Monday, January 13, 2014

GUEST POST: Author Kimberly Kincaid discusses "food as love"

Welcome author Kimberly Kincaid! You're our first guest on Loving Culinary and we're so happy you had time in the middle of your book tour for PUSHING THE LINE to stop by today! 

If you're not familiar with Kimberly's books, her romances are sexy, fun, and sprinkled throughout with all the details foodies enjoy and her heroines tend to be involved in the food industry. 

Kimberly, I'm turning the blog over to you. Have fun!
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FOOD IS

In my personal life and in my writing, I live by the mantra “food is love”. So it’s no great surprise that many of my character have professions in the culinary field, and that they all end up touched by food in some way. But you don’t have to be a chef or a foodie to play along. 

In my digital novella, LOVE ON THE LINE (the first in the “line” series), my hero Noah is a rough, gruff cop, a pure takeout food junkie…until he is injured on the job and must rely on a personal chef to keep him from starving. In the story, they make chicken and dumplings together, and it’s a perfect learn-your-way recipe. It’s a warm, satisfying meal, and there’s room for both creativity and a little error (it doesn’t have to be pretty to taste good!) But the beauty of it is, as Noah and chef Violet cook, they’re not just creating a way to feed their bodies, but coming up with a way to nourish themselves (and eventually, each other). And what starts out in the kitchen ends up in the heart.

This carries over through all the “line” books, although Violet is the only actual chef. In book two, DRAWING THE LINE, much of the story revolves around Mac’s Diner and its home-loving owner, Serenity (her signature dish is apple turnovers, and her hero, Jason, is a big fan!) Mac’s is a central gathering spot throughout the series, and the restaurant manager, Jules, gets her happily-ever-after with ER doctor Blake over stuffed French toast in OUTSIDE THE LINES. And just to add something sweet to the mix, candy shop Luscious appears in book four, the recently released PUSHING THE LINE, where reluctant owner Harper serves up all sorts of delectable recipes as she discovers true love with Blake’s cousin, Aaron.


Food is love, indeed!

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WIN A COPY OF 
LOVE ON THE LINE

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Here's the recipe I mentioned that Violet taught Noah to make . . . who will you make it with? 
Violet Morgan’s Chicken and Dumpling Stew


Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
½ teaspoon thyme
A pinch to ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, to taste
1 8-ounce package sliced baby Portabella mushrooms, wiped clean
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 32-ounce container chicken stock
1 pound chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into bite-sized chunks
2-3 cups mixed vegetables, such as sliced carrots, small broccoli and/or cauliflower florets, and of course, for Noah, peas. Frozen works just fine, but fresh is okay too
1 cup all-purpose baking mix (for biscuits and pancakes and the like)
1/3 cup milk
½ Tablespoon parsley 
1 teaspoon thyme 

Directions:
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, until it ripples. Add onion, ½ teaspoon thyme, and nutmeg, cooking until soft and stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic. 

Cook 4-5 minutes more, until soft and fragrant. Sprinkle flour over mixture and incorporate well. Slowly add broth. Bring to a low boil, stirring often.
Add chicken and vegetables. As stew comes back to a boil, combine baking mix, milk, parsley and 1 teaspoon thyme in a bowl. Drop in level tablespoonfuls into the simmering stew and reduce heat to low.

Cover the Dutch oven and cook fifteen minutes longer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with nice crusty bread for dipping and a green salad (just don’t tell Noah there are greens!)
Serves six.
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About Kimberly


Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she's not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as "The Pleather Bomber", she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to éclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a 2011 RWA Golden Heart® finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. Her digital “line” series is all about the hot cops and sexy chefs of Brentsville, New York. She is also thrilled to have collaborated on a Christmas anthology with Donna Kauffman and Kate Angell, titled The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap, to kick off her Pine Mountain foodie series with Kensington books, to be followed by her first full-length print novel, Turn Up the Heat. Kimberly resides in northern Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters. Visit her any time at www.kimberlykincaid.com or come check her out on Facebook (www.facebook.com/kimberly.kincaid1) and Twitter (@kimberlykincaid). 

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ADD THE LINE SERIES 
BY KIMBERLY KINCAID 
TO YOUR BOOKSHELF

 


Violet Morgan puts the personal in personal chef, catering to clients who want the full cooking experience rather than a culinary drop-and-dash. But when her brother’s police detective partner is injured in the line of duty and needs help during recovery, she makes an exception. Violet lost her father to the job seven years ago, and worries for her brother’s safety every day. The last thing she wants is to get up-close with her brother’s career-cop partner…again. 

For Noah Blackwell, being a detective isn’t just a lifestyle, it’s a legacy. So when he’s forced to take mandatory leave and deal with the trauma amnesia keeping him from identifying his shooter, it’s as if insult and injury have joined forces— and now he’s got to deal with an unwanted caregiver on top of it. Never mind that he and Violet shared a steamy, secret kiss last New Year’s Eve. She rejects everything related to the job, and Noah’s not about to be distracted from recovering his memory and getting back to what he does best. No matter how pretty Violet is. 

Despite their differences, Violet and Noah share a surprising bond in the kitchen that grows into something neither of them expect. But as Noah heals and their feelings for each other extend from the kitchen to the bedroom, Violet knows she must make an impossible choice. She may wear her heart on her sleeve in the kitchen, but can she put love on the line? 

When Detective Jason Morgan is tasked with keeping a local restaurant owner safe as part of a make-or-break case, he rises to the challenge. The job is his first priority, and he owes it to the memory of his father, a detective killed in the line of duty, to do it at any cost. But Jason never expected Serenity Gallagher to be so beautiful, so serious...or so tough to protect. Serenity has moved from place to place at the whim of her capricious mother all her life. The last thing she wants is to leave the diner she finally calls home, even if it means being stuck with a sexy blue-eyed detective. But she’s the only witness to a horrible crime, and the man behind it wants her very, very dead. Going into protective custody means survival, no matter how much Serenity hates hiding. 

As Jason and Serenity bide their time together, they are shocked to discover they have much more in common than the surface reveals. But keeping her safe is Jason’s number one priority, no matter how much he’s drawn in by the woman beneath the witness, and Serenity’s past makes it difficult to trust. As the stakes get higher and the spark burns hotter, can Jason and Serenity draw the line? 

As an Ivy League ER doctor who eats double shifts for breakfast (and lunch…and dinner), Blake Fisher has little appetite for anything other than work. Being on the staff at Brenstville Hospital means taking care of people, a need Blake understands all too well from losing his brother to cystic fibrosis eight years ago. When he’s asked to coordinate a carnival fundraiser for the cause, he jumps at the chance to help others with the disease…until it lands him side by side with the one woman he never thought he’d see again: his ex-fiancée. 

Streetwise and rough around the edges, Jules Shaw is no stranger to earning a living through hard work. But when her job as the restaurant manager of Mac’s Diner puts her shoulder to really broad shoulder with Blake Fisher, she nearly balks. She’d rather dodge and deflect than admit the real reason she broke things off, but the catering contract for the carnival means big business for Mac’s, and feeding people is Jules’s lifeblood. 

As Blake and Jules join reluctant forces, they quickly rediscover the spark between them. But the possibility of a future together hinges on coming clean about the past, with potentially devastating consequences. Can Blake and Jules overcome their drastically different backgrounds and learn to love again, or will they always be outside the lines?

 


Free-spirited artist Harper McGee is happy to go wherever the wind takes her…until her flight pattern sends her back to Brentsville, New York for her beloved grandmother's funeral. Harper’s grief turns to shock, however, when she discovers her grandmother has named her sole proprietor of her candy shop, Luscious. But she has no intention of being anchored to one place, and anyway, she doesn’t know the first thing about running a kitchen or a business. Selling Luscious is the only viable option— until the shop catches fire due to old wiring. Fixing the damage requires major work, and if Harper wants to put it on the market, she needs major help. 

 Thrill-seeking firefighter Aaron Fisher has never walked away from a challenge or a friend. So when a fellow firefighter is hurt on a call and can’t complete a side job for his contracting company, Aaron’s quick to jump in. He’s done plenty of fix ‘er ups for his buddy in the past, and despite his silver spoon upbringing and his no-holds-barred attitude, swinging a hammer suits Aaron just fine. That is, until he discovers the client is the same impetuous woman he forcibly dragged from the flames of Brentsville’s local candy shop. 

The more time Harper and Aaron spend at Luscious, the hotter their attraction burns, daring them both to shed their tough outer layers to reveal the tender desires beneath. But when a buyer makes Harper the offer of a lifetime, she must choose between roots and wings. Can two people who live in the moment learn to see past the moment, or will Aaron and Harper always live their lives pushing the line?