Tuesday, July 22, 2014

4 MUSTS for Your Summer Cookouts and a Billionaire recipe for Coffee-Marinated Steak from Cleo Coyle

Five years ago this week, I joined a wonderful group of crime-writing cooks in the launch of a brand new blog called Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. I'm thrilled to see the blog is still going strong, and I continue to wish my fellow bloggers (past and present) a very Happy Anniversary! 

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.
Last Tuesday, I updated you on one of our past members, Julie Hyzy. If you missed that post, click here. She's got a new release that you'll learn about, along with a few memories (and recipes) from our early years.

My own anniversary post today is a little like Julie's. I thought it would be fun to look back in time to my very first recipe for Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. Of course it involved coffee.

To read my very first post for Mystery Lovers' Kitchen, click here. Or download a free PDF of the recipe by clicking the link below...

Click here for the PDF of the very first recipe
I shared five years ago here at MLK.
This look back in time to my steak BBQ started me thinking about summer cookouts in general and your summer cookouts in particular. What are your favorite cookout foods? To find out, I created a poll. I invite you to answer this question:

What 4 things are a MUST
for your Summer Cookouts? 


Read my

and get a new recipe

My "Billionaire BBQ" book
giveaway drawing is now over. 

Congrats to my winner...

Tracy Fitzwater!

Stay tuned for more chances to win
brand new (signed) copies of
my latest Coffeehouse Mystery...

Billionaire Blend

Is the billionaire a victim?
Or a master of murder?

On sale in its new
paperback edition
August 5th!

Cheers and enjoy your
summer cookouts, 

~ Cleo

Our Photo Contest!

P.S. To celebrate our Fifth Anniversary, we had a fun photo contest.

To see all the fun photo entries, click here
and scroll down. To see our winners, click here.


  1. I went with Burgers, Hot Dogs, Steak, and S'Mores. Got to have dessert after all.

    carstairs38 at gmail

  2. I chose Burgers, Chicken, Steak and Other (bratwursts!). On any given night our grilled dinner is usually the brats, plus one of the others. Steak and brats are awesome together, btw.

  3. I chose burgers, hot dogs, corn and watermelon. Although we do other things too. Depends on how hot it is and who we're having over.

  4. I chose the things most likely to be at our cookout--steak, beer, potato salad, and cole slaw. We would have more though. I already own your book, but I enjoy your posts and books.

  5. I chose hot dogs, potato salad, corn and watermelon. Of course that's what I like hubby would go with the burgers.
    momzillasteel at gmail dot com

  6. I have Billionaire Blend in hardcover, so I don't need to enter the contest.
    But a very happy anniversary to you all.
    Here's to many, many more!

  7. Hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad and watermelon...when do we eat? :)

    patucker54 at aol dot com

  8. I voted for burgers, ribs, watermelon and brats. But I love corn on the cob also. And the baked beans and potato salads are always good too. And chicken. And shrimp. And....


  9. There's so much that I love about cooking out! burgers with potato salad, brats and hotdogs with baked beans. yum! thanks for having the contest!

  10. It was hard to pick out just four!

  11. I chose my favorites. And I'm a corn snob, so in an ideal world, the water would be put on to boil before the corn was picked from the garden. These days I reluctantly settle for the freshest from the farm stand.

  12. I choose hot dogs, potato salad, watermelon, and my pasta salad. My pasta salad is a must have during the summer months.

  13. Had to choose steak, corn on the cob, potato salad and beer. Of course being in Fl we can have a cookout just any time of the year.


  14. Steak, steak and more steak, plus sweet corn, plus baked bean, plus . . . but can't leave out my son's wonderful special baked potatoes. Slices and seasons them, cooks up a little crisp bacon to add while serving - yum. Everything is better on the grill. Thanks for the chance to win.

  15. Salmon, Sweet Corn, Pasta Salad and Watermelon. Mouthwatering and perfect. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  16. Happy Anniversary on the blog. I chose 4, but really like to do all sorts of things on the grill. I guess we just like variety and don't want to cook inside in the summer.

  17. Happy Anniversary! Lovely posts each day and summery fare. Veggies, Cole Slaw, Lamb Burgers and Watermelon. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  18. Truthfully I think you have to have potato salad at a BBQ, but I've never liked potato salad, lol! So I went with burgers, hot dogs, baked beans, and beer. (I like to have sangria or wine for the ladies, too.)

  19. Ready to grill. Sending steak recipe to my coffee loving brother. Bobbipad@gmail.com

  20. Happy 5th Anniversary! I choose burgers, coleslaw, grilled veggies and watermelon! your1chef at aol.com

  21. Hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob and watermelon are what I need.
    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  22. Thanks to each and every one of you for taking my poll and joining in the fun! I am thoroughly enjoying your personal cookout menus, including suggestions for "off the menu" items that are a must for you and/or your family. Keep the comments coming... Like the Terminator, I'll be back!

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  23. Burgers, chicken, hotdogs love to cookout.

    xzjh04@ gmail.com

  24. burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, watermelon
    Told a friend

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  25. I can't believe beer has only gotten 4% of the votes. Yinz guys have never been to one of my cookouts...

    Besides beer, I picked hamburgers, hotdogs, and potato salad. If I'd have had a fifth choice it might have been ham barbecues with Isaly's Chipped Ham.

  26. Hot dogs, burgers, corn, and watermelon are musts. I'm not toooo adventurous with the bbq yet. Thed.elrae[@]gmail.com

  27. Think one of our favorite grilled meals at home is chicken marinated Italian dressing & then grilled. Side dishes really doesn't matter. We also like steak, ribs, and hamburgers. Hot dogs are ok - in fact, I really only like hot dogs when they are grilled.
    I did do the survey.
    donna dot durnell at sbcglobal dot net

  28. To me the must haves are burgers, corn on the cob, watermelon, and (I added) potato chips! Beer and wine coolers are also nice!

    cozyupwithkathy at gmail dot com

  29. To me, there's nothing better than a hot dog on a grill. And I love mine burnt black! This series sounds like one I'd like.

  30. I love this book and this series. Cleo Coyle rocks! areewekidding@yahoo.com

  31. Burgers, hot dogs, corn, watermelon are my top 4.

  32. As an avid coffee drinker, this series is one of my favorites! carter.karen@gmail.com

  33. I love hot dogs, but I've never had lobster. West coast girl, I suppose! tfitzh20@gmail.com

  34. Bar-b-q chicken, corn, potato salad and watermelon.... Oh and can't forget the homemade ice cream. afarage (at) earthlink.net

  35. I guess we are not the most typical family with cooking hamburgers and hot dogs, as we have a vegetarian or two among us so we make meals so that there are plenty of items for the non meat eaters too. Corn is purchased locally and we cook it hours after it is picked and we love to have fresh veggie kabobs too some with sirloin steak pieces too. Love watermelon and ice cream for dessert. I had eaten dinner and from thinking about all of these wonderful food items, I feel like I need a snack. :) I would love to have a paperback copy of Billionaire Blend as someone "borrowed" my hard cover and I have not ever gotten it back, and I really wanted to save this one, as it was read for our book club one month this year.

  36. Corn on the Cob, Potato Salad, Coleslaw & Watermelon! I couldn't decide which 'meat', but will always enjoy something grill roasted. If I win this book, I will gift it to my brother who loves mysteries...and food, to introduce you! Thanks

    1. Forgot to mention my brother's birthday is August 4th, the day before Happy Release Day!

  37. Burgers, Chicken, Potato Salad and Beer! Yum!

  38. I picked burgers, hot dogs, potato salad and sweet corn on the cob......and now I'm hungry!! Excited for the chance to try to win a copy of the book!!!

  39. Steaks on the grill are my favorite. Love this series, although I think I care for your haunted bookshop series a little better:)

  40. burgers & hot dogs......yummz!!!
    potato salad.......corn on the cob!!!!


    cyn209 at juno dot com

  41. Love the summer, love the series and the recipes from the MLK ladies!

  42. It is hard to choose only 4!! I chose burgers, chicken, watermelon, and corn in the cob. Buhad to leave off steak, lobster tail, BBQ beans, potato salad.......

  43. Steak,ribs,potato salad and beer sound good. Happy Anniversary!!!

  44. I added limeade as an option.

  45. Other fresh strawberry lemonade

  46. Nothing beats summer bbqs!!!

  47. Love Grilled Fish and Veggies.

  48. I like turkey or brisket in the smoker for the day, and those amazing aromas that trigger hunger. Also, a fruit skewer of whatever is in season. For the Fourth, I used watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, honeydew wrapped in prosciutto, and grapes.

  49. I think I saw this too late - but I voted anyway! I added brats to the Other box - here in Ohio, we are big on grilling bratwurst. Hey, at least I didn't go with goetta - no one outside this area even knows what that is. :)

  50. Thanks to everyone for your wonderful comments! I had a great time reading about your favorite summer cookout foods (on and off my poll menu). I'm leaving my poll open all week, so feel free to continue taking it. I'll be discussing the results of your voting, including your "off the menu" suggestions, in my blog post next week.

    In the meantime, I’m delighted to congratulate the winner of the random drawing for a signed copy of my latest Coffeehouse Mystery: BILLIONAIRE BLEND (in its brand new paperback format)…

    Tracy Fitzwater

    Congrats, Tracy, I hope you enjoy the book!

    May you all eat (and read) with the joy of summer…

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter www.CleoCoyleRecipes.com