Cover Revealing For The Investigative Paranormal Society Cookbook by Charles F. French

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Hello to everyone! I am excited to reveal the cover of my upcoming book The Investigative Paranormal Society Cookbook in which characters from my two novels, Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 1 and Gallows Hill: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 2 give a variety of their favorite recipes.

The wonderful book designer is Judy Bullard
http://www.customebookcovers.com . I recommend her highly!

Unlike the villains the heroes in my books battle, I hope these recipes do not frighten you. Instead, I hope they entice your appetite.

I will shortly give the release date for the book!

Happy reading and Good Eating!

GallowsHillFinalCoverEbook

Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

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Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

FOE_Cover_French

 

Available on Amazon

Pre-release Notice of Get The Draft Done! and The Investigative Paranormal Society Cookbook by Charles F. French!

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I am very excited to announce that I will have two books out soon! I do not have a specific release dates yet, but when they are certain, I will reveal them.

One book is traditionally published: Get The Draft Done! — a book to help writers who struggle to complete a first draft.

The other book is self-published (more adventures in being a hybrid writer!) — The Investigative Paranormal Society Cookbook — and is a fun little volume of recipes from characters from the Investigative Paranormal Society.

More information on these books soon!

Sam’s Hot Chili–Revisited! A recipe from a character from Gallows Hill: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 2 by Charles F. French

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In my horror novels Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I,  and Gallows Hill: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 2, one of the main characters is Sam, a retired homicide detective.  In his spare time, he fancies himself a good cook of basic foods, and one of his favorites to cook and eat is spicy chili.

I was thinking about what some of my characters like to eat and cook, not necessarily because this information appears in the novel, but because the more I know about the idiosyncrasies of the characters I write, the better I can show them. This idea is similar to actors creating biography sheets for roles they are playing.

So, what is this recipe?

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Sam’s Fiery Bowl of Red Goodness

Ingredients:

One pound chuck roast,
One 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes,
One Spanish onion,
One sweet green pepper,
One poblano pepper,
Four habanero peppers,
Two chipotle peppers,
Two jalapeno peppers,
One can dark red kidney beans,
One can black beans,
Ground black pepper,
Twp. cumin seed

(Because this is chili, substitute more or fewer peppers according to taste and heat preference.)

The process:

*Cube the chuck roast, then sear completely in a hot, slightly oiled pan,
*Place in Dutch oven (Sam uses a well-seasoned cast iron pot) with crushed tomatoes,
*Slice the onion and green pepper and add to tomatoes,
*use a hand mortar and pestle to crush the cumin seed, and add to Dutch oven,
*add black pepper,
*de-vein and remove seeds from chilies—BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO TOUCH THESE WITH YOUR HANDS!!!!! If you do, wash your hands thoroughly and do not touch your eyes. Yes, I am speaking from bad experience. Use a small food processor and make the chilies into a mash. Add to the Dutch oven,
*bring to boil, and then reduce immediately to a simmer.
*With about one hour left in the simmering time, drain and add the two cans of beans.

This is very important—do not cover during the simmering. Check the chili every 20 minutes or so, and if needed add a little water, and stir. The chili cooks best if done very slowly and uncovered.

Give it about 10 hours to become fully tender and mixed.

Sam also likes to add cheddar cheese or sour cream to the bowl when serving. Good Italian or French bread also works.

But be warned, with the chilies Sam uses, this should become a hot bowl of goodness. If you want it milder, go to one or two habanero peppers.

Enjoy!

GallowsHillFinalCoverEbook

Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

32570160

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

Roosevelt’s Cheeseburgers and Panfried Veggies

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Roosevelt Franklin, the protagonist of my horror novel Maledicus: Investigative Paranormal Society Book I, in many ways is a sophisticated man. He has expensive tastes in British tailored suits, fine cigars, and the best single malt Scotch whisky. He is not, however, a food snob.  His beloved wife, Sarah, was an excellent cook and often prepared elegant meals for Roosevelt.  Sarah died a few years before the beginning of the book, and Roosevelt honors her memory by not attempting to make those meals for himself. Now, he prefers simpler fare, even if it is not always the healthiest.

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(Photo by Liz French)

One of his favorite meals now is panfried veggies and cheeseburgers.

The Recipe:

Roosevelt emphasizes that, if possible, to use cast iron pans for the frying.

Ingredients:

One pound ground beef, preferably 80/20 mixture.

Cheese–American, cheddar, or Swiss.

Two to three large red potatoes.

One large sweet onion.

4-5 carrots.

One tomato.

One bell pepper.

One egg.

Ground pepper.

Sea salt.

Worcestershire sauce.

Paprika.

Dill.

*Clean and cut potatoes and carrots into irregular small pieces.

*Briefly steam the carrots and potatoes to soften them.

*Dice the bell pepper, tomato, and onion.

*Preheat two cast iron skillets to medium.

*Lightly coat one with olive oil or vegetable oil (this pan is for the veggies.)

*As pans are heating, mix the groundbeef with an egg and Worcestershire sauce. Season mixture with pepper and sea salt.

*Form into patties, as large or small as desired.

*Place patties into heated pan. Allow to sear on both sides.

*Add all veggies into other hot skillet.

*Season with pepper, sea salt, paprika, and dill.

*After about 5 minutes, reduce heat. Turn veggies ever 5 minutes or so to prevent burning. Add more oil if needed.

*If needed, reduce heat for hamburgers. Depending on their size and the preference for level of being cooked, it could take anywhere from 10-15 minutes to cook, so keep a careful eye on them.

*When close to being finished, add cheese and cover, so the cheese melts completely.

*Serve either on a plate or hamburger rolls. Add whatever condiments are desired.

Enjoy!

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(Photo by Liz French)

 

 

Sarah’s Quiche Lorraine– Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 1 by Charles F. French

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Sarah Franklin, Roosevelt’s deceased and beloved wife, in my horror novel Maledicus: Investigative Paranormal Society Book I was an excellent and accomplished cook.  In some ways, besides being a horror novel, this is also a love story about a man who so loved his wife that even years after her death, he has not stopped grieving for her or loving her.  He still wears their wedding band, and he still misses her every day when he wakes up in an empty bed.

Sarah enjoyed cooking for him and making dishes that he would never have attempted himself. One of his favorites was her Quiche Lorraine.  This is Sarah’s version of a traditional dish. Her recipe follows:

*Use either a premade 9 inch pastry dough, or make it from scratch.

Ingredients for crust:

– 1 cup all-purpose flour

– 1/3 cup shortening

– pinch of salt

– 3 tablespoons cold water

Directions for crust:

Mix salt and flour in a bowl. Add the shortening, using a pastry blender, until the pieces  are the size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and toss with a fork until all flour is moistened

Shape the flour into a single ball. Then, form it into a flattened round on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until the dough is firm and cold but still malleable.

Preheat oven to 425° F. With floured rolling pin, roll the pastry into a round form 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch quiche dish or glass pie plate. Fold the pastry into fourths; place into dish. Press against bottom and side.

Line the pastry with a double thickness of foil.  Press the foil gently onto the side and bottom of the pastry. Let the foil extend over edge of pie dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Carefully remove foil, and bake 2 to 4 minutes longer or until pastry just begins to brown and has become set. If the crust bubbles, gently push bubbles down with back of spoon.

After the piecrust has been made,

Ingredients for the Quiche:

– 12 slices of bacon, fried crispy and crumbled

– 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

– 1/3 cup chopped scallions

– 1 and 3/4 cups light cream

– ¼ teaspoon cayenne or crushed red pepper

– ½ teaspoon salt

– ½ teaspoon sugar

– 4 eggs

Directions:

– Preheat oven to 425°

– Whisk eggs slightly, then add remaining ingredients, and whisk a bit more.

– pour mixture into pie pan

– bake for 15 minutes at 425°

– reduce oven heat to 300°

– bake additional 30 minutes

– the Quiche is ready when a butter knife is inserted into the center and comes out clean

– let the Quiche stand for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Enjoy!!

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(photos courtesy of Liz French)

 

32570160

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

Roosevelt’s Bread Pudding With Whiskey Sauce

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As an affirmed anglophile, and a would be British country gentleman, even though he is a proud American, Theodore Roosevelt Franklin, the protagonist of my horror novel, Maledicus: Investigative Paranormal Society Book I, loves some traditional British foods, but he always puts his own touches to the recipes.

One of his favorite desserts is bread pudding with a whiskey sauce, in this case a bourbon sauce. While not a baker, this is a dish he has learned to make to his taste.

Ingredients: (Roosevelt emphasizes that if you make this dish, adjust the ingredients according to your tastes.)

For the bread pudding:

4 cups stale French or Italian bread, cut in small, irregular pieces

2 & 1/2 cups milk

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla (extract is fine to use)

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

4-5 tablespoon melted butter

1 cup raisins

For the Bourbon Sauce:

1 stick butter

2 egg yolks

1 cup sugar

1/3-1/2 cup bourbon whiskey, depending on how strong you want the sauce to be

How to make the bread pudding:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

In a big mixing bowl, combine milk and the bread. Squeeze the bread until completely saturated with the milk.

Use another mixing bowl. Beat the eggs and sugar on a high speed (use electric mixer) until thick.  Add the vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, raisins, and butter, and stir together thoroughly.  Then add the bread to the mix and stir.

Next, let the mixture sit for around 10-15 minutes so there will be no separation during the baking. Roosevelt made this mistake the first time he tried the dish, and the result was not good.

Grease a baking dish (a spray also works well), and pour the entire mixture into the dish.

Bake about 45-55 minutes.  Check with a butter knife to see if done. Insert into the middle, and examine when taking it out. If the knife is clean, it is done.

Let it sit while preparing the bourbon sauce.

How to make the bourbon sauce:

In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks until they are thick. Melt the butter along with the sugar. Add the mixture to the egg yolks, and mix until thickened. Stir in the bourbon with a wooden spoon.

Serve by cutting pieces into a bowl, and pour  an ample amount of the sauce onto the bread pudding.

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Roosevelt usually eats his dessert with a glass of bourbon and a good cigar.

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Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

 

 

Sam’s Chicken Paprikash

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It has been a while since I have talked about the characters from my horror novel Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 1. Sam Sadlowski is one of three founding members of the IPS, the Investigative Paranormal Society, a ghost and supernatural investigation group, that is central to my book.

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Sam is a retired homicide detective and an avid cook.  But he doesn’t do any of “that high-class stuff served on a plate too large and a portion too small,” as he would say. A proud descendant of Polish and Hungarians, he loved the peasant food he grew up with. He loves hearty food and plenty of it.

One of his favorite foods was a meal his mother made often when he was growing up.  Here is his version of Chicken Paprikash:

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(Photo By Liz French, 2016)

Ingredients:

2 pounds chicken, either breast or thighs

2 green bell peppers

2 large onions

1 pound button mushrooms

1 can crushed tomatoes

paprika — regular or hot depending on the level of desired heat

fresh ground black pepper

garlic

pinch of salt (optional)

sour cream

either dumplings or wide noodles

To prepare:

Use a large dutch oven, preferably of cast iron.

Boil the chicken for a few minutes to begin the cooking process, then transfer to the dutch oven that has a hot layer of cooking oil in it that has been heavily coated with paprika, so that the oil looks red.  Be sure to pat the chicken dry first with a paper towel to avoid oil splattering.

While the chicken is searing, on both sides, chop the peppers and onions. Clean the mushrooms with cold water and a paper towel.

After the chicken is seared, turn the heat to low or simmer.

Add the peppers, onions, and mushrooms.

Add the seasoning.

Add the crushed tomatoes.

Add two-four tablespoons sour cream, and mix completely.

Let simmer in the dutch oven for 1 & 1/2 to 2 hours.

Cook the noodles or dumplings.

To Serve:

Serve over noodles or dumplings in a large bowl.

Slick thick pieces of good bread to place on the side.

Sam prefers to drink Hungarian red wine: egri bikaver, which translates loosely as “bull’s blood” with the meal.

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If you enjoy hearty meals, give this a try. You will probably enjoy Sam’s recipe.

 

 

 

Patrick’s Smashed Potatoes

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This post continues a series of posts I have done featuring recipes from characters from my horror novel Maledicus: Investigative Paranormal Society Book I. Patrick Franklin, along with his twin brother Michael, is a secondary, but important, character in this book. He is a retired Marine Corps Officer who fought in the first battle of Fallujah in 2004 in the Iraqi War. He is the protagonist’s—Roosevelt Theodore Franklin—nephew and a strong supporting element in the story.

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Like his uncle, Patrick prefers rustic and basic meals to that of haute cuisine. One of his favorite is what he calls smashed potatoes.

The recipe: (intended to feed 8-10 people at a large meal)
5 pounds of red potatoes
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream
fresh paprika
fresh dill
fresh black pepper
coarse sea salt

*Rinse, clean, but do not peel the potatoes. Cut away any bad spots.
*Cut the potatoes into small irregular pieces.
*Boil in dutch oven until fork tender.
*Drain and rinse potatoes.
*Place in mixing bowl.
*Add the rest of the ingredients.
*Using a hand masher, not a mixer—Patrick says too much air is incorporated, which makes the potatoes look pretty, but they lose some flavor. He is not a believer in the phrase “we eat first with our eyes.” Like his uncle, he believes we first notice smell, then we taste the food. Its appearance is irrelevant. Mix with the hand masher until blended together and serve hot. If desired, serve with gravy.

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Enjoy!!

Helen Murray’s Peanut Butter Cookies

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I have shared some recipes from the three gentlemen who make up the ghost hunting group in my horror novel Maledicus: Investigative Paranormal Society Book I. These are the main characters in my novel, but there are other very important people also, and they will also share recipes with you.   Today, I wanted to offer a baking recipe from Helen Murray.

Helen Murray, one of the main secondary characters, is a high school history teacher and the guardian of her niece Helena who was named for her.  Helen became the child’s guardian when her sister and brother-in-law were killed by a drunk driver.  The child was an infant when this tragedy occurred, so she has grown to the age of 5 thinking of Helen as her mother.  One of the tasks involved with caring for the little girl that Helen embraced was baking.  Previously, she had done very little of it, but after gaining the responsibility for taking care of this little girl, whom she loved, she found a passion for baking.

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One of her simple recipes is also one of Helena’s favorite treats: Helen’s peanut butter cookies.

1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy)

1/2 cup butter–softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla (or 1 vanilla bean if adventurous)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1&1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Put peanut butter and butter into mixing bowl. Use medium speed, and beat until the mixture is smooth (about 1-2 minutes). Add sugar, egg and vanilla.  Use medium speed, and beat about another minute.  Scrape bowl and combine together.

Add all the other ingredients for about 1 more minute of beating.  Roll the dough into one inch balls.  Press flat with a fork into a criss-cross pattern.

Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown.  In Helen’s oven, that takes about 10 minutes.  It could vary by a few minutes.  Remove from baking sheets and let cool. This recipe will make about 33-37 cookies.

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As an extra treat, Helen sometimes will dip half the cookie in melted chocolate and add rainbow sprinkles and let them cool.

Helena always loves these!

More recipes from characters to come in the future.

Jeremy’s Ham and Cheese Omelette

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I will continue to give background information on the characters in my horror novel Maledicus: Investigative Paranormal Society Book I in a variety of posts in this blog. This entry focuses on Jeremy.

Jeremy Roche, the third member of the retired gentlemen who make up the central figures of the IPS, like his friends Roosevelt and Samuel, loves to cook and has amassed many recipes over the years. This one is one of his favorite breakfast dishes.

Ingredients: (For one person; if more are there, make each omelette separately.)

3 large eggs
2-3 slices of good ham (may be cut into small pieces)
2-3 slice of good Swiss cheese
Two tablespoons milk
2 oz. unsweetened butter
Salt and pepper
Cayenne pepper

Preheat a well-seasoned cast iron frying pan. Melt the butter into the pan, and swirl to distribute it evenly. Be sure to melt the butter, but do not burn it.

In a bowl, break the eggs, season with pepper, salt, a touch of cayenne, and add the milk. As the pan melts the butter, using a large whisk, beat the eggs until whipped, and then pour into the pan. Tilt the frying pan to distribute the eggs evenly.

Add the ham slices and then the cheese slices evenly in the middle of the eggs.

As the egg mixture begins to solidify, gently fold one side with a spatula and wooden spoon over the middle. Then do the same with the other, creating a three sided envelope.

When nearly done, gently flip the omelette onto the other side to finish it.

Then place on plate, and serve with rye toast.

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Enjoy! This is Jeremy’s favorite breakfast meal to cook.