Friday, February 16, 2018

Finicky Friday - Slow-Cooker Garlic-Parmesan Chicken



Slow-Cooker Garlic-Parmesan Chicken







TOTAL TIME: 4:15
PREP: 0:
SERVES: 4



INGREDIENTS

4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 lb. bone-in chicken thighs

kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 lb. baby red potatoes, quartered

2 tbsp. butter

5 cloves Garlic, Chopped

2 tbsp. freshly chopped thyme

Freshly chopped parsley, for serving

2 tbsp. Freshly Chopped Parsley

2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving



DIRECTIONS

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and sear until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and sear 3 minutes more.

Meanwhile, in a 6-quart slow-cooker, toss potatoes with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, butter, garlic, parsley, thyme, and Parmesan and season generously with salt and pepper. Add chicken to slow cooker and toss gently, then cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours, until potatoes are tender and chicken is fully cooked. 

Garnish with Parmesan and parsley and serve.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tuesday Teaser - Fangs and Fur



Okay, so the book is finished and being proofed. I'll be sending it to the editor in a few days. Sarah York is working on the cover too! Won't be long now!



Chapter Two
Alvin hurried home, shame dogging his every step. Several members smiled in his direction, but that wouldn’t last—not once word got out. He rushed up the steps to his cottage and let himself inside. Collapsing on the couch, he rubbed his hands over his face and heaved a deep breath.
What a fucking debacle, one that he brought all on himself. In retrospect, he wished he’d told his Alpha he was being blackmailed by Alpha Hogan. Leaning back, he stared at the ceiling, replaying Grady and Dylan’s words in his head.
“Dammit, man, you should’ve come to me. What have I done to make any of you think I wouldn’t back you?”
Dylan cleared his throat. “You’ve been pretty clear on the issue of mates.”
“In conjunction with me,” Grady snapped. “I made it clear what I wanted. I never said my feelings applied to anybody else! I sat right here not long ago and told you I’d asked Alpha Wayne for permission for my jamboree to visit his so my members could maybe find mates.”
“Yes, you told me. Did you tell the members?”
Alvin squeezed his eyes shut. The thing was, Grady hadn’t. Alvin honestly believed he wouldn’t receive help from Grady. And shame on him for thinking that of his Alpha. Never once had Grady failed his jamboree in any form. But the damn issues of mates—Grady had made it painfully clear he didn’t believe in love, that it was a fool’s pursuit.
If only he’d known Grady had changed his stance, then maybe… no. No excuses. Alvin was in the wrong. He’d committed an unpardonable sin by trying to kidnap Cade—the Alpha mate. That he hadn’t succeeded didn’t matter. He’d been desperate and would’ve done anything to stop the torture Bert was being put through. Even sacrifice honor.
And it was all for nothing. The Shifter Council showed up at Alpha Hogan’s jamboree investigating a complaint, took over, and now Grady couldn’t retrieve Alvin’s mate like he promised since the Council was involved.
A lone tear rolled down Alvin’s face. Was his mate okay? The driving need to know rode him hard. He should be there, be the one to comfort his mate. Instead he was stuck here being eaten alive with questions. Had Bert finally received the help he needed after being beaten so severely? Bert’s screams—Alvin shuddered. They’d haunt him for as long as he lived.
Maybe it was fitting he didn’t know Bert’s condition, even if it was killing him. He deserved so much worse. Grady had been well within his right to kill him. Or even banish him. Instead, all Grady did was strip Alvin of his title of delta. He’d gotten off easy. Or maybe he hadn’t. Their jamboree was a tight community that would probably turn on him. He’d become an outsider. Untrustworthy. Without honor. Deceitful.
And Bert. What was he going to do about his mate? Would Bert be accepted here? Fuck, would he be after word got out? Alvin knew beyond a shadow of a doubt he could never live in Bert’s jamboree.
Maybe it would be better for them to leave both jamborees, but the thought of going rogue was terrifying. He would lose his home, his business. True Jaguars might be solitary animals who preferred to live and hunt alone, but shifters were different. They needed social interaction and pack-like connection. Most did not do well alone.
But before he worried about where they would live, he had to first find out if Alpha Hogan would release Bert. Hell, was Hogan even still the Alpha? If Alvin ever got the chance, he’d kill Hogan, not only for what he did to his mate, but for forcing Alvin into a situation he couldn’t win.
There was so much still unknown and uncertain.
Restless, Alvin stood and wandered around his home. Should he call the Council and try to find out what was going on? Would they speak to him? Dylan was supposed to contact them, but Alvin couldn’t see Dylan getting in any rush.
Evening came and went, and he heard nothing. Giving up, he went to bed knowing he wouldn’t sleep well.
* * * *
Morning came, and yup, he’d slept like shit. Alvin stumbled into the kitchen and make himself a cup of coffee. The day stretched out in front of him endlessly. After he ate, he got another cup. Maybe he should check in with Grady, but the thought made him cringe.
Wandering the kitchen, he stopped by the windows, staring out at his garden at back. “I just need to know he’s—” Alvin jumped when someone started banging on his front door. “What now? And at this time of day. Dammit, it better not be someone here to give me shit.”
He deserved it, of course, but he was in no state of mind to deal with it. Bert occupied his every spare thought.
“Coming!” Alvin yelled to whoever was trying to beat his door down. He yanked it open, ready for anything. Or he thought he was. His mouth hit the ground when he saw who was his visitor. “Dylan? What—”
Dylan stood in the front door, frowning mightily. “Get your shit and let’s go.”
Alvin blinked in surprise, his heart pounding. Had Grady changed his mind about letting him stay? Was this it, then? “Go? Go where? Why? Did… did Grady…. Am I being kicked off the jamboree lands after all?”
“What?” Dylan reared back in surprise, wiping the frown off his face. “Oh shit, no! I didn’t mean… fuck. Sorry about that. No, Grady hasn’t changed his mind.”
“Um, okay….” Alvin scratched his head, still breathing hard from the fear Dylan’s words left behind. “Then why…. Where are we going?”
“Rhett Carrick called Grady. He’s an enforcer from the Shifter Council. He’s the one who found Bert, and we need to go. Bert is…. I’m sorry, Alvin. He’s—”
Coldness washed through Alvin. Oh fuck, oh fuck. Bert couldn’t be…. Surely he would’ve felt something if…. His stomach rolled ominously, and saliva flooded his mouth. Swinging away from the door, Alvin darted toward the half bath.
“Alvin!”
A rush of footsteps sounded behind him, but he ignored them as he skittered into the bathroom. He hunched over the commode, losing everything he’d eaten. Please, no. Please, no! His stomach cramped, his body shook, and tears flooded his eyes. This can’t be happening!
Dylan paused at the door. “Son of a… aw, dammit!”
Alvin gagged and then threw up again.
“Oh my fucking… I’m so sorry! Fuck me, I didn’t mean….” Dylan rested his hand on Alvin’s back. “Bert’s not dead or whatever the hell you’re thinking. Dammit, Alvin, are you listening to me?”
Bert wasn’t dead? Alvin gagged one last time as he fought his body’s horrifying response to what he thought Dylan had been telling him.
“I’m a fucking idiot. Major fucking idiot. Where are the….” Dylan cursed softly. “Oh, to hell with it.”
Alvin heard running water.
“Here!” Dylan stuck a wet cloth in front of Alvin’s face.
Shakily, he climbed to his feet and flushed the commode. Alvin barely glanced at what he held as he wiped his face. The coolness against his overheated skin helped settle his stomach, along with Dylan’s words. Trembling, he staggered to the sink and rinsed his mouth. Glancing in the mirror, he noticed the hand towel was gone. Alvin realized he was holding it.
“I couldn’t find any washcloths, so I just grabbed the first thing I saw.” Dylan backed out the bathroom. “Fuck man, I’m sorry. Do you want something to drink? Of course you do. Look, you sit down, and I’ll raid your kitchen. Be right back.” Dylan darted off.
Alvin left the bathroom and collapsed on the couch, leaning his head against the back. Scrubbing his hands across his face, he tried to stop his body from shaking so violently. Fucking hell. He’d honestly thought Dylan was going to tell him… yeah. Alvin’s life had tilted on its axis when he thought Bert was dead.
“Here you go.” Dylan stuck the open can of soda in front of Alvin. “Sip that.”
“Thank you.” Alvin sat up, took the can, and gratefully sipped.

Dylan collapsed next to Alvin. “Well, I guess if there’s any question of whether or not Bert is truly your mate, that answered it. I’m really sorry. Are you okay?”


Friday, February 2, 2018

Finicky Friday - Super Bowl Style

Warm Blue Cheese Dip with Garlic and Bacon
Even people that don't like blue cheese love this wonderful hot dip. It can be served with vegetables or French bread.





Prep 30 m
Cook 30 m
Ready In 1 h
1 h 14 servings 155 cals


Ingredients

7 slices bacon 

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened 

1/4 cup half-and-half 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled 

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives 


Directions

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Remove bacon from skillet, drain on paper towels and crumble.

Place garlic in hot bacon grease. Cook and stir until soft, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place cream cheese and half-and-half in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until blended. Stir in bacon, garlic, blue cheese and chives. Transfer mixture to a medium baking dish.


Bake covered in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until lightly browned.


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Tuesday Teaser



Okay, y'all we're still in Chapter One. Things are getting interesting. I'm introducing a new character in this chapter by the name of Rhett. Hope y'all like him as much as I do. He's gonna be a hoot to write later, I can tell. His book may be the next I since I find him so damn cool. ;)
~M






A hair-raising roar sounded not far from the shack, and Alpha Hogan paled. “Wheaton, get that piece of shit taken care of now and—”
There was a scuffle outside, another terrifying roar, and the door to the shack flew open again. Bert blinked against the afternoon light. Backlit by the sunlight was a male he’d never seen before. He squinted, trying to clear his wavering vision, but it did no good. Please, please, be here to help. Goddess, please.
“I am Enforcer Rhett Carrick from the Shifter Council. I scented Alpha Hogan was in here and—holy mother of the goddess, what the fuck is going on here? What the hell has been done to this male and why?”
“I am Alpha Hogan.” Hogan stalked forward. “How dare you just show up here with no warning? This isn’t how it’s done—no notice or anything. Step outside, and we’ll—”
Wheaton eased off to the right as Hogan stood in front of the enforcer. Bert watched helplessly. He was all too familiar with that move.
“No one is going anywhere until I get answers. That male”—Rhett pointed at Bert—“has been severely beaten from the looks of it. I want him untied and treated. Then I want to speak with him. Such abuse isn’t tolerated. I—”
Bert whined desperately. Help was so close. He watched as Wheaton jumped at Rhett. Rhett spun and caught Wheaton in the air. In. The. Air. Bert gulped at the sudden spike of power that spread through the room.
Good goddess, that had to be from Rhett. It was unlike anything he’d ever felt. Even Alphas didn’t feel like this. The hair on his neck stood up. Rhett growled as he held Wheaton suspended by the throat. With a flick of his wrist, Rhett snapped Wheaton’s neck, and one-handedly, tossed Wheaton away from him. Hogan snarled, but to Bert it sounds more fearful than angry.
Hogan rushed forward and, claws bared, swiped at Rhett. Amazed, Bert watched Rhett take a direct hit to the midsection from Hogan’s claws. Shit. Rhett didn’t so much as flinch. Blood seeped through the four slashes in the shirt.
Nonchalantly, Rhett looked at the damage then glanced at Hogan. Brett gulped. Terror spread through him. Holy hell, Rhett’s eyes were back… as in the whole eye was nothing but back. What the fuck was that?
Fear flooded the room, and this time it wasn’t only from Bert. Hogan turned as pale as milk, his eyes wide. Calmly, Rhett backhand Hogan, sending him flying into one of the walls… and then through it. Rhett stepped through the man-size hole and followed Hogan outside.
Desperately Bert jerked his wrists, trying to loosen the rope around them. He couldn’t see what was happening, but he wanted out of there. Now. Rhett was… he didn’t what Rhett was and didn’t want to find out.

A sharp pain pierced his mind, a ‘pop’ that left him reeling. Oh fuck. Dizziness swamped him as the pain receded. Holy shit, his connection to his Alpha just broke. Only way that happened was when an Alpha voluntarily stepped down or died. The power radiating off the enforcer choked Bert, and his mind threatened to shut down. Now that Hogan’s command not to shift wasn’t holding him back, his animal roared to the front.