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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Rosemary and Sundried Tomato Meatloaf Sandwiches | Fudge and Jury

Rosemary and Sundried Tomato Meatloaf Sandwiches
Welcome to the tlc book tours stop for Fudge and Jury! Fudge and Jury is book 5 in the Bakeshop Mystery series by Ellie Alexander—and it's a cozy mystery, which you might know is one of my favorite ways to escape when I have a little time to myself (fun, quick, easy reads).

The logical thinker in me cringes at the thought of starting a series anywhere but at the beginning, but there's not enough time in the day or days in the week for me to read everything I'd like, so I threw caution to the wind and went into this book blind. And while I know there are background and character-building elements of the story that I missed, it still made sense as a stand-alone book.

So basically, after attending pastry school and working on a couple of luxury cruise ships (among other things like getting married - this is something that makes me want to go back and read the other books - find out more), 20-something Juliet is back home in Ashland, Oregon, putting her talent to use at her family's bakery, Torte, which it seems she is also part owner of with her mother.
Rosemary and Sundried Tomato Meatloaf Sandwiches inspired by Fudge and Jury
In the midst of a kitchen remodel, Torte is preparing to be one of the four "spotlight" businesses at an annual chocolate festival. A famous local chocolatier with an attitude (and a severe nut allergy) drops dead after taking a couple bites of Torte's signature cake, casting a few moments of suspicion and doubt in Juliet's direction.

Like any cozy, our heroine finds herself involved in solving this mystery, along with local law enforcement and the help of her family and friends. I thought it was full of interesting characters, my favorite being Juliet's friend and artistic director at the local theater, Lance.

I will admit to knowing the killer-slash-cause-of-death the minute I read a certain part, but I credit that to having a pretty strong culinary background (culinary school, restaurants, catering, food writer) and knowledge of food. I don't think that detracted from seeing how the mystery played out, though. I enjoyed the way Alexander wrapped things up.

Of course, you can tell by the name, that it's a foodcentric cozy—aka, if you're not craving something by the time you've finished the book, the author hasn't done their job. Let's just say that I was in the mood for chocolate (and a chocolate slushie) something fierce by the time I turned the last page.
Rosemary and Sundried Tomato Meatloaf Sandwiches inspired by Fudge and Jury
So, if I was in the mood for chocolate, why am I sharing a meatloaf sandwich, you ask? Fair question. It's because there was more than chocolate and pastries to the story. I actually toyed with the idea of making everything from croissants to scones to snickerdoodles to Chinese food to sea scallops to quiche as I read!

But here's the thing that you might now know about me—I'm a sucker for meatloaf. I don't know if that makes me a little strange or not, but I'm okay if it does. I've been known to make meatloaf for the sole purpose of meatloaf sandwiches, so when I came across a passage where Juliet and Thomas (childhood friend, ex-flame, and local law enforcement) ordered meatloaf and smashed garlic potatoes in a local pub, I was a goner.

Mom had an old family recipe for meat loaf that reminded me of this. As soon as our remodel was complete I was going to have to make her famous[*] recipe and serve meat-loaf sandwiches on our homemade buns as a lunch special.

Plus, another thing that I think makes a great foodcentric cozy, is when there are recipes in the book for things that were mentioned or made in the story. Fudge and Jury has that in the back, and meatloaf sandwiches were one of the recipes. I used that recipe as the base for the one I'm sharing today—it was really the addition of fresh rosemary that had me intrigued. It calls for sausage as part of the meat, and I used some made by a local butcher shop that's labeled as "pizza" flavor, for the spices they add (but you can use any that would fit in the flavor profile). I left out the veal called for (because it's just not readily available around here) and the barbecue sauce, and added sundried tomatoes to complement the rosemary and Italian spices/herbs.

It would fit perfectly on the lunch menu of Torte or a cozy pub, if you ask me.

*On a side note, Juliet's mom Helen has a ridiculous amount of "famous" recipes. 😉 

Fudge & Jury

Fudge and Jury

author: Ellie Alexander
series: A Bakeshop Mystery (book 5)
publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (January 3, 2017)
genre: Mystery, Cozy

paperback : 320 pages

"foodie" read: Yes

opening sentence: They say chocolate makes everything better; I agree.

teaser: Welcome to Torte–a friendly, small-town family bakery where the pastries are delicious…and, now, suspicious.

It’s almost spring in Ashland, Oregon, and the town is preparing for the Shakespeare and the annual Chocolate Festival. Business is cookin’ at Torte, and the store is expanding as Jules’ team whips up crèpes filled with mascarpone cheese and dark chocolate. Torte stands a chance of being this year’s confectionery belle of the ball! Life couldn’t be sweeter—unless murder taints the batter.

Evan Rowe, of Confections Couture, makes a chocolate fountain that would put Willy Wonka to shame, and his truffles are to die for—literally? Yes, the world-renowned chocolatier has just turned up dead…right after sampling a slice of Jules’ decadent four-layer chocolate cake. Now all eyes are on Jules as she tries to find the mysterious ingredient in her own recipe. Can she sift out the truth before another contestant bites the buttercream?

about the author: Ellie Alexander writes the bestselling Bakeshop Mystery series for St. Martin’s Press, set in the Shakespearean town of Ashland, Oregon and featuring a romantic, artisan pastry chef, Juliet Montague Capshaw.

Ellie is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.
Ellie Alexander

connect with the author: website | facebook | twitter | instagram

recipe inspired by the book: Meatloaf Sandwiches


yield: serves 6print recipe
Rosemary and Sundried Tomato Meatloaf Sandwiches

Rosemary and Sundried Tomato Meatloaf Sandwiches

prep time: 15 MINScook time: 1 hour and 25 MINStotal time: 1 hours and 40 mins
Thick slices of meatloaf, scented with rosemary and sundried tomatoes, served on a toasted hoagie rolls.


For the sauce:
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomato pesto (or jam)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
For the meatloaf:
  • 1 pound ground beef (85/15)
  • 1 pound bulk pork sausage (any kind you like)
  • 1 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (from 2 long sprigs)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
To serve:
  • 6 hoagie rolls (or similar)


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9"x5" loaf pan with foil, leaving an overhang.
  2. Stir all of the ingredients for the sauce together in a small bowl until well combined; set aside.
  3. Place both types of meat, bread crumbs, and eggs in a large bowl. Use a coarse-grating Microplane to grate the onion and garlic, then add them to the bowl along with any of their juices. Add rosemary, salt, and pepper to the bowl, as well as 1/3 of the reserved sauce. Use your hands to squidge and mix everything together until well-combined and evenly distributed.
  4. Form the mixture into a log and set into the prepared loaf pan. Pour the remaining sauce over the top. Slide into the hot oven and bake for 80-90 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center reads at least 165° F.
  5. Set the pan on a wire rack and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before using the foil overhang to lift the meatloaf out of the pan, then remove foil. You could refrigerate at this point if you want cold meatloaf sandwiches (which I adore).
  6. To serve hot (and now), toast the insides of the cut rolls. Slice the meatloaf into 1 1/2-inch thick slices. Serve on toasted roll with any condiments that you like. Enjoy!
  1. Since you probably have more sundried tomato pesto in the jar, try stirring some into mayonnaise - it makes a great condiment to serve on these sandwiches!
Created using The Recipes Generator

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.