Posted by: Catherine | March 5, 2009

The First Unconfidential Cook’s Cookbook Giveaway

bookroombookgiveawaybuttonfinal3This is the week of firsts. First, there was The First Unconfidential Cooks’ Dinner, which was so much fun to say nothing of absolutely delicious (and guess who got to keep leftovers?). Now, my good friend Kim, whose blog bookstorepeople is smart, interesting and informative (do yourself a favor and spend some time there), just turned me on to the Book Giveaway Carnival at bookroomreviews. I think it’s such a great community-building idea, and  I’m always aiming to create a community, in my case a close-knit group of recipe sharers. (As you know, I divide people into two categories: recipe sharers and recipe hoarders.) Plus, cookbooks are in short supply there. In fact, when I looked through  the list I didn’t see a single one! Let’s turn those bookies onto something new!

51555q492rl_sl160_aa115_1So: I am going to give away one copy of The Improvisational Cook by Sally Schneider, chef/award-winning cookbook writer/syndicated newspaper columnist/contributor to Public Radio’s The Splendid Table. It’s one of my favorites since it really gets at the heart of thinking about cooking, not just following a recipe. I loved this book so much I excerpted it in a magazine I made for a client! As Schneider says, creative cooks forage for ideas as they do for great ingredients. She actually manages to teach you the improvisational mind-set, as well as what goes with what, ingenious approaches to dealing with the unexpected…in effect, how to be a Top Chef. For each delicious dish, she provides the recipe, then follows with an “Understanding” section that explains its logic; from there she explores the creative possibilities. For example, Risotto with Dry Sherry and Lemon so naturally morphs into Warm Dessert Risotto with Bay Leaf and Vanilla, Crispy Panfried Risotto Cakes, Farro Risotto with Red Wine and Rosemary, and Lobster Paella. Why didn’t you think of that? Well, now you will! Or: A new look at Warm Fresh Cherries with Vanilla Ice Cream and Balsamic Caramel can turn so easily into an Impromptu Jam or Free-Form Fruit Tart in a Bowl. A few pages in, and you just can’t stop your brain from working overtime!


514ovfnkncl_sl160_aa115_Schneider made her mark with A New Way to Cook and has a new book coming out…now: The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper. I read a lot about it on Chowhound boards—fans can hardly wait to get their hands on it! I have not seen it yet, but I can’t imagine it’s not as compelling as The Improvisational Cook—she’s good!


If you’d like to enter, and you live in the U.S. or Canada, please leave a comment and include your email address. You have until noon, PST, Sunday, March 8, and I’ll let the winner know as soon as I know. If the winner doesn’t respond within 36 hours, I’ll go to the next name drawn. Good luck!

Oh, and I’m going to start posting recipes from The First Unconfidential Cooks’ Dinner next—they’re all ready to go….



  1. thanks for a wonderful giveaway it looks fabulous

  2. Sign me up I adore cook books!

  3. That’s what I need to teach me how to cook!

  4. I am looking to add to my very small collection of cookbooks!

  5. Sounds like a great book!

  6. I need all the help I can get in the kitchen


  7. How exciting! Looks like a terrific book – I don’t have that one in my collection.

  8. Please count me in for your contest! Many thanks.

  9. I’d love to learn what food goes together for the times when I open the fridge and just stand there at a loss.

  10. please include me..thanks

  11. looks like a wonderful book. thanks for the giveaway

  12. I love new cookbooks – paging through them and trying new things is almost like traveling

  13. Sounds like a great cookbook and I need help learning how to do more than follow recipes! Thanks.

  14. Most of my cooking is improv, that first cookbook would be right up my alley. TY for the chance.

  15. Wow, looks like a great cookbook!

  16. Understanding food logic, science and the properties of ingredients is something I’ve been working on for a while now; I think The Improvisational Cook would help with that. Thanks for the chance to win. By the way, did you ever use up your Meyer lemons?

    • Our lovely neighbors just brought us another shopping bag full of Meyer lemons. If you have any thoughts on how to use, please let us know, and thanks for entering/stopping by.

  17. I’m drooling after looking at the photos. 🙂 Now you’ve made me hungry. LOL 🙂

  18. I would love to try this out.


  19. Looks like a great cookbook.

  20. I love your site will add it to my bookmarks and come back to visit. Please enter me as well in your great giveaway. Thanks 😀


  21. This is exactly how I cook, I’d love this book to give me some more ideas!

  22. I would So LOVE to win this!! OMG, I so would:)
    Thanks for the chance!

  23. I’m always looking for recipes. The cookbook sounds awesome. Thanks.

  24. oh i love cookbooks! these look fab.

  25. Looks great! Thanks for the giveaway!

  26. I would love to have this cookbook. I love to cook and am always looking for new recipes!
    Oh and I have the book Fireproof on my site if you’re interested in that one!

  27. Cookbooks are like pornography to me: I love to look at them for hours on end, but it’s all about dreaming and not about actually DOING anything.

  28. Slice a lemon and add to any veggies that are being steamed, adds a nice no calorie flavor, works very well with broccoli, which I hate (my only common denominator with Bush Sr) but my family loves.

    When I’m using a lemon only for juice or zest, I cut it up the remainder and put it down the garbage disposal for freshener purposes.

  29. Hello! My husband loves to cook and has fun with new recipes. He would enjoy this book. Please enter my name in your wonderful book giveaway drawing. Many thanks, Cindi

  30. I love cookbooks! Count me in!

  31. Sounds like a great cookbook. Thanks for the giveaway.

  32. My brother is a chef and would love this book.

  33. I’d never heard of The Improvisational Cook, but now I *must* own it!

  34. I’ve had my eye on this book! my contact info is on my blog.

    thanks for hosting a great giveaway!

  35. Sorry I meant to post for the giveaway here, but I was too busy swooing dinner party photos.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  36. i have never won anything in my life, except my two children, so i would like to be lucky and win a cookbook. you should add breakfast foods to this site; i look at it in the morning, and it makes me hungry.

  37. Please enter me! I love to cook, and most of my cooking is improvisational…


  38. Sounds like a great cookbook, I can always use help with my cooking! Just ask my husband 🙂

  39. I am a cookbook junkie! Thanks for entering me!


  40. Sally Schneider is one of my absolute favorite cookbook authors. I poured through A New Way to Cook — it was basically the only cookbook I used for several years. I learned so much from her!

  41. I would love to win this cookbook! I collect cookbooks and spending time going over recipes and imagining what the finished product will taste like give me tons of inspiration. I always follow the recipe the first time! 😉 Then I use it as a jumping off point to be creative. This book sounds perfect for me!

  42. I’d like to enter, please.

    ikkinlala AT yahoo DOT ca

  43. Please enter me!

    meh471 (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  44. Thanks for helping me figure out what to make for dinner. Love to see Guthrie eating the Pupparoni Pizza – will definitely make that for my girls..the ones with long ears!
    Don’t know the cookbook, but I respect your opinion; please enter me.

  45. thanks for the opportunity

  46. Thanks for the chance to win. It sounds like a great book.
    ruthann (dot) francis (at) gmail (dot) com

  47. This sounds like a excellent cookbook!!! I would love to win this and i’m sure my family would love for me to win this too!! I admitt i could use a little help with making good food : )

  48. Mmm yum!


  49. Please include me in your giveaway.

  50. I love reading about food, even though I don’t care to cook!

  51. I tend to be improvisational in the kitchen.. I think that book would suit me well. I love cookbooks, thank you so much for this great giveaway! 🙂

  52. Oh those things look yummy!!!! Thanks for the giveaway and thanks for the recipes!!!

  53. The ‘understanding’ sections sound fabulous – I’m always going off recipe, and most times it turns out well, but I’d love to learn more about why!

  54. I love cookbooks, please enter me in your giveaway. Thanks.

  55. Thanks for the giveaway, I love Sally on Splendid Table. 😀

  56. what a splendid giveaway! and hold the phone–did i just read “balsamic caramel”? me, oh my. 🙂

  57. This is such a perfect book for me. I am a “why” person and love to understand cooking, not just following step by steps.

  58. I love trying new things! Please enter me =)

  59. That sounds like a wonderful book!

  60. Please enter me for the giveaway. It would be ncie to eat grown up food for a change.

  61. That cookbook looks fantastic, and there’s nothing like curling up to read a good cookbook and planning what to try next.

  62. I love cookbooks and I read them like novels lol. Over and Over again! Nice looking cookbook!

  63. This looks like a book my daughter and I can share -thanks for entering me in the contest

  64. I love cookbooks, and this one looks great. Thanks for the chance to win

  65. I have cookbooks..but maybe this is the one I need to get me into the cooking. Thank you for the giveaway

  66. I love finding new recipes, count me in.

  67. I love cookbooks

  68. they look great please enter me!

  69. Sounds like a good book! Thanks for the entry .

  70. Thanks for the chance to win. I love trying recipes from different cook books.

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