Wednesday, July 1, 2009

"Turn Up the Heat" CONTEST and Recipe!

Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant write a fun series and offer a great online newsletter called Food Fiction. So I asked Jessica to share a summer recipe--and two copies of Turn Up the Heat--
Thank you Joanna for having me stop by!
I write the Gourmet Girl mystery series that’s set in the Boston restaurant scene. I think of the series as a cozy, culinary, chick lit mystery read… sort of Julia Child meets Bridget Jones meets Janet Evanovich. (Well, fine, I’ll admit most of authors would like to be compared to Janet, but, hey…)
My heroine Chloe Carter is a graduate student, struggling her way through social work school, and dating a charming and talented chef. There are lots of restaurant insider details (many courtesy of my chef husband and his pals) and recipes at the end of the book (also from my chef and from other chefs who generously contributed to the book.) I also put out a monthly newsletter, Food Fiction, with my pal Michele Scott (of the wonderful Wine Lovers series) and we’re having a blast welcoming guest authors and cooks. We’d love to have you sign up and promise to deliver delicious recipes, book and author news, and awesome contests!

Summer is supposedly upon us, although it’s been doing nothing but pouring here in New Hampshire recently. But, food-wise, I will not be discouraged. Tomato season will arrive, and there are already some wonderful tomatoes popping up in the stores and at farm stands. My plants haven’t had nearly enough sun yet, but I am looking forward to the day I can go into the backyard and pick my own. And despite the rain, we’ve been doing plenty of grilling at home—everything tastes better on the grill! I am a huge fan of fresh oregano and have two very large plants outside that I pick from often. It’s so easy to grow and survives brutal winters, so even if you have not the slightest hint of a green thumb, you can throw a plant in a pot, water it when you remember, and have it flourish.

The other night I tossed together a very nice (and easy!) pasta dish. I roughly chopped up some onion and beautiful tomatoes, tossed them in olive oil, salt, and pepper and cooked them briefly in a cast iron pan on the grill. (If you don’t have a cast iron pan, you can use a fajita pan, or even skewer the veggies.) I let them cook just until the onions started to soften a bit and the tomatoes began to release some juices. Mix this with your favorite pasta (I’m a tagliatelle fan), more olive oil, a big handful of freshly chopped oregano (stems removed, please!), and some Parmesan. I love this kind of dish at room temperature, and if you let it sit out for an hour before eating, the pasta will really soak of some of the delicious flavor. As the season goes on and more and more gorgeous produces becomes available, we’ll all be able to cook very simply by relying on the rich flavors of the season. Enjoy!
Email me (Joanna) at and put JESSICA in the subject line. Be sure to include your name, postal address, and phone number. On July 9, I'll select two lucky winners from the entrants. I'll announce the winners' names on the Inkspot Blog ( on July 10.

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to read the book! And the pasta recipe sounds to easy. Hope my effort turns out as good as yours!