Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Valentine Treat from author @DarylWoodGerber


I have a sweetheart giveaway below, but first...

So...I was going to give you a recipe from FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE because, in the first month after release, I usually treat you to a specialty or two straight from the book, and I will do that next week, but this week, I had to tell you about a mini-disaster.

You know how authors are often doing something promotional nowadays? We make bookmarks, we write blogs, we interact on social media. We give trinkets like mugs and kitchen jar openers and spatulas as "swag."

Well, the group from Mystery Lovers Kitchen annually make recipe cards that we give out as "swag" packets at Malice Domestic Mystery Conference in April. I am in charge of putting all those cards together. We make 250 packets of about 12 recipe cards (each with a cover from our current book titles). For the last 5 years, Krista has lovingly attended to the duty. This year, I said I would take charge. So everyone sent me their cards. They're beautiful.  The recipes look delicious! 

I set out the stacks on my coffee table, and while watching a new Madam Secretary, I set them in order, one after the other. I collected them in stacks and placed them in a box, ready for the next step--ribbons--which I'm eagerly awaiting.

Well, here's the mini-disaster. This weekend, I decided to make the recipe on my card. I'd made it before, of course, but it was easiest to grab a card and follow instructions rather than search for the recipe on my computer. It's a recipe from GRILLING THE SUBJECT

Jenna's Mom's Chocolate Pudding

Yes, you're going to get a sneak preview and it's PERFECT for Valentine's Day.

Why was it a mini-disaster? Because when I read the recipe card, lo and behold, the directions were WRONG. A mess. I obviously did not proof-read!  I've been a little addled lately. 


I have to make a whole new set of them because I refuse to put out a card that is a mess. My other card for FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE was perfect, so at least I wasn't a total disaster when it came to concentration. 

But, yes, you guessed it, I get to bring out the box of 250 sets of cards, set them all on my coffee table, turn on Downton Abbey (this time), and pull out 250 GRILLING THE SUBJECT recipe cards and replace with "new" GRILLING THE SUBJECT recipe cards.  By the way, that was a costly mistake. You can bet I will be proof-reading with a much keener eye in the future!  Until I don't, of course, because I am mistake-prone lately.

Did I mention I had a freak accident a few weeks ago?  Tune in for that story!  LOL

Here's the RIGHT recipe for Jenna's Mom's Chocolate Pudding. It is SUPER EASY. Luckily it turned out so well that it has been assuaging my feelings of total and utter stupidity.  

Jenna’s Mom’s Easy Chocolate Pudding
[4 servings]

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped cream

In a medium saucepan (no heat yet), stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt. Now stir in the milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.

Pour into individual dessert dishes. Note!  To keep a skin from forming on the top, press some plastic wrap on the surface of the pudding!  Refrigerate at least 2 hours.  When ready, remove the plastic wrap, and top each with whipped topping, if desired.


By the way, do you get my newsletter? Are you part of the fan club? There are fun puzzles, special pictures, tidbits, and giveaways. I will not inundate you with emails. You will only get updates when I have something to late next month!  In March! Are you on pins and needles? Sign up today so you don't miss out in the future.


Leave your name and email so I can contact you if you WIN and tell me something sweet or funny that has happened to you!  I'll be giving away a SAVOR THE MYSTERY MUG. Winner will be picked Friday, the 12th.

PS  Can you see what's wrong with my recipe? 

Check directions. First paragraph.

Nice array, right?

Savor the mystery and say cheese!
Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames
Tasty ~ Zesty ~ Dangerous!

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Plus check out our website with lots of trailers, excerpts, plus a fan club with puzzles and giveaways!

GRILLING THE SUBJECT, the 5th Cookbook Nook Mystery, can be pre-ordered. Click here to order.

the 7th Cheese Shop Mystery.
Click to order.


  1. Something sweet = receiving my favorite flowers, red roses, as a "just because I'm thinking of you" gift. So sweet, indeed. Liz Stark

  2. Watch those apostrophes. Love the recipe!

    1. Well, I don't see an apostrophe problem, so fill me in. But I repeat medium saucepan in the first sentence. And then I also have "and 1 minute" - um, what the heck does that mean? LOL

      ~ Daryl / Avery

  3. Oh Daryl/Avery, sorry about the error! I guess it was a good thing you were the one putting them together...the pudding looks beautiful.

    1. Good for me. Mind you, I did not read everyone else's cards. LOL I'm just so glad my other one was "fine." Sigh.

      ~ Daryl / Avery

  4. Welcome to the land of addle-pated beings! (Not surprisingly, spellcheck is confused over my choice of words)
    This sounds like a wonderfully easy pudding. Thanks

    1. And it's wonderfully delicious, too! Addle-pated. I love that word!

      ~ Daryl / Avery

  5. Yikes! Well, it's a good thing that you decided to make some pudding - lol! It just proves that chocolate really is good for you because if you hadn't had a craving you might have missed the error. p.s. I must be missing the error, unless it's "medium saucepan" twice in the first sentence....not awake enough yet! :-) p.p.s. Pudding looks decadent!!! :-) Nicole

    1. Yep, that's it. Twice I need a medium saucepan. Really? LOL I wasn't awake when I wrote it and reread it, apparently! ~ Daryl / Avery

  6. Stuff happens, so don't beat yourself up (at least you caught the mistake in time!). We see what we expect to see, and two saucepans are better than none. Looks delicious!

  7. My mother, who died when I was in high school, made the best chocolate pudding - and I liked to eat it warm. Chocolate pudding always reminds me of her.

    1. Karlene, I'm sorry your mom passed away so early (I lost my father young - a great loss), but what a lovely memory to have about the pudding.

      ~ Daryl / Avery

  8. Glad you caught it before the cards went out! Something sweet that happened: Every year, I give my employees holiday gifts but don't expect gifts. A new employee went to the trouble of learning which candy bar is my favorite and giving me a bouquet of them!

  9. It's good that you caught it before you gave out the cards.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

  10. I received an amaryllis from the lady I do grocery shopping for every week. The best present this year were tickets to two performances.

  11. Yummy!! Reminds me I need to get cocoa on my next shopping trip.

    1. Shelli, yes. I used Penzey's, but I'm sure any high grade cocoa would work. And Hershey's would probably do in a pinch, too.

      ~ Daryl / Avery

  12. When I was a teenager, I was trying to entertain a boyfriend and was warming up some cookies in the ovn. I put them in a paper bag and it started on fire! I've never live it down.