Oh, Git’ Off the Bandwagon, Paula!

" ... then Cinderella became a princess and proceeded to revamp the outdated royal kitchens from top to bottom, employing only the finest workers from Nubia and insisting upon the use of sweet, creamy butter in every recipe! THE END."

” … then Cinderella became a princess and proceeded to revamp the outdated royal kitchens from top to bottom, employing only the finest workers from Nubia and insisting upon the use of sweet, creamy butter in every recipe! THE END.”

"Oh! Somebody stole my story. And right after I sold it to the Hallmark Channel, too!"

“Oh, Lord Jesus! Somebody stole my story. And right after I sold it to the Hallmark Channel, too!”

"But how's it gonna look if I try to sue Mother Goose? I can't take another PR disaster, y'all. Not so close to Christmas!  There's gotta be some other way to get folks back in my corner again."

“But how’s it gonna look if I try to sue Mother Goose? Damn that old woman! I can’t take another PR disaster, y’all. Not so close to Christmas! There’s gotta be some other way to get folks back in my corner again.”

"Would you believe it if I told you I gave myself two Benadryl at a cocktail party back in 1968 and woke up naked three days later next to a half-eaten Smithfield ham and a strange pair of men's underwear?"

“Uh … Would you believe it if I told you I gave myself two Benadryl at a cocktail party back in 1968 and woke up naked three days later next to a half-eaten Smithfield ham and a strange pair of men’s underwear?”

"I knew somethin' had gone horribly wrong because I was covered in mashed potatoes, y'all, but it wasn't butter on top of them 'taters. It was MARGARINE!"

“I knew somethin’ had gone horribly wrong because I was covered in mashed potatoes, y’all, but it wasn’t butter on top of them ‘taters. It was MARGARINE!”

"Not a day goes by that I don't live with the horror. [sniff` sniff`]"

“Not a day goes by that I don’t live with the horror. [sniff` sniff`]”


__
Jonathan Kieran is withdrawing from contemporary human society to protest a multitude of offenses against taste and decency, but that doesn’t mean you need to head for the hills. No! Let Mr. Kieran become your Vicarious Hermit, serving all of your needs for solitude and isolated contemplation by proxy, as it were. Otherwise, stick around: some form of epic and expectation-shattering work is slated for release in 2015. News about future books and Jonathan’s in-development multimedia production company will be forthcoming.

For your current reading pleasure, Jonathan is the author of the classically appointed Rowan Blaize books and novels. Visit Mr. Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a “Like” if you are so inclined. Meanwhile . . .

Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of works. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below to learn more.

Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.

Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)

Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.

Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
__________________________________________
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Rowan Blaize Official Website
Goodreads

#FoodNetwork star Ina Garten wants to share a bit about her personal Lord & Savior …

"Fans of my show occasionally write to tell me that my success has been due to the calm and cheerful way I bond with viewers through the camera. They rave about the way every recipe just comes together in such  relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. But I'm here to tell you that being calm, relaxed and centered to the point of mild barbiturate sedation have had absolutely nothing to do with the success of my culinary empire."

“Fans of the show occasionally write to ask if my success is due to the calm-yet-moderately cheerful way I bond with viewers. People rave about how every recipe just seems to come together like magic in this relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. But I’m here to tell you that appearing calm, relaxed, and centered to the point of barbiturate sedation have absolutely nothing to do with the success of my culinary empire.”

"The flesh of one newborn billy-goat and three fluffy white bunnies sacrificed daily to Beelzebub, however, have everything to do with my success."

“The still-quivering flesh of one newborn billy-goat and three helpless kittens sacrificed daily to Beelzebub, Lord of All Darkness, however, have everything to do with it.”

"Never forget, viewers: in the entertainment industry, even a privileged Hamptons matron like me needs that extra little helping hand."

“Never forget, viewers: in the entertainment industry, even a politically privileged Hamptons matron like me can always use that extra helping hand.”

"So, until next time ... double, double, toil & trouble, from my kitchen to yours."

“So, until next time … double, double, toil & trouble. From my kitchen to yours.”


___
Jonathan Kieran’s new novel is slated for release in Autumn 2014. Look for news about the book here and at Amazon.com in the coming weeks and months.

Jonathan is also the author of the classically appointed Rowan Blaize series of modern fairy-tales and novels. Visit Jonathan Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a “Like,” if you are so inclined. Meanwhile …

Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …

Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.

Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)

Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.

Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
__________________________________________
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Rowan Blaize Official Website
Goodreads

Toho Squab w/ The Barefoot Contessa! #FoodNetwork #satire

"Cooking with quail or Cornish game hens for the first time can be intimidating for a lot of people, but it doesn't have to be. The key is to select top-quality birds from your local butcher."

“Cooking with quail or Cornish game hens for the first time can be intimidating for a lot of people, but it doesn’t have to be. The secret is to select top-quality birds from your local butcher.”

"Usually I'll go for local free-range birds, but for this meal I wanted something a little more exotic. Luckily, my butcher had just received a pair of rare squabs caught in the South Pacific. These are real delicacies and he even caged them up for me at the store. Have a look!"

“Usually I settle for local free-range birds, but for this meal I wanted something a little more exotic. Luckily, my butcher had just received a pair of rare squabs caught in the South Pacific. These are real delicacies and he even caged them up for me at the store. Have a look!”

"Please! We're not meant to be eaten! We're fairy princesses from Infant Island. Some nearsighted poacher from Tokyo bagged us by mistake while we were bathing in a coconut. There's been a terrible mix-up. PLEASE set us free!"

“Please! We’re not meant to be eaten! We’re fairy princesses from Infant Island. Some nearsighted poacher from Tokyo bagged us by mistake while we were skinny-dipping in a coconut shell. There’s been a terrible mix-up. PLEASE set us free!”

"As you can tell from the incessant sounds of chirping and whining, this is one of the more irritating species of Asian quail. Don't let that dissuade you from a great recipe because the kitchen will be marvelously quiet once you throttle their little necks or toss them into a pot of boiling water with a happy little dash of Corsican sea-salt."

“As you can tell from the incessant sounds of chirping and whining, this is clearly one of the more irritating species of Asian quail. But don’t let that dissuade you from a great recipe. The kitchen will be marvelously quiet once you snap their little necks or toss them into a pot of boiling water with a dash of Corsican sea-salt!”

"Be warned, O plump but winsomely jolly American bird-eater! If anything should happen to us, the wrath of our mighty island god shall be swift upon your head! Do not threaten our necks, but fear for the one you seek to conceal with the upturned collar of that ridiculous blue smock!"

“Be warned, O plump but winsomely jolly American bird-eater! If anything should happen to us, the wrath of our mighty island god shall be swift upon your head! Do not threaten our necks, but fear for the neck you seek to conceal with the upturned collar of that insipid blue smock!”

"The best part of cooking exotic Asian quail is that you can get a little drunk on plum wine, which is later used to deglaze the pan." [`hiccup`]

Okay, between us girls and gays, the best part of cooking exotic Asian quail is that you can get a little drunk on plum wine, which is later used to deglaze the pan!”[`hiccup`]

"She's too tossed! Our spells won't work on her. Quick--call Mothra before it's too late!"

“She’s too tossed! Our spells won’t work on her. Quick … use our holy incantation to call Mothra before it’s too late!”

"Before you grab your tasty little birds, it's a good idea to prep your favorite side-dish. I serving corn for tonight's guests!"

“Before you throttle or fricassee your tasty little birds alive, it’s a good idea to prep your favorite side-dish. I’m serving organic corn with tonight’s main course!”

"Mosu-RAH, Ya! Mosu-RAH! Come and save us from this tubby indo-moo. Wakka wakka, HUNG! Koko Ping-Pong mahjong. Ramen noodles and dung. Miley Cyrus!"

“Mosu-RAH, Ya! Mosu-RAH! Come and save us from this tubby indo-moo. Wakka wakka HUNG! Koko Ping-Pong mahjong. Ramen noodles and dung. Miley Cyrus!”

"When the time comes to cook, don't be afraid to just reach into that cage and grab your supper!"

“When the time comes to cook, don’t be afraid to just reach into that cage and grab your supper!”

"WAIT! NO! Don't touch us! We haven't finished our song! We've got fleas! We swear! Omigosh, that manicure is hideous!"

“WAIT! NO! Don’t touch us! We haven’t finished our song! We’ve got fleas! We swear! Omigosh, that manicure is hideous!”

"See how easy that was? I didn't feel like hovering over a sauté pan today so I just dunked them, feathers and all, in a deep fryer. In just five minutes flat ..."

“See how easy that was? I didn’t feel like hovering over a sauté pan today so I just dunked them, feathers and all, in a deep fryer. In just five minutes flat …”

"... look at the golden brown goodness you'll be able to enjoy with your significant other. My husband Jeffrey will be so thrilled when I let him out of the cellar to get a whiff of THIS! Oh ... wait ... my phone's ringing ..."

“… look at the crispy, golden brown goodness you’ll be able to enjoy with your significant other. My husband Jeffrey will be so thrilled when I let him out of the cellar to get a whiff of THIS! Oh … wait … my phone’s ringing …”

"Hello? Michael? Is that you?"

“Hello? Michael? Is that you?”

"Hey, everyone, it's my friend Michael! He owns a doll-shop down by the seashore. God, he's such a hunk! I tell ya, if I weren't married ... Anyway, excuse me while I take this call."

“Hey, everyone, it’s my friend Michael! He’s the one who owns a doll-shop down by the seashore. God, he’s such a hunk! I tell ya, if I weren’t married … Anyway, excuse me while I take this call.”

"So what's that you were saying, Michael? Wait ... hold on, honey. I can't hear you. Have you got your sewing machine going? There's what? Giant WHAT? Coming ashore in the Hamptons? Oh, Michael ... what have I told you about drinking while you work with gingham? Look, I gotta go. Dinner's just about ready and I have to unchain Jeffrey. You know how he gets. Lemme call you tomorrow ... and lay off the Chantilly. Have yourself a little Klonopin. Take a nice nap. Okay, honey. Bye bye."

“So what’s that you were saying, Michael? Wait … hold on, honey. I can’t hear you. Have you got your sewing-machine going? There’s what? Giant WHAT? Coming ashore in the Hamptons? Oh, Michael … what have I told you about drinking while you work with gingham? Look, I gotta go. Dinner’s just about ready and I have to go unchain Jeffrey. You know how he gets. Lemme call you tomorrow … and lay off the Chantilly. Have yourself a little Klonopin. Take a nice nap. Okay, honey. Bye bye.”

"I swear, that Michael is such a handful, sometimes. It must be all that untamed testosterone just pent-up and swirly around with nowhere to go in manly, hairy bachelor-body of his. He drinks when he runs-up a new dress pattern and then starts seeing things. Sometimes he cries. The guy needs a woman in his life ... fast. But anyway, I need to plate up these Asian chicks."

“I swear, that Michael is such a handful, sometimes. It must be all the untamed testosterone just pent-up and swirling around with nowhere to go in that manly, hairy bachelor-body of his. I get the shivers just thinking about it. See, he gets to drinking whenever he runs-up a new dress pattern, like most men, and then starts seeing stuff that isn’t there. Giant monsters. You wouldn’t believe the shit. Sometimes he cries. The guy needs a wife in his life … fast. But anyway, I need to plate up these Asian chicks.”

"There. Doesn't that look great? I like to leave their little leg bones in because I find it enhances the flavor, but you can skin & bone yours before frying, if you want. Now, I'll just go get the key to Jeffrey's manacles and then ... HOLY SHIT! ... What the hell is that noise outside. My God, the house is shaking. It sounds like a locomotive coming up the driveway!"

“There. Doesn’t that look great? I like to leave their little leg bones in because I find it enhances the flavor, but you can skin & bone yours before frying, if you want. Now, I’ll just go get the key to Jeffrey’s manacles and then … HOLY SHIT! … What the hell is that noise outside? My God, the whole friggin’ house is shaking. It sounds like a locomotive coming up the driveway!”

"If Michael had some kind of hissy-fit and stole his mother's garden tractor to plow through my roses again, I'll kill him!"

“If Michael threw some kind of hissy-fit and stole his mother’s garden-tractor to plow through my roses again, I’ll kill him!”

"... Well, I better go and see what all the fuss is about, but I'm bringing a turkey-fork just in case. Drunken bachelors can be so mean ..."

“… Well, I better go out on the front porch and see what all the fuss is about, but I’m bringing a turkey-fork just in case. Drunken bachelors can be so mean …”


__

Jonathan Kieran’s new novel is slated for release in Autumn 2014. Look for news about the book here and at Amazon.com in the coming weeks and months.

Jonathan is also the author of the classically appointed Rowan Blaize series of modern fairy-tales and novels. Visit Jonathan Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a “Like,” if you are so inclined. Meanwhile …

Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …

Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.

Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)

Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.

Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
__________________________________________
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Rowan Blaize Official Website
Goodreads

Food-Chat w/ Barb & Paula …

"Life hasn't always been so glamorous for me, darling. Before marrying a Park Avenue proctologist, a girl from my part of town had to be frugal. Lucky for me I learned thrift at my mother's hooves."

“Life hasn’t always been so glamorous for me, Paula. Sure, things get easier when you marry a suave Park Avenue proctologist, but in the old days a girl from my part of town had to be frugal. Lucky for me I learned thrift at Mother’s hooves!”

"What was your mama's most valuable piece of advice, Barb?"

“And what was your sweet mama’s most valuable piece of advice, Barb?”

"Parents must set a good example and always clean their plate in front of the children ... even if one of the children happens to be on the plate."

“A parent must set a good example and always clean her plate in front of the children … even if one of the children happens to be on the plate.”

"Wonderful, Barb! Now that's what they call real 'home-cookin,' ain't it?"

“Now that’s what I call real ‘home-cookin’!”


___

Jonathan Kieran’s new novel is slated for release in Fall 2014. Look for news about the release here and at Amazon.com in the coming weeks and months.

Jonathan is also the author of the classically appointed Rowan Blaize series of modern fairy-tales and novels. Visit Jonathan Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a “Like,” if you are so inclined. Meanwhile …

Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …

Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.

Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)

Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.

Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
__________________________________________
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Rowan Blaize Official Website
Goodreads

We All Have Smooth, Buttery #Delusions …

I've seen a lot of folks come in and out of rehab trying to shake some hard-core monkeys off their backs, but I never experienced true horror until I saw what butter can do to the average human being.

“In my career I’ve seen a lot of folks come in and out of rehab trying to shake some hard-core monkeys off their backs, but I never experienced true horror until I saw what butter can do to the average human being.”

"Nurse Peggy, how can you say such a thing about somethin' as harmless as a stick of sweet butter? I been using it my whole life and I ain't turned-out so bad!"

“Nurse Peggy, how can you say such nasty things about somethin’ as harmless as a stick of sweet creamy butter? I been using it my whole life and I ain’t turned-out so bad!”

"Get back to your room, doll, or I'm gonna have to turn the hose on you again."

“Get back to your room, doll, or we’re gonna have to turn the hose on you again.”

"But no one should be ashamed of butter-love, Peg! Bible-worshipping, God-fearin' American families have been raised on the stuff ..."

“But no one should be ashamed of butter-love, Peg! Bible-worshipping, God-fearin’ American families have been raised on the stuff …”

"Why, look at this picture of my sister and her family. They eat butter ten times a day and there ain't nothing wrong with them! Look at the expression of tranquility in the eyes of her boys!"

“Why, look at this picture of my sister and her family. They eat butter ten times a day and there ain’t nothing wrong with them! Look at the expression of tranquility in the eyes of her boys!”

"Look at my own beautiful sons, Jamie and Bobby! Do you think they got such a healthy glow and fine bone-structure from SmartBeat? Hell no!"

“Look at my own beautiful sons, Jamie and Bobby! Do you think they got that healthy glow from SmartBeat? Hell no!”

"I warned you, Paula. You are hear to recover from your buttery delusions, not to perpetuate them. Boys, get on in here and take her back to solitary until she's lucid."

“I warned you, Paula. You are here to recover from your buttery delusions, not to perpetuate them. Boys, get on in here and take her back to solitary until she’s lucid.”

"Come quietly, Ms. Deen. We don't want to hurt you, but it would be a lot of fun if we could get away with it."

“Come quietly, Ms. Deen. We don’t want to hurt you, but it would be a lot of fun if we could get away with it.”

"[sniff` sniff`] How am I ever gonna have that Old Plantation Party if I'm kept in solitary?"

“[sniff` sniff`] How am I ever gonna have that Plantation Party if I’m kept in solitary?!”

"You could always try to escape by greasing the padlock."

“You could always try to escape by greasing the padlock.”

"With WHAT?"

“With WHAT?”

"Why don't you use a little B U T T E R ..."

“Why don’t you use a little B U T T E R …”

" !!!! "

” !!!! “


_____

Jonathan Kieran’s new novel is slated for release in late Spring 2014. Look for news about the release here and at Amazon.com in the coming weeks and months.

Jonathan is also the author of the classically appointed Rowan Blaize series of modern fairy-tales and novels. Visit Jonathan Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a “Like,” if you are so inclined. Meanwhile …

Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …

Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.

Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)

Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.

Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
__________________________________________
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Rowan Blaize Official Website
Goodreads

“Drunk Cooking” at its FINEST. #cuisine

Finishing two novels in just over an eight-month span is an exercise in potentially disastrous flirtation … unless one happens to be a genius. (ahem.) I’m not concerned with anyone else’s process or peculiarities when it comes to creative discipline, but I do know a few objective things about crafting a proper book.

I'll melt your butter for you.

I’ll melt your butter for you.

First, only a ridiculous person would believe that quality in any long-format work can be achieved at the expense of time and a fair amount of tedium. If you’re going to attempt to circumvent the most fundamental aspects of artistic quantum physics while gunning for a masterpiece, then I suggest you hunt down the most reputable voodoo sorceress within a 500-mile radius and avail yourself of her supernatural powers. You’re going to need them, in order to cheat your way to genuine greatness and sneak past the capricious Gods of Literature, who are ever vigilant and who love nothing better than to punish unrepentant hacks for an eternity in the subterranean cesspits of Hades. [NOTE: The cesspits themselves are not considered punitive. Rather, the doomed and damned “author” will be forced to read his or her own work … forever. Basically, one ends-up steeped in sewage, no matter how you view the eschatological ramifications. Be ye Forewarned.]

Second, there is no more fulfilling way to take a day off from literary machinations and manipulations than by cooking a fabulous meal and stuffing one’s self (along with a friend) to the point of button-bursting, zipper-zapping discomfort. In this case, the accomplishment of painstaking culinary craftsmanship always justifies the resulting gluttony, not to mention the initial reluctance to spend a whole afternoon tapping-out storylines involving make-believe characters who will never, ever be able to taste a damn thing.

This weekend afforded me a superb opportunity to engage in such wanton gastronomic adventure, and the atmospheric conditions could not have been more conducive to fussing in the kitchen and making a big, delicious mess. Indeed, we in the parched wasteland of Northern California were favored at last with the year’s first relentless rainstorm. It was cold. It was gloomy. There was wine in the house. The downpour stirred feelings of rebellion and awakened my inner-libertine from its shadowy hibernation. I felt like cooking, like living on the edge.

The meal I threw together (at a racing escargot-cart pace, I assure you) turned out to be rather inspired, if I do say so myself. I had no guarantee that the individual components of the repast would add-up to an ultimately harmonious and satisfying taste-experience on the whole, but I did have a hunch that the flavors might bounce admirably off of each other. Therefore I took a chance and am pleased to report that, in the end, I was not disappointed. I don’t typically post recipes or anecdotes on this blog, but when something comes together as nicely as did my little soiree, I figure it’s worth sharing. If you feel like whipping-up a sumptuous feast of your own to get away from the humdrum and monotony of whatever might be monopolizing your existence–be your burden artful or pedestrian–then I am only too happy to proffer the following suggestions. By the way, I am not going to delineate the recipe with anything approaching Martha Stewart-ish or Ina Gartenesque meticulousness, so bear with me. I’m sure you can figure it out on a purely intuitive level, and if you can’t, treat yourself to a pizza or buy a bottle of tequila and a bag of limes. You won’t care whether or not you’ve spent the day profitably, and sometimes that is all that really matters: Not caring. Otherwise, this is what you’ll need in order to make …

I look blurry because you've been drinking too much.

I look blurry because you’ve been drinking too much.

Grilled Salmon & Prawns in a Lemon & White Wine Seafood Crème Sauce W/ Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Kale & Pancetta Salad (For two)

2 Pacific Salmon filets (Buy it as fresh as possible from your local fishmonger. You’re making something a bit elaborate here–seeing as a nifty sauce is featured–so save the frozen filets for less involved culinary exploits, wherein frozen filets are always more than adequate. My grocer also had a salmon-belly on ice, so I snapped that up, too. The belly is delicious and easy to cook–just be sure to monitor its progress if you grill or sauté it alongside the thicker filets.)

8 Large Prawns (I bought large Mexican prawns, which are quite flavorful and currently “in season” in NorCal.)

2 Large Idaho or 4-5 Medium-sized Yukon Gold Potatoes

1 Bunch Kale (Get it fresh and organic, if you can swing it.)

2 Large Shallots

8-9 Cloves of Garlic

2 Lemons

2-3 Slices Pancetta Bacon

2-3 Bottles Dry White Wine (Only one-quarter of one bottle of which is actually for cooking. I brought home some spectacular 2012 Sauvignon Blanc from Dawn’s Dream Winery, Monterey County.)

1 Pint Heavy Cream

1 Pint Sour Cream

2 Medium-sized Granny Smith Apples (Peeled and cored.)

Bag of Pecans or Slivered Almonds (I used almonds.)

White Wine Vinegar

Vermont Maple Syrup

1 Pint Raspberries

Chicken Stock (at least 16-oz.)

Canola Oil (The previous four ingredients are for the Raspberry Vinaigrette that accompanies the salad, but you can save yourself a lot of bother by simply buying a respectable bottle of dressing at the market. There’ll be more money for wine.)

One 8-oz. stick of Paula Dean’s Congealed Sweat (AKA butter)

Herbes de Provence (Non-negotiable. Really. I mean it. If you are especially lucky a Magical Empress will send you Druid Salt, as well, but you won’t be so lucky, so forget about that.)

Okay, the first thing I did was prepare the prawn-stock that was intended to form a base for my white wine crème-sauce, and this required only the cleaning of the 8 Mexican prawns. It was great to get it out of the way — I set the prawns aside in a salt, pepper, Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Herbes de Provence marinade, and put the prawn shells, tails, and legs into a little saucepan with about a cup and a half – two cups of fresh water. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and let it reduce by at least 3/4 for 20-25 minutes. Be sure to have the exhaust-fan on or else your living room will start to attract stray cats. When the prawn liquid has reduced sufficiently, put it through a reasonably fine strainer (or some old mosquito netting you brought back from that Kenyan safari) and set the amber liquid aside at room-temp for use in the sauce later on.

Next, I peeled and boiled the potatoes. These take the longest and they are annoying to make so it’s best to get those out of the way once everything else starts coming together, and once you get ready to make the sauce for this meal, things come together relatively quickly.

Wash the kale thoroughly and chop coarsely. Many people like to eat their kale raw in a salad, but I prefer mine lightly braised in a bit of olive oil. Whatever your preference, get your kale ready and set it aside in a mixing bowl.

I used the same sauté-pan used to braise the kale for the pancetta bacon. Mince one of the large shallots and cut the pancetta into thin strips and then cross-cut the strips into pieces. Sauté the shallot first in the pan until soft and translucent (don’t let it burn or get too brown) and then add the pancetta. Saute until flavors are blended and bacon is relatively crisp, but still moist and al dente. Set pancetta and shallot aside, separate from the braised kale. Peel, core and cut into matchstick-sized slices the two Granny Smith apples. Set those aside as well but be sure to toss them in a fair amount of raw lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.

Start working on the sauce while your salmon filets/prawns are marinating in crushed garlic, salt, pepper, and EV Olive Oil.

Over medium high heat, sauté 5-oz. of butter, 5 cloves of crushed or minced garlic, and one whole shallot (chopped or minced). Make sure the butter does not brown, and that the garlic and shallot remain translucent and supple. Stir fairly frequently. If you’re drunk by this time, it might be a good idea to turn the heat down to medium, just to be on the safe side. Yeah. Turn it down.

The salmon and prawns are going to require only eight minutes to prepare (with the prawns going on the grill for only three minutes, tops) so gauge the progress of your sauce accordingly. Meanwhile, your potatoes should be boiled, so drain them, strain them, and then mash them in a stainless steel bowl along with 4-oz of butter, 4 tablespoons of sour cream, and a half-cup of chicken-stock that has been heated to at least room-temperature. When smooth, creamy, and perfect, put a tight-fitting cover or a piece of aluminum foil over the stainless steel bowl of ‘taters and set them aside on a heated surface of some sort. I used my wood stove in this instance, but any warm surface will do. If you time things correctly the mashed potatoes will easily retain their heat until dinner is served.

With the temperature just above medium, add the prawn stock, the juice of one lemon, and the white wine to your sauté-pan and let the mixture reduce by half–no more and no less. This will take about 10-15 minutes, depending upon how sauced you are. Right about the time you stumble out to grill the salmon and the prawns, add a quarter-cup of heavy cream to the sauce, as long as the liquid has reduced by half. Turn the heat down to low and stir constantly (or as often as you can get away from monitoring the grilling seafood). Add a few pinches of corn-starch or flour to the wine sauce to form a roux, if you wish, but you really don’t have to do so–the sauce should end-up with enough body to cling admirably to the salmon and, ideally, it is not meant to be gravy-like in consistency. You want to be able to see the nice grilled salmon and prawns on your plate.

Toss the kale with the apples, the pancetta & shallot mixture, and almond slivers (or pecans) with a raspberry vinaigrette, or homemade vinaigrette made with Vermont maple syrup, canola oil, and white wine vinegar. Do NOT use balsamic vinegar. You want a sweet dressing to offset the tartness of the apples and the earthiness of the braised kale.

When finished, bring it all together on a plate, like the one below, tear yourself away from the rat-race, light a couple of candles, pour MORE wine, and savor this delectable goodness I have bestowed upon you by virtue of my incomparably versatile talent and enviable instinct. Oh, yeah: make sure a comfortable chair is prepared before a single bite is consumed, preferably within crawling distance. Enjoy. Eat your little hearts out and thank me later, if you want. Get back to your “world-building” tomorrow.

I can't believe you made it this far. Go ahead, until you're snoring on the tabletop next to an overturned glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

I can’t believe you made it this far. Go ahead, eat until you’re snoring on the tabletop next to an overturned glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

_______

Jonathan Kieran’s new novel is slated for release in late Spring 2014. Look for news about the release here and at Amazon.com in the coming weeks and months.

Jonathan is also the author of the classically appointed Rowan Blaize series of modern fairy-tales and novels. Visit Jonathan Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a “Like,” if you are so inclined. Meanwhile …

Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …

Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.

Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)

Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.

Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
__________________________________________
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Rowan Blaize Official Website
Goodreads

When #FairyTales Attack. #troubledchildhood

Three bowls of food only animals would eat and three strange beds in one day? This Goldilocks had some issues, Mother. What happened to her when she grew up?

“Three bowls of food that only animals would eat and three strange beds in one day? This Goldilocks had some issues, Mother. What happened to her when she grew up?”

"The storybooks don't say, darling, but I wouldn't be surprised if it all ended in tears ..."

“The storybooks don’t say, darling, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it all ended in tears …”

" ... and when I realized there weren't no butter in that porridge, I just wanted to lay down & die, but all the beds were full of itchy black hairs!"

” … no butter whatsoever in the damn porridge and the beds just full of those itchy black hairs?!”

"It happened forty years ago, but I always knew the experience would come back to haunt me."

” … My Lord, It happened fifty years ago, but I always knew the experience would come back to haunt me. Mama told me to stay away from those people, but I was a naughty little girl.sniff. snewff. bwuh …“”


__________

Jonathan Kieran’s (as-yet-untitled) new novel is slated for release in late Spring 2014. Look for news about the release here and at Amazon.com in the coming weeks and months.

Jonathan is also the author of the classically appointed Rowan Blaize series of modern fairy-tales and novels. Visit Jonathan Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a “Like,” if you are so inclined. Meanwhile …

Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below ….

Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.

Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)

Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.

Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
__________________________________________
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Rowan Blaize Official Website
Goodreads