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.


Cheesy Broccoli of Horror’s Renaissance

[ultimate-recipe id=”2973″ template=”default”]

When I was little (okay all the way through high school), the only way my mom would eat broccoli or cauliflower was if she smothered it in Velveeta cheese mixed with skim milk.

This, of course, would terrify the healthy people of this world.

So, I found a recipe on dinneratthezoo and adapted it. To see the real recipe, check out the link. And let me give a shout-out to that website, which is just beautifully done.

So, what was the verdict in the House That I’m Trying To Make More Vegetarian?

Man Verdict

I miss Velveeta.

Dog Verdict

Are we allowed cheese? Or broccoli?

My Verdict

I miss my mom. This is good though.



My next book, IN THE WOODS, appears in July with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!

You can preorder this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?

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On February first, I launched my Patreon site where I’m reading chapters (in order) of a never-published teen fantasy novel, releasing deleted scenes and art from some of my more popular books. And so much more. Come hang out with me! Get cool things!

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A lot of you might be new to Patreon and not get how it works. That’s totally cool. New things can be scary, but there’s a cool primer HERE that explains how it works. The short of it is this: You give Patreon your paypal or credit card # and they charge you whatever you level you choose at the end of each month. That money supports me sharing my writing and art and podcasts and weirdness with you. 

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Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast 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. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!


Hey! If you download the Anchor application, you can call into the podcast, record a question, or just say ‘hi,’ and we’ll answer. You can be heard on our podcast! Sa-sweet!

No question is too wild. But just like Shaun does, try not to swear, okay?

Here is the link to the mobile app. Our latest episode is above. It’s also on YouTube here.

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