Here are a couple of recipes, one that Diana wasCream Cheese Cake Mix Cookies
going to use and one that Vincent fancied.
Hope you enjoy their story on the next page...
Cook Time: 10 Min
Prep Time: 5 Min
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add egg and vanilla; mix until well blended. (I used a mixer for this part only.)
2. Stir in cake mix a little at a time until it's all blended and then add any chips, candy or nuts, as you like.
3. Spoon onto cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until edges are brown.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (170 degrees C)
Cream softened butter thoroughly. Slowly add sugar.
Sift flour and cornstarch before adding. Mix well. Press into an ungreased jelly roll pan 11x15x 1 1/2 inches.
Bake 30 minutes or until very light brown. Score and cut while warm.
JUST A PINCH
3-S Steam Tunnel Celebration of Winterfest
thought you couldn’t cook.” Vincent’s head hung
at the angle that his long golden hair obscured the smirk on his face.
remembered seeing the tiny kitchen in Catherine’s apartment, how she
admitted she didn’t cook. Diana’s loft was spacious, airy, and even in
winter sunlit. It was the kind of kitchen you could ‘live in.’ William
have loved it. He loved being here.
of what wonderful family comfort food she produced in this room, she’d
up denying her culinary skills. She had served up more than food. His
little Jacob’s life had begun to build in small hours spent sharing
had fallen away and the small snippets of conversation had embraced
all his apprehensions, he had turned to her and her heart was open. His
for dragging his booted feet through his doubts had emerged and been
while sharing homemade French fries or sundaes, two rare menu items
bright eyes, her soft voice remained with him, always now.
said I didn’t cook. Often enough.” Diana raised her face indignantly,
flat on the island counter. The oven’s heat had begun to curl the
around her neck. The cut sweatshirt had curled at the edges, the wide
cut lying sensually along her pale freckled shoulders. Vincent
viewed her beauty. Her flushed cheeks, the glistening fiery braid that
ringlets in the kitchen’s heat. His unique lips curled, he wanted to
her comment yet it might have appeared coy or a come on for more
delights. He was dizzy with the thought of her now the most complex
over. Bringing Jacob home, knowing he was ‘a man’ uncoiled that age old
I brought home the ingredients. I thought you could bring Jacob up
and we could watch ‘Miracle on 34th Street’;
then when he sacked
out, we could watch ‘Christmas in Connecticut’.” Diana was used to
Jacob in their time together, and at four he enjoyed the view through
telescope on her roof as well as the claw foot tub in her bathroom. She
at the things Jacob adored about his time with ‘Deena’.
pretended to mull the thought, eyes at the ingredients on the counter
them. “1 box cake mix, 8 ounces cream
cheese, room temperature, - 1/4 c butter, room temperature.” He nodded
as he walked
closer to view the list. Every invitation Diana extended, he cherished.
the list regarding it circumspectly.
1 box cake mix is supposed to make cookies?” If his nose could wrinkle
would have. “These cookies, have you made them before?” She could feel
skepticism. Vincent was her ‘doubting Thomas’; Diana knew that on so
she went on, “Um, ah, no, no I can’t say I’ve made these. Joe’s
they worked for her. I thought…” Diana’s voice trailed off as she
Vincent read the box, inspecting the ingredients.
balanced his curiosity with the need to judge, “And when did Mr.
assistant become an expert on Holiday Cookies?”
she’s a busy gal, I think she was fishing for me to bake a tray, you
me the guinea pig.” Now Diana’s indignation had melted into
be the next cookie doyenne. “They must think while I’m profiling crimes
man the oven?” She loved his push back, she cherished the hours she
proving things to him. He’d let some issues slide until it would hit a
of some old argument. Their ‘gloves’ would come off, and they’d dicker
old married couple. Dispensing any further discussion about her being
Cookie Queen, Vincent removed the thick cookbook from the shelf and let
hands flip through the illustrated pages.
that recipe go,” Vincent insisted, his large hands cradling the
“These. I want to make these.” He was emphatic.
here was a twist in her plans. “What about these? I thought you liked
get by with them, Diana.” He drew in a deep breath. “It’s the
this cookie. It’s such a standard.”
that the important thing at the holidays? Tradition…that's what really
in the end.
Vincent.” Straight lipped and quiet, she turned to the cupboards and
for the simple ingredients.
he had been satisfied she was on board with his request he upped the
want to make some now.”
barking back, Diana summoned her restraint, sometimes Vincent
She looked at the clock. 9:14pm. With winter’s early darkness, it felt
midnight. She closed her eyes, summoning patience; and in that
heard his boots circle the island and felt his sweatered, strong arms
her waist from behind.
hot breath carried his words into her heart, “Please?” She could not
way she felt each time he was close; her heart wanted to pound. Her self-restraint only
sensation washing over her. She fought for clarity as she felt the
length of him behind her, poised, ready to envelope her. Knowing he was
guileless, he simply radiated sensuality; did he recognize why she was
this at times? Did he realize what it was like to be within his arms?
He had to
know – he was doing this just for….cookies?
voice barely above a whisper answered his question. “Somehow, if I said
probably regret it.” Diana’s head fell back, finding his shoulder so
Vincent’s velvety chin nuzzled at her temple, “You, the woman who
the meaning of regret.” There above her ear he pressed a simple kiss,
sense you caving?” Vincent felt Diana’s body flag against him.
her closer to the kitchen island, his feather light kisses danced along
of her ear as his right arm moved up to her shoulder, and the sensation
sweater glancing across her collarbones induced a sigh so slight he
head to hear it. Diana felt the ornate brass buckle skimming across her
he was moving to be more beside her. She had hands free, she wanted to
him, she wanted to hold him in one place to ‘freeze’ this moment in
something within her left her panting for his next move. She wanted to
in this small hour, did he?
silently drew his clawed fingers along her jaw, bringing her eye to eye
him; the world had fallen away, and neither of them missed it. There
hearts stirring a passion of its own recipe.
lips were dry; she ran her tongue slowly over her bottom lip “How badly
want cookies, Vincent?” His stormy blue eyes followed that movement,
him here with his palm so gently on her cheek.
blinked as if back to reality and drew in the scent of her longing. His
shaggy head fell back only to return his face to her with a wide,
grin. “I can only focus on one succulent morsel at a time and it seems,
you are where my hunger lies at this moment.”
was no fool. Having shared so few moments like this, she only sought to
his hunger, whatever the dish. “So….we’re…not….
Standing face to face, she brushed her thumb up the center of his
watching his response, feeling his pleasure at her loving connection. His wide smile
mellowed as he drew another
deep, deep breath.
“I hunger for your sleek laugh and your hands the color of a furious
want to eat the sunbeams flaring in your beauty.” His words never
but his swift movements caught her breath as he lifted her over his
playfully and swung in a circle. Light footed he twirled into the
of the loft while Diana giggled and smacked along his back in playful
love-taps. Any other time, their playfulness had ended at the sofa.
steps travelled closer to her bedroom threshold where he lovingly set
her on her
broad chest rose with a confident breath.  “I crave your mouth, your
your hair. Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets. Bread does not nourish me,
dawn disrupts me,
all day I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.”
stood there, mesmerized by his nearness, the musicality of the verses
voice. Her hands found his neck, her body gone limp at his facing his
She felt his words stop and her face darted up to face him, her hands
his chest where she felt his heart thudding. How could he surprise her
this? She had squelched her fever pitches so often before and now…when
thought they’d spend time patting out cookies, he carries her to her
door? “Oh, oh, steady Diana”, she thought. With her last conscious
caught his hands, threading their fingers together like playful
she could feel their tensions lighten. His hands caught hers behind
drawing her tightly to his chest, his hips casting away all doubt as to
he wanted to quench his cravings.
sure, babe?” Diana’s eyes peered closely up to his, her breath stoking
audacity. Vincent’s chin dropped in a nod, and she caught his lips in a
kiss. That kiss, the one where lips lock a moment in time to mark
guardianship, this was the telling glance of flesh on flesh that met
tempered his movements, reverence for what Diana was granting him and
they would celebrate. Scant words passed between them as they spent
minutes removing clothes each of them had seen for years. This was no
night consummation with fancy adornments; these were day-worn sweaters
jeans peeled away, releasing halting breathes from each of them.
beside her bed, Vincent turned away. “Every time I close my eyes, I
know who I
am. Yet when I open them, I am still this.” Vincent granted her a view
chest, arms outstretched. His hair spread over his muscled shoulders as
moonlight played over the flanks of his buttocks.
lay back against the mountain of pillows she had been taken to hugging
night, “I’ll hold you close. ‘This’ is what I want ever so much.”
their past there had been need for secrets and they had met in
walked long paths to clarity. Only now Vincent had this one hesitance
her could call her ‘home’ for his heart.
careful, Diana, what you wish for.” His eyebrows rose and fell–- they
each other for years, longer than he had wrestled with loving
queen of everything was gone, and he had fallen from a lofty love to
unsteady ground of reality. Diana had been proof to ‘never say never’.
turned slowly to reveal all that he was from furry toes to his
smile. Once again their fingers interwove, and as he gently placed one
next to her, he whispered, “Don’t let me go, Diana.”
she thought she would bait him or lead him to some soothing embrace she
wrong. This wasn’t poetic; this was hunger gracefully exemplified by
strokes of the back of his hand, her toe travelling up the back of his
Lips poised to urge flesh to quiver, hot breath sent to excite, and a
of secret places to be kissed and suckled.
heart caught at the sensuality of his silent assessment of her beneath
straddled her thighs to view the glow he knew she hid under baggy grey
Diana the goddess, his goddess. Unashamed, his flesh came to life,
wanted him with the same hunger.
In that moment Diana’s one hand cupped his soft flesh beneath the curved weight of his erection. Both of them hissed at their discovery of such a simple mutual inclination, to touch and rapture in that touch. Breathless and torn to leave where their pleasure had begun, the hours melted with their loving explorations.
eyes flashed open, “Diana?” Her name, his single word hypnotized her
She only hoped his name leaving her lips meant as much.
lips closed. “I’ve done something irreversible.” He rose on one elbow,
Diana solely on the bed. Seeing her discomfiture, he shook his head,
was mesmerized, watching his hair nearly fluid with its life as it had
made love to her. Would she ever see his hair damp and loose and not
his joyful abandon?
velvet voice whispered, “I was---excuse the expression, up-tight. I
Catherine’s heart repeatedly. I denied her, us, all of this.” He ran
back of his hand along Diana’s arm on the sheet, and both of them
“Then I was broken for so long, part believing Jacob’s conception was a
the other half of my heart mired in my loss.”
eyes darkened and her head shook, wondering what regrets he had. She
all of her hair in one hand and wound it into a knot, her world poised
see I’m frightening you.” Vincent sat up, the sheet dropping to reveal
chest and tight belly. Drawn quickly into his lap, she wrapped her legs
his trim waist and began to draw lazy circles in his chest hair.
Vincent caught her chin to kiss her lightly then when their eyes locked
confessed, “The pressure I was under caused something magnificent; I
now. It burnt away those doubts; it brought me to your door last night.
many reasons, I love you.” Using his fingers, Vincent loosened her
streaming it over her shoulders.
nodded, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Of her few one night
could not let Vincent go. She was struck mute waiting.
never had anyone to confide with on matters of the heart,” Vincent
Valentine’s heart over her breast and she trembled at the sensation. “I
the classics, I know old film, and I’ve never known a woman like you,
He stole a kiss on her nose and sighed in relief. “I had to have faith
what I felt coming from you---“
fairly snorted, “All these years? Please, Vincent, I was going to give
until Winterfest, and then I was going to take Jacob to Kanin and
of the Tunnel grapevine, Vincent pursed his lips to stifle a snicker.
Playfully she found his earlobe and gave it a bit of a tug. Vincent
false exaggeration. “Oh, sit still, you’re tougher than that.” She
unique face in her hands to kiss him again on the lips before she
words. “Look, you sexy brute of a man, I was afraid you’d wake up and
this was some sort of embarrassing mistake. In the future, when we’re
after a night like this, I don’t want to hear you say you’ve done
irreversible. I love you!”
fatigue was setting in over hunger and thirst. Diana knew that. She
she could get him to stroll naked to the kitchen for juice. Not
her place in his lap, she was still curious. “That poem you started a
ago, was that Neruda?” She began to play with his hair as he watched
enjoyment. He nodded before she finger combed his bangs straight back
good-naturedly frowned, and she drew them back down.
Hugging him close, she taunted him, “What’s
the rest of it?”
and motivated by her wet warmth hovering over his flesh, he tossed her
the bed and leaned over her.
hunger for your sleek laugh”, he drew a nail over her throat to hear
rumble, “your hands the color of a savage harvest”, Vincent laved his
slowly over her wrist and drew her finger to his mouth. “hunger for the
stones of your fingernails, I want to eat your skin like a whole
took her fingertip in his dangerous mouth and suckled so delicately
gave her the shivers.
want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,” Vincent bent to
her navel and stroke the auburn delta at the juncture of her legs. Then
grace and speed, he knelt over her face, “the sovereign nose of your
face, I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes.” Again he kissed
wetly before he bounded over her to stand on the rug, silhouetted by
at her window, his face wistful. She
waited for his words to end; Diana craved his warmth and strength more
another’s words. Didn’t he realize how she had yearned for him for so
left the bed with such speed her long titian tresses streamed behind
joined in an embrace and marveled at puddles of street light on the
empty street floors below.
again Vincent caught her earlobe, bathing it with his hot breath and
Sonnet’s final words, “and
I pace around
hungry, sniffing the twilight, hunting for you, for your hot heart,
Like a puma
in the barrens of Quitratue.”
in their cotton-wool feelings, they swayed, snuggling and caressing,
passions re-igniting. Diana came up for air, caught her breath and
“Vincent, are you thinking what I’m thinking?” His high arched brows
and settled. Other than his universal bond, he felt the same cravings
had transferred for hours.
don’t have cookies ready, but I do have a quart of cinnamon ice cream
whipped cream, are you hungry?” Her doe eyes pleaded for a different
nourishment. “All this talk about food has me a bit twitter-pated.”
fingertips introduced a tremble with her strokes up and down his
a final shiver, Vincent rubbed at his flat tummy and recognized a
equated with love. “Cinnamon? Whipped Cream?” He was serious now. Diana
yes to both questions and wrapped the sheet around her toga style,
grabbed a towel thrown at the end of the bed and wrapped it low around
to follow her with an urgent question, “Is it in a tub, or is that
in the can?”
Diana stood at the open refrigerator, flummoxed, Redi-Whip in hand, “Really, Vincent? Would it matter?”
 Pablo Neruda, Sonnet XI
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