Plum Pudding Murder: A book Review and a complete meal!

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   I recently read the book Plum Pudding Murder by Joanne Fluke for the winter book challenge for The Nest book club. The challenge was to read a book about food and then make a meal from the story. The book is about Hannah Swensen who owns a cookie shop called the Cookie Jar. It is part of the Hannah Swensen mystery novels. They are cozy mysteries that are fun to read and include tons of recipes. Hannah, owner of The Cookie Jar, tends to get herself into trouble by snooping around in murders. She’s the girlfriend of both Norman the dentist and Mike the cop which makes life interesting as well.

   In this book the murder victim is Larry, a crooked businessman who’s taken money from investors, lovers, and his wife. The more Hannah, Norman, and Mike dig, the more suspects they add to their list. In the end Hannah gets shot at, the killer is caught, and Hannah makes a huge Christmas Eve dinner for a house full of people.

   I took three recipes from the book and one idea from the book and made a complete meal based off the book. In the mystery Hannah makes a jeweled pork roast which I substituted for a salt and vinegar pork chop I’ve been dying to make. I turned her easy, cheesy biscuits into easy, cheesy spinach muffins. Her Scandinavian Spuds were delicious as they were. The last recipe was for cranberry scones. I jazzed those up with some orange juice and zest and we had ourselves a Plum Pudding meal!

Easy, Cheesy, Spinach Muffins (adapted from Plum Pudding Murder and Williams-Sonoma cookbook)

3 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1 t. salt
3 eggs, beaten
½ c. olive oil
1 ¼ c. milk (I use low fat)
1 (10 oz) package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
½ c. cheddar cheese, shredded
½ c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 T. butter, melted

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 12 standard cup muffin tin with non-stick spray.

2. In a medium bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

3. In another medium bowl mix the eggs, oil, and milk. Stir in the spinach until well mixed. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just moist. The batter will be lumpy. Slowly fold in the cheese. Do not over mix.
4. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling to the rim of the cup. Put in the oven for 20 minutes.

5. After 20 minutes remove from oven and brush tops with melted butter. Return the muffins to the oven for 6-8 more minutes, or until tops are just browning. Remove from oven to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin tin and serve warm.
Salt and Vinegar Pork Chops  (original post and recipe HERE)
Scandinavian Spuds (adapted from Plum Pudding Murder)

4 baking potatoes
8 T butter, divided
1 t. salt
1 T. parsley
1 t. paprika
2 T. seasoned breadcrumbs
2 T. Parmesan cheese
1 t. pepper
1. Prepare a large bowl with water, 1 t. salt, 1 t. lemon juice that is big enough to hold all 6 potatoes.

2. Peel one potato, rinse it off, and put it on the cutting board. Slicing down, cut at ¼ inch intervals going until you are about ½ inch from the bottom of the potato so that the potato stays together but has about 8-10 cuts in it. Drop the sliced potato into the cold water. Continue with the remaining potatoes.

3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

4. In a baking pan large enough to place all 6 potatoes, rub 2 T. of the butter at the bottom of the pan.

5. Remove the potatoes from the water, pat dry, and place in the baking dish. Drizzle with 4 T. of the melted butter. Sprinkle with salt, parsley, and paprika. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

6. After 30 minutes remove the potatoes from the oven and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Drizzle with remaining 2 T. butter. Bake for 30 more minutes.

7. Remove potatoes from oven and sprinkle with cheese and pepper. Serve warm.

Cranberry Orange Scones  (see original post HERE)

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