Friday, October 21, 2011

Blogiversary, Eat Your Books Giveaway, and Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today is the fourth anniversary of this blog, and what a great four years it has been! I've loved sharing my favorite recipes and tips with all of you and being part of a fun and supportive online community of food lovers.  To celebrate, Eat Your Books has offered up a fantastic prize for one of my readers: a lifetime membership to their website!  Eat Your Books is a site I discovered just recently, through a recommendation on Baking Bites, and I have been loving it.  Here's the idea: you enter in all your cookbooks, and then you can easily search them by keyword, ingredient, course, occasion, and more - basically a giant search engine for all the recipes in all the cookbooks you own!  This is great for me since I own a ton of cookbooks but often don't make as good use of them as I could because it's too time-consuming to find a particular sort of recipe.  Unless I'm in the mood to browse or know the specific recipe I want, I often abandon my cookbooks in favor of the much-easier-to-search online approach.  While I love finding and preparing recipes I find on blogs and other sites online, I'm also loving this option to more easily find cookbook recipes and give some attention to my often-neglected cookbook collection. 

These orange chocolate chip cookies are a great example of how useful Eat Your Books is.  The recipe comes from a vegetable-focused cookbook, so not somewhere I would usually turn to for dessert recipes.  But they were really delicious and I was so glad to find the recipe! 

A few weeks ago I was in charge of baking treats for a dessert reception at my church, and I wanted to make some version of chocolate chip cookies since that's always a popular choice. But I didn't want to make the same old recipe from the back of the Tollhouse chocolate chip bag - I wanted something a little different.  This recipe is subtly flavored with orange zest, which creates a lovely aroma and a fun twist on the usual chocolate chip cookie.  The cookies are soft and packed full of chocolate chips, making them a definite crowd-pleaser.

Now, on to the giveawayEat Your Books is giving away a lifetime membership to their site - that means you can enter as many cookbooks as you want, and you'll have access to all of their search functions.  (Even if you don't win, I definitely recommend checking out the site - the monthly fee is very reasonable, just $2.50 a month - totally worth it!)  Here's how you can enter:

For the main entry (you must do this), leave a comment telling me about a favorite recipe you've made from a cookbook recently.

For additional optional entries (please leave a separate comment for each entry), you can do any or all of the following:
1. Follow @EatYourBooks on twitter and tweet this giveaway.  Here's a sample tweet:  Win a lifetime membership to Eat Your Books at Cupcake Muffin!  @EatYourBooks
2. "Like" Eat Your Books on Facebook.
3. Subscribe to the RSS feed for this site (link at the bottom of the right-hand sidebar).
4. Make any recipe from this site and either post about it on your blog or tell me about it in the comments.
5. Post about this giveaway on your blog.
6. Post about this giveaway on Google+.

Anyone can enter, and you have until November 1 to do it.  Be sure to leave a way to contact you (either an email address or your blog/website address.)  I'll draw a random winner at the end of the day on November 1, and the winner will have two days to respond or a new winner will be chosen.  Best of luck, and now here's the cookie recipe!

Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven)
Makes about 40 cookies

2 sticks butter, softened
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
Finely grated zest from one medium orange
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Beat together the butter and both sugars until creamy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla and orange zest.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.  Add to the butter mixture and stir until just combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
3. Cover tightly and chill overnight.
4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment or foil.
5. Drop the dough by tablespoon-fuls onto the baking sheets.  Bake about 12 minutes, until the bottoms of the cookies are lightly browned, rotating pans halfway through.  Cool on a rack.

Full disclosure: Eat Your Books is providing the lifetime membership for this giveaway, and is also providing me with a lifetime membership for linking to their widget in my sidebar.  However, I discovered this site and signed up for it independently before either of these offers.  I contacted Eat Your Books about offering a prize for my readers and they were generous enough to offer one, but the recommendation of the site is 100% my own and is based on my experiences using it.

I'm sending this post off to the These Chicks Cooked Link Party. 


  1. Happy 4th anniversary!!!

    You have definitely clocked up some beautiful recipes and isn't it wonderful to look back at all the beautiful things that you have created over the last 4 years!

    A recipe that I have attempted recently is Tetsuya's signature dish of ocean trout confit from his cookbook Tetsuya's. He is one of Austraia's most celebrated chefs and his signature dish has been on offer for more than a decade. It is truly a memorable experience and to my suprise, it is not too difficult to replicate! :) :)

    Congratulations again for creating a beautiful blog!

  2. Wishing you Happy 4th Anniversary, and many more to come filled with your delicious recipes! We just found your wonderful blog and truly enjoyed what you created.
    Judit & Corina

  3. I just made Cinnamon Ginger Brownies from the Fat Witch cookbook, and they were _amazing_! You mix fresh grated ginger in with the sugar, which is a technique I've never seen before. I used gluten-free flour because one of the friends at the gathering was allergic to wheat, and we couldn't tell the difference at all.

    Also, wow, Eat Your Books is the most excellent idea! I have tons of cookbooks too, but I use them far too rarely because of the searchability issue. If I've just gotten, say, a whole bunch of beets from the CSA, it's much easier to go to the internet to search by ingredient. This might be a subscription worth getting on its own. Thank you for the tip, and thank you for such a great blog!

  4. I just Liked Eat Your Books on Facebook too :)

  5. I just made Nigella Lawson's pea and pesto soup from her Nigella Express cookbook. Pretty tasty and quick after a long week.

  6. Dorie's All-in-One Holiday Bundt Cake from Baking: From My Home To Yours. This cake has great flavors.

  7. I "liked" Eat Your Books on Facebook, too.

  8. My favorite recipe that I have made from a cook book is brownies from my grandmothers cookbook!

  9. I followed Eat Your Books on twitter and tweeted about them

  10. I liked Eat Your Books on Facebook

  11. Pumpkin bread from The Joy of Cooking. Yum!

  12. Hi, Sara:

    The most recent cookbook recipe I've made is (one of my favorites) the Jeweled Rice Salad from Mollie Katzen's classic, Still Life With Menu. I've made it a zillion times over the years, but I still need the recipe to get the amounts right! It's wonderful and I always get applause.


  13. OK - just posted this on the wrong comment page. oops. I just Followed Eat Your Books on Twitter, too.
    Let's see...what else can I do?