Winner! Thank you to those who entered to win the Guy Fieri cookbook! I always love reading about your favorite cookbooks and will answer your questions a bit later in this post. First, today’s winner is comment #19 – Meredyth, who wanted to know if I do any microwave cooking. Truthfully, Meredyth, I only use my microwave to re-heat things. I am sure there are cookbooks out there that feature microwave cooking! Email me so I can get your address.
Now onto giveaway #2.
This book also came directly from the publisher. When they emailed me asking if I wanted a copy, I couldn’t type “yes” quickly enough. I love Patricia Wells. I have her Provence, Paris, and Vegetable Harvest book and use and adore all three. She falls into that elite category of totally trustworthy cookbook authors. Her recipes are simple and bursting with flavor. She truly lives by that motto of use the very best ingredients, don’t tinker with them too much, and you will have perfection. So why am I giving this book away? Surprisingly, for a salad book, there is very little non-meat here. Normally that would be fine because the vegetarian recipes look lovely. But they also look fairly similar to recipes from her other books. In other words, I don’t need it and I probably won’t use it. Would you?
In my last post, I talked about pedestrian tastes. What is your guilty pleasure? Tell me in the comments and I will pick a winner on Monday.
Now for answers. Delia wondered if I watch any cooking or food related shows. I watch Top Chef but not Top Chef Masters (I just can’t get into it) and I did watch the dessert one and cringed throughout the entire thing. I used to watch a fair number of people on the Food Network but the only person I can stand anymore is Ina.
Charlotte wants to know what meals I make for my boys. Promise no judgment here, people – all right? There are a lot of cheese and bean quesadillas in our house. Noodles with butter and Parmesan cheese and soy meatballs. Tofu and rice. Bean and cheese burritos. Mac and cheese (no judging!). Soba noodles with tofu. English muffin pizza. They love edamame so we have those often. My little vegetarians are not bit vegetable eaters, but they love fruit. I remember my pediatrician saying that ideally they eat both veggies and fruit but one or the other is fine too. So they have to have fruit at every meal. They will also eat carrots with hummus and sometimes snap peas. Or celery with peanut butter and raisins. Graham will really eat just about anything while Spencer is much pickier.
Melinda wondered if I ever cook Indian food. I can guarantee you that as soon as Randy reads this, he will call/email/text me asking, “Why don’t you make Indian food anymore?” I used to make it a lot. I have three amazing Indian cookbooks, all from restaurants in London, and both Randy and I LOVE Indian food. I have no explanation as to why I have made more Indian food. Time to fix that.
Ange wondered how long I have been a vegetarian and when/how I decided. It has been a long time since I told this story – I think I had about 3 readers last time I wrote about it – so here goes. The short version. When I was 16, I was on this three month bike trip in France. We rode in five different regions and had homestays in each region. In Corsica, about mid-way through the trip, my friend Jen (she of the yoga retreats who I talk about all the time) and I ended up in the same house with a very crazy Corsican family. Lots of yelling and fighting. It was a little terrifying actually. The last night we were there, they made us a special feast including pâté. I took one look at it and knew there was no way I could eat it. How to get away with this and not be rude? I told them I was vegetarian. And then, I realized that I really was. I had no desire to eat meat, even as a child I only ate it because my mom told me to. I liked hamburgers but I could easily give those up and I liked fish so I would just keep eating that. So, I stopped eating red meat and white meat at 16. For Jen’s 21st birthday, I took her out for dinner and I ordered salmon. I finished it and thought, “I think I’m done with fish too.” And I was. So, no meat since 16 and no fish since 20.
Lori wanted to know what yeast I use for bread baking. I just use commercial yeast – the type that is in the packets. I use rapid rise if a recipe calls for it but otherwise I use active dry.
Midori (hi Midori!) wanted to know what spice I use for a little extra sumpin’ sumpin’ in my cooking. The spice I use most often for sure is cumin. It features prominently in most of my favorite cuisines – Indian (see above), Mexican, Thai, North African, Middle Eastern. But for a little boost, I will often add a pinch of red pepper flakes – not enough to be spicy, just enough to be interesting.
Thanks for playing!