Sunday, December 21, 2014

Welcome our guest, author Juliet Blackwell w/book #giveaway

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.

Juliet’s latest book is Keeper of the Castle, fifth in her Haunted Home Renovation series featuring Mel Turner, head of Turner Construction, and reluctant ghost whisperer.  Read an excerpt HERE.

Special book giveaway...see below!

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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Carrot-Squash Soup

1 leek
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?

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