Writing My first Cozy Mystery Blog: Sunday Special: A Few of My Favorite Things

Today, I thought I'd take a break from the saga of writing my first cozy mystery novel and tell you about a few of my favorite things. They say good things come in threes, so here goes...

3 Recipes I’m Making 


Alton Brown's Granola. So easy. Absolutely delicious. Its alchemy of a sort. You start with humble ingredients; rolled oats, cashews, almonds, coconut, brown sugar, maple syrup, oil, and salt, mix and bake them at 250F for 90 minutes, add raisins, and end up with a golden treat. Its got just the right balance of crunchy and sweet. I use it to top a dish of fruit and yogurt. Bonus: I haven’t done the math, but I’m pretty sure I’m saving money over the bagged product I used to buy. 



NYT Savory Butternut Squash Pie: Easy and elegant. The provolone cheese elevates the flavor and texture. I make it in a 9 x 12 rectangular pan. You could make a vegan version with phyllo and a Miyoko's cheese. Just yum. 



Minimalist Baker Sweet Potato Chick Pea Buddhah Bowl This is a great weekday dinner. Everything except the chick peas goes onto a sheet pan in the oven. First the sweet potatoes and red onions, then broccolini (or broccoli), then kale (I usually skip this). The chick peas get a quick saute with spices. The three ingredient sauce goes together in a minute. The end result is layers of flavor and texture, warm and spicy, and filling.




3 Ways I’m Trying to Walk Lightly on Our Planet 

Blue Land Hand Soap Tablets It was a progression to get here. Long, long ago, I used to buy individual bottles of hand soap. Then I bought large plastic bottles of soap to refill the bottles. I'm on a mission to remove as much plastic from my life as possible, so I switched to foaming hand soap concentrate from Grove that comes in metal bottles. Then, I found Blue Land tablets. I have glass dispenser bottles, so I buy the refill packs. Each little round tablet + water makes a bottle of foaming hand soap. Each tablet is in a brown paper wrapper and they come in recyclable packaging. 

Preserve Toothbrushes: Another journey. One Green Planet says "Plastic Toothbrushes Add 50 Million Pounds of Waste to Landfills Every Year!" Several years ago, I ditched the plastic and switched to bamboo. Lately, I've been unsure about the sustainability of bamboo, so I switched to these beauties. The handles are made from 100% recycled #5 plastic yogurt cups and shipped in a low impact paper package. You can send your used brushes back for recycling. Preserve says 6 brushes in an empty "plastic beverage container ships for less than $3 and they send you a $6 Preserve coupon.


Neighborhood Compost: The website Ethical Choice says "When food is composted, carbon dioxide is released, but when the food is dumped in landfills, methane is released which heats up our planet twenty-five times more than carbon dioxide."

I wanted to compost, but I live in a townhouse community where the HOA frowns on that sort of thing, and there are bears. Earthworm composting is an option, but I just couldn't... Then, I found Neighborhood Compost - a subscription based compost pick up service in NJ. You put your food scraps in the 5 gallon bucket they provide. They pick it up and do the hard work. You get finished compost in return. If you don't need the compost, they donate it to local farms. I am not on a pick up route, so I drop my bucket off at the farm. Also check out Garden State Composting , Java's Compost, Green Bucket Compost, and Compost Now, which has a list of compost pickup services all over the country!


3 Things I’m Listening To 


Jessica Smucker“Stones to Throw” 

Jessica throws a quirky twist into the everyday experiences of life as a wife and mother and songwriter and poet - and she does it to perfection.




Steve Kirchuk “What Happened” I have admired Steve's guitar playing, and spot-on lyrics, since we met at an open mic many years ago. This new song - and the video - are pretty great.










Janis Ian“I’m Still Standing” – and the whole new album  - absolutely outstanding! She spoke to me as a shy and lonely teenager, and she still speaks to me now as an almost 65 year old. She is an artist and an activist and one of my all-time heroes.


Feel free to mention things you love in the comments. If you'd like to seem more of what I'm cooking, check out the School Lunch Organic Farm and CSA Facebook Page, where I regularly post things I've made with the veggies from my CSA share. Stop back here each Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday for a new post. I'll be returning to the topic of writing - and selling - my first cozy mystery. Please follow me on Twitter (@karenkamenetsky) and FB (Karen Kamenetsky Music) and consider signing up for the mailing list on this site. Thanks for your support. Remember, when I sell my book, you get bragging rights to say "I helped!"

#writinglife #cozymystery #amquerying



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