3/31/09

Inquiring Minds To Know... Giveaway


s.f. skyline @ twilight. 8.31.08

I've finished A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenburg (Orangette) and it was one of the few books that...

A.) I was mad when I finished it. I wanted it to last just a little longer. I even read slower but it didn't help. --sigh--

B.) I have picked up and re-read right away.

What I really liked was how it read like a blog. I'm sure some wouldn't take that as a compliment but it read like a well written supersized blog post with a recipe at the end of each chapter. Personally, I would love to see more cookbooks written this way.

So here's what I want to know...

Am I the only one who feels this way about Molly's book?

What do you look for in a cookbook? Do you look at or for---the writing, easy recipes, complicated recipes, book size, photos, cookbooks that inspire, price?
What would you like to see in a cookbook?

Do you like one subject cookbooks or do you like it with a little more variety?

Do you have cookbook pet peeves?

What's your favorite cookbook?

So in return for answering any or all of these questions. I'm giving away a $25 dollar gift card or (e-certificate) to one of the following places of your choice.

Amazon
or
Starbucks
or
Target
or
Sephora

I wish I could afford to give you $25 to each place but I think Rich would kill me and then who would entertain you day after day? Not like I do that anyways but you get my point.

The rules:

You can enter as many times as you wish but you have to at least answer one of the questions.

You have until April 3rd at 12:00 pm to answer. I will pick someone or I should say the random generator will pick someone that afternoon.

Good Luck and remember inquiring minds want to know.

40 comments:

EAT! said...

I like to read a cookbook like a novel. I like it to have a single topic, but it can be a broad topic. I like photos and glossy pages. The eye eats first my Mom always said. I like my cookbook to tell a story. I want to get to know the author. What is their life like. Do they like to have parties? Do they like to have guests drop over unannounced? Do they bake more than they should? Do they include just that little something extra to keep my interest?

I just described the cookbook I will hopefully write someday. But it is also the cookbook I love to read. I read cookbooks. Not just make recipes from them.

LilSis said...

Hi Krysta,
I just received my copy of "A Homemade Life" from Amazon and I CANNOT wait to start reading it! At first I was disappointed that it didn't contain any photos, but I've skimmed through a few pages so I know the story behind the recipe is most important.

I lost my dad recently (2 years ago still seems like recently) so I think I'm going to relate to some of her stories.

Normally, I would only choose cookbooks with great photos. One of my most recent favorite cookbooks is Jamie Olivers', Jamie Cooks because he has a gorgeous photo next to each recipe. I'm kindof a visual person.

I think Mollys' book is going to be an exception to my rule so I'm anxious to read it!

tamilyn said...

I haven't seen this book, but then I haven't been in a book store for way too long. I like cookbooks that include a variety of recipes and cuisines. I don't have any 'cuisine specific' books. I really love old church ones and old ones that products put out-like Campbells and Kraft, etc. I did borrow one from the library once that told her story from when she got married until she wrote the book. The were stories of how they lived 50 years ago, losing a child, living through tough years. It felt like I knew her at the end. One of my favorites is the Laura Ingalls Wilder book that I picked up in Missouri when my oldest daughter and I took a mother-daughter trip to the museum. They were one of my favorite books to read as a child and to see so many of the things she talked about there on display was so cool. And the cookbook is another way she talked about life.

Sorry, I rambled.....

asthmagirl said...

Krysta,
I like cookbooks that inspire me to be a little more innovative. I don't need a ton of pictures, but I like knowing how the food will look in the end. My pet peeve is ingredients that are " truffles harvested at the crescent moon by spotted pigs in the south of France". Things I love, suggest a variable... "this recipe would be great with either wine or broth and you may enjoy it with capers".

Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

I just finished Mollys book too and I loved it. Like you, I wish every cookbook was written this way.

What I hate...cookbooks without pictures (Molly's being the exception here, it was great even without photos). Normally I wanna see what I'm goiing to make before I make it.

What I love....a little story, a few words about the origin of the recipe, tips, subtitions, history. Molly did all that and more.

Me! said...

Best cookbook I've got is Bakewise, by Shirley O. Corriher. It explains why each recipe is the way it is and the science behind it before giving each recipe. Touch of grace biscuits. Make those. They are messy to make but so good.

Kristin @ Going Country said...

Hmmm, is SOMEONE thinking of perhaps writing a cookbook?

Anyway, I love cookbooks that I can read, that have stories and explanations in them, but I don't tend to cook from those kind of cookbooks. I read them like novels and enjoy them, but for cooking, I go back to "Joy" or Julia Child or Cook's Illustrated over and over.

MichelleB said...

I guess I pick books by subject. Crock Pot cooking being my latest purchases - although in the past I have been pretty disappointed by crock pot recipe book, the ones I just picked up seem to be a little more promising. I also have soup books, pasta books, etc. However, I also have the all inclusive books, which I do go back to on a regular basis.

KitchenKiki said...

I am not familiar with Molly's cookbook, but I love cookbook's that tell a story.

To me food has always tasted better if I know the history or have a story to go with it; which is why I love blogs so much.

Lemon cake will forever more be associated with your beautiful house & "strange luck"

Not Afraid to Use It said...

Sigh. I am a cookbook junkie, and I could tell you a million things I love. I have a weakness for "finger food" type recipes/cookbooks that can be made as an appetizer to converted to an entire meal. I find that kind of flexibility very useful.

Sweet Bird said...

I collect antique cookbooks from the 19th and early 20th century - simply because they're amusing to read. Those old ads for baking soda and stuff that tell the cook they're going to fail miserably unless they use their super,duper miracle product crack me up. But for a cookbook I actually plan on using and becoming an old trusted friend in my kitchen it must - absolutely must contain photos. One for the finished dish is required, step by step is preferred.

In all fairness I'm not generally too interested in the author themselves. I don't really want to read their autobiography with the recipes, although if that's provided I may read it too. I think that the recipes should speak of the true nature of the author, it shouldn't require a lot of additional explanation. The ingredients and methods used, and the final pieces created, should illustrate the personality and motivations of the author.

Meadowlark said...

I find myself veering towards "blog-like" cookbooks: plenty of pictures, some witty repartee (but not too much) and tips that help.

mindy said...

ease of obtaining ingredients thanks for the giveaway

SaintTigerlily said...

I meant to buy this book, I love her blog and because of you I have just gone and done so. I should be receiving my copy from a seller in South Bend, IN in about a week.

In the meantime I will sit on my stoop awaiting its arrival.

Aggie said...

I've been really wanting to read Orangette's book...

My favorite cookbooks, or shall I say, the style of cookbooks are Barefoot Contessa's and Giada DeLaurentiis. I love the big bold pictures, and that most of the recipes have a little blurb written about them...

I'm not a fan of cookbooks without pictures. I need pictures. And pretty ones. ;)

Rebecca (Foodie With Family) said...

My all time favorite cookbook is MFK Fisher's 'How to Cook a Wolf'. It's prosey and drool-inducing.

That's what I like best in a cookbook. One that makes me want to make food while transporting me to a different place and/or time.

noble pig said...

Funny you should bring all this up.

For me it's pictures and foods people will actually make. I mean there are so many fancy recipes but the truth is most people don't cook like that.

I like a book that expands to many varities of foods.

Michele said...

Do you like one subject cookbooks or do you like it with a little more variety?

I love a variety and the more pictures the better. This way I know how the food is suppose to look, lol.

Thank you for the great giveaway!

melissa said...

Am I the only one who feels this way about Molly's book?

Everyone I know loves her book so far. I really want to read it because of the whole dad thing. I read her article in BA a couple of months ago about her father and memories of rice pudding and ended the story in tears. *sob*

What do you look for in a cookbook? Do you look at or for---the writing, easy recipes, complicated recipes, book size, photos, cookbooks that inspire, price?

A lot of recipes I will really use. Since I have so little space on my shelf for books, I need ones I will go back to over and over for practical reasons.

What would you like to see in a cookbook?

Just a lot of good main and side dishes. Stuff for real life weeknight cooking, with some longer "weekend" recipes on the side.

Do you like one subject cookbooks or do you like it with a little more variety?

I can do one subject - I have Splendid Soups, for example, but I more often want a variety.

Do you have cookbook pet peeves?

Lack of photos

What's your favorite cookbook?

So far, my annual Food & Wine. I also just bought the Gourmet Cookbook and have the BA Fast, Easy, Fresh big one on its way. That's the kind of stuff I want.


I am totally anal for answering the questions one by one. Haha.

Maire said...

I think my favorite cookbook would be Nigella Lawson's "How to Eat". It used to travel between the kitchen and my nightstand - it was the perfect nightly reading material. It's written in such a frank and funny way, and it really makes me want to have Nigella as a friend or neighbor. "Oh, cheery-hi! Just popped over to poke about in your kitchen." Good recipes, too!

Kristin @ Going Country said...

Oh, and my pet peeve for cookbooks (and all other aspects of life, for that matter)? Pretentiousness. Pretentious ingredients, pretentious directions, pretentious tone . . . turn me right off. Everyone can learn from Julia Child, who explained one of the pretentious cuisines in the world without one bit of self-aggrandizement.

I did love J.C., may she rest in peace with a good bottle of liquor and a full stick of butter for eternity. I think that would be her idea of heaven, anyway.

musingegret said...

Photos! Lots and lots of photos from which I get all my ideas of food presentation, arrangement and garnishing are my standards for a great cookbook. I only started reading food blogs in the past 8 months and now I'm an addict for the ones like yours with bold colorful pics. Congratulations also on finding and getting your dream house; the built-ins are luscious.

paula h said...

I like cookbooks with a variety and recipes that aren't complicated. I hate it when they say kid-friendly recipes and then they're stuff like Pecan Encrusted Shrimp served with Raspberry Mint Sauce. Ok that was an exaggeration but you get the point.

hafner611{AT}gmail{DOT}com

Sahmy said...

I haven't read the book yet.

I like to see a really good picture of the dish. I like a variety of recipes - some easy, some hard.

I like both one subject and variety cookbooks - depends on the cookbook.

I don't like when a recipe that is described as being everyday food that anyone can make and then it has some very unusual and usually hard to find ingredients.

Funny enough, my favorite is the joy of Cooking but that is probably more for sentimental reasons. :)

Jamie said...

I just tried to buy Molly's book when I was in the states and couldn't find it. I did buy - and read - Ruth Reichl's Tender at the Bone and I felt about her book the way you felt about Molly's - fabulous and I wanted to start rereading it immediately.

What I look for in cookbooks and blogs is the same - inspiring photos, fabulous recipes and the stories behind the cook, each recipe and each dish. Recipes should be clear and seem doable, even the harder ones. I like one subject books or multi-subject as long as the book is fun, interesting and inspiring.

Faves? Claudia Roden (Jewish Cookbook), Rose Levy Berenbaum (Cake Bible), King Arthur Flour, Anna Thomas' Vegetarian Epicure (both), Nigella Lawson's (for fun reading and inspiration). The list goes on, but those are the most used in my house.

Pet peeves? No photos! How....? And if the first recipe I try is a bust, I rarely try a second.

Cheryl said...

I do enjoy reading cookbooks. Many people think this is unusual. I am attracted to a cookbook by the photographs. Then I love a little background on the recipe. I am not one to buy a cookbook that covers recipes that I won't cook or have too many ingredients (lazy cook).

Cheryl said...

Oh my favorite recipe books to read are the Top Secret Recipes books by Todd Wilbur and anything by Paula Deen.

Kristin @ Going Country said...

Wait! Hold the phone! I forgot one of my very favorite cookbooks! I bought it when we were in Spain and it's called, um, "Cooking in Spain."

Okay, so the title is boring, but I love this book. The lady who wrote it is an Englishwoman who has lived in Spain forever. I usually like a lot of detail in the directions, and she tends to be a little more vague, plus all the measurements are in metric, but I still love it just because it gives me ideas that I can work off of. It has way different recipes than I find in any of my other cookbooks. One of my favorite corn dishes (which is basically just corn, tomatoes, garlic, onion and paprika all fried together) came from this. I couldn't have used this book a few years ago, but now that I have more experience and can interpret some of the vaguer instructions, it's a great book for me.

Okay, I'm done. Sorry for all the talktalktalking. Can you tell I have opinions on this subject?

Laufa said...

Sorry I haven't read that book, but it must go on the list of books if you were that upset about ending it.

Laufa said...

I love it when there is a yummy picture to go with the recipe, if it looks appetizing, you're kids will want to eat it too, right?
Same goes for restaurant menu's.

Laufa said...

I have a couple odd cook books - my most used one is the all in one. The next one that I like is the one with stories and history that goes with the recipes. Then the one that doesn't have pictures is my Big Book of Cookies cookbook.

ntsc said...

Pictures are nice but not needed. My three favorites, in order of discovery are Joy of Cooking, Julia Child Mastering the Art and Charcuterie.

A narative is nice, I've read all three of the above as books, not cookbooks.

I also think well of both Time Life series, which do have pictures, not to mention the Keller books. The Time-Life books are very narrow but have lots of information in them.

And I finally figured out how to change the name on Blogger.

That is me and the Emmy is real. I didn't win it, but did a lot of the work for which it was awarded.

Lynne said...

I love lots of pictures, to get me interested in making the recipe and also to know what it's supposed to look like when I'm done! And I love personal stories as well, connecting the food to the author's life. But my number one criteria in a cookbook is that it has an index, I want to be able to take a single ingredient I have on hand and easily find out what I can make with it. Other reference features are a plus - such as what dishes would go well together (I love Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant for this!)

Lynne said...

Oops, forgot to say my other favorite cookbooks:

Unplugged Kitchen by Viana La Place and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver for the personal stories in both, and reverence for the simply beauty of food.

Joy of Cooking for the index, comprehensive information on just about everything, measurement tables to which I refer just about daily, and because it's the cookbook my mom uses and still buys for every new cook (including myself a long time ago)

Vegetarian Entertaining by Diana Shaw - for the beautiful pictures and for teaching me how to make garbanzo beans elegant. Oh, and also for the food pairing and suggested beverages.

I haven't had the pleasure of reading A Homemade Life yet but it's on my list!

Lynne said...

Oh, one more then I'm done (really, I'm not trying to increase my odds or anything..)

Pet peeve: when a cookbook has an index but it's completely unhelpful. This is worse than having no index at all. I have a cookbook from my grandmother's church ladies, who made it as a fundraiser, which has wonderful recipes that I use frequently, all written by the lovely country ladies. But it doesn't make my list of favorite cookbooks because of its horrible index that lists things like "Aunt Ruth's chocolate chip cookies" under "Desserts" and not "chocolate" or "cookies." And to make matters worse, it's under "A" for "Aunt." Arrrrghghgh!

auntjone said...

I want pictures, dammit. I like something to reference because, even though I've been baking and cooking for a while and even have a degree in culinary arts, I'm still insecure and want to make sure it comes out right. Throw me a bone, include a pic.

I like all cookbooks- variety or single-subject. Some of my favorite recipes come from a Betty Crocker catch-all cookbook. I have the Magnolia Bakery cookbook and I'm kinda 'meh' about it. I think I've only made one or two recipes from it because they require odd shaped pans that I don't have or copious amounts of softened butter and I'm looking for something quick so I skip it. It definitely isn't my go-to for desserts.

Not sure I can pick a favorite cook book! I think there are too many books and too many reasons to consult numerous books even for one occasion, so how can I choose just one and say "This is my Holy Grail, I shall never love another."?

Kirstin said...

I am drawn to cookbooks with artwork in them or great photos. I also like ones that throw in other stuff like poetry, childhood memories of the food, etc. However, the ones I tend to USE the most just have great recipes that are easy to find.

Pam said...

I love cookbooks with beautiful pictures, like Donna Hay books.

I have quite a few general cookbooks, so now I'm trying to get only those that are more specific.

Mayberry Magpie said...

I'm so weird. Because I suspect I have a lot of bad cookbooks (most purchased for me by my mother as gifts). I'm so easy to please. I can find something I like in nearly every cookbook and I'm not picky about how it's presented or organized. I prefer one subject books or themed books, but I'll take a big 'ol roundup book anyday too. Here's something else weird. I adore Susan Branch cookbooks, but I NEVER make her recipes. Just love how pretty the books are.

freefun0616 said...

酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店經紀,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店工作,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,

,酒店,