Monday, November 16, 2015

GIVEAWAY GIVEAWAY GIVEAWAY YES IT'S TRUE

—THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS SO MUCH FOR ALL OF YOUR BEAUTIFUL WORDS.—

Quick addition to what's written below: The wonderful Ten Speed Press has generously agreed to donate 3 more cookbooks to my giveaway. Read through and comment below for a chance to win 1 of 2 boxes of books. Happy holidays! 

Books. They are taking over our apartment. Towering piles in every direction. Cookbooks stacked on kitchen chairs. Filmmaking everything. How to feed a baby, raise a daughter, avoid mold, live happily ever after. Plumbing guides next to French anchovy books. Harry Potter this. Coming-of-age memoir that. "Buddhism for Dummies." Heaps of poetry. But we don't know how to get rid of them. We don't want to get rid of them. Once a month, an IKEA shelf drops down from the weight of a double- and sometimes triple-deep row of books. Or while I'm looking for a Chuck Palahniuk novel, "Ulysses Annotated" will crash down on my toes. Escoffier hides behind "Spago's Desserts" and the Cook's Illustrated's "Baking Book" (perched on my favorite stool) has been holding up one side of our kitchen table for longer than I would care to admit. But I love all of the books. I talk to them like I talk to my herbs.

Here's the good news for you and for me: I am giving away three of my books in my first blog giveaway. And considering our pathological love for books around here, it was very moving to be able to tell my daughter that I am in three books this fall and that I would love for her to photograph me holding them. So she did.
Here are some details on the books (and links to buy), but see below for GIVEAWAY DETAILS.

See the book on top? That's BEST FOOD WRITING 2015 (published by Da Capo Press / edited by Holly Hughes). It includes my apple tart story and recipe from my Food52 column. And some of my favorite writers are in this compilation including Emily Thelin, John Birdsall, Elissa Altman, Jeff Gordinier, Tom Junod, Kim Foster, Sarah Henry, John T. Edge, Pete Wells, Ryan Sutton, and some guy I've never heard of named Anthony Bourdain.

The book in the middle of the pile is called HERE SHE COMES NOW: Women in Music Who Have Changed Our Lives (published by Rare Bird Books / edited by Jeff Gordinier and Marc Weingarten). My essay from this book—on Madonna, Miley Cyrus, and my perimenopausal hormones—was re-published over on Salon.com. Check it out and I do hope it inspires you to buy the book and read the other 21 stories. It is a compelling and diverse collection including some badassery from Susan Choi on Stevie Nicks, Kate Christensen on Tina Turner, Charlotte Druckman on Mary J. Blige, Lisa Catherine Harper on Kate Bush, Jennifer Nix on June Carter Cash, Rosie Schaap on Sandy Denny, Ada Limón on Aretha Franklin, Bart Blasengame on Liz Phair, and Ian Daly on PJ Harvey. 

The larger book at the bottom of the pile is FOOD52 BAKING: 60 Sensational Treats You Can Pull Off in a Snap (published by Ten Speed Press). My recipe for Brown Butter Cupcake Brownies is included (my accompanying essay is not in the book but it can be still be found on Food52). This cookbook is elegantly photographed by James Ransom and lovingly styled by some of my favorite people over at Food52. Here are some of the fabulous treats my cupcake recipe is hanging out with: Italian Cornmeal Cookies from Emiko Davies, Savory Galette with Greens and Gruyère from Marian Bull, Black Sesame Cupcakes with Matcha Buttercream from Molly Yeh, Olive Oil Ricotta Cake from Kenzi Wilbur, Cherry Almond Crumb Cake from Yossy Arefi, Skillet Spice Cake with Gooey Caramel Bottom (!!!) from Merrill Stubbs. It's a practical collection. It's a longterm collection. It's a beautiful collection. I'm thrilled to be included.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:
I've never done a giveaway. Maybe you've never entered one? So let's just make the rules up. Here's how to enter (but please let me know if you have questions):

1. Add a comment below. Maybe post a link to your favorite song. Or tell me a story about cooking or parenting. Or share a kitchen hack. List your favorite books ever. Or tell me what you're going to have for dinner tonight. Ask a question about salad dressing. Describe your marriage. What moves you? What pisses you off? What keeps you going? Give me a list of what parenting has taught you. Tell me the books that are stacked next to your bed. Break down your technique for roasting a chicken. Write a story. Sum up this week in five words. Anything. Just don't post anonymously or I will never find you again.

2. On December 20th, Dash will select a random winner by drawing a name out of my new favorite black hat.

3. On January 1st, 2016, I will send the winner some Meyer lemons, a batch of granola, and a copy of each book I talked about above. Plus, I will throw in a surprise book. A cookbook. That's all I'll say for now.

4. Or just skip the whole giveaway hooha and order them from your local bookstore or Amazon. 

If for some reason you have trouble with the commenting function (it happens! no worries!) or if you wish to post anonymously, feel free to send me an email at dashandbella@gmail.com and I will enter you into the drawing.

I am really excited to share these books. Thank you so much for being a part of this community. You all keep me writing and cooking and breathing. And  I am so grateful.

xoxo
Phyllis
(photos by isabel ross)

162 comments:

  1. How could I possibly be the first to comment on this story?!? I adore your work, every bit of it. Parenting has taught me to be more flexible, and I was already really flexible. My daughter is two and is getting into cooking, she loves to help and no matter what is cooking she says "try it?" and usually when she does she says "pretty good!" She loves butter and tonight we ate round two of the best crockpot roast my husband has ever thrown together, the secret may have been the leftover port he poured on it. Can't wait for YOUR book!

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  2. Am I really the first one?? How exciting! (And, hopefully, how lucky!) I went to yoga tonight and followed it with a homemade pizza--quick dough I had in the fridge from last week, the last of the farmer's market tomatoes, olive oil and mozzarella. Flaky salt once it came out of the oven. eaten on the couch while catching up on Nashville. Congrats on being in 3 books this fall!

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  3. I will admit I get a smile on my face every time a new post on your blog pops up. Not only a new recipe but a couple laughs as well. I have two girls 5 & 7 and it is like a zoo over here. I love to cook and they are pretty good eaters. Keep the posts and recipes coming. It keeps me sane, or at least makes me realize I'm not the only one losing my marbles.

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  4. I'll go with a great cover of a favorite song: https://youtu.be/efL2eo9NIpM

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    1. Oh I love this song...have you seen Josh Groban's cover? Ed's version is great!

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  5. I've been living in Kenya--without an oven and with limited food options. I have bookmarked several of your posts to try when I return to CA in December and would love to add some more new recipes to the list!

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  6. favorite books: molly wizenberg's "a homemade life," dorie greenspan's "baking from my home to yours," the 7th harry potter book (that scene with snape's memories gets me every time).

    and because i like long comments (even though they're more of a pain to read/comment/pay attn to, oops), my favorite songs for right now:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aP_-P_BS6KY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYPqJ7wqjTM

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  7. My favorite food at the moment is cold smoked anchovies - they're a bit like smoked salmon, but they taste like salty, anchovy goodness. The first time I tried them, I thought of your blog because of all of the fantastic anchovy-based recipes you post! I eat them on sourdough rye crackers with a generous helping of unsalted butter. :-)

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  8. I just finished running a 10k and a half marathon back to back, and my knees are asking me to take some time off. Curling up with a book about food sounds fantastic.

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  9. As an American mom living in Italy for the past 5 years, my favorite tip for learning another language is buying cookbooks and cooking in said language! However, I have to say I do love my food bloggers...Thank you for adding humor to the kitchen.

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  10. I like your rules to a contest ...so lets go with what I will have for dinner before I even finish breakfast ... I am probably going to have eggs for dinner tonight. Again. I am waiting for the night where I eat the egg that breaks the camel's back and I start sprouting feathers. I eat that many eggs.

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  11. This entire week has been about a blintzes and caviar class I am going to teach this Thursday, and so I'll share with you my mother's approach to making blintzes: 1:1 eggs and liquid, and either a 1/3 or 2/3 of this in flour (depends on the liquid you're using - water requires less flour, milk more). You then throw in some salt and sugar, and a TB of oil, but really, it's all about the ratio. You don't need a cookbook for that.

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  12. wahoo a cookbook! my favorite book might be barbara kingsolver. love your mix of writing and recipes!!

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  13. I love your IG account - your photos inspire me to cook and stretch my lazy ass out.

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  14. Congratulations! All three books sound amazing. I love your blog posts, and am always inspired by them. I loved reading how early you involved your kids in the kitchen, overcoming your fear of them being hurt/cut. I have a 7 yr old, and I involve him as often as I can tear him away from sports, the iPad, or role-playing games with his dad! So many interests. Funny you should mention roasting chicken - that's what I'm doing today! I don't have one sure-fire recipe, I just go with whatever's in the house. Today, it's celeriac (which I've just learned I've been spelling wrong for year, and pronouncing wrong too, so that's awesome!), and carrots, and the chicken has a mix of spices reminiscent of fajitas ... should be interesting! I already have plans for the leftovers - I'm shredding the leftover chicken into a potato leek soup I made on the weekend, with help from the aforementioned 7 yr old! Thanks for everything you do!

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  15. Last night's dinner was a miso and coconut chicken dish, and tonight's is massamam curry. This is what happens when you marry a Hawaiian Chinese man who grew up all over southeast Asia. Wouldn't trade it for anything.
    Then, in celebration of my very Southern roots, I'm making a salty honey pie and green beans smother in bacon, butter, brown sugar, and soy sauce (damn, there's the Asian again) for Thanksgiving with new friends.
    Our road to having children has been a lot more heartbreaking and painful than I ever imagined, but your blog provides good fodder for dreams of the future. Thank you.

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  16. I have made 5 batches Cook's Illustrated's No Stir granola in the last 3 weeks. My husband and I cannot stop eating it. It's perfect and addictive, dirties one bowl (and I reuse my parchment paper on the baking sheet, so only one sheet of parchment paper too!) and takes 5 minutes to get into the oven and then you are done!

    It drives my husband nuts that I reuse parchment paper. And save ziplock baggies to reuse as well. He's always sneaking around to try and throw them out before I realize. I always realize it, I just usually let it go, because really, do I need to save the .02 pennies on 16 inches of parchment paper?

    Congrats on a wonderful fall and a beautiful family.

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  17. I'm making a kale and mushroom lasagne and am torn between using a bechamel or a roasted tomato and pepper sauce.

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  18. I love a giveaway! I wasn't going enter til I read the part about the granola. Since you asked, here's what pisses me off: people who take three days to respond to a simple email. Why? What are you doing that you can't just say, got it! Ok! I don't need a long huge response, just a short answer will do, thank you very much. Anyway, thank you for your writing, your photog, your recipes, your stories....Also, dark chocolate mini peanut butter cups keep me going. xo.

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  19. I was aware of your inclusion in the Food52 Baking book, but not the other two....now I have more books to add to my wish list! I enter giveaways now and then and usually comment out of necessity, but since I'm here I'd like to say how much I appreciate your writing. As a mother of a 3 year old daughter and someone who enjoyed cooking before she was born and now tries to keep enjoying it with her by my side, and sometimes solo when I get the chance, I look forward to every blog post from you. Each one hits me in the heart and the gut. Thank you!

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  20. All of these sounds fabulous! And who doesn't love a great giveaway? Love your site, which I found a short time ago. I've got lots of reading to catch up on! Currently I'm loving finding new ways to use fig butter.

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  21. I am so unhappily married, my elbow hurts. i find refuge all over but it's never sustaining. cooking always helps. back to center. back to hope. back to loving 2 young ones.

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  22. Reading anything you write makes me feel like I've found a new short story from a favorite author. It makes me feel normal that my life can be as screwy as yours. Sometimes I cry or laugh or spit food and drink out at what you write because I didn't see what was coming. Honestly though, I want the granola because I've never made it and I really like it.

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  23. The nutella cookies were a giant hit!

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  24. Hi
    I came across your blog sometime this year and couldn't stop reading your lovely stories. My all time favorite is the one when you were making French Toast and the kids decided to go around the block. Absolutely entertaining. I am planning to make some Thai Noodle dish tonight from a book that got from the library. generally speaking, most of the recipes don't fail me. I am just too afraid to make tarts though. One of these days I will have the courage. Good luck with the book sales. I hope I win a book so i can have it on my bedside as an inspiration.

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  25. I love giveaways but never win and love anchovies but am afraid of smushing their hairy little bodies. That's all. pick me, Dash!

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  26. Oooh, they books all sound so wonderful! Being from Texas, we are finally coming out of the crazy warm time of year which means one thing--I am going back into the kitchen :) Would love to do so with a few new recipes to try!

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  27. Yay for giveaways! I lovelovelove your blog and it often makes me cry. I'm in a cooking slump so who knows what dinner will be tonight. The other night I ended up making nachos and letting the kids have Cheerios for dinner, it's been that kinda month. Thank you for your work and inspiration!

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  28. They all sound great and would love to add them to my collection at one point or another. I can relate on the book front, I love books and have the hardest time getting rid of them. There is always a stack of 5-10 books on my bedside table at all times. I love reading your blog, it's so honest and your recipes are wonderful! My little man is almost two and baby girl is due in April. i just became a stay at home mom and am having a hard time with the transition. Any recommendations?

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  29. This is a great giveaway! I can't wait for your book, Phyllis! Your voice is real and relevant...I love the way you capture food and cooking and life and mess and family and doubt and everything all together...because life is never just one of those at a time. So right now I'm figuring out a dinner plan based on pomegranates while helping kids with homework and planning my workweek...and looking forward to reading your book soon!

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  30. i feel your book overload pain. a while back i kon-mari'd all my fiction books (NOT the cookbooks or the art books, that is just going too far.) every once in a while some book comes up in conversation and i'll say "oh THAT was a really good book" and stefan says knowingly "did you give it away? how am i going to read it now?" never mind that 1) he has a pile of books i recommended to him that he still hasn't read (i did NOT kon mari his pile) and 2) it's pretty easy to go to the bookstore and buy it again. HOORAY FOR BOOKS! I WANT MORE!

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  31. ps OF COURSE you will make cookies!!! wish i could come.

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  32. I love your writing and your blog and am excited to stop by Omnivores on Thursday night. Last night we had roasted chicken, just the legs and thighs because that's what always gets fought over in our house. I used the vegetables that really needed to get used--carrots, a parsnip, a purple yam--and then added 1/2 an onion and a few fingerling potatoes that I'd just bought. I put in all the vegetables and then the chicken. Then I ground some sea salt, fresh pepper, and added some small amounts of chopped rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram I got from the garden. (I picked those because they looked the best.) Generously drizzled olive oil over all. Cooked it uncovered in a Dutch oven at 420 degrees until the legs and thighs were crispy brown on top & juicy inside. The vegetables caramelized! Even my 13-year-old son ate every vegetable on his plate. And the chicken too of course. Tonight we'll have tacos made from the leftovers. I'm going to mash 2 avocados & add garlic and sea salt and some hot sauce, and we'll add that to the chicken, vegetables and a bit of cheese in our corn tortillas. Tomorrow, swear, I'm make your pomegranate flank steak! I already have the meat in the fridge!
    The books by my bedside are: Sick in the Head-Judd Apatow, Anatomy of Breathing- Blandine Calais-Germain, The Haunting of L.-Howard Norman, Down the Street-Lynda Barry, The Principles of Uncertainty-Maira Kalman, Delicious-Ruth Reichl and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki & His Years of Pilgrimage - Haruki Murakami (I just got those last 2 a few days ago). I answered more than one question! Looking forward to saying hello.
    Carolyn

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  33. you keep very good literary company :) books are a constant struggle in my very tiny apartment where cookbooks battle for space with my dutch ovens, my boyfriends keyboard, and everything to which my cat lays claim. sometimes I've overwhelmed by the sheer volume of cookbooks, the depths of which have yet to be plumbed and I end up just googling what I'm looking for instead. I struggle with that.

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    1. I find that I enjoy my cookbooks more than I did before I carefully, over a few weeks, pruned them back, a lot. I find I am less overwhelmed, and that I did not really love them all, they just felt comfortable. I also use the website Eat Your Books to quickly peruse my own cookbooks, you can try it out for free with up to 5 of your own books. I use more of the cookbooks I have using this website. I have not regretted taking one single cookbook off of my shelves. It has been a relief. I weeded my collection back by about a half.

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  34. What a fab give away. On my bedside currently are: the newest Michael Connelly, Quiet, and Warriors:Into the Wild. Random assortment but all good!

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  35. What moves me: our three children happily greeting my husband at the door when he returns home from work.

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  36. You are the reason why I now put anchovies in everything I possibly can and why I snap together galettes whenever I'm feeling a bit down, which is to say - you are a miracle worker!

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  37. Sixty-one years ago, I was 11. My mother had made an unsuccessful attempt to enlighten me on the facts of life, but I had no idea what she was talking about. Two days after my first period started, I trudged out in the snow to meet the school bus -- unprepared.

    Luckily, at the same time, Mom started the laundry and noticed what had happened. She came dashing up to the bridge where I was waiting and told me I had to come home. I thought I must have done something really bad.

    Mom fumbled with more explanations and I sort of got it. Mostly, I got that she was embarrassed. I was feeling weird when she had a great inspiration that diverted both of us. We made caramels -- from scratch. By the end of the school day, we had a huge bowl of waxed paper wrapped caramels and a warm, loving memory. Making caramels has become a lifetime family tradition and I never tire of the memory. Luckily, for my daughters and friends who have taken part in this holiday event, I don't insist on telling the story.

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  38. I made my first soufflé today. I cook to relieve stress. Cooking is soothing and fills my creative need while giving to those I love. I read cookbooks like others read novels.

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  39. I have absolutely no idea what I am making for dinner tonight and it is almost that time of day where i need a plan. Books on my bedside are Big Magic and Brave Enough. I find your writing so inspiring and your recipes so fresh and approachable!

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  40. I love this song so very much. John Moreland's voice breaks me.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5al3VnwdVQQ

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  41. Dinner tonight will be the braised cabbage wedges I cooked low and slow on Sunday night with onions, carrots, herbs and chicken broth and tucked neatly away in the fridge. I'm counting down the hours until I BART home to put on a pot of water for poached eggs and heat the oven to crisp up the top of those cabbage leaves. I'm hoping for a bit of chill in the air so I have a good excuse to whip up a mug of hot cocoa and curl up with Nigel Slater's Tender. Cannot wait to see you speak on Thursday!

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  42. Dinner tonight will be crispy egg noodle nest topped with red-cooked chicken, cabbage and carrots

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  43. Dinner tonight will be wine. Good red wine : )

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  44. Parenting has taught me to truly be in the moment and live and breathe the world through the eyes of a child. It's so much more thrilling this way then being caught up in how difficult parenting is. Cooking with a toddler can also be fun and not as stressful as people make it out to be! Also, there are sucky days, but that's what cookies and chai are for.

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  45. oh, what a treat this would be! especially to start my 4th semester as a PhD student in Education in NC! making your Nutella cookies for my students this week! :)

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  46. I think (know) I love READING wonderful cookbooks more than actually COOKING! My husband hopes this will change one day...

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  47. My oldest daughter is finally showing interest in cooking and has mastered the art of crepes. We fill them with nutella (of course). I hope to channel your ability to nurture your children's cooking skills and nurture my own to do the same. I love your writing and would very much treasure the books.

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  48. I've been cooking with my daughter forever...I think she must be about Bella's age...one day she was making whipped cream- I was hovering- she said,"mom I've got this"
    I tasted it and it was perfection...I nearly cried I was so proud!

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  49. Oh my, I have no stories abut parenting, but I was thrust into taking care of little ones at the age of 12, when my mother took an afternoon job and I had to pick up my brother and sister from daycare and bring them home to a snack and then put dinner on the table by 6 pm when my father came home from work. We all turned out alright and it forced me to learn how to cook and manage my time and be responsible, but I have no parenting stories. As for roast chicken, I love to slap on some butter, salt and pepper, roast it until its skin is golden brown and then do many things with its deliciousness over several days, two person household and all. There is always chicken stock in my freezer as soon as the weather turns cold. Finally, I would seriously adore the above mentioned Meyer lemons. I recently packed a couple of them into some salt and lemon juice for preserved lemons, made some Meyer lemon simple syrup for a batch of French 75 cocktails and used some in an Ottolenghi chicken thigh recipe, but suddenly they are nowhere to be found at any of my usual grocery stores. The books look lovely and I'll buy them if I don't win. This giveaway idea is fun and thrilling! Thank you!!!

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  50. Hi! I have followed you for some time on Instagram so hello :) A little snippet. I like food, wine, and chocolate. I have a 15 month old. I was a pastry chef and now am a SAHM :)

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  51. Hey! Love your stories. They are such an inspiration. As the mom to two boys, the oldest is a non-eater and the other is 3 and a budding chef. He is obsessed with cracking the eggs. But I love the diversity of foods you feed your kids. Love this giveaway! Cookbooks are a peak into someone's soul.

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  52. Hello!! Are we serious about the lemons? That's awesome. Also the cookbook. I can never have too many of those!

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  53. Love your blog! Live in a town over from you and love following the adventures you have with your kids! I'm expecting my first kiddo in March and hope that, when he's old enough, he'll cook with me in my kitchen.

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  54. One of my favorite blogs. Parenting taught me to never lie to children, especially my own.

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  55. such inspiring prompts, best ever giveaway instructions. (side career as writing instructor for you?)

    here's a story (off the cuff, i have a 9 month old).
    i must share it with you because i won't be able to make it on thursday, where i'd love to tell you it in person. (see also: 9 month old).

    i'm 38 weeks and 2 days pregnant, waddling my way up to the checkout line at ho-foo (whole foods).
    i'm buying an assortment of random items. olives, coconut water, that's all i remember.
    a woman sidles up to my register that i think i recognize, and i start to sweat.
    i could chock it up to hormones, because that's what everyone does when they're pregnant, but no.
    i feel slightly faint, and my heart rushes forward like a starting pistol just went off and it's time to race.
    my mind follows suit, starts running:
    "that's her. that's DEFINITELY her. tell her how much you love her work. just say hello! girl, you know you KNOW how to do this! don't pussy out now. but is it her?"
    i steal a glance at the cart, trying to not seem conspicuous even though my arm pits are ringing dark with wet and my belly is enormous.
    cotes du rhone, check. glutino crackers. (i didn't know she ever bought gluten free shit!) black nail polish. yoga pants. check check check. it's HER!
    "JUST INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO HER!" my mind is screaming.
    time is running out. a checkout line can only last so long when there's not many items in your cart.
    i linger near the water cooler. still time, still time, still time.
    chicken. this time, chicken. and not for dinner.

    i call the man-dude from the car, and scream:
    PHYLLIS GRANT JUST CHECKED OUT BEHIND ME AT HO FOO AT I DIDN'T HAVE THE BALLS TO SAY HELLO!
    he says, why? that's not like you.

    because very few (and we're talking VERY FEW) people in my intimidate me.
    but on that line, with my belly and my own little food project, and my aspirations of becoming a mother and a boss lady and a person who cooks and writes and inspires people for a living, you did.

    one day later i went into my first labor.
    almost one full day after that, i broke nearly every blood vessel in my face pushing my son from the inside of my body into the outside world.
    his tiny red mass of skin and flesh and bones a miracle beyond any understanding.
    his chest on my skin, flesh of and on my flesh--tiny lungs, small voice, Platonic in his perfection.
    and the memory of you, like an omen.

    i've been a fan long before becoming a parent. and your stories have captivated me like foreign foods. i've read them without finding myself in them. until now.

    i can't go back in time and meet you at 38 weeks and two days pregnant. but i can say hello from here, and let you know that for you, and all your work, i'm grateful.



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  56. ack. published before the grand finale...

    giveaway winner or no, i will buy all books that have your recipes and stories in them. goodnight!

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  57. I live in West Oakland in a loft without a kitchen, but oh do I cook! I'm 35 and wondering how long I need to properly "sober up" before attempting my first pregnancy. Tonight I had pretzel logs and clementines for dinner. I read anything from Barbara Kingsolver and MFK Fisher. I love your writing and your food, although I still max out at 2 anchovies. Rock on, Phyllis!

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  58. sprinkling furikake or togarashi on pretty much anything makes it taste better... ok, maybe not sweets, but man, it makes your eggs taste phenomenal! you may be particularly fond of the sardine variety. YUM!

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  59. How exciting and I love that there are Meyer lemons involved. I went to grad school in Berkeley and miss it something awful. There was (maybe still is) a place in northside that made and sold a Meyer lemon pasta that was so amazing- maybe if I won some I will have to make it-- now living in chapel hill, nc where Meyer lemons do not abound. Love your posts- your beautiful honesty and congrats on the 3 books! We'll deserved!!

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  60. Dinner tonight: Big salad (lettuce, chickpeas, bacon)
    Marriage: New!
    Book on my nightstand: Tiny Beautiful Things

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  61. I don't cook...rarely anyway. But I love collecting recipes and reading cookbooks. This week--hellish so far. Looks to get worse.

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  62. A fifty-year old’s letter to her thirty-something self…

    Your kitchen will always be the place you end up going to when you feel like you need to escape the weight of the world, epic parenting fails, or how to finally be a good wife even though you have already been married 15+ years. There is a rhythm that you fall into as you measure, sift, chop, and look for more ways to add capers and/or olives into every God-damn meal. As you stand over a double-boiler tempering chocolate you will breathe deeply and stand like a tree allowing the moment to melt over you, to wash away what you deem your failures are as daughter and friend.

    Cooking and baking will teach you much about yourself in the coming years. You will learn that you are not perfect and that this is okay. You will discover that you are actually a pretty decent human being and begin to see the beauty of your own face and aging body, even though there is almond flour in your hair. There will be moments when it pushes you harder than your husband or your family.

    You will dump entire burnt meals in the sink and cry because you hate wasting food. You will sob about those who live in your city and throughout the world that are searching for their next meal.

    You will sauté Brussels sprouts in brown butter, hit it with aged balsamic, toss with pomegranate arils, goat cheese, and pistachios and serve it to your 13 year old son who turns his nose up to it completely refusing to even try it. You will then proceed to eat not only his portion, but the remaining bits out of the pan while standing at the counter drinking a glass, okay two glasses, of Bodegas Sierra Cantabria Rioja Cuvee. And you will criticize yourself for not going vegetarian sooner in life even though you will discover a whole new world of food out there because you are.

    You will spend more money on cook books than most women do on shoes. You will question your faith as you kneed bread and ultimately determine to leave the Catholic Church while making a loaf of whole wheat bread with flax and sunflower seeds on a cold and rainy Sunday afternoon. You will embrace a Buddhist lifestyle and join a temple learning to mindfully eat simple and beautiful food that sustains your body. You will bake to show others that you love them and to get through nights of insomnia.

    Your kitchen will become your haven. It will push you to learn patience, determination, flexibility, and humility. You will spend many hours in this tiny wee place and become a better person for it.

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  63. I'll (try and) keep this short. I love your blog - your sass and honesty and real-life, uh, realness. Your recipe details and successes. I dig it all - and even more dig that you have become an integral part of Food52, a place I turn to more often than not now for new ideas or old favs. Well done, my friend. Keep up the great work - and the great cooking. Cheers.

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  64. I first found you one late night while up with my then-infant.

    He's almost four now, and has beginning knife skills. Well, mostly peeler skills.

    I want to cook a whole big Russian-Jewish dinner for you, someday!

    Here's what I sometimes bop to, in the kitchen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFPobQ-ewiA

    Or sometimes this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaA1nbJx8PI

    Or even this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdL3fEiSwZ4

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  65. My husband is out of town. Wrestling practice for kid2 went from 5:45 - 8:30. Kid1 stayed home with kid3. Dinner was... cereal (with no milk, oy!), 3 leftover pork tacos (for the wrestler), pb&j + applesauce, and for me - microwaved nachos, chamomile tea, and a granola bar. The kitchen is piled high with dirty dishes, because unlike last night I normally cook a real dinner! But I have photos to edit and deliver so those dishes can wait. The list of to-do's grows and grows instead of shrinking. But you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way. Kids are healthy and happy. Marriage is too! New [trying-to-launch] business is growing. And now, a chance to win some sweet books!
    Cheers!

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  66. My favorite author is Madeleine L'Engle, and absolutely CANNOT pick a favorite book (of hers, or of any!!) Dinner was roasted chicken thighs, potatoes, and kalamata olives with fennel and red pepper flakes.

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  67. I invited my ex-boyfriend to my family's Thanksgiving this year because he was going to spend it alone. My mom thought about it and said "yes, uh, he'd be more than welcome."

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  68. The first time I discovered your blog 4 years ago I had just moved to LA and wasn't so sure about it. I started reading your blog one evening and read almost to the beginning, like 20 posts. I had 2 or 3 glasses of wine, lots of emotions and lots of tears. I can't stop reading ever since.

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  69. I feel like I've baked my way through so many late nights: cramming for high school exams (does pudding count? let's say it does), writing a grad thesis that never got published (croquembouche), feeding and burping a colicky - hell, SCREAMING - baby (mom's peanut butter cookies, with one hand), buzzed out of my mind from steroids during rounds of chemo (your cookies, scones, pies, pies, pies, peanut butter balls for my daughter's 24 hour Relay for Life cancer fundraiser, my son's fave cinnamon buns - of course, everything tastes like crap when you're on chemo so I just kept sending my boyfriend out for more butter and chocolate, and nothing passed my lips).
    Fave song right now? This one, cause it makes me feel all of the things:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf6mkYz4mx0
    Love you Phyllis. Bake on, Sister.

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  70. I was an urchin at CPS who admired you (and other beautiful and talented dancers) to no end because of your ability to express the beauty of life through dance. I'm not sure how I found this blog, but I love it - mostly but not solely because of the glimpse it provides into life with your amazing children and the richness and beauty of home-life with good food that you portray.

    My life is very different from yours. I struggled with my demons-- an eating disorder and addiction-- until I had my daughter. That is when I began learning to cook, and appreciating the gift of real food.

    In all honesty, I have not tried most of your recipes, but have been inspired by them through your images and writing. It represents the life full of art and honesty that I crave.

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  71. Parenting has taught me patience, love, not being selfish and most of all, now that my son has his own children, I watch with awe how he handles day to day issues that I could never have juggled as well as he can. Bravo to the men of today, they are definitely more in tune with parenting than of my generation! Great blog enjoy reading and trying new ideas and recipes thanks!

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  72. Last night I did something really dumb. Let me begin by saying that I'm 6 mos pregnant and had just worked a 14 hour day...so, yes, pretty zombified. Anyway, I was excited to finally bake a bread project I'd been working on for 3 days. The oven was hot, the loaves had risen, rested, and been coddled many times over. Then, in my stupor, I threw the ice for my steam into a glass baking dish. The explosion was epic. Hot, sizzling glass absolutely everywhere. I cleaned up the best I could, declared myself done for the day, and went straight to bed. Sad, sad story. But let me say it again--the explosion? It was epic.

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  74. It's only a couple of times a month when my kitchen becomes noisy, messy and crowded. When my sons and their girlfriends fill the space with laughter and tales of their weeks' journeys. Now they craft cocktails for us, set the table, draw us together. They fill my heart until it presses at the back of my throat. They miss my soda bread, one calls me mama. While I nourish their bodies with food, they nourish my soul with their beautiful music
    http://cavepainters.bandcamp.com

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  75. anorton@uchicago.eduNovember 18, 2015 at 6:59 PM

    Cookbook giveaway
    Such a delight on a work
    Day -- will I win it?

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  76. I used to buy myself cookbooks. These days I seem to buy a lot of 3T sized clothing and stuffed animals..

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  77. Thank you for this opportunity. I love cookbooks almost as much as I love food. I don't really have a favorite, but my latest cookbook flame would have to be "Smitten Kitchen" by Deb Perelman. Cookbooks like Deb's can give you a window into the author's life almost as much as an autobiography.

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  78. Hey - great giveaway! I'm going to tell you about the cinnamon rolls that I made (from scratch) last week and took a picture of - yes, they looked that good !! Surprised the pants off a few of my friends because I have a sign on my wall that says "I only have this kitchen because it came with the house." Looks like I'll be spending some time in the kitchen this winter ..... who knew ?!!

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  79. Thanks. I took Zahav out of the library but it's so good I'm going to hint around until someone buys me my own copy.

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  80. I started baking when I was 12 years old. It was just something middle school girls did! We would buy boxes of Ghiradelli brownie mix or funfetti cake mix and, without fail, they would come out perfectly as pre-mixed baked goods tend to do! Ever since then, I have been slowly working on perfecting my craft. Baking is my passion, it's my stress reliever - it's what I would love to make my profession. So, adding these cook books to my collections would be amazing and really help and no one would appreciate it more than me. Your story is so inspiring! Thank you!

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  81. Hi! My birthday is December 20th so I hope that gives me some extra juju for this giveaway. I'm making granola after having a fabulous batch at the Antebellum Inn in Milledgeville, GA last week - they shared their recipe and I can't wait to dive in.

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  82. I love this giveaway so much! Let's see - I used to bake all of the time, but now I've moved on to smoothies and cocktails. Don't worry, I'm not on any sort of liquid diet. However, what I've learned is that everything is better with a dash of cardamom. (Okay, not everything, but the majority of things I'm making). Even though this morning, I almost accidentally put coriander seed into my smoothie instead of cardamom thanks to those darn bottles looking identical.)

    g.

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  83. The books I have stacked: the Red and the Black, Inside the Kingdom, the Human Comedy (selected stories) and God a biography. My marriage needs the following to survive: sex and a sense of humor, taking the long view, a short memory, Masterpiece Theater, a California King sized bed, support from my lady friends, coffee, and time alone.... It needs lots of other stuff too, stuff that makes itself up as we go, stuff we've grown so used to doing that we have forgotten that we do it, it needs division of labor, sometimes unequal, and redistributed at random. I stay married because my breath is deeper when I hear his motorcycle coming up the drive- he's home. I stay married because he is home.
    I don't know about dinner tonight but my 10 year old daughter will make shortcake with coconut and almonds.

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  84. Hi Phyllis! I am a huge fan of Laurie Colwin, even though I am older than she ever got to be, I admire her like the big sister I never had. Your writing makes me think of her. You wanna be my big sister??

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  85. I have books stacked everywhere in my apartment. On my nightstand I have back issues of the New Yorker, The Night Watch by Sarah Waters, The Quick by Lauren Owen, and Green Kitchen Travels by David Frenkeil and Luise Vindahl. The last book I loved was Orlando by VWoofl.

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  86. I'm not sure about dinner tonight, maybe some thing soupy and warm.
    This song:https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=u7rQvJgTQ9U

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  87. I want to eat everything you post. It all looks so delicious.

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  88. I caught a baby girl the other day who was so chubby her belly got stuck on the way out like Pooh Bear in Rabbit's hole. Her mom said it must have been all the peanut butter she ate while she was pregnant and so we all laughed and wanted her to name the baby Peanut Butter but she settled on Avery instead. That's how a tiny bit of my week went.

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  89. I love it when I open my email and I have a new post from you. You always make me laugh and you always make me feel like it's ok to not be a perfect mom all the time. You remind me that love is what's important and time spent loving. Thank you.

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  90. I still dream of my six year old touching my cheek when she nursed. I am angry about religious intolerance. I haven't made it on to my yoga mat in weeks. I am trying to breathe. I love books. These words have been rolling around in my head, wanting to be tasted: nourishment, beauty, love.

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  91. I went to high school with your husband and his brother. I discovered your writing when Kirk shared a link on Facebook to one of your blog posts - and have been a total fan-girl ever since. I love your story telling and the sharing of your heart and all the ways we can find solace in the process of cooking. Keep it coming!

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  92. You inspire me. I want to write for living. Maybe someday. Awesome give away!

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  93. With Thanksgiving a week away, I can't help but say thanks for your storytelling, inventive recipes, and yoga snapshots - and this give away!

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  94. I felt like I was never going to stop cooking/washing/dishes/planningmenus/making cakes/sorting leftovers. And then I started working again. I hadn't made anything for two months when I made bread the last weekend (bara brith, welsh, inspired by the great british bake off and the ridiculous things made by brits that I must make because when I was six I wished I was English and had a cool accent). I could do without all the dishes, but sometimes, just standing in the kitchen and sorting spices (which I did on Sunday) is its own meditation.

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  95. After so many days of happiness that I was starting to take it for granted, I'm feeling outrageously blue today. I checked your blog in hopes of a distraction, and... well there you go. Thank you for the cheer of a giveaway and the tempting idea of logging off to go bake brown butter cupcakes.

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  96. I'm compiling our Thanksgiving recipes, so dinner tonight will be something very non-holiday themed. I'm thinking Mexican!

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  97. A friend in Austin sent a wonderful FB message my way; a link to ;listen to the Allen Toussaint tribute on WWOZ out of New Orleans today. Good friends are priceless!

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  98. What fun a giveaway on my favorite topic food and cookbooks. I love trying new recipes and of course reading about food. Congrats on being in these three books. They all sound like fun reads. Thanks to for sharing.

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  99. What a lovely post and hilarious rules. So right now I am in the car with the family and we are driving to Universal Studios. I can't wait to see the pleasure on my little girls face when we are there

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  100. I adore you. And this. And those books. And my bedside reading collection is currently a nightmare of confusion: A few months ago I thought it would be a good idea to take in some book stragglers for a friend moving away, and now they're tumbled in a chaotic mess around my bedside table. And most of them I'll never read (see, in particular, a histrionic "historical" fiction about Helen of Troy). That said, I find the presence of books close by deeply comforting. As I would (and will, as soon as I get my hands on them) yours. Thank you for always inspiring.

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  101. Every year I cry at Thanksgiving. I can't help it. And I don't know why. We go to our friends' house in Sebastopol. (We=me and my daughter age 22.) They ( K&N) got married this year after being together 28 years and I got to officiate. At the table - N's mom age 89, her bro and SIL, her sister and BIL, a niece, a nephew, K&N's 2 daughters, their donor, his partner, and usually some assorted adorable 20-somethings. There's a pug and a reject guide-dog Lab under the table and the best food ever. I love this family. We are adjunct, not related but they feel like family. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

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  102. Haven't seen these books yet, and I will try to get them from the library for the days off, and must- baking and cooking time coming up.
    I post some of my latest cooking in my blog
    (https://naturallyfundays.wordpress.com/2015/11/18/in-the-kitchen-6/) but haven't taken photos of the dishes as of lately. Need to do that.

    But I wanted to share, is the thing we've heard so many times, probably, the one small thing that has changed my life in the kitchen. Having a menu for the week. I heard it so many times before I decided to do it, and to actually make it work. But now, oh... I feel lost when I don't have it. It saves me so much time during the week, each day, everyone knows what's for dinner, I know when to take what from the freezer.... oh yes. Our meals, our meal-making, our evenings, run so much smoothly when we know what's going on.

    It's not a real trick I'm sharing, I know, but something I am so thankful has been working for us lately. I'll keep using it!

    Thank you so much for your giveaway and sharing all the great posts here. Happy Holidays!

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  103. Yay...books and granola and yoga poses with gin-drinks. Pick me!!

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  104. Yay...books and granola and yoga poses with gin-drinks. Pick me!!

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  105. For books, I really love The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. In terms of parenting books, I've reread Anne Lamott's Operating Instructions and Catherine Newman's Waiting for Birdy more times than I care to admit. In terms of music, I'm crazy for Jenny Lewis and have recently gotten very into First Aid Kit-- you should check out their cover of Paul Simon's America! Brings me to tears every time. Your blog is incredible! Thanks for this opportunity.

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  106. “First we eat, then we do everything else.” Every time I have a busy schedule I remember this sentence from M.F.K. Fisher and it helps me put things in perspective. The perspective very often ends up with a big bowl of pasta all'amatriciana, glass of red wine and plenty of new great ideas.

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  107. I have spent the last few days testing a recipe for cabbage rolls. Everything I touch smells of cabbage. My hands, my hair, the laundry room / pantry where I have a basket of cabbages waiting to be cooked, my husband, my clothes. It's snowing outside so I can't open the windows for very long to air the house. I hope that people will like the recipe. The joys of being a food writer.

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  109. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  110. I throw my head back. I laugh as the tears stream down my face and run down my chin. I laugh again. Why are you laughing, dear girl? you ask yourself. Im laughing at myself, how I thought that I would be able to leave and not want to go back. My mind rushes to the slow motion captured moments of laughing, menu planning, singing, bread kneading, the garden, the dreaded kohlrabis and rutabagas, the bay at sunrise. Sweating to death together in front of the stove, filling our jars of water and gulping them down together, looking up, laughing. The schooners in the fog, the smell of woodsmoke permeating the harbour. Knowing what she would say and running on deck to the refrigerator before she could verbalize. Days of being soaking wet, reading Eragon outloud with Ella, yelling “beauty break!” on deck just to get everyone from the galley to see the views. Everything i know of cooking and baking, has been taught to me by Annie Mahle, her beautiful family, amazing guests, and a woodstove on a boat. Three years by her side. I can wield a knife, I can bake in a woodstove, come up with the best ideas for leftovers, it seemed as though I could read her mind at times. How could i leave it behind? I’ve mastered my job I thought, I was too comfortable, not as many challenges. But now, looking at everything, i feel scared, almost horrified. I dont know the fancy names of dishes, special brands, the electronic tools that do everything for you. The tears roll down my face again. I’m afraid I don’t know who else to be or what else to do. Other than cook on boats, be in the garden, or power sanding my heart out. I long for a kitchen, a place of my own to find ease and play, I dream of a family, for the person I love to be the only person, to be good at something, anything. To know the fancy words for every dish. to meticulously and beautifully plate dishes, to chop my heart out, make new breads every day. I can do these things. I am capable. I am young, I am healthy, and I am me, just me. Sometimes, it is just enough, others it is plenty.
    From the twenty-one year old, who pours over your blog, cries, laughs, and empathizes with some feelings. The twenty-one year old who dreams of being amazing and utilizing her creativity and knowledge effectively. The twenty-one year old who feels all too much, and hopes to someday be a little like herself and the strong, brilliant, real cooking women she pours herself over.

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    Replies
    1. third times a charm, why is it so hard to get it to post right?! https://www.instagram.com/choplick13/

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  111. All of those are on my "to read" list. Happy Holidays to you and your sweet family!

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  112. Any cookbook from Food52 is welcome in my house!

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  113. Maybe post a link to your favorite song.
    Wasn't Expecting That - Jamie Lawson (this week's anyway)

    What did you have for dinner?
    I had an unblended squash soup ('stew') that I love, and lovingly froze in assorted glass jars last week, as a gift to my future self. So good. I had some slices of red pepper, and a slow roasted leek.

    Describe your marriage.
    We're not married. He's the first person I have not been sure I want to marry, but I still want to be with. Maybe this is called being an adult. Maybe we will get married. We have so much time. And I have never felt so challenged, so in tune (and then so out), and so in wonder. Never been so thoroughly understood and it pisses the hell outta me sometimes.

    What pisses you off?
    When I could wrap my sushi last week and half fell on the ground and it disintegrated and I got soya sauce on my coat.

    What keeps you going?
    I help others. I try.

    Tell me the books that are stacked next to your bed.
    Bodies by Susan Orbach
    Baby Knows Best by Deborah Carlisle Solomon

    Sum up this week in five words
    ups and downs, and repeat

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  114. Your words, your heart, your photos, your sauce, all feel like a friend to my heart. Thank you for sharing all of that.
    Best to you always,
    Jennifer

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  115. It's Tuesday so I'm thinking about making some simple beef, onion and cilantro tacos for dinner.

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  116. Preparing lunch for my team today. My husband says this is from a recipe category called "A Man, A Can and A Plan." Recipe: stock, canned cannellini beans, a jar of salsa verde, rotisserie chicken. Heat.

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  117. So many books, so little time.

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  118. "Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant, filled with odd waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don't always like"
    -Lemony Snicket

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  119. I've been wanting the Food52 Baking Book! It would be so great to win it. :)

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  120. this performance:)
    http://consequenceofsound.net/2015/12/prince-radiohead-creep-coachella/

    And thank you, many times over, for the "Mantra" soup recipe...we had the 1st batch of the season last week.

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  121. I left Italy for Berkeley six years ago. For love. I gave up a great career, a wonderful city to let my husband build his path in another country, far from home. I helped him as much as I can form the very beginning doing what I like the most: cooking. I cooked my way into this new life inviting at my table new colleagues, friends, school teachers, school friends and their parents, students, clients, even strangers. I cooked against loneliness, to make friends, to be with other people, to enjoy my own secret treats, to build community, to be part of it, to help the school, the new start-up, the pets shelter, to build neighborhood, to brag and to be humble, to spread yumminess, to win a prize, to offer a raffle prize, to feel proud, to make my kids proud. I cooked my way into my new me. Just like you. Thank you for your blog.

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  122. I usually eat the baby's leftovers for dinner with a glass of wine after I've put him to bed but need to start getting better about creating a proper dinner for myself. I would like suggestions for other easy, go to salad dressings besides vinagrette with balsamic/red wine vinegar and either lemon or mustard. I'm also worried about how I'm going to do all the holiday shopping and festivities before the 25th.

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  123. I usually eat the baby's leftovers for dinner with a glass of wine after I've put him to bed but need to start getting better about creating a proper dinner for myself. I would like suggestions for other easy, go to salad dressings besides vinagrette with balsamic/red wine vinegar and either lemon or mustard. I'm also worried about how I'm going to do all the holiday shopping and festivities before the 25th.

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  124. i shall post a poem that made me sad and hopeful at the same time during this awful,painful year:
    The Sound of a Train

    by Faith Shearin

    Even now, I hear one and I long to leave
    without a suitcase or a plan; I want to step
    onto the platform and reach for
    the porter’s hand and buy a ticket
    to some other life; I want to sit
    in the big seats and watch fields
    turn into rivers or cities. I want to eat
    cake on the dining car’s
    unsteady tablecloths, to sleep
    while whole seasons
    slip by. I want to be a passenger
    again: a person who hears the name
    of a place and stands up, a person
    who steps into the steam of arrival.

    best from berlin, anja/tair@gmx.de

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  125. Dear Dash & Bella

    GREETINGS FROM KIDS RHYME BOX.

    We are happy to invite you to "Guest Blogger Contest for KIDS RHYME BOX" www.kidsrhymebox.com

    Rules are simple:
    1. You must be a proud blogger.
    2. Visit https://goo.gl/kB4Yds & go through our collection of nursery rhymes on "Magical Adventures of Bloop & Katty"
    3. Publish a write-up on "BLOOP & KATTY" in your blog
    4. Send us a mail about your published write up on contact@blooptroopproductions.com
    5. We will cross-promote all "participant blogs" on our social media pages.
    6. The best write-up to win a grand prize.
    7. Publish the write-up before 31st December 2015 :)

    Cheers
    Merry Christmas

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  126. It's snowing, Andrew is home, I want to bake - but I'm watching the Holiday Baking Show instead...

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  127. I won't even try and write a story. I will say that I love reading yours and following dash through your stories and amazing photography. A little piece of home when I'm homesick in NY. Hi everyone! XO maya

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  128. I want to say so many things about your menagerie of books and the way you talk to your books and the spirits that live in your books but instead I will say something that I've needed to get off my chest for a while: I am obsessed with the way you use pickle juice. I think you possess many articles of genius in all you are and do, but this one singular feature of YOU, this use of pickle juice, is truly transcendent. Also I hope I win. Mwah.

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  129. On my bedside table: My Kitchen Year, The Tenth Muse, Trail of Crumbs. December issue of Bon Appetit, 3 pens but no paper, carmex and lavender lotion from Bath and Body works.

    Love your words- Thanks for the giveaway!

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  130. My computer is propped up by The Way to Cook by Julia ChildMy son was diagnosed with celiac disease this year and I finally felt I was an expert in something for the first time, I spent 5 years mastering the the sourdough boule, I could give Chad a run for his money..... Now I must accept that I will be great at something else... love your writing.

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  131. i am OBSESSED with the canned smoked trout at Trader Joe's and i hope that someone else out there is too.

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  132. Thank you for shedding light on the life changing combination that is Meyer lemon and anchovies. You're great :)

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  133. I am excited to go home for the holidays and make our traditional lasagna! Also, I always love this song: http://youtu.be/KHucnowRqR8

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  134. I had guacamole and the remnants of a bag of tortilla chips for dinner. Gourmet? Nope, but it was the perfect way to clean out my fridge before the holidays!

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  135. for dinner tonite, we ordered Thai, but we make our own zuchini noodles instead of ordering rice :) and I'm reading a stack of books higher than my night stand- the clear stand-outs are Super You by Emily Gordon and Did you ever have a family by Bill Clegg.

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  136. Homemade pizza, stretched and covered in toppings by the 4 & 5 year old. So lots of fresh mozzarella.

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  137. I had Korean BBQ tonight. It was wonderful. With hubs, bro in law and his new fiancé. I grew up baking things out of a box. The I discovered the world of from scratch and I've never gone back.

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  138. Dinner tonight is a tossed together salad of refrigerator remnants along with some roasted delicata squash. Brown butter chocolate chip cookies will follow shortly.

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  139. Sad to say that dinner tonight was frozen "gourmet" pizzas, by the time Friday gets here I don't want to cook another gourmet, made from scratch meal.
    Congrats on your first giveaway and it is a good one. This is an awesome selection of books.
    I just had my first giveaway on my blog. It is for a skillet.

    Ok have a great holiday and keep up the fantastic and always entertaining stories and beautiful pics.....Dash always captures your light 😉

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  140. One of my favorite songs, the one that I listen to over and over again when I'm sad and depressed and just feel like crying: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELTVP4aqWAI I just love it.

    Dinner tonight is still unknown, I need to start baking christmas cookies and deserts, so I'm not sure I'll have any time or will power to actually prepare something savory and vaguely healthy. But who knows, maybe a nice huge salad will hit the spot and won't be too much of a hassle. I need to go through your blog, I remember you had some nice salad recipes, and I'm always looking for inspiration.
    Happy holidays!

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  141. Tuck this chocolate ganache frosting recipe away and try it out. It's a keeper! http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2007/08/devils-food-cak/
    I can't speak for the cake in the link, but the frosting saved the day for me after a major frosting dilemma over the weekend. My mother made a coconut bundt (which is to die for and I could get the recipe for if coconut is your thing) for a family birthday party and I took over as the frosting girl and styled the cake. After the first failed frosting I got online and perused orangette and 101 cookbooks and then David Lebovitz's website and this one just seemed promising. Once the frosting cooled it spread so nicely and held it's shape, but stayed soft.
    Let me know on Instagram if I happen to win the books! I've been really aching to get my hands on Near & Far. I'm on Instagram as karlimaren.

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  142. Hi Phyllis! Tonight we ate at Talavera on Solano. I'm currently 41 weeks pregnant with #2 and am officially done cooking dinner for the family, but then I came home and made pumpkin bread with my 2 year old who loves to bake. I'm feeling lots of feelings about adding another baby to my family and also so uncomfortable and ready not to be pregnant anymore. Thanks for this giveaway, I'm especially excited to read Near and Far.

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  143. Threw on some Octonauts so I could throw together Jenny Rosenstrach's Pork Ragu. Got to snag all the crispy bits from the bottom of the pan before the hubby. My four y.o. stayed dry all day. We had a dance party. Love your work!! Keep it up!

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  144. Love reading your blog and following you on IG- great writing and beautiful photography
    First year with an empty nest and cooking less but still love reading cookbooks and food blogs! Michael Solomonov's Zahav is next to my bed to plan from next

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  145. Hi Phyllis, I've happily followed you on insta for quite some time but I rarely ever make it over to anyone's blog. Yours is lovely! I'm a mom of three transplanted from the Bay Area to Italy via San Diego and am a lover all things food. But when I moved to Italy just over a year ago I went vegetarian simply because of the horror I felt at the state of the earth's environment in general, the scary drought in my dear California (I am dancing with joy for the rain you are getting now!) and the sheer amounts of meat meat meat I see everywhere in Italy. However, it is just me and my crazy environmentalist macro micro thinking on the matter that led me to give up meat. That said, last night I cooked some gorgeous organic short ribs for my family. I used a whole bottle of red wine and a large dollop of diced truffles in oil along with the usual mirepoix. My husband and children were very happy. Lots of mashed potatoes to go with it. (I had a fried egg and sauerkraut on my mashers in lieu of the meat!) So there ya go. As for inspiring books, I hope the secret extra book you are adding to the winning pile is my friend Claire Ptak's Violet Bakery cookbook which is a Ten Speed Press book. Right now I'm reading My Brilliant Friend and The Goldfinch is next on my bedside table. Best wishes to you and yours for the holidays! xo phoebe

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  146. The 7-Minute workout app. And Carmex in the tube. Also, will I ever get my handstand back post partum? :-/

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  147. Thank you for such a fun and thoughtful giveaway. So great to read everyone's stories or ideas. Today I'm baking cookies and treats for friends and neighbors. I'm making peppermint patties from the Prune cookbook and can't wait to see how they turn out. Also making my husband's favorite treat--ritz cracker/peanut butter sandwiches dipped in chocolate

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  148. After a busy day, we had dinner a Chinese joint that apparently is mostly a lunch place, the staff seemed flummoxed that we were there, ooops! I would love to put these books in my new/old kitchen I'm moving into in January. Those brown butter cupcake brownies are quickly becoming my favorite for my own birthday!

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  149. Last night we had Vietnamese take-out for dinner and were filled with joy as our three year-old housed a lemongrass pork noodle bowl and our four week-old napped.

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  150. For dinner I ate bagged Caesar salad. I'm in need of an intervention to get through a dinner rut! :)

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  151. I think I've made it in in the nick of time here... I'm single, no kids (and at 46, the window on that's probably closed, sadly) and am fascinated by what makes marriages work. Specifically, how do people decide when to stand their ground in an argument and when to compromise/give in? I believe in fighting fair, picking one's battles, etc., but I'm also a pushover who hates confrontation. On an entirely different note, I'm hungry after reading everyone's dinner comments! Thanks for having this giveaway and for your lovely blog.

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  152. I just wanted to tell you that I found your letter to your thirty year old self absolutely beautiful.

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  153. Your blog makes me heart sick for oakland, but I am far too much of an east coast cynic for the best coast... Your recipes impress me, but your writing floors me.

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  154. After watching countless hours of Master Chef junior, The Great Food Truck Race, and Worst Cooks in America, my 11 year old asked me if he could prepare a dinner for us. Sure, I said, find a recipe, and go for it. For some reason, he thinks the recipes on Food 52 are the best, and three days later, Korean Beef Tacos! (But when I asked him to help me prep burritos, he declined. Too easy, he said.)

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  155. This is a great time of the year to add some cookbooks to the collection. Plenty of time to cook and plenty of people to fob the mistakes on to.

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  156. i made a roasted chicken with copious onion and shallot wedges tonight, a shower of salt and pepper to cover it all. and couldn't eat it because it's for my folks tomorrow night. i love taking care of them. this is a track i've been loving for a while - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIA1XQnAv5s - sexy and strange (the vid). wishing you much cocktailing as the year winds down dear you. xoxoxox

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  157. Hi Phyllis, Bella and Dash.
    I think you guys are really cool to want to have your life - pics and feelings online. You've got to be real strong and very confident to do that. I know I couldn't...anyway, Colin and Ryan (they are older now, out of college)are my two best kitchen buds and they were always on the other side of the camera as well. They are my strength. Thank you for your honesty and your humor. Life is what it is. Keep having it!! Alice

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