Bumper Cookbook Giveaway

by Sarah Henry on November 26, 2010 · 111 comments

in food book giveaways,food books

Call me crazy: But I’ve decided as a way to give thanks and express gratitude to you, my readers, I’m doing a blowout book giveaway — the last for 2010 — this month.

Yep, I’m willing to cart a dozen cookbooks to the post office and stand in line for who knows how long so I can ship these tomes in time for the holidays, all at my own expense.

Since this is Black Friday for many Americans (or Buy Nothing Day for many folks I know), I figure a giveaway is something we can all feel good about this holiday weekend. Agreed?

Also: I live in a teeny, tiny house (recently painted, new native garden installed out front, no complaints here). This fall a slew of cookbook publishers sent me a steady stream of glossy cookbooks for my reading and reviewing pleasure. Let’s just say they’re starting to stack up. Along with the guilt. I’m running out of places to put them and time to review them.

So what could be better than sharing the wealth and spreading the word on the best of the bunch? As you scroll through the list you’ll see it’s an eclectic selection, including well-known writers published by big houses, as well as self-published works by first-time authors.

And this: It was brought to my attention over Thanksgiving dinner (thanks Katherine) that some of my regular readers may have noticed a slight dip in, um, content on this site of late.

During my health meltdown earlier this year you might have thought my productivity would have dropped off. Somehow I managed to keep posting, two or even three times a week.

These days, I’m thankful for good health and the fact that I’ve been commissioned to write print magazine food stories, many of which started as posts here. I’ve written for Eating Well, Kiwi, and San Francisco, and have stories coming soon in Afar, California, and San Francisco. I’ll share the details of those with you when they hit the newsstands.

I have a weekly column on Berkeleyside covering the local food beat, and I report on the intersection between food, politics, and culture for Civil Eats.

(A couple of new regular outlets coming online for me soon. Stay tuned.)

So, there it is: An explanation for readers who may have wondered what I’ve been doing and a thank you to all for helping make 2010 a fulfilling, engaging, and fun year at LEK central.

Enough about me. Let’s get to the business at hand, shall we?

But first this:

Choose ONE of the cookbooks from the 12 listed below and tell me why you’d like that particular book in your collection. (If you plan on regifting, let me know why you think the person you have in mind would like the book.)

Entries must be received by Friday, December 3, by 10 pm PT.

Winner chosen at random.

My job: I’ll announce the winners on Saturday, December 4 and contact the lucky contestants via email. Will mail out shortly thereafter.

Your job:  You’ll have exactly one week to claim your prize. After that, I’ll find an alternate home (also at random) for the book.

Unplanned Update: You really must choose just ONE for your comment to count.

Planned Update: Winners announced here. Thanks to one and all for making this my biggest giveaway of 2010. More book giveaways coming next year.

The 2010 Lettuce Eat Kale End-of-Year (Mostly) Cookbook Giveaway

Books are listed in alphabetical order by author.

1. Breaking Bread by Lynne Christy Anderson (University of California Press, $24.95, hardcover) Beyond apple pie: This book shares food stories and recipes from immigrant kitchens across America. Meet Dakpa Zady from Ivory Coast, Xius Fen Xiang from China, and Yulia Govorushko from Latvia, and find out what they’ve got cooking. Read an excerpt on Culinate.

2. Kansha by Elizabeth Andoh (Ten Speed Press, $35, hardcover) Japanese vegan and vegetarian dishes from an award-winning American cookbook author who served as Gourmet‘s correspondent in Japan for more than 30 years. Read a Q&A with Andoh at Serge the Concierge.

3. New Vegetarian by Robin Asbell (Chronicle Books, $19.95, paperback) Fellow IACP buddy gathers recipes from around the globe for pasta, tagines, curries, soups, stews, and desserts for all you meatless (or wannabe) meatless eaters. Read more about this book from Dana Treat at Treat Yourself.

4. How to Grow a School Garden by Arden Bucklin-Sporer and Rachel Kathleen Pringle (Timber Press, $24.95, paperback): A D.I.Y. guide for edible schoolyard enthusiasts. Read a Q&A with the authors by Twilight Greenaway.

5. Seasons in the Wine Country by Cate Conniff (Chronicle Books, $27.50, paperback) Recipes from a member of the crew who helped launch The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone 15 years ago. Read a review here. It’s California cuisine featuring local bounty paired with a local drop. What’s not to like?

6. The Wine Trials 2011 edited by Robin Goldstein, Alexis Herschkowitsch, and Tyce Walters (Fearless Critic Media, $14.95, paperback) A reference guide for wine lovers who don’t want to spend a fortune on a bottle of plonk. Features the results of blind tastings for 175 wines under $15. Says Newsweek: “Might rattle a few wine snobs, but the average oenophile can rejoice.”

7. At Home with Madhur Jaffrey by Madhur Jaffrey (Knopf, $35, hardcover) The legendary chef, prolific cookbook author, and notable actress who introduced Indian cooking to an American audience, Jaffrey shares simple versions of popular South-East Asian classics. Recipes on the New York Times blog Well and catch her on screen in Today’s Special, currently in cinemas.

8. Poor Girl Gourmet by Amy McCoy (Andrews McMeel, $16.99, paperback) Television producer makes lemonade from lemons: Downturn in economy leads to blog Poor Girl Gourmet, which lands McCoy a book deal. A cooking companion for cost-conscious times. Review with recipes here.

9. Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous by Joan Nathan (Knopf, $39.95, hardcover) Acclaimed author Joan Nathan goes in search of her Jewish food roots in France. Bon Appetit named this one of the top cookbooks of the year, as did NPR. Read a review in the San Francisco Chronicle.

10. Easy Meals to Cook with Kids by Julie Negrin (AuthorHouse, $28, paperback) My pal from the Community Food Security Conference offers simple, healthy, family-friendly dishes for adults to make with kids from toddlers on up. A certified nutritionist and cooking instructor, Negrin is the voice behind the blog My Kitchen Nutrition.

11. From Orchards, Fields, and Gardens edited by Kerstin Svendsen (Self-published, $25, paperback) Not a cookbook but rather an artsy single edition featuring poetry, pictures, and prose celebrating sustainable agriculture and good food. Eleven authors, including Shakirah Simley, and 21 artists, in this whimsical work.

12. Mystery book by unnamed author: Do you like surprises? How adventurous are you when it comes to cooking and eating? Willing to take a risk? Imagine what this cookbook might be in the comments below or tell me why you’re willing to try your luck with this secret selection.

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{ 109 comments… read them below or add one }

Katherine November 29, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Tough choice, but I’ll have to go with “The Wine Trials 2011″, because I’m always into pouring an affordable bottle into a nice elegant looking decanter and: “voila” everyone likes the ‘look’ and enjoys the wine.


Jana November 29, 2010 at 4:16 pm

I’d love to add “Poor Girl Gourmet” to my collection. The title seems to suit me. I’ve just started paying back student loans and the IRS found a whoopsie daisy on my tax form from three years ago. So needless to say things aren’t too gourmet around here.


jacquie November 29, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous – it just sounds interesting.


Jennifer Margulis November 29, 2010 at 8:51 pm

I would like Easy Meals to Cook with Kids. Since I’m always looking for good cooking projects with my children.
Jennifer Margulis´s last [type] ..Miracles All Around Us


Anna Mindess November 29, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Hi Sarah,
I would love #1 Breaking Bread since the cultural side of food is what fascinates me. And speaking of immigrants, I come from a family of them. My mother was Hungarian and whipped up a mean goulash; my grandmother Romanian Jewish and made their specialty “mamaliga”, an Eastern European version of polenta. And I’ll save you a trip to the post office, if I win the book, I’ll come by and pick it up. Cheers.


Elaine November 29, 2010 at 9:48 pm

I’d actually choose the “How to Start a School Garden”–because that’s exactly what I want to do. There’s a vacant lot right next to the Title 1 elementary school where I work, and it’s now been vacant (and derelict) for about a year. I need all the help I can get with starting up a garden there–I’ve already heard back from some teachers about being interested in doing something positive with the space. A cookbook/how to guide would just be the awesome starter for my project. (I’m a grad student studying local sustainable food systems, whohoo!)


Tarah November 30, 2010 at 8:14 am

I’d pick Poor Girl Gourmet by Amy McCoy because I love to try out new recipes but I don’t have the budget for all the high end ingredients all the time.


John November 30, 2010 at 9:05 am

I would have to choose number 3. The New Vegetarian by Robin Asbell. I am a former meat eater and I’m always looking for new innovative vegetarian recipes that taste great.
John´s last [type] ..4 Natural Methods To Eliminate Moles From Face Quickly


Lisa November 30, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Pick me! I would love the new Joan Nathan book, Quiches, Kugels and Couscous. I need some new ideas for shabbat and holiday dinners, as well as just everyday cooking. Learning about all of the food influences in France (which I guess includes Germany, Morocco and Algeria) would lead to some pretty tasty cooking. I’m also interested in that region’s food, having just finished a book set in France that had lots of banquets (a medieval mystery of course).


Linda November 30, 2010 at 1:28 pm

“From Orchards, Fields, and Gardens” for my daughter who is very “into” sustainable agriculture, attending seminars and heading up the outdoor market for her local co-op. I think she would love this book for a Christmas gift. Thank you!


Sarah November 30, 2010 at 1:50 pm

I would love At Home with Madhur Jaffrey. I love Indian, but live in a rural area 2 hours away from the nearest Indian restaurant, so I’ve been learning to make it at home. I have a recipe for a chickpea/potato curry in the crockpot that I’m in love with, but I would love to add some more recipes to my repertoire.


Joy F November 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Kansha cookbook is something I would like to own. The Japanese are very healthy and I would like to be healthy too. Thanks.


Kathy R November 30, 2010 at 9:45 pm

I would *love* Poor Girl Gourmet by Amy McCoy – her blog has lots of great recipe ideas — like quinoa salad, and roasted fennel and carrot soup. Often when I’m grocery shopping on a tight budget it can seem a bit of a burden, but Amy makes keeping track of food/portion costs seem like a joy – a challenge to be joyfully taken on!

Thanks for having this “Bumper Cookbook Giveaway,” Sarah! (I like *your* blog, too!)


Barbara December 1, 2010 at 8:46 am

I would love to be surprised by the mystery book. Might be by one of my favorite cookbook authors or one I don’t know and will enjoy exploring his/her work.


MyKidsEatSquid December 1, 2010 at 10:18 am

I would love to read through How to Grow a School Garden–and then do it! Even though we leave within shouting distance (okay, you’d have to shout pretty loud) of farms, chicken nuggets are still the cafeteria staple at my kids’ school. I’m a lousy gardener, but maybe with a little inspiration…


Rivka December 1, 2010 at 11:08 am

I’ve always loved Indian food but am still not great at cooking it, so I’d love the Madhur Jaffrey book. Good luck to everyone!


Yenta Mary December 1, 2010 at 11:13 am

I would love to peruse Breaking Bread, to read a variety of stories and be exposed to culinary traditions from around the world and how they are adapted to new places and circumstances ….


Suvir Saran December 1, 2010 at 11:24 am

How wonderful! I have several of these books.
Commend you for sharing and gifting and giving away.
How I wish more of us would get this bug.

Wish you and yours a wonderful season of cheer and celebration ahead.


Suvir Saran´s last [type] ..Rose Levy Beranbaum – A rose unlike any rose even a rose would know


David Blank December 1, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Heard you on Kojo program today and was facinated. Want to learn more about the history of Jewish cuisine.


Rachel Higgs December 1, 2010 at 5:49 pm

I want mystery book #12 I love cookbooks and I love to try new recipes. All the other cookbooks look great too. I will let you choose the mystery if I win. Thanks for the chance.


Jammie December 1, 2010 at 6:11 pm

I would pick Easy Meals to Cook with Kids, my daughter is being more involved in the kitchen and I think this would be great for her.
Jammie´s last [type] ..Bananagrams Product Review and Giveaway


Deb Gaudet December 1, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Breaking Bread appeals to me as if it encompasses many cultures and traditions around the world embracing the art of food and eating. I would love to experience the wonders it has to offer, as I can’t afford to travel and take it all in personally…
Thank you for your generosity and thoughtfulness in offering these wonderful books.


Tonya Dean December 1, 2010 at 8:22 pm

I would choose Poor Girl Gourmet. The price of groceries just keep going up. I need all the help I can get.


Leslie S. December 2, 2010 at 8:10 am

I would like the Easy Meals to Cook with Kids by Julie Negrin. My kids love to help me in the kitchen.Thanks!


Anne Hamersky December 2, 2010 at 10:03 am

Why, the mystery cookbook, of course. I love surprises! And I love the idea of purging a tiny house! Thanks, Sarah!


Martina December 2, 2010 at 10:10 am

I would love to win the “Kansha” book. I cook vegetarian at least 5 times a week and am always looking for new recipes. I also really love Japanese food, but found it hard to come across substantial vegetarian dishes, so I’d be curious about this book.


Melissa M. December 2, 2010 at 11:39 am

I would love the “How to Grow A School Garden” to give to my sister! She is a Montessori teacher and loves doing “hands-on” things with the kids.


Ed Nemmers December 2, 2010 at 2:48 pm

“Poor Girl Gourmet” is my choice!


Mary M. December 2, 2010 at 5:37 pm

I like Easy Meals to cook with Kids. I don’t have any kids, but I like easy recipes.


Susan D December 2, 2010 at 6:23 pm

My choice would be number 9 – Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous by Joan Nathan because it sounds like a unique take on a French cookbook.


MelissaO December 2, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Poor Girl Gourmet sounds like the one I’d use the most at home…definitely trying to cut down the food bill.


Kimberly Moses December 2, 2010 at 9:48 pm

My in-laws have lived in Oakville for a few generations. We have enjoyed visiting them, and visiting the The Culinary Institute up the valley. I think they would enjoy Seasons in the Wine Country by Cate Conniff. Thank you for the opportunity to give them this book.


Katie R. December 2, 2010 at 9:50 pm

I would like to have the New Vegetarian Cookbook because I’m a vegetarian.


tallcapp December 2, 2010 at 9:54 pm

I would like Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous. I am also in search of my Jewish roots in cooking.


Cynthya Petzen December 2, 2010 at 11:19 pm

I would most like to win Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous by Joan Nathan because I have a couple other cookbooks by Joan Nathan and they are great. I have also heard a lot of good things about this book.


Mildred December 3, 2010 at 4:02 am

My choice is the mystery cookbook since I love reading and finding new recipes to prepare in cookbooks. I imagine that the mystery cookbook may be signed by the author but, even if it isn’t, I would look forward to reading and trying some of the recipes. Perhaps it is a big book of recipes, one that offers a number of challenging recipe options.


Jennifer R December 3, 2010 at 5:15 am

I would go with Easy Meals to Cook with Kids by Julie Negrin because that is the stage of life I am in right now.


Deana C December 3, 2010 at 5:41 am

I would definitely go with the Poor Girl Gourmet by Amy McCoy for me as I am always looking to trim my budget without sacrificing.


tomato December 3, 2010 at 7:42 am

As a teacher, I’d love to win the School Gardens book!


Shilpa December 3, 2010 at 8:22 am

First off, Thank you so much for this giveaway! I use to live in SF a couple years ago and have moved back to Toronto since. I love seeing what is going on in the area I use to live in and enjoyed so much!

This was a really hard choice. I would have to go with Breaking Bread. I grew up in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and India and grew up with a wonderful cook-my mom who would incorporate local cuisine with Indian food ( what she grew up with). This would be a treasure for both of us.


Stephanie Fisher December 3, 2010 at 9:24 am

I’m a senior at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a concentration in Sustainable Food Systems. My boyfriend and I are aspiring farmers and educators and my ultimate goal is to start a farm-to-school educational program in local public schools wherever my boyfriend and I decide to plant our seed (literally and figuratively). How To Grow a School Garden would be a perfect guide!

And thank you for your generosity.


debbie tipton December 3, 2010 at 9:44 am

have to have poor girl gourmet times are tough…thanks


Paula Thomas December 3, 2010 at 11:25 am

I like surprises. I’m curious to know what the #12 mystery cookbook is. If it happens to be one I already own, I will give it away as a gift to someone special. :)
Paula Thomas´s last [type] ..Chicken Potpies with Cheddar Thyme Crust


Susan December 3, 2010 at 2:51 pm

I started collecting Indian cookbooks when I was 25-years-old. My first one was written by Madhur Jaffrey, and I have since collected many Indian cookbooks. The reason I collect them is because I love eating Indian food.

As I was reading your list of 12 cookbooks, I was delighted to see At Home with Madhur Jaffrey by Madhur Jaffrey! I don’t have this one, and would love to add it to my ever-growing Indian cookbook collection.


Judy December 3, 2010 at 6:34 pm

I would like the book “Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous” by Joan Nathan. I am going to hear her speak about this book on Dec. 12th at an event sponsored by the Berkeley Chapter of Hadassah. If I had the book, I would ask her to sign it. I am Jewish and am interested in the Jewish foods of other cultures. France is a country in which both Ashkenashi and Sephardic Jewish cuisines coexist. P.S.-I think it is wonderful of you to 1) give away books 2) mail them at your own expense 3) take time out of your life to go to the post office. Thanks for being so generous.


loni December 3, 2010 at 6:43 pm

I would like Poor Girl Gourmet because I am super thrifty and this would come in handy!


Sand December 3, 2010 at 9:19 pm

I’d choose the Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous.


heather c December 3, 2010 at 9:23 pm

I am so excited to see How to Grow a School Garden by Arden Bucklin-Sporer and Rachel Kathleen Pringle. I would keep and read, then pass on to a teacher.


Shannon December 3, 2010 at 9:43 pm

I’d like to have New Vegetarian because I need more vegetarian recipes


meme December 3, 2010 at 9:55 pm

I would like the Easy Meals to Cook with Kids because I have a 10 and 4 year old that love to help me cook and with this we can sit down and pick out a menu of kid-friendly recipes and cook them together.


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