Friday, June 28, 2013

Orzo with Grilled Shrimp & Summer Veggies - YUM!

At our weekly CSA pickup, we only get a 1/2 share  - technically, 4 items. But one 'item' can be a box holding six squash. We are overflowing with summer veggies, and I bet you are, too. This terrific recipe from Bon Appetit is a delicious way to use them all.


  • 8 ounces orzo (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 6 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
  • 2 medium zucchini or summer squash (about 9 ounces total), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons purchased pesto
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes (8 to 10 ounces total), cored, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1 8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes


Cook orzo in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Transfer to large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon oil.
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Whisk 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons vinegar in small bowl. Brush zucchini and bell pepper with oil mixture, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Whisk pesto, lime juice, remaining 3 1/2 tablespoons oil, and remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar in small bowl for pesto vinaigrette. Place shrimp in medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons pesto vinaigrette; toss to coat.
Grill zucchini and bell pepper until crisptender, about 3 minutes per side for zucchini and 4 minutes per side for bell pepper. Transfer to work surface. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper; grill until charred and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Place shrimp in bowl with orzo. Chop zucchini and bell pepper; add to bowl with orzo. Add remaining vinaigrette, tomatoes, sliced basil, and mozzarella; toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover; chill.
Garnish with basil sprigs and serve cold or at room temperature (which makes it super easy to deal with leftovers!)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Like Food & Wine? Here's The Romance For You!

One of the best things about having author friends is getting to read their books early. So I can tell you that if you love food and wine, you'll love the hot new contemporary romance by my friend Eliza Knight. If the cover alone doesn't convince you, keep reading below for the blurb and excerpt!

THE REBOUND PACT  by Eliza Knight

Just one taste is never enough...

The attraction between Gabrielle and Holden still sizzles on the surface even after all these years since their last encounter. Having just experienced serious relationship breakups neither one is

ready to start again. Instead, they make a rebound pact. Casual sex, no strings attached—and rule #1? Don't fall in love. Problem is, with each scorching encounter, Gabrielle and Holden find
themselves falling hard and fast.

After college, Gabrielle Dane makes one terrific mistake. Thinking she's sneaking into her crush's bedroom at an all-night party, she ends up sleeping with her older brother's best friend. It’s only when the sun comes up that she recognizes Holden Bellamy. Mortified, Gabrielle leaves to train with a renowned chef in France, vowing never to return to her hometown and the awkwardness of her one night stand mix-up. But several years later, she finds herself doing just that, and she runs smack into the delicious man who makes her catches her breath.

Holden Bellamy, owner of Belle Ami, a critically acclaimed vineyard, has always had a thing for his best friend's little sister...even if she was off limits. Waking up to her in the morning several years back was a remarkable surprise, one that crashed and burned when she left town without a word. Now he's face to face with the woman he never stopped wondering about.


As she neared the exit, a sign caught her eye with a picture of purple grapes inside a wine glass, below it said: Belle Ami Vineyards.

“Perfect,” she muttered.

A stop at the vineyard to purchase a couple bottles of wine and then she’d head to her Dad’s place. She wasn’t ready for the conversation he’d want to have regarding Len. She stared at her empty ring finger on the steering wheel, tears already stinging her eyes. Her finger still showed the lines of where her ring had been.

Gabrielle followed the signs for the vineyard, pulling into a nearly empty parking lot, her tires crunching over the gravel. There were only three other cars parked.

Damn. She hoped they hadn’t closed already. She’d forgotten how everything in the town of Mount Airy kept farmer’s hours.  She climbed out of the car and walked toward the entrance. The door opened easily when she pulled, but she didn’t see anyone. She walked up to the bar and picked up the tasting menu.

Gabrielle loved wine. Had even volunteered at many a wine tasting event, pouring glasses, talking shop to wine enthusiasts, and even turning some non-winos into vino connoisseurs.

The Belle Ami merlot looked right up her alley with a tangy bouquet of pomegranate and cocoa. She turned in a circle, her fingernails tapping against the “green” pressed bamboo counter.

“Can I help you?” a smooth, sensual, very male voice said from behind.

Oh. My. God.

Gabrielle turned around slowly, unable to breathe. She came face to face with Holden Bellamy. His face itself was perfection in the flesh. Chiseled. A wide square jaw, cheek bones she’d kill for, kissable lips and a nose that spoke of good genes. Dark brown, nearly black hair cut short enough to be in style, but still rugged, a few strands falling over his forehead. Her entire body stilled as she gazed at him, wide-eyed.

He was just as alluring, if not more so than he’d been before.

A jolt of longing wracked her. Her belly fluttered. Goosebumps rose along her arms making her skin tingle. Memories came flooding back of their one night together. Her body hadn’t forgotten, even with the passing of time, and neither had her mind. But with those memories and the pull of her attraction came regret. For what she’d thrown away. For the hurt she’d caused him. For not telling him the truth.

He wore a tight black t-shirt with the winery’s logo on his right pec. His jeans looked to be designer and if he turned around… She gulped, gazing at his flawless physique and then back up into his crystal blue eyes that seemed to delve right into the center of her soul. A light bulb sparked inside her mind. Bellamy… Was it possible this was his winery? A play on words?


He remembered her. Her stomach tightened. Of course he remembered her. She’d known him for years. Her body trilled a tune, as if her flesh remembered the way he’d touched her. He flashed her a smile, showing white, faintly imperfect teeth. Teeth that had skimmed naughtily over her flesh.

“Yes, hi, it’s been so long…” She trailed off, feeling awkward at showing up here six years after walking out on him.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Cover Reveal - Laura Kaye's next sexy Vampire King!

Lots of romance is hot. But there is something about vampires that kicks up the heat level a notch or two. Make those vampires kings, and you're drooling in anticipation before you even crack the cover. Oh, yeah - that's why we're here today. To reveal Laura Kaye's third Vampire Warrior King cover!!! (and yes, this is book 3, but you can read it as a stand alone. Although you won't want to - the whole series is terrific).
Taken by the Vampire King Blurb:
Henrik Magnusson is supposed to be immortal, but a mysterious ailment leaves the vampire king near death, and not even the blood of the Proffered, human virgins trained to serve the elite, can sustain him. Then he rescues a beautiful young woman from his enemies, and is filled with blood lust and desire he hasn't felt for centuries.
Photographer Kaira Sorenson's life takes a nightmare turn when she's attacked by blood-thirsty creatures—and saved by a vampire. She should be afraid of Henrik, but she can't deny her intense attraction to this regal, enigmatic being—nor the fact that her blood may be his only salvation. Now she must decide if she's willing to be his forever…

Releases August 1, 2013

Pre-Order Links: Amazon and B&N

Henrik’s back slammed against a brick wall, the darkness of the narrow alley sheltering their trio from the tourists thronging Tromsø’s streets.

Lars stood at the entrance, making sure no one developed an unhealthy curiosity.

Jakob got right up in Henrik’s face, forearm pressing into the king’s chest. “What happened?”

He shook his head, swallowing thickly, his hunger burning so intensely it was almost a living thing within him. “Wanted her,” he rasped. It hadn’t been a decision. There wasn’t anything rational or conscious about it. From the first moment she’d approached him, he was awash in her appealing scent, like the smoky berries of a vintage wine or the rich bite of an aged, dignified whiskey.

“Wanted her how?”

“I wanted her.” He knocked his head against the brick. Even now, he couldn’t shake the image of the vein’s rhythmic dance along her slender neck or of the luscious dip of her cleavage, both displayed so invitingly by her upswept hair. His fangs throbbed with a want and a need he couldn’t remember feeling in ages. Not to mention the aching hard-on between his legs.

“Straight out no-shit bloodlust?” Something like hope sounded in the warrior’s deep voice.

“Ja.” Henrik heaved a deep breath of cold January air as his imagination unhelpfully replayed how it would’ve gone down. Tearing the gown from her trim body. Holding her curves in his hands. Bearing her up against the wall. Sinking his fangs and his cock in deep until every dark, needy part of him was sated.

“I’ll get her.” Jakob turned away.

The king slammed his hand down on his brother’s shoulder and gripped hard. “Nei.”

“You want her. You need her.”

“I’ll kill her.”

Because he wouldn’t be able to stop.

Once he got a taste, something base and instinctual told him he wouldn’t be able to make himself stop. He’d been so close to the edge of his restraint in the gallery. Only the sound of her voice had pulled him back from the brink.

All he’d wanted was a night out of their mountain citadel, away from the looming promise of death. He thought the jovial atmosphere of the festival would distract him from all that was to come. Instead, it had thrown it right in his face. Christ, he was a catastrophe waiting to happen, already more beast than man. He shook his head again. “I’ll fucking kill her,” he rasped.

“You won’t.”

Acid washed through his gut. “You willing to risk an innocent woman’s life—or her soul—to see which of us is right? I’m not.” He shuddered, the danger of becoming like his evil enemies one of his greatest fears. “Leave her be. I’ll not have it any other way.”

About Laura Kaye:
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.