Summer cooking: Deviled Eggs

So deviled eggs are actually a year-round side dish in our house, because it’s one thing that everyone will eat, amazingly enough. There’s something just so…yum about deviled eggs. What is it? I rarely follow a recipe when I make them, although I sometimes use this recipe as a starting point. But I don’t measure (anything) and I go simply by taste. Honestly, I think this is the best way!


12 hard boiled eggs (I use this method of hard boiling), peeled and rinsed.

prepared horseradish

sweet relish

brown mustard


celery salt




1. Cut eggs in half lengthwise, scoop out yolk into a bowl and put whites on a platter.

2. Using a fork, smoosh egg yolks until reasonably smooth. If you want really, really smooth deviled eggs, you could use a hand mixer, but really, who has that time and who cares about a few lumps?

3. Add in approximately 1/4 cup mayo to start, plus about a Tbsp of sweet relish and brown mustard each. Mix. Add more of each to your personal taste.You may want more mayo or mustard especially.

4. Toss in about a tsp of horseradish, mix and taste. Depending on how much heat you like, and how hot your horseradish is, you may want more.

5. Salt (celery salt) and pepper to taste. At this stage you may also want to add a squeeze of lemon juice, for something different.

6. Scrape mixture into a sandwich bag. Cut corner of sandwich bag off and pipe into egg whites (confession, when I’m in a hurry I just scoop it in with a spoon, rather than using a sandwich bag. Might not be pretty, but it tastes the same!)

7. Sprinkle lightly with smoky paprika and either chill or serve immediately.

There are a TON of variations of the deviled egg recipe out there. Really, it’s all about trial and error and getting it to your taste. There’s no right or wrong way.

And now I wish I had some deviled eggs. Writing this made me hungry!



Today’s laugh-out-loud moment courtesy of @pablod

So there I was a few weeks ago, on 5th Avenue, sitting in a Tommy Hilfiger store, innocently reading my tweetstream while I wait for Jane to try on some white linen pants when I come across this tweet:

And then this one:

And laughed so hard, people actually stopped and stared. At me. On 5th Avenue in NYC, and it’s all Pablo’s fault. I made Jane read it immediately when she came out of the dressing room, so she could make a spectacle of herself too. And she did.

Thank you, Pablo. This may be my favorite Twitter moment ever.

This one is for everyone who’s had a difficult work week this week!

Summer Cooking: Grilled fish with cherry tomatoes & tapenade, Rice-Orzo side dish

Honestly, sometimes the parts of the meal that I like best surprise me. Yesterday we made grilled swordfish, cherry tomatoes and homemade tapenade. I wasn’t so sure I would like the tomatoes and tapenade, but was really looking forward to the swordfish. Turns out? We really loved the tomatoes, I loved the tapenade (no one else eats it) and we thought the swordfish was just okay (but we determined that was the fish itself, not the marinade).

So here’s an easy meal, great for summer because it doesn’t require you to turn on the oven or use the stove, and it’s SO refreshing.

For the fish and marinade:A?

Fish, you can use swordfish, tuna, shark or other fish of your choice. Next time I’ll use tuna.

For the marinade:

1 cup white wine (grab a chilled bottle from your wine cooler. Pour a cup for marinade. Pour a glass for you to drink while cooking)

5 cloves minced garlic

2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (you grow rosemary, right? Why not? SO easy)

Combine the marinade and put fish in an 8×8 container, turning to coat. Salt and pepper top of fish, marinade at least an hour. Don’t overmarinate (no more than 4 hours).

To cook: preheat grill to medium high. Make sure the grill is clean! Drain marinade off fish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 4-5 minutes on each side, for a total of 8-10 minutes. Let cook on one side the full 4-5 minutes, until good grill marks are developed. Use tongs and a spatula to flip.

Serve grilled fish with a side of fresh cherry tomatoes and tapenade.

For the tomatoes:

1 pint cherry tomatoes, washed and halved

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp chopped fresh mint (and you’re also growing fresh mint, right? It grows like a weed!)

Toss tomatoes with olive oil and chopped fresh mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let stand 10 minutes, while fish is grilling. Serve. Incredibly refreshing and delicious.

For the tapenade:

1 cup pitted kalamata olives

2-3 sundried tomatoes (from the jar, in oil)

2 cloves minced garlic

8 basil leaves torn into small pieces

2 Tbsp fresh mint chopped

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp dried thyme

One quarter of a fresh lemon

2 tbsp olive oil

Put olives, garlic and tomatoes in small food processor (this is the one I use and LOVE) and combine until chopped & mixed. Add fresh basil, fresh mint, cayenne pepper, thyme and olive oil and pulse to mix. Taste and reseason to your liking. Squeeze in the juice of the quarter lemon, mix with a spoon. Don’t eat it all while you stand there though!

Serve grilled fish with the side of tomatoes and a spoonful of tapenade. Save excess tapenade for sandwiches, crackers, etc. I also served the fish with fresh buttered bread rolls and the below rice/orzo side dish that’s a summer favorite at my house. You could also serve with this orzo dish.

Homemade Rice-a-Roni (sounds fancier when I say rice and orzo, right?)

1/2 cup orzo

1/2 cup white rice

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 cups chicken broth

2 tbsp butter

1. Melt butter in pan, add orzo and garlic and cook until orzo is lightly browned.

2. Add white rice and chicken broth, stir and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to simmer, cooking 20 to 25 minutes until broth is absorbed and rice/orzo are cooked. Serve. If it gets too dry, just add a small bit of broth to remoisturize.



Before You Hit Send: the price is going up

The next Before You Hit Send workshop starts next Monday, July 11th and the cost is $35. Starting in the fall, subsequent workshop prices will be rising to $49. As I’ve developed and given this course, attendees have, without fail, told me it’s underpriced. My reply has always been that I fear it will be harder to draw in new attendees at a higher price, because it’s only after people have paid and taken it, that they realize its worth. And my goal has always been to get the information in front of authors, because it’s worth it to me in the form of cleaner manuscripts. Though I’m not so altruistic that I’m going to offer it for free, as someone asked if I’d do on Facebook 😉

However, I’m going to be branching out and promoting the course in new venues. Venues that cost money, so I’ve decided to do two things 1) raise the price and 2) offer coupon codes at certain times. After a lot of market research of similar workshops, and seeing people charge not just 10x, but 20, 30, and 40x what I’m charging (yes, upwards of almost $1000) for writing workshops of comparative length, I feel comfortable that a price increase of $14 is not exorbitant or unreasonable. And I don’t want to undervalue the material.

I wanted to let people know of the price increase, in case they’d been thinking of waiting, so no one had reason to be angry that the price was unexpectedly raised without warning (though this is something that happens as a matter of course in commerce situations)

So if you have friends, chapter members, critique partners or otherwise who you feel would benefit from this course (and if they’re an author–aspiring or established–I’ll bet they’d benefit) please let them know that this is their final opportunity to take the workshop for the lower price.

Workshop registration can be found here.

San Diego Zoo: Day Five of Sharing

I saved the best for last. The Backstage Pass. I paid an extra $100 to do this 2 hour experience and it was SO worth it. So worth it. I loved every minute of the experience, getting to feed and pet the rhinos, feed the flamingos, and get pictures taken with the cheetah and the serval. Fantastic. And hearing the wolf howl was amazing! If you ever go to the San Diego Zoo, I highly recommend the Backstage Pass as something that will really enhance your visit.

In addition to these photos, I also shared a lot of photos on Instagram, if you want to check them out.

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