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 At the time we were all unpublished and trying our best to polish our writing and learn the ins and outs of the crazy publishing world.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!