Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pop goes the Weasel

From Daryl / Avery: You’ve probably heard by now that my new protagonist in A COOKBOOK NOOK MYSTERY series isn't much of a cook. Jenna is a recovering ad executive. She was responsible for the Poppity Pop Popcorn ad and so many more. She’s a marketing wizard.

Back in high school, Jenna tried an angel food cake from scratch in high school. Disaster. She can make a boxed cake mix and meatloaf and such. Why create a clueless cook in a serie set in a cookbook shop?

My mom. She graduated college early, at the age of 19, and was a genius at just about anything she tried to do, but she’d never learned to cook. Her mother did all of it. I found letters from my mother to her grandmother, after she married my father, and she was giddy that she was learning to cook.  She’d dared to make a green Jell-O with pineapple. Wow! And she’d made a meatloaf. Superb. It was so sweet reading these darling letters. I wanted to create a character with that kind of fresh joy while learning in the kitchen.

This recipe for cheese popovers is something Jenna could make. Because they’re so pretty, popovers can seem daunting, but they’re not. You can make these with regular flour, but I made these gluten-free so any of my readers that need to eat GF can enjoy them, too.  I did invest in a popover cooking pan, which made them even easier to bake, though I tried them in a cupcake pan and that worked pretty well.

Remember to really grease the individual cups so the popovers, um, POP out.

PS  Poppity Pop Popcorn – fictional, just like the town where the Cookbook Nook Mysteries is set – Crystal Cove, California…somewhere along the Central Coast. It's so beautiful! The scent of the sea, a coastal breeze!



3 eggs
¼ cup heavy cream
1 cup 1%-2%  milk
1 1/4 cups sweet rice flour and potato starch mixture, sifted
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white or black pepper
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded


Preheat oven to 400°F.

Generously butter 6 cups in a popover pan or 6 six-ounce custard-style cups.

In a large bowl, beat eggs well with mixer. Stir in the milk and cream.

Add gluten-free flour, xanthan gum, and spices, and beat until smooth.

Stir in melted butter. {This will be gooey batter, like biscuit batter.}

Fill cups 1/2 full with batter. Top with cheese (about 2 tablespoons each) and add remaining batter.

(Note: if you want to make these regular, change the flour to your regular brand and don't include xanthan gum!)

Bake 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 275 degrees and bake another 5-10 minutes, until deep golden brown. These are luscious right out of the oven. Like all gluten-free breads, they get a little “doughy” by day two if kept in the refrigerator. However, I kept them out of the fridge, wrapped in foil, and the next day reheated them in a 200 degree oven for about 10 minutes. They were delish!

*I made these without the cheese and they were delicious, too. Fluffy.

* * * *

Daryl Wood Gerber also writes as Avery Aames, 
author of the Agatha Award-winning,
nationally bestselling CHEESE SHOP MYSTERY SERIES 

The 1st in A Cookbook Nook Mystery series is coming July 2013!!
You can pre-order the book HERE.

The 4th in A Cheese Shop Mystery series is out
You can order the book HERE. 

You can learn more about me, Daryl by clicking this LINK. "Like" my page on Facebook and "follow" me on TwitterAnd if you haven't done so, sign up for the mailing list
 so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests! Also, you probably know by now about my alter ego, Avery Aames. Chat with Avery on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. Funny--I recall popovers from my childhood as one of the bigger challenges of cooking, not because of the ingredients (simple), but because it was important to have a very hot pan, preferably cast iron, and a hot oven. Otherwise you'd end up with doughy lumps--no "pop"! These sound tasty!

    1. Sheila, I remember my grandmother heating the pan for Yorkshire pudding. It had to have hot oil in it and then put in the Yorkshire. Same concept.

      These didn't need the heating but I bet it wouldn't "hurt." :)

      Daryl / Avery

  2. Oooooh, I love popovers. I'm off to dig out my heavy pan and try this!

  3. I don't know if it's still there, but there used to be a restaurant in New York that specialized in popovers. Such a fun place! I haven't made popovers in ages. Must try again. The pan is probably lonely.


  4. I don't know if it's still there, but there used to be a restaurant in New York that specialized in popovers. Such a fun place! I haven't made popovers in ages. Must try again. The pan is probably lonely.


  5. Krista, if there is, I'd like to find it. For my son. He would love a place like that.

    Isn't it amazing how many pans in a kitchen can get lonely? Perhaps they need an online dating service??? Recipe match dot com. LOL

    Daryl / Avery

  6. Avery/Daryl - I loved hearing about your mom and the letters she wrote. What a touching inspiration to the creation of your new mystery series. Looking forward to its launch this summer.

    LOL on the Recipe - I think Krista's popover pan and my popover pan ought to get together. My pan has been hanging in the kitchen, just waiting for your recipe. How did you know?

    On the NYC restaurant, I think Krista is remembering the Popover Cafe on the Upper West's still there, so your son can pop in anytime. :)

    ~ Cleo

    1. Cleo, great info. Will tell my son.

      And re: the pans. May it be a perfect "match." (Fiddler...)



  7. Great recipe, Daryl/Avery! I love that you give both gluten free and regular versions.

    Your new series sounds like so much fun - can't wait!