Showing posts with label popovers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label popovers. Show all posts

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Kneaded to Death

A very warm welcome to our old friend, Winnie Archer. What? You've never heard of her? Yes you have. Our buddy Melissa Bourbon is back with a new series about bread! The first book KNEADED TO DEATH comes out on February 28th!

Don't miss Winnie's giveaway. Details at the bottom of the post.

Mysteries are close to my heart. Okay, truthfully, books of any kind are close to my heart, but mysteries, in particular. The mystery can be large or small. It can be the central focus of the story, or play a supporting role. It really doesn’t matter to me the scope of the mystery elements, as long as it’s there in one way, shape, or form.

My love of mysteries started, like most young girls of a certain age--with Nancy Drew. From there I graduated straight to Agatha Christie. I have a distinct memory of going with my mom to our town’s library so she could check out the last Hercule Poirot novel, Curtain. She was crushed that it was to be Poirot’s last, and her love of these book intrigued me enough to start reading them.

I spent almost all of my high school lunches in one classroom or another reading.

Now, I should say that I’m a light-weight when it comes to the intensity of a mystery and I see a clear distinction between mystery and horror. Horror movies and books are not for me. I threw Silence of the Lambs across the room once or twice while reading it, and I covered my eyes during certain parts of Dexter.

But suspense and deduction, those things I love.

So, of course, as my passion for writing grew until it couldn’t be denied, it was no surprise that it manifested itself in the form of mysteries. I began with the Lola Cruz Mystery series. Then I wrote 2 romantic suspense novels, which, of course, have strong mystery elements in them. They’re based on Mexican legends and are still two of my favorites. My cozies came next and have been national bestsellers. A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series has six books in the series. Harlow Cassidy holds a special place in my heart.

But move over Harlow, Ivy Culpepper is in town. She’s the heroine of my new Bread Shop series. Kneaded to Death is the first book in the series and Ivy’s introduction to the world. Ivy’s 36, divorced, and now back in her hometown of Santa Sofia, California. Her mother died six months ago, she, her father, and brother are still grieving, and she’s reunited with Miguel Baptista, her high school love that broke her heart once upon a time. She meets Olaya Solis, owner of Yeast of Eden, and then Penelope Branford, her new octogenarian sidekick. All is good… until, of course, murder strikes.

Mystery, mystery, mystery. The characters. The communities. The crime. The puzzle. The deductions. The justice. All of makes for such a satisfying read. I can’t wait for Kneaded to Death and Ivy Culpepper to fall into the hands of cozy readers.

One of the best things about writing my new Bread Shop series is the bread! I get to experiment and the whole family gets to enjoy. It’s a win-win. One of my favorite new recipes is Gruyere and Black Pepper Popovers. They’re easy, quick, and SO tasty!


Gruyère and Black Pepper Popovers (16)

Recipe inspired
By Jodi Elliott, owner and chef of Foreign & Domestic Food & Drink in Austin, Texas


2 cups whole milk
4 large eggs
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups all-purpose
¾ cups Gruyère cheese, cut into small cubes.
Grated Gruyère cheese on top just after baking.


1. Preheat the oven to 450 ̊ and place the rack in the bottom third of the oven. Place a dot of butter in the bottom of each muffin or popover cup and allow to heat in the oven while you make the popover batter.

2. Use a small saucepan to warm milk at medium heat. It should be hot, but do not bring to a boil. Remove from the heat.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the salt and black pepper until smooth. Stir in the warm milk.

4. Add flour to the egg mixture. Combine. The batter should be the consistency of cream. A few lumps are okay!

5. Remove the muffin pans from the oven. Spray the pans generously with nonstick cooking spray. Pour about ⅓ cup of the batter into each of 16 muffin cups or into the popover pan. Place several cubes of cheese on top of the batter in each cup.

6. Reduce the oven temperature to 350. Bake the popovers until the tops puff up and are golden brown, about 40 minutes. Remember, do not open the oven door while baking. You don’t want the popovers to collapse!

7. Turn onto a wire cooling rack right away to preserve the crispy edge of the popovers. Using a sharp knife, pierce the base of each popover to release the steam. Sprinkle grated Gruyère over finished popovers, if desired, and serve immediately.

Winnie Archer is the pen name for national bestselling author Melissa Bourbon. She is a middle school teacher by day, and a writer by night. She lives lives in an inspiring century old house in North Texas and loves being surrounded by real-life history. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with yoga and chocolate, is devoted to her family, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.

Visit her on Facebook:

Winnie is very kindly giving away a copy of KNEADED TO DEATH! Please leave a comment with your email address to enter. Good luck!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cheese Popovers & Cheese Shop Book #Giveaway from @AveryAames

We've been having a special giveaway this past week for Thanksgiving. 

We now have over 2000 Facebook followers and a horde of regular viewers of our blog. 

To thank you all, we have been giving away a book a day, through tonight. Winners will be announced on Thanksgiving! Check back to see if you won!

I'm giving away a copy of your choice of  Cheese Shop Mysteries to celebrate the upcoming launch of AS GOUDA AS DEAD, which debuts February! Say cheese! If you already have all of the Cheese Shop Mysteries,  I'll even give you a choice of the Cookbook Nook Mysteries,  including STIRRING THE PLOT.

Leave a comment with your email so you can be entered to win!

* * *

And now, to savor the season, I'm offering a tasty treat.  One of my specialties on Thanksgiving. Cheese Popovers. For all you gluten-free people who cannot eat the stuffing, this is a great alternative. I've provided both versions of the recipe for regular eaters and celiacs! 

They pop up beautifully and satisfy any palate.

And they're so easy to make. I did purchase a special popover pan for them, but you can use a muffin pan and the yield will be 12 instead of 6. 

Cheese Popovers
Gluten-free OR Regular recipe
Read ahead to see the difference

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided

¼ cup milk (I've used both 1% and 2% milk)
¼ cup water
2 large eggs
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons gluten-free flour 
[To make regular popovers; substitute out the GF flour for regular; omit the xanthan gum]
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon dried thyme

6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese (you'll need more if using cupcake pan)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Divide 2 tablespoons melted butter among the wells of a 6-cup popover pan, brushing each to coat. Place popover pan in oven to preheat. [If you're using regular cupcake pan, use a little more melted butter so they are all well lubed.]

In large bowl, whisk together the milk, water, and eggs. Gradually whisk in remaining tablespoon melted butter.

Add the gluten-free flour, xanthan gum, salt, pepper, garlic salt, rosemary, and thyme. [As noted in the ingredients, to make regular popovers; substitute out the GF flour for regular; omit the xanthan gum]

Whisk until batter well combined. Carefully remove hot popover pan from the oven and ladel the batter evenly among the popover cups. (They’ll be about half full.)

Sprink each with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes until puffed and golden. Do not open the oven during baking time. Remove popovers from pan. Using a small knife, make a small slit in the side of each popover to release the steam. That will keep them from deflating. [Baking time if you're using cupcake pan is much shorter; 15-18 minutes.]

Serve immediately.

Remember, leave a comment and your email to enter to win a book!
Tell me what you most enjoy on the Thanksgiving table!


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STIRRING THE PLOT is available for order: order here.

AS GOUDA AS DEAD, February 2015, available for
preorder here.

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so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests! 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pop goes the Weasel

From Daryl / Avery: You’ve probably heard by now that my new protagonist in A COOKBOOK NOOK MYSTERY series isn't much of a cook. Jenna is a recovering ad executive. She was responsible for the Poppity Pop Popcorn ad and so many more. She’s a marketing wizard.

Back in high school, Jenna tried an angel food cake from scratch in high school. Disaster. She can make a boxed cake mix and meatloaf and such. Why create a clueless cook in a serie set in a cookbook shop?

My mom. She graduated college early, at the age of 19, and was a genius at just about anything she tried to do, but she’d never learned to cook. Her mother did all of it. I found letters from my mother to her grandmother, after she married my father, and she was giddy that she was learning to cook.  She’d dared to make a green Jell-O with pineapple. Wow! And she’d made a meatloaf. Superb. It was so sweet reading these darling letters. I wanted to create a character with that kind of fresh joy while learning in the kitchen.

This recipe for cheese popovers is something Jenna could make. Because they’re so pretty, popovers can seem daunting, but they’re not. You can make these with regular flour, but I made these gluten-free so any of my readers that need to eat GF can enjoy them, too.  I did invest in a popover cooking pan, which made them even easier to bake, though I tried them in a cupcake pan and that worked pretty well.

Remember to really grease the individual cups so the popovers, um, POP out.

PS  Poppity Pop Popcorn – fictional, just like the town where the Cookbook Nook Mysteries is set – Crystal Cove, California…somewhere along the Central Coast. It's so beautiful! The scent of the sea, a coastal breeze!



3 eggs
¼ cup heavy cream
1 cup 1%-2%  milk
1 1/4 cups sweet rice flour and potato starch mixture, sifted
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white or black pepper
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded


Preheat oven to 400°F.

Generously butter 6 cups in a popover pan or 6 six-ounce custard-style cups.

In a large bowl, beat eggs well with mixer. Stir in the milk and cream.

Add gluten-free flour, xanthan gum, and spices, and beat until smooth.

Stir in melted butter. {This will be gooey batter, like biscuit batter.}

Fill cups 1/2 full with batter. Top with cheese (about 2 tablespoons each) and add remaining batter.

(Note: if you want to make these regular, change the flour to your regular brand and don't include xanthan gum!)

Bake 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 275 degrees and bake another 5-10 minutes, until deep golden brown. These are luscious right out of the oven. Like all gluten-free breads, they get a little “doughy” by day two if kept in the refrigerator. However, I kept them out of the fridge, wrapped in foil, and the next day reheated them in a 200 degree oven for about 10 minutes. They were delish!

*I made these without the cheese and they were delicious, too. Fluffy.

* * * *

Daryl Wood Gerber also writes as Avery Aames, 
author of the Agatha Award-winning,
nationally bestselling CHEESE SHOP MYSTERY SERIES 

The 1st in A Cookbook Nook Mystery series is coming July 2013!!
You can pre-order the book HERE.

The 4th in A Cheese Shop Mystery series is out
You can order the book HERE. 

You can learn more about me, Daryl by clicking this LINK. "Like" my page on Facebook and "follow" me on TwitterAnd if you haven't done so, sign up for the mailing list
 so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests! Also, you probably know by now about my alter ego, Avery Aames. Chat with Avery on Facebook and Twitter.