Sexy Candied Hot Peppers of Romance Novels

Yes. It’s back. For real.

Cooking With a Writer is where I let my inner weird all the way out and try to get the people in the house to eat less meat.

I hope you’ll like it! All the recipes are real, just a bit tweaked.

Sexy Candied Hot Peppers of Romance Novels

Recipe by Carrie


Prep time


Cooking time





Stuff That Goes In It

  • 3 pounds fresh firm, washed hot peppers, sliced into 1/8-1/4 inch slices

  • 2 cups cider vinegar

  • 3 cups of sugar, the granulated kind

  • 1 teaspoon celery seed

  • 3 teaspoons granulated garlic

  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper because it makes things hotter

  • .5 tsp turmeric because it’s sexy

How to Make It

  • If you are a smart and sexy person, put on some gloves.
    If you are me, forget to do this. Just do NOT TOUCH YOUR EYES for 24 hours even when wiping tears of romantic joy when our lovers get together finally.
  • Wearing gloves, remove those pepper stems. They are icky and don’t add to the plot of the romance. Do not think of it as castration. That does not belong in a romance novel. This is romance! Not dystopian horror!
  • Cut those peppers into ¼-⅛ inch rounds.
  • Find a big old pot.
    Get ready for your set-up of the story.
    In that pot, combine the cider vinegar, white sugar, turmeric, celery seed, granulated garlic and cayenne pepper.

    Get it boiling. Whoa. That is hot already, right? Whew. Look around the room to make sure nobody’s watching and then reduce the heat so that globby mixture all combines and simmers for 5 minutes.
  • Ready? It is the meet cute!
    Add the pepper slice heroes into that pot of goo. Oh, look at them blend together. Simmer them there, hot and steamy for 4 minutes. Oh my gosh, they are so perfect together.
  • BUT NO! No romance goes that easily.
    Take the slotted spoon of OBSTACLE AND CONFLICT.
    Use it and move those peppers away from the adorable goo.
    Put the peppers in a nice mason jar to make them look good for their Instagram shot or just a glass bowl with a lid if you aren’t into that.
  • Boil everything hard. So hard. Do that for six minutes.
  • Okay. That’s been long enough for all of us to suffer. Imagine that the peppers and goo are rushing through a crowded city to get back together. Maybe one of them is getting on the plane? It’s all been a terrible misunderstanding and all the fault of that horrible spoon. I hope that spoon has been put in the sink and/or dishwasher where it belongs and nowhere near our lovebirds.
  • Find a nice supportive ladle character and use it to get the boiling syrup into a jar where the peppers are waiting so patiently to be reunited. Look at that. Oh my gosh. It’s such a happy ending. They are whole-hearted now. It’s beautiful. Store them in the fridge because honestly, they need to cool down, those steamy buggers.