Julie Seedorf

Friday, July 28, 2017

Cozy Food Friday

That means it's time to share a recipe from 
another great cozy mystery!

Today I'm featuring 
Book 4 in the Five-Ingredient Mysteries
by Maya Corrigan

It’s a cold January in the Chesapeake Bay area, but Cool Down CafΓ© manager Val Deniston has plenty to sweat over—like catering a book club event, testing recipes for her Granddad’s cookbook, and catching the author of a deadly tale of murder. . .

The last thing Val needs in her life is an unsolved murder, especially when the victim, an actor famed for impersonating Edgar Allan Poe, happens to be dressed exactly like her Granddad. To keep an eye on Granddad, whose latest job takes him to the home of Rick Usher, a local author inspired by Poe, Val gets herself hired as a cook in Rick’s House of Usher. When she discovers the actor wasn’t the only one doing an impersonation, separating the innocent from the murderous becomes a real-life horror story. But Val must decipher a killer’s M.O. sooner rather than later . . . or she can forget about finding poetic justice.

Includes 6 delicious five-ingredient recipes!

On to the recipe!



All food photos are borrowed from Google Images and it contributors, with many thanks. 
Your finished tarte will very in appearance.

Just because a recipe has five ingredients doesn't mean it's easy or quick to make. This tarte takes practice and a lot of courage at the last step when you turn a hot skillet upside-down at the last step and hope the tarte ends up on the plate.

It's best to cut the apples 1-3 days before making the tarte to dry them out. Otherwise, you may end up with too my juice in the tarte. Put the cut apples in a lightly covered bowl in the refrigerator. If you don't have time to let the apples dry out, put a piece of foil under the skillet when it goes in the oven to catch any drips.


6-8 large apples. peeled, cored, and quartered (A mix of Granny Smith and   Honeycrisp apples works well.)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) softened unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 frozen puff pastry
Equipment: a seasoned 10-inch cast iron skillet


   Preheat the oven to 400 degrees when ready to cook. 

   Slice the bottom off each apple to give it a flat base. Peel and quarter the apple lengthwise and remove the cores. See the note above the ingredients about storing apples in the refrigerator for at least one day before cooking. 

   Spread the butter on the bottom and sides of a seasoned 10-inch cast-iron pan and sprinkle the sugar evenly on the bottom. Arrange the apples vertically in the skillet, standing them on the flat end, in concentric circles. Pack the pieces close together so they support one another. Apples that stick higher than the pan rim will shrinks down as they're cooked. 

   Prepare the pastry while the apples are cooking. Follow the directions for defrosting the puff pastry. Then roll it out on a floured surface until it is 1/8 inch thick. Put a 10-inch plate upside-down on the pastry and use a sharp knife to cut out a circle the size of the skillet's top. 

   1. Cook the apples over medium high heat, 15-25 minutes until juice is babbling and a deep golden or light brown color. 

   2. Put the skillet in the oven and bake the apples for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. 

   3. Remove the pan from the oven, lay the pastry circle over the apples, and tuck it around the apples. Bake the tarte at 400 degrees until the pastry is browned, approximately 20 minutes. Check it after 15 minutes to make sure it doesn't get too dark. You want the crust to be a nice golden brown. If it still looks pale after 20 minutes in the oven, bake it a few more minutes.

   Move the skillet to a rack and cool it at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes. Put a cutting board or platter over the skillet. Use potholders to hold the skillet tightly against the board or platter. Turn the skillet upside-down. If apples stick to the skillet, add them to the top of the tarte. 

   If the tarte stands longer than 30 minutes after being baked, heat it over low heat for 1-2 minutes before turning the skillet over. 

   Cut the tarte in wedges and serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, or just eat plain.

   Serves 8

Adapted from a recipe for "Foolproof Tarte Tatin" by Julia Moskin, The New York Times, October 22, 2014

I've never had tarte tatin, but this is enough to make me wish I had a piece right now!


Please keep reading and check out my 
installments of 
Book Beginnings on Fridays
The Friday 56

Both the BB and 56 are also from


Book Beginnings on Fridays is a meme hosted by Rose City Reader
Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading

The Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda's Voice
Rules: *Grab a book, any book. *Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that's okay.) *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you. *Post it.

My Book Beginnings

Why would a man in his seventies change his appearance overnight?

My 56

". . . . . . Why can't you just accept that and forget going back there?"

As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

I've been doing cozy mystery reviews, and running 
Lisa Ks Book Reviews for just over four years now. My first blog post was June 19, 2013! Wow.
I have all you to thank for that.
Lately, I've been wanting to add a new genre to the blog (No worries! Cozy mysteries will ALWAYS be my main priority). Because there are so many wonderful cozies, I don't read anything else. So, I was stumped as to the genre I would add. Light bulb! I do read something else. I read cookbooks! I love cookbooks! Most cozies and recipes go hand in hand after all. Perfect!
Today and every Thursday, here at Lisa Ks Book Reviews will now be known as . . .
What's Cooking?
Each Thursday I will post a review for a cookbook.
I've posted cookbook reviews before, but they were by cozy authors (What's not to love about that?) The cookbooks I'm reviewing for this new Thursday feature will be on a wide variety of topics. Hopefully there will be a little something for everyone.
Okay . . . Here we go!!!

Book 1
by Hannah Abedi 

Are you tired of complicated recipes with too many ingredients that you don't have?

Your problem has been solved! This simple and easy cookbook has step-by-step recipes that will wow even the pickiest of eaters, and best of all – each recipe only contains 5 ingredients or LESS! You will impress your friends and family with these delicious meals.

Before long you'll have everyone asking for more. With a nice variety of delicious 5-ingredient recipes, you can please everyone!

70 FIVE ingredient recipes!

Delicious recipes for any occasion:


Side Dishes


No More Complicated Recipes

Every single one of these recipes has only five ingredients or less! You don't have to worry about complicated recipes with hard-to-follow instructions. All of these recipes are simple and easy to follow. The directions have been simplified so anyone can create delicious meals.

You'll find just about every kind of recipe in this book: slow cooker and Crockpot recipes, chicken recipes, beef recipes, breakfast, lunch, dinner, entrees, side dishes, desserts, and so much more.


5 INREDIENT RECIPES isn’t the first cookbook I’ve ever reviewed, but it is the first that has nothing to do with cozy mysteries.

I was thrilled when I first saw 5 INGREDIENT RECIPES. With time and money being scarce these days, the thought of needing only five ingredients for a meal sounds like a great way to go! A win, win if you will.

I was very pleased with the recipes in this book. Not only can you create meals with very few ingredients (sometimes less than 5), in most of the recipes even the prep and cooking are quick and easy.

With recipes like Blueberry Breakfast Bake, Mini Cheese Balls, Simple Chicken Cordon Bleu, Pork Chops, Potatoes, and Green Beans, Spinach Parmesan Pasta, Peanut Butter Mug Cake, and Apple Pie Smoothie, there is something for everyone no matter your taste or what meal you’re cooking for. I’ll be trying many of these dishes myself.

There are a few things I wish this book had that it didn’t. There are no photos, and no dialog from the author. Also, with only five ingredients per recipe, I expected to have all the ingredients on hand for many of the recipes included, but I always seemed to be short by one or two. That being said, my household has very plain tastes, so I’m sure a lot readers will find what they need in their fridges and/or pantries.

If you’re a fan of easy to fix meals, snacks, and drinks, give 5 INGREDIENT RECIPES a try!



Author Mary Kennedy has been a steady support of my blog and reviews. When I told her about my new journey into the world of cookbook reviews, Mary graciously offered to do a giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a print or eBook copy (winners choice) of 
Book 2 in Mary's Dream Club Mysteries

The national bestselling author of Nightmares Can Be Murder once again gathers together the members of the Dream Club in Savannah, Georgia, where the book tour of a famous chef becomes a recipe for disaster… 

Behind her down-home folksy persona, celebrity chef Sonia Scott is a real Dixie diva who’s made plenty of enemies in her climb to the top of the culinary world. One of them is the newest member of the Dream Club, Etta Mae Beasley, who claims Sonia stole her family’s recipes and used them in her latest cookbook.

After Sonia’s suspicious death from anaphylactic shock at a book signing held at Taylor and Ali’s retro candy store, Etta’s revelation sows seeds of doubt in Taylor Blake’s mind. Now the Dream Club needs to put their heads together to determine if one of their own decided to give the chef her just desserts…

How perfect is that is that? A great way to celebrate the first post in my "What's Cooking?" Thursday cookbook reviews? Thank you Mary!

To enter, use the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post. This giveaway is open to the US only.


I hope you enjoyed my first
What's Cooking?
Cookbook Review

I would love your feedback.
Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017


I'm thrilled to be a stop on the 
book tour for 
Cate Conte
and her new book
Book 1 in the Cat Cafe Mysteries

The first novel in a frisky new mystery series set in a small New England town, where an unlikely citizen is called in to solve the purrfect crime. . .
Maddie James has arrived in Daybreak Island, just off the coast of Massachusetts, eager to settle down and start her own business―and maybe even fall in love. When a stray orange tabby pounces into her life, she’s inspired to open a cat cafΓ©. But little does Maddie know that she’s in for something a lot more catastrophic when her new furry companion finds the dead body of the town bully. Now all eyes are on Maddie: Who is this crazy cat-whisperer lady who’s come to town? If pet-hair-maintenance and crime-fighting weren’t keeping her busy enough, Maddie now has not one but two eligible bachelors who think she’s the cat’s pajamas . . . and will do anything to win her heart. But how can she even think about happily-ever-after while a killer remains on the loose―and on her path?


Five lucky readers will win a
print copy of
Enter using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post.

Winners will be chosen after August 4

at the end of the tour

USA only

This giveaway is through Great Escape Book Tours, not Lisa Ks Book Reviews.

An Interview With Cate

LKBR:  Thank you for being here today, Cate!

CC: I’m so excited to be here! Thanks for having me.

LKBR: Please tell us a bit about Cat About Town.

CC: I’m having such fun writing this series. My protagonist, Maddie James comes back to Daybreak Island off the coast of Massachusetts for her grandmother’s funeral but finds her grandfather in a bit of a mess. The scheming leader of the island Chamber of Commerce, Frank O’Malley, is trying to coerce Grandpa Leo to give up his house, which has been in his family for decades. As if things can’t get any worse, Frank turns up dead after a contentious lunch with Maddie. And then the police start looking at Grandpa—which is awful, because he’s the former chief of police!
In the midst of all that, Maddie adopts a stray cat and starts thinking about future plans, including a cat cafe on the island. But much mayhem occurs before she can put those plans in motion. 

LKBR: How did you come up with the concept for the Cat Cafe Mysteries? How about the idea for this installment?

CC:The concept for the series started out a bit more generally - my editor reached out to my agent looking for a series, literally about a “cat about town.” After some discussion, we landed on the cat cafe concept, which is fairly new to the states. It seemed perfect!

LKBR: Do you have a favorite character in the Cat Cafe books?

CC: JJ the cat, of course - he’s a stray Maddie picks up at the cemetery. Also, Leopard Man. He’s a quirky guy who dresses in leopard print from head to toe and speaks almost totally in Shakespeare. No one knows his story, and I think he’ll be a fun character to follow around.

LKBR: Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love, action, death, etc?

CC: That’s a great question! I’ve never really thought about this. In cozies we don’t get to write a lot of love scenes. I think sometimes action scenes are hard for me. My brain is seeing everything happening in fast mode, but I have a hard time translating it all onto the page and keeping the action going. I tend to underwrite the first time around.

LKBR: In your writing, have you ever used experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

CC: I think as writers we all bring life experiences to our work. I’m absolutely guilty of stealing experiences from people I know as well! Take Leopard Man, for instance. He’s based on a real person I used to see around my old town - the clothing part, at least. I never talked to this guy so I have no idea if he knows Shakespeare, but I had to steal the outfits!

LKBR: When you’re in the process of writing/creating a book, do you use a computer, typewriter, dictate, or use pen to paper?
CC: I use a computer mostly. I love the idea of writing longhand, but it doesn’t work for me. It’s much easier for me to type, delete and type some more. Sometimes if I’m on a train, I’ll scribble some ideas or things I can’t forget in a notebook, but usually don’t write full scenes by hand.

LKBR: Do you have any writing quirks or rituals that you do before, during, and/or after writing a new book?

CC: I don’t know if it’s a ritual, but after I turn a book in I try to avoid the computer for a couple of weeks to recover! It never works, though…

LKBR: Who/What inspired you to write your first book?
CC: I wrote my first book in grad school - I decided I would write a women’s fiction book as my thesis. It will never see the light of day! But after college I wrote my first mystery book. It was the start of a series that took place in a funeral home. I haven’t sold it…yet! But it was inspired by two people—my good friend Glenn who runs a funeral home, and Janet Evanovich. I’d spent a lot of time at the funeral home and it seemed like such a cool place to center a book around. And most of all, I wanted it to be funny. While I’ll never be funny like Evanovich, I figured it was worth a shot!

LKBR: What was one of the most surprising thing(s) you learned when trying to get your first book published?

CC: I’d been trying to get published for years when the opportunity to propose my Pawsitively Organic series came up through Sisters in Crime. After writing the proposal, I was surprised at how fast everything moved. Within two months of brainstorming the idea with my agent, I had a contract. So after years of trying, it seemed like it almost happened overnight.

LKBR: What book are you reading?                      

CC:  Right now, I’m reading Dennis Lehane’s World Gone By. I’m a huge fan of his and this is a great gangster story. I’m a sucker for gangsters.

LKBR: Do you have any advice for aspiring cozy writers?

CC: Join groups! Sisters in Crime National, for one, and your local chapter. Mystery Writers of America. Go to conferences. Network. Make friends and find your tribe - the connections are key. They will make all the difference.

LKBR: Where can readers go to learn more about you and your books?

CC: Readers can find me in lots of places!

My website is www.lizmugavero.com

and you can find me on social media 

LKBR: Thank you so much for letting us get to know you better!

CC:  Thanks for having me!

More about Cate

Cate Conte is the alter ego of Liz Mugavero. Liz is the author of the Pawsitively Organic Mystery series from Kensington Books, the first of which was an Agatha nominee for Best First Novel. As you can imagine, her canine and feline rescues demand the best organic food and treats around. She is a member of Sisters in Crime National, Sisters in Crime New England, Mystery Writers of America, and the Cat Writers’ Association. She currently lives in Connecticut.


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July 26 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
July 26 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
July 26 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – INTERVIEW
July 27 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
July 27 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 27 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW
July 28 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  
July 28 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW
July 28 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 29 – Jane Reads – REVIEW
July 29 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 29 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
July 30 – Mystery Playground – GUEST POST
July 30 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
July 30 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
July 31 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 31 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
August 1 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW
August 1 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
August 1 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
August 2 – Socrates’ Book Review – REVIEW
August 2 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
August 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
August 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
August 3 – Book Babble – REVIEW
August 3 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
August 4 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW
August 4 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
August 4 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW

As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.