Tuesday, January 11, 2022

HONEY ROASTED: A Cozy Winter Snack and A New Mystery from @CleoCoyle

From Cleo Coyle: Marc and I are now counting down the days to the official release of our brand-new Coffeehouse Mystery, HONEY ROASTED. If you haven't pre-ordered yet, there's still time. The official publication date is February 1, and we cannot wait to get our 19th culinary mystery into your hands...

On Sale in Three Weeks!

Our New Coffeehouse Mystery...

Coming February 1st
Learn More or Pre-Order at:


Barnes & Noble 


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Given the title of our new Coffeehouse adventure, you might expect honey to be part of the story. And, yes, it is. Our mysteries are set in New York, so urban beekeeping is also part of the plot, and (of course!) we are sharing some wonderful recipes that feature honey. 

Today's "honey" of a recipe isn't in our new book, but it's one of our favorites during these chilly winter days, and we're happy to share it with you now...

Cleo Coyle writes two
bestselling mystery
 series with her husband.
To learn more, click here.

☕ A Recipe Note from Cleo

Warm and buttery, dripping with honey, this roasted acorn squash feels almost sinful to eat, yet there’s very little butter and honey involved. Packed with nutrition and dietary fiber, it makes a wonderfully satisfying "writer’s snack" for me on a chilly winter afternoon. 

If you
 would rather not use butter and/or honey, then lightly coat the squash with a neutral-tasting oil (canola or vegetable oil or even coconut oil if you like coconut flavor). This will protect the flesh against the high heat. You can eat it naked or sprinkle it with your favorite seasonings—be they nutmeg and cinnamon or chili and cayenne pepper. Or try a bit of orange juice, which is also delicious. 

May you eat with joy and in good health! 

~ Cleo

To download this recipe in a
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click here.

Your squash should feel heavy in the hand for its size. Green is the most common variety. The skin should be dark green and dull (not shiny)—partial orange on the green skin is fine, but overall it should be more green than orange. It should also be free of moldy spots, and the skin should feel hard and never soft or mushy. An acorn squash does not need to be refrigerated. Stored in cool, dark places, it can keep for a month or more.


Winter Squash is a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Folate and Magnesium, and a very good source of Vitamin C, Thiamin, Potassium and Manganese. Even the starch has health benefits. Studies have shown it to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, as well as insulin-regulating properties. 

🌰 Cleo Coyle's 
Honey Roasted Acorn Squash


1 Acorn Squash

1 Tablespoon butter or margarine (1/2 Tbsp. for each squash half)

4 teaspoons honey (2 teaspoons or so for each half)

Sprinkling of sea salt (optional)

Baking or roasting pan or glass baking dish (pan should have edges)


Step 1 – Cut and clean squash: Preheat oven to 400° F. Cut squash in half lengthwise from stem to end, using the ribs as a guide (cut in line with the ribs and not across them). I cut the tough bottom off first, score it lightly and then move the knife around the scoring. That’s much easier than trying to force the knife through. 

With a spoon, scoop out the seeds and scrape out the stringy innards as you would a Halloween pumpkin. The seeds make a great snack. (See my directions for roasting the seeds at the end of this recipe.)

Step 2 – Score and smear: Using a small knife, deeply sore the insides of the squash halves in a crisscrossing checkerboard pattern (as shown in my photo below). This simple step makes a big difference, allowing the butter and honey to better penetrate the flesh. 

Now gently smear the butter (1/2 Tbsp. for each half) over all exposed areas of the acorn flesh, including top edges and cavity, to protect it from the high heat. Drop any remaining butter into each cavity. 

Drizzle and smear 2 teaspoons (or so) of honey around top edges and around entire cavity of each squash half. (Optional: Lightly sprinkle with sea salt. For me, this makes a nice foil with the sweetness, but you can omit.) 

 Place these halves in a baking pan,
as shown with the cut sides up. 

Step 3 – Create a water bath: The water is the magic key to the perfect roasting process with minimal butter and honey, allowing the flesh to cook and caramelize without drying out or burning in your very hot oven. Add about 1/4 inch (or just a little less) of water to the bottom of your baking pan (which should have high sides) or glass baking dish. 

Step 4 - Bake in your well pre-heated 400° F. oven for 1 hour. You may need to bake an additional few minutes, depending on your oven and the size of your squash and how many you cook at a time. Undercooking is the enemy here. You do not want a squash that has not cooked through and caramelized with that butter and honey. So watch for the squash flesh to become very soft and the tops to become lightly browned (see my photos).

Step 5 – Spoon and serve: Remove the squash halves from the oven and use a spoon to distribute any visible honey-butter over the top edges and around the cavity before serving. 

Roasting the Seeds

Just like pumpkin seeds, the seeds from a winter squash are delicious and nutritious. Wash off the stringy goo from the squash innards and dry them well. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Spread the seeds in a single layer. Salt them lightly if you like, and roast them right beside the acorn squash (at 400 degrees F.) for 5 to 8 minutes. 

Eat with Honey Roasted joy!

New York Times bestselling author
of The Coffeehouse Mysteries and
Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

This is me -- Cleo (Alice) 
with my husband Marc.

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