Cooking With a Writer – Ghostly Pizza

As you know, I’m trying desperately to make the family vegetarian and I am TOTALLY failing.
But here is my recipe for Halloween pizza. Halloween is a frantic night for us because we get about 800 – 1,000 trick-or-treaters. So, I tend to make things that are fast and easy like calzone snakes or mummy Stromboli, but this… this, my friends, is the ultimate in easy. It’s sort of embarrassingly easy. Stay tuned below for the story of my first-ever ghost sighting.

Ghostly Pizza

So, sometimes I cheat because on Halloween things get hectic here. 

Course dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword ghost
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 338 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Frozen Pizza Doug do not judge
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • .75 cup pizza sauce
  • .5 lb mozarella slices
  • some little capers for the eyes

Instructions

  1. Realize that you have no time to make food that isn't candy.

  2. Preheat oven to 475ºF. 

    Spray bottom of a 16-by-11-inch rimmed baking sheet with the stuff that makes things not stick. Or use olive oil, but olive oil is expensive, so maybe don't. I mean olive oil is awesome, but we're already using pre-made pizza dough here so pretension is gone, right? 

    Spray the darn sheet.

    Celebrate by eating candy.

  3. Stretch that dough evenly to cover bottom of sheet. 

    This is a lot like stretching your 20,000-word story into a 50,000-word novel. You might have to take a couple of rounds, and rest in between to get this stretched.

    Do not give up.

    Celebrate by eating candy.

  4. Open the jar of sauce. 

    Cry because you have no wrist strength.

    Celebrate when you finally open the jar. Celebrate by eating candy.

    Spread that sauce over the dough. Try to make it even. Leave a border on all sides of the rectangle. Try to make that border a 1-inch border. 

    Celebrate with candy.

    Set a timer. Put it in the oven.

  5. Bake about 15 minutes. 

    Celebrate that. Celebrate that with candy.

    Now, you get to have fun! Yay, fun! Remember fun?

    Scrounge up a ghost-shaped cookie cutter and cut ghosts out of cheese. 

    That is so cool.

    Put the ghosts on the pizza. It is hot. Be careful. Obviously these ghosts have been hanging out in hell. The sauce is like red flames. And the whole scene is hot. 

    Celebrate liberating the ghosts from hell with candy.

    Hide the candy wrappers in the garbage during the final five minutes of baking.

  6. Take the pizza out. Look how cool that is! 

    Put caper eyes on each ghost.

    Let is stand for five minutes. Eat it. Eat it with a celebratory side dish of candy.

Man Verdict: It needs meat and more cheese.
My Verdict: Seriously? I’m so full from the candy.
Dogs’ Verdict: We agree with the man. If you’re going to dress us up, the least you can do is add more meat.

GHOST STORY TIME!

This is the story about the first ghost that I ever saw. . . Or the first possible-ghost I ever saw for you nonbelievers.

I grew up in what used to be rural Bedford, New Hampshire and I lived up on a hill on the corner of Hardy Road and Route 101, which was then a little two-lane highway that led from Manchester, New Hampshire (a thriving metropolis former mill town) to points west. People thought my house, a dark brown ranch with red shutters, perched up on the hill was creepy. It was the kind of house people would dare each other to go to. On a positive note, we didn’t get a ton of  door-to-door solicitations.

I remember when I met a girl in second grade and told her where I lived she said, “Oh. But you’re so normal. You’re not creepy at all.”

And I was like, “Huh?”

“Your house,” she said. “Your house looks scary.”

My house was scary, but my house was also home, which is sort of this weird concept for some people, a dichotomy that doesn’t make a ton of sense. How can your home be scary but also comforting? They have created entire entertainment enterprises out of this concept – things like the Addams Family where the macabre is comforting. Or the vampire family in Twilight where their vampyric nature is hidden by the clean, modern lines of wealth and big windows and good hair.

In the last ten years, I’ve incorporated a lot of the scarier things that have happened to me into books. That’s because they seem more presentable and understandable when they are fiction instead of shouting to the world, “Hey! My house was weird. Maybe haunted. Who knows?” Or, “Yeah… this happened at a seance I had in fifth grade.”

And the stories?
They add up.
You can only hear so many footsteps in so many houses before people start to think that you’re either lying or a freak. I spent a lot of time trying to quash the differences inside of me – of being poor, of slurring my s’s, of being the freak with the haunted house, the person who sometimes knew things she shouldn’t logically know.

So, yeah, I grew up in this house my dad built in Bedford, NH. It was on a hill. There’d been another house there about 100 years before but it had burned down.  And after that some people from Connecticut built a camp in the woods and would come there in the summer. That was in the early 1900s, I think. But those were the only known houses before ours.

Anyway, we had this great big picture window in the living room. My dad and mom were arguing at the kitchen table, so I toddled off and went into the living room. It was night time. I was really little, probably somewhere between three and five, because my parents were still married enough to be living in the same house.

I really hated them fighting so I waddled over to the picture window and decided to blow on it, so I could make those hand footprints in the mist that comes from your breath.

So, I started to blow on the window to see if it would frost up, but then I noticed something outside on our front lawn. Our front lawn was a big, grassy hill that sloped down to the road. I cupped my hands around my eyes so I could see better and peered out because it was getting dark. There was a woman wearing a long, white dress walking across the lawn, from left to right.

That was weird. Nobody ever walked across our lawn at almost night. We were really rural then, up a long, dirt driveway, up a hill.

I was little, but I knew it was funky.

But something else was wrong, too.

She was walking right above the hole for the septic tank. It was a big hole about three feet deep that was covered with two granite slabs. I knew it was there because my mom was always warning me about falling in and breaking an ankle. My mom was really, really worried about my ankles. I grew up thinking pretty much anything could break my ankle — holes, bikes, skis, horses, soccer….

So, anyway, even though there was a hole there, the lady walked right over it.

“Mommy!”

I yelled for her but they kept arguing. The woman kept walking. She lifted her arm and waved. She seemed nice.

“Mommy!”

“What?”

“There’s a lady in the lawn.”

“What?”

“There’s a lady…”

My mom and dad both rushed to the picture window.

“There’s nothing,” my dad said.

“I thought I saw something…” Mom interrupted. She turned me around to look at her. “What did the lady look like?”

“She was a lady… she was wearing white… you could see through her dress…”

My mom put me to bed, right away, but my parents stopped arguing, at least for that night.

Writing News

Last Time Stoppers Book

I love this book baby and 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.

Timestoppers3_005

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. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

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

Writing Coach

I offer solo writing coach services. For more about my individual coaching, click here.

I’m WRITING BARN FACULTY AND THERE’S A COURSE YOU CAN TAKE!

I am super psyched to be teaching the six-month long Write. Submit. Support. class at the Writing Barn!

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

 

Apply Now!

 

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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
Calories 250 kcal

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!

 

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 – Vampire Tempeh Kabobs

When I First Started Writing, Vampires were really popular.

And it turns out that when I make kabobs?

I think about vampires.

Vampires are kind of the opposites of vegetarians (usually), but what the heck, right?

It’s vegetarian kabobs with a vampy twist.

 

 

Tempeh Kabobs My Friend

Course entree
Cuisine American, vegetarian
Keyword tempeh
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
RESTING TIME HAPPENS 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 800 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 8 oz tempeh
  • 16 whole mushrooms white
  • 16 whole cherry tomatoes
  • 1 whole red pepper

For marinade

  • 8 tbsp tamari cut into 1.5-inch pieces
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 7 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger root granted

For Couscous

  • 1 package couscous
  • 1 cup raisins or cran-raisins
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 2 tsp cumin

Instructions

  1. Find a plastic bag.

    Ponder the use of plastics in this world. Wonder if the vampire teeth you bought for Halloween will ever be used again

    Cry a little because the world is too full of plastic and fake vampire teeth and plastic bags. 

    Put the tempeh, mushrooms, and veggies in the bag. 

  2. Find a bowl. Be grateful it's not plastic. Wonder if vampires collect blood in bowls. 

    Whisk  oil, tamari, and honey together Add 1 tbs ginger, 1 tbsp garlic, and salt and pepper.

  3. Pour stuff in the bowl into the bag. Seal bag. Shake bag. Refrigerate - 2 hours. Write a screenplay about vampires collecting plastic teeth in bowls. 

  4. Hit medium-high heat on grill. Make skewers. 

    This seems sort of like torture. Cherry tomatoes are squirting blood everywhere! 

    Yikes.

    OH MY GOSH! SKEWERS ARE LIKE STAKES! YOU KILL VAMPIRES WITH STAKES! 

    Maybe you should write a vampire novel instead of a screenplay because you could have fun describing this.  Yes. Yes, you could. . . 

  5. Make couscous according to directions., BUT BE A REBEL VAMPIRE and add 1 tablespoon ginger, cumin, and salt during the cooking.

    When it is all done cooking add in the raisins and garbanzo beans.  

  6. Grill skewers. Turn them a lot. 

    When they look done to your liking eat them with the couscous and left-over marinade. 

    Feel undead.

    Like it. 

 

Dog Verdict: No.

Man Verdict: THERE ARE TOMATOES ON HERE.

Me: You can pick tomatoes off.

Man: They have contaminated everything! Everything!

Me (eats man’s tomatoes): I like this.

Marsie the cat

If you all remember the whole point of this is to try to convince The Man to become a vegetarian. So… I probably shouldn’t have added the tomatoes. Marsie the Cat agrees this was a bad move.

 

Writing News

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

Dogs are smarter than people - the podcast, writing tips, life tips, quirky humans, awesome dogs

31702754 copy

ENHANCED PAPERBACK RELEASE!

This is the book that I forgot was coming out. I am so sorry, little book!

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

Order Your Copy:

amazon bn booksamillion  indiebound

Cough. That was pretty self-promotional, wasn’t it?

The Final Time Stoppers Book

What is it? It’s the third TIME STOPPERS book! It’s also one of the reasons that I forgot about ENHANCED’s release.

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 on QUEST FOR THE GOLDEN ARROW

“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 on TIME STOPPERS

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 – 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! 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.