Friday, March 24, 2017

Cozy Food Friday

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

Today I'm featuring 
Book 2 in the Callie's Kitchen Mysteries
by Jenny Kales

The holidays can be murder! Greek-American restaurateur Callie Costas finds herself on thin ice when a colleague is killed. Recipes included!

The season is bright when Calliope “Callie” Costas agrees to contribute her Greek snowball cookies to a December bridal shower at The English Country Inn in the scenic waterfront town of Crystal Bay, WI. But when Callie finds a colleague dead, she's sucked into another murder investigation -- all while juggling her growing business and staggering holiday workload. 

As she reluctantly agrees to help the Inn’s owner track the killer, Callie is soon up to her spiced Greek biscotti in difficulties. For one thing, the hotel staff is freezing her out as she tries to uncover information, helped by her feisty Grandma Viv and her sweet but nosy aunt who’s visiting from Greece. And then there’s her deepening relationship with the suave and mysterious Detective Sands, a British expat now living in Wisconsin, who seems to have a few secrets of his own.

The icing on the cake is a host of simultaneous family mayhem including her father's surprising fixation on a real estate agent and her ex’s plans to move back to Crystal Bay. As the Inn’s annual Christmas Tea approaches, things are heating up in Callie’s Kitchen, but she’s on thin ice! Will Christmas be a festive celebration this year – or will it be murder?

Turn to the end of the book for six delicious recipes, including Greek cookies and savories, plus traditional Midwestern holiday favorites!


A word from Jenny about 
"Supper Clubs"

Welcome to the World of Wisconsin Supper Clubs!
By Jenny Kales

When I started writing SPICED AND ICED, the second book in my Callie’s Kitchen Mystery series, I really, really wanted to include a scene with a Wisconsin supper club. Luckily for me, it fit easily into the story. “The Elkhorn Supper Club” is where Callie Costas and her BFF Samantha stumble upon what could be a clue.  Or maybe not. You have to read the book to find out!

If you’re not from the Midwest (and even if you are), you might be wondering what a Wisconsin supper club is. Though they vary in dΓ©cor and theme, a supper club is a Wisconsin institution where solid, hearty and most importantly, delicious, food is served, along with classic cocktails. (More on those later).

Think juicy steaks, a perfectly roasted duck with orange sauce, crispy fish fry and tender, flavorful pork chops. This is meat and potatoes fare, all the way, but with an elegant touch, if your standard of elegance is old-school dining (and frankly, that’s what I like the best).

Supper clubs are wonderfully retro with their rustic or elegantly vintage dΓ©cor and yet, they are somehow never stuffy because of the friendly service and remarkable food. The food isn’t overly worked, not “avant garde” and not precious in any way: just reliable, tasty and meant to make you happy. What’s not to like?

There are a few other hallmarks of Wisconsin supper clubs. One is that steak in some way, shape or form will be prominently featured on the menu (yay). Also, you will be offered a “relish tray.” The relish tray will usually include fresh cruditΓ© like celery, carrots, cucumber and radishes as well as pickled vegetables of all kinds (beets, cauliflower, carrots, etc.), an assortment of crackers, breadsticks and a signature cheese spread (a recipe follows!) and pimento-stuffed olives. If the supper club is really retro, your relish tray will be brought to you on a glass tray with square compartments for each item and a round spot in the center (for the cheese spread).

With your relish tray, you’ll probably want to indulge in a cocktail. Traditional supper club cocktails are decidedly old-school, just like the food. One of the most common is the Brandy Old-Fashioned. Instead of the usual whiskey that’s used in a regular Old-Fashioned cocktail, brandy is used, resulting in a sweeter drink. It’s thought that the use of brandy can be attributed to the huge German population in Wisconsin’s earlier days, who preferred sweet alcoholic beverages. If you think about German wines, you can see that could have been the case.

OK, you’ve had your relish tray, your cocktail and a juicy steak with a baked potato and probably a house green salad, a homemade soup and maybe even a side of cottage cheese. Now, I hope you’ve saved room for dessert and after-dinner drinks. Many supper clubs pride themselves on their homemade desserts, like chocolate cake, pies and cheesecakes. Don’t skip dessert!

You also may want to indulge in a minty Grasshopper, a dessert in itself. This frozen, light green, crème-de-menthe-based drink was hugely popular in the 1960s. Supper clubs compete to see who can offer the biggest, tallest, most impressive Grasshopper.

Some supper clubs offer live music certain nights, many offer a year-round Friday fish fry and all of them have a feeling of welcome and warmth. They’re “cozy” in the best sense of the word.

I had a fun supper club experience last summer when I visited the Geneva Lakes area of Wisconsin (incidentally, the inspiration for Crystal Bay in The Callie’s Kitchen Mysteries). My husband and I drove from Fontana, Wisconsin (near Lake Geneva) to Delavan, where we had the pleasure of visiting The Duck Inn. We drove through a severe rainstorm to get there and weren’t sure if they would be open – it was a Sunday evening and supper clubs close early on Sunday. But they were there and we were treated to a delicious meal. The cheese spread that came with our relish tray is what inspired the following recipe, which can be found in my latest Callie’s Kitchen Mystery, SPICED AND ICED. (I didn’t ask them for the recipe, but this is pretty close).

On to the recipes!

Wisconsin Supper Club Cheese Spread

All food photos courtesy of Google Images


1 container cheddar cheese spread (such as Kraft Old English spread)
4 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. sour cream
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper

   In large bowl, blend ingredients using a hand mixer (or use a Kitchen Aid standing mixer). 
  Chill at least one hour and preferably longer, to blend flavors and ensure that the mixture sets and is spreadable. 
   Keep leftovers covered in the refrigerator. 

  Great with cruditΓ©, crackers, bread or even on baked potatoes.

🍽Last but not least, a supper club cocktail recipe:🍽

Wisconsin Supper Club-Style
Brandy Old Fashioned

2 oz. brandy (Korbel is the preferred WI brand; any light-bodied brandy will work)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Soda water or seltzer
1 sugar cube
2 orange slices (including skin)
2 maraschino cherries

   Put the sugar in the base of an old-fashioned glass (a short tumbler or “rocks” glass) and dash the bitters onto it. 
   Add a drop of soda water to help dissolve sugar. Add the fruit and muddle, avoiding the pith, until the sugar is dissolved.
   Add the brandy and stir to combine. Add ice cubes or crushed ice. 
   Top with seltzer, or to make it “sweet,” add lemon-lime soda or a mix of lemon-lime and seltzer (this combo is known as “press”).    
   Garnish with additional fruit, such as cherries and/or an orange slice.

I hope you get the chance to visit a Wisconsin supper club someday, but if you don’t, I hope these recipes will give you a taste of what they’re all about. Thanks to Lisa for hosting me today! I hope you will check out my Callie’s Kitchen Mystery Series if you haven’t already.

Happy Cozy Food Friday! ~Jenny


About Jenny

Jenny is an avid reader, cook and baker and she’s addicted to mystery TV, especially anything on Masterpiece Mystery or BBC America. A member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, she lives just outside of Chicago with her husband, two daughters and one cute but demanding Yorkshire terrier. Keep up with author news for Jenny Kales by following her on social media: Facebook (@JennyKalesMysteryAuthor), Twitter @Jenny_Kales, Instagram (jennykales_author) and Goodreads. 
Visit her website at


Please keep reading and check out my 
installments of 
Book Beginnings on Fridays
The Friday 56

Both the BB and 56 are from 
Book 2 in the Callie's Kitchen Mysteries


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

My Book Beginnings

"Why does anyone think it's a good idea to have their bridal shower right before the holidays?" grumbled Natalie Underwood, her long red curls bouncing pertly as she rushed about the room.
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 
(Switching it up . . .
using the first 
sentence from 
chapter 5 and the 
first from chapter 6)

(Chap 5) - Callie was too busy at Callie's Kitchen to snoop at the inn the day after ____'s death, but the following day, she promised herself she'd be there bright and early for a brief check-in.

(Chap 6) - Returning home that evening, Callie was determined to relax.

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. pg 56 of Much Ado About Muffin by Victoria Hamilton

    I left the castle, shaking my head in perplexity, but paused by my car and listened to the quietude: crickets, a couple of crows cawing, and not much else. Except for an odd tick-tick-tick sound. I glanced around. Some new insect? Wierd.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Lisa. The cheese spread sounds delicious.

  3. Delicious food and drinks! That Brandy Old Fashioned looks refreshing. The book looks delicious, too.

    Here's mine: “PERSONS UNKNOWN”

  4. Lovely post. The spread recipe is down and will be used often my family is really into such things. The book looks great. On my TBR. Della

  5. Spiced and Iced sounds like a fantastic book. Thanks for mentioning it. :-)

  6. Thanks, Lisa. I could enjoy that cheese spread right now! :) Happy Friday, to you.

  7. Kale's description of the Wisconsin Supper Clubs was so delightful. Now I want to visit Wisconsin... and read the book!

  8. I love Cozy Food Friday! Thanks for featuring me on your blog today, Lisa!

  9. Spiced and Iced looks like a delightful cozy. I always enjoy your posts, even though they make me hungry!
    My Friday post features The Pecan Man.

  10. I live in Wisconsin! Yep that drink is popular in Wisconsin! Love your books!

  11. I darted into the cottage fetched my cell phone and purse told Tigger tobstay put high tailed it to my father's house in my vw beetle.a half hour later my father pulled up in his jeep in my presence he and cinnamon discussed his whereabouts and Ronald's account.

  12. Grilling the subject Daryl woods Gerber was mine posted above

  13. Now I want to go out and wine and dine! And you had me at that title and lovely cover. There's something about snow:)

    My Friday 56 from Beautiful Broken Girls

  14. Oh, I think I'll be trying the first recipe for sure!

    Lauren @ Always Me

  15. Sounds like a fun cozy series. Love the cocktail recipe, will have to try it! Happy weekend!