Posts Tagged ‘99¢’

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (99¢ sale) BLACK HILLS BILLIONAIRE by Debra Salonen

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

 BLACK HILLS BILLIONAIRE, Black Hills Rendezvous Book 2

Just 99¢ for a few more days

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Meet Shane and Jenna. Two lost souls who came soooo close to meeting, falling in love and living a fabulous life until something unthinkable happened, until a dark force ruined everything.

Now, they’ve been given a second chance–if Shane can get past the guilt he carries from a deathbed promise he made.

So, when is a first kiss not a kiss? When you’re in the Mystery Spot.

“As you can see, this was the bedroom. We’ve removed the furniture to avoid injury, but just imagine what a nightmare it must have been to sleep in a room that seems to be constantly shifting from side to side. We call this the dizzy room for a reason, so don’t be surprised if a stranger is suddenly holding on to you for balance.”

She took a deep breath and walked straight to the middle of the room. Almost instantly, her equilibrium went haywire. She stepped on what looked like a level surface and felt her foot drop a quarter of an inch. Just enough to throw her balance off. She staggered, which prompted Shane to dash into the room.

“Watch out,” she warned.

He weaved to the left like a drunk after a long night at a bar. “Holy crap,” he muttered. “What the he–?”

She grabbed his arm and pulled him closer to the wall. He looked slightly dazed. “Wow. What is it?”

“You’d have to ask my dad. Unfortunately, I think the secret went to the grave with him. All I know is it’s very effective. I’ve seen people bob and weave all the way back to their car. I’ve done this tour so often I barely feel it unless I’m in the middle of the room.”

He put a hand to his forehead. “I’ve got the spinners. Like those nights in college when you drank too much then lay down in bed and the ceiling was going around in circles.”

College.

He looked at her so intently she realized she must have said the word aloud.

“Sorry. Wrong thing to say.”

She shook her head. “It was a long time ago. Shall we finish the tour? There’s an exit through the back, but since I have to lock up, I think we should go out the way we came in.”

His usual serious look was back on his face. He nodded and pushed off from the wall to lead the way. He only made it a few steps before listing sideways, like the Titanic after meeting the iceberg. She tried to keep him upright, but his momentum was too great. They both staggered a few steps then crashed into the wall. The wall with the drawing of a four-poster with a patchwork quilt on it, and they landed smack dab in the middle of the one-dimensional mattress.

“This was your plan all along, right?” Shane asked, wrapping his arms around her to keep steady. “To get me in bed?”

She laughed to keep her panic at bay, but to her surprise she didn’t feel the usual fear that came when someone got too close, too fast. In fact, she liked the feeling of being in his arms. Warm. Secure. Protected.

“I’ve seen the same thing happen to other people. Perfect strangers. Dad used to say it was all about a person’s polarity-–positive and negative.”

His eyes were such a deep, yummy brown. Like chocolate syrup. “Does that mean one of us is a magnet and the other iron filings?”

She knew which she’d be. “Maybe we’re both iron filings being drawn to the giant magnet in the wall.”

He arched his neck to look over his shoulder, his skepticism clearly back in place. Laughing, she put her hands flat against his chest and pushed back. She waited for her balance to return, the way it usually did, but if anything, she was even loopier. Her hands wouldn’t leave his shirt. Her breath was shallow and shaky. Because she knew he was going to kiss her.

Kiss. His mouth touching her mouth. No. She didn’t kiss. Or touch. Or… But no words of protest made it out before his lips touched hers.

Amazon      KOBO     iBooks    BN


 

What’s better than a 99¢ book?

Two books for 99¢!

Baby Billionaire sale

Grab them from your favorite retailer:

BABY     BILLIONAIRE

Happy reading,

Deb

EAT=LOVE=TUESDAY Rogenna Brewer’s Beer Batter Wahoo

Monday, June 30th, 2014

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Food=love in my books.

photo My guest blogger today is my On Fire Fiction pal, Rogenna Brewer,  whose Celebrate Romance story takes place on the 4th of July. You’re  going to love this great story, AND check out the amazing cover Ro designed for our bundle.

If you’re an author looking for that perfect cover at an affordable price, check out Ro’s website: SweetToHeat. Wait till you see what she’s come up with for my “naughty novella” bundle, coming later this fall. Did she find the perfect Judy? You be the judge. 😉

 

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She made a new cover for each of our  stories. See the little fold back up in the corner? That’s where you’ll see the title that goes with that cover. How cool is that?

If you haven’t read this series, please check it out. Only 99¢ for 5 authors, 5 holidays, 5 great reads: BN  AMAZON

And I will feature a special recipe from each author for that holiday’s cover reveal. Today’s recipe is called: Beer Batter Wahoo.

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Ro is a Navy veteran who writes from experience–I’m guessing the part about the T-shirts is authentic, too. 😉 According to Ro: “A T-shirt makes a handy pot holder as long as it doesn’t catch on fire. Although the guys may try to convince you it needs to be your T-shirt, DO NOT let them fool you. Point to the nearest sailor and tell him to take off his shirt. The rest will follow. Sit back and enjoy the show.

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Wahoo…!

 

5.0 from 3 reviews
EAT=LOVE=TUESDAY Rogenna Brewer's Beer Batter Wahoo
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American as you get
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-10
 
Beer Batter Wahoo: there's a good chance you have to join the Navy to do this recipe right, but...what the heck, improvise! And have a great 4th of July!!!
Ingredients
  • Flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 can of beer. Your preferred brand will suffice.
Instructions
  1. Spend the day deep sea fishing with your fellow sailors from a converted military landing craft. Bring a couple coolers full of beer so you have leftovers.
  2. Catch the biggest Wahoo while the guys are heaving over the side. Talk one of them into filleting the fish. This is best done out to sea or off the dock to attract sharks. Sharks are not repelled by heaving sailors (though you may be).
  3. When drunken sailors start playing with sharks it is time to return to base.
  4. Build a fire on the beach. Mix the first four ingredients to a batter-like consistency. Coat fish. Wrap loosely in aluminum foil and toss onto fire. Poke with a stick until done. Please note poking does not decrease cooking time.
  5. Do not let drunken sailors grab the aluminum foil from the flames. A T-shirt makes a handy pot holder as long as it doesn't catch on fire. Although the guys may try to convince you it needs to be your T-shirt DO NOT let them fool you. Point to the nearest sailor and tell him to take off his shirt. The rest will follow. Sit back and enjoy the show.

 

Excerpt:

ONE STAR-SPANGLED NIGHT

            BY ROGENNA BREWER

 

    Chapter 1

            Hat in hand, he stood in her office doorway. From spit-shined shoes, up military creases, to the eagles pinned on khaki collar points, he commanded attention. The rank of captain gave him the authority to demand it.

            Lieutenant Lindsey Alexander marked her already forgotten place and closed the ancient tome. Her desk chair creaked as she straightened her spine. How long had he been standing there, staring?

            How long had she?

            Removing her reading glasses to cover her embarrassment, Lindsey set aside the funky frames and theology lesson before pushing to her feet, the proper show of respect for his rank. “May I help you, Captain?”

            From his superior height he frowned down at her, at the world in general—she couldn’t be certain. Lindsey smiled her brightest, but he didn’t seem to appreciate the effort. His scowl deepened, drawing jet-black brows above nefarious jade green eyes in a potentially lethal combination.

            “You’re a woman.”

            She didn’t need to hear the affront behind his words to know he’d assumed chaplain and man were synonymous. She stretched her smile in spite of, or perhaps because he’d insulted both her gender and profession in just three little words. It wasn’t the first time and wouldn’t be the last.

            “And you would be, Captain…Reese.” She read his nametag above his right breast pocket. On the left, his rack of ribbons read like an impressive resume. The gold wings above the neat rows further identified him as a naval aviator.

            Top Gun plowed a hand through jet-black hair threaded with silver, spoiling the severe effect of the barber’s precision military cut.

            No doubt about it, the gender confusion was all one sided.

            “Doug Reese. I have an appointment.”

            It was Lindsey’s turn to draw her brows. The name Reese didn’t ring any bells. Should it? She unburied her appointment book and flipped it open. Despite his obvious impatience, she took her time going through the day’s schedule.

            No Reese, Captain or otherwise.

            In truth, she wasn’t very well organized, but she never forgot a name or a face or a scheduled appointment for that matter. Knowing her tendency toward disorganization, she always wrote everything down.

            “I’m early.” Holding his hat by the brim, he crossed his arms. “My ship just pulled in for repairs two weeks ago.”

            Something about the way in which he emphasized the words my ship sent those alarm bells clanging like a five-alarm fire.

            Flipping the calendar page, she found Commanding Officer, USS Enterprise CVN-65 penciled in the yeoman’s neat hand under, 1300–tomorrow. “Looks like an hour and a day early–”

            “I’m a busy man, Chaplain, I’d like to get this over with.” The scowl remained a permanent fixture, but he tempered his demand. “I won’t take but a minute of your time.”

            Lindsey met Captain Reese’s continued glare with the unwavering dedication of her profession. She would have taken responsibility for the mistake regardless, but she had a feeling the man knew exactly what he was doing, showing up a day early and on her lunch hour.

            She was just curious enough to want to know why. What was one more counseling session out of her overbooked day? It was her job to help. If the Captain needed her…

            Well, then, she was here to serve.

            “Have a seat.” She gestured toward one of two overflowing chairs.

            The walls seemed to move in as he stepped into her crowded cubby with its floor to ceiling shelves. He cocked a dark brow as he picked up a stack of files from the seat, and then looked around for a place to put them.

            “Sorry, packing. Our office is on the list of base closures.” Lindsey plucked the files from his hands. If military budget cuts didn’t elicit a comment from the good Captain, what would? He continued to hover over her five foot five—in sensible boon dockers—while she maneuvered around him, dumping the stack of papers on the floor by the shelf before closing the door.

            He probably wasn’t an inch or two over six feet, but the too small space became suffocating, filling with the tang of saltwater on skin—not an all-together unpleasant scent—except the hint of JP-5. Lindsey had never been stationed aboard a ship, but she could identify carrier crews by the smell of jet fuel that permeated their pores.

            With surprising consideration, the Captain waited until Lindsey settled beside her corner desk, and then took up the now empty seat across from her. He looked around her office with the same disdain he’d directed toward her.

            Captain Reese had his strong, silent and judgy act down pat.

            Tension radiated from the man. Although the only outward sign was the way he fidgeted with his hat, now balanced on his knee as he tapped a folded piece of paper impatiently against his cover.

            He may have been trying hard not to project his discomfort, but she could sense it, feel it. “Would you be more comfortable with another chaplain?”

            It was a legitimate question, and since he’d expressed some reservation about her gender, one she felt compelled to ask.

            “Would you?”

            Did his scowl switch to a smirk?

            “No,” Lindsey answered honestly.

            Though if they were following strict protocol, she should refer the Captain to her superior, Commander Elliot. However, being short staffed, down to only herself and the Catholic Priest, Father Elliot was just as overworked as she was. Between them, they shared one chaplain’s yeoman, a Religious Program Specialist Third Class.

            Perhaps the Captain had chosen her in accordance with his own beliefs despite his prejudicial comment.

            “You’ll do,” he said.

            “Fine.” Lindsey exhaled the word. Had she actually been holding her breath, waiting for his decision? “I just need you to fill out this counseling form and then we’ll get started.” Stretching across the space, she handed him a clipboard with attached pen and paper.

            A knock sounded on the door. The RP poked her head in, “Chaplain Alexander, I have your lunch,” she announced. “Oops, sorry. I didn’t know you were in session.”

            “It’s okay, Brenda.  We’re just getting started.” Lindsey got up to meet the yeoman at the door. Thanks,” she said, taking the containers of Chinese food.

            “Your change.” Brenda handed over lose coins and a couple wadded bills as Lindsey juggled containers to take the money.

            “Maybe the Captain would like a cup of coffee—”

            “No, the Captain would not.” He cut her off without bothering to look up from the clipboard. On the other side of the door, Brenda mouthed another apology for the interruption.

            “Hold my calls,” Lindsey instructed. “But buzz me when my one o’clock gets here.”

            “Sure thing. I mean, yes, ma’am.” The RP closed the door.

            “I’m sorry,” Lindsey apologized. She suspected she’d gone down another notch in his estimation. Then again, he was the one who’d showed up on her lunch hour uninvited. “LoMein?”

            “No.” He extended the clipboard, all business.

            Lindsey wrestled her lunch down to the desk and stuffed the loose change and bills into the middle drawer. Taking the clipboard from him, she released the counseling form and then groped for her reading glasses. She put them on and sank back to her seat, staring in disbelief at the blank page. Almost blank page.

            Name, rank and serial number had been filled in.

            “Captain Reese—”

            “If I were a prisoner of war that’s all I’d be required to give.”

            “This isn’t an interrogation.”

            “No, it’s not,” he agreed. “Thank you for your time, Chaplain.”

            Her gaze followed his upward movement. He’d certainly been right about only taking a minute of her time. Even though it looked like her curiosity wouldn’t be satisfied, she’d have a hot lunch as a consolation prize. Small comfort compared to the satisfaction she got from doing her job. “How can I help—?”

            “You can’t. I just want it to go on record that I was here.” He slapped his cover against his thigh. “Good day.”

            Lindsey beat him to the door and barred his way with a crossed arm stance.

            “Lieutenant,” he said, calling deliberate attention to her rank. “Step aside. That’s an order.”

            Her short-lived career flashed before her eyes and she swallowed hard. She couldn’t keep him here against his will. Still, she could get her point across. “If it’s important enough to come here in the first place, it’s important enough to stay and talk.”

            “I’m not going to warn you again.”

            “Fine.” She edged away from the door. “But uncooperative is going in my counseling notes.” She tried to infuse a little humor into the situation that had quickly gotten out of hand.

            “You can write whatever you want, Chaplain. As long as you don’t share that information with anyone, I don’t care.”

            “It would be unethical for me to reveal any information about your visit.”

            “I’m counting on that.”

            He paused long enough to look her in the eye. She hoped he saw the disappointment reflected there because if ever a man needed her, Captain Doug Reese did. She couldn’t be expected to save the world. She just wanted to help one person at a time. Unfortunately, her heart took a hit every time she failed.

            Lindsey stared at his departing back. The man’s visit was obviously a desperate cry for help. Yeah, right. Captain Doug Reese looked about as self-sufficient as they came. It was her need to butt into everyone’s business that made her the desperate one. How many times had Brenda told her to get a life? How many times had Chaplain Elliot counseled her against getting overly involved?

            With a heavy sigh, she scooped up another stack of folders occupying the one remaining chair. She’d need both for her one o’clock. Her next appointment was a young couple in premarital counseling.

            No real problems there. In fact, the upcoming wedding on July 4th—her first as an officiate—was something she actually looked forward to. She’d met the bride-to-be. The intended groom was just back from sea.

            Lindsey stopped and let that sink in a moment. Followed by a quick glance toward the door. “Nah.”

            The bride was closer to Lindsey’s age, mid-twenties.

            The Captain had to be at least forty and most likely married.

            Not that a May, December…more like September, romance was out of the question. The Captain was fighter pilot fit and handsome to the extreme—despite the permanent case of indigestion apparent in his facial expression. What she couldn’t remember was whether or not he wore a wedding band.

            Which should matter to her, why?

            Arms full and looking for more nonexistent floor space, Lindsey noticed a folded piece of paper by the chair leg. Setting the stack back down, she picked up the missive and unfolded it. The letter was addressed to Captain Reese from COMCARSTRIKEGRU THIRTEEN, Commander Carrier Strike Group Thirteen (CCSG-13). She quickly folded it back up, but not before the word counseling jumped off the page.

            The Good Captain had been ordered into counseling.

            The shrill ringing of the outer office telephone gave her a guilty start. Brenda answered in quiet tones while Lindsey tucked the paper into her skirt pocket and grabbed her cover from beside the door.

            “Chaplain, it’s for you,” the RP called through the open door.

            “Take a message, Brenda. There’s something I need to do.” Like catch up with the Captain. She checked her watch. She had plenty of time before her next appointment.

            Brenda covered the mouthpiece. “It’s Rear Admiral Dunning.”

            “Commander Carrier Strike Group Thirteen?” Lindsey had never had the occasion to meet a flag officer before, let alone speak with one. “What could he possibly want…?” Her hand went to her skirt pocket. “I’ll take it in my office.”

Bon appetit! Happy reading! And…Happy 4th of July!!

Deb

 

EAT=LOVE=TUESDAY: Dee Davis’s Best Mac ‘n Cheese in NYC

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

(Apologies for the strange post that arrived in your inbox today–Valentine’s Day after Easter? I can’t explain the phantom post, but I’m willing to point the finger at a new host server that is apparently giving my webhost fits.) Again, so sorry, for the extra post, but HERE is the one that was supposed to go out today.

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In case you missed this fab recipe, here’s a yummy reprise from my friend, Dee Davis.

This Mac + Cheese recipe was voted a New York favorite. And her charming, cosmopolitan book, A Match Made on Madison, is part of a #Kindle Countdown Deal. 5 days only! Grab it today for just 99¢.

“Sometimes love needs a little help!”

5.0 from 1 reviews
Macaroni and Cheese (adapted from recipe from Artisanal Fromagerie and Bistro, NYC)
Author: 
Recipe type: American
Cuisine: main dish
Serves: 6
 
This classic dish is served at Artisanal Fromagerie & Bistro and is known as “the best macaroni and cheese in town.”
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 5½ tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • salt
  • Black pepper in a mill
  • 3 cups Gruyere or Comte, grated (from 6 to 8 ounces)
  • ½ cup mascarpone (can substitute ricotta or farmers cheese)
  • 1lb dry pasta
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour 2 quarts of water into a 3-quart pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. In a small sauce pan, melt 2½ tablespoons of the butter over low heat. Add the bread crumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, toss well, and set aside.
  3. Put the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a 2-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan and melt it over low heat. Add the flour and cook for 4 minutes, whisking constantly. Pour in the milk and cook for 4 minutes, whisking constantly. Add 2 teaspoons salt , 4 grinds of pepper (can substitute a shake or two of white pepper), the Gruyere and mascarpone, and continue to whisk until the cheese is well incorporated. Remove the pot from the heat and pour the cheese sauce into a large bowl.
  4. Add 2 tsp salt and the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, approximately 8 minutes. Drain the macaroni in a colander and add it to the bowl with the cheese sauce. Mix well with a wooden spoon. (can just mix in the baking dish if your prefer).
  5. Pour the macaroni mixture into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, approximately 40 minutes. Serve.
  6. Also really good with one bag of Italian grated cheese (Kraft) – 2 cups. And chopped sharp cheddar. About a cup and a half. Instead of the gruyere and mascarpone.

After you’re satiated on the best Mac ‘n Cheese in NYC, you can settle down to read this witty, delightful romp.

A Match Made on Madison

 

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Here’s a snippet:

CHAPTER 1

Bemelmans Bar, The Carlyle Hotel, 35 E. 76th

“Best remembered as the creator of the classic Madeline books for children, Ludwig Bemelmans once joked he’d like his tombstone to read: “Tell Them It Was Wonderful.” Well, wonderful it was, and still is, at Bemelmans Bar. Named in honor of the legendary artist, Bemelmans is a timeless New York watering hole that has drawn socialites, politicians, movie stars and moguls for ”–www. theCarlyle.com

*****

“Another round please.” I signaled the tuxedo-clad waiter with an impervious twist of my hand, the gesture undoubtedly not nearly as regal as I supposed. But then dirty martinis will do that to you. Two is really the limit even for the most dedicated of drinkers. And we’d already had three.

But this was a celebration.

And I wasn’t paying the bill. Which was just as well.

Bemelmans is my idea of heaven when it comes to a bar. Small and intimate, with killer drinks, fiery-hot toasted edamame, and folksy art that puts one in mind of a children’s storybook, it’s absolutely perfect. But you could mortgage a Park Avenue apartment and still not have enough to pay the tab — especially on a martini bender. So better that it was Althea’s headache.

I’d save mine for tomorrow.

Althea Sevalas was my friend, mentor and sometimes rival. In truth, I’d absorbed all she had to teach me with the voracity of the young and hungry and then proceeded to go out and apply what I’d learned on my own.

Actually, I’m making it sound easier than it was. I don’t know that I’d ever have taken the leap, so to speak, if it hadn’t been for Franklin Pierpont’s tendency for dramatic scenes. Franklin is a billionaire geek with absolutely no social skills.

Althea had taken him on in a fit of absolute pity. And when his first match ended in a somewhat less than desirable way, he’d wound up standing on a ledge outside my office window – nineteen floors up. Obviously this sort behavior is not good for the matchmaking business, and Althea, who suffers from vertigo, tasked me with talking him down.

Suffice it to say that it was not one of my favorite assignments, but after showing half of Manhattan my Perele panties, and losing a Manolo to windowsill gymnastics, I managed to talk sense into the man.

Of course it didn’t hurt matters when it turned out that the policewoman who’d come to our rescue was not only a looker but the heir to a computer fortune. A definite sign from on high. So when Althea insisted on taking credit for handling the whole fiasco, I saw the writing on the wall, and with a little help from the Pierpont – policewoman merger, I started my own agency.

Anyway, at first there’d been understandable friction between us. After all I’d walked away with all Althea’s tricks of the trade so to speak. But with a little time she’d realized that Manhattan was big enough for both of us, and albeit warily, accepted me back into her circle of friends.

She wasn’t above twisting the knife a bit now and then though. And having been invited to the wedding of the century was a coup she’d no doubt lord over me for years to come. It was a first, and something I had to admit I aspired to achieve. Not that it was likely.

This was a one on fluke. Matchmakers simply aren’t considered wedding guest material. Too much a reminder of things best forgotten.

Which explains the reason for celebrating. And though it wasn’t really my triumph, I didn’t have a problem swizzling Bemelmans martini’s in Althea’s honor. Of course I’d brought reinforcements – my friend Cybil Baranski.

“So I heard that even though the gown cost half a million, the bride still looked like overfed farm stock.” Cybil adjusted her Oliver Peeple’s frames and leaned forward, eyes sparkling in anticipation.

Cybil and I have been friends since Trinity and believe me her love of gossip was a well-developed art form even then. Just ask Roberta Marston the first girl in our class to go all the way. And of course, being Cybil, she’s found a way to capitalize on her talent for digging dirt, getting paid handsomely by the Murdochs to write a syndicated international column that’s become a glitterati must read.

The bride in question is Susannah Barker, a long-shot late comer in the race to secure the hand of multimillionaire Robert Walski. Of course she had Althea on her team, which meant the odds were upped considerably despite what the rumormongers (excluding Cybil of course) would have had one believe.

“Honey,” Althea leaned in as well, their noses almost colliding. Dirty martinis are hell on depth perception, “when you’re wearing a size twelve at your wedding – there’s just not a lot a designer can do.” We all looked down at the newspaper Althea had brought. In this case the picture was beyond words.

Judged against the ordinary world, Susannah would be considered attractive, I suppose. But Manhattan is a sea of size twos. I’ve always believed that the reason restaurants open and close with such velocity here is due at least in part to the fact that while most women deign to visit restaurants out of social necessity, they very seldom actually eat anything.

Anyway, suffice it to say that Susannah holds up her end in the support of Manhattan restaurants. However, her size wasn’t the issue here. Her father’s upstate mills were. And when Baxter realized the advantages of his assets merging with hers. Well the rest is history.

But that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Finding someone whose social background and financial assets are equal to or enhance yours? All this nonsense about true love and opposites attract is ridiculous at the social strata we’re discussing. Marriage is a merger. It’s as simple as that.

Thank God, or Althea and I would be out of business.

~~~

Kindle Countdown deal starts at 99¢ TODAY. Don’t miss out! Click HERE.

Doesn’t that sound like fun?!!

Bon appetit! Happy reading!

Deb

EAT=LOVE=TUESDAY: Dee Davis’s Best Mac ‘n Cheese in NYC

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

imgres-5

 

In case you missed this fab recipe, here’s a yummy reprise from my friend, Dee Davis.

This Mac + Cheese recipe was voted a New York favorite. And her charming, cosmopolitan book, A Match Made on Madison, is part of a #Kindle Countdown Deal. 5 days only! Grab it today for just 99¢.

“Sometimes love needs a little help!”

5.0 from 1 reviews
Macaroni and Cheese (adapted from recipe from Artisanal Fromagerie and Bistro, NYC)
Author: 
Recipe type: American
Cuisine: main dish
Serves: 6
 
This classic dish is served at Artisanal Fromagerie & Bistro and is known as “the best macaroni and cheese in town.”
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 5½ tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • salt
  • Black pepper in a mill
  • 3 cups Gruyere or Comte, grated (from 6 to 8 ounces)
  • ½ cup mascarpone (can substitute ricotta or farmers cheese)
  • 1lb dry pasta
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour 2 quarts of water into a 3-quart pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. In a small sauce pan, melt 2½ tablespoons of the butter over low heat. Add the bread crumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, toss well, and set aside.
  3. Put the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a 2-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan and melt it over low heat. Add the flour and cook for 4 minutes, whisking constantly. Pour in the milk and cook for 4 minutes, whisking constantly. Add 2 teaspoons salt , 4 grinds of pepper (can substitute a shake or two of white pepper), the Gruyere and mascarpone, and continue to whisk until the cheese is well incorporated. Remove the pot from the heat and pour the cheese sauce into a large bowl.
  4. Add 2 tsp salt and the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, approximately 8 minutes. Drain the macaroni in a colander and add it to the bowl with the cheese sauce. Mix well with a wooden spoon. (can just mix in the baking dish if your prefer).
  5. Pour the macaroni mixture into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, approximately 40 minutes. Serve.
  6. Also really good with one bag of Italian grated cheese (Kraft) – 2 cups. And chopped sharp cheddar. About a cup and a half. Instead of the gruyere and mascarpone.

After you’re satiated on the best Mac ‘n Cheese in NYC, you can settle down to read this witty, delightful romp.

A Match Made on Madison

 

91y86DiyjpL._SL1500_

Here’s a snippet:

CHAPTER 1

Bemelmans Bar, The Carlyle Hotel, 35 E. 76th

“Best remembered as the creator of the classic Madeline books for children, Ludwig Bemelmans once joked he’d like his tombstone to read: “Tell Them It Was Wonderful.” Well, wonderful it was, and still is, at Bemelmans Bar. Named in honor of the legendary artist, Bemelmans is a timeless New York watering hole that has drawn socialites, politicians, movie stars and moguls for ”–www. theCarlyle.com

*****

“Another round please.” I signaled the tuxedo-clad waiter with an impervious twist of my hand, the gesture undoubtedly not nearly as regal as I supposed. But then dirty martinis will do that to you. Two is really the limit even for the most dedicated of drinkers. And we’d already had three.

But this was a celebration.

And I wasn’t paying the bill. Which was just as well.

Bemelmans is my idea of heaven when it comes to a bar. Small and intimate, with killer drinks, fiery-hot toasted edamame, and folksy art that puts one in mind of a children’s storybook, it’s absolutely perfect. But you could mortgage a Park Avenue apartment and still not have enough to pay the tab — especially on a martini bender. So better that it was Althea’s headache.

I’d save mine for tomorrow.

Althea Sevalas was my friend, mentor and sometimes rival. In truth, I’d absorbed all she had to teach me with the voracity of the young and hungry and then proceeded to go out and apply what I’d learned on my own.

Actually, I’m making it sound easier than it was. I don’t know that I’d ever have taken the leap, so to speak, if it hadn’t been for Franklin Pierpont’s tendency for dramatic scenes. Franklin is a billionaire geek with absolutely no social skills.

Althea had taken him on in a fit of absolute pity. And when his first match ended in a somewhat less than desirable way, he’d wound up standing on a ledge outside my office window – nineteen floors up. Obviously this sort behavior is not good for the matchmaking business, and Althea, who suffers from vertigo, tasked me with talking him down.

Suffice it to say that it was not one of my favorite assignments, but after showing half of Manhattan my Perele panties, and losing a Manolo to windowsill gymnastics, I managed to talk sense into the man.

Of course it didn’t hurt matters when it turned out that the policewoman who’d come to our rescue was not only a looker but the heir to a computer fortune. A definite sign from on high. So when Althea insisted on taking credit for handling the whole fiasco, I saw the writing on the wall, and with a little help from the Pierpont – policewoman merger, I started my own agency.

Anyway, at first there’d been understandable friction between us. After all I’d walked away with all Althea’s tricks of the trade so to speak. But with a little time she’d realized that Manhattan was big enough for both of us, and albeit warily, accepted me back into her circle of friends.

She wasn’t above twisting the knife a bit now and then though. And having been invited to the wedding of the century was a coup she’d no doubt lord over me for years to come. It was a first, and something I had to admit I aspired to achieve. Not that it was likely.

This was a one on fluke. Matchmakers simply aren’t considered wedding guest material. Too much a reminder of things best forgotten.

Which explains the reason for celebrating. And though it wasn’t really my triumph, I didn’t have a problem swizzling Bemelmans martini’s in Althea’s honor. Of course I’d brought reinforcements – my friend Cybil Baranski.

“So I heard that even though the gown cost half a million, the bride still looked like overfed farm stock.” Cybil adjusted her Oliver Peeple’s frames and leaned forward, eyes sparkling in anticipation.

Cybil and I have been friends since Trinity and believe me her love of gossip was a well-developed art form even then. Just ask Roberta Marston the first girl in our class to go all the way. And of course, being Cybil, she’s found a way to capitalize on her talent for digging dirt, getting paid handsomely by the Murdochs to write a syndicated international column that’s become a glitterati must read.

The bride in question is Susannah Barker, a long-shot late comer in the race to secure the hand of multimillionaire Robert Walski. Of course she had Althea on her team, which meant the odds were upped considerably despite what the rumormongers (excluding Cybil of course) would have had one believe.

“Honey,” Althea leaned in as well, their noses almost colliding. Dirty martinis are hell on depth perception, “when you’re wearing a size twelve at your wedding – there’s just not a lot a designer can do.” We all looked down at the newspaper Althea had brought. In this case the picture was beyond words.

Judged against the ordinary world, Susannah would be considered attractive, I suppose. But Manhattan is a sea of size twos. I’ve always believed that the reason restaurants open and close with such velocity here is due at least in part to the fact that while most women deign to visit restaurants out of social necessity, they very seldom actually eat anything.

Anyway, suffice it to say that Susannah holds up her end in the support of Manhattan restaurants. However, her size wasn’t the issue here. Her father’s upstate mills were. And when Baxter realized the advantages of his assets merging with hers. Well the rest is history.

But that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Finding someone whose social background and financial assets are equal to or enhance yours? All this nonsense about true love and opposites attract is ridiculous at the social strata we’re discussing. Marriage is a merger. It’s as simple as that.

Thank God, or Althea and I would be out of business.

~~~

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Bon appetit! Happy reading!

Deb