Elle Cosimano

Getting Away With It

I’m blogging today over Ink & Angst. Drop by for tips on finding affordable furnished cabins for impromptu winter weekend getaways, perfect for writing retreats.

Jan

06, 2012 |

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Illumination

Today, I’m guest blogging over at Chicklets in the Kitchen.  Drop by, read about Hanukkah traditions and try my family’s recipe for Potato Latkes.  And be sure to comment for a chance to win a box of Latke mix to try at home.

Dec

13, 2011 |

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When Elijah Came To Dinner

I’m blogging today over at Ink & Angst.  Drop by to read about the most memorable Thanksgiving guest I’ve ever had.

This year, I am grateful for supportive family, talented, creative and enthusiastic friends, and for finding an outlet for my stories. Here’s to a memorable, meaningful, and sparkling holiday season! Cheers!

Nov

25, 2011 |

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Dark YA Blogfest

Today, I’m blogging over at Ink & Angst. Drop by and comment. We’re participating in the Dark YA Blog Fest and I’m sharing my favorite dark YA book, THE MARBURY LENS.

 

Nov

02, 2011 |

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Revision Advice From the Deep

I’m tired. It’s been a long day at the keyboard, and I think I have negative 342 words to show for it. So I’ll keep this short.

I call this segment “Revision Advice From My Six Year Old” — and I think it’s pretty damn brilliant.

Scene Opens with Mommy, head on kitchen table.

Thing 2:  Mom, are you tired?

Mom:  Yep.

Thing 2:  Are you sad?

Mom:  Maybe a little.

Thing 2:  [long pause] What did you do today?

Mom:  I worked on my book all day.

Thing 2:  Then why are you sad?

Mom:  [sigh] I made a lot of mistakes.

Thing 2:  [longer pause] You know, your computer is just like my DS. When I play Super Scribblenauts and I make a mistake, there’s a button I can push that makes the mistake go away.  And then I just fix it.  You can prob’ly do that on yours.

Mom:  [lifts head and smiles just a little]  Yeah?

Thing 2:  And you know what else?

Mom:  What?

Thing 2:  Sometimes, when I draw pictures of hard things — like Big Eye Tuna — I mess up the curvy part of the dorsal fin — that part’s really hard — and then it doesn’t look right.  So I use the eraser.  Sometimes if there’s no eraser left I just draw an X over it.  And if I run out of room for all the X’s, I just flip the paper over.

Mom:  Then what?

Thing 2:  Then I start again.  You can prob’ly do that too.

Mom:  So you’re telling me I should just keep fixing it until I get it right?

Thing 2:  Yep.  That’s just what you do.

Mom:  You know, you’re pretty smart, kid.

Thing 2:  [shrugs] I draw a lot of tunas.

 

 

Best Crit Group Ever
World’s Best Crit Group – and our tuna.

Sep

21, 2011 |

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Kid Versus The Volcano

Come find me. I’m blogging about conquering fear today over at Ink & Angst. There will be high-speed action and scary music. There will be screaming and FIRE!  So don’t miss it.

For those who don’t know, Ink & Angst is a group of talented and inspiring YA and MG writers. We met at a writing conference last winter. We blog together, we critique together, and we have fun together as we support each other through the daunting path to publication.

Stay tuned for some great new developments at I & A this fall as we prepare to roll out a series of interviews with some of 2012’s hottest debut YA and MG authors!

Sep

16, 2011 |

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Can't Take The Heat?

This is my mother’s kitchen. The woman cooks like nobody’s business, and this is where she creates.

Mom's Kitchen

It’s open. It breathes.

View From Mom's Kitchen

And this is Nana, my mother.

Mom with Croc

She looked at me one day and understood that I needed to breathe, so she made me a room with a writing desk in the jungle. It overlooks the Caribbean Sea. My father swung the hammer and built the walls. And when it was done, my mother took my children and sent me to that room to take my tiger by the tail… or maybe it was a crocodile. All I know is it had sharp teeth, but she made me do it anyway. She didn’t say “You can write a book.” She said “Go write a book,” in that pointed, inarguable way that only a mother can. So I did.

This is where I work when I need to breathe. When I want to create. Where I challenge myself to grapple with things that bite. When I want my children to see the best parts of me.

View From Roof Deck

And this is what I’m making for dinner tonight. It’s really spicy —  it’s got bite. It’s my mother’s creation. It reminds me to breathe.

Escabeche

 

Escabeche Chicken
An original recipe by Elle’s mom (adapted for ingredients available in the US)

1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
8 chicken thighs (skin on)
1 small red pepper, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup peeled carrots, thick sliced
1/2 cup chopped onion (chunky, not fine)
1 seeded fresh jalapeno, sliced thin (optional)
1 small can Escabeche peppers sliced (pickled jalapeno/rajas en escabeche)
1 small jar or can of mushrooms, drained and sliced
1 cup very strong Caldo de Pollo broth (or chicken bouillon, more concentrated than package directions – strong and cloudy!)
1 cup Tamarind Sauce
1 small can pigeon peas, drained (or chick peas — regular canned peas will not work)
4 white potatoes, cut length-wise
1 small head white cabbage, quartered
1 small head red cabbage, quartered

Saute garlic in oil in very large pan. Add chicken thighs to hot oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and lightly brown on each side. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Add chopped peppers, carrots, onions, and fresh jalapeno to remaining hot oil in pan. Saute until only slightly translucent. Add the drained escabeche slices and simmer together. Do not over-soften.

Boil 1 cup water and add enough chicken bouillon to make a very strong, concentrated cloudy broth (use a bit more than package directions). Mix in 1 cup Tamarind sauce.  Add reserved escabeche liquid, approx 1/4 – 1/2 cup (to taste).

Put chicken, cabbage and potatoes in a VERY large covered baker (I use the deep covered baker from Pampered Chef — about 13 x 9 x 5.5 — and this recipe completely fills it, but any very large covered baker should do.) Pour veggies over top. Sprinkle on peas. Pour broth mix over everything.

Cover and bake for 3 hrs at 350 degrees.  Serve with tissues. You’re gonna need them.

 

 

Sep

14, 2011 |

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Guest Blogging: Write Mischief

Heading over to blog with my friends at “Write Mischief” today.  Drop by while we share quotes, pics and memories of our LA SCBWI Annual Conference adventure.  Inspiration abounds.

Aug

29, 2011 |

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Guest Blogging: Chicklets in the Kitchen

Today I’m guest blogging with the awesome chicks over at Chicklets in the Kitchen.  Stop by for the story behind my family’s favorite Sweet Onion Spoonbread recipe, with a little romance dished up on the side.  See you there!

Aug

29, 2011 |

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Some Kind of Wonderful

“I think Carson might like me,” my son says. “I paid Blake fifty cents to ask her. She said she needs some time to think about it.”

“Do you like Carson?” I ask.

“Yeah, I think I want her to be my girlfriend. Everyone tells me I should. She has blue eyes, just like me.”

Thoughtful pause.

“Mom, if someone has eyes that are brown and green and gray, all mixed up, what’s that color called?”

“Hazel,” I reply.

Another pause.

“Grace’s eyes are hazel. I think they’re really pretty. And her hair kind of shines in the sun. Yeah,” he smiles, “hazel is my favorite color.”

I scratch my head, trying to keep up.

“Are we talking about Grace or Carson? Which one is your girlfriend?”

“Carson might be my girlfriend. Grace is just my best friend.”

“Grace sounds pretty special,” I say.

“Yeah, she always likes me and she’s always my friend, no matter what. She makes me laugh. I have a lot of fun with Grace.”

“What about Carson?” I wonder, fighting back a smile.

“I’m not really sure. She’s not sure if she likes me or not. Sometimes she’s nice… sort of.” He shakes his head. “I don’t really understand girls.”

“Yeah,” I say, “I guess we can be tough to figure out.”

I consider pointing out the obvious truth.

But I don’t.

He’s only nine. He’s got plenty of time to fall in love with girls who won’t love him back… and to finally understand what it is about those hazel eyes that makes them so beautiful.

He’ll figure girls out on his own.

It’s my anniversary. We’ve been married for thirteen years, though we’ve been together for nearly twenty.

My son asks, “Why did it take so long for Dad to marry you?”

I shrug and say, “I don’t know. I guess boys can be tough to figure out.”

He laughs and surprises me when he says, “I bet Dad’s favorite color is brown.”

Yeah, he’s only nine. But he just might have this all figured out.

May

02, 2011 |

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