Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Filling Up On Happy (plus a recipe and a book giveaway!)

I am fascinated by people who read through recipe books the way I read through design books!  Being in the kitchen is like an art to them, mixing flavors the way a painter mixes colors; swirling pans and sprinkling spices until their masterpiece is just right.  They know things like how to emulsify liquids and oils and the correct way to hold a knife.  I love watching how creating a meal is a labor of love to them.  I wish I had that.  For me, cooking is labor, period.

I do love the eating part, though!  Even more than that, there is something about sharing a meal around a table with loved ones or new acquaintances that just sits right with me.  It's a happy place.

We recently had one such evening.  Scotty and I invited three couples over for dinner.  We decided on an Italian theme and everybody brought a little something.  The eight of us gathered around our table for six, pulling up a folding chair that was too short and a wobbly stool. We had the best time! 

With Bocelli playing in the background, we had Toscana soup (recipe here), salad and homemade ciabatta bread.  Then we took a break from the eating and told stories and talked about current events.  Next was lasagna and garlic zucchini.  We pulled out Catch Phrase and laughed until our cheeks were sore.

And then ...

Sea salt and caramel cheesecake.  Creamy, smooth, heavenly yumminess.  That's all I have to say about that! 

We laughed and talked late into the night.  It was the kind of evening that still lingered with a smile the next day.  We did so much more than just fill empty stomachs that night.  We built friendship and filled ourselves up with happy. 

I am no artist in the kitchen and my home does not look like the beautiful homes from the design books I drool over.  In fact, my bathroom has been in the middle of a ceiling repair for the past few (ahem) ... years.  The carpet needs a cleaning and the couch ... well, let's not go there.  But that night it was a lovely place.  The flaws were hidden by the richness of communion. 

I have just finished reading the book, Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist.  She describes what I am talking about so wonderfully!  Read this book!  And what are you waiting for?  Don't wait for your home to look perfect!  Order pizza, pop open some soda, and invite your people over to enjoy life around the table!  Unless, of course, you're one of those.  In that case, create your culinary masterpiece!   Here's to food and friendship!  Bon appetit!

- Liv

This drawing has expired.
This book is too good not to share, so I am going to give away ONE copy!  To enter, email me here and put your email address in the subject line.  Place your entry by Monday, August 12th!  Or, you can order the book here!  

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