I can’t deal with life right now or it’s time for Banana Peanut Butter Toast

Sometimes, life seems like too much.

Sometimes, you’ve been trying to get your household to become vegetarians and you fail and you fail and you fail.

Sometimes, you want to quit all your volunteer organizations and maybe move so that you have a reason to quit that doesn’t make you seem like a quitter.

And so you make this.

I CAN'T DEAL WITH LIFE. WE ARE HAVING PEANUT BUTTER TOAST RECIPE

This recipe is adapted from the much saner version at https://www.wellplated.com/peanut-butter-banana-toast-granola-honey/


Course Breakfast, Dessert, dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword toast
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 6 minutes
Servings 4 humans

Ingredients

  • 4 slices thickish bread make it hearty, who knows when you will eat again
  • 4 tbsp peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp honey It costs so much money. Try not to think about that. Just be psyched it isn't sugar and feel virtuous
  • 2 big bananas
  • 1 oz granola if you have it.

Instructions

  1. Look. Sometimes life is really hard to deal with. 

  2. And sometimes a writer just can't deal. 

    Because... life.

  3. So get out a knife that is barely sharp enough to cut a banana and slice the bananas.

    There! Good job! 

  4. At the same time, toast your bread.

    To do this you need a toaster. 

    If you do not have a toaster or it is so full of crumbs that it's a fire hazard, you can toast the bread in a skillet over medium low-heat on an oven.


  5. Admire toast. Toast is beautiful. 

    YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, WRITER PERSON. You might be having a cruddy day, but you are still amazing. Really. 

  6. Put the peanut butter on the toast and spread it out. 

    Boom. Beautiful!

  7. Put those banana slices on top of the peanut butter.

    Also, put the knife safely away, turn off stove if you used it. Unplug the toaster if you used it. We want safe, healthy writers here. 


  8.  Drizzle that honey on top. 

    Sprinkle granola if you are totally wealthy. 

    Eat! Eat! Writers, need nutrition and calories! 

MAN VERDICT

This makes me happy. What else are we eating?

DOGS’ VERDICT

PEANUT BUTTER IS THE BEST BUTTER!

Gabby the Dog Cooking with a Writer Recipes - Peanut Butter is Awesome
Peanut Butter is Awesome!

CARRIE VERDICT

I feel like I’m seven. I like that.

WRITING NEWS

NEED is on sale for Kindle sales on Amazon for a mere $1,99 this month. Snatch it up! :

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 3.56.50 PM
LINK TO BUYING THIS BAD BOY

ENHANCED, the follow-up to FLYING is here! And the books are out of this world. Please buy them and support a writer.

31702754 copy
ENHANCED YA SCIENCE FICTION BY CARRIE JONES

The last TIME STOPPERS BOOK is out and I love it. You should buy it because it’s empowering and about friendship and bias and magic. Plus, dragons and elves.

Timestoppers3_005

How to Get Signed Copies: 

If you would like to purchase signed copies of my books, you can do so through the awesome Sherman’s Book Store in Bar Harbor, Maine or the amazing Briar Patch. The books are also available online at places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

For signed copies – email barharbor@shermans.com for Sherman’s or email info@briarpatchbooks.comand let them know the titles in which you are interested. There’s sometimes a waiting list, but they are the best option. Plus, you’re supporting an adorable local bookstore run by some really wonderful humans. But here’s the Amazon link, too!

Art Stuff

You can buy prints of my art here. Thank you so much for supporting my books and me and each other. I hope you have an amazing day.

A new episode of Dogs are Smarter Than People, the quirky podcast with writing tips, life tips and a random thought came out Tuesday! Check it out, like and subscribe!

 

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COOKING WITH A WRITER – Black Bean Soup of the Soul

So, I am a bit down lately, mostly because:

  1. I am a writer
  2. I live in the U.S.
  3. Politics

I gave up and am giving you all this – the Black Bean Soup that Reflects the State of My Inner Soul Right This Second Because I am DIRE.

Yeah.

 

Black Bean Soup Because The World Sucks

Sometimes the world sucks and you need a dark soup to match your feelings. Am I right? 

This is a new version of a black bean soup I wrote about before. You can never have enough black bean soup recipes. Can you?

Course dinner
Cuisine soup, tex-mex, vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 souls
Calories 350 kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 whole onions chopped
  • 6 whole garlic cloves chopped/pressed
  • 3 ribs celery chopped
  • 1 whole carrot chopped
  • 5 tsp cumin
  • .5 tsp red pepper flakes or hot sauce to taste really
  • 60 oz black beans canned, drained
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • .5 cup cilantro optional, to taste
  • 4 cups broth!

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat. 

    Stare at it until it shimmers. 

    Remember when you used to shimmer.

    Sigh dramatically.

    Throw in the onions, celery and carrot.

    Sigh again because honestly? What is the point.

    Put in salt, blood pressure be damned.  

  2. Stir once in awhile. Eventually the vegetable will get soft.

    "Eventually" is 10 to 15 minutes. This is a much shorter 'eventually' than when waiting for your editor to return your email. But whatever. 

  3. Add in the smelly things -  garlic, cumin and red pepper flakes.

    Wonder if you're a smelly thing? When did you last bathe? Was it before 2018? Join the club.

    Cook until things smell more than you do  - 30 seconds. 

  4. It's time for the dark soul part of this soup. You are miserable, aren't you? Yes, writer you are. 

    Add beans. Add broth.

    Put the heat on medium high and watch it simmer. Reduce it so it only simmers gently. If only YOU were simmering gently, but honestly? The state of the world makes you SIMMER INTO ROARING, doesn't it? Yes. Yes. It does.

    Soup is not you though. So simmer GENTLY for 30 minutes, or else it will boil over and stick to the pot and believe me, you do not have the emotional reserves to deal with that mess. 

  5. Put about 4 cups into a blender (make sure not to overload your blender because it is hot and you will get burned and you probably don't have the medical insurance to deal with that if you are an American writer). 

    Blend carefully.

    You can also use a hot-pink immersion blender if you are tired of the darkness of this soup, your soul, and this world. 

    JUST BE CAREFUL! 

  6. Put the blended stuff back in the soup pot. Mix. Add in  cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.

    Sigh.

    Eat it.

    Sigh more. 

Man Verdict – It tastes sad.

Dog Verdict – Isn’t this not good for dogs? 

My Verdict – Yep. Uh-huh. 

WRITING NEWS

ENHANCED, the follow-up to FLYING is here! And the books are out of this world. Please buy them and support a writer.

31702754 copy

The last TIME STOPPERS BOOK is out and I love it. You should buy it because it’s empowering and about friendship and bias and magic. Plus, dragons and elves.

Timestoppers3_005

How to Get Signed Copies: 

If you would like to purchase signed copies of my books, you can do so through the awesome Sherman’s Book Store in Bar Harbor, Maine or the amazing Briar Patch. The books are also available online at places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

For signed copies – email barharbor@shermans.com for Sherman’s or email info@briarpatchbooks.comand let them know the titles in which you are interested. There’s sometimes a waiting list, but they are the best option. Plus, you’re supporting an adorable local bookstore run by some really wonderful humans. But here’s the Amazon link, too!

Art Stuff

You can buy prints of my art here. Thank you so much for supporting my books and me and each other. I hope you have an amazing day.

A new episode of Dogs are Smarter Than People, the quirky podcast with writing tips, life tips and a random thought came out yesterday! Check it out, like and subscribe!

Veggie Nachos, Baby

Why, hello. Yes, it is me, Carrie, a carb-loving writer on a quest to make her household (gasp) vegetarians.

Because I felt guilty about the kale and the tomatoes that I’ve been throwing at the man lately (Only after he threw them at me first), I’ve adopted a recipe that I think will not incite any sort of unhappy incidents.

Why?

Because they are nachos and nachos, my friend, are awesome.

Veggie Nachos, Baby

I like nachos. Nachos have carbs. I don't care. The end.

This recipe is taken and adapted (and also adopted) from the amazing blog, Cookie and Kate. The link to the true recipe is here: https://cookieandkate.com/2018/loaded-veggie-nachos-recipe/

Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, tex-mex
Keyword nacho
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 normal humans who aren't obsessed with nachos
Calories 530 kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 oz tortilla chips rugged ones
  • 1 can pinto bans
  • 4 oz cheddar shredded like it was at a really good book launch
  • 4 oz pepper jack shredded and hot like it was at a really good book launch somewhere warm (Hint; Not Chicago. I always get sent to Chicago. I like Chicago. Chicago is not warm)
  • 1 whole pepper green, red, orange - just dice it up
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese because I live in Maine and we have no cool Mexican cheese
  • 1/3 cup onions green or regular, diced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro You can blow this off if you hate poor Cilantro
  • some or whatever guacamole or avocado if you're into it
  • some or whatever salsa pre-made, homemade, it's up to youPreheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place handfuls of chips on the baking sheet and distribute evenly, minimizing the gaps between chips. Set aside.

Instructions

  1. Find your oven. It should be in the kitchen. It was there last time you looked and I don't think you're living in a T.C. Boyle or Vonnegut novel so it should still be there. Okay. Found it? Put it on 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  2. Find a baking sheet. Line it with parchment paper. DO NOT FEEL GUILTY ABOUT EATING NACHOS! 

    If you are a writer who solely makes money from writing ignore the parchment paper and just spray the sheet. It's cheaper. 

    Put the chips all across the sheet. Try not to have gaps because stuff will leak through. NO LEAKING ALLOWED! 

  3. Okay. You have a nice bottom layer. It is the supporting structure of your nachos just like you have to have a supporting structure of your new story: A LOVE STORY: ONE WRITER AND HER QUEST FOR CONSTANT CARBS. 

    On top of that layer you want to put the beans. Spread them out nicely. Do the same with the cheeses, pepper, feta and any spicy things. 

  4. Put that party in the oven. Love it. Admire it. Obsess over it. The carbs. The cheese. The beauty. Bake until the cheese melts.

    This should be somewhere around 10 minutes. 

  5. Take it out of the oven. 

    I know you want to gobble it all up but refrain, my carb-loving friends, refrain. 


  6. Why, refrain? Because it isn't over yet, my friends. Wave bye to ketosis and dollop on the guacamole. Then sprinkle onions and cilantro on there.  

  7. And there. Eat it! Call it good. Forget about ketosis and whole-day-diet stuff of 30 things or whatever the heck they call it. Gobble up those nachos. It's one life, baby. Let's live it. 

 

Man Verdict: Thank God. You don’t hate me.

Doggy Verdict: Why must tortilla chips have salt? We can’t have these, can we? Why do you hate us, human?

My Verdict: Nachos have totally supplanted potatoes as my comfort food.

 

 

Flying

 

ENHANCED PAPERBACK RELEASE!

Carrie Jones, the New York Times bestselling author of Flying, presents another science fiction adventure of cheerleader-turned-alien-hunter Mana in Enhanced.

Seventeen-year-old Mana has found and rescued her mother, but her work isn’t done yet. Her mother may be out of alien hands, but she’s in a coma, unable to tell anyone what she knows.

Mana is ready to take action. The only problem? Nobody will let her. Lyle, her best friend and almost-boyfriend (for a minute there, anyway), seems to want nothing to do with hunting aliens, despite his love of Doctor Who. Bestie Seppie is so desperate to stay out of it, she’s actually leaving town. And her mom’s hot but arrogant alien-hunting partner, China, is ignoring Mana’s texts, cutting her out of the mission entirely.

They all know the alien threat won’t stay quiet for long. It’s up to Mana to fight her way back in.

“Witty dialogue and flawless action.”—VOYA

“YA readers, you’re in for a treat this week. Hilarious and action-packed, this novel is sure to be the perfect summer read.”—Bookish 

“Funny and playful, with a diverse cast of characters and a bit of romance and adventure, Flying is the perfect light summer read.”—BookPage

 

Our podcast DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLEis still chugging along. Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of.

The Final Time Stoppers Book

What is it? It’s the third TIME STOPPERS book!

Time Stopper Annie’s newfound home, the enchanted town Aurora, is in danger. The vicious Raiff will stop at nothing to steal the town’s magic, and Annie is the only one who can defeat him–even though it’s prophesied that she’ll “fall with evil.”

Alongside her loyal band of friends Eva, Bloom, SalGoud, and Jamie, who still isn’t quite sure whether he’s a troll or not, Annie journeys deep into the Raiff’s realm, the Badlands. The group will face everything from ruthless monsters to their own deepest fears. Can Annie find the courage to confront the Raiff and save everyone, even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice?

What People are Saying About The Books:

An imaginative blend of fantasy, whimsy, and suspense, with a charming cast of underdog characters . . . This new fantasy series will entice younger fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.” –  School Library Journal

“The characters show welcome kindness and poignant insecurity, and the text sprinkles in humor . . . and an abundance of magical creatures.” – Kirkus Reviews 

“An imaginative blend of fantasy, whimsy, and suspense, with a charming cast of underdog characters . . . This new fantasy series will entice younger fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.” – School Library Journal 

How to Get Signed Copies: 

If you would like to purchase signed copies of my books, you can do so through the awesome Sherman’s Book Store in Bar Harbor, Maine or the amazing Briar Patch. The books are also available online at places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

For signed copies – email barharbor@shermans.com for Sherman’s or email info@briarpatchbooks.comand let them know the titles in which you are interested. There’s sometimes a waiting list, but they are the best option. Plus, you’re supporting an adorable local bookstore run by some really wonderful humans. But here’s the Amazon link, too!

 

Cooking With a Writer – Grilled Miso Vegetables of Awesome

So, we are currently hanging out in a camper and renting out our house because you make big money renting out your house for the summer when you live in Bar Harbor, Maine.

And this means….

That we’re cooking outside a lot and the man is winning in his quest to be Captain Carnivore and I am losing in my quest to make us a happy vegetarian household… or is it camper-hold?

And to make it worse, Captain Carnivore is not into vegetables, thus his name. He won’t touch cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini or anything actually good.

But I made this anyway because sometimes I want to make something I like. And I like this… I like it a lot.

Miso Grilled Vegetables of Awesome

This recipe owes everything to Cooking Light and Naomi Duguid. All poorly thought out deviations are my fault. 

Course dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine American, grill, outdoor
Keyword miso, vegetables
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 Shaun sized people
Calories 180 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2.5 tbsp miso - white
  • 1.5 tbsp water or enough to make it right
  • 3 tbsp olive oil plus a bit more if needed for consistency
  • 1 lb zuchinni cut into slices about ⅓-inch thick
  • .5 lb eggplant cut into slices about ⅓-inch thick
  • 2 whole peppers red and orange and yellow are the coolest. Sorry. Green. Cut each into six pieces
  • 1 whole red onion cut into wedges
  • 1 big spray cooking spray
  • 2 sprigs mint leaves optional
  • 1 whole lime optional

Instructions

  1. Use the cooking spray to coat your grill rack. Not the outside of the grill. Then turn the grill on to high heat. 

    Think about how some writers write under the influence of illegal drugs. Wonder how they keep track of their plot. 

  2. Put miso and water together. Wonder if they like each other or are eyeing each other warily, wondering what will happen next. 


    Shout, "IT'S A PARTY," and  slowly add oil. Stir them all up with a whisk and sing your favorite party song. Are there writer party songs? There should be. 

    Put the vegetables EXCEPT THE ONION in a pan, say, "Now it's really a party, babies!"

    Add about 5 tablespoons of the miso party mixture. 

    Toss it up.

    Think about parties from your younger days.  

    Feel badly for the onion, out on its own with no miso mix, unable to be tossed around because it's too fragile and will break apart.

    Feel like the onion.

    Brush onion with what's left of the miso marinade, and whisper, "It's okay... You can party, too. You're okay. You're loved and included."

  3. Put everyone on the rack on the grill, even the onion.

    Zucchini, eggplant, and bell pepper can only party for about 4 minutes on each side. 

    They don't have the onion's stamina. Be proud of the onion and grill it for 6 minutes on either side.

    Basically, grill the veggies until they are tender veggies.

    Put some mint on them and serve them with lime wedges. Because they are done. 

Shaun Verdict: You are trying to kill me.

Dog Verdict: Rub some dirt on it, we’ll call it good.

Carrie Verdict: THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER!

Writing News

Next and Last Time Stoppers Book

It’s out! You can order my middle grade fantasy novel Time Stoppers Escape From the Badlands here or anywhere. The official release date was August 7!

Please buy it so I can keep buying food for the dogs… and stuff…

37584945_10156714893329073_1974569355584733184_n

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.

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.

OUR PODCAST DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow.

dogs are smarter than people carrie after dark being relentless to get published

Writing Coach

Carrie offers solo writing coach services. For more about Carrie’s individual coaching, click here.

Appearances

Carrie will be at the Maine Literacy Volunteers Festival on September 8. She is not sure where it is in Maine. She thinks… Augusta?

 

Cooking With A Writer – It’s spaghetti. It’s risotto. It’s spaghetti risotto?

Sorry for the break last week. I was having some major life issues that involved weeping.

Hint: Major Life Issue = Bringing daughter to the airport to head back to the Army.

But I’m back now and no longer crying, so I can give you this recipe, which is a take on a lot of broken spaghetti recipes I’ve been seeing last week.

Carrie’s internal thoughts: Am I seeing all these broken spaghetti recipes because I feel broken inside? Is this a sign from the universe?

Please ignore my internal thoughts.

Anyway, a lot of us authors have an occasional identity crisis. We want to be a middle grade author and then we realize we’re better at pictures books. We want to write erotica, but then… Apparently, hamster erotica is not a thing and so we write books about psychology instead.

 

This recipe is sort of like that.

 

It’s spaghetti, but it’s not really. It’s more risotto. And that’s cool, actually. Nobody needs to make spaghetti be relegated to clam sauce, pesto and tomato sauce. Let spaghetti live and explore its identity, I say!

So, here you go:

Spaghetti Risotto

Yep. It's weird. Just like me.

Course dinner
Cuisine American, vegetarian
Keyword risotto, spaghetti
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 399 kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 3 tsp herbes de provence say it like you're French even if you aren't
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 8 oz spaghetti break it all up
  • .5 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste or not at all
  • .25 tsp black pepper and salt to taste
  • 1 cup mushrooms, orange peppers, peas chopped - you can pick the veggies you prefer. Beware that mushrooms give off some water

Instructions

  1. Find a big pan. Put pan on medium-high burner. Throw in the garlic and olive oil and some veggie broth (a tablespoon – maybe two).

  2. Add the vegetables to the pan and saute them for 2-3 minutes. Make them soft. 

  3. Break your spaghetti. Imagine it is all the editors and agents who ever rejected you. Cackle with joy and revenge. 

  4. Add the spaghetti. It is broken. But you, my little writer friend, are not broken. You are triumphant! You will write on! Stir it all around. Think about cackling again. Stir and cackle for two more minutes until it is a new color. That color should be light brown. 

  5. Add a half of a cup of veggie broth at a time. Keep stirring. DO NOT STOP STIRRING. Do this until the pasta is all the way cooked. 

  6. Add hot pepper flakes. Add parsley. Add black pepper and salt. 

Man Verdict: I can eat all of this.

Dogs Verdict: We can, too!

Carrie Verdict: Yep. It’s a go.

Writing News

Next and Last Time Stoppers Book

It’s almost out! You can pre-ordermy middle grade fantasy novel Time Stoppers Escape From the Badlands here or anywhere. The official release date is August 7! 

37584945_10156714893329073_1974569355584733184_n

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.

Moe Berg

The Spy Who Played Baseballis 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?

You should totally buy Carrie’s book about Moe. It’s awesome and quirky and fun.

OUR PODCAST DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow.

dogs are smarter than people carrie after dark being relentless to get published

Writing Coach

Carrie offers solo writing coach services. For more about Carrie’s individual coaching, click here.

Ebook on Sale for July – and July is almost over! 

And finally, for the month of July, my book FLYING is on sale in ebook version on multiple platforms, which means not just Amazon. It’s a cheap way to have an awesome read in a book that’s basically Men in Black meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer but with chocolate-covered pretzels.

Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 3.37.18 PM

Appearances

Carrie will be at The Books-A-Million in South Portland, Maine on August 8. She’ll be at the Maine Literacy Volunteers Festival on September 8.

DiLAZJkXkAAHOHC

Cooking With a Writer – Veggie Hummus Roll-Ups or Pita

So, as we know. I am attempting to get the man who lives here (also known as Shaun) to eat less meat.

I am chronicling my attempts.

This is the easiest recipe in the universe, honestly, because you buy pre-made hummus, which is totally cheating.

This recipes breaks the writer stereotype that all writers cook with wine all the time. Because… truth is … most of us can’t afford wine.

 

Veggie Wraps

Because it is summer and writers get lazy

Course dinner
Cuisine American, vegetarian
Keyword hummus, wrap, spinach
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 270 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 pitas or flat bread
  • .5 cupric garlic a flavor is good
  • 1 whole red pepper or orange or yellow
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 oz feta cheese or cheddar if you are anti-feta

Instructions

  1. On one pita bread spread half the hummus.

    On another pita spread the other half.


  2. Slice the pepper evenly.

    Put half on one pita.

    Put half on the other.

    Thank about how everything is being halved. Wonder if you should halve your 260,000-word hybrid narrative that puts the characters from Attack on Titan in a Star Trek universe, but then adds in Captain America pre-formula. 

    Decide no.

    To heck with word counts. The story DEMANDS to be long.

  3. Push 1/2  1/2 cup spinach and 2 tablespoons cheese into the pockets. If using wraps, roll wraps. If using pockets, pray they don't break the way the plot in your 260,000-word story did. 

THE VERDICT

The dogs: I LIKE THIS! BAKED GOODS!

The man: Thank you for not cooking the spinach, we can stay married.

Me: I love this

Cooking with a Writer - Veggie flatbread or pitas. No booze involved!
cooking with a writer

Writing News

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?

You should totally buy my book about Moe. It’s awesome and quirky and fun because it’s about Moe Berg and it’s a picture book. I’m heading to Houston, North Carolina, and Virgnia soon, just to talk about it. How cool is that?

My Post copy 6

OUR PODCAST DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow.

Writing Coach

I offer solo writing coach services, but I’m also teaching a Write! Submit! Support! (WSS) six-month class online via the Writing Barn in Austin. For details about that class, check out this link. For more about my individual coaching, click here.

WSS-Testimonial-Mountains-1-300x300

And finally, for the month of July, my book FLYINGis on sale in ebook version on multiple platforms, which means not just Amazon. It’s a cheap way to have an awesome read in a book that’s basically Men in Black meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer but with chocolate-covered pretzels.

Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 3.37.18 PM

Proof of the sale-nature of July.

 

Thanks so much for reading my blog! Please comment or say ‘hi!’ if you feel like it!

 

Cooking With a Writer – Amazing Twice Baked Potatoes

In my never ending quest to make The Man a vegetarian (or to at least eat less meat), I pulled out the American comfort food that clogs almost every happy vegetarian’s arteries.

Yes… twice baked potatoes.

I know! I know! It’s full of dairy.

It’s one step at a time over here, people. One step at a time.

Twice Baked Potato

When your potatoes are overachievers. 

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword potato, twicebakedpotato
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 430 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 whole baking potatoes
  • 4 slices bacon
  • .5 cup sour cream
  • .25 cup milk
  • .5 cup cream cheese onion and chive flavor is awesome
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • .5 cup cheddar cheese
  • 4 bits green onion slice the onions up and separate into two piles
  • 2 tsp onion powder

Instructions

  1. Writer! Find your oven! Turn it on to 350 Fahrenheit.

    Hint: Oven is usually in the kitchen. 

  2. Poke holes in your potatoes. Rub them in a little oil if you have it, but not a lot because you don't want them to drip. Place the potatoes in the oven. Keep them there for 60 minutes. 


    Think about potatoes. They are so versatile like those annoying writers who get starred reviews in multiple genres. Try not to hate potatoes. Fail. Those jerks. MUST THEY BE ABLE TO DO EVERYTHING? 

  3. Take potatoes out of the oven. Realize that not only are they a versatile food capable of inspiring Seamus Heaney poems, but they also inspire children's games like hot potato.

    Hate them more.

    Realize that you will eat them and they will become a part of you. You win in this power struggle. You the writer are going to triumph over the potato.

  4. Let them cool for 10 minutes.

    Realize you could just eat them now as regular old baked potatoes. Why do you need to be fancy?

    Because other writers are fancy. That's why. And you can overachieve, too, even if you are still wearing your pajamas at 7 p.m. and you woke up at 8 a.m. Hey! You woke up. That's achieving.


  5. Cut the poor potatoes in half lengthwise.

    This feels violent. You are not violent.

    Continue on and scoop the soft potato innards into a large bowl.

    Save skins. They aren't really skins. It's okay. Let's call them peels. That sounds nicer.

    Save the peels. Try not to rip them.


  6. Add cream cheese, sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, onion powder, and 1/2 the green onions.  Add all of that to the potato innards. 

    Then mix it until it is creamy. Use a hand mixer if you have electricity and stuff like hand mixers. If not just whip it into a frenzy with a potato masher. Do you have one of those? How about a fork? Even that will work. 


  7. Put all of that stuff  into the potato skins. Top each with remaining cheese, and green onions.

  8. Put it in the oven again for 15 minutes.

    Appreciate that you overachieved and went for it. You did it, writer! Eat up! 

Dog Verdict: PLEASE PUT BACON ON THESE.

Man Verdict: These would be even more amazing with bacon bits, but I like them. I like them a lot.

Me: EVERYTHING IS NOT BETTER WITH BACON! 

All others: (Blank stares).

Writing News

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?

You should totally buy Carrie’s book about Moe. It’s awesome and quirky and fun.

Moe Berg The Spy Who Played Baseball
Moe Berg

OUR PODCAST DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow.

Writing Coach

Carrie offers solo writing coach services, but she’s also teaching a Write! Submit! Support! six-month class online via the Writing Barn in Austin. For details about that class, check out this link. For more about Carrie’s individual coaching, click here.

 

Cooking With a Writer – Mujaddara

When I was a kid, my uncle Charlie was one of my favorite people. This was mostly because he was super mellow. His family was Lebanese and settled in Manchester, N.H. and married my aunt Rosie. Aunt Rosie was the best cook in our family, which annoyed my mom so much. SO MUCH!

My mom was the best baker though, which I have to say or her ghost will strike me down or something. Hopefully, Aunt Rosie’s ghost is holding her back.

Anyway, Charlie’s real name was Kalil, but I never knew that when I was a kid. I can’t imagine that was the easiest name to have in Manchester, N.H. back when he was alive.  He died when I was ten, but I have the best memories of him making me try food that nobody else made. It was pretty awesome. So was he.

In Charlie’s honor, I tried to make mujaddara, which is something I remember vaguely having when I was little. It’s cheap. It’s filling. I hope you like it.  And if you are Lebanese and you know a better recipe for this or tweaks? Please let me know.

 

Mujaddara

This calorie count is not exact. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine American, lebanese, vegetarian
Keyword lentils Mujaddara
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 4 humans
Calories 300 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 onions yellow, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp allspice
  • .5 tsp cloves ground
  • 2.5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup rice long grain, jasmine if you can
  • 1 cup lentils brown
  • 1 stick cinnamon if you have it
  • .5 tsp black pepper peppercorn if possible

Instructions

  1. Find a pot. Put lentils in pot. Cover with water that rises over it about one inch. 

    Bring to boil.

    Lower to simmer.

    Cook about 20 minutes.

  2. On another burner with another pot, put the temperature to medium-high heat .

    Add oil. Let oil warm for a minute.

    Add in cumin, pepper, allspice, cloves, and cook for 30 seconds to a minute. 

    Add all those onions. Think about how much you cried slicing those onions. Wow. That is how much you want people to cry when they read your book.

  3. Cook those onions for about 15 minutes until they are no longer white. 

    You want those onions to be a dark caramel brown. You will have to stir often.

    Good results, transforming characters, books and food that makes you cry? It requires effort. You've got this, writer. You're used to effort.


  4. Take out half the onions and set them aside. 

    It's okay. They are not gone forever. I promise. 

  5. Add in any more ground cumin, and add the cinnamon stick.

    Saute about 1 minute.

    Add the rice. Stir a lot.


  6. Add the cooked lentils, broth, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt; bring to a boil. 

    Turn the heat to low, simmer 30 minutes. 

    Turn it off and let it rest for 10 minutes.

    Do not take off the lid! NO LOOKING! SERIOUSLY.

    Okay. Take off the lid. Is there any water left? If so, simmer about 5 minutes.

  7. Fluff it up and make it pretty like editors at traditional publishing houses do to stories. 

    Put those saved onions on top.

    Eat! 

This is all part of my lifelong experiment to convince The Man (Shaun of the “Dogs are Smarter Than People” podcast to give up meat.

 

Man Verdict: I am okay with this.

Dog Verdict: WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO EAT THIS BECAUSE ONIONS! AND LENTILS! AND WHY DO YOU HATE US, HUMAN?

Carrie Verdict: It reminds me of Uncle Charlie so it’s a win.

Writing News

Carrie’s  super excited about the upcoming TIME STOPPERS book coming out this August.

This middle grade fantasy series happens in Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine and it’s all about friendship and magic and kids saving their magical town.

An imaginative blend of fantasy, whimsy, and suspense, with a charming cast of underdog characters . . . This new fantasy series will entice younger fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.” –  School Library Journal 

“A wild and fresh take on fantasy with an intriguing cast of characters. Dangerous and scary and fun all rolled into one. In the words of Eva the dwarf, I freaking loved it!” –  Lisa McMann, New York Times bestselling author of The Unwanteds series

“Effervescent, funny, and genuine.” –  Kirkus Reviews

It’s quirky. It’s awesome. It’s full of heart. You should go by the first two books now. 🙂

 

 

 

CARRIE’S BOOKS

For a complete round-up of Carrie’s 16-or-so books, check out her website. And if you like us, or our podcast, or just want to support a writer, please buy one of those books, or leave a review on a site like Amazon. Those reviews help. It’s all some weird marketing algorhthym from hell, basically.

OUR PODCAST DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can.

Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow.

My Post Copy-2

Cooking With a Writer – Migas (Portuguese style)

The Portuguese part of my family were great cooks. Brilliant cooks, honestly. And I think a reason for that was because for so long they had to learn to create goodness out of little; they had to feed many people out of not too much, right? And because they loved each other, they wanted what they shared to taste… Well, they wanted it to taste good. So, they developed ways to use up leftovers and ways to make simple things taste special.

You can compare this to my Nana Morse (totally not Portuguese) who had a tendency to put peanut butter inside a celery stick and call it good.  Sometimes she put in cream cheese instead. You avoided those sticks.

The family rule was to not eat anything Nana made if it had a dairy product in it because… Well, people in my family preferred not to vomit, basically.

Anyways, this recipe was cheap, filling, and its main ingredients were garlic, bread, and water. So… yeah… There you go!

 

Migas (Portuguese Style)

You have bread left. You're poor. You need to eat it. The calories are totally an estimate. Sorry. 

You can add paprika, or onions. 

There are a ton of variations. I have seen it with mushrooms. I have seen black-eyed peas thrown in, but this is the most basic version that I had as a kid, most likely because it's the cheapest. 🙂 

Course Breakfast, dinner
Cuisine portuguese, vegetarian
Keyword migas
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 normal people
Calories 290 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb crusty bread - old but not moldy because idk cut up or torn up
  • 6 TBSP olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled, hole
  • 3.5 cups water - about, may need a bit more
  • 1 bunch coriander

Instructions

  1. Find a saucepan. Boil water in it.

    Water should always be free, shouldn't it? And clean? Think about how you are spending all your time writing blog posts instead of working for clean water. Feel guilt. 

  2. Find another saucepan. 

    Put oil in that saucepan on low heat. Put garlic in there, too. 

    Cook for three minutes, stirring it a bit. 

    Decide if you write about clean water needs you don't need to feel guilty that  don't have enough money to donate towards the cause. You're a writer. It's okay to write. Feel better.

  3. Add the bread to the second saucepan where the oil and garlic are hanging out.

    Imagine you're hanging out with famous political activists at a party where there is an announcement about free, clean water available all around the world because of your inspiring blog post. 

  4. Gradually pour in the boiling water from the first saucepan and into the second. Let it mix and be warm. When the bread starts getting mushy and the water's gone. You're done cooking.

    Mourn the water. Realize how important water really is. Feel guilty again.


  5. Add coriander or kale to the top. Add salt and pepper. 

Writing News

Carrie’s  super excited about the upcoming TIME STOPPERS book coming out this August.

This middle grade fantasy series happens in Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine and it’s all about friendship and magic and kids saving their magical town.

An imaginative blend of fantasy, whimsy, and suspense, with a charming cast of underdog characters . . . This new fantasy series will entice younger fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.” –  School Library Journal 

“A wild and fresh take on fantasy with an intriguing cast of characters. Dangerous and scary and fun all rolled into one. In the words of Eva the dwarf, I freaking loved it!” –  Lisa McMann, New York Times bestselling author of The Unwanteds series

“Effervescent, funny, and genuine.” –  Kirkus Reviews

It’s quirky. It’s awesome. It’s full of heart. You should go by the first two books now. 🙂

 

 

 

CARRIE’S BOOKS

For a complete round-up of Carrie’s 16-or-so books, check out her website. And if you like us, or our podcast, or just want to support a writer, please buy one of those books, or leave a review on a site like Amazon. Those reviews help. It’s all some weird marketing algorhthym from hell, basically.

OUR PODCAST DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can.

Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow.

My Post Copy-2

Rabanadas (Portuguese Fried Toast Recipe) and Open Table MDI

On a Facebook post yesterday, I was basically begging people for advice, to tell me what they do when they are sad, when they feel like they’ve failed. So many people poured out their advice, this beautiful act of generosity and kindness that renewed my faith in people and good.

On Thursdays, I usually write a quippy, sort-of-satiric Cooking With a Writer recipe. It’s always vegetarian because I’m trying to convince the meat eaters in my life to eat less meat. I then share the results.

Spoiler alert: I haven’t convinced them.

Visual aid: This is them.

 

Anyway, on my post one of my friends said, “We don’t have anything to prove-just live, cook good food and be nice.”

And that really resonated with me.

Live.

Cook good food.

Be nice.

Last Tuesday, we went to Open Table MDI at the Bar Harbor Congregational Church and all three of these things happened. The weekly community supper was something we’d never been to, but I braved myself up to go and I’m so glad I did.

Why?

It was all vegetarian food. Seriously. So much vegetarian food. It was brilliant. The dogs didn’t go, but the meat-loving man in my life was so impressed that he wanted to go back to the volunteers in the kitchen.

He said to our friend, Z, “Do you think it’s okay if I go back and tell them how good it is?”

Z said, “Yeah. Oh definitely. When I’ve volunteered we loved that.”

So, the man went back to the kitchen and thanked the cooks, shaking their hands and saying things like, “This food was amazing. This … I could eat like this all the time.”

Yep.

He could eat like this all the time.

In one half hour, these amazing volunteers made way more progress in the conversion of the man than I ever could. I think it’s because the food was super good, yes, but I also think it’s because these people are making all this good food for the community. Why?

Because they are kind.

Because they are nice.

Because they are motivated to do good.

Open Table MDI is this beautiful, free, weekly supper and according to its website, “was born out of the desire to inspire a strong and inclusive community through sharing a meal and connecting people to real food. Our community dinner program provides healthy and delicious meals produced from organic and local sources when possible. This program is FREE and OPEN TO ALL.”

That’s pretty beautiful. That’s full of hope. And it reminded me of one of my grandmothers and how she would comfort me when I was small and sad. She would make me this.

I hope you find comfort when you are feeling small and sad and even when you don’t.

Fried Toast

My avó used to make these rabanadas, which is basically Portuguese French Toast, but not French, because... Portuguese. 

Also, the calorie count might be a bit off. 

Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, portuguese
Keyword rabanadas, toast
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 Carries, 2 Shauns
Calories 390 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 TBSP Cinnamon
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 2 cups milk - 2% You can actually use red wine for this or port.
  • 1 loaf bread better if it's stale - make 16 slices
  • some oil - to fry it in

Instructions

  1. Mix the sugar and cinnamon until blended. Smell it. It smells like home. Start writing a poem about home. Spill the sugar on the counter. Resist the urge to lick it. You are not a dog. You are a writer. But wow... yeah... sugar.

  2. So, in something shallow like a pie plate, whisk the eggs and milk together. Realize you have no desire to lick this. Wonder why you didn't use wine instead. Hemingway would be so disappointed in you. Damn it, so would your avó. Wonder if you should start over. Realize that would be wasting milk and eggs. You have not sold enough books to waste milk and eggs. Why can't you actually be Hemingway? He would not mess up like this.

    Cry.

  3. Dip the bread in the milk (or port or wine) and egg mixture. Soak it lightly. 

  4. Find a skillet. Heat an inch of oil. Yes, an inch. I know! I know! Get it to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  5. Take bread slice out of wet mixture. Shake off the extra liquid. 

  6. Fry bread about 2 minutes on each side, maybe 3. It should be golden brown. Now dip it in the sugar/cinnamon. Be careful, the bread will be super hot. USE UTENSILS LIKE TONGS! Do not try to be stupid-tough like a nature writer or a Hemingway. Writers burn.

  7. Repeat with all your slices.

  8. There are variations here. 

    You can have the milk/wine/port and egg mixtures as separate dips and not mixed together. People in my family are just sort of lazy, honestly. If you do it this way, then soak it in milk and then dip in the egg. Again, try to get rid of the excess back in the bowl.

    You can make a sugar-syrup type mix and drizzle or coat the toast with that. To do this take honey or maple syrup and the same amount of water. Heat it up. Then dip the bread into the hot syrup.  

Recipe Notes

There are variations to this recipe. Probably as many variations as there are grandmothers. So, please don't get all angry if this is the one you didn't grow up with. I only know my own family. BUT I would love to hear about yours, and their variations! 

Writing News

Carrie’s  super excited about the upcoming TIME STOPPERS book coming out this August.

This middle grade fantasy series happens in Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine and it’s all about friendship and magic and kids saving their magical town.

An imaginative blend of fantasy, whimsy, and suspense, with a charming cast of underdog characters . . . This new fantasy series will entice younger fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.” –  School Library Journal

 

“Sticks the landing . . . The world building is engaging . . . between the decidedly wonderful residents and the terrifying monsters who plague them.” –  BCCB

 

“Amid the magic, spells, adventure, and weirdness of this fantasy are embedded not-so-subtle life lessons about kindness, friendship, and cooperation.” –  Booklist

 

“A wild and fresh take on fantasy with an intriguing cast of characters. Dangerous and scary and fun all rolled into one. In the words of Eva the dwarf, I freaking loved it!” –  Lisa McMann, New York Times bestselling author of The Unwanteds series

 

“Effervescent, funny, and genuine.” –  Kirkus Reviews

It’s quirky. It’s awesome. It’s full of heart. You should go by the first two books now. 🙂

 

 

 

CARRIE’S BOOKS

For a complete round-up of Carrie’s 16-or-so books, check out her website. And if you like us, or our podcast, or just want to support a writer, please buy one of those books, or leave a review on a site like Amazon. Those reviews help. It’s all some weird marketing algorhthym from hell, basically.

OUR PODCAST DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can.

Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow.