Friday, January 7, 2011

Cheese Slices (Dessert!) and a Contest!


Thank you to my wonderful blog-sisters here for the incredible launch support for Buffalo West Wing. I am thrilled to have Ollie's fourth adventure out there and I'm very excited to see all the great reviews. Thank you!!

Couple of things you may not know about this new book...

The Buffalo Wings central to the story are named for my best friend, Rene. She makes the most awesome chocolate chip cookies. Ask anyone who knows her... Rene's chocolate chips are the best. If you ask her for the recipe, she'll tell you she just follows the directions on the back of Nestle Toll House morsel packages and that's it. I've followed that, too, but mine are never as good as hers are. She's not hiding any ingredients or secrets, because that's not her style. It's a mystery and we all love investigating because it means more cookies for us.

Anyway, I originally planned to have cookies as the the mysterious gift in BWW, but once another friend, Margie, came up with the fabulous title, Buffalo West Wing, I decided that Rene's chocolate chips needed to morph.

With all that in mind, and in honor of the chocolate chip cookies that didn't make it into the story, I'm here to share a different recipe from Rene with you. Cheese slices. Sounds like something you get from Kraft in little cellophane wrappers, right? Not even close.

You're going to love these. Rene got the recipe from her mother-in-law (Hey Nana Nancy!!) and this dessert shows up at almost all their events. My family loves these so now the slices show up at most of our events, too. You just can't get enough cheese slices!

Thank you, Rene! Thank you Mrs. B!

(Stay tuned for contest news after the recipe!)

Cheese Slices

2 cans Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (original flavor. Spring for the name brand here. I've tried using store brands and the dough just doesn't hold up. Sticky, icky!)

2 pkgs 8 oz cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg yolk (save the white for later)

1 tsp vanilla

Spread one package of rolls in the bottom of an ungreased 9 x 13 pan. Smash and maneuver until the entire bottom is covered. Mix cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla. Spread over the bottom layer.

At this point, you need to decide if you want them plain, or with other flavors. Here I did half plain, half with mini-morsels. I haven't yet tried it with fruit, but I plan to. We just all like the plain *so* much that I'm reluctant to mess with success.

Spread the second set of crescent rolls on top.
Beat the egg white until frothy. Brush on top.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, until golden brown. Refrigerate. Slice into serving pieces (I really like to cut these on an angle) and dust with powdered sugar. Serve.


* * *

Now, are you ready for a contest?


This one is for all you fast readers out there who devour books
as fast as you get your hands on them!

I want to send one lucky winner a $10 bookstore gift certificate.

How to win it?

Simply email me JulieHyzy (at) gmail (dot) com -- put CHARACTER or CONTEST in the subject. In the body of your email, answer a question (or two):

1) Who is your favorite *new* character in Buffalo West Wing?

2) Why is he/she your favorite of the newbies?

(I really love to know how readers relate to new characters, so this is enormously helpful for me!)

Answer one question, you're entered once. Answer both, you're entered twice.
It's that easy.
There's no right or wrong answer. The winner will be chosen at random. No matter which of the newbies you love (or love to hate), just providing an answer gets you in the running. (BTW, there's one character we haven't seen since book #2. If he's your favorite, that's fine too.)

I will announce the winner sometime on Friday, January 14, 2011

I'll announce a winner a week from today. So many of you have emailed to let me know they've already read it, so I thought this would be a perfect way to pick your brains before I start book #6 (#5, as yet unnamed, is done).

Thanks in advance, and happy reading!


  1. Congratulations to you, Julie! I know you've had a thrilling week. :)

    Love, love, love this recipe. It's easy, pretty, and sounds like it tastes amazing. Thank you!

  2. I love these simple recipes. Thanks for sharing and congrats on your book release.

  3. This is a KILLER recipe ;-p. I love cheesecake and will definitely have to give this one a try! I'll try them plain first, then play with some fruit, or not, however the whim moves me! Nurse JudyMac

  4. Can't wait to read it! And the recipe sounds yummy. Puff pastry is one thing that I'm not going to try to make at home, no matter how easy Julia Child says it is.

  5. TGIF, Julie. What a fun contest! Congrats again on the release of BUFFALO WEST WING. I love "semi-homemade" recipes like this one. They're wonderful for busy cooks out there. Thx to you and Rene and "Nana Nancy" aka Mrs. B for sharing today.

    On the mystery of Rene's chocolate chip cookies: I know one secret to great CC cookies. Allow the dough to "rest" in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours before baking. The cookies bake up with more toffee-like flavor notes because of this period of hydrating. That's been my experience, anyhow. I wonder if that's what Rene does. :)

    Cheers and a have a great
    "new release" weekend,

    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  6. Elizabeth - I love the easy ones, too! And it is so delicious.

    Dru - Thanks for the congrats. I love the simple recipes too - the ones you don't even have to look up because you've memorized them!

    NurseJudyMac - LOL it is a KILLER, but only in a good way! But then again, in the hands of mystery writers you never know...

    Sheila - I hear you! I'm perfectly happy with store-bought puff pastry although there's that whole "challenge" factor...

    Cleo - What a great idea for the chocolate chips. I'll have to ask her. Or maybe she'll comment here today. She visits us frequently but hasn't ever commented. But that's something I'll try. Thanks, Cleo!

  7. The name Cheese Slices doesn't do these justice. I can imagine how good they are.

    Congratulations on Buffalo West Wing! I know it will be a big success. Your contest sounds like fun!

    ~ Krista

  8. I know, Krista - I think maybe we should come up with a new name for them. Any ideas, guys? Rene and her mil always called them cheese slices, but they pack a delicious desserty wallop. I'm up for adopting a new name...

  9. OK, Off to buy the book this weekend...

    And how about Cheesy Chocolate bites, oh my!

    (dare I suggest sprinkles of bacon with the chips???)


  10. Julie - congrats on Buffalo West Wing! I have downloaded it to enjoy this weekend. Maybe I'll even make some of these killer cheese slices to go with! I agree with Krista - I think they deserve another name to match their deliciousness.

  11. Congratulations, Julie. Can't wait to read BWW. Love the simplicity of the cheese slices. I'm always looking for new cheese ideas, of course. :)
    Love adding chocolate chips. Maybe white chocolate would be fun. Or little nuggets of peeled apples?

    And your contest sounds fun! A quick read and input. Great idea.

    All my best,

  12. You have to love an easy recipe and this is it. Chocolate chips are good too this will have to be made this weekend no doubt about it.

  13. I'm about 2/3 through Buffalo West Wing and should be finished tonight. I had to turn off the light last night at 11:30 because I needed to be up for work this morning at 5:00. Otherwise, I'd have been up until I finished. I love Ollie!

    I've made puff pastry and I've made phyllo and I've made pate a choux.

    The puff pastry and the phyllo I made once just so I could say I had done it but the frozen work just as well.

    Pate a choux I've made several times and have to have help with the stirring since my hands aren't as strong as I'd like, but nothing store-bought can touch the homemade pate a choux.

  14. Dave - Great name! Love it! But sprinkles of bacon... not so sure. Hope you enjoy the book!

    Kaye! Thank you! The best part about these is that they can be made really quickly - The problem is I consume them just as quickly! Hope you enjoy!

    Avery - Ooh, white chocolate or apples? I like how you think! Next time I may try one of those!

    Babs - this is always a good one for those last-minute events. Trust me, they're always a hit.

    Wow, Harbinger! I'm totally impressed that you've made your own puff pastry and phyllo. I would love to taste your pate a choux. I've never attempted that, though my cousin makes it and we all swoon. She swears it's easy, is it? Thanks for your kind words about Ollie. Hope you enjoy the rest!