Bite This Book: Ripe (giveaway)

Welcome to Bite This Book! Each month, I feature a cookbook of my choosing that is hot off the press, host a Q & A with the author, and then give you a chance to win a copy or two. It’s Bite This Book! good reads on Simple Bites.

For years I watched my mother coax homegrown fruits and vegetables out of her garden and greenhouse over our stunted, Northern Canada summers. Such a labor of love it was, fighting frost, rocky soil, and – ahem – our pesky goats, that I cultivated a deep appreciation for the produce on my plate at a tender age.

Since then, I’ve never passed a market stand of beautiful produce without thinking of the farmer, and the effort that went into getting it from seed to sale.

A similar sentiment and heartfelt acknowledgment for fruits and vegetables has been channeled into the gorgeous new cookbook Ripe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables. Ripe is a collaboration between beloved food-writer Cheryl Sternman Rule of 5 Second Rule, and photographer Paulette Phlipot and what a team they make.

Organized by produce color and scripted in Cheryl’s whip-smart and entertaining voice, the book first comes across as playful and light. A deeper look, however, unveils recipes that truly honor the produce, and stunning photos that show off the fruits and vegetables’ best side. With winter produce such as cranberries and grapefruit given the same prominence as their summer counterparts, this is a book you will crack open to find inspiration no matter the season.

Not surprisingly, Ripe is in its fifth printing and was named one of the Top 10 cookbooks of Summer by NPR (National Public Radio). Fantastic!

Read on for a short interview with Cheryl and a chance to win a copy of Ripe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables.

Q&A with Cheryl of Five Second Rule

Tell us a little bit about how you approach food and your cooking philosophy.

While I like to get playful with flavors, textures, and colors, I’m a practical cook at heart. When it comes to techniques and time spent getting food on the table, I tend to be straightforward. I want to deliver food that tastes great, uses fresh, whole foods, and looks pretty on the plate without stressing out the cook or making the kitchen a war zone. I despise doing dishes.

Your cookbook is separated by chapters themed around the beautiful rainbow of produce colors, and the recipes that accompany them. On that note, describe for us your perfect CSA basket in July.

I love this question! I will tell you about a real basket of food I brought home instead, since the theme is the same. I recently had a booksigning at a local farmers’ market, and at the end of the signing, several of the vendors approached me to introduce themselves and flip through the cookbook. They each gifted me something from their stall as well: a full flat of strawberries, a bunch of carrots, 10 ears of corn, a bag of baby spinach and arugula, 2 pints of blueberries, and a sack of oyster mushrooms.

When I got home, I tumbled the contents out onto a table and took a photo for Instagram. One of my followers immediately commented that the contents covered the full spectrum of the rainbow, just like the book. I hadn’t realized it until that moment, but it was a pretty great coincidence.

You are a mother, like many of my readers. Is there any advice you can give for raising good eaters with a healthy approach to food and food culture?

Here’s my advice for other moms: do the best you can, and don’t constantly beat yourself up for not doing better. If your kids occasionally eat pancakes for dinner, toss some strawberries and bananas on top and feel good about that. A salad is a salad whether it’s made with spinach or iceberg, and if it has raspberries in it instead of radishes, that’s okay.

Kids grow over time, and for many (if not most) kids, their palates both expand and relax. Round about age 9, my son stopped running around in circles every time he was served a vegetable. Now he takes great pride in how varied his diet is. He just needed to come to that decision on his own terms, and I never stopped putting colorful foods on the table.

What is something you learned about yourself during the book writing/recipe development process?

I learned that I had a tendency to relate to the fruit or vegetable I was writing about. When I got to the bok choy chapter, I just looked at the vegetable and thought: poor, weird-looking bok choy. It looks like me when I get out of bed.

Thank you, Cheryl! If you’d like to know about events and signings, be sure to check out the Ripe book tour page, which is regularly updated.


*This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner –  Beth R!!*

Thanks to the publishers at Running Press, I have a copy of Ripe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables to give away to one lucky reader.

To enter:

To enter this giveaway just leave a comment on this post and answer the question:


“Can you narrow down your favorite vegetable? Let’s hear it!”

That’s it!

(If you are reading this post via email, please note that you must enter on the blog post, NOT by replying to the email. Thank you!)

Giveaway ends Sunday, July 29, at 7:59 AM. Good luck to all!

**Photography © 2012 by Paulette Phlipot

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. I love artichokes, but I’m not sure I have a favorite!
    katies.towers at gmail dot com

  2. Christina says

    Summer squash is my favorite!

  3. Cucumbers!

  4. Homegrown tomatoes!

  5. With all those Gorgeous God Given Greens out there how can you chose just one?! I am partial tho to brussels sprouts cut in half rubbed in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and roasted in the oven till they turn a little crisp on the edges. Yum 🙂

  6. Carol Scott says

    I am so interested to purchase this Bite this Book. I hope I can get this one in Amazon. I will check this one afterward.