Sunday, June 10, 2018

Welcome guest Kate Carlisle + book giveaway!

Bibliophile Appetizer: Ham and Cheese Book Puffs

by Kate Carlisle

I'm a bibliophile. Big time. So much so, that I write a series called the Bibliophile Mysteries, in which a master bookbinder solves murders that are connected to the rare books in her care.

In the latest Bibliophile Mystery, Buried in Books, Brooklyn Wainwright is planning her wedding to the man of her dreams, British security expert Derek Stone. (Even better than James Bond because Derek loves books almost as much as Brooklyn does.) Just before their wedding, the largest library convention in the country hits San Francisco—one of the most bookish cities in the United States.

Hundreds of book lovers in one place! I think that's what heaven is like. Except, you know, murder. You can read chapter 1 here:

In honor of Buried in Books, I created some bibliophile appetizer recipes to share with members of my mailing list in the Secret Room at Wouldn't these Ham and Cheese Book Puffs be perfect for a book lover's wedding, a potluck party at a library, or for book club?

I had the idea when I got started to carve out letters on the covers of the books. Like this one, with the word READ. On some others, I carved out my initials.

That turned out to be wasted effort because the letters were illegible when the puffs came out of the oven. However, slicing along the spine and putting a vertical line down the front of the spine did show up and made the puffs look more book-like.

I used metal cocktail picks because they sort of look like murder weapons, but you can use toothpicks if you prefer. Super quick and easy to throw these together!

Kate Carlisle's Ham and Cheese Book Puffs

8 oz thinly sliced ham (or turkey), cut into 1" x 1.5" rectangles – a stack of 4-5 pieces will be the pages of your books
4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup French fried onions
½ tsp dry dill
½ tsp garlic salt
1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the meat and set aside into 16 stacks. In a food processor, combine the cream cheese, cheddar, onions, dill, and garlic salt until smooth.

Unfold the sheet of puff pastry. Cut it into 16 rectangles. Roll out each rectangle until it's large enough to fold around a stack of meat as a book cover. Spread about 1 Tbsp of cheese mixture on each book cover. Put the pages into the book, fold it closed and, if desired, make a small slice to mark the spine. Hold it closed with a toothpick or cocktail pick. Brush with egg yolk. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet until they're puffy and golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Serve with or without the picks.

If you were going to have a book-themed party, on what book would you base your theme? Why?


Matrimony and murder collide as San Francisco book-restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright walks down the aisle...

Brooklyn has it all covered. She’s triple-checked her wedding to-do list, and everything is on track for the upcoming ceremony with the love of her life, security expert Derek Stone.

Not everyone has been as lucky in love as Brooklyn. Her old library college roommates Heather and Sara lost touch twelve years ago when Sara stole Heather’s boyfriend. Brooklyn was caught in the middle and hasn’t seen her former besties since their falling-out. When they both arrive in town for the annual librarians’ convention and then show up at her surprise bridal shower, Brooklyn is sure drama will ensue. But she’s touched when the women seem willing to sort out their differences and gift her rare copies of The Three Musketeers and The Blue Fairy Book.

Brooklyn’s prewedding calm is shattered when one of her formerly feuding friends is found murdered and Brooklyn determines that one of the rare books is a forgery. She can’t help but wonder if the victim played a part in this fraud, or if she was targeted because she discovered the scam. With a killer and con artist on the loose, Brooklyn and Derek—with the unsolicited help of their meddling mothers—must catch the culprit before their big day turns into a big mess.


Today, I’m giving away a paperback copy of A COOKBOOK CONSPIRACY. US only, please.

You can find Kate on the Internet here:

Twitter: @Katecarlisle