Culinary-themed cozy mysteries are a long-time favorite among readers. This is something I’m very excited about since I write a culinary-themed series. One of the perks of reading these books is that they almost always include recipes along with a smartly plotted mystery. Every now and again, an author of this type of series will branch out beyond the novel and write a companion cookbook. That’s exactly what Jenny Kales has done with her Callie’s Kitchen Mystery series.
There are four books currently in the mystery series, which is set in a fictional town in Wisconsin and features a Greek-American owner of an eatery, Callie’s Kitchen. In the cookbook, Callie’s Kitchen Mysteries Cookbook, some of the most popular recipes from the series are included along with never-before published recipes. In total there are 47 of Greek with a mid-western twist recipes for you to whip up.
Because of the twist on what are traditional Greek recipes, I think they have a broader appeal to home cooks who normally wouldn’t venture out into international cuisine. As I read through the recipes, I found them to be uncomplicated, a nice balance of flavors and included ingredients easily accessible. As I cooked through the recipes I found myself having more than one helping.
The recipes range from appetizers to beverages to salads to main dishes and of course, desserts. Jenny has you covered for any time of the day you want to add some Greek flair to your cooking. The only thing I was disappointed in was the absence of photographs. So, I decided to provide you with some. These are the recipes I’ve made so far from the cookbook. Ready to be inspired?
On a Sunday afternoon I made a Greek Olive Oil Cake. It was supposed to be a lazy afternoon but instead I found myself running unplanned errands so rather than make the glaze that’s included with the recipe, I dusted powered sugar over the cake. The moist texture of this cake is divine. This cake will be made again.
On a weeknight I wanted to make a side dish for our steaks and I decided on the Greek Roasted Lemon Potatoes. Adding the lemon and oregano was a new twist to my tried-and-true roasted potatoes. The verdict? My husband gave them a thumbs up so it looks like these potatoes will be a regular side going forward.
Now for what led me to the treadmill ASAP. Blueberry Greek Yogurt Scones. Need I say more? Delish. These scones are packed with flavor and they are tender. But be warned, You’ll be tempted to reach for a second one. Trust me, I know from experience.
I’ve enjoyed this cookbook as much as I have enjoyed reading the mystery series and it’s certainly going to be cooked from often. Now as much as I love this cookbook, I do have one teeny-tiny complaint. Okay, not really a complaint but something I did miss in the book and that was photographs. I know we all love photos of food in our cookbooks but please don’t let that stop you from checking out this cookbook because you’ll love the recipes and you can snap a few of your own photos. If you do, be sure to share them and tag Jenny.
I didn’t have Greek olive oil in my pantry but now it’s going to be a staple. Here’s a similar olive oil to what I purchased. For the Greek Olive Oil cake I used my trusty bundt pan. Here’s a similar one if you need to add one to your kitchen.
With an electric mixer set at medium speed, beat butter and sugar until fluffy and light in color. Beat in vanilla and egg until well combined. Reduce speed and beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.
Don't worry if the dough seems a little crumbly or dry. Work the dough gently with your hands to bring it together into a ball and then gently press down so it's flattened and easy to start forming balls.
Shape dough into approximately 1¼ inch balls (I use a tablespoon measure for this part). Then roll the ball into a log about 3 inches long and taper the ends.
Bend each log into a crescent shape (for uniform crescent shapes, use a donut cutter, gently shaping the log inside the cutter and remove the cookie cutter).
Place cookies about 2 inches apart on a prepared baking sheet (either with parchment or silicone baking sheet) and bake until the edges are set but still soft, about 10-13 minutes.
Carefully remove from the cookie sheet and immediately dredge in confectioners' sugar. If not handled carefully they will break. Let cool completely before dredging them a second time in confectioners' sugar so that they are completely coated.
Depending on how uniform in size the cookies are you can get two dozen cookies.
Happy Friday! I’ve had an uber-productive week. The outline for book 3 of the Food Blogger mystery series was finished and set aside until next week to polish it up (right now it’s a heaping 26 pages of messiness but it tells the story), I began the outline for book 2 of the Resale Boutique mystery series (I now know who the killer is and who the suspects are, so it’s a start) and I’ve wrapped up a few promotion tasks for the release of The Uninvited Corpse. I also debuted as a monthly contributor to the awesome group blog, Writers Who Kill. Didn’t see the post? Click here and you’ll be taken right to it. I wrote about my journey from food blogger to author and later in the month I’ll expand on that post here with some more details (no word count limit here).
Since I got all caught up on my work, I decided to spend some time in the kitchen working on a cookie recipe for The Hidden Corpse (out April 2019).Here’s a pic of the finished product (sorry, no details, I know, not fair but I have to save a few things for the release). My house did smell heavenly from the lemony fragrance of these adorable and utterly delicious cookies. Turns out they’re like potato chips – you just can’t have one and that’s why I packed up containers quickly and delivered them to my neighbors.
Earlier in the week I made a big pot of Butternut Squash soup and I have been enjoying it since for lunch or dinner, I even froze a couple of containers. Since I’m the only one here to loves this soup, I cut the recipe in half and if you’d like to try the soup you’ll find the recipe here.
Today I’m diving into the chapters of Murder Wears a Little Black Dress that I just got back from my critique partner. In just a few weeks I’ll be turning the manuscript into my editor. It’s kinda sad, I love this book and I’m going to miss working on it. Oh, well, there’s always the next adventure for Kelly, right?
Today I’m sharing a peek into my kitchen of the goings on this past week. The temps here in Connecticut hit the mid-90s for three days. A heat wave. I’m so not ready for summer. Actually, I’m never ready for summer. I’m much more of a cool-weather type of gal. Give my sweaters and boots any day over flip-flops and humidity. Since today is simply beautiful I’m not going to dwell on the two icky days. Instead, I’m going to focus on the kitchen successes I had this week. Come on, take a look.
This week I worked on a recipe for soft & chewy chocolate chip cookies that will appear in the Uninvited Corpse. I do love this perk of writing.
A pile of shredded sharp cheddar cheese left over from making mac’n cheese.
I know what you’re thinking. What the heck? This is a new purchase and I’m now wondering where this bad boy has been all my life. This power spinner is life changing. Seriously. I’ve only used it a few times but now I can’t imagine not having it in my cleaning arsenal. This handy little gadget paid for itself when it kicked butt on my slider door’s track. Oven door? Awesome. And the list goes on and on. I got it from QVC and if you click here you can read more about it. I’m going to be ordering some new cleaning heads. I want a set for outside and for the bathroom.
Rhubard season! There’s a batch of rhubard-ginger muffins waiting to be baked.
This weekend was awesome here in Connecticut. Perfect early fall weather. Which meant after all of the errands were done and chores completed, I could go into the kitchen and cook. Yes! On Saturday I did the grocery shopping and on Sunday I cooked.
First, though Billy on a follow-up appointment for his eyes early Sunday morning.
Once we were home, Billy took a nap and I began baking. Here are some photos of my relaxing Sunday in the kitchen. Recipes will follow. 🙂
I love when a batter comes together and in no-time, out comes fragrant loaves of bread.
But a girl can’t live on baked goods. Well, maybe she could but it’s probably not the healthiest thing to do.
I hope you had a great weekend. Enjoy the new week!