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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Flavor Bible

the flavor bible

There are some books in your kitchen that sit there because they were presents, or the cover enticed with possible bites that would fill your life. Maybe you liked the photographs, or you were on a brief kick to eat more healthfully. Any reason could be true. But still, you know the books — the ones you never open. Maybe you made one recipe, once, and you knew you'd never be able to stomach that book again. It still sits there, but you'll never use it.

The Flavor Bible is not that book.

Since we bought this book, back in October, I'm pretty sure it has been opened every single day. I tried to take a beautiful photograph of it, but there's no taking away the smudged fingerprints and dented corners. We are often holding this book in our hands.

Years ago, this book would have intimidated me. There are no recipes. Every food is in alphabetical order, rather than being organized by type or style of cuisine. Before I met Danny, I would have looked at this book and put it away.

But he has taught me how to cook from feel, from experience, rather than from recipes alone. (I still use recipes, most of the time, but now they are only starting points, a gun going off toward the sky. I'm not nearly so straight-backed examining them, as I was before.) For that reason, this book is invaluable.

It's pretty funny, actually, watching Danny try to follow a recipe. A few months ago, when we were finishing up the first draft of our book, I asked him to make dinner with a recipe that looked good, to see how recipes are written, to judge what he wanted. He tried. He did. When I came into the kitchen after putting Little Bean down to sleep, I saw him hunched over the dishwasher, peering at the paper, scratching his head. He turned toward me. "I can't do it. I can see what she wants. But I want to do it differently."

He's the jazz musician. I'm the grammar teacher. I laughed and told him to go on his own.

That's why this book works for him, and more and more, for me now too.

Say you bought some ramps at the farmers' market (they're coming here soon), in your eagerness to celebrate spring. But when you are home, you realize — you have no idea what to do with them. Look up ramps in this book. What you'll find is a list of other foods that go particularly well with ramps: asparagus, bacon, butter, carrots, chicken, chives, cream, cured meats, etc. Some of the foods are in bold, meaning they go particularly well with ramps: Parmesan cheese, pasta, new potatoes. Hm. What to make?

Well, Danny has taught me to think creatively. It's April, so we want something light, not like the pot roasts and meatloaf nights of February. What's for dinner? What about rice pasta with roasted asparagus, sauteed ramps, prosciutto, and Parmesan cheese? Or, grilled halibut with black pepper-ramp puree? Or warm polenta with morel mushrooms and a creamy ramp sauce?

Actually, I'm hungry again. Those are all just ideas from looking at the ramp section of this book.

As well as listing ingredients that blend well with the food you have chosen, the book also offers suggestions of the season each food grows in and techniques that work well with it. Really, there's no way to go wrong.

If you are, unlike Danny, only able to cook with a recipe in front of you, this book may feel overwhelming. However, spend a little time with it, and you might just put those recipe books away. (Or at least at the other end of the kitchen.)


Would you like a copy of this book? We'd like you to have it. Leave a comment here, telling us about cooking in your kitchen, and how this book might help. By Friday, we'll pick a winner, randomly. The wonderful authors, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, have agreed to send along a copy to whoever wins.

In addition to the book, we're having a giveaway on knives. The good folks at Messermeister read this post I wrote on their knives, and they would like to give some to you. In fact, they're giving away a chef's knife and kitchen scissors set. Leave a comment about that here as well. We'll have two winners this week!

Labels:

332 Comments:

Blogger kateherself said...

I am a theatre artist. When it comes to the stage, I am in my element. Creativity is like second nature to me.
My mother is the oldest of 17- so she grew up having to take care of all of her younger brothers and sisters when she was very young. As a result, she did her best to shield me from any and all trappings of domesticity. As a result, I had only a full meal cooked once or twice in my lifetime when I left home for college. For even longer than that, I insisted that I couldn't cook; I didn't know how. In the past few years though, things have changed. A few years ago I was in a relationship with someone who has a very strange and strained relationship with food. I found myself cooking by myself, for myself. For some reason, this made me sad and I started to think a lot more about my relationship with food. For Valentine's day that year my sister in law bought me a book called the improvisational cook. It completely opened my eyes. Even though it can be a little difficult to follow, it changed the way I think about and prepare food. I put myself out there a lot more using the creativity I had compartmentalized. I made up recipes on the fly, mixing flavors that sounded good to me. Sometimes it tasted good and other times not so much but I started to have fun in the kitchen. Now that I am with the most loving and open person I've ever known we often find ourselves in the kitchen, experimenting. There is so much joy to be found in just trying something, knowing that you might fail and that's OK. I would love to be able to toss this book into the mix.

April 8, 2009 at 1:02 AM  
Blogger kateherself said...

And knives, please!

April 8, 2009 at 1:03 AM  
Blogger hoolooovoo said...

Somehow, when I went gluten and dairy free, I lost like all of my cooking creativity. I know used to have it. I think part of the problem is that before I got diagnosed I was a total foodie. I would try anything, and then try it again just in case. And I'll still try anything I can eat. But when I cook, it's more complicated and never quite as good as food was when I could eat everything. So I tend to just make stuff that is reasonably tasty and easy. Lately I've been in a tamagoyaki rut. I've seen a few gluten free cook books, but a lot of them seem focused on being healthy, and I really don't care about that. I mean, I eat lots of vegetables and stuff, but I have no desire to eat them in brownies. Anyway, I'd like the book because it seems like it would be useful in cooking more adventurously again.

April 8, 2009 at 1:07 AM  
Blogger Caro said...

Wow! The book sounds amazing! I'm trying to wean myself off recipes a bit these days and push myself a little more in the kitchen. Sounds like with The Flavor Bible, I could definitely be more creative with food! Even if I don't win this, I may have to go out and find a copy myself! Thanks for the giveaway!!!

April 8, 2009 at 1:10 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

What a busy week on GFGR!!

I must admit this book sounds both intimidating and intriguing. While I have shelves of cook books, I am one for not really following a recipe. This book would certainly be helpful while putting dishes together and improving the plates I sit in front of my family daily. I would like to see them smile at a meal more often. Maybe this would help.

April 8, 2009 at 2:27 AM  
Blogger Girl Upstairs said...

Cooking in my kitchen is something I feel that I am relearning. I have moved house 5 times in 5 years and each kitchen has had its own share of great meals. The present kitchen is the one in which I have cooked the least. Trying to juggle a job and a degree. Writing all the time and getting home late. The joy of cooking has been sacrificed for more sleep.

But last week I ordered the organic locally sourced box of fruit and veg again. And with it came the need to cook. 2 lbs of sunchokes sent me looking for recipes and what they would be go best with. This week red lentils, eggplant and celery are my challenge. I am rediscovering why I love to cook.

This morning your post was exactly in tune with where I am with my cooking. I am looking for flavours, looking for ideas that will give me room to be creative. It's good to be reminded.

April 8, 2009 at 2:50 AM  
Blogger Girl Upstairs said...

Oh, to be known for having good knives - that is a complement.

The Messermeister knife you showed looks wonderful and the fact that the engraving has worn off is a testament to how useful you find it.

I saw a play last year that was all about repressed anger and the action took place in a kitchen. The entire back wall of the set was a magnetic strip with every size and shape of knife stuck to it, probably 30-40 in all. The lights came up on the set and there were two distinct laughs from my friend and I - talk about showing where the story was going!

April 8, 2009 at 3:00 AM  
Blogger Indu said...

Oooh. That book sounds fabulous! I'm utterly incapable of following a recipe from start to finish. I have to jiggle ingredients, amounts. I like the instinctive nature of cooking. It makes it fun.

I hope I win- but if I don't, Amazon- here I come!

April 8, 2009 at 3:30 AM  
Blogger Corina said...

Cooking gluten-free has made me appreciate all the flavors in produce and really good quality foods. I still struggle to put them together with some variety. It sounds like this book would really help with that. My husband and I are always trying new things and a book that helps figure out what to mix with durian or something new with potatoes would be great.

April 8, 2009 at 3:31 AM  
Anonymous Megan mmphaup@roanoke.edu said...

I spent last summer trying to come up with new ways to use tomatoes as a friend wonderfully gave us her excess after an 80 plant experiment left her with more produce than her family could consume. I didn't even think of looking for a guide like this book. Such a wonderful idea.

April 8, 2009 at 3:55 AM  
Blogger Stacy said...

I'd love to win the book. I'm always trying to learn more about flavor and ingredient pairings. I currently cook about half and half from recipes, and it would be fun to get better at the non recipe stuff.

April 8, 2009 at 4:05 AM  
Blogger psn said...

i've been stuck in a rut in terms of flavor combinations, this might help.

oh, and a new knife wouldn't hurt too. i'm always a fan of trying out new stuff!

April 8, 2009 at 4:18 AM  
Blogger sk said...

Sounds like a really neat book! I'm guessing that I would be intimidated by it as well, but what a wonderful way to teach yourself how to cook. I bet it would be great for those days when you bring home something interesting from the market, or get something new in your CSA box! Thanks for posting about this-- I'm going to look for it at my library.

And, that knife brand is great! I remember using one when I worked in a cafe in college.
I love your blog!

April 8, 2009 at 4:25 AM  
Blogger Jadekitty said...

I am trying hard to cook meals, but I get lost in busyness of work and life, and a picky husband.
I would love to have this book to get going in the right direction!

April 8, 2009 at 4:29 AM  
Anonymous Inquirer said...

This book and my recently purchased copy of On Cooking would complete my library. These (next to your new book when it comes out) would be all I need.

By the way, in case you didn't know, not only people who need to eat gluten free read your blog. I can eat anything. Yet yours seems to be the only cooking (and life) blog I consistently turn too. Must be the writing.

April 8, 2009 at 4:31 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I'm posting a comment on behalf of my boyfriend, my chef. Little c, as he's not at all professionally trained, nor has he ever worked in a kitchen. But he is my chef, because he feeds me carefully and lovingly, every day.

My chef's birthday is coming up, and I would love to be able to celebrate his love of food, of cooking and of taste with this book. (Even if I don't win, I'll probably go out and buy it!) Pick me!

April 8, 2009 at 4:35 AM  
Blogger jsiar said...

My mom, her sister, and my grandma were all non-recipe cooks. I learned a lot from them. I do follow recipes, usually just the first time. But, I can't resist playing around with ingredients most of the time.

April 8, 2009 at 4:36 AM  
Blogger Kayla said...

Being able to make truly great food is a new obsession for me. My husband has celiac as well as a host of other serious food allergies. He's been gluten free for just over a year now, but it's been hard to find safe foods that work for him as well as together. I'm always finding great recipes that seem incredible and then having to leave out the parts that make it so perfect, just because I can't find a substitute that won't kill him. There are only so many meals of chicken and rice that a man can be expected to eat and not go crazy with boredom. This book sounds like the answer to that particular problem. Does it make me a total food geek that I can picture myself reading The Food Bible like one would read a novel?

April 8, 2009 at 4:46 AM  
Blogger sweetpea said...

Whoa, Can't decide which would be more fun to win! The book, which I do not have yet, looks wonderful! And those knives, well who wouldn't want new knives!
I bet the lottery will be huge.

April 8, 2009 at 4:51 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

I am slowly learning to cook without recipes, and getting better and better at it. This book sounds like just the thing to spur the imagination, just the thing to open when I find myself with certain ingredients on hand and unsure how to prepare them.

Plus, knives! I've been working on my knife skills, and your post about the Messermeister knives certainly convinced me to keep my eyes out for them.

April 8, 2009 at 4:52 AM  
Anonymous RachelB said...

I am thinking of buy a CSA share this summer and am slightly terrified that I will let some of it go to waste due to unfamilarity. The Flavor Bible sounds like a good starting point for this cooking adventure.

The Messermeister knifes sound interesting. I have been useing the same set of knifes for 10 years or so. A set of Cutco that were my samples when I tried to sell them for a month during one summer between college semesters.

April 8, 2009 at 5:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love to cook, but I do know I have a lot to learn! I follow a veggie diet. My husband eats meat but is an unadventurous eater. On a daily basis the question of "What's for dinner?" can be a challenge! But I cook every night anyways! Thanks for the great book offer, I hope to get my eyes in it soon.
kristenmiele@hotmail.com

April 8, 2009 at 5:04 AM  
Blogger plumpestpeach said...

I've had my eye on the Flavor Bible for months. Funny as you mentioned, I haven't felt entirely ready until recently for a type of book with general information. I have been cooking from recipes directly and over time I have now gotten to the point where I just look for one ingredient to base my meal around. I feel happy and proud to have gotten to this place of creativity, but I now need new information and challenges with what ingredient goes with another and why. I want to feel more confidence with coming up with my own dishes and using my own creativity to discover them.

April 8, 2009 at 5:07 AM  
Blogger Stargirl said...

I think this book is beautiful. I am a novice cook. I try recipes once, but then they feel like they are too much. I think this book is a great idea for those of us who aren't quite sure what to pair with certain foods. This is also a good resource for those lovely (but intimidating) farmers market foods.

April 8, 2009 at 5:10 AM  
Blogger luckylucita.wordpress.com said...

Between a girl who has IBD and therefore has to watch what she eats (and has chosen a gluten-free lifestyle), and a husband who until recently had experimented with food very little voluntarily, a book like this would be an enormous help. Last weekend we decided to overcome some barriers and cook a Sunday meal as a team. We shopped together, my husband chose a gorgeous veal roast and I bought baby potatoes and green beans. We started by looking at a recipe to get a sense of timing and ingredient pairings, then went off on our own path (garlic, white wine, bay leaves, thyme...) and made magic. It was a revelation. We were so proud of ourselves and had so much fun. Being inspired by food and working together to nourish ourselves was amazing. We would love to get our hands on this book and spend many more evenings making beautiful dishes together!!

April 8, 2009 at 5:17 AM  
Anonymous Meghan at Making Love In the Kitchen said...

I want that book! And here is why. I am creative by nature. In school it was always design and writing and that sort of thing that I studied. The path of my life lead me to nutrition and now I find myself teaching sold out cooking classes each week in my teeny kitchen, without anything more than six hours of cooking education- just a whole lot of creativity and nutrition knowledge. I pick ingredients I want to use for their health benefits and then get creative on how to use them through imagination and experimentation. That is why I would like this book :)

April 8, 2009 at 5:20 AM  
Blogger mb said...

Hi,
Two great giveaways. No recipes ever used in my kitchen however I don't buy a lot of things because I don't know how to use them - the book would sure help! And everyone can always use good knives!

April 8, 2009 at 5:27 AM  
Anonymous Jacqueline said...

I first must laugh because my verification word that popped up with this comment window is "spirm!" I hope this book's flavour recommendations do not go quite that far--for as open as I am, I do have my limits!

I found this blog when I first gave up wheat last year to see if I could break through a weigh-loss impasse. The most amazing things started to happen--my "Poopsie" issues went away (I EARNED that nickname from my friends.), my blood pressure stabilized, my aching body no longer hurt, my periodic black outs went away, and I stopped getting every cold or flu floated my way. When in November after eating wheat--it was Thanksgiving, right?--my lips bubbled up the truth of just how serious this situation is began to sink in for me. I felt my world get smaller and smaller. All the foods I am famous for making--the dishes my friends and family ask for by name--slipped away in an instant.

Then to help my body heal, I gave up sugar too!

So, I am on this whole quest to heal and still enjoy cooking. Although my grandmother taught me, "If you can read you can cook," I only follow directions if I am baking (well, sometimes). Otherwise, recipes are lovely ideas for me to change into my own. I have found unique flavour combinations to be so helpful. A way to expand my food world just at a moment when it feels so small.

I am not so concerned about winning the book as I am about saying "thank you" for being a true light for those of us just beginning to face life without gluten. You are not only writing and cooking from your heart, but also offering food as healing to those devastated to learn it was the food that was harming them.

April 8, 2009 at 5:39 AM  
Anonymous Sheena L said...

I love to experiment with flavors and layers of complexity on the palate. This book would be handy!

April 8, 2009 at 5:40 AM  
Blogger Katya said...

That's exactly the way my boyfriend gets...he's a little sad that anyone would want to tell him what to do in the kitchen--let's see if I can even get him to take flavor dictates. I've been admiring this book for a while, but unsure about buying. you make a good case, though.

April 8, 2009 at 5:40 AM  
Blogger Katya said...

and we do love sharp knives. it's the only way I manage WITHOUT cooking shears these days, but they'd make my chickens much much simpler.

April 8, 2009 at 5:41 AM  
Blogger autumnesf said...

Sounds like a fabulous book! I can use all the help I can get!

April 8, 2009 at 5:43 AM  
Blogger Tracey said...

Hi Shauna,

I have been an avid reader of your lovely blog for a while now and the book sounds like a wonderful giveaway. I have always been one for playing around with recipes and trying my own additions.

Thanks for a great blog and good luck in your new house and soon to be green garden :)

Tracey

April 8, 2009 at 5:45 AM  
Blogger Marianne said...

I would LOVE a copy of this book. I mostly cook from recipes, but am trying to be more creative/less restricted and I think this would be a great place to start. I often get seduced by colorful produce at the farmer's market or Whole Foods, but then don't know how to use them. I usually end up searching the internet for a recipe.

April 8, 2009 at 5:46 AM  
Blogger Michaela said...

I love this concept! I am actively trying to break away from my reliance on recipes, so a book like this would be a great help. It'd also be a useful complement to our CSA share.

Not sure if you were looking for separate comments on the knife stuff, but I'm super-interested in that, too. Thanks for the opportunity!!

April 8, 2009 at 5:47 AM  
OpenID jenncuisine said...

That books looks like exactly the type of thing I need in my kitchen. I am constantly trying to create new dishes and find new pairings of food. That sounds like an awesome book.

The Messermeister knives look great as well. I've been meaning to go look for a good chef's knife...I have a decent santoku but I have found that it's not nearly as versatile as a chef's knife...

April 8, 2009 at 5:54 AM  
Blogger S said...

Oooo. . . fun giveaways! I would find the book particularly useful as I belong to a CSA. Fairly often, I run out of ideas on what to do with particular veggies. This would really help!

April 8, 2009 at 5:57 AM  
Blogger Adele said...

I love cooking without a cookbook. Just glancing around at the produce at the market and buying hand fulls of what I think will taste good together. I do pretty good at this, but I find I stick to what I already know, and I am limited to the endless possibilities of flavor combination's. I would LOVE a copy of the FLAVOR BIBLE to learn new combination's. Watch out Market here I come!

April 8, 2009 at 6:00 AM  
Blogger Adele said...

I have a magnetic knife rack in my kitchen, and it tells the history of my cooking life. This knife was a gift, this knife was my favorite but its dull, this one.... I give fantastic knives as Christmas gifts to my cooking friends and family but I can never splurge on one for myself. I would cherish a GOOD QUALITY KNIFE and put it to endless use. Thank you!

April 8, 2009 at 6:03 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Learning to cook by instinct instead of recipes is one of my goals for 2009. By your description of this book, it sounds like something I should take a look at! Usually I start with a recipe and work from that, and recently, NOT having an ingredient is helping me learn - substituting is helpful.

April 8, 2009 at 6:04 AM  
Blogger patchworkgrrl said...

Thanks to a diagnosis of gluten intolerance over a year ago, I was forced to take a look at my cooking/eating habits and improve them. I started reading cooking blogs like yours and going back to basics with vegetables and proteins, rather than having every meal carb-based. I would love a better knife than what I currently have to work with while cooking from scratch and am looking at the Messermeister after your recommendation.

Thanks for the good writing and food inspirations!

April 8, 2009 at 6:12 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

I am always trying to figure out new flavors and ways of combining things, but find it overwhelming since I don't have much experience with a lot of things. I would find it useful to have a reference like this to help me build my recipes and experiment.

April 8, 2009 at 6:12 AM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

It seems like forever that I have being waiting for a book like this to come along. I often wonder what foods pair well with other foods. I tend to follow a recipe for awhile until I get a feel for it and then I will go on my own. Most of my "feel" recipes are those from my Italian-American hertiage. So I prefer to cook that way then follow recipes. This book could certainly help me with that! I would love to have this book.

Jenny

April 8, 2009 at 6:12 AM  
OpenID littlebirdsings said...

I have had this on my amazon wish-list for over a year: no joke! Which is so strange because most of the time my book purchases happen sure and fast but I have been finishing up my Masters in Literature and thus my books have been bought in particular genres... (but I am finished in 3 weeks!)I so want to explore this!

See, I have been blessed with my grandmother's advanced sense for "déguster"-- I can find the obscure spice or aromatic in most any dish, a skill that, of course, always wows at parties! I have been cooking for myself since I was 10 and my husband always hints he only married me for my kitchen skills. :)

happy day all!

April 8, 2009 at 6:23 AM  
Blogger Jecca said...

How is it that I am first. Last summer was my first as part of a CSA. This book would have been invaluble then, when I had no idea what to do with burdock, or jicima, or ramps either. It would make this summer season go much easier!
As for the knives, count me in!

April 8, 2009 at 6:29 AM  
Blogger Earth Muffin said...

I would love to win a copy of this book! I'm an excellent baker but I cannot cook to save my life. I don't know which ingredients compliment others, and my natural creativity has resulted in some pretty awful concoctions. Also, I don't eat meat, which I think adds instant flavor to any meal, so my options are limited. Thanks, love your blog!

April 8, 2009 at 6:29 AM  
Anonymous Anne Washburn said...

This sounds like the answer to a prayer, had I been clever enough to think of it! I never follow recipes exactly and always use them as a guide to felicitous combinations. Thanks for the lead, I didn't know about this book!

April 8, 2009 at 6:35 AM  
Blogger BusyBee said...

First!? I love to cook and my family loves to eat, and they'll eat anything except gooseberries. :)
With farmers' markets coming on, this would be a wonderful resource to have.

April 8, 2009 at 6:40 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Since going gluten-free last summer, I've been doubly surprised: one, I realized just how badly I had been feeling. Two, I like to cook! But passion and actual cooking skill are two different things - I'm still learning my way around flavors. A book that tells me what combination of foods will make my mouth most happy - sign me up!

April 8, 2009 at 6:49 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I would LOVE a copy of this book!

Our kitchen is a family a of graduate students in New Hampshire. Our tastes, skills and schedules leave an abundance of mac & cheese boxes and popcorn in the recycling. I am the chef of our makeshift family and am the contributor of fresh vegetables (by way of our local CSA) and spices in in kitchen.

Once a week, I insist we gather for a "real meal" which is usually a roast of sorts with an assortment of vegetables. My boyfriend is an aspiring elite athlete and tries to eat paleo and zone much of time. Much as I abhor having to measure exact food portions and I refuse to give up cheese and I am trying to make paleo/zone foods that are worthy of eating - more than just carbs/proteins/fats but actual flavors and foods with tastes worth remembering.

Gluten-free is a perfect start for paleo and this book sounds like an excellent way to incorporate more variety and flavors in our meals!

I love your blog, I've never posted before but had to get over my internet-shyness for a chance to win this book :)

April 8, 2009 at 6:52 AM  
Blogger Zoomie said...

I'm just beginning, after many years of cooking, to venture away from recipes and into experimentation. This book seems tailor made for someone like me. I wrote a post about a less-than-successful dish I made recently; if you have time to read it, you will see why I would benefit greatly from having The Flavor Bible in my kitchen.
http://zoomiestation.blogspot.com/2009/03/bitter-with-sweet.html
Thanks to the publisher and to you for the fun!

April 8, 2009 at 6:52 AM  
Blogger Zoomie said...

If you could see the odd assortment of knives in my knife drawer, you'd understand why a "real" chef's knife and kitchen scissors would make my cooking better and easier. I have my Grandmother's boning knife, the kind that rusts; my Mother's Mac knives from Japan, the kind you can sharpen on the back of a plate; and a motley assortment of other knives I've picked up over the years, some nice, others pretty bad. How nice if I could pass along to the next generation a knife as prized as my Mother and Grandmother's! Thanks to Messermeister for their generous offer!

April 8, 2009 at 6:55 AM  
Anonymous angela@spinachtiger said...

The Flavor Bible has been on my list of books to buy for several months, recommended highly by friend. Danny sounds like me. I'm an artist by trade, and am compelled to create and make a dish my own. Thank you for the giveaway.

As far as Messermeister knives, what a great gift. A good knife and an understanding of the food and flavors and who needs recipes.

April 8, 2009 at 7:01 AM  
Blogger Glutenus Minimus said...

Hi Shauna,
I love the concept of this book! I run a gourmet gluten free goodies company in Massachusetts. I sell them online, wholesale to gourmet stores & cafes, and at Farmers' Markets. Last season I frequently found myself unable to resist the fresh and fragrant produce surrounding me, but when I would get home at night I found myself unable to think of any recipes that would combine my purchases. I frequently resorted to the same boring meals. I would love to be able to use this book as a resource for the upcoming Farmers' Market season!

Sincerely,
Natalie McEachern

April 8, 2009 at 7:02 AM  
Blogger Alassel said...

I've got a good repertoire of basic recipes that I can tweak from time to time, but buying new foods is very intimidating because I don't know how to use them. I'm picky (and possibly a supertaster) and my husband is gluten-intolerant, which just adds challenge to the whole thing. Having a book like this would hopefully help guide me to adding new flavors and items to dishes I already make. I've actually had this book on my wish list for a while, and it's great to see such a glowing review! I'd definitely love a copy for myself. :)

April 8, 2009 at 7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anna Tulou said...

Regardless of who wins the contest, I will be happy to pick up a copy for myself and my cooking buddies here in Richmond! My mother taught me to cook with recipes, my father taught me to cook with my nose - smell out the right combinations. I've learned to love the process of combining those approaches.

After being on the waiting list, I finally landed a share in a local organic CSA, Victory Farms, which begins this week - very much looking forward to learning about cooking local food in season, and anticipate the inspiration this book will bring - thank you for sharing your enthusiasm!

Anna in Richmond, VA
annatulou@gmail.com

April 8, 2009 at 7:11 AM  
Anonymous Karen said...

I am new to living with celiac disease, and I cook for four guys (husband and sons) who are leery of new flavors. I would love to use this book to help me gently introduce my kids to new flavors that they might be suspicious of!

Oh, and I could also really use a new kitchen knife. The set of knives i have is 10 years old this month, received at my wedding shower. I actually only use one knife now, a long serrated one, since the paring knife has been long lost and the chef's knife is too dull and can't be sharpened.

And kitchen scissors? My kitchen scissors are actually paper scissors that I struggle with. Any port in a storm!

Karen
catherineajt@yahoo.com

April 8, 2009 at 7:13 AM  
Blogger Joanna said...

I would LOVE to have a copy of this book! I tend to follow recipes, but I never seem to have all the necessary ingredients in my kitchen. And unfortunately, I'm not lucky enough to be able to run out and pick up a few more things every time I get inspired to cook. It would be great to be able to look up the things I have on hand and figure out what will go well with what.

I would also be very happy to have the chef's knife instead, considering I walked out the front door last summer to find my seven year old using my best knife to cut old tree roots out of his favorite digging hole! You can rest assured that any replacement I might receive would not suffer a similar fate. He will surely not forget that punishment.

Thank you for the chance to win. I very much enjoy your blog.

April 8, 2009 at 7:13 AM  
Blogger Aimee Mayer said...

I am still newly gluten-free, and am trying to find the recipes that will fill me up and still taste good. However, I'm still trying to come up with ideas that taste good, while not forgetting to add xanthan gum to my flours. Oops.

April 8, 2009 at 7:16 AM  
Blogger Ellen said...

i love cooking without recipes, but sometimes it either overwhelms me or i lack inspiration. this book sounds like it would be a great fix for both of those things! a little guidance and reassurance is sometimes all it takes.

April 8, 2009 at 7:19 AM  
Blogger Shelly! said...

Hum...posting at number one pretty much ensures that if up to a computer I won't win...but ever the optimist here I am!

Shauna - I check this book out from the library ALL the time and would love to have an actual copy in flavoring up my cookbook shelf!

April 8, 2009 at 7:20 AM  
Blogger Aimee Mayer said...

My husband and I were given a knife set for our wedding, costing over $100. One of our drawers is now our knife drawer - with every possible knife included, and then some repeats. After repeated use and washings of a very few of these, the handles have warped and exposed the jagged edges of the other end of the knife blade, and make the use uncomfortable. I prefer using our other gift knifes, but they simply do not last. I would love to have knives that work well with everything, and that fit comfortably in my hand.

April 8, 2009 at 7:20 AM  
Blogger jbeach said...

I started out following recipes to a T, but began stumbling out without 'em by tweaking and substituting here and there. I now have a few lovely recipes I can call all my own and it's a wonderfully empowering feeling! I first heard about The Flavor Bible on my favorite food podcast, Good Food. I hurried to check it out from my local library and fell in love. I would be so appreciative to be able to use it in my kitchen whenever I want! Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

April 8, 2009 at 7:21 AM  
Blogger Freckled Face Mama said...

Our family is a family of five. One four year old with diagnosed celiac disease but everyone here eats gluten free. In addition, two of us suffer from soy intolerance. Without these foods we have to be creative. It is fun and we all cook as a family. We try to eat in season and as organic or natural as possible. I believe this book would be beneficial to us because adding that extra zing of flavor would make a so-so dish an excellent dish. We love dishes all of international flavor and I hope that if we won the book we would learn new ways to make our cooking times more enjoyable and creative. Learning new ways to cook is exciting!

April 8, 2009 at 7:21 AM  
Blogger Miss Aimee said...

oh how that cookbook sounds so dreamy! and teh knife set too(hee hee). Love your book, I am reading it now(slowly as I read it for about 10 min a night before bed...falling asleep way to fast...hense 3 small kids)but how I look forward to getting in bed to read your GFG book. Love it! I am celiac, 38 and learning to cook for the 1st time. I am excited and curious and this book would fit into my world PERFECTLY. I hope I win. I am so inspired by you. xoxo.
:) miss aimee

April 8, 2009 at 7:22 AM  
Anonymous hadley said...

This is so exciting! I rarely use recipes or, if I do, it's as a general guide to the dish. While I have a pretty good handle on flavor profile and what goes with what, I'd love to learn more about it!

April 8, 2009 at 7:23 AM  
Blogger jbeach said...

I truly believe nothing beats a quality knife in the kitchen. Currently my best knife is a $25 Henckels from Target, and it's a major step up from the one I'd been using! I'd love to have the chance to try this Messermeister knife about which Shauna spoke so glowingly!

April 8, 2009 at 7:25 AM  
Blogger steph said...

Cooking in my kitchen? Hmm. I am a good basic cook - I can follow a recipe, but I can make my own stuff up, as long as it's not too complicated.
I'm a vegetarian, and living in the midwest, it's the same old-same old for fruits and vegetables. I've made a rule to buy one different thing at the store when I grocery shop- to alleviate the boredom - but that only goes so far when I'm not exactly sure what to do with what I've bought.
How would this book help me? It would help me figure out what goes with my new favorite things, like parsley root and celeriac. Maybe it would give me ideas on new things to add to my bean soup so it's not so basic anymore. Or maybe it will give me an idea for a new vegetable a picky four-year-old boy might eat.

April 8, 2009 at 7:25 AM  
Blogger Allison the Meep said...

Oh my gosh! Free books and knives!

This books looks amazing, and I'm definitely going to pick up a copy of it for myself.

Also, I made spontaneous ramen yesterday for lunch because of your post! It wasn't just like yours, but I used what I had in my kitchen and felt ridiculously proud of myself for throwing something together out of a few cheap ingredients.

April 8, 2009 at 7:30 AM  
Blogger Lovesgarlic said...

Hi

I have a smaller sized kitchen and we use it to the hilt. Since going gluten, dairy and soy free, flavor has come to the forefront. We are cooking old-fashioned, traditional meals that rely on flavor and good local ingredients. I would love to have a copy of this book to assist me in putting things together. Even if I don't win, I just may go out and buy this. I had no idea such a book existed and could use its help!!!

April 8, 2009 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger Lovesgarlic said...

We have found a great local farm that sells organic, free range meat - chicken, beef, pork, lamb. A good set of knives and scissors would make using them a whole lot easier! They often require some kind of additional butchering and I would love to do these meats justice.

Thanks!

April 8, 2009 at 7:37 AM  
Blogger Debbie Mullins said...

There’s a great comfort in cooking for me; the tactile stimulation follows the mental planning, with imagination, of the meal in which I’ll partake. The creativity, the fragrances, the steam and fire, the mixing, stirring and combining are therapeutic. The seductive, promising scents escaping the kitchen are like the foreplay of a much-anticipated lover. And then, the result of my labor of love; a meal that delights the senses as well as my healthy well-being and psyche. Rewarding: tangible rewards from hand to mouth that soothe and comfort me, all the while proving my capability… I can cook! This is a fact and I want everyone to enjoy and experience the sublime pleasure of my food. I am proud when I cook. I am in familiar territory, after many years of trying recipes, experimenting, reading, learning and doing, I know where I stand in the kitchen. But I'm still on the hunt for new cookbooks (love 'em!) with fresh suggestions, combinations and inspirations. Please choose me to receive the book and the knives!!! My knives leave a lot to be desired and I would really enjoy a fantastic pair of kitchen scissors too! Thanks for considering me, Shauna :0)

April 8, 2009 at 7:40 AM  
Anonymous Andrea said...

Hi Shauna! The Flavor Bible fits my style of foraging through my garden to produce dinner (just wait until you have tomatoes etc to pick this summer!). But I really need at least one good knife, and your piece on Messermeister knives got me realizing just that. My attempt to upgrade several years ago was to shop at the big box market enuf to get a "free" knife set! I'm a sucker for poor college kids asking to demo Cutco knives and wondered how you think they compare. Be well.

April 8, 2009 at 7:40 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Please please please pick me for The Flavor Bible. It would be such a freeing experience to own that book. I often just feel paralyzed by indecision on "does this ingredient go with ?" Often I make something awful because I can't get the mixing of flavors right. But on the occasion I make a good guess, it's such a triumph! Please help me have more triumphs!
Appreciate your blog! Nancy jnbcoupons@gmail.com

April 8, 2009 at 7:46 AM  
Blogger Kitchen Vixen said...

I'm a grammer style cooker as well, when it comes to recipes. My mom taught me that first you do the recipe as it's written, then you can mess with it. Fortunately I'm learning more and more to trust myself- my taste, my nose, not just what's typed up next to my stove. The Flavor Bible sounds wonderful!

April 8, 2009 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger Portside said...

After my husband suddenly passed away over two years ago, I had to relearn how to cook for one. Boy, did I struggle, either cooking way too much or far too little, Parson and I would love to cook for our friends, for each other, and together. It was a wonderful dance - he'd follow the recipe to the letter and I'd usually use it as a starting point - improvising usually to a positive and spicy result with his feedback. When he passed, I lost my confidence to do that and meals were bland, monochromatic and eaten purely for sustenance rather than enjoyment.

This past summer something began to change. I began to read your and other cooking blogs and my passions were reignited. I started using more and high quality spices, eating more locally and organically, and began baking for the first time in ages. As a result my cooking changed. I began to look for subtly and unexpected flavors, incorporating more "sweet" spices into main dishes - such as using Vietnamese cinnamon and grade B maple syrup in my favorite chicken stew. I began to explore myself in the kitchen again - mixing things up, taking some risks.

As winter yields to spring here in DC, quite unexpectedly, I find myself sharing my kitchen again. Learning this dance again. Learning how to balance life, cook, and move in my kitchen with a burgeoning love. All of this with a thirst for creativity and further exploration.

April 8, 2009 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger Summer said...

As a mom I have read my share of books about how much easier my life would be if I made menu plans and made a shopping list to match.

The problem is:
I can't do it! Something deep inside me feels like it is being grated like cheese when I think about doing that.

What if I plan on making something with lemons and the lemons are look terrible that week? Then my plans would be completely derailed.

I love going to our organic farmer's market and seeing what inspires me that week. As I dance between the stands, I formulate ideas in my head, which I may or may not follow through on. That is how I like to shop.

I would love to have this book. Only the universe knows what is going to me for dinner that night and I like it that way!

April 8, 2009 at 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anna said...

Knives and a flavor book? How wonderful! So... Activity in my kitchen has been stuck in a bit of a rut lately, and it's a shame, as vegetarian food should be bursting with flavor, right? I love to make Ethiopian and Korean food, but I'm never sure I'm getting it right. There's a marvelous farmers market nearby every week, and I never know how to take advantage of it. I would love to be able to read about flavor pairings and to open up my world a little more. I would also love to be able to have some better knives - Dull knives definitely have lopped off some tiny tips of fingers so far. Thank you for your consideration. I love your site and appreciate the contest. Thanks again!

Email: cashmoneymillionaire at hotmail dot com

April 8, 2009 at 7:57 AM  
Blogger Summer said...

Most of my chopped is done with economy steak knives that we received in a set as a wedding gift 7 years ago. I would love to upgrade.

As for kitchen scissors, they are on my perpetual shopping list. Meaning that, as much as I would like some, they are often bumped down the list by new shoes for my son or car repairs. I would love to have a dedicated pair to help me in the kitchen.

April 8, 2009 at 8:01 AM  
Anonymous Danae said...

I am also not a follow a recipe kinda girl. I love to experiment, sometimes for good, sometimes for bad, and much to the dismay of my mother. I find it always interesting to see what new flavors you can come up with using diff combinations of things. My roomates are always laughing at what I may come up with next. However having a little guidence on it maybe helpful.... :) (I'm sure my roomates would appreciate it lol)

Also, thanks for writing on the knives. Its always nice to get advice and recommendations on good products. I remember my first knife set when I moved out on my own. I think I got it from some home improvement store for like $15. Horrible choice. I don't think I could cut through a carrot let alone anything else. Live and learn!

Thanks for your advice and keep up the great work!!

April 8, 2009 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger steffigf said...

Thank you for telling me about this book! As I was reading your post, I thought to myself that I'd better request this book at the library right away -- always my first step before buying. But then I saw you were giving one away, well . . .

I have been gradually pulling away from following recipes exactly over the last few years. Many experiments work and I always feel a little thrill to know I've created something new that I love and that my husband doesn't mind washing the dishes for!

My favourite part of going to great restaurants is trying the new combinations of flavours the chefs use -- generally, combinations I'd never imagine! And generally, combinations I love!

I'm really excited to hear about this book right now, since I'm about to take a big risk and make food a big part of my professional life.

I'm leaving my secure and deeply boring government job in Ottawa, and moving to Vancouver Island to work as a freelance journalist. I'm hoping to do some food journalism, as well as start my own food blog. (Thank you for the inspiration!) So I'll be playing with flavours more than ever before -- and I can't wait!

Thank you for considering my entry and thank you for introducing me to this book.

Cheers,
Stephanie

April 8, 2009 at 8:04 AM  
Blogger Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

I'd love to win a copy of this book. Right now, I feel like a short order cook. One of my kids has serious allergies (one being wheat, which is how I found you). So, I cook for her, my other kids, and my husband who doesn't really like the food my kids like. It drives me CRAZY!

April 8, 2009 at 8:04 AM  
Blogger J. said...

ohhh free stuff that is always a way to get me to click from bloglines right through to the site.
Cooking in our kitchen is all about feel as well. I use recipes as guidlines for things that might work well and then I do with them as |i please - often working out how best to make them gf and doable on a budget. I love trying out new things.

As for those knives - throw me into that draw too, one needs good knives in their lives.

April 8, 2009 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger pumpkininrecovery said...

I'd love a copy of this book! When I first went gluten free over 6 years ago I didn't count on needing to learn to cook! Over the years I've gotten better at understanding how to make recipes better, but I'm at the point now where I'd love to be able to just stand in the kitchen and just understand what works. And with my first CSA box on the way in a month, I'm sure I'll be running into ramps :)

April 8, 2009 at 8:13 AM  
Anonymous Missy said...

I have been coveting that cookbook for months now! Santa didn't bring it to me last year, so its on my list again for this year.

I love cookbooks in general, but like Danny, I always want to do something a little different. It's why I have a hard time with baking...too much precision and measuring.

I'm more of a "well it doesnt SAY to add mushrooms, but I LIKE mushrooms, so in they go... oh thats not NEARLY enough cinnamon... I'm tripling it."

I'm not sure I could follow a recipe exactly if my life depended on it.

This book needs me :)

April 8, 2009 at 8:19 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I am living in Belgium and trying to learn to use the fresh produce in as many ways as possible, a little creative inspiration from a book like that could not hurt.

April 8, 2009 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger Devon said...

I am the type of chef that loves to let the ingredients lead me. I eat as S.L.O.W. as I can, so on any given day at the farmers market or co-op, I want to go in ready to be inspired by the freshest ingredients. This book lends itself to that type of cooking. I find myself often with a pound or two of this that or the other thinking, "ok what next?" I have a few go to preparations, but would love to have ingredients specific inspiration at my finger tips. This book is quite the find and I would be lucky to add it to my collection. In fact, I think it would surpass "in the collection" status and truly be a kitchen staple.

Thank you for posting this!

April 8, 2009 at 8:22 AM  
Anonymous Diane said...

The very best books I have are the "What the Heck Would I do With This?" books. I don't have this one (but would LOVE to get it!!!). My current go-to book for weird vegetables - bought at Asian markets and farmers markets - is Elizabeth Schneider's "Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini". Her writing is so fresh and lively, and there are recipes, but also a lot of chef's free-form suggestions, and just plain rambling descriptions that are inspirational.

April 8, 2009 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger WhitWhit said...

What a great book! This will help with the tricky veggies that come in my CSA box!


Oooh, and knives, too? Is this my lucky week?

April 8, 2009 at 8:27 AM  
Anonymous naida said...

As a person with a formerly complicated and frightened relationship to food, I revel in guidelines , not recipes, and freedom in my tiny single-girl kitchen now. hearing the relationship you both have to cooking- the musician and the teacher- i feel inspired, warm, and encouraged to work things the way i want.

April 8, 2009 at 8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Shauna - it was very interesting to read your and the chef's thoughts on recipes. I can totally relate - sometimes I have to use a recipe - but most of the time, I'll read a recipe and I just have to change it! Can't help it. It seems, the more I do this, the better the food!
I have to say, though there are many challenges with Gluten Free - it has made me a better cook. And, the adventure of discovery for new foods along the way is soooo fun! Don't you think? After all these years, I have to say my knives are a sorry state of affairs! I always thought my knives were ok, until one day at a friends, I used a messermeister knife. Now I know better. They are awesome! Is your Island as beautiful as I think it is?
Ina Gawne, Westcoast, B.C.

April 8, 2009 at 8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is definitely my kind of book! I was taught to cook by instinct and only to use recipes as a guide. In her less than perfect english my grandmother would teach me when and how the dish I was preparing would "come good" which meant come together properly. My husband marvels at my ability to go to the market, come back with ingredients and simply make something up by pulling together aspects of a number of recipes.

April 8, 2009 at 8:30 AM  
Blogger leela said...

i think this book will go well with how i cook because i don't really stick to recipes well, either.

April 8, 2009 at 8:31 AM  
OpenID inthekitchenwithz said...

This is the kind of book I need. I always find myself extra confused at the farmer's market. I hate going back to the same old basic flavors and often want to try something new. But what? I can't afford a trial and error - I think this book would be that subtle nudge in the right direction.

April 8, 2009 at 8:35 AM  
Blogger melissajanae said...

Not only would this take me out of my comfort zone (I tend to do endless variations on the same five recipes), this would really come in handy during farm share season. Thanks for running this giveaway!

April 8, 2009 at 8:48 AM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

I think this book would make an excellent addition to my kitchen. I'm just learning to experiment beyond recipes, and to try new and foreign (to me) foods. I'm having fun with this, but it would be great to have some guidance!

April 8, 2009 at 8:48 AM  
Blogger I Heart Kale said...

We totally take recipes as suggestions rather than edicts. Most of the time when we read cookbooks, blogs or food magazines what we're looking for is elements of a recipe--an unusual ingredient, an interesting combination of flavors, or a great new take on an ordinary ingredient.

April 8, 2009 at 8:48 AM  
Blogger Beth Wilkins said...

I'm a year into my Celiac's diagnosis and gluten free life. I have been a good cook and baker for most of my life. However, now that I'm gluten free, feeding my family and myself has become more of a challenge. I'm doing so much with new foods and the idea of this Bible excites me! I thought gluten free cooking would be a challenge but it sounds like this Bible would open up doors I'd never considered going through on my own. Thank you for the info on it. I may order a copy right now!

April 8, 2009 at 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Kent said...

Well I just purchased "The Flavor Bible" this past weekend. I've already used it, and love it.

I would like to be included in the knife give away though. I'm currently using a Forschner chef knife but have been thinking about an upgrade. I've been practicing my knife skills for about a month now and have been improving. I find practicing knife skills a lot of fun.

April 8, 2009 at 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Monica said...

When I cook at home it is usually for comfort. Either to de-stress, or perhaps to feed some people that I love, or maybe I am trying to confirm what I think I know about a recipe- or a cooking method. It all comes down to comfort, though. Making others comfortable; comforting myself; finding my comfort zone...

When I cook in the restaurant it is still about comfort, and so much more. It is also about reminding myself that I am good enough. I am not classically trained (I would love to be!) and all of my professional cooking experience is from long ago. Sometimes I get nervous-what if I am a fraud and suddenly one day I cannot cook any longer? I know it is ridiculous and yet that self doubt does seep in now and then.

I cook from my heart and my soul more than from my head, although that has been a bigger part of it as I learn more and more. I read cookbooks like they are novels and I study chefs when they cook like they are the best actor in a play.

Saying 'I love cooking' is like saying 'I love breathing'. It is a part of me, and it is NEVER 'merely' cooking. There is always more to it; more going on. I must cook! It energizes me; helps me to express myself; helps me work through thoughts, problems and stress; and it helps me show my love.

And yes, I know I am a bit crazy and that is ok with me. I am loved for that side of me more often than not.

I hope you three are blissful!

April 8, 2009 at 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Shauna - I love reading your posts because it seems our kitchens often look the same. My Mister is the cook that never uses recipes and I'm the one always hunched over a cookbook or recipe. Maybe this book would help me move out of my comfort zone!?
Sincerely, Alix

April 8, 2009 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I'm so very excited about this book - I'm learning to cook again, not follow recipes, but experience food and all the tastes it has to offer. This is a must on my wish list!
As a result of my learning, I'm also a new follower of your blog and just have to mention I'm jealous of your garden :)
Thanks for sharing this book with us.

April 8, 2009 at 8:55 AM  
OpenID wanderluck said...

Cooking in my kitchen is like successfully managing EVOC through the snow in a police cruiser - for a while there, it looks like it's going to be a serious wreck, and there's a big mess surrounding pretty much everything, but in the end, everyone is safe and everything turns out all right. Vaguely organized chaos - organized to me, anyway. I'm a jazzy grammar student - I'll use a recipe, but not to the letter. More of the jazz than the grammar, I suppose. I fix meals by what's already in the house; I hate to preplan anything, simply because by the time I get down to cooking, I may have changed my mind about what I want to do.

As for the knives, I'd never heard of the maker until you mentioned them. But they look wonderful, and with such a understated glory as you presented, how could they be bad?

Kate

April 8, 2009 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger megc said...

This book sounds fabulous, a document of the practice I already do naturally and regularly. I always say that if you know what tastes good together, what is compatible taste-wise, then you almost don't need recipes! That being said, I love the discovery in following recipes, of learning of new flavor combinations. I'm a good cook and an accomplished baker, so I understand the value of both improvising and reading the notes (I'm also a musician, so there is the musical reference as well!) Even if I don't receive this copy you are offering, I will for sure check it out, in order to expand my own mental culinary encyclopedia. Thank you for introducing me to this book!

April 8, 2009 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger water sign said...

This book sounds great for someone like me, who is still not comfortable straying terribly far from a recipe. But I really want to push myself this year to cook more creatively and intuitively.

April 8, 2009 at 9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Shauna, I would love the knife and scissors for my 'little bean' who will be 23 next week and is asking for quality items to start her kitchen/food life with. Of course this is after her graduation in May and when she figures out where the winds (or jobs) will take her. sigh.
Eileen
@ eileendailey@cox.net

April 8, 2009 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Stephanie in Idaho said...

Woohoo! A giveaway!! Times 2!

I love to cook without a recipe... But I have to admit that I DO use recipes...sometimes as a 'guideline', sometimes 'to the letter'. Anyway... I would LOVE the book!

April 8, 2009 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Stephanie in Idaho said...

And knives! LOVE good knives!

April 8, 2009 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger jill elise said...

cooking in your kitchen, and how this book might help.

My future husband (getting married in 2 months!) and I just moved into a new house, with a big, sunny, purple kitchen. We're still hitting our stride here, and I'd love a book like that to reference ingredients, I need a change from my Joy of Cooking book collection.

As for the knife and scissors, I think I have every knife I need BUT a good chef knife. And my 'kitchen scissors' are pretty pathetic. I love a good knife, and it'd be nice to let my little cleaver have a break and get accustomed to a nice chef's knife.

April 8, 2009 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger Sarah Yost said...

That book would be great for me. I'm not great at following directions so recipes are hit and miss. Plus I'm lazy and just want to eat reasonably good food that doesn't take scads of time.

If this book could show me basically what to do with various foods and basically how to season them, life would be that much grander.

April 8, 2009 at 9:30 AM  
Anonymous beyond said...

i am fairly creative when it comes to cooking. i love cookbooks, but i read them for inspiration, i have hardly ever followed a recipe. (this is for cooking, not baking of course!) this book sound great, right up my ally.

April 8, 2009 at 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Christine S. said...

I live in a tiny apartment on my college campus. I have approximately one square foot of counter space and a limited income, but I just can't eat garbage. No Ramen, please!!! In your book you said to eat well. So, I go to the store, I buy whatever looks fresh and beautiful and is in season. I bring it home and I make what my roommates and I call experiments. Sometimes they are fantastic, and sometimes...not so much. But they are always fun! A book like this one would really help me out. Even if I'm not the lucky winner, I think I'll go pick it up...

April 8, 2009 at 9:32 AM  
Anonymous beyond said...

and i would love an excellent knife as well...

April 8, 2009 at 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Christine S. said...

...then I will be able to invent all kinds of new recipes. And wouldn't it be wonderful if I could create them with knives that actually cut? I can't afford to invest in really good knives, so I manage with tools that aren't much sharper than a pair of safety scissors. My fingers are crossed!

Thanks so much Shauna. Your blog and your book are an inspiration to me. I can't wait for your cookbook. I'm sure it is stunning.

April 8, 2009 at 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Andrea said...

As someone who has been a recipe cooker most of my life, I find myself evolving in my love affair with food. I grow bolder, throwing in a pinch of that, editing other ingredients that I don't love . . .this sounds like the perfect compliment to this style.

April 8, 2009 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger MsJess said...

This book sounds really intriguing. I love to play around with recipes and experiment. Often I'll get an idea for a dish and then reserach about 4-5 different recipes and combine them together until I have what I want. I'd love to use this book as a source of inspiration.

My farmer's market doesn't have ramps yet, but it does have delicous shiitake mushrooms that I can't get enough of.

April 8, 2009 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Bethany said...

I've loved how our CSA membership has encouraged me to play by ear in the kitchen. I didn't realize it when we joined, but the skills I've acquired are proving even more useful as I pare down my cookbook collection in preparation for an extended trip on our sailboat. This book, however, looks like it would be worth the shelf space as we shop in foreign markets for unfamiliar ingredients. And knives? Ohhh, drooling already.
While you're here, do you know of any other good printed resources for information about produce of the world?

April 8, 2009 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

My kitchen is itsy-bitsy, but clean and bright. Cleanliness and brightness, plus maybe some potted plants, are the best kitchen ingredients, next to, of course, real ingredients!

April 8, 2009 at 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Ishkadebble said...

Celiac disease has been a blessing in disguise. I have been GF since 1995. Given my financial status (work more for love than for money) and my commitment to eating healthy food and whole grains, I had quite a challenge upon getting my diagnosis. Most prepared GF foods I found were made with "white" or processed flours, loads of sugar, and were quite expensive.

By embracing the challenge of learning to cook healthy GF foods, from scratch, I have become confident and inspired in the kitchen, unafraid to experiment and excited about finding new flavors and combinations.

I now use cookbooks for inspiration. I only use recipes when baking, and even then, I play around with flours and flavors and additions (fruit, nuts, etc.) quite freely. For me, recipes are for the chemistry of liquid and binder and rise.

The Flavor Bible sounds like a dream come true, and a good quality knife is always appreciated.

(Shauna, thanks for your blog and your sharing of joy... I have been following for ages, and tell every celiac I meet to get your book and read your blog.)

April 8, 2009 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Mandy said...

The book and knives both look great! Thanks for the awesome give away.

April 8, 2009 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

My life has turned around since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease in Feb 08. Since that day -I have been doing something I never really did before. Cook from scratch! It has been a blessing and an adventure. My entire family has benefited from my diagnosis. Anyways, I need all the help that I can get in the kitchen! Thanks for all your support and encouragement that I receive from you and others who post here.

April 8, 2009 at 10:09 AM  
OpenID bruleeblog said...

I use Google as my substitute Flavor Bible. I type in an ingredient, such as kale, and am inspired.

Knives would be nice too. I need a set; the couple that I have picked up here and there aren't enough anymore.

April 8, 2009 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Let me get right to the point. I continually receive sharp criticism from my husband about the knives we got at our wedding, over 20 years ago. They never were on the cutting edge of technology, and time has not been good to them. I'll take a stab in the dark and say that these Messermeister knives are a cut above the rest. I would be honored to have a set, and maybe it would save my fingers from future harm. I've never had a "real" knife, and don't see myself affording one any time soon. (Sorry about all the puns, I couldn't help myself!)

April 8, 2009 at 10:15 AM  
Blogger Sommer said...

I would love the book! I need some help in the kitchen!

April 8, 2009 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger Theosis said...

What great giveaways! I'd be tickled to win!

April 8, 2009 at 10:21 AM  
OpenID simplesavvy said...

This book would definitely be handy in my kitchen. I've been trying to get better at using what I already have. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I like to wander around the produce and pick up what looks good, but it leaves me with a lot of odds and ends. What goes with bok choy? Belgian endive? Elephant garlic? I have no idea, but that's where the book would come in.

Messermeister knives? Yes please!

April 8, 2009 at 10:21 AM  
Blogger erita said...

shauna--thanks for this opportunity! i've been longing to break free of my reliance on recipes and become more creative in my cooking. this sounds like the perfect opportunity.

April 8, 2009 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger San said...

I would love to have this book in my kitchen as I am trying to teach my kids how to go beyond following the recipe. I've always said that anyone can cook with a recipe in front of them but I'd like them to be able to create.

Thanks!

April 8, 2009 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Joanna said...

Two days ago, I requested this book from the library--someone else has it out--because it seems exactly how I cook right now...trying new ingredients, figuring out what goes with them etc. Really, I want it to be a staple of my kitchen, but it's a bit out of budget right now. We cook for others, too... the knives would help with that.
thanks
j

April 8, 2009 at 10:36 AM  
Anonymous Becky and the Beanstock said...

I'm a very intuitive cook, using all my senses to conjure things in the kitchen. I use a lot of cookbooks for inspiration but inevitably and radically alter everything I make. So this is exactly the kind of book I've been looking for -- similar, perhaps, but much more comprehensive? -- to Secret Ingredient (a gem by the late Michael Roberts)? I'm looking forward to taking a look at the book -- it's the sort of thing that can revolutionize what goes in on a kitchen.

April 8, 2009 at 10:43 AM  
Blogger Meredith said...

This book sounds like it takes cooking to the next level for home cooks like myself. I've taught myself to cook using recipes, then had to go gluten-free and now would love to be able to put good foods together and have it form into a meal (without recipe). This book sounds like just the thing.

April 8, 2009 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger Gabriella said...

I am a newly diagnosed gluten-free, wheat-free (among other allergies) stay-at-home mother of a child with special needs. Now that I am paying more attention to what I eat, I double check what I give my 18-month old. This is the book that needs to be in my hands to help me learn to make better choices, and to be a better chef in the kitchen!!!

Thanks!

April 8, 2009 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Meredith said...

I just posted a comment about my kitchen and the book. But, my kitchen sure would be helped by those knives! (fingers crossed)

April 8, 2009 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I'm graduating from college this spring and interning on an organic farm -- one of the perks will be tons of tasty garden vegetables, and I'm sure the Flavor Bible would be great help for preparing them all summer!

And good knives? that sounds incredible, all of mine are just my mom's old ones/thrift store finds. thanks!

April 8, 2009 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Tracee said...

OHHH! I would REALLY love to win either the book OR the knives,there is nothing more important than the best essential kitchen items(and books) that you can get.

April 8, 2009 at 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Sirena said...

I would love to own this book and have - however tenuous - a connection to this amazing website! I come from a wonderful food family, but unlike my talented mother and sister, I am just a recipe follower lucky enough to have taught myself how to become a home cook. Cooking is how I show my deepest love to the people around me. Being a newlywed in my thirties is a little different than if we had gotten married at 22, 23. We worry more about money now, and often have to be creative about what we cook. Expensive arborio rice is replaced by bulgur for a tomato and cream risotto; boiled kale topped with poached eggs becomes dinner and, the next day, fills out a pie for a savory lunch. Maybe this book is the key that will finally help me grow from a recipe follower to a true cook.

April 8, 2009 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

I love to cook by smell. I will often pick one thing I want for dinner and then pull everything else out of the fridge and sniff it. If they 'go together' in my nose they will go together in a cooking pot. Theoretically. Smells change as food items cook, sometimes in unpredictable ways. It is fun to cook sans recipe. It is also very difficult. What a treasure this book would be!

April 8, 2009 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

I do not pick what knife to use by smelling it. I usually pick which knife to use by picking the one that is sharpest. My knives are in a sorry state: handed down to me by a much-loved relative who did not give much love to her knives. I think I need a new one. SO pick me, pick me! I need a new Messermeister knife!

April 8, 2009 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger Tricia said...

Hello! I've read your book and follow the blog through google reader. I just went through a bad breakup and have moved into my own kitchen--I can finally indulge in big cooking products, lots of interesting and quality ingredients, and exploring what interests me about food and meals. If I won this book, I would have some guidance as I start out into the great unknown of cooking.

Thanks!

April 8, 2009 at 11:00 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I have recently started to really cook again. Becoming a teacher has taken a lot of my time the last few years and with it the energy to spend time in the kitchen. After finding this blog I have begun to think about creating great food again. I have always been a food snob but without time to prepare it, I have resorted to the same boring line-up. The last few months, I have gone back into the kitchen and started to experiment and experience gluten-free cooking again. I finally perfected a chocolate chip cookie recipe that works and doesn't spread or fall apart. I have been making fresh pasta almost weekly (I NEVER thought I would be able to do that gf!) I would love a book that helps me get back my creative spunk in the kitchen. I recently bought a Messermeister veggie peeler and have to say, it is the best darned peeler I have ever used! So they must have other great cooking tools too!

April 8, 2009 at 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Barbara said...

Finding out that I need to be gluten-free was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Not only did I feel better physically, but it forced me to approach food in an entirely new way. I didn't have to rely on pre-packaged convenience... I could create wonderful things right in my own kitchen! Your beautiful websites have been an encouragement and source of many delicious new recipes. I would love to enter my name in the contests for the wonderful book and the knives! Thanks for sharing so much of yourself... and I love the bits you share about your little bean. My little "chicka" is now 12... but I fondly remember how enchanting those first few months were for me!

April 8, 2009 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger Mama JJ said...

I'm a recipe girl, not very good with figuring out what spices go with what foods. I've had a book similar to this one on my wish list for some months now, and considering that the book is fairly expensive, I'm doubtful that I'll receive it any time soon...

April 8, 2009 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger Mama JJ said...

I would LOVE to have a set of knives and scissors. I have four children and they are all going to learn to cook which means that many knives will be in use simultaneously.

April 8, 2009 at 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Pam Frank said...

Art and science; that's cooking. When I started playing in the kitchen as a 7-year-old, I didn't realize that what I was doing was learning the science of food. I stood at the kitchen sink filled with water and all Mom's measuring spoons and cups, learning how many teaspoons were in a tablespoon, etc. I learned what happened in baking when protiens and leavening were mixed and subjected to the heat of the oven. I learned, without knowing the terms, what braising, sauteing, and de-glazine were all about. I learned that certain combinations of spices tasted like Grandma's house, while others tasted like far-away places.

Years later, understanding the science gives me the freedom to apply creativity to food. Each time I learned a "rule", I also learned that the rule was the open door to expressive and delightfully artful meals.

The Flavor Bible sounds like a fabulous resource to continue this lifelong experiment with flavor, allowing me to choose the method in which I combine the flavors. Thanks for this terrific opportunity, and for introducing us to this resource.

April 8, 2009 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger Celebration Anniversary Gym said...

Over the past three years, my creativity within the kitchen has sky rocketed. At first being gluten free meant being afraid to eat anything. Once I got hungry enough- I started to cook. Three kitchens later, I prefer making anything and everything myself. Getting inspired by blogs and farmers markets, and gaining experience I find myself less afraid and more excited to try something new. Recently I've found a partner in crime who will butcher meat for me and use his ridiculously creative and adventurous mind to calm my anxiety about not using recipes. Falling in love with him while standing in a kitchen made so much sense. Cooking in my kitchen is fun and cooking with my love is even better.

April 8, 2009 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger barb said...

Hi GFG family! You have been such an inspiration to me...here's a little of my story.

I have always loved to cook. Every project I did in school, every book from my childhood, every memory that I hold dear to my heart centers on food. It is everything to me. Thoughtful preparation and fresh ingredients are so important to me.

Right now I work in an office, helping a business thrive in my own little way. My inspiration comes from the physical world of food but also from the written word. I read food blogs on my lunch (and sometimes not), I research ingredients and techniques and find literature I must read. I cannot wait to get home to the kitchen everyday! Working across the street from a international market helps pass the day as it serves as a sensory escape from my dusty cube.

I just went in there a half hour ago because I simply have to make kale tonight. My body is craving the green crunch of raw kale mixed with walnuts and a vinaigrette of ume plum vinegar, olive oil, tamari,agave nectar and love. While I picked my kale I saw the ruby stalks of rhubarb glistening in the next bin. They were just asking to be made into a buttermilk cake with rhubarb compote, so tart and tangy perfect against the creaminess of buttermilk cake topped with yogurt.
The produce clerk gave me a nod and I just smiled and said "I love Wednesdays." (Wednesday is product day at the market.) He laughed a big belly laugh and said "I do too."

(I also picked up some luxious triple cream cheese...but that is for lunch.)

Everyday I find inspiration in my little corner of the world. I would so appreciate having the book so I can continue my journey in food and with food. Also, I am at the stage in life where I have to be careful with money and having good cooking tools are indispensable.

I love your writing. Keep smiling in your new home!

April 8, 2009 at 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I WOULD LOVE THIS BOOK..I AM A BEGINNERS COOK AND NEED LOTS OF HELP..AND WOULD LOVE LERN GLUTEN FREE...THAT SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT IDEA FOR ME AND MY KIDS....
IRENEKEGEL@HOTMAIL.COM

April 8, 2009 at 11:44 AM  
Anonymous BB said...

Please consider me for the knives and or the book. I never seem to be a ble to pick good knives for my kitchen. Maybe the Chef and you could do a story on that subject.

April 8, 2009 at 11:48 AM  
Blogger Lily said...

My boyfriend works from twelve p.m. to eleven p.m., right now. While I cook in the kitchen, peering out the little window where I set my cookbooks into our very cramped dining room-turned-office, he tells me about his day. I don't know if there's ever a night I'm not cooking, cutting, chopping, perusing a book, my spice cabinet... We were both left recently without much in the way of kitchen things--we're both divorced. The pain of our first marriages ending and the confusion of divorce proceedings was tempered by meeting someone we couldn't stay away from--each other. A phrase as humorous as it is sad at times is, "I lost it in the divorce." Kitchen knives, that amazing essential, is currently played by a host of knives gathered from cheap sets, my mother's old sets, sales...new knives would mean a lot less work, on my part, because I think of all the chopping as the 'heavy lifting' of my cooking.

When I moved in, he said the kitchen is mine. He comes to the door, the window, but he's gifted me the kitchen. He's a playful assistant when I need one, but the jobs I do (theatre, modeling, costume work, dancing, commercials) are all high-stress, and intense.

Focusing on flavors is a way to take care of myself and the sweetest, most gentle man to ever grace my life. He keeps gluten free with me for a lot of reasons. He cares the kitchen is safe, he loves the food I make, and we both, as much as we can, seek to have few barriers or fences in our lives together. Every night between one or two a.m. we sit on our low-slung couch, drinks and food on the table, and kiss between bites while the rest of our apartment complex is asleep. Dinner is the most quiet, uninterrupted island in our lives right now. But I want new ideas. New flavors. New tangents on old ideas, to feed love as much as I feed us. I'd love the book because it'd be a new companion for me, to take care of my companion and myself. Love and cooking thrive on new ideas.

April 8, 2009 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger Monique said...

What a great idea! I grew up cooking from scratch with my mother - 14 kids to feed and not much money to do it, but she always managed to keep it healthy and make it taste good : ) I've always had a problem following recipies - she never used them, always said "cook how it feels right" until it's done.

I'd love to get a look at this book, and it's been so many years since I've added a knife to my kitchen I don't even know the brands anymore ; )

~M

April 8, 2009 at 12:05 PM  
Anonymous Janel M said...

"Say you bought some ramps at the farmers' market (they're coming here soon), in your eagerness to celebrate spring. But when you are home, you realize — you have no idea what to do with them."

Yes, that would be me. I can't tell you how many times I've done that very thing! I end up making something scary or worse... I won't say.

I would love the book, but I'll pass on the knives. I have great ones already. :)

Great giveaway!

April 8, 2009 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Amy Darabcsek said...

I went Gluten Free 1 year ago. I was so scared and then what do you know I found your site! I have made almost all your dishes and loved almost all of them! I read your book cover to cover and I really felt in sync with everything you have said! I don't own any cookbooks or good knifes so these would be my first!
Thank you
Amy

April 8, 2009 at 12:16 PM  
Anonymous Erin V said...

cooking begins with a recipe but I never follow it. I tape it to a larger sheet of paper to keep track of changes or additions I make so when friends need that recipe I can copy my sheet and pass it along.

And knives oh man I know the importance of a great knife but do not have the budget for them, as a result I am cooking with a paring knife only (it is great but cannot do everything) as I save for real knives. If I were to win my cooking would be taken to a whole new level!

April 8, 2009 at 12:27 PM  
OpenID creatinglisa said...

My husband and I married 5-years ago, just a few years after his Celiac diagnoses. He was use to eating ...well, nothing. He had about three recipes that he had "perfected" with his rice noodles (the kind that taste like wet paper when cooked) a jar of canned tomato sauce, and steak. He felt with his disease he was not going to enjoy food ever again. I, on the other hand, was use to mostly veggies - salads, stews, soups, and more salads. I had always enjoyed foods but was a little intimidated to venture out often to be more creative in my food blends and explorations. Since marrying however my husband and I have learned to combine his gluten-free diet and my love for veggies (and his growing love of veggies). We have experimented here and there and in baby steps our food world is expanding. I have wondered on a book that would explain foods and their ideal parings. I have wondered about how to mix flavors. I admire those who have learned this talent. Since wandering through my local New Seasons Market and coming across your book....a whole new world has opened up to me in terms of rekindling that desire to learn to truly create through cooking. I appreciate your blog so much for the courage it inspires in us newbie explorers in flavor. Keep up the good work - our taste buds appreciate it.
~ Lisa

April 8, 2009 at 12:28 PM  
Blogger Danika said...

I would love to win a copy and figure out what exactly to do with all the goodies from my local farmer's markets. Living in California has allowed me access to the freshest produce and this book could surely help take advantage of it! =)

April 8, 2009 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger Deanne said...

I found out I have Celiacs a year ago this month. It's been a wierd year to say the least. I believe that I have been angry for a bit of it...maybe like a grieving process although I couldn't figure out why. I am eating yummy stuff. In the last couple of months I've been in a funk...it's just food, who cares. But really I enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. That's what cooking was all about for me. Trying new recipes but NOT creating my own. Just trying other peoples. I've sort of lost that as I've tried to cook gluten free for myself and the stuff my family is used to for them. I think what I need to do is take the leap and trust myself to create something on my own and head down a new path. I hope that made sense!

April 8, 2009 at 12:33 PM  
Blogger melissa said...

I hate being bound to recipes. I know where I want to go but I don't know how to get there without directions. For me it's a lot like piano, I learned to play reading music and teaching myself to improvise and play what was in my head is one of the hardest things I've ever done, and one of the most rewarding.

April 8, 2009 at 12:35 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I didn't know anyone used recipes except for baking until I graduated from college and moved in with a bunch of people. I was astonished at how tightly they clutched their recipes and how fearful they were of disobeying them. I thought to myself "they are missing all the fun!" I have tried to follow recipes, but it is just so constraining -- I want to do it my way. I love the freedom and creativity of following my intuition. I regret whenever I doubt it.

April 8, 2009 at 12:38 PM  
Blogger Kait said...

I use recipes as a jumping off point. They are the start of greatness, not the map to it. My husband needs precise instructions to cook. A book like this would probably end up just as worn out as yours!

April 8, 2009 at 12:43 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I'm a recipe girl. My boyfriend is not. We have fun cooking together. (and sometimes "discussing" how much of what should go in where!) This book would be great for us!

Thanks!

April 8, 2009 at 12:49 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

And the knives... I would LOVE them! My guy has his own favorites, and how impressive would I be if I had my own? (can they say Celiac in the City, or Sarah Celiac?? smile)

Thanks! (fingers crossed)

April 8, 2009 at 12:51 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

The Flavor Bible sounds like something I would love and use often! I hardly ever follow recipes exactly - there's always at least some substitution here and there, if not extra ingredients or different techniques thrown into the mix. I do have some cookbooks that include the kind of information the Flavor Bible does, but nothing that's specifically dedicated to helping me improvise and explore based on ingredients I want to use as a starting point.

I would also love to be entered in the drawing for the knives!

Thank you so much!

April 8, 2009 at 12:55 PM  
Blogger Vid said...

Oh, wow! I've actually been looking at this book for a long time, but I haven't had any money recently to get another book off of Amazon (darn tuition!) For an example, just yesterday, I made a recipe on Yumsugar for roasted chicken with asparagus, lemon, thyme, and potatoes. I scaled down the recipe (guessing a bit), and decided I wanted to throw in some red pepper, garlic and onion as well. (Garlic and onion are two of my favorite vegetables, and as soon as I smelled the other ingredients together, I knew I wanted something more.)

I do have a habit of finding foods at the grocery store fairly often without a clear idea of what I want to do with them, though. I would love to have a copy of this book, so I can some up with spur of the moment recipes with what I have, and substitutions, instead of finding a recipe and having to hunt for several other ingredients.

I would also love to be entered into the drawing for the knives. Nothing's better in the kitchen than a new knife.

April 8, 2009 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I would love to be entered into the Flavor Bible contest. My youngest daughter has issues with gluten and dairy and oddly enough her diagnosis has made me into a better cook. I haven't the faintest idea how to bake with gluten anymore, but I feel like maybe, just maybe, in another year or two I won't be a recipe follower. And more time in the kitchen means I've grown to appreciate good knives. Enter me in that one too. Thanks for the fun contest.

April 8, 2009 at 1:42 PM  
Blogger Niki said...

I am by no means a chef, but I do love to cook. I get in such ruts with my food because I never know what things will play nicely together. I think this book will solve that problem immediately. I would love to give this cookbook a try and see where it leads me and my cooking.

And really, who couldn't use a great set of knives??

April 8, 2009 at 1:43 PM  
Blogger heatherfeather said...

Not to be greedy but I'd love to be entered in the knives and the KB contest.

When I cook, I start from recipes. It makes me crazy that I do, but I do. I may use it the first time, somewhat loosely unless it has a technique I haven't thought of before, or if I can't figure out why you would do it that way. Next time, I may refer to it. By the third time I start tweaking it. Adding elements in from other recipes, techniques I've used in other dishes or just throwing the steps to the wind and doing what I feel like doing the way I want to. I've never been afraid to try any recipe for any reason other than I can't justify spending that much money on a weeknight dinner (but, oh, the weekends are for food experimenting). That's not true - I'm terrified of trying gluten-free croissants.

I know I'm technically klutzy and am thinking of asking for a knife skills class for my birthday this year. So I don't lop my fingertip off, use the wrong knife or confuse a dice with a brunois.

April 8, 2009 at 1:47 PM  
Blogger Laughs2loud said...

I have the world's most supportive partner. His birthday last year was spent working a 12 hour day, followed by a direct trip to the hospital to visit me during my two week stay to finally get diagnosed with Celiac Disease. In addition to his super supportive nature, he happens to be the world's pickiest eater! I have to find ways to sneak veggies in his food, because, were it up to him, they wouldn't exist. This book sounds like something out of my dreams. I revel in finding flavor combinations that not only make me happy, but can fool my picky partner into not only eating his veggies, but enjoying them! It would make me endless happy to have anything that shows the respect to flavors that this book does.
On another note, I am notoriously good at nicking my hands with dull knives, specifically because they aren't sharp enough. What cook wouldn't be thrilled to have any cooking toys, let alone some steller knives?
Thanks for the reviews, Shauna. It's always wonderful to hear a fellow foodies faves. :)

April 8, 2009 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger anca said...

i love how you can't help sharing with others out of the bounty of your life. your adventures and travels and stories and kitchen and so much of your generous heart. now this beautiful book!

much like your experience, i am warming up to cooking from the heart rather than from recipes, and it is due in great part to my husband's free spirited approach to cooking. i love to cook and in fact i do every single day, always from scratch and most times for company, since my husband and i love hosing and helping community happen. but the only way i know how to, is to sit down and pick recipes for the week and then follow the plan exactly and the recipes to a t. which is a problem when i shop at the farmers' market. if i pick up what winks at me, i end up completely clueless about how to prepare it and what to pair it with. i lack the boldness to improvise. this book sounds like a fountain of knowledge and inspiration. it would help me make the move towards cooking more creatively and my husband increase his knowledge with wisdom from the best.

thank you for this wonderful offer!

April 8, 2009 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I am struggling with eating gluten free after my diagnosis. My husband is an extremely picky eater and comes from a family of trained chefs. Combine those two facts above and you can see my scream for help.
I loved cooking with unique ingredients and love growing herbs and trying new flavors.
Perhaps this book would do wonders for me AND my husband's picky palette.
Thanks!!
Michelle

April 8, 2009 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger Jarman said...

I would love a copy of this book! I am a recent convert to the gluten free life. After years of mystery medical issues and one emergency surgery, I finally discovered (the best way-by being proactive about my own health) that gluten was the root cause. Although I have fully embraced my new life, I am still trying to bring the flavor and richness of some of my favorite foods to the gluten free side. The most exciting thing that has happened in my kitchen recently is when I arrived home late from work, and my dear boyfriend surprised me with tins he had prepared of different gluten free flour mixes for use in some of my favorite comfort food recipes (I am from the south). I am ready to get started!

p.s. Thank you for your wonderful site! It has been an AMAZING resource for me.

April 8, 2009 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger sdlave said...

After a lifetime of cooking I've developed an idea of what goes well with what, but my husband is new to the kitchen, and well - sometimes I dont' want to eat coleslaw with hot lima beans and pickled fish.

And the knives, ooh, the knives - they are lovely to behold.

Best wishes to baby Bean, Danny and of course, to you.

Deb

April 8, 2009 at 2:18 PM  
Anonymous kyndale said...

I thought being gluten-free would be easier after a year or so. I find it hardest to eat on the go. At my home though, I can get inspired by a cookbook or looking on-line for gluten-free recipes or adapting recipes to make them gluten-free. I would love to win this book!

April 8, 2009 at 2:27 PM  
Blogger ascheele said...

Books? Knives? How wonderful!

April 8, 2009 at 2:38 PM  
Blogger Vincci said...

I do like following recipes to the letter, but only when I have lots of time, such as for a special occasion or when I'm baking. I find recipes too fussy for a regular weeknight dinner, so I have a few staples: broiled fish with couscous and steamed vegetables, whole wheat pasta with chopped veggies and ground meat tipped into store-bought tomato sauce (I know I'm terrible), or stir-fry and rice. I think this book would help me come up with more creative meals without fussing over having to buy a whole bottle of spice or sauce just for one recipe.

April 8, 2009 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger teal! said...

I've been eyeing this book for ages. I would love to have it to help me expand my cooking intuition.
I love introducing my friends to new flavor combinations and ingredients that they may have been to hesitant to try (amaranth, kale, fava beans, etc.). This book would be useful in thinking of new ways to present those (delicious!) ingredients.

April 8, 2009 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger Annie Speicher said...

Hello, Shauna!

What a fun thing for you to do-- auction off your favorite items. You are on your way to Oprah-dom!

Well, I have two good reasons why I would love to have this book:

1. I live in Chicago. All of the blogs I read are from Seattle and Europe, where people are talking about how hard their winter has been and how glad they are that Spring is finally here. Well, no such luck for us Chicagoans. And, in January, it got down to -20 degrees Fahrenheit. So I would love this book to help me dream a little of the fresh produce you all are beginning to receive in your markets.

2. I have just signed up for my first CSA and am truly terrified about what I'm going to do with, say, turnips. You see, I am only 22 and have not yet had as much time to experiment with new veggies. I am excited, but don't want to end up making the same things over and over again.
-Annie

April 8, 2009 at 2:52 PM  
Blogger Sondra said...

I need this book to give to my husband. It would keep him entertained forever. Your food ideas have inspired me for several years. Cooking gluten free has been interesting. Thanks for your guidance.

April 8, 2009 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger Schwichts said...

I have been cooking vegetarian for about 8 years now, and I have many wonderful recipes that I love and use frequently. However, I didn't realize until about a year ago when diagnosed with a gluten intolerance that many of recipes depended on the taste, texture, or bulk of wheat products rather than the nuance of flavors. I think this lovely book would help me incorporate some new and exciting tastes into my family's meals!

April 8, 2009 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger trishtator said...

Hmmm, this book sounds like the backpack needed for an adventure in the woods. It's only the beginning. Cooking at my house includes some deliberateness, but I love to experiment. Find new tastes. As my boyfriend says, "put lemon zest in everything." Being gluten free, i'd like to successfully develop tastes that are innovative and delicious, and have some assistance too.

Knives....I could use one that's a good match for my garden tomatoes, or my bell peppers. None of this sawing business.

April 8, 2009 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

As a recent college graduate, I'm still working on getting some culinary footing in the kitchen. I cook more than many of my friends my age (yay budget-friendliness!), and would love to have a book like this one to inspire me. It sounds like it is written in a very similar way to how I cook, in that I choose I new food I know nothing about or rarely eat, and then try to figure out how I would enjoy it prepared. I think my most notable success was within my first month of living on my own, when I made goat cheese-stuffed squash blossoms, served over linguine and peas in a light olive oil and garlic sauce. I had never eaten squash blossoms before, but they were too tempting to resist at the farmer's market. That experience alone proved to me that it totally pays to have culinary curiosity, and I feel like a book like this would only excite mine even more.

April 8, 2009 at 3:10 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I'm a high school senior who's been gluten free my whole. I'll be going to college next year and living on campus but will be staying here in my home town. With celiac disease I've had to learn to cook some and I'm still learning. I won't be able to cook at school next year but I look forward to coming home on a Sunday night and cooking myself a home cooked meal that doesn't taste like whatever the school cafeteria comes up with for a gluten-free student. I'd love to have a book like this to keep me inspired and interested (and maybe to give my mother's rather boring cooking a kick). Whatever happens, I'll keep reading this blog to keep me excited about gluten-free food!

April 8, 2009 at 3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great tips, as always. I've enjoyed your site for a long time and just found out last month that I have celiac... This book and some great knives will surely help with this awkward transitional stage I'm in, food-wise!

Beth
kitchentablecreative (at) hotmail (dot) com

April 8, 2009 at 3:54 PM  
OpenID peartplus2 said...

Wow, so many comments. I'm new to all this . still learning how to cook.I have to be gluten,corn,nut,soy, milk,and eggs free so its a challenge for sure. some days i feel so overwhelmed. thank goodness for blogs like yours to help me find my way. the good part is it's open me up to trying new things and actually tasting the goodness of the pure foods . I could use all the help i could get..ha

April 8, 2009 at 3:54 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

I was just diagnosed with Celiac disease and now, every day, as I drive home from work I think. I think what can I have for dinner tonight? By the time I hit the highway I am distraught. I am dreading getting home. I phone ahead and say eat with out me. Eat breaded chicken and pasta. I have eaten rice and tomatoes every day this week. I have gone to the grocery store 3 days this week and I have come home with cereal, coconut water, and all purpose flower. That is all. I want to be excited again about dinner and I want to be a family and eat together again. This means I need some major help to bring something new to the table. It has been 3 weeks since the diagnosis and this could be the jump start I need to feel at home in my life and kitchen again!

April 8, 2009 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Garth & Catherine said...

I was raised by a mother who believed in "garbage soup" every week or two - clean out the fridge and make a soup that always seems to taste the same, no matter the leftovers that go into it. This same sense of adventure in the kitchen helped her survive raising a celiac daughter in the early 70s (I was diagnosed at 10 months at Toronto's Sick Children's Hospital). At this time the range of gluten-free flours included rice flour, rice flour and rice flour. And perhaps cornstarch. So, many a pan of cookies was scraped in one stretched-out crumbled mass, to be sprinkled lovingly and laughingly (or tearfully by me) over ice cream. Completely unaware of these influences at the time, I now recognize that being celiac has freed up my inhibitions. I WANT to try ____, so I'll try to get from here to there, gluten-free. All my cooking operates from this principle now, and as i think about it,I can draw another parallel as a musician. Being trained in the Royal Conservatory of Music in piano, it was only once I learned the folk guitar that I could stretch my piano skills off the page into more improvisatory styles. Not tied to a "recipe" for taste, nor for music in my ear. Life is good when you follow your instincts. A book which starts with an ingredient and a smattering of possibilities is enticing, as are good knives for slicing...

April 8, 2009 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger Sherri said...

This is my first comment although I have been reading your blog for 3 months. I think you two are truly inspirational. I have actually read your book twice--back to back. (That is how I found your blog). I am a diagnosed celiac who is constantly in training to feed myself and my family better. I have learned much from your site about cooking and about appreciating food even when met with dietary restrictions. I'd love to be put in the pool for the book--or the knives.

Thanks! Will write again:-)

April 8, 2009 at 4:12 PM  
Anonymous amy said...

I am one busy mama - two kids, my husband and I both work almost full time, both are in gigging bands and are both committed to eating seasonally and locally. At our house dinner prep often begins at 5:30 or 6, and usually begins with a look in the fridge to see what we must use - that is our creative springboard. We're always looking for inspiration, to add to the internal rolex of ideas that says "since we have two bags of spinach to use, maybe we should . . ."

We love your site and we'd love the book and/or the knives! Thanks.

April 8, 2009 at 4:37 PM  
Blogger BC said...

Hmmm, cooking by flavour would be wonderful since I buy groceries by flavour. I can't resist fresh lemons, tangy garlic, sweet bananas, full fat creamy yogurt.. with the result that we're forced to eat the excess in some creative ways. A recipe book that screams flavours would help with the over flowing bounty!

April 8, 2009 at 4:49 PM  
Blogger ttfn300 said...

ooh, that book has been recommended to me, and was on my to-check out list before that! I am just learning my way around a kitchen and love finding that unique pairing. sounds like an amazing read :)

April 8, 2009 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I have to say that I already own that book, I don't remember how or where I read about it but I agree, it's such a great starting point for everything. I love to cook by feel & ingredient & I love how that book talks about the weight of foods & loudness etc. It's just wonderful. I would love to be entered in the contest for the knives. Thanks for your recommendations!

April 8, 2009 at 5:01 PM  
Blogger E! said...

Man, with 2 little kids and a fridge full of random leftovers and forgotten produce, this book would be SOOO useful. My fingers are crossed!!

April 8, 2009 at 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Tyler said...

Being the poor college student that I am, I do not always have a full pantry or the amount of time to make recipes by the book. I often take whatever I have, wonder if it would all taste good together, and try it out. I love to try new things in the kitchen, whether it is recommended to me, or I just think it sounds good. This is especially true since I found out about my gluten intolerance. A book that has suggestions rather than recipes sounds perfect for me, and an actual set of knives would be perfect, my kitchen has been missing so many proper instruments, it is ridiculous.

April 8, 2009 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger maureen said...

this book sounds amazing!! i am new to cooking and i am in love with it. i tend to prefer to use recipes as a mere suggestion and adapt according to our preferences so i think this book would be amazing to create new pairings and flavor combinations! (and those knives don't sound too shabby either!)

April 8, 2009 at 5:45 PM  
Blogger Dean Levine said...

I'm a working-outside-the-home mom of a wonderful (but very busy) toddler, and I plan the grocery shopping and cooking for the week, poring over recipes. We are adventurous eaters, and I'm an adventurous cook, and I would love to be able to look in my cabinet and be creative. All I ever have time to read it seems are cookbooks ... this would be perfect!

April 8, 2009 at 5:48 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

After being laid-off on Friday I have been cleaning, catching up on my fave blogs, and cooking. I forgot how fantastic it is to create your own food! Tweaking recipes, mastering timing, and serving fresh, flavorful, fantastic food to my grateful husband (he's liking this turn of events!) We currently use our steak knives to cut veggies (we are vegetarian and gluten avoidant :) ) and could, of course, make good use of nice knives or a book full of creative suggestions. Warm thoughts for you, chef, and little bean!

April 8, 2009 at 5:53 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

I never seem to be able to follow a recipe exactly anyway, with making a change here or there. I think this would be a boon in my kitchen.

April 8, 2009 at 6:03 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

My "new" kitchen--where I will be moving in with my bf for the summer--is teeny tiny, with (ick!) electric burners, but it's a place where I can chop and mix while he grills, a place where I can make his favorite tostadas (on corn tortillas!), and where he sneaks up behind me and hugs me. That last one is my favorite part. :-)~

April 8, 2009 at 6:05 PM  
OpenID Copper said...

Hello, I am at the stage of cooking where I too am moving away from recipes and trying to find more adventure and instinct. I would love to win a copy of this book.

Thanks.

April 8, 2009 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger LizKnits said...

I'd also love some inspiration -- ways to think about putting different fresh items together. Thanks for sharing gifts with someone!

April 8, 2009 at 6:37 PM  
OpenID Sarahem321 said...

Learning to be and cook GF has opened my pallet to all sorts of new flavors. Books are more often than not my basis for new food experiences. This one sounds fabulous.

As for knives – to combat mourning the loss of my favorite food group (anything bread based) I decided to cook. My first purchase was a good set of knives, which have had daily use and have seen better days. New knives would be a great luxury.

April 8, 2009 at 7:05 PM  

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