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 }

Francine February 27, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I’d love to try the Easier-Than-You-Think Twice-Cooked Broccoli – I can never seem to get my broccoli cooked right!


susan varney February 27, 2010 at 4:25 pm

corn chowder


Sharon B February 27, 2010 at 4:39 pm

It’s difficult for me to believe that I am as old as I am, and don’t know my way around the kitchen.

This sounds terrific, because I really need to figure out how to get started. We have just moved and I now have a decent kitchen, so I have run out of excuses.


Nani Steele February 27, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Have had Mollie’s books for years, even when I wasn’t a vegetarian. She’s a great person too, and have always loved her whimsical drawings.

On photos, I agree. Heard she did them herself, perhaps because of budget constraints in the publishing system. It wouldn’t be a surprise, since they
are always squeezing on that end anyway.


Maria February 27, 2010 at 6:15 pm

I am going to make the Potato Soup with Rosemary and Roasted Garlic for supper tomorrow night.

Hope it taste as good as it sounds.


mickeyfan February 27, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Potato Salad. I can never get it creamy enough.


nicole February 27, 2010 at 9:07 pm

I would like to learn how to make homemade pretzels.


sandy February 27, 2010 at 11:46 pm

stuffed peppers


Karen Pochodowicz February 28, 2010 at 2:25 am

I would like to learn Vegetable-Tofu Stir-Fry with Orange-Ginger Glaze because I want to master tofu.


EMMA L HORTON February 28, 2010 at 4:58 am



Judith (from Israel) February 28, 2010 at 8:04 am

I’d like to learn to bake bread.


Mlisa Kelley February 28, 2010 at 9:25 am

I would love to revisit proper knife sharpening.


Kelly Click February 28, 2010 at 9:44 am

I often shy away from goat cheese, although I have read much about the benefits and authentic flavor. I’m ready to dive in. Help me Mollie, goat cheese here I come.


hj February 28, 2010 at 10:05 am

I wish I knew how to use knives to chop quickly like they do on TV. I also wish I knew how to can and freeze.


Kimberly M February 28, 2010 at 10:33 am

The recipes sound yummy! I’d like to try making the Artichoke, Goat Cheese, Tomato, and Red Onion Focaccia.


angie February 28, 2010 at 10:54 am

Once I read about the Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup in your review, I was hooked. I would definitely love to learn to make that.


Jessica February 28, 2010 at 12:59 pm

I love soups, and the White Cheddar Mashed Potato Soup sounds like the ultimate comfort food. I would love to make it for my family!


Pam February 28, 2010 at 1:58 pm

I’m a huge fan of Mollie Katzen’s cookbooks. This sounds like one I need. I would love to try the chickpea and mango curry.


Christine February 28, 2010 at 4:16 pm

I’d love to get back to bread making.


Carol February 28, 2010 at 5:43 pm

I’d love to learn how to make crepes.


Lori Berman February 28, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Stuffed peppers would be awesome!


Rory Kaphing February 28, 2010 at 7:18 pm

I would love to learn how to make Thai dishes.


Lisa D. February 28, 2010 at 10:25 pm

I would like to learn knife skills and how to master several key dishes. I love Mollie’s cookbooks.


Anna Glazier February 28, 2010 at 11:22 pm

I have always been a fan of Mollie Katzen from the first Moosewood Cookbook. I would love to make the corn and avocado salsa.

Yum, summer here we come!


Annie Fantasia March 1, 2010 at 9:22 am

I’m a brand new vegetarian determined to get healthy by cooking healthy & eating healthy! I need all the help I can get—especially when it’s from the best cooks! Thanks!


Heidi B. March 1, 2010 at 12:32 pm

I would like to try the Pan-Fried Chicken Cutlets. It looks simple enough and tasty.
Thanks for this giveaway. It sounds like an awesome read. I am always looking for new recipes.


janeh March 1, 2010 at 2:30 pm

I would love to try the Acorn Squash Stuffed with Apple-Almond-Cherry Basmati Pilaf…Sounds wonderful to me!!


Doug March 1, 2010 at 2:42 pm

I would like to try the Banana Bread.


christopher h March 1, 2010 at 3:55 pm

I’d like to learn to make a great pasta sauce.


Deborah R March 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm

I’m a pretty good home cook, but I have no knife skills. I’d like to learn how to (safely) use a knife.


Harriet March 2, 2010 at 5:51 am

I’d really like to learn to be a better baker; I always have trouble with baked goods


Faith March 2, 2010 at 6:02 am

Would like to make a great Tortilla Soup to share with my friends.


Jenn S. March 2, 2010 at 7:43 am

Would love to try the Asparagus Crepes with Spiked Mushroom Sauce. Sounds yummy. I really like Mollie’s kids’ cookbooks as well.


Jason March 2, 2010 at 12:39 pm

I would love to be better at cooking fish.


Shelley Mitchell March 3, 2010 at 11:26 am

I need a good stuffed pepper recipe. I had one and lost it!!


Kat March 3, 2010 at 6:20 pm

I would love to learn some more one-pot meals, for those busy weeknights when a major cleanup gets pushed to the back burner.


crystal March 3, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Great post and review. Mollie’s book sounds great. Boy would hubby be surprised if i learned some recipes and succeeded!!
I like the Twice-cooked Broccoli recipe a lot:)


Anne Hamersky March 4, 2010 at 9:39 am

I’d like to learn how to make sauerkraut!! Love all of Mollie’s cookbooks. I photographed her a few years ago. She’s a gem, no? Thanks for the fun contest. It’s inspiring to read all these comments everyone!


Jennifer M March 4, 2010 at 12:16 pm

I’d like to try the sunlight souffle.


Daniel M March 4, 2010 at 1:22 pm

i want to try the pan fried chicken cutlets.


Ed Nemmers March 4, 2010 at 2:56 pm

I want to get better at my homemade pretzel making!


Nancy W. March 4, 2010 at 6:33 pm

I’d like to try the Greek Pizza.


Claire March 4, 2010 at 7:22 pm

I’d really like to learn how to make Cherry Clafoutis! I have a friend who makes it all the time :)


shawna March 4, 2010 at 7:56 pm

I would like to try the homemade pretzels.


Michelle March 4, 2010 at 9:51 pm

I need knife skills. Dicing anyone?


Elizabeth March 4, 2010 at 10:07 pm

I would like to learn how to make Italian wedding soup.


Karen March 5, 2010 at 1:03 am

I’d like to try the recipe for skillet potatoes with fried onions. Yum!


Carolsue March 5, 2010 at 1:17 am

Believe it or not, both my husband and I love Brussels Sprouts, but other than steaming them, I haven’t a clue what to do with them.


Jennai March 5, 2010 at 1:18 am

I want to learn more recipes for using legumes.


karen March 5, 2010 at 3:44 am

I’d love to learn to make better lasagna. Thanks.


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