Karen’s Killer Fixin’s
with KATE KARYUS QUINN!
Welcome to my Friday bonus feature called Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special**!! Today, in lieu of one of my own recipes, I’m going to introduce you to a new author who will share one of her favorite recipes. Not only will you and I occasionally learn how to make something new and delicious, but we’ll get a chance to check out some wonderful authors. Introducing author, KATE KARYUS QUINN, and her favorite recipe for BEEF, BEER, QUINOA, AND BLACK BEAN CHILI!!
THE SHOW MUST GO ON
The Show Girls Romantic Comedy Series Book 1
BY KATE KARYUS QUINN
While You Were Sleeping meets Pitch Perfect in this hilarious romantic comedy that will have you laughing—and singing along too.
Jenna is certain of three things:
1. No way is she already thirty years old.
2. Annie the musical should never be crossed with Fifty Shades of Grey.
(But this perfectly describes the show she’s currently starring in.)
3. She can never return home—even if after twelve years her ex-boyfriend, Danny, wakes up from his coma and asks for her by name.
(Which he does.)
Okay, so sometimes Jenna gets a few things wrong. But she’s definitely sticking with her never going home plan. (At least until Danny’s younger brother, Will, arrives on Jenna’s doorstep and insists on escorting her back to Buffalo, NY—and Danny’s bedside.)
Fine. Maybe Jenna can go home again. But she’s not staying.
And she’s definitely not falling in love.
For fans of Sally Thorne, Penny Reid, and Lucy Parker, this standalone chick lit novel will give you all the feels.
My whole body is tensed, ready for flight. Or to hide in the bathroom again. But it’s too late for that. And now I’m standing here stupidly staring at Will.
“The door was open,” he repeats in this oh-so-reasonable tone.
There’s something about the way he states this obvious fact—for the second time—not like he thinks I’m hard of hearing, but more as if he wants to make sure I get it.
It’s been years, but suddenly it’s like no time has passed.
Nice to see Will hasn’t lost his talent for making me feel small and lesser than.
Another thing that hasn’t changed: I’d rather gnaw off my own knuckles than let him see how much I care.
“Oh, wow, that’s right. Thanks so much for pointing that out,” I gush in my best faux-chipper voice. “I’ve always had trouble distinguishing the difference between a closed door and an open one. But I think I got it now, so if you wouldn’t mind taking a few steps out into the hallway, I’ll go ahead and close it.”
Will sighs. No, he doesn’t. Sighing is for weaker, less rational people. Will looks like he wants to sigh, but instead he just slowly breathes out through his nose instead.
“Can we both be adults here?”
He puts a slight emphasis on both. As if to insinuate that he, of course, is already comfortably ensconced on adult island. It’s been his preferred residence since the age of five or so.
So now I smile. It’s my stage smile, which ensures people in the back row can see all my teeth. “You know, Will, the door was open just now, but you might recall how yesterday—” As I say it, my brain catches up with my mouth, and I realize, yes, it was Will at the door last night! And it must have been him in the theater too. “Yesterday,” I repeat triumphantly, “I closed that same door in your face. It’s what I do to all my stalkers.”
“Sensible strategy. Just to be clear though, you slammed it,” Will corrects, which is another awful thing about him. He’s one of those people who has to be perfectly precise about everything. “The whole building shuddered.”
“Fine,” I concede. “I slammed it. And did you take that to mean, please come again?”
Will breathes another non-sigh. “It doesn’t have to be this way.” He’s going back to that whole reasonable thing, like he’s hoping it’s contagious.
He holds both cups of coffee out to me. “This one has cream and sugar. The other is black. Which would you prefer?”
I stare at the caffeine, knowing it’s not a peace offering. It’s a chunk of cheese on a mousetrap. And yet I can’t help myself. I grab the black coffee. “I’m taking this because I really need coffee, but I still want you to leave.”
“I’m sorry, Jenna, but I’m not leaving.” Will takes a deliberate step forward so that he’s no longer in the doorway but standing on the carpet—officially inside my apartment.
“Hey!” I squawk as he takes another step and then another until he is standing directly in front of me. “I did not invite you in. Get back!” I wave my hands in a shooing motion, which doesn’t budge Will an inch but does set the dogs barking again.
“My brother woke up three days ago after being in a coma for twelve years.” He raises his voice to be heard over the dogs, and even though he’s still trying to sound oh so reasonable, there’s an undeniable edge to it now. “Twelve years since I’ve been able to talk with him and hear him answer back. Twelve years since he’s eaten or laughed or pretended snoring because I was boring him.”
“Pretend snore. Classic comedy bit,” I interject in an attempt to derail this speech because raw emotion makes me super uncomfortable.
A muscle twitches along the side of Will’s jaw, but otherwise he continues as if I hadn’t spoken. “I want nothing more than to catch up on lost time with my brother. Instead, I’m here in some dusty corner of California, and I am not to return home until I can do so with you by my side.”
“Wow,” I say, because wow. “Look, just because some crazy person—your mom, I’m guessing—tells you to break into my apartment and abduct me, doesn’t mean you have to do it.”
I can’t resist reaching out to give his arm a patronizing little pat. A way to show him that if he’s gonna invade my space, I’ll go ahead and do the same. It’s on the third pat that I realize my fingertips have connected with what seems to be sculpted marble beneath his shirtsleeve. Suddenly, I can’t help noticing Will is tall, but not in the spindly way he used to be.
I’m still patting his arm. I can’t seem to stop, as I take in its ropey musculature and how it leads up to a set of incredibly broad shoulders.
And we are close. Too close.
I drop my hand and back away.
Kate Karyus Quinn is an avid reader and menthol chapstick addict with a BFA in theater and an MFA in film and television production. She lives in Buffalo, New York with her husband, three children, and one enormous dog. Sign up for her newsletter for exclusive content and giveaways!
Links to Kate’s website, blog, books, etc.
I hope you enjoy the recipe Kate is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!
P.S. We’re at 436 recipes and counting with this posting. Hope you find some recipes you like. If this is your first visit, please check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right-hand column menu, you can even look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, Author Specials, etc.
Note from Kate: I grew up hating my mom’s chili. It was full of big gross kidney beans and giant chunks of onion and tomato. It was a picky eater’s nightmare. Now, at 40 years old with three kids of my own – chili is my favorite thing to make. I love how easily adaptable it is. This is a chili recipe that my husband and I have adapted over the years to fit our family’s tastes. The beans are small and there are no chunks of onion or tomato. Obviously, I haven’t stopped being a picky eater (and two of my children now share the picky gene), but I have found ways to make the work with the ingredients I once found so objectionable. This chili is something that we all eat. And enjoy. I hope you enjoy it too! If you want to check out the original recipe you can find it here: https://www.food.com/recipe/beef-chili-with-bacon-black-beans-208132)
BEEF, BEER, QUINOA, AND BLACK BEAN CHILI
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped fine (I put them in my food processor – great picky eater trick, they basically melt away into the chili)
2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1⁄4 cup chili powder (not a typo – this uses A LOT of chili powder, but don’t worry – it’s not overwhelmingly spicy)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 lb lean ground beef
3 (16 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed (can decrease this amount if you’re not a bean lover)
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (28 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 bottle of beer (we like to use Corona or similar light beer)
1 cup of quinoa
We top our chili with cheese and serve it with tortilla chips. Sometimes if we’re feeling fancy we add a squeeze of lime.
- Heat olive oil in large dutch oven. Add onions and bell pepper. Cook until beginning to soften. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, pepper flakes, oregano, and cayenne; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Increase heat to medium-high and add the beef; cook, breaking up pieces with wooden spoon, until no longer pink.
- Add beans, beer, quinoa, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, quinoa and 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
- Remove cover and continue to simmer 1 hour longer, stirring occasionally (if chili begins to stick to bottom of pot, stir in 1/2 cup water and continue to simmer), until beef is tender and chili is dark, rich, and slightly thickened.
- Adjust seasoning with additional salt.
- Serve with whatever you want. Hopefully you’ll have some leftovers because it’s even better the next day!
Thanks, Kate, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!