Giveaway: Cookbook

Winner will be announced 10/13 in the evening. 

What would a blog launch be without a giveaway!  After looking at several options, we decided to give away Back to the Family by Art Smith. The pictures are inspiring, the recipes are down- home, comfortable, and perfect for the home cook. The title and the idea of this book definitely echo our own ideals – bringing people together around the table and sharing excellent food.  We hope you will enjoy this cookbook as much as we have.


Just leave a comment letting us know something you would like to see featured here at The Cooks Next Door (a recipe, ingredient, etc.). One comment per person and please make sure we have a way to contact you!  We will randomly draw the winner next Tuesday, October 13 and post the results.

As a thank you to those of you who have added us to your links, mentioned us on facebook, or written about us on your blog, we will give you an extra entry for each of those! So you could have up to 4 entries. Just let us know in your comment which ones apply to you! (And you can still do any or all to receive the extra entries until the giveaway closes on Tuesday.)

Here is a recipe I tested out from the book – they were a hit! They cracked a little on top but were not dry. They were delicious and cheesy and all of my boys loved them!



2 cups self-rising flour*
1/4 cups (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
1/4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cups plain yogurt**

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a food processor***, add the self-rising flour, butter, and cheddar cheese.
3. Pulse until the butter and cheese are well incorporated into the flour.
4. Add the yogurt and pulse until it forms a ball.
5. Remmove the dough from the food processor and add additional flour if needed to hold the dough together.
6. Roll the dough into 12 small balls using your well floured hands. Place the balls close together and bake until lightly browned and puffed.  Serve immediately.

*If, like me, you don’t keep self-rising flour around, here is a substitute:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt

**I found that I needed to add an extra 1-2 Tb. of yogurt when making my own self-rising flour.

***Okay, I also don’t have a food processor…so I use a pastry blender to cut in the butter and then a fork (and clean hands) to bring it all together. I have done it for years and it works out although a food processor might be easier for this recipe.

These are perfect served with soup for a cool fall or winter evening.


45 responses

  1. Hey guys, I love this blog so far. I’ve added it to my RSS reader because it’s so inspirational.

    I’m planning on having a fall-themed dinner coming up that isn’t too Thanksgiving-ish. I’m considering how to use apples, pumpkins, etc. in non-dessert dishes.

    You guys should consider adding Google ads to the blog to make a few extra bucks. Looking forward to reading some more!

  2. Wow! 40+ comments so far! You guys are a hit! I have to admit, I have already drooled a little at some of the recipes that you have shared. Something that I’m sure Alaina has experience with… I’m interested in how you get your kids to try new things. You posted that you made a salad with balsamic vinegar and I know a lot of parents who wouldn’t even try to feed their kids balsamic. Any hints/ways you get your little ones to like exploring new tastes?

  3. Hi Ladies! I love your new blog as I’m always looking for good recipes and never seem to find any in the cookbooks I own. I’d love to see a recipe for a good broccoli and cheese soup.

  4. Alaina, what a great outlet for you and your creative energies! I really liked the look of the pot roast (I haven’t tried it yet, but am contemplating it for this week!) and would love to see more of this type of thing. I have a VERY underutilized slow cooker.


  5. Hi Alaina & Heather! Your new blog looks great. We are eating a lot of soups and stews right now and using the slow cooker often, so I would like to find more of those recipes. And anything that uses pumpkin or butternut squash – pasta, soups, salads, etc. I love cooking at this time of year!

  6. Fun blog, ladies! I’d love to see Sunday lunch ideas. Specifically, ones that are mostly ready (from the slow-cooker or timed oven) when you return home from church on Sunday morning, and also specifically, ones that don’t rely too heavily on cream of whatever soup.

  7. Hi Alaina and Heather! I’m excited about your new food blog. I’d love it if you’d share some of your favorite vegetarian/bean dishes. Though we’re not vegetarians, we LOVE beans, especially as a tasty and high nutrition substitute for meat. 🙂 I’ve made your crock pot lentil & sweet potato dish before, A, and we liked it!

  8. Hey guys! I just love reading your blogs and now this one. I am so excited about this one! I would love if you would do more about freezer meals. Thank you~

  9. I would love to see some crockpot recipes and some kid friendly recipes. I just learned about your blog from Muriel’s blog, I am really going to enjoy getting new and fresh ideas for dinners.

  10. I am always looking for kid friendly recipes. My 4 year old twins can be very picky at times. Although this week one of them said I made the best dinner ever!! (Yea!!)

    And I am always looking for meat-alternative recipes for health and budget reasons! Thanks!

  11. I would love to see good soup recipes! My family wasn’t really into making soups at home, but I’d like to find some good recipes as the weather gets cooler!

  12. I would like to see soup recipes posted! My family never made soups much at home, but I’d like recipes that have worked well for others!

  13. I am terrrible at beef roasts — I would love some good tips on that topic. Also, do-ahead recipes for Sunday are another weakness of mine. I could really use help with that now that I have a wee babes!

  14. I’m always looking for good Crockpot recipes (especially this time of year). Your stew with root vegetables was a good example. I liked the pairing with yeast rolls.

    I’ll be checking in regularly. Incorporating more seasonal and local produce is something I’m trying to do more faithfully – I think your blog will provide good inspiration!

  15. Yay, I have been meaning to take a look at this cook book. I am posting about you everywhere! I want to find an awesome bread recipe that I can make in a reasonable amount of time that is mostly healthy i.e. not all white flour, that doesn’t require a pre-ferment. I have been on the hunt for a while! Also, of course, the perfect, chewy, big chocolate chip cookie 🙂

  16. My son (14 months old) has a dairy allergy and won’t eat anything but oatmeal, mac and soy cheese, and fruit…I would love to see dairy free recipes and maybe a tip on how to get him/any child to eat a veggie!!! 🙂 Here’s hoping you have an answer?!?!

    I will mention you on my blog and facebook.

  17. My friend, Rita, led me to your new blog (Alaina’s cousin). She should definitely earn an entry for the cookbook! 🙂

    I was raised in a family where meat was most often the main part of the meal. So was my husband. We’ve talked lately about changing the trend that our families passed down, but the meat-as-main-dish mentality is so ingrained, it’s hard to change! Can you help?! I’d love to see posts about taking meat out of center stage… and to see recipes that could get the new starring role!

    Looking forward to checking back often! (and to possibly winning that lovely cookbook.)

  18. I’d love to see some meal ideas/recipes that are easy to give to others (ie. new baby, sick friend, etc). I feel like many of my best recipes are served right away or are too complex to have someone who is trying to have a break from cooking to get on the table.

  19. I posted about y’all on my blog the other day. I’d love to see posts about bread and maybe also about foods that freeze well. I also second whoever it was above who mentioned being interested in vegetable side dishes. Love the blog!

  20. Hey Alaina, great job with the website. I Face booked you guys for an extra entry. I need some simple recipes for kids that are dairy and wheat free. So I would love to see some of that here. but also old-fashioned stuff like how to can/freeze stuff.

  21. I would like to see maybe a poll on what is everyone’s favorite cookbook. I always look at them, but I wish I knew some tried and true favorites that most people love. Thanks!

  22. Well, I guess I’d love to see gluten-free recipes (although I know you plan to post some) and/or reviews of gluten free magazines. Also, just more interesting ways to make vegetables more exciting.
    I’ve been lame and haven’t mentioned you on Facebook or my blog, so I guess I’m out of luck. Just one entry for me.:(
    Keep up the awesome work!

  23. I love the site. My suggestion is Farmer’s Market Finds…I often see these interesting veggies at the market and have NO idea how to make them or what to put them in. Ie-Kale, artichokes and all the different types of squash.

    I put you on my blog and will update my FB status too so i get three entries…I am all about extra credit.

  24. I would love to see recipes for frustrated pregnant women. The diet for pregnant ladies seems so limited sometimes. It’s hard to figure out how to fit all the leafy greens and fruits and veggies as well as protein into meals that are quick, but not nauseating. I feel like foods like grilled cheese and pretty much anything cheese based are good in the tummy, but not best for a well-rounded diet. Thanks!

  25. Hi Gals!!!
    So excited for you. Heather and I go way back to her husband’s seminary years in PITTSBURGH-thinking about that gets me to thinking about regional favorites….you know maybe a meal focusing on a different area or culture. Also I love figuring out ways to squeeze healthy foods into traditional favorites. There are so many “superstar” ingredients that aren’t used very much (pumpkin, lemons, pomegranets, leafy greens, wheat germ, flax seed, etc. ) How about some creative ways to use them?

  26. Hey there Alaina,

    Love this new website. I would love to see recipes that you can cook once and eat twice. It would make meal planning simpler and easier.

    Awesome job on the blog.
    Tammy Froelich

  27. Hey, Alaina. I just love this site. Maybe I will make these with the kids tonight. Nice rainy day activity.

    I would love to see creative recipes using just whats usually on hand, or with ingredients that can be easily substituted.

    I just posted your blog on my FB status, and I’m planning to add you to my blogroll.


  28. Oooh yay, I didn’t know we would get rewarded for spreading the love! I linked to you, posted it on facebook, and talked about it on my blog. 🙂

    Well, I know that this blog is primarily about delicious down home cooking, but in addition to that I would love to learn about cooking with fish and seafood. Keep up the awesome work!

  29. I love Back to the Table! Art Smith hosted a signing when the Indianapolis Williams-Sonoma opened 8 years ago. It was cool. I don’t have my own copy though…

  30. I found your blog through a random path of other blogs, and I really love what you’ve done so far! It would be cool to see more seasonal recipes. Can’t wait!

    Christy 🙂

  31. Alaina, get a food processor, you’ll wonder how you managed without it. It’s one of the best investments (along with a rice cooker and Kitchen Aid mixer).

    Maybe you could do a segment on most frequently used kitchen appliances, both electric and non-electric. Ruth and I are going to try to make our own tortillas with a tortilla maker. Will let you know how successful we are (both in ease and taste – both need to work to make it worth home-made vs store bought).

  32. I would love to see recipes that are healthy and can be put together within 30 mintues. We love soups and pasta recipes.

  33. I am really enjoying your blog! I can’t wait to share it with my sister, daughter and daughter-in-law. All the recipes are people friendly. My daughter and daughter-in-law are vegetarians so I would love to see more vegetarian menus. I worry they aren’t getting enough vitamins, protein etc…

  34. I love your new blog, guys! it’s very awesome. I did everything I can to win this cookbook: you guys are on my blog roll and I posted about you on both my blog and my facebook profile.:)
    I would like to see an ingredient focus on avacadoes and I would enjoy one on asparagus sometime (although I realize these probably aren’t in season right now:).

  35. I have this cookbook and LOVE it. Try the Maple, Walnut, Thyme muffins. Yummy yummy! Somebody will be so happy to receive this lovely gift.

  36. Hi Alaina and Heather! I know your blog is about cooking, but I wouldn’t mind seeing some housekeeping tips posted (if and when you have some ;). I also would like some pasta sauce recipes…and maybe some sort of recipe index? That would be cool.

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