Click here for the HOME PAGE

Peeper's Green Chili Squares 
Peeper writes: These here green chili squares is very popular around Dunnigan Manor.  A square pan a them goes quick.  I grow my own chilies out back like I do lots a other plants. Wherever ya get yur chilies, hot or not hot, make a batch fer yur kin.  Good fer other gatherin's, too. 
 Here's my recipe.

 3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese [sharp]             

1/2 cup [4oz can] chopped mild green chilies [undrained]

6 eggs

salt and pepper ta taste

Mix all the ingredients and pour inta a 8" x 8" pan.  Bake in a slow oven [300 degrees F] for 30 ta 40 minutes or till a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean.  Cut inta squares.  Serve warm. Put on ice, if'n' there's any left.  Good fer breakfast, or any time a'tall.

(Peeper Clegg adopted the Dunnigan family and moved right in on them, way back in the 1860s.  Now, she is the beloved grandmother to the lot.  Famous for her elixir fixers and funny fights with neighbor Aunt Noreen, she is a prime character in Amelia Island, Florida's The Goodbye Lie historical romance series) 


Miss Ella's Cracker Candy

Crackers, plain (Saltines) - enough to 
Yes, there are crackers under the chocolate!
cover your baking sheet in a single layer (one sleeve)
1/2 cup butter, melted 
1 cup sugar and a smidge of molasses, mixed (Or we used brown sugar alone with no molasses.
1 spoonful vanilla (1 teaspoon)
1 to 2 cups chocolate - shaved (1 bag of chocolate chips)
Miss Ella Dunnigan
Grease your baking sheet (with non-stick spray).  Cover your flat baking sheet with a single layer of crackers. Melt the butter. Add the sugar with molasses (or brown sugar)and boil while stirring for 2 minutes, maybe 3, as it thickens a bit.  Stir in your vanilla.  Drizzle over the crackers.  Bake in a hot (425 degrees Fahrenheit ) oven for 3-5 minutes. While still hot, sprinkle the chocolate over top and spread evenly as it melts. Let cool and break into pieces.   
*Did you know the name cracker, the edible kind, came about when a baker in 1801 in Massachusetts named Josiah Bent burned the biscuits and they made a crackling noise as they blackened! *Origin of the name cracker found online at - Crackers: Invented in New England. Thank you, - jmm


Miss Ella's Tropical Coleslaw
(Jane Marie's modern day version)
1 16 ounce bag of shredded coleslaw mix
(cabbage and carrots)
  • Coleslaw dressing- Add to taste using your favorite brand. I used Marzetti (on sale) or Marie's is good, too, I was told.
  • 1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained ( I liked the pineapple so much, next time, I will add the larger 20 ounce can, drained)
  • peanuts, lightly salted (Next time, I will try the honey roasted peanuts for an added touch of sweetness.)
In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients.  Chill and keep in the refrigerator. Serve as a side dish.  It was so good, I had a bowl (or two) as my main course!  

Note: I Googled pineapple grown in Florida and found they are not commercially grown here.  However, people grow them on their own property, like Miss Ella does.  Records show the earliest growth in the state was 1860. - Jane Marie


Late 1800s, Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

   Nora writes:  My friend, Isabella, lives in town on Ash Street in the yellow cottage with the blue and white striped awnings.  Her mother has a statue of a pug dog on the front porch by the door.  Well, she brought these Breakfast Wedges
to our Sunny Ladies monthly tea.  They were very filling and delightful.  Isabella was happy to share her recipe with me and she gave me permission to share it with Jane Marie’s friends.
     By the way, Isabella is forever telling me how fortunate I am to play a role in Jane Marie’s novels. I told her that being Breelan Dunnigan’s first cousin who lives next door certainly helps, since Bree is the heroine in The Goodbye Lie.  I also told her that  if she lets Jane Marie know about a particular adventure in her life, perhaps she, too, might become a character in The Goodbye Lie Series or another of JM's writings.
     Now, I’ve told Jane Marie how to make this recipe and, as she often does, she has translated it into her modern products and culinary practices, which I find fascinating.  To think one can make bacon in this machine called microwave and not get attacked by spitting grease from the iron skillet, well, it is a wonder to me!


Present Day, Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida

     Jane Marie writes:  Thank you, Nora.  I honestly enjoy making the very same or as close to the same recipes that you make in your time.  Not only do we live on the same Amelia Island with the same beach, the same streets, the same buildings, the same vegetation, the same weather conditions, etc., but through the magic of these electronic Goodbye Lie Diaries, we can eat many of the same foods.  Rather than me only hearing your whispers in my ear and seeing your escapades in my mind's eye as I walk the shoreline, I can taste the breakfast foods, meats and desserts that you prepare. It brings us even closer, if that’s possible. Thank you, Nora, and please thank your friend, Isabella.  Perhaps Isabella may appear between the pages of one of my books.  Perhaps


Nora’s Anytime Breakfast Wedges

You'll need:
  • 1 16.3 ounce of Pillsbury Honey Butter Grands    with flaky layers( 8 biscuits)
  • 8 slices crisp bacon (Publix brand fully cooked hickory smoked- I only purchase this when it’s Buy One, Get One Free, but I love the convenience of microwaving it.)
  • 4 eggs- scrambled
  • Cheese- 4 slices, ½ slice per biscuit, folded in half to fit biscuit or use shredded cheddar cheese
  • Parchment paper on cookie sheet
  • Gently pull each of the eight biscuits apart in half horizontally, top and bottom, not side to side.   Lay them out on the parchment paper.
  • Scramble the 4 eggs adding a teaspoon or so of water before stirring in the pan.
  • Microwave the bacon, saving enough for the Breakfast Wedges, you big pig!  I’m talking to myself, here.
  • Spoon the scrambled eggs onto the center of the 8 biscuits, trying to keep the biscuit edges exposed. 
  • Top each with a piece of bacon, broken in two.
  • Top the bacon with cheese. 
  • Pinch the edges of the top and bottom biscuit together, letting the bacon poke out if you like.   
  • With a fork, score the edges to make them pretty.  Also with the fork, poke a hole in the top.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes until golden brown. Cut each biscuit into quarters or wedges.
  • Pass your favorite sauce, if desired: ketchup, ranch dressing, salsa
  •  You can use ham instead of bacon, of course, and add mild green chilies for a Mexican flavor or seeded tomatoes with Italian spices.
  • Get creative!


Late 1800s                                         

Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida
     Miss Ella Dunnigan writes:  Everyone about town is aware I plan the menus for our Aqua Verde Passenger Line of ships.  My staff and I do our utmost to make our passengers' travels a safe yet exciting sea adventure and that, too, is the case with regard to their taste buds.  Sometimes, easy to prepare food is just as appetizing as elegant.  This is the case with my Simple Tomato Salad.  Four ingredients and you have a healthy delight to serve on board your personal boat or yacht, on a picnic or at your dinner table.
     As is the usual, I want to express my thanks to Jane Marie for photographing her version of my salad. It does look tempting. Find how she made it, below.

Miss Ella's Simple Tomato  Salad

You'll Need: 
(Guestimate the quantities of ingredients as to how many people you'll be serving.)

Tomatoes - chopped or Cherry Tomatoes- halved
Walnuts or Pecans- in pieces
Sharp Cheddar Cheese (jmm used 2% fat), Colby or your favorite cheese- in bite-sized pieces
Salad dressing - (jmm used Avacado Ranch)

Toss all the ingredients and serve chilled.  Individual servings may be prepared by the bowl or salad plate. If tomatoes are out of season where you are, tuck this recipe away or splurge.  (Cherry tomatoes were less expensive here in Florida this time of year.)

This would make an easy Valentine side, too!


Smoking Bishop and GBL Diaries

Excerpt from The Goodbye Lie:

     Leona was at the piano playing Auld Lang Syne. Aunt Noreen and Peeper passed steaming mugs of Smoking Bishop and the scent of the spiced wine filled the room. A toast was raised and cups clinked. 1883 had begun.

In Drinking with Dickens by Cedric Dickens, who was the great-grandson of Charles Dickens,  I discovered Smoking Bishop was Victorian hot spiced port wine.  Besides the Bishop, there were other clerical drinks in those times:  Archbishop-claret, Cardinal-champagne and Pope-burgundy.  
We served Smoking Bishop at a holiday party and got a chuckle out of seeing one of our guests tip the pot to get the last drop - and we’d made a double batch!  There are variations of Smoking Bishop, but this is the one we used. 
As with all alcoholic drinks, moderation is key. 

      Jane Marie

                                      Smoking Bishop Recipe

You’ll need: 
  • 4 whole washed, unpeeled oranges
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 1 bottle dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks.
  • 1 bottle port wine (red wine and port wine combined should equal 4 to 5 quarts)
  • 5 to 6 quart slow cooker or large pot for stovetop cooking
Stick the whole cloves into the oranges.  Poke the oranges several times with a fork so the juice will seep out while cooking.  Place the oranges in the pot. 

Add  the red wine, sugar and cinnamon sticks.

Cover and cook on low or simmer for 3 1/2 hours.  Add the bottle of port. 
DO NOT BOIL at any time.  
Heat the mixture for another half hour to warm the port. 
Serve warm straight from the pot.
Garnish with extra orange slices or wedges and individual cinnamon sticks, if desired. 
Serves 10.  This recipe is easily doubled.

The Goodbye Lie Diaries:
Fernandina, Florida

Peeper writes: 
Yes, Miss Jane,  I did pass cups a Smokin' Bishop around Dunnigan Manor with Noreena. I never want ta do a thing with her.  I only dun it 'acause  Santee Claus hadn't yet come and I wanted me a pair a new shoelaces, so I had ta be nice.  Miss Ella got me the shoes ta go with 'um, but I didn't ask.


 w/ Goodbye Lie Excerpt

I was raised to love apple butter, and I still do. Miss Ella Dunnigan is the mother of four in my historical Goodbye Lie Trilogy. With Fall coming, I thought making her apple butter recipe would be perfect.  Her version is easy and your whole house will be a delight with all those wonderful apple cinnamon smells.

Excerpt from Goodbye Lie concerning Apple Butter:
     Turning to leave the barn Miss Ella asked, "How did you happen to come home so early today? It's just now five o'clock. Are things going well in the world of architecture?" Michael knows supper is always served at six, she thought, unless there's a potluck meal at church or some other social event. Then again, it could be his already bulging belly demands an earlier feeding. 
     "What's the use of being the boss, if I can't play a little hooky with my baby here?" His tone was short. This was certainly one of his hungry moods coming on.   
     "I'll see if I can't hurry up your dinner, Michael."
     "What? You mean it'll be a while?"
   "Yes, darling," she responded in as sarcastic a voice as his question deserved. "If you'd listen to your wife occasionally, you'd hear her say she has a few things to do besides following the timetable of her husband's stomach."
     He reacted with a snort.
     "Today, as substitute choir mistress, I was called upon to make last minute changes in this Sunday's schedule of hymns because Miss Bayer is out of town visiting her grandfather and Mrs. Lingenfelter is having her baby."
     Her husband grumbled in disgust. Unable to stay cross with him for long, she offered, "If you'll give me ten minutes, I'll pull some cornbread from the oven and slather it with apple butter for you to nibble on. That should tide you over for a bit until I'm sure the soup is done."
     "You know how I hate it if the beans are the least bit hard," he cautioned.
     "We only hate the devil," Marie announced.
    "Yes, baby girl. That's right. See there, Michael. It's true what they say about little pitchers having big ears and our little pitcher hears everything. Don't think she doesn't."
     Michael replaced his grimace with a smile and kissed his youngest child on the cheek.
     Miss Ella shook her head at her sometimes moody, but very wonderful husband, thinking how lucky she was to have him. Back inside the aromatic kitchen, she checked the steeping jelly kettle of peaches, stirred the pot of salt pork and bean soup, and cleared a spot for the hot cornbread among the fresh radishes and onions. It had been such a peaceful afternoon. Too peaceful, she realized. 
     Where was Jack Patrick? Her only son, age eight, was usually so noisy she knew his whereabouts every minute. She left the kitchen, went down the long hall past the stairs, and entered the front parlor to find her mother, Hettie Eckert, known to all as Grammy. Grammy was swaying in her rocker, intently working on a braided rag rug, and there was Jack Patrick, sneaking up from behind, scissors in hand, about to cut the soft wild-hair wispies from his sainted grandmother's head! 
     "Jack Patrick!" yelped his mother. 
     Calmly placing the shears back in the sewing basket, he stated, "Mama, I hope lightning flies through the window and kills the cat. I'm innocent!" 
     She knew exactly how innocent he was. She allowed the boy to dash out the front door before he caught her laughing.
Miss Ella's Apple Butter

You'll need:
  • 4 cups unsweetened applesauce (made from cored apples that have been slowly cooked to reduce them to pulp or purchased applesauce)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Nutmeg to taste (use sparingly)
  • Cloves to taste (use sparingly)                                                   
Combine the ingredients and bring them to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  
Spice to taste.
Serve on warm cornbread, muffies or bread.


1880s Fernandina, Florida

Grandmother Peeper writes:
Aunt Noreen just give me a earful, Jane Marie, saying ya ought not ta be writin' about the squabbles betwixt my Breelan and them two fellas, Captain Waite  and Lt. Trip, the gents achasin' her. Them words a yourn in The Goodbye Lie is pretty personal, I admit, but if'n Breelan don't mind folks reading 'bout her findin' her true love, who is Aunt Noreen ta say different? Why, if a singin' kangaroo jumped out of a tree and landed in front a Noreena, she'd scold him fer bein' off key. So what's she know?  Nothin'!  She ain't worth the spit it takes ta say her name.

Oh, I forgot ta tell you, Janie, we gots ta git ourselves a new fish fer the well.  I think one a Jack Patrick's friends come by, pulled it up in the bucket then took it home fer supper. Nugget is down at the creek just afishin' hisself silly, getting another sos it can eat the bugs in the well water fer us. 

Also, fur the umpteenth time, please quit acallin' me Grandmother Peeper!  Ya know I like just the nickname Peeper 'cause I don't want folks thinkin' I'm frail and helpless.  Thank you very much!

We're havin' Grammy's Coffee Roast Beef after church, come Sundee noon.  Ya need ta be acookin' some a that meat fer yourself and your family, making sure your Barbra has the recipe when yur gone.  It's a keeper.

Present Time, Fernandina, Florida 
Jane Marie writes:

Hey Peep,
     I will try and refrain from calling you Grandmother Peeper.  I do it only because I want our readers, YOUR fans, to understand you are a grand woman of experience and not a silly school girl.  It's for clarification purposes only.
     I appreciate you cautioning me over my writing.  Don't worry.  Remember, I dedicated The Goodbye Lie to my father, because I didn't want either of us to be embarrassed when he read it.  He wasn't.  So, if it passed the Daddy test, I think we're safe.
     I've made the Coffee Roast before. You're right.  It's time to make it again.  And yes, I'll be sure Barbra has the recipe.
     We've had terribly cold nights last week.  I hope my orange tree will survive.  It has dropped some leaves, but I think it is still hanging on. Fingers crossed.    
     And try not to fight with Aunt Noreen.  Although, we all find your tiffs interesting to follow, dare I say entertaining, they can't be good for your blood pressure or your bunions.
     Love to the family- and that includes Aunt Noreen! Remember, she's still Michael's sister and if you love him, and I know you do, you'll love his sister. Well, you can at least pretend, can't you?


Grammy's Coffee Roast Beef

        The story goes that cowboys in the Wild West roasted beef seasoned with coffee over the campfire.  Give it a try for something different and delicious.    Enjoy,
    Jane Marie


You'll need:
  • 3 pound beef roast (with the fat removed)
  • 6 cups of strong brewed coffee
  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves, minced or garlic powder
Preheat the oven to 325° F 
Make several slits in the raw roast and insert the garlic chips or sprinkle the roast generously with garlic powder. 
Place the meat in a roasting pan and pour the coffee beside it - not over it or it will wash off the garlic powder.  Cover with foil or lid. 
Bake 2 1/2 to 3 hours until the meat falls apart, removing the cover during the last half an hour to brown the meat.
Cool 10 minutes before slicing. 
Make gravy from the drippings or serve the unthickened coffee/beef broth left in the bottom of the pan over noodles, rice or potatoes. 
Pass the salt and pepper.
I’ve also made this in the slow cooker set on low for 6 to 8 hours until it turns into stringy meat.
According to the Amelia Island's Mark of a Man short excerpt, I expect Clover's preparation of BBQ Chicken takes longer than mine and he must stand over a blistering fire. Oh, it must be so worth it. Read below:
Amelia Island's Mark of a Man excerpt:

 “Marie is in a mood lately but she’s foraged for colored glass bottles and will fill them with wild flowers for the tables, last minute, so they don't wilt too much. We’re lucky so many plants have recovered from the storm in time to have a few new blossoms and enough greenery.  And this afternoon, we’ll fashion a pretty bouquet for Winnie from three white rose buds off my struggling climber, some ivy and fiddle-head fern and tie it all with Marie’s blue hair ribbon.”
   Pat couldn’t remember when his mother was so excited about something. It was good to see.
   “Oh, here's another surprise for everybody, including Clover. Peeper found time to make him a red apron from a tablecloth and stitched Love Chef across the chest. Butter thinks it's a fine idea, so he'll wear it. Anyway, he and Butter have been working on the barbecue since early this morning."  
   “I can smell Clover’s chicken clear up here.”
   "It's always so delicious."
   "He'll tell anybody who asks that his secret is burning black jack oak he gathers just off the island somewhere. Ya know, I can't decide if I like his chicken or pork better.  It's the best in the county and ... 

Clover inspired me to create my own BBQ chicken. We're all so busy and this is hands free, once it's prepared.  The best part, next to being so easy, is that it is simply delicious - if you like chicken and KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce, that is.

Jane Marie's EASY BBQ Chicken

You'll need:

Slow cooker

Chicken- skinless, boneless, 6 to 8 tenders or breasts, according to how much chicken you want to produce

1/2 cup KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce- original flavor or your favorite BBQ sauce

1/2 cup water

Place rinsed chicken in slow cooker. Mix the BBQ Sauce and water. Pour over chicken.  Cover and cook on high for 3 hours. Reduce to low for 2-3 hours.  (Times depend upon how hot your cooker gets. My newer cooker is half again as hot as my old, original pot. Just make sure the chicken is cooked through.  While chicken doesn't take that long to cook, you want sauce to permeate throughout each tender or breast, so reduce the heat to low.  Don't scorch, of course.) Shred when cool enough to handle. Serve on your favorite buns and pass the BBQ sauce!


The Goodbye Lie Diaries


Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

Clover writes:  Thank you, Miss Jane.  I'm happy my kind of cooked cluck made you try your own.  Makes me wanta go out hunting some black jack oak right about now.

Do you know which female
character from The Goodbye Lie series is the subject of the excerpt below? If only she had tried the recipe which follows for Spicy Roast Beef at her dinner party...

     Grammy's gift was a quart of her meat flavoring. "It's our family secret, _____. Here's the recipe. Memorize it, then burn it. Promise?"
     "Yes, ma'am. I promise."
     Peeper was not to be out done, "I saved the best fer last. It's a bottle a my very own special furniture polish."

    "The way Peep experiments out back in the little house," Michael explained to Trip, "it's no small miracle she hasn't blown us all up. Isn't that the stuff you make from turpentine, alcohol, and ether, Peep?"

     "Yup, but you forget the balsam fir and linseed oil, Michael. That's how come I'm the chemist and you're the architect." 

     The laughter had been strained and everyone had been uncomfortable. The cozy glow from the candles helped hide the chipped dishes and patched linens that came furnished with the house, and no adult noticed or, at least, mentioned the shortcomings of her table. Leave it to her brother to have asked, "How come you use all these cracked plates, ____, when you have a whole hope chest full of brand new dishes and stuff?" Everyone else had been too polite to inquire.
    She'd quickly answered, "I'll bring my chest over as soon as my cooking warrants the beauty of the china." The ladies had made a sincere attempt to reassure her that the meal was delicious. She would have believed them, too, had she not tasted her own food. The salad was gritty with sand, the deviled eggs were runny from the honey and too salty, the butter beans in the stew were hard, and the chocolate frosting was so thin, the cake showed through. ____ saw her mother throw several sharp looks at Jack Patrick each time he'd tried a new course and then opened his mouth to comment. She imagined the lecture the poor boy must have received about how to behave at his sister's house right before they'd left Dunnigan Manor...

Jane Marie writes:
My church friend, Kris Mandrick, brought this wonderful "stringy" beef roast to a pot luck.  I loved it.  I mean loved it!  She was sweet enough to let me share it with you.  It's made in the slow cooker with ingredients you probably have on hand.  It makes some rich gravy, is moist, is good for Sunday dinner or sandwiches and freezes well, if there are any leftovers.  Thank you, Kris.

Spicy Roast Beef
You'll need:

2-3 pound beef roast 
Lightly salt (optional) and pepper all sides.
Sprinkle with minced/powdered garlic or garlic pepper.  Put in crock.

Mix in separate bowl: 
1/4 cup soy sauce (I used lite.)
2 Tbl balsamic vinegar
2 Tbl A1 Sauce or Worcestershire sauce (I used Worcestershire.)
2 tsp yellow mustard, liquid or dry (I used liquid.)
Make several shallow slits in top of roast and pour mixture over roast. Let cook in crock 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.