Showing posts with label Days of Wine and Roquefort. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Days of Wine and Roquefort. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Will Travel for Food

The timbale, as served in Taormina
From Daryl aka Avery:

My husband and I took a trip that we'd planned for 30 years. Okay, perhaps not planned. But we'd been planning to get the idea. We went on a cruise that took us to Italy, Greece, and Croatia. Including Venice, Dubrovnik, Corfu, Taormina, Amalfi/Positano, and the island of Sardinia (great to visit if you're rich and own yacht!).

The beauty, the history, the food. It was all wonderful. [The jet lag...not so much fun!]

Venice, canal
We had a fabulous time exploring the back streets of Venice with a tour guide who loved to give us the inside scoop. Tidbit: Did you know "stua" which I would have assumed meant street actually means "sauna or spa" and was the name designated for the red light district streets. During the Middle Ages, there were 11,600 prostitutes in Venice, all encouraged to show their wares to keep men from choosing an alternative lifestyle, considered a venal sin.

Another tidbit: the city is sinking. We knew that, right? But to see where the original steps are, beneath the water level, is amazing.

Positano, built into the hill in terraces

On this trip, we got our fill of walking up steps and the insides of churches! Loved Positano! It is often depicted in paintings.

St. Mark's, built 9th century; floors very uneven

The churches in each port of call were amazing. Even the ceilings of arcades were gorgeous.

The markets were beautiful, too.

From the overlook in Dubrovnik.

And the streets of Dubrovnik, a walled city, are marble. Slippery when wet, we were told. No cars. So much fun! They had a throne for Game of Thrones at the end of the plaza where people could sit and take pictures of themselves in power. LOL

View from Greek odeon on Taormina
While in Taormina, Sicily (not far from Mt. Etna, which was active, although we couldn't see the activity) we were directed to a hole in the wall restaurant, off the beaten track. I was assured the place would know how to deal with my gluten-free issue. In Italy, everyone by the age of two is tested for celiac disease. How's that!  This place was fabulous. They had gluten-free pasta, which they did with a delicious pesto sauce. I ate fresh Amberjack fish, caught by the owner's boyfriend that morning, and made Sicilian style with olives, tomatoes, and garlic. Oh, boy, was it good!!! And they made a delicious zucchini appetizer that melted in my mouth, which I'm trying to recreate for you today. The flavor is right, but I sure can't make it as pretty as they made it. I'm guessing they used a tart pan or even a hamburger press to make the little "timbale" shape, as shown above. If you have ideas, let me know! This is going to be a regular on our menu.

By the way, there is a fabulous old Greek odeon/outdoor theater with an overlook of the island in Taormina. Not to be missed.

Buon appetito!!

Sicilian Zucchini

Per person:

1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise in thin slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons red pasta sauce
Basil leaves, if desired (I didn't have any on hand)


Slice the zucchini.

Heat the oil on medium high in a large frying pan. Lay the zucchini in and cook 1-2 minutes a side, until lightly browned.

Remove from the pan and lay/fold the zucchini on a preparation plate, dusting with Parmesan before each fold.

Place stacks of zucchini side by side and trim to a circle shape, if desired. Top with more Parmesan, pasta sauce, and basil leaves, if you have on hand.

That's it.

Here are photos of other items I ate on the trip. I didn't starve, that's for sure.

Pasta, cheese platter, at Barbabao ristorante in Venice

Gluten-free pasta with pesto in Taormina

Amberjack Sicilian style in Taormina

Gelato, gussied up! In St. Mark's Square

You can find more pictures on my Facebook page.

As for my writing...

For STIRRING THE PLOT, which comes out September 30th, I'm going to be doing a number of giveaways. Books, mugs, stuffed kittens!  Make sure you're signed up for my newsletter and "like" me on Facebook, where information about the giveaways will appear.  Look for pictures of Tigger, the ginger cat in the series, celebrating ala Halloween!


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Check out our website.

Days of Wine and Roquefort 
is out!
order here

Inherit the Word
  is out!
                                    order here

STIRRING THE PLOT is available for preorder: order here.

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

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Triple Chocolate Pudding for my sweetie #recipe

The winner for Connie Archer's Sunday giveaway is

Grandma Cootie!

Contact Connie at conniearchermysteries at gmail dot com so you can claim your prize! Congrats.
* * *

From Daryl / Avery:  What we do for love!!!  

This recipe would definitely make Jenna, the protagonist from my Cookbook Nook series,  shaky with all the steps. To keep me calm, I tried to channel her good friend Katie, the chef, to make sure I stayed focused. There are a lot of steps, but boy, was this worth it. My husband, Chuck, adores chocolate! And guess what? It's his birthday today. How could I say no? I adore him; he adores pudding. Get it?

Here's a cute picture of him back when I met him. 

Can you see the twinkle in his eyes? That's why I fell in love with him. Oh, and his sense of humor, intelligence, heart...

He found this recipe while going through a Food Network magazine and begged me to make it. It comes from Sarabeth's Bakery in New York. We went there last fall and enjoyed a fabulous breakfast.  By the way, Sarabeth’s started in Sarabeth Levine’s apartment kitchen. She has 13 restaurants in the city and is known for her pastries and other sweets.


Triple-Chocolate Pudding ala Sarabeth’s Bakery
(per Food Network Magazine)

Takes 25 minutes to put together, plus 3 hours cooling/chilling
Serves 6

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ½ ounces semisweet chocolate (no more than 62% cacao)
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
3 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (I used Kosher salt)
3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped cream and shaved chocolate for topping (optional)

Melt the butter in a heatproof bowl or double boiler over a saucepan of hot (not simmering) water. Add the chocolate (you can chop if you wish) and stir until melted and smooth. About 5 minutes. Remove the bowl (or top of double boiler) from the saucepan, and set aside.

Whisk the remaining 2/3 sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in the eggs, egg yolk, and cream. Set aside.

Heat the milk and 1/3 cup of sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it is steaming. You’ll see little bubbles around the edge of the milk. Do not overcook.

Gradually whisk half of the hot milk mixture into the sugar/cocoa mixture, whisking constantly. Then pour that mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining hot milk mixture. Whisk constantly and bring to a boil. Scrape the sides of the pan often. When it starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and let bubble for 30 seconds.  It will thicken a lot!

Remove the saucepan from the heat. Strain the pudding through a sieve (with big holes) into a medium bowl. Add the melted chocolate mixture, rum, and vanilla, and whisk well.

Spoon the pudding into 6 jars or dessert bowls. Cover each wih plastic wrap. The wrap can touch the pudding surface. Pierce with the tip of a small knife. Let the pudding cool at room temp for 1 hour. Then refrigerate the pudding until chilled, at least 2 hours.  [This can be made up to 3 days ahead.]

Remove the plastic wrap and top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.

To shave chocolate, use either a grater or a knife. They make different looking pieces.

Happy birthday, my darling man!!


Friend Daryl on Facebook
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Check out our website.

Days of Wine and Roquefort 
is out!
order here

Inherit the Word
  is out!
                                    order here

STIRRING THE PLOT is available for preorder: order here.

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

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pear & blue cheese Grilled Cheese #recipe plus #giveaway

From Daryl aka Avery:

Last week's winner is:

Alicia F!!

Congratulations!!!  I'll be contacting you to find out which book you wish.

Inherit the Word has been out for a couple of weeks. Thanks to all of you, it's selling well.  It hit the Barnes and Noble list at #9 and Bookscan at #12. Honestly, these numbers baffle me, but my editor is thrilled!! (I sure like to keep her happy.)

In the story, a grill fest is taking place. The contestants are challenged with coming up with a novel and tasty grilled cheese sandwich. What fun, right? Not so fun when one of the contestants is murdered. But the contest continues. The mayor says that the victim would have wanted it that way. She was, after all, the eight time winner.

So off we go, grilling sandwiches and, um, grilling suspects.

Quoting a great review by Dru Ann Love on Dru's Book MusingMurder, betrayal, and a grilled cheese contest are found between the pages of this wonderfully prepared drama and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the residents of Crystal Cove in this delectably appetizingly series.”

Here's a recipe that I hope you'll enjoy.  It's included in the book. Katie, the chef for the Cookbook Nook's café, created it. I love the combination of pears and blue cheese. Hope you will, too.

Pear and Blue Cheese Grilled Cheese
(Makes 2 sandwiches)

4 slices bread (gluten-free bread works, too)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons cream cheese
1-2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 Bartlett or Bosc pear, sliced thin
¼ cup sautéed onions
4 ounces blue cheese, sliced

In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese and balsamic vinegar. Butter each slice of bread on one side. Spread the cream cheese-vinegar mixture on the other side of the bread. [Note: This is the inside of the sandwich; the butter side is the outside.]

In a small sauté pan, melt a tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Slice the onions thinly. Set the onions in the hot butter and stir for at least five minutes, until the onions are tender. [Note: These can be made a day ahead. Bring to room temperature.]

To assemble: Top two slices of bread, cream cheese side up, with grilled onion. Place blue cheese (it will crumble) on top of the onions. Place pears on top of the cheese. Set the other slice of bread on top of the sandwich and press slightly.

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.

If cooking on a panini or sandwich maker: Set the sandwich on the griddle and slowly lower the top. Cook for a total of 4 minutes. Remove from the griddle and let cool 2-3 minutes, then serve. Beware, the insides might ooze out the sides. If the lid is too heavy, you might want to consider resorting to the stovetop method.

By the way, I did another book signing this weekend, at a Barnes and Noble. I was delighted by the turn out. 
Some fans stopped in; I met new faces. 
I gave away a couple of raffle prizes. 

Congrats to Helen K and Debbie S.

On that note, this will be the last week for a giveaway to celebrate the release of INHERIT THE WORD. I'll be giving away your choice of a Cheese Shop Mystery or Cookbook Nook Mystery. So leave a comment to enter. 

Maybe even answer these questions for me...

Do you like contests? Do you enter simply to win or to win the prize that is being given away? If you win a book, do you read it? What's your favorite kind of thing to win?

Good luck to all! And if you share the link for this recipe, tell me and you'll be entered twice!

Also, if you are not able to post a comment on this blog for whatever reason (you're at work, no access, etc.) feel free to write me an email and let me know your thoughts and you'll be entered. Click this link for the email contact form.

Friend Daryl on Facebook
Friend Avery on Facebook
Follow Daryl on Twitter
Follow Avery on Twitter
Follow both of us on Pinterest
Check out our website.

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! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pear Roquefort Quiche from DAYS OF WINE AND ROQUEFORT

From Daryl aka Avery:

We have a winner for last week's giveaway!

Congrats to Lori MS!!!

I'll be contacting you regarding which book you choose!

As many of you know, DAYS OF WINE AND ROQUEFORT came out earlier this month!

Did you see the reviews? All were great! Thanks to those who posted them.

Thanks to many of you for buying the book or telling a friend because sales were good. I didn't hit Sheila's numbers, but I'm pleased to say that the book hit the Barnes and Noble mystery mass market paperback list at #7 and the overall fiction at #30. I'm happy; my editor is happy.

Hey, do you know about the giveaways I'm having throughout the month? See below!

Do you know about the giveaway on my newsletter right before the next launch in March? See below!

And do you up…next month, I have another book out:  INHERIT THE WORD, the second in the Cookbook Nook mysteries.

If you've read the Cheese Shop mysteries, you now know that Charlotte makes a specialty quiche every day in the shop. The theme started with the first of the series, THE LONG QUICHE GOODBYE. I adore quiche for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Each one can be so novel. The flavors can include meat, veggies, fruit. Fun!

FYI: tidbits to note regarding quiche. The history varies.

According to the French, quiche comes from a  term used by the Lorraine Franconian language: Küeche" meaning "cake".

Though most associate quiche with the French, it's possible the Germans created quiche, because the word stems from the German word kuchen, which also means cake. 


Not to be left out, the English like to claim origin. Custards in cakes were noted in English cuisine way back in the 14th century. Custards including meat are referred to as Crustardes of flessh in the 14th century book The Forme of Cury, as well as in 15th century cookbooks.

So who's right? Do we care? Probably not.  I do hope you'll like the flavors of this quiche. I wanted to use the cheese noted in the title of the latest in the series, so I tweaked one I already had to come up with this recipe. The pears combined with Roquefort cheese make this divine!

Roquefort Bosc Pear Quiche
(Serves 6)

1 pie shell (homemade or frozen)
2-3 ounces (about 1/3 cup) Roquefort cheese (or good blue cheese)
½ cup whipping cream
3 eggs
¼ cup sour cream
1 ½ cups milk
Pinch: nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger
Pinch: salt and pepper
1 Bosc pear, peeled, sliced
1 teaspoon honey

Remove the Roquefort cheese from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.

In 425 degree oven, bake the pie shell for 12-14 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven. Let cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, mush the Roquefort cheese with 2 tablespoons of the whipping cream. Add the rest of the cream and beat for 1 minute.

Add the eggs and beat until the mixture is blended, but not whipped to a froth. Add the sour cream, milk, spices and mix until blended.

Peel, core, and slide the Bosc pear in 6-8 slices. Arrange the slices on the bottom of the baked pie shell. 

Drizzle with honey. Put the pan on a baking sheet. Stir the egg and cream mixture once, then pour the mixture on the pears. Carefully move the baking sheet to the oven.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until the quiche is puffy and lightly brown on top.

Remove from oven and cool slightly for about 10 minutes. Serve warm.

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!

And don't forget there's a giveaway for some lucky person who receives my newsletter in March!! I'm promoting this on Facebook and Twitter, but you can sign up to be on the mailing list below!


Friend Daryl on Facebook
Friend Avery on Facebook
Follow Daryl on Twitter
Follow Avery on Twitter
Follow both of us on Pinterest
Check out our website.

Days of Wine and Roquefort 
is out!
order here

Inherit the Word
                        is out in March!
                     preorder here

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