Friday, June 6, 2014

Loving Kitchen book giveaway

Charlotte blogger LeAnn Rice took a curving path to the South. After her husband, Ron, died of cancer 17 years ago, she and her then-young son Nick moved down here from the Pacific Northwest. Rice catered briefly, but mostly focuses her cooking on her blog,, where she shares recipes with a Southern aim and a Christian message.

This month, she released a book, "The Loving Kitchen," with recipes that are designed to share, particularly with friends in need.

Besides sharing a summer-worthy recipe, I thought I'd end the week with a book giveaway of "The Loving Kitchen."

To be entered in a random drawing, send an email to with "Loving Kitchen" in the subject line. I'll pick a winner on Monday morning - a good way to start a new week.

In the meantime, with tomatoes and basil finally beginning to pop up, here's Rice's recipe for a one-bite version of the classic Caprese salad, made in cherry tomatoes.

Congratulations on the book, LeAnn.

Caprese Poppers

From "The Loving Kitchen" by LeAnn Rice (Thomas Nelson Books, $24.99).

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 package cherry tomatoes
1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into thin 1-inch strips
5 to 6 basil leaves, torn into small pieces, plus more for garnish

COMBINE the oil, cider and balsamic vinegars, shallot, garlic, Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper in a small bowl.

SLICE off the very top of each tomato and then carefully remove the juice and seeds using a small spoon. Fill each tomato with 1/2 teaspoon of the dressing. Fit a piece of mozzarella and a piece of basil in each, so the cheese and basil rice above the top of the tomato. Arrange on a platter and garnish with a fresh bunch of basil. Serve chilled.

YIELD: 8 to 10 servings.