Most cooks look for recipes to make their lives easier. In my new release SILENCE OF THE LAMPS, my sleuth Caprice has a sister who is a caterer. Caprice stages houses for high end clients, having elaborate open houses that include buffets catered by Nikki. Nikki makes Beef Bourguignon for an open house that brings a bit of conflict into their lives. Caprice transforms Nikki's recipe into a slow cooker version that's easy to make. Here it is! Enjoy.
Caprice's Easy Beef Bourguignon
from SILENCE OF THE LAMPS
Coat 5 quart slow cooker with nonstick spray.
6 slices bacon (keep 3 tablespoons of the drippings)
2 ½ pounds stewing cubes
2 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Fry bacon and remove from the drippings. When it is cool, crumble it and set aside in the refrigerator. Save three tablespoon of the drippings to use in preparation.
Dry beef cubes as much as possible with food-friendly paper towels. Combine flour, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper in a Ziplock bag. Drop in a few stewing cubes at a time to coat them, then place the coated cubes in the crock pot.
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup peeled and sliced carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 clove garlic (grated)
1/8 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
3 cups beef broth (I use Swanson with no MSG)
1 ½ cups white burgundy wine
A tiny pinch of red pepper flakes (4 to 5 flakes)
Add onion, carrots, celery, marjoram, garlic, one teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper and the pinch of red pepper flakes (4 to 5 flakes).
Pour broth over the mixture, add three tablespoons bacon drippings and the wine. Cover and cook on low for five hours or until beef cubes are tender. Stir every two hours for a smooth gravy base (with no flour lumps!).
Serve over noodles (I use a pound of wide egg noodles) and top with crumbled bacon.
©2016 Karen Rose Smith
First 4 Caprice mysteries on SALE
These days, home stager Caprice De Luca's calendar is a full house. Her grandmother's health is failing, her wayward uncle is stirring the pot, and she's torn between two equally eligible suitors. With so much drama in her personal life, Caprice is grateful to have Ace Richland, a former 80s rock star, ask her to stage his girlfriend's house. But Alanna Goodwin is a tough customer who balks at Caprice's ideas and all but commandeers the staging. Caprice almost isn't surprised when the snappish Southern belle is strangled to death with a tieback from her tacky velvet drapes. But just as she draws back the curtains on the truth, Caprice realizes she may be next on a murderer's set list…
Caprice De Luca's latest house staging is all about hearts, flowers, lace and chintz since Valentine's Day is around the corner. She never expects her client to be murdered in the greenhouse the day of the open house.
With her six-month-old cocker spaniel pup Lady by her side and her own love life in disarray, Caprice ferrets out clues from the victim's best friend, Caprice's mother, the housekeeper and a special male friend who insists his relationship with the victim was platonic. However, as Caprice digs deeper, she finds the victim's past is filled with secrets that she kept from her husband for thirty years.
The past isn't merely history. The present isn't always what it seems. When hearts are involved, passion and even murder aren't far behind.
Life is a full house for Caprice these days. She's dating, she's rescuing adorable cocker spaniels, and she's decorating the roomy interiors of Kismet's most well-heeled residents with fun fantasy themes. But when a house painter Caprice frequently employs is found dead, it's time for Caprice to stage an investigation. She must shift her attention from finding the perfect curtains to finding the perfect culprit.
Welcome to Kismet, PA, where home stager Caprice De Luca helps her clients shine in a lackluster real estate market—and where someone may only be in the market for murder...
Caprice De Luca has successfully parlayed her skills as an interior designer into a thriving home staging business. So when her old high school friend Roz Winslow asks her to spruce up her mess of a mansion to perk up a slow buyer's market, Caprice is more than happy to share her skills. But when Roz's husband Ted is found skewered by one of his sword room's prized possessions, it appears the Winslows have a few skeletons in their palatial closets. With the stage set for murder, Caprice will discover she can track down an antique tapestry and a cold-blooded killer with equal aplomb—as long as she's not the next victim.
I hope you enjoy all of Caprice's adventures and feel as if you're part of the De Luca family. I love to chat with my readers and I do much of that on Facebook on my KarenRoseSmithBooks page.
USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 95th novel will be released in 2016.
Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens. And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.
Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below.