Authors in the Kitchen: Charli Mac

Today's guest poster is Charli Mac, who's brought us a recipe inspired by her main character, Grace McMatthews:

Meet Me in Jersey is a love story and family saga. Childhood sweethearts Grace and Miguel reunite along the shores of their youth as both their marriages have ended. Miguel is a signature away from divorce and raising his two year old son alone when Grace returns—widowed and two months pregnant. Between his nosy Cuban mother and her fighting Irish brothers, and their shared grief, they can’t help but support one another. They find the friendship they thought lost, the love they still feel, and it pushes them closer to something he wants and she fears.

Grace McMatthews is an infamously terrible cook. Her version of making a meal is heating up whatever’s in the fridge. I recall leftovers being my favorite dish growing up. I, unlike Grace, can find my way around the kitchen, but I love to make Left-Over Pie. It’s awesome around Thanksgiving but can work with any meal. Even spaghetti and meatballs. Even tacos or fajitas.

Charli Mac’s Left-Over Pie


--A good helping of leftover meat, or even veggies if you are anti-carnivorous.

--Left over veggies.

--Left over mashed potatoes (they are always in the fridge at my house) or left over stuffing. You can use white rice, pasta, tortillas, or buttered noodles but I prefer the mashies.

--Left over gravy (I make mine from scratch but you can use a can.) Any kind, whatever you got. If this is for a pasta dish, then your “sauce.” Some of you call that gravy too, but I’m not from South Philly or Italian. (Brown is gravy and tomato is sauce.) If you are making the pie using leftover Mexican, melted cheese with salsa is the best!

--Butter. The amount depends on the size you’re making. A round pie or in a bread pan. I use the bread pan but that’s because I don’t make pies and it’s what I have. Butter is not needed for the Mexican or Italian pies, in my humble opinion, but they’re your leftovers. Do as your palate wishes.

--Spices, if needed, and to your taste. When I am making left over pie from my mom’s leftovers, I need to kick it up a notch.


1. Preheat oven to 350. I like this temp because the meat is already cooked. We want to marry the layers and reheat, not overcook them.

2. Take your meat and veggies and gravy and toss them together in a bowl. Place them along the bottom of your pan.

3. Take your carb: mashies, stuffing, pasta, yada, and spread across the top.

4. I take a brush and spatter some gravy over the mashies so they don’t dry out and place pads of butter across. If you are making the Mexican or Italian pies you will want to put the sauces over top here.

5. On any of these dishes you can sprinkle grated cheese as well. Again, any kind depending on what you like.

6. Pop in the oven for about 45 minutes. Let stand and cool for about five. Dive in and serve. This is great with bread or biscuits to sop up all those juices. Yummy in my tummy!

Now, below is the perfect Irish Coffee which is a great way to end any meal or begin any day! Scribes should keep a steeping cup by their keyboards. My friends, here is the perfect Irish Coffee. The site has many other great drink recipes too. Sláinte and Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! About me:

I’m a Philly girl through and through. The Southern New Jersey Shore is often referred to as Philly’s summer playground. I spend many of my summer weekends “down the shore” in North Wildwood, acting like I’m sixteen again. My novels reflect that life and I created a fictitious town called Ocean Haven where a poor kid from Philly, like myself, could have a summer home right on the beach. I still reside in the Philadelphia neighborhood I grew up in with my high school sweetheart, now husband, and fourteen year old daughter, happily ever after.