Book Giveaway: Get Cooking

What vegetarian doesn’t have a dog-eared, food-stained copy of the Moosewood Cookbook in her cookbook stack?

I’m also a fan of best-selling, award-winning author Mollie Katzen‘s  cookbooks for kids: Pretend Soup, Honest Pretzels, and Salad People.

So I was pleased to hear that the warm and whimsical writer has penned a guide to getting started in the kitchen called, aptly enough, Get Cooking: 150 Simple Recipes to Get You Started in the Kitchen.

In her introduction, Mollie notes the irony that interest in cooking is at an all-time high. People everywhere love watching cooking shows and competitions. (Michael Pollan covered this phenomenon in a piece for the New York Times Magazine called “Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch.”)

Folks are eating up a steady diet of food blogs and food films. Talk about takeout, new restaurants, street eats, food produce and products permeates everyday conversations.

What’s missing in all this chatter? The art and craft of cooking.

So in her latest book, Mollie, a natural food chef  before the term was even coined, hopes to fill that void with what she calls “150 delicious, doable recipes that even the most inexperienced person can walk into any kitchen right now and make for dinner.”

She’s also moved beyond the produce stand and includes chicken, fish, and meat dishes (though there are oodles of veggie offerings and many recipes can be adapted for vegetarians or vegans.)

So, calling all wannabe cooks: This is the book for you (or the wannabe cook in your life, or perhaps even the person you want to be a wannabe cook). Lots of non-intimidating ideas to get the kitchen newbie — or even a seasoned home cook — going, with sound advice about recipe reading, basic gear, and knife skills.

The author covers simple soups, salads, main meals, sides, and desserts designed to expand a beginner’s repertoire. And her “get creative” sidebars offer loads of options for playing with the basic recipe.

I particularly like the sound of Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup, Wilted Spinach Salad with Hazelnuts, Goat Cheese, and Golden Raisins, Chickpea and Mango Curry, and Cherry Clafoutis.

One quibble: The photos don’t do the food justice; they’re a bit bland and lifeless. They’re not the kind of food shots we’re accustomed to seeing in cookbooks, food sites, or glossy mags. Perhaps the author was going for authenticity over visual excitement. (I attended a food photography session where folks were advised to use fake cream over the real thing ’cause it looks better in a photo. Oh my.) Regardless, Katzen’s enthusiasm and passion for food shines through on the page.

Read a review. Visit the get cooking website. Check out sample recipes, such as Vegetable-Tofu Stir-Fry with Orange-Ginger Glaze.

To win a copy of Get Cooking leave a comment below about what skill, technique, or dish you’d like to learn. Entries must be received by Friday, March 5, PST by 10 pm. Winner chosen at random.

Update: Wow! Mollie Katzen is clearly onto something. It seems like loads of folks want to get cooking, judging by the response to this giveaway, my most popular to date. The copy of Get Cooking, chosen at random, goes to Karen Pochodowicz. But wait — for all you budding chefs who want to learn knife skills, take a look at Mollie’s video tutorial and find sample recipes from the book here. And check back later this month for my March book giveaway.

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69 Responses to “Book Giveaway: Get Cooking”

  1. Francine Says:

    I’d love to try the Easier-Than-You-Think Twice-Cooked Broccoli – I can never seem to get my broccoli cooked right!

  2. susan varney Says:

    corn chowder

  3. Sharon B Says:

    It’s difficult for me to believe that I am as old as I am, and don’t know my way around the kitchen.

    This sounds terrific, because I really need to figure out how to get started. We have just moved and I now have a decent kitchen, so I have run out of excuses.

  4. Nani Steele Says:

    Have had Mollie’s books for years, even when I wasn’t a vegetarian. She’s a great person too, and have always loved her whimsical drawings.

    On photos, I agree. Heard she did them herself, perhaps because of budget constraints in the publishing system. It wouldn’t be a surprise, since they
    are always squeezing on that end anyway.

  5. Maria Says:

    I am going to make the Potato Soup with Rosemary and Roasted Garlic for supper tomorrow night.

    Hope it taste as good as it sounds.

  6. mickeyfan Says:

    Potato Salad. I can never get it creamy enough.

  7. nicole Says:

    I would like to learn how to make homemade pretzels.

  8. sandy Says:

    stuffed peppers

  9. Karen Pochodowicz Says:

    I would like to learn Vegetable-Tofu Stir-Fry with Orange-Ginger Glaze because I want to master tofu.

  10. EMMA L HORTON Says:


  11. Judith (from Israel) Says:

    I’d like to learn to bake bread.

  12. Mlisa Kelley Says:

    I would love to revisit proper knife sharpening.

  13. Kelly Click Says:

    I often shy away from goat cheese, although I have read much about the benefits and authentic flavor. I’m ready to dive in. Help me Mollie, goat cheese here I come.

  14. hj Says:

    I wish I knew how to use knives to chop quickly like they do on TV. I also wish I knew how to can and freeze.

  15. Kimberly M Says:

    The recipes sound yummy! I’d like to try making the Artichoke, Goat Cheese, Tomato, and Red Onion Focaccia.

  16. angie Says:

    Once I read about the Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup in your review, I was hooked. I would definitely love to learn to make that.

  17. Jessica Says:

    I love soups, and the White Cheddar Mashed Potato Soup sounds like the ultimate comfort food. I would love to make it for my family!

  18. Pam Says:

    I’m a huge fan of Mollie Katzen’s cookbooks. This sounds like one I need. I would love to try the chickpea and mango curry.

  19. Christine Says:

    I’d love to get back to bread making.

  20. Carol Says:

    I’d love to learn how to make crepes.

  21. Lori Berman Says:

    Stuffed peppers would be awesome!

  22. Rory Kaphing Says:

    I would love to learn how to make Thai dishes.

  23. Lisa D. Says:

    I would like to learn knife skills and how to master several key dishes. I love Mollie’s cookbooks.

  24. Anna Glazier Says:

    I have always been a fan of Mollie Katzen from the first Moosewood Cookbook. I would love to make the corn and avocado salsa.

    Yum, summer here we come!

  25. Annie Fantasia Says:

    I’m a brand new vegetarian determined to get healthy by cooking healthy & eating healthy! I need all the help I can get—especially when it’s from the best cooks! Thanks!

  26. Heidi B. Says:

    I would like to try the Pan-Fried Chicken Cutlets. It looks simple enough and tasty.
    Thanks for this giveaway. It sounds like an awesome read. I am always looking for new recipes.

  27. janeh Says:

    I would love to try the Acorn Squash Stuffed with Apple-Almond-Cherry Basmati Pilaf…Sounds wonderful to me!!

  28. Doug Says:

    I would like to try the Banana Bread.

  29. christopher h Says:

    I’d like to learn to make a great pasta sauce.

  30. Deborah R Says:

    I’m a pretty good home cook, but I have no knife skills. I’d like to learn how to (safely) use a knife.

  31. Harriet Says:

    I’d really like to learn to be a better baker; I always have trouble with baked goods

  32. Faith Says:

    Would like to make a great Tortilla Soup to share with my friends.

  33. Jenn S. Says:

    Would love to try the Asparagus Crepes with Spiked Mushroom Sauce. Sounds yummy. I really like Mollie’s kids’ cookbooks as well.

  34. Jason Says:

    I would love to be better at cooking fish.

  35. Shelley Mitchell Says:

    I need a good stuffed pepper recipe. I had one and lost it!!

  36. Kat Says:

    I would love to learn some more one-pot meals, for those busy weeknights when a major cleanup gets pushed to the back burner.

  37. crystal Says:

    Great post and review. Mollie’s book sounds great. Boy would hubby be surprised if i learned some recipes and succeeded!!
    I like the Twice-cooked Broccoli recipe a lot:)

  38. Anne Hamersky Says:

    I’d like to learn how to make sauerkraut!! Love all of Mollie’s cookbooks. I photographed her a few years ago. She’s a gem, no? Thanks for the fun contest. It’s inspiring to read all these comments everyone!

  39. Jennifer M Says:

    I’d like to try the sunlight souffle.

  40. Daniel M Says:

    i want to try the pan fried chicken cutlets.

  41. Ed Nemmers Says:

    I want to get better at my homemade pretzel making!

  42. Nancy W. Says:

    I’d like to try the Greek Pizza.

  43. Claire Says:

    I’d really like to learn how to make Cherry Clafoutis! I have a friend who makes it all the time 🙂

  44. shawna Says:

    I would like to try the homemade pretzels.

  45. Michelle Says:

    I need knife skills. Dicing anyone?

  46. Elizabeth Says:

    I would like to learn how to make Italian wedding soup.

  47. Karen Says:

    I’d like to try the recipe for skillet potatoes with fried onions. Yum!

  48. Carolsue Says:

    Believe it or not, both my husband and I love Brussels Sprouts, but other than steaming them, I haven’t a clue what to do with them.

  49. Jennai Says:

    I want to learn more recipes for using legumes.

  50. karen Says:

    I’d love to learn to make better lasagna. Thanks.

  51. Sarah Says:

    i want to learn how to make bread!

  52. Cee Says:

    I do love the Moosewood Cookbook. I just made the eggplant parm the other weekend, and it was so good.

    I’d like to try the Easier-Than-You-Think Twice-Cooked Broccoli dish on Mollie Katzen’s site for her new cookbook. Thank you so much!

  53. Barbara Says:

    I’d just love to learn how to make biscuits! Mine always turn out like rocks!

  54. alice g Says:

    I would love any simple healthy week-night meals to put together quickly and take leftovers for lunch!

  55. Pamela Says:

    I would like to learn a better technique for removing the pits from stone fruits.

  56. Alicia Webster Says:

    I have never tried to make homemade bread, and so I would like to learn how to do that. For some reason, the idea of working with yeast, punching down dough, letting it rise, etc. really intimidates me.

  57. Pamela S Says:

    I’d love to try her Greek Pizza. Thanks.

  58. Jodie Says:

    I would like to learn the Chilled Herbed Spinach-Potato Soup with Buttermilk.

  59. Cynthya P Says:

    I’m pretty good in the kitchen for everyday things, but I’d like to know how to make a really great pie crust because the few times I’ve tried it’s been a disaster.

  60. Chrysa Says:

    I would like to learn how to braise.

  61. Maja Meza Says:

    Potato Soup with Rosemary and Roasted Garlic for my husband

  62. Frances Watson Says:

    I would love to win. Thank you for this great giveaway.

  63. Sand Says:

    I need better knife skills because I’ve tried holding my knuckles back and lifting and pressing the blade down but it makes a mess.

  64. Gianna Says:

    Sourdough bread.

  65. Veronica Garrett Says:

    I’d like to learn how to make Fettuccine Alfredo.

  66. R Hicks Says:

    I would like to learn how to make a great souffle.

  67. Donna K Says:

    I would like to learn to bake homemade bread.

  68. Leslie Says:

    I am a huge Mollie Katzen soup fan! I must learn to all of her soup recipes!

  69. M Clark Says:

    I have always wanted to learn how to make a great split pea soup.

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