Sangria of Thanksgiving Awesome for Writers Who Need Some Magic, Damn It

In the summer months, the Portuguese part of my family really loved their sangrias, which they usually made from Tempranillo from Rioja, but if things were desperate, they would use Bartles and James.

One of my aunts would shove all sorts of sliced fruit in there, something orange (sometimes booze, sometimes an orange, sometimes both) and put a ton of ice and some sort of soda water. I always thought it was magic. Sometimes I’d get to suck on some of the fruit, which was probably illegal now that I think of it.

This is a more Thanksgiving take on that same thing.

Sangria of Thanksgiving Awesome for Writers Who Need Some Magic

Recipe by CarrieCourse: Uncategorized


Prep time


Cooking timeminutes



Stuff That Goes In It

  • 1 cup apple cider

  • 1 750-ml bottle dry white wine

  • ¼ cup orange juice (about one navel orange)

  • ¼ cup brandy, if you are fancy — Calvados

  • Sparkling water or club soda to put on top

  • One apple, cut into ½-inch cubes

  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds or another apple or pear

How to Make It

  • Look, you’re a writer, you deal in magic. You create worlds and story and happiness. Take a deep breath. It’s your time to have some magic.
  • Find a pitcher that can contain six quarts of fluid. Look up what a quart is. You’re a writer, you’re used to researching things like “how to kill a demonic pixie;” this should be easy.
  • Put fruit in that pitcher. Look at that. Fruit is sort of magical isn’t it, like a narrative arc that makes sense. Gorgeous.
  • Put wine in there because it’s the most important magical ingredient. Think about writing a book with alchemy. Tell yourself you are practicing it right now.
  • Put in the apple cider, juice, and brandy. Wonder if any of your characters drink apple cider. Decide not to worry about it. THIS IS ABOUT YOU AND YOUR NEEDS, WRITER! Not those demanding characters.
  • Put it in the fridge to make it cold. Wait impatiently.
  • Stir it. Top it off with that sparkling water. Drink it and let your mind take you to magical places that do not include dialogue punctuation, character motivation, or plot.


  • This beautiful, magical recipe is adapted from the fantastic site, Wine Mag, and it’s from Emily Saladino. Hit the link and you’ll get to the real thing. 🙂

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.


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