We keep a small, white two-shelf bookcase in our dining room that I bought almost 10 years ago at a thrift store in Illinois. It was green when I bought it and cost $20, and painting it white was probably the first home/decorating-type project I ever tried. For a long while after I painted it, sitting on newspapers in my parents’ basement, it stayed down there, surrounded by my mom’s collection of artificial flowers and cabinets of Christmas decorations. It didn’t have a place. But then three years ago when I moved to Nashville, that cabinet came out of hiding and became the home of all my cookbooks, like it was the thing it was always meant to do, and now it is a continually curated collection of our cookbooks—curated because they barely fit in the case and we’re always deciding which ones should be moved or given away to make room for others. We had family in town this weekend, and Saturday night standing near the table filled with cream puffs and doughnuts, my sister-in-law asked me which cookbooks I’ve been enjoying most lately. One of the first ones I talked about was Love Your Leftovers.
Written by Nick Evans of Macheesmo, a site I’ve been following for more than five years, Love Your Leftovers wows me for a few reasons. First, it’s a brilliant concept. There are 14 staple recipes (i.e., roast chicken, baked potatoes, homemade bread, beef stock), each with a series of variations on that theme. The idea is that you do one big prep recipe, like make a bunch of baked potatoes one night, and then use that prep work to make meals all week, like a spinach potato casserole or weeknight gnocchi. Second, it’s super inspiring. Whether you use the book to actually plan your weekly menus, as the last chapter of the book demonstrates, or you use the book to drum up new ideas for a fridge full of leftovers, it provides fresh inspiration whenever you need it. When we came home from Florida with a bag full of purple potatoes, it was almost mindless to bake them and use them for gnocchi the next day. After Tim’s family left from this weekend’s visit, it was so simple to pull out the beef broth we made last week and use it in risotto tonight.
Because we’re such fans of Nick’s book and because we think some of you will be excited about it too, we’re thrilled that his publisher is giving away two copies to you guys this week. To enter the contest, use the Rafflecopter below. Winners will be announced at the end of the week (probably on Saturday). For more information on the book, check out Nick’s trailer here.