Book Review: A Bad Hair Day Cookbook by Nancy J. Cohen @nancyjcohen

A Bad Hair Day Cookbook
Recipes from Nancy J. Cohen’s Cozy Mystery Series
Nancy J. Cohen
Orange Grove Press, November 2019
ISBN 978-0-9997932-5-1
Trade Paperback

From the author—

Are you having a bad hair day? Whip out your whisk, snatch up your spoon, and prepare your palate. Inside the pages of this cookbook are recipes that will bring you good cheer.

Enjoy 160+ tasty recipes from Nancy J. Cohen’s popular Bad Hair Day cozy mystery series. Included in this cookbook are excerpts, cooking tips, and anecdotes written by hairstylist and savvy sleuth Marla Vail. From appetizers to desserts, Marla offers cooking tips and tricks along with commentary about the dishes she prepares for her family. Whether you’re a skilled cook or an eager novice, this cookbook will unravel the mystery of cooking. Put on your apron and plan to make some killer recipes! Bonuses Include:

• Meet the Sleuth
• Introduction by Marla Vail
• Cooking Tips
• Excerpts from Series Titles
• Themed Menu Suggestions
• “A Sabbath Dinner” by Nancy’s Mother

For Home Cooks, Food Lovers, Mystery Fans and Cookbook Collectors

I can’t think of a better time to bring out a new cookbook than a food-centric holiday season, can you? Ms. Cohen‘s timing really is good for me as my daughter and I are about to celebrate our first Thanksgiving in our new-ish home in St. Augustine. I’ve been rummaging through her (Marla’s) recipes and I’ve found way too many to try all at once but there are a few that will be gracing our table this Thursday:

Garlic Cheese Biscuits—like Marla, we’re big fans of a certain restaurant chain’s biscuits and my mouth is already watering.

French Onion Soup—I’d be just as happy with Potato Leek Soup but Annie has a “thing” about leeks so French Onion it is (not that I’m complaining, mind you). I’ll make the Potato Leek Soup for myself another time 😉

Roast Turkey Breast With Herbs—well, duh! We’ll be doing the whole bird, though.

Sweet Potatoes w/Red Onions & Rosemary—this will be a tasty change from mashed potatoes or sweet potato casserole

Apple Ginger Cake—this is totally new to me and I can’t wait to try it. The recipe includes lots of my favorite flavors and spices, like brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, apple, etc. Yum!

This cookbook is just chock full of recipes that sound delicious but, maybe more importantly, most of them seem really easy and they’re accompanied by comments from sleuth Marla. Try it, you’ll like it!

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, November 2019.

Book Review: Cozy Food edited by Nancy Lynn Jarvis—and a Giveaway!

Cozy Food
Edited by Nancy Lynn Jarvis
Good Read Publishers, May 2014
ISBN 978-0-9835891-7-4
Trade Paperback

Cozy Food is a collection of favorite recipes from 128 (!) cozy mystery authors along with a section giving information about the authors and their books (as of 2014). The recipes are as varied and interesting as the authors and, while I’m not heavy-duty into cooking, I did try a few of them and they turned out to be as good as they sounded. Besides all the dishes for me and my family, I think I might try the pet food recipes for my kitties and granddog and grandkitty. This is a great way to find some new authors and some new food.

Mel’s Texas BBQ Mop Sauce by Sparkle Abbey is high on my list to try and I actually have every ingredient on hand except celery which I wouldn’t put in anyway 😉

Chickapoo’s Peanut Butter Treats from Marian Allen is one of the easiest recipes in the book and is OMG good.

Suzanne Young offers a quick Edna’s Easy Herb Spread with enough herb options to keep me taste-testing for a long time—because somebody has to do it, you know—and it’s equally good as a potato chip dip.

There are so many scrumptious recipes in this cookbook, they’ll keep you busy for a long, long time but never fear; if you find yourself just wanting to kick back with a delicious libation at the end of the day, you can hoist Sandra Balzo’s Murder on the Orient Espresso Martini while you check out some of the authors that are new to your list of must-reads.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, April 2018.

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To enter the drawing for my very, very
gently used copy of Cozy Food, just
leave a comment below. The winning
name will be drawn on Thursday
evening, May 3rd, and the drawing is
open to residents of the US and Canada.

Book Review: The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook

The Mystery Writers of America CookbookThe Mystery Writers of America Cookbook
Wickedly Good Recipes -From Many Favorite Writers
Edited by Kate White
Quirk Books, March 2015
ISBN 978-1-59474-757-1
Hardcover

This cookbook contains more than 100 recipes, from breakfast to cocktails, great photography and commentary from legendary authors and fun mystery facts. This book will make a wonderful gift for some lucky friend if you can bring yourself to let go. You might as well just order two because once you see this recipe book you won’t want to let go of it.

The introduction includes a reminder of the murder weapon used in Roald Dahl’s 1953 short story “Lamb to the Slaughter”.

The proceeds of the sale of this cookbook go to MWA, an organization founded in 1945 and dedicated to promoting higher regard for crime writing and recognition and respect for those who write within the genre. MWA sponsors the annual Edgar Awards named for Edgar Allan Poe and considered the Academy Awards of mystery writers.

Breakfast includes recipes ranging from Ellie Hatcher’s Rum-Soaked Nutella French Toast to Max Allan Collins’ and Barbara Collins’ Holiday Eggs. Richard Castle gives us his recipe for Morning-After Hotcakes.

For the Appetizer section Nelson DeMille has contributed Male Chauvinist Pigs in the Blanket. This is followed up by Kate White’s A Very Sneaky Bean Dip. There are a number of excellent sounding appetizers to choose from.

The Soup and Salad section contains several recipes that I would like to try right now.

Kate White gives the reader a very good definition of “What Exactly Is A Red Herring?” This refers to a Red Herring in a mystery and not in a recipe.

There is a large section of entrees headed up by David Morrrell’s Thomas De Quincey’s Pasta -Less Pasta. I won’t tell you what takes the place of the pasta so you will need to get the book. I am sure everyone will want Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone’s Famous Peanut Butter and Pickle Sandwich.

The book contains a chapter on Side Dishes, Desserts and Cocktails. The book contains Metric Conversions which is a very helpful addition. I haven’t named many of the authors in this review but there are so many I know every reader will find at least one favorite author.

Lee Child presents very exact instructions for making Coffee, Pot of One. The recipe even includes the type of coffee and mug to use.

You can’t go wrong with this cookbook. There is a little bit of everything included and some insight into the likes of many of your favorite authors.

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid, April 2015.