Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Almost Valentine's Day!

From Avery Aames:

Happy almost Valentine's Day. 

First, thanks to all of my fans for buying TO BRIE OR NOT TO BRIE this past week. I've had the best sales ever in the series! Charlotte and the gang thank you, too. Whee.

Now...we've had lots of posts for chocolate this week, and I won't disappoint. I will post some of my all-time favorite chocolate recipes that I've shared before. 

But first, you need a meal, right?  A romantic meal with candlelight and perhaps some protein in the mix? 

There's nothing I like more than romance. Not even chocolate. I love candlelight. 

An intimate conversation. 

Holding hands, possibly just glancing fingertips. 

A sip of wine. 

A stolen kiss. I know, I sound like I'm writing for a romance novel, but I like including a little romance in all of my books.

In TO BRIE OR NOT TO BRIE, my latest Cheese Shop Mystery, there's an upcoming wedding. In addition, Charlotte has an intimate meal with Jordan, the brush of his fingertips on her cheek. A picnic in the park while watching a production of Hamlet, open-aire. 

All very romantic. All to set the mood because someone who wasn't romantic, who wasn't a good man, comes to town and dies. The contrast is vital. 

Do you like a romantic meal? Do you like a little romance in your mystery? When is a mystery "too romantic"?  

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

In the meantime, here's a lovely dinner salad to start your evening.

Serve with champagne or a crisp pinot grigio.


For the Poached Pears:

2 firm Bosc pears, sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Zinfandel wine (or a hearty dry red wine)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Bosc pears can keep their peels. So slice each pear into 8 slices.
In a saucepan over high heat, bring the sugar, water, wine, lemon juice and spices to a boil.
Add the pears and simmer 5-10 minutes until tender, turning the pears often.
Remove from heat. Cool pears in their syrup.

For the salad:

Bib lettuce
Bleu cheese slices (I used one slice each of Point Reyes blue and Roaring 40's blue)
Poached pears (recipe above)

Lay 2-3 pieces of bib lettuce on a salad or dinner plate. Arrange cooled pears, 3-5 per plate. Arrange 2 slices of bleu cheese on either side of the pears. Decorate with raspberries. Drizzle with the cooled "pear" syrup.

*Remember to take a bite of the cheese with the pears and raspberries. The salt (from the cheese) and sugar combo is supreme!

And now...for all you chocolate lovers. Enjoy the next portion!! The links are right below the pictures.

A chocolate truffle cake, ala Ruth's Chris Steak House (tweaked to double-ensure wheat free).

Shared a few weeks ago: A chocolate ganache cake. Super decadent.

A Valentine's Chocolate and Cheese Platter: I used a variety of cheddars

Say cheese!

* * * * * * *

The 4th in A Cheese Shop Mystery series: 
February 2013.

You can order the book HERE. 

Click this link to watch the TRAILER

Click this link to read an EXCERPT.

Click this link to hear a PODCAST

You can learn more about me, Avery, by clicking this link.

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Also, you probably know by now about my alter ego,
DARYL WOOD GERBER...and her new series
debuts July 2013

"Like" Daryl's page on Facebook and "follow" Daryl on Twitter.
"She" doesn't say all the same things "Avery" does. Promise.

Say cheese!


  1. So happy for your great book launch Avery! May the sales only grow...

    I love blue cheese so this sounds great to me...

  2. Maybe it's the snow and cold or the suggestive nature of Valentine's Day, but I am ravenously craving chocolate this week, and you've really got my jones-ing with your V-Day lineup, Avery, especially that chocolate truffle cake. On the romance, I must say I like candlelight; it hides the wrinkles. :)

    Happy Valentine's to you, and continued congrats on the success of To Brie or Not to Brie!

    ~ Cleo

  3. Lucy and Cleo, I do love blue cheese. I do love chocolate. Hmmm. And candlelight, yes, better on the eyes LOL

    Thanks to you both.

    Daryl aka Avery

  4. Great post, Avery/Daryl! Mouth-watering and romantic - what a combo.


  5. Hah! I'm with Cleo. Can't get enough chocolate. I'm blaming it on the weather.

    Doesn't everyone like a little bit of romance?


  6. MJ, mouthwatering, definitely!

    Krista, if it's the weather, how can I explain a chocolate fixation in Los Angeles? Oh, wait, we've been waking up to 30 degree temps. That's good enough, right?

    Hugs to all. Daryl aka Avery