Tuesday, July 9, 2019

10th Anniversary - Cleo Coyle's Coffee Marinated Steak with #Bookgiveaway + Tote Bag

Happy 10th Anniversary!

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

I am so proud to be one of the founding members of Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen. Back in July 2009, I was already posting recipes online for my Coffeehouse Mystery audience, and I was thrilled to help launch this site to spread the foodie joy. 

At that time (2009), my husband and I had written seven national bestsellers in our culinary mystery series, set in a landmark coffeehouse in New York's Greenwich Village. Our publisher had successfully moved us into hardcover with Espresso Shot, the novel that earned our Coffeehouse series its first starred review, and we were preparing for the publication of book #8, Holiday Grind, our first holiday-themed mystery. 

To learn more about
Cleo's books, click here.
Our Haunted Bookshop Mysteries were also going strong. In 2009, we were celebrating the publication of book #5 The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion...


Marc and I have re-opened our Haunted Bookshop with a brand new entry in the series, The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller (now an actual bestseller).

As for the Coffeehouse Mysteries, we’re still happily writing them (we're about to sign a brand new contract with Penguin Random House), and we’re looking forward to seeing book #18 Brewed Awakening released in December 2019!

Now for our retro recipe...

Because Mystery Lovers Kitchen was born in the heat of 2009's summer, and because Marc and I are (obviously) coffee mavens, we knew the perfect recipe to help launch the blog. We’re delighted to share that original post with you today, as we say…

Happy 10th Anniversary, MLK!

Time Machine - July 24, 2009

Cleo's first blog post...

Mystery Lovers' Kitchen
Friday, July 24, 2009


(With the modern addition of a free, downloadable PDF.)

Here’s a simple tip for making an economical cut of meat delicious—and a nice use for your leftover joe, too, because why not make use of every last drop?

Why I love this recipe: Grilling is a cooking process that too often overly dries thinner or less expensive cuts of meat. My coffee marinade imparts a wonderful, earthy character to the meat while also plumping it up, keeping it moist throughout the grilling process. Sure a super-fat T-bone steak would retain its moistness, but who can afford cuts like that for the whole family? As an experiment, I grilled my top round coffee-marinated steak alongside a rib eye steak treated only with dry rub. The top round was half the price, but tasted twice as good, thanks to its little bath in bean juice!

"Can't you just hear the sizzle?"


Steaks for grilling or broiling (I use top round)
Cold coffee
Salt & Pepper
Worcestershire sauce (optional) 
Scallions or shallots (optional) 
Steak dry rub (optional)

Step 1: Purchase meat
Go for an economical cut. (I use top round steak.) Pound the steak out with the spike side of a meat hammer. If you don’t have a meat hammer, then put your steak in a plastic bag and pound it with a regular hammer or the back of a ladle – and then prick it all over with a fork. This starts the tenderizing process. (It also gets all kinds of frustrations out. Who needs therapy when you can pound meat?)

Step 2: Cover with coffee
Place your steaks in a glass or plastic container and pour enough cold coffee over them to cover. You can use any kind of coffee. Just save the last dregs of your coffee pot for a few days (store in fridge) and you should have enough for the marinade.

Step 3: Add a little seasoning 
Add a tablespoon of salt (I like sea salt), a dash of pepper, and (optional) a couple of diced scallions or shallots along with a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Cover the container with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 to 3 hours. No longer.

Step 4: Remove and grill 
Pull the steaks out of the container and discard the liquid. Do not rinse. Just apply a favorite dry rub. There are many dry steak rubs available in your grocery aisle. (My favorite is Szeged brand Steak Rub in the cute little black metal can.) Cook your coffee-marinated steaks on a charcoal or gas grill, or broil the meat in the oven. OR cook it on a stovetop...

Through the Grinder
To learn more or buy,
click here!
When my amateur sleuth, coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi, made a version of this dish in Through the Grinder, she cooked it in a cast iron skillet on the top of her stove. The stovetop is a great option, too, because it allows for pan drippings, which means...gravy. So I couldn’t resist having Clare whip up a delish side dish of Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Hearty Coffee Gravy. Yes. Coffee gravy! You can find those recipes in the back of Through the Grinder, too.

To find out more about my culinary mystery series, visit my Coffeehouse Mystery Web site, where you’ll find more recipes, as well.

Cheers, everyone,
have a great weekend!

~ Cleo

To download this recipe in a
free PDF that you can print, save,
or share,
click here.
Click here for the free Recipe PDF.

Eat (and read) with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author
The Coffeehouse Mysteries &
Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

Alice and Marc in Central Park. 
Together we write as Cleo Coyle. 

Learn more about us here.
Friend us on Facebook here.
Follow us on Twitter here.
Visit our online Coffeehouse here

Cleo is now working
on her next book!

Don't miss her news...

To sign up for Cleo Coyle's
Coffeehouse Mystery Newsletter
and get the latest news on
Cleo's books, 
bonus recipe,
fun giveaways!




And you can carry your books in this clever
tote bag with a special crossword puzzle 
featuring Mystery Lovers' Kitchen authors!

To enter our giveaway,
you must first use
the form below.

Then be sure to leave a
blog post comment.

You must do both
to be entered.




We're throwing a two-week party to celebrate a decade of blogging at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. Every day (through July 13), one of the authors of MLK will post a retro "anniversary" recipe from our blogging past. Stop back each day to see what we post. Each time you leave a comment on a post, you'll earn an extra entry in our drawing and increase your chances of winning our grand prize package. Be sure to use the entry form above to register with our contest *and* be sure to leave a blog post comment. (You must do both to be entered.)

GOOD LUCK and...





  1. I just LOVE a good grilled steak!! Happy 10th Anniversary! Can't wait to see what the next 10 years bring on Mystery Lover's Kitchen! bentleyboy22@comcast.net

    1. Me too! On both the steak and the next 10 years

    2. Jamie and Denise - Thank you both for helping us celebrate this milestone of a decade of blogging. Onward to good food and great reading in the years ahead!

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”

  2. Round Steak you can't beat it...it was my Dad's favorite and he could pound away marinating it. Thank you for the recipe.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

    1. Marilyn - Yay, for Dad. Pounding meat works wonderfully as a tenderizer (and it's not bad therapy for a frustrating day! :))

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”

  3. Replies
    1. That's okay, Kim, we're glad you dropped by.

      ~ Cleo

  4. Steak grilled and summer are a mix that is appealing. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. traveler - Agree. We always enjoy a charcoal-grilled steak. Nothing like it for a summer cookout. So simple, too, just add corn on the cob, a little salad, and a cold drink.

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”

  5. Oh I love this recipe! My husband and I tried it after I read your book! Thank you!

    1. Thank *you*, Faith, for the reader love. Marc and I are thrilled to know that you're reading (and eating) with joy. BTW - We use the "Coffee Gravy" recipe from THROUGH THE GRINDER all the time. It's fantastic on mashed potatoes. Thanks so much for joining our 10th Anniversary celebration!

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”

  6. Welcome Cleo. Oh this recipe looks wonderful. Thank you for sharing it with us. So cool that you are one of the founding ladies.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

    1. Thank you, Lori, for helping us celebrate a decade of blogging. Onward to more good fun, good food, and great reads!

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”

  7. Loving this anniversary trip! And of course if it says coffee then I'm in. Steaks grilled in a cast iron skillet can be delicious when the weather outside isn't ideal for grilling.

    1. Grandma Cootie - Thank you so much for dropping by today, and for all the years you've supported our blog. We love seeing you in our Kitchen!

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”

      P.S. You're absolutely right about the cast iron pan being a great alternative to the grill. Our amateur sleuth Clare cooked her steak that way in our 2nd Coffeehouse Mystery, THROUGH THE GRINDER, and the pan drippings let her make an awesome Coffee Gravy. (We included that recipe in the book, too.) Cheers for the caffeinated love!

  8. I'm not much of a red meat eater but the grilled steaks looks good. I've read all the Coffee House Mysteries (can't wait for the new one) and the Haunted Bookshop ones as well. Great books that you just can't put down!!

    1. Vicki - Aw, you made our day. Marc and I have been writing the Coffeehouse Mysteries for over fifteen years, and we never would have made it this far without the kind support of readers like you. We can't thank you enough for the literary love, and we hope you enjoy our upcoming entry (this Dec.) BREWED AWAKENING. Be sure to keep in touch us and let us know what you think of the new Coffeehouse title! xoxo

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”

      P.S. We're now writing a brand new Haunted Bookshop Mystery. Jack will back soon with a new case!

  9. Cleo, love the title Brewed Awakening. And love this steak recipe. Thanks so much for being part of the team! Hugs. ~ Daryl

    1. Thank you, Daryl, it's been a wonderful ten years. Marc and I are looking forward to the next ten with you and Krista and our stellar crew (God willing and God bless)! xoxo

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”

  10. Yum. I love that this is perfect for the grill or when it's too cold outside can bring it in.
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com