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Don't Miss Bertie’s Sweet and Spicy Comfort Chili Recipe | IN COLD CHOCOLATE by Dorothy St. James | GREAT ESCAPES TOURS Presents Cozy Mystery

In Cold Chocolate: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery by Dorothy St. James is on virtual book tour with Great Escapes Book Tours. The cozy ...

In Cold Chocolate: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery by Dorothy St. James is on virtual book tour with Great Escapes Book Tours. The cozy mystery stops at Readeropolis with a recipe and giveaway. Enjoy!

Bertie’s Sweet and Spicy Comfort Chili

I get it. Separately, those two words (chocolate and chili) can make my mouth water. When put together (chocolate and chili) they don’t usually conjure up a very appetizing image. Not even to me. And I already know this is the best chili I’ve ever tasted. Still. Chocolate is sweet. Chili is spicy. One is dessert. The other is a main course. But stick with me. These two flavors work together quite beautifully, even if our brains tell us they shouldn’t. Let me explain why.

As any chocolate lover already knows—chocolate is derived from the cacao bean, which is harvested from a shade-loving tropical tree native to the South and Mesoamerica region. Ancient Aztecs treated the cacao beans as sacred gifts from the god of wisdom. They’d add spices to the fermented cacao beans and serve the mixture as a bitter drink. Nearly all of the American cultures, especially those in the southern regions, brewed this spiced chocolate drink as a way to honor their gods. When the Europeans arrived to the New World, sugar was added to the drink to sweeten it. It wasn’t until the mid-1800s that solid chocolate was developed. The craze for the sweetened form of the fermented bean has taken off from there. But in the rush to get our chocolate fix, we’ve forgotten its tight relationship with the chili spices grown all around the trees and how the pairing was once revered by American cultures dating as far back to 1900 B.C.

Those cultures knew what they were doing when they paired those flavors. The bitter flavor of dark chocolate combined with the gentle heat of the chili spices waltz on your tongue. They are Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.

These delicious flavor combinations certainly provide a welcome relief to the sorry business of having to deal with a string of murders plaguing the idyllic shores of Camellia Beach in South Carolina. In the third book of the Southern Chocolate Shop Mysteries, IN COLD CHOCOLATE (Crooked Lane, Sept 2018), the Chocolate Box with its amazing bean-to-bar chocolates is still a hotbed of excitement in Camellia Beach, South Carolina. Its owner, Charity Penn, is still finding herself immersed in trouble. This time it’s a mystery surrounding sea turtles and chocolate turtles and the murder of a local Casanova that chill the eccentric residents of Camellia Beach. Can Penn figure things out before it’s too late?
This chocolate chili recipe is a personal family recipe I borrowed to include in my tasty chocolate book series. You can make it as hot or as mild as you’d like. But I do urge you to try it and experience for yourself a flavor combination that’s been enjoyed by so many wonderful cultures for centuries.

Bertie’s Sweet and Spicy Comfort Chili
1 pound lean ground beef
2 medium onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 28-oz can tomatoes, cut up
2 8-oz cans tomato sauce
1 medium green, red, and/or yellow sweet pepper, chopped
2 habanero peppers, chopped (optional)
2 4-oz cans diced green chili peppers
2 cooking apples, cored and chopped
3 tbsp. chili powder
1 fair trade dark chocolate bar, chopped
1 tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 15-oz can red kidney beans, drained
1 15-oz can black beans, drained
1 14.5-oz can whole-kernel corn, drained
2/3 cup slivered almonds
Cheddar cheese and plain yogurt or sour cream (optional)
In a large skillet, cook beef, onions, and garlic until the meat is brown. Drain off fat. In a slow cooker, stir together beef mixture, undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, sweet pepper, hot peppers, green chili peppers, apples, chili powder, chocolate, curry, cinnamon, kidney beans, black beans, and corn. Cook on high until chili begins to bubble. Add slivered almonds. Reduce heat to low and cook until thick (about 2 hours). Serve topped with grated cheddar cheese, yogurt, or sour cream, if desired.


Sea turtles, chocolate turtles, and a murder.

About the Book
In Cold Chocolate: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (September 11, 2018)
Hardcover: 350 Pages
ISBN-10: 1683317432
ISBN-13: 978-1683317432
Digital ASIN: B078M3N9TC
In Dorothy St. James’s third delectable Southern Chocolate Shop mystery, a new batch of chocolate and troubles of the heart cause a string of disasters for the Chocolate Box’s new owner, Charity Penn.
The vintage seaside town of Camellia Beach, South Carolina seems like the perfect place for romance with its quiet beach and its decadent chocolate shop that serves the world’s richest dark chocolates. The Chocolate Box’s owner, Charity Penn, falls even further under the island’s moonlit spell as she joins Althea Bays and the rest of the turtle watch team to witness a new generation of baby sea turtles hatch and make their way into the wide ocean.
Before the babies arrive, gunshots ring out in the night. Cassidy Jones, the local Casanova, is found dead in the sand with his lover Jody Dalton—the same woman who has vowed to destroy the Chocolate Box—holding the gun. It’s an obvious crime of passion, or so everyone believes. But when Jody’s young son pleads with Penn to bring his mother back to him, she can’t say no. She dives headfirst into a chocolate swirl of truth and lies, and must pick through an assortment of likely (and sometimes unsavory) suspects before it’s too late for Penn and for those she loves in Dorothy St. James’s third rich installment of the Southern Chocolate Shop mysteries, In Cold Chocolate.
About the Author
Mystery author Dorothy St. James was raised in South Carolina. She makes her home on the outskirts of Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, a neurotic dog, and a fluffy cat. Though writing has always been a passion for her, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Urban Planning. She put her educational experience to use, having worked in all branches and all levels of government including local, regional, state, and federal. She even spent time during college working for a non-profit environmental watchdog organization.
Switching from government service and community planning to fiction writing wasn't as big of a change as some might think. Her government work was all about the stories of the people and the places where they live. As an urban planner, Dorothy loved telling the stories of the people she met. And from that, her desire to tell the tales that were so alive in her heart grew until she could not ignore it any longer. In 2001, she took a leap of faith and pursued her dream of writing fiction full-time.
* Dorothy St. James is the alter-ego of award-winning multi-published author, Dorothy McFalls. She enjoys writing in several different genres. Her works have been nominated for many awards including Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, Reviewers International Organization Award, National Reader's Choice Award, CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award, and The Romance Reviews Today Perfect 10! Award. Reviewers have called her work: "amazing", "perfect", "filled with emotion", and "lined with danger."
Author Links:
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1 comment

  1. Thank you for being part of the book tour for "In Cold Chocolate" by Dorothy St. James. Enjoyed reading about chocolate in chili and why. May just have to give it a try. :) Recipe sounds yummy.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net


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