Cookbook Giveaway: The Homesteader’s Kitchen

by Sarah Henry on July 15, 2010 · 88 comments

in farmers' markets,food book giveaways,food books,growing greens

So many lovely-looking cookbooks seem to come from the little town of Big Sur, on California’s Central Coast. The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook and My Nepenthe spring immediately to mind.

Here’s a new one to add to the list: The Homesteader’s Kitchen: Recipes From Farm to Table by Robin Burnside with photographs from Kodiak Greenwood (Gibbs Smith, $19.99).

The book’s images highlight locally grown produce at its luscious best in more than 100 recipes designed to nourish body and soul. We’re talking simple recipes, made from scratch, with homegrown or farm fresh products as the focus.

Author Burnside’s premise for this book is her passion for whole foods, lovingly prepared and well presented. Who can argue with such a common sense approach? Burnside is a well-known local entity; for the past two decades she has been homesteading and practicing a sustainable lifestyle — including growing her own food and body surfing at the beaches in beautiful Big Sur. She’s also the former co-owner chef of Carmel Cafe in Carmel, ran Cafe Amphora at Nepenthe in Big Sur, and managed the kitchen at Esalen Institute, the wellness retreat center, for several years.

There’s a lot to like in this cookbook. Novices may appreciate basic recipes such as grilled whole fish, hummus, and oatmeal, along with simple stocks, sauces, and salad dressings.

But there’s enough here to whet the appetite of more experienced home cooks as well. I particularly like the sound of the Creamy Mango-Coconut Smoothie (with soaked cashews), and Kale and Sea Vegetable Salad with Sesame Citrus Dressing.

You’ll find several nods to Asian-influenced offerings, including Bali Toast (a breakfast treat similar to French toast), Gado-Gado (a traditional Indonesian peanut sauce), and Thai Cilantro Pesto. And dishes that just sound delicious, like Fresh Summer Fruit Tart with Honey Citrus Cream or Spinach, Fennel, and Tangerine Salad with Maple Pecans.

I like the handy tips sprinkled throughout the pages, such as “I always use the highest quality oils and vinegars for my salad dressings because they tend to have considerably more flavor than cheaper brands, and a little goes a long way.” And: “The wonderful flavor and texture of freshly made tortillas is well worth the extra effort, and once you try them, it might be tough going back to eating the commercially made varieties.” Agreed.

To win a copy of The Homesteader’s Kitchen leave a comment below telling me about one fruit or vegetable you’d like to learn how to cook.

Entries must be received by Thursday, July 22, PT by 10 pm.

Winner chosen at random.

I’ll announce the winner on Friday, July 23. Reminder: you’ll have exactly one week to claim your prize.

Thanks to Romney (Nani) Steele, author of My Nepenthe for the heads up on this book.

Update: Apologies, peeps, a day late getting to this giveaway, crazy busy week. Thanks to all of you for chiming in and making this my most popular giveaway to date. A copy of The Homesteader’s Kitchen, chosen at random, is going to Rachel Higgs. Stay tuned for a pending post responding to some of your recipe requests below. And do stop by next month for another great giveaway.

Updated update: Repeated attempts to reach Rachel Higgs were unsuccessful, so the book goes to Ellen Ring, chosen at random from among the comments. Ellen wrote back right away with her snail mail address and The Homesteader’s Kitchen is on its way to a new home. Enjoy!

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{ 86 comments… read them below or add one }

Lynne July 15, 2010 at 9:47 am

I’ve never tried cooking artichokes as they look like so much work for so little reward, that being said I’m sure once I’ve eaten a beautifully prepared artichoke I’d find it worth the effort.


Carol Harrity July 15, 2010 at 9:56 am

I have never been sure about cooking winter squash. I know it’s full of good things but it remains a mystery in the kitchen.


Rachel Wallick July 15, 2010 at 10:27 am

I would like to learn how to cook parsnips – especially in purees and soups as an alternative to other root veggies or potatoes.


Pankaj July 15, 2010 at 11:34 am

I would love to learn how to cook with sweet potatoes. There’s the usual sweet potatoes fries that are a nice alternative to regular fries but I know there’s so much more you can make with this delicious staple.


Gabrielle July 15, 2010 at 11:58 am

I would like to learn how to cook turnip greens. I have an abundance of them in my garden, and the one time I cooked some was a disaster!


Shannon Baas July 15, 2010 at 12:00 pm



Nani Steele July 15, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Lovely review of Robin’s book Sarah, and thanks for the nod to my book and Big Sur, yet again. It’s truly a delicious book, and the photos by Kodiak are gorgeous. For anyone that remembers Cafe Amphora (which Robin started and owned for 10 years), she’s included its eggs benedict and chocolate cake recipe, two of my favorites.


Frugal Kiwi July 15, 2010 at 1:06 pm

I’ve never cooked with fennel, but I’d like to. I think I’ll put some in the garden come spring.
Frugal Kiwi´s last [type] ..Suckers-


Tzila "Z" Duenzl July 15, 2010 at 1:13 pm

I have the hardest time with asparagus! I suppose it should be easy to cook, but I haven’t been able to do very well with it so far. I’ve tried roasting, boiling, steaming…all have turned out less than appetizing.

Robin’s book looks wonderful! :)


Viki July 15, 2010 at 1:44 pm

I’ve tried Fava Beans, Ed the Slow Cook used them this spring and made me want to try them but I haven’t yet.
Viki´s last [type] ..Its been Forever


Nicole Crockett July 15, 2010 at 1:54 pm

I have never made (nor eaten) kolhrabi, but I have some growing in my garden, so I guess I’d better learn!


debp July 15, 2010 at 3:04 pm

I would like to learn to cook artichokes.


Amber G July 15, 2010 at 6:35 pm

I’d love to learn how to cook rhubarb!


Cara July 15, 2010 at 7:19 pm

I need a really great recipe for eggplant… I’ve enjoyed eating it in restaurants, but the recipes I’ve tried don’t do justice; the eggplant is either too bland, too wet, or too salty…please help?


Oye Sancho July 15, 2010 at 7:34 pm

I’m exceptionally fond of Mexican cooking, and I’m constantly looking for new ways to cook and eat the many varieties of chilies.


christopher h July 15, 2010 at 8:21 pm



Tania Bugnet July 16, 2010 at 6:26 am

I am determined to learn how to cook kohlrabi. It has such a great name so I figure it must be worthwhile eating, right?


Barbara July 16, 2010 at 6:45 am

I really like beetroot, but I only cook it boiled then put it in a seasoned salad. It would be nice to try other recipes! Thanks for the chance!


McKim July 16, 2010 at 6:56 am

We eat a lot of carrots raw, but I’d like to learn how to cook them so my kids would like them.


Deborah Wellenstein July 16, 2010 at 7:18 am

I’d like to learn to cook and eat artichokes. Thanks!


Denise July 16, 2010 at 8:55 am

I’d like to learn how to cook rhubarb.


MarthaAndMe July 16, 2010 at 10:38 am

I have several – beets, pea shoots, garlic scapes, and collard greens


Mary Stewart Anthony July 16, 2010 at 11:02 am

Would love to learn the secrets of the Jerusalem Artichoke in a country kitchen. Remember growing them eons ago.
Mary Stewart Anthony´s last [type] ..See This Apple- How It Falls


Maggie July 16, 2010 at 11:31 am

Chard! It’s such a trooper in the garden, but always tastes like dirt after succumbing to my novice kitchen skills.
Maggie´s last [type] ..Buying Local And Balancing Needs


Vera Marie Badertscher July 16, 2010 at 11:32 am

Root vegetables, particularly rutabaga. I really like rutabaga but never get past just throwing it in a stew.
Vera Marie Badertscher´s last [type] ..Cook Books Take You South and Southwest


Almost Slowfood July 16, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Wow, the carrots look amazing on the cover. I can only imagine what’s inside!


Christine July 16, 2010 at 1:45 pm

I’d like to learn how to cook fennel!
Christine´s last [type] ..Water Safety


Jesaka Long July 16, 2010 at 3:19 pm

This looks like such a great cookbook. I’m determined to learn how to cook winter squashes from scratch. I’ve used them in recipes but I’ve cheated by using diced, frozen. Not this year!


hj July 16, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I wish I knew what to do with pomegranates and coconuts.


Melanie Haiken July 16, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Fava beans are one; another is baby bok choy; I keep buying it at the farmer’s market because it’s so cute, then steaming it and it’s so bland…..


Michelle R. July 16, 2010 at 4:14 pm

This year I’m growing a larger hot pepper called “Mucho Nacho Hybrid” which is big enough to stuff. I’d like to learn how to stuff them and cook them on the grill.


Kris T. July 16, 2010 at 4:20 pm

I’d love to learn how to cook artichokes. Thanks for the chance to win the cookbook.


Joan July 16, 2010 at 4:23 pm

I’ve never eaten nor cooked celeriac but I’d like to learn how.


Sheryl July 16, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Artichokes are one veggie I love to eat but hate to cook (it seems like sooo much work). I’d love a quick and easy (and foolproof) way to do it.


Alisa Bowman July 16, 2010 at 4:48 pm

I see I’m not the only one, but I have no idea what to do with an artichoke. I also don’t understand how to grate ginger. And I’m not sure what to do with lemongrass. Whenever I see any of those in a recipe, I run for the hills.
Alisa Bowman´s last [type] ..The Hidden Camera Marriage


Michelle July 16, 2010 at 4:57 pm

I would really love to learn to cook with mangoes. I love to eat them, but when I try to cook with them, I’m not exactly sure what happens–it just doesn’t work. I also love acorn squash, but short of frying it, I am at a loss of what to do with it. I could go on and on here with my cooking/baking failures… :)
Michelle´s last [type] ..Alcohol


MyKidsEatSquid July 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Well, it’s appropriately the title of your blog, but I’d love more kale recipes.


Suzanne K July 16, 2010 at 7:37 pm

I’d love to learn how to cook eggplant! It’s got such great nutritional value, but I just don’t know what to do with it!


Rachel Higgs July 16, 2010 at 7:45 pm



angie July 16, 2010 at 7:51 pm

I’d love to find some new ways to cook tomatoes.


Mary C. July 17, 2010 at 2:40 am

I would like to learn to cook kale. I’ve read things about the great nutritious value of the vegetable, and I’m sure that it would benefit me to eat it. (That’s what caught my attention to enter this contest!)


KC July 17, 2010 at 6:14 am

At the age of 70, there are several veggies I’ve never attempted to try, but would like to with a good instruction cookbook…like rutabaga, rhubarb, and parsnips. My DH of 51 yrs. and I were never exposed to these vegetables but tastes change as one ages, so now we’d like to try some recipes using them. Thank you for offering this cookbook giveaway!


Mellissa C July 17, 2010 at 7:20 am

I would like to learn how to cook beets.


Frederica Breuer July 17, 2010 at 11:22 am

I’d love to learn more ways to cook kale. It’s so gorgeous and so healthy.


Francine July 17, 2010 at 4:29 pm

I’d love to know what to do with rapini


Christine July 17, 2010 at 5:48 pm

like to learn how to cook beets


Deborah R July 17, 2010 at 6:27 pm

I’d like to learn how to cook kale.


Lisa July 17, 2010 at 8:50 pm

I’d love to learn how to cook squash.


At Heart July 18, 2010 at 10:54 am

I always wonder what to do with the kohlrabi that comes in our CSA share. Sometimes it ends up in stir-fry; sometimes it’s just sliced and eaten raw in salad. I’d love to find a way to use it on it’s own since it’s so unique, but haven’t found any recipes that look good.
At Heart´s last [type] ..Empowerment in Birth


Maggie July 19, 2010 at 8:43 am

I’ve cooked with many fruits and vegetables but one I would like to use more is jicama.


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