Saturday, November 25, 2017

#Recipe for gift ideas + A DEADLY ÉCLAIR #giveaway from @DarylWoodGerber

From Daryl aka Avery:

I'm doing a special weekend post to help out a fellow MLK'er, but also to help kick off the upcoming holiday season!

So let's talk presents.

There's a giveaway below that might HELP you with your present giving.

What will you be buying for stocking stuffers? What books will you be buying friends and family? Giving a book is always a great way to give hours of pleasure to someone you love.

What else can you give them? How about home-baked goods? On MLK, we offer plenty of suggestions for sweet treats. I especially like to give home-baked treats to people that help me (or my family or Sparky) keep healthy all year long, like my doctor or chiropractor or vet. Yes, it takes a bit of time to make home-baked items, but when you wrap them on a pretty plate and you add a pretty bow, they really make people smile.

Well, below, I'm offering a fun one to bake . I know some of you might be pumpkin'd out by now, but I rarely am. I like pumpkin-flavored goods all year long. And this one is SO EASY!

If you want, make these goodies in mini bundt pans (I don't have a picture of that) and wrap them up individually.

I made this version gluten-free, but you who can eat flour may simply substitute regular flour for the gluten-flour and omit the xanthan gum.

Gluten-free Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Blueberries

2 cups gluten-free flour
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (*1 cinnamon, ½ ginger, ½ allspice, dash of nutmeg)
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 whole eggs
1 cup 100% pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
½ cup milk
1 cup blueberries
Powdered sugar or fresh whipped cream, if desired

Preheat oven to 350.

Grease a Bundt cake pan with non-stick spray or butter, dust with flour, then tap out any excess. In a large bowl sift together the gluten-free flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice (or substitute).

In a separate mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar for 2 minutes. Add the eggs and continue to mix until bright yellow and smooth. Mix in the pumpkin puree.

Gradually add half of the gluten-free flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Pour in the milk and add in the rest of the gluten-free flour mixture. Beat until well incorporated. Fold in the blueberries.

Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan, smooth the top, then bake the cake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan.

If desired, dust with powdered sugar or serve with fresh whipped cream.

If wrapping for gifts, let cool completely!

(*If you make these in small bundt pans, cook for 25 minutes. If you make cupcakes, cook 18-20 minutes. Yield: 6 small bundt plus 3 cupcakes or about 12-15 cupcakes)



As a special giveaway, I'm offering yet one more copy of my new
French Bistro Mystery,
in hardcover or e-book.
Leave a comment (and your email, cryptic if necessary)
and tell me what is your favorite gift to give
or your favorite baked item to ENJOY during the holidays?

I'll choose this winner on Wednesday.


Mimi Rousseau is throwing the bistro’s first wedding—the nuptials of a famous talk show host. She is sure things will go awry when the bride’s father shows up drunk to the out-of-towners’ dinner. By the end of the evening, things look sweet again…until the next morning, when her benefactor is found dead at the bistro with an éclair stuffed in his mouth. All fingers point at Mimi, whose loan is forgiven if he dies. It’s up to her to éclair—er, clear—her name before the killer turns up the heat.


"Talk about a culinary delight, this book is the pinnacle of deliciousness as I devoured all that was written in this exciting new series featuring Mimi and her friends." ~ Dru's Book Musings

"I have been looking forward to the book since I first saw the cover pop up on Facebook and it certainly exceeded my expectations. As a fan of the author’s Cheese Shop Mysteries and Cookbook Nook Mysteries, I knew the characters would be strong and the food descriptions would have my mouth watering and I was right." ~ Escape with Dollycas Blog

Savor the mystery!

Friend Daryl and Avery on Facebook
Follow Daryl on Twitter
Follow Avery on Twitter
Follow both of us on Pinterest
Plus check out my website.

A DEADLY ÉCLAIR, the 1st in the French Bistro Mysteries, is coming November 2017. Can Mimi clear her name before the killer turns up the heat? Click here to order.

GRILLING THE SUBJECT, the 5th Cookbook Nook Mystery, is out!
The Wild West Extravaganza has come to Crystal Cove.
Click here to order.

the 7th Cheese Shop Mystery is out!
Finally there's going to be a cheese festival in Providence!
Click to order.

GIRL ON THE RUN a stand-alone suspense
When a fairytale fantasy night becomes a nightmare, 
Chessa Paxton must run for her life...but will the truth set her free? 
Click to order

my new stand-alone suspense
A mother he thought was dead. A father he never knew. 
An enemy that wants them dead.
Click here to order.


  1. My favorite gift to give during the holidays is also my favorite item to bake: a batch of Blondies.

  2. My favourite stocking stuffer/gift is a gift card to Chapters. My favourite thing to bake for the holidays are sugar cookies. Decorating them is so much fun.

    1. A gift card to a bookstore, I assume. What a great name for one. Lynne, good for you. ~ Daryl

  3. My favorite food gift to give is actually a Mystery Lovers' Kitchen recipe from Krista Davis, and I've made it for the last 3 years. She posted a recipe for salted caramel sauce (served with pumpkin pie) and it was so delicious and simple to make. I'll hand out about a dozen jars again this year to friends and coworkers. Thanks for sharing your recipe, Daryl - I have 5 more cans of pumpkin puree to use, and your recipe looks perfect! p.s. I've been meaning to get one of those pans with the mini-bundts - so cute! Happy holidays! Nicole

    1. Nicole, sounds perfect. What a great idea as a gift. Goes on anything! ~ Daryl

  4. Sugar cookies or stout gingerbread.

  5. OOps! forgot moodiesmum at yahoo dot com

  6. I like a pecan praline cookie that is super easy to make. The praline sauce is poured onto a graham cracker base, baked, then frozen to help it set. Yummy.

  7. Pumpkin. Bleach. I’m just going to skip that ingredient. ���� roswita.hildebrandt (@)

  8. Autocorrect! It should say blech 😂

    1. Zita, sorry you don't like pumpkin. Not sure what you could switch it for, maybe carrots? ~ Daryl

  9. I love my brother's chocolate chip cookies! No idea what's so different, he uses the same recipe I do but his are just way more amazing even in texture. He and his wife team up to make the cookies for our family Christmas. I actually love giving this same brother NCIS stuff like tees or mugs, we both just love that show! barbie17(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. Hmm. Are you sure he uses the same amount of butter or maybe he bakes them at a higher temperature? Whatever works, Tari, right? Enjoy. PS Love NCIS, too. Getting ready to binge watch a few. ~ Daryl

  10. Make homemade stockings

  11. I love Pecan Pie!!!

    wfnren at aol dot com

    1. Wendy, woot! I cannot say Pecan Pie without thinking of Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally saying that phrase over and over. So funny! ~ Daryl

  12. My late Husband & I use to make his Mother's recipe for homemade fudge every year, it was such fun doing it together. I sure will miss doing this, he passed away a little over a year ago from Kidney Cancer. I love these mystery books & I would be so excited to win this one. Thanks for your great generosity.

    1. Linda, my heart goes out to you. I know what you're feeling. There are so many traditions that I miss with my beloved Chuck. A part of my heart is missing as I approach the holidays. It's 2 years now and feels like yesterday. I will keep you in my prayers. ~ Daryl

  13. I make different breads, cranberry, banana, pumpkin, and cookies to give as gifts. I have never put blueberries with pumpkin before, so new idea for this year! Thank you for the giveaway!

    1. Deb, glad you like the idea. I think people really appreciate home-baked goods. :) Daryl

  14. I have small flower pots that I can bake I make several "flower pot" breads to give....whatever I know that particular person likes, I bake for them..they are cute!!

    I bought your book a while back so you do not have to enter me...

    1. SueAnn, those sound adorable. What bread do you bake and do you add a "flower" to the wrapping? So cute! ~ Daryl

  15. My mother's cheese balls (recipe now in my hands) which cobmines Cheddar, Blue, and Cream cheeses. Can be made with our without nuts. This year I am making a 2nd one, with Gorgonzola instead of Blue, just to try it out. Sprinkle a little parsley on top and serve with hard crackers that can handle with blended cheeses.

    1. Claire, I made a cheese ball for one of the first Cheese Shop Mysteries I wrote and it was a huge success. Hmm. Must go through the books and see where that recipe is. Oh, wait, it might be on MLK's list, too. Ha! Problem solved. Thanks for the idea. ~ Daryl

  16. My favorite gift to give is a book. 📚 I’m a retired Reading teacher so always love giving books. My favorite baked item to enjoy during the holidays is homemade pumpkin bread. I make lots of them.

    1. Donna, I love to give books too. Especially to young readers. There are so many wonderful ones to choose from. ~ Daryl

  17. I have been giving gift cards more and more, since I never know what to get people. And that cake looks delicious! I love both pumpkin and blueberries so I'll have to try it.

  18. Marla, I have to say gift cards really seem to do the trick. You can't go wrong. :) ~ Daryl

  19. I give gifts that are unique and suited to the individual. If they love cooking, baking, art, etc. then a gift of that type would be appreciated. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. Traveler, how nice to make something suited to each. That's very special. Kudos to you for being so clever. ~ Daryl