Wednesday, July 11, 2018

A SOUFFLÉ OF SUSPICION IS OUT + book & tote bag #GIVEAWAY by @DarylWoodGerber

From Daryl



I had such a good time writing this book. I tested a lot of sweet and savory dishes. I've shared 14 recipes in all. Isn't Scoundrel adorable on the table? That mischiefmaker.

Today, I'm going to share a savory dish. There is nothing quite like a good stew to warm the heart and soul.  Yes, even in the middle of the summer. (If you don't want to make this now, save the recipe and make it in the winter. Or buy the book; it's one of the recipes included). 

The most wonderful thing about Beef Bourguignon is the mixture of flavors. I admit, there is a lot of wine in this recipe, but it enhances every other flavor. The French love their wine. And there are a lot of steps, but it's worth it.  Did I mention the aromas? To die for! If you like, serve this with a thick slice of sourdough bread (or gluten-free bread) rubbed with a clove of garlic. Yum!

Beef Bourguignon

(Serves 8)
8 ounces bacon, diced
2 ½ pounds chuck beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound carrots, sliced into 1-inch chunks
2 sweet onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon, divided
Freshly ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon plus 2 teaspoons, divided
½ cup cognac
1 bottle decent dry red wine, like a Pinot Noir
2-3 cups beef broth (*Gluten-free if necessary)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or ½ teaspoon dried)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 pound fresh mushrooms, thickly sliced - stems discarded

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Cut up all the ingredients that require it: bacon, chuck beef, carrots, sweet onions, garlic. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large oven-safe baking pan that can be used on stovetop. I used my Le Creuset. Add the diced bacon and cook over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The bacon should become lightly browned. Remove the bacon and reserve on a large plate.

Sprinkle the beef cubes with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper.  In batches—using single layers—sear the beef in the oil for 3-5 minutes, turning often, using tongs, so the beef browns on all sides. Remove the beef to the plate with the bacon and continue to cook all the beef cubes.  Set aside.

Toss the carrots, sliced onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper in the oil/fat in the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. 
Add the cognac and—get ready; stand back—light the cognac with a match or kitchen torch to burn off the alcohol. Whoosh! Return the meat and bacon to the pot. Add a bottle of wine—yes, an entire bottle—plus enough beef broth to cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring the mixture to a simmer.  (I couldn't take this picture. Not enough hands in the kitchen!)

Cover with a tight-fitting lid and put the pot in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the meat and vegetables are really tender.  Remove and set on the stovetop.

In a small cup, combine 2 tablespoons of the butter and the cornstarch with a fork. Add the mixture to the stew.

In a separate pan, sauté the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 4-6 minutes until lightly browned. Add to the stew. 

Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove and then cover, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. If desired, season with more salt and pepper, to taste.

What's A Soufflé of Suspicion about? 

Crush Week in Nouvelle Vie is a madhouse—in a good way.  When tourists pour into town for the pressing of Napa Valley’s grapes, all the town’s businesses get a nice lift, including Bistro Rousseau and Maison Rousseau.  Mimi raises the ante with a Sweet Treats Festival, a wonderland of cakes, tarts, and soufflés.  Chef Camille’s sister Renee is managing the festival with a cast-iron fist, upsetting everyone, including her sister, which is bad for Camille when Renee turns up dead.  Mimi is still building her business, so her first course of action is to whip up answers and catch the unsavory perpetrator before Camille takes a dusting and gets burned.

Nice bit of praise:

“[Gerber] creates colorful, enjoyable characters…One word of warning: her descriptions of the food and wine pairings are so very vivid and realistic that readers should not be hungry when they read this mystery. Happily, [Gerber] includes several of Mimi’s recipes at the end of the book.” ~ Booklist


To celebrate the release, I'm giving away a Savor the Mystery tote bag, some recipe cards, and winner's choice of one book from my backlist, (i.e. any book except A Soufflé of Suspicion). One hitch: you have to tell a friend about the book! Leave your email (cryptic if necessary) so I can contact you if you win. Winner announced Saturday.

Savor the mystery!

Friend Daryl and Avery on Facebook
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Plus check out my website.

A SOUFFLÉ OF SUSPICION, the 2nd French Bistro Mystery, coming July 10
Can Mimi prove her chef innocent before the chef gets dusted?
Click here to order.

PRESSING THE ISSUE, the 6th Cookbook Nook Mystery.

The annual Renaissance Fair serves up a helping of crafty courtiers,
damsels in distress, and medieval murder . . .
Click here to order.

A DEADLY ÉCLAIR, the 1st in the French Bistro Mysteries, coming in trade paperback June 12.
Can Mimi clear her name before the killer turns up the heat?
Click here to order.

FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE, 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

DAY OF SECRETS, a 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. I have read several each if your Cookbook Nook and Cheese Shop mysteries, and loved them all. I haven't yet read the first book in the French Bistro series, but I have put it on my list of cozy mysteries to read. I would love to win a tote bag and a book ( it will be hard to choose which one). I have shared your recipe on FB with my daughter. And of course, she is one of the people I would tell about the book.
    gnluciow ( at ) gmail ( dot ) com

    1. Neena, great to hear from you. I'm so glad you dropped by. ~ Daryl

  2. Since you are a new author to me I have yet to read any of your books :( But never fail I am going to library today and will look for all the ones I can find. It would be awesome to win one of your books. I will share with my daughter.

    1. Vicki, always thrilled to meet a new reader. ~ Daryl

  3. I am looking forward to reading your new book! I have read most of the books from your series and have enjoyed all of them. I love this recipe! I haven't made it in ages and when the weather cools down it will be on my list to make!
    I shared this on Facebook, so more than one friend will see it!

    1. Deb, great to hear. Yes, it's a cooler weather recipe, but I simply had to share. It's yummy. ~ Daryl

  4. Your books are enjoyable and special as are your delectable recipes which I look forward to greatly. I will share with my sister.saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. nerdsrgood at msn dot com Thanks for the chance to win! I told my mom about your books. I'd like A DEADLY ÉCLAIR if I win!

  6. I enjoy learning about your wonderful books which give me a great deal of pleasure and the recipes are always enticing. I will share with my friend. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    1. Petite, please do so. Always great to see you here. ~ Daryl

  7. I loved your cheese shop series! I would like Pressing the Issue if I win. I'm going to be telling all my reader friends, especially Cyndi, because she reads even more than I do. Thanks for the chance to win.

    1. Mary, super! I love when you tell more than one. And readers, to boot! ~ Daryl

  8. Stew by any name is a major hit in my house!

    1. Libby, I agree. I love stew, in hot or cold weather. It's a go-to meal. ~ Daryl

  9. Can't wait to read the new book - I loved the first one!

  10. Thanks for the chance at the great giveaway! Book sounds so good!
    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

  11. I have read the first 2 of the Cheese Shop mysteries and am on the lookout for the others. I have the first of this series in my library and will be contacting my local library to see when Souffle will be available!

    1. Great. Make sure you ask for A Deadly Eclair as that is the first in the French Bistro Mysteries. ~ Daryl

  12. I have read some of the Cheese shop mysteries and some of the Bistro Series. I am telling my friend, Cathy J, also a mystery lover and the ladies at my mystery book club. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

    1. Dianne, thanks for sharing with a mystery book club. By the way, I'll do a Skype with your club if you want to read and review one of my books! ~ Daryl

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  14. I really enjoy all of your series and am excited to continue this one! I recently read A Deadly Eclair & can't wait to read A Souffle of Suspicion... I've shared both books with friends & I also posted to FB:

    Kelly Braun

    1. Kelly, thrilled to hear this. I appreciate the tout on FB, too. All my best, ~ Daryl

  15. I can't wait to read A Soufflé of Suspicion. Your entire series is great, not to mention the recipes. I shared with the public on Facebook and also shared and tagged friends sanford.a

    1. Angela, thanks for sharing on FB and to friends. Yay! You guys are the best. ~ Daryl

  16. I can't wait to read A Soufflé of Suspicion. Your entire series is great, not to mention the recipes. I shared with the public on Facebook and also shared and tagged friends sanford.a

  17. I would love to start the Cheese Shop series.