Showing posts with label CULINARY MYSTERY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CULINARY MYSTERY. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Inherit the Word, the 2nd in A Cookbook Nook Mystery, is out!

This is the second in A Cookbook Nook mystery series.

Also out today, ICED TO DEATH by our very own Peg Cochran. Congrats, Peg!!!!  Click on the title to learn more.

And we  have a winner from last week's book giveaway.

Libby D!!!

I'll be contacting you to find out which book you 
wish to receive. Congratulations!! I'm still having more book giveaways through this month, so check out the rules below...

* * *

I feel like I've been promoting for a decade right about now, with DAYS OF WINE AND ROQUEFORT out last month and now INHERIT THE WORD. It's quite a challenge to keep my head on my shoulders and my mind clear!

From the back cover of Inherit:

When tempers get too hot to handle, someone’s bound to get grilled.  

Jenna Hart moved back to Crystal Cove, California, with the intention to relax and help her aunt, Vera, run the local culinary bookshop and café. But it’s hard to follow a simple recipe for relaxation when murder gets thrown in the mix…

The Cookbook Nook is set to host the town’s upcoming Grill Fest, a tasty tradition which pits local amateur chefs against one another to concoct the most delicious dishes. This year’s challenge: Grilled Cheese. But with competing chefs bearing grudges from past years, more mouths are running off than salivating.

The expression “too many cooks” proves all too true when the eight-time champ is found murdered in the alley behind the café. Soon a local diner owner (and Jenna’s “second mother”) is suspected of bumping off the competition, and Jenna has to douse the flames before the wrong person gets burned…

Praise for the series:

A delectable tasty mix of characters, crime, and cookbooks.”
New York Times bestselling author Kate Carlisle

I hope you'll check it out. 

In the meantime, today I'm sharing one of the recipes from the book. It was inspired by an appetizer my mother made. I gave that history to Jenna, the protagonist in the series. Her mother used to make these delicious appetizers. Her mother did all the cooking, which is why Jenna needs to ramp up her kitchen skills. She turned the is scrumptious little appetizer into a grilled cheese, and was quite pleased with herself!


PS  This is the recipe I mentioned in my newsletter, if you receive that! 

Shrimp Swiss Cheese Melt
(Makes 2 sandwiches)

4 slices bread
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cream cheese
2 tablespoons chives, chopped
1 teaspoon Bouquet Garni (or tarragon or parsley)
½ teaspoon lemon zest
Salt to taste
4 large shrimp, diced
4 large asparagus, cooked to tender
4 slices Swiss cheese

For the asparagus:
Bring an inch of water to boil in a saucepan. Snap off the ends of the asparagus and cook, covered, in boiling water for 2 minutes. Pour off the water. Keep asparagus covered for 2 more minutes. Rinse in cold water. Slice in half and then cut into in thin strips. Set aside.

For the shrimp salad:
Remove the tails and dice the shrimp. In a medium bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of the mayonnaise, cream cheese, chives, spice, lemon zest, and the shrimp. Taste and add salt if desired.

To assemble:
Use the remaining mayonnaise and spread on each slice of bread. Place all 4 slices of the bread, mayonnaise side down, on a cutting board. Spread the shrimp-cheese-mixture on 2 of the slices. Lay out the asparagus on the other 2 slices. Top each with Swiss cheese. Place the two sides together.

If cooking on a stovetop: Heat a large skillet over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Set the sandwiches on the skillet and cook for 4 minutes, until golden brown. Flip the sandwiches, using a spatula, and cook another 2-4 minutes. You can compress the sandwich with the spatula. Turn the sandwich one more time. Press down with the spatula, and remove from the pan. Let cool about 2-3 minutes, and serve.

For the book giveaway this week, leave a comment with your email included. If you tweet or share on Facebook, tell me in your comment and you'll be entered TWICE. 

I'll give you your choice of one of the Cheese Shop mysteries, including the latest DAYS OF WINE AND ROQUEFORT, or a copy of FINAL SENTENCE, the 1st in the Cookbook Nook mysteries. I'll announce the winner next week. Good luck!


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Days of Wine and Roquefort 
is out!
order here

Inherit the Word
  is out!
                        order here

If you haven't done so, sign up for the mailing list 
so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests! 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Welcome our special Saturday guest, Christine Myskowski from Salt & Pepper Books

Please welcome our special Saturday guest, Christine Myskowski. She is the owner and manager of Salt and Pepper Books in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC. [Note: name has an ampersand, but blogger doesn't like that symbol for some odd reason!]


It’s been almost seven years, but I still sometimes stop and think, “I own a cookbook store… how did this happen?”  The short version is that after leaving a career in the financial industry, I decided to turn my hobby of collecting cookbooks into a business.  The learning curve was steep because I had no small business, retail, or bookstore experience.  The money was an issue because I had only a very tiny budget.  And the progress was slow because the store opened a month before the recession began.
Salt and Pepper Books' new location

But there were angels along the way (they know who they are) and a steady stream of loyal and supportive customers, many of whom have become good friends.  I was also lucky to have opened in the quaint town of Occoquan, Virginia. 

View of the Potomac River from our front door
It was the ideal place for a small bookstore and the town welcomed it with open arms.  This summer, however, we said goodbye to Occoquan after a bittersweet decision to accept an invitation from the National Harbor.

We now have three times the square footage as the original space, including room to build a kitchen for the cooking classes I’ve been talking about for the past four years.  Thanks to an amazing staff and an army of family and friends, we were able to set up the new space quickly.  I can’t wait to finish the kitchen so that we can start scheduling the classes!

In the meantime, we have a makeshift break room kitchen where I test the recipes for our newsletter.  The “kitchen” includes only a small refrigerator, toaster oven, microwave, blender, and a slow cooker.  The only “counter” space is a small round kitchen table so prep work can sometimes be a challenge.  A couple of weeks ago though, my cooking options were greatly expanded thanks to a gift of an electric wok (which works for way more than just stir-fry dishes).  Simply plug in and go!  I normally make this soup at home in a Dutch oven, but the wok worked just as well.

Curried Carrot Soup

3 tablespoons Canola oil
1 tablespoon Curry powder
2 teaspoons Tumeric
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
2 pounds Carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
6 stalks Celery, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
1 medium Onion, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
6 cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped
6 cups Vegetable stock
Juice of 1 small Lemon
1 to 2 cups Water, if necessary

Combine oil, curry powder, turmeric and salt in a Dutch oven over medium high heat and cook for 1 minute. 

Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic and toss to coat evenly with the flavored oil.

 Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.  Stir in the vegetable broth and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.  (You can test this by mashing a piece of carrot with a fork.)

Reduce heat to low and use a stick blender to puree soup.  Alternatively you can puree the soup in small batches in a blender (return soup to pot and heat through afterwards).  Stir in the lemon juice and water, if necessary.

Serves 6.

Salt and Pepper Books (it uses an ampersand...but blogger doesn't like that symbol) is an independent bookstore in beautiful National Harbor, Maryland.  We love all things food and cooking!  We have a large selection of cookbooks, including books on kitchen basics, baking, soups, vegetarian meals, gluten-free recipes, international cuisines, and more.  We also carry many food writing titles and a growing inventory of culinary mysteries.  The store also features an ever-changing variety of kitchen gifts from aprons to recipe cards to pepper mills.  Please stop in and take a look where there's a book for every cook!

Salt and Pepper Books
171 American Way
National Harbor, MD 20745
(301) 839-1849

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Charmed Frozen Raspberry Lemon Chiffon Pie

Ellery Adams

If you think that title is a mouthful, wait until you try the pie. This is truly a summer pie and if you can get freshly picked raspberries, then every bite will taste of summer.

I won't lie to you. This is a pie for those with some patience. Straining the seeds from the raspberry mixture will take some time (my sous chef agreed to help) and then the whole pie has to freeze overnight. But trust me, the effort is worth the results!

Before I post the recipe, I'd like to thank all of you who purchased and spread the word about PIES AND PREJUDICE. I really appreciate your support. 

Charmed Frozen Raspberry Lemon Chiffon Pie

         1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
         3 tablespoons butter, melted
         1 tablespoon sugar
         1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 large lemons)
         1/4 teaspoon salt
         4 large egg whites
         1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
         6 tablespoons water
         3 cups raspberries
         Mint sprigs for garnish (optional)
Combine first 3 ingredients in a bowl; toss with a fork until moist or pulse in bowl of food processor. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch springform pan coated with butter.
Combine 3 cups raspberries and fresh lemon juice in a blender; process until smooth. Strain mixture through a sieve over a bowl; discard solids.
Place salt and egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Combine sugar and 6 tablespoons water in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until a thermometer registers 250°. Gradually pour the hot sugar syrup into egg white mixture, beating at medium speed, then at high speed, until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in raspberry mixture; pour into prepared crust. Cover; freeze 8 hours or overnight.

Which fresh berries have been calling your name this summer?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Comfort Food for Summer - Bare but not naked spaghetti

I'm very excited to announce that the cover for the third in A Cheese Shop Mysteries series is done, CLOBBERED BY CAMEMBERT, and I love it.  I hope you do, too.  The book comes out in January.  But that is months away, and we're talking

I know it's summer, and I should be thinking about barbecues, and gardening, and sports to do outdoors. But I had a craving for comfort food and spaghetti. I'm in the midst of writing book 4, TO BRIE OR NOT TO BRIE, and I'm coming into the home stretch (the last third). That makes me hungry. I need brain food, i.e. comfort food.

Because I need to eat gluten-free, I don't indulge in carbs very often. Sure, I can have potatoes and rice and such, but restricting my diet has made me realize that I don't "need" those things. I get them in my cereal and the sweet breads that I make (like banana bread and coffee cake), so at night, I don't usually eat the extras. I stick to protein and vegetables and a glass of wine (that's my carb).

But last night, I needed carbs. In the form of spaghetti. I use this terrific brand that I found in the stores when I lived in Connecticut and can't find in the stores I frequent in California (don't know why...have complained), so I get it in bulk online through Amazon. It's called Bionaturae Gluten-free (spaghetti or linguine).  It holds together great, has a great texture, and to me, doesn't taste like it's not the "real" thing. From what I hear, Italy tests all of its people at a young age for celiac disease, so Italy--being a pasta nation--is on top of what it takes to make a great gluten-free pasta.

That said, I also wanted as fresh as possible, so I made sure I had fresh tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, and turkey.  Yep, turkey. I like the lighter meat in this Bare but not Naked version of spaghetti.  It seems a little more "summery" (if you will).

Douse with Parmesan cheese and yum!

(*Yes, this can be made with regular spaghetti)


1 pound gluten-free pasta (cooked 11-12 minutes, to tender)
1 pound ground turkey meat
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 zucchini, sliced
2 fresh tomatoes, cut into chunks
8 mushrooms, sliced thick
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 cup red wine
4-8 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded

Heat large saute pan. Add 1 tablespoon oil, turkey (broken into smaller chunks), onion.  Put on the saucepan lid. Cook on low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally (yep, got to remove that lid to do this) so turkey doesn't stick to pan and browns on all sides. Add water and wine, add vegetables and herbs.  Cook for another 20 minutes on low, with lid on. No need to stir.

Cook pasta according to directions, cooking approximately 11-12 minutes until tender. Drain in a colander.

Plate pasta on 4 plates. Spoon turkey mixture onto the pasta, making sure you add the juice that is in the bottom of the pan to each portion. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Adorn with small salad or pretty green salad green leaves.

Serve with gluten-free breadsticks.


Book 2 in A Cheese Shop Mystery series launched last month: LOST AND FONDUE . 

If you'd like to order a copy, click this booksellers link on my website. It's available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and independent booksellers.

To see a trailer for LOST AND FONDUE, click HERE

To read an excerpt of LOST AND FONDUE, click HERE.

If you'd like to know more about A Cheese Shop Mystery series and want to download a few other recipes from me (on recipe cards - including FONDUE), click here: RECIPES.

Say cheese!

Be sure to catch me (or my characters) the fourth of every month at Killer Characters blog, and on Facebook, and on Twitter: @AveryAames.