Batteries Not Included

Archive for January, 2013

Spanking Ms. Kate

Yesterday I was racing through a few errands. Post office to mail off a couple of contest winner goodies, bank, grocery store…panicked to get home and try to whip through the impossible to complete list of tasks realated to my awesome and wonderful dream job.

I wanted to be a writer since at least 7th grade. And I’ve been reading and loving books since I was 4. All of a sudden at the grand old age of 53 I am almost two years into the best job I could imaagine…and almost three years published. I roll out of bed and land at work with a cup of fresh-brewed Sumatra and my slipper-clad feet up on the desk. I never ever dreamed I would be able to do this…at least before official retirement age. Yet…I have managed to add as much stress to this career as I did to the one I gladly left behind.

Why? It’s not because I am desperate for money. Although I don’t make as much as I did, my husband has a good job and is completely supportive of my endeavor. We aren’t rich but we certainly have enough for our needs. I was told never to expect to make a living in the book world of editing and writing…well, that person was a pessimist. I think it’s because I spent over 30 years on the hamster wheel and only thought I allowed myself off. That is a heck of a lot of training. Hi, I’m Kate and (no shock to those of you who know me) I am a workaholic. I took 2 days off in 2 years.I suspect with a little less nuttiness and a little more down time I will get more done anyway!

We shall see…I suspect it’s more of an attitude adjustment than anything and a little prioritizing. After all, I love writing better than chocolate but I think I’ve been approaching my new fun life like a rat fresh from the rat race and as Diane Keaton says in my favorite movie ever, Baby Boom…I think the rat race is going to have to do with one less rat. It’s not my job that’s the problem, it’s my attitude! And Mr. Marks in Spanking Ms. Whitman would know just what to do about this.

This week’s culinary triumph…The Winter Savory Tart

Virgin Under ground_SMSpankingMsWhitman-200x300Swiss Chard Ricotta Pie

I’m having a super busy week. I have Spanking Ms. Whitman free on Amazon through today and Virgin Under Ground my latest 1Night Stand story has just been released at Decadent Publishing. So what’s a busy author to do with all that nervous energy? Cook something!

Here at the Richards homestead, we belong to a CSA… A Community Sponsored Agriculture group which basically means we own part of a local farm’s harvest, and get a box weekly of whatever they are harvesting. Because we are in SoCal…we get these year round! But even here that does not mean lettuce and tomatoes. In winter, we receive the tougher things. Chard, collards, radicchio and other things my family stares at, convinced they are from another planet and suitable only for the denizens of that world. So…to avoid waste and eat ‘local and in season’ I have to get creative. These foods are full of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidents and are very very good for people…of this world. So, the other day I made this dish based on what I had in the fridge. Here’s the recipe, I hope you will give it a try because everyone ate it and my picky husband, who had to be urged to try it, had a second piece!
Buter Pie crust: Take 1 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 tsp salt, cut in with pastry cutter or two forks 1 stick chilled butter cut into cubes just until butter pieces resemble peas throughout the mixture. Add ice water a tablespoon at a time and mix until mixture comes together then wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper and refrigerate for at least a half hour.

While the crust is chilling, take one bunch Swiss chard and cut the leaves off and set aside. Cut the stems into 1/2″ pieces and chop one small or 1/2 large onion. Drizzle a couple of tablespoos of olive oil into large skillet and add 5 garlic cloves. Stir cloves until browned then remove, you’re just flavoring the oil. Drop stems and onion in and saute for about five minutes until onion is soft and fragrant. Cut chard leaves coarsely and add to pan, stirring frequently until they wilt into the mixture. Remove from heat and add 2 cups Ricotta, 1/2 cup grated parmesan, two eggs, a spinkle of chili flakes and salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 375 and remove pie dough from the refrigerator. Roll out and place in 9″ pie pan, fill with yummy filling and bake until a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean. I think mine was about 40 min, but watch and see. I didn’t prebake the crust because this particular crust always comes out flaky and delicious even if I don’t!

Spanking Ms. Whitman…Play At Work

Mona Whitman is in for it. Her boss has promised severe punishment the very next time she arrives late for work and the hour she spent fantasizing about him has put her job in jeopardy. If only she could come up with an alternative to firing…a punishment they might both enjoy…
Randolph Marks, business tycoon by day, dungeon Dom by night, is in a quandary. His favorite employee is late for work again and he must go through with his threat of retribution. But how to go about it without crossing a line and violating good business practices? He couldn’t possibly get away with spanking Miss Mona.

Mona squirmed in dismay as the elevator crawled upward. Seven, eight, nine…. By the time she arrived at her office on the fiftieth floor it would be ten o’clock.
Mr. Marks had hinted at unpleasant consequences for her next late arrival. She shivered. His threat had helped fuel the morning’s fantasy—making her late again. Twisted, but true. Every attempt to point out her faults led to another session with her B.O.B.—her battery operated boyfriend. A poor substitute for the BOSS in her bed. Not that he’d shown the slightest inclination to join her there. Still, she couldn’t let it go, her fascination, her fantasies, her crush.
But what if she pushed her boss too far?
When the doors opened, she rushed through the lobby. Maybe she could slip into her chair, click her screen on, and pretend she’d been there since nine.
If anyone asked, she’d been there since five ’til. Sitting serenely at her desk, preparing for a busy day of reviewing insurance claims. Not bringing herself to earth shattering orgasms with fantasies of their sexy if ever so proper employer. If anyone asked.
Past Angie in reception—had she looked nervous?—through the Employees Only doorway behind her and ducking down the hall. Closed doors on either side, her office coming up on the right. Almost there…a few more feet and…. Oh, no!
The high double doors at the end of the corridor opened and a tall silhouette filled the space, light from the huge windows in his corner office haloing around him. “Ms. Whitman, you are late.”
She froze, bubbles of panic fizzing through her veins. What could she salvage? She’d take any dressing down he cared to give, as long as she could keep her job. And maintain the slight hope he might one day notice her as more than an efficient—if late arriving—manager.

Spanking Ms. Whitman is available here.