COOKING WITH A WRITER – Black Bean Soup of the Soul

It’s a cooking blog redone. Why? Because I’ve been working for over 12 hours and I’m not done.

Yes, folks. I’m dialing it in. My apologies!


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.



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?


  • 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)
  1. Heatolive 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. 


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


    Eat it.

    Sigh more. 


Man Verdict – It tastes sad.

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

My Verdict – Yep. Uh-huh. 




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.


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 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!

Party in Your Mouth, Broccoli Meet Cheddar Soup

[ultimate-recipe id=”2507″ template=”default”]

My mom was a firm believer that if you were going to eat vegetables that were green then you needed to cover them with a Velveeta sauce. She was also a firm believer that the only vegetables that shouldn’t ALWAYS come from a can were:




She was not a big veggie person, my mom. But she did love broccoli cheddar soup because it’s cheese sauce on a vegetable masquerading as soup.

It was a big hit here. I riffed off a recipe by gildawen on the all recipes site. I found it to get thick pretty quickly, much like my waistline.


My Verdict: My one serving was delicious.

Dogs’ Verdict: The man ate THREE SERVINGS and we got none. That is so unfair, you should give us dog treats immediately to make up for this great injustice.


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 Painting Schooner
Bar Harbor Painting Schooner


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.

31702754 copy

Cooking With a Writer – Chill out, Mom – Creamy Green Bean Soup

So, my mom was a really big proponent of eating meat with every single meal.

She didn’t like fresh vegetables except for corn on the cob and cucumbers. To be fair, she only like cucumbers when they were thinly sliced and put on a massive caravan of mayonnaise and smooshed in between two slices of white bread.


I liked

She was also fine with tomatoes and lettuce (ice berg) on hamburgers.

That was pretty much it.

So, when I had Emily (my kiddo) and I was reverting to my vegetarian ways, my mother FREAKED OUT and would legit drive 2.5 hours to visit us just to cook roasts.

My favorite cookbook was Horn of the Moon, which was a vegetarian cookbook written by Ginny Callan who owned Horn of the Moon restaurant. I didn’t see the cookbooks until after the restaurant closed or I totally would have tromped to Vermont and sobbed, hugging this woman, who I sort of thought as my vegetarian food savior.


Anyway, one afternoon my mom called and asked me what I was cooking.

“Creamy Green Bean Soup,” I said.

And she said, “Sweet Mother of God, Carrie. What is wrong with you? You don’t do that to green beans. Are you trying to die?”

So…. Yeah…

Here’s the recipe adapted from Horn of the Moon.

Yes, You Can Do This With Green Beans – Creamy Soup

Adapted from Horn of the Moon

The calorie estimate is probably high. 

  • 5 cups water
  • 1.5 lbs green beans (chopped into 1.5-inch pieces (6 cups))
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 3 whole onions
  • 1 tsp thyme (dried)
  • 1.5 tsp dill (dried)
  • 2 whole bay leaves (I never have these)
  • 3.5 tbsp white flour
  • .5 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • dash dashy siracha (to taste. )
  1. Curse out your mother for harshing on your soup as you boil 5 cups of water in a big pot. 

    Add cut green beans to water once the water boils.

    Return the water to boil, cover. 

    Lower the heat to simmer and let it simmer for 30 minutes.

  2. Write a poem about your mother. 

    Realize that whenever you were little and drew your mother would declare, “Nobody in this family are artists. Not one of us has a lick of artistic ability.”

    Realize you would rather be an artist that a writer. 

  3. Let this sink in.

  4. While you are despondent over the course of your life as a writer not an artist, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a bit pan. 

    Once butter is melted, saute the onions and herbs until those onions are a light brown.

    Realize you should be drawing this right now instead of writing about it. 

  5. Once the onions are done, add the contents of the pan to the green beans and water. Turn the heat off of the green beans and water.

    Let everything sit a bit because it’s super hot – much like your temper right now. 

  6. Puree about 3/4th of that green bean mix. 

    Use a blender.

  7. Put the pureed mix back into the soup pot.

    Throw in bay leaves.

    Bay leaves would be fun to draw, wouldn’t they? 

  8. Wonder if your whole life is a lie and you should have been an artist instead of a writer. 

  9. Write a poem about it. 

  10. Melt the rest of the butter in that pan you’d been using before. 

    Add flour to melted butter. Use low heat. 

    Stir it until it gets a light brown color.

    Find cream. Whisk that into the butter and flour.

    Add one ladle of soup to it. 

    Do this two more times then pour all of that back into the soup.

  11. Add salt. Add pepper. Add milk. Add hot sauce. Taste it. Adjust it to what you want it to be.

    Wish you could adjust your parents’ beliefs about art and family proclivities the way you can adjust soup taste. 

    Simmer on low heat.

    Simmer for 15 minutes. 

    Use this time to sign up for art class. 

As you know, these weekly recipes are my attempt to getting the family to eat more food without meat. And I always put down their verdicts.

Man Verdict: You know what would make this perfect? Ham.

My Verdict: Have you been communicating with my mom in the spirit world?

Dogs’ Verdict: Ham or bacon. Either would be okay. You could drop some on the floor, you know. That would be nice.
Sparty: Everything is better with bacon.

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.

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.


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.

Ebook on Sale for October! 

And finally, for the month of July, my book NEEDis on sale in ebook version on Amazon. It’s a cheap way to have an awesome read in a book that’s basically about human-sized pixies trying to start an apocalypse.

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 3.56.50 PM


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!


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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