Today, I’m happy to have pal and fellow romance author Mellanie Szereto as my guest. When her fingers aren’t attached to her keyboard, Mellanie enjoys hiking, Pilates, cooking, gardening, and researching for her stories. Many times, the research partners with her other hobbies, taking her from the Hocking Hills region in Ohio to the Colorado Rockies or the Adirondacks of New York. Sometimes, the trip is no farther than her garden for ingredients and her kitchen to test recipes for her latest steamy tale. Mellanie makes her home in rural Indiana with her husband of twenty-seven years, their two children, and two cats. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Indiana Romance Writers of America, Hearts Through History Romance Writers, and PASIC. Mellanie is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky commenter, so be sure to check out the whole blog to see how to win!
Take it away, Mel!
Thanks for having me on your blog today, Nan! Join me for a glass of wine? 😉
Hi, everybody! Read on to find out about my newest release and how to enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card!
My newest release is Love Served Hot, the first book in the Love on the Menu series. Look for Red Hot Pepper and Hot Tamale Nights in the coming months, as well as the short erotic novel series, Love on the Menu…With Extra Spice!
As acting director of her uncle’s retirement village, Lilith Montgomery must hire a chef for the new restaurant. She’s interviewed several candidates, but instantly decides on the sexy Irishman whose culinary creations give her foodgasms. Her rotten luck with relationships makes her determined to resist her attraction to him, even if it means sneaking into the kitchen at night for a taste of his delectable entrées.
Flynn Hastings is finally getting his life back on track after a year of anger and guilt over his sister’s death. He’s returned home to be near his family and has found the perfect job—with one small problem. His boss makes him want to cook in more than the kitchen. Putting aside his hard and fast rule about mixing business with pleasure, he sets his sights on Lilith, hoping their budding friendship turns out to be more than a flash in the pan.
Flynn returned to the dining room to set a dish at Ms. Montgomery’s place, reciting the information she’d likely want to know. “Entrée number one. Dilled Salmon with Spinach and Brown Rice Pilaf. High in Omega-3 fatty acids, complex carbs, and iron. Moderate sodium content. Most vegetables and fresh mushrooms can be substituted for the spinach. And it’ll be served with a variety of sides.”
The aroma rising from the table made his stomach rumble. Taking the seat across from her, he waited for her to taste the offering.
She lifted the fork to her lips. Several moments passed with no indication of her like or dislike of the fish. The only movement of her face was an occasional blink and rhythmic chewing.
A bite of rice followed, her reaction as stiff and bland as the first one. He might’ve expected unresponsive behavior from a food critic, but not from a potential employer.
Unable to restrain his need to know if the food warranted the lack of emotion, he flaked off a piece of salmon and settled it on his tongue. The texture was perfect—not tough or chewy. A mix of mild fish flavor, salt, black pepper, and freshly chopped dill spread over his taste buds. It tasted exactly the way it had the thousands of times he’d prepared it.
Could the rice be the problem?
He slid the fork under the grains, certain he had the right proportion of spinach to rice. Leaning over the plate, he lifted the bite to his mouth. The rice was firm but not crunchy, the spinach and seasonings adding enough hint of flavor to complement the earthy tone of the dish.
Taking a peek at his dining partner, he finished chewing. He’d no more than swallowed when she shuddered and closed her eyes. They opened again, staring straight at him with a slightly glassy look as she pulled in a shaky breath.
Please don’t tell me she’s allergic to—
“Oh my.” She fanned her fingers at her face as she squirmed in her seat.
One of Flynn’s most popular dishes with the residents of Montgomery Crossing is Chicken Marsala. Give his recipe a try to see why!
8 boneless chicken breast tenderloins
1 cup chickpea flour (garbanzo bean flour)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 lb. sliced white mushrooms
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup Marsala wine
Dredge chicken in flour. Heat olive oil over medium to medium-high heat in a large skillet and add chicken. Cook until golden brown on both sides. Remove chicken to a warm plate.
Melt butter in hot pan and scrape up browned bits. Add mushrooms and sauté for two minutes. Pour in broth and Marsala. Cook over medium-high heat until liquid is reduced by half. Return chicken to pan to heat through. Serve over rice or noodles.
Leave a comment with the name of your favorite dish for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card!
Facebook page: Mellanie Szereto