This week for Sample Sunday we decided to do something different. Instead of offering an excerpt from the featured book, we thought it would be fun to offer a new piece of short fiction by using our characters to create a scenario where they will dish up their favorite meals and desserts. Hope you enjoy my version. It was fun.
"SWEEP HIM OFF HIS FEET BERRIES AND BROWNIE SUNDAE"
Joy knew she and Gabe needed more alone time together, but she missed her son. He was only 5 months old, but the bond she had with him was unbreakable. Because of the childhood she had, she promised that she would never allow the same things to happen to him. Which the family had determined was bordering on obsessive. Hence, the need for Annette, her beloved sister-in-law to insist that she and Gabe spend some time together and she would babysit for the night...also allowing Gabe, Jr. the time he needed to become more acquainted with his older, doting cousins.
Gabe could sense the apprehension in his wife as they stood in the doorway and watched as Annette drove away with a cooing Gabe, Jr. He knew they were doing the right thing. He missed his time with his wife. He adored his little clone, but his relationship with Joy was suffering from her obsessive behavior. It was as though he could see the fear building inside of her...a fear of loss.
Gabe hugged Joy tighter to his body as they watched the car disappear out of sight. Immediately his thoughts went back to how much fun they used to have together. But now Joy seemed to be reverting back to her pensive, more serious side. A side to her that he loved, but knew would become a hinderance if he allowed her old fears to resurface and consume their lives.
"Let's go inside," he prodded, pulling Joy along with him as he went back into the house. "So Mrs. Hawthorne, we have the whole night to ourselves, what do you want to do?" He gave her a sensual grin. His thoughts of what they could do written all over his face.
Joy couldn't help but smile up at him. She loved Gabe. In a sense, he had become her salvation. He had given her a true reason to live...truly live and not just exist. He had given her the greatest gift a person could give another. He had given her his heart. "What do you have in mind?" Joy asked.
Gabe pulled Joy into his arms and gave her a smoldering kiss that still had the same potent affect on her, making her feel weak and quivery inside. "We can stay in and enjoy the quiet," he replied.
"But it's the quiet that's so unsettling," Joy admitted. "Why don't we go out? Maybe dinner and dancing. What do you think? If we're going to take advantage of our time alone, we may as well do something we never do."
Gabe let out a bark of laughter. "Dancing? I thought you found out on our wedding day that I'm no good at it. I've trod on your feet enough for you to never want to dance with me again," he continued to laugh and shook his head.
"Well, you're right about that. I had forgotten," she joined in the laughter. "We can stay home and prepare a romantic dinner for two. What say you?"
"Deal. But it's a known fact that I did not marry you for your cooking, so how about I make the dinner and you can be my little helper," Gabe teased as he tweaked Joy's nose.
"I'll agree if you let me make the dessert. I do have some talents in the kitchen, you know."
"Dessert, huh? Is that you served up on a platter for my enjoyment?" he teased. A smoky glean came to his eyes.
Joy swatted him on the arm. "No...well, maybe if you're a good boy. But I meant a favorite dessert my aunt used to make for me when I was just a little girl to cheer me up. Since I seem to be in the mood for cheering up, I think it's appropriate."
"What is it?" Gabe's interest was piqued.
"It's a surprise. And don't worry, you'll like it. No, you'll love it."
The act of cooking turned out to be a sheer act of will of restraint as Gabe and Joy discovered that it was more difficult to savor each other's company and resisting the urge to romp in the kitchen and to forego dinner and dessert altogether. Yet they both knew that later that night would be a time to lose control and the thought was enough to sustain them as the sexual tension slowly built to a fever pitch.
Joy was impressed with the meal that Gabe had prepared. He had always been the one that cooked their meals, but he had surpassed his previous efforts tonight. He had truly made this a special meal for two. Joy contained herself from overstuffing, leaving room for dessert...and of course working off the added calories later that night.
"You have out-done yourself tonight," Joy praised Gabe as they cleared the table. I have never had Shrimp Scampi prepared that way before. I'm glad I decided to marry you," Joy teased.
"They do say a way to a woman's heart is through her palate," he joked.
"They do, do they? Well, THEY are correct. You have definitely got my palate singing."
The easy banter continued for a while longer as they cuddled on the sofa and chatted and laughed, savoring their time together. Joy had to admit, this was a great idea for them to spend some time alone. It wasn't until this moment that she realized how much she had neglected Gabe. Inwardly, she vowed that she would never allow herself to lose sight of their love for each other again. There was enough love in her heart for Gabe and Gabe Jr. and more, if it ever came to that.
"I'm ready for that dessert you prepared. How about you? Did you save enough room?" Gabe asked as he nudged Joy up and rose from the couch. "I can't wait any longer to find out what it is." Gabe took Joy's hand in his and lead her into the kitchen. "Unless you want to skip dessert," he grinned again.
"You'd like that, wouldn't you? You don't trust me? I can make a decent dessert," she laughed.
Gabe sat at the breakfast nook as Joy prepared her signature dessert. He had to admit that you can't go wrong with fruit, brownies and whipped cream. But it wasn't an observation he was willing to admit out loud. Instead, he waited patiently as she placed his bowl in front of him, a pleasant smile on her face as she waited for him to take his first bite. She waited, gauging his pleasure by the surprised, yet pleased expression on his face. His eyes lit up and his smile was contagious.
"You like it?" she asked. In a child-like manner Joy beamed at him, giddy from his simple pleasure of enjoying her favorite dessert. A dessert she had always wanted to share with him.
"Like it, I love it. You have redeemed yourself Mrs. Hawthorne. Never will I ever say a thing about your abilities in the kitchen," he laughed as he put another heaping spoonful in his mouth.
Joy brought her bowl over to where he was sitting and sat next to him. The first bite was always the best. She moaned at the decadence..."Ummmm"
"What do you call this? Orgasmic Brownies?"
"No, but not a bad name. It's called "Sweep him off his feet Sundae," she admitted. A blush heated her cheeks as she remembered why she and her aunt had come up with the name. It was during a time when she wanted to get Gabe's attention. Her aunt suggested she bring over a bowl to him. But Joy was too shy and didn't dare.
Gabe cleared his bowl quickly, licking the rest of the whipped cream from his spoon in a slow, seductive motion. His eyes never leaving Joy. "So, what are your plans for the rest of this?" he asked as he picked up the whipped cream container.
Joy placed her spoon in the bowl, took the container from Gabe and took him by the hand. Gabe stood and silently followed his wife through the house to their bedroom.
"This is the real dessert," Joy said as she began unbuttoning Gabe's shirt and pushed him down on the bed.
Gabe's Rosemary Shrimp Scampi Skewers
Photo by: Howard L. Puckett
Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 3 skewers)
- 1 tablespoon dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 18 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 3/4 pound)
- 6 (6-inch) rosemary sprigs
- Cooking spray
- Lemon wedges (optional)
PreparationCombine first 6 ingredients in a zip-top plastic bag. Add shrimp to bag; seal and shake to coat. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes, turning bag occasionally.
Working with 1 rosemary sprig at a time, hold leafy end of sprig in 1 hand. Strip leaves off sprig with other hand, leaving 1/2 inch of leaves attached to leafy end of sprig. Repeat procedure with remaining rosemary sprigs to make 6 rosemary skewers. Thread 3 shrimp onto each rosemary skewer.
Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat both sides of shrimp skewers with cooking spray. Arrange 3 skewers on pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until shrimp are done. Remove from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining skewers. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
Joy's Berries and Brownies Sundae
- 4 cups fresh red raspberries
- 4 to 5 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1/4 cup raspberry liqueur (Chambord) (optional)
- 4 3-inch squares purchased brownies (such as milk chocolate, blond, or marbled brownies), cut into chunks
PreparationSet aside 8 to 10 of the raspberries. In a large bowl combine the remaining raspberries, the sugar, and orange peel. Spoon berry mixture into a 1- to 1-1/2- quart compote dish or serving bowl.
In a chilled mixing bowl combine whipping cream and liqueur (if using); beat with chilled beaters of an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Spoon on top of raspberry mixture. Top the whipped cream with the brownie chunks and the reserved raspberries. Makes 12 servings.
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