Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Alli Wesson: Guest and Personal Chef from the "DInner is Served" Culinary Mystery Series

Sharon: Hello, Readers. Today I have Alli Wesson with me. Alli is a personal chef in the “Dinner is Served” series. You can follow her amateur detective work in Mission Impastable. Welcome, Alli, to Write Away.

Alli: Hello, Sharon. A big shout-out to all my blog followers who are finding your site today. 

Sharon: Alli, I know you are experiencing some success with your personal chef business now that you got out from under that police investigation. What happened there?

Alli: Well, when Gina, she’s my BFF and business partner, when Gina’s boss was poisoned, we were the prime suspects since we cooked for her family. I had to clear our names with the police, or our business would have been cooked before it was even put in the oven. The theft of a jade dragon just added in complications we didn’t need!

Sharon: (laughs) You and Gina are pretty different. How does that work when you are planning your menus for your personal chef business?

Alli: We’re a good counterbalance. Oh, sure, I’m not a measurer, but Gina is, and if I tell her my recipe ideas and we taste it together, we’re pretty able to come up with a recipe we can replicate. It just takes longer than I like to spend on the dreary part of cooking. Inventing, creating, experimenting, that’s the fun part. And sometimes it even tastes great!

Sharon: I know you are a busy girl, so I won’t keep you long, but what’s up next for the “Dinner is Served” culinary mystery series? 

Alli: Book two is Prime Rib and Punishment. We take jobs at a cooking school, but the head chef hates amateur cooks and we, well, mostly I, tangle with him. So when he ends up dead, I’m kinda the main suspect. And I just get out from under that when the cooking school owner dies suspiciously. It’s hard for a girl to keep on truckin’ sometimes!

Sharon:  Omigosh! That does sound complicated. I heard that you have a couple of guys on the string? True? How serious?

Alli:  Of course, Evan is introduced in Book 1. He’s a cop I have an on and off relationship with. I kinda tick him off sometimes with my crime solving. But it’s not like I go looking for this stuff. Murder just seems to find me! Oh, and Mostel, he’s a guy from high school. We have a history, and that keeps pulling me back to him.

Sharon:  Keep us guessing, eh? (laughing) Is there another adventure planned for you and Gina?

Alli: Our third book is Cooks in the Can. Gina and I cook for the county sheriff’s jail, using mostly canned goods commodities, when his regular cooking crew are out with a big flu epidemic. We clear some family friends of wrongful accusations and have to solve a murder at the jail. You know, just another day in the life of Alli and Gina!

Sharon: And that book will be filled with good recipes, too, I’ll bet. Before you go, any cooking tips for our readers? Or a quick recipe maybe?

Alli: Sure. In Mission Impastable, I included a really easy appetizer. You can whip this one up in five minutes with a couple of minutes leftover. The sweet-sour of the chutney is a nice counterpoint to the sour-creamy of the cream cheese.
Alli's Super-Easy-but-Elegant,
Never-Fails-to-Impress Cream Cheese Cracker Spread
8 oz. cream cheese
4 T best-quality chutney
Carr’s Water Crackers or other expensive cracker
Unwrap the block of cream cheese and place on an elegant plate with a silver butter spreader to the side. Place the chutney in tablespoons equidistant from one another down the middle of the cream cheese. With the spoon, arrange the chutney so it artistically drips down the sides of the cheese.
Serve with a small basket of crackers.

Sharon:  Umm. I just tried a bite of that recipe. Oh, yummy! Thanks to Alli Wesson, visiting from Mission Impastable in the “Dinner is Served” culinary mystery series by Sharon Arthur Moore. We hope to see you again--and in print! Oh, and don’t forget to check out the Cooking with Gina and Alli video on YouTube, “Hermosillo Salsa” at http://bit.ly/XgepIq

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A New Poll: February Month-of-Food

Remember last February’s Month-of-Soups recipes? Those were very popular blog topics, so I thought I would do it again, but not, you know, with soup. I will employ DH’s tongue rating system again.

I know you think it’s early, but I have to get a head start on thinking up and modifying recipes for you all. I know I make it look easy, but I put some time in on these things. Besides, it is the voting season!

Take the poll below and decide the February Month-of topic. You’ll get twenty-eight, DH-rated recipes in the winning category.

Poll: Which should I do for the February Month-of recipes?
Month-of-Ground Meat
Month-of-Mini Desserts

Sample recipes that would be included for each category:

Cocoa Chile Chicken (entrée)
Chicken Puffs (appetizer)

Month-of-Ground Meat:
Bierocks (entrée)
Casa del Moore Empanadas

Month-of-Mini Desserts
Black Forest (shot glass layers)
Lemon Curd Shortbread Tartlet

Potato Skins Grande (appetizer)
Easier Duchess Potatoes (side dish)

Which of the four would you like to see 28 new and/or refurbished recipes for? Vote in the poll below. If you have another suggestion, write in the comments section. Only one week to vote! I’ll let you know which one won!