Cleo Coyle | Holiday Grind and Fun Recipes
November 5, 2010
What do you most look forward to tasting every holiday season? Pumpkin pie?
Gingerbread? Candy canes? Thumbprints? Rum balls? Stollen? Latkes?
When I was a little girl, my Italian-born aunt taught me how to fry up
crispy-sweet bowtie cookies and dust them with powdered sugar. Aunt Mary is gone
now, but whenever I cook the foods we prepared together, it always brings her
back to me.
Such powerful foodie memories are exactly what my amateur sleuth, coffeehouse
manager Clare Cosi, asks her staff to share at the start of HOLIDAY GRIND, out in
paperback this week. Clare uses their ideas to create a menu of
Fa-la-la-la-lattes, holiday coffee drinks that save her shop from financial
This winning idea came from Santa himself,
a stand-up comic named Alfred Glockner who collects for charity near Clare’s
shop. Clare’s grown very fond of Alf, and when she finds him gunned down in an
alley one snowy night, she’s more than devastated—she’s angry, especially when
the police claim Santa’s killer was no more than a random mugger. Clare believes
otherwise and sets out to find the truth.
During this impossible quest, she butts head with a street-hardened NYPD
sergeant (who’s more interested in Clare than her theories); gets herself
arrested; disguises herself as Santa’s little helper; and endures more than one
attempt on her life. In the end, she reclaims her holiday spirit, something
Alf—with his humor and generosity—embodied from the start.
Last year, HOLIDAY
GRIND was a Top-10 national mystery bestseller in hardcover. With its
release in paperback, I hope even more readers will enjoy the story—and the
My Favorite Holiday
As a special gift to my longtime Coffeehouse
Mystery readers, who’ve told me how much they enjoy my recipes and
tips, I made HOLIDAY
GRIND’s recipe section extra large. At over 80 pages, it’s practically a
mini-cookbook with holiday recipes, a glossary of coffeehouse terms, and
instructions on how to make your own coffeehouse drinks at home (like lattes and
cappuccinos) without an expensive machine. I even included recipes for sweet
syrups like chocolate, caramel, gingersnap, apple cider spice, and more.
Today I’m especially happy to share one of Clare’s Fa-la-la-la latte recipes
with you along with three bonus recipes that feature a few of my favorite
holiday flavors—eggnog, cranberries, and English Stilton. Just click the hot
links below and they’ll appear in PDF documents that you can print, save, or
share. May you cook and eat them with joy!
Have a delicious holiday season, everyone!
~ Cleo Coyle
Enjoy this "Fa-la-la-la-latte" from Clare Cosi’s Village Blend
White Chocolate Snowflake Latte
This heavenly treat tastes like
a rich, warm coffee-infused milkshake—perfect with a plate of cookies on a snowy
½ cup milk
¼ cup white chocolate, chopped; or white chocolate chips
teaspoon vanilla extract
1—2 shots (3 — 6 tablespoons) hot espresso or
double-strength coffee (*see note)
Whipped cream (optional)
Step 1—Combine milk and white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over a
saucepan about one-third full of boil¬ing water. (The water level should be
under the bowl and not touching it.) Stir constantly until chocolate is
Step 2—Whip in the vanilla using a whisk, hand blender, or electric mixer.
Continue to whip about a minute until the warm mixture is loosely frothy.
Step 3—Pour the espresso into a large mug. Add the steamed white chocolate
milk and stir to blend the flavors. You can top with whipped cream, but it’s
just as delicious without.
*NOTE: To make double-strength coffee in an automatic drip coffee maker,
French press, or pour-over cone, simply double the amount of ground coffee that
you would normally use. For example, instead of 2 tablespoons of ground coffee
per 6 ounces of water, use 4 tablespoons.
Win free coffee!
To get more of Cleo’s recipes; win free
coffee; or learn about her books, visit her official website She runs it as a *virtual*
Be sure to sign up for Cleo’s Sweet $75 Gift Card
Giveaway: Six prizes in all! Check it out on the Fresh Fiction contest page by
Fresh Fiction review of HOLIDAY GRIND
Watch the Coffeehouse Mystery Trailer here
Praise for HOLIDAY
4 Stars: "Coffeehouse manger Clare Cosi and her band of her merry men lead
readers on a wild and hilarious ride to find out who killed her Santa in this
witty and intelligent cozy. Readers will be enthralled as the mystery unravels
and the surprise killer is revealed." —Romantic Times
"Fun and gripping..." —The Huffington Post
"Fast-paced action [and a] well-crafted story…sure to delight!"
"Coyle's coffeehouse mysteries (Espresso Shot, etc.) are packed with
believable characters and topped with serious coffee lore and holiday recipes.
This one will keep your cup piping hot." —Kirkus
"Some of the most vibrant characters I've ever read. Coyle also is a master
of misdirection and red herrings. I challenge any reader to figure out whodunit
before Coyle reveals all." —Mystery Scene Magazine
"...a good plot and an in-your-face look at life in the Big Apple for good
measure. Fans of culinary cozies will want this." —Library
71 comments posted.
Re: Cleo Coyle | Holiday Grind and Fun Recipes
Just the right book to read over the holidays. I look forward to enjoying this great book with my favorite venti double espresso vanila latte. Thanks for sponsering this awesome giveaway.
(Karen Appleby 1:51pm November 4, 2010)
I just love cuddling up with a good book and a nice hot drink. It sounds like the book and the recipe are both winners.
(Pamela Stewart 12:43pm November 5, 2010)
I am from the south so I would have to say Pecan Pie and Red Velvet Cake. No one makes it like my sweet Mother-in-law. Shes also a big reader and a great cook.
(Pamela Wood 2:04am November 5, 2010)
Gingerbread for me. It just tastes right for the winter and I look forward to it every year.
(G. Bisbjerg 2:19am November 5, 2010)
Oh, sweet! Four comments already. Ho, Ho, Ho!!! Thank you. :) Looking forward to reading more delicious "taste of the holiday" memories all day. ~ Cleo (who writes at night)
(Cleo Coyle 2:48am November 5, 2010)
So who's next? What do you look forward to tasting every holiday season? ~ Cleo
(Cleo Coyle 2:49am November 5, 2010)
My favorites: Latkes for Hannukah and Riskrem (Christmas Rice Pudding) to honor my Norwegian family. We celebrate both holidays.
(Rob Kvidt 4:26am November 5, 2010)
today I'm just thinking about birthday cake but around the holidays, there's nothing quite like a nice gingerbread man ( in cookie form that is)
with raisin eyes and buttons.
(Karen Gervasi 7:17am November 5, 2010)
Can't wait to read this book!!!
(Alicia Farage 8:11am November 5, 2010)
I would love a new book and coffee mug to enjoy for my birthday next week!
(Kathy Alexander 8:37am November 5, 2010)
I enjoy baking and decorating sugar cookies with my daughter. For eating, I prefer our family's favorite, a chocolate chip/brown sugar cookie called Congo Bars.
(G S Moch 9:43am November 5, 2010)
I love mulled wine and reading by the fireplace. Your book sounds like the perfect holiday read!
(Melinda Dunne 9:46am November 5, 2010)
I can't wait to read this book! There is nothing compared to curling up with a cappuccino and a Christmas Cookie and a good book and a fleece cover.
I consider myself a lucky girl doing that!
(Nancy Straka 9:52am November 5, 2010)
It sounds like a fun book to give as a gift. Will buy more than one copy. My favorites are pumpkin pie with fresh whip cream & pecan pie. The good old standbys.
(Pat Wilson 10:00am November 5, 2010)
Last year I tried out a recipe making my own chocolate covered cherries. I am now roped into making them every year since everyone loved them! That's okay because they were good!
(Nicole Caroen 10:20am November 5, 2010)
I love my coffee and a few cookies. Any cookie will do! Thank You for the giveaway!
(Joanne Mckeareany 10:53am November 5, 2010)
I love love love Russian Tea Cakes, which taste wonderful with either Cinnamon Spice tea or Vanilla Latte... YUM! Can't wait to read the latest "cuppa joy" in your series! :-D
(Meg Mims 11:07am November 5, 2010)
Sugar cookies nicely decorated make for great dunking in a glass of cold milk for any age!
(Karin Tillotson 11:15am November 5, 2010)
Book sounds great and I love the holidays and all the yummy food but most of all I love being with family and feeling all the love.Oh and I always love a good book.
(Vickie Hightower 11:20am November 5, 2010)
What a perfect book for the holidays---I could read it while drinking my favorite holiday beverage, homemade eggnog and eating some rum balls. Now I'm hungry!
(Sue Farrell 11:25am November 5, 2010)
Pumpkin Pie and Butterball Cookies that melt in your mouth are the foods I grew up with and have for the holidays. Love books with food showcased in them and recipes, too.
(Alyson Widen 11:29am November 5, 2010)
I love your books because they combine two of my favorite things in life...reading and coffee! This recipe sounds yummy!!!
(Gina Borkowski 11:34am November 5, 2010)
I love to sit by the fire and read books and drinking lattes! this is a perfect book to read!
(Angela k 11:38am November 5, 2010)
111My favorite holiday treat to make is Italian wine biscuits. My husband is Italian and begged me to learn how to make these when we first got married over 40 years ago.
I had to give them my own twist just like you do in your stories so my secret is that as soon as you take them out of the oven to put them warm in Tupperware container. It keeps them nice and soft and creamy tasting and they go great with coffe.
(Jeanne Miro 11:49am November 5, 2010)
Winter, fire,a latte,and a good book is the recipe for contentment. My favorite passtime
(Betty Jo Hill 11:50am November 5, 2010)
Definitely have to pick this one up! Sounds like a great read! Memories of baking peanut butter cookies with my Grandpa - those are great memories!
(Kelli Jo Calvert 11:55am November 5, 2010)
The snow flake latte sounds
(Margay Roberge 11:57am November 5, 2010)
I can't wait to finally read Holiday Grind! I love making and eating caramel puffcorn at the holidays. It's time consuming to make, everyone loves it, but not everyone has the time to make it!
(Julie Holden 12:01pm November 5, 2010)
Finding a new recipe in a book is always such an added treasure.
(Marjorie Carmony 12:01pm November 5, 2010)
I love all the great drinks and desserts this time of year. Congrats on the new book!
(Maureen Emmons 12:22pm November 5, 2010)
The book sounds great. My favorite food at Christmas is the red velvet cake. We only make it this time of year.
(Pam Howell 12:37pm November 5, 2010)
My own favorite scent at holiday time when I was a girl was that of my grandmother making fruit cake, the scent of the almonds baking in the cake. Nowadays, while that is still a favorite, so is the scent of my own holiday cake; a chocolate and mint creation of my own that my family always asks for.
(Lili Booth 1:54pm November 5, 2010)
My Mom always made the best sugar cookies with raisin filling. They will always be a Christmas favorite.
(Robin McKay 2:12pm November 5, 2010)
Thanks for the latte recipe... my sister is a coffee lover and this would be something for her to try!
(Colleen Conklin 2:14pm November 5, 2010)
This looks like a great book to read.
Thanks for the lovely recipes, I will certainly try the cranberry one.
I love English mince-pies and as we have an English shop here I can buy the filling and make them myself.
(Valerie Bongards 2:21pm November 5, 2010)
I look forward to eggnog, hot cider and molasses sugar cookies.
(Cheryl Lynne 3:01pm November 5, 2010)
Can't wait to read Holiday Grind! Absolute LOVE your books and recipes. Gingerbread is my favorite cookie for Christmas. I make mine with Buttermilk.
(Kathleen Lamb 3:43pm November 5, 2010)
I love anything with pumpkin or pecans. I like to enjoy Thanksgiving first before I jump into the Christmas flavors of eggnog and ginger.
(Christine Arcidiacono 3:48pm November 5, 2010)
I love Norwegian Kringla cookies during Christmas season. They remind me of my beloved great-aunt Nonnie.
(Shana Skaletsky 4:53pm November 5, 2010)
I associate food with all the holidays & family.
(Mary Preston 6:25pm November 5, 2010)
I have been enjoying your comments all day long. What an amazing array of favorite foods (and drinks!)and sweet memories. Thank you so much for sharing with me today. More comments welcome! I'll be back later this evening to see who else is looking forward to favorite holiday foods and flavors. Eat with joy! ~ Cleo
(Cleo Coyle 6:50pm November 5, 2010)
I like pumpkin muffins and a cup of hot chocolate and a good book of course
(Teresa Ward 6:52pm November 5, 2010)
I like lefse--kind of like a potato tortilla. Yum! I so enjoy your books!
(Susan Stiffler 7:39pm November 5, 2010)
Pie is the way to go, but I don't bake so it's store-bought for me. Still, they can be very tasty. I think I prefer berry pies, chocolate pies and custard pies. Pumpkin pies are okay for the holiday season.
(S Tieh 7:58pm November 5, 2010)
Every holiday, I always look forward to candy cane. Since Coffee Beans & Teas has create the Winter Dreams Latte, I look forward to it for every Christmas season.
(Kai Wong 8:00pm November 5, 2010)
Somehow, our holiday tradition has become Bloody Marys! I make them with V-8 Juice and horseradish, plus lemon juice, black pepper, salt, Tobasco sauce and of course, Absolut vodka!
(Kathleen Marks 8:39pm November 5, 2010)
I just discovered your Coffeehouse mysteries and I'm hooked. lol I am on #1 and I am really enjoying your protagonist. I know I'm reading a good book when I don't want to put it down. I have a feeling I will be treating myself this holiday season with your books. :)
(Robin Bailey 8:47pm November 5, 2010)
I just love the holidays. I love everything about the holidays. My sister and her husband visit. The fireplace gets used. The decorations, lights, music, family all come together to make everything magical.
(Trisha Kilpatrick 8:47pm November 5, 2010)
hi i do not cook sorry but i have some one who does but the cookies here look wow would love to eat them all
(Desiree Reilly 9:48pm November 5, 2010)
I love many foods at the Holidays, but if I must narrow them down to one, perhaps it might be
Fruit Ambrosia. Since my husband is diabetic, I don't bake all the sweet stuff I did; but we still have great feasts during the Holidays.
Happy Holidays to you!
(Gladys Paradowski 10:01pm November 5, 2010)
I really look forward to the season when Italian panetonne is available. So lovely with a cup of tea (sorry, don't drink coffee, though I love the smell when hubby has some)) and a book in the afternoon
(Maya Missani 10:54pm November 5, 2010)
Nog. I look forward to nog every year. All I need is one cup and I am good until the next year. Although, I have found Silk soy nog is thinner and I can do 2 cups until the next year. :-)
(V Scott 11:47pm November 5, 2010)
Thanks for sharing that delicious sounding recipe. I love holiday food. Big fan of eggnog, both homemade and store bought. I also love to bake Christmas cookies this time of the year and it is fun to try new recipes to add each year with old favorites.
(Cherie Japp 11:48pm November 5, 2010)
Oh most def it is Pumpkin Pie. Once
I've tasted my first slice, I know the
holidays are in FULL swing! I just love
the food and feelings this time of year
bring! And I have to say the CBTL has
a wonderful Latte each year called
"Winter Dream". I am a TOTAL coffee
fiend but this Latte, I do love and that
also rings in the Holidays for me.
(Heather Ulilang 11:49pm November 5, 2010)
The recipies sound yummy! I love coconut cake at Christmas and sweet potatoe pie.
(Ginger Hinson 12:08pm November 6, 2010)
Great receipes and I will be trying out soon. Would love to read your book.
(Brenda Hill 12:20pm November 6, 2010)
Thanks to everyone for your very kind comments. I had so much fun reading about your favorite foods, flavors, and memories. Your messages truly have put me in the spirit of the season -- and inspired me to try some new recipes. Cheers to you all. May your holidays always be delicious! ~ Cleo
(Cleo Coyle 1:19am November 6, 2010)
I most look forward to downtime and time away from work and with my family. With regards to sweet treats I would have to say trifle and egg nogg are WAY up there. I love having time to relax and enjoy my family.
(Darci Paice-Bailey 3:13am November 6, 2010)
My sister makes the divine Rumballs for Christmas. Soon now!!!
(Mary Preston 8:11am November 6, 2010)
I'm the only one out of my Sisters that carried on with my Mother's recipes. During the Holidays, I love to make her prune cookies. They sound gross, but they're very good!! They look like little crescent rolls, filled with prune, and dusted with powdered sugar. The dough is as flaky as pie crust, and you could fill with with whatever you'd like, actually. I make a lot of her recipes, including her kapusta, or cabbage, along with cabbage rolls. You probably guessed I'm Polish!! You're book sounds like a winner, and I'll have to make sure I read it, not only for the great story line, but to check out the pages of recipes!!
(Peggy Roberson 11:00am November 6, 2010)
Sounds like an enjoyable read. I really enjoy humor in my books.
(Molly Wilsbacher 11:06am November 6, 2010)
I am a pumpkin pie junkie. I only eat it at the holidays, but I love it. The real treat, though, is my Aunt Jean's carrot cake. This is just to die for, it is so good! She uses fresh everything (except maybe a box mix, but not even sure about that!), and has raisens and sometimes nuts in it. And her scratch cream cheese icing is divine! It is good enough that the year we were snowed in for xmas, she got special orders from family for this cake!
(Victoria Colyer-Kerr 12:34pm November 6, 2010)
We make my grandmother's receipe for cranberry ice.. part of the receipe calls for a 7 oz bottle of ginger ale.. Does that tell you how old it is!??!!
(Cate Sparks 12:59pm November 6, 2010)
Oooooh, these comments are making me hungry! Isn't it amazing how many of us feel the love through family recipes? It's truly something wonderful...
(Cleo Coyle 1:22pm November 6, 2010)
A great cup of coffee along with PUMPKIN PIE!
(Kathy Reese 1:50pm November 6, 2010)
love reading by the fireplace with a cup of coffee and a good book
(Anthonia Sharp 2:02pm November 6, 2010)
I can't think of a holiday food
I DON'T love!! Not a good time
for my waistline..
(Jessie OLeary 5:58pm November 6, 2010)
I love to have coffee and a good book!
(Rhonda Grable 6:06pm November 6, 2010)
Thanks for the recipe. Your new book sounds like a thriller.
(Mrs bernard Yavitch 9:14pm November 6, 2010)
pumpkin pie and latte please, and thank you so much it all sounds good
(Debbi Shaw 9:20pm November 6, 2010)
From the heart, I want to thank everyone who left such wonderful comments. May you all have a delicious holiday season! ~ Cleo
(Cleo Coyle 8:49am November 8, 2010)
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