slow cooker cheesy garlic herb mashed potatoes of first line anxiety

Things might not be going all that well here at the Jones-Farrar household. Between NaNoWriMo, remote schooling, COVID, being trapped with each other and not travelling for ten months?

I’ve got some writers block and a need for starch. Keto be damned. It’s almost Thanksgiving in the U.S.

How about you?

Print Recipe
slow cooker cheesy garlic herb mashed potatoes of first lines
Cooking With a Writer
Course side dish
Cuisine american
Servings
Ingredients
Course side dish
Cuisine american
Servings
Ingredients
Cooking With a Writer
Instructions
  1. Look writer, you need to get things started. It is almost Thanksgiving in the U.S. and you signed up for National Novel Writing Month, which means you have to write 50,000 words.
  2. You have written none.
  3. That’s because you can’t think of a first line.
  4. You are having first line anxiety. This is normal. This is very writer of you.
  5. So, be even more of a writer about this and procrastinate by cooking potatoes in a slow cooker.
  6. Put the potatoes, parmesan rind (if you have something that fancy) heavy cream, milk, garlic, and sage into the slow cooker.
  7. Um. Plug it in, honey. It needs electricity.
  8. Okay, now put the cover on and press the numbers for either high (4-5 hours) or low (6-8 hours).
  9. Stare at your computer’s blank document for all that time, trying to be all Hemingway and create the perfect sentence.
  10. Give up and check on the potatoes.
  11. Are they fork tender?
  12. If yes? Coolio. Turn the heat to warm. If not? Cook more and check again.
  13. Drain potatoes. Do not burn yourself. Do not drain the cream.
  14. Throw out the herbs and rind. Like adverbs, they have served their purpose in this first draft and you are CUT CUT CUTTING them out.
  15. Put the potatoes through a ricer or mash them.
  16. Put them back in the pot. If you go the mashing route, you can do this in the pot to make less dishes. Less dishes equals happier writers.
  17. Add that 1.5 cups of cream you didn’t toss. Add the butter.
  18. Does it not look right? Add more cream until it does. The potatoes are like a first sentence. You’ve got to revise it until it’s snazzy.
  19. Add salt and pepper to snaz it up.
  20. Now, enter the world of best sellers and add cheese. Look at you, you rock star! Stir it up. Put the cover on. Cook for 15 minutes. The cheese should be melted.
  21. They can stay this way for four hours.
  22. Eat them.
Recipe Notes

This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cooking sites in the universe. The Half Baked Harvest. Head over there to see the recipe in non-writer (sane human) form and the variations for insta pot and stove.

EAT THE MASHED TURNIP IT IS DESPERATE TIMES, AUTHOR – COOKING WITH A WRITER

I am a potato fan. But all our potatoes lately have been – gasp – green. It’s desperate times, my friend, so I’m trying to convince the carnivores in the family that mashed turnips is an okay substitute.

EAT THE MASHED TURNIP IT IS DESPERATE TIMES, AUTHOR - COOKING WITH A WRITER

If you are trying to do this in your own home story, do not let the other cast of characters see the actual turnip before you mash the bugger.

Also, um, buy my books. 🙂

Carrie Jones Books is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

Print Recipe
EAT THE MASHED TURNIP IT IS DESPERATE TIMES, AUTHOR
This is adapted from THE SPRUCE EATS, one of my favorite recipe sites. https://www.thespruceeats.com/easy-delicious-mashed-turnips-2217302
Course side dish
Cuisine american
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people who aren't annoying about turnips
Ingredients
Course side dish
Cuisine american
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people who aren't annoying about turnips
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Find turnips out there somewhere. Do not judge them by their looks. Admire their looks. It's like an ombre.
  2. Give the turnips a bath like they were at Burning Man for weeks.
  3. Peel the turnips. Think about peeling back the layers of character motivation.
  4. Cut turnips into big pieces. Make those pieces the same size.
  5. Wonder why things must be the same size to cook evenly. It seems unfair. Try not to feel too much empathy for this cut up, peeled, and cleaned turnip pieces.
  6. Cry because you really wanted potatoes and you can't do this any longer.
  7. Why must everything be so hard?
  8. Cry more and go write a sonnet about hard times and turnips.
  9. Put turnips in a pot.
  10. Drown them with cold water.
  11. Recite your Turnip Sonnet Eulogy. Make sure to mention muses and potatoes and feeling like you're never good enough, darn it. Never!
  12. Cry and bring to a boil.
  13. Put salt in the water.
  14. Don't let the water boil over because that will be a starchy mess like your tear-stained face and sonnet.
  15. Cook those babies until fork tender. This takes around 10 to 15 minutes post boiling.
  16. Find another pan.
  17. Heat the milk in it over low heat.
  18. Add the butter. Let the butter melt into the milk. Take it off the heat. Convince yourself nobody will notice these are turnips and not potatoes just like nobody noticed that your erotic novel was a christian allegory.
  19. Drain the turnips.
  20. Put the turnips back in their pot.
  21. Shake it a lot for three minutes while singing that Taylor Swift song about shaking things off. Wonder if you can incorporate that into your turnip sonnet. Shake things for 2-3 minutes. Things mean turnips, pots, your bum.
  22. Mash the turnips.
  23. Add via stirring the milk and butter mix.
  24. Add salt. Salt is good. Salt should be in the sonnet.
Recipe Notes

Again, this comes from Molly Watson at The Spruce Eats and the link is here. 

Microwave Corn on the Cob for Young Adult Novelists

Things are dire, my friends. Elections are coming up. COVID-19 is surging.

It’s time to microwave corn while we still can and while corn still exists and is sort of cheap.

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN.

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The visuals for our podcasts are all on Carrie’s YouTube channel. You can like and subscribe there, too!

Print Recipe
Microwave Corn on the Cob for Young Adult Novelists
Microwave Corn on the Cob for Young Adult Novelists Corn on the cob Paper towel Let’s face it. Times suck. Imprints are closing. Literary agents are having breakdowns. You’re trying to design course on Teachable. It’s the end times my friends. The stove doesn’t even work. It’s all up to you and the microwave. YA dystopian fiction is now.
Course side dish
Cuisine american
Prep Time 0 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Passive Time HAHAHA
Servings
YA novelist
Ingredients
Course side dish
Cuisine american
Prep Time 0 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Passive Time HAHAHA
Servings
YA novelist
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Find an ear of corn.
  2. Pray to it, but don’t make it a false god or anything because times are already bad.
  3. Tackle someone on the street for a paper towel.
  4. Wet that paper towel in a puddle. Wring it out (DO NOT REALLY PUT IT IN A STREET PUDDLE! THAT IS GROSS!).
  5. Wrap that paper towel around the corn.
  6. Put them on a dinner plate. You remember those, right? Back before they became weapons. Go find an unbroken one. Give thanks to the corn, the paper towel, the dinner plate.
  7. Put them in the microwave. Shut the door. You can’t lock a microwave so stop freaking out. Just shut the door.
  8. Cook it for five minutes.
  9. Take it out. Take the paper towel off. Eat it. Wish you’d paid more attention to survival techniques in dystopian literature.
  10. Enjoy?

Refried Beans of Revision Crockpot Style

Sometimes, you just have to refry things in a crockpot. Okay? Don’t judge. I’m from New England. We like our crockpots.

Also, please buy my baby novella.

NEW BOOK ALERT!

My little novella (It’s spare. It’s sad) is out and it’s just $1,99. It is a book of my heart and I am so worried about it, honestly.

There’s a bit more about it here.

Carrie Jones Books is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

Print Recipe
Refried Beans of Revision Crockpot Style
Course side dish
Cuisine vegetarian
Servings
Ingredients
Course side dish
Cuisine vegetarian
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. See all that stuff? It's what makes your book -- I mean beans -- awesome.
  2. Admire the beans. They are characters. Admire the water that holds it all together.
  3. Put all those ingredients in the crockpot.
  4. Try not to think about it.
  5. Cook it in the crockpot on high.
  6. Think about people who have InstaPots. Judge them. Feel old school.
  7. Realize you aren't old school. You're just too poor to buy an InstaPot.
  8. Try not to care.
  9. Keep cooking. Ignore it just like you ignore all deadlines, plot holes, bad dialogue and your excessive use of the word "then."
  10. Check it at five hours. It looks cool.
  11. Check it at eight hours. It's mooshy! YAY!
  12. Put it in a blender if you're an overachiever.
  13. Put some in a skillet and fry in oil if you're a human.
  14. Adjust for salt and stuff.
  15. SMASH IT ALL IN YOUR MOUTH AND REJOICE!
Recipe Notes

I have been making a version of these from the Moosewood Cookbook ever since I got the Moosewood Cookbook in high school. 

This specific version is adapted from Courageous Joy, which adapted it from Moosewood. Here's the link. 

Tempeh Fries of Revision Hell


Print Recipe


Tempeh Fries of Revision Hell

This is a recipe adapted from thespruceats.com and epicurious, which are awesome websites.

Tempeh Fries of Revision Hell

Course side dish
Cuisine american

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Passive Time 0 minutes

Servings
people


Ingredients

Course side dish
Cuisine american

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Passive Time 0 minutes

Servings
people


Ingredients

Tempeh Fries of Revision Hell


Instructions
  1. Realize that you have to cut 11,000 words out of your time travel story.

  2. Die inside.

  3. Realize that even though you've worked on it for three days straight, you've only cut 3,000 words. Decide you need fries but then remember that you don't eat potatoes anymore.

  4. Hate yourself for your decisions.

  5. Decide to make tempeh fries instead. Get out the tempeh and cut in into French-fry shapes. If you squint hard enough, you could maybe fool yourself into thinking they are really French fries.

  6. Wonder if there's a way you can fool your agent into thinking you've cut 11k out of your story.

  7. Put an inch of water in a big skillet and boil it. Realize this is an objective correlative to your anxiety level, boiling past calmness. Simmer the tempeh in there for 10 minutes so something good comes of all this.

  8. In a bowl put the cornmeal and salt together and mix them. Roll the tempeh in there so stuff sticks.

  9. Cry.

  10. Wonder why you are a writer.

  11. Medium-high heat is important so set things to that. Put a skillet on the burner Put the oil in the skillet. Sauté the tempeh. This should be 2 minutes on one side and then the other. Drain it on a paper towel because JUST LIKE TOO MANY WORDS, TOO MUCH GREASE IS A BAD THING, APPARENTLY.

  12. Make the dip by combining the remaining ingredients. Sob into it. Decide to just cut off the first half of the book and call it good..

Let’s Pretend It Ain’t Winter Smoothie Recipe

Print Recipe
Let's Pretend It Ain't Winter Smoothie Recipe
This recipe is adapted from life and also an All Recipes by Licia McClung O'Neill! Many thanks to Licia!
Let's Pretend It Ain't Winter Smoothie Recipe
Course drinks, side dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Passive Time 0 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course drinks, side dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Passive Time 0 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Let's Pretend It Ain't Winter Smoothie Recipe
Instructions
  1. Dear God, how is it still winter?
  2. Winter will never end
  3. Winter is not coming, Game of Thrones people. Winter is freaking here.
  4. Okay. Try to breathe. The days will eventually get longer. The sun will eventually shine. You can fight this! YOU CAN SURVIVE THIS NEVER-ENDING WHITENESS AND COLD.
  5. Find your blender. Wipe the ice off it. Remember all the happy times you and your blender had in the summer? You can do that again.
  6. Pour juice into blender.
  7. Remember being warm. Remember not having to constantly wear layers. Remember when your fingers weren't too frozen to text or type.
  8. Add fruit to blender.
  9. Though your brain is frozen, remember to put the cover on the blender and turn it on. Blend. Make it smooth. This takes 1 minute.
  10. Try not to drink summer right out of the blender, but put it in glasses (two). Drink. Remember what it was to be warm.

Hash That Cauliflower, Baby

Cauliflower Hash Recipe
Cauliflower Hash Recipe

This baby is a no-brainer in my quest to make the family eat less meat.

Why?

Because when you mash up a cauliflower? It’s almost like a potato or something. It becomes magical.

This super easy recipe is perfect for my little magical family. I hope it’s perfect for yours, too.

This recipe is completely adapted from An Edible Mosaic.

Print Recipe
Hash That Cauliflower, Baby
Writers like to hack things up. No, wait. That's editors.
Cauliflower Hash Recipe
Cuisine vegetarian
Keyword cauliflower
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Passive Time none we are not passive
Servings
humans
Ingredients
Cuisine vegetarian
Keyword cauliflower
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Passive Time none we are not passive
Servings
humans
Ingredients
Cauliflower Hash Recipe
Instructions
  1. FIND A SKILLET. Is the house to messy? Did you find one? PUT THE OIL IN THE SKILLET AND TURN THE BURNER ON MEDIUM HEAT.
  2. Is the oil sort of medium heatness? Good. PUT THOSE CAULIFLOWER TREES in there. DO NOT STIR! DO NOT TOUCH IT! I know. I know. This is hard. Distract yourself from your need to stir by using your writer imagination. Imagine they are white little trees. Or warts? Why do they look like warts? Rethink this recipe. Rethink cauliflower. Refuse to think and COOK CAULIFLOWER FOR ABOUT 3 MINUTES. It will start to change color a bit.
  3. STIR IT NOW. ADD THE SPICES AND WATER. FIND A COVER TO THE SKILLET! Panic because you forgot about the cover. PUT THE COVER ON TOP. COOK FOR 3-5 minutes. The cauliflower will be tender but not a giant mush.
  4. TAKE THE COVER OFF. TURN THE HEAT TO LOW. ADD THE GARLIC. COOK 2 MINUTES and STIR LIKE YOU HAVE NEVER STIRRED BEFORE! THIS IS YOUR TIME TO STIR! CLAIM IT!
  5. Sorry for the caps lock. I got excited. STIR IN THE LEMON JUICE. Watch it evaporate. This takes less than a minute.
  6. Sprinkle parsley on it. If you aren't really a vegetarian, put a fried egg on there. But... you know...

MAN VERDICT – There is not nearly enough of this.

CARRIE VERDICT – I didn’t get to eat any.

DOG VERDICT – Neither did we!

Writing and Other News

Art.

I do art stuff. You can find it and buy a print here. 

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Time Stoppers!

You can order my middle grade fantasy novel Time Stoppers Escape From the Badlands here or anywhere.

People call it a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson but it’s set in Maine. It’s full of adventure, quirkiness and heart.

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Moe Berg

The Spy Who Played Baseball is a picture book biography about Moe Berg. And… there’s a movie out now about Moe Berg, a major league baseball player who became a spy. How cool is that?

It’s awesome and quirky and fun.

FLYING AND ENHANCED

Men in Black meet Buffy the Vampire Slayer? You know it. You can buy them hereor anywhere.

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Are you looking for a group to support you in your writing process and help set achievable goals? Are you looking for the feedback and connections that could potentially lead you to that book deal you’ve been working towards?

Our Write. Submit. Support. (WSS) six-month ONLINE course offers structure and support not only to your writing lives and the manuscripts at hand, but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions: whether that be submitting to agents or, if agented, weathering the submissions to editors.

Past Write. Submit. Support. students have gone on to receive representation from literary agents across the country. View one of our most recent success stories here

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Hush That Puppy – Cooking With a Writer – Vegetarian Recipes

Drain the balls on paper towel. Eat them all. Forget about serving size. Just eat them all.

Print Recipe
Hush That Puppy - Cooking With a Writer - Vegetarian Recipes
When The Man gets cranky about vegetarian food, I basically just cook him baked goods... MAN VERDICT - I am in the South again. DOG VERDICT - Why are onions in here? CARRIE VERDICT - Yes. I like this.
Hush That Puppy - Vegetarian Recipes Cooking with a Writer
Course side dish
Cuisine southern, vegetarian
Keyword hushpuppy
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time about 10 minutes
Servings
humans
Ingredients
Course side dish
Cuisine southern, vegetarian
Keyword hushpuppy
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time about 10 minutes
Servings
humans
Ingredients
Hush That Puppy - Vegetarian Recipes Cooking with a Writer
Instructions
  1. Look at all those dry ingredients. They are so dry. Let's make them love each other and mix them all together.
  2. Oh, man. That's too much homogeneity. It's like writing a book and having every sentence start with "THE WHITE MAN SAID." Nobody wants a book like that. Cough. Nobody better want ta book like that. So add the minced onion. Then add the egg and the milk all beaten together. Make them look like circles kind of.
  3. Okay. Get some fat. Pour that into a deep stove-safe pot. Get it super hot. Drop little spoonful (balls) of the concoction into that boiling fat. Do not imagine that is your stomach. Do not imagine anything negative. We are comfort fooding here and writers need comfort food.
  4. When those little spoonfuls float? They are done. Like a witch during the horrible times when they'd dunk them to see if they were witches. WHY DID YOUR MIND EVEN GO THERE?
  5. Wow. It's a bad day. Drain the balls on paper towel. Eat them all. Forget about serving size. Just eat them all.
Recipe Notes

Hush That Puppy - Vegetarian Recipes Cooking with a Writer