featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

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Monday, December 3, 2012


Today we have mystery author Terri L. Austin subbing for Cloris. Terri is the author of the Rose Strickland Mysteries. Diners, Dives and Dead Ends was the first book in the series and has been followed by Last Diner Standing.  Read more about Terri and her books and her website and the Little Read Hens group blog. -- AP

Thanks so much for having me on Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers today. Since I write a mystery series set in a diner that serves only breakfast, people ask me about my specialty breakfast dish. The truth is I’m more at home eating in a diner than cooking breakfast. My husband is the omelet maker around here and for good reason.

My main character isn’t much of a cook, either. She’s a waitress and reluctant sleuth. In her second outing, Last Diner Standing, Rose Strickland is having a blue Christmas. Her friend is arrested for attempted murder, her sexy bad guy crush is marked by a hit man, and her boss is locked in an epic smack-down with a rival diner. Determined to save those she loves, Rose embarks on an investigation more tangled than a box of last year's tree lights. With her eclectic gang at the ready, Rose stumbles across dead bodies, ex-cons, jilted lovers, and a gaggle of strippers as she searches for the truth. What she finds will leave her entrenched in a battle for freedom she might not survive. Buy link 

While you won’t find recipes in my novels, this is an Apple Butter recipe I make all the time. I use the microwave, and it couldn’t be easier. I don’t can it, so it’s not sealed. I simply store it in an airtight container and it’s good for a week to ten days. If it lasts that long—which it rarely does in my house.

I’ve adapted this recipe from Gifts of Great Taste published by Leisure Arts, 1989. Enjoy.

Microwave Apple Butter


6 medium cooking apples, peeled, cored, and chopped fine

½ c. apple cider or juice

2 c. firmly packed brown sugar

1 ½ t. cinnamon

¼ t. nutmeg (use ½ t. if you’re a nutmeg nut)

1/8 t. ground cloves

Place apples and cider in micro-proof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high about 10 minutes. (This recipe is an old one and calls for 15 minutes cooking time. But microwaves are more powerful now, so I’d do about ten minutes and see if apples are tender.) Carefully remove plastic wrap—watch out for the steam!—and stir in remaining ingredients. 

Cook 5 minutes more. (Cook this time without the plastic wrap, but you might want to cover it with a damp paper towel to prevent splatter.) Remove from microwave and test for tenderness. Apples should be extremely soft. 

Let the apples cool before placing in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Store in airtight container and refrigerate.

Thanks for joining us today, Terri. The apple butter recipe sounds yummy! -- AP 


Kath said...

Both the book and the recipe sound yummy. Thank you!

Larissa Reinhart said...

I think I'm coming to your house for dinner. That sounds yummy! And I love your Rose Strickland mysteries. Sullivan is also very yummy (and the rest of the cast is extremely entertaining!). Can't wait for book #3 b/c Diners, Dives & Dead Ends & Last Diner Standing were fabulous! Couldn't put them down & so funny!

Terri L. Austin said...

First of all, it's such a pleasure to be here today. Thank you so much.

Kate--Thanks. The apple butter is so good and easy. Give it a try!

Thank you, Larissa! Although if you come to my house most nights, apple butter might be all you get. You'd have to put it on pizza! ;)

Dru said...

Hi Terri,

I downloaded your book and since I loved the first book in the series, I know I'll love this one.