Tag Archives: romance

Chad’s Manicotti

Looking for something delicious? How about Chad’s manicotti. LOL, I’m talking about the manicotti recipe he uses to impress Fila’s family in Husbandry.

Each of Fila’s three husbands has his own personality and advantages, and Chad is the artistic, romantic one who knows how to cook. He can even say something naughty in Italian while he does it. I’ve eaten this spinach manicotti on numerous occasions, and I can testify that it’s delizioso.

• 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 5 cups chopped tomatoes
• 4 tbsp chopped basil
• Salt, pepper, and garlic salt
• 3 cups ricotta cheese
• 1 cup cooked spinach, chopped and drained
• ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
• ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
• 1 package manicotti shells (10-14 shells)
 

Chop tomatoes and basil and shred mozzarella. In a heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil and cook the garlic until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and basil, season with salt and pepper, stir, and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. While sauce is cooking, cook the manicotti shells in salted, boiling water until al dente. Drain the shells and drop into a bowl of cold water. In a bowl, mix together the spinach and three cheeses with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Drain the shells and pat dry with a towel. Spoon a half cup of sauce into the bottom of a large (covered) baking pan and spread evenly. Fill manicotti shells with ricotta mixture and lay in pan side by side. Spoon the sauce evenly over the shells, then sprinkle with garlic salt and parmesan cheese. Bake the pasta covered for 20 minutes at 375°F. Then remove cover and cook for another 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Buon appetito!

 

And now here’s a special excerpt from Husbandry:

… Since my mother hadn’t returned from the kitchen yet, I figured I’d better get in there to rescue Chad.

Sure enough, she’d taken over, though not as badly as I’d feared. Somehow my husband had relegated her to salad duty while he stuffed the manicotti shells. He looked happy, not browbeaten.

“Your mother just gave me a recipe for homemade ricotta,” he announced. “I’ll have to try it. The ricotta you picked up is fresh, but you can’t beat homemade.”

“Sounds complicated.” I hadn’t realized you could make cheese at home without a cow.

“Not as complicated as you might think,” he assured me. “Ricotta isn’t technically a cheese. It’s a dairy product made from whey. All you need is some whole milk and something for acid, like vinegar or buttermilk.”

“Fila was never interested in cooking.” My mother made this announcement as she finished dicing some tomato and threw it into the salad bowl. “I had to drag her into the kitchen when she was a girl to teach her how to make a proper meal.”

I reached for the wine bottle to top off my glass. “That’s because I wanted to go out and play with my friends instead. You insisted I get all my homework done first, which usually took me until just before dinnertime.”

“Well, those lessons must have paid off, Minnie. Your daughter is a terrific cook now.” Chad paused long enough to kiss my cheek. “What about your other children?”

I answered for her. “Oh, my brothers and sister were expected to learn too. Mom believes in equal opportunity.”

“All my children were taught to be self-sufficient,” my mother announced with pride. “No adult should wander around like a helpless pet waiting to be fed. They know how to make a meal for themselves.”

I almost gushed red wine through my nose. Helpless pet? Not a flattering description, especially since, by her definition, that label could apply to Charles, Chuck, and my father. Charles could only reheat or order in, and Chuck was the same except he could grill and barbecue. As for my dad, he was so lost in the kitchen he could barely find the milk in the refrigerator. It was a good thing the three men were out of earshot in the other room.

Chad spooned chunky tomato sauce and cheese over the stuffed manicotti he now had lined up in a baking pan. “I was hoping Fila’s siblings might come with you. I’d really like to meet them too.”

Knowing my mother, I suspected she’d given my sister, Nikki, an earful after I’d sent my unedited wedding photo. Nikki had already complained to me that since my marriage, our mother had turned the pressure up on her to follow suit. Despite my mom’s reservations about my having three husbands, she’d probably thrown it in Nikki’s face: if I could land three men, she should be able to land one. Minnie Leonard was a master at manipulating her children—for their own good, of course.

“Nikki started a new job, and Frank is off gallivanting around the world as usual.” My mom turned to address me. “Sometimes I think your brother will never settle down. He’s still renting that little efficiency.”

“An efficiency apartment makes sense for him.” Defending him was automatic, though I knew she wouldn’t listen. “And he’s not ‘gallivanting.’ Frank is working. He’s a journalist.”

My mother pursed her lips and returned a skeptical hum. “As for Josef, he’s doing very well at the bank. He’s looking at a possible promotion to regional manager, so he couldn’t afford to take the time off.”

“Joe is up for a promotion?” I smiled, genuinely happy for my older brother. “I hope he gets it. He deserves it, and if I know him, he’ll sock away any extra earnings in a college fund for the kids. I think he has dreams of Ivy League for my nieces.”

Mom looked pleased.

“Okay.” Chad slid the dish of manicotti into the oven and set the timer. “While that bakes, I just need to get the garlic bread done. It looks like you’ve got the salad almost ready, so we’re looking good. More wine, Minnie?”

“Yes, please.” My mother held out her glass. Although she kept her lips in a straight line, I thought I caught a glimmer of appreciation when she looked at Chad.

It would take more than a good meal and good hosting to win her approval, but my charming husband was making headway.

New Book Trailer for the Vampire Territory Series

Now you can see the book trailer for my Vampire Territory series.

Vampire Territory in Trade Paperback

Now my complete Vampire Territory series is available in trade paperback. Get this hot collection for your bookshelves today, or download the e-books.

https://allieritch.wordpress.com/bookstrailers/#VampireTerritorySeries 

        

        

        

 

 

Out Now! Drinking Partners

My hot, action-packed vampire romance Drinking Partners is now available in e-book and trade paperback.

https://allieritch.wordpress.com/bookstrailers/#DrinkingPartners

Being the master vampire for the Mid-Atlantic Territory is a tough job. Between the Human Rebellion trying to kill him with poisonous suicide donors and snobby born vampires bucking his authority, Lucas Thane has his hands full. What he needs is a regular drinking partner to feed from and a bigger power block. He finds both in the form of Alexandra Gage, the master of the territory south of his.

Alex could use a little help herself, but she has no intention of letting Lucas take over. Turned into a vampire against her will, she has had enough control taken from her. She’ll never let Lucas usurp her right to rule, but will she let him steal her heart? Passion ignites between them, and it’s amazing what vampire bodies can do.

Preorder Now: Drinking Partners

Drinking Partners, the first book in my Vampire Territory series, has been freshly edited and has a brand new cover. Get in on the fanged action for only $3.99. You can preorder the e-book now:

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/drinking-partners-1
Apple/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1331196031
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/drinking-partners-allie-ritch/1121062927
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078SMH5ZV
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B078SMH5ZV
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B078SMH5ZV
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B078SMH5ZV

And don’t miss the print editions! The entire Vampire Territory series will be released in trade paperback on 1/15/2018.

Husbandry in Round 2 of Sex Scene Championship

My contemporary polyamorous romance HUSBANDRY has made it to round 2 of the Scorching Reviews Sex Scene Championship. Vote now at http://www.scorching-book-reviews.com/sscenec2017-allie-ritch-vs-kryssie-fortune-allieritch-kryssiefortune/

Animal Fascination Inspires Tribal Shift

 (excerpted from a post originally shared on Jianne Carlo’s blog 10/4/13)

Tribal Shift is a full-length novel that’s packed with so many of the elements I enjoy, especially my love of fantasy and fascination with animals.

I think the latter is something all of us shifter writers must have. I, for one, watch a ton of Animal Planet and am always amazed by the wondrous creatures that share this world with us. Fact really can be stranger than fiction, and some of the species discovered in exotic locations are even more fantastical than anything we authors come up with.

Kalya, the heroine of Tribal Shift, offered me the chance to—pardon the pun—go wild with my imagination and include dozens of different animals. She’s an omnimorph—a shifter who can morph into almost anything. Throughout the novel, she transforms into everything from a Secretary Bird to a jaguar, and she can travel by air, land, or water. And Rasik, the caracal shifter who loves her, is no less amazing.

Because I incorporated so many animals into Tribal Shift, I had to do a lot of research for this book. While I certainly didn’t bog down the story with too many facts (there were scorching sex scenes demanding attention, after all), I did want to be certain I was accurate in my descriptions and what I had the hero and heroine do in each form. I learned more than I expected and had a blast in the process.

I thought it would be fun to share some of the more interesting tidbits I discovered, so here are some nifty facts:

(1)  Secretary Birds can grow to be four feet tall. That’s as tall as some of my younger relatives and wouldn’t be a big adjustment for a shifter, since the bird spends most of its time on the ground walking on two legs.

(2)  Tigers are the largest cat species and can reach up to eleven feet in length. They have canine teeth about three inches long! Kalya definitely uses this form to her advantage when some power-hungry leopard shifters try to hurt Rasik.

(3)  Unlike the noisy spotted hyena, the striped hyena is less vocal and usually silent. As Rasik and Kalya witness, this quiet menace can be far more frightening.

(4)  A crocodile can’t move its tongue (it’s attached to the bottom of its mouth). That feels very strange to Kalya, especially since she can’t change her facial expression while in crocodile form.

(5)  The maned wolf has a roar-bark that can be quite startling. Kalya shocks her runaway cousin when she yells at the girl while in the body of this wolf.

Tribal Shift is filled with hot romance, lethal danger, and a safari-like adventure that will carry you across the wilderness. I hope you’ll come along for the journey.

E-book: Amazon: US, UK, CA, AU Barnes and NobleiBooks Kobo Inktera

Print: Createspace Amazon: US, UK, CABooks-A-Million Barnes and Noble