Except for last week when Mr. UPS handed over a heavy, square box when I know I didn't buy anything (I was on one of my short-lived self-imposed shopping breaks). I promptly opened it up to find two brand new cookbooks. That was a wonderful start to my afternoon.
While the kids were
Quick & Kosher: Recipes from the Bride Who Knew Nothing
In her very first cookbook, Jamie shares her journey from a career-driven cosmo girl whose idea of a meal is to order takeout from her favorite New York restaurant, to a young wife who navigates through the kitchen with ease and confidence, and can easily converse about the difference between beating your egg with a fork versus a whisk. She teaches you everything she's learned openly and honestly and humorously shares glimpses into her life so you can learn and relate.
Quick and Kosher features a wide variety of recipes that range from family style, traditional (think gefilte fish, kugel, and potato latkes) to modern gourmet (pistachio crusted baby lamb chops). It's really an excellent cookbook for the novice as well as the experienced family chef. The recipes are simple, concise and practically foolproof. Jamie even gives you great tips along the way like how to keep your avocado from browning and how to pick the perfect eggplant.
I liked the clean layout of the recipe pages, as well as the organized way the sections were divided. Jamie even included interviews with various food experts at the end (butcher, winemaker, etc.).And if that wasn't enough, she simplified your holiday preparations by including a menu plan for each holiday.
Quick & Kosher: Meals in Minutes
Jamie wasn't done working, a few years later she brought us Quick and Kosher: Meals in Minutes, a much needed companion for today's busy women.
What stood out to me the most in this sequel is the quality of the styling and photography. What can I say, pictures are the first thing I look at in a cookbook. The photos entice you to write down the ingredients list and commit to actually making the recipe, and when it's promised to be under 30 minutes, it's a done deal.
Meals in Minutes is also packed with timeless information, inspiring wisdom, and down-to-earth advice. Written in Geller's upbeat, contagious positive spirit, you laugh at her tales and mishaps in the kitchen and learn how to effortless and elegantly entertain guests while keeping your cool and building spiritual Jewish home.
What I appreciated most in this cookbook is that Jamie didn't give you a shortage of ideas. Almost every page features two recipes (a main and a side dish) and a photo. She even divided each section by the amount of time it would take to prepare the meal, rather than by the food category the recipe falls under. So if you're looking to spend no more than 25 minutes in the kitchen (because you're allergic to the stove or just running short on time) you need only look in the 25-minute-meal section.
Now the true test of any cookbook is actually making a recipe and gauging its success. Well, dear friends, I made the Mediterranean Frittata from QK Meals in Minutes (it's on p. 201, in case you were wondering). I will share it with you very soon. Here's a sneak peek.
Overall, I would say these are two excellent cookbooks to add to your collection, present to a new bride, or gift to someone else. So I'm gifting one to you!
At first, I thought I would keep one and give the other away, but I'm so indecisive and couldn't pick which one I'd rather you have so I decided to give you both.
HOW TO ENTER
1. Leave a comment. Tell me whatever you'd like: your own favorite quick and easy "meals in minutes" or how your life would be complete with this new set of cookbooks. Or just say hello.
For Extra Entries:
1. Follow The Kosher Spoon by subscribing to the email list here and/or to the RSS feed
2. Follow @thekosherspoon on Twitter
3. Tweet about the giveaway: Enter to #win @jamiegeller Quick and #Kosher Cookbooks @thekosherspoon #giveaway http://bit.ly/MNLtCE
4. Email and/or post on your Facebook wall about the giveaway: Win Jamie Geller's Quick and Kosher Cookbooks @ The Kosher Spoon http://bit.ly/MNLtCE
5. Follow Jamie on twitter @joyofkosher. I must add that she is one of the sweetest online personas I've come across. She answers all her comments on her and Tamar Grenger's website: joyofkosher and replies to all the tweets she gets. Superwoman! She's also moving to Israel, writing a third cookbook, and mothers young children.
So many ways to increase your chances!
Just leave a comment for every entry, and if you already follow TKS, then leave a comment saying so.
Giveaway starts on July 6, 2012 and will run until July 15, 2012 at 11:59pm PST.