CAT Magazine

CAT Magazine

Author Justin Bog Shares His Love of Food

The ten literary, psychological, and suspense tales collected in Sandcastle and Other Stories are nothing short of an escape into a roiling sea of emotion. You will meet an old man twisted by fate and a lost love . . . a young girl playing on the ocean shore who becomes entangled in the nets of a mercurial god . . . a divorced man mired in his troubles who is pressured into taking a singles cruise . . . a Hollywood actor in a night time television drama who is always typecast as the bad boy . . . a family on the edge trying to live with a troubled daughter who they believed they'd never have to coexist with again . . . a young adult bruised and torn by a secret past who watches the world around her teetering on the brink of chaos . . . a new mother of twins who finds it difficult to say no to the pushy, energetic President of the local Mothers of Twins Club . . . a child kept awake by night terrors, and a woman who hides her secretive personality from everyone on the beach one sunny day. Upon reading, you will meet several more people who view life as a constant struggle, and others who resist this mindset, some with grace, some with humor, and others with acts of hubris. The genuine voices of the characters, mixed with a clear-eyed tonal simplicity, make this a series with mesmerizing psychological interplay. All of the stories span a broad depth of human understanding and build a bridge between the deepest chasms of pain and the highest portals of joy.Read Sandcastles and Other Stories and you will stand witness to unspeakable hate sitting with cozy wile right beside unconditional love -- a true fictional study of the human condition.

Publisher - Convenient Integration 
Release Date - May 8, 2012
Website - 
Purchase Link - Amazon

I love comfort food. My father was the culinary genius in our home who made the best version of comfort food: stews. Also, he would tackle all the holiday feasts, the Grinch-like roast beasts. One of my favorite stews was something he put together, in all but the hottest seasons, with carrots, onions, potatoes, a beef broth, thickened, parsley, and breakfast sausage links. The name was Swedish Sausage Stew. With five kids, there would always be a big pot simmering every other week or two. I love stews to this day, and the book Real Stew by Clifford A. Wright. What is interesting about Wright's version of my father's favorite is that he substitutes mortadella sausage or Polish kielbasa and adds Brussels sprouts to the mix. I shared this with my parents and my mom loved the addition of the B-sprouts. I make this with crumbled breakfast sausage to honor my father's recipe, but you can decide for yourself. Enjoy. This is a very simple stew to prepare.

From Real Stew by Clifford A. Wright:

Swedish Sausage and Brussels Sprout Stew

This amount makes 4 to 6 servings. I usually double the recipe in a huge stew pot for leftovers the next day.

1 pound whatever cooked sausage you prefer from my comments above (we Bog kids loved the breakfast sausage -- cook the crumbled sausage first), but make sure it's skinned and diced if you go with a link sausage.
1 large onion
2 large carrots, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (like my dad did, if you want to add cut-up potatoes to the mix, boil and cook the potatoes until almost cooked through first)
1&1/2 pounds small Brussels sprouts, sliced lengthwise into thirds
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons salt 
6 black peppercorns
2 cups Beef Broth (if you use a beef bouillon cube don't add more salt since there is a lot of sodium in the cubes. My dad thickened the broth first before adding ingredients and doubled the amount of broth.)
1 cup water
Finely chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

Step 1: Put all the ingredients, except the parsley, in a stew pot, and bring to a boil. reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook until everything is tender, about 12 minutes.
Step 2: Sprinkle with parsley and serve with a good crusty bread.
1. What inspired you to write?
My love of reading literary, suspenseful, psychological, and dark tales inspired me to write Sandcastle and Other Stories. All of the stories begin with characters who are searching for something; most often these characters don't even realize this.

2. Describe your book in one word.

3. Name a song that could be used as a theme song for your book.
Dirty Laundry by Don Henley since the characters are keeping so many secrets, and then struggling with revealing them.
Thank you, BK, for letting me share space here,


Justin Bog, first and foremost, grew up a voracious reader, movie fanatic, and music audiophile. Justin always carried a stack of library books and collected way too many comic books from his local Ohio small-town drugstore. More than one teacher scolded Justin to put his "suspect" reading materials away and join the class. Justin began to make up stories of his own, using an old typewriter he found in the attic.

Growing up in the 70s, Stephen King was about to publish his first novel and John Updike had only published the first of his Rabbit books. Along with so many cinema buffs, I witnessed the huge change in the way movies were distributed — from artistic, Director-driven films backed by huge studios to the dawn of the Blockbuster and popcorn summer films, like Jaws, Rocky, and Star Wars. I was drawn to the music of these decades as well,” says Bog.

So it comes as no surprise that Justin pursued an English Degree at the University of Michigan, followed by Film and Music Appreciation classes -- finally graduating from Bowling Green State University with an MFA in Fiction Writing. After teaching creative writing, Justin began apprenticing in a number of bookstores and editing fiction for a midwestern journal. Justin ended up on the management team at Chapter One Bookstore in the Sun Valley resort area for a decade, offering book recommendations to its local celebrities, skiing fanatics, and tourists. Currently residing in the San Juan Islands just north of Seattle, Justin has the opportunity to focus on his own novels and short stories, while contributing commentary and reviews of Pop Culture. Justin continues to engage his lifelong passion for writing in combination with his curious mindset as the Senior Contributor and Editor at
In Classic Style.

Thanks for stopping in and sharing this wonderful recipe Justin. Don't forget to check out Justin's book on Amazon, it's been getting rave reviews!

19 Responses to "Author Justin Bog Shares His Love of Food"

Justin Bogdanovitch said...

What a great idea to share the foodie love. I'm an experimental cook and love to attempt things way beyond my skill levels. That's why I enjoy Stews. Find and cut the ingredients, prepare, and put into a pot and cook for a bit. It's done. Sort of like writing to me too: finduing the right ingredients is sometimes the difficult part.

Rich Weatherly said...

Great info about your book, Justin. Delicious looking recipe.

Butterfly said...

Sounds yummy! I love to cook and a bit of a foodie myself. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to trying this out. ♥

Rich Weatherly said...

Great information about your book, Justin.
Recipe sounds great!

Mohana Rajakumar said...

Yummm.... one of my resolutions for summer is to cook at least once a week. And this reminds me of why! Will put this on my to make list...

Justin Bogdanovitch said...

I mostly follow recipes in cookbooks. Fine Cooking is a great magazine with daily email dishes to try. I like how they break things down and "teach" ... best to you always, Mohana.

Justin Bogdanovitch said...

Thank you Rich. Writing and Cooking are creative. Combining them like so many cookbook authors would be so fun. 

Justin Bogdanovitch said...

Yay, Jessica. I love this and kids love the linked breakfast sausages instead, and if they don't like Brussels sprouts, don't use them; the stew is great with just carrots, potatoes, and onion. Enjoy.

Eden Baylee said...

Excellent to see you here Justin and you know how much I love your book. Hmm ... as I'm not a fan of brussel sprouts, do you think I can replace it with another veggie? Green beans maybe?


Karen Robiscoe said...

Great recipe, Justin. I speak as one who cooks for cash, so I viewed it with an extra critical eye, and it looks delicious and I can tell it "works". I have an awesome chile verde stew recipe I bet you would like! :)

Karen Robiscoe said...

Great recipe, Justin. I speak as one who cooks for cash, so I viewed it with an extra critical eye, and it looks delicious and I can tell it "works". I have an awesome chile verde stew recipe I bet you would like! :)

Brandy Walker said...

What a fun interview! I love comfort foods. thanks for sharing about your dad and his recipe. My dad liked to cook also - he made an excellent Thanksgiving meal, but also had some bombs since he liked to experiment. Once he put a lot of nutmeg in pizza sauce. Revolting, to say the least.

Justin Bogdanovitch said...

definitely. or go without the Brussels Sprouts altogether. My dad never added them over the decades he made this. The Swedish might not agree though ;-) Thank you Eden very much!

Justin Bogdanovitch said...

Please share, Karen! (My email is I would love to trie your chile verde stew. I like spicier dishes. The stew is really quite authentic and I've made more stews from Wright's cookbook than any other. Let me know what you think :-)

Justin Bogdanovitch said...

I give so much fun and respect to those who experiment in their cooking. It's the only way to learn. Nutmeg in pizza sauce? I will go by your word: revolting LOL Thank you Brandy. Awesome pal.

Tonya Cannariato said...

I like the way you tie your book to the nostalgia of your childhood. I know for myself I learned my favorite meals young--as did my husband. Bridging the gap between international gourmet (I LOVE baked kibbee) and American-Sicilian style food is luckily not that big of an issue for us. Maybe your next story should be a conflict of taste buds...! :D

Justin Bogdanovitch said...

that gives me an idea, tonya. must go feed my muse something less comforting ;-)

Rebecca fyfe said...

Yum! I like the idea of adding crumbled breakfast sausage, but here in the UK, we don't have the same types of sausages. (My mom - in the US - always used Jimmy Deans.)

Justin Bogdanovitch said...

Rebecca, the Jimmy Deans breakfast sausage works great, kids like linked or crumbled, and it's a fun stew to make for kids. There are some German specialty sausages that remind me of the smaller breakfast sausages, forget the name, but they are savory and would work really well too. Up to taste. Oh, and you can thicken the sauce with some flour as a first step too before combining everything. I should've had my father write up his version LOL Thank you for commenting here, R.