Juliet Blackwell is the New York Times bestselling author of the Witchcraft Mystery series, featuring a powerful witch with a vintage clothes store in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury. She also writes the Haunted Home Renovation Mystery series, about a failed anthropologist who reluctantly takes over her father’s high-end construction company…and finds ghosts behind the walls. As Hailey Lind, Blackwell wrote the Agatha-nominated Art Lover’s Mystery series, in which an ex-art forger attempts to go straight as a faux finisher. She is currently working on a novel about a woman who takes over her uncle’s locksmith shop in Paris, entitled The Paris Key. A former anthropologist and social worker, Juliet has worked in Mexico, Spain, Cuba, Italy, the Philippines, and France.
Take it away, Juliet!
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Thank you so much for having me on Mystery Lovers Kitchen. I love to cook -- with a glass of wine in hand, especially :-)-- and find it a relaxing way to wrap up the day with friends and family.
I was going to write up one of my (ex) mother-in-law's Mexican recipes, or one of my mother's Cajun family secrets...but those are best learned by trailing someone around a kitchen as they say "A little pinch of this, a little pinch of that." Such recipes don't translate well to the page, I find.
Besides, lately my schedule is chock-full of book deadlines -- currently I'm writing the Witchcraft mystery series and the Haunted Home Renovation mystery series, as well as a standalone called The Paris Key -- so I don't have the time and energy to harass my relatives for their recipes, much less the energy to create intricate dishes. Instead, I like to wander my local farmer's market, see what's fresh and in season, and go from there.
This week I made this easy-peesy soup, from from fresh organic, easy-to-find ingredients. It's soooo good. And it makes the whole house smell like the holidays.
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1 bunch sweet carrots
1 butternut squash
1 small sweet potato
Chicken or vegetable stock
Spices, salt to taste
Cream or half-and-half (optional)
Chop up leek into small pieces and sauté in a little butter or olive oil. While it is cooking, chop the carrots, squash, and potato into small chunks and add them to the sauté. Stir frequently -- be careful not to let it burn!
Once all the veggies have been sautéed, cover with stock and let simmer 20-25 minutes until tender. Add dashes of nutmeg, ginger, cumin, cloves (or mixed pumpkin spices), and white pepper and salt to taste.
I mush up about half, then puree the other half before mixing them back together. But if you want a creamier soup puree the whole thing.
Upon serving, add a little spiral of cream or half and half, and top with chopped parsley -- or just eat as is!
It’s soooo good–and good for you, too! (Also, it makes the house smell yummy J)
Today, I am giving away a copy of KEEPER OF THE CASTLE to one commenter. Remember to leave your email so I can contact you if you win. And tell me, do you have any haunted home renovation stories to share?