Poor Girl Gourmet Cookbook Review, Peach Crostata & Giveaway!

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winners: John, Kim and Ella!

This post could very well be titled My New Favorite Cookbook, but I wanted to lure you in with promises of a summery dessert recipe and a (yes, another!) giveaway.

Hang on, because I’m about to wax lyrical on another cookbook.

This on comes to me from the amazing Amy McCoy of Poor Girl Gourmet, one of my daily reads in the food blogosphere. She’s such a cool gal, and I was super excited to be asked to review her brand new cookbook, Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare-Bones Budget.

For the record– I LOVE it!

Before I could even flip through the book, I had to beat back my little sister, who happened to be here when the cookbook arrived and attempted to make away with it

“But. But. It’s perfect for me!!” she protested when I removed it from her bag.

Indeed, it’s perfect for everyone, because who doesn’t want to eat like a gourmet, but still stay within their monthly food allowance?

Amy kick-starts the cookbook with some highly practical pointers on how to save money. Head over to Simple Bites to read 10 Tips to Help You Conserve Some Coin, an article inspired by Poor Girl Gourmet, plus get another fabulous recipe!

With the tagline ‘Eating in style on a bare-bones budget’, the Poor Girl Gourmet cookbook takes us on a low-budget, high-quality food adventure. Every recipe is gorgeous, gorgeous, and makes you want to jump up and COOK.

Like this one, for example. Oh, and stick with me until the bottom for your chance to win Amy’s cookbook!!

Cornmeal Crust Peach Crostata

Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare-Bones Budget
by Amy McCoy/Andrews McMeel Publishing

Cornmeal Crust:

  • 2¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup finely ground cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons (½ cup) very cold vegetable shortening, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ½ to ¾ cup ice-cold water

Peach Filling:

  • 6 medium peaches (approximately 2 pounds), halved, pitted, cut lengthwise into ¼-inch slices
  • ¼ cup honey

For Finishing:

  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk (any kind)
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (sold as Sugar in the Raw), for dusting the crust

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt, mixing well to distribute all of these dry ingredients. Add the shortening and butter to the flour mixture, and blend until the fats are incorporated into the flour yet remain the size of peas.

2. Using a fork or pastry blender if not using a food processor, add the ice-cold water a tablespoon at a time until the dough just comes together, meaning that no loose flour remains in your bowl. Form the dough into a ball. Place a piece of plastic wrap approximately 9 by 12 inches long on your work surface. Turn the dough out onto the plastic wrap, and flatten it into a thick round. Cover all parts of the dough round with the plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the peaches and honey, allowing the peaches to release their juices, or macerate, for 30 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 400°F and get out your 10 by 15-inch rimmed baking sheet.

5. On a lightly floured surface, working from the center of the dough round, roll out the dough to a misshapen rectangle approximately 10 by 15 inches. I like to do this on a piece of reusable silicone parchment, which makes the transfer of the dough to the baking sheet infinitely easier, as I also bake the crostata on this piece of parchment. You can do the same by rolling the dough out on regular parchment paper and then sliding the dough and parchment paper onto the baking sheet before filling it with the peaches.

6. Place the honeyed peaches and their accumulated juices in the middle of the misshapen dough rectangle, spreading the peaches around so that there is a 2-inch peach-free border of dough. Working from the long sides first, fold that 2-inch dough border back over the peaches, then fold the short sides’ 2-inch dough border over the peaches, tucking the corners up and over the dough to be sure all peaches at the edges are sealed in and leaving a center of exposed peaches, like a window of golden summer fruit.

7. In a small bowl, combine the egg yolk and milk, and then brush the egg wash over the crust. Sprinkle the crust with the turbinado sugar, then bake until the crust is golden brown and the peaches are bubbling, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving it forth.

Estimated cost for four: $3.17.

Hungry yet?


This giveaway is now closed.

Congratulations to our winner

John, Kim and Ella!

John, Kim and Ella said:

“My favorite is to buy local and in season! I’ve been trying to do this for the past year, and have loved it!
Thanks for the great post, can’t wait to get the cookbook and make the tart!

John, please contact me with your address and you will be receiving your cookbook shortly!

Thank you to ALL who entered!
* * *

OK, Amy McCoy is generously offering you a chance to WIN the Poor Girl Gourmet cookbook. I strongly suggest you do not miss this chance to get your hands on this book.

Here’s what you need to do to enter this Giveaway:

1. Read 10 Ways to Conserve Some Coin over at Simple Bites.

2. Jump back here and leave a comment on this post.

3. In your comment, tell me ONE of Amy’s money-saving tips you will implement into your lives, OR one thing you already do.

4. Optional: For an extra entry, you can TWEET this giveaway. Leave a second comment, letting me know you have tweeted. Thanks!

That’s it! This giveaway is open until midnight on Friday, June 18.

Winner will be selected by random.org and announced sometime on Saturday, June 19.

Good luck!!

Amy, thank you so much for the opportunity to get to know you a bit better and for your inspiring cookbook. You better believe that the next time I am coming through RI, I am stopping in for a cup of tea and your very own honey.

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. They're all great tips! I do all of them at some point or another. I definitely have the lowest grocery bills of the families we hang out with.

  2. I practice most the suggestions; such as meal planning, bringing a list to the grocery store, buying seasonal. I'd love to win the book. Fingers crossed.

  3. I already try to do all of the things on that list. The one I really need to work on is reducing the amount of meat we eat at each meal and overall.

  4. Meal planning has worked well for our family as well as eating less meat

  5. The guideline I most likely do not implement currently is shake the hand that feeds you. However, in July my husband and I are going to join a CSA-I'll be getting a mystery box of fresh organic veggies every week! I can't wait!

  6. I would love this book as it totally matches my philosophy! I meal plan every week, try to eat in season, and buy fruits & veggies in their whole state. She had some other great tips (like buying meat on the bone) that I want to start incorporating!

  7. Thanks so much for sharing this cookbook! Looks great! With my husband in school, we find meal-planning for 2 weeks in advance really saves us and makes that food money stretch:)

  8. This looks like a great cook book. There are two tips that I'm trying to work on the first being Meal Plan and the second eating less meat. I really stuggle with these because I grew up in a meat & potatoes family so it just doesn't seem right, but I'm working on it!

  9. I meal plan as much as possible, and I shop local and seasonal most of the time.

    My husband and I aren't big meat eaters either, which helps out a lot at the grocery store! I would like to start buying locally raised meat, but we just haven't got there yet.

    This cookbook looks awesome!

  10. Don't waste food and buying in bulk, This sounds like a really good cookbook!

  11. we have our garden planted and our beef order put into our local farmer. we also never waste food cuz we have 4 kids, a dog, 3 cats and 18 chickens – someone always eats the leftovers! oh, and the meal plan thing is something I need to get back to for sure.

  12. I use coupons, try not to buy bulk, and watch sales ads from several different stores.

  13. We buy local and seasonally as much as possible and also limit the meat that we eat. I still feel like I spend too much on food. I guess I should check out her book for other good tips.

  14. I am happy I've gotten in the habit of doing so many of these. We just moved to a new town with a farmer's market, so I'm looking forward to buying local and getting to know our farming neighbors. I am also getting to know the wonderful people at our local market; already they are keeping an eye out for the items they know I like to buy for my family! I am a lucky lucky gal!

  15. Richelle says

    I buy in bulk when I can. And seasonally and locally is very important here. Where I live it's hard to find fancy herbs or ingredients. So I buy what is on hand and something like basil is hard to come by sometimes so I finally am growing my own!

  16. We definitely like buying in bulk, and having reserves of everything in the freezer or pantry. I don't write a meal plan down,but do have an idea of what dishes will be prepared during the week.Also, I try to revamp the leftovers, so it looks like a new dish. We are better at not throwing food out….I think of all the people that have nothing to eat when I do that, and feel really guilty. Not doing too bad, but could do better!

  17. I buy local, in season produce from the farm. I didn't know that you can freeze flour and spices, so might try that if I see it onsale and want to stock up.

  18. I feel so smart, cause I do a lot of the suggestions already. 2,3,6,7,10. I'm on 'em baby.

    I do need to work on 4&5. I tend to be shy and not talk, hence not getting to know people at the farmers markets. And I don't buy on the bone meat as much for the sake of the convinience of frozen preskinned and boned. But i'll try to implement both those suggestions more.

  19. I have made a weekly menu and shopped from it since I have been on my own (too many years to count!). My mother shopped for 2 1/2 weeks at a time – my dad was paid on the 1st and the 15th and that's when she had the money to grocery shop. We ate what she planned and that was it! And it still works!

  20. I find that I already practice many without ever having realized it – I refuse to buy (or let my friends buy) pre-cut produce, I frequent the farmer's market, buy in bulk, and grow my own herbs.
    I really want to start meal planning to avoid my last minute trips to the grocery store (at least I walk there!).

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  21. I never buy precut veggies! ever!
    And I eat less meat than before. That def helps!

  22. One of my big goals this year is to eat less meat. I love the idea of being a weekday vegetarian and only having meat on the weekends.

  23. I love the idea of her book as I already practice most of what she hints at. One money saving thing is that I live within walking range of many local markets and ethnic shops (the joy of living in Chinatown) and I only do my grocery shopping by walking which means small trips and more frequent ones so there is less waste.

  24. I'm a firm believer in menu planning saves me tons of time and money. I use most of Amy's money saving tips. I also stock up on all the lost leaders if they are something we usually use (stocking up with something that you wouldn't normally use–like Oreos–for instance defeats the purpose and can lead to a lot of unhealthy food in your pantry.

  25. I love me some peaches, and I always try to cook within a reasonable budget .. have to! My hubby makes fun my lists, but having a menu plan for the week is essential if I don't want to waste anything … so I'm happy to see that it's on top of Amy's list 🙂

  26. It would take a ton of money to make our urban Atlanta yard suitable for growing vegetables, but my wife and I grow our own fresh herbs and that saves tons of money versus big box store prices and also produces less waste because often times the quantities we get at the farmer's market are too generous to use before they spoil. The great thing about most herbs is they are easy to grow and don't require much tending.

  27. We already follow several of those tips, but what I really need to work on is not wasting food. Maybe if my cooking were better in the first place (maybe through the assistance of a great new cookbook!), we'd have fewer leftovers, and we'll eat those we have!

  28. I do many of the things on the list so far but this summer I have been trying the 'grow your own' now that we finished relandscaping last summer. Unfortunately, the weather gods have been very uncooperative and things are looking a little pathetic with all the rain and lack of sun we've had the last two months. Hopefully July and August will be better and we can eat the fruits of my labour! Thanks for the opportunity for the book and enjoy your family! Fingers crossed!

  29. I make a menu every week – couldnt live with out it! I planted a garden and LOVE the farmers markets!

  30. I "Shake the Hands the Feed Me" every week when I go to the Baltimore Farmer's market. I'm able to ask questions about my food, know it comes from within 90 miles of my house, and buy in-season and fresh ingredients. I have already started to take my 1 year old son with me each week so he can begin to love the market like I do.

  31. I'm try to do pretty much all of these!
    Especially, I try to buy most of my fruits and veggies at the local farmers market, it's more sustainable and it tastes better!
    I definitely chop everything myself…I've done it so much, it's not that big of a deal now.


  32. Well I already meal plan, and make a list for the grocery store that is so organized that my friends make fun of me for it. I would love to start buying more in bulk and utilizing my freezer (not just for bulk items but also for all the stuff I am growing in my garden this year). I also belong to a CSA so I have the buy local covered, as well as going to Farmers Markets in our area as much as we can. I also enjoyed the idea of sauces to enhance our food, when you watch the Food Network shows they are always using sauces, this is something I have underutilized over the years! Over all they are all good tips and I keep going back to the article, I bet I have read it three seperate times.
    **Now assuming I don't win the cookbook, will it be available in stores soon, or is it already?

  33. Purchase Fruits & Vegetables in Their Whole State.

    ties into :
    Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.


  34. I have cut way back on meat consumption. Initially I did this to avoid the ugly practices of the meat industry, but it also helps my pocketbook! I try to remind myself to buy whole veggies. As soon as I get home from the grocery store I cut up veggies to keep in the fridge for snacking.
    (and I tweeted @themaggieway)

  35. Through food blogs I've learn to incorporate many of those tips into my life. I'm really intensifying my quest to cook and bake seasonally this year. I definitely could use my freezer more and that's what I'd like to work on next. The cookbook sounds great!

  36. I really didn't need to look further than tip #1: Weekly meal plan. In fact I've started that this week. Besides saving money, it saves sanity–I waste less time worrying about the next meal. Now, to keep up this good habit…

  37. Do Not Waste Food!!!! We have gotten a lot better since I have began meal planning, but I need to be more consistent and use whats in my pantry more!!! Lastly, make sure we have leftover night!We often end up going to my parents to bbq so I need to plan one less meal and make sure we use leftovers!

  38. Just retweeted! nothing like waiting til the last minute huh!

  39. Article is full of good advice. I already do most of that but I could certainly get better at using coupons and menu planning at home!

  40. Tweeted your giveaway!

  41. I use my freezer a lot for everything from cakes to berries to meats. I also shop local and buy smart. The one thing I need to do is make a menu plan as I usually don't know what I'm going to eat until I get home and decide what I feel like.

  42. I make great use of my freezer by stocking up when there are good sales. I freeze things that I may not use before they go bad and lots of leftovers.

  43. Jennifer A. says

    I'm also surprised at how many of these I actually do already. I eat a lot less meat than most people, but that's mainly because I'm a carbaholic.

    I also tweeted your givewaway: http://twitter.com/jennypoo27/status/16516930105. Thanks for this!

  44. The cookbook looks great! I do many of the tips except I don't use coupons and I am currently looking for a freezer to maximize bulk buying. I like to flavor my meals but not often with sauces so I am very curious to the sauces in the cookbook.
    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  45. My Husband and I have just moved to an island that has only locally owen grocery stores and we are finding that we are enjoying life much more buying locally grown products as well as visiting our weekly farmers market. It ha snot only helped us economically but also physically as we have improved our diets! The one area though I do need improvement on is meal planning and I would like to definitely start implementing that into my weekly schedule! Thanks for the tips and great article!

  46. I had the pleasure to interview Amy in Feasting On A Budget, Amy McCoy Shares Her Poor Girl Gourmet Secrets With Us June 2 on 'Serge the Concierge'.
    I am currently running a Contest on 'Ciao Bella Book of Gelato'
    Take care
    Serge'The French Guy from New Jersey'

  47. We love pie and we're having a great contest right now that I think you and your readers will love 🙂

    We are looking for the best pie recipe in order to win a chance to have your pie be made and sold at a local Pie shoppe! 🙂

    Take a look –

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