Buchman action adventure thriller romance writer's recipes

“Raider” Double Crust Apple Pie

Recipe (printable PDF)
Miranda Chase #5


Miranda handed him a tray with a large portion of steaming lasagna, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, a crusty sourdough bread roll, and a side of fresh apple pie with ice cream, before sitting beside him.

“Which reminds me.” Miranda began cutting up a small skirt steak. She turned to Holly, “Why wouldn’t I be safe around Andi?”

Holly barely balked, “Just something Mike said. Ask him.” Then she picked up a roasted Brussels sprout with her fingers and ate it.

Andi’s eye roll clued him in that it had been her and Holly’s conversation, not his, that Miranda had caught some part of.

He kicked Holly’s shin under the table.

Jeremy squeaked in surprise.

To cover that it was his kick that had gone astray, Mike flipped over the card he’d drawn.

Ace of Spades.

Of course.

Active Time: / Cook Time: / Total time: 10-15 minutes

Pie Dough (you can buy a shell)

  • 2 c. plain flour
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 6 Tbsp. butter (diced and cold)
  • ~1/2 c. ice water


  • 6-8 large Granny Smith apples, sliced thin (pile them up in a pie plate until they make a mound about as high above the pie plate as it is below)
  • Mix in a bowl and let stand for 1/2 hour with:
    • 1/4 c. sugar
    • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
    • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
    • 1 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

The Pie Dough (the key is keep everything cold)

  1. Combine dry ingredients (sift into bowl or drop into a food processor and whirl it a few times).
  2. Add butter and pinch into flour until the texture of coarse sand (or buzz 10 1-second pulses in the food processor).
  3. Add ice-cold water and mix well (or buzz in food processor as you dribble in water). Run until it just comes together. Finish quickly by hand.
  4. Divide in two, flatten into 4” discs. Wrap in cling wrap or wax paper. Return to fridge for an hour (freeze the other half).
  5. Place your rolling pin the fridge as well.

Prepping the Pie

  1. Preheat over to 400° F.
  2. Roll out 1/2 of the dough into a circle until 2-3” larger than your pie plate. (leave the other half in the fridge and work quickly)
    1. Flip occasionally, and brush a bit of flour on the counter.
    2. Lift by rolling it loosely onto your rolling pin.
    3. It will start out to be hard to do, but it will soften all too quickly, so work fast. We don’t want the little butter lenses to melt, as they make the crust lighter.
  3. Use the rolling pin to lay it gently over the pie plate. Do NOT stretch to make it fit (the dough will remember and contract as it bakes). Instead, lift the outer edges and slide toward the middle to fill the pie plate, run up the sides under no tension, and floop over the edges.
  4. Trim off any excess that hangs more than 1/2” off the edge of the pie plate. (This can be used to patch a hole if one happened.)
  5. Put it in the fridge.
  6. Roll out the other 1/2 of the dough as per above.
  7. Retrieve the pie plate, fill with the apple-and-spice mix, nudging to around to make as compact a mound as reasonable. (Don’t press hard as you’ll ding the lower crust.)
  8. Lay the upper crust gently over the mounded apples.
  9. Again trim off any of the excess over 1/2”.
  10. Tuck the 1/2” of the two crusts under the edge of the lower crust so that it rests on the rim of the pie plate. Using a fork, or two fingers from one side pinched by one finger from the other, press the edge into the pie plate.
  11. If you have a pie ring (a protective metal hoop to keep crust edges from burning) put it on. (If not, a few thin strips of aluminum foil may be gently folded over the edges and lapped about 1/2” down into the pie crust.)
  12. Critical: Slice in several 1”-long air vents to release the steam. Feel free to make pretty patterns.
  13. You can also decorate with leftover bits of dough you trimmed off earlier.
  14. If you’re feeling fancy, whisk and egg and brush it over the surface before baking to add to the golden glow.

Baking the Pie

  1. If the oven isn’t up to temperature when you’re ready, put the pie back in the fridge, even if you think it will just be a minute.
  2. Bake for 15 minutes at 400° F.
  3. Lower temperature to 350° F and back for 45 minutes.
  4. Apply to fully cool before serving. Vanilla ice cream would go well here.

A lovely apple pie for my birthday.
(Matt-Matt is my household nickname.)

What’s not to love!
Recipe (printable PDF)

Buchman action adventure thriller romance writer's recipes

“Ghostrider” Fast Fajitas

Recipe (printable PDF)
an action-adventure technothriller Buchman
Miranda Chase #4


Unable to sleep, Miranda sat up in bed and fired up her laptop.

The discussion at dinner had circled around a variety of topics. But one had kept coming back. Once during the fried chicken taquitos appetizer, twice during the main course—two bean enchiladas for her, a monstrous plate of shrimp-and-steak fajitas for Holly, and carne asada burritos for the boys—and yet again over flan and deep-fried ice cream.

Their workspace.

Her personal airplane hangar at the south end of Tacoma Narrows Airport wasn’t really up to the task of high-security military plane-crash investigations any more than their Western Pacific Region offices at the NTSB.

After two hours of lying awake and organizing her thoughts, she’d decided it was time to make some changes.

NOTE: Living for thirty-eight years in the US Pacific Northwest, I ate a lot of utterly amazing Mexican food. My absolute #1 favorite over the years? Fajitas! That big sizzling platter of beef and onions that I can hear coming my way from across the restaurant, with a whole array of colorful sides including: bright salsa and neon guacamole, dusky black beans and brilliantly white sour cream…ah, heaven. So while burritos and other dishes get much more of a mention in Ghostrider, I thought I’d share my homemade fajitas recipe. It’s far simpler (and far easier) than the restaurant version, but still incredibly satisfying in its clean simplicity.

Serves 3-4. Leftovers reheat well.

Prep and Cook time: <20 minutes

The Ingredients

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips across the grain cut the short way not the long way. (Tip: To make this easier, freeze the chicken for ten minutes, or sharpen your knife.)
    • You can substitute beef from a lean cut, shrimp, tofu (firm)…
  • 1 large onion, cut in half and then wide moons parallel to the core, rather than slicing end-to-end through the core
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2” wide strips, then in half if too long
  • 1 green bell pepper, the same
  • 1 good squirt hot sauce (such as Sriracha, adds more flavor and depth than heat)
  • 1 T. chili powder, divided
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes or 1/4 tsp. cayenne powder (optional)

Cook and Serve Ingredients

  • 1 T. canola oil, divided
  • 2 flour tortillas per person (we typically use the 8”-ish ones, flavored tortillas spinach and so on are nice too)

Cooking (use a large frying pan)

  1. Heat pan on high with 1/2 Tbsp. canola oil 2-3 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, toss chicken with 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder and 1/2 tsp. cumin powder (and the red pepper and/or hot sauce if used).
  3. Cook chicken (leave on pan 3-4 minutes without moving before flipping).
  4. Set chicken aside in a medium bowl when done (it will cut easily in two with a cooking spatula or spoon and shows no pink in the center).
  5. Add other 1/2 Tbsp. canola oil to pan.
  6. Add vegetables to pan and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder and 1/2 tsp. cumin.
  7. Cook vegetables 3-4 minutes per side until soft and browning.
  8. Nuke 2 tortillas per person between damp paper towels (20 seconds / pair, 30 seconds for 4, don’t do more than 4 at a time).
  9. Return chicken and any juices to the pan with the vegetables and reheat briefly.
  10. Pour it all into the medium bowl to serve.

Fried up just right

Two fajitas ready to roll and a cold beer? I’m good to go.

Recipe (printable PDF)

Buchman action adventure thriller romance writer's recipes

MC03 “Condor” – Syrniki Pancakes

(Note: This one recipe was previously posted some years ago. It took a while for the idea to grab me. Here it is in the order it belongs.)

Recipe (printable PDF)


Miranda Chase #3 Condor

Holly eased the pilot into the small shed with the others as the knock-out drug took him under. “Tom and Tim. You stay here. Find something to make sure they won’t freeze to death before they wake up. Keep an eye out, we’ll try to get the loadmasters over here next.”

“Twelve hours, they won’t freeze,” Tim poked one guy in the gut now bulging prominently above the waistband of his underwear after they’d stolen his uniform.

“Living on too much beer,” Tom agreed.

“A little fried brown bread.”

“With that cheesy mayo-ketchup dip.”

“Syrniki fried curd fritters.”

“With honeyed sour cream?”

“Ah, Russia,” the two Special Operations guys sighed happily in unison.
NOTE: This is actually two recipes in one. I couldn’t find Farmer’s Cheese at first, which Wikipedia lists as “pressed cottage cheese.” So, I pressed low-fat cottage cheese for four hours (which removed about 2 Tablespoons of liquid – probably not worth the effort) and ended up with a very loose batter. Thicker than pancake batter, but still pour-able rather than shape-able. Then we went out and found Farmer’s Cheese (3rd supermarket), but I actually liked the first better (which also was lower fat).

Active Time: 30 minutes / Total Time: 30 minutes

Makes 12 pancakes (and 3-4 is definitely a meal with a little bacon or a smoothie).


  • 16oz Farmer’s Cheese or low-fat Cottage Cheese
  • 3 eggs (if big), 4 eggs (if small)
  • 3/4 c. all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting per below)
  • 3 Tbsp. – sugar (the Russian version looks to be sweeter with less flour and more sugar: 1/2 c. flour to 1/4 c. sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vinegar (white or cider, we preferred the latter)
  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • vegetable oil or extra light olive oil for frying (butter also works)
  • toppings: jam (apricot or blueberry), syrup, powdered sugar (a particularly wonderful addition), honey, sour cream (honey and sour cream, oh yeah!)


  1. Batter:
    1. Farmer’s Cheese variation: beat eggs, sugar, and salt in a bowl, then mix in flour and cheese with a fork.
    2. Cottage Cheese variation: throw first 5 ingredients in blender or food processor. Blend until curds broken up and well mixed (10-15 seconds).
  2. Mix baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl, stir so that it fizzes. Mix into batter.
  3. Stir in raisins. (Don’t blend or they turn to mush.)
  4. Large skillet with 1-2 Tbsp. oil, heated on med-low. (The temperature is critical. These pancakes are going to rise and expand greatly. Even medium heat will burn the outside before the inside is cooked.)
  5. Forming:
    1. Farmer’s Cheese variation:
      1. Dust flour on the counter
      2. Drop 1/4 c. of thick batter onto flour.
      3. Dust with more flour.
      4. Pat down into a disk shape.
      5. Knock off excess flour as you transfer it to pan.
    2. Cottage Cheese variation:
        1. Dollop a scant 1/4 c. into pan.
        2. Slap once with a wet spatula to flatten it into a disk. (If you use a dry spatula, it will stick and make a mess.)
    3. Keep them spaced way apart. The pancakes will at least double in size.
  1. Cook 4-5 minutes per side. Refresh oil between batches. (I found 5 minutes was best. Unlike normal pancakes, don’t  wait for air bubbles that pop and not fill in before flipping. That will be too late for the turn. The edges will look massively underdone up until the final minute. When that goes away, you know the interior needs just one more minute.)
  2. Toppings, and enjoy. (Pretty good zapped in the morning, too.)


Fork drag through Cottage Cheese (pourable batter) Fork drag through Farmer’s Cheese (deep furrow) Better behaved Farmer’s Cheese ones

Sloppy Cottage Cheese ones merging

A few toppings

A lovely plate of Russian scumptiousness
Recipe (printable PDF)

action adventure technothriller buchman

Miranda Chase returns in “Osprey”

Coming September 26th: Her biggest challenge yet!

action adventure technothriller buchman

Russia teeters on the brink of collapse, spoiling for a battle to end all wars. All it needs? One thin excuse.

World War I began with the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. World War II launched with the invasion of Poland. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine didn’t do it—yet.

A close flyby of an American CMV-22 Osprey tiltrotor goes desperately wrong over the North Sea. Will the tipping point for World War III break the moment a favored daughter of the Oligarchy goes down in flames?

When the NSA’s secret military base at Menwith Hill in the UK can’t handle it, they call in Miranda Chase. She and her elite team of air-crash investigators must avert a crisis like none before. A crisis that unravels her past, batters at her autism, and threatens to crush her team in the ultimate grinder of East vs. West.

Pre-order now!

(print and audio [fingers crossed] coming by release date)

Pre-order Now
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