11.18.2011

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn *Giveaway*

It's November, and like the rest of upper-middle class America, I am thinking about cooking.  But it's not for the reason you might be assuming.  I don't associate this time of year with cooking because of the holidays.  Forget Thanksgiving.  Christmas baking?  Bah!  I make this connection because late fall 2004 is when I first started becoming a cook, a process I will undoubtedly continue for years and years to come.  That fall, I was pregnant with our first little one.  We had our first house after years in rentals.  We had completed a kitchen renovation, and I was doing some serious nesting.  For realz, y'all.  I was making curtains, watching The Food Network (before Rachel Ray got completely annoying), and I was cooking.  Like reading certain books at certain times that linger in the memory, I can still recall specific recipes from that time.  I also vividly remember getting two beautiful Wusthof knives from my husband for Christmas, which I opened at midnight Christmas Eve (Day?) while in labor with the aforementioned first little one.

I'm not exactly a foodie (no morels and wasabi-glazed cornish hens here), but I do love to prepare good food, and I take it pretty seriously most of the time.  I'm not the most adventurous when it comes to ingredients, but I like to make things from scratch, to make a beautiful dish, to make something that causes me to sit back and say, "now, that is good."  So, when Raych of booksIdoneread reviewed The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, I immediately wanted to read the book, and when she offered it as a giveaway, I was all *sign. me. up.*  The fact that I actually won the giveaway is fun, and even more fun is this book and the stuff I learned from it. (Psstt.  I'm giving away my copy, so read on!)  Considering I started my process a good seven years ago (and really many more than that if you count all the brownies and blueberry bar cookies I made in high school), there was much here I already knew.  But for those who haven't yet tackled The Omnivore's Dilemma or watched Food, Inc, Flinn offers a lot of information peppered with a healthy dose of humor and good-natured reflection.  She instructs her students (and thus, somewhat, her readers) on how to properly chop an onion, how to cut up a whole chicken, how to make soup from whatever is in your fridge, and how to bake bread.  It was this last that most inspired me, and the recipe for artisan bread she includes is definitely a keeper. 

Look!  I made bread!

And the night before that, I made her spaghetti sauce and froze the leftovers.  

I will continue to tinker with both recipes, but that is exactly what Flinn is advocating for in this book: a confidence in the kitchen that enables you to tinker.  So in the interest of paying it forward, I am offering this book as a giveaway as well.  I will copy a few recipes down first, but if you want it, comment below, and I'll throw your name in the hat.  I'll draw the winner on Monday, so be quick!

5 comments:

  1. I would love to get my hands on this book. Like you I'm not a foodie, but with the little one, I want to learn to cook some great food. This sounds excellent. When I was younger I used to love baking bread with my nana! I'd love to get back into doing that.

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  2. This Books seems to be very motivational for those who love to cook. spaghetti sauce looks great.

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  3. Thanks. The book arrived today!

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  4. Kim just posted a review of this one. Check it out:

    http://www.sophisticateddorkiness.com/2012/01/review-the-kitchen-counter-cooking-school-by-kathleen-flinn/

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  5. I haven't tried the bread recipe, but it looks really delicious!

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