The Cereal Murders: 1 Perfect Staycation


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Greetings, Internet Stranger, and welcome to The Cereal Murders: A Cooking Staycation. Like many travel bloggers, when the pandemic hit, I struggled to figure out what I was going to do with all this time while I was trapped in my apartment.

Fortunately, all the eating I do reviewing restaurants and culinary tours for you has taught me a ton about food. That’s why I decided one of my staycation posts could be about cooking my way though my favorite culinary mystery series by Diane Mott Davidson.

Diane Mott Davidson’s books are about an unabashedly food-loving caterer named Goldy Bear. Over the course of the series, you will fall in love with her, her oddball son Arch, her true love Tom Schulz, and her assorted friends and family members. And of course, you’ll fall in deep hate with her abusive ex-husband, John Richard Korman, aka The Jerk.

But most of all, you’ll adore the delicious and unique recipes that are included in each book. That’s why I am going to walk you through an amazing cooking Staycation and show you how to cook each recipe in The Cereal Murders, the third book in the series.

I’m not going to post the recipes here because you need to buy the book for that. You can do so very easily here. But I will be happy to share with you exactly what tools you need to cook each recipe and how easy or difficult it was.

cereal murders

The Cereal Murders

Happy Endings Plum Cake

I’m not quite sure how I feel about the name of this cake, but keep in mind that Goldy is supposed to get married during this book, so it’s her happy ending. (And she does have a name like a character in a fairytale.) You need canned plums for this recipe, and they can be hard to find, but fortunately you can find them here. You’ll also need a sifter for the flour, so the cake will come out lovely and smooth.

cereal murders

The Cereal Murders

Chinese Beef Stir-Fry with Vegetables

Most of the recipes in this book are baked goods, which is why this dish is so refreshing. The sauce is the perfect accompaniment to the beef, baby corn, and snap peas. Plus, the whole thing is quite easy to make

the cereal murders

The Cereal Murders

Chocolate Dipped Biscotti

These biscotti are some of the most delicious treats I have ever tasted. Usually I think biscotti are kind of trashy and hard, but these ones, fresh out of the oven, put every store-bought biscotti I have ever tried to shame. They’re not hard to make either. Just make sure you have a quality, non-stick baking sheet.

cereal murders

The Cereal Murders

Irish Soda Bread

Irish soda bread is a bit sweet, but it can also go very well with savory dishes, like a cozy stew. We have a tricky baking recipe up ahead, so get in some practice with this one. All you need is a round cake pan like this.

cereal murders

The Cereal Murders

Schultz’s Nachos

Goldy does most of the cooking in the series, since catering is her job. But when things get crazy, we get to see some of Tom’s recipes. These nachos are so easy to make, a kid could do it, but they’re still yummy and satisfying.

the cereal murders

The Cereal Murders

Red and Whites

In this book, Goldy gets wrapped up in a murder involving parents who would literally kill to get their kids into Harvard. These cookies are the most collegiate of all the recipes because she designs them using the “red and white” colors of Stanford. But the elegant cream cheese dough and fresh strawberries on top will taste delicious no matter which college you would murder a valedictorian to get your kid into.

The Cereal Murders: 1 Perfect Staycation 1

The Cereal Murders

Galaxy Doughnuts

These are the single hardest recipe in any of the Goldy cookbooks. I had to throw my first batch out because I let the dough rise before too long. But the second batch came out fluffy and delicious, especially with the butter-sugar coating. Just make sure you get real yeast so they will rise properly.

The Cereal Murders: 1 Perfect Staycation 2

The Cereal Murders

Sorry Cake

Despite the name, there’s nothing sorry about this cake. It’s complicated to make because it has multiple layers, but once you do it, it’s full of citrusy goodness. Just make sure to get a grater, so you can grate the orange zest.

The Cereal Murders: 1 Perfect Staycation 3

The Cereal Murders

Manicotti

You can probably take one look at my picture and tell this isn’t manicotti. But I couldn’t find any manicotti shells, so I just used giant pasta shells as a substitute. Maybe the manicotti would have tasted better, but I’m not sure how!

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