featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


Award-winning author Tony-Paul de Vissage’s first movie memory is of being six years old, viewing the old Universal horror flick, Dracula’s Daughter on television, and being scared sleepless. Nightmares and a lifelong interest in vampires followed, and now he’s paying back his very permissive parents by writing about the children of the night.  Learn more about Tony-Paul and his books here. 

When I get into writing a novel—whether it’s simply beginning it or after I’m deeply involved with the plot—I don’t want to stop for anything. That includes that mundane but necessary activity called eating.  Since I’m a total klutz in the kitchen, I’ve been known to let my stomach growl so loudly I begin typing in rhythm to its squeals and skirls. 

Give me finger food…chips, cookies, crackers or trail mix…something I can scoop up in one hand while I type with the other.

Hard-working authors do have to eat, however…to keep up their strength for those long writing sessions. Since I’m currently between companions, especially the kind who know how to cook, to keep up my strength while spending those long hours at the keyboard, I whip up easy-to-prepare foods that can be made ahead of time so all I have to do is toss them into the microwave, press a button, and get back to writing until the bell dings.

Fast and easy, that’s my motto. 

I like soups, especially in winter, and a cup of soup is as nourishing, filling, and warming in winter as anything a diner could wish. I’m offering this recipe for the Southern vegetable soup, using canned and fresh vegetables.

Southern Vegetable Soup

1 can mixed vegetables (with packing water)
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 fresh carrot (unpeeled & diced))
1 small white potato (with the skin left on & diced)
1 large slice Spanish onion (diced)
1 cube salt pork (if unavailable, use 2 T I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)
1 cup water
Salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder to taste.

Scrub and dice fresh vegetables. Place in large cast-iron soup pan. (If none available, use regular large saucepan.) Add canned vegetables. (Do not drain, add packing water also.) Add crushed tomatoes and stir well to mix. 

Score salt pork and add.

Add seasonings, to taste.

Heat until boiling, then stir and cook on low until all vegetables are tender.

Pour into bowl and serve with corn bread or soup crackers.

Makes enough for four hearty servings.

Curse of the Green Fairy

Absinthe…the drink they call the Green Fairy…addictive and deadly, destroying sanity.

Absinthe…a beautiful young man, as seductive and habit-forming as the liqueur for which he’s named…amoral and beguiling, once he’s tasted, he can never be forgotten.

A marquis’ son raised in a New Orleans whorehouse, ripped from his lover’s arms and thrust into the world of French nobility, Absinthe strives to be what his father wishes. He may escape his past but his voodoo teachings follow him, causing death and madness to those he loves.

Cursed before he was conceived, born noble, forced into debauchery, then rescued by a father’s love…but is he really free?
Absinthe…behold, a beautiful monster.

Tony-Paul’s latest novel is Essence of Absinthe, the sequel to his historical horror novel Absinthe. Set in late 18th century New Orleans, in this historical Gothic, a young Frenchman in search of questions about his deceased brother discovers family secrets, ghostly possession, and spirits who refuse to rest.

Essence of Absinthe will be available March 15. 


Angela Adams said...

This soup looks like a great treat on a rainy winter day! Thanks for the post.

Alicia Dean said...

The recipe and the book sound wonderful...thanks for sharing!!

Tony-Paul de Vissage said...

My family always ate a lot of soups in winter...vegetable, split pea, as well as corn chowder, the former with cornbread, the latter with croissants. Glad you like the recipe.

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Mmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm - delicious! I LOVE homemade soup!
Good luck and God's blessings

TheaH said...

I love soup. My partner does not. So I make a batch and eat it for lunch and send some up to my elderly parents. This one is easy to make and sounds delicious. The book sounds wonderful as well. Now it's on my to read list!