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Like many of you, I read cookbooks like novels. Cover to cover, the headnotes, the recipes, the sidebars, the acknowledgments — everything. One of my new favorites is Julia Turshen’s Small Victories, Chronicle Books 2016. Julia is a writer and recipe developer who has coauthored many well-known cookbooks, such as Mario Batali’s Spain…A Culinary Road Trip, Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good and The Kimchi Chronicles, to name just a few. This is her first solo cookbook, and it’s a stand-out.
Small Victories is all about empowering home cooks. Julia believes that becoming a confident home cook means mastering one delicious thing a time, taking pleasure in each small cooking feat. For each recipe in the book, she shares the small victories, or little nuggets of wisdom and guidance learned from a lifetime of cooking.
Even for an experienced cook, there is much to learn. In her lasagna recipe, for example, Julia advises skipping the American tradition of using ricotta and the Italian tradition of adding béchamel. Instead, she adds crème fraîche directly to he tomato sauce, which lends the requisite creaminess that all great lasagnas have, but with zero effort. I tried it and it’s a wonderful shortcut I’ll use again and again and again.
I have three cookbooks to give away. For a chance to win, enter the contest below before midnight on March 23, 2017. Good luck!