Friday, September 26, 2014

Great Escapes Book Tour: Interview Daryl Wood Gerber - Stirring The Plot w/Recipe

What are you reading right now?
Leslie Budewitz’s new Assault and Pepper, a Spiced to Death mystery. It’s a first in a series and not out yet, but will be soon. Very enjoyable, set in Seattle. Also, I’ve got Lee Child’s latest on my bedside table, as well as Lisa Gardner’s Fear Nothing.

Who is your favorite author?
I really enjoy reading Lisa Gardner and Harlan Coben. I also enjoy a bunch of cozy authors including Krista Davis, Kate Carlisle, Cleo Coyle, and Hannah Dennison. The list goes on!!!!

What is your go to cookbook?
Gourmet I. The first edition. It is really worn, but it’s where I learned out how to make so many things, pastry dough, apple pie, boeuf bourguinon, biscuits!

Do you have a favorite celebrity chef?
I love Anthony Bordain (love his historical perspectives), Ina Garten (though she’s so mellow sometimes it drives me crazy LOL), and Bobby Flay (for flair and cockiness). I love watching Iron Chef. That’s downright fun. And I love watching up-and-coming chefs on the challenge shows.

If you could have a meal with anyone past or present/ who would it be, and what would you be eating?
Well, it would have to include a number of people. I’d love to get Will Shakespeare, Mark Twain, and Agatha Christie in a room together. I’d probably throw in Audrey Hepburn for style and the wonderful humanity conversations we could have. Hillary Clinton because she’s just so well versed on everything and she’s funny. Billy Crystal or Mel Brooks or both--so witty! And Ina Garten, because then I don’t have to do any cooking! What a fun, interesting, colorful mix, right? I’d ask Jesus to attend, too, because he has the best bread!! Feeds hordes of people. And talk about witty?!!  I’m thinking fresh crab and shrimp, maybe a side of pesto pasta with lots of basil and Parmesan cheese, organic tomatoes with homemade buffalo mozzarella, basil, and pesto oil. My homemade ice cream. I make some killer flavors. And something chocolate. I have a wonderful recipe for homemade chocolate spritzed with a sassy spice in the upcoming STIRRING THE PLOT. Check it out.

Savor the mystery!


I write mysteries. Culinary mysteries that include recipes. That means I have to cook. A lot. Luckily, I have over the course of my life. As a girl, I sold chocolate cream pies to my neighborhood, I catered during college, and I ran a restaurant in my twenties. I love to cook!

In the Cookbook Nook mysteries, the lead character, Jenna Hart, is not a cook. She is a foodie. She dined out often while working at an advertising firm in San Francisco. When she left her job to return home to Crystal Cove to help her aunt open a culinary bookshop and café, Jenna decided she had to learn to cook. Baby steps. Five-ingredient recipes. This recipe I’m sharing would give her heart palpitations…and she’s not thirty yet.

But don’t despair if you, too, are a novice. It’s really not a difficult recipe. It simply has a lot of ingredients and a few extra steps. Follow them, and you won’t go wrong.

By the way, I often find recipes in cookbooks, but I found this recipe in a Food Network Magazine, the April 2014 issue. However, I tweaked it because I have to eat gluten-free. It turned out fabulously! ***If you wish to make these with regular flour, simply swap out the glutlen-free flour with regular flour and OMIT the xanthan gum! All the rest of the steps are the same.

These are perfect for a book club!



For the cupcakes:
2 large eggs
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk (I used 2%)
¾ cup vegetable oil
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons (2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups GF flour (I used Sweet Rice/Tapioca)
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon baking poder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt

For the meringue:
2 large egg whites
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup water
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze: (optional)
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 tablespoon lemon-flavored liqueur (optional)
6-7 drops yellow food coloring (optional)


Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. (My batch made 12 plus 6 mini muffins) Whisk the eggs, sugar, milk, vegetable oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla in a large bowl until combined. Whisk the GF flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl until combined. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix on medium high. Don’t overmix.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling them to just below the rim. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20-22 minutes (depending on your oven). Let cool 15 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Don’t start making the meringue until the cupcakes are out of the oven. Beat the egg whites and salt in a large bowl, using a mixer on medium speed for 1 minute. Increase the mixer speed to high and add in 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Beat until shiny peeks form, about 3 minutes.

Combine the rest of the sugar (6 tablespoons), the corn syrup and ¼ cup water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until the mixture registers 245 degrees on a candy thermometer. Do NOT over cook!! About 6 minutes. Remove from heat. With the mixer on medium, slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into the egg whites; increase the speed to high and beat until the meringue is fluffy and cool, about 6 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. [I didn’t have one; I used a spoon.] Pipe the mixture onto the cooled cupcakes; set aside at room temperature to firm up, about 15 minutes.

Note: I did not do the rest of the recipe, as laid out in the magazine. Why not? See my fear below… Here are the remaining instructions. Make the glaze: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, limoncello and food coloring in a microwave-safe bowl until smooth. Microwave the mixture 1 minute, then whisk again until the sugar dissolves; let cool about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dip the meringue-covered tops of the cupcakes into the glaze [MY FEAR WAS THE MERINGUE WOULD SLIDE RIGHT OFF; I WAS CHICKEN.] Let any excess drip off [sort of like you would dipping an ice cream into chocolate]. If the glaze gets too thick, microwave 20 seconds.

* * *

Below is a tidbit about STIRRING THE PLOT, the next in my Cookbook Nook mysteries. It comes out September 30! FYI, though I write a series, each book is a stand-alone and can be read first, even if you haven’t read the others in the series.

(3rd in Cookbook Nook Mysteries)

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, there’s plenty of blame to go around, and Jenna will have to use more than just sleight of hand to conjure up the truth…

[This is NOT a paranormal story. It is a traditional cozy mystery.]

Author:  Daryl Wood Gerber
Title: Stirring The Plot
Publisher: Berkley 
Publish Date: Sept 30, 2014
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Great Escapes Book Tours & the author
Book Blurb: 
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...

Review: This is book 3 in the Cookbook Nook series, and probably one of the few series that I've read from the start. I love this one!

I also love that it is a holiday book, especially as it is Halloween. I love books that revolve around holidays and Halloween in Crystal Cove seems like a great place to be, until Pearl winds up dead. Pearl is the Head Priestess of the Winsome Witches (Not real witches though). She's also a counselor, who a lot of people have told their secrets to. See, look at all that motive.

There are a lot of people with motives though, and Daryl makes it hard to figure out which one it might be, and some of the suspects come across as really suspicious. There was one character, in particular that I wanted to be the killer, but wasn't.

Jenna and Vera are at their very best here, as they work to find out whodunit. Oh and Jenna and handsome Rhett  are progressing in their relationship, though not nearly fast enough for me.

Like the other two books in the series, this one is full of great cookbook titles from the shop and some fabulous recipes that will make you want to munch while turning the pages.

I absolutely loved this book, and can't wait for the next installment!

Rating: 5 flowers

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Anonymous said...

I really don't think Daryl could make anything that wasn't delicious! :)

So looking forward to Stirring the Plot...

patucker54 at aol dot com

Sue Farrell said...

I love anything lemon so I'll have to try this interesting recipe.

Toni said...

I love these books. Daryl is so much fun to read and love her recipes

Jeanetta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeanetta said...

I am enjoying reading the Cheese Shop Mysteries. I am looking forward to reading the Cookbook Nook Mysteries. :)

Unknown said...

Oh My those look delicious!!!

Rachel said...

These look yummy! Looking forward to reading this sure to be hunger inducing cozy. rachelkb at

penney said...

I can't wait to read this, Thanks

Barbara Hawk said...

All sounds delicious! I must try some of these!

Rumeur said...

Let me try again lol. I enjoyed the interview as we have many same author favorites so that concludes I MUST like your books also. How couldn't I?��

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