Running a bed and breakfast like Wits’ End is a dream job, even if I do have to wake up at an ungodly hour to cook for my guests. Because. . . breakfast! It’s the most important meal of the day and in my opinion the best. I won’t say a successful B&B is all about the coffee cake, but it sure helps.
After the guests and I are fortified with a hearty morning meal, I deal with checkouts and housekeeping. Cleaning rooms is one of the less glamorous aspects of being a B&B owner. Plotting breakfast while I dust the photos of UFOs on the walls makes it better. But the drudgery is more than made up for by the interesting guests we attract.
You see, Wits’ End isn’t just a bed and breakfast. It’s a UFO-themed B&B in the Sierra foothills. Not every guest is a UFO aficionado. And some are startled when they see the crashed UFO in the Victorian’s shingled roof. But enough are interested in little green men to keep my friend Arsen busy leading them on night hikes, scanning the stars. And before stumbling up and down mountains in the dark, well, you can see why breakfast might be an important element of my brand.
But back to my day. Afternoons are my free time, when I run personal errands, deal with the dead guest in room seven, or just relax.
Yeah, about that dead guest in room seven.
Finding him was definitely not a normal day in the life. But lately the mystery of how he died seems to have been eating up all my time. Between the FBI agent who’s acting suspiciously like a Man in Black and a sheriff with anger management issues, it’s taken all my organizational skills to juggle my B&B duties and keep a subtle eye on the murder investigation.
With all that going on, can you blame me for obsessing about eggs and bacon? Hm. . . Maybe I’ll whip up a batch of cinnamon banana bread instead of coffee cake tomorrow. . .
Cinnamon-Streusel Banana Bread
Liquid-y Ingredients for Bread Batter
2 eggs, large
1 C overripe mashed bananas (it’s okay, even preferable, if they’re a bit brown and mushy – this is what old bananas are made for!)
3/4 C sugar
1/3 C canola or vegetable oil
1/2 C plain Greek yogurt
Dry Ingredients for Bread Batter
1 3/4 C whole wheat flour flour
1/4 C cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C white flour
1/2 C brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 C butter, cut into chunks
Here’s How to Make the Bread!
Pre-heat your oven to 350°F. While the oven’s heating, grease a 9×5 inch bread pan.
Bread Batter: Whisk the liquid ingredients (eggs, bananas, sugar, oil, and yogurt) in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients for the bread batter (flour, cornstarch, baking powder, cinnamon and salt) to the liquid mixture. Taking care not to overmix, gently fold the ingredients together.
Streusel topping: In a separate, medium-sized bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Using your fingertips, massage the butter into the mixture until crumbly.
Pour the batter into the greased bread pan. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top of the batter. This is gonna be delish!
Bake the bread for 55-60 minutes, or it passes the toothpick test: stick a toothpick into it, and if it comes out clean, you’re good! If not, give the bread a little more time.
Read more about Susan in At Wits’ End, the first book in the Doyle cozy mystery series.
When Susan Witsend inherits her grandmother’s UFO-themed B&B, she’s ready to put her organizational skills to the test. She knows she can make the B&B work, even if there is a faux-UFO in the roof. After all, what’s not to love about a Victorian nestled in the high Sierra foothills? None of her carefully crafted policies and procedures, however, can prepare her for a corpse in room seven – the body of her small-town sheriff’s ex-husband. But Susan has her own plans to solve the crime.
In Susan’s mind, Men in Black, conspiracy-crazed old ladies, and an angry sheriff are just part and parcel of catering to UFO enthusiasts. But is there a government conspiracy afoot? Or is the murder a simple case of small town vengeance?
Susan must keep all her wits about her. Because the killer isn’t finished, and if she isn’t careful, her fate may be written in the stars. . .
Breakfast recipes in the back of the book!
# # # # # # # # # # #
About the author
Kirsten Weiss worked overseas for nearly twenty years in the fringes of the former USSR, Africa, and South-east Asia. Her experiences abroad sparked an interest in the effects of mysticism and mythology, and how both are woven into our daily lives.
Now based in San Mateo, CA, she writes genre-blending steampunk suspense, urban fantasy, and mystery, mixing her experiences and imagination to create a vivid world of magic and mayhem.
Kirsten has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine. Sign up for her newsletter to get free updates on her latest work at kirstenweiss.com.
All comments are welcomed.