ON THE LAMB, the fourth book in the Kebab Kitchen Mystery series by Tina Kashian, is a delightful read that immerses the reader in the boardwalk culture of Ocean Crest, New Jersey. Ms. Kashian does a fabulous job with her descriptive voice and I felt like I was there experiencing the beachy tourist destination and beautiful ocean views. The protagonist, Lucy Berberian, works as the manager for her family’s Mediterranean restaurant, Kebab Kitchen. I love how close-knit her family is, from her parents (who are trying to ease into semi-retirement) to her sister, Emma, along with her sweet niece and brother-in-law. Their interaction seems realistic and the support between the family members is also extended to the other employees who work at their restaurant. The author also creates many memorable characters that adds to the entertainment of the book, such as Lucy’s new elderly landlady…she’s a hoot…and a Harley-riding biker named Pumpkin.
When her landlady’s nephew is found murdered on the beach during a bonfire event, the local candy shop owner, Melanie, becomes a suspect because of an argument she had with him shortly before his demise. Melanie begs Lucy to find the truth so she begins to ask questions around town. Assisting Lucy is her best friend, Katie. They make a great team and I enjoyed how they not only egg each other on, but then they try to talk sense into each other before getting into danger. This leads to some humorous situations. There were plenty of suspects who hated the dead man and keeps the reader guessing. With an edge-of-your seat reveal, the author kept me turning pages faster and faster until I’d read the very last page.
Not only does Lucy run Kebab Kitchen, but she’s dating the head chef, Azad, and is planning to host her very first family Easter dinner. There are so many mouth-watering mentions of food throughout the book and, luckily for the reader, Ms. Kashian provides a few recipes. I was drawn to the recipe for Azad’s Armenia Sweet Bread, also known as Choereg. This is a rich, buttery yeast bread that I didn’t find too difficult to make, especially if you have a stand mixer to do the kneading for you. The author also suggests inserting chocolate candy squares into the center of the buns before baking, and that addition pushed the yum factor into the stratosphere! This recipe makes a huge batch, making them a delicious addition to any brunch table or special luncheon…or prepare them like Lucy did when she wanted to wow her family at Easter.
Lucy Berberian is busy preparing her family’s Mediterranean restaurant for Easter on the Jersey Shore—but a batch of sweets is to die for . . .
Bikers are thundering into the seaside town of Ocean Crest for the annual Bikers on the Beach gathering that raises funds for injured veterans. It’s a big boost for the Kebab Kitchen, as well as for local businesses like Melanie Haven’s candy shop. But Melanie is about to find herself in a sticky situation.
When Melanie and Lucy attend a beach bonfire, a local landlord is found dead after apparently choking on a piece of salt water taffy. Melanie, who was known to have a contentious relationship with the victim, is quickly skewered as the prime suspect. But Lucy is determined to prove her friend’s innocence before the real killer coasts free . . .
A special thanks to Tina Kashian for offering two print giveaway copies of ON THE LAMB. Contest ends Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 11:59 pm PST and is limited to U.S. residents only. Please use the Rafflecopter box located below to enter. The winner will be announced on this page and on Cinnamon & Sugar’s Facebook page, as well as notified by email (so check your spam folder!)
- 1/4 ounce package of active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup lukewarm water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup melted butter
- 1 cup lukewarm whole milk
- 7 cups flour
- Sesame seeds
- 3 Hershey chocolate bars (optional)
In a small bowl, combine yeast, water, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and stir until mixture is dissolved. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine three of the eggs, salt, and remaining sugar. Add yeast mixture, butter, and milk. Mix with an electric mixer or by hand until blended.
Add flour, a cup at a time, and mix with a dough hook of an electric mixer or by hand. Knead dough until it is smooth (about 10 minutes).
Cover bowl with a towel and set aside to rise for 2 hours. The dough should double in size.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Shape dough into small buns. Optional: When shaping dough into small buns, insert two squares of chocolate into the bun, then pinch the bun dough closed until it seals.
Beat remaining egg and brush tops of buns with egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake for 15 minutes until tops of buns are golden brown.
For leftover buns, warm in a toaster oven, oven, or microwave before serving for delicious, warm sweet bread.
The author says that there isn't a need to do a second rising after forming the buns. I did, however, allow the buns to rest about 30 minutes before baking because the dough seemed a little dense after forming the bun. This could have been due to the ambient temperature of my kitchen (it was very cold) while if I had made these in the summer, the second rise could have been skipped. Basically the formed buns should be slightly puffy before baking.
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I was provided an advance copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I have not ever visited the Jersey Shores before! I would love to read Tina’s book! Thanks for the chance!
I have never vacationed at the Jersey Shore before. I haven’t even been close to the area, but I’d love to visit there.
Both the book and the recipe sound good.
Mediterranean food is my favorite! I would love to read a good, cozy mystery about the Jersey Shore!!
Thank you for the wonderful review! Thank you also for baking and sharing the recipe!
I have never been to the Jersey Shore but it is on my bucket list.
I grew up in upstate NY so we were close enough to go to the Jersey shore. I have been a few times when I was a kid. We visited one of my mom’s friends for weekends. The Jersey shore is so pretty.
I have not vacationed along the Jersey shore but it sounds and looks like a refreshing place. Thanks for the delicious recipe and also the insight into Tina Kashian’s book.
This recipe looks delicious! And the cozy sounds delightful!
I have been to many points in the Jersey shore! I It is but a quick trip from Pennsylvania!
I haven’t been off the west coast really…so, nope I haven’t been to Jersey. Going anywhere new is always on my bucket list though.
No, I’ve never visited the Jersey Shore before. Would love to, though!
I’m a Jersey Girl, and have been to the Jersey Shore many times. I love the recipe. Thank you for this chance!
No, I have never vacationed at the Jersey Shore.
I’ve never been to New Jersey.
I never vacationed at the Jersey Shore before. Thank you for a chance to win a print copy of On The Lamb
I have lived at the Jersey Shore. Thanks for the giveaway.
No I never have visited the jersey shore. The recipe sounds so delicious thank you for the chance the book sounds amazing.
Sounds like a good recipe, and I really like this series. Never been to the Jersey Shore but you make it sound so fun.
I have never been to the Jersey shore but would love to go
I’ve never been to the Jersey Shore but you never know. One day I may.
I’ve never visited the Jersey Shore but same sometime in the near future. Thanks for your great generosity.
I have never been to the Jersey Shore. Thank you so much for the recipe and giveaway!!
I have never been to the Jersey shore.
No, I have not.
I vacationed there before it was a big deal…back in the 50’s. I was very young and it was fun. It didn’t have the reputation it has now.
I’ve never been to New Jersey at all, but I’d love to visit the shore and some other places.
I lived in NJ for the first 16 years of my life (a long time ago lol) so I visited the Jersey Shore many times. We mostly went to Seaside Heights. I believe the first time I went was with the CYO with my Catholic Church. I loved it there. But then we moved to North Carolina and I found all the NC beaches and Myrtle Beach.
Thanks for the chance and the great recipe. I love everything with chocolate, will have to try making the bread.
We haven’t vacationed at the New Jersey shore, but we have been through the state. We would love to be able to go back and spend more time there.
Hubby and I both love to bake, but he especially loves to get his hands in to dough. I am sure this recipe will soon be sampled in our home.
Can’t wait for the opportunity to read “ON THE LAMB” which is definitely on my TBR list.
I have never been there. Thanks for the recipe, count me in!
Oh, I would so love to go to the Jersey shore! The boardwalk! A dream…
I never been there but I would like to go. Thanks for the recipe,
A mystery involving a boardwalk sounds intriguing. Thank you for the chance.
Book looks Fabulous plus what a marvelous cover.
I enjoy covers that are filled with Fun 🙂
We lived in Long Island & New Jersey. Jersey shore
has so many different offerings. Lighthouses,
boardwalks, fabulous little shops, Victorian villages
Cape May. So much variety.
Your book sounds FASCINATING and FUN??
Great review and best recipe, many thanks
Blessings for much with success for your book 🙂
This recipe looks good.
Thank you for the yummy recipe and the great book review. I really like Tina’s books and look forward to reading this one.