Juliet Blackwell pens the New York Times Bestselling Witchcraft Mysteries and the Haunted Home Renovation series. As Hailey Lind she wrote the Agatha-Award nominated Art Lover’s Mystery series. Her upcoming The Paris Key (September 1, 2015) is Juliet’s first standalone novel. She is past president of Northern California Sisters in Crime and former board member of Mystery Writers of America. Juliet lives in a hundred-year-old house with extensive botanical gardens in Northern California, but spends as much time as possible in Europe and Latin America. She believes in the magic of language, travel, and cultural exchange to open hearts, minds, and souls.
By the way, Juliet is offering a book giveaway today. See details below!!
Take it away, Julie!!
I was taught to cook by a busy working mother and a father who had been a short-order chef. Both were children of the depression who never threw anything away. So using up leftovers was a big theme in our house. Like so many aspects of childhood that I railed against at the time, I now find myself adhering to them.
I’m a leftover queen!And while busy writing the next installment of the Witchcraft Mystery series, I prefer any dish that’s satisfying while quick and easy to prepare.
Chilaquiles is an ingenious dish to use up stale tortillas. It’s a delicious, easy-to-make stove-top Mexican casserole most typically eaten for breakfast.
In its simplest form, Chilaquiles consist of fried tortillas and eggs in a cooked salsa (red or green). Sometimes chicken or other meats, beans, tofu, or extra veggies are added – this is where the leftovers come in. Be creative!
Serve as is, or top the dish with cheese, Mexican crema (a pourable sour cream), raw onions, avocados, cilantro, or hot sauce. Again, use your imagination and any leftovers you can find.
3 small corn tortillas, cut into triangles or strips
1/2 cup salsa (fresh or canned is fine)
Shredded chicken, pork, or cubed tofu
1/4 cup leftover pinto or black beans and/or veggies
2 tablespoons crumbled queso fresco (or substitute your favorite cheese)
Hot sauce, optional
Roughly chopped cilantro
Pour the oil into a cast iron or stainless steel skillet and warm over medium-high heat until shimmery. Add tortilla pieces and fry, stirring and flipping constantly, until browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes.
Pour the salsa over the tortillas, and cook, stirring, until the tortillas soak up most of the salsa and soften, about 1 minute. Add beans, cooked meat or veggies or tofu as you like, and stir to heat.
Push the chilaquiles to one side of the pan and lower the heat to medium. Crack the egg toward the middle of the pan. Partially cover the pan and cook until the egg whites are set and the yolk is as done as you like it. Alternatively, whisk the egg in a bowl before adding it to the pan and make scrambled eggs instead. Once cooked, mix up with the chilaquiles to coat the tortillas.
Garnish with the avocado slices, queso fresco, hot sauce, and cilantro. Eat immediately.
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Spellcasting in Silk, #7 of the Witchcraft Mystery series, features Lily Ivory, natural-born witch and vintage clothes dealer with a shop in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. With her potbellied-pig familiar, Oscar, at her side, Lily finds herself embroiled in magical mystery in the City by the Bay.
Lily would like nothing better than to relax, enjoy her friends, and take care of business at her store, which is booming thanks to San Francisco's upcoming Summer of Love Festival. But as the unofficial witchy consultant to the SFPD, she is pulled into yet another case.
A woman has jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, and her apparent suicide may be connected to a suspicious botanica in the Mission District. When the police investigate the shop, they ask Lily to look into its mysterious owner, whose granddaughter also appears to be missing. As Lily searches for the truth, she finds herself confronted with a confounding mystery and some very powerful magic…
I am offering a giveaway today, your choice of the first or last in the series, Secondhand Spirits or A Vision in Velvet. Leave a comment (hint: click the word "comments" below), include your email or a cryptic version of it that I can figure out, and tell me if you believe in magic!