AN EGGNOG TO DIE FOR is the second book in the Cape Cod Foodie Mystery series by Amy Pershing. This delightful holiday read starts out with an entertaining quote from Clark Griswold (of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation fame) and sets the stage for plenty of humor and memorable characters on the pages. Protagonist Samantha Barnes (aka Sam) is a foodie, writing restaurant reviews and making videos for the local Cape Cod Clarion. Sam is a quirky character but I quickly became enamored with her witty one-liner zingers and her self-deprecating humor. She doesn’t take herself entirely seriously. Surrounding Sam is an equally endearing set of supporting characters—human (friends & family), animal (her overly large dog named Diogi), machine (her ancient and cranky pickup truck, Grumpy), and setting (Cape Cod). All are well-developed and unique in their own ways. The author’s descriptive voice shines so the reader feels like they really get to know each aspect. And I just love that Sam’s parents are included in this newest release, having decided that it wouldn’t feel like Christmas celebrating in tropical Florida. They add another dimension of character development in the reader getting to know Sam along with them being a great support system for her.
While murder is never funny, Ms. Pershing sets the stage with humor and you can only shake your head and think “it could only happen to Sam.” With a curmudgeonly Santa dead and Sam “starring” in another embarrassing viral video, the mystery of whodunit pulls Sam into the investigation. Well-plotted and with a quick pace that begs the reader to keep turning pages, there were suspects galore. Even Sam’s mother gets the investigation bug and with her background as a reporter, she’s ready to steamroll everyone around her in her quest to assist her daughter. Sam most certainly has her hands full keeping her mother out of trouble, finding the grinch who did Santa in, all the while preparing to host her Christmas Eve dinner of the Feast of Five Fishes for all her friends and family. With so much going on, Ms. Pershing does an admirable job of juggling the characters, the action, and the murder investigation and kept me glued to the pages until I’d read the very last word. This series is quickly becoming one of my top favorites and I can’t wait to find out what’s next in store for Sam!
As you read through An Eggnog to Die For, be prepared to be hungry during the entire book! Not only are there mouthwatering dishes mentioned and described, there are numerous tips on preparing the ingredients and dishes, that, as a foodie myself, I found intriguing. And while I’m not a fan of eggnog, her descriptions made me tempted to hunt down some recipes to try out. Surprisingly there aren’t any eggnog recipes at the back of the book, however, Ms. Pershing does provide several recipes for a Winter’s Eve warm and cozy dinner. While the savory dishes piqued my interest, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try her recipe for Blender Chocolate Mousse… OH-MY-WORD!!! There almost wasn’t enough left over for me to share with anyone else. Rich, creamy, and oh so delightful, the extra kick of espresso added a yummy depth to the dark chocolate. I appreciated that the author “cooks” the eggs with boiling sugar syrup, so I felt confident that it was safe to serve to everyone. Since holiday dinners can get hectic, making this chocolate mousse the day before allows the cook to focus on other dishes but will still wow the guests with this delectable dessert!
Christmas is coming to Cape Cod, but when Sam Barnes finds a very dead Santa in a very hip restaurant, it’s up to her to sift out suspects who have been naughty vs. nice….
Professional foodie Samantha Barnes has a simple Christmas list: a quiet holiday at home with her dog and a certain handsome harbor master; no embarrassing viral videos; and no finding dead bodies. Unfortunately she’s got family visiting, she’s spending a lot of time in front of the camera, and she’s just stumbled over the lifeless body of the town’s Santa Claus.
Plus, Sam’s plans for Christmas Eve are getting complicated. There’s the great eggnog debate among her very opinionated guests. There’s the “all edible” Christmas tree to decorate. And there’s her Feast of the Five Fishes prepare. Nonetheless, Sam finds herself once again in the role of sleuth. She needs to find out who slayed this Santa—but can she pull off a perfect feast and nab a killer?
A special thanks to Amy Pershing for providing a winner with a print copy of AN EGGNOG TO DIE FOR. Contest ends Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 11:59 pm PST and is limited to U.S. residents. 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!)
Yum. Just yum. And easy?! The hot sugar water melts the chocolate and cooks the eggs. If you can find dark chocolate chips, you don't even have to chop the chocolate. And if your grocery store carries cold-brew coffee concentrate, you don't have to brew the coffee. Do bring those eggs out of the fridge at least an hour before making this, though, to bring them to room temperature.
Serves 4 to 6
- 3/4 cup heavy cream (plus more if you want whipped cream on top
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 6 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped (or dark chocolate chips)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup strong (brewed) espresso (or very strongly brewed coffee or cold-brew coffee concentrate)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
In a large bowl, whip the cream to medium glossy peaks, about 3 minutes. Set aside in the fridge.
Once the eggs have reached room temperature, crack them into a blender and add the chocolate. Cover and blend on medium-high speed for a minute or so. Turn the blender off.
In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the sugar and water and stir until dissolved. As soon as the syrup begins to boil, turn off the heat.
Turn the blender back on and slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into the chocolate mixture. (If your blender top has a removable filler cap, take it out and pour the sugar syrup through that, which will keep any splattering to a minimum.) The hot sugar syrup will melt the chocolate and cook the eggs. Keep the blender running and add the coffee, vanilla, and salt. Blend for another minute or so until the mixture is very smooth and has cooled to room temperature.
Fold 1/2 cup of the chocolate mixture into the chilled whipped cream until smooth, then add the rest of the chocolate mixture to the cream mixture and fold until there are no streaks.
Pour into individual bowls or glasses and let the mousse set in the fridge until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Serve chilled with extra whipped cream, if desired.
If you forget to take the eggs out of the refrigerator early enough, simply add them to a bowl of warm (not hot!) water while you collect the rest of the ingredients.
While in the middle of preparing this, I had to leave and tend to other unanticipated responsibilities. I placed the blender of chocolate mixture into the fridge until I could get back 2 hours later. The chocolate mixture thickens and as a result, it was difficult to fully incorporate into the whipped cream without deflating the mousse. It still turned out amazing and the bottom line is, it's better to under mix than over mix should your chocolate mixture firm up before adding to the whipped cream.
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I was provided with an advance copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I’m so glad you enjoyed An Eggnog to Die For (and the chocolate mousse), Kim! Thanks so much for the kind words!
You’re very welcome, Amy, and it’s a huge pleasure hosting you on the blog today! I’m definitely making the Blender Chocolate Mousse several times over the upcoming holidays… yum!!!
I’m a fan of good egg nog. Thanks for the chance and the recipe. It looks so decadent.
Yes, I enjoy eggnog. At one time, I worked in a hospital x-ray dept and on Christmas Eve, the head radiologist brought spiked eggnog. It was delicious! As staff we could have one cup or two. We always were professional. None of us over imbided! dbahn(at)iw(dot)net
No, I am not, but my hubby loves it.
I love the traditional eggnog! Thanks for the chance.
Can’t wait for the opportunity to read “An Eggnog to Die For”. Sounds amazing and is on my TBR llist.
I am a fan of good eggnog.
Eggnog is okay. I may have a cup once or twice during the holiday season.
I LOVE eggnog, and I especially like an eggnog drink called a Tom and Jerry – delicious! I’m looking forward to reading An Eggnog To Die For ~
I love eggnog and have to have some every Christmas season. Thanks for the giveaway!
I love a good eggnog – and sometimes I even make it myself! I LOVE these titles – they are making me thirsty, hungry, and putting me in a bit of Christmas spirit!!
I’ve had good and bad eggnog. I think it very much depends on the recipe for me.
Omgosh, YES! So thick and rich and good! This chocolate mousse recipe looks delicious! The book sounds like a great read!
I am not a fan of eggnog but maybe if I found a good recipe to spice it up. Thank you for the chance though.
I love eggnog!!
No, thank you.
Eggnog always calls to me, but then after a few sips I’m done.
I have fond memories of my sister and brother in law making a batch of Tom and Jerry drinks one year. I recall it being yummy, but I haven’t been very successful when I’ve tried to recreate it.
I do enjoy eggnog, along with so many other goodies during the holidays. That mousse recipe looks delicious!
I love it!
I’m not a fan of eggnog. But.i am a fan of chocolate mouse.
I really don’t care for eggnog.
I love eggnog!
Yes, I enjoy eggnog, but I especially like eggnog chiffon pie my family makes for the holidays.
I love eggnog and it’s not the holidays without it for me. This Blender Chocolate Mousse with espresso, cream, and dark chocolate has to be sinfully good! Thank you!
Yes, I used to like eggnog. I haven’t had it in years.
“Are you a fan of eggnog?” Yes! I very much like eggnog!
Yes, I love eggnog.
I do like eggnog! Thanks for the chance!
I could take or leave it. Thanks for your great generosity.
I’m not a fan of eggnog.
No, I don’t like eggnog, but my husband and kids like it.
Yes, I am and enjoy it around Christmas every year.
I do like egg nog, but I love reading cozy mystery more! An Eggnog to Die For sounds like a scrumptious read!
not especially though a good one spiked w/ rum does taste good occassionally
I love eggnog (AKA Christmas milk!)
I’ve never had eggnog so I have no idea, but today I had eggnog flavored yogurt from Trader Joe’s and it was good. Enjoyed the first book and look forward to reading the next one!
I like fresh made chilled eggnog.
I hate eggnog.
I’m not an eggnog fan, but maybe with a LOT of rum in it. 🙂
I love Spiked Eggnog during the Holidays! A local dairy makes it fresh and I buy it and a special alcoholic ingredient! I can’t wait to try the blender chocolate mousse.It sounds so easy.Will it keep overnight?
I love eggnog. A local dairy makes it fresh so I buy it from them.Then I add my own special alcoholic ingredient! I can’t wait to try your blender chocolate mousse. Everyone in my family loves chocolate mousse. Will it keep overnight?
Why wasn’t my comment published?
I am not a fan of eggnog. Thank you for this chance.
Congratulations on the book! It sounds great. I’ve only ever had the grocery store kind of eggnog and I really like it.
I adore eggnog and look foward to it every holiday season!!!!!
I like eggnog with a little bourbon added. That’s how my grandmother made it!
What a fabulous review, Kim! And I can’t wait to try Amy Pershing’s Blender Chocolate Mousse! It looks positively delicious! Please don’t enter me in the giveaway because I already have my own copy of An Eggnog to Die For and am about to start reading the book tonight! After that glowing review, I can’t wait! Congratulations once again to the fabulous Amy Pershing!!
i could drink eggnog all year long
It’s ok, not really a fan.
I love eggnog. Homemade or store bought. Yum!
Yes. I like eggnog…. We’ve gone thru about 5 quarts so far this year……
I love a good mousse and this one looks great.
I am not a fan of eggnog. The only time I had it was at a Christmas party years ago. It had bourbon in it, and I am definitely not a fan of bourbon. I am looking forward to reading the new book. Book 1 is on my list of favorite books of 2021! Thanks for the chance.
I love eggnog and I wish it was available longer. I drink it usually with milk or with my coffee.
I am a fan, but only of certain brands. And no alcohol. I use eggnog in some of my cookie recipes. Yum.
Yes, it’s like having dessert and drinking it, too! I just heard about cinnamon milk but never tried it – have you?
Yes! I love eggnog, add a dash of cinnamon or a little spiced rum for a day of relaxing.
I love eggnog.
No, I don’t like the thickness of the egg nog!
Since developing a medical problem a few years ago, I can’t tolerate most foods and beverages. Eggnog is one thing I can drink, when I can get it. So I am happy to see it when it returns to stores in the fall. I try to get someone to make it for me the rest of the year. I used to make it all the time before I had physical limitations. So happy to see it the focus of a mystery, especially one involving the Cape (which I miss being able to visit. Can’t wait to read it!
No I am not a fan of egg nog but my daughter loves it.
I’ll pass on the eggnog, but the Blender Chocolate Mousse is a different story.
At one time, I couldn’t wait for the holidays to have some eggnog. I still like it and will have a cup or two over the holiday time, but I find it much richer so will not drink as much of it.
For me, it totally depends on the eggnog. Sometimes I really like it and sometimes its a hard pass. 😉 I look forward to this book!
The chocolate mousse looks delicious ?. And the book sounds intriguing. Thanks good sharing both. I am not a fan of eggnog.
Thanks for the chance.
During eggnog season I enjoy using eggnog (despite being a New Englander, Southern Comfort is my nog of choice, in various recipes. And so your book’s title and NE setting caught my attention. Look forward to reading it!
I LOVE eggnog, I just wish it wasn’t so fattening. I usually go for the low fat type but even that is a zillion calories but it’s soooo worth it!
I am not a fan of eggnog.