Dinky Manor

Giveaway: William-Sonoma Gifts From The Kitchen


This week I am giving away a copy of Gifts from the Kitchen (Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library)
a cookbook written by Kristine Kidd. The book contains 50 recipes including: Cranberry-Almond Biscotti, Lemon Spice Olives, Double-Chocolate and Orange Truffles, Vanilla Bean Caramels, Blueberry-Orange Marmalade, and Cappuccino Fudge Sauce.

In my old house, that is now my rental property, the galley kitchen was a complete tear-down renovation. In that house I was able to custom make the perfect, efficient, tiny kitchen for myself that had a space for everything, including glass-fronted bookcases to house my massive cookbook collection.

God, I miss that kitchen.

As of ten years ago I had well over 400 cookbooks and probably an equal number of cooking magazines. When I moved into Dinky Manor with Mr. Foxypants, I downsized my belongings by 85%. Even with this major purge, as of today, five years later, I still own thirty cookbooks and 50 cooking magazines. The vintage kitchen of Dinky Manor pre-dates refrigeration, which means it’s terribly laid out for modern cooking. There isn’t enough space for my basic cooking tools, never mind my cookbooks, in the kitchen.

One of the reasons why my cookbook collection grew to such huge proportions was that I started collecting cookbooks during my pre-internet childhood. I love cookbooks. When I get a new cookbook I read it from front to back just like a novel. When cooking websites finally came into existence, I already had two decades worth of kitchen reading on my bookshelf.

I’ve been officially downsizing my cookbook collection since 1998.

To enter for a chance to win a copy of Williams-Sonoma’s Gifts From The Kitchen tell me about your favorite gift from the kitchen in the comments section below. (If you don’t cook, you can just describe the best homemade, edible gift you’ve ever received). I will randomly choose one winner Tuesday, June 25th, at 11:59pm Pacific Standard Time.


  1. Posted June 19, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    My favorite gift from the kitchen? When I got married I received a gift of an authentic Chinese cleaver. It is all carbon steel and totally utilitarian rather than beautiful. I love that cleaver and believe my grandchildren will know and love it, as it will be around for the ages.

    Another stand-out gift I got was a box full of things to make apple pie. A beautiful, thick, heavy stoneware pie pan, a rolling pin sock and matching thing to roll out crust on, and a recipe.

    I have been married 32 years and all these items are still in use in my kitchen today and still in pristine condition. Good quality items never go out of style or need to be replaced.

    p.s. I am the same way with cookbooks! Last year I finally passed a bunch of them off to others. I have an accordian file for holding loose pages of recipes and what I have taken to doing is pulling out cookbooks that I hardly use and going through them with little post-it flags and marking the recipes I might one day try. Then I copy those pages and file them and let the book go to someone else. I still have lots of wonderful cookbooks but the collection is more manageable.

  2. Posted June 20, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Q: You talk about your small city kitchen—exactly how big is it? A: The part you can stand in, the footprint, is about 20 square feet. It’s so tiny that my toddler’s play kitchen doesn’t even fit inside it. No pity parties, however. Nobody forced me to choose life in overpriced Manhattan over a sprawling affordable home someplace where nobody could call a 500-square foot 1-bedroom “ample” without being laughed out of the room. What is impractical is that I chose to write a cookbook from there anyway, but I think that, in a way, it’s been good for my cooking because it forces me to simplify recipes so that they use the fewest number of dishes and amount of space that they can while still (hopefully) not tasting like compromise. I don’t think anyone, regardless of their kitchen size, minds being able to pull off a lot of cakes with just one bowl.

  3. Elizabeth G
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    I love to give homemade pumpkin bread or zucchini bread. The recipe for the pumpkin bread is from allrecipes.com – Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread – it’s delicious! The zucchini recipe comes from my mom. Both are super yummy. Thanks!

  4. Heather S
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    The best kitchen gift I’ve received is a big pot of sausage potato kale soup! It was from a dear friend and it was some of the best soup I’ve ever had!

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