Friday, August 6, 2021

Cozy Food Friday!

That means it's time to share a recipe from 
another great cozy mystery!

This week's recipe is from
Janice Peacock
author of Book 1 in the
Ruby Shaw Mysteries


After being placed in witness protection, Ruby Shaw and her daughter move to the former ghost town of Paradise, Arizona, which is nothing like its name implies. The US marshal handling their case has this advice: Fly under the radar—but that’s difficult to do after their neighbor is murdered.
New Yorker Ruby Shaw arrives in a hillside town in Arizona with a brand-new name, a duffel bag on her shoulder, and her daughter, Allie, at her side. Before arriving, Ruby witnesses a murder that lands her in the witness protection program. That decision means she’s gone from being a successful artist to being a nobody in a postage-stamp-sized town called Paradise—a name that doesn’t fit the former ghost town. Even though their new digs are a little shabby, and there may be ghosts haunting the town, they are optimistic about their new lives, that is, until a neighbor turns up dead.

Having just arrived in town, living next door to the victim, and without an alibi, the community members are suspicious of Ruby. A local deputy befriends her, but the deputy still points to her as the culprit each time they find a new clue. If matters weren’t bad enough, Allie is having trouble fitting in at her new school, and Ruby can’t seem to hold down a job.

As they settle in, they meet the quirky inhabitants of Paradise: Bette—the chatterbox café owner, Flora—Allie’s eccentric babysitter, and Derek—who runs local history tours, which he jazzes up with ghost stories of questionable veracity.

Ruby’s life improves when she meets a handsome cook at the local café who is passionate about succulents and cacti, and may feel equally passionate about her. Even though Ruby and Allie want to stay in Paradise, a US marshal has other ideas, as he threatens to move them to a new town after Ruby gets mixed up in the murder investigation. Ruby must find the killer before she and Allie lose their new home or even worse—their lives.

After being placed in Witness Protection, Ruby Shaw and her daughter Allie arrive in Paradise, Arizona, confused and alone. Their first morning in this strange little town, which clings to a steep hillside, Ruby and Allie decide to venture into town for breakfast. After wending their way up the zig-zagging street, they find Bette’s Place, a bustling café. Inside, they meet Bettenaya, Bette for short, who peppers them with questions they have difficulty answering due to their new identities. The café is buzzing with gossip about the death of local real estate maven Greta Stramtussle, who lived next door to Ruby and Allie until her untimely demise. Everyone in town is suspicious of the newcomers, which makes them feel unwelcome. But Bette befriends Ruby, as does the café’s handsome cook. Could there be a spicy love interest to complicate Ruby’s new life in this quirky small town? And speaking of spicy—this is a southwestern mystery after all—I’ve got a recipe for you!

Imagine you’ve entered Bette’s Place, and she’s ushered you over to a cozy booth near the window. Handing you a menu, she asks you several rapid-fire questions. The last one is, “Do you want to try today’s Special? It’s my momma’s turkey chili recipe.”

And you’ve got one answer for her: Yes, of course!

Bette’s Special Turkey Chili

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1 pound ground turkey

1 cup chopped red bell pepper

1 cup chopped yellow onion

2 Tablespoons of chili powder

½ cup BBQ sauce

½ cup ketchup

1 cup frozen corn

1 large can of chopped tomatoes

1 16 oz can kidney beans

photo property of

1. In a large frying pan, sauté bell pepper and onion together in olive oil. When onions are translucent, and bell pepper is soft, transfer to a bowl and set aside.

2. With a bit of oil, brown and crumble the turkey along with 1 tablespoon of chili powder in the frying pan.

3. When turkey is no longer pink, add the bell peppers and onions back into the pan.

4. Then add another tablespoon of chili powder (more or less depending on how hot you want your chili), BBQ sauce, ketchup, corn, kidney beans, and tomatoes.

5. Mixed all the ingredients together and simmer for 30+ mins, stirring occasionally.

6. Serve with cornbread and grated cheese on top of the chili.

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Note: This super-easy recipe has been passed down to my mother by my grandmother. Each generation has added something new. My mom switched the meat from ground beef to ground turkey. I added corn to the recipe. My daughter now adds garbanzo beans because it stretches the recipe a little farther, which is helpful for people on a budget. I hope you enjoy this yummy chili. It’s one of my favorites! ~ Janice

Doesn't this sound great?
A big Thank You to Janice for sharing it with us today!

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  1. Thanks, Lisa. I’ve been craving protein since surgery. This would hit the spot.
    Happy Friday!
    Pat T

  2. Thank you for the recipe. I've never tried using turkey in chili, but this recipe sounds yummy enough that I want to try it.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net