5 Cheap Ways to Spruce Up Your Gathering & The Kitchn Cookbook giveaway

The brand new cookbook from the creators of the beloved The Kitchn blog was waiting for me when I returned home earlier this week. Oh joy!

I had met Sara Kate at Big Summer Potluck two years ago and I had the pleasure of hosting Faith here on the homestead last fall. These two kitchen geniuses teamed up to author The Kitchn Cookbook: Recipes, Kitchens & Tips to Inspire Your Cooking, a warm, inspiring cookbook that offers much more than just recipes (although the recipes are great, too).

If you like peeking into other peoples kitchens, you’ll love how this cookbook opens, with snapshots and stories of real kitchens around the country. Tucked in and around the features are solid, practical tips for setting up and caring for your kitchen. There is so much to learn here, whether your kitchen is tiny or too-large (is that really a thing?).

The next section is close to my heart: Stocking the Pantry and Planning Meals. This is the backbone of really cooking well. The authors guide you through the best set up so you can be prepared for my favourite part of the book: The Kitchn’s Cooking School! These 50 essential skills are so darn practical and well-written, I wanted to reach out and give both Faith and Sara Kate a virtual high-five.


The 150 or so recipes in this book strike a good balance between simple and sensational. I’m a fan of the basics, but a cookbook must hold new inspiration for me also; The Kitchn Cookbook has space for both.

The food styling is playful and the images are downright beautiful; I did wish for more full colour photos of the recipes, though!

 5 Cheap Ways to Spruce Up Your Gathering

As we head into the holidays, entertaining is forefront on our minds. I am just about to hit send on a save-the-date email to friends and family for a December party! Now playing hostess is an task I adore, but I am always looking for new ways to simplify, save and set a beautiful table.

The final chapter in  The Kitchn Cookbook focuses on Gatherings and is such fun!! I’m itching to start planning a couple events. Faith kindly gave her blessing for me to republish these  frugal entertaining tips below. I love them all.

 5 Cheap Ways to Spruce Up Your Gathering:

1. Two bouquets of flowers–one for the table and one to be split up around the house.

2. DIY cloth napkins. A yard of cotton fabric and a pair of pinking shears will get you about nine cloth napkins. No sewing required!

3.  A few old jars to hold cutlery on the table and tea lights throughout your home.

4. Sparkling water in glass bottles and lemon or mint sprigs in water glasses.

5. A really good loaf of warmed bread, with butter and sea salt.

105_roasted_chicken_thighs_23 All images by Leela Cyd.


Thanks to the publishers at Clarkson Potter, I have an extra copy of The Kitchn Cookbook: Recipes, Kitchens & Tips to Inspire Your Cooking to give away to a Simple Bites reader.

To Enter:

Just simply leave a comment below and describe YOUR kitchen in three words. That’s it!

Reminder: If you are reading this post via email, please note that you must enter on the blog post, NOT by replying to the email.

Giveaway ends Sunday, October 26, 2014. Good luck to all!

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. small, cluttered, fragrant

  2. A total mess

  3. Yellow Gathering Place

  4. family gathering place

  5. my gathering place

  6. Beautiful kid central!

  7. Warm and inviting

  8. My kitchen is cozy, warm and freshly redecorated!

  9. Way too small!!!!

  10. Seasonal, real, simple

  11. My happy place.

  12. frugal, natural, comforting

  13. well equipped, organized

  14. itty bitty, small

  15. Colorful, eclectic, unfinished. Thanks for the giveaway!

  16. Not quite finished.

  17. Right now a disaster thanks to early pregnancy!!! Thanks for the cookbook giveaway!

  18. Darleen Hair says

    Heart of Home

  19. Happily shared, fun!

  20. Old, functional, horseshoe!

  21. Casual, cozy, and fragrant.

  22. Functional. I asked the kids around the table to give me some help and my daughter’s friend gave me ‘fancy’ while my daughter gave me ‘small’ and my son gave me ‘dirty’! I’m selling my own and keeping the friend!

  23. Small. Quaint. Beloved.

  24. Cherylle Waters says

    No kitchen whatsoever!

  25. large, messy, plentiful

  26. Open, light, and dated

  27. tiny green square

  28. Spacious, dirty, wonderful

  29. Full of memories!

  30. My kitchen is functional, slightly dated, and is one of my fave places to be in my house (most of the time LOL!).