I was enticed by the cover photo (Chicken and Harvest Vegetable Soup) of The Loving Kitchen, by Leann Rice. Inside the pages of this book I found nurturing, comfort, love, not to mention, recipes that would absolutely delight my family. What makes this book extra special are the words that Leann Rice introduces each recipe with- heartfelt passages that make you feel like your cooking with a friend... I adore butternut squash and Leann's Butternut Squash Bisque sounds incredible! "Because this soup is pureed you can eat it out of a bowl with a spoon or you can pour servings into mugs so you can curl up with a mugful and your favorite blankie. I vote for mug and blankie." This girl knows my heart! Mugs and blankies? Yes, please! Within minutes, I had pen and paper out and had created a list for the grocery store.
The first recipe we tried was Overnight Breakfast Casserole. It's the first recipe in the book- I couldn't wait to get going! We have our house on the market and an Open House was planned that day. I'm surprised the house didn't sell by the aroma of this deliciousness baking! The scent lingered long after we had enjoyed it. Cinnamon swirl bread, maple sausage links, cinnamon- you get the picture. :) Heavenly. (Note- Peanut Butter and Jelly French Toast has been on my mind ever since I saw the picture. Oh my goodness.)
The next recipe we tried was Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake. Perfect for this time of year and the bumper crop of zucchini that many of us enjoy. It was crazy delicious! I should have tripled the recipe- gotta make a note of that for next time. ;) The Caramel Apple Crisp and Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce will be visiting our tummies soon.
I was touched by the introduction, Reaching Out and Gathering In sections of The Loving Kitchen. The author has personal stories to share and a message to be heard. Her recipes are beyond delightful but her words linger long after your appetite has been sated. Reaching Out refers to times in life when others need help- but just can't ask for it. Illness or loss of a loved one are times when we need to show family/friends that we care. Leann Rice gives wonderful ideas when we just don't know what to say or do. Beautiful. Gathering In is about family and fun ideas you can do together. Themes for dinner, games to play together, traditions to create. I plan on using them with my family. Delightful.
The Loving Kitchen is a warm hug delivered through words and food. It would make a lovely gift for a family member, friend or you!