Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Charolette Russe-a cozy mystery

Charlotte Russe,  a Cozy Mystery
Second Edition
Paisley Preston, 27, a starving student, is sure to fulfill her lifelong dream: finish her PhD program and publish a children’s book. When an earthquake hits, she finds a hidden jeweled box and 1867 document worth half a million dollars. She enlists good friends to help unravel the 2 mysteries and an unsolved murder until betrayal rears its ugly head. Threats are made on her life bring danger and involvement of the LAPD, turns things upside down. The jeweled box and the document take the investigation to Russia, Brazil, New Orleans and Washington DC for research where Paisely’s dreams go to a place she never imagined.

Author's Notes
I ran into an old college roommate and reminisced about our early college days in the 1970’s. We lived in an apartment in the surfing capital of the world, Huntington Beach, California. My neighbors were people from all over; rich, poor, talented, untalented all looking for their dream. The characters of this story were born from that apartment building just a block from the beach.
A downstairs neighbor of ours, Sandy, had an inlaid wooden box she bought at a thrift store. She was unemployed and barely making it, as we all were. We were all trying to get through college. The three of us took the box to a group auction house for a free appraisal. It was worth thousands of dollars. She instantly became rich and we never saw her again. My roommate and I always wondered what happened to Sandy. I hope she had a good life.

Charlotte Russe is a dessert invented by a French chef, Antoine Carene who named it in honor of the daughter his Russian employer, Czar Alexander. It is a type of dessert served hot or cold. A container is lined with sponge cake or lady fingers. It is then layered with fruit puree and filled with custard or whipped cream. It can be complicated or simple to prepare
I remember Charlotte Russe as young girl growing up in New York in the 1950’s. A version was sold in Candy stores throughout the five boroughs of New York. The Russe was served in a paper cup layered with cake, a layer of cherry puree, then whipped cream and a cherry on top. You pushed up on the bottom of the cup as you ate. I remember going after the cherry and getting a nose full of whipped cream!

I wrote this Cookbook of recipes from my cozy mystery, Charlotte Russe, after many reader request for the food cooked, served and enjoyed by the characters in my novels.

Charlotte Russe
3 pkgs. ladyfingers
1 c. sugar
1 c. whipping cream
12 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
Raspberry sauce (recipe follows)
Line a 10” spring-form pan with ladyfingers, sides and bottom. Reserve rest of ladyfingers. Soften the cream cheese and with electric mixer, cream the cheese, sugar and vanilla. Whip the cream (or use 2 cups Cool Whip and fold into the cream cheese mixture). Layer half of cream cheese mixture on top of the ladyfingers and top with more fingers and finish with the cream cheese. Cover and chill.
Raspberry Sauce
1 (10 oz.) package of frozen raspberries
tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Kirsch liqueur or cooking sherry

(Continue from previous page)
Defrost the berries, combine all and strain, (if you don’t like the seeds). Pour over the Charlotte Russe.