Friday, April 24, 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 23 in the China Bayles Mystery series
Susan Wittig Albert

New from the author of Death Come Quickly and Widow's Tears
This Thanksgiving, be grateful for China Bayles—who teams up with an old friend to solve a complex case of theft and murder in a South Texas ranching community…

It’s Thanksgiving in Pecan Springs, and China is planning to visit her mother, Leatha, and her mother’s husband, Sam, who are enthusiastically embarking on a new enterprise—turning their former game ranch into a vacation retreat for birders. She’s also looking forward to catching up with her friend, game warden Mackenzie “Mack” Chambers, who was recently transferred to the area. But Leatha calls with bad news: Sam has had a heart attack.

How will Leatha manage if Sam can’t carry his share? She does have a helper, Sue Ellen Krause. But China discovers that Sue Ellen, who is in the process of leaving her marriage to the assistant foreman at a large trophy game ranch, is in some serious trouble. Before Sue Ellen can tell China the full story, her car veers off a deserted road and she is killed.

Meanwhile, when a local veterinarian is shot in what appears to be a burglary at his clinic, Mack Chambers believes his murder could be related to fawns stolen from a nearby ranch. As Mack follows the trail, China begins to wonder if Sue Ellen’s death may not have been an accident, and if there’s a connection to the stolen animals. But their search for the truth may put their own lives in danger…


Having just read and reviewed DEATH COME QUICKLY, book 22 in this series, I was eager to read BITTERSWEET. But when I read what the subject of BITTERSWEET was, trophy game ranches, places where animals are kept and raised for the purpose of hunting them for thrills and trophies, I almost choose not to read the book. I personally find such places appalling and feel they should be outlawed.  But I was sent this book by the publisher to review, so I read it.

This is only the second book I have read in this series, but as with DEATH COMES QUICKLY, I found BITTERSWEET to be very well written. There is no doubt author Susan Wittig Albert knows how to draw readers into a story.

Written partly in first person with China narrating, and partly in third person with the story of China’s friend Mackenzie “Mack” Chambers being told, I wasn’t sure I was going to care for it at first, but I found myself looking forward to the spots where the POV changed (Normally at the start of a new chapter). It kept the story fresh, and I think it was a creative choice.

And even though the subject was not a favorite of mine, without giving anything away, I had reason to smile near the end when the universe had a unique revenge planned for the villain. I cheered!

Rounding out the book is very interesting information on different types of plants, and some tasty sounding recipes.

After reading books 22 & 23 in this series, I’m going to get book 1 and start this great series from the beginning. 

On to the recipe!



3 eggs, slightly beaten 
2 cups warm milk 
salt and pepper to taste 
3/4 cup grates Swiss cheese 
9-inch unbaked pie shell 
1/2 cup cooked, drained, chopped spinach 
1/2 cup sautéed mushrooms 
3 tablespoons fresh snipped chives 
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced 
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced 
1 tablespoon butter or margarine 
leaves of fresh greens (Kale, arugula, lettuce) and fresh chive blossoms for garnish


Preheat over to 350 degrees F. 

Combine eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. 

Spread the grated cheese evenly in the bottom of the pie shell. 

Mix the spinach, mushrooms, and herbs and spoon over the cheese. 

Pour the milk-and-egg mixture over that. 

Dot the top with butter or margarine.

Place pie plate on a cookie sheet and bake until set, about 30-35 minutes. 

Remove when the outside is set and the middle still jiggles when shaken. 

Let stand 10-15 minutes before slicing. 

Serve slices on beds of fresh greens, garnished with chive blossoms. 

chive blossoms

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

Keep reading to check out my installments of 
Book Beginnings on Fridays
The Friday 56


This week, my Book Beginnings 
and Friday 56 are from

Book 1 in the Cypress Cover Mystery series 
by Carlene O'Neal

In California wine country, the town of Cypress Cove may seem peaceful. But someone’s about to pop their cork…

After losing her job as a photojournalist, Penny Lively is trying to get her life back in focus. Inheriting the family winery from her late aunt may be the fresh start she needs. Thankfully she’s got her niece Hayley and her handsome winery manager Connor to help. But the person in need of more urgent assistance is Antonia Martinelli, the owner of the neighboring winery, who has her own barrel full of problems. Someone’s spoiling her wine, and with the upcoming Autumn Festival, she needs Penny’s nose for clues to sniff out the culprit.

But Penny’s search for answers sours after the body of a staff member is found in a grape crusher. Since Hayley was the last to see him alive, she’s the prime suspect in the case. Now Penny must hurry to find the real killer before Hayley withers on the vine…

Pre-order now for it's 
Tuesday, May 5 release date!

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

Book Beginnings this week

A simple house rule, ignored once, and I end up with a dead body on my hands. Actually more than one, but I'm getting ahead of myself. 

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.

My Friday 56

It struck me once again how different he was from his mother. None of the vibrancy was passed along. 

As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!
Also, become a Follower of my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.


  1. My goodness, What an incredibly intriguing first line. "But"m getting ahead of myself" is a good hook. My Friday Quotes

    1. Anne, I normally post a bit more, but I thought that worked too well on it's own. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I've heard great things about this author but not had the pleasure to read her books yet.
    I do love a good quiche too, thanks for the recipe! Looks yummy!
    I added you to the Linky! Happy weekend!

    1. Freda, I started her books on this one and the one just before. I enjoyed them so much, I went back and ordered book 1. Thank you for adding me to the Linky. LOL I was wondering how I got there is morning! :-)

  3. I was planning to use that book for my Friday meme's next week. Hope you are enjoying it. I'm looking forward to it.

    1. Hey Mark. It's a good first in series. I look forward to the next one to see how it grows. Can't wait to hear what you think. My review should be up tomorrow.

  4. Thanks, Lisa. That quiche would be wonderful, this morning. Have a great weekend!

    1. Hi Pat. I've never had quiche. But this sounded like something so many would enjoy.

  5. Nice books. Hopefully one of these days I'll get around to Wittig's series...and I love books set in wineries.

    My Friday post:

    1. Catherine, I am a new fan of Wittigs. She writes wonderfully. Thanks for visiting! Heading to yours now.

  6. I love the beginning of this book and although I can imagine that the book subject isn't exactly a great one, I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'm not much of a quiche person, but your recipe makes me think maybe I should give them another try! Thanks for sharing :) I hope you have a great weekend!
    My Friday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

    1. Juli, I thought the beginning of One Foot In The Grape was a fun one. As for Bittersweet, hunting of any kind bothers me, but "boxed" hunting where the animals are raised to be hunter is just wrong. But as I said in my review, it was nice to see the bad guy get what was coming.

  7. The China Bayles mystery novels by Susan Wittig Albert are one of my favorite cozy series. I haven't read Bittersweet but have read most of her other books.

    I had no idea that this book dealt with "trophy game ranches, where animals are kept and raised for the purpose of hunting them for thrills and trophies." I am also against that.

    As always, thank you for the delicious sounding recipe, Lisa. I hope you have a great weekend. And thank you for reviewing all of these mysteries for us.

    1. Hi Susan! Thanks for stopping by. I'm always happy when I see you here!

      I think trophy game ranches show be outlawed. Hunting for sport is a horrible thing.

      I came to the China Bayles series late, but I look forward to catching up with it!

  8. I have to chuckle at that beginning-- draws the reader right in and wanting more. Sounds intriguing.
    I don't know as an animal lover if I could stomach the trophy ranch in the Wittig book but I have heard great things about her series, so now I'm interested. And that recipe... I will copy it and hope to make it this week. So glad I discovered your blog through Catherine. Enjoy the weekend!

    1. Rita, I'm a major animal lover too. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. And the bad guy really got what was coming to him in the end. A wonderful cosmic justice. :-)

  9. I love the premise of this book. Will definitely have to check it out as I love cozies myself. (new follower)

    1. Hi Daphne. Always happy to talk to another cozy lover! Thanks for following!

  10. Making sure I put One Foot In The Grape on my to be read list. It sounds like a really good one!

  11. The 56 is interesting. I like reading mysteries or cozies in the Wine country. Your Herb quiche looks good. I just don't care for quiche. (:

  12. Quiche is a family favorite in this abode. Love the book beginning to On foot in the Grape, it’s witty and inviting to say the least :)

    Claudia @ My Soul Called Life

    1. Claudia, thanks for visiting! I may have to try making a quiche soon.

  13. I can understand your reservations about the subject of Bittersweet. I'm leery of anything that involves animals or small children! I am glad to hear the subject was dealt with in a way that didn't make you too squeamish. The quiche sounds divine! I haven't heard of the One Foot in the Grape series but it sounds entertaining! I'll definitely have to look for it.

    1. Katherine, same here with animal and children. But it was handled very well. One Foot In The Grape was a good mystery. Thanks for stopping by!

  14. I've never heard of that author, but I love the cover and the opening. :)

    Check out my 56 (with Book Beginnings).

    1. Lauren, I think it's going to be a really good series.

  15. A new cozy author! I find so many great ones from your blog. I'm getting a new bookcase just for my cozies. LOL And I love Quiche. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner:)

    My 56 -

  16. One Foot in the Grape looks so good. I have it to be reviewed.

    Have a great weekend!

  17. This book is new to me but I do hope you're enjoying it. That quiche looks yummy too. Happy Weekend!