Food Baby by Debbie Lehner Rosenberg

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  • Wendy Katz is determined to make her family's new life in South Florida fabulous. But when she becomes inundated with the activities of her overachieving daughter and running interference for her brilliant but socially awkward son, she finds herself hungry for her husband's affection, hungry for new friends, and lately—hungry.

    As if her husband's attractive assistant and desperation diets aren't disconcerting enough, Wendy discovers there's a strange man following her. Once he reveals the shocking reason, Wendy learns her biggest problem might not be her reckless spending or battling her "food baby" after all.

    Wendy must decide if she can trust her husband—or is history repeating itself and their last chance is a disaster all over again?

    Rating:  non-romance Adult Content
    Page Count: 356
    Word Count: 91892
    978-1-5092-2489-0 Paperback
    978-1-5092-2490-6 Digital

    Excerpt

    I obsessed over the menu for tonight’s special dinner all week, but now I’m cooking, and the kitchen is way too hot.

    An herb-infused vapor rises from the roast in the oven while the Florida sun bears down on my head through a window above the counter. The diminutive countertop, where I mix an extra scoop of cocoa into a cake batter, is so close to the stove the steam opens my pores. The fresh parsley and rosemary facial I’m getting makes the sweat run down my neck and pool in my cleavage. Also, my thighs are sticky. Whoever designed our rented townhouse kitchen apparently didn’t take into consideration that the sun hits this window hardest at dinnertime, transforming the cooking area into a greenhouse. I blot my damp hairline with a dish towel and think about the gourmet kitchen in the new house we’re building. Which will definitely not have any poorly placed windows.

    I crack another egg, drop it in the mixing bowl, and the lovely wall unit from the home goods store appears in my mind like a hologram, with its glossy veneer and antique retrofitted hardware. I’m not supposed to do any more shopping this month for the house we’re building. I’m supposed to be on a budget.

    Willpower is overrated, Bad Wendy whispers.

    The trouble with Bad Wendy is she’s so much fun. Of course you need the distressed Italian leather sofa and the matching chair, she said. They’re discontinuing the gorgeous whiskey color. Then I found an expensive rug that matched the sofa perfectly. So I bought the rug, which joined the sofa, loveseat, and all the other fantastic bargains and unique pieces in the storage unit. It’s all there, waiting for Steven, me, and the kids to move into our dream house. Where we’ll cuddle under blankets on the sofa and watch movies together. After the kids retreat to their rooms, Steven and I will drink cocktails in the bubbly hot tub under the stars. My body goes warm and mushy, imagining post-hot-tub frolicking in the king-size bed I’ve yet to order. Then—damn it—the bed gets me thinking about the knotted pine wall unit again.

    One more turn with the spatula and voila! I tweaked the recipe and altered the proportion of bittersweet chocolate and cocoa. The batter glistens with extra egg yolks. What’s another taste anyway? I barely had anything to eat today. And when I go in for a lick, it’s so insane my plan for measuring the wall unit to see if it fits in the bedroom—and the storage unit in the meantime—momentarily evaporates. I switch on the hand mixer and go to work on an improvised frosting, whipping heavy cream, pulsing in little squares of cream cheese, cocoa powder, and confectioner’s sugar.

    The last thing. You’re done after the wall unit, Good Wendy nags, or Steven’s going to kill you. As soon as it goes on…

    The levered kitchen door bangs open and yanks me so abruptly out of my meditative state, “Sale,” jets out of my mouth. The mixer gets away, spattering chocolate on the walls like spin art.

    I whip around.

    My daughter and the pretty girls flanking her are mad giggling, a montage of long legs, headbands, lip gloss, braces. Her friends’ heads barely reach her shoulders upon which they’re collapsing with laughter.

    “Oh my God, Mom,” Tiffany says. “You have chocolate in your hair.”

    I grab the foaming cleaner. “Hilarious,” I say, and the twelve-year-olds crack up even harder.

    Tiffany finally stops laughing. “Mom, you made a cake, too?”

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Food Baby

Food Baby

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