I received this book for free from . This review is voluntary. My opinion is not influenced in any way.Stirring the Plot on September 30, 2014
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Halloween in Crystal Cove, California, is a big deal, involving a spooky soiree where the Winsome Witches, a fund-raising group, gather to open up their purse strings and trade superstitions. But party magicians, fortune-tellers, and herbalists are only the beginning of this recipe for disaster...
Jenna Hart has packed The Cookbook Nook chock-full of everything from ghostly texts to witchy potions in anticipation of the annual fund-raiser luncheon. But there's one unexpected addition to the menu: murder.
When the Head Priestess of the Winsome Witches is found dead under mysterious circumstances, there's no logical answer and plenty of blame to go around. With her aunt, Vera, unable to call on her ability to foresee the future, Jenna will have to use more than just sleight of hand and a few magic tricks to conjure up the truth...
Stirring the Plot by Daryl Wood Gerber is the third book in the well-reviewed Cookbook Nook mystery series. Though I do own the first two books in the series, I haven’t had a chance to read them yet. After reading Stirring the Plot, I know I need to make this a priority. Stirring the Plot by Daryl Wood Gerber is an entertaining, nicely written cozy mystery. It has everything I love about cozies: a great main character who is the sleuth; good supporting characters that really keep the story interesting; an awesome setting and theme (Halloween!); and food. 😉
I would give this book more than five stars if I could. Jenna is such a wonderful character. I felt drawn to her right from the beginning of the story. It’s easy to love a book when you love the people in it. Daryl knocks it out of the park with this series. I know I’ll be reading the first two as soon as I can! If you love a great cozy then this is a series you should really look into.
Side note: how cute is Tigger (the kitty)?!
On the blog called Mystery Lovers Kitchen, where I share recipes every Wednesday, I shared a number of grilled cheese recipes back in March because INHERIT THE WORD, the second in the Cookbook Nook mysteries, was all about a Grill Fest, featuring, ta-da, grilled cheese! Check those out. And look for even more fun recipes in the upcoming STIRRING THE PLOT, which comes out September 30, like spicy chocolate, popcorn balls, and a Witchy Woman brew. Yes, the story revolves around Halloween, although it is NOT a paranormal. See the blurb above!
In the meantime, the grilled cheese recipe I’m sharing today is made with strawberry jam. I liken it to French toast, spread with jam instead of syrup. Oh, yum! It will melt in your mouth. And it’s so filling, you won’t need dinner. Well, not much dinner. LOL
By the way, the jam is great all by itself, swirled into ice cream, and more. Strawberries! I adore them. And, for me, there’s nothing better than finding a place for strawberries in every aspect of a meal.
Grilled Cheese with Strawberry Jam
4 slices bread
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons cream cheese
4 tablespoons strawberry jam (see recipe below)
6-8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese (or your favorite white cheese)
Butter each slice of bread on one side. Spread the cream cheese on the other side of the bread. [Note: The cream cheese is on the inside of the sandwich; the butter side is the outside.]
To assemble: Top two slices of bread, cream cheese side up, with cheese. Spread with jam. Add more cheese. Set the other slice of bread on top of the sandwich and press slightly.
If cooking on a stovetop: Heat a large skillet over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Set the sandwiches on the skillet and cook for 4 minutes, until golden brown. Flip the sandwiches, using a spatula, and cook another 2-4 minutes. You can compress the sandwich with the spatula. Turn the sandwich one more time. Press down with the spatula, and remove from the pan. Let cool about 2-3 minutes, and serve.
If cooking on a panini or sandwich maker: Set the sandwich on the griddle and slowly lower the top. Cook for a total of 4 minutes. Remove from the griddle and let cool 2-3 minutes, then serve. Beware, the insides might ooze out the sides. If the lid is too heavy, you might want to consider resorting to the stovetop method.
3 cups chopped strawberries
3 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
Hull, rinse, and chop strawberries to small sizes. Measure 3 cups.
Mix strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in 8-quart saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Then raise the temperature and bring the mixture to a full boil. Pay attention because sugar CAN boil up and over the pot. Not fun! If necessary, spoon off the pink foam that rises to the top.
Boil, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, until a candy thermometer reads 220 degrees.
Remove from heat. Cool and refrigerate.
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