21 June 2014

Weekend Cooking: Summer, When the Kitchen Is Hot

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

It's summer, and as the temperatures climb, my desire to heat up my (un-air-conditioned) kitchen declines. So I've been eating a lot of salads and making good use of the grill. I've also made garlic scape pesto twice (see photo). I love simple meals that require no recipes and no fuss.

Summer is also when I like to turn to escape reading. Lazy Saturdays call for something fun and light. So I often choose cozy mysteries with a food theme, which give me great characters and a few hours of entertainment while satisfying the cook in me. Even better, the books I'm featuring today include appealing recipes.

All four novels, published by Berkley Prime Crime, will be available in July, just in time to pop into your beach bag or travel tote for holiday and vacation reading. Look for them at your favorite bookstore. Don't you love the punny titles?

Leslie Budewitz's Crime Rib is the second entry in her Food Lovers' Village Mystery series set in Montana. The books feature Erin Murphy, who owns a gourmet food market. When a TV crew comes to town to report on the area's food scene, local chefs vie for the spotlight. But after one of grilling masters is found dead, attention shifts from food to murder. Can Erin save the town's reputation, solve the murder, finish remodeling her back patio, and run the grilled steak competition all at the same time? Opening lines: "We can't replace one of the chefs," Mimi George said, her voice piercing the gravy-thick air of the Jewel Inn's banquet and meeting room. "The Grill-off is in two days." The summer-fun recipes tell you how to make your own graham crackers and marshmallows for truly homemade s'mores.

Another second in a series is Maple Mayhem by Jessie Crockett. You won't be surprised that the Sugar Grove mysteries take place in New Hampshire, where maple syrup is king. Our hero is Dani Greene, a fourth-generation syrup producer. Unlike some of her neighbors, Dani is forward thinking and has organized a co-op to help defray costs and increase profits for family-owned businesses. When someone throws a wrench into the works and then a producer is found dead in his sugarhouse, Dani is on the case . . . along with a handsome Fish and Game commissioner. Opening lines: I slid out from behind the wheel and gently closed my car door. It had taken weeks for the local mechanic to repair my baby after it lost a cage match with a cassowary but it had been worth the wait. The recipes range from pancakes to glazed ham.

Cookie shop owner Olivia Greyson is ready for her fifth murder in Cookies and Scream by Virginia Lowell. The Cookie Cutter Shop mysteries are set in a small bakery and gift shop in Maryland. This installment involves a beautiful antique cookie cutter collection that Olivia's been asked to sell. When the owner of the collection turns up dead, officials rule it a natural death, but Olivia suspects foul play. Cookies, a Yorkie, best friend Maddie, and a local sheriff all play a role in solving the mystery. Opening lines: As soon as she flipped on the lights in The Gingerbread House, Olivia Greyson sensed something was wrong She felt certain the store was not as she had left it six days earlier, when she'd abandoned Chatterley Heights to escape the unrelenting heat of early August in Maryland. The spicy shortbread recipe looks divine.

Victoria Hamilton's Muffin but Murder is the second in her Merry Muffin Mystery series. New York City food stylist turned muffin baker Merry Wynter is hoping to sell the family mansion she's recently inherited so she can return to her exciting life in Manhattan. In an attempt to attract a buyer, she decides to host a spooky Halloween costume party, complete with decorations and, of course, her muffins. When one of her guests is found dead, Merry must track down the killer before all her dreams turn to crumbs. Opening lines: Ridley Ridge. How had I lived a whole month and half at Wynter Castle, my inherited digs near Autumn Vale in upstate New York, without visiting Ridley Ridge, the next closest town? Just lucky, I guess. Two muffin recipes and one for a lovely vegetable soup round out the story.


Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 6/21/14, 7:35 AM  

I'm not a big cozy mysteries person, but I love the food themes! The one about the grill-off makes me think of those huge rib cook-offs on the Food Network!

I'm with you on the simple meals for summer and not using recipes - my post this week is more of a meal recommendation, not a "recipe" because there are no measurements!

rhapsodyinbooks 6/21/14, 7:42 AM  

I'm glad you brought these up. You're right, these are fun summer reads. I am particularly interested in Cookies and Scream - sounds very entertaining!

Unknown 6/21/14, 8:01 AM  

I have loved culinary mysteries for many years. Love all of the fun titles and characters. Of course, recipes are always a bonus!

jama 6/21/14, 8:16 AM  

What a great roundup (love those punny titles!). Summer is the time for delicious escape reading. Thanks.

Jackie McGuinness 6/21/14, 8:43 AM  

Sounds like a good way to spend a Saturday to me!!

(Diane) bookchickdi 6/21/14, 10:11 AM  

I love the punny titles- Crime Rib, Cookies and Scream- they are too cute.

Anonymous,  6/21/14, 11:52 AM  

Food themed mystery books tickle my funny bone :)

Sheila (Bookjourney) 6/21/14, 12:23 PM  

I love foodish books to - they make me want to try to make whatever is in them :)

Anonymous,  6/21/14, 5:26 PM  

Love those titles!

Carole 6/21/14, 5:52 PM  

Fun titles! Cheers from CArole's Chatter

bermudaonion 6/21/14, 8:57 PM  

Our kitchen is air conditioned but we're still all about salads and the grill in the summer, especially when we can get fresh vegetables.

The Solitary Cook 6/22/14, 2:42 PM  

Beth, I love culinary mysteries, too, and also especially in the summer. Do you read the Goldy Schultz books by Dianne Mott Davidson? And those about a caterer who is also a minister's wife by Katherine Hall Page? Thank you for your suggestions; I'm especially happy to find a series written about my own state of Montana!

I've been absent for a while because work is so extremely busy, but I look forward to getting back soon. Have a lovely Sunday.

Peaceful Reader 6/22/14, 5:36 PM  

This gives a great list for anyone needing summer reads! I love the play-on-words titles!

Leslie Budewitz 7/15/14, 7:47 PM  

Thanks so much for mentioning my new mystery, CRIME RIB! What better way to beat the heat than get out of the kitchen entirely and cool down with a good book?

As several of you have said, summer food is all about the grill and salads, so my recipe section includes several of each.

Wishing you all a mysterious summer!

Thanks for stopping by. I read all comments and may respond here, via e-mail, or on your blog. I visit everyone who comments, but not necessarily right away.

I cannot turn off word verification, but if you are logged into Blogger you can ignore the captcha. I have set posts older than 14 days to be on moderation. I can no longer accept anonymous comments. I'm so sorry if this means you have to register or if you have trouble commenting.


All content and photos (except where noted) copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads 2008-2020. All rights reserved.



To The Blogger Guide, Blogger Buster, Tips Blogger, Our Blogger Templates, BlogU, and Exploding Boy for the code for customizing my blog. To Old Book Illustrations for my ID photo. To SEO for meta-tag analysis. To Blogger Widgets for the avatars in my comments and sidebar gadgets. To Review of the Web for more gadgets. To SuziQ from Whimpulsive for help with my comments section. To Cool Tricks N Tips for my Google +1 button.

Quick Linker



  © Blogger template Coozie by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP