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Lydia Lewis owes her love of food, cooking, and entertaining to her aunt Bessie, who invited her into the kitchen during many blissful summer vacations. Aunt Bessie taught her how to raise chickens and rabbits, work a garden, and can the fruits of their harvests. She was the consummate cook and hostess who loved to share her gifts and entertain, and now Lydia wants to pay that great gift forward. She has collected and created recipes her entire life, and now she’s sharing the love.

Whether your goal is to add some delicious homegrown charm to your own cooking, to throw a more entertaining and stress-free dinner party, or to start a new career, she’s got you covered. Her easy-to-follow recipes and instructions will show you how to shine in your own kitchen. She shares helpful tips for setting up (or improving) your pantry, setting a table, stocking a spice cupboard, measuring ingredients, following recipes, and more. She also shares her favorite recipes for appetizers, dips, soups, salads, entrees, side dishes, and desserts.

But helping you improve your kitchen skills is only one of her goals. In the past as the director of the Malibu Women’s Prison Ministry, she is concerned over the lack of post release resources for women. She knew that the creation of a transitional home and training center could help these women build new lives and new careers, and 90 percent of the profits from her cookbook will go to benefit the Second Chance Women’s Center, a 501c3 organization.

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