Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special** with JALAPENO CHEDDAR CORNBREAD MURDER, The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series Book 2 by Jodi Rath #recipe ~ JALAPENO CHEDDAR CORNBREAD

Karen’s Killer Fixin’s
with JODI RATH!!

Welcome to my Friday bonus feature called Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special**!! Today, in lieu of one of my own recipes, I’m going to introduce you to a new author who will share one of her favorite recipes. Not only will you and I occasionally learn how to make something new and delicious, but we’ll get a chance to check out some wonderful authors. Introducing author, JODI RATH, and her favorite recipe for JALAPENO CHEDDAR CORNBREAD!!


The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series Book 2


Financial fraud of elderly villagers in Leavensport, an urban sprawl threat to the community, disastrous dates, cross-sell marketing gone wrong, and another murder? Jolie Tucker is ready to try dating again. Well, she has no choice—since her family auctioned her off to the highest bidder. Her best friend, Ava, has agreed to a double date, but both friends find out hidden secrets about their partners as well as deception by one of the village’s own, who will soon be found dead. This plot is sure to be spicy!


The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series Book 2


Chapter One

My love life has been a full-on roller coaster ride this past year. I prefer not to think about it, let alone talk about it. Summer is here, and I’m ready to chillax poolside; I love living in a state where I get to enjoy each season. It makes me feel like I get a fresh start. Unfortunately, Ava won’t let my love-life rest.

“I still can’t believe the shape your love life is in girl. How do you manage it?” Ava asked while popping a jalapeno into her mouth.

“It’s a gift; those are HOT!” I exclaimed as her once beautiful mocha skin turned into bright red blotches and her eyes bulged out of her head.

“Wa . . . WAT . . . WATER!!!” She finally managed to spit out fleeing for the sink.

“No, here, drink this milk instead; it will do more to ease the heat,” I said while pouring a glass.

Ava took two big gulps of the eight-ounce glass of milk and began moving her head around in a panic.

“More?” I asked.

She shook her head affirmatively. I wasn’t even able to pour a full glass this time when she took the carton of milk from me and began chugging it.

“Slow down; you’re going to make yourself sick.”

“Why is that deathly hot? I love spicy food, but that is ridiculous!” Ava said.

“I’m trying something new in the jalapeno cheddar cornbread recipe.”

“Are you trying to kill people by heat index? Good lord, Jolie, did you bother to taste that before using it?” Ava seemed very angry right now.

“Calm down; I’m testing it out. I’m not eating them from the jar like a . . .” I thought better to finish that statement based on the glare I was getting from Ava. “I’m just saying that I plan to start out using a bit of the juice from the jar and dicing a little up and tasting it in the bread for heat.”

“Well, you need to have a death label on those things to warn us, spicy lovers . . .” Ava stopped mid-sentence, her blotchy, red skin was beginning to go pale, and she began dry heaving while holding a hand up in a panic.

Ava ran through the kitchen swing doors to the front of the restaurant where the men’s and women’s bathrooms were. She grabbed the knob to the women’s and pushed to no avail, and her body ran smack into the door hard. It looked like it was occupied. At this point, Ava looked like a chipmunk with cheeks extended and eyes wide, she looked desperately at the men’s room and didn’t hesitate to run into it.

Magda, our new part-time waitress, looked at me shocked. She wasn’t used to Ava’s antics yet. We had to replace Roxi after last September’s tragedy. Grandma Opal was still grieving over her best friend, Ellie Siler’s, loss. Ava and I were also fortunate enough to be able to add two other new staff members: Mirabelle, a twenty-four-year-old hostess with the mostess is what Aunt Fern loved to call her and her sidekick, Spy. Spy was Mirabelle’s seeing-eye dog. Mirabelle has Down’s syndrome, and she has sight issues. These two were a super-duo who greeted each customer that entered and left the restaurant. Mirabelle and Spy have been here a bit longer than Magda, so I saw Mirabelle grinning as Spy shifted his seated position and the golden retriever looked like he had a grin on his face too.

“I don’t understand what I ever saw in you,” Bradley said walking slowly out of the bathroom with some of Ava’s barf on him.

She came stomping out after him, “I didn’t know you were in there washing your hands. Why didn’t you lock the door?” She demanded.

“Because I just walked in here and was planning to be in here for no more than a minute to wash my hands; there aren’t many people in here, and none are men. I thought I was safe for a quick minute. I should have known better with you working here though.”

“Work here?” Ava scowled.

Oh boy, Bradley just did himself in. He knew it too. He put his hands up in defense giving in. “I know, you co-own the place—sorry!” He exclaimed.

“Let’s take this situation outside please,” I said glancing around at the few customers trying to eat the meals I prepared them. As Ava and Bradley moved toward the door, I told the patrons I’d be happy to box their meals, and the meals were on the house for the disgusting scene they just witnessed.

After some serious groveling and comping the bills, Magda and I worked to clean up the mess as quickly as possible, temporarily closing the business while we did so.

“Miss Jolie, can Spy and I help?” Mirabelle asked as I turned the sign and locked the door for a bit.

A lot of people treated Mirabelle differently. They gawked or felt sorry for her and treated her like she was less in some way. I’m not even sure anyone meant to do it; they didn’t seem to understand how to best communicate with her. I know I used to be the same way until Ava and I took sometime over the summer months of high school to coach Special Olympics in our village. We learned how exceptional Mirabelle is at all things.

“Sure thing, let’s see, Magda is cleaning up the men’s bathroom and I’m going to do a run through of the front of the store to make sure everything is clean. I’d like to sweep the floors and wipe down the tables. Which would you like to do?”

“We’ll clean tables,” Mirabelle exclaimed, and I say exclaimed because every time Mirabelle was given a task, she was fully excited to conquer it. She had energy and a zest for life that I wish I could mimic. Spy did a soft woof in agreement as he always seemed to talk to Mirabelle.

We both jumped as we heard a hard knock on our front door.

I saw Bradley’s boss, Lou, standing outside the door. I unlocked and opened the door briefly, “Sorry Lou; we had an unfortunate incident a few moments ago. I had to close briefly to clean up. I’ll open up soon.”

“Where is Bradley? He wanted me to meet him here, and here I am. Why we can’t talk at the workplace is beyond me. This is ridiculous. He could at least be outside regardless of what “incident” you’ve had,” he said making air quotes with his fingers.

“Bradley was part of the incident. He probably ran to change his clothes. I would assume he’ll be back soon,” I said.

“Figures, I’ll call him,” he said grabbing his phone and storming off.

I went to close and lock up again when Mr. and Mrs. Seevers came storming up to Lou.

“You no good son of a gun; I oughta take that phone and shove it up your . . .”

“Earl!” Mrs. Seevers exclaimed. “No need for that kind of talk ever, regardless of how much of a creep this guy is.”

“What are you two talking about?” Lou demanded.

“We know what you did, and you won’t get away with it!” Mr. Seevers seethed.

“You two old bats need to mind your own business; I’m out of here,” Lou protested stomping off with his phone to his ear probably calling poor Bradley to chew him out.

“Rude,” Mirabelle stated as I closed and locked the door again.

“Agreed,” I said wondering what was going on with the Seevers, a typically nice retired couple, and Lou.

Meet Author Jodi Rath…

Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her nine cats.


Links to Jodi’s website, blog, books, etc.

Amazon: http://authl.it/B07Q1K4DN3

All other e-platforms: https://books2read.com/u/bOAYyK

Newsletter link to A Mystery A Month-sign up for my monthly newsletter to receive a free Mystery a Month and a chance to win prizes for those who guess the right answers! http://eepurl.com/dIfXdb

Website: www.jodirath.com

FB Author page:@authorjodirath


Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jodi-rath

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

I hope you enjoy the recipe Jodi is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!


P.S. We’re at 426 recipes and counting with this posting. Hope you find some recipes you like. If this is your first visit, please check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right-hand column menu, you can even look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, Author Specials, etc.




  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeds* removed and diced
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (1 tsp. if using fine salt)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup cooked corn kernels plus enough cream, milk, or buttermilk** to equal 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese*** plus bit more for top before baking
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar

*see Notes


  1. Place diced jalapeños in skillet, then place in a 10-inch top diameter cast iron skillet in cold oven on middle rack. Preheat oven to 400°F and leave skillet with jalapeños in oven as it preheats. Check periodically to make sure they aren’t burning and to give them a quick stir. Remove when they are lightly browned and allow to cool. Return skillet immediately to oven.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, lightly beat eggs. Whisk in corn/cream mixture and cheddar cheese. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar with a wooden spoon,**** just until butter absorbs the sugar. Add the egg mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in the cooled jalapeños. Mix in the dry ingredients just until barely incorporated.
  5. Remove skillet from oven and lightly coat with nonstick spray. Spoon batter into hot pan and quickly top with a bit more grated cheddar cheese. Bake cornbread until top is golden brown and springs back when gently pressed, 25-28 minutes when baked in a 10-inch skillet (may be longer if your skillet is smaller). Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

*If you like your food extra spicy, then leave the seeds in the jalapeños.

**This means you add the corn kernels to a measuring cup first, then pour in the milk until the milk rises to the 1 1/2 cup level. (I was not able to find buttermilk at my local store. If you have the same problem, then you can add one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar for every one cup of milk.)

***I’m a cheese lover—I added an extra half cup of cheese!

****I tried the recipe mixing with a wooden spoon and again using my Kitchenette mixer. Call me crazy, but I truly believe it tasted better when using the wooden spoon to stir ingredients.

This recipe was adapted from seasonsandsuppas.ca and foodiecrush.com.


**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: Jodi will give away a $10 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Fixin’s blog.

Thanks, Jodi, for sharing your book with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!

27 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special** with JALAPENO CHEDDAR CORNBREAD MURDER, The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series Book 2 by Jodi Rath #recipe ~ JALAPENO CHEDDAR CORNBREAD”

  1. Looks like a very interesting book. I love the humor mix into the mysteries. Well, I think the “barf” was pretty funny….

    And here’s a weird one for ya – my husband made jalapeno cheese cornbread the other day to test it out for a potluck tomorrow. The recipe he used didn’t have corn kernals in it and had honey. He said it was interesting – the mix of sweet and spicy – and pretty good.

    1. LOL, Samantha! I’m happy you liked the “barf”–I was a bit skeptical when writing it in at their restaurant–but it’s fiction you know–and these two ladies are always getting into some kind of trouble!

  2. Another new author for me!
    I just recently started reading books in this genre. After reading the blurb and chapter one, this book will go one my TBR pile. This sounds like a fun read!!! I’m going to check out the other books in this series.

    Thank you Jodi and a Karen!

    1. Thanks, Judy! Book one was Pineapple Upside Down Murder with a recipe from my family’s 70-year-old recipe Pineapple Upside Down Cake. It’s delicious! I hope you enjoy the series!

      1. My mom use to make it all the time, ever since I can remember. I’ll be 77. Her mom started making it before that. I never got the recipe.🙁. I’ll will be looking forward to seeing your family recipe.

        1. It’s delicious–the only thing is that mine is made in a 70-year-old cast iron skillet where the ONLY thing ever made in it was pineapple upside down cake–so I think that adds to the flavor. But it is SO moist and melt in your mouth!

  3. I’ve been looking for a good jalepeno cornbread recipe. The cheddar cheese sounds like a great addition! Your book sounds like a great read as well! Thanks!

    1. The recipe is delicious! Much of it was done the old-fashioned way–but I can’t believe how it turns out! It’s a meal in itself! I hope you enjoy the book! Thanks for visiting today! Karen does a great blog!

  4. Thanks so much for having me, Karen. I replied to all three ladies that were kind enough to comment–but I am not seeing my replies show up?

  5. Good morning, Jodi, and welcome back to Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. I’m with Ava! I can’t eat HOT anymore, although a bit of heat is great. Loved the excerpt and your blend of humor and mystery. Sounds like my kind of book. Thanks for sharing with us today!

    1. Thanks so much for having me again, Karen! Ava tends to get herself into sticky and spicy situations often–but she has the best intentions in the end. I really hope people who love heat will give this one a try. It was the BEST cornbread I’ve ever had!

    1. Thanks so much, Christi! I’m so happy you enjoyed book one! I really hope you like this one too.

      Are you a monthly newsletter subscriber? I ask b/c you get the short story, “Sweet Retreat,” which takes place between book one and book two for free 🙂

  6. Oh my goodness! Great excerpt and introduction! Not only a new series to me but a recipe my son and his family will love!
    Thanks, Karen and Jodi!

    1. Hi Kathleen, I’m so happy I’m not the only person who gets really excited when I find a new series I want to try! Be sure to have them try this cornbread and to do it the old-fashioned way without using the electric mixer–it really makes all the difference!

      I hope you enjoy the series!

    1. It’s SO delicious. FYI: if you are getting a paperback, they will be available to buy on Amazon in the next week or two :–) I hope you love the book AND the recipe! Please let me know–you can email me too at jrath@columbus.rr.com! Thanks for your support!

    1. I hope you like cheesy and spicy b/c that is what you get in the book and the cornbread! LOL–lots of cheesy moments in the book and lots of spicy love scenes–plus cheesy taste and spices in the bread :–) LOl

  7. Hi Jodi,
    I love the title of this book. It makes me hungry.

    I saw that you live in Ohio. I live in a medium size town in Lake County Ohio. I went to high school in the Dayton area and to college in Columbus.

    I love supporting Ohio Mystery Writers!

    1. Oh wow, Helen! My best friend’s mom is a principal of a Dayton city school system–her family is from Dayton and I’ve visited often. Also, I got my Master’s Degree through the University of Dayton. I live 30 minutes south of Columbus and am up there all the time! I don’t know of many books that take place in Ohio–Leavensport, OH is a fictional village based off the village of Carroll, OH where I live! Thanks for sharing!

      1. We have a few mystery writers in the Cleveland area. One of our writers writes about a number of places in the Cleveland area. Another author writes mysteries around Put-in-Bay

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