Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School Book Review & giveaway

I picked up Kathleen Flinn's first book, "The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry", a couple of years ago and enjoyed reading about her journey of stepping out of her comfort zone, moving to Paris, and navigating the unfamiliar waters of Cooking School at Le Cordon Bleu.  I guess I enjoy living vicariously through people who take a huge chance and embark on something so different from their previous life.  Plus, I enjoy books about cooking!
When I saw the newest listing for Kathleen Flinn, I was intrigued.  To some degree, this book picks up (albeit a few years down the road) where the other one left off.  We rejoin Kathleen after she has returned to Seattle, married Mike, and find her wandering around in the grocery store observing individuals as they shop.  
I was instantly captivated by this story, as she approaches two people in the store and engages them in a conversation about how to prepare a dish.  She begins to wonder why people choose such highly processed foods rather than opting for the simpler, less-expensive, and healthier versions of what they eat.
This leads to an experimental cooking class which includes individuals from a broad cross-section of lifestyles who volunteer to participate to learn how to do basic, and not-so-basic, food preparation skills.  
Along the way, Kathleen shares recipes, offers tips for how to select foods, knife skills, and more.

I believe this is a book that would be useful to the novice cook, as well as an enjoyable, yet still-educational, book for someone with more experience.

I am so enthusiastic about it that I would like to offer a copy to one of our readers!  Here is how to qualify to win:  please leave a comment at the bottom of this post about what you most enjoy about cooking, as well as a skill you feel you could improve upon.  I will take posts all the way up to the day before Thanksgiving.  Cutoff for winning a copy of the book will be 12:01 am, 11/24/11.  I will choose a random # based on how many people leave a comment.  I will announce the winner (hopefully!) on Wednesday, 11/23/11.  The book will be shipped after I return from traveling for Thanksgiving weekend.  


  1. Great questions! What I enjoy most ---- baking pies and quick breads and muffins. A skill I could improve upon --- using fresh herbs and spices to spice up simple and healthy dishes.

  2. I like to bake but I'm not a good "cook." I also find it very hard to cook for one person. Any tips on this problem? I love the idea of fresh produce, but it goes bad before I get to it.

  3. These are good points, CAB. Kathleen actually addresses this issue in her book. She discusses how we often buy quantity because we perceive it to be cheaper, but it isn't if we throw out a large quantity of the food! One possibility is to shop with a friend and divide things up. Try purchasing frozen fruits and veggies. They are picked/frozen at the height of freshness and can be portioned out in smaller quantities. Same with meat/chicken/fish.

  4. Oh dear! I let the date go by without announcing the winner! Karen Stiehl Osborn, you have won a copy of this book by Kathleen Flinn! Congratulations!

  5. The books arrived, and I am thrilled to be the winner --- thank you!!!

  6. You are most welcome, Karen. Please drop back and let me know what you think of the book(s).