Bite This Book: Small Plates and Sweet Treats (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.

Aran is the multi-talented photographer, pastry chef and writer behind cannelle et vanille. I’ve been reading her James Beard award-nominated food blog since its conception, and am fortunate enough to call the smiling, Basque-born Aran a friend.

This past summer Aran hosted a photography workshop here in Montreal and I moved everything – and I mean everything – aside to attend. After an inspiring session, I slipped away to nurse tiny Clara, then rejoined the girls and Aran for a lively dinner downtown. That meal remains one of my favorite memories of the summer.

Aran spoke a bit about her upcoming cookbook that night and I knew it was going to be very special indeed. This week, Small Plates and Sweet Treats: My Family’s Journey to Gluten-Free Cooking was officially released and I’ve been really enjoying my copy.

The recipes are so compelling and the images entirely enticing, it’s hard to resist cracking open this book every single day for inspiration. Then again, why resist? Fall is the perfect time to string together a few hours in the kitchen, preferably with someone you love.

I am easily seduced by cookbooks which are divided up into seasons, because that is exactly how we eat. Aran’s book conveniently begins in autumn, which means I was a mere handful of pages in before I had bookmarked three recipes to make as soon as possible: a vibrant autumn panzanella salad (with roasted vegetables, apples, herbs), a shiitake mushroom & leek quiche, and spiced pear & brown butter muffins (made and photographed above).

Read on for an interview with Aran and a chance to win a copy of Small Plates and Sweet Treats: My Family’s Journey to Gluten-Free Cooking.


Q & A with Aran Goyoaga of cannelle et vanille


1.    I love how you credited both sets of grandparents as inspirational in your culinary journey. How important is family food culture to you and how can we inspire more parents (and grandparents) to gather, cook and eat with their children?

I come from a large family. My mom is the oldest of eight siblings and they all live within a 1 mile radius from each other. Basque culture is family-centric and until recently, children didn’t ever move far from their parents. Gathering the family around food is also what we do and I cannot even imagine it being any other way.

These meals allow us not only to nourish our bodies, but to also connect with those close to us. Spending time preparing the meal, understanding where food comes from, dedicating time to speak to our children about their days… It’s such an important part of our everyday lives.

2.    Small Plates & Sweet Treats is divided into seasons. Do you have a favorite? What one fruit or vegetable would you like to never go out of season?

Autumn is definitely my favorite season and it must stem from memories of my childhood. My grandparents had a large fig tree right outside of their main balcony. It is probably one of the most vivid smells of my youth. I was in France recently where I was walking by a river and I passed a fig tree. The smell stopped me right on my tracks and all I could think about was my grandparents’ fig tree and my grandmother helping me lean forward over the balcony to pick the fruit. It was such a strong connection with the smell.

Also, the smell of quince is something very powerful for me. I love that time in late September and October when produce is still abundant, when apples and pears are everywhere. My favorite. I actually like when fruits and vegetables go out of season. It keeps me excited.

3.    You’re a mother and blogger like me, can you share a few ‘must have’ ingredients from the fridge or pantry that you keep on hand to ensure everyone stays fed up?

We always have French lentils, leeks, kale and root vegetables. My children love lentil soup and I make it for them at least once a week. Eggs are always in our fridge too as they are quick to prepare and Spanish tortilla always gets me out of a pinch. We don’t have any chickens at the moment but that is one of our goals soon.

4.    What is a typical day like in your life at home?

I wake up around 6am, sometimes with Jon and Miren, sometimes a little bit before them. We start getting ready for the day with breakfast and packing the school lunch. We take Jon to school first and then Miren. When I come home, I start my work day, which varies depending on what projects I have at hand. Lately it’s been a little bit all over the place because I have been traveling.

When I am working at home, I think about recipes, I go to the market for ingredients, return home to cook, style and photograph. This usually takes my entire morning.

I leave the house at 1:45pm to get the kids from school, we come home an hour later and we wind down for a little bit. This is usually when they eat their true lunch. We sit down to eat together. The afternoon we play, do homework and some sports.

I cook dinner for the family and around 7:30pm we start the nighttime routine of reading books, brushing teeth and the like. If I can, I like to be in bed by 10:30pm. I need my sleep.

Thank you, Aran! It’s always so interesting to learn a little bit about what goes on behind the scenes. Thanks for sharing.


**This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Stacy, our winner! Stacy you’ve been notified via email.**

Thanks to the publishers at Little, Brown I have a copy of Small Plates and Sweet Treats to giveaway!

To enter:

To enter this giveaway just leave a comment on this post. That’s it!

Giveaway ends Sunday, October 28, at 11:59 PM. Good luck to all. *ENDED*!

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 have never tried gluten free cooking before. This is going to be added to my collection of cooks 🙂 *heads over to view it on amazon*

  2. would love to try the recipes.

  3. This cookbook looks interesting. Although I’m more than happy to consume gluten :), I have a few friends who are GF, and it can be a little stressful to entertain when I’m not confident of my GF cooking skills/recipes.

  4. This cookbook sounds amazing…I would love to win!

  5. I’ve been wanting to read this cookbook. It looks beautiful and would love more GF recipes!

  6. What an interesting person…I found her family ties to be very
    uplifting and wonderful!
    Many thanks, Cindi

  7. This would serously boost my cooking/blogging/recipe sharing! Thank you for the opportunity Aimee!

  8. Would love to win this book for my friend who recently started her journey towards gluten-free. 🙂

  9. Well winning this would definitely boost my cooking/blogging/recipe sharing… that’s for sure! Thank you for the opportunity Aimee!

  10. Those recipes look amazing! We’ve just started experimenting with GF.

  11. This book sounds awesome!
    My life is plagued by food intolerances (in myself, and almost everyone around me)- I’m always on the look out for new ideas, and gorgeous new cook books to add to my collection!

  12. Great Read! Can’t wait to check out this book, whether I win it or not, I think it is definitely worth a trip to the bookstore to get!

  13. Leslie M.P. says

    I would love this! Thank you!

  14. Love her blog! And the photography! Thanks!

  15. I love small bites. Most days we make our lunch out of lots of little bites of things we scrap together. It is always delicious.

  16. Looks amazing

  17. her book is already on my birthday/christmas wish list!

  18. I would looove ths book! My son and I are allergic to wheat (among other things) and therefore I bake everything from scratch. This would be a great addition to my cookbook library.

  19. I’ve been gluten free for almost seven years now. This would be a great addition to my cookbooks.

  20. I love lentil soup and wish that my kids shared that sentiment!

  21. Love cannelle et vanille and simple bites! Thank you for posting this and for the awesome giveaway!

  22. I’ve just been gluten-free for 3 weeks this coming Monday and I am sorely missing baking with my girls and enjoying treats…it would be so wonderful to win this book!!!

  23. Looks wonderful. I have had my eye on this book ever since it made an appearance.

  24. I love Cannelle et Vanille. Her photography is beautiful. I bet the book is just as gorgeous as her blog. So talented.

  25. I’m going gluten free to help with my fibromyalgia. Would LOVE this book to get me started!

  26. there are some very yummy looking things that I’d love to make in my new apartment for a house warming 🙂

  27. She’s so talented, I love her work! I wish I could win her book, thanks!

  28. What a lovely book. So timely, as I begin on my own gluten-free journey.

  29. Looks like a great cookbook!

  30. Would LOVE to win this cookbook! We are slowly moving to gluten free and this would be a big help!

  31. I am always a sucker for a beautiful new cookbook! I love finding a new recipe that becomes part of my life, a family.tradition. With family members that are GF, it’s nice to feel inspired by a recipe! Thanks for the chance in the giveaway!!

  32. I am very interested in eating gluten free but do not quite know where to begin.
    so this book sounds like it could be a great resource for me.
    love simple bites

  33. looks great! thanks for the chance. : )

  34. Sounds like a delicious book!

  35. I would love to win!!!

  36. I’ve been delving into the world of gluten free a bit and would love a copy of this cookbook to help me along!

  37. Would love that cookbook!

  38. I have friends that are gluten free. This book sounds like it would be helpful to be able to cook for them.

  39. I would love to win this!!!

  40. Jennifer hodge says

    I would love to win this cookbook. I love food inspired by different places and cultures 🙂

  41. I’ve been following her blog for years… beautiful photos and great posts!!! She’s totally inspirational!!! Would love to win her book!!! 🙂

  42. My husband is a recent celiac and my friend shared this posting on Facebook, I am eager to explore this information further.

  43. the book looks adorable just like tiny food!

  44. I would love to win this book!

  45. I also love seasonal cooking! I love beautiful and tasty sounding food! And my son and I are gluten free, as well as my mother and two of my siblings, and multiple friends. I would love this cookbook!

  46. I’d love to try out these recipes!

  47. Beth Gillespie says

    Looks like a wonderful book! I would love to try some of the recipes for my gluten-free family.

  48. What a gorgeous book! We don’t eat a lot of gluten, and have had a few years recently when we’ve eaten hardly any due to suspected allergies. I’d love to win!

  49. More gluten-free recipes would be so helpful! We eat gluten ourselves but it’s nice to be able to take gluten-free foods to community potlucks or to get-togethers with gluten-free friends.

  50. Small plates are the perfect size!!