Karen’s Killer Fixin’s
with ALEXIS D. CRAIG!
Welcome to my Friday bonus feature called Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special**!! Today, in lieu of one of my own recipes, I’m going to introduce you to a new author who will share one of her favorite recipes. Not only will you and I occasionally learn how to make something new and delicious, but we’ll get a chance to check out some wonderful authors. Introducing author, ALEXIS D. CRAIG, and her favorite recipe for LEXIE’S HOT ARTICHOKE SPINACH DIP!
A KILLING MOON
Winged Guardian Book 1
BY ALEXIS D. CRAIG
She’s a wily Raven, former spy and though she’s a bird, she’s smart, cunning, and has yet to confront a problem she can’t run over or shoot her way out of. Skills that, as corporate fixer hired to do all manner of things, have served Cora Westgate well until she is asked to protect a man from her past, His Royal Highness Finnegan O’Casey, second in line to shifter throne. No problem, except she has to do it without his knowledge. The assignment goes from hard to difficult to impossible.
At least until she becomes reacquainted with Finn. He’s charming, sweet, royalty and worse yet, into her in a way that sings of future promises. He’s exactly what she doesn’t have room for in this assignment or her life.
Finn is a werewolf prince with a problem. Several of them, actually, his profligate brother’s impending coronation being the largest at the moment, followed closely by his father dying and this random sexy Corvid woman dropping into his life and blowing it all to hell. All his problems seem to melt away though when he’s holding the beautiful Cora in his arms.
From lovers to allies to unwilling allies and back, this promises to be a wild ride through the palace full of hijinks, familial obstacles, and treason and for this prince and his knight with a shiny Glock.
**Editorial note: Edited for language
“Funny story, Your Highness. My name is Coretta Westgate, and those men were here to kill you on behalf of your brother.”
Those were certainly words, but damn, if he could figure out what they meant. She may as well have been speaking Greek. “Are you saying my brother—?” He had to stand, and when he did, his knees immediately betrayed him by going all squishy and that was not okay.
“It’s alright. I gotcha.” Cora’s right there, though, this woman, this goddess, this super spy? She held him up with an arm around his waist like it’s whatever, like she’s not mostly naked in her living room and he’d recently gone down on her. “…your retinue?”
Words started making sense again all at once, but not in time to catch her whole question. “I’m sorry, what?”
“Your people, your personal guards, where are they? We need them here. Now.” Suddenly she’s handing out orders like a seasoned field commander. “Are they close?”
As much as he didn’t want to, he admitted to the truth right away. “I… kinda left without them.” He just wanted one night, was that so wrong?
Her dark eyes shimmered with gold for a moment as she squinted up at him, disbelief writ clear across her features, right down to a fairly twitchy left eye. “Okay,” she breathed out deeply, rubbing her fingers against the bridge of her nose. “Here’s what we’re gonna do. I gotta make some calls, so I need you…” She pushed him onto the couch and shoved her half-empty bottle of water into his hands. “Right here. Drink.”
He wasn’t proud of how his hands shook opening the bottle but apparently, she liked what she saw because she turned away to open up the desk and scribbled something on a piece of paper.
“You’re going to call your retinue. Get them here, now, and tell them there was an attempt on your life at your girlfriend’s house but leave off the part about the who.” She pressed the paper into his hands before stalking over to a table in the entry foyer and pulling open a drawer. Cell phone in hand, she turned to head upstairs. “I’ll be right back. Don’t answer the door for anyone.”
Girlfriend? What? Hearing the sureness of her voice, as well as the confidence of her movements, even in as few clothes was jarring. And this was a lot to take in, like a lot, a lot. “Wait—what? Where are you going?”
If she noticed how hyped up he was, she didn’t mention it as she paused on the stairs. “This situation is going to get weirder before it gets better, and that’s gonna require actual clothes. I’ll be right back.” And so maybe he took one last long look at her beautiful, mostly naked form as he dug in his pocket for his phone, it’s between him and the gods, and they were not speaking at the moment.
And so there he sat, alone in her living room that still smelled like sex and gunfire and holy f**ksh*t. Her words played over and over in his head like some kind of weird, warped loop. Why would Brendan want to kill him? How does she know all this? What’s the play here?
She was upstairs for a moment, and he could hear her talking to someone, maybe yelling, so he sent a text to the Commander of his personal guard, the man who would flay him alive for this little stunt as soon as he got home. Needless to say, texting Vasily Brețcu was probably not the highest on the list of bad things so far this evening, but likely a strong contender for the top three.
“…you know what? Do better, or the next time I get shot at because of you, you will be dead because of me. Your anonymity is luxury I allow. Don’t test me.” The way Cora pounded down the stairs only underscored how pissed off she was at whomever she’s talking to. He might feel bad, except that he was the whole reason she got shot at. Apparently.
Alexis (Lexie) is a writer with a day job for the last twenty years servicing her community and its everyday heroes.
Born in Tucson her heart still remains there, but she lives, works, and writes in Indy. Her desire to see the whole country is almost complete (seven states left) and as much of the world as she can (7 countries down, 188 to go!
She collects fountain pens, perfume bottles,, rescue animals, and dirty curse words in as many languages as she can. Her list of hobbies is longer than her arms and legs combined (even though she is on the petite side so that isn’t hard) including knitting, crocheting, painting, graphic design, and learning to play the piano.
In addition to ‘writer’, her life has many roles including wife, dog mom, fun aunt, and ghost hunter.
Lexie’s goal is to cram as much living into one life as possible and write about it along the way.
I hope you enjoy the recipe Lexie is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!
P.S. We’re at 457 recipes and counting with this posting. Hope you find some recipes you like. If this is your first visit, please check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right-hand column menu, you can even look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, Author Specials, etc.
LEXIE’S HOT ARTICHOKE SPINACH DIP
Note from Lexie: Just in time for the big game, this will make you the hit of every pitch-in, potluck, and Superbowl party around. This is my go-to recipe because it’s quick, easy, and doesn’t require a lot in the way of complicated cooking skills.
For this recipe you will need:
1 8oz/226g block of cream cheese
1 cup/8oz/226g of ground parmesan (Kraft is fine, but definitely ground as opposed to shredded)
1 14oz/397g can of medium artichoke hearts, drained
½ 14oz/397g can of spinach (rinsed, with as much moisture pressed out as possible)
2Tbsp/30g of garlic powder (I usually add a bit more, but then, I’m a garlic addict)
⅛ tsp/.72g salt
1 pinch of red pepper flake (more or less to taste, but I usually use about 2 shakes from the container)
Shredded parmesan to top with after baking (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400°F ≅204°C
In a food processor, pulse the artichoke hearts until they are mostly smooth and almost puree
In a microwave safe baking dish (I use a 2.5qt/2.37L Corning Ware baking dish like this one pictured here. Trust me, you want a dish with a lid to contain the potential cream cheese explosion mess), melt cream cheese in the microwave in 1 minute increments. You want it mostly molten and creamy so it’s easier to work with.
In a separate bowl, mix together the parmesan, garlic powder, salt, and red pepper flake
Mix the artichoke hearts, spinach, and cream cheese together, then fold in the parmesan cheese mixture.
Mix until there are no hidden pockets of dry ingredients and everything is well-distributed.
Put the lid on and place the baking dish on a cookie sheet (for ease of use) and put in the oven for 10 minutes. You want the top to be firm, brown at the edges, and well-heated all the way through. If that doesn’t happen after 10 minutes, put it back in for 5 minute increments until desired level of baking is achieved.
I usually serve this with thin slices of french bread (both toasted and not), water crackers, but you can also use tortilla chips.
This recipe can serve 4-6, but can serve more if you double the ingredients. Bake times would remain the same.
Thanks, Lexie, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!