Friday, May 11, 2012

A Recipe for a Delicious Mother's Day

By: Special Agent Jack Turner
From the White House Gardener Mysteries by Dorothy St. James

Casey asked me to write this.

(Long silence.)

I don't like to make public appearances. I'm a background, in the shadows kind of guy. The part of the Secret Service (the Counter Assault Team) that most people never see. But Casey is...persuasive.

She threatened to cook for me if I didn't agree.

(Another long silence.)

Determined assassins are less dangerous than Casey when she gets in the kitchen. So here I am writing a blog.

Mother's Day is just around the corner. My mom retired to Boca several years ago. So I'll be sending her a fruit bouquet arrangement. It's healthy. She'll hate it.

But when she was still living in the area, I'd bake mom Sunday dinner for Mother's Day, including her favorite dessert--a sponge cake topped with fresh fruit. The recipe she used came from Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book, the one from the 1950s that was sold in a red, three-ring binder. About ten years ago, however, she suffered a heart attack and now is on a strict low-fat diet.

Ever since the heart attack, I've doctored her favorite recipe to make it heart-healthy. She doesn't know the difference. And she never will.

I work for the Secret Service.

I know how to keep a secret.

Inexpensive Sponge Cake (the heart-healthy version) Recipe
Spray a 9" square pan with non-stick cooking spray. (I use olive oil.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp apple sauce
1/2 cup skim milk
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder

Mix until batter is smooth.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool. Serve fresh with fruit.

 * * * * * * *
Dorothy St. James writes the White House Gardener Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. Flowerbed of State is the first book in the series. Be sure to grab your copy while they're still available! Visit with Dorothy on the web or at Facebook. Or follow her on Twitter.
"Credible characters, a fast-paced plot, and a light look at political life in Washington, D.C., will delight cozy fans."
~ Publishers Weekly
Order Flowerbed of State from your favorite bookseller. 
Praise for The Scarlet Pepper:
"This cozy gets my highest recommendation, a perfect escape, and it should be in your in your hot little hands as you prepare your own gardens. Definitely a must “seed” story!!!" ~ Escape with Dollycas Blog

"A potboiler of homicide, blackmail, journalism, power and sex - but one that St. James handles with taste as well as verve - “The Scarlet Pepper” fulfills the promise of last year’s series debut, “Flowerbed of State,” and then some." ~ Richmond Times-Dispatch 
 Order The Scarlet Pepper from your favorite bookseller.


  1. I just bought The Scarlet Pepper and am very anxious to begin it. Thanks for the recipe... sounds tasty!
    ~Joni Possin

  2. Thank you for stopping by, Willow and Yummers. Casey caused me more than a few gray hairs during the hair-raising events that unfolded in The Scarlet Pepper. This time I wasn't assigned to protect her, so I couldn't be around all the time to watch her back.

    It seems as if it's one misadventure after another at the White House lately.

    Do try the recipe. It's quick. Easy. And my mom seems to like it.

  3. What a great guy! His mom loves his spongecake! Here's to you, Jack!

  4. Ahem! That doesn't *look* like fresh fruit!

    ~ Natasha

  5. LOL! It does look sort of like chocolate. It's actually blackberries picked fresh the day they were eaten.