Somehow the buzz got out with my last giveway for Ready for Dessert and almost 200 people responded. I think it was David Lebovitz’s Facebook announcement. (He has what’s called a “platform,” you know.)
Right now this post is coming to you from sunny Rancho La Puerta in Mexico, one of the best spas in the world. I’m here to teach four 1-hour classes for people who are thinking about writing a book. They’ll have to fit me in between Pilates, massages and hikes.
I first came here last year in exchange for coaching on the ranch’s cookbook proposal, and now I’m lucky enough to come back. The book has done well too: It was nominated for a Beard award last year.
My agent thought I should celebrate my week at the ranch by giving away a copy of Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta by ranch founder Deborah Szekely and writer Deborah Schneider. I should point out that my agent represents the authors, gave me this copy of the book, and recommended me to coach on the cookbook proposal. As you can see, book publishing is kind of incestuous. I’m happy to both disclose and make you the recipient of my good fortune.
Cooking with the Seasons is gorgeously photographed, with menu-based garden and ocean-based dishes. I made the Root Vegetables Roasted with Honey, Balsamic, and Spices as soon as I got back last year. These roasted veggies are lively and habit-forming, not adjectives you’d normally use to describe turnips. I’ve also made the show-stopping Broiled Oranges with Honey Yogurt and Pistachios (so easy), and the flavorful Baja Fish Tacos when I was in withdrawal after returning from Club Med Ixtapa. (I know. I’m very, very fortunate to teach at two resorts this year.)
Deborah Szekely invented the notion of a destination spa when she opened Rancho La Puerta in 1958. She was the spa’s first chef. Deborah Schneider is a food writer, working chef and partner in the restaurant SOL Cocina in Newport Beach, CA, lives just 15 miles from the Mexican border. Her latest book is Amor Y Tacos: Modern Mexican Tacos, Margueritas, and Antojitos.