Harvest of Blessings Giveaway Contest!

harvest of blessings

Harvest of Blessings, by Charlotte Hubbard

Contest Ends March 15th

Here are the easy ways to enter to WIN your own, free copy of this novel:

1) “LIKE” a Crowded Earth Kitchen post on Facebook! New LIKES between March 1st – 15th count as an entry. (Want a 2-for-1 entry? Post a comment on our Facebook page instead!)

2) “Follow” @CrowdedEarthKit on Twitter! New followers between March 1st – 15th are automatically entered. (You already FOLLOW us? Retweet one of our posts instead!)

3) Post a comment below! Each post counts as one entry. Feel free to enter every day. [Do you have any recommendations for future book giveaways? Tell us, below!]

4) Reblog this post!

One lucky winner will be contacted when the contest ends!

 Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial

Review

Nora Glick Landwehr, with her expensive clothes and flashy car, is the last person anyone would suspect of growing up Amish. She’s willing to trade her “English” possessions for a chance to return to the Willow Ridge community of her childhood… but will the community welcome her back?

Harvest of Blessings is a delightful novel to feature on Crowded Earth Kitchen, because the first place Nora finds welcome and respite is at Willow Ridge’s own Sweet Seasons Bakery Cafe. While busily baking pies, the older, wiser Miriam offers advice on how Nora might announce her return without disrupting the Amish way of things. I’m sure many of us can relate to comfort and solace found in the kitchen!

As Nora works to clear her name and earn a place in her family and community, she catches the interest of a local Amish man, Luke Hooley. Page after captivating page, we learn how Nora’s return to Willow Ridge brings unanticipated surprises.

At the end of Harvest of Blessings, the reader is treated to a collection of fourteen recipes from Sweet Seasons Bakery Cafe. Don’t miss the Pineapple Bread Pudding or Overnight Kale Salad with Apples… delicious!

Click here to order this book

**Congratulations to Courtney, winner of our previous giveaway contest!

Courtney will receive a free copy of SAVING GRACE by Jane Green!**

 

NEW Free Book Giveaway!

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Pandora’s Lunchbox, by Melanie Warner

Contest Ended February 15th

Congratulations to winner Cathy Crockett!

Here are the easy ways to enter to WIN a hardcover copy of this novel:

1) “LIKE” Crowded Earth Kitchen on Facebook! New LIKES between February 1st – 15th count as an entry.

2) “Follow” @CrowdedEarthKit on Twitter! New followers between February 1st – 15th are automatically entered.

3) Post a comment below! Each post counts as one entry. Feel free to enter every day. [Do you have any recommendations for future book giveaways? Tell us, below!]

4) Reblog this post!

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One lucky winner will be contacted when the contest ends!

Review

As teenagers and college students are prone to saying around bites of junk food, “Just, Wow!” Based upon the author’s diverse writing background, including two years as a staff reporter for The New York Times, I was hopeful that Pandora’s Lunchbox would be well written and engaging. As a chemist and an educator myself, I was hopeful that this book would find and walk the line between depth of accurate food science detail and clarity of presentation for a wide audience. Melanie Warner delivered on both counts. And delivered, and delivered some more!

Pandora’s Lunchbox is as smartly written as it is impossible to set down. From her personal food “experiments” (Did this used to be a chicken nugget? Is that facial mask or avocado dip?) to her broadly painted historical overview to the interview vignettes which highlight her journalistic expertise, Melanie Warner illustrates the landscape of modern day processed food in stark detail. Ms. Warner begins by explaining what a processed food is not (“pasteurized milk…. frozen peas, canned beans… frozen ground beef shaped into hamburgers”) before succinctly clarifying what we are really talking about: “Aprocessed food is something that could not be made, with the same ingredients, in a home kitchen. Your home kitchen” (p. xvi).

Prior to reading this book, I thought I had a pretty solid grasp on the “no-no’s” of processed food. Little did I know! Pandora’s Lunchbox had me rethinking the origins (and wisdom) of my daily multivitamin, the journey of ingredients in my children’s “healthy” breakfast cereal, and even my store bought loaf of whole grain bread. As I progressed from chapter to chapter, I was both humbled by how little I knew and inspired to do better for my own health and the health of my family.

Pandora’s Lunchbox confronts the business realities of the food industry, where processing and preservatives allow longer shelf lives and lower costs, corporate shareholders demand high profits over high nutrition, and consumers respond to slick marketing and artificial flavors. Melanie Warner ends her well written book with 216 referenced endnotes, placing well organized facts gently and firmly in the hands of her readers. Read Pandora’s Lunchbox, and you will – to your benefit – never experience a trip to the supermarket quite the same way again.

Pandora’s Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal

Free Book Giveaway ends SOON!

[2/2/16 Update: Congratulations to Louise Reyna, winner of this giveaway contest!]

lemon cakeThe Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, by Aimee Bender

Contest Ends January 31st

Here are FIVE Easy Ways to Enter:

  • Are you a blogger? REBLOG this post to enter!
  • Are you on Facebook? LIKE Crowded Earth Kitchen to enter!
  • SHARE this post on Facebook to enter TWICE!
  • Like Twitter? FOLLOW @CrowdedEarthKit to enter!
  • TWEET a link to this post to enter twice!

Enter as many times as you’d like before January 31st!

~~~

“My mouth – always so active, alert – could now generally identify forty of fifty states in the product or meat I ate. I had taken to tracking those more distant elements on my plate, and each night, at dinner, a U.S. map would float up in my mind as I chewed and I’d use it to follow the nuances in the parsley sprig, the orange wedge, and the baked potato to Florida, California, and Kansas, respectively. I could sometimes trace eggs to the county” (p. 95).

As a child, I loved reading The Chocolate Touch, by Patrick Skene Catling. To me, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake is the grown-up, quirky distant cousin of a childhood favorite. Instead of a greedy little boy who learns it really is possible to have too much of a good thing when everything he touches turns to chocolate, Aimee Bender offers us Rose Edelstein, a precocious little girl with a most unusual and unfortunate gift. To Rose’s great dismay, she learns she can taste emotions cooked and baked into her food.

Rose’s peculiar and unshakable ability might be tolerable if she weren’t surrounded by such an odd cast of characters. But that wouldn’t make for an interesting story, would it? Instead, Rose lives with a detached and clueless father, a melancholy and secretive mother, and an older brother who blends into the background most extraordinarily well. Rose finds grains of sanity in her friendship with Eliza, whose mother can be relied upon to cook happy tasting food, and her unlikely alliance with George, the surprisingly normal friend of her very strange brother.

In The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Aimee Bender accomplishes the extraordinary… she gives her food characters the same depth and development as many fiction authors give their human characters. The textures, flavors, scents, kitchen environment, and baker of Rose’s favorite lemon cake are described in several pages of detail, and lemon cake is just one food of many to receive such grand attention to detail. Foodies and fiction aficionados alike will enjoy this eccentric tale.

Here is a link to purchase this book online:  The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

Free Book Giveaway WINNER and Poll!

Happy Holiday Season, Everyone!

We hope you enjoyed our 12 Days of Cookies extravaganza! Please vote for your favorite cookie in our poll, below:

To celebrate our 12 Days of Cookies, we offered a Rafflecopter giveaway contest featuring a free, author signed copy of How to Bake a Chocolate Soufflé. Thank you for all of your entries!

Congratulations to our randomly selected winner, Cherry at Cherry Mischievous!

How to Bake a Chocolate Souffle Blue Cover

To order an author signed copy of How to Bake a Chocolate Soufflé ($11.99) for the bookworm on your gift list, click on the PayPal link below!

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Armenian Cookies

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Don’t forget to enter the 12 Days of Cookies FREE GIVEAWAY DRAWING!

This recipe is a sneak peek of the goodness to be found in The Global Recipe Project Cookbook, scheduled for publication in early 2016. These nut filled cookies or “kurabia” are particularly delightful when prepared with finely ground almonds, served with fresh coffee, and enjoyed with friends! For a delicious variation, try rolling these cookies in powdered sugar after they are baked and cooled.

WIN_20150925_173618Ingredients

3 eggs

1 ½ cups butter

5 ½ cups flour, sifted

1 ½ cups sugar

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ cup milk

2 cups finely ground nuts

2 egg whites

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

WIN_20150925_180222Directions

Step 1) Combine 1 ½ cups sugar and butter in a saucepan; melt over low heat. Allow to cool.

Step 2)  Beat 3 eggs. Add to sugar/butter mixture. Mix well.

Step 3) Gradually add flour and baking soda and mix until well combined.

Step 4)     In a small bowl, beat 2 egg whites. Add finely ground nuts, 1 tablespoon sugar, and cinnamon. Gently fold to combine. Set aside.

Step 5)     Roll dough from Step 3 onto a floured surface until it is ¼ inch thick. Cut dough into 3 inch circles.

Step 6)     Place ½ teaspoon of nut filling from Step 4 in the center of each circle of dough. Fold the edges of dough together and gently press to seal; filled dough should take the shape of small eggs.

Step 7)  Bake cookies in a preheated 300 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Kiss Cookies

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Don’t forget to enter the 12 Days of Cookies FREE GIVEAWAY DRAWING!

On my last trip to the supermarket, baking chips were “Buy One, Get One Free.” Why, yes please! Here at Crowded Earth Kitchen, we stocked up and began experimenting with recipes. Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Kiss Cookies were a big winner. They’re packed with yummy peanut butter flavor, and incorporating mini Hershey’s Kisses offers a bigger punch of chocolate flavor than plain ol’ chocolate chips. This recipe makes a HUGE batch – perfect for cookie exchanges, sharing with friends, or freezing in snack bags for school lunches. Enjoy!

WIN_20151111_170255Ingredients (Makes 100 cookies)

1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter

1 1/4 cups butter, softened

4 eggs

2 cups white sugar

2 cups brown sugar

1 tablespoon almond extract

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

5 cups flour

1 (10 oz) bag peanut butter chips

1 (10 oz) bag Hershey’s Mini Kisses

WIN_20151111_164741Directions

Step 1) Using an electric mixer, cream together peanut butter, butter, and sugars. Add eggs and almond extract. Blend well.

Step 2) Using a heavy wooden spoon, stir in salt, baking soda, baking powder, and flour (one cup at a time). Lastly, blend in peanut butter chips and Mini Kisses.

Step 3) Drop rounded teaspoons of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, leaving 2 inches in between cookies.

Step 4) Bake cookies in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10 – 12 minutes or until cookies are set and the bottoms are just beginning to brown. Cool on a wire rack.

These cookies freeze well!