Elle Cosimano

Good Things Come…

To those of you patiently awaiting more “Welcome Back Kotter” clips, I extend my apologies. It’s been a very busy week.

I am giddy. I am exhausted. I have an agent.

Thanks to the power of The Query Letter, I am now represented by the extraordinary Sarah Davies of The Greenhouse Literary Agency, and officially promoted from struggling, starving writer to squealing, starving author.

Nearly’s finally found a home. She needs a little work (I’m not gonna lie) and I will be buried for the next several months under a mountain of revision notes. In the spirit of Daniel Day Lewis, I’ll stay alive no matter what occurs, but promise to come find me. And bring me Swedish Fish. All writer survival kits should come properly equipped.

For those following and waiting, Nearly’s book will also undergo a name change. Apropos (for those who already know her story). But fear not, no hotties will be killed in the re-making of the story.

All good things.

So thanks for being here. For helping me heft my bucket. I couldn’t have realized this dream without you.

What's Revealed In Your Fortune?

Anyone who knows me knows my penchant for Chinese food (specifically Moo Shu Chicken with loads of hoisin, extra pancakes, and enough scallions to invoke dragon breath). I also look forward to my fortune cookie after every Chinese meal. I couldn’t resist writing a few scenes — complete with chopsticks and fortune cookies — into the manuscript for NEARLY MISSED.

Normally, my fortunes are pretty innocuous and I can’t say I’ve ever received the “tall, dark and handsome stranger” message when I’ve broken into one. But in January, I did receive two fortunes (back to back) that made me reconsider the power of this otherwise bland token treat…

Fortune #1: It is a great piece of skill to know how to guide your luck. Even while waiting for it.

Fortune #2: Today is a day to focus on one thing from beginning to finish.

Hmmm…. I opened these fortunes on the same day a very wise agent asked me to send her my full manuscript for review. Coincidentally, her advice to me when we met back in December? “Focus, young grasshopper.”

Creepy much?

So my question is… what is the best fortune you’ve ever received in a cookie and why does it stick in your mind?

fortune cookie

Jan

24, 2011 |

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Gena's Mexican Chicken Stew

In my favorite chapter of Dead Blue, Gena serves up a hearty, spicy stew. Her dish was inspired by my mom’s recipe, and it was actually what I had for dinner the night I wrote this part of the story. My parents live in Mexico on the Mayan Riviera, where my mom experiments regularly with local ingredients. Her natural ability in the kitchen means she rarely measures or records, and often improvises, much to my frustration. She’s a tough act to copy, but this recipe is pretty darn close to the real deal.

Gena’s Mexican Chicken Stew

2 ½ lbs skinned, boneless chicken thighs

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 large onion, chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

1 red pepper, seeded and chopped

1 green pepper, seeded and chopped

3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 can diced tomatoes

2 small cans Herdez Salsa Casera

2-3 Tbs fresh chopped cilantro

1 can whole black beans, drained

1 can corn, drained

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In large skillet, brown garlic and chicken in 1-2 tbs olive oil.

Season chicken with salt and pepper while browning.

Remove chicken and set aside.

Add onions, peppers, and carrots to pan. Cook until onion is translucent.

Place chicken on top of vegetables. Pour diced tomatoes and salsa over chicken.

Add cilantro. Cover pan and cook for 15 minutes. Then add beans and corn.

Cover and continue cooking. Stir frequently.

Let chicken simmer for 1- 1 ½ hours.

If necessary add small amount of water.

Serve over rice with following toppings: chopped grated cheese, sour cream, cubed avocado and fresh cilantro.