Recipe by Carrie


Prep time


Cooking time





Stuff That Goes In It

  • 2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • ½ butternut squash – peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 2 large carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces

  • 3 medium russet potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds

  • 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage

  • 2 green onions, chopped (Optional)

How to Make It

  • It’s happened.

    You have realized it, little author.

    Writing is a f-ed up business and it’s not all in your control. You’ve gotten rejected again because the market allegedly isn’t into time-traveling hamsters for YA novels. Pshaw!

    So go, preheat the oven 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

    Find a large sheet pan and grease it. Pretend it’s your readership. You want them to be prepared.

  • You gave up on traditional publishing and have done everything you could to sell books. Bought Publisher’s Rocket, joined Facebook groups, read a million craft books. And you’ve sold two. To your mom.

    It’s okay. You’re a writer not a marketer.

    Put the chickpeas, potatoes (both kinds), squash, carrots and onions on the sheet pan.

    These are your books. They are all there. They are beautiful. Now drizzle some oil on them and toss them around so the oil is everywhere.

    Wish them luck.
  • Combine the spices (salt counts) in a bowl or something. God knows.

    Sprinkle onto the veggies.

    Toss it all again
    , damn it. Cry. Think about pen names.
  • Think about Chuck Wendig’s latest post about dealing with the writing business where he says:

    “I cannot control geopolitics and global pandemics. I cannot control whether the editor who’s had my novel on their desk for nine months will happen to pick it up on a day they ate some bad charcuterie and can’t focus because they need to run to the loo every ten minutes. I can’t control markets, reviewers, who else publishes the day my book comes out, or even (very frequently on the trad side of publishing) my covers and titles.

    “But I can control other things. I control the effort I put into my craft. I’ve now written twenty-two novels, and by the time you read this, it might be twenty-three. LOOK TO THE SUN was my tenth.

    “I can control whether I keep going or take a break, whether I give up altogether or come running back to the game. I am responsible for whatever ends up on my pages.”
  • Put the pan in the oven for 25 minutes.

    Stir it.

    Cook it 20 minutes more. Your novels should be done. The effort was worth it. The chickpeas are a little crisp like a good plot. The veggies are lightly browned like some nice emotional development. Call it good.

    Write again tomorrow.

    Add salt or pepper and green onion if you feel like it. Call it good.


  • This recipe is much more readable and inspired by the lovely recipe here by Kim on Allrecipes.

Cooking With a Writer – RAH! MAN! Ramen with Miso and Roasted Vegetables

Sometimes, I have days when I want to scream, “RAH!!!” Today is like that.

This is for a bunch of reasons including someone saying, “Wow. You look tired.”


Me: Thanks? I am?

Anyway, as you know, I’m trying to convince the household to eat less meat. The household is stubborn.

Me: Hey! We’re having Ramen tonight.



Dogs run off.

Man beats chest.

Me: Who even are you?

Man: I ate ramen forever. I was raised on ramen. I love ramen. Where are the spice packs?

Me: No! No! We aren’t using the spice packs. Those have animal byproducts.

Man: Why must you ruin all that is holy?


I was sad when I was making this recipe. You can tell.

  • 3 TBSP vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 whole onion (any color, but yellow is best here)
  • 1 big leek
  • 5 cloves garlic (chopped or minced)
  • 1 3-inch ginger (peeled, chopped)
  • 1 oz dried mushrooms (preferably shiitake)
  • 1 lb sweet potato (peeled, chopped)
  • 1 whole head garlic (NO VAMPIRES HERE, BABY)
  • 1 lb shitake mushroom (cleaned, sliced)
  • soy or tamari sauce (to taste)
  • 1.5 lb ramen noodles (fresh if possible)
  • .25 cup miso (white or yellow kind)
  • 5 green onions (chopped to look pretty)
  1. Find a large saucepan, empty it of your tears and put it on medium-high heat.

  2. Put 2 tablespoons of oil in that saucepan. Get it so it isn’t cold, like the heart of villain.

  3. Realize it’s really your heart that’s cold. 

  4. Add the onions. Put some salt on top. DO NOT TOUCH THE ONIONS. Leave them there for 5 minutes until they are brown.

  5. Realize the onions are the book that you’ve been working on for 27 years and still doesn’t feel done. Realize that tweaking your book is like stirring the onions. You can’t resist. Wait for five minutes to pass.

  6. YOU CAN STIR THINGS NOW! Add leek, garlic, dried mushrooms, ginger, 6 cups of water. This will deglaze the pan if you stir and scrape up the bits. Do that. 

  7. Turn the heat down. It’s too intense here, just like your plot. 

    Put the heat on medium-low. 

    Realize you feel medium low. 

    Partially cover the pan and let it be for an hour. A WHOLE HOUR! 

  8. Procrastinate for an hour. 

  9. Don’t do any real work or revision or anything else. 


  10. Preheat oven to 400 F. 

  11. Put sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle oil on them. Toss them so the oil is distributed. 

    Find a head of garlic. Cut off the top of its head. Imagine he’s a writing expert telling you to kill your darlings. Drizzle oil on it and wrap it up in foil. Put it on the pan.

    Put the pan in the oven and close the door. Stir it once in awhile. Cook until it’s tender. 

  12. BACK TO THE STOVE! An hour has passed! You’ve got this.

    Strain the broth through a sieve and get rid of all the solid bits. KEEP THE BROTH! 

    Realize this is like ‘killing your darlings’ like all those writing experts always say. Wonder if writing experts know that they are annoying.

  13. Find a blender. Free it of left over smoothie. Instead squeeze the garlic cloves into that bad boy.

    Add 1/3 cup of sweet potatoes.

    Add 1/2 cup broth that you saved.

    Puree until it’s smooth.

    Add it to the big bunch of broth.

  14. Find a saucepan and put it on medium heat. 

    Add oil that’s left.

    Add mushrooms. Cook them for about five minutes or until tender.

    Add broth.

    Season to your liking.

    Add tamari or soy sauce.


    Reduce to low.

    Cover partially and cook until it’s warm.

  15. Is it warm?

    Are you warm?

    Whisk in that miso of awesome.

  16. Take your noodles (cooked if dry!) Put them in bowls. Put the broth over it. 

    Top it with sweet potatoes. 

    Sprinkle with green onions.


    Marvel at your creation. 

    It wasn’t that bad, was it? 

This is derived from a recipe from Cooking Light. 

Dog Verdict: WHERE IS THE BACON? We like sweet potato okay though. But… it’s not… you know… bacon.

Man Verdict: This would be better with bacon, honestly, or at least the spice packs full of MSG and other goodness.

Carrie Verdict: Writers need love. Ramen is love.


*P.S. My writer brain was too tired to do the actual math to count the calories for this. I am so sorry.


I’ll be at Book Expo America on June 1 at the Lerner booth from 11:30-12.

There’s a free information and inspiration session from  Write! Submit! Support!, a six-month intensive program through the Writing Barn.

It’s a one-day only thing just to hang out and learn about the program. I swear! No weirdness involved at all. More info is here.


Time Stoppers’s third book comes out this summer. It’s been called a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, but with heart. It takes place in Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine. I need to think of awesome ways to promote it because this little book series is the book series of my own middle grade heart. Plus, I wrote it for the Emster. Plus, it is fun.

Dogs Are Smarter Than People

And finally, the 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
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