Sunday, September 29, 2013

Book Club Week - Steamed to Death by Peg Cochran

I hope you have been enjoying our Book Club Week!  I know I have.  And now it’s my turn.  I’m setting the table with my prettiest plates and napkins and looking forward to the ladies arriving for tonight’s discussion.

Tonight we’re discussing Steamed to Death, the second book in my Gourmet De-Lite series.  My protagonist, Gigi Fitzgerald, provides catered diet gourmet meals to a select group of clients.  In Steamed to Death, she has snared Felicity Davenport, star of the daytime soap For Better, Or For Worse.  Felicity is on the wrong side of forty and has a younger co-star nipping at her heels and just dying to fill Felicity’s shoes.  Felicity is determined to lose some weight, get a complete make-over, and reappear after the hiatus as a new person.  Unfortunately, someone has it in for Felicity, and she winds up dead.  Gigi’s best friend is the most logical suspect, and it’s up to Gigi to prove the police wrong.

Some questions to consider for your discussion:

Should Gigi stick with Detective Bill Mertz, a strong, solid, dependable kind of guy or give in to her attraction to bad boy Declan McQuaid? 

How about you?  Do you go for the reliable type or are you attracted to the bad boys?

Felicity is concerned about her appearance now that she is hitting middle-age.  Do you feel women are discriminated against when they get older? 

If you would like to see how I envision the characters and setting in Steamed to Death, check out my Pinterest board.

Tonight I’m serving some desserts to sweeten our book discussion including a lime tart.  I’m offering another fruity dessert as well—peach kuchen.  And for something a little savory, I’m putting together a cheese tray to go with my chicken liver mousse.  

Fresh Lime Tart

1.5 cups Graham Cracker crumbs (approx. 1 sleeve plus 4 crackers)
1/4 cup butter, melted (approx. 2 minutes on half power in micro)
3 TBL sugar
1 14-oz can sweetened, condensed milk
1 8-oz package cream cheese
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (approx. 1 lime)
1 TBL grated lime peel
Fresh fruit for decoration

Mix Graham Cracker crumbs (I ground them in my food processor) with the sugar then stir in melted butter.  It will look like wet sand.  Press into the bottoms and sides of a tart pan sprayed with non-stick spray.  Bake 5 minutes at 350 degrees and remove from oven.

Beat sweetened condensed milk and cream cheese until smooth.  Stir in lime juice and zest.  Pour over crust and smooth top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 28 to 30 minutes until filling is set.  Cool to room temperature then refrigerate for at least two hours.

Remove from refrigerator before serving and decorate top with sliced berries or other cut-up fruit.

You can also substitute lemon juice and zest for the lime for an equally refreshing dessert.

Grated lime zest

Melt butter in microwave

Finely ground Graham Crackers

Graham Cracker crumbs mixed with melted butter

Press Graham cracker crumbs into prepared tart pan

Beat cream cheese and condensed milk until smooth

Pour into shell
Bon Appetit!
The perfect napkins for our book club!

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  1. Oooh! I'm going to your book club, Peg! This is really elegant and I can practically taste it. And I will try to stay away from the bad boys.

    Great post! You and Gigi are a winning team.



  2. That looks yummy! (And I think we have all the same cookware.) Of course, book club members need sugar to think effectively about books.

  3. Nice post, Peg, good questions, yummy tart recipe, and those napkins are adorable!

  4. Wow. Sounds like this would be easy to make the night before book club. Then pull out the fun napkins and serve without wearing yourself out the night of the meeting. And those napkins are adorable!


  5. Peg, so pretty! Love this tart. And I adore the napkins. Very cute. May we all be "well red." :)

    Daryl / Avery

  6. Our family loves this kind of key lime or lime tart. I make my key lime pie filling with just about the same ingredients, but with four egg yolks and then lightly baked. It is sooooo good. Very special looking napkins that is for sure. Thanks for the great reminder of something lime. Ummm.

  7. My daughter gifted me with those napkins. She said they were "me." Hmmm...wonder if that's good or bad! LOL.

  8. PS The tart is still in the tart pan because I had to take it to our wine tasting group and I wanted to protect it on the way! It's even prettier out of the pan.