Friday, January 25, 2019

Cozy Food Friday!

That means it's time to share a recipe from 
another great cozy mystery!
This week's recipe is from
by Jenny Kales

The Halloween season is serving up more tricks than treats for thirty-something Greek-American foodie and business owner Calliope “Callie” Costas. Don't miss the 4th installment in this colorful culinary cozy mystery series!

When a new employee at a neighboring business, Tea for Two, is found dead, Callie is drawn into a murky brew of motives and murder suspects. It turns out that the seemingly mild-mannered victim might have a few skeletons in his closet. What’s more, the timing of the murder, just a day before Crystal Bay’s first annual Halloween Walk, has threatened to derail the town’s festive fall events, including a Halloween Gala benefiting the local food pantry, one of Callie’s favorite causes.

Callie’s already full plate is set to overflowing with the return of an old boyfriend who has his eye on developing a mall that will compete with and possibly destroy Crystal Bay’s small business scene. Could there be a tie between the mall and the murder?

Somebody has been stewing. Will Callie help find the unsavory killer before things reach the boiling point?

Includes delicious recipes from Callie's Kitchen!

Greek Beef Stew Stifado

Photo property of

Callie’s favorite stew, a Greek classic, often served to her father and Olivia on family dinner nights. This stew takes awhile to cook, but most of the cooking time is unattended. Pick a nice, crisp afternoon and you can read a book or get other things done while this stew cooks along. Serve your stifado with rice, roasted potatoes and/or pita bread. ~ Jenny Kales


¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 lbs. lean stewing beef (like boneless beef round)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 10 oz package frozen pearl onions
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 ½ cups dry red wine
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 large bay leaf
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cumin
Freshly ground black pepper

Photo property of and courtesy of Jenny Kales

Warm ½ of the olive oil over medium heat in a ceramic Dutch oven or casserole and add meat, garlic and onion. Cook until meat is browned on all sides.

Add tomato paste and stir gently until meat is coated evenly. Add the wine and enough water to just barely cover the meat.

Add vinegar, bay leaf, cinnamon, cumin and 1-1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper. Stir to mix, then reduce heat and cover. Keep at a bare simmer. Check after about half an hour of cooking. If the pot is looking too dry, add a little hot water and cover again. Be sure the heat is not too high, so as not to dry out the stew.

Check meat periodically for doneness; it should be fork tender. This can take up to two hours. Keep the meat mixture cooking at a gentle heat, otherwise the liquid will absorbed fully into the meat.

When the meat is tender, add the unthawed pearl onions to the pot. Cover the pot and shake gently, but don’t stir (this will break up the onions or bruise them.)

Cook until onions are done; about 15-20 minutes. To check the doneness of the onions, use a toothpick to test for tenderness. If they are fully soft, they are done.

Tips: This stew freezes well. Let cool completely, then place in freezer-safe containers.

Serves 4

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Yum! Another cold weather please!
A big thank to Jenny for sharing her recipe with us!

Jenny Kales is the author of The Callie's Kitchen Mystery Series, featuring Greek-American Calliope Costas, feisty food business owner and amateur sleuth, who lives in a scenic Wisconsin town with colorful characters -- and a high murder rate! Each book contains several delicious recipes, both Greek and American.

ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK is the debut book in the series, followed by SPICED AND ICED (A Christmas cozy mystery), SECRETS AND PIES, and a NEW BOXED SET. The Callie's Kitchen Cozy Mystery Series Boxed Set, which includes Books 1 - 3, is now available and free to read on Kindle Unlimited!

LATEST RELEASE: A STEW TO A KILL, Book 4 in the Callie's Kitchen Mystery series! This Halloween mystery is available for the Kindle and in paperback.

Jenny is an avid reader, cook and baker and she's addicted to reading and mystery TV, especially anything on Masterpiece Mystery or Acorn TV. She lives just outside of Chicago with her husband, two daughters and one cute but demanding Yorkshire terrier. She's hard at work on additional writing projects including more Callie's Kitchen Mysteries and a new series. 

Purchase Link A STEW TO A KILL:

My Facebook author page: 

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

Both the BB and 56 are 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

"How spicy do you want it?"

Callie Costas looked up from the vat of bubbling Greek beef stew she was stirring and considered. At first, she thought that Max, her young assistant, was talking about the stew she was making, but he was already busy with a baking project. Multi-tasking in the kitchen was something they did well together.

Spicy. Hmmm. If you were taking about "spice" with regard to food,  Callie had that covered. 

However, if you were talking about "spice" as in variety of your daily routine or even romance, even though things had improved for Callie in that department, the word "busy" was still the most accurate description of her life. 

My 56

Mrs. DeWitt shifted impatiently in her chair. "I stopped by to check on Christy, of course, and to see if there's any news about reopening the street. It seems to me that we should at least be able to open the other shops, if not yours, dear," she said, with a nod to Christy.

Christy grimaced. "I don't know when I'll get to reopen. And frankly, people are going to be spooked about coming back to my shop. 

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

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  1. Recipe for Greek Beef Stew Stifado and would hit the spot on these cold days of winter.

    Tripp Walker sensed it the moment he drove around the bend.
    HER LAST CHANCE COWBOY by Tina Radcliffe

    My 56
    “I don’t understand why Clementine couldn’t come with us” Hannah said. About now, she was feeling like her daughter on the down side of a tantrum.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  2. The book sounds like a great read, and that stew sounds delish!!!! I added you to the Linky. Happy weekend!

  3. I love Jenny's books and I fully intend to make this stew! Great post.

  4. The stew sounds delicious. I’m not a great cook but I may give this a try.

  5. This book looks interesting. Thanks for mentioning it!

  6. How fun! Thanks for stopping by :)


  7. That looks delicious! Thanks for sharing your book beginning and the recipe!

  8. Yummy stew and book! Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

  9. Hi Lisa,

    The stew looks delicious and just right for this cold winter weather.

    I don't read too many cozies, but I do like to mix up my genres and I'm always on the lookout for a good new author to follow, so thanks for recommending Jenny.

    At least the tea shop is killing off its staff, not the customers!!

    Thanks for sharing such a lovely post :)


  10. Catchy title! And it sure is stew season at the moment.

  11. I am making a stew right now, too. The perfect food for a snowy day. My Friday quotes and review