book reports: In the Small Kitchen [and a giveaway!]

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.’”  ] 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, US residents only.

All images in this post are from the book and are found on Harper Collins & Amazon.


About nomnivorous

A food enthusiast who cooks, bakes and eats it all... And if it happens to be cute, it's even more likely to be eaten by this nomnivore!
This entry was posted in book reports, giveaway, reviews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to book reports: In the Small Kitchen [and a giveaway!]

  1. My go-to recipes in my 20s – spicy cajun burgers. I grab whatever ground meat is on sale, saturate it in Slap Your Mama (or a comparable Cajun spice, generally gifted from my parents), melt pepperjack cheese on top, and enjoy with some cold brews. It’s always a ground pleaser and takes almost no time!

  2. Marmande says:

    I once tried to make pulled pork for a 4th of July party for 30 some guests and winged it without a recipe. Bad idea – the pork was totally hard and my arms were sore for a few days from trying to get that brick of pork shredded!

  3. As a 20-something baker/chef/sometimes-host, I’ve found the potluck to be a *wonderful* thing. My girlfriends and I will often want to have a big, classy dinner for a holiday or celebration, but one of us simply doesn’t have the resources to pull off the whole shebang on her own. Divvying up the different meals and dishes makes that easier, plus we all are always more than happy to swap recipes if something we make is particularly successful! Definitely a good way to ease the burden and learn new tricks.

  4. Already a fan of Nomnivous on Facebook. 🙂

  5. Also following Nomnivorous on Twitter!

  6. And just tweeted about the contest. Crossing my fingers for good contest luck!

  7. mvfoodie says:

    Still in my twenties, but early twenties I used to love making fruit bars: chopped fruit mixed with cornstarch in a pan, topped with oatmeal sugar cinnamon. lol. those were “fruit bars”

  8. mvfoodie says:

    I am a fan of nomnivorous on Facebook.

  9. mvfoodie says:

    I’m already following you on twitter!

  10. mvfoodie says:

    I tweeted! (nella22) Just realized was logged on to mvfoodie account (previous blog) my email is marnely at gmail dot com and current site is

  11. mishamc says:

    Remember that time when we were watching Mad Men in your dorm at Wolf Village and I set your pot holder on fire?

    Also, I tweeted!

  12. brc says:

    Entertaining in my 20s mostly meant cheese and crackers and bourbon. Oh wait,that’s what it means in my forties, too.

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