Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Grilled Cheese from TO BRIE OR NOT TO BRIE

I just got back from Salt and Pepper Books, where a bunch of us signed a ton of books - what a great selection of cookbooks and culinary mysteries, the Malice Domestic Conference, and the Festival of Mystery held by the fabulous indie bookstore, Mystery Lovers Bookshop. They have a great online mystery book selection! Check 'em out!

I've posted pictures on my Facebook page.

Here are a few highlights...

"Victoria Abbott" aka Mary Jane with one of the goodie bags we were giving away from MLK

Lucy, Peg, former MLK'er Ellery Adams, and Sheila at Salt & Pepper Books, a fabulous culinary bookshop!!

Krista and the other nominees for the Agatha Award best novel 

Me, pal-ing around with my critique buds, Janet Bolin (often a guest on MLK; she has a new book out in June)
and Krista (who also has a new book out in June!

It was great to connect with old friends, who aren't old, just darned fun! If you want to see more, go to my Facebook page (link below).

Speaking of old friends...

One of my favorite characters in A Cheese Shop Mystery series is Delilah. She is an "old" friend of Charlotte's. [She's in her me and my pals! LOL]  Delilah runs the Country Kitchen Diner with her father, Pops. Delilah returned to Providence after trying to make it on Broadway as a dancer.  Because she’s a go-getter, she wouldn't let her failure on Broadway lessen her love of life. Now that she’s back in town, she’s become the go-to actress or director. She’s even tried her hand at writing a play. My kind of gal. Busy and creative. On a personal note, Delilah is on a quest to make the best grilled cheese ever. She tries all sorts of ingredients.

For my second Cookbook Nook mystery, I’m channeling Delilah. Yes, I’m already writing the "second" as I prepare to publish the first in the series, FINAL SENTENCE. In the second, INHERIT THE WORD, The Cookbook Nook is hosting the town's grilled cheese challenge.  Jenna,  (the protagonist and devoted foodie),  has recently learned that there are recipes at the end of many of the culinary mysteries that she sells in the shop (like all of ours). Talk about a fun surprise. And some of them are easy! So, of course, Jenna has to try her hand at making something from one of the books.

By now, you must be realizing that these two worlds often "collide" in my creative and somewhat over-taxed brain, but it’s so much fun!

I share with you now Jenna’s remake of Delilah’s grilled cheese from TO BRIE OR NOT TO BRIE. Confused? Delilah offers this sandwich when Charlotte, Matthew, Meredith, and the twins come into the diner to discuss the floral arrangements for Matthew and Meredith’s upcoming wedding. The recipe includes bacon!


(serves 2)

4 slices bread
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons cream cheese
4-6 oz. Doux de Montagne or Fromage d’Affinois cheese
6-8 grapes
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 slices bacon, cooked crisply and chopped
1 teaspoon pepper
dash of paprika

For each sandwich, butter two slices of bread on one side only. Spread cream cheese on the other side of the bread.

Meanwhile, grill the bacon to crisp and drain on paper towels. When cool, cut or chop into small bites.  [Delilah suggests grilling the bacon in the microwave, on paper towels. No mess. Takes about 3-4 minutes.]

Sauté the chopped onion in the sauté pan with the olive oil for 3-5 minutes until slightly browned.  Cool.

Rinse and slice the grapes into “chopped olive” sized slices.

Mix the bacon, onion and grapes together like a salsa.

Heat up flat grilling pan. Place one slice of bread, butter side down, on hot grilling surface.  Layer with Doux de Montagne or Fromage d’Affinois (or other favorite soft) cheese. Top with the grape salsa. Top with the other piece of bread (butter side up).

Grill the sandwich on low to medium for 4-5 minutes. Flip the sandwich and grill for another 4-5 minutes, until a nice golden brown and cheese oozing.

Remove from heat and serve immediately.

[This can be made on gluten-free bread. It is still amazing.]

Say cheese and savor the mystery!

* * * * * * *
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.


  1. Well that is an amazing grilled cheese recipe--chock full of little surprises:).

    And I love the idea of your new character cooking from culinary mysteries--so clever!

    1. Lucy, she'll do a few recipes from mysteries, many others from cookbooks, and some from recipe cards (old and new). She's on a learning curve. It's fun to "re-teach" myself.

      Daryl / Avery

  2. Sounds really yummy. What are those cheeses like? What more familiar cheese is similar?

    I totally agree with Lucy/Roberta--the characters cooking from mystery books is a great idea!

    1. Hi, Libby! More familiar cheeses...Both Doux de Montagne and Fromage d'Affinois are soft, gooey cheeses, like the inside of a Brie or Camembert. But they are much more subtle in flavor. You could use a Mascarpone (but it might be a little too soft). A Monterey Jack would do the trick. It melts well. Look for any double-cream or triple-cream cheese. That might narrow it down in your local dairy case.


      Daryl aka Avery

  3. oh! that sounds really good!!! I've never thought of cream cheese on the inside. I usually use mayo. The grapes sound yummy to. I've used tomatoes or a special bread and butter pickle, but never thought grapes. Now, I'm going to have to go get some grapes and cream cheese and try that one. I'll pick up the cheese next time I go to the grocery store and make them for lunch one day. Thanks for the idea. Can't wait for your second series to come out. I've already read all the cheese shop series and am craving more :)

    1. Sue, thanks so much. Lovely to hear from you. I know people have used mayo on the outside instead of butter. I hadn't heard of using mayo on the inside, so we're both learning something new. I love tomatoes on a grilled cheese. Again, that savory with the sweet.

      Enjoy lunch!

      Avery aka Daryl

  4. Grapes? Oh my, that really is a surprise. It sounds like a great idea. And I happen to have bought a lovely Brie and some fresh bread today. Ohh, no grapes, though. I'll have to suffer without them!

    Thanks for posting the photos, Daryl. We had so much fun! Can it really just be last week that we met for dinner?


    1. You know, Krista, I'm trying out all sorts of things in grilled cheese and it's amazing what works. It's like a gooey cheese platter, when you think of it.

      Yes, it was a week ago. Time is flying!!! Way too fast. I'm picturing an animated feature right about now, chasing after the clock. Whoosh!


      Daryl / Avery