Mushroom Pasta of Love

Print Recipe
Mushroom Pasta of Love
This is adapted from a recipe by Chef John on Allrecipes, which is a recipe website with SO MANY recipes.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 0 minutes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 0 minutes
  1. Sometimes you need love. So you heat oil in a large skillet via the heat rank of medium, right?
  2. Watch that oil slowly bubble up the way love does.
  3. When the oil is warm put those mushrooms in there and stir it up. Sure, the mushroom shrink eventually, but look at how they all seem to love each other. A writer's life should be like that, right? Building each other up instead of tearing down. Add a little salt because we are salty people.
  4. Brown those mushrooms, which will take about 10 minutes.
  5. Put some garlic in with the mushrooms and the tiny bit of salty writer personality.
  6. Garlic is the smell of warm nights and memoirs by ladies in their 40s. Look beyond this.
  7. Cook the garlic for 1 minute. Add the sherry and/or red wine. This is the smell of ladies reading other ladies' memoirs and feeling envious. Watch that wine evaporate.
  8. Try to not let your love hopes evaporate. You're a writer and you need love. You also need health care. Sometimes these magical things come together in the form of a spouse with a job that has benefits.
  9. Add chicken stock. Add pepper and salt to taste. Get it warm enough to simmer and then cool things back down like you're in a romantic comedy and you have commitment issues.
  10. Cook about five minutes. It will be a thicker substance, sort of like a writer in a relationship after five years of steady meals and healthcare.
  11. Add cream. Stir. Simmer it for another five. It should get thicker because you're at the 10 minute/year relationship mark and this is to be expected.
  12. Hey! Did you forget about the pasta? MAKE THE PASTA! I know! I know, we were all focused on the sexy, love part of the relationship - the tasty part, but we need structure and a good foundation, too.
  13. Cook the pasta and when it's done, drain it. Don't rinse it. Put it in a bowl.
  14. Go back to your creamy, sexy mushroom mixture and all of those chopped things (tarragon, chives, thyme) and turn off the heat. That's a hard phrase to write when you're talking about love, but trust me and do it.
  15. Stir in the cheese - ½ cup of it Let it melt.
  16. Mix all this up with the pasta. Then use the rest of the cheese and sprinkle it on top to make the Love Pasta look pretty like an Instagram photo.

Sometimes when it’s winter, you just need a little love. For me, mushrooms are all about love. They are my favorite food.

My mom said she developed a mushroom allergy when I was growing up and she’d cough whenever she smelled or spotted a mushroom, which isn’t exactly how mushroom allergies worked. But she had an aversion to them at least.

How do I know it wasn’t an allergy?

Because I saw her accidentally eat mushrooms that were mixed into things SO MANY TIMES and nothing happened. This isn’t to say food allergies aren’t horrifying and legit things, it’s just to say that my mom (in her super intriguing ways) wasn’t actually allergic to mushrooms.

So much like birds, feathers, deep water, all things bird, spiders and eventually cats, mushrooms were not allowed in our lives until I moved out and I fully embraced the joy of all things mushroom.

Man Verdict: This is amazing and I am so sorry I accidentally flipped the pot over in the dishwasher and all the left overs were in it. I have never felt so ashamed.

My Verdict: I still love you.

Dogs’ Verdict: We really appreciate you spilling that pasta all over the floor and letting us clean it up. BEST RECIPE EVER!



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’m going to launch my Patreon site where I’ll be 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.

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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 and our bonus podcast below.


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

Bar Harbor Art Carrie Jones Welcome to Magic
Bar Harbor Art Carrie Jones Welcome to Magic


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.

Time Stoppers Carrie Jones Middle grade fantasy


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.

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Men in Black meet Buffy the Vampire Slayer? You know it. You can buy them here or anywhere. It’s fun, accessible science fiction. Who knew there was such a thing?

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The Worst Things My Dogs Did

I love dogs.

I love my dogs. I mean look at them. I’ve had a great line of awesome rescue dogs that have blessed my life.

But sometimes? Sometimes horrible things happen. Things that seem like they should not happen in real life. Things that seem like they should only happen in horror movies.

One of those things? Well, once the dog, the big dog, the big dog with the massive bladder let loose the contents of her bladder on hardwood floor of the upstairs hallway.

We discovered this because there was a puddle on the downstairs floor.

“What is that?” the man asked.

“Um… pee?”

“That’s not pee.”

“It smells like pee.”

“It can’t be pee. It’s dripping from the ceiling.”

And I foolishly said, “It really smells like pee.”

The man then unleashed a massive stream of cursing that really belonged in record books. He vaulted up the stairs and cursed more.


“It will be okay,” I said.

“It is so not okay,” the man said.

I grabbed paper towels and bleach spray and bleach wipes and headed up the stairs.

The man grabbed a mop and bucket and continued to swear.

“Urine is literally dripping from our ceiling. OUR CEILING!”

The dog went out on the porch, which would have been a much better place for her to unleash the contents of her doggy bladder of Olympian size.

This whole event happened immediately after we came upstairs because the basement had  flooded. Our basement had never flooded before. There had been two inches of rain and I guess it inspired basement flooding and doggy bladders?

Yeah. I’m reaching there.

Anyway, this all happened during a day in which nothing went right, but I totally held it together anyways. This happened during a day where the one thing I was looking forward to for AN ENTIRE YEAR got cancelled because a projector at a movie theater broke.

It happened.

The dog had a massive accident. The accident found a knot in the wood and dripped through it onto the kitchen floor.

It was messy and disgusting and swear worthy.

And we survived. Right?

I love dogs and people and humanity, but man… if we don’t mess things up beautifully sometimes.

But what matters is loving through it, surviving through it, continuing through it.

And also bleach wipes.

Bleach wipes are important.

One time when I was a emergency dispatcher, I came home and Tala and Scotty, my then-dogs, greeted me at the door, all doggy happy. Scotty, was my new dog and he was a rescue dog from Alabama who was in a kill shelter and for a long time we had thought that he was perhaps a grandpa who likes crawfish and BudLite a lot and was somehow caught in a dog’s body – like he was a shapeshifter who got stuck.  He had a puncture wound in his neck when he got here, two small holes. So, I think a vampire is to blame.

He’d also been shot.

His tongue had also been flayed and had healed, but one side didn’t work.

You know I’m a grandpa in real life – a human grandpa who likes BudLite.

Before that night, I had already witnessed him:

1. Get ice out of the refrigerator.
2. Use his paw on a door handle to open a door.

And now, he did this….

Do you see that? It’s a drawer that was COMPLETELY shut when I left the house. This means he grabbed it with his mouth and got it open at least a little bit and then he either wedged his nose in or something and opened it more.

Why would he do that? Oh, he was probably sick of dog food and bored because I was gone. Which is bored doggy behaviour, I know, but I present more evidence….

This was just part of the mess the dogs made. Notice the bottle of corn syrup was still standing up? Would a dog do that?

“No! A dog would not do that,” said Tala. “A dog would do this! Look at all that powdered sugar mixed with shoe! Yummy! I give it 5 stars!!!”

Side note: Dog saliva combined with powdered sugar on a wood floor creates a glue-like paste that is impossible to vacuum or mop up. It must be attacked with Clorox bleach wipes. I swear. I did not know this that night.

And finally, though they ate peanut butter chips and brown sugar and confectioner’s sugar and Crisco shortening and Shepard’s Pix mix and Italian seasoning mix, they did NOT eat this….

Do you know what that is? It is chocolate!!! Chocolate KILLS dogs. And they left it, only tearing open the end. I sort of imagine Scotty holding Tala back and saying, “Baby. It smells good, but it’s poison. It will kill us. Let’s go lick up the sugar.”

See? I swear he was human!

You know it, baby. Now go get me a beer while I lick the sugar off this here rug.

I miss Tala and Scotty and all the dogs I’ve had before. I miss them even though they weren’t perfect. I miss them even though they had flaws. That’s the thing, if the living creatures we love are flawed? That doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy of love. That doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy of our love.

Nobody’s perfect. Not even a dog. But that’s okay. It just means that they are real.


Yep, it’s the part of the blog where I talk about my books and projects because I am a writer for a living, which means I need people to review and buy my books or at least spread the word about them.

I’m super good at public image and marketing for nonprofits but I have a much harder time with marketing myself.

So, please buy one of my books. 🙂 The links about them are all up there in the header on top of the page.  There are young adult series, middle grade fantasy series, stand-alones for young adults and even picture book biographies.


I’ll be at Book Expo America in NYC on June 1 at 11:30 – 12 at the Lerner booth signing copies of the Spy Who Played Baseball. A week before that,

I’ll also be in NYC presenting to the Jewish Book Council . Come hang out with me!

I’ll be at Sherman’s Bookstore in Bar Harbor on April 28 from 1-2.

To find out more about my books, there are links in the header. And if you buy one? Thank you so much. Let me know if you want me to send you a bookplate.


The podcast DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE is still chugging along with over 3,000 listens.

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.



The awesome six-month-long Writing Barn class that they’ve let me be in charge of!? It’s happening again in July. Write! Submit! Support! is a pretty awesome class. It’s a bit like a mini MFA but way more supportive and way less money. We’ll be having a Zoom class to learn more about it and I’ll share the details as soon as they are official.

Write Submit Support

Marsie’s Monday Motivation – Cat Loves Dog, TLF

Marsie: It’s Monday.

Me: Yes.



Marsie: Aren’t you going to whine about it?

Me: No.


Me: Aren’t you going to ask why I’m not going to whine about it?

Marsie: I’m a cat. I stopped caring. I’ll care about in like – 32 hours or if you bring out some cat nip or kitty snacks. Then I’ll be your best friend again for like… hm… 45 seconds.


Marsie: Just giving you the truth, human.

Me: I’m happy because today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and I’m happy because I like the fact that you and Sparty the Dog kiss each other and snuggle.


Marsie: He’s warm.


Marsie: Fine, I love him.

Me: That’s why I’m okay this Monday. Even though things can suck and people can suck, there are these tiny little glimmers of hope that we might learn a thing or two from other people or from cats and dogs about love.


Me: What I’m trying to say is you inspire me, Marsie, because despite all your tough talk and kitty glares and cat face, you’re really just about the love.


Marsie: Human! Don’t tell! The other cats will mock me!

Me: Sorry, baby, they already know. Sometimes, they just choose not to remember.



Writing News:

I’m super excited because I’m going to be at Book Expo America signing copies of my nonfiction picture book about Moe Berg!

The Spy Who Played Baseball

And I’m super excited because I started teaching the online Writing Barn class and despite the fact that Sparty the Dog expelled gas out his rectum (REALLY LOUDLY) none of the students heard it. And I don’t think anyone noticed my gagging face either.

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Sparty: Oops.

Finally, I’m moving forward with the podcast. I had to order a microphone, which was sort of terrifying because I know nothing about microphones. And honestly, I sound like a Muppet, so the whole thought of my voice just being out there? That sort of brings up childhood fears of bullying and one of my old teachers telling me that I’d never succeed at anything because of my s’s. I talk about that in Dear Bully. I’m still going to try though because I am done with fear keeping me from trying things, right? I’m going to channel my inner cat. I hope you do, too!