Bite this Book: Preserving by the Pint

Marisa and I first met at a retreat ages ago, but I had been an avid reader of her blog Food in Jars for years. And of course, she is a regular contributor here on Simple Bites!

I’ve always considered Marisa the authority of all things home canning, and her first book, Food in Jars was a total winner.  I’m so thrilled to be giving away her brand new book, Preserving by the Pint.

Preserving by the Pint

My canning pantry is looking a little bare as the early spring produce as yet to hit the local markets. I can’t wait to begin a new season of preserving – with this new book to inspire me.

Beautifully photographed and penned with Marisa’s warm wit, Preserving by the Pint focuses on urban-friendly small-batch recipe well suited to small spaces and novice canners. It’s an utterly fantastic concept!

Read on for a short interview with Marisa and a chance to win one of two copies of Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces!

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Bite this Book: Nom Nom Paleo

I first met the husband and wife team behind the award-winning blog, Nom Nom Paleo, in Las Vegas with Saveur, but I had been stalking their corner of the web for some time before that.

Michelle and Henry were some of the most down to earth, humble people I had ever met and we chatted about blogging, feeding kids, and their upcoming book. I knew it was going to be exceptional, just by the way they described how it was all coming together.

Well, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans is now in my hands, on shelves all around North America, and has even been spotted on the New York Times bestseller list! The authors have completely raised the bar for cookbooks with this work which features over 900 photos, 100 recipes, and snappy cartoons. This book is packed.

Do I exclusively follow a paleo diet? Not in the least. Do I prioritize real, whole, nutrient-packed food? You bet! And that’s what is continually served up from the Nom Nom Paleo crew.

My Noah lost himself in this cookbook for an entire Saturday afternoon, flipping from comic to comic. Then we made kale chips. I hope some of the enthusiasm that Michelle’s kids display in the book rubs off on him. Both of my boys could stand to eat a few more plants and we’re using Nom Nom Paleo to make them fun.

I’ve already gifted a few of my girlfriends with this cookbook and now it’s your turn. Read on for an interview with the author of Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans and a chance to win one of two copies of your own!

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Bite this Book: Notes from a Blue Bike (5-copy giveaway)

Tsh’s new book, Notes from a Blue Bike, landed in my hands earlier this week on a cold grey afternoon and brought an instant bright spot to my day with its beautiful blue cover and familiar author’s name. I hugged it tight and skipped into the kitchen to put the kettle on.

I was only able to sink my teeth into Part I before Clara woke from her nap, but already Tsh had spread a bountiful buffet of fresh ideas that I slowly digested in my mind for the rest of the afternoon. I couldn’t wait to get back to the book.

As it happened, my kindergartener Mateo was battling a dreadful fever that night, and when I tucked him into bed, he clung to me tight, begging me to snuggle. Normally, I’d have to head downstairs to start my evening writing shift, but tonight? Well, book-writing and blogging could wait.

I switched on the bedside lamp and made myself as comfortable as I could on the sliver of bedside that my boy had left for me. I pulled the sheets up to Mateo’s chin and re-opened Notes from a Blue Bike. Beloved for her voice on The Art of Simple, Tsh has a comfortable writing style that is simple to absorb and process even with my dead-tired, end-of-the-day fried mommy brain.

Notes From a Blue Bike

I couldn’t put the book down. It was very late before I closed the cover, and Mateo was fast asleep, his lashes long on his bright red cheeks. The next day, he was feeling better, and I wrapped up my reading with my morning coffee while he finished a puzzle.

Tsh words felt like a rich feast, a meal I didn’t know I was so hungry to eat. They were both affirming (hello backyard chickens) and inspiring (hmm, are our passports up to date?).

Keep reading for more of my thoughts on Tsh’s book, view the trailer for Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World and enter a giveaway to win one of five copies!

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Bite this Book: One Simple Change

Extreme cold weather during my early January holidays meant less time outdoors and more time to curl up with a book. It turns out that was a good thing, as I couldn’t put down the newly released, One Simple Change.

Written by holistic nutritionist, fellow blogger and friend Winnie Abramson, this book encapsulates my entire health plan for 2014 – and for life and longevity, really. One Simple Change compiles 50 doable changes to incorporate into your life. Most of the chapter topics are diet and exercise related, and tie directly into the healthy lifestyle philosophy here on Simple Bites.

Get Fresh Air Every Day. Fit in Fresh Juice. Ramp Up Raw Foods. Pay Attention to Proteins. Manage Your Stress. Slow Down…..are but just a few of the author’s wise ways to approach whole living. For me the books was part inspirational (a big part) and part confirmation that I was on track with some things. Composting, planting a garden, getting out in nature – those actions are at the heart of our urban homesteading efforts.

Winnie’s book worked for my crazy hectic days thanks to the short, readable chapters. I particularly appreciated the side bars filled with tips, that allow the reader to pick and choose the simple changes that can make their lives better. You can choose to start small or jump in with both feet, but every chapter provided a nugget that will help you live a better, healthier life.  I wish it was on each and every one of your nightstands as we start this New Year.

Read on for an interview with the author of One Simple Change: Surprisingly Easy Ways to Transform Your Life and a chance to win a copy of your own!

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Aimée’s 2013 Cookbook Gift Guide

This isn’t going to be a ‘Best of 2013’ cookbook list. The simple reason being that I haven’t cooked from, read through or lapped up every new cookbook that came out this year.

My particular list is compiled with books that have inspired me in the kitchen and homestead and motivated me to learn more about cooking, baking, canning, and more. They have sparked research, initiated conversations on everything from pudding to preserving, and made. me. hungry!

In some cases, they’ve picked me up when I’ve been completely uninspired to make dinner (oh, it happens) and coaxed me back to the stove. Although they are new to my shelves, many of these cookbooks are already old friends.

I was a judge for this year’s Taste Canada Cookbook Awards and that experience really taught me how to scrutinize a cookbook. Before my involvement, I could intuitively separate the solid cookbooks from the weaker ones, but now I’m also aware of how important elements such as the author’s voice, research, organization, originality and food safety play into my choices.

2013 was an epic year for cookbooks. For the home preserving enthusiast to the vegetarian on your holiday gift list, here is my inspired cookbook gift guide for 2013. Happy browsing. Happy cooking.

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