Friday, February 20, 2015

Cozy Food Friday!

That means it's time to share a recipe from 
another great cozy mystery!

Today I'm featuring a recipe from the cozy mystery 
Book 1 in the Spice Shop Mystery series by
Leslie Budewitz

The Agatha Award-winning author of Crime Rib is proud to introduce Pepper Reece, the owner of the Seattle Spice Shop who thinks she can handle any kind of salty customer—until a murderer ends up in the mix…

After leaving a dicey marriage and losing a beloved job in a corporate crash, Pepper Reece has found a new zest for life running a busy spice and tea shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Her aromatic creations are the talk of the town, and everyone stops by for a cup of her refreshing spice tea, even other shopkeepers and Market regulars. But when a panhandler named Doc shows up dead on the store’s doorstep, a Seattle Spice Shop cup in his hand, the local gossip gets too hot for Pepper to handle—especially after the police arrest one of Pepper’s staffers, Tory Finch, for murder.

Tory seems to know why she’s a suspect, but she refuses to do anything to curry favor with the cops. Convinced her reticent employee is innocent, Pepper takes it on herself to sniff out some clues. Only, if she’s not careful, Pepper’s nosy ways might make her next on the killer’s list…


First in the Spice Shop Mystery series, ASSAULT AND PEPPER was a tasty read and has whet my appetite for more.

With a large percentage of cozies being set in fictional towns, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this book being set in Seattle at a famous location like The Pike Place Public Market.  Honestly, at first it was a little strange for me, but I was soon lost in the story, and Ms. Budewitz’s wonderful writing and no longer gave it a thought.

Her protagonist in ASSAULT AND PEPPER, Pepper Reece was really enjoyable and I liked getting to know her. The same goes for the other characters in the book. Pepper’s staff at the Seattle Spice Shop are as wide ranging in styles and personalities, as the spices they carry are in tastes and smells. The same is to be said of the rest of the cast of characters.  

The mystery element of this story, who killed the panhandler, Doc, and why they killed him, along with the fact that one of the staff of Pepper’s store, Tory, is a suspect, and Tory seems to know why she is, but isn’t doing much to help herself, kept me guessing as I turned page after page, only to be very surprised when the truth came out.

A fun bonus: Every chapter starts off with a fact or a quote.
A delicious bonus: Lots of yummy recipes!

Give ASSAULT AND PEPPER a try and see if it doesn’t spice up your life like it did mine!

is now available for pre-order for it's 
March 3 release!

Today's recipe is


Pepper drew inspiration for this recipe from the potatoes and broccolini in the Market. A hybrid of traditional broccoli and gai lan, also called Chinese broccoli or Chinese kale, broccolini has long, slender stalks with small florets and kale-like leaves, and a peppery taste that holds up well when cooked. If you can't find it, use traditional broccoli or broccoli raab. Traditional broccoli can be hard to find with the stalks intact, but the search is worth the effort. Use a paring knife or vegetable peeler to cut out any knots and peel off the tough skin. Those stalks carry a lot of flavor and vitamins and minerals. 


8 to 10 small white potatoes (about 10 ounces total), scrubbed and quartered
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup olive oil
8 ounces broccolini (or broccoli), trimmed and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence (See more at the end of the recipe)
8 large eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

   Place the potatoes and broth in a large (10 to 12 inch) ovenproof skillet. On the stove top, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes, turning the potatoes often, until almost all of the stock has been absorbed and the potatoes are tender. 

   Preheat your broiler. If yours has variable settings, use the high settings and leave the rack in the middle of the oven. If your broiler is not particularly hot, raise the rack. 

   Add the olive oil, broccolili, onion, and Herbes de Provence to the potatoes in the skillet. Continue cooking on the stove top on medium heat for about 2 minutes, turning frequently, until all the vegetables are coated with oil and herbs. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover skillet, cooking about 3 minutes, until the broccolini has become mostly tender. 

   Beat the eggs with half the Parmesan and the salt and pepper. Check the heat in your skillet: you may need to turn it way down to avoid frying the eggs in the next step. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. COver and cook on the stove top over medium-low heat until the eggs are slightly set, about 10 minutes.

   Sprinkle remaining Parmesan on top and place the pan under broiler, until the top is bubbly and golden, and the eggs are set throughout, about 5 minutes.

   Let cool slightly before slicing into wedges.

Makes 8 servings. Wedges reheat beautifully for breakfast or lunch. 

NOTE: All images are from Google Images and/or Pinterest. 
Your dish may vary in appearance.


A savory touch, to transport your taste buds. 


2 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 1/2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried savory
2 tablespoons dried crushed lavender flowers
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried sage

Mix spice in a small bowl. Store in a jar with a tightly fitting lid. Makes just over half a cup. 

   As with all herb blends, experiment with your own touches. Let your taste be your guide. Other frequent additions: rosemary, sweet marjoram, or fennel seed. (Marjoram and oregano are distinct herbs but closely related and can be substituted for each other in some recipes.) Try a blend with whatever combination of the suggested herbs you have  on hand. The next summer, grow a pot of lavender on your deck or in a sunny window!

Lisa's note: If you really have no other choice, you can buy as a pre-made product. 

You can find more uses for HERBES DE PROVENCE in the recipe section of 

Raise your hand if you're hungry!

Please keep reading and check out my installments of 
Book Beginnings on Fridays
The Friday 56
which also feature 
by Leslie Budewitz


Book Beginnings on Fridays is a meme hosted by Rose City Reader
Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading

Keeping my Cozy Food Friday theme going with 
ASSAULT AND PEPPER by Leslie Budewitz
Book 1 in the Spice Shop Mystery series
My Book Beginnings for this week..

"What does autumn taste like? How does it smell?"

Even as I asked, the questions seemed utterly ridiculous. This is already shaping up to be one of those glorious September days in Seattle that make you think the weather will never change, that the sky will always be pure cloudless blue, the leaves on the trees a painter's box of green, the waters of Elliot Bay calm and sparkling.

I've lived here all my forty-two years, and I still get fooled.       

The Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda's Voice
Rules: *Grab a book, any book. *Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that's okay.) *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you. *Post it.

Continuing with ASSAULT AND PEPPER
From page 56
My Friday 56...

A deep masculine grunt at the side door caught my attention and I trotted over to check it out. Before I reached the top of the landing, a broad-shouldered brown-clad back.......

Sorry folks. 
The rest of the sentence is on page 57 ;-)

Learn about author Leslie Budewitz

As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.


  1. I think I'd like this one, so I'm going to look for it. I've visited Pike Place Market a few times on trips to Seattle--it's such a great place to shop. Thanks for visiting my blog.

    1. I've never been, but I have heard a lot about from friends. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I have the book on order. I am so looking forward to reading about Pike Place Market! I love that place! The recipes look great also. I have pinned them

    1. Hi Elaine. Thanks for stopping by. And thanks for pinning them!

  3. I was excited when I saw this on GoodReads the other day so I'm thrilled to know you enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to a mystery that's not set in a small town and I adore spice shops. I have a feeling this one will make me want to visit my favorite (Penzey's)

    1. Katherine, I don't have a Penzey's near, but my friend ordered me a backing spice set from them and I loved it! I want to get more of their vanilla extract. It's the clear kind and doesn't color white frostings and taste is amazing!

  4. May your Friday sparkle, too, Lisa! As for the recipe...yum, Yum, YUM!! :)

  5. Thanks, Lisa and friends, for featuring ASSAULT AND PEPPER today. That frittata looks so good, you're making ME hungry -- and it's my recipe!

  6. I enjoy reading books that take place in a fictional setting in a real town. Pike Place Market has such a vast variety of shops that this one could easily be there. Maybe I just didn't notice it on my last visit! I'm adding this book to my TBR list and pinning the recipes for future reference.
    My Friday post features CHRISTMAS CRACKER.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Sandra, there are several spice shops in and around the Market. I made this one up so I wouldn't be limited by reality -- and so I could kill people!

  7. I love this type of book so will be adding it to my list. Thanks for the recommendation.

  8. Very clever title for the book, I love it! I love a good frittata too! Thanks for sharing!
    Happy weekend!

  9. The recipe for Potato and Broccoli Frittata sounds wonderful. I plan to try it.

    I love culinary mysteries. Assault and Pepper sounds like a good read!

    Great review, Lisa. :)

  10. I need to check my Kindle. I know I just grabbed a book from this series. Don't you juts love that title and cover! I love my cozies:) And now I'm hungry. I swear I can smell that yummy dish.
    My 56 -

  11. I'll have to check my Kindle. I know I just recently grabbed a book from this series. Don't you love that cover art and title. Yeah for cozies!

  12. The frittata looks wonderful and I love the storyline and title! Thank you for a great recipe and review!

  13. Thanks again to Lisa for the delightful review and to you all of you for taking a peek at ASSAULT AND PEPPER. A short excerpt is now up on my website, Happy Reading!

  14. Hi Lisa,

    Those P56 lines were a bit sneaky!! :) Is this person known to her (I'm assuming it's a 'her') and perhaps the door just sticks, or is this an intruder intent on mischief and harm?

    I am not a huge fan of cozy mysteries, although I have read the odd one or two. However that very first line ..

    "What does autumn taste like? How does it smell?"

    Would definitely have me hooked and needing to know more, although I would have liked it to have also said "How does it sound?", as Autumn to me is always epitomised by the sound of the fallen leaves crunching underfoot.

    September doesn't really scream Autumn to to me, although I know what the author means about glorious days fooling you into thinking that the weather and seasons will never change.

    This one has some good potential, I enjoyed your objective review and the herby fritatta looks amazing. Now that particular aspect of Autumn I can already taste and smell :)

    Thanks for sharing and enjoy your next book,


  15. Thanks for stopping by, Yvonne. The character saying "What does autumn taste like? How does it smell?" is talking to her staff at the spice shop and is wanting them to mix spices based on these things. I believe that's why sounds didn't come into it.

    I have always thought of September as the beginning of autumn. However, more than often than not these days, it's warm temps.

    As for the 56, you'd be surprised who it was. ;-)