Sunday, August 22, 2010

Welcome Guest Blogger - Kaye Barley

What can I say about Kaye Barley? I just love her to pieces. She's one of the most kind, upbeat, and supportive readers out there. I "met" Kaye on the Dorothy L. listserv way back when... gosh, I can't even remember how long ago that was ... and was extremely excited to find out she planned to attend Bouchercon in Baltimore - her first Bouchercon ever. That meant I would finally get to meet this lovely lady in person. And I did.

Kaye is so great. She reads everything it seems, cozies (yay!), thrillers, suspense, you name it. And she's an avid and loyal fan. Just get her talking about Lee Child...

At the last Bouchercon, in Indianapolis, I was lucky again to meet up with Kaye quite a bit. She won a spot at the MWA-sponsored Hot Ticket events and there wasn't a person who won who was giddier or more grateful than Kaye. She's the best. She hosts a fabulous blog - Meanderings and Muses where she hosts more authors you can imagine an where I've been fortunate to guest.

Please welcome Kaye Barley!

I'm a huge fan of Mystery Lovers' Kitchen, and quite honored to be invited as a guest. Many thanks to my sweet friend Julie for the invitation. Who, by the way, just celebrated her wedding anniversary - Happy Anniversary, Julie!

But I'm not much of a cook, truth be told.

Which does cause me to ponder from time to time a question which has no obvious answer. WHY do I have all these cookbooks?

I am addicted to cookbooks. I have a few favorites from way back and always seem to use the same old standbys over and over. And yet, I keep buying new ones. Silly, really. Especially when it's now so easy to get any recipe you could possibly want by browsing the internet. Including all the scrumptious mouth watering recipes I find right here. Lord knows, I could use the shelf space for something besides all these cookbooks I rarely use; like mystery novels, for instance.


Where was I?

I'm not much of a cook.

But, I do love to bake.

I love all the fun specialty pans put out by Bundt (especially the mini-bundts), and love trying new cake recipes. It's not unusual for me to bake a cake every week when I'm on a roll. But right now we're going through the hottest summer ever here in Boone. And we do not have A/C; few homes here in these mountains have A/C, actually. So, no way am I going to turn on the oven for an hour to an hour and a half until this weather breaks. Check back in February, when we have several inches of snow on the ground. If we haven't lost our power, there's probably a cake in the oven.

But just because it's too hot to bake, the urge doesn't go away, nor does the craving for cake (another addiction, I'm afraid).

Donald reminded me that there's a cake I used to make all the time, but haven't in awhile for some reason. AND it only stays in the oven 15 or 20 minutes. Hooray! Perfect!

It's the ultimate summer cake recipe 'cause it's quite light, and topped with luscious fresh fruit. Let your imagination take over and top this torte with whatever is in season and makes your heart sing. It's easy, it's quick, it's delicious and it's pretty. What more could a gal ask for in a dessert?

My friend Gigi gave me this recipe many years ago. Gigi? If you're out there - we still love this torte, sweetie; Thank You!!

German Fresh Fruit Torte - Obsttorte mit frishem Obst

Grease torte pan carefully, then flour.

Beat 3 eggs on high speed till very foamy.
Add 5 Tbsps. warm water while beating.
Add 1 cup sugar - beat vigorously.
Turn mixer to slower speed and add 1 cup of flour, and 1 tsp. baking powder.
Add 1 tsp. vanilla flavoring (or almond, or rum).
Pour into pan and bake at 350 for 15 or 20 min., till top is lightly golden. Remove to cooling rack immediately.
When completely cool, arrange fruits of your choice as desired.
Use Dr.Oetker (found in your local grocery store) clear glaze over the top.
(if you'd rather make your own glaze, you're on your own - I never have, but I'm sure there are recipes on-line, or even in one of those cookbooks I have . . . )
Top with a big dollop of whipped cream.

Thanks again, ladies of Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. I loved being here!

Kaye Barley is an avid mystery fan. Kaye and her husband Donald, along with their corgi Harley Doodle Barley, live in the beautiful North Carolina mountains. She is also mistress of the Meanderings and Muses blog - - where many writers and fans from the mystery community stop by to play and chat about a wide variety of topics. It's also where Kaye rambles and meanders about whatever might cross her mind on a given day, be it a giggle or a rant.


  1. What a lovely post, Kaye. I, too, collect cookbooks and I'm really more of a baker than a cook. Breads and sweets are my weakness. Your torte looks divine and gives me a fabulous excuse to go buy a specialty pan;-)

  2. Oh, welcome, Kaye! One of my all-time favorite people in the mystery community. And, a person after my own heart, since I'm a baker, and not much of a cook. Like you, I could bake all the time.

    So, thank Donald for reminding you that you did have a special recipe to share with all of us!

    Hugs, Kaye!

  3. Kaye, this is a great summer recipe, quick and easy. I've started collecting a few cookbooks myself. I'm hoping they'll encourage me to cook better. :)

    Thoughts in Progress

  4. Mason - be prepared for your cookbook collection to rapidly increase. It's truly an addiction! but a fun

    Jenn - do you have any of the illustrated Susan Branch cookbooks? oh my. They're treasures. (Along with those wonderful specialty pans!)

    Lesa, my friend! I remember that scrumptious buckeye recipe you did right here. I haven't tried it yet, but it's still in my folder "Mystery Lovers' Kitchen Recipes to try." Hugs to you, sweetie!

  5. Kaye! What a nice surprise and what a lovely recipe. I got a lot of mileage out of your fabulous chocolate Kalua pound cake (good for non-summer heat!)and I know this beautiful cake will be a keeper too. Yum.

    Huge hugs!


    Charlotte Adams mysteries

  6. Kaye, thank you, thank you, thank you for being here with us today! And thanks for the Happy Anniversary wishes!
    That torte is just beautiful and I can't wait to try it. I actually own the right pan for this recipe so it's just a matter of gathering ingredients. Thanks for being here and for all you do to support mystery authors everywhere. You're the best!


  7. MJ! Honey, Hey! Did y'all know Mary Jane used one of my recipes (the chocolate kahlua cake she mentions) in her TOO HOT TO HANDLE? Have any of you read it?! If not - you need to, it's one of my favorites of her books and it is full of great (seriously great) recipes that Fiona Silk is gathering for her erotic cookbook.

  8. oh, Julie. thank you. I love you back, by the way. There's no one sweeter or more deserving of your recent successes and I know you're going to end up having to build an extra room onto your house for all the awards headed your way.

    We've had a surprising little cool wave come through (50s yesterday!), so I am headed to the kitchen to bake. An old fashioned almond pound cake. Tomorrow is meeting day before the first day of classes on Tuesday. Meeting day needs a little treat.

  9. Kaye, love your apron! I have tasted some of Kaye's cakes and let me tell ya, this lady can bake! That recipe not only sounds delicious, but it is also a feast for the eyes. Beautiful!

  10. Great recipe. I think I gained half a pound just looking at the pictures.
    Not everyone can cook. Someone (like me) has to stand around, offer encouraging remarks, and hope to be offered a few nibbles.

  11. I love cookbooks, too! Welcome, Kaye, and what a beautiful cake! yum.

  12. I know what you mean about it being too hot to bake, Kaye. Even though we have air conditioning (couldn't live without in South Florida) I'm not that eager to turn the oven on and heat up the kitchen. But I love those bundt pans like you do & have a collection of them myself.

  13. I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one addicted to cookbooks. I do actually cook out of all of them though. I have to, that's how I justify having them.

  14. Hi Kaye! I enjoyed your post, and the recipe sounds divine. Even though I have celiac disease, I think I can easily adapt it to be gluten-free by using almond flour. I can't wait to try it.

    Please give Harley Doodle Barley a squeeze from me!

  15. oh wow - this is fun.

    Hey Jill! Y'all - meet my friend Jill, one of my neighbors in what has got to be the coolest neighborhood ANYwhere. That apron, by the way, came from our now defunct Appalachian State University Cultural Museum, which I miss something awful.

    Carolyn - I'm with you! Hanging around the kitchen offering encouragement and hoping (begging in my case) for nibbles is the MOST fun!

    Avery & Patti - if you had to choose your one single very favorite cookbook could you do it? What might it be?

    Neil - do you have one of the sunflower pans? I can't find one anywhere!

    Beth! Look at you!!!!! I'm so tickled you dropped by - Thank you. I'm betting almond flour would be delicious. And Harley Doodle Barley sends you licks & grins.

  16. Kaye! That torte looks divine, will have to try it. It was 102 here yesterday but I still baked some brownies with walnuts & coconut. Had to have our chocolate fix irregardless of the heat.

    I too love cookbooks, especially the old church ones. Talk about comfort food recipes, they are full of 'em. When we moved, Louis had to find me a special set of small shelves just for my cookbooks because I will not part with those!

  17. Kay, hi! You amaze me! You always have wonderful things going on in your kitchen! We may move in.

  18. Anytime you get down to TX, come on by! I'd love to cook for you guys :-)

  19. Hi Kaye - It's so nice to see you here in our *virtual* kitchen. Welcome! Great recipe today, especially given the heat. Like you, we've had an endlessly hot and humid summer up here in NYC. The oven hasn't been on much, and by now I’m also longing for cold, snowy days with a roast in the oven and a cake waiting to bake.

    I love that you collect vintage cookbooks and agree with you on the bundt pans. All those shapes and sizes -- so much fun. :)

    On the glaze...I'm happy to share the one I'm going to use with your recipe this week. I created it for a strawberry pie, but now I'm going to try it with your torte -- especially given the bountiful amount of blueberries and peaches that are waiting in my fridge right now. Click here if you're curious to see my recipe. It's in PDF. I’ll just replace the strawberry jam and gelatin in my recipe with peach flavored. Can't wait to make this! Thanks again for joining us today...

    May you cook (and read)
    with joy!

    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  20. Hi, Kaye-- Nice to see you here! The torte looks luscious and just the thing to wind up an unbelievably hot summer.

  21. Welcome, Kaye! Your beautiful mountains are on my must-visit list, and when I come, maybe I'll load up a box of my own vintage cookbooks and we can have a good ol' time comparing! That is, if we can manage to get past talking about our favorite mysteries.

    Thank you for the recipe - it's both beautiful and scrumptious-looking. Can't wait to spring this one on my family.


  22. It's Harley's mama! Oh, Chloe is so excited that you're on the blog today. :) (Kaye and I are both corgi owners, y'all!)

    Oh my goodness, this recipe looks amazing! Thanks so much for sharing this, Kaye! Can't wait to give it a's gorgeous.

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  24. Elizabeth - I was wondering where you and Chloe were today!!!!! smooches to you both!

    Laine - Now this sounds just too fun!!!! Hurry on up here!

    Sandie, hey there!! This is such a fun and easy little recipe - I've fixed it a couple of times in the past couple of weeks. One I piled high with raspberries, kiwi and blueberries.

    Cleo - Thank You!!! This sounds terrific! And thank you again for having me. I just love it here.

  25. Kaye, if you ever need a taste tester, you just let me know...looks scrumptious! Might mean more time on the treadmill, but I think it's worth it!! :-)

  26. Your torte is gorgeous Kaye. Who needs to cook when you can bake like that?