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G.P. Gottlieb on if She Ever Owned a Café

G.P. Gottlieb is the author of the Whipped and Sipped series of cozy mysteries. You can find out more about her on her website, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here.

On an overcast, breezy day about five years ago, I walked to a nearby café to meet a friend for breakfast. That café serves great almond croissants, but I usually enjoyed hot chocolate and a baguette with butter and jam. That day, the bass and percussion-heavy music was so loud and explosive, we couldn’t hear each other. If I ever owned a café, I thought, even though it’s never been my dream and I’d be a terrible businessperson, I’d make sure the music was less booming.

Cashew blondies invented by G.P. Gottlieb

The following week I met another friend one afternoon, at a different café, and ordered peach pie. It was inedible – too much ginger overwhelms the peaches! If I ever owned a café, I thought, feeling sorry for myself about the pie, I’d have a gifted pastry chef.

Out to dinner a few days later, I had trouble finding something healthy on the menu. I don’t eat meat, and every non-meat dish had dairy in it. I can have a bit, but who are all these adults that can easily consume dairy? If I ever owned a restaurant (what a ridiculous thought!) I’d make sure every single dish was healthful and nobody would miss meat or dairy. Maybe my pastry chef would be vegan, so I’d like everything on the menu.

Writing about owning a café is the closest I’ll ever get. That’s why I created an imaginary café in my neighborhood, one that plays tasteful music at just the right volume. The Whipped and Sipped Café offers fabulous coffees, pastries, breads, and is completely vegan. They don’t serve unhealthful vegan versions of food (like pretend buffalo chicken made with seitan or deep-fried tofu popcorn chicken). But customers can order Radish-green Pesto on Pumpernickel Sourdough, with Meyer Lemon Rosemary cake for dessert. 

Charred, the third book in the Whipped and Sipped Mystery series, will be published February 7, 2023. As in all “culinary mysteries,” there are those who murder, those who get murdered, and those who eat my specially created cookies, cakes, pies, and dips.

Head shot of G.P. Gottlieb
G.P. Gottlieb

Inventing recipes is kind of like writing a book (ooh, I should write an article about that!). Sometimes a recipe takes six or seven tries before I get it right. Do I need more cinnamon? Lemon? Salt? Too spicy? Too dry? Too sticky? And I always need testers to make sure other people can follow my recipes.

If you’re someone who loves baking/cooking/tasting and are willing to help me out, let me know which recipe interests you, and leave your contact info in the comments. After you make the recipe, I’ll look forward to your honest appraisal – be brutal! I’ll thank you both personally and in the book’s acknowledgements.

P.S.  V=Vegan, GF=Gluten Free. Also, I have an excellent century-old sourdough starter. Not sure if it’ll survive being sent via the USPS, but I’d be willing to try with a frozen piece if you want to bake the pumpernickel bread! Welcome to my imaginary café!

Whipped and Sipped RECIPES that need testing
Dumplings V.GF.
Pistachio Tahini Cookies V.GF.
Kale-Pistachio Hand Pie V.GF.
Lemon Poppyseed Cookies V.GF
Meyer Lemon Rosemary Cake
Radish Green Pesto V.GF.
Prohibition Cake V.GF.
Orange Cardamom Cake V.GF.
Peanut Butter Banana Bread V.GF.
Almond Choc Chip Cookies V.GF.
Chocolate-Citrus Pie V.GF.
Chocolate Babka V.
Cardamom Ginger Cookies V.GF.
Chocolate Cornucopia Cake V.GF.
Peach hand pie V.GF.
Vegan Cannoli V.GF.
Pumpernickel Sourdough Bread V.

GP Gottlieb

G.P. Gottlieb is the author of the Whipped and Sipped mystery series, as well as an interviewer on the New Books in Literature channel of the New Books Network podcasts. You can find out more about her on her website,, or follow her on Twitter, and Facebook.

This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. Avatar

    What a wonderful offer! I’m sharing, because I have a lot of foodie friends who might jump at the chance to test a recipe and be acknowledged in your book!

    1. gpgottlieb

      Thanks – I’m innovative in creating the recipes but terrible at writing them!

  2. Christine DeSmet
    Christine DeSmet

    I’m with you on the music. We meet people at these cafes so that we can converse, so I don’t understand why music is so loud. One of my writing groups in the past had success after asking the manager or staff to turn down the music. As a mystery writer, I can think of all kinds of reasons music would be loud. Covering a crime in progress in the kitchen???

    1. gpgottlieb

      That would indeed be okay in literature, but not while I’m eating!

  3. Anne Louise Bannon
    Anne Louise Bannon

    Not a fan of loud music anywhere, but especially hate it in restaurants and other places where conversation is the goal. I love how a few complaints turned into one really fun series of cozies.

    1. gpgottlieb

      Well, to be honest, it was probably more than just a few complaints….

  4. Margaret Mizushima
    Margaret Mizushima

    I love how you’ve shared your series inspirations here! The food sounds absolutely delicious and as far as I’m concerned, music in restaurants should be low and non-obtrusive. Totally agree. Thanks for this fun post!

  5. Sherrill Joseph
    Sherrill Joseph

    I wish you’d own a restaurant that would be meat and dairy free! I have trouble finding anything I can eat from most menus these days. And I’ll also look forward to your blog comparing the writing process to inventing recipes. I might be willing to test the Chocolate Babka recipe. What’s in it? Fun post. Thanks!

    1. gpgottlieb

      The usual yummy stuff – it’s all in how much, and how to bake without eggs!

  6. Sheila Lowe
    Sheila Lowe

    If only I had someone to cook for, I’d be on it. But then, I’d eat it all myself and be mad because I gained weight. So I have to be glad you don’t own a cafe, as everything sounds wonderful.

    1. gpgottlieb

      Just one piece would be enough and it’s all so healthful, you wouldn’t gain a pound. Also, you’d feel physically better!

  7. Laurie Buchanan
    Laurie Buchanan

    I’m not a fan of loud music any time, anywhere. However, I am a fan of good posts—this one qualifies. Thank you!

  8. Tracey S. Phillips
    Tracey S. Phillips

    Galit, what a fun introduction to our newest Blackbird!
    Sign me up for the Cardamom Ginger cookies and the Lemon Rosemary cake! Send recipes!

  9. Sharon Lynn
    Sharon Lynn

    I have to say, I love gluten, eggs and cheese, but I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 30 years. I think the fake-meat/plant based beef/chicken is an insidious plot. I’m a vegetarian because I don’t like meat. Also, black-bean burgers are delicious! I’m picturing the two of us in a cafe muttering darkly under our breath 🙂

  10. gpgottlieb

    What are we muttering about? Maybe we’re feeling sated and raising a glass of wine to celebrate a huge uptick in book sales!

  11. Tim Chapman
    Tim Chapman

    if you ever do open Whipped and Sipped, let me know. It sounds delicious!

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