Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. What about a woman? I don’t know about you, but if a man cooks for me…*swoon* garnish me with parsley, I’m his!

In my new book, ROCK SOLID, my hero, Maximo Vega cooks a delicious Italian dinner for Emily Baskins. I loved adding this extra facet to Maximo’s considerable charms. He seems to have many varied and, might I say, stunning talents!

So I thought I’d share one of Maximo’s recipes with you today. After starting with a fresh caprese salad followed by cacio e pepe, he served involtine di polo.  Here’s the recipe he learned at the knee of his Italian Nonna:   

Involtini di Pollo con Prosciutto e Fromaggio

(Stuffed chicken breast with prosciutto and parmesan)


3 whole, boneless chicken breasts

6 slices of prosciutto

6 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan

3 fresh sage leaves

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

3 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cube chicken bouillon, crushed

1 cup dry, white wine

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 cup heavy cream

Split each chicken breast in half. Put one slice of prosciutto and one tablespoon of parmesan, plus half a sage leaf on each breast. Roll up and secure with a wooden pick. Dip each chicken breast in milk and roll in flour to lightly coat.

In a large skillet, melt butter with oil. When butter foams, add chick breasts. Cook over medium heat, turning often until golden brown on all sides. Add bouillon and ½ cup of wine. Season with salt and pepper and cook until wine is reduced by half.

Add remaining wine, reduce heat and cover. Simmer 15-20 minutes, turning chicken several times and adding a little more wine if sauce becomes too dry.

Place chicken on a serving platter. To skillet, increase heat and whisk in cream to deglaze the pan. Taste. Add more salt and pepper, if needed. Spoon sauce over chicken. Serve.

Yum! Maximo Vega is yummy on all levels! And wait until you read how he likes to eat his dessert -- aranci in salsa di marsala.

So are you the cook? Does your significant other do the cooking or surprise you with a special meal? Maybe you can take a page from ROCK SOLID and make Maximo’s dinner. I am!


MAXIMO VEGA is a “rock” star! The media proclaimed him 'The Sculptor for the New Generation,' but he’s a reclusive artist ensnared by fame. Driven and intense, his isolation only adds to his mystique. Couple that with his smoldering good looks and rich Italian accent… Fans sigh his name.

EMILY BASKINS is a gifted graduate student at the Stoddard School of Art. To land an internship at the Vega Studio is her golden ticket. All she has to do is follow the rules. And stay out of trouble. Two things Emily has never been able to do.

As Max becomes trapped in the glare of the limelight, he discovers his greatest muse. He teaches Emily to breathe passion into clay and give marble a soul. But is their fiery relationship as rock solid as they believe? Or will a lie shatter the illusion?                       


Maximo Vega gathered his composure. He wore a black T-shirt, gray across the shoulders with dust, worn jeans, and heavy boots under a thick leather apron that reached to his knees. Hanging his head and bracing his hands on his hips, he was a study in frustration. The sleeves of his shirt hugged defined muscles of steely arms. And his hands…they were artist’s hands. Sculptor’s hands. Beaten by stone and scarred by tools. They spoke of years of rugged, blistering work.

He was tall. His shadowed jaw, rigid with anger, cut sharply against the tanned column of his neck. Maximo slapped the chisel on his leathered thigh. “I pay you. You find me good hands! Not idiota!”

“I’m sorry, Maximo. He’s gone. You’ll never have to work with him again.”


The great artist’s gaze slid over Emily. His eyes stopped at the white-knuckled hold she had on the large black portfolio.

He waved a hand toward her. “What are you?”

Emily’s throat slammed shut.

“A new intern possibly,” offered Dante. “She’s here from the Stoddard School of Art.”

Deep brown eyes the color of rich coffee, no cream, speared her beneath frowning brows. He flipped his hand toward the portfolio. “Come. Show me.”

Emily shot a look to Dante. He gave her a tiny nudge, like a parent pushing a frightened child toward Santa’s lap.

“Come, come, come.” He snatched the portfolio from her numb fingers, unzipped it and laid it open across a crowded worktable. He used the rag in his hand to wipe the sweat from his lip as he flipped through photos and sketches of her latest works.

“Nice. Hmm. No.” A nod for this one. A shake of the head for another. “Yes. This one is good. Good.”

He looked away from her sketches and gave her a hard stare before looking down the full length of her and back again in a slow appraisal. Emily released the breath she was holding.

“Let me see your hands.”

She held them out and he grasped her wrists and examined first her palms before turning them over. “Cold,” he said just loud enough for her to hear.

The smell of the heat of his body and the spice of soap drifted past her.


He lifted a quick eyebrow. “Good.”








Lisa A. Olech is an artist/writer living in her dream house nestled among the lakes in New England. She loves getting lost in a steamy book, finding the perfect pair of sexy shoes, and hearing the laughter of her men. Being an estrogen island in a sea of testosterone makes her queen. She believes in ghosts, silver linings, the power of a man in a tuxedo, and happy endings.

(Recipe adapted from Biba’s Northern Italian Cooking) 


Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Hi Lisa, WOW the recipe sounds so delicious. We moved to the northwoods with lots of snow coming. Everyone says I will have a lot of time on my hands so I am copying your recipe and will try it then. I love to cook...

Hubby tries and does fix breakfast on the weekends. When I hand cancer surgery, he was right there fixing meals for me. He won my heart all over again.

Best of luck with your new book.

PS: Waving Vonnie

Angela Adams said...

After seeing that book cover, and now hearing Maximo can cook, where can I find this man?(smile!) Best wishes with your book!

Lisa A. Olech said...

Paisley, Thanks so much for stopping by! Your husbands sounds wonderful and caring! You'll have to let me know how your dinner turns out!

Lisa A. Olech said...

Angela, you can find Maximo right behind that cover! Cooking is only one of his talents! Enjoy! And, thank you!

Lisa A. Olech said...

Ms. V...extra thanks to you! Thank you so much for hosting me! As always, it's been a blast! XOXO