First, I’d like to thank Ruff Drafts for inviting me as a guest today to celebrate the release of Stabbed in the Baklava. The second book in my Kebab Kitchen Mystery series features a Mediterranean restaurant at the Jersey Shore. I grew up in the restaurant business. My Armenian parents owned a restaurant not far from the shore for thirty years. I worked almost every job, from rolling silverware in napkins, to hostessing, to waitressing. So, setting my Kebab Kitchen mysteries at a Mediterranean restaurant at the Jersey Shore was a natural fit for me. I also love coming up with fun cozy titles that involve a pun on food!
I’d like to share my family’s recipe for baklava. It’s the perfect dessert and the perfect time to share for the release of Stabbed in the Baklava. In the book, Kebab Kitchen is hired to cater a high-society wedding at the Jersey Shore and baklava, along with wedding cake, is served for dessert. I attended my cousin’s wedding where baklava was on the table, along with special M&M’s with the couple’s initials for a nice touch (see picture). Here’s my recipe:
1½ cups sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 cups finely chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1½ cups clarified butter
1 pound phyllo dough (9-x-14-inch sheets)
Combine walnuts, cinnamon, and ¼ cup sugar in a small bowl and set aside. This is the walnut filling, Melt butter and coat a 14-x-10-inch baking pan. Layer 7 sheets of phyllo dough in the pan, buttering each sheet with a pastry brush. Spread half of the walnut filling evenly over top. Layer another 7 sheets of phyllo dough in the pan, buttering each sheet. Spread the remaining walnut filling evenly over top. Cover with the remaining sheets of dough, buttering each sheet. Bake in preheated 325-degree oven for 40 minutes. Cool baklava before cutting it.
Simple Sugar Syrup: Boil together 1¼ cups sugar and 1 cup water for 10 minutes. Stir often until sugar dissolves in water. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Turn off flame and set syrup aside to cool. Pour cooled syrup on your baklava and enjoy.
Thanks for having me!
Here’s a quick blurb of Stabbed in the Baklava:
Lucy Berberian has taken over her family’s Mediterranean restaurant on the Jersey Shore after an unsatisfying stint at a Philadelphia law firm. It’s great to be back in her old beach town, even if she’s turning into a seasoned sleuth.
Catering a high-society wedding should bring in some big income for Kebab Kitchen—and raise its profile too. But it’s not exactly good publicity when the best man winds up skewered like a shish kebab. Worse yet, Lucy’s ex, Azad—who’s the restaurant’s new head chef—is the prime suspect. But she doesn’t give a fig what the cops think. He may have killer looks, but he’s no murderer. She just needs to prove his innocence, before he has to go on the lamb . . .
Recipes included! “A delectable read.”
—Bestselling author Shelley Freydont
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2EUI5Dh
Google Books: https://bit.ly/2qDzgt9
Tina Kashian is an attorney and a former mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. She is the author of the Kebab Kitchen Mediterranean cozy mystery series. Tina spent her childhood summers at the Jersey shore building sandcastles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business, as her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. Tina still lives in New Jersey with her supportive husband and two young daughters. Please visit her website at http://www.tinakashian.com to join her newsletter, receive delicious recipes, enter contests, and more!
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