Showing posts with label cheddar cheese. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cheddar cheese. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Flat, delicious burgers recipe plus #book giveaway from author @DarylWoodGerber

Cookbook Nook giveaway on!

Right up until Thanksgiving, I’m always thinking about what I’m going to be grilling on the weekends. Hamburgers definitely fall into the mix every time. I love to barbecue. And I make great hamburgers and turkey burgers and bison burgers.

Or do I?

So, my husband—you remember my husband...he is the one who loves to read foodie magazines. Well, recently, he was reading an article in a magazine, and he said, “Honey, you have to see this. Do you know how you can make a hamburger perfectly flat?”

Well, of course, I thought I did, but he read me the article anyway. How could I say no? Lo and behold, I didn’t know how to make a flat burger. Mine are always puffed in the middle.

The article revealed that although a hamburger might look perfectly flat when you form the beef into a patty, it invariably puffs in the center as the meat cooks.

Yep, that’s mine.

This either makes it hard to pile on goodies after it’s done or you might overcook the middle just to make sure the puffy center is cooked. Ick. I hate overcooked burgers.

The article said there was a solution.

Here’s my quickie version of the recipe with photos:

(*works on all types, turkey, bison, and beef)

1) Form the burgers into flat patties on a clean work surface. That’s what I always do. But make them about an inch wider than the bun. (I use about 6 to 8 ounces of meat; cooks down to 4 to 6 ounces.)


And then…

2) Press down on the center of each patty, using your fingers to make an indentation. Now the article said to press “halfway through the burger thickness.” That’s hard to do. Just make an indentation. It works. Don’t overwork the meat; you don’t want it to get tough.

Can you see the indentations?

3) Cook over a hot grill to desired temperature. Most pundits will say 160 degrees F. I judge by time. About 4 minutes a side under the broiler or on a medium high grill.

4) Here's the amazing the burger cooks, juice starts collecting in the center of the meat and stays there! It keeps the burger moist as it cooks. The burger shrinks “into the center” as it cooks. And levels out.

See it pooling?


Enjoy a great burger. We did. With a yummy salad that I'd laced with cheddar cheese.

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Make sure you're signed up for my newsletter. The launch day giveaway for STIRRING THE PLOT, which debuts September 30, will include all my books, a plush Tigger,
a Cookbook Nook mug, and more! 

Click HERE.  

And "like" me on Facebook and Goodreads, where information about other giveaways will appear, like...

This prize below is going to be given away on Facebook on September 29. 
See all the books? You like books! 23 of them!  There's one from every author on Mystery Lovers Kitchen, plus other pals with whom I've done book signings! A mug, a plush tigger, an I Love Mystery tote & more. Fun, right? I figure if Stirring the Plot is coming out,
I might as well let all my pals celebrate with me!

Did I mention Stirring the Plot has a Halloween theme?

A list of all authors/books will be on Facebook. Keep an eye out.

AND if you leave a comment today, you'll be entered to win one of the first two Cookbook Nook mysteries [Final Sentence or Inherit the Word]. Tell me why you like culinary mysteries! Remember to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win! 

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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. It debuts September 30!

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

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Maple Cheese Scones


From Avery aka Daryl:

In anticipation of next week’s debut of the fifth Cheese Shop Mystery: DAYS OFWINE AND ROQUEFORT, I’ve been sampling more cheese. It’s a given, right? When I’m wearing my “Avery” hat, I eat cheese, I cook with cheese, I sample cheese. 
In fact, recently I had the distinct pleasure of meeting my “cheese maven” Marcella Wright for the first time. Marcella and I met online…well, actually her cat and my fictional cat met online, and then  I learned she was a big shot in the world of cheese!

Marcella, who lives in Washington, came to Studio City, California to open a Murray’s cheese shop section, this time in the Ralph’s grocery store. Delicious cheese. We had a wonderful time.
Marcella & me at Murray's in Ralph's Supermarket

But back to this week’s post and why. In anticipation of the debut of another Cheese Shop Mystery, I was browsing cookbooks and magazines looking for cheese-y breakfast items. I found the most delightful scone recipe made with cheddar and maple syrup. I found the recipe in Culture Cheese magazine, but it was made with regular flour. I needed to make it gluten-free, so I tweaked the recipe.

 I fell in love. My husband adored them, too!!

By the way…three of my blogmates, Meg/Peg, Sheila, Lucy and I are having a giveaway on Facebook with books and more in anticipation of all of our releases next week. The contest runs through January 31st. Click the photo below to check it out.

Also, I’m having a giveaway today!!  See details at the end of the recipe!

(tweaked from recipe from Culture Cheese Magazine)


(serves 6-8)

2 1/4  cups gluten-free four
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 tablespoon whey powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2  teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, diced
1 cup coarsely grated cheddar
1/2 cup chopped pecans, if desired
3/4  cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon maple extract


Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly coat with oil.

In a large bowl, combine gluten-free flour, xanthan gum, whey powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. With a blender or large fork, cut in butter until mixture is coarse and crumbly.

Stir cheddar  (and pecans, if desired) into GF flour mixture. Combine buttermilk and maple extract. Gradually add that to dry ingredients while tossing mixture with a fork. It will form a soft dough. (Note: you want to moisten the dry ingredients but NOT stir too vigorously, which stiffens the dough.)

Gather dough together. Press gently to combine. Transfer to a lightly gluten-free floured surface and pat out to 1-inch-thick round.

Cut with a serrated knife into 6-8 wedges. Arrange wedges on the baking sheet.

Bake 18-20 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch.

In the recipe in the magazine, it says “Dough can also be patted out and cut into 2-inch square scones, which will bake in 12-15 minutes.”

* By the way, if you want to make these using regular flour, just switch out the  GF flour with regular flour and omit the xanthan gum.

** Whey powder seems to add a ton of moisture to gluten-free baked items. I add a tablespoon now every time I bake something. It substitutes for 1 tablespoon of the GF flour.

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Giveaway: Leave a comment with your email in order to enter the giveaway! REMEMBER TO INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL so I might notify you. AND if you tweet or share on Facebook, tell me in your  comment and you'll be entered TWICE.

I'm giving away your choice of one of the first four Cheese Shop mysteries or FINAL SENTENCE, the first in the Cookbook Nook mysteries. Plus some fun swag!

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ALSO, remember to sign up for my mailing list/newsletter
There's going to be a launch giveaway on February 3rd!


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.

Next up: 
Days of Wine and Roquefort 
Feb 2014preorder here

                    Inherit the Word 
                     March 2014preorder here

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

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but let’s face it, sometimes food just doesn’t turn out pretty.

Bland colors on a bland plate? Sick. [Why don’t hospitals get this?]

Pasta with a white cream sauce served with white cauliflower as the vegetable? Ick.

White soup with white saltine crackers? Blech.
[And yet vanilla ice cream in a white bowl? Yum!  Beholder, remember? Beholder!]

Let’s face it, sometimes we simply have to close our eyes to eat. 

Today’s post is about inner beauty. [How I love to rationalize.]

I’ll admit I’m no cupcake maker. I think I’m starting to realize that cupcake batter should only fill half the cup (see my post for Halloween).

But it’s taken me years to get this basic point. And it only took me a couple of weeks to forget it. Perhaps I’ll write in on a Post-it note and put it on my baking cabinet…or better yet, stow it in the cupcake tin itself!  {Lightbulb!!}

Anyway, I made some gluten-free muffins and I forgot the tenet above and over-poured the batter. Minutes later, out came these muffins. They’re flat-out ugly with elephantine bumps. Frosting can cover a lot of ugliness, but I wasn’t adding frosting this time. {Though a cream cheese frosting might be tasty.}

Given time constraints of travel and not having time to make a whole new batch, I closed my eyes and took a bite. It turns out they’re yummy, moist, and full of flavor.

Just don’t look at them.

What do you like to eat that’s flat-out ugly?



(makes 8)

1 ¼ cup gluten-free baking mix (I used Pamela's see note below)
¼ cup water
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup chopped cheese (Dry Jack & Cheddar)
½ cup parboiled apple slices (recipe below)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla


Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In medium bowl, mix all ingredients. [Note, you can use any GF baking mix. Pamela’s, GF Bisquick, Bob’s Red Mill…] 

Using a ladle, spoon mixture into 8 greased muffin pans or paper muffin cups (to ½ to 2/3 full).  Bake approximately 18-20 minutes.

Parboiled Apples
*To make parboiled apples: Peel 2 apples, your choice. Dice into small bites. Heat ½ cup water to boil. Add apple slices. Boil 10 minutes. Drain.

** When adding apple slices to the recipe above, do not include the “sweet apple” water left over.

Extra recipe:

Parboiled "Applesauce"
Make as above. DO NOT DRAIN. Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Eat just like it is or... * I added the "applesauce" to my latest banana bread in place of one of the bananas. PERFECT.  [Forgot to take pictures of this. Think chunky applesauce.]

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You can learn more about Avery by clicking this link.

Chat with Avery on Facebook and Twitter.

And watch for CLOBBERED BY CAMEMBERT, coming out February 2012.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Turkey Pumpkin Chili with Cheddar

I adore a good fall meal. 

Chili is one of those great slow-cooker meals where you don’t have to do too much cooking to get it going. Brown the meat, brown the onions, toss the rest of the ingredients into the pot.

Well, this is another recipe like that, but it has a real twist to it, and it’s something fun to serve around Halloween and Thanksgiving.

I saw the recipe in the Los Angeles Times newspaper (Food section, which is fabulous) and thought, hmmm, pumpkin in chili? I'm not so sure, but then I thought about my homemade pumpkin soup and thought, yes, it might work. I'll have to experiment. 

The recipe in the Times had way too much green pepper for me. Green pepper just doesn't seem to like me. Never has. So I substituted yellow pepper (way gentler in flavor), and the result was delicious. You'll notice there are no "beans" in this chili. It's bean-less, but the pumpkin adds the bulk that just makes it so different and delicious. 

Thick soup, possibly. It worked well as a dinner, and my husband had it the next day on a hamburger bun like a sloppy Joe. Perfect! And I didn't have to do much at all. Brown the turkey, brown the onions and peppers. 

For fun on Halloween, consider giving your kids something other than pizza before they go door-to-door.

Did I mention the Cheddar cheese on top makes it? I'd add more the next time. Definitely more. :)




(serves 4 - 6)

1 tablespoon oil
1 cup chopped sweet onion (1 med.)
1 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey
1 can diced tomatoes (28 oz)
2 cups pumpkin puree
2  tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon white or black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
½ cup sour cream


In saucepan, heat the oil, onion, bell pepper, garlic.  Stir until tender.  Pour mixture into the crockpot (or slow cooker).

Put the turkey in the skillet and brown well.  Add the turkey (do not drain) to the crockpot.

Add the tomatoes and pumpkin and spices to the crockpot.

Set on low and cook 4 to 5 hours.

Serve topped with Cheddar cheese and sour cream.

If you want, here's the link for last year's PUMPKIN SOUP WITH GRUYERE.

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