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monday fun day…. the fourth (and FINAL)

October 22nd, 2012 | 31 Comments »

I’ve saved the best for last. This week, it’s the Magazine Edition!

That’s right; THREE cookbooks culled from cooking magazines, including the long-gone, but never forgotten Gourmet magazine.

Congratulations to last week’s winners:
On a Stick- Kristin Dannecker
Real Stew- Ann Matthiesen 

First time here? Not sure what’s going on? Let’s get the scoop, one last time.

THE DETAILS:

~~Each week in October, starting on Monday, I will put up a post offering cookbooks to give away.
BUT YOU’LL HAVE TO ACT FAST! Each cookbook offer will be up for only FIVE DAYS. 

~~At the end of the day on Friday, each week, I’ll close out the current giveaway, choose the winner and notify them quick as a wink.
So in order to be eligible- YOU MUST leave comments on these posts that contain your contact information.
Don’t go through all the work of commenting without that!

~~If you are chosen as the cookbook winner, you will be asked to provide a mailing address so I can send you your book.
If you’re local, I’d be happy to meet up with you to hand you your winning cookbook in person!

Unfortunately, given the expense of mailing books, I have to limit these giveaways to US residents only.

Aaaand….. without further ado:

THE BEST OF GOURMET: Sixty Five Years, Sixty Five Favorite Recipes

I loved Gourmet magazine and just mourned when it stopped publishing. This book is as good as it gets to the classic fare of that classic magazine. Plenty of photos and beautiful recipes, spanning the 65 years that Gourmet held our fascination. This is as much a coffee table book as it is a cookbook and it’s definitely worth treasuring. I hope you will love it as much as I did.

FOOD AND WINE: The Magazine’s Annual 2010 Cookbook

The best part about Food & Wine magazine is that you can purchase their annual cookbooks with EVERY recipe from the past year in it. No need to save magazines! This book has over 600 recipes in it, all from 2010. It’s full of amazing dishes to serve for any occasion. One book, every recipe, every dish. You could spend months cooking your way through it.

THE ESSENTIAL EATING WELL COOKBOOK

Eating Well magazine is one of my favorite food magazines. It’s always stuffed with delicious, healthy and easy to prepare recipes, plus cutting edge information on health news and the purveyors and people who are passionate about eating well, and eating right. This book is a wonderful option for anyone wishing to enhance the nutritional value of their food without losing any of it’s flavor.
Eating Well recipes have never failed to disappoint me.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

Leave one comment on this post, telling me which cookbook you’d like to have and why.
It’s THAT easy.
(and remember…. in order to WIN, you MUST have contact information embedded in your comment
or I won’t have any way to reach you.)

DO YOU WANT TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCES?

~~Come on over and hang out with me on Facebook!
Leave one more comment telling me that you did!

~~Follow along with me on Twitter! And share YOUR Twitter account.
Leave me another comment about this!

~~Want even MORE chances? I LOVE Instagram. You can find me there under @kate_selner.
Follow along with me, leave me a comment here that you did and share YOUR Instagram account so I can follow you.

I sure hope you enjoyed these giveaways.
And CONGRATULATIONS to ALL the winners!!

As for our Monday Fun Day Cookbook Giveaways…….

wordless instagram friday

October 19th, 2012 | 1 Comment »

I’ll just let the photos do the talking. It’s been a pretty busy week.
{{you can hover over any photo to see a description of it….}} 

{{I apparently have a big thing for single, perfect deep red leaves all laying alone}}

And the good stuff……

More vegetarian burger options…. this time a Millet, Kale and Yam variety

Coconut Oat Banana Muffins.…. I must make these again, and soon.

Apple Cinnamon Mini Monkey Breads. WHAT!??

Soups Galore. Knock yourself out.

Nicole’s Moroccan Vegetable Barley Soup. In a crockpot, no less. {{I adore Nicole….. }}

Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Swirl. Oh. With Eggnog. *sigh*

Penne with Roasted Eggplant, Chile and Mint. Cold nights?? We’ve got them covered.

Spring Rolls, with a definitive Autumn twist. Gotta love this.

Apple Streusel Bars. Get. On. These.

monday fun day…. the third

October 15th, 2012 | 19 Comments »

Sticks and Stews. That’s the theme this week.

Once again, here are the details on our Monday Fun Day cookbook giveaway. If this is your first venture to this site, welcome!
I’ve got two cool books for you this week, but watch out! Next week is EPIC!!

Congrats to our winners from last week!!
Jen Hjelle- Pizza & Flatbread in 5 Minutes
Val Stanley-  Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes
Elle Strike- Desserts in Jars 

First, let’s go over the rules once more so everyone knows what’s going on.

THE DETAILS:

~~Each week in October, starting on Monday, I will put up a post offering cookbooks to give away.
BUT YOU’LL HAVE TO ACT FAST! Each cookbook offer will be up for only FIVE DAYS. 

~~At the end of the day on Friday, each week, I’ll close out the current giveaway, choose the winner and notify them quick as a wink.
So in order to be eligible- YOU MUST leave comments on these posts that contain your contact information.
Don’t go through all the work of commenting without that!

~~If you are chosen as the cookbook winner, you will be asked to provide a mailing address so I can send you your book.
If you’re local, I’d be happy to meet up with you to hand you your winning cookbook in person!

Unfortunately, given the expense of mailing books, I have to limit these giveaways to US residents only.

All right. Ready??

ON A STICK! by Matt Armendariz

I was given a copy of this to review and this is one fun book, folks. Party perfect recipes for entertaining, or just making every day meals that much more fun. Matt is the talent behind the blog Matt Bites, and is a renowned food photographer. This book is gorgeous, small, simple to use and everything goes on a stick. Kids will love it. Adults will squeal. Love to entertain? This one’s for you.

REAL STEW by Clifford Wright

 Do you love a good stew? Crave thick chowders, chilis and gumbo so hearty that a fork will stand up in them?
This book has it all; a dizzying array of soups, stews and the like from all over the world. You’ve heard of some, but likely not all of them, and therein lies the fun of this book. From the simple to the complex, you can’t find a more comprehensive guide to everything that simmers in a pot. With the impending winter, this book will become a favorite of yours.
{{DISCLAIMER: Your book will have a different cover than the one shown above, but it’s exactly the same.}}

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

Leave one comment on this post, telling me which cookbook you’d like to have and why.
It’s THAT easy.
(and remember…. in order to WIN, you MUST have contact information embedded in your comment
or I won’t have any way to reach you.)

DO YOU WANT TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCES?

~~Come on over and hang out with me on Facebook!
Leave one more comment telling me that you did!

~~Follow along with me on Twitter! And share YOUR Twitter account.
Leave me another comment about this!

~~Want even MORE chances? I LOVE Instagram. You can find me there under @kate_selner.
Follow along with me, leave me a comment here that you did and share YOUR Instagram account so I can follow you.

 

And HOLD ON to your seats, everyone. Next week is our last Monday Fun Day cookbook giveaway.

AND IT’S BIG!! 

instagram friday

October 12th, 2012 | 2 Comments »

It’s Friday!?

{{We went a bit muffin crazy this week. Did you notice?}}

Mike and I stopped to gaze at  this amazing sunset on Saturday as we drove home from church. The day had been blustery and raw, but late afternoon brought a break in the dark heavy clouds, enough to catch this glorious sight over the farm fields near our house.

And wonders of wonders, Monday morning started off with this beauty, captured as I lay in bed sipping coffee. The best of both worlds!

I spent a pleasant Sunday afternoon with a friend, and stared in awe at this tenuous smokestack across the street from his loft.

A delicious weekend breakfast

The new week started out in a proper way.

I’m enamored with hand-made gifts, especially when you get a permanent snapshot of it, embossed on a silver disc.

Something good is about to happen in my kitchen.

There was warm Apple Crisp with Brown Sugar glaze.

The week included baking a Honey Whole Wheat Pumpkin bread, stuffed with crunchy millet.

It was divine. I’m so glad I doubled it and put one in the freezer.

And there was a bubbling risotto too, casting a warm glow over a chilly day.

There was A LOT of scenic Fall color. Again. But it’s fading fast.

{{i’m cheating just a tad, and throwing in some great shots that Clara took on a few of our walks}}

I came upon an upended tree that held fast to a secret within it’s roots.

{{if you can’t tell…. it’s a huge rock that the tree simply grew around}}

And there was the discovery of a secret waterfall that sent my heart skipping in joy.

I definitely will be going back to this spot. The sound of that waterfall was mesmerizing.

What else has been running through my head this week?

Butternut Squash Nut Burgers. My stack of meatless burger options keeps growing.

Multigrain Risottos. It’s not just about Arborio anymore.

Baked Hush Puppies. Baked?? Say no more……

There is no end to the deliciousness you can create with Kale.

Crock pot delight for a cold Fall day- Curried Vegetable & Chickpea Stew

More amazing whole grain goodness- Warm Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables

Incredible Avocado and Tomatillo Salsa from Herbivoracious

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND!!
And be sure to stop back on Monday for Round Three of my Cookbook giveaway!!

 

more muffins, please!

October 10th, 2012 | 1 Comment »

I adore muffins.

But I should clarify something; I like real muffins, not cupcakes masquerading as muffins. While there are those in the camps of muffin lovers that think sweet muffins are perfect, I’m generally not one of them. I like a hearty muffin. Small in stature but huge in flavor. I like them to be full of grains, nuts, fruits and the good stuff that makes me feel all right about eating them. And apparently, given that there are more than half a dozen recipes in this blog (and wayyyy more that never made it long enough to be photographed and talked about), one could stand to reason that if given a choice of what to bake on a very chilly, rainy October morning, it would be muffins.

And even though I likely would LOVE to re-make all these muffin recipes, frankly, it wouldn’t be so hot for my waistline. So I’ll just re-visit some of my favorites instead. You’re ok with that, aren’t you? 

{{Before moving in to Muffin Mania, have you checked out this week’s Cookbook giveaway yet??}}

Songs and soundtracks make up the background for this indulgent Fig Muffin with Honey Lemon Cream Cheese filling.

Just right for the season, Pumpkin Maple Muffins. Sorry the photo is missing……

Butternut squash, November light and Whole Wheat Muffins with Quinoa & Squash.

Whole Wheat Muffins, a blank palette for so much imagination and flair.

Another good choice for Fall; Oatmeal Sweet Potato Muffins. *sigh*

And of course, there has to be something with Apples. The Apple Cheddar Muffin recipe is tops, but quite frankly, these Apple Streusel Bars just had to be snuck in because they are SO darn good.

How about a Blueberry Bran MuffinThis particular creation had a handful of fresh cherries tossed in as well.

 

And finally, a Chocolate Graham Muffin that thinks it should be a cupcake. Add marshmallows and it might be S’Mores.

Next time, I’ll tell you all about my love for Tea Breads. And of course, share that bounty of recipes as well. :-)

monday fun day….. the second (and local version)

October 8th, 2012 | 62 Comments »

Rapid fire, wasn’t it? Whew….. that first giveaway went quickly.

{{Congratulations to Kelli Abrahamian who won the Canning cookbook,
and to Liz Paul who won the Thanksgiving cookbook!}}

Thanks for entering, everyone!!

ARE YOU READY FOR THE SECOND WEEK? IT’S A BIG ONE!!

But first, let me repeat the details, ok? Some of you may not have been here last week.

THE DETAILS:

~~Each week in October, starting on Monday, I will put up a post offering cookbooks to give away.
BUT YOU’LL HAVE TO ACT FAST! Each cookbook offer will be up for only FIVE DAYS. 

~~At the end of the day on Friday, each week, I’ll close out the current giveaway, choose the winner and notify them quick as a wink. So in order to be eligible- YOU MUST leave comments on these posts that contain your contact information.
Don’t go through all the work of commenting without that!

~~If you are chosen as the cookbook winner, you will be asked to provide a mailing address so I can send you your book.
If you’re local, I’d be happy to meet up with you to hand you your winning cookbook in person!

Unfortunately, given the expense of mailing books, I have to limit these giveaways to US residents only.

Ok. Now…. Part Two. These are the big guns, folks. Local authors. Signed books. Here we go!!

DESSERTS IN JARS by Shaina Olmanson

It’s entirely possible that everyone has this cookbook by now, but then again, maybe not. Shaina is a Minnesota blogger, cooking up delicious and healthy fare for her four children at Food for my Family. She’s one of the hardest working bloggers I know, and on top of all her commitments, she created this beautiful dessert cookbook. I was blessed to receive a copy of this book, signed by Shaina herself and am excited to give it away as part of Monday Fun Day. You’ll love the photos, the simple and delicious recipes and if you’re like me, the section of Gifts in Jars will delight you.

HEALTHY BREAD IN 5 MINUTES by Zoë Francois and Jeff Hertzberg

Zoë and Jeff’s quick dough method has revolutionized home bread baking. You make a big batch of dough, keep it in the fridge and use it as needed to make lovely, fragrant and crusty homemade bread. This hard-copy book is full of healthier options for your daily bread, all with the same, easy 5-minute method. Wouldn’t YOU love to have fresh baked bread every day??

ARTISAN PIZZA AND FLATBREAD in 5 MINUTES A DAY by Zoe Francois and Jeff Hertzberg

An entire book of gourmet pizzas, flatbreads and other thin, crusty delights, utilizing the same quick 5-minute dough method designed by Zoë and Jeff. The recipes are mouth-watering and delicious, and the method couldn’t be easier. I was fortunate to attend a local event with Zoë and watch her demonstrate the techniques involved, spin and twist a disc of pizza dough in the air and make one of the best pizzas I’ve eaten recently. I received this signed hard copy as a participant in the event. Win this cookbook, and you’ll be flipping spinning pizza dough over your head in no time!!

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

Leave one comment on this post, telling me which cookbook you’d like to have and why.
It’s THAT easy.
(and remember…. in order to WIN, you MUST have contact information embedded in your comment
or I won’t have any way to reach you.)

DO YOU WANT TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCES?

~~Come on over and hang out with me on Facebook!
Leave one more comment telling me that you did!

~~Follow along with me on Twitter! And share YOUR Twitter account.
Leave me another comment about this!

~~Want even MORE chances? I LOVE Instagram. You can find me there under @kate_selner.
Follow along with me, leave me a comment here that you did and share YOUR Instagram account so I can follow you.

And stick around….. next week will arrive quickly. I know you’ll want to see what’s in store then!!

instagram friday

October 5th, 2012 | Comments Off

Back to routine, life, cats, food, drink and for now, Fall color.
It’s glorious, and everywhere on Instagram. I will never get tired of the blazing red and bright orange of Fall.

I was blessed to be able to get very close to this lovely creature on a hike through Otter Lake Regional Park. It had no fear of me at all.

I brought home three Montana microbrews from our trip.

Picked up at the base of the monument, this was an impulse purchase that I loved. It’s a darker hued ale with sour notes, mostly lemon, good toasty malt tones.

The Bayern Dancing Trout Ale, a German Wheat Ale, a filtered version of a true Bavarian Hefeweizen. It’s mild and slightly hoppy, with a smooth finish.

The Beltian White Ale, from the Harvest Moon Brewery was a perfect balance of malt and hops, flavored with a hint of coriander and orange peel and it was delicious. By far my favorite, I cracked it open and sat under the true Harvest Moon as it rose on Saturday September 29th. It was a perfect match.

The cats were very happy to have us home, and spent a lot of time underfoot and snuggled close by us the first few days.

There was hot tea to enjoy…..

A dark and dreamy Spice Molasses Cake……

Cold weather gear to re-acquaint myself with…..

Not to mention, a familiar sunrise over my own sky.

The weather turned cold and blustery on a dime, but inside, humming away at the stove in the twilight, it’s almost easy to forget that chill on your skin.

I’m pretty excited to share with you the amazing honor that I was named one of the Top 10 Foodies on Instagram.
Are you on Instagram? Share your daily life with me! {{ @kate_selner }}

And hang on to your hats, folks; next week’s Monday Fun day Cookbook giveaway is a real winner!! Or winners, be that as it may.

HAVE A TERRIFIC WEEKEND EVERYONE!

coming home to the familiar (with spiced molasses cake)

October 3rd, 2012 | 2 Comments »

Fall began while I was away, on Mountain Time, amidst soaring majestic peaks and deep pine canyons. The Summer season passed in our initiation to a storied national park, and Autumn came on a cliff, crossing steep trails worn down by hooves and hiking shoes; it came through the sunrises over a new sky, shrouded with wildfire smoke, on a white water rafting excursion, over 3,000 miles and 9 days straight with my two most favorite guys. It was the longest vacation I’ve ever taken and it felt strange to clean up the house for the cat sitter, pack a container of veggie chili in the freezer to welcome us home, go over the lists again (and again and AGAIN) making sure that we had good snacks for the car, and lunch on the road (hello peanut butter), packing items like hand wipes and paper towels and extra plastic bags for trash, searching for good audio books to keep us occupied for the 10+ hour drive, and trying to remember all the quirky little things we should tell our cousin about caring for our silly cats. Among all the final frenzy of planning and packing, I kept running the whole thing over in my head, thinking “Can we really DO this? Can we drive across three states and explore the West and be sane enough to still say ‘I love you!’ every day and mean it while cramped inside a 4-door sedan?”

Truth is, yes. We can. And we did. I was never more excited to drive away from home on that glorious Sunday morning while most of our neighborhood still slept, nor was I more thrilled to return home as the sun set on the following Tuesday. To everything familiar and easy, to my bed and my home and my cats.

Even as all the unfamiliar became easy, the roads that I started to learn around my Uncle’s home, their wonderful hospitality, to the pines and peaks I stared at in awe, cementing them in my soul, even with everything that was so perfect about the entire trip, coming home felt better than I could have ever imagined. I couldn’t wait to get away and the anticipation was so richly rewarded, but I yearned for home the moment we turned our car Eastward and headed over the Interstate. Re-entry was simple; familiar, easy, calm, happy.

It’s nice to come home.

{{psssst….. I’m giving away cookbooks. Go check it out!}}

It wouldn’t take much beyond scrolling through my blog reader to know that Fall has most definitively arrived. Soups, stews, braises, pumpkin, squash, brussels sprouts and potatoes adorn the photos and fill the pages, hearty fare to shore ourselves up for the cold, the snow and the darker months to come. For me, Autumn needs two things: color blazed Maples and dark Molasses Cake.

Gingerbread. Molasses Cake. Whatever you refer it as, what name you prefer to call the dense moist crumb of such a perfect Autumn flavor, this recipe is the bees knees for anyone who loves molasses, deep and dark. It’s evokes the perfect memory of past seasons, where the deep reds and oranges of Maple burned bright against the rich blue sky, the crunch of leaves underfoot, the chill in the air as the sun drops it’s golden curve low on the horizon. The whiff of memory is bittersweet; of Gingersnap cookies that my Mom loved, the recipe that came out after school began for everyone, a welcome home with cold milk.

I still love those cookies, and all things ginger and bread and molasses. This cake has made a few other appearances in our kitchen and home, always against that perfect Fall backdrop of blaze and blue. Even with our warm days, bright sunshine and comfortable nights, after a few frosty mornings and finding the familiar in old and cozy sweaters and jeans, it welcomes you home whether you’ve been away, or just greatly anticipating Autumn. We all love Autumn; it’s universal in it’s daily changes of color, of temperatures and air and the gradual slide to Winter.

Ginger Spice Cake


adapted from several sources

2 c. AP flour
1 t. baking soda
1 T. ground ginger
2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. allspice
2 T. espresso powder (optional, but it adds an amazing depth)
1 egg
1/2 c. molasses
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
1 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 and coat a 8″ square pan with cooking spray.

Stir together dry ingredients. With electric mixer, blend egg, molasses, sugar and melted butter until thick and very smooth. Gradually mix in dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk, mixing each addition thoroughly. Mix for one minute after everything is in the bowl. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake center comes out clean.

NOTE: This cake is wonderful with fresh cranberry sauce and a spoonful of yogurt. Or ice cream. Of course.

monday fun day…. the first

October 1st, 2012 | 26 Comments »

Happy Monday everyone!

I know…. Monday is not exactly a favorite anywhere. It’s really such an abused and ornery day, isn’t it? People save everything unpleasant and difficult for Monday…. have you noticed? “I’ll start my diet on Monday.” “I’ll start exercising on Monday.” “I’ll make that doctor’s appointment on Monday.” Then Monday comes, the coffeepot can’t brew fast enough, you’re too tired to exercise, too lethargic to think about eating right and the phone calls never get made.

But this particular Monday is going to be a good one. And all the rest of them in October will be just as fun. Why?

I’m giving away cookbooks. Lots of cookbooks. Some terrific titles, and a few that are a bit obscure, but perfect for someone.
Will it be YOU???

THE DETAILS:

~~Each week in October, starting on Monday, I will put up a post offering cookbooks to give away.
BUT YOU’LL HAVE TO ACT FAST! Each cookbook offer will be up for only FIVE DAYS. 

~~At the end of the day on Friday, each week, I’ll close out the current giveaway, choose the winner and notify them quick as a wink.
So in order to be eligible- YOU MUST leave comments on these posts that contain your contact information.
Don’t go through all the work of commenting without that!

~~If you are chosen as the cookbook winner, you will be asked to provide a mailing address so I can send you your book.
If you’re local, I’d be happy to meet up with you to hand you your winning cookbook in person!

Unfortunately, given the expense of mailing books, I have to limit these giveaways to US residents only.

So let’s get this party rolling, shall we?? For our first Monday fun day, I’m giving away TWO cookbooks, perfect for this time of year.

THE FRESH GIRL’S GUIDE TO EASY CANNING AND PRESERVING BY ANA MICKA

There is still some time to get your canning on! This simple and easy to follow guide will help you take the mystery and fear out of preserving the bounty of our harvest. It includes an easy-to-follow DVD and contains an enormous wealth of information from gardening basics, to choosing your produce to step-by-step instructions on the age-old art of preservation. This book is brand new and the DVD is in perfect condition.

THANKSGIVING 101 BY RICK RODGERS

Everything you need to make a memorable, scratch-made Thanksgiving feast, from tasty appetizers to stunning desserts. We all love Thanksgiving, but quite frankly, I’ve met a lot of people who struggle with creating every aspect of the meal as they’d like to offer, and this book takes the work out of searching for perfect recipes and places them all in your hands. If you LOVE Thanksgiving, and wish to make it a bit easier on yourself, then this book is perfect for you.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

Leave one comment on this post, telling me which cookbook you’d like to have and why.
It’s THAT easy.
(and remember…. in order to WIN, you MUST have contact information embedded in your comment
or I won’t have any way to reach you.)

DO YOU WANT TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCES?

~~Come on over and hang out with me on Facebook!
Leave one more comment telling me that you did!

~~Follow along with me on Twitter! And share YOUR Twitter account.
Leave me another comment about this!

~~Want even MORE chances? I LOVE Instagram. You can find me there under @kate_selner.
Follow along with me, leave me a comment here that you did and share YOUR Instagram account so I can follow you.

That’s it. Pretty easy, isn’t it?

Ready!?? GO!!