October 23, 2008

My First Cookbook Giveaway

I have hundreds of cookbooks. Hundreds! And yet . . . there are just a few that I keep on my special shelf of favorites . . . maybe 25.

I realize that it is ridiculous to have so many cookbooks, but I just love to read them and look at the pictures. Sometimes I whip up a recipe, but not always. Often it is just the appreciation the author has for food that draws me inside the pages, where I can hang out for a while and soak up the atmosphere, taste the food in my mind, and then close the page on calories. When I do find a great cookbook, I put it on the Cora Cooks Hall of Fame shelf, and return to it time and time again. Recipes from its pages are the ones most often shared with friends and readers. These are also the cookbooks I am most likely to give as gifts to new cooks, brides, or friends who share my love for a good read or good food.

Some food bloggers receive advance copies of cookbooks to review, and then offer them as giveaways to readers. Maybe someday I'll be a cookbook reviewer too, and have lots of books to share. But I decided I don't have to wait until then to give away a cookbook! Don't worry, I'm not breaking up my old gang, or offering anyone a castoff.

It seems the most popular method for the book giveaway is to hold a random drawing, usually from readers leaving comments. OK, let's do it that way!

This cookbook giveaway is for a brand new copy of one of my all time favorites -- The Coastal Living Cookbook.
  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me your favorite cookbook and why it is your favorite.
  2. One week from the date of this post, the name of each person who leaves a comment will go on a slip of paper, placed in a big mixing bowl, and I will draw out the winning name.
  3. The winner's name will be posted here that day, and the cookbook will be mailed to the winner.
  4. Please check the option to include your email address on your comment - OR - send your email address to me at CoraCooksBlog at Gmail Dot Com. (Click on the Send Email To Me link in the left column.)
  5. Your book will be mailed to you as soon as I verify your mailing address.
  6. I will post a list of the favorite cookbooks from all the comments.

18 comments:

Kalyn said...

Wow, it's very hard to pick just one, but my favorite is probably Fine Cooking Annual 2007. I love Fine Cooking, and I've cooked so many things from that book.

Cora said...

Ooooo, Kalyn, that's a good one. Don't have it, but I've clipped enough recipes that I should bite the bullet and add it to my shelf. Thanks for being my first commenter - you're the best!

Maris said...

I love The Joy of Cooking - it reminds me of the recipes my mom has stashed away in my grandmother's old recipe box!

nckitkat said...

hey Cora,
I can't believe you are giving that book away; I gave one as a gift, and almost bought one for myself, but didn't, and have wished ever since that I did. My favorite cookbook? well, hate to say it, but mine- Hand-Me-Downs ! It is the one with all the family recipes in it, and I have written a few friends in there, also. the cover is off, the pages have flour all over it, and writing, and heaven help anyone who tries to use it when I am gone! I have only a few left, and it is out of print. (2 printings, no less!)
so...I am officially entering the contest!

grant said...

I would have to go with Mark Bittman's - How to Cook Everything, first edition. Almost everytime I get ready to make something, I find myself flipping through the index to do a little research. Sometimes just to learn more about the ingredients or process and sometimes because I have no clue what I'm doing...

The latter usually involves a phone call to you as well!

Cora said...

Grant, you learned your research skills well . . . and from a cookbook pro, I suspect.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Cora, you're reading my mind -- I'm planning to cull my collection of cookbooks, too! Now, favorite? A Taste of Old Cuba, by Maria Higgins. To me, it's everything a cookbook should be, combining recipes that really work with stories that set the recipes in context. Runner-up would be any of Ina Garten's books, because her recipes really work, too.

katie said...

I just recently went through my cookbooks and realized I haven't bought a new cookbook in forever! I have been relying on magazines and foodblogs for so long I hardly recognize my old collection.
I second The Joy of Cooking, that's definitely the one I turn to when I get an idea but don't know where to start.

Julie said...

My favorite is "The Barefoot Contessa". She explains and illustrates (color!) the recipes. It is not a cookbook for someone on a fat free diet. Ina Garten cooks with real cream, butter, eggs and cheese but the dishes are wholesome, and definitely delicious. My favorite recipe in the book is for the coconut cupcakes--but every recipe I have tried has turned out to be a winner. The way she presents food is inspirational.

Cora (Cora Cooks) said...

Thanks Maris and Katie. My copy of The Joy of Cooking was a wedding gift and is probably in the worst shape of any book I own - from frequent use. What Grant is learning from Mark Bittman, I learned from Irma Rombauer.

Cora (Cora Cooks) said...

Lydia and Julie - we're on the same team. I love Ina Garten and her books for their straight-forward simplicity and elegance. Coconut Cupcakes, Outrageous Brownies, Panzanella, Rosemary Polenta, Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup, Pecan Shortbread, Croissant Bread Pudding, Homemade Applesauce - I could go on forever . . . Her new book is due out next Tuesday. I can't wait!

Julie, I'll need an email address to contact you if you win the Coastal Living Cookbook.

Chrissy said...

My favorite cookbook is a sentimental choice from my childhood. Our school put together a cookbook filled with family recipes. My favorite was the section for kid submitted recipes and I had a couple recipes in it. I loved seeing my name next to my recipe!

renée said...

a cookbook giveaway, how fun! i am also always referring to the joy of cooking and how to cook everything.

scanning the shelves and spotted my first one - the southern living cookbook. not sure why a skinny teenager from upstate ny had to have that cookbook. i will treasure it forever, even if i only go back for the blueberry muffins recipe.

Cora (Cora Cooks) said...

Renee, after The Joy of Cooking, my first indispensable recipe references were Southern Living Annual Recipes - I have them all, dating back to the first edition in 1979. Long live Southern Living!

webbie said...

Do I have just one? No. I love Calling All Cooks, the cookbook by the BellSouth Pioneers from about 20 years ago. I have a cookbook that my church put together almost 30 years ago that I love.

And I adore Southern Cooking by Mrs. S. R. Dull. I have an original copy from the 20s.

Anonymous said...

Cora,I just recently discovered your excellent blog when Kalyn mentioned you in an article on her blog. I love cookbooks and always have a stack of them checked out from the library. I will always love the very first little cookbook that got me started in 1st grade called Mary Alden's Cooking for Girls and Boys. It was published in the 50s with offered by Quaker Oats box tops, as I recall. It included three levels of diplomas in the back of the book to be signed and framed by a parent when the appropriate level was completed. My signed diplomas are still in the book. It was a big deal to actually write in a book. Removing pages was just unthinkable! LOL. My current favorite cookbook is Simple To Spectacular by Jean-Georges Vongerichten & Mark Bittman. I have to buy a copy soon so another library patron gets a chance to borrow it as well!

Cora (Cora Cooks) said...

Chrissy and Webbie - Thanks for the comments! I wrote a recent post on just these kinds of "community" cookbooks. I love them and consider them to be authentic reflections of what people are really cooking and eating.

Cora (Cora Cooks) said...

anonymous - Thanks to Kalyn for sending you my way and thanks to you for the fascinating info about Mary Alden's Cooking for Boys and Girls. I will be on the lookout when I search vintage books. I had dinner at Jean-Georges once in NYC and I think his food is amazing - I'll check the book out too.