Some cookbooks inspire you to dream of cooking; some inspire you to actually do it. Some cookbooks overflow with stories; some brim with ingredients. Some cookbooks zero in on a theme, some let their tastebuds go on a vast adventure.
But the best cookbooks? They find a balance. A strong theme, with culinary exploration. Great tales and recipes that work. Saliva-producing photos and techniques that don’t fly over your head. In my growing cookbook library, there are some gems. If i’m financing the purchase, that book has to go the distance. Lately, i’ve also received some impressive books to review.
In the Small Kitchen is one such book. Cara Eisenpress & Phoebe Lapine of Big Girls, Small Kitchen have created a wonderful collection of recipes. For a twenty-something who enjoys cooking and loves to entertain, this needs to be on your shelves. The way in which this book is chaptered was an instant draw. Cooking for One, Potlucking, and the all important Brunch are just a few examples. The recipes included in these chapters are actually perfect fits for the occassion. Baked goods to say thanks, quick dinners on a solo night, “retro” dishes that feed a crowd. The stories sprinkled through the book bring some heart and personality to it all – the eggs from their mothers’ kitchens, the blondies that came with the return of a borrowed necklace, the parties both intimate and oversize. The friendship between the authors is a core reason for their overall success, so hearing about little slices of their lives keeps with the feeling of In the Small Kitchen.
The big girls provide adaptations for many recipes, with a small paragraph of notes at the recipe’s end. It’s an inspiring way of cooking, helping the reader embrace substitutions or alternate flavor combinations. Their peanut noodles are reminiscent of my recipe, and reading the book sparked a major craving. A bowl of their noodles helped curb the take-out habits and soothed the soul with a delicious dinner. Whether feeding just one tummy or a few dozen, these ladies want to assure you it can be done. They have captured a spirit of joyous eating and they want their peers, friends & strangers alike, to embrace it.
As mentioned before, this is a great book for the “adults only because we have to be” crowd – those in their twenties and even early thirties, or anyone young at heart. The foods found in here are incredibly flexible, and many are perfect for eating on all week long. For example, take their Italian meatballs and toss with pasta instead of in a bun. It’s a brown-bag lunch winner [trust me!] The versatile recipes, entertaining memories and helpful guidelines in In the Small Kitchen might be the nudge in the right direction your brother, the take-out king, needs, or a new reference your best friend, the entertaining queen, loves. Or maybe you want a copy for yourself?
Well, thanks to the publishers Harper Collins, I have a copy to give to one lucky reader! Here’s how you can win this little treasure:
- The required entry is simple. Just leave a comment telling me an anecdote about cooking or entertaining in your twenties. A horror story, a surprise, a flop, a total success. Anything. Please leave your email address in the comment as well.
- For another entry, become a fan of nomnivorous on Facebook. Leave a separate comment telling me that you’ve done so. Current fans, just leave a comment saying you’re already a fan.
- For a third entry, follow nomnivorous on Twitter. Leave a separate comment letting me know you follow me. Current followers just leave a comment letting me know you follow.
- For one final entry, tweet a link to this contest, and include @nomnivorous. [Example: “Have you seen? @nomnivorous is giving away one copy of @BGSK’s ‘In the Small Kitchen.’ http://wp.me/pWGga-lh” ] Leave a separate comment letting me know you’ve tweeted.
So in total, your actions can give you four comments, upping your chances to win! The contest closes at on Friday, June 24th at 12am. The winner will be chosen with random.org, US residents only.