Sunday, March 3, 2019

Kitchen Disasters - A Restaurant Weeks are Murder Guest Post & Giveaway

I'm pleased to allow Libby Klein to take over the blog today. Libby writes the Poppy McAllister Mystery series. Restaurant Weeks are Murder is the third book in the series and was released last week.

Kitchen Disasters 
By Libby Klein

I’ve been doing the keto diet for several months now. I have absolutely no weight loss to show for it, so you’ll just have to take my word on this one. It’s just part of the joy of being me. Well, the other day I found a recipe for these lovely keto cinnamon rolls. Considering I’ve been eating mostly meat, vegetables and eggs, four-carb cinnamon rolls sounded well worth the two hour wait.

I laid out all my ingredients – a process called mise en place if you want to be fancy, bloomed my yeast, made my dough, and proofed nine of the most beautiful little cinnamon pillows you’ve ever seen. Then I burned them to briquettes because I didn’t read the directions closely enough. I know how to bake so why didn’t it occur to me that 55 minutes was probably too long? I re-read the directions almost an hour into baking (because that is the perfect time to check your math) and realized I’d been baking my beautiful little treats to the proofing time and not the baking time of 17 minutes!

I took the blackened nubs out of the oven, dumped the pan and walked away. Then I mourned my situation for the next couple of hours. “I wanted to eat that.” Later when I returned home from a meeting I gave them another look. A determined look. A sad, desperate look of longing. I trimmed off the top, sides and bottoms. Then I frosted one half of the middles with cream cheese and topped it with the other half. The cinnamon roll sandwich was born! I get fifteen carbs a day – let me have this.

This is not the first time I’ve ruined something and my determination rescued it from the trash. Florentine lace cookies that spread out to fill the cookie sheet in one giant rectangle have been broken up and made into topping for an amazing apple crisp. Cake that didn’t bake in the middle has been cut into pieces and turned into gourmet entremets – pretentious little French desserts if you’re still being fancy. Custard that didn’t set has been churned into the best vanilla ice cream and whipped cream that I forgot was in the Kitchen Aid made a fabulous honey butter.

Lil tip: if your cake is lopsided and the frosting looks like you dropped the cake on the floor then smooshed back together – cover the top and sides with cookie crumbs or sprinkles and you’re suddenly a genius. A little creativity and determination can go a long way when you really want to rescue something.

In similar lemons to lemonade style, Restaurant Weeks Are Murder takes a local dining event and turns it into a Chopped style mystery basket competition. Each chef is challenged to make a fabulous dish with four unusual ingredients while they race against the clock and each other. The results are often disasters that have to be transformed into something desirable before time runs out. In a way, I’ve been training for this my whole life. I think I and my cinnamon rolls have been very successful. Just don’t ask my family about the week of diet recipes that came out of a weight loss magazine. Nothing could salvage quinoa and tofu casserole.


Restaurant Weeks Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery) by Libby Klein

About the Book

Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series  
Kensington (February 26, 2019)  
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages 
Cape May, New Jersey, is the site of a big culinary competition—and the knives are out . . .
Poppy McAllister is happy about opening a Jersey Shore B&B—but working in a professional kitchen has always been her real dream. Now it’s coming true, at least briefly, as she teams up with her former fiancée, Tim—and his condescending partner, Gigi—during the high-profile Restaurant Week challenge. Poppy’s specialty is pastries, despite her devotion to a Paleo diet. But if anyone can make glorious gluten-free goodies, it’s Poppy.
Things get heated quickly—especially when some ingredients get switched and Tim’s accused of sabotage. Relatively harmless pranks soon escalate into real hazards, including an exploding deep fryer. And now one of the judges has died after taking a bite of Poppy’s cannoli—making her the chef suspect . . .
Includes Seven Recipes from Poppy’s Kitchen!

About the Author

Libby Klein dabbles in the position of Vice President of a technology company which mostly involves bossing other people around, making spreadsheets, and taking out the trash. She writes culinary cozy mysteries from her Northern Virginia office while trying to keep her cat Figaro off her keyboard.
Author Links:


  1. Thanks for the interview with Libby Klein and for being part of the book tour for "Restaurant Weeks are Murder". I think it shows a great cook when they can take a mistake and make into something fabulous that works - maybe even better than the original. :)

    Can't wait for the opportunity to read this book which is definitely on my TBR list.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  2. I really enjoy cozies. Thanks for this opportunity.

  3. Thank you so much Ladies! And thank you for hosting me on your blog Kathy! Love, Libby

  4. This sounds so good I would love to read and review on 2 sites I don't twitter so I know that I loose a lot of points but crossing my fingers Peggy Clayton also so happy a print copy