Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ice Cream with Chocolate-Cabernet Sauce

A very warm welcome to Leslie Budewitz, author of the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries! Leslie goes way back with Daryl, Peg, Sheila, and Krista, who all met through the Guppies Chapter of Sisters in Crime. At the time we were all unpublished and trying our best to polish our writing and learn the ins and outs of the crazy publishing world. We all finally met face-to-face at Malice Domestic where Leslie has twice won the Agatha Award! 

Leslie is very generously offering to give away a copy of Crime Rib! Leave a comment here to enter. And don't forget to leave your e-address so she can contact you. Good luck!

And now, here's our friend, Leslie!

            “What flavor do I like best, Mom?” Landon bounced as we approached the order window.           
            Wow. This was no ordinary ice cream truck. A sensory cornucopia spilled its bounty as customers accepted their waffle cones, bit in, and stopped in their tracks.
            “Chocolate Heaven and Peanut Butternutter, but you have to choose. Just one scoop.”
            A pout crossed his face, disappearing as quickly as it came on. “Chocolate Heaven!”
            Chiara chose Madagascar Vanilla. Ohmygosh. The ice creamers loved local flavors, too: Dixon Melon, Flathead Tart Cherry, Wild Montana Raspberry. Like my nephew, I didn’t want to stop at one scoop, generous as they were.
            “Avalanche Crunch,” I said finally, my business brain racing. “Do you sell pints?”
            “Thinking about it,” the man wielding the scoop said.
            I fished out a business card. “Erin Murphy from Glacier Mercantile. The Merc. Call me.”
            My tongue mined fudgy veins of chocolate embedded in rich vanilla, striking golden chunks of butterscotch and crunchy nuts. Okay, so nothing about that combination screams “Montana,” but you couldn’t go wrong naming anything for one of the prettiest creeks in the Park.
            “This may be the best ice cream on the planet,” I said between licks.
            Chiara grunted agreement.
            A ruckus erupted behind me and I turned to see what was going on.
            “What do you mean, no? You said—” Pete’s voice was thin and strained.
            “That was before I saw what an ass you are. I can’t count on you to hold your temper and use good judgment in public,” Gib replied in a biting tone.
            “I’m an ass? You’re the one going back on your word.” Pete lowered his camera.
            Gib Knox slipped easily into a fighter’s stance, feet spread, fists raised, and I dashed toward them.
            “Guys, hey. Knock it off.”
            Whether Gib meant to hit Pete or me, I didn’t know. At that moment, it didn’t matter. His fist caught my face. My head whipped back and I went down hard, landing on my tailbone and bouncing on to my left side. My right cheek felt hammered. Bits of rock and dirt ground into my skin and pain shot from my left elbow to my shoulder and back again.
            So that’s what they mean by seeing stars.
            And not my lucky stars.”

Excerpted from Crime Rib, second in the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, out July 1, from Berkley Prime Crime.

            As you might expect, Erin’s scoop of Avalanche Crunch does not survive her encounter with the fist of Gib Knox, aka Nasty Knox, host of the TV show Food Preneurs, visiting Jewel Bay, Montana to film the 35th Annual Summer Food and Art Festival and its centerpiece, the steak grill-off. After the show’s producer is killed in a hit-and-run, Erin reluctantly agrees to step in and help out, even though it means hours away from managing the Merc, the local foods market she runs in her family’s century-old village grocery. For the good of the town, she thinks. For a shot at national publicity. But when the host shows her a less than camera-ready side of himself, and a contestant dies after a brutal attack with a meat mallet, Erin worries that the town’s reputation as a family-friendly, food-loving, vacation village will go up in flames. And when the sheriff runs out of leads, it’s up to her to smoke out the truth.

            Thank goodness for ice cream smothered in chocolate sauce—a little “medicine” she scored at the Festival.

Chocolate-Cabernet Sauce
Perfect on top of ice cream or cheesecake, after a hard night of sleuthing.

1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons Cabernet Sauvignon
½ pound semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces for easier melting (Erin likes Scharffen Barger’s baking bars)

Heat the cream, butter, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add in the chocolate and wine, and stir until smooth.

Makes about one pint. Erin stores the sauce in a pint jar in the fridge, and warms it for serving by setting the jar in a bowl of very hot water.

About Crime Rib:

“Gourmet food market owner Erin Murphy is determined to get Jewel Bay, Montana’s scrumptious local fare some national attention. But her scheme for culinary celebrity goes up in flames when the town’s big break is interrupted by murder…

Food Preneurs, one of the hottest cooking shows on TV, has decided to feature Jewel Bay in an upcoming episode, and everyone in town is preparing for their close-ups, including the crew at the Glacier Mercantile, aka the Merc. Not only is Erin busy remodeling her courtyard into a relaxing dining area, she’s organizing a steak-cooking competition between three of Jewel Bay’s hottest chefs to be featured on the program.

But Erin’s plans get scorched when one of the contending cooks is found dead. With all the drama going on behind the scenes, it’s hard to figure out who didn’t have a motive to off the saucy contestant. Now, to keep the town’s rep from crashing and burning on national television, Erin will have to grill some suspects to smoke out the killer…”

About Leslie:

Leslie Budewitz is the national best-selling author of Death al Dente, first in the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries set in northwest Montana, and winner of the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Crime Rib, the second in the series, will be published by Berkley Prime Crime on July 1, 2014. Her Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries will debut in March 2015.

Also a lawyer, Leslie won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction for Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law & Courtroom Procedure (Quill Driver Books), making her the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction.

For more tales of life in the wilds of northwest Montana, and bonus recipes, visit her website and subscribe to her newsletter.

Facebook: LeslieBudewitzAuthor

Book Info:
Crime Rib by Leslie Budewitz
Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, #2
Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Penguin Random House (Berkley Prime Crime)
ISBN-10: 0425259552

ISBN-13: 978-0425259559

Don't forget to leave a comment with your e-address to enter the drawing for a copy of Crime Rib! Good luck!


  1. The comments section isn't working correctly. Try leaving a post here!! Love cooking shows and the sauce looks to die for--not literally though. Would love to win your new book. Congrats on winning the Agatha Award. Good luck with this new book. Ronnalord(at)msn(dot)com

  2. I think Erin will need ice cream and this chocolate sauce to survive that cook off! Sounds delicious.

  3. Oh that sauce is now on my to make list , and this book is on my wish list ! They both sound awesome !

  4. Sounds fabulous, Leslie! Good luck with the new book--which also sounds fabulous--and congratulations on winning the Agatha!

    Also, have you seen the plastic Ball lids? They are great for using jars when you aren't actually canning; the two-piece lids are such a nuisance.


  5. This book sounds awesome and the recipe sounds delicious! You can't get any better than pairing chocolate and wine! :)

  6. Leaving comment for Ronnalord(at)msn(dot)com who cannot get the comments to work.


  7. If there's anything I love more than a great mystery series, it's great ice cream! Thank you for posting this recipe and for introducing me to another series for me to devour!

  8. Congrats on the Agatha! I loved the first book and can't wait to get reacquainted with the characters.
    momzillasteel at gmail dot com

  9. I love Montana and I love food---sounds like I'd better read this book.
    Thanks for the contest.

  10. Yum. I bet that sauce would be great on pound cake, too.

  11. Good morning, Mystery Lovers! Thanks for all the kind words. It's definitely going to be an ice cream kind of day out here in Montana!

  12. I read the first book in this series thanks to a very generous friend. I'm looking forward to reading this one also. It's on my advance notice TBR list which I post to FB once a month. I'd love to win this copy though and add it to my home library.


  13. Congrats Leslie on this book. I haven't read the 1st book in the series but now I can both the books to my TBR list. Since there is food in this book, I bet my husband will read this book with me. We are huge fans of Cleo Coyle (coffee) and are always looking for new authors to read.
    your1chef at

  14. Love cooking shows so this should be a fun read. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. kuzlin(at)aol(dot)com

  15. Hi, Leslie! So great to see you here. Love the recipe and love your success! Hugs, Daryl aka Avery :)

  16. This story sounds wonderful. The chocolate sauce also sounds great but I'd make it without the Cab since I am allergic to alcohol. Congrats on the book!

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  17. Delicious. I love the addition of wine. I bet the sauce would be delicious over other things too-fresh berries, cake...

    cozyupwithkathy at gmail dot com

  18. Love the book cover. Looks like a great cozy mystery.


  19. YUM - to both the book and the recipe!


  20. I assume the Cabernet adds flavor the way a bourbon or such would. Nice idea.
    The excerpt certainly has my attention. Bad enough to get punched, but to lose that wonderful ice cream?! Cruel!
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  21. OMG that sounds perfect! Over a French vanilla ice cream. Now I need your book to read while I'm eating. Both sound delicious! ezrag2 at aol (dot) com

  22. Oh my goodness that sauce sounds decadent but wonderful. And the series sounds wonderful too. I am definitely planning to look for book one to get started reading it.

  23. Welcome to Mystery Lovers Kitchen, Leslie. Congrats on the new book - looking forward to it. And this recipe looks decadent and delish.



  24. Sounds like a great book.


  25. Poor Erin...getting knocked on her hiney AND losing her ice cream!!! LOL!! Just read your chocolate cabernet sauce to the hubster, needless to say, it's now copied & printed. Thanks for sharing Leslie & I hope CRIME RIB sells a million copies!!

  26. I enjoyed the first book and am looking forward to reading "Crime Rib".

  27. I loved the first book. Can't wait for this one. The chocolate sauce sounds delicious too! Thanks for the chance to win.

  28. I loved the first book in this series - looking forward to #2!

    diannej at mpinet dot net

  29. Great title!

    littleone AT shaw DOT ca

  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. Can't wait to read it.

    eparker at arkwest dot com

  32. Sounds great!

  33. Thanks for all the many kind words! The cab adds flavor to the sauce; it could easily be omitted or a non-alcoholic wine substituted. While we love it over French vanilla ice cream, it would be splendiferous over pound cake, cheese cake, angel food cake with strawberries, and oh so many more treats! And thanks for the tip about the reusable plastic lids -- I've seen the ones that convert a canning jar into a shaker or a sippy cup!
    Off to an outdoor concert -- a guitarist and a guitar-bass-piano trio. That's summer in Jewel Bay! But I'll check in later.

  34. Need an ice cream fix now!

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  35. Oh my goodness - it sounds wonderful and the pictures make it look so easy :)


  36. Yum. Bobbipad at gmail dot com

  37. I'm now craving ice cream with that sauce.