Greg Swenson of the Recipes for Rebels website and book of the same name

is a creative genius. He designed the cover of my Cooking With Columbo cookbook (and proofread it I might add!)

He also designed all my lovely Murder, She Wrote Cookalong graphics

Greg made not just one, but two brilliant cooking demo videos for Murder, She Wrote related recipes. Greg, you are a star. If you have never seen one of Greg’s videos, kick your shoes off, get a glass of wine and get a load of these!

Such creativity!

When Emmie signed up to test a recipe, I almost got on a plane to Illinois when she told me the following: “On the family vacation, we always do a murder mystery game that my cousin writes. This year, he is writing a murder she wrote themed game and I am playing Jessica Fletcher!”

Emmie really made me laugh when she wrote this: ” My husband said I looked like Andy Warhol. When it comes to wigs, you get what you pay for.” Haha!

To my mind, creating your own murder mystery event is ART. Emmie volunteered to make the Barbara Babcock Cheese Pit which sounded weird but was a big hit with the whole gang at the murder mystery party.

Dear Santa, please may I have an Angela Lansbury Colouring Book
for Christmas?!

I’m going to have to do a WHOLE BLOG POST about the cheese pit at a later date. For one, I really want to make it after seeing the photos and reading Emmie’s feedback. For another, Emmie gleaned some fabulous quotes from the other folks at the party about the dish and they made me laugh so much I will have to share them all. For now, here’s just one, ““A cheesy tour de force! This casserole was the perfect density, and the cheese formed a nice crust. I want to crawl into this cheese pit and live there forever.” Stephanie Crement.

I have a feeling when I make one of these, I shall want to crawl into it too. Thanks so much for the laughs, Emmie and family! When I win the lottery I am going to commission your cousin to produce a box set of his murder mystery party and will fly your whole family to London so that I can be in it!

Oh my! Now I have just googled and found this – I WANT ONE, but it won’t be as fun as Emmie’s cousin’s creation I am sure…

Another test cook who has blown my socks off with their wonderful creativity is Vera Roth in Berlin. Vera was a test cook for the Columbo cookbook and chose Jerry Orback’s Pan-Fried Steak with Balsamic Sauce for the Cookalong. Vera wanted to test a few more of the recipes too, so imagine my joy when I saw these illustrations popping up on Vera’s Instagram feed…

The wherewithal to make the aforementioned Barbara Babcock’s Cheese Pit!
This makes me want to rustle up Jerry’s steak IMMEDIATELY!
I just LOVE this one! It makes me so happy just to look at it!

What a JOY to behold! Vera sent photos of the preparation and the finished dishes too, it was so much fun to see these…

Vera’s daughter helped out with the making of Joey Bishop’s “Potato Jazz”
Vera’s pimped up version of Barbara Babcock’s Cheese Pit
Angela Lansbury’s Garden Vegetable Soup
Robert Pine’s Blueberry Cheesecake
Kathleen Beller’s Apple Pie with Cheese Crust – mmmmmm!
and Jerry’s steak – yum yum!!

Thanks so much Vera for the lovely feedback, photos and illustrations, I haven’t forgotten about sending you some butterscotch chips!

As mentioned in the Kabot Kove Kookies post – I bought 4 million butterscotch chips on eBay to make some of these Kookies, there are quite a few left…

More recipe feedback coming in the next few days. All of these recipes will be going in the book, but if you can’t wait that long and want to cook up one of these dishes for yourself, just email me via the Contact page and I’ll send it on over to you.

There are still recipes available to test cook. At the end of the Cookalong I’ll be writing a post about those that remain untested. It might be too late to join in the Cookalong but I could still use feedback for the book!

Everyone who test-cooks will be getting a special “thank-you” card in the post. It’s under construction right now, but here is a sneaky peek at the wonderful recipe illustration Miriam Figueras is working on…

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