Dying for Dinner

One look at model and Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi, and you’ll never believe that nachos or potato chips pass those lips. But she admits to a love of all foods, even the most treacherous of the deep-fried and battered. She told Fitness Magazine that she believes in doing everything in moderation. She allows herself to have what she wants, even if it’s fried chicken, and she keeps up with her exercise. We feel the same about moderation. While we try to make sure that we get lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables the majority of the time, it’s nice to go for the truly decadent every once in a while.

Blu Cheese Chips

By Cara Brookins

This classy cheese-lover’s dish was created for the launch of the psychological thriller, Little Boy Blu.

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2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped finely
2 tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
½ lb blue cheese, crumbled. (2 cups)
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
One bag blue corn chips (or thick cut potato chips)

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add onion. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 5-7 minutes. Stir in flour. Whisk the milk in slowly. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until thickened. (About 5 minutes.) Remove from heat. Whisk in the blue cheese. Add cayenne and salt.

Put half the potato chips in a large bowl and drizzle with half of the sauce. Add remaining chips and then drizzle with the rest of the sauce. Serve immediately.

Caramel Apple Pie Sippin’ Moonshine

By Ross Cavins

CaramelApplePieMoonshineThis recipe was handed down through the generations to my characters Clint and Waylon Easley, the stars of the first short story in “Follow The Money”, and the unpublished book, The Chasity Hustle. Their daddy used to make it every fall when the apples were ripe, and their mama would heat some up as a bedtime toddy.

The boys took up making moonshine in their late teens, but after blowing up their still twice, they started buying their hooch from Old Man Farley. When he went blind from a batch of his own shine, however, they began buying Everclear from the liquor store.

Whipped cream vodka and caramel candies were added over the years as the boys brought the recipe into current drinking culture. One time they even experimented with absinthe, and it took two months for Waylon to grow his eyebrows back.

This sippin’ moonshine is great over ice on a hot, humid day, or warmed on the stove and served in front of a cozy winter fire. Just don’t sit too close.

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1/2 gal apple juice
1/2 gal apple cider
1 cup white sugar
2 cups brown sugar
1 bottle Everclear (750 ml)
1/2 bottle whipped cream vodka (375 ml)
1 Granny Smith apple (pureed)
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
4 cinnamon sticks (cut 1-inch pieces)
39 soft caramel pieces

1. Remove all the caramel pieces from their wrappers. This’ll take a while, so you should be prepared to take a shot of vodka about halfway through to keep your strength up.
2. Cut apple into tiny pieces and puree in food processor.
3. Combine apple juice, apple cider, white sugar, brown sugar, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, caramel, apple, and cinnamon sticks into huge stockpot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally to make sure caramel and sugars completely melt. Do not stick hand in the pot. Use a long stick, or possibly a wooden spatula.
4. After everything is liquefied, cover and let simmer for another hour while you watch a rerun of Justified on your VCR (or Netflix if you’re technologically inclined).
5. Remove pot from heat and let cool for a while.
6. Add Everclear and vodka. Stir well.
7. Remove one mug-full of mixture and set aside.
8. Strain pot into mason jars using a wire strainer and funnel combination. Add 2 cinnamon stick pieces to each jar, seal, and refrigerate.
9. Watch another episode of Justified while you sip on your warm, newly created libation.

Cara Brookins

Cara Brookins is the author of seven published novels, and has been speaking at events since 2004. Brookins is also a partner in MySocialFam, a social media consulting company that she owns and operates with her four children. Brookins’ works include the adult thriller Little Boy Blu, the YA Timeshifters trilogy, Treasure Quest, and the middle grade Gadget Geeks and Doris Free novels. Her latest book, Rise: How a House Built a Family, is a memoir about leaving a domestic violence situation with her four children and building Inkwell Manor, their 3,500 square foot home, from the ground up with their own hands. Rise sold at auction to St. Martin’s Press and will be available in the fall of 2016. Brookins has keynoted multiple events and has also given lectures and appeared on panels at national writers’ conferences, including Thrillerfest, Killer Nashville, Arkansas Literary Festival, and Bouchercon. Brookins also frequently speaks at universities across the country about writing and social media. CaraBrookins.com

Ross Cavins

Ross Cavins is a web developer and author of the award-winning book, Follow The Money, and the 2014 Claymore Award Finalist, Barry vs. The Apocalypse. A self-appointed disciple of Elmore Leonard, he writes from his home in North Carolina where he pretends that people pay him to do what he loves. His sense of humor is sort of like Disco; you dance to it even if you don’t admit it.

These recipes are so good they should be a crime. If you concoct either of these great recipes, let us know what you think and send us a picture. We may include it here with a link to your website.

What are you cooking?  Submit your favorite recipes. They can be based on your favorite literary character, your Aunt Clara’s, or some amalgamation of ingredients you’ve discovered that makes life worth living (nothing with arsenic seasoning, please). Make sure to include your contact information and explanation of the origin of the recipe. Send your submissions (to which you avow in a court of law that you have all rights to and are granting the nonexclusive rights to Killer Nashville to use in any form and at any time) with subject line “Dying For Dinner” to contact@KillerNashville.com.

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