Sunday, June 17, 2018

Welcome Guest Nora Page & Pimento Cheese Biscuits #bookgiveaway


LESLIE: Always a delight to welcome a new guest to the Kitchen, especially one with a new series! Today's guest, Nora Page, writes the Bookmobile Mysteries, set in Catalpa Springs, Georgia. And she takes her biscuits as seriously as her protagonist, librarian Cleo Watkins, takes a due date.

I have such fond memories of my childhood bookmobile that I'd read this for the nostalgia alone -- but I suspect the humor and the food would keep me coming back!

She is also the author of the Santa Fe Cafe Mysteries, written as Ann Myers. 

One luck reader will win a signed hardcover of Better Off Read. Leave a comment below for a chance to win! 

Pimento-Cheese Biscuits by Nora Page

Many thanks to Leslie and the Mystery Lovers Kitchen crew for inviting me to guest post! I love recipes and include one in each of my mysteries, so this was a fun post to think about (and to 
taste test).

The Bookmobile Mysteries star septuagenarian librarian Cleo Watkins. Cleo has a lot on her plate in the first book, Better Off Read. A toppled tree takes her main library out of circulation, and the mayor threatens to shelve the damaged building permanently. Then a patron is killed, and Cleo steps in to help catalog clues.

Cleo’s busy, but that doesn’t stop her from enjoying some good southern food. She’s a skilled cook and a master of biscuits. I, however, have long searched for the perfect biscuit recipe. My mother makes raised biscuits with yeast. They’re fabulous, don’t get me wrong! I also have a go-to drop-biscuit recipe. They’re easy and good, but not “the one.”

The pimento-cheese biscuits I’m sharing today have the elements I crave. They rise high and pull apart in buttery layers. That’s a key: a good helping of butter. I acknowledge this after years of searching for the unicorn that is the health-food biscuit.

Cleo would argue these biscuits do qualify as a healthy treat. Pimento is a vegetable… She’d slather on extra butter or pimento cheese or smother them in sausage gravy.  

Do you have a recipe quest? Any favorite food you wish you could perfect at home or already have? I’d love to hear about it!  

Nora will choose one lucky reader to win for a signed hardcover of Better Off Read(US addresses only.) Leave a comment below for a chance -- the winner will be chosen on Wednesday, June 20.)

Pimento-Cheese Biscuits

Makes about a dozen small biscuits, using a 2½ inch round biscuit cutter.

Biscuit tips: Keep everything cold. If your kitchen is warm, stash ingredients and even mixing bowls in the fridge until you’re ready to use them.

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon table salt
½ teaspoon paprika or mild red-chile powder (optional)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced into ¼ inch cubes, plus 1½ tablespoon melted butter
¾ cup buttermilk
¼ cup pimento, drained and diced  
¾ cup grated cheddar cheese

Directions

Preheat your oven to 425°F with a rack positioned in the middle.

Whisk together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the cold butter cubes and work them in using a pastry cutter or, better yet, your fingers. You’re aiming for a mostly sandy texture but also leave some pea-sized buttery lumps and flakes, which will help make layers. Reserve the cheese for a later folding step.

Get your fingers floury. Work the butter in by hand.

Make a well in your dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk and pimentos and gently mix and knead until you have a shaggy dough. As in all stages, try not to overwork the dough. Turn it onto a floured counter and roll into an approximately 12-inch square.

Now to the folding, which also makes layers. Fold the lower third of the square to the middle, like folding a business letter.

Fold the dough like a letter.

Next, fold the upper third up the middle too. You’ll have a rectangle. Fold this the same way: up from the bottom (of the long end) and down from the top, creating a stubby square with layers.


The folded square. It doesn’t have to be pretty or perfect.

Reroll the dough out to another 12-inch square. Sprinkle on the cheese and lightly press it into the dough. Repeat the folding steps above (make a letter, then a square). Roll out to another 12-inch square.  


Don’t forget the cheese (as I have done, although those were good biscuits too).

You’re ready to cut! Before you do, some tips on preserving your layers: Use a sharp biscuit cutter or knife. The rim of a glass or a dull cutter could squish the sides and stop your layers from rising. Cut straight down and up. Don’t turn and twist the cutter. If you have scraps, gently gather them together and knead, roll, and cut. For fewer scraps, cut your biscuits into squares.



Transfer your biscuits to a parchment-lined or oil-sprayed baking sheet, spaced about an inch apart. Brush with the melted butter.


Bake until golden, about 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Let cool for a few minutes if you can stand to wait and then serve.



 Take time to breathe in the cheesy, buttery aroma.




Nora Page enjoys rainy weather, the perfect biscuit, and quiet evenings in with her husband and cat. You can often find her in the company of books. Stop by and visit at her website . You can follow Nora on Facebook or Instagram 

As Ann Myers, she is also the author of the Santa Fe Cafe Mysteries. 

Better Off Read is available for order from your favorite local bookstore or online at Amazon



131 comments:

  1. Anything with cheese is worth trying. I have never met a cheesy recipe I didn't like.
    seffichinchilla@outlook.com

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    1. Hi, Sue. I agree! And if the recipe doesn't have cheese, I always consider adding it. Thanks for commenting!

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    2. Sounds yummy. Hoping to bake soon! Thanks

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  2. I never thought to put pimento in biscuits! I will need to try this.
    debprice60@gmail.com

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    1. Hi, Deb. I hope you enjoy them if you give the recipe a try. Roasted green chiles are also good.

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  3. That sounds like such a delicious biscuit. I have been trying to perfect Thai Green Curry. My problem is that I don't think that the curry pastes that are sold taste quite right and so I am still playing around with how to make my own paste for the dish. I have enjoyed all of my attempts but just not quite gotten it right.
    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Hi Lil, Oops, please ignore my deleted reply above. I should have had biscuits this morning and maybe I'd be typing better. I was intending to say, I agree with you about curries. I've tried them too and there's always something not quite right or a key ingredient I can't find. I had better luck with a Thai salad recently. It is fun to try, though, and I bet your recipes were tasty.

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  4. I can't make a decent biscuit to save my soul - just don't have that touch. Makes me crazy!

    pjcoldren[at]tm.net

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    1. This is how I was feeling forever too! Using recipes with a lot of butter helped me, with biscuits and pie crusts (I can still never trust that my pie crusts will come out right, though).

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  5. Thanks for the chance to win. This series looks great. ckmbeg@gmail(dot)com

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  6. Biscuits are so soothing. With tea perfect and delectable. I cannot bake worth anything. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Soothing is a great way to describe biscuits!

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  7. Your book is a delight as are your yummy biscuits. Thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. Sounds wonderful. cheers (at) MarjimManor (dot) com

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  9. Love the recipe...most importantly I am looking forward to reading your new mystery Better Off Read! Thanks for the tasty recipe & I love pimento's!
    cmeier2001@live.com

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    1. Thanks, I hope you enjoy the book and the biscuits if you get a chance to try them!

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  10. I love, love, love pimiento cheese, and I will definitely be making these biscuits! Thanks so much for visiting Mystery Lovers' Kitchen and sharing your recipe, and I'm looking forward to reading Better Off Read ~ bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

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    1. Thanks, Celia! It's a thrill to visit Mystery Lovers' Kitchen! There are so many recipes here I want to make.

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  11. Those biscuits look yummy! I’d love to read that book especially since the pug on the cover looks like my Pugsly!! njcar22(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Aw, Pugsly--what a cute name! Thanks for commenting!

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  12. I can't claim to be a cheese biscuit fan, but I love the sound of your book. Thank you for the chance! mbradeen@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks, Marla! I did accidentally make these without cheese on a test run and they were still tasty. I'm a huge cheese fan so I couldn't believe I'd done that.

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  14. These look divine. I love biscuits.
    I would like to make perfect gravy every time.
    Sjgolding@sbcglobal.net

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    1. Thanks, Shelia! Perfect gravy can be tricky, I agree.

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  15. Yumm. Must try. And must read the book. :). pammbr2003@yahoo.com.

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    1. Thanks, Patricia! I hope you enjoy the recipe and book if you get a chance to try them.

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  16. Always looking for a new series to read. And great recipes too.

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  17. The book and biscuits both look great. I'm on the quest for the perfect vindaloo. Thanks for the chance to win. Dmskrug3 at hotmail dot com

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    1. Thanks, Daniele! Vindaloo would be wonderful to perfect. Yum!

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  18. My father would have loved these! He loved everything that had pimentos in it. I'd probably go without. They look yummy.
    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  19. Interesting receipe. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom

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  20. I had never heard of these and being from the South I can't believe I haven't. Sooo...I will be making these real soon and love the title and hope to read soon. Thanks for the chance to win.

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    1. Thanks--I hope you enjoy them and the book!

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  21. Wow...these look good...something to nibble on while reading your book!

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    1. Thanks, Renee. Biscuits great for nibbling on when reading.

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  22. I know with all these names I do not have a chance but I will give it a try I would very much love to have this books. One thing in this world I love is books and fun mystery. Have a awesome day.

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    1. Hi, Judy. I know, I don't think I've ever won a drawing, but it is a random selection and still pretty good odds! Hope you're having a great day too!

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  23. I must not all the boxes because it always says delete and I keep forgetting to hit reply. Sorry.

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    1. I think it came through okay, Judy. I keep hovering my finger dangerously near the 'sign out' button and am afraid that one of these times I'll hit it by mistake.

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  24. I do love biscuits and pimiento cheese but haven't tried making either. I did make drop biscuits years ago but let's face it: raised are much better! Mom used to make those and we kids would eat the cold leftover biscuits hours later.
    patdupuy@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi, Pat. Pimento cheese would be the best topping on these!

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  25. I loved your book! I'm anxious to try out your pimento-cheese biscuits--they look delicious. What a handsome cat you have, by the way.

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    1. Thank you, Jane! My cat sends his thanks for the compliment too!

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  26. Would love to read the book the recipe is simply fantastic
    gloriawalshver@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks! I hope you enjoy the biscuits and the book if you get a chance to try them.

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  27. This recipe sounds really awesome. I'm new to learning about you as an author and am adding your book to my wish list :) Happy book release.

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    1. Thanks so much for adding my book to your wish list, Jean, and for your release-day wishes! The Kindle version came out earlier this month so I got to celebrate two book birthdays.

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  28. These pimento cheese biscuits do sound yummy, thanks for the recipe and the giveaway! lclee59(at)centurylink(dot)net

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Connie!

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  29. I'm drooling just reading about those biscuits---and the picture just made me want to reach into the computer and grab one.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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    1. Thanks, Sue! I wish they were still in my kitchen too. Chatting about them today has made me hungry for biscuits and baking.

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  30. I'm trying this out today! The Mr said he'd love them for Father's Day. Thank you for the recipe and Better Off Read sounds great, I'm adding it to my TBR. konecny7(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I hope he enjoys them, Marci! Happy Father's Day to him and all the dads out there.

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  31. Pimento-Cheese Biscuits sounds delightful, and the pictures looks yummy (of the biscuits). I don't cook or bake much anymore (I work 3rd shift and just don't feel like baking/cooking). Thank goodness a family member likes to do this. Thank you for the recipe and giveaway. myrifraf (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Having a baker in the family is great, Jen! My husband recently learned how to make cakes, which makes me feel like the luckiest person around. Unfortunately, he then went on a diet...

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  32. I’d like to make homemade bread that’s my quest. Your biscuits sound delicious. I’d love to win your book. I can’t wait to read it soon.donamaekutska7@gmail.com

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    1. Bread has long been on my quest list too, Donamae. Have you tried the no-knead kind? I was skeptical at first, but the results can be amazing.

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  33. Diane Slonski dlkdls318@att.netJune 17, 2018 at 2:01 PM

    Always looking for new authors to follow. Can't wait to try recipe. thanks

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    1. Thanks, Diane! I'm so happy for this guest spot!

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  34. This sounds like a 'yummy' cozy, thank you for the chance to win a copy.

    wfnren at aol dot com

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    1. Thanks, Wendy. My main character does like a good meal and especially dessert.

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  35. I love following new authors who write cozy mysteries. Your recipe is something I would definitely try. Thank you for the chance to win. Have a great day!

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    1. Thanks, Cheryl. It's great to meet cozy readers! Thanks for commenting.

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  36. Here's to libraries, be they large or small, stationary or on wheels.
    Oh, foods are good, too!
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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  37. We southerners love our biscuits! We usually have the dropped ones with buttermilk in them.
    browninggloria at hotmail dot com

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    1. Buttermilk is so good in all sorts of recipes, isn't it. I have a recipe for buttermilk ice cream I keep meaning to try.

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  38. I appreciate your comment about using a sharp-edged biscuit cutter so as to maintain the buttery layers. Sometimes I simply cut the dough with a knife into more or less regular size rectangles or squares, leaving no leftover dough to re-roll and re-fold. Lazy but efficient way to achieve biscuit nirvana! I loved your book and can’t wait for the second in the series.

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    1. Thank you so much, Carol! I'm delighted you enjoyed Better Off Read. Good tactic of cutting the dough for optimal biscuits too. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  39. How did I not hear about this series before? I love anything about libraries. bookworm dot walters at gmail dot com

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    1. I love anything library too! Thanks for commenting!

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  40. Thanks for the recipe. The book sounds really good. Would love to read it.
    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks, Faith! My library had the book (without me pestering them to buy it, even), so maybe it's making it's way into libraries too. I hope!

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  41. It’s always exciting to start a new series. To experience the growth and change of a new set of characters. Can’t wait to read this one.

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    1. It is fun to develop a whole new world of characters and places! Thanks for commenting!

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  42. Would love to start this series. Sounds great. I am making pimento cheese today for sandwiches. Might have to try biscuits

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    1. Yum! My husband (whom I met in Louisiana) recently shocked me by revealing he doesn't like pimento cheese. I'll have to change his mind on this...

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  43. These sound good. I may have to wait ahwile to ty them. It is getting to be the “I can’t bake because it’s too hot” season!

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    1. I totally understand that. It's been so hot lately that we've only been cooking on the stove

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  44. I have a biscuit recipe that I have perfected that is wonderful. My "secret" is that I freeze the butter overnight. Congratulations on the new series!

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    1. Email is aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

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    2. Good tip! I am never a good long-term baking planner but I'll have to try that.

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  45. I would love to win. I love a good mystery that based on food.

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. I can never resist adding some food...must be because I'm always thinking about lunch.

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  46. The biscuits look yummy! I love the Santa Re series and look forward to trying this one.
    stclairck@gmail.com

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    1. I'm so glad you liked the Santa Fe series! I'm hoping Santa Fe readers will enjoy this series too and find me under my new name.

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  47. I have a great biscuit recipe that I use every time! It's in the old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I will have to try this one too! Thank you for the opportunity. Wjcline@att.net

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    1. Those old cookbooks can have the best recipes. I use my older Betty Crocker for muffins and they're always the good.

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  48. Theses look delicious! I’d love to win the book.

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  49. I remember going to the bookmobile as a kid. My sister and I always looked forward to the day when it stopped in our neighborhood. Book sounds like a visit back to childhood. The biscuits look amazing, going to give them a try.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Oh, that sounds so fun! What a great memory.

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  50. Both the recipe and the book sound good. I'll probably try the book before the recipe. Thanks.

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    1. Thanks, Sally! Hope you enjoy them!

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  51. I've always associated pimento cheese as a spread or dip. Never thought of it in biscuit form. Sounds great. While I don't have a specific recipe I'd like to perfect, I do want to become a better baker overall.
    turtle6422(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Jana. Baking in general is a wonderful goal--it makes the kitchen smell so good too.

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  52. Yum thanks for sharing this great recipe!!!

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  53. Biscuits sound yummy and the book is something I'd love to read!

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  54. I remember waiting for the bookmobile with my sister.
    Thanks for the biscuit recipe!

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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  55. I’m not sure about pimento, but I love most things cheese! Congratulations on the new release!
    dm _ Richards (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. Thanks, Di! You can leave out the pimento or replace it with something else (bacon always comes to mind, but something healthier would work too...)

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  56. I love cheese or anything made with it. Love food related books.

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  57. Thanks for sharing the cheese biscuit recipe! Dianeherr(at)cox(dot)net

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  58. Checking in late -- traveling -- to welcome Nora to the kitchen. How on earth did you get that kitty to sit so patiently waiting for his biscuits?!!?

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    1. Thanks for inviting me to the kitchen, Leslie! It's been great fun. As for my cat guy, he always insists on a place at the table, where he likes to stare at people and food.

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  59. A new series based in Georgia?!?! I'm in! 😊

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  60. I absolutely love cheese but I am not a good cook!!! lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. That's the beauty of cheese, isn't it...no cooking required if you don't want too. Thanks for commenting!

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  62. Those biscuits sound amazing. The book sounds amazing also. Thank you for the chance to win a book by a new to me author. lamonicaks(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Karina! It's lovely to visit Mystery Lovers' Kitchen and meet new people!

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  63. Okay, yum for the biscuits and this series sounds so fun! Please enter me.
    Wendy Clark
    clarksrfun at gmail dot com

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  64. Look amazing!! Can't wait to make them!!

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  65. I love pimento cheese. This recipe sounds great. Better Off Read sounds like a good read! kristilewis dot lrc at gmail dot com

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  66. I loved the other Bookmobile books :) Can't wait for this one. Recipe looks yummy as well---nvictoria77@yahoo.com

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