Friday, August 16, 2019

Cozy Food Friday!

That means it's time to share a recipe from 
another great cozy mystery!
This week's recipe is from
Book 1 in the Italian Chef Mysteries
by Catherine Bruns

Tomato sauce isn't the only thing that runs red...
Local chef Tessa Esposito is struggling to get back on her feet following her husband's fatal accident. And when the police knock on Tessa's door, things just get worse. They've discovered Dylan's death wasn't an accident after all, and they need Tessa to start filling in the blanks. Who would want her beloved husband dead, and why?
With the investigation running cold, Tessa decides it's time to save her sanity by reconnecting with her first love-cooking. And maybe the best way back into the kitchen is to infiltrate Dylan's favorite local pizza parlor, which also happens to be the last place he was seen before he died. But the anchovies aren't the only thing that stink inside the small family business, and with suspects around every corner, Tessa finds that her husband's many secrets might land her in hot water.



All photos are borrowed from Google Images, Pinterest, or Websites
Your finished dish will differ in appearance. 


10-ounce package pizza crust dough (or use recipe from PENNE DREADFUL)
½ pound lean ground beef
1 cup cooked ham, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 14-ounce jar pizza sauce
1 4.5-ounce can mushrooms, drained
¼ cup butter, melted
1 8-ounce package sliced pepperoni or sausage
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef until no pink shows, then drain. Mix in the ham, bell pepper, onions, pizza sauce, and mushrooms. 

Lay pizza dough flat on a cookie sheet. Distribute the pepperoni slices over the dough. Place a heaping pile of sauce mixture on one side of the dough (some may be left over). Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Fold dough over, and pinch the ends and sides together. Poke holes in the top of the dough, and brush melted butter over the surface. Cook in a preheated oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Slice into individual sections to serve. 

Makes about 6 to 8 servings.

When I was younger and my family and I vacationed at the beach, we had to have at lease one these during our visit. You could choose all sorts of fillings. Now we can make them at home!



Well done to author Catherine Bruns for penning a cozy mystery unlike any other I have ever read. Her seemingly effortless writing once again ensures this will be another big hit for her.

PENNE DREADFUL was an intriguing mystery with more twists than corkscrew pasta. With each new chapter came jaw dropping revelations that made this story so much more than it originally seemed.

Love, loss, deceit, betrayal, grief, hope . . . there was so much going on in this tale that I was left emotionally drained by the last page. However, the author included wonderful recipes at the end, so I bounced right back. 😉

If you’re a fan of cozies, surprises, and a good tomato sauce, look no further than PENNE DREADFUL!


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

The rich aroma from the mixture of tomatoes and onions cooking wafted through the air, hitting my nose with a distinct perfume. It was a soothing smell that blanketed me in it's warm hold. If alone, I would have been content to stand in front of my stove all day.

My 56

Even though we'd grown up in different households, we were as close as sisters and had always been each other's main confidante. 

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  1. Really enjoyed PENNE DREADFUL! You've now made me hungry and breakfast just just a short bit ago. :)

    First line -
    “Come on, Nathan,” nine yer old Paige whispered with urgency. “Hurry before Daddy wakes up.”
    My 56 –
    “It’s ok. You’re safe. We’re going to have a good life in Whisper Falls.” No matter what it takes.
    SUGARPLUM HOMECOMING by Linda Goodnight
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  2. I can connect to that beginning... every single Sunday in my house. :-) Happy weekend!

  3. Thanks for sharing about the book and the recipe. Enjoy your current read!

  4. You've made me hungry as well. I better go get some supper! Thanks for stopping by Colletta's Kitchen Sink :)


  5. We are big calzone fans here, but Stromboli is good too!

    This sounds like a fun book. I am glad you enjoyed it! I like cozy mysteries too. :-)

    Have a great weekend!

  6. Sounds like a delicious cozy. Your blog posts always make me hungry!
    My post features a mystery: Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned.