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Cookbook Giveaway: The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook

Use fresh summer peaches to make this Peach Crumb Coffee Cake from The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook.

A simple cast-iron skillet is one of my favorite kitchen tools, mainly because it can be used with very high heat and retains that heat so amazingly. It’s ideal for searing steaks (one of Alton’s favorite uses) and baking cornbread.

I’m always on the lookout for new ways to put this pan to work, and The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook doesn’t disappoint. It includes recipes for, yes, cornbread, but also soups and stews, main dishes, side dishes and desserts, with a whole chapter devoted to outdoor cooking. Whether you’re cooking over a campfire or having a backyard barbecue, nothing sets the “rustic cookout” mood better than a summery side dish or dessert served in cast iron.

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Cookbook Giveaway: Food Network Magazine 1,000 Easy Recipes

Celebrate Memorial Day with great hot dogs, like this classic Chicago Dogs from Food Network Magazine 1,000 Easy Recipes.

For busy cooks, Food Network Magazine’s second cookbook, Food Network Magazine 1,000 Easy Recipes: Super Fun Food for Every Day, is packed with quick and easy recipes and ideas. For weeknight dinners plus any occasion, from Sunday brunch to Memorial Day cookouts, you’re sure to find the perfect dishes. And you’ll never run out of ideas for how to top nachos, toss salads, mix dips, build better burgers and more.

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Cookbook Giveaway: Hello, Jell-O!

The Classic Rainbow Mold from Hello, Jello! is a tasty work of art. Photograph by Angie Cao.

Make this the summer you re-discover Jell-O (What could be more fun?) with the help of blogger and Jell-O Mold Mistress Victoria Belanger and her new cookbook, Hello, Jell-O!:50+ Inventive Recipes for Gelatin Treats and Jiggly Sweets. With creative flavor combinations, the addition of cream or fresh fruit, layered effects and sometimes a little alcohol, Victoria has successfully reinvented the nostalgic Jell-O of your childhood into dinner party/get-together fare that’s sure to impress.

Victoria begins Hello, Jell-O! with some essential tips and techniques, and then divides the book into styles of Jell-O molds, from “Creamy and Dreamy” and “Boozy Molds” to “Seasonal Holiday Molds.” There’s a Jell-O recipe for every occasion, and your next grill out or summer bash is the perfect place to start.

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Cookbook Giveaway: Sweet Home

Make Mom's Banana Cake from Sweet Home for your Mom this Sunday.

In Sweet Home: Over 100 Heritage Desserts and Ideas, food writer Rebecca Miller Ffrench shares how baking sweet treats can be nurturing, loving and caring, recalling and creating lasting memories. Her family has a long dessert-loving tradition, from her grandparents’ remembered nighttime sweets routine to her mother who always had an after-dinner treat waiting. And she carries the tradition on, making dessert for her own children regularly. Sweet Home is a collection of Rebecca’s family recipes, along with ideas and inspiration for preserving your own family’s recipes and starting your own traditions. It’s a beautiful and sentimental cookbook everyone (especially Mom!) is sure to enjoy.

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The Ultimate Cinco de Mayo Cookbook Giveaway

We rounded up cinco of our favorite Mexican food cookbooks for the ultimate giveaway.

Where there’s Mexican food, there’s a fiesta. Ole! With tons of fiery flavor and crowd-friendly dishes (tacos, enchiladas, guacamole), not to mention margaritas, Mexican food is always fun, whether it’s Tuesday taco night or an all-out Cinco de Mayo bash (this Saturday!). To help you celebrate, we rounded up a collection of our favorite Mexican-cooking cookbooks. Start browsing now, and try out a few sample recipes today.

Mexican Made Easy, by Marcela Valladolid
This is the companion cookbook for Marcela’s Food Network show, Mexican Made Easy. She makes Mexican food using fresh ingredients and simple recipes – great for any night of the week.

Coconut Flan from MarcelaValladolid's Mexican Made Easy

Get Cooking:
Chicken Flautas
Burgers al Pastor
Coconut Flan

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Cookbook Giveaway: My Pizza

Make classic Boscaiola Pie with Jim Lahey's no-knead crust, topped with sausage, mushrooms and red onions.

Besides doughnuts, pizza is my all-time favorite food. When I got Jim Lahey’s cookbook My Pizza, my husband and I were inspired to make homemade pizza the next night – and again the week after – because this is simply the best pizza you can make at home.

As pizza connoisseurs know, the secret to great pizza is amazing crust – flavorful with good chew, crisp in some places, charred in others. It’s no surprise that Jim, famous for his simple no-knead bread method (detailed in his first book, My Bread) and founder of New York City’s Sullivan Street Bakery and pizza restaurant Co., knows how to make fabulous crust. The no-knead method takes minimal effort and allows flavor to develop slowly as the dough rests. It’s pure genius. And once you’ve mastered the crust, Jim’s creative, fresh toppings are just icing on the cake (or pie, in this case).

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Cookbook Giveaway: The Homemade Pantry

With The Homemade Pantry cookbook you can skip buying packaged snack cakes at the grocery store and instead bake up these homemade beauties.

Reading Alana Chernila’s description of lasagna night at her house in The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making was enough to make me add rennet (for cheese making) to my shopping list. She describes pulling her own warm mozzarella, as fresh tomato sauce bubbles on the stovetop and homemade lasagna noodles hang waiting, all while wrangling her two young daughters. When she contrasts her dinner to the idea of a convenient tin of frozen pasta, there’s no doubt which one I’d rather cozy up to.

Alana began making pantry staples at home because of a tight budget, but soon found how rewarding it could be — the food is better for you, it tastes better, it usually costs less, it eliminates packaging and it makes you think about food in a different, more connected way. With her new cookbook Alana is sharing her enthusiasm for cooking and her tried-and-true recipes. So you’ll be able to stop buying and start making one thing this week, another the next and before you know it, you’ll be having your own messy food adventures.

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Cookbook Giveaway: Joy the Baker Cookbook

Joy the Baker adds pineapple, coconut, nuts and more to her Kitchen Sink Carrot Cake, and then bakes it in a Bundt cake pan and tops with thick cream cheese frosting to make a celebratory dessert.

Get ready to make an instant best friend: Joy the Baker, aka Joy Wilson, is a chatty, sassy pancake-lover, blogger and self-taught baker who’s sure to charm you with her girl talk and sweet recipe combo. Visit her blog for a fun coffee-break read (be prepared to crave cake afterward) and check out her new cookbook, Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes.

Joy’s lighthearted, unpretentious approach to baking shines through in her cookbook. It’s hard not to love chapter titles like: “pancakes pancakes pancakes, and other lesser breakfast items”; “i need a hug or a brownie. maybe both.”; and “i think i just ate chocolate for dinner.” Her treats are perfect for sharing with family and friends and, of course, for spring holiday celebrations like Easter and Mother’s Day.

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Cookbook Giveaway: The Pioneer Woman Cooks

The Pioneer Woman's Strawberry Shortcake Cake combines all the deliciousness of classic strawberry shortcake into one cake and wraps it all in cream cheese frosting.

Everyone’s favorite accidental country girl, Ree Drummond, started the blog in 2006, sharing stories of ranch life in Oklahoma, amazing photographs of food and family, and, of course, irresistible cowboy- and kid-approved recipes. Her first cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, was a #1 New York Times best-seller, and last year she became a Food Network star with her cooking show, The Pioneer Woman.

Ree’s second cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier, focuses on simple, delicious food. She includes more than 100 recipes, covering every meal of the day with beautiful step-by-step photos for no-fail results. As you dive into her homey recipes, like cowgirl quiche, homemade glazed donuts, fried chicken tacos and more, prepare to be transported by Ree’s pictures and prose to a world of truck driving, cattle ranching, horse riding and good eating. This is one cookbook everyone, city slickers and country folk alike, will enjoy reading and using.

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Cookbook Giveaway: The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook

Make Mad Men-era recipes from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook for Sunday's season premiere, like this Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

If you have Mad Men on the mind in anticipation of this Sunday’s big Season 5 premiere, why not cook up a retro dinner straight out of the era of Don Draper and crew? I know — when you think of immersing yourself into the world of Mad Men, cocktails are what come to mind. But 1960s American food plays an important supporting role in this show, and The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Inside the Kitchens, Bars, and Restaurants of Mad Men by Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin documents it all, dish by dish, episode by episode.

They include 70 recipes (including cocktails!) from 1960s New York restaurants and housewives’ dinner tables, each including a brief history and a rundown of where and when it appeared in Mad Men. This Sunday, mix up an Old Fashioned, Don’s go-to cocktail and the one he’s drinking in the opening scene of Mad Men (Season 1, Episode 1) — he’s in a smoky bar making notes on a napkin, drinking an Old Fashioned. Make an Avocado and Crabmeat Mimosa inspired by the Kennedys, Trudy’s Rib Eye in the Pan with Butter (the one Pete requests in Season 1, Episode 3) and Pineapple Upside Down Cake (like Sal and Kitty on Valentine’s Day, Season 2, Episode 1), plus Deviled Eggs, Waldorf Salad and more beloved favorites.

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