Giveaway! Favorite Cookbook, EVER

by Ivory Soap on 02/24/2016

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Years ago, I read through all of Rachael Ray’s 365 something-or-other cookbook. I made a standard pantry list. I could cook almost anything in the book on the spur of the moment. My pantry was massive! And Rachael didn’t really help with breakfast or lunch. Also, I found out I was unable to digest grains. And milk. And sugar. Rachael had to leave. 🙁

Fast forward to today. I have teenagers. I am not the only cook in my home. My daughter cooks. My husband cooks. And if an ingredient is something that could be eaten alone, like corn chips for a Wednesday taco salad, grazers will get it well before then. So, if I do go buy ingredients for a set meal plan, I can’t guarantee that those ingredients will be there on Thursday for lunch, or Friday dinner, or whatever. I drooped into a cooking slump.

Then I ran across Mystie Winkler’s Ebook Simplified Pantry . I got the whole collection.

Simplified.jpg (816×1056)

Then I begged her to do a review and giveaway. Here’s why:

  • She uses a standard pantry of SANE shelf-stable ingredients, not fresh Asiago, fennel, or other nonsense.
  • Every recipe uses the pantry. So if one of my “cooks” killed the zucchini or the salsa yesterday, I can easily make a new plan and still have dinner on the table without yelling or hoarding ingredients.
  • It’s not fake stuff. “From scratch” seems like a pain until you realize how easy most things are and that you don’t have to buy separate ingredients. I don’t bake sandwich bread these days, but the “quick breads” are only 5 minutes faster from a can than from the base ingredients. And with the base ingredients, I have more flexibility.
  • It’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With my diet, I only cook breakfast and lunch for the kids. I eat dinner leftovers in the early afternoon after I wear out the pot of coffee. So, dinner is grain, dairy, and sugar-free–but nothing else has to be. Wait, we ALL have ADD. I replace all of her sugar in the breakfasts with stevia. Otherwise, no one would ever get their math done.
  • It’s standard recipes with variations.

Let’s hang on that last one for a sec. Back in the day when I first got married….

elope…Daisy taught me how to make standard recipes over the phone. Salad dressings has this much oil, this much acid, this much herb or spice, and a shot of emulsifier, like dry mustard. Pasta salads had this much protein, this much veg, this much of a “strong flavor” like goat cheese or kalamata olives, etc. She did the same for encrusting fish and a couple of other things. It was genius!

Mystie’s recipes are the same way. There’s a STANDARD macaroni and cheese recipe. Then there are variations. There’s a standard “Breakfast pudding” recipe, and then the variations. (We tried the chocolate version today, four kids’ thumbs up, one down.)  I found this worked well with my picky eaters who won’t try anything. Here’s the SAME thing, but vanilla.  They try it every time. Weird.

I highly recommend this collection, especially if you are in a breakfast-lunch rut like I was. If you haven’t cooked in ages, the initial outlay to get your pantry up to date might be substantial, but upkeep is minimal, since ingredients are common, readily-available USA ingredients.

This week, everyone who comments on this post will be in the giveaway.

It closes on Tuesday, March 1 at midnight. A random number generator will pick the winner.

All readers will still get a coupon code, so check back on Thursday morning for your discount!


{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Elisabeth February 25, 2016 at 9:28 am

I’d love to try!

Pat Raspa February 25, 2016 at 9:36 am

I have been cooking for almost 45 years and am always looking for good, simple ideas! Helping to raise my grandchildren after an empty nest of 15 years so meals to please are a challenge with picky eaters! Love your Blog and Website!

Michelle Bibby February 25, 2016 at 9:37 am

I would love to try this! We always have the problem of what was for dinner was ate out of the pantry several days before unbeknownst to mom. This would be a great addition to our cookbooks.

Tara February 25, 2016 at 9:54 am

This book looks fabulous. So important in budeting time and money to utilize what is in my pantry and know how to shop to fill a pantry.

Judith February 25, 2016 at 9:58 am

If I could get myself organized enough to read and buy the pantry items, this would be good for me. Yeah, put me in the hat!

Rachel February 25, 2016 at 10:05 am

Sounds very neat!

Brenda Nuland February 25, 2016 at 10:27 am

That looks like the perfect book for my daughter-in-law. She told me she is still learning how to put a meal together on time and with what she has on hand. I’ve given her some of my favorite cookbooks but they don’t teach those skills.

Blythe February 25, 2016 at 10:48 am

Would love to have a pantry like the two women in the top photo! Simple, Frugal, Wholesome, Basics are good. It sounds like what I do already – but there are always tips to be learned and pass on to our sons and daughters.

Sue February 25, 2016 at 10:52 am

I haven’t heard of this cookbook but sounds right up my alley! I’m dairy free, low sugar and try to not each many grains, too, so I’m looking forward to adding this little gem to my collection.

Yasha February 25, 2016 at 12:02 pm

What a great post! I love the sound of this book, as I am a pantry-stocking maniac.

D. Stone February 25, 2016 at 12:17 pm


Donna M. February 25, 2016 at 1:04 pm

I’m something of a prepper, and it sounds like these cookbooks might help me to use what’s already in my pantry. I hope I win!!

Cynthia F February 25, 2016 at 1:18 pm

Breakfast and lunch I can figure out – dinner, no clue. Sign me up!

Vicki February 25, 2016 at 1:32 pm

I need some inspiration. A couple of years of working full time and then some has left our eating habits in shambles. I need to get back to simple, homemade, real food! These books sound like just the ticket without being overwhelming.

Sheila February 25, 2016 at 1:34 pm

Sounds like a great book!

Rose February 25, 2016 at 1:38 pm

After being married for over 53 years maybe this is the miracle book I’ve been looking for. Thank you for the opportunity to win it!

lisa mawson February 25, 2016 at 2:19 pm

i think this book would be great my my youngest two. they tend to prefer meals de-constructed rather than mixed together or however the meals come.

Judy S. February 25, 2016 at 3:38 pm

This book sounds amazing! My husband is such a picky eater.

Brynne N February 25, 2016 at 3:39 pm

This sounds awesome – I tend to repeat the same 8 or so recipes. All. The. Time. It would be great to have variations!

Michelle February 25, 2016 at 3:42 pm

I’d love to try this books! I’m a mom to 4 boys, 2 of them teens. I’m always looking for easy meal and snack ideas! 🙂

Kathy C. February 25, 2016 at 3:53 pm

This sounds very interesting!

Alysia February 25, 2016 at 4:28 pm

This sounds perfect for me. I am constantly having to figure out what I have to use on place of some specialty ingredient. I like to work with basics.

Kathy Davenport February 25, 2016 at 4:57 pm

I need this!!! Planning meals is a constant
drain of energy. Thank you so much for posting, Ivory.

Colleen February 25, 2016 at 5:04 pm

I have 3 boys and am often scrambling with what to feed them. This sounds great.

Claire February 25, 2016 at 5:30 pm

This book sounds like what I need! I was also a RR fan & got the mag regularly. Then one day I woke up & thought “how many burger recipes do I possibly need?” And then I promptly cancelled the subscription.

Kate Reid February 25, 2016 at 5:35 pm

I’d be up for some new recipees. Being doing mostly paleo for several months and have lost over 10 lbs and feeling soooo much better 🙂

Janet Slawik February 25, 2016 at 5:59 pm

That’d be lovely. Around here, it is always basic cooking. and I would love to have a pantry like that. My mother had one.

Brittany S. February 25, 2016 at 6:33 pm

This sounds like a lovely read! Whether I win this or not, I’m still really interested!

Janet February 25, 2016 at 7:37 pm

Sounds wonderful. Goats kidding in three weeks, then time to milk so this would be great to add to my kitchen.!

Sue D February 25, 2016 at 7:54 pm

Sounds very interesting and helpful for meal times–thanks for the chance.

Candice February 25, 2016 at 8:22 pm

I love to keep things simple. Well, really I have to keep things simple with being a homeschool mom of 4 young kids. Her books sound like something I would love!

Barb J February 25, 2016 at 8:46 pm

Sounds very interesting!

Mia February 26, 2016 at 12:45 am

It sounds like a great collection.

Patty February 26, 2016 at 12:56 am

This sounds really practical! I’d love to try her recipes.

Emilie February 26, 2016 at 5:56 am

I’m always looking for better ways to get food on the table. This book sounds like it would be a great help.

Terrie February 26, 2016 at 3:39 pm

Please put my name in the hat. Always need help with “what’s for dinner”. Thanks!

Tina Louise February 26, 2016 at 6:49 pm

Sounds like a great plan. I am in a rut as to planning breakfast, lunch and dinner. I sure could use some help.

Kathy February 26, 2016 at 7:56 pm

Sounds like a great set of ideas. I love that normal pantry items are used.

Tenesha February 26, 2016 at 8:23 pm

I am a mom of 1 teenage and 2 tween age boys that love to eat. This sounds like the perfect way to keep my sanity and feed them wholesome food that I can feel good about. I would love to give it a try.

Brenda February 26, 2016 at 9:14 pm

I teach kids how to prepare meals on a budget, this would be an awesome tool!

Carmen N February 26, 2016 at 10:38 pm

This sounds like a wonderful book. I know how to make quite a bit from scratch, but I’m sure I could learn from this book – especially when it comes to the variations.

Samantha D February 27, 2016 at 6:35 am

Simple is better. I really love cooking, but with a part-time job and three children, food has got to be fast and easy these days, unless I slow cook. I would love to win. Plus I love reading cookbooks.

Amy February 27, 2016 at 8:08 am

Thanks for the encouragement to plan ahead. I needed that. I love looking at cookbooks since I don’t have the courage to cook without one. Love your wedding photo.

Denise M February 27, 2016 at 12:05 pm

Simple recipes are always the best. I would love to give these a try.

Jenny Simpson February 28, 2016 at 10:37 am

Sounds awesome! I’d love to try it!

Renee February 28, 2016 at 2:55 pm

I would like to try this cookbook.

Carolyn February 29, 2016 at 10:22 am

I would love to win this book and have on organized pantry like the photo above!!

Margie February 29, 2016 at 12:59 pm

Since my DH and I have both retired, I am now in charge of coming up with 3 meals a day, and running out of ideas. Could really use some help!

Holly February 29, 2016 at 3:24 pm

My pantry really does look like your picture…I just need to be reminded what to do with everything in my beautifully bottled food.

BrownThumbMama February 29, 2016 at 11:35 pm

Sounds like my kind of cookbook! Variations are a great way to make old recipes seem new.

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