Teagan O’Malley can handle a crisis. She’s a paramedic, it’s her job. But she never expected to land in the kitchen of her father’s pub, with no notice, no cash, and no room for error. The kitchen is not her favorite place. Lucky for her, she just scraped a bad-boy chef off the pavement after a motorcycle accident—and something about him says he can turn up the heat in more ways than one.
Adrian Holt has had a rough few years, and he’s not eager to get tangled up in anything more complicated than a good risotto. But with a broken arm and a head full of bad memories, he needs a challenge to keep him sane. Teagan’s dare-me attitude and smoldering mess of a bar are just what the doctor ordered. And the two of them together might cook up some even better medicine…
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10. Fried Chicken and Waffles. So I’m just going to admit it. When Mr. K came at me with this one, I was a skeptic. But being raised by New Yorkers, this sweet and savory combo just wasn’t in my repertoire. But the pairing is a match made in heaven (or, you know. In your mouth). With some herb butter to bring out the savory flavors in the chicken and a little syrup to hit those waffles just right…this dish is a huge yes in our house now.
9. Naked Cheesecake. Get your mind of out the gutter, friends. Okay, don’t, but do make it a point to savor a slice of no-frills, no-toppings, no-fancy-crust-flavors New York cheesecake at least once in your life. Your thighs might not thank you, but I swear your taste buds will weep with joy.
8. Pad Thai. My first venture into Pad Thai was at a fast-food place at the mall (I actually put a nod to making that mistake in one of my books. Spoiler alert: it didn’t end well for my taste buds or my stomach) But luckily, I made another go of it at a fantastic restaurant in northern Virginia, and I’m glad I did. Spicy food that doesn’t overpower=win!
7. Fried Calamari. Look, no one said this list was going to be good for your diet. But perfectly golden, crisp but not too heavy calamari? Worth the extra miles on the treadmill. Dipping sauce? Even better.
6. A Really Good Bottle of Wine. This one is interpretive, but go with me here. At least once, take yourself to a good wine tasting. One with food. And a sommelier (see? Even the word is sexy!) Get into the flavors of the wine and how they taste even better with the food, and the food returns the favor. Pick your favorite. You can thank me later! (also, there are breweries that do this with beer, too. You’re welcome!)
5. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup. Does this need an explanation? It tastes like childhood. That is all.
4. Funnel Cake. Preferably on the boardwalk (any boardwalk will do). Double preferably with your toes in the sand. Trifecta if someone kisses the powdered sugar off your face.
3. Any Food With Just One Ingredient. I’ll give you leeway here too. You can pick your favorites. But there is something about eating food that comes from the earth the way nature intended it that is fundamentally vital. Peaches fresh from the tree, still warm from the sun? Tomatoes that have been off the vine for seconds, not days? Priceless.
2. Maryland Crabs. Make the trip if you have to, friends. Steamed crabs with drawn butter and plenty of Old Bay? That’s a hell yes in my book, every time! This also goes for lobster in Maine. Just go. Really.And the Number One thing everyone should try at least once? Cooking for two, of course :) After all, food is love, and the kitchen isn’t the only thing that can heat up!
So! What about yall? What foods do you think should be on everyone's Must Try list?