Nora Roberts – D. C. Detectives consists of Sacred Sins and Brazen Virtue. As you might guess it follows two homicide detectives in suspense (serial killers, naturally) and romance. It was published in the late 80s, which makes many aspects dated.
Bottom line: read only if working through all the Nora Roberts books.
In sacred sins there is suspense and romance. The suspense is surprisingly good; the romance so so. There is some violence, no sexual assault. I liked the heroine and hero, though I thought the romance rather forced. 3 stars.
Brazen virtue takes a nosedive from sacred sins. Ed, who in the first book is appealing and funny, becomes one dimensional and in some cases downright weird. Grace is very appealing – in every scene that isn’t a romantic one. There are a lot of pages on people who will die shortly, which I find annoying. The serial killer is revealed to the reader very early. Almost no character development. Very violent with serial killer point of view. No suspense. In short, 0 stars.
Posted in Books | Tagged books, nora roberts, book, review, leftoverrecipes, sacred sins, brazen virtue, dc detectives | Leave a Comment »
Today there was no school. So in the morning my kids rushed to the computer and didn’t wake me, so I woke at the amazing hour of 8:40, filled with love and goodwill towards the entire world.
So what to make for an indulgent breakfast?
My first idea was pancakes, but it takes a lot of time and with Purim this week the kids weren’t lacking in cake. And then I thought of hot chocolate, but Independent doesn’t like it. And then inspiration struck: strawberry banana milkshake!
Makes 6-7 small cups.
2 bananas (the riper the sweeter, I used one fresh and one very ripe frozen)
2 cups cut strawberries (about 3 uncut)
1 cup milk
1 tbsp sugar or to taste (depends on the sweetness of the strawberries)
Blend everything together except the sugar. Taste and add sugar if necessary. Pour into cups and receive all the compliments with a smile. Sit and drink the measly half cup they left you 😉
Independent enjoyed making it with me and enjoyed drinking it 🙂 Bon apetit!
Posted in cooking with the kids, food saver recipes, gluten free, Healthy, quick meals | Tagged banana, food, leftoverrecipes, milkshake, smoothie, strawberry | 3 Comments »
When my husband and I were newlyweds (well, relatively) there was a heavenly poppy seed cake in the bakery that was basically two thin layers of dough with a lot of poppy seed filling.
Then they changed the recipe and started adding all kinds of fillers to the cake – raisins mostly – and completely ruined the cake.
For Purim, the poppy seed holiday, a craving for proper poppy seed cake came over me. Not 70% dough with a few poppy seeds hiding there but a lush cake that is more poppy seed then dough. And no raisins at all!
I based the recipe on three different recipes (all in Hebrew). Here is the final version.
I wanted enough cake to use in our mishlochei manot, so I spread it out over two large pans (26 x 32 and 20 x 30 cm). This means there was less dough to go around, but I wouldn’t put more dough – it was enough as it was. The filling was enough but there can always be more 😉
400 gr ground poppy seed (make sure it’s freshly ground or grind yourself. I bought it already ground because on Purim it’s usually fresh, everyone uses it).
300 ml milk
150 gr butter
200 gr sugar (I used a mix of brown and white because I ran out in the middle, it was still great)
75 gr crumbled gluten free cookies
Put poppy seed, milk, butter and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil while stirring. Remove from heat, let cool a bit and then stir in the cookie crumbs and the egg. Let cool completely before assembling the cake.
150 gr butter
80 gr white sugar
1 tsp real vanilla
300 gr Tami gluten-free flour
(original recipe also had 3 gr baking powder, forgot to put it 😳 )
In a food processor put the butter, sugar and the vanilla. Process until smooth. Add the egg, and process until smooth again. Add the flour and process only until you get large moist crumbs. Press desired amount into the bottom of the baking pan (I used around 2/3. If I make one pan I’ll freeze half). Refrigerate the rest (not critical but can help afterwords so the dough is less sticky). Dough was sticky but I didn’t add more flour as gluten free dough tends to be more sticky then gluten dough, and if you add enough flour the dough becomes crumbly. Dough was still crumbly to my taste, maybe the forgotten baking powder had something to do with it? Or simply use less flour next time (and it will be even more sticky 🙄 )
Preheat oven to 170°C. Spread the poppy seed filling in an even layer on the dough base. Grate the remaining dough on top of the poppy seed. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden on top and filling is firm.
While we did manage to put some in the mishloach manot, I kept taking “just one more piece” until it was finished 😉
Posted in desserts, gluten free, holidays | Tagged cake, crust, food, holiday, leftoverrecipes, pie, poppy seed, Purim | 1 Comment »
Sometimes things are black and white 🙂
Investigator asked for a chocolate mousse cake for his birthday.
So Insightful, trying to be different asked for a white mousse cake for his birthday. Being insightful, he arrived at the conclusion that having a cake the exact opposite doesn’t make him different. So he asked for a different topping and decorations as well.
Chocolate Mousse cake
Same as here, except I added 2 heaped tblsp of instant chocolate pudding to the mousse to make it more stable and then it doesn’t need to be frozen. Writing on top was piped with melted white chocolate.
White chocolate mousse cake (no bake!)
150 gr white gluten-free cookies (vanilla or petit-buerre)
100 gr margarine or butter, melted (was a bit much, will try with 75 next time)
Mix together and level in the bottom of the cake pan.
White chocolate mousse:
1 box whipping cream (250 ml)
1 packet white chocolate (100 gr)
4-5 tbsp water
2 heaped tblsp instant vanilla pudding
Melt chocolate and water in the microwave. Mix until smooth (I had lumps still, didn’t make a difference). Mixture should be liquid enough to pour when warm (not hot).
Whip cream until stiff. Add melted white chocolate and continue beating. Add vanilla pudding and continue beating until smooth. Place on base and level top.
1 box whipping cream (250 ml)
200 ml milk
1 packet instant vanilla pudding
Beat all together until creamy and smooth. Place on mousse and level. Refrigerate overnight (can probably refrigerate less, I didn’t try).
Decorate with melted bittersweet chocolate and decorations of choice. Decorations with food coloring should be placed immediately before serving as the color runs afterwards (the picture above has the few decorations I put before I remembered this 🙂 I added more afterwards).
And joy reigned in the kingdom of LeftoverRecipes…
Posted in cooking with the kids, desserts, gluten free | Tagged birthday, cake, chocolate, food, gluten free, layer, leftoverrecipes, mousse, no-bake, vanilla, white | 2 Comments »
I was hungry and tired. Checked the fridge – leftover pasta. I toyed with creating a healthy pasta sauce, but really didn’t have the strength. As it was easier than actually getting up, I googled some recipes, checked out Barilla’s site (they have AWESOME gluten free pasta). And found a recipe using green onion pesto with cashews. I had a great amount of chives, and cashews, and a bit of basil. But I didn’t want to cook anything, so I looked some more and found a no-cook spinach and parsley pesto. Problem solved!
Yummy and very filling!
Leftover herb pesto
Leftover herbs or green leaves (I had chives and basil, can also use parsley etc.)
Garlic – I used one as chives are also garlic-y, adjust as needed.
handful of cashews
2-3 tsp Parmesan cheese (optional)
1-3 tbsp olive oil
Put herbs, garlic,Parmesan and cashews in food processor. Process until chopped. Add olive oil slowly until you get a paste (you might need less/more olive oil than written). If you’re hungry and impatient, stop processing – it still tastes great :). Mix with leftover pasta, warm in microwave, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and eat!
This keeps well refrigerated in a jar, at least a few days. I didn’t try it more than that 🙂
Posted in food saver recipes, gluten free, leftovers, meals | Tagged cashew, chives, food, gluten free, herbs, leftoverrecipes, pesto | Leave a Comment »
A thing of beauty…
I haven’t written in ages. I haven’t stopped cooking or reading; just didn’t have to time to write about it 🙂 but today I’m lying in bed with a bad back (after soooo long without any problems 😦 ) so I find I suddenly have the time. Silver lining, right?
So. This used to be the cake I made for my mom’s birthday… until it wasn’t. Then my mom suddenly requested it again. As I no longer have wheat flour, I made it gluten free, but use the flour you have on hand. This is based on “Fruit and cream cake” in “Cakes for all Seasons” by Nira Scheuer.
Dough: (this makes double the amount, I put half in the freezer for the next pie)
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour or Tami gluten free flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp lemon zest
150 gr margarine or butter
1 box whipping cream (250 ml)
1 cup milk (240 ml)
1 packet instant vanilla pudding (80 gr)
1 box white cheese (5% fat)
Canned (600 gr with the juice) or fresh (1/2 kg) soft fruit, sliced. I used canned peaches.
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Dough: Mixed everything in a food processor until it forms a ball. Do not over process. Put half in a bag in the freezer for next time; press the rest into a pie plate*. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden. Let cool.
Cream: whip the cream,milk and pudding together until fluffy. Add the white cheese and whip until blended. Put mixture into cooled pie shell. Flatten top.
Fruit: Arrange slices on top of cream in an aesthetically pleasing way (or not 😉 ). Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.
Tip: if using canned fruit, blend the syrup with leftover canned or fresh fruit and freeze into popsicles.
* There’s a rumor that someone has invented the “rolling pin” with which you can roll the dough into a perfect circle and then transfer it with panache to a pie plate. I’ve never believed it.
Posted in desserts, gluten free | Tagged cake, canned fruit, cream, food, fresh, fruit, gluten free, leftoverrecipes, pie, pie crust, popsicles | 3 Comments »