Sunday 18 February 2024

Author in the Kitchen: A Sausage and Rice Casserole Recipe and Romantic Read by Cozy Mystery Author Janis Lane...

This is an easy casserole that may be prepared the day before and warmed up on a busy day when dinner should be quick and easy. A box of rice tucked in the pantry is always a great idea. Changing the flavor makes it your own personal recipe. I’ve made it with a can of stewed tomatoes and a bit of garlic. You’ll find your own favorites to add. Summer sausage gives this dish a Southern flavor. Don’t forget to call out at least two y’alls before the first forkful. 

Sausage and Rice Casserole
1 box Wild Rice
2 onions, chopped
¼ cup green peppers, chopped
1 lb. bulk ground sausage
1 small can sliced mushrooms
2 cans cream chicken soup
1 can mushroom soup
1 cup water
1 small can water chestnuts, drained 
Slivered almonds, toasted and drained

Preheat oven 350° F.

Cook rice as directed on package, set aside. 

Sauté onion, peppers and sausage until meat is browned. Drain. Stir remaining ingredients, except almonds, with sausage mixture; turn into 9 X 13 baking dish. 

Bake 30 – 40 minutes. Sprinkle with almond slivers then serve. 

Suggested Additional Sides
Fresh Green beans seasoned with ham bits
Lima beans
Stewed tomatoes
Fresh rye bread and butter  

Fruit cup with slice of pound cake and cheese
Iced Tea or coffee
Glass of wine 

Here is an intro to Janis's romantic cozy mystery for your reading pleasure.

Snapshot Suspicions
is an adventure with Abby, beautiful, vagabond wildlife photographer, and Adam, ruggedly handsome, millionaire protector of the environment.

A dangerous wildlife mystery requires the close attention of Adam and the local sheriff as Abby deals with two hired goons stalking her with a grudge. Basking in the rosy contentment of their love, Abby and Adam must trust each other as they encounter the first rift in their relationship. An engaging puppy presents a conundrum and a terrifying incident.

Abby discovers she can enjoy photographing subjects (AKC) other than wildlife and delights in setting up her own office, while Adam breathes a sign of relief when Abby makes a permanent commitment. Could she finally be thinking of a life time pledge to him?

As she entered the room, a long arm snaked out and pulled her swiftly toward a broad chest. Her face was again covered with kisses that trailed down her face, sidetracked to explore a curled ear with a sip on a tiny lobe, and continued a path of kisses until it landed against her lips, which were blossoming into a reluctant smile.


The sandy-haired giant lifted his head from the places he had been attending and settled his piercing blue eyes on her green ones with a satisfied sigh.


He sat down in a kitchen chair and pulled her onto his lap, wrapping her in a warm embrace and tucking her head on his shoulder. She snuggled contentedly against him. What a wonderful way to greet the day, she thought. Everyone should have a handsome blond giant to cuddle with . . . She could feel herself drifting off.

“Good morning, Abby, my tree sprite. Did you sleep well? I thought you might stay snuggled in bed this morning after such a late night.”

“Adam.” She took a deep breath inhaling the familiar fragrance that she loved. It was all Adam who was so dear to her. She rubbed her face into his shoulder and allowed him to cuddle her for a minute more. Her body relaxed against him, her hand half encircled his rock hard forearm, but her mind struggled with her problem. She knew she had to nip this in the bud if she were ever to have peace. This was exactly what she had feared when she resisted moving in with him, even though she knew she loved him.

“Adam.” She turned her head to stare into his intensely blue eyes, and then shut hers. There was always the danger of falling into those loving pools of blue if a girl were not careful. She knew from experience how mesmerizing they could be.

“You’ve got to control that dog. I know he’s young and means no harm, but you promised to train him. I can’t keep buying new sneakers every single day.” She felt Adam’s deep chuckle before she heard it. His chest erupted in those sounds that brought a smile to her face in spite of her annoyance with the situation.

Janis Lane is the pen-name for gifted author Emma Lane who writes cozy mysteries as Janis, Regency as Emma, and spice as Sunny Lane.

She lives in Western New York where winter is snowy, spring arrives with rave reviews, summer days are long and velvet, and fall leaves are riotous in color. At long last she enjoys the perfect bow window for her desk where she is treated to a year-round panoramic view of nature. Her computer opens up a fourth fascinating window to the world. Her patient husband is always available to help with a plot twist and encourage Emma to never quit. Her day job is working with flowers at Herbtique and Plant Nursery, the nursery she and her son own.

Look for information about writing and plants on Emma's new website. Leave a comment or a gardening question and put a smile on Emma's face.

Stay connected to Emma on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out the things that make Emma smile on Pinterest.


  1. Welcome to my virtual kitchen today, Emma! Oven is preheating and wine is poured. Let's get this casserole party started. Wink. All the best, my friend!

  2. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe and an awesome book :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Marina! You're very much appreciated. Grab a plate and dig in! Cheers!