Celebrating ALL of Thanksgiving Weekend

by | Nov 21, 2016 | Karna Small Bodman, The Writer's Life | 8 comments

…by Karna Small Bodman

My Rogue Writer colleagues have been writing about the coming Thanksgiving Holiday focusing on memories, reasons to give thanks, and ideas for the big dinner on Thursday.  As we all look ahead to a day set aside to count our MANY blessings, especially the great opportunity to live in this wonderful country – once dubbed “A shining city on the hill — a place for all freedom loving people”… I was thinking about how nice it is that we actually have four days to celebrate.

While we can open any newspaper, magazine or gourmet website all this week and find a gazillion recipes for the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, perhaps we should also think about what we might serve family and friends the rest of the weekend while watching football games, entertaining children or just snacking while reading a good novel. And with that thought in mind, I wanted to tell you about a special book put together by many fellow thriller and mystery writers, including our own Gayle Lynds. (I have a recipe in it too) Here are a few from some of our favorite authors:                                       

Harlan Coben

For a great appetizer, how about Myron’s Crabmeat Dip named for a character in Harlan Coben‘s series about a sports agent (so use this one while watching that football game):

Mix together while heating on the stove and serve warm:
3 – 8 oz. packages of cream cheese          2/3 cup dry white wine
3 – 6 oz. cans crabmeat                             2 teaspoons powdered sugar
1/2 cup Miracle Whip                               1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons French mustard                       Dash Lawry’s seasoned salt
                                                                    Dash garlic salt                             

With over 60 million books in print worldwide, Harlan’s stories regularly debut
on the New York Times Best-Seller List!

For the main course that night, how about Mary’s Celebratory Giants Game Night Chili from the all time favorite mystery and suspense writer, Mary Higgins Clark.

Mary Higgins Clark

In a slow cooker, sauté 4 lbs. ground beef, 1 lb. ground sausage and 1 lb. ground turkey, adding salt, black pepper and chili powder to taste.

Add 1 large can crushed tomatoes, 2 small cans diced tomatoes with jalapeno and onion, 1 small onion diced along with 1/4 bottle of beer, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, pinch of cinnamon, shake of garlic powder and bit of black pepper. Let this all cook on high for 4 hours, stir well. Then set slow cooker to low and cook for 2 more hours.

Serve chili with bowls of shredded cheddar cheese, sliced red onion, sour cream and warm tortilla chips.

Raymond Benson

Of course we need something special for the Kids Table! And what better dish than Zillion Calorie Mac and Cheese submitted by our own International Thriller Writer colleague, Raymond Benson, the first American author to write official James Bond novels!

Preheat oven to 350, grease a casserole pan, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook an 8 oz. box of macaroni (according to package directions).

In a saucepan mix: 3 tablespoons flour, 3 tablespoons butter, 2 cups milk, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. As it becomes hot, drop in 12 Kraft Deli Deluxe American cheese slices (or maybe a few more).

Drain macaroni and put it into the casserole pan. Pour in the hot cheesy mixture. Stir, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered 5 more minutes. Then as Raymond says, “Pig out.”

Now how about dessert from another fellow ITW author, Joseph Finder, the New York Times Best-Selling author of eleven suspense novels.  He gives us a recipe from a friend for Apple Crumble.

Joseph Finder

Preheat oven to 350 again, put a rack in the center, spray bottom and sides of a 9 inch square glass baking dish with cooking spray. In a bowl cut up 1 stick of unsalted butter into 2 cups of flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Mix in 1/2 cup brown sugar – and put it all into the freezer while you do the next step:

Peel and slice 6 large apples, put them in another bowl and add 3 tablespoons sugar. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon over the apples and add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Put apples in the prepared baking dish, get the crumble mixture out of the freezer and sprinkle it over the apples.  Bake for 45 minutes – until the topping is golden brown.

Finally, to top it all off, we have a “contribution” by our good friend, fabulous thriller writer and original member of ITW, Lee Child, who, in what reads like a humorous aside, but graces the last page of the Mystery Writers of America Cookbook, explains Coffee, Pot of One.

Lee Child

Lee says, “OK, this ain’t exactly rocket surgery” (yes, that’s his term).  He instructs us to “Use a standard mid-range drip coffee maker with a gold-colored mesh filter. Fill with water…Evian works well…for every number on the side of the water jug, add that many spoons of ground coffee, less one…anything from Colombia will do (avoid all flavorings). Close the lid and hit the switch. Wait five, and you’re there.”

So for those of you who have NEVER made a pot of coffee, we thank Lee for these great instructions! And don’t we all love Lee’s novels about his character, Jack Reacher — the second movie by the name was recently released, starring Tom Cruise.

Now from all of us, we wish you a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING with the hope that you enjoy a wonderful long weekend celebrating and giving thanks.  Please leave a comment about some of the reasons you are counting your blessings this Thanksgiving.

….by Karna Small Bodman

Don’t Miss a Thing!



  1. Gayle Lynds

    It's such a fantastic cookbook, Karna. Thank you so much for picking wonderful recipes by our friends. Great way to put us in the mood for holiday feasts! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  2. Sonja Stone

    Karna, what fun! Thanks for sharing a few recipes from these great authors!

  3. Unknown

    Some years ago, when we lived in Phoenix, my wife, Sandy Bruce, wrote a celebrity cookbook entitled What's Cookin' in Arizona!. She donated the proceeds to her favorite charity, Women Off Welfare. Glen Campbell, Barry Goldwater, Walter Cronkite, Lynda Carter, John McCain and more than 200 other Zonies, including yours truly, contributed to the book. Here's Linda Ronstadt's recipe for Corn Muffins a la Ronstadt:
    1 cup whole wheat flour
    1 cup yellow corn meal, whole meal
    4 tsp. baking powder
    ½ tsp. salt
    ¼ cup sugar
    2 eggs, lightly beaten
    1 cup skim milk
    1 cup creamed style corn
    Combine first five ingredients in a large bowl. In medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, butter and corn. Add this to dry ingredients, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon batter into 12 greased muffin cups. Bake in 425-degree preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until tops are golden.

  4. Anonymous

    Hey Karna, sounds yummy. Thanks for sharing.

    Corey Small

  5. Karna Bodman

    Thanks Gayle, Sonja and Corey for your nice comments — and Jeffrey, what a great recipe to add to the mix (and love that all of those great stars contributed to such a good cause in their cookbook).

  6. Jamie Freveletti

    Hi Karna! Thanks for the recipes. I love my slow cooker so will be using it soon. Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Chris Goff

    Great posting with a feast full of recipes. Thanks, Karna. Now I need to go out and buy that cookbook!