Bite This Book! Food in Jars (giveaway)

Welcome to Bite This Book! Each month, I feature a cookbook of my choosing that is hot off the press, host a Q & A with the author, and then give you a chance to win a copy or two. It’s Bite This Book! good reads on Simple Bites.

Marisa McClellan is a woman of many hats. She is a freelance writer, an expert at home canning, a blogger, a canning instructor, and a contributor here at Simple Bites, among other things. She can now add published author to her resume because her beautiful book Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round comes out on May 22!

Marisa’s popular canning blog, Food in Jars, begged to make the jump to book; as her devoted readers, we wanted a hard copy of her recipes right in the kitchen with us. Fortunately, a publisher at Running Press helped make it happen and Food in Jars, the cookbook, is a thing of beauty. I know my copy is destined to get sticky, very sticky.

Packed with full-page color photos, and engaging anecdotes from Marisa’s food-centric upbringing, the Food in Jars cookbook is a fresh approach to home preserving. It holds a wonderful assortment of over 100 recipes from pickles to jam, fruit butter to salsas and much more. The small batch recipes make them approachable for novice canners, and there is enough variety in the recipes to entice the more experienced home canner.

Read on for a short interview with Marisa and a chance to win a copy of Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round!

[Read more…]

Bite This Book! The Naptime Chef (giveaway)

Welcome to Bite This Book!, a new 2012 series on Simple Bites. Each month, I’ll feature a cookbook of my choosing that is hot off the press, host a Q & A with the author, and then give you a chance to win a copy or two. It’s Bite This Book! good reads on Simple Bites.

I had the pleasure of meeting Kelsey Banfield, aka The Naptime Chef, at BlogHer Food last May (was that already one year ago?), but I’ve been reading her blog since its conception and connecting with her on social media for some time.

As I know Kelsey to be extremely passionate and hardworking, it was no surprise to hear she was writing a cookbook, and now her project, The Naptime Chef: Fitting Great Food into Family Life is finally here!

Kelsey’s recipes are home-style with a decidedly upscale twist and will leave you wondering “Now, why didn’t I ever think of that?”. She has a no-nonsense approach to cooking that would instil confidence in the most timid of cooks and bakers.

I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve prepared from Kelsey’s cookbook. Her Strawberries & Cream Overnight French Toast (pictured at top) is a new brunch favorite around here, and I’m admittedly hooked on her Sour Cream Almond Cookies. I’ve bookmarked the Crunchy Mac & Cheese with Bacon to try soon, and know it won’t be long before I’m toasting a batch of addicting Cranberry Spice Granola.

Read on for a short interview with Kelsey and a chance to win one of two copies of The Naptime Chef!

[Read more…]

Bite This Book! Joy the Baker Cookbook (giveaway)

Welcome to Bite This Book!, a new 2012 series on Simple Bites. Each month, I’ll feature a cookbook of my choosing that is hot off the press, host a Q & A with the author, and then give you a chance to win a copy or two. It’s Bite This Book! good reads on Simple Bites.

To say that I’ve been anticipating Joy the Baker’s cookbook is a huge understatement. I’ve been reading her blog since its conception, I never miss a podcast, and am a very, very big fan for Joy’s playful style and soulful recipes.

Unwrapping her latest project, Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes, when it arrived in the mail was a pretty major event. Noah flipped through it with me and we sighed over the perfectly frosted cakes, banana bread pudding and scores of pancakes.

We settled on Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes for breakfast that weekend, a fantastic recipe that was simple enough to make together, yet tasted special enough for Sunday morning. That seems to be a theme throughout Joy’s book. No recipe comes across as daunting, and most seem special enough for an occasion.

We’ve mixed up Joy’s chocolate chip cookies (hand’s down the best dough I have ever tasted), enjoyed her Browned Butter Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Treats for a recent birthday party, and have bookmarked nearly every other recipe in the book as a ‘must try’.

Read on for a short interview with Joy and a chance to win one of two copies of the Joy the Baker cookbook!

[Read more…]

Bite This Book! Spilling the Beans (giveaway)

Welcome to Bite This Book!, a new 2012 series on Simple Bites. Each month, I’ll feature a cookbook of my choosing that is hot off the press, host a Q & A with the author, and then give you a chance to win a copy or two. It’s Bite This Book!, good reads on Simple Bites.

This latest cookbook from Canadian food writer Julie Van Rosendaal has a special place in my kitchen. In it she collaborates with long-time friend Sue Duncan to produce a straightforward and thorough book on beans that also manages to be utterly elegant to boot.

My family loves beans, but I admit, I tend to serve them in the same old ways. Julie’s cookbook, Spilling the Beans: Cooking and Baking with Beans and Grains Everyday showcases these healthy and frugal legumes in scads of new dinner recipes, and also provides an entire section on baking delicious desserts with beans.

I’ve stocked my pantry with canned and dried beans, flagged nearly half of the recipes in Spilling the Beans as ‘must try’, and now am thrilled to introduce you to the cookbook that has me excited to hit the kitchen!

Read on for an interview with Julie and a chance to win one of two copies of Spilling the Beans.

[Read more…]

Bite This Book! All In Good Time (giveaway)

Welcome to a new 2012 series on Simple Bites! Each month, I’ll feature a book of my choosing (cookbooks, predominantly) that is hot off the press, host a Q & A with the author, and then give you a chance to win a copy. It’s Bite This Book and it starts today!

January is a month where it’s easy to get inspired to organize the kitchen. The weather outside is blustery and cold (at least up here it is), the holiday parties are over, and routine is reinstated in our households.

It makes sense to tackle organizing projects now – big or small – and today I have just the book to help you on your way. Written by my friends and fellow mothers, Mandi Ehman and Tara Kuczykowski, All In Good Time: When to Save, Stock Up, and Schedule Everything for Your Home is a thorough resource for busy families looking for ways to cut costs, save time, and get the home in order.

Nope, it’s not a cookbook, but All in Good Time is definitely a book that I can see being very valuable to Simple Bites readers. Read on for an interview with Mandi and a chance to win one of two copies!

[Read more…]