- Open to residents of Canada and the U.S. only
- This draw closes on Friday, February 22nd 2013 at 6:00 p.m. EST.
- To enter, answer the question above in the comments section, using a valid email address as this is how the winner will be contacted.
- Bonus entry: ’Like’ One Cook Two Kitchens on Facebook and simply say that you did, right here as a separate comment. You’ve already done it before? Just say that you already do. Each comment counts as an entry in this draw.
- The winning name will be drawn randomly using Random.org.
- The winner must respond within 24 hours of being contacted. If no response is received, the next name drawn will be contacted.
Smitten Kitchen Cookbook review, giveaway and wonderful pot pie recipe
While there are thousands of food blogs out there, there are only a handful who really inspired the rest of us to board the food blogger train. Deb Perelman, of Smitten Kitchen fame is one of them.
As many of you now know, not only do I write weekly reviews of cookbooks here at One Cook, Two Kitchens, but I review so many more that never make my ‘recommended’ list.
I find that the most disappointing cookbooks are often those written by celebrity chefs. I believe this stems from a variety of issues, from the challenge of translating restaurant recipes based on large yields to the home kitchen for 4-8 servings, lack of testing adapted recipes before publication (due to time constraints – cookbook writing is a very time intensive undertaking) and ensuring that ‘regular’ home cooks can recreate that recipe at home. Excellent recipe writing is a combination of science and excellent communication skills.
Bloggers are another category altogether. As a general rule (and I mean very general here), we do not have any formal food-related training, and what we typically share is a love of food and a commitment to sharing what we learn along the way. And just like chefs, some of us are better at the process than others.
We are that person that you know at the office who loves to tell you about the amazing dinner party we had on the weekend, and then shares the recipe with you. While we may not always start out by following consistent rules of cookbook writing, we often make up for it by being the person who is writing the recipe as if it was for our little sister or best friend: we want her to have a successful result too.
The latest trend in cookbook publishing is the production of cookbooks written by food bloggers. Some are good, some not so good. Just like great chefs don’t necessarily make great cookbook writers, the same goes for food bloggers.
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is one of the most beautifully written and photographed cookbooks that I have seen out of about 250 that I have reviewed in the past year. And this book is by far the best of all of the cookbooks that I have seen from a blogger, to date.
So just as Deb Perelman has held the bar high for food bloggers, including myself, I would say that she has raised it even higher for cookbook writers.
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, published by Knopf, is a beautifully bound, hardcover book, that is fully illustrated with photos taken by Perelman herself.
Her instructions are clearly written, and she often shows photos of recipes in progress, so that you can see how the dough should look before cutting, or how wet or dry a filling should look before before topping or rolling it in pastry. And of course, her photos of finished dishes are divine.
I have tried several recipes out of the book, from the Pancetta, White bean, and Swiss chard Pot Pie recipe (that is offered below), to her Rosemary Gruyere and Sea Salt Crisps, French Onion Toasts, and New York Breakfast Casserole. Every recipe is a ‘wow’ dish, ideal for company.
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook covers every course, from breakfast, appetizers through to dessert, plus snacks and cocktails. She has many creative takes, such as Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels, to Grapefruit Olive Oil Pound Cake to Spaghetti Squash and Black Bean Tacos with Queso Fresco.
In addition to the recipes, the success of this book is also about the writing. With each recipe, Deb tells a story with her likeable New Yorker wit, featuring friends, family, and her own culinary quirks.
I felt, after reading the book from cover to cover, that I had made a new friend. She shares photos of her tiny New York kitchen, describes how she entertains, and shares her process in detail for developing many of the recipes.
I highly recommend The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. I cannot imagine anyone not loving this book, as she has something for everyone, from the cook who is most comfortable with clear step-by-step directions, to the more adventurous who loves a little inspiration and adaptability.
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO ENTERED. CONGRATULATIONS TO SANDRA!
And now you have a chance to win a copy of this stunning book in a giveaway, courtesy of Knopf.
To enter, simply answer this question in the comment section below: What is your favourite go-to dish when you entertain?