Thursday, June 06, 2013

Kate Carlisle, Guest Blogger

Now that I'm in Indiana, I'm not going to be able to host West Coast authors as I did before. Fortunately, readers here might benefit because I can still bring the authors to you via guest posts. Kate Carlisle's new mystery, The Cookbook Conspiracy was released this week. Instead of hosting her at the library, I'm pleased to welcome Kate here today to talk about her book. Thank you, Kate.

Award winning author Kate Carlisle spent over twenty years working in television production as an Associate Director for game and variety shows, including The Midnight Special, Solid Gold and The Gong Show. She traveled the world as a Dating Game chaperone and performed strange acts of silliness on The Gong Show. She also studied acting and singing, toiled in vineyards, collected books, joined a commune, sold fried chicken, modeled spring fashions and worked for a cruise ship line, but it was the year she spent in law school that finally drove her to begin writing fiction. It seemed the safest way to kill off her professors. Those professors are breathing easier now that Kate spends most of her time writing near the beach in Southern California where she lives with her perfect husband.

A lifelong love of old books and an appreciation of the art of bookbinding led Kate to create the Bibliophile Mysteries, featuring rare book expert Brooklyn Wainwright, whose bookbinding and restoration skills invariably uncover old secrets, treachery and murder. Find Kate online at

Spicy Spaghetti
By Kate Carlisle, author of A COOKBOOK CONSPIRACY

Sometimes, leftovers just make good sense. When I’m under a pressing deadline, I don’t have time to cook every day.

Who am I kidding? I never want to cook every day, and when I’m under a deadline, I have a good
excuse not to cook at all! When I was writing the last few chapters of A COOKBOOK CONSPIRACY, that high-octane time leading up to revealing who killed the celebrity chef that everyone loved to hate, every day was, “Hello, takeout!”

So let’s scratch that “deadline” bit and start over…

Sometimes, leftovers just make good sense. Who wants to cook every single day for the rest of their lives? Even people who love to cook need a break from time to time. Otherwise, it stops being a fun hobby and becomes a chore. And for those of us who, ahem, feel something less than 100% genuine enthusiasm for kitchen slavery, leftovers are heavenly. 

Spaghetti makes great leftovers, like many tomato-based foods. The flavors have time to meld, so the second day, it tastes even better than the first. (You might want to cook fresh pasta each day, so you’re not eating soggy noodles. I, on the other hand, don’t object to soggy noodles on Day 2.)

This spaghetti recipe is super simple, but it’s delicious, especially if you can make it a few hours ahead of time and leave it on a slow simmer until it’s time to eat. The tomato thickens and the flavor becomes as rich and delicious as an Italian count. The peperoncinis (dried peppers) I use were a Christmas gift from a friend, as part of a wonderful “Taste of Italy” gift basket. They have a nice kick without being overwhelming, and just a hint of smokiness. But if you can’t find these at your local store, you can substitute cayenne powder, and it’s almost as delicious.

Super Simple Spicy Spaghetti 

1 lb ground beef
2 cans tomato sauce
2 cans diced tomatoes
½ C red wine (I used Merlot)
2 dried peperoncinis cut into ¼-inch slices (or 1 t cayenne powder)
Brown the ground beef. Drain. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Heat to a slow simmer. Cover and simmer for up to four hours, stirring occasionally. If necessary, add a bit of water in ½-cup increments. Serve over spaghetti noodles with garlic bread and a salad.

As mentioned before, Kate Carlisle's website is

A Cookbook Conspiracy by Kate Carlisle. Penguin. 2013. ISBN 9780451415967 (hardcover), 320p.


Kate Carlisle said...

Thank you so much for hosting me here today, Lesa, and for helping me to spread the word about A COOKBOOK CONSPIRACY!

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Kate. There may not be many people who comment, but there are about 1000 pageviews a day, so at least they'll see it. Had to make me hungry, didn't you?

Kate Carlisle said...

I made myself hungry, too! (That's nothing new.) Thank you again for your hospitality. :)

Sue Farrell said...

Love your books---and now I must go try that recipe. I'm hungry and a pound of hamburger was thawed for dinner--but no definite plans for it until now.

Kate Carlisle said...

What great timing, Sue! Let me know what you think!

ceblain said...

We have been planning on doing a pasta dinner with our daughter, son in law and three grandchildren as of tomorrow night so I will make a half batch of your spicy sauce for the grownups and try it out. Thanks so much for the recipes.

Kate Carlisle said...

Wonderful! I hope you love it as much as we do.

Nancy said...

I'm looking forward to the new Brooklyn book! This recipe is certainly easier than I'd expect homemade sauce to be. I wonder if Riunite would be good. Worth a try!

SandyG265 said...

The recipe sounds good but I can't make anything with wine since ny boyfriend is allergic to sulfites.

But I started A Cookbook Conspiracy and I'm enjoying it.

Kate Carlisle said...

Let me know how it turns out, Nancy!

Kate Carlisle said...

Thank you so much, Sandy! I'm so glad you're enjoying A COOKBOOK CONSPIRACY!

Karen C said...

This recipe sounds good. I always mix any leftover pasta with the sauce so everything blends - so good on day two. Have to go 'borrow' A COOKBOOK CONSPIRACY from my daughter!