Friday, September 22, 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 Down South Café Mysteries
by Gayle Leeson

In the latest Southern cozy from the author of The Calamity Café, small-town chef Amy Flowers can’t take her freedom for granted when she’s served up as a murder suspect... 

It's Independence Day in Winter Garden, Virginia, and the residents are gearing up for their annual celebration. The Down South Café is open and flourishing, and Amy Flowers is busy making pies and cakes for the holiday. The only thorn in her side is Chamber of Commerce director George Lincoln, who is trying to buy the café so he can tear it down and build a B&B on the site.
When George collapses while eating at the Down South, everybody assumes it's a heart attack—until the autopsy declares it to be poisoning. Now, it’s up to Amy to prove her innocence before her liberty is lost. 

Includes delicious Southern recipes!


Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. She also writes as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, she writes the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, she writes the Embroidery Mystery series.

She lives in Virginia with her family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff.


SILENCE OF THE JAMS gave me that down home, easy living feeling, but with murder! ;-)

With the wait finally over (it felt like years) I dived into this book, and didn’t come up for air until I was finished! Page after page I was captivated by this delightful cozy. As with the first installment in this series, SILENCE OF THE JAMS was a fast moving mystery without one wasted word. (You know the kind of drag-it-out filler I’m talking about.) Seriously, there was not one slow or boring part in this entire tale.

Every scene dealing with the characters doing their normal, everyday routines, made me long to be a part of this group of people. And every scene focusing on the murder was intelligently crafted by author Gayle Leeson to keep the reader’s mind working to solve the deadly puzzle. She truly has a gift for writing a killer mystery.

Be prepared to get hungry reading this story. There are some yummy sounding foods. Thankfully, Ms. Leeson includes some of the amazing recipes from the story. I will be trying them out for sure!

I don’t care how jammed up your reading list is. You have got to add SILENCE OF THE JAMS to the top. Haven’t read book one, THE CALAMITY CAFÉ? Get them both and read them back to back. You’ll be happy that you did!


On to the recipe!

All food photos are borrowed from Google Images and its contributors, with many thanks. 
Your finished dish will very in appearance.


1 8-ounce package elbow macaroni
cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup shredded carrots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon salt, divided
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon flour
1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 350°

   Cook the pasta and drain. Lightly coat the pasta with cooking spray.

   Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray. Add the onions and carrots to the pan and sauté for around 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté a minute longer. Add ground beef and cook until the meat is browned. Add the tomato sauce, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the pasta to the beef mixture. Spoon into an 11-by-7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. 

   Place milk, flour, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt into a medium sauce pan. Stir until blended. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup cheddar cheese, stirring until smooth. Pour the cheese over the pasta mixture and stir. Top with the remaining ½ cup cheddar cheese.

   Bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Yield: 8 1-cup servings.

This makes me so hungry for pasta tonight!
Can't you smell it cooking?


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

Both the BB and 56 are also from


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

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 Book Beginnings

Mom, my cousin Jackie, and I were practically elbow to elbow 
in the kitchen of my little house. 

My 56

"Are you going to run?"

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

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  1. Thanks, Lisa. Yummy recipe! I loved the book, too. Happy Friday!

  2. Love this book and series. Thanks for sharing the post and recipe.

  3. Sounds like a great cozy. The recipe sounds really good to me on this rainy, thunder-y day too. I am featuring The Hunt by Chloe Neill this week. Happy reading!

  4. I've read this author as Amanda Lee and Gayle I am eager to venture into this new version of her. Thanks for sharing...the book and the goodies. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  5. Thank you so much, Lisa! By the way, that beef and pasta bake is excellent. Best part--the whole family likes it. That doesn't happen that often at my house. LOL

  6. Intriguing 56, why would they run, and from what?! Sounds like a good read! Happy weekend!

  7. I love cozies, and this sounds like a good one. Thanks for the recommendation.
    My Friday post features Half Broke Horses.

  8. Another series I've been wanting to start. The book sounds great and that recipe made me hungry! Have a great weekend!

  9. The title totally made me giggle! Have a lovely weekend.

  10. This sounds like a fun cozy! This time of year seems perfect for these types of books, I find. Thanks for sharing! I hope you have a wonderful weekend.