Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Recipe/Spotlight: Dead of Winter Break (A Cassandra Sato Mystery) by Kelly Brakenhoff (Blog Tour/Tour-Wide Giveaway)

Dead of Winter Break (A Cassandra Sato Mystery) by Kelly Brakenhoff

About Dead of Winter Break

Dead of Winter Break (A Cassandra Sato Mystery) 

Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series 

Publisher: Emerald Prairie Press (November 17, 2020) ~340 Pages 

Digital ASIN: B08KRG2T9D

It's beginning to look a lot like murder . . . And Cassandra is knee deep in . . . 

Suspects. Her boss is dead, and the police are calling it burglary gone wrong. But when the killer comes after her, it's going to take more than a pair of furry boots to keep the smart, witty Morton College administrator, Cassandra Sato, out of the deep. . . 

Snow. Her first Christmas in Nebraska could be her last unless her friends help unravel the mystery and housebreak her dog. 

Buy now for a fast-paced, holiday themed whodunit. 

Dead of Winter Break is the third book in Kelly Brakenhoff's popular Cassandra Sato Mystery Series. Death by Dissertation was a 2020 RONE Award Finalist. Publishers Weekly called Dead Week, "a diverting whodunit."


 Grandma's Apple Pie with Oil Pastry


In Dead of Winter Break, Cassandra celebrates her first Christmas away 
from her family's home in Hawai'i. When she and her best friend Meg make pies together, this is the family recipe they use for the Apple Pie.

Today, just for you, I'm sharing the secret to Grandma's flaky, moist pie crust. This recipe is delicious for any pies you might bake this fall or winter. Don't judge, but I ate some for breakfast. It's seasoned apples inside a pastry crust. That's a fruit serving.   Nothing wrong with that.

Course                        Breakfast, Dessert
Keyword                    freezer, healthy, kid friendly
Prep Time                  20 minutes
Cook Time                 50 minutes
Servings                     8 slices
Author                        Kelly Brakenhoff


Pie Crust - Makes 2 small crusts. Double this to make a deep-dish pie.

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4-5 tbsp ice cold water

Pie Filling

  • 5-6 medium sized apples, more if your dish is deep
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar (I use Stevia sugar substitute)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp butter


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Prepare crust

1. Mix the pie crust ingredients in order with a fork in a medium bowl until it forms a ball.  Divide into two smaller balls for a two crust pie.

2. Place a 12 inch square of wax paper under the ball and another square on top. Roll the  crust until it's large enough to fit in your pie plate. Peel off the top layer of wax paper. Flip the crust into the pie plate and center it. Carefully peel off the wax paper and gently fix any cracks or holes as you form it into the plate. Roll out the top pie crust and set it aside.

Prepare pie filling

1. Peel and cut apples into slices and spread them evenly over the bottom crust in the plate.

2. Evenly sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over the apples. Then sprinkle the flour. Cut up butter into small pats or chunks and place over top of the apples.

3. Carefully peel off the top layer of wax paper and flip the top crust over the pie. Center it as best you can. (Mine never looks perfect, but you can fix it later.) Peel off the wax paper and crimp the edges to seal the top and bottom crusts together with your fingers. Use the extras that hang over the edge to fill in the short spots as needed. (If you're freezing the pie, this is where you stop.)

4. Kid Tip: If there's extra crust along the edges, you can cut them away from the plate and lay the extra strips on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and bake them for about 5-8 minutes in the oven on a different rack than the pie. This used to be my favorite part of baking pies. My mom might have made extra crust just so there'd be little bits leftover for us to snack on while the pie was baking.

5. Sprinkle more cinnamon and sugar over the top crust. With a sharp knife cut a few vent holes in the top. Cut 2-3 strips about 4 inches wide of aluminum foil. Gently wrap the foil around the outer edges of the pie plate so the pie crust edges don't over-bake or burn.  Brown, crunchy edges are sad. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil strips and bake for another 25 minutes until the top is golden brown.

6. Let it cool on the counter for at least 30 minutes to an hour.

7. You can make several pies up to a month or more in advance and freeze them before baking. Cover the pie in plastic wrap first and then foil. To serve, let it defrost overnight in the fridge and bake them per instructions for a fresh pie any time.


About Kelly Brakenhoff 


KELLY BRAKENHOFF writes the Cassandra Sato Mystery series including DEATH BY DISSERTATION, a 2020 RONE Award Mystery Finalist, DEAD WEEK, "a diverting whodunit," (Publishers Weekly), and DEAD OF WINTER BREAK available in November 2020.   Kelly is an American Sign Language Interpreter whose motivation for learning ASL began in high school when she wanted to converse with her deaf friends.  NEVER MIND and FARTS MAKE NOISE, her children’s picture books featuring Duke the Deaf Dog and illustrated by her sister, Theresa Murray, have quickly become popular with children, parents, and educators for promoting inclusive conversations about children with differences.   

The mother of four young adults and a German Wirehair Pointer, Kelly and her husband call Nebraska home. 

Author Links:

Purchase Link - Amazon  

Tour-Wide Giveaway


November 16 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT 
November 16 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT 
November 17 – Sneaky the Library Cat's Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW 
November 17 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
November 18 – Socrates Book Reviews- RECIPE 
November 18 – Island Confidential – REVIEW 
November 19 – Baroness' Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT 
November 19 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT 
November 20 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
November 21 – I Read What You Write  - GUEST POST 
November 21 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews - REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW November 22 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
November 23 – Christy's Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
November 24 – Book Club Librarian - REVIEW 
November 25 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic - SPOTLIGHT 
November 26 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST 
November 27 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
November 27 – Diane Reviews Books – SPOTLIGHT 
November 28 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW 
November 29 – Brooke Blogs -SPOTLIGHT   

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