As much as I believe eRecipeCards.com is the greatest thing since sliced bread for bloggers, I now see that there needs to be an improvement for bloggers...
Seriously, this recipe, good as it may sound, good as it actually tasted, made my kitchen smell the best it has ever smelled! The roasted peaches smell, a hint of caramelizing sugar... And butter - Seriously, I wish I could install a scratch and sniff sticker on this post. Simply amazing.
Not to take anything away from the taste. Jackie and I made a trip to a Sunday Farmer's Market yesterday. There were some absolutely beautiful fresh peaches available. This turned into the perfect use for this recipe.
And speaking of this recipe, it is one of the featured recipes in Riley Adam's new PERFECT culinary mystery, FINGER LICKIN' DEAD, a Memphis BBQ Mystery!
First, a little bit about Riley Adams. Adams is a pen name for Elizabeth Spann Craig. Miss Elizabeth is a southern gal, born and bred in the Carolinas. While FINGER LICKIN' DEAD is only the second book written under her new pen name, she is a published author under her real name. Many of you may know her as one of the six Merry Murderesses from the Mystery Lover's Kitchen. The MLK is a blog with six published mystery authors, all with characters associated with food. They rotate a different author each day of the week, with a guest author filling in on Sunday... LOVE EM!
But Liz (can I call her Liz??? Nah, not yet), Miss Elizabeth has earned a special place in my heart. She also publishes a daily blog of tips, hints and contacts for writers in general, and mystery authors in specific at... http://mysterywritingismurder.blogspot.com/. Mystery Writing is Murder is addictive. Once you start reading it, you will spend an hour. And then set aside another couple hours for your next visit. She's been at this for awhile. She just passed the 700 post mark on her writing tips site. Worth a look, even if you only want to improve your blog writing. And wait till you see her sidebar contact list. On a full stomach of Lulu's comfort food, and an hour of reading Miss Elizabeth's tips, you will gently fall asleep dreaming of Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle personally welcoming you into the club.
I have been impatiently waiting for this book to appear for nearly a year now. It is the second in a series (although the book is written in such a way to make new readers feel welcome. No need to read the first in order to enjoy the current book). The series is largely set at Aunt Pat's BBQ Joint, just off Beale Street in Memphis. The owner/amateur detective, Lulu, is the perfect representative for BBQ (a passion of mine), as well as southern fiesty-ness.
In Finger Lickin' Dead, the cast of characters includes Lulu's family, old time Blues band members, the 4 "Graces" (none named Grace, they get their name from being volunteer Docents at Graceland (Elvis's Home) and assorted patrons of the restaurant... also, the local food critic. It's not giving the story away (as it is announced on the back of the book cover) that the food critic, after blasting Aunt Pat's, ends up dead. There are no end of suspects, including Lulu's family, friends and favorite customers. After the conclusion to the first mystery (not wanting to give it away, but the "killer" in book one was a character not usually (actually to my knowledge never (and I read a lot of mysteries)) ending up being the guilty party in a "cozy". Sometimes Cozy mysteries are almost a math game... It can't be this character because it's the protagonist's best friend, family member, most obvious, most evil... you get the idea. In most cases, it is pretty easy to check off the people who could not have done it just because it doesn't fit the formula.
Not so with Riley Adams... But I digress...
My point, I was expecting a fun ride, and it did not disappoint. Like I said, no end of possible killers, and with a track record of breaking the rules of who could have done it, made for a more challenging read than you expect. Aside from looking for clues to figure out who done it, I just so enjoyed the setting. A Memphis BBQ joint is right up my interest. The insider info about the ups and downs, challenges and rewards of owning a business is always fun to be a fly on the wall for a few hundred pages.
The peripheral characters are so much fun. The old Blues guys that rock on Aunt Pat's porch always entertain; the Graces are my personal favorites, with Elvis love oozing from their every appearance; Lulu's family, including her son the pit master, her grandchildren who find the body and a relocated grandson (abandoned by his mother but taken in by the family of Aunt Pat's regulars) and the teenage angst of abandonment, craving acceptance and being set up on a first date by Lulu's friends... Like I said, just a fun read.
The plot, in addition to the fun of having a nasty reviewer killed (aren't Cozies fun, where the people who you want bludgeoned are actually bludgeoned?), the plot moves along at lightning pace. From dating teenagers, to a wedding reception catered by Aunt Pat's, but set IN GRACELAND!!!!, the book was devoured just as fast as I could read.
Like I said, I was looking forward to revisiting Lulu and I was not in anyway disappointed.
Summer reading, we all do it, Finger Lickin; Dead is worth hunting for. You will have a fun time!
But in addition to the fun of the read, culinary mysteries have the added advantage of including recipes for many of the dishes mentioned in the book. Nothing better than to have all my hobbies combined... Small business owners (have I mentioned eRecipecards.com?), BBQ, recipes and reading murder mysteries!
In Finger Lickin' Dead, Miss Elizabeth (Riley Adams) offers plenty of recipes I am wanting to try... a Vidalia Onion dip, Spicy Cheese Straws, a Grits Breakfast Casserole, a Brunswick Stew (with Okra that I just found at that same Farmer's Market), a Black-Eyed Pea Salad... and even more!!! (buy the book for the fun read, keep it on your shelf for the Southern BBQ inspired recipes!!!
I was debating for a few days which of the recipes I wanted to make for my review of the book...
Then I saw the fresh peaches!
I made one small but (to me important) change. Riley uses a stick of margarine in the recipe. I am a natural food nut. I firmly believe that in the long run, all these "fake" foods are worse for your health than the "real" ingredients. Butter and milk fat good... Margarine and chemicals... bad. but that's just my opinion (and a growing number of nutritionists). So, sorry Riley, I used butter... and I think Aunt Pat would as well.
So, here we go...
2 cups fresh ripe Peaches
1 1/2 cup Sugar (divided
1 stick margarine (I used Butter)
3/4 cup Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
3/4 cup Milk
- Mix peaches and 1/2 cup sugar; set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Melt butter in 9X9 baking dish
- Mix remaining ingredients into a batter and pour over the melted butter. DO NOT stir
- Arrange the diced peaches on top of the batter. DO NOT mix. the peaches will sink into the batter.
- Bake at 375 for 40 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned.
- Serve warm
- think Aunt Pat would add some fresh made whipped cream as well!
- And my advice... Eat in the kitchen, you will not experience anything that smells as good for a long time!
The dish was PERFECT! Amazing taste, light and moist breading, sweet succulent peaches. My theory is the recipes in these books have to be among the best possible or there would be reader hell to pay... This is the BEST peach cobbler I have ever eaten!
Thanks Riley (Miss Elizabeth (why the pen name, Miss Elizabeth sounds like such a better southern name... But I digress)), it was such a great summer read... When's book 3 coming (and shouldn't Lulu and Ben be competing in Memphis in May soon??? And after that, shouldn't they be coming to the REAL BBQ capital/competition of the world, the American Royal in Kansas City ... just a thought ).
Here's some more photos to give you an idea what I did...
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