Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for A Deadly Eclair (the 1st. French Bistro Mystery) by Daryl Gerber

This post was contributed by author Daryl Gerber. Her cozy mystery, A Deadly Eclair, is currently on tour with Escape with Dollycas Escape into a Good Book

Giveaway below!  Don’t miss out.

Hi, all! I’m so happy to be on the Great Escapes Tour. I’d like to share some of my favorite recipes from A Deadly Éclair, the 1st French Bistro Mystery. It came out in  hardcover in November, but I’m excited to say it’s out in trade paperback as of June 12. And the second in the series, A Soufflé of Suspicion, comes out July 10!

One of my all-time favorite desserts is crème brûlée. I often order it at a restaurant, just to compare. For this luscious dessert, use the best vanilla beans available. If you’re planning this recipe for a party, remember to remove them from the refrigerator a few hours ahead so they can warm to room temperature before applying the vanilla sugar and heat to the top.

I like a utility blowtorch from a hardware store, but you can always spring for the big bucks and get a pretty one from a kitchen store, at double the cost.

Tip:  Vanilla sugar can be costly, but it’s worth it. However, you can prepare it at home by combining approximately 2 cups of white sugar with the scraped seeds of one vanilla bean. Put it in an airtight jar. Let the mixture age for about 2 weeks, and then use 2 tablespoons in place of one packet of vanilla sugar. Make sense?  Each time, replace the sugar that is used, and the vanilla beans will last indefinitely. Cool, right?

Enjoy the recipe, and please tell a friend about A Deadly Éclair and the giveaway for this tour!

Crème Brûlée

1 quart heavy cream

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

1 cup vanilla sugar, divided (*you may use regular sugar)

6 large egg yolks

2 quarts hot water 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan, which has been set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and set aside for future use.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup vanilla sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color.

Add the cream, a little bit at a time. Stir continually.

Pour the liquid into six (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into roasting pan or a 13 x 9 cake pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake the ramekins until the crème brûlée is set, but still able to shake a little in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Remove the crème brûlée from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to finishing the top.

Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the crème brûlée to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Below is the link to the tour’s rafflecopter and Dayl Gerber’s social media links:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/02887792726/?widget_template=56d5f80dbc544fb30fda66f0

Visit Daryl or Avery at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

Daryl’s Blog – Avery’s Blog – Mystery Lover’s Kitchen – Killer Characters –

Facebook:   Daryl      Avery 

Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber

Goodreads:    Daryl Wood Gerber     Avery Aames

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N     Kobo    BookBub

 

 

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Posted in Books

What’s Your Great Read?

As a librarian and an author, books have played a big role in my life. When I heard about the Great American Read, an outreach campaign by PBS that aims “to get the country reading and passionately talking about books,” I was excited to participate in this endeavor. I organized a display in my library of some of the 100 titles that were nominated and will be voted upon through the summer. These books range from classics such as Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice to contemporary works like Gone Girl and the Da Vinci Code. Childrens and Young Adult books as well as Science Fiction, mystery, and Horror tales are represented.  In addition, the complete Harry Potter series and James Patterson’s Alex Cross mysteries are listed with a few other multi-book sets.The title receiving the most votes will be announced in the fall. During the voting period, PBS will run a series featuring a discussion about the novels by celebrities, authors, and book readers across the nation. The launch episode, hosted by Meredith Vieira, can be viewed on the Great American Read website where you can find the 100 titles and cast your votes:  https://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/

The website also features an opportunity to share your own story about how a novel changed your life and a Facebook group you can join to discuss books with fellow readers:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/greatreadbookclub/about/

While I applaud PBS for their effort to excite people about reading, there are many titles that didn’t make the cut to the list that I believe were worthier than others that did. I realize the difficulty of choosing only 100 novels from the sheer number of books published in the U.S. The choices excluded non-fiction and poetry. Some of of my favorites that weren’t featured are listed below:

  1. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (time-travel romance made into a popular movie)
  2. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (tear-jerker novel also made into a movie)
  3. Time and Again by Jack Finney (classic time-travel book featuring historical photographs, also a film)
  4. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (popular classic children’s book and movie)
  5. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (childrens/young adult book)
  6. The Eight by Katherine Neville (This chess-themed mystery that features some chapters taking place during the French Revolution had a following in the 1970’s)
  7. The Magic Treehouse Series by Mary Pope Osborne (popular children’s time-travel series that is much requested at libraries and one that my daughter loved when she was younger.)
  8. Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (Great Expectations made the list, but this one is my favorite)
  9. The Cat Who Series by Lilian Jackson Braun (The only cozy mystery on the list is Agatha Christie’s And then there were None. This is one of my many favorite cozy series)
  10. The Winter People by Phyllis Whitney (although maybe not as popular as the others, this was the first gothic romance that I read as a teen that got me interested in authors such as Victoria Holt and Barbara Michaels).

What about you? Are there any books that you consider your own great reads? I’d love to see your comments.