Book Giveaway: Get Cooking

by Sarah Henry on February 27, 2010 · 69 comments

in food book giveaways

What vegetarian doesn’t have a dog-eared, food-stained copy of the Moosewood Cookbook in her cookbook stack?

I’m also a fan of best-selling, award-winning author Mollie Katzen‘s  cookbooks for kids: Pretend Soup, Honest Pretzels, and Salad People.

So I was pleased to hear that the warm and whimsical writer has penned a guide to getting started in the kitchen called, aptly enough, Get Cooking: 150 Simple Recipes to Get You Started in the Kitchen.

In her introduction, Mollie notes the irony that interest in cooking is at an all-time high. People everywhere love watching cooking shows and competitions. (Michael Pollan covered this phenomenon in a piece for the New York Times Magazine called “Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch.”)

Folks are eating up a steady diet of food blogs and food films. Talk about takeout, new restaurants, street eats, food produce and products permeates everyday conversations.

What’s missing in all this chatter? The art and craft of cooking.

So in her latest book, Mollie, a natural food chef  before the term was even coined, hopes to fill that void with what she calls “150 delicious, doable recipes that even the most inexperienced person can walk into any kitchen right now and make for dinner.”

She’s also moved beyond the produce stand and includes chicken, fish, and meat dishes (though there are oodles of veggie offerings and many recipes can be adapted for vegetarians or vegans.)

So, calling all wannabe cooks: This is the book for you (or the wannabe cook in your life, or perhaps even the person you want to be a wannabe cook). Lots of non-intimidating ideas to get the kitchen newbie — or even a seasoned home cook — going, with sound advice about recipe reading, basic gear, and knife skills.

The author covers simple soups, salads, main meals, sides, and desserts designed to expand a beginner’s repertoire. And her “get creative” sidebars offer loads of options for playing with the basic recipe.

I particularly like the sound of Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup, Wilted Spinach Salad with Hazelnuts, Goat Cheese, and Golden Raisins, Chickpea and Mango Curry, and Cherry Clafoutis.

One quibble: The photos don’t do the food justice; they’re a bit bland and lifeless. They’re not the kind of food shots we’re accustomed to seeing in cookbooks, food sites, or glossy mags. Perhaps the author was going for authenticity over visual excitement. (I attended a food photography session where folks were advised to use fake cream over the real thing ’cause it looks better in a photo. Oh my.) Regardless, Katzen’s enthusiasm and passion for food shines through on the page.

Read a review. Visit the get cooking website. Check out sample recipes, such as Vegetable-Tofu Stir-Fry with Orange-Ginger Glaze.

To win a copy of Get Cooking leave a comment below about what skill, technique, or dish you’d like to learn. Entries must be received by Friday, March 5, PST by 10 pm. Winner chosen at random.

Update: Wow! Mollie Katzen is clearly onto something. It seems like loads of folks want to get cooking, judging by the response to this giveaway, my most popular to date. The copy of Get Cooking, chosen at random, goes to Karen Pochodowicz. But wait — for all you budding chefs who want to learn knife skills, take a look at Mollie’s video tutorial and find sample recipes from the book here. And check back later this month for my March book giveaway.

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{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah March 5, 2010 at 7:05 am

i want to learn how to make bread!

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Cee March 5, 2010 at 7:36 am

I do love the Moosewood Cookbook. I just made the eggplant parm the other weekend, and it was so good.

I’d like to try the Easier-Than-You-Think Twice-Cooked Broccoli dish on Mollie Katzen’s site for her new cookbook. Thank you so much!

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Barbara March 5, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I’d just love to learn how to make biscuits! Mine always turn out like rocks!

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alice g March 5, 2010 at 12:47 pm

I would love any simple healthy week-night meals to put together quickly and take leftovers for lunch!

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Pamela March 5, 2010 at 1:10 pm

I would like to learn a better technique for removing the pits from stone fruits.

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Alicia Webster March 5, 2010 at 2:16 pm

I have never tried to make homemade bread, and so I would like to learn how to do that. For some reason, the idea of working with yeast, punching down dough, letting it rise, etc. really intimidates me.

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Pamela S March 5, 2010 at 4:25 pm

I’d love to try her Greek Pizza. Thanks.

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Jodie March 5, 2010 at 5:36 pm

I would like to learn the Chilled Herbed Spinach-Potato Soup with Buttermilk.

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Cynthya P March 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm

I’m pretty good in the kitchen for everyday things, but I’d like to know how to make a really great pie crust because the few times I’ve tried it’s been a disaster.

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Chrysa March 5, 2010 at 6:11 pm

I would like to learn how to braise.

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Maja Meza March 5, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Potato Soup with Rosemary and Roasted Garlic for my husband

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Frances Watson March 5, 2010 at 8:01 pm

I would love to win. Thank you for this great giveaway.

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Sand March 5, 2010 at 9:17 pm

I need better knife skills because I’ve tried holding my knuckles back and lifting and pressing the blade down but it makes a mess.

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Gianna March 5, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Sourdough bread.

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Veronica Garrett March 5, 2010 at 9:50 pm

I’d like to learn how to make Fettuccine Alfredo.

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R Hicks March 5, 2010 at 9:57 pm

I would like to learn how to make a great souffle.

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Donna K March 5, 2010 at 10:04 pm

I would like to learn to bake homemade bread.

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Leslie March 6, 2010 at 1:52 pm

I am a huge Mollie Katzen soup fan! I must learn to all of her soup recipes!

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M Clark March 9, 2010 at 4:23 pm

I have always wanted to learn how to make a great split pea soup.

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