By Sherry — I’ve been baking in Northern Virginia but not because it’s hot out!
Happy Book Birthday, Sheila! Today we are celebrating the TENTH book in Sheila’s fabulous Orchard Mystery series, Seeds of Deception! To celebrate I decided to try making a couple of recipes from Sheila’s earlier books. Since I’m not the greatest cook in the world, I decided I’d share the good, bad, and ugly of the whole process.
The first recipe I made was the Toffee Crunch Blondies from A Gala Event, the ninth book in the series. After reading the recipe and seeing ingredients like chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and toffee bits, I decided I had to try this one!
What better way to keep the book open than to use a couple of Granny Smith apples? This recipe was easy to follow. Of course I forgot to set the butter out so I put it in the microwave for 15 seconds. It might have needed a bit more.
I mixed it all up and stuck it in the oven for the recommended twenty-five minutes. The house smelled like heaven!
Sheila says in the instructions for the book: Try not to eat them all at once. My husband couldn’t even wait for them to cool completely. But there were some left at the end of the evening — perhaps because I made a pie too.
Next I decided to make Apple Cream Pie from Picked To Die, the eighth book in the Orchard Mysteries. My husband is chief pie maker at our house, but I wanted to do it myself. That meant a store bought crust instead of homemade. And yes, I forgot to take the pie crust out to get to room temperature so it was back to the microwave. This recipe is also really easy — the most time intensive part is peeling the apples. (I’m guessing Sheila has one of those cool apple peeler/corer devices.) I used my vegetable peeler.
The recipe says to: Prepare your apples and pile them into the shell. I may have been a little over enthused with the piling part of the instructions. My pile turned out to be a small hill.
I think because my pile was so high that the top apples got a little browner on top than they might normally. But the pie tastes delicious, a fabulous combination of tart and sweet! I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow!
Read A Gala Event and Picked to Die to find the recipes. I can’t wait to read Seeds of Deception and see what happens to newlyweds Meg and Seth (they are on their honeymoon in Western Massachusetts) and to get more recipes!
Readers: Have you ever made a recipe from the books you read? How did it turn out?
Happy book day, Sheila! Can’t wait to read the new one.
It’s already on my t-b-r list. I have tried recipes from cozies. Some very good, some not so much.
It was fun to give these two recipes a try! I may have to try more!
Both sound delicious. I made a few of the recipes from Diane Mott Davidson’s excellent series – the one that comes to mind was the Anniversary Burgers. It’s a fun and different way to interact with the books. Happy release day to Sheila!
The first time I met Diane Mott Davidson at a signing, I asked her to sign a recipe, rather than the copy of her book. Of course I’d tried it!
Both are delicious and easier than I thought they’d be!
DM Davidson, Dark Torte. Tom’s Savory Sausage Casserole has been on the brunch menu Christmas morning for many years.
Oh, that sounds delicious!
Good for you! I love baking and find it almost meditative. I’m glad you got to enjoy doing it with some of Sheila’s recipes.
Meditative? I find it stressful but this was kind of fun — I’m always afraid things will go up in flames!
When I pick up a mystery featuring recipes, I turn at once to the recipes in the back. I’ve used a recipe from Lesley Diehl’s microbrewing series for gingerbread. It called for a bottle of strong beer and turned out to be absolutely delicious. Even my husband, who doesn’t like ginger, enjoyed it.
I’ve also used recipes from Maya Corrigan’s five-ingredient mystery series. Can’t get easier than that.
Very interesting that you look at the recipes first, Grace!
I’m seriously not a cook, Sherry, but I enjoy reading Sheila’s books. Thanks for letting me know about this newest.
I’m not much of cook either which is one of the reasons I decided to attempt this feat!
Happy book day, Sheila
Thanks for the post! Of course, all the recipes have been tested by myself (and my husband, and my daughter, and total strangers…), and yes, I do have a crank peeler–makes life a lot simpler. (And I have trouble with pie crusts too–I do buy the ready-made ones, unless I’m feeling brave.)
I’ve had a copy of the Nero Wolfe cookbook for years and have several favorite recipes in it, especially the Zucchini with Sour Cream and Dill.
Did I pile the apples too high? Be honest!
Do I have a clue? So many recipes say, use three or six or whatever apples. Hey, apples come in lots of sizes! And you have to heap them a little because they shrink in cooking. So I don’t think there’s a wrong way to do it.
Have you ever considered a career as a diplomat?!
Bravo, Sherry! Very inspirational baking. Sheila, warmest congratulations, and I look forward to reading and cooking!
My family was happy!
Happy book birthday, Sheila! Sherry, it was very brave of you to let us see behind the scenes in your test kitchen! Thanks for a fun post!
A behind the scenes look can be very scary in my kitchen. I always think of people like you who make cooking look so effortless.
About a decade ago, I would get together with friends every Saturday for a potluck and game night. Desserts were often from the books of Joanne Fluke since I got another member of the group to read them as well. And yes, I made some of them. They were quite good and easy for me to follow.
I haven’t made anything from the books I read in years, however. It’s hard to get excited about it when you don’t have anyone to share it with. And, it would take away from time to read new books.
Congrats on the new book, Sheila!
I’d rather be reading than cooking too, Mark!
Now I am hungry…
Come on over!
Yay Sheila! Happy book birthday!
Wow! So impressed with the results! Great job, Sherry and Sheila!
It was all Sheila’s great recipes!
Happy Book Birthday, Sheila. “Seeds Of Deception” was in my inbox this morning. I know what I’m doing this w/e!
I’ve used several recipes from Joanne Fluke’s books. My favorite is the Corn Chowder in her “Sugar Cookie Murder”. It’s wonderful, easy to make, and freezes nicely if you want to make a big batch.
Happy book day Sheila.
Nice blog Sherry. The slightly burnt apples on the top of the pie look Devine to me. I love crunchy baked goods.
My favorite recipe from a mystery book is a simple pie crust from one of the books in Wllery Adams’ Charmed Pie Shoppe series. It has replaced my Betty Crocker recipe as my go to pie crust recipe.
Comments are closed.