MADDIE DAY here, so happy to welcome book blogger and baker supreme Kim Davis as our guest on Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen. Kim generously hosts me and many other culinary cozy authors on her wonderful blog, Cinnamon and Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder. She bakes and photographs our recipes, hosts giveaways, and is a delightful person all around. 

Now Kim has her own books out, which is so exciting. 

Please welcome Kim, and stay tuned for her yummy recipe and a giveaway!

Edith, thanks so much for
hosting me on my favorite blog, Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen! I’ve been a longtime
fan with its perfect combination of food and murder! I’m especially delighted
to be here today since
Essentials of Murder, the first book in my
Aromatherapy Apothecary Mystery series, released this week. While my
protagonist, Carissa Carmichael, distills essential oils, she doesn’t spend
much time in the kitchen despite having grown up with grandmothers who taught
her to cook. Instead, she spends a lot of time at the patisserie two doors down
from her shop. It might be the delectable pastries and desserts that draws her,
or it just might be the enticing baker, Jasper, who keeps her coming in.

While my new series is
not a culinary cozy, I couldn’t help but include a food element in the story
via Jasper and the patisserie. In
Essentials of Murder, Carissa begins
to worry a bit about the health consequences of indulging in Jasper’s
to-die-for triple chocolate rolls every day. (The chocolate roll recipe is
included in the book.) He suggests she try his mini honey-sweetened cheesecake
with fresh fruit topping. While not nearly as decadent as the chocolate rolls,
the mini cheesecakes satisfy her sweet tooth and makes for a light and
refreshing dessert.

No-Bake Honey Cheesecakes

15 bite-sized cheesecakes)


1 (1.9 ounce) package of
15 mini phyllo cups

4 ounces cream cheese,

3 tablespoons Greek
yogurt, room temperature

2 tablespoons honey,
warmed for 5 to 10 seconds in the microwave

1 teaspoon vanilla

Seasonal berries

Optional: 1 tablespoon
apricot jam, warmed 15 seconds in microwave


*Bring the mini phyllo
cups to room temperature according to package directions.

Place the cream cheese
into a medium-sized bowl and beat on high speed until smooth and creamy using
an electric handheld mixer.


Add in the Greek yogurt,
warmed (not hot!) honey, and vanilla extract. Beat on high speed, until fully
incorporated and mixture is light and creamy, approximately 5 minutes.


Spoon mixture into a
piping bag fitted with a large round tip and fill the phyllo cups. Alternately,
you can use a small scoop to fill the phyllo cups.

Refrigerate at least 1

Arrange berries on the
tops of the cheesecakes. If desired, brush warmed (not hot!) apricot jam over
the fruit for added sweetness and for creating a shiny appearance.


Refrigerate for an
additional hour before serving.

Best served the day of preparing,
otherwise the crust softens. However, you can store leftover cheesecakes in the
refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 3 days.


*For a crispier crust,
bake the mini phyllo cups according to package directions. Allow shells to
completely cool before filling.

For a lump-free
cheesecake, make sure all the ingredients are room temperature and the honey is
warm, when blending.

About Essentials of

Following a scandal that
chased her from San Francisco, Carissa Carmichael struggles to find acceptance in
her small Southern California hometown as she opens her aromatherapy and
reflexology shop. 
When she finds a man murdered
in her distilling room, Carissa becomes the main suspect, especially when her
fingerprints are found on the murder weapon. Despite her father’s position as
Oak Creek Valley’s chief of police, most townspeople assume she’s
guilty—including the new leading detective.

Refusing to
run again, Carissa knows she must prove her innocence to save her shop and her
family’s reputation. With suspects acting as slippery as the essential oils she
distills, it’s up to Carissa to apply pressure and sniff out the truth before
it’s too late.

Readers: do you use
essentials oils? Comment below and include your email (yourname at yourserver dot
com) for a chance to win your choice of print or a Kindle ebook copy of Essentials
of Murder
. Please note, print won’t be available for a couple more weeks so
there will be a delay in shipping. The ebook version is available now. Contest
ends midnight, September 15, 2021.

Kim Davis lives in Southern California with her husband and
Goldendoodle puppy, Missy. When she’s not spending time with her granddaughters
or chasing the puppy around, she can be found either writing on her next book,
or working on her blog, Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder, or in the
kitchen baking up yummy treats to share.


She writes the cozy Cupcake Catering Mysteries, the
Aromatherapy Apothecary Mysteries, and a suspense novel, A GAME OF DECEIT. Kim
Davis is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Author Website:

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