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 www.gpgottlieb.com, 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.
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.
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
|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.