Monday, March 11, 2013

Brian Johnson: Cooking up a storm

   Like a crow in a field of glass.  Brian Johnson is a storm photographer, writer, teacher, adventurer. He's kind of an evil version of Robert Fulghum.  You can follow him on his writer’s blog:
   Brian also had a storm photograph win a NASA contest for storm photography.  He chases around the Midwest and reports on his blog:
   His 2011 debut novel “Hell to Pay” is available from Hellfire Publishing. 


 A man who thinks he’s lost his soul, meets a man who has.

Detective Michael Bailey is an ex-alcoholic police detective investigating a series of murders.  When the investigation takes a strange turn, even his colleagues think his old habits have returned.  

If you were marooned on an island, and Pots & Pens granted your wish for only one book and one food, what would you choose? Richard Bach’s Illusions and Prime rib, medium.  The book is one I go to when I need a pick me up.  Quote: “Remember where you came from, where you're going, and why you created the mess you got yourself into in the first place.” This is the reason I have a section on my blog that I repost called 12 things about me.  I will go through it and edit as things change and cross out the old stuff and put the new in red.
   As for Prime Rib.  I’m a bit of a carnivore and still like my meat with a little blood in it.

What are three must-have foods/seasonings in your kitchen? Cumin, Chili powder, and Basil.  Unfortunately I am about the only one in my house that loves these.

What is your A+, number 1 writing/editing snack? Peanut or Peanut Butter M&M’s. Totally addicting.

If you could borrow one person’s zest for writing and/or life, whose and why? Charles Bukowski.  It was a bleak existence he had, but yet he saw beauty in the mundane and tried to put it into his poetry and short stories.  I’ve been rereading them recently.  The first time I read Bukowski, I think I found my voice as a writer.  My new voice wasn’t a copy of his, but an affirmation that it’s ok to write the dark stuff.  One of my writing partners always said, “Why are you limiting yourself on this scene?”  Bukowski taught me to stop flinching. 

Please share one cheesy “writing is like cooking” thought. You have a framework in the plot, just like a simple recipe.  Over time you try new things, whether spices or characters, new meats or subplots, stock or voice, and you experiment to make the best product you can.

What’s cooking? Can you share a bit about your next project? I’m writing a dark epic fantasy story, Aristid.  It’s the story of a half-demon child abducted by the church to become a super weapon and what happens when he turns against his training.  I plan to put this out in small magazine/periodical similar to what Howard did with Conan and Moorcock did with Elric
   I’m also in the midst of growing an epic beard like some top fantasy writers.

Recipe Row: What favorite recipe do you have for us today? 

Pesto Chicken Pizza
You need:
1 thin pizza crust
1 lb chicken breast (cut into small strips or 2-3” cubes
2 cups olive oil
1 cup parmesan cheese (Kraft or off brand)
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon cilantro
2-4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of dried parsley
1 heaping tablespoon of pine nuts or walnuts (I usually go with walnuts)
2 cups mozzarella

Mix olive oil, parmesan cheese, basil, cilantro, garlic, parsley and walnuts in a blender.  You can change the ratio of olive oil and cheese to make a firmer sauce.  If you make it too runny, beware of flare ups if you grill the chicken.  Take one cup of pesto and set aside.

Pour the rest into a bowl or baggie and mix chicken.  Coat well.  I will usually skewer the chicken and grill.  As stated before, be mindful of flareups.  You can also cook this in a skillet.

Take the thin pizza crust, pour the pesto in the center, and with a spoon spread out the pesto in large expanding circles.  Add chicken and mozzarella cheese.  With the cheese, I’ve noticed the less cheese used, the better the taste.

Bake per crust instructions and enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Dark One! It's good to see you on here. I gotta try this recipe before the little one leaves the nest.