Friday, March 1, 2019

Guest Post by Tina Kashian, Author of One Feta in the Grave

Today, it's my pleasure to have Tina Kashion as my guest. Not only do we get to find out about her book, but she shares a cookie recipe, too.

Thank you for featuring me as a guest today!

I love to cook all types of cuisine. I grew up in a family-owned restaurant in New Jersey, and my Kebab Kitchen Mystery Series is set in a Mediterranean restaurant at the Jersey shore.

In One Feta in the Grave, Lucy Berberian is a recovering lawyer who returns to Ocean Crest, NJ and her family’s restaurant, Kebab Kitchen. To celebrate a successful summer season, the town plans a beach festival. But things soon take a turn for the worse when an arrogant businessman gets in a screaming match with Lucy’s best friend, Katie, over a sand castle contest. And when the same businessman is found shot dead under the boardwalk, things don’t look good for Katie. It’s up to Lucy to investigate before the wrong person gets skewered.

One of the recipes featured in the book is for date stuffed cookies. I have two girls who won’t touch a date, but when I made this Armenian recipe, then actually thought it was chocolate and loved it. Now, I admit, I didn’t confess the cookies were stuffed with dates until after they had their second cookie. I used this funny experience when writing One Feta in the Grave. Lucy, my sleuth, makes this recipe and gives a cookie to her ten-year-old niece who bites into a cookie and believes it’s filled with chocolate. When she’s told it’s not chocolate, but dates, her eyes widen and her mouth forms an O. It made for a great scene.

I’m happy to share my family’s recipe.

Tina Kashian’s Date Stuffed Cookies 

For the dough:

½ pound unsalted, softened butter
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons sugar
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup warm water

For the filling:

1 ½ to 2 pounds pitted and chopped dates
1 tablespoon unsalted, softened butter
1 cup hot water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the egg wash:

1 egg, slightly beaten
Powdered sugar to sprinkle on cookies after they are baked

        Use an electric mixer on medium speed to mix butter, oil and sugar. Add flour, baking powder, and water and mix on medium speed. The dough should be a soft, pliable consistency. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set it aside for thirty to forty-five minutes at room temperature.

        Now you are ready to prepare the date filling. Combine dates, butter, hot water, sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl and mix on medium speed until well combined.
Flour a work surface to prevent the dough from sticking. Roll out dough until about 1/8 inch thick. Use a two-inch round cookie cutter or a water glass to cut out a circle shape. Place one rounded teaspoonful of date filling in the center of each circle shape. Fold into a half-circle shape. Using a fork, gently press the edges together to seal.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray baking sheets with cooking spray. Place cookies on baking sheets. Brush each cookie with egg wash. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cookies should be golden, not brown. 
Lift cookies with a spatula and place them on cooling racks. Sprinkle with powdered sugar Makes about two dozen cookies. 

Thank you again and enjoy the cookies!


As summer comes to an end in her Jersey Shore town, Lucy Berberian continues to manage her family’s Mediterranean restaurant. The Kebab Kitchen also has a food tent at this year’s beach festival. But now a local businessman is under the boardwalk—dead by the sea . . .

With a sand castle contest and live music, Ocean Crest bids a bittersweet farewell to tourist season. Summer will return next year . . . but Archie Kincaid won’t. The full-of-himself store owner has been fatally shot, soon after a screaming match with Lucy’s best friend. Katie’s far from the only suspect, though, since Archie had some bitter rivals—as well as some relationships no one knew about. It’s up to Lucy to look into some seedy characters and solve the case before the wrong person gets skewered . . .

Recipes included!

“A delectable read.”

—Bestselling author Shelley Freydont



Barnes & Noble:


Google Books:


Tina Kashian is an attorney and a former mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. Tina spent her childhood summers at the Jersey shore building sandcastles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business, as her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. Tina still lives in New Jersey with her supportive husband and two daughters. Please visit her website at to join her newsletter, receive delicious recipes, enter contests, and more!
You can also connect with Tina at:





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  1. Thank you for featuring me today and I hope you like the cookies!

    1. My pleasure! I will try out the cookies and the book!

  2. Good interview...looking forward to reading One Feta in the Grave. I love cookies and dates, going to bake these for my kids.