Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Guest Book Review & Giveaway: Apron Anxiety

By Sara Steven

**Giveaway is now closed**

I’ll be honest: when I first saw the cover to Apron Anxiety, I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy the book. There’s an image of a woman placed precariously barefoot onto her kitchen counter tops, with a mixing bowl in hand and a floral apron tied around her waist. It’s not that I don’t appreciate cooking. I just don’t choose novels based on culinary topics.

This book definitely fits the motto: “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”

Alyssa Shelasky, author of Apron Anxiety, is a well-known writer for publications like People, New York Magazine, and US Weekly, to name a few. Apron Anxiety is a memoir into her life, giving us the back story on how she discovered cooking to be a cathartic and at times therapeutic experience for her.

In the beginning, Alyssa could not cook. The thought terrified her. She was a self declared foodie by way of the various restaurants she would frequent, yet couldn’t handle a spatula to save her life. When she begins dating a well known, famous chef  (whom she merely calls "Chef," we never know his real name), she becomes absorbed by their relationship and the idea of being in love, even going so far as to quit her job with People and moving with "Chef" to a small suburb in the D.C. area. She is lonely, without work, and "Chef" is never around, working many hours at his restaurant and leaving her to fend for herself. The strain on their relationship is brutal, and Alyssa takes a hard look at her life as well as her current situation. What’s a girl to do, in order to save herself as well as her fledgling relationship?

Learn. To. Cook.

It’s an epiphany, and Alyssa starts out with a basic Martha Stewart recipe, a baked Macaroni and Cheese that remains one of her favorites to this day. Starting off on a culinary foot, and wading through trial and error, she gradually gets better; feeling stronger emotionally, as well as mentally, and ready to tackle her situation head on, regardless of whether the outcome is a good one...or a not so good one. While reading the book, you will discover various recipes she shares generously, something I very much appreciated considering I am always on the look out for new and interesting techniques with food. You will also find out that Alyssa is not perfect. She’s real, and flawed, and although her life may be light years away from the one you are currently embedded in (the girl has done red carpet affairs, parties with famous hotties and has interviewed/met with several celebrities), who isn’t able to identify with a need for change?

If you are looking for a nice, easy, candid read (and have a full stomach, lest you become insanely hungry), I recommend giving Apron Anxiety a try.

For more information on the author, check out Alyssa’s blog or read her blog reviews and interviews at http://newyork.grubstreet.com/.

Thanks to Random House for the book in exchange for an honest review. They even have one copy for a lucky reader in the US or Canada!

How to win Apron Anxiety:
Please tell us: What are you most afraid to cook?

One entry per person.

Please include your e-mail address or another way to reach you if you win. Entries without contact information will NOT be counted.

US/Canada only. Giveaway ends March 18th at midnight EST.

Sara Steven is a wife and stay-at-home mother of two rambunctious boys in Bellevue, NE. When she’s not running marathons, getting certified in group fitness instruction, or working on her novel, she takes a break and opens up a good book (or turns on her Nook). Find her at her blog, Momarock.

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32 comments:

TinaB said...

I am afraid to cook any kind of meat...chicken, fish, etc...I'm afraid that it will turn out horrible!! Thank goodness my hubby is a wonderful cook and and he loves it too!!
Brannanflooring@aol.com

pascale said...

I cook 6 nights a week... and love it. Very hard to list one thing I am afraid to cook but I would have to say steak! I do it, but reluctantly. Too rare, too well done, not rested enough.... so many ways to mess up!

But... I do it.
This book sounds so SO good!!
pascale.poitras@verizon.net

susieqlaw said...

I am most afraid to cook a big turkey in the oven.

sendsusanmail at gmail dot com

marlene said...

I'm most afraid to cook fish. I always seem to over cook it and dry it out.

mengel2@nycap.rr.com

DD said...

I LOVE to cook. That said there are few things I won't try. However, I can't bring myself to cook lobster for fear of ruining it for myself. I've had the best lobster along the east coast and don't know what I'd do if I disappointed myself!

dawndennis66611 at yahoo dot com

Jessica said...

I've been wanting to read this book for so long!

The thing I'm most afraid to cook is pie crusts! I've done it a few times but I'm terrible at it! It's so hard! I usually just make pies with oreo crusts, haha.

Pauline Wiles said...

I think you had me at 'Macaroni and Cheese'...
As for what I'm afraid to cook, I recently went to a cooking class which featured mussels. This emboldened me to try them at home and despite my best efforts, my poor hubby got landed with a nasty one. I think live shellfish are pretty much off the list, now. The good news is, he'd be quite happy with a fish stick.

Jonnie (JB) said...

I'm most afraid to cook cake because I always dry it right out

rubynreba said...

I'm most afraid to cook pies.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Amy said...

I am absolutely terrified of preparing poached eggs. They just seem impossible and when I see tools at Williams-Sonoma to help fix them they seem even more difficult!
Contact information: amy(dot)n(dot)andrews(at)me(dot)com.

Linda Kish said...

Souffle...I am so afraid it would just collapse.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Lisa said...

Any kind of baked good, I am awful with them! I try but it just goes wrong :(

pupylov@gmail.com

Anne B. said...

I'm most afraid to cook steak.

amberenson(at)verizon(dot)net

Stephanie said...

I'm afraid to cook a souffle.

skk25@aol.com

PuttPutt1198Eve said...

No frittatas! I set one on fire once and decided never again!!

Anita Yancey said...

I am most afraid to cook or make pies. I always mess up the crust and can never get it right.

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Ingeborg said...

Whenever I cook a roast I worry that it will be tough.

Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

Mary Jo Burke said...

I burned dinner last night. Pretty much sums up my attempt at the culinary arts.

maryjo(at)maryjoburke(dot)com

EKB said...

I am not a great cook. at all. I have like 5 staple meals I can do without burning. My biggest fear is a Thanksgiving turkey. the kind that a table of 20 people are waiting to taste!!! YIKES! erin713 at gmail dot com

The Every Free Chance Reader said...

What am I most afraid to cook? Live lobsters. I have heard that sometimes they "scream"...I don't want to hear that. So, I make my husband do that part. =D

everyfreechance@gmail.com

Samantha Remington said...

I love to cook! We're vegan so I've learned to step outside my comfort zone a lot and learn new ways to make everything from cookies to lasagna. One thing I've yet to tackle is a vegan quiche...

karenk said...

pork chops.....

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

bn100 said...

souffles

bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

Megan said...

I am afraid of the souffle, like other readers. Also, beef wellington. I love to try new recipes, but if a recipe has too many ingredients, I usually skip or improvise ;)

oconnor.megan.c@gmail.com

Susan @ The Book Bag said...

I would have to be stuffed peppers. I remember as a kid, my mom would make them in a pressure cooker and it scared me to death. And I love them. But if I have them, I buy them frozen and just nuke 'em. I am not even sure how one makes them now-a-days but it was always scary to me.

And hey Sara ~ I am a Nebraska girl too! Grew up in southern NE and spent a lot of years in Lincoln. I would move back there in a sec!

Thanks for the great giveaway!
suzebomb(at)gmail.com

Sarka-Jonae Miller said...

Anything that burns easily and sticks to pots. I hate scrubbing :)

betweenboyfriendsnovel@gmail.com

Sarka-Jonae Miller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Fish - any kind

Bridget O'Neill said...

I'm afraid to make fish-I have no idea how to do it, and I'm afraid I'd mess it up!

Bjoneill@hotmail.com

Mrs Mommy Booknerd said...

I am afraid to cook fish, unless it is on the grill. I either over cook it or under cook it...nightmare EVERY time!

Mrsmommybooknerdsbookreviews at gmail.com

Melissa said...

Thanks to everyone for participating and telling us what you're afraid to cook. I'm afraid to BBQ anything. The grill makes me so nervous!

Thanks to Random House for sharing the book with our winner, who was chosen from all entries with contact info (one per person).

Congrats to Samantha Remington!

Melissa said...

Our winner never claimed her prize, so a new winner has been chosen.

Congrats to susieqlaw!