Showing posts with label amateur sleuth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label amateur sleuth. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Zucchini Circles Recipe from CLOBBERED BY CAMEMBERT





In Clobbered by Camembert, Charlottes visits her grandparents when she needs a little down time and feedback on the crime she is trying to solve. The twins are there, too, helping Pepere build an aquarium.


While Charlotte talks to her grandfather (with the twins inserting their two cents) Grandmere offers to make a quickie snack before the twins have to run off to their vocal rehearsal. It turns out the snack is one of Charlotte's favorites: Zucchini Circles. She salivates in expectation.

Now sometimes people ask me how I am like Charlotte, or vice versa, and it turns out that she and I share this same love of fried zucchini. I remember years ago going to a restaurant called Hamburger Hamlet and sharing these little morsels with my stepdaughter. We would play backgammon and snack and I would learn what she was going on in her life. These were special moments for us, and fried zucchini will always be part of that memory.

BY THE WAY, they are fabulous dipped in sweet jammy sauces or just plain. And a glass of sauvignon blanc (for me, not my stepdaughter who was about anywhere from twelve to sixteen), added just the right balance.

Now that I eat gluten-free, I make these my way, without using regular flour, and they turn out just the same. So enjoy!


 ZUCCHINI CIRCLES

Ingredients:
(serves two)

3 Tablespoons oil
¼ cup bread crumbs (I used Gluten-free corn crumbs)
¼ cup grated Parmesan for recipe
¼ cup grated Parmesan for garnish
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg
1 large zucchini

Directions:

Slice zucchini into round slices.
Stir egg in a bowl.
Pour crumbs and ¼ cup Parmesan into a pie tin and mix with seasonings.
Heat oil in a skillet on high.  As it heats, drop zucchini circles into egg.  Remove from egg and roll in the cheese crumb mixture. 

REDUCE heat to medium and lay in all the zucchini slices.  Let brown about 2-3 minutes.  Using tongs, flip.  Let brown on the other side, 2-3 minutes or as crispy as you like.

Remove from plate.  Set on serving dish.  Top with grated Parmesan.

Serve immediately, as side dish or appetizer.




FYI:

Health benefits of zucchini: 
Helps in the cure of asthma, as it is packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants.
Its nutrients also contain lutein, good for the eyes.
Zucchin is also packed with magnesium and phosphorous, which is good for building and maintaining healthy bones.
Zucchini's nutrients helps against the fight of colon cancer.
Zucchini is high in water content and low in calories.


* * * * *


You can learn more about me, Avery, by clicking this link.

Chat with me on Facebook and Twitter.

And if you haven't done so, sign up for my mailing list
 so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests! I had two winners just last week whom won Sur la Table cheese paddles!

Say cheese!


***********





Thursday, June 2, 2011

Barbecue and Blue


It's barbecue season. 


Hooray!


I can't get enough time in the yard, smelling the flowers, smelling food sizzling on the grill. One of my favorite springing into summer meals is a grilled steak. I know I probably shouldn't eat too much read meat, but a facialist once told me that red meat is essential to supple skin. 


Granted, I also know I can find anything on the Internet to support a theory, so I went searching and found this article about how to keep skin glowing: 


B vitamins help to release energy from food for skin metabolism and have a role in keeping skin moist and smooth. 

Best sources: Milk, oily fish, poultry, red meat, offal, eggs, bananas, soya beans, wholegrains, wheatgerm, peanut butter, fortified breakfast cereals. [Read more]



Don't you love the Internet?


So I have a steak now and again to make sure my skin is glowing.  


That said, for a balanced diet, I also need my calcium [Say cheese!] and greens [For this meal/recipe: asparagus and mushrooms on arugula, but I've included a Brussel sprouts and blue cheese recipe, too].


Have a great cookout.


STEAK DINNER


2   6 oz. to 8 oz. steaks, cooked to your liking - [I like mine rare but I didn't remember to take a picture of mine; my husband likes his steak charred]


1-2 teaspoons paprika

2-4 ounces Gorgonzola or blue cheese


ARGULA, ASPARAGUS AND GRILLED MUSHROOMS

2 cups arugula, rinsed
6-8 spears asparagus
6-8 grilled mushrooms
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar


Baste asparagus and mushrooms with olive oil. Skewer and set on grill for 2 minutes; twist and grill 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and skewers. Slice the mushrooms. Serve the vegetables on top of the arugula. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar to taste.


In addition, if you'd like a side dish that is still "green," why not add Brussel sprouts? I know they're not everyone's favorite, probably because you had them as a kid and they weren't cooked properly. Brussel sprouts need to be tender. Cooking them in salted water makes the flavor stay inside. The smaller the Brussel sprout, the more tender, so choose wisely. I love them!

BRUSSEL SPROUTS AND BLUE

Ingredients:

12-16 Brussel sprouts
2 tablespoons leek tips, sliced
1 shallott, diced
2 tablespoons safflower oil
1 tablespoon white wine
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (* I used Irish Cashel Blue)
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Bring 2 cups of water to boil in saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon salt.
Trim off the ends of the Brussel sprouts, and boil the sprouts in boiling water for 4 minutes. Pour off the hot liquid, steam for another 4 minutes. Rinse and cool. Slice brussel sprouts in half. Set aside.

In a frying pan, heat the oil. Add the leeks tips and shallots. Add the white wine. Saute for about 2 minutes. Add the Brussel sprouts. Saute for about 5 minutes until the sprouts are browned and heated through.

Place on serving dish and sprinkle with blue cheese. {The cheese will melt.}


Here is a dessert recipe for your barbecue:

Cleo's Mocha Drops


*** *** ***** *** *** *****
And if you need a good book to read while barbecuing, consider any of the new books coming out from my blog pals.

Wendy Watson's A Parfait Murder
Julie Hyzy's Grace Interrupted
Riley Adam's Finger Lickin' Dead
****************

BTW, just in case you want to order the second in A Cheese Shop Mystery series which came out May 3rd, click here: LOST AND FONDUE

If you'd like to read the first chapter, click here: SNEAK PEEK

If you'd like to see the book trailer, click here: BOOK TRAILER

And always smile and...say cheese.


***********************
Last and yes, least, but for a bit of fun, a pal and I made a youtube movie for all those who "sell" anything. If you want to see a spoof of how to do what is called THE ELEVATOR PITCH, take a look...and leave a comment. CLICK THIS YOUTUBE LINK

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I love fondue, do you?



Lost and Fondue

launched Tuesday.

What fun. I'm surprised and pleased with the response.

Thanks to all who have made getting published such a delightful experience.


In tribute to fondue (it has a national holiday, I might as well pay tribute, right?), I'm posting one of the two fondue recipes in the book. I'll be blogging about some of the other recipes as the month goes on.






Dave from My Year on the Grill posted the other one on Tuesday.

Just in case you don't know, I've made a how-to make fondue movie, as well. Or you can watch it for fun. (see below)



FONDUE


What’s not to love about fondue? It’s romantic, it’s easy, it’s delish.

It’s usually made up of two or more cheeses,

heated in a caqualon, or communal pot.



GOAT CHEESE FONDUE

(from LOST AND FONDUE)

(regular or gluten-free)

(serves 4)

¾ cup cream

8 ounces feta cheese

1 tablespoon white pepper

1 tablespoon green onion (green tips only)

1 tablespoon white wine

2 teaspoons flour OR 2 teaspoons tapioca flour (for gluten-free)

1 baguette bread OR 20-30 gluten-free crackers

Broccoli florets, steamed

Carrots, sliced raw

Celery, sliced raw

Warm the cream in a pot until hot but not burning. Use low heat. Add the goat cheese in chunks.

Stir with a whisk to prevent clotting. Add the pepper, wine, green onion tips, and flour/gluten-free flour. Stir approximately 5-7 minutes until as smooth as it can be.

Set up your plates with vegetables and bread cubes or crackers. Eat family style.

Note: The thickness of the fondue might vary. If it’s too thick, add a little cream. Too thin, add a little more cheese.

Second note: I like to snip the green tips of onions with scissors for even cuts.

Third note: To steam broccoli, perfectly every time. Bring to boil 1 cup water in a 6 quart pot with ½ teaspoon salt. Add cut up broccoli. Cover. Cook 4 minutes. Pour off boiling water. Cover again. Let sit for 4 minutes. Remove lid and rinse broccoli in cold water to stop the cooking process.




*****************************
HOW TO MAKE FONDUE MOVIE:



*****************************

And just in case you want to order the second in A Cheese Shop Mystery series, click here: LOST AND FONDUE

If you'd like to read the first chapter, click here: SNEAK PEAK

And for a lark, if you'd like to see the book trailer, click here: BOOK TRAILER



And Say Cheese.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

SAY CHEESE, AGAIN...in one week



I'm traveling this week.

There's a big conference near Washington D.C. called Malice Domestic.

Tons of mystery authors and fans gather.


There are panels, special presentations, awards. It's a bunch of fun. But it makes for a short week to prepare food. Especially coming on the heels of a vacation week.


Add to that a book launch ONE WEEK FROM TODAY -- yep, one week -- LOST AND FONDUE comes out. Needless to say, I'm a little hyper. [Marketing, traveling, more marketing. Oh, yes, and writing book 4 in the series...]


(A hamster on a wheel has nothing on me! Whoa, am I spinning backwards? LOL)


So I decided to make something easy and light over the weekend. It's an appetizer that is so sweetly delicious yet tart that you can pop a dozen in your mouth over a period of an hour. Try...I dare you...try not to.

I've waxed poetic about the beauty of appetizers before. I love them. Done right, with enough selection, and you can make a meal out of them.

So here's this week's quickie. And I'll add a few links below for others. Make a meal. Make two.
And as we head forward into spring.

DATE AND GOAT CHEESE APPETIZER

Ingredients:

{Per person}

3 pitted dates

1 ounce goat cheese

1 sprig basil

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1 dash nutmeg



Directions:

Slice dates in half. Fill each with 1/3 of the goat cheese. Set on a plate drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Set a sprig of basil in the center and sprinkle with nutmeg.



Simple and delicious!

OTHER APPETIZERS [click on the links]:

Fig & Pancetta & Goat Cheese [pictured on right]




Enjoy.

*****

And just in case you want to order the second in A Cheese Shop Mystery series, click here: LOST AND FONDUE

If you'd like to read the first chapter, click here: SNEAK PEAK

And for a lark, if you'd like to see the book trailer, click here: BOOK TRAILER


Thursday, April 14, 2011

How to Make Fondue

I made a movie. I carried a little camera around with me in the kitchen and I took "moving" pictures of making a pot of fondue.

It was so much fun. I giggled through the whole thing. Then edited out the sound so you couldn't hear me.

Many of you know that I was an actress before. I co-starred in Murder, She Wrote. [My stage name is Daryl Wood Gerber.] I had parts in Matlock and other TV shows. I sold a lot of commercial products like Milky Way and Wonder Bread. But I NEVER made a movie.

I wanted to. I had dreams of directing. In fact, that's how I got started as a writer. I wrote a romantic comedy screenplay for me to star in. It's still one of my favorite stories! It won a screenplay award, but it never got produced. I had high aspirations of raising money and making into my starring vehicle and directing it. High, high aspirations. Sometimes our dreams don't come true, right? But that's another post.


Anyway, having never really been behind the camera except when filming my family, it was fun to take the helm and think in terms of story when it came to making a movie about fondue. And editing was even more fun, because you realize how much you can cut out and still get the story across.

I hope you'll enjoy the movie. Share it with a friend. Yes, I did it in honor of LOST AND FONDUE which comes out in just a few weeks. Can you tell I'm excited? LOL


For this recipe, I used Doux de Montagne, a cow's milk cheese that is extra moist, with mild fruity and buttery flavors.
[Pronounced: Doo deh Mon-than-yeh] Doux means soft or smooth.






THREE-CHEESE FONDUE



Ingredients:

For Fondue:

2 tablespoons olive oil


4 tablespoons chopped yellow onions


1 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Half ‘n Half 


8 ounces Doux de Montagne cheese (may substitute with cream cheese)

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup (packed) grated Gruyère cheese

For potatoes:

1 pound new potatoes

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Wooden skewers


Directions:

For Potatoes:

Combine 6 cups water and salt in large saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add potatoes. Cook until potatoes are just tender when pierced with skewer, about 6 -12 minutes. Drain. Cut potatoes in half or quarters (bite-sized). Transfer potatoes to bowl. Add olive oil and parsley; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Potatoes may be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover refrigerate. [Reheat potatoes in 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.]

For Fondue:

Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions; sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add Half ‘n Half and cheeses. Whisk until smooth, about 3 minutes. Stir in nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. [If it feels too thick, add a little regular milk to thin.]

Place potatoes on platter. Spear each with skewer. Serve with warm fondue.

CLICK THIS LINK for a pdf of the recipe.

*****************************


*****************************

I have a link on my website for the movie and there's a youtube link for it as well.
Enjoy!

**************************

Question of the day: have you ever had fondue? Where and with whom?

I've started a LOST AND FONDUE launch contest that runs from now until May 3, the day LOST AND FONDUE comes out. Details are on my website, but here's the skinny. All you have to do is read THE LONG QUICHE GOODBYE (in your library, at the store, on your Kindle, I don't care) and tell me where you find TUSCAN TARTUFFO CHEESE (hint, it's not that far in). You'll write me, via the website, and you're entered. 1st prize is either a fondue pot or $50 gift certificate to your favorite booksellers. There are other prizes as well.

CLICK THIS LINK to learn more.

Also, check out my blog tour schedule LINK. There are little surprises in store while I'm on the "virtual road".

Enjoy!




Thursday, April 7, 2011

San Simon Prosciutto Appetizers


Appetizers are fabulous. So easy, so simple.

I can make a meal of them.I love grazing at a party. I love having appetizers left over from a party and eating them for lunch the next day. There's just something comfortable about appetizers.


Bite-sized. Pretty. Colorful.

I love appetizers with cheese--of which I'm now becoming a mavin, but not an expert...never an expert.

(I have a stack of books by experts, and I will never purport to be one of them. On the right is a picture of a few of my cheese reference books. They include Steve Jenkins, Liz Thorpe, and so many more.)



Today I thought I'd share a fun little tidbit. It can be made gluten-free or regularly by the choice of bread or cracker. It's what goes on top that counts.

But first, the cheese itself.

San Simon.


It's a smoked Spanish cheese made from cow's milk in the region of Galicia in the northwest of the country. The curd is transferred into pear-shaped moulds. After a day, the forms are immersed in hot whey. After two weeks, the cheeses are smoked. It is soft and has a delicious buttery texture and a thin chestnut-orange rind.


Pretty, isn't it?


CRUSTINI SAN SIMON AND PROSCIUTTO


Ingredients:

Baguette slices or Gluten-Free Pizza

San Simon CheeseOlive Oil

Prosciutto

Kalmata Olives, pitted

Paprika

Cornichon pickles and olives for garnish

Directions:

Slice the baguette or GF pizza into bite-sized pieces. Brush with olive oil on both sides. Grill in a saute pan for about a minute each side. Remove from heat and set on plate.

Slice the San Simon into thin 1-2” wedges. Roll 1-2” squares of prosciutto into tiny tubes.

Slice Kalmata olives into decorative slices.

Place the baguette or GF pizza on appetizer plates. Top with the cheese, then the prosciutto tubes, then a slice of olive. Garnish the plate and sprinkle it all with paprika.

**3 per serving seems to be the perfect size, so purchase your ingredients accordingly.

CLICK HERE for a pdf of this recipe.

******************

Question of the day: What's your favorite appetizer to serve or enjoy?

I've started a LOST AND FONDUE launch contest that runs from now until May 3, the day LOST AND FONDUE comes out. Details are on my website, but here's the skinny. All you have to do is read THE LONG QUICHE GOODBYE (in your library, at the store, on your Kindle, I don't care) and tell me where you find TUSCAN TARTUFFO CHEESE (hint, it's not that far in). You'll write me, via the website, and you're entered. 1st prize is either a fondue pot or $50 gift certificate to your favorite booksellers. There are other prizes as well.

CLICK THIS LINK.

And for today, to kick it all off, to one commenter, I'm giving away this little cheese knife called a coltello tagliagrana inox from Italy. [Don't you love the name?] Winner announced tonight at 11:30 p.m. PST.

Also, check out my blog tour schedule LINK. There are little surprises in store while I'm on the "virtual road" [first guest blog April 11th].

Enjoy!