Welcome to another Foodie Friday! Today I'm happy to welcome Cristal Ryder who, in honor of her next release, Rock-Hard Heat, available August 31st, is sharing a dish with some western flair!
I’m glad Anya Richards wrangled me down for her foodie blog. I love food – no surprise there. And keeping with the cowboy theme for my release next week of Rock-Hard Heat, I have a kinda western dish for you.
I started making this when my boys were young, they’re 21 and 24 now, so it's been around a long time. I never measured the ingredients so will try and give you the amounts as best as possible. You can adjust to your own taste.
I know there are numerous variations to this salad, but this is the way I’ve been doing it for a while. Sometimes it doesn’t look all that pretty, but it sure tastes great.
½ - 1 lb cooked ground beef seasoned with nacho/taco seasoning of your desired hotness – cooled and drained
Bottle ranch dressing
1 ½ - 2 cups grated cheese
1 – 2 tomatoes chopped
2 green onions chopped
½ - 1 head of lettuce, bite size pieces
Bag of nachos, crunched
Just before serving combine all ingredients except nachos. After everything is mixed, then add crunched chips and serve. You can adjust the amounts to suite your taste. I know some people use Caesar or French dressing instead of ranch. But my family prefers the ranch.
An Excerpt From: ROCK-HARD HEAT
Copyright © CRISTAL RYDER, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
It had been a glorious couple of days before Chet had to head down and get back to real life. She smiled and enjoyed the heat that bloomed in her belly, remembering their first lovemaking session after being apart for so many months. Desire for her cowboy never failed to heat her blood and she longed for him now. She wanted him with her in the soft mountain water, which caressed her skin so seductively.
The grime and dust of her prospecting activities at Chet’s great-great-uncle Chester’s old claim sluiced off in the creek’s current and left her skin pink and tingly. She wasn’t ready to get out yet and closed her eyes, drifting lazily.
Chet couldn’t confirm when he’d be back and Jenna had gotten used to staying here on her own when he wasn’t with her. At first, he’d been hesitant to leave her, but she insisted and he’d learned a while ago how stubborn she could be. So they compromised. He made sure she was checked on daily by a ranch hand, had taught her to shoot and left the rifle by the door. The radio was primed in case she needed immediate help and his dog Belle stayed with her. All was good with the world.
Letting her legs drop, Jenna curled her toes into the creek bed and stood. The water was deep, just covering her breasts. They bobbed at the surface, buffeted by little eddies of current. She tipped back, ducked her head in the water and swept her long red tresses out of her face. When she stood, it hung to her shoulders and fanned out on the surface of the water like a halo.
A sense of wellbeing filled her and her heart swelled with happiness. Never had such a strong sensation of belonging, being home, been so sharply etched within her. She knew she had been born on the wrong side of the continent. It was here she should have grown up and experienced life, not back east. Jenna inhaled the crisp mountain air and gazed at the bush around her. It was just as beautiful in the summer as in the winter. Her love for this land grew daily and it truly pained her to think of leaving it. And Chet.
She brushed the disturbing thought aside. It was a while before she’d be packing her bags. Jenna’s gaze took in the brand new sluice box. Chet had replaced the broken-down one with a much more modern setup here at the creek and farther up-river where the tree came down. Chester’s old one was being restored and eventually would be donated to a local history museum. She was determined to find his secret claim and Chet had humored her all the way. Jenna smiled and excitement bubbled inside her at the news she had to tell him.
The gurgle of water over the dam of rocks mixed delightfully with the birds singing in the trees. Jenna was at peace. She sighed and shivered with a slight chill from the cool mountain water. Goose bumps rose along her flesh and her nipples hardened, aching with the cold. She cupped her breasts in her palms, the hard nubs pressing against her flesh. This time the shiver that rippled through her wasn’t from being chilled.
“Chet, when are you going to get here?” she whispered to the silence of the surrounding trees.
“What’s the matter, darlin’? Miss me?”
Jenna spun around, sending a splash of water in a sparkling arc. The wonderful, sexy drawl of Chet’s voice slipped around her like hot honey and she warmed under his gaze. He stood on the little rocky beach where they had made love on the bank of chilly snow last winter. She couldn’t help the smile that broke wide on her face when their eyes met.
“Chet.” His name fell from her lips in a breathy sigh.
He had one booted foot propped on a large rock, his elbow rested on his knee. The faded, worn jeans tightened over his muscular thighs and Jenna’s breath snagged in her chest. She let her gaze roam over the typical plaid cowboy shirt which also strained across his powerful chest and shoulders. He poked his cowboy hat back with a finger and winked at her. She knew what lay beneath those clothes and she hungered for him. He was a feast for her eyes and she needed feeding.
“Now then, this sure is a sight to behold. It’s a damn good thing I decided to come myself and not send Blake to check on you.”
“I’d say I have to agree with that, cowboy.”
“Last time I checked we didn’t have mermaids in these parts. Just goes to show you can learn somethin’ new every day.” He straightened and started to unbutton his shirt. “Want some company?”
“I thought you’d never ask.”