Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve Virtual Potluck - And a Chance to Win

Food is more than just sustenance. Jon, the narrator of Dead in L.A. and Dead in the Desert, is a manly man, former construction worker. However, he also cooks and rather well. Deep down he's a nurturer and making sure loved ones eat well is one of the ways he takes care of them.

Jon does everything he can to deny and suppress his growing attraction and affection toward, his new roommate, Leander, but he gives himself away when he starts feeding the guy.

Before Jon, Leander lived on instant ramen, sandwiches, and herbal teas. The only thing he can really cook is chicken soup, but he makes it only when somebody is ill. He appreciates good food though, especially after work. Oh yeah, he's a psychic pet detective, and unofficial consulting police psychic.

I plan to publish the third and final installment of their story in February. It's tentatively titled Dead and Unfound. The story takes place in autumn when the weather might get cold even in Southern California. It might even rain. It's a perfect season for Jon to make goulash.

Many people think goulash is a stew, but they are wrong and should be ashamed of their ignorance. True goulash is a hearty soup of meet and vegetables. Add a slice of bread and it's a meal.

Goulash Soup (Gulyásleves)


·      5 slices bacon, chopped
·      3 pounds boneless chuck, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
·      2 tablespoons vegetable oil
·      4 medium onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), chopped fine
·      3 garlic cloves, minced
·      3 tablespoons paprika (preferably Hungarian sweet*)
·      1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds
·      1/3 cup all-purpose flour
·      1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
·      1/4 cup tomato paste
·      5 cups beef broth
·      5 cups water
·      1/2 teaspoon salt
·      2 red bell peppers, chopped fine
·      4 large russet (baking) potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
*available at specialty foods shops and many supermarkets


In an 8-quart heavy kettle cook bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp and transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. In fat remaining in kettle brown chuck in small batches over high heat, transferring it as browned with slotted spoon to bowl.

Reduce heat to moderate and add oil. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until golden. Stir in paprika, caraway seeds, and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Whisk in vinegar and tomato paste and cook, whisking, 1 minute.
Stir in broth, water, salt, bell peppers, bacon, and chuck and bring to a boil, stirring. Simmer soup, covered, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes.

Peel potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Add potatoes to soup and simmer, covered, occasionally until tender, about 30 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper. 


For more potluck entrées:

You can "choose your own dinner adventure" from appetizers, soup, salad, main dish and dessert, but those of you who visit and comment at each and every blog will be entered into a drawing for one of three (3) $35.00 gift cards to the venue of your choice: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or All Romance Ebooks. For more info and clickable links, go HERE.


  1. I can already see that today is going to make me very hungry :)

  2. Hot soup, perfect on this winter day! ardent(dot)ereader(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. It's cold and rainy here today - Goulash soup sounds perfect right now. Thanks and Happy 2015!

    jen.f {at} mac {dot} com

  4. Thanks for the recipe! Sounds perfect on a chilly day. Happy New Year! amaquilante(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. Didn't realize goulash was a soup, thanks for the correction. Hot soup is perfect for the winter.
    strive4bst(AT) yahoo(Dot) com

  6. mouth was watering just reading the recipe. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Waxapplelover (at) gmail (dot) com

  7. Hot soup, perfect on this cold winter day! Thank you for the recipe! And the meaning of goulash as I wasn't sure of it.


  8. This sounds good. Thanks for the recipe.

  9. That goulash looks so good, it's 3 F out today with a windchill of -17F, need something warm and tasty! I also need to check out the psychic pet detective.

    emmasmom69 AT gmail DOT com

  10. It's cold here in Delaware and this would help warm me up. Thanks for the recipe and Happy New Year

  11. I miss cooking - I broke my let three months ago and can't stand on it yet so I haven't cooked in three months and it will be another 6 or so weeks - all these recipes are making me nuts!!!!

  12. You're right, this looks great for cold days!


  13. Goulash comes in so many forms. This recipe is completely different than what my great-grandmother would serve but sounds just as good.

    cmucha319 AT yahoo DOT com

  14. I've never had Goulash before and I've always wondered how it would taste. Thank you for the recipe!

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  15. looks delicious!


  16. It's always a great recipe when it begins with BACON!!!!

  17. I love big men that like to cook and nurture. Something about it is just sexy:) Thanks for the recipe.

  18. I can have this one. Just need to make a few changes. Thanks for sharing.
    debby236 at gmail dot com and hotmail

  19. Goulash Soup would be great tonight or tomorrow. It's way toooo cold. BRRRR!!!!

  20. I've always wanted to try goulash!

    Trix, vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

  21. I've never had a goulash and this one sounds really good. Thanks for the recipe!


  22. Your goulash sounds great, and will be a great meal in the middle of winter. Happy New Year!

  23. Looks amazing; will have to try!

    tracykitn AT yahoo DOT com

  24. That sounds so warming and cozy. saruby213ATgmailDOTcom

  25. Looks yummy! Thanks for the recipe!

  26. looks yummy thanks for the recipe.

  27. Hi, love goulash. I like to add sour cream at the end to make it a creamier soup/stew. Loved Secrets and Ink, look forward to reading more of your books.

  28. Thanks for the recipe, looks delicious.


  29. That certainly looks delicious, when are you dropping it off?

  30. This sounds delicious.

  31. Looks like a lovely soup, and I love soup. Unfortunately, I don't think it's one I can alter to make vegetarian! Oh, well - I'm sure it's yummy anyway! ;)

  32. Thanks, I had not seen a Goulash recipe before.

  33. Hmmm, yummy. Thanks for sharing!
    OceanAkers @