• Would you like to win a copy of the new gluten-free girl and the chef cookbook? I have a feeling you are excitedly nodding your head up and down. Let me tell you more….

    What have I learned from “reading” the book gluten-free girl and the chef, Shauna & Daniel Ahern’s new cookbook? Where shall I start? Hold it. Let me back up. Maybe you’re wondering why I used the word “reading” in the first sentence. Go on, go back and reread it. There. See what I mean. You might’ve missed it on first “reading”. There I go again, using the word “reading” when I’m talking about a cookbook. But that’s the thing, the book reads like a novel. And the first time I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. It combines personal anecdotes and cooking tips and impeccable recipes and Cupid-esque inspiration and gorgeous mouth-watering pictures. It is “a love story with 100 tempting recipes”. This cookbook absolutely deserved the attention and kudos it got from the New York Times. At the end of 2010, it declared this cookbook one of the years’ best. When the New York Times said, of this list of kitchen tomes, “they brought brilliant recipes and ideas for right now”, they weren’t kidding, and they were right. I am a classically trained pianist, having studied with Dorothy Hamburger (maybe that was an omen, given my love for all things food) and Princess Elena Wolkonsky, my Russian piano teacher of royal heritage. I was raised on Beethoven and Mozart and Bach and Hanon and Czerny and the list goes on. I spent my formative years (age 5 through college) reading music. Though never encouraged to compose during those early years, I’ve spent the last twenty years doing just that. But instead of composing classical pieces for the piano, I began composing children’s songs. And that is how my husband and I earn our income, writing and performing songs for children and families, though truth is, we are blessed to do this work that we so love to and if we could, we would do it for no monetary compensation. I am going somewhere with this little bit of autobiography. While my early years were spent reading music written on a page, eventually I learned to write my own. And so, with cooking, while I’ve spent the first 36 years of my life in the kitchen cooking primarily from cookbooks, I have set a goal for myself, a New Years’ resolution in twenty eleven. Now and then, whenever I am so inclined, I want to be able to confidently forage through my frig and prowl through my pantry for inspiration, knowing without a doubt that a delicious meal will soon be served at my table. This is not as easy as you might think, at least it hasn’t been for me. Ah yes, that is where gluten-free girl and the chef, this destined-to-become-a-classic new cookbook that graces my cookbook shelves (hmmm, I should do a post about my cookbooks…you would plotz if you saw how many I have!), comes in. After reading this book cover-to-cover, I am bursting with a new sense of confidence. Shauna and Daniel speak so eloquently and passionately about making food from scratch, about nourishing our bodies and souls with meals created by our very own hands, using real food, the kind that will feed us healthfully, with ingredients that are fresh and seasonal. While their food is always gluten free, their philosophy of cooking can be followed by anyone who cooks, gluten free or otherwise. And so, I want to take their inspiration and apply it to my new resolution –  to cook, gluten free and dairy free in my case, as much as possible from scratch and to find my own muse. And that is what I did this evening. Not without trepidation, mind you. I was shaking in my apron. But I need not have worried. While my newly created pasta dish was a wee bit heavy on the garlic due to my heavy-handed made-from-scratch pesto (ok, maybe more than a wee bit), the general idea was good. Very good. Here is the basic gist of the dish I made tonight: Made-From-Scratch-Without-A-Cookbook Pasta Perfectamundo 2 tsp olive oil 10 oz box white button mushrooms, sliced 1 bunch collard, deveined and sliced into ribbons 1/4 – 1/2 cup pesto*, homemade or bought 1/2 lb. gluten free pasta, cooked salt and pepper to taste Saute the mushrooms in 2 tsp olive oil until cooked to your liking. Set aside. Place the collards in a covered dish with about 1/4 cup water. Microwave for 2 1/2 minutes. Drain and set aside. Place the pasta in a bowl. Add the mushrooms, collards, and pesto. Mix to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. *I made dairy free pesto using a few tablespoons of sweet white miso to lend creaminess. So this, my first post of 2011, I dedicate to Shauna and Danny, for empowering me to find my voice (ironic choice of words). In honor of climbing this mountain, I am running a contest and the winner will receive a copy of gluten-free girl and the chef. To enter, I ask you to do two things: FIRST, to win a copy of the book, leave a comment on another post (choose from Recipes in top horizontal menu) on my site (different from this post), and then come back to this page and leave a comment here to tell me which of my posts you commented on. For each one of my different posts you comment on, you’ll get one entry (thank you, Stephanie, writer of the Wasabimon blog, for helping me figure out how to run this contest). The winner will be announced on January 20th. SECOND, do one of the following: 1. If you subscribe to Twitter, tweet about this post and the contest AND include a link back to this post. 2. If you subscribe to Facebook, share this post AND the contest with your Facebook friends AND include a link back to this post. And then, dear readers, put on your apron and ask your cooking muse to hang out with you! Let me  know whatcha come up with! Bon appetit! This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.
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    • Jamie

      Commented on gluten free roasted kale chips. Yum!

    • http://madrantingsofamiddleclassmom.blogspot.com Jenny

      I left a comment on the Share our Strength – Pear, argula salad post. I had Shauna's cookbook and my pediatrician borrowed it – to determine if she wanted to buy one of her own…and now I can't get the book back!!! So I need another one.

    • TheWHOLEGangLLC

      Wow you are so talented on so many levels! Your pasta looks wonderful. I've done the same thing way too many times with pesto. Then you end up with garlic tongue. As long as hubby ate it too you're OK. Now for that cookbook, I love it. I've made a few things from their cookbook and so far they all have turned out great. My favorite being the meatloaf. So whoever wins (not me) will be very lucky in deed. Also, I can't wait to find out what you create this year!

    • Emily

      Hi there!

      I commented on the fudge mint brownies (which I will be making soon!) Love the idea for the pasta. Will try that soon too!

    • Marsha

      commented on Adopt A Gluten Free Blogger September 2010 Edition: Salt & Vinegar Roasted Kale Chips. They sound wonderful.

    • http://www.glutenfreeconfessions.com Jessica

      Awesome giveaway! I'd love to win a cookbook! I left a comment under mint fudge brownies!

    • http://www.glutenfreeconfessions.com Jessica

      Do I leave another comment for my other post comment? If so, here it is! I commented on the Peanut Butter Blossom cookies. Soooo yummy! :)

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    • Cheryl

      This cookbook by glutenfree girl and the chef must be the greatest cookbook on a shelf. There is alot of work getting the instructions on how to win this book! But I'am a great follower of the Glutenfree Girl and the Chef and miss her blog while they are on a break. I do have her first cookbook and have followered her love story also. I have always enjoyed your blog also Ellen, having found it in a link on Shaunas blog. I 'am trying to learn to eat gluten free and want to learn how to cook healthy and fast. This book sounds perfect and I would love to win it after reading what you said about it.

    • Indigo

      I left a comment on your Fish Tacos recipe (looks super yum) and also shared the contest on my Facebook.

    • Anna

      I just posted on The Most Amazing Biscuits! Thanks for offering the giveaway!

    • Anna

      I also commented on your Gluten-Free Bagels recipe. Thanks again!

    • http://gravelroadsanddaiquirisinthedirt.blogspot.com/ Deserthen

      I left a comment on the peanut butter blossom cookies! =)

      Would love to win a copy of the cookbook!

    • http://gravelroadsanddaiquirisinthedirt.blogspot.com/ Deserthen

      Just left another comment on the fudge mint brownies and also printed out the recipe! I know what I'm making for dessert this weekend!

    • http://alittleknitting.blogspot.com Carisa

      I commented on the fudge mint brownies! they look delicious! I would love to add this cookbook to my growing collection. My daughter and I have just been diagnosed.

    • Andrea

      left a comment on cinnamon rolls…and now i am off to attempt baking them!

    • http://www.glutenfreecat.com Heather

      I could comment all day, because your posts are beautiful, and your recipes are delicious! But I stopped myself at 4. I commented on "Yes, Gluten Free Bagels and Focaccia!!!", Gluten-Free Biscuits, Risotteria’s Adapted Breadsticks, and 30 Days to a Food Revolution – Gluten-Free Style. I would love to win GFG's book!

    • http://www.glutenfreecat.com Heather

      The Risotteria and Almond Butter links still link to your old blog. I'd love to see them and comment on them in your new blog, just tell me how. :)

    • http://www.silversistersstudio.blogspot.com gisele

      Left a comment on Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies. I will definitely will be back, you recipies look delicious!

    • Wildewood

      I left a comment on Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies. I am new to G-Free cooking and looking for inspiriation and ideas, right now it is a little daunting. As a treat these sound delicious. I would love to see what other cooks have created, the cook book sounds like a great "read", I'd love to be the winner.

    • Wildewood

      I left a comment on the Oscar party appetizers page of Roasted Potatoes with Aoili dip.

    • http://nhnorthwoods.com Sherry

      I commented on the gluten free bagels recipe, as I dearly miss them. Hope to try making them soon, as well as many of your other recipes.

    • http://www.glutenfreeforgood.com/blog/ glutenfreeforgood

      I have the book and agree it's a good one to sit down and "read." Your pasta looks wonderful and I'm also one of those people who has a heavy hand with garlic. I love it and think it's pretty hard to overdo it. Great post and a nice tribute to Shauna and Danny's book!

    • http://www.alisacooks.com Alisa Fleming

      Oh, I'm not too late! I commented on your Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies! I love me some cookies!

    • Nikki

      I am so glad that you are running this contest. Gluten Free Girl's books are on my must have list! Plus I discovered some AMAZING recipes here on your blog! Here are the posts that I commented on:

      Chai Chocolate Nog Latte
      Fudge Mint Brownies
      Gluten Free Adopt-A-Blogger: Kim from cook IT allergy free
      Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
      Gluten Free Flour Tortillas
      Gluten Free French Baguettes
      Make Your Own Hummus
      Beautiful, Bountiful Biscuits
      The Cinnamon Roll of Your Dreams

    • sherry

      I commented on your ' cinnamon rolls of your dream ' recipe.
      Thanks for the chance to win !

    • http://tcrumbley.blogspot.com/ TR

      I left a comment on your waffles recipe. As always, I love your blog!

      I did a giveaway on my blog this past month, and I found the Twitter and Facebook sharing had the most popular response!

    • http://tcrumbley.blogspot.com/ T.R.

      I love your blog, and I did a contest on my blog this past month as well. I discovered that the Facebook and Twitter sharing was quite successful. I didn't think about having people post on other recipes, so I'll have to try that if I do another one!

      I posted a comment on the waffles post.

    • Elizabeth

      Delighted to catch you before the old site goes down – One of my favorites is your Chocolate Espresso Ice Cream. It is so easy to make – and labor free, And it is so much better than the commercial types! Thank you

    • elizabeth richardson

      I mus tell you that I really enjoy your strawberry smoothie – almost daily

    • Amy

      I commented on the Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Bagels. I am going to make them this weekend.

    • Melissa

      I commented on your cinnamon rolls to love post from March 2007. They look super yummy.

    • Deb Kaplan

      Even though I no longer have to be gluten free, I plan on limiting my exposure to gluten and wheat. I al always interested in new recipes.

    • http://www.simplydeliciouschef.com Martha

      I commented on your Chinese Fried Rice recipe, which is a favorite of mine. Love the new look – you deserve your Diva status! Good luck in all of your new endeavors in 2011 – it sounds like it will be a great year for you! Martha

    • http://www.simplydeliciouschef.com Martha

      Also had to comment on White Bean Puree with Collards, which I have everything for and hope to get to this weekend. BTW, I just got a copy of Stephanie O'Dea's "Make It Fast, Cook It Slow," which is a book of slow cooker recipes that are all gluten-free – it looks good so far.

    • http://twitter.com/Kennesawchef @Kennesawchef

      I left a comment on your Spicy Tofu & Broccoli in Garlic Sauce. We can't wait to try this recipe this weekend.

    • elizabeth richardson

      I have tried the most amazing biscuits – absolutely wonderful – I can quite understand how you ate your way through one batch in 24 hours!! Amazing giveaway too!

    • kellyc4
    • kellyc4

      commented on your gf blueberry scones (6th try. =0) Oh yum!

    • kellyc4

      checked out your biscuit recipe too. =0)

    • kellyc4

      ok, I am gonna have to go do some baking now! Those mint brownies look a-maz-ing!

    • Gina M.

      Hi! I'm new to your blog. Can't believe it took me this long to find it! I commented on your toll-house choc. chip cookies. :)

    • Gina M.

      I also commented on the Arugula, Pear and Pomegranate salad post. :)

    • http://www.awalkinmygarden.blogspot.com Christina

      Wow, I just found your blog and I am loving it! I left a comment on Breakfast of Champions.

    • http://www.awalkinmygarden.blogspot.com Christina

      I also left a comment on Chai Chocolate Nog Latte.

    • http://www.awalkinmygarden.blogspot.com Christina

      And Burger Buns!

    • http://www.awalkinmygarden.blogspot.com Christina

      I also commented on I'm Back (a bread recipe).

    • http://www.awalkinmygarden.blogspot.com Christina

      I also commented on Gluten Free Flour Tortillas- Easy Peasy!!!

    • http://www.awalkinmygarden.blogspot.com Christina

      I commented on Breads From Anna: GF Sourdough Artisan Boule.

    • http://www.awalkinmygarden.blogspot.com Christina

      And last but not least, I commented on Fudge Mint Brownies. I really enjoyed looking at your blog (adding it to favorites). And can you tell, I really, really would like Shauna's Cookbook!

    • Gretchen

      I'm probably too late, but I commented on the Hearty Four Grain Gluten Free Hot Cereal post. Can't wait to try it.

    • bekah

      Liked you page on Facebook, linked the contest and comented on somie yummy looking chocolate banana muffins muffins that wwere made from almond flour :) thanks for this wonderful site!

    • Lorraine

      Oh I guess I'm too late? I just commented on Mac & Cheese if I'm not. Can't wait to make that recipe!

    • Ann

      would love to win this book. in my first month GF and diary free!

    • melody

      i commented on the chai chocolate nog latte recipe page. thank you for a great blog with creative and delicious recipes!
      thanks, Ellen!
      God's blessings
      from melody

    • Kirsten

      i commented on the chocolate chip cookie and almond power bar recipes. I would love to win the cookbook too.

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