Saturday, February 26, 2011
Ahhh, it's Sunday morning. You're snuggled under the covers, hopefully with nothing more pressing on your mind than...it's Sunday morning. A perfect day to simply relax and enjoy yourself--and whomever might be snuggled up next to you. ;-)
Yes, I realize I picked the holy day as my sexy food day, but Sunday is my favorite eating day of the week. There always seems to be a good reason to eat, drink and be merry on Sundays, regardless of season, weather or region (or religion). You can order a bloody Mary before noon and no one bats an eye... Mimosas with Sunday brunch are a staple... Crème brulee adds elegance to a simple Sunday pot roast dinner… Wine, cheese, crab dip and crackers are cozy companions when you’re curled up on the sofa, reading a book or doing the crossword puzzle on a lazy Sunday afternoon… A grilled Caprese sandwich oozing mozzarella will score you big points with the S.O. during Sunday football… See what I’m sayin’?
So I’m launching Sinful Sundays with my favorite Sunday lunch: Champagne-Crab Salad. Y-um. This little number packs a punch flavor-wise, but it’s very healthy, low-fat and low-cal, because I use a light champagne dressing.
Here are the easy-breezy ingredients and instructions for crafting this salad:
(Makes two large servings, though you can modify quantities to suit your needs)
½ Head of iceberg lettuce, chopped (Not finely chopped, but make the pieces bite-sized. It sucks to have huge chunks of lettuce to cut up when you’re eating.)
1 Medium green pepper, diced
1 Medium red pepper, diced
1 Large avocado, diced
¼ Red onion, diced
½ Cup mushrooms, diced
1 Cup blue crab, Alaskan King crab or imitation crab (Flake or lump-style, though lump adds more flavor.)
Salt and pepper to taste
Light Champagne dressing (I buy mine at the store; if you prefer to make your own, knock your socks off—Google will gladly help you out.)
Shredded Colby Jack and Cheddar cheese optional (I personally wouldn’t make this without the cheese, and yet there’s no cheese in my demo photos. Go figure.)
I like to serve this salad in either a chilled, deep square bowl or a chilled square plate, but whatever. Here’s what I do. Because I’m big on presentation—gives the illusion I really slaved over such a simple dish—I lay out the lettuce in a diagonal heap across the plate. Then I line up the veggies in little piles alongside the lettuce, in a color-coded fashion. Red pep, avo, shrooms, green pep. I reverse the order on the second side. Then I sprinkle the onion on top of the lettuce, add salt and pepper, then sprinkle the crab over the heap. I drizzle on the dressing (I use the term “drizzle” seriously, because a little goes a long way. It sinks to the bottom quickly, so you might overdo it if you’re not careful). Lastly, I top with the cheese and serve.
Now, in order to fully enjoy this salad, you have to mess it all up (see pic below). It’s kinda fun, so have at it!
Pair with a very crisp white wine, like a Sauvignon Blanc, or champagne. Serve with cracked pepper or regular crackers (wafer-thin)—they’re great for scooping up leftover crab and veggies.
Voila! A decadent treat on a Sunday afternoon. Simple. Sexy. Inexpensive.
I’m off to make mine. Here’s a little something to enjoy with your salad. I’ll give away a free download from my eRedsage backlist to a random blogger. Your choice of my books. All you have to do is leave a comment about the recipe, the blog, your favorite Sunday activity…anything pertaining to Sinful Sundays!
Copyrighted Calista Fox
Friday, February 25, 2011
I've got a sexy excerpt for you from the third novella in my Rendezvous series to get you in the mood for romance, and a super-easy-to-win contest (details at end of excerpt). Visit us often for more contests, free reads, sexy recipes and guest bloggers!
Secret Rendezvous by Calista Fox
Secrets Volume 26--On Sale at eRedsage.com
(The Rendezvous trilogy was published in Secrets Volumes 17, 22 and 26)
McCarthy Portman is the matchmaking maven behind the Manhattan dating service, Rendezvous. When her software pairs her with wild and wicked Josh Kensington, McCarthy’s beliefs about love are turned upside down. Josh breaks every barrier protecting her heart, but can he win her love for keeps?
Flinging open the door to the ladies’ bathroom at Rendezvous, Josh stepped inside. A fountain of water shot out of a broken pipe under the sink, spewing water in all directions, instantly drenching his hair and his black T-shirt.
“Oh, hell,” he grumbled.
McCarthy pulled up short in the doorway and let out a little squeak. He glanced at her over his shoulder and found that her bright green eyes had widened and her mouth gaped.
“Don’t freak on me, sweetheart.”
“Oh, my God! What are we going to do? There’s, like, two inches of water on the floor! And now the hallway is getting flooded. Josh!”
“First, we’re gonna turn the water off.” He crouched down low beside the sink and twisted the silver knob on the wall. The fountain died. “Second, we’re gonna get a mop and clean up this mess. And then we’re gonna call a plumber.”
He looked at McCarthy over his shoulder again. She stood in the doorway, her jaw still slack, her eyes still bulging in their sockets.
Damn, she was even prettier when she was in distress.
His gaze remained on her as he shoved a hand through his hair, which was soaked from roots to ends. He pushed long bangs off his face, but the wet strands clung to his neck. He felt drops of water trickle down his cheeks and pool under his chin before falling to the floor. He was dripping wet.
As he stood to his full six-foot-two-inch height, McCarthy’s gaze slowly swept over him from head to toe. A curious look flashed in her vibrant eyes and he saw her suck in a sharp breath. The look she gave him was intense, sensual. It was the kind of look Josh had been the recipient of many times before. But never from her. He and McCarthy had flirted and teased each other for years, but never once had she looked at him with blatant lust in her eyes.
It excited Josh more than anything had in years.
Unfortunately, just as the hint of sexual awareness entered her eyes, it vanished. But the heated moment lingered between them.
McCarthy backed away from him. “You’re soaked. I have towels. I’ll be back.” She disappeared down the hall.
Josh stared after her. What, exactly, had McCarthy been thinking about just then?
He stood in the shallow pool of water, quickly ruining his black leather boots. He didn’t care. All that registered in his mind was that something had just happened between him and McCarthy. What was it?
She returned a few minutes later, looking less flustered, though her cheeks were still a bit flushed. Thrusting a towel at him, she said, “Here. Sorry about your clothes.”
Josh frowned. She didn’t even make eye contact with him. “They’re just jeans and a T-shirt, Mac. No big deal.”
Her gaze dropped to the floor. She visibly cringed. “Oh, shit. Your boots.”
“They’ll dry. Just like the rest of me.”
He wished like hell she’d look at him. He wanted to see that flicker of awareness again. He wanted to know if McCarthy’s feelings toward him had somehow morphed from close friends to… potential lovers.
Was McCarthy attracted to him? Did she want him the way he’d wanted her for the past few years?
He couldn’t tell--and she sure as hell wasn’t inclined to confirm his suspicions. Instead, she started to push the mop she’d brought with her around the bathroom floor.
Josh reached a hand out and clasped the wooden handle. “Let me do this. Your shoes are a hell of a lot more expensive than mine. No sense in ruining them.”
“Josh.” Her gaze finally lifted to his face and she gave him a challenging look. All traces of lust had disappeared. She was back to being a businesswoman, not a woman who may have needs Josh was more than willing to satisfy. “Rendezvous is my responsibility while Cass is gone. I apologize for my temporary hysterics, but I’m fine now. I can handle this.”
“I know you can.” He actually had to force the strained tone from his voice. He didn’t want to talk about Rendezvous. He wanted to talk about what had just happened between them. He wanted to know what she’d been thinking when she’d looked at him earlier. But McCarthy seemed to have quickly moved passed her indiscreet moment.
What choice did Josh have but to move past it as well?
“I’m already drenched,” he told her. “So you may as well let me clean up. Why don’t you go shut down your computer and take care of whatever else needs to be done. I’ll give you a ride home.”
“What about The Rage?”
Josh pried the mop from her hands. “I pay Clint good money for a reason. He can handle the club on his own. Now get out of here before you lose the chance to salvage those shoes.”
Her hand shook as one manicured finger depressed the power button on her computer. McCarthy’s body seemed to vibrate with an unfamiliar energy. She’d tried to be cool with Josh, but damn it. His name just kept flashing in her mind the way it had on her screen when he’d come up as her dating match. And when they were in the bathroom together, all she could focus on was his soaked clothes clinging to his hunky body.
The long strands of his hair had been plastered to his neck, which was lightly corded, with a thick vein running the length of it, pulsing steadily with life. His biceps had strained against the hem of the short sleeves of his T-shirt. The wet material had been pulled tight against his well-defined pectoral muscles, showing off the hard ledge of his chest. Not to mention the ridges of his six-pack abs.
And his jeans… they’d been plastered to his long, sinewy legs, his perfectly sculpted ass, his pelvis, his…
Oh, God. She let out a soft moan. Okay, yes, she’d looked. The bulge between his legs had drawn her attention and held it. And then something had happened to her. Erotic visions had danced in her head, unbidden.
Josh reaching out to her, pulling her against his hard, wet body. Pushing her down onto the tiled floor, pulling her blouse open with impatience, the buttons popping all over the place. Water rushing all around them as his hands cupped her breasts and his lips and tongue sought her nipples and teased them endlessly. His erection pressed against the juncture of her legs, rubbing against her, making her restless. Soft moans escaping her lips that turned into desperate pleas.
Take me, Josh. Thrust that hard cock into me. Make me come. Please, please, please…
McCarthy snapped the laptop closed. What the hell was she doing entertaining erotic fantasies about Josh? Granted, it wasn’t the first time, but it was definitely the first time since his name had been associated with hers in her database. Now it seemed all she could think about was sex with Josh.
There are worse things to be obsessed with…
She laughed, despite herself. Okay, so there was nothing wrong with fantasizing about the guy. She just needed to keep a firm grip on reality. She and Josh were not compatible.
The smartest thing she’d done over the past few years was ignore the sexual pull she felt when he flirted with her or when she caught him staring at her.
So, like many times before, she pushed thoughts of Josh Kensington from her mind. Instead, she focused on the closing tasks she’d put off in order to host Cat’s bachelorette party. Counting cash drawers, filling out paperwork, stocking the bar… they were chores that preoccupied her mind while Josh cleaned the mess in the bathroom.
She could handle this minor catastrophe, she told herself. Everything was okay with the club. She’d get a plumber to come in first thing tomorrow morning and everything would be fine when she opened for business that night.
As for Josh… well, a girl could have her fantasies. But McCarthy would ignore the fact that he’d appeared at the top of her “ideal match” list.
Yes, that was the smart, sensible thing to do.
Resolved to keep her strange matchmaking revelation to herself--no one needed to know Josh’s profile had been linked to hers--she turned off the stereo and collected her purse and house keys from the office. As she made her way back into the lounge, a loud thud echoed in the room.
“What the hell…?” Josh’s deep voice seemed to fill the entire club.
Or maybe it just filled all the cracks and hollow spaces inside her.
McCarthy drew up short as Josh stared at the toppled gift bag Cat had given her earlier and the vast array of sexually oriented items that had spilled out when he’d knocked it over. She gasped.
Josh picked up the elaborate vibrator, still in its clear box. He inspected the erotic toy for a moment before turning his attention to her. Holding the package in his hand, he gave her a scorching hot look.
“McCarthy Portman. You wicked, wicked girl…”
4-1/2 Flutes from Champagne Reviews!
"This is, as McCarthy thinks at one point, ‘shameless, naughty fun’. The good-girl-ensnares-bad-boy plot is always a winning combination for me, and Ms Fox manages this seamlessly and stylishly. I liked both Josh and McCarthy: Josh is super-sexy and honest with his emotions in every way, and McCarthy is sweet and confident, surprising herself when it comes to flirting and seduction. I loved the sense of humour behind this novella – several moments made me giggle. Also, this one had such a great line: The last vestiges of prudence lay scattered at her feet, sexual road kill. Loved it! 4 and a half flutes."
WANNA WIN THE ADVANCE READERS COPY?
How, you ask? It's easy! You just got a good idea of what my fantasy man looks like from this story. Josh is one bad boy I'd like to...well, never mind. If you'd like to win the ARC, all you have to do is leave a comment, briefly describing YOUR fantasy man/woman (I'm often remiss in remembering my readers are also male, as I'm reminded in emails!! My apologizes!). Don't worry if your fantasy doesn't resemble your significant other. ;-) That's what fantasies are all about! I won't tell anyone!
Good luck! Come back and visit us on Sinful Sunday!