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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Entries in Books (10)

Monday
May092011

"The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking" Book Review and Giveaway

I have a confession: I obsessively cyberstalk The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking author Kate Payne. 

It all started last summer, when I stumbled upon her blog. I instantly fell in love with her smart suggestions, her multitude of jam recipes, and her conversational writing style. She was writing a book about homemaking, biked around Brooklyn, grew strawberries in buckets, and doled out hints for cleaning with baking soda and dumpster diving for furniture. Oh, a kindred spirit! Truly, we were cut from the same vintage dishcloth. I left comment upon comment on her blog and her blog's Facebook fan page. Shortly thereafter, I stepped it up a notch; I found her personal Facebook profile and messaged her. She responded and we became Facebook friends. For months I picked her brain about food swapping, and she encouraged me to start the MPLS Swappers. All this time I have hoped that we would meet someday and geek out together about canning and collecting vintage aprons. 

Well, my dearies, cyberstalker dreams do come true. This Saturday, I'm picking Kate up from the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, taking her to brunch, and she is attending to the second gathering of the MPLS Swappers. The next day she'll be having a book signing event at the Barnes & Noble in Roseville, Minnesota. The virtual and physical worlds meet in a homemaking extravaganza fit for a domestic goddess!  Hooray!

When Kate asked me to review a copy her new book The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking on my blog, I was absolutely thrilled. I truly admire Kate's enthusiasm for community, drive to learn, and ability to teach, and couldn't wait to support her effort - and of course, share a copy of the book with a lucky reader. 

look at that darling calligraphy and illustration!

The Review

I consider myself to be a fairly accomplished homemaker with a broad knowledge base. Some beginner homemaker guides or blogs are little too elementary for me. While The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking is definitely written for the beginner, I was delighted at the amount of information that I learned from start to finish.  Kate covers the gamut from making your own tomato cages to building shelving. She teaches the reader how to sew on a button and remove stains. There are tips for planning parties and buying groceries on a budget. I found answers to many of my lingering homemaking-related questions and learned things I didn't realize I didn't know.  And I got a great refresher in basic things like how to do the dishes without wasting water and the best way to fold a fitted sheet.

As I discovered new tricks and tips, I tried them in my home to great delight. I made mental note about things to try in the future and the information to share with friends and family. The more I read, the more motivated I became make my home a home. Now I'm in the midst of an obsessive top-to-bottom organization/purging/home improvement/redecorating project, and I love it.

In addition to being jam-packed with information (and jam-making tips!), The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking is fun to read. The writing style is casual and conversational, filled with funny turns of phrase ("botulism blues") and the occasional snippet of colorful language. I felt like Kate and I were sitting together chatting about domestic affairs over tea.

 This is a real person's book, a keep-close-at-hand resource for everyday life. There's no judgement, no "perfect", and no pretense, and the information is realistic, approachable and accessible. From practical, time-tested wisdom to uniquely modern-day solutions, this book shares sustainable, creative, and affordable ways to improve every aspect of your domestic life. Kate thoughtfully dispenses loads of advice on how to live richly without spending a lot of money. If dumpstered chairs, makeshift curtains, and DIY cinder block & wood board book shelves are the best you can do, she shows you how to do it with panache. And the money you save on furniture just might allow you to buy some nice organic sheets from one of the suggested retailers listed in the "Sources" section.

To top it off, the visual impact of this book is fantastic.  The page layout is simple and clean, creating a creative and breezy feel that I want to achieve in my home. An easy-to-read read typeface is used throughout the book, interspersed with handwritten calligraphy and helpful hand-drawn illustrations. It feels both modern and homespun, a perfect combination of how I perceive Kate's approach. And even the paper feels nice. 

helpful illustrations are scattered through the book

In short? I highly recommend The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking for anyone (regardless of gender identity) looking to beef up their domestic skills and become more handy and self-sufficient. Kate empowers the reader to learn, to experiment, and to make their home their own. You'll be amused and inspired, and walk away with actionable ideas that won't eat up too much time or too much money. And with graduation, wedding, and home buying season just around the corner, may I suggest that this book would be a great gift for a college graduate, newlyweds, or a new homeowner.  

For those of you in the Twin Cities area, Kate will be in town this coming weekend. On May 14 from 2-4 pm, she will be attending the MPLS Swappers food swap. Tickets are currently sold out, but you could add your name to the waitlist and hope someone cancels. On Sunday May 15 at 2 pm, she will be at Barnes & Noble in Roseville, Minnesota for a book signing event. The event is open to the public and dopies of her book will be available for purchase. Be there, or be square!

And now, I am happy to bestow a beautiful new copy of the book upon one lucky reader.

helpful tips and tricks are included from beginning to end

Enter the Book Giveaway

Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, is generously offering one copy of The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking by Kate Payne to a lucky reader.  

Monday 5/23: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this blog post following the instructions below. Entry deadline is Sunday 5/22/11 11:59 pm CST. I will randomly select a winner from the comments, and the winner will be announced Monday 5/23/11 in a followup on this blog post. I will contact you if you win to get your shipping information, and Harper Collins will mail you a copy of the book.

To enter:

  • Leave a comment on this post (on the blog, NOT on Facebook), and share what you would like to learn to do around your home. Make sure to leave an email address when you comment so I can contact you if you win.

Optional additional entries (complete as many as you'd like):

 

Buy the Book and Connect with Kate

If you'd rather not take your chances and would like to purchase a copy of the book,The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking is available at bookstores nationwide as well as on online retailers.  

Order The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking online:

   

Ways to connect with Kate:

 

Good luck, and happy homemaking!

 

DISCLAIMER: Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, provided me with a free copy of this book to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Friday
Apr152011

Charcutepalooza: smoking, pudding, and porkgasms

IMG_1238

Q: What do you call the feeling of intense euphoria brought on by the consumption of well-prepared pork?

A: A porkgasm!

 

I proudly take full credit for that dirty food joke.

Mrs. Wheelbarrow  and The Yummy Mummy, in partnership with Food52, are hosting a year-long blog event called Charcutepalooza: A Year of Meat. Using Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn's Charcuterie as a guide, this challenge encourages bloggers to explore the world of salting, smoking, and curing their own meats. There is a big grand prize at the end that involves a trip to France and personal charcuterie lessons, but I jumped on the Charcutepalooza boat a bit too late to be eligible. A sad but true fact I can't escape. C'est la vie!

My corned beef post from last month was featured by Food52 as one of the ten best blog posts for the March brining challenge. I'm honored! I adore Food52 and admire the work of the other bloggers featured in their round up, so I was thrilled to be mentioned. Be sure to check out Food52's recap of the challenge, as well as my post about making corned beef. 

This month's challenge is hot smoking. I became giddy at the prospect of trying a new recipe in a smoker. My housemates have a Camerons stovetop smoker, and since moving in I've gotten into the habit of using it at least once per week. Smoked salmon paté, smoked hamburgers, smoked locally-made sausages, smoked marinated chicken breasts, the list goes on. I'm totally addicted to the food that comes out of it. So, I went right for the gold and took on the Charcuterie Challenge of making Spicy Smoked Pork Loin from Charcuterie.

 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb202011

Silk Road Chickpea & Millet Stew (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)

 IMG_0940

Lately I've been been paging through my copy of Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey by Najmieh Batmanglij rather obsessively  I have had this cookbook for years, and despite the fact that I know the order of the recipes nearly by heart, I find myself constantly inspired. The ingredients, the photos, and the stories in this book stimulate my imagination and my taste buds, and I never tire of reading through it like a novel!  I have been known to have this book out on my coffee table.

 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec022010

Pumpkin Coconut Soup (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)

Gingered Pumpkin Soup

When I was in college, I bought a wonderful little cookbook called Pumpkin, Butternut, and Squash: 30 Sweet and Savory Recipes off the sale rack at the local grocery store. The minute I picked it up, it had my heart.  A cookbook entirely devoted to my favorite cucurbits? Heaven! 

Despite the fact that my "kitchen" at the time was merely a hot pot, a rice cooker, a microwave, a small grill (for outdoor use), and a mini-fridge, I was still crazy about food and had a modest little cookbook collection. I yearned for the day when I could have a kitchen of my own and the ability to cook wonderful meals!  When I didn't feel like eating in the cafeteria, I managed to pump out some very tasty meals from my modest little dorm room setup from time to time - couscous, Thai rice with peanut sauce, grilled Mexican corn, and noodle soups. We baked squashes, sweet potatoes, cakes, cookies and cupcakes in the common kitchens. I made vegan lasagne besciamelle for my Italian class. (I developed more food allergies after college, obviously)  Thankfully, my dining options in the college cafeteria were pretty great, featuring a variety of vegetarian, vegan, and fresh vegetable options. I was a veg*n at the time, so the cafeteria was one of the reasons I chose that school (Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, for the curious among you).  

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Oct172010

Recipe Calendar Giveaway Winners!

The mighty random number generator has spoken:

The winners of the giveaway of A Year to Eat Freely: 2011 Allergy-Friendly Recipe Calendar are JVegeGirl, who wants to try the Spiced Shepherdess Pie with Lentils first, and Mallory, who wants to give the Sweet Potato Falafel.  Congratulations! I will email you to get your shipping information.  Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway, and for all of your enthusiastic and supportive comments! You all made my day.  :)

If you weren't one of the lucky winners of the calendar, don't worry, you can purchase your own copy! Simply go to this page to pay immediately through PayPal, or head on over to my Etsy site. It is $12 + shipping/handling, and 5% of the profits from each sale benefits Turn the Corner Foundation, dedicated to innovative treatments, research, advocacy, and education for Lyme Disease and tick-borne illnesses. 

This 12-month calendar is packed with 17 allergy-friendly, gluten-free recipes, and was written, photographed, and designed by yours truly with lots of love. The recipes are free of gluten, rice, casein, eggs, soy, corn, tree nuts, peanuts, potato, tomato, citrus, shellfish, and cane sugar.  Sure to please vegans and meat-eaters alike, everything is easily adaptable and offer multiple options for seasonings and sweeteners, making it easy to adapt to your tastes and needs.   In addition to great recipes, I've included a tailored ingredients guide to help you navigate the more uncommon ingredients as well as helpful tips and additional recipe suggestions along the way. 

A Year to Eat Freely: 2011 Allergy-Friendly Recipe Calendar - all the pages!

Want more free stuff?

I am also doing one other giveaway this month, for October's SOS Kitchen Challenge, featuring sesame. This month's challenge is being sponsored by iHerb. They offered 1 pound bags of sesame seeds to the first 10 readers who submit recipes and set up an account with them, and at the end of the month we will draw a name for a $50 iHerb shopping spree. Pretty awesome, right? Head over to this month's kick-off post to read all the rules and details and submit a recipe.  You have until October 31 to submit a recipe, so get cookin'! 

And, just as a hint, I have a couple of great giveaways lined up for November of handmade products from family and friends, so stay tuned!

xoxo

Kim