Book Giveaway: Tips Cooks Love

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TipsCooksLovePlease help me celebrate my first book giveaway by signing up to win Tips Cooks Love: Over 500 Tips, Techniques, and Shortcuts That Will Make You a Better Cook! 

I thought this cookbook reference companion might be a timely choice, based on the arguments in my most popular post, The Top 10 Terms to Avoid in Recipes. You’ll find no assumptions here about how to cook and bake, only helpful, knowledgeable information. In fact, on p. 57 is an explanation of the term “blanch,” one of the words in my list.

While I assumed Tips Cooks Love targets novice cooks, I found lots to interest me. Regarding the age-old debate about whether to lower the temperature when using glass baking dishes, for example, veteran cookbook author Rick Rodgers says to forget that and decrease cooking time, because glass speeds up browning.

Two other tips I liked are his warning not to refrigerate scone and muffin batters overnight. Batters with baking soda won’t rise, and those with baking powder will rise less. To perk up drab brown sauces, he suggests a tablespoon or two of tomato paste to deepen the color and brighten the flavor.

Because this book is geared to customers of Sur La Table, the book’s co-author, there’s a heavy focus on products to purchase at their stores, such as steel cookware, clay cookers, and meat pounders. And there is no Table of Contents, as the book is organized alphabetically, with opening pages listing the topics in each section.

Overall, Rodgers’ extensive experience as a talented cooking teacher and cookbook author comes through in this useful reference guide. So leave your name below, and I’ll pick a winner by March 15, 2010.

Contest rules: You must live in the US. One entry per person. I will pick a winner at random and email that person. If there is no response within a week, I will choose someone else.

[Disclosure: I have worked for both Sur La Table and the book’s publisher, Andrews-McMeel. I was not involved with this book.]

Update: Smith Bites, the first commenter for my first giveaway, won this book.


    • diannejacob says

      Right. Forgot to say that. It would probably cost me more to send it to you than the price of the book! Sorry. I added contest rules. US only.

  1. Zeyna says

    Sounds like something I could use. I am always looking for short cuts. When you have 4 kids sometimes you have to.

  2. says

    As a cooking school teacher I feel like I am first and foremost a student and can never have enough information to share with my students. Reference books are always a welcome addition to my shelf. Thanks for the opportunity to participate Dianne.

  3. Jessica Morris says

    Wow – he was helpful at Thanksgiving when it came to carving my bird (Carving 101 with Rick Rodgers). Thanks for the opportunity and inspiring me almost daily when your blog emails.

  4. says

    Looks like a good reference book. I have a few friends who would benefit from this book. If I win, I’ll pass it on.

    • diannejacob says

      Um, good question. Nate asked if I would send to outside North America, and I said no. There is a deadline for entry of March 15. Something else I should know?

      • says

        It’s probably a good idea to note the following:

        – how to enter (comment on this post? comment on other posts? tweet – about it with a specific #hashtag for tracking?)
        – deadline
        – shipping limitations (method and geography)
        – age limitations (if any)
        – # of entries possible per person
        – a note asking that folks include their email address when entering

        Generally I just type of a blurb about the overarching rules on a post, which I then link to in contest posts. If there are individual rules that change from contest to contest (like how one can enter) I save them in a word doc so I don’t have to type them up each time I have a giveaway.

  5. says

    Although I’m familiar with most of those tips, i’m positive Rick Rodgers has a lot to teach me with the other 400+ tips in his book!

    I just read Rick’s profile in the link you provided. 35 cookbooks! WOW. If I ever get 1 cookbook published, that would be enough to satisfy me (for a while anyway).

  6. says

    My, my, but there are differences of opinion in baking. My overnight bran muffin batter using baking soda does indeed rise, even after a week or two in the fridge. A friend brought over a pan of zucchini bread batter (with baking soda) mixed up 2 hours before she left to come to our home and it baked up just fine. I made a few experiments recently with homemade single-acting baking powder (2 parts cream of tartar to 1 part baking soda), which works very quickly to cause batters and doughs to “rise” at room temp, and found that my biscuits actually rose higher after the dough waited for 20+ minutes before going into the oven. This is why I love to bake.

  7. says


    I’m currently reading Will Work for Food, and I love it! Thanks for all the great info (and this great giveaway).

  8. Barbara says

    Has helped already–never sure whether or not to reduce temperature when using glass baking dish. Can’t wait to check out the next 500 tips…

  9. says

    These types of books are invaluable to both beginning and experienced cooks. Understanding “why” something happens or doesn’t saves a lot of frustration in the kitchen!!! As a life long learner, I know I can always learn more and am an avid reader of cooking reference books!!

    Just found this blog and have devoured every post in the archives. Thank you for sharing your talent and insight!!

  10. Miss Mimi says

    Oooh Oooooh Ooooooooh pick me! Pick me! Pick me *hand in the air waving desperately* Rick always has great tips for all levels of cooks.

  11. LoAnn Mockler says

    Hi, I’m in a cookbook book club and Rick was the author I chose for the event at my house on 3/12 as I have several of his books. Members of the group each cook one dish from the author’s website or a cookbook. Since there are usually a dozen or so of us, it’s a great opportunity to try new recipes and, of course, an excuse to cook. Many had not heard of Rick but they are converts now! I would love to win this newest from him! Hope I’m in time — I just discovered your blog as I signed up for the Liete’s Culinaria online classes you will be teaching. Thanks.