Home Baked Comfort Giveaway: Best Cookbook Ever! (she never says that…)

January 12, 2012 at 8:00 am , by

Before you read further—you should post a comment below to enter to win a copy of this super amazing cookbookHome Baked Comfort, by Kim Laidlaw, (we featured it in the February issue of LHJ).

After many years cooking professionally I’m pretty skeptical about cookbook recipes. Sure, I have favorite chefs and authors that I love, but for the most part I rarely find 100 percent success with cookbook recipes. This doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot of cookbooks—truthfully I’m thinking about how my collection is getting unruly (hoarder level perhaps). But when I cook from these lovely books, there’s usually some tweaking I have to do with amounts, flavors or cooking times.

Maybe I’m too much of a perfectionist or have high expectations, but when I try a recipe I want it to work! Call me crazy.

I love Home Baked Comfort, the beautiful images, the variety of baked goodness, the perfection that happens each time you try a recipe…you get the idea.

Oh, I also failed to mention I love pretty much any baked good that’s put in front of me, so again, Home Baked Comfort sort of works for me on that level as well. It’s also fun to see contributors from bakers all across the country. Even bloggers like the talented Smitten Kitchen and the amazing Bakerella (see our Q&A with her here) have tasty treats inside.

I think, of the recipes I’ve tried so far the Lemon-Blueberry Drizzle Bread and the Homemade English Muffins are my favorite. However the Bacon-And-Egg-Breakfast Tarts and the Gooey Cinnamon Rolls (with a touch of orange, mmm) were darn close. And not to be left out, homemade toaster tarts anyone? (Check out the video!)

Even if you don’t win one in our giveaway, you’ll want to own this cookbook.

Your friendly food editor

Full contest rules.

Martina McBride Wants You…To Be Heart Healthy!

July 16, 2010 at 7:46 pm , by

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Award-winning country singer Martina McBride is the new face of Cheerios’ “Love Your Heart” campaign, which encourages women to eat heart-healthy meals and live their lives passionately, words we live by at LHJ.

And they’re offering a sweet deal: Enter the “Do What You Love” contest by sending your photo and a short essay on the activity you love to do most, and you could win two roundtrip tickets to Nashville, a three-day, two-night stay at a luxury hotel, and an exclusive chance to hang out with Martina McBride at her recording studio, plus more.

Jump on it! The contest ends on July 23rd!!

I had a chance to chat with Martina about life on the road and keeping her ticker healthy:

LHJ: Why is the message to stay heart-healthy so important to you?

Martina: As we know, heart disease is the number one killer of women in America, so I think the topic should be important for everyone. But I want to set a good example for my three daughters, who are ages 15, 12 and 5. I want to be around a long time to see them grow and do things together as a family.

LHJ: How do you stay on top of your health while you’re on the road?

Martina: Well I try to eat organic whenever possible and have plenty of healthy options on hand. On the road, there’s usually a salad bar and some kind of soup, fish and lean beef or chicken, and a nice selection of healthy side dishes. I love that our catering company is so health conscious. That helps too.

LHJ: What do the girls like eating at home?

Martina: They actually like healthy food. Really, they do! But I’m not restrictive with what they eat. I mean, they’re kids. Sometimes they complain to me and say, “There’s nothing to eat in this house.” And I’ll say, “Yes, there is. There’s a bowl of apples and there’s cheese and crackers.”

LHJ: How do you stay so fit?

Martina: Mostly, it’s the way I eat. That’s the biggest thing. I don’t really like to workout either. It takes a lot to get me to set aside time to do it, but I try. I might workout three times a week, 30 minutes a day. A little cardio, a little weight training. We ride bikes on the road, so we’re getting in good exercise.

LHJ: I know that Nashville is still healing from the floods. Have you or anyone in your family been effected by it?

Martina: No, we were lucky, but I was very excited to be a part of some of the benefit concerts they’ve had for flood relief. One concert, called Nashville Rising, raised over $2.5 million. It was just a great evening of music with other country artists.

LHJ: What’s next for you?

Martina: I’m starting to work on a new album, looking for new material and writing a lot — actually writing more for this album than any other I’ve done, so it’s an exciting time.