CHUSday and a Pro Gives Us Tips

Today Mollie Cox Bryan, author of Mrs. Rowe’s Little Book of Southern Pies (which Wanda covets) and Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant Cookbook, is joining us to share some of her kitchen tips. Mrs. Rowe’s is a wonderful Southern-style restaurant in Staunton, VA, that I visit every time I’m down that way, so it was a treat for me when Mollie contacted me and asked if I would read her first mystery, Scrapbook of Secrets, and give her a cover quote.

First Mollie’s kitchen tips, then some info on her upcoming novel.  And finally, CHU business, including next month’s wrap-up of the silly kitchen gadget and autographed novel giveaway.

As Mollie told me, most of these tips have to do with stretching the dollar, but they were all brand new to me and helpful–can’t wait to try the pizza tip. Take it away, Mollie. 

  1. To reheat left over pizza, place in a non-stick skillet until it’s warm. This keeps the crust from getting soggy.
  2. If you buy cake frosting in a can from the grocery store, place it in a mixing bowl and beat it with your mixer. It will double in size.
  3. To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that have been refrigerated, place them in the microwave along with a cup of water. This will help keep the moisture in and it heats faster.
  4. Store open chunks of cheese by wrapping them in aluminum foil. It stays fresher, longer.
  5. Tear apart your bananas (from the bunch) if you don’t want them to ripen too fast.

Mollie’s novel, Scrapbook of Secrets, A Cumberland Creek Mystery, (Kensington) will be published February 2012. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon and we’ll do a real interview with her once it’s out.

Having traded in her career as a successful investigative journalist for the life of a stay-at-home mom in picturesque Cumberland Creek, Virginia, Annie can’t help but feel that something’s missing. But she finds solace in a local “crop circle” of scrapbookers united by chore-shy husbands, demanding children, and occasional fantasies of their former single lives. And when the quiet idyll of their small town is shattered by a young mother’s suicide, they band together to find out what went wrong…Annie resurrects her reporting skills and discovers that Maggie Rae was a closet scrapbooker who left behind more than a few secrets – and perhaps a few enemies. As they sift through Maggie Rae’s mysteriously discarded scrapbooks, Annie and her “crop” sisters begin to suspect that her suicide may have been murder. It seems that something sinister is lurking beneath the town’s beguilingly calm facade – like a killer with unfinished business…

Thanks for visiting, Mollie.  I can attest this is one group of feisty women and a fun read, even for those who don’t scrapbook.

Now quickly, some CHU biz.  Don’t forget, just a few more days to try a new recipe from an “old” cookbook for this month’s giveaway, an autographed novel and the Piggy Wiggy Little Whisk–which I’ll be sorry to say goodbye to since Piggy herself is awfully cute.  Official rules are here.  This is a no-brainer.  Take a cookbook you haven’t used in ages (or forever) and try a new recipe.  Then tell us the name of the book and the recipe itself and whether you liked it or not.  Easy, right?  Then will choose one submission to win.

December will be the final month, and because it is, let’s broaden the rules.  If you make anything new, a Christmas cookie recipe, a quick supper dish after a long day of shopping, then tell us what you made and where you got the recipe.  The recipe can be from a well-loved cookbook, the Internet, your next-door neighbor.  As long as it’s new to you.  Of course I’ll trust you on that.

Next week  I’ll announce the final prize.  Remember, in December EVERYBODY who’s entered since we began the giveaway in August is eligible to win, and not with just one entry per person, but one entry per recipe.  So cook your heart out and let us know.


  1. Dee W on November 29, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I’m looking forward to Mollie’s new mystery. I’m always in the market for new authors. And as to her hint about the frosting, I use the canned stuff because I haven’t remembered to buy a new mixer cause I lost mine in the flood three years ago! Nobody eats cake at my house anyway.

  2. Sarah at Julia's Child on November 29, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    What a fun post! I didn’t know that trick about the bananas…


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