Hello and welcome to Romance Recipes where I am happy to introduce you to a new author and a new recipe! Two of my favorite things! Today I am bringing you author, Anise Rae, and her recipe for Vincent’s Vegetable Lasagna along with an introduction to her paranormal romance, Syphon’s Song. Please join me in welcoming Anise and savor her recipe for Vegetable Lasagna as you read about her new book!
VINCENT’S VEGETABLE LASAGNA
The hunky but sensitive Colonel Vincent Rallis, an ultra-powerful mage, is a vegetarian. He can’t tolerate the vibes of meat in his food. Before Bronte he lived alone, cooking for himself. Now he cooks for her. In fact, he fed her this veggie lasagna when he was wooing her.
This particular version only has one veggie: spinach. Vincent is too busy battling terrorists to find the time to chop and saute mushrooms, zucchini, and yellow squash. But feel free to add them if you’ve already conquered your own terrorists.
9 oven-ready lasagna noodles
2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
½ cup finely chopped onion
1-2 garlic cloves, minced (Pre-minced from a jar is perfectly acceptable.)
29 oz can tomato sauce
15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon dried basil (divided)
¼ cup half and half or milk
10 oz fresh spinach
15 oz ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan
4 cups shredded mozzarella
Salt and pepper to taste
A note about the ingredients: Vincent doesn’t take the time to measure. When his hand is cupped very tightly, about one third of a palm full equals the right amount of basil or oregano. If you have smaller hands, fill your palm accordingly.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium saucepan or skillet, pour a short drizzle of olive oil, about 1 tablespoon. Heat over medium flame until it shimmers with good vibes. Add onion. Cook for 3 minutes or until just so. Add garlic. Cook for another minute. Add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Add your not-carefully-measured oregano and basil, eyeballing till it’s about 1 teaspoon each. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the half and half to mellow out the tomatoes’ bite. Vincent needs every bit of mellowing he can get. Maybe you do too. Stir with a humanely harvested wooden spoon. Preferrably maple, but cherry will do. Let the sauce simmer while you pour yourself a glass of wine and soak up some good vibrations for yourself.
Plop the ricotta into a bowl. Add ¾ cup (or there abouts) of the Parmesan and the remaining teaspoon of basil. Stir.
In a large skillet, add the remaining olive oil. Heat over a medium flame. Pile the washed spinach high into the skillet. Enjoy conquering it as it shrinks and shrivels into a limp, defeated mass. Drain it in a colander, squeezing out all the water and any remaining fight. Then add it to the ricotta/parmesan mixture. Stir.
(Experienced meat-eating lasagna makers may notice there’s no egg in the ricotta mixture. Vincent can’t bring himself to eat the poor chicks-to-be. You won’t miss it. I promise.)
Spray a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray. Spread about ½ cup of the nicely simmered tomato sauce into the bottom of the dish. Alternate layers of oven-ready lasagna noodles, ricotta mixture, mozzarella, and sauce.
HINT: Before placing the noodle into the pan, use a knife to spread the ricotta mixture on it…just like spreading butter on toast.
Sprinkle on the remaining Parmesan and any leftover mozzarella.
Coat a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray. Loosely cover the lasagna. Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes more or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.
After removing from oven, let sit for 10 minutes. If you can. If you can’t, don’t feel bad. Vincent can’t wait either. But the layers won’t stay together as nicely. Not to mention you may burn your mouth, and I don’t think there are any healer mages in your area.
Remember to cast a spell before eating to prevent spinach from sticking to your teeth.
Legends say a syphon can drain a mage dry. He’ll brave the danger. Will she?
Someone’s playing pranks. The body of the late Casteel patriarch has been stolen and gifted to the family’s enemy, the powerful Rallises. As far as Bronte Casteel is concerned, they can keep it. She hasn’t spoken to her family in thirteen years, not since they exiled her from society for her lack of mage power. But she’s a syphon mage, able drain another mage’s power. Syphons’ destinies are always the same: death by fiery stake. She hides her secret by living among the Nons–powerless humans and the lowest class in the Republic. When her family orders her to go plead for the body’s return, she comes face to face with the one man who knows her secret.
Colonel Vincent Rallis isn’t letting his syphon get away this time. Not when she’s under suspicion of body-napping and aiding anti-mage terrorists. He’ll prove her innocence whether she wants him to or not, and then convince her they belong together…forever.
Vincent’s help comes with a steep price: Bronte must reveal her power. The inevitable ensuing witch-hunt and trial would be bad enough, but even a tough girl might buckle if her prosecutors are her own parents.
CONTENT WARNING: Hot, steamy nights with the colonel’s magic touch.
A Lyrical Press Paranormal Romance
Vincent closed the distance between them and walked around to stand in front of her. He stroked the back of his hand against her cheek. “Give me a chance. That’s all I want.” His gentle words matched his touch.
“You want more than a chance.” She focused past his shoulder, peeking over his superior height. Tall trees reached scantily clad limbs into the crisp, blue sky and hid whatever shed such glorious vibes.
“I can’t be sorry about this.” He brushed her cheek again, his focus burning through her.
Unlike her, whatever lurked in the woods didn’t call to him. “Since I came into my power, I’ve learned to grab on to every bit of good life offers. I sensed you the moment you arrived today. I recognized that tug on my energy as if I’d known you my whole life instead of a handful of hours thirteen years ago—your syphon reaching out and tapping my energy.”
“Yes, like a pipe channeling waste into the sewer. Useful, I’ll give you that.”
“You mock this because you’re afraid of it. But I’m not.”
Easy for him to say. He wasn’t the one who’d face the fire.
Buy the Book:
Anise Rae has no superpowers. To compensate, she dreams up alternative realities where people just like her (and you) have magic, worlds populated with heroines who dare to stand up to society’s expectations and be true to themselves and heroes with plenty of savvy to fall in love with such brave women.
Despite her lack of supernatural magic, Anise believes the true magic within us is our own unique creativity–a gift we must nurture as frequently as possible. It’s why her house is littered with crayons, craft kits, legos, yarn, and paper and pens. Or it could be because she hates to clean.
She lives in the suburbs of Atlanta with her two kids and a dog gifted with the power of finding dirty socks. They, too, litter her house.
Thank you for joining us for another Romance Recipes! I hope you’ll stop by next week to meet another author, try a new recipe and pick up a new book!