook not only is a joy to read but is a welcome addition to my kitchen shelf. If you're a fan of mysteries, a lover of tried-and-true family recipes, or just looking for an everyday cookbook, then put the MWA Cookbook on your wish list.
The first thing I noticed when I opened the book is the noir/mystery theme: the colors are browns and blacks and the icons are cleavers and skulls. I love how each chapter opens with an old-fashioned manual typewriter with a message still in it (see the scan below).
The end papers list the dozens of mystery writers who contributed to the book, starting, in alphabetical order, with Beth Amos (who contributed a holiday grogg recipe, perfect for her bartender protagonist) and ending with Angela Zeman (who completes her grappa-soaked cherries recipe by telling the cook to take a bow). Here are some of my favorite authors to show you the range of recipes:
- Alafair Burke: Ellie Hatcher's Rum Soaked Nutella French Toast
- Harlan Coben: Myron's Crabmeat Dip
- Mary Higgins Clark: Mary's Celebratory Giants Game Night Chili
- Lydsay Faye: Valentine Wilde's Chicken Fricassee
- Lisa Scotttoline: A Tomato Sauce for all Seasons
- Joseph Finder: Doreen's Apple Crumble
- Lee Child: Coffee, Pot of One
Oh, and while you're waiting for your dinner to finish cooking, don't forget to read the introduction and the sidebars, which talk about poisons, forensics, classic detectives, red herrings, and other fun topics that fit the theme of mysteries and murder.
Even better, all proceeds from the book go back the Mystery Writers of America, which works to promote "higher regard for crime writing and recognition and respect for those who write in the genre." Anyone can join the group, which sponsors the Edgar Awards. For more information, be sure to visit their website.
Award-winning author Sandra Brown, known for her stand-alone romantic thrillers, contributed the following appetizer/snack recipe. I think I'm going to have to try it. I'm so dang curious. What do you think? I may cut the recipe in half for a test run.
Yield: about 40 servings
- 1⅓ cups vegetable oil
- 1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
- 1 to 2 tablespoons cayenne (depending on how spicy you want them)
- 1 (1-pound) box Premium saltines (all four sleeves)
2. Empty crackers into a 2-gallon ziplock bag and pour oil mixture over them. Seal and toss to coat crackers.
3. Over the next 6 to 8 hours, toss periodically until all the oil is absorbed into the crackers. Despite the oil, they'll retain their crunch and won't get soggy. I don't know how it works. It's a mystery!
Brown says she keeps "them in the fridge of my office for snacking. If I'm in a lull, I can nibble a few to 'spice things up!' "
Published by Quirk Books, 2015
Source: Review (see review policy)
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