Sunday, June 9, 2019

Mystery Lovers' Kitchen Welcomes Guest Sally Goldenbaum

Sally Goldenbaum writes about knitting but her true love is cooking (shh, don't tell)!

Marla’s Grilled Brie and Avocado Sandwich

An enormous thank you to the amazing mystery writer cooks who inhabit this bountiful kitchen. Have all of you seen the recipe list? I gained weight reading it! I am so happy to be here and to have the chance to talk food with these writers I greatly admire.

Summer is finally coming to New England, making me think of all those summer things: the seashore, gardening, and attempts at a ‘healthy’ lunch. My go-to choice for today is a grilled Brie and avocado sandwich. Fictionally, the sandwich was developed by Marla, a gossipy bakery and café owner in A Pattern of Clues. She put it on the menu to satisfy Kate Simpson, a sometimes vegetarian recently returned to Crestwood, KS from Berkeley, CA (and the sandwich, for a minute anyway, made Kate think she, along with Dorothy, wasn’t in Kansas anymore—even though she very much was).

But the real life place that gave me the inspiration for this sandwich is a place my daughter and I discovered in Beverly MA. On Fridays we team up, looking for places with great food, coffee, and plenty of outlets for our laptops—Aria to do development work for her nonprofit and me to eavesdrop and come up with murderous ideas in beautiful sunlit places. That’s exactly what we found in the Tartine Kitchen and Eatery. Bright and lovely—and they do incredible things with avocados and grilled toast, an inspiration for these grilled sandwiches. (Although Tartine’s, as their name implies, makes open-faced sandwiches. An option with these, unless you love bread as much as I do~)

But before we get into the sandwich, an apology for the photos. A food photographer, I am not. The fictional Kate in the Quilt Shop mysteries is a substitute teacher, but also on her way to becoming a talented photographer. And if I had good sense, I would have had her take them. But thank you everyone for seeing the creamy grilled treat behind and beyond my photographic attempts!

Marla’s Grilled Brie and Avocado Sandwich
Makes two sandwiches

4 T butter, softened
3 T Dijon-mayo (mix equal parts Dijon mustard and mayonnaise together)
1 medium just-ripe avocado, sliced
4 generous slices Brie, rind removed
4 slices sourdough, 8-grain, ciabatta, or your favorite bread
1 T sliced black olives (optional)
2 slices fresh tomatoes
4 leaves fresh basil
leafy lettuce

Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread
Heat griddle or pan to medium-low and grill bread until golden (approximately 4 minutes)

Assemble sandwiches
On toasted side of bread, layer a piece of lettuce, Brie, avocado, and tomato slices. Add a sprinkling of olives. Then S&P to taste.

Top with the remaining slices of bread, toasted side on inside of sandwich.

Spread the mayo-Dijon sauce on the outside of each side of sandwich. Place back in the skillet and cook until cheese is melted and each side is golden brown, about 4-6 minutes on each side. 

Sally will be giving away both an ebook and POD of A Patchwork of Clues (June 2019) and one hardcover of How to Knit a Murder (the latest Seaside Knitters Society). To enter to win, leave a comment below and please include an email where you can be contacted.

Sally Goldenbaum writes the Seaside Knitters Society Mysteries and the Queen Bees Quilt Shop mystery series, the latter being re-released this summer.  She and her husband recently packed up years of living in the Midwest and followed the seaside knitters to Cape Ann, MA, where they are happily settling into a home by the sea.

You can reach Sally at:

About the Book

Small-town quilters look for a killer's pattern in this delightful new series by the national bestselling author of the Seaside Knitters mysteries . . .
On her morning jog, Portia Paltrow comes upon the dead body of antiques store owner and college professor Owen Hill, sprawled across the back doorstep of Selma Parker's fabric and quilt shop on Elderberry Road. The site of their Saturday morning quilting bee just became a crime scene. Violent crime is rare in the charming village of Crestwood, Kansas, and rumors are soon circulating of a burglary gone wrong. But who would rob a quilt shop? No, Owen Hill has been murdered.
Selma and her assistant manager Susan are understandably at loose ends over the crime. So while the tightly knit covey of quilters—who range from a new mother to a wise octogenarian—work together on a Crystal Pattern quilt for Selma's store's anniversary, they also get busy stitching together a patchwork of clues. But they'd better work fast—before a crafty killer bolts . . .


Sally will be giving away both an ebook and POD of A Patchwork of Clues (June 2019) and one hardcover of How to Knit a Murder (the latest Seaside Knitters Society). To enter to win, leave a comment below and please include an email where you can be contacted.


  1. This sounds really delicious! The book cover is really cute. Thanks for the chance. JL_Minter(at)hotmail(dot)com

  2. Pretty book cover And tthose sandwich pictures are pretty good - I'm hungry now! Who doesn't love Brie, and suddenly there are tasty avocados everywhere. Thanks for the giveaway.

  3. My son is vegetarian and I can't wait to share something so simple in ingredients but oh so satisfying in flavor. He is in the midst of finals at college but should have most if not all of the ingredients to make this. It is absolutely higher level comfort food. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.
    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

  4. Yummy recipe! Thank you for the chance to win - I love mysteries that have a "crafty"element. aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. That sounds like a tasty combination.
    A few questions--
    *"layer a piece of lettuce" But you show and list basil, not lettuce
    *How does the mayo-mustard get on the bottom since that sandwich isn't flipped again?
    *Why not keep the brie rind on?

    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  6. This recipe looks amazing, avocado and brie sounds really good together. This is a new series to me, adding to my TBR list.

  7. That looks SO good, I am going to make it. The book looks amazing, thank you for the chance and congratulations!

  8. Cute cover. Sounds so good. Definitely will be reading this

  9. The book sounds great and so does the recipe! Legallyblonde1961 at yahoo dot com

  10. This sandwich sounds so good. I am copying it to make soon. Already so hot here in TX that much cooking is out! I love the sound of the book too. I didn't know about this book. How clever.

  11. Love the recipe and the book sounds great!

  12. Would love yoga in the book. Many recipes to check into.

  13. This sounds inviting. suefoster109 at gmail dot com.

  14. Looks good and I think your photos are great. Thanks for the chance to win. kayt18 (at) comcast (dot) net

  15. This is right up my alley!! I quilt! I have made quilts for both my kids and my two grandkids!! Thank you for the the chance and the recipe!! My email is and

  16. Thank you for your generosity, and for this chance to win! areewekidding(at)yahoo(com)

  17. Thx for the chance!! The sandwich looks and sounds yummy. Book sounds interesting.

  18. I love quilts and admire quilters. Such craftmanship. The sandwich looks good too!
    browninggloria(at)hotmail(dot) com

  19. Sally Goldenbaum is one of my favorite authors. I look forward to reading this new book. The cover is divine. The sandwich looks delicious. Thanks for a chance to win.

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. Love avocados & this sandwich sounds really good.
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

  22. Looks and sounds delicious. I'd love to read this book. Here's hoping. Thank you for this chance.

  23. The recipe sounds delicious. Thanks for the great giveaway. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

  24. This sounds delicious! Can't wait to try it! I'd love to win the giveaway. Thanks for a chance.

  25. Wow...I am going to try this. I found a recipe to make a form of cauliflower bread to go with this which looks like a fried bread of some sort I may try also...thank you for the chance. The ebook looks great.

  26. thanks for the chance to win, cannot wait to try this recipe and also to read the books!

  27. The sandwich sounds awesome - but I feel like cilantro would be a better fit than basil....

  28. lahr.bernadette@gmail.comI would love the opportunity to try the sandwich and the book! Thanks so much.

  29. Great giveaway!
    Onorman at wilkes dot net