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November 8, 2011

File this under Entirely Off Topic, Foodie Tangent Edition. Congratulations to my friend and colleague Brette Sember on the publication of The Parchment Paper Cookbook. It features 180 fast, healthy recipes perfect for busy moms, solo or duo cooks, people with small kitchens, new cooks, or anyone who hates to do dishes — no pots or pans required. Seriously. [We have a copy to give away.]

best dog blog, champion of my heart, border collie with the parchment paper cookbookThere is even a whole chapter of speedy desserts for people like me who often get a hankering on short notice for something sweet.

While it was planned and NOT a dessert emergency, last Christmas Eve 2010, I made the Baked Banana Split recipe on page 178 in The Parchment Paper Cookbook for me, Tom, and his mom.

If you like Nutella, you’ll love this recipe. Promise.

In this unique cooking method, you essentially fold all the ingredients into a packet of parchment paper — one serving per packet, which is why it’s so great for those of us cooking for just 1-2 people. Then, you bake the packet in the oven. You certainly can eat right out of the packet, if you like, or you can plate up your meal selection for a fancier experience.

I’m not particularly fancy myself.

The Parchment Paper Cookbook includes recipes for:

  • Breakfast / Brunch
  • Entrees divided by type of protein
  • Vegetable side dishes
  • Bread, rice, and potato dishes
  • Desserts

Just published in early November 2011, The Parchment Paper retails for $17.95 (U.S.).

I purchased my own copy to keep. I hope you will too. It’d make a nice holiday gift as well, if you’re so inclined.

You can follow Brette online:

No Pot Cooking Blog

No Pot Cooking on Facebook

The Parchment Paper Cookbook Giveaway

Just in time, a FREE giveaway copy arrived in the mail from the publisher. So, we have one copy of The Parchment Paper Cookbook to give to one lucky reader / fan.

Hmmm … how about this? Post a comment and tell me your biggest / funniest / food-related disaster by midnight (mountain time) Sunday, November 13, 2011.

Tom and I will pick the one we like best. Yes, it’s totally subjective, but there you go.

For example, when I was learning to make Alfredo sauce from scratch, I confused evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk. Trust me on this … sweet + garlic + cheese is completely gross.

Top that, and you too could be the happy winner of The Parchment Paper Cookbook to keep for yourself or to give away this holiday season.


And, many thanks to Brette for including me in the acknowledgements. I got all misty when I read it. We do indeed have a tremendous group of writer friends. I wish YOU much success with this book and the MANY others from before and those already in the cue for 2012. You are a publishing force.



About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

  1. Let’s see, one of the first things I learned to make was muffins. For a poppy seed muffin recipe I misread the ingredients as cups instead of tablespoons and the muffins turned out nearly black. Still edible tho…

  2. Haven’t had any total disasters in the kitchen that required calling the fire department or anything on that scale, but I’ve certainly made a few dishes that didn’t turn out as expected.

    When I was a kid, I decided I wanted to make chocolate pudding. I gathered all the ingredients and set about it. Followed the directions carefully and put individual servings in very nice, etched glass, footed dessert dishes. Then put them in the fridge to cool, with plastic wrap pressed carefully on the surface to keep a skin from forming and began the loooong wait for it to cool so I could taste it.

    After the longest wait, I took out a dish, and dug in. Oh, the sweet, rich chocolate was just what I wanted, but wait. Something’s not right! Something didn’t dissolve properly and it’s all grainy. What could have gone wrong? Hmmm, could have been the mix-up between cornstarch that the recipe called for and the fine cornmeal that I actually used. Still tasted pretty good, but the texture just wasn’t that smooth, creamy one I was hoping for.

  3. I don’t have any funny stories but this is a great review of the Parchment Paper Cookbook. I’ll be buying this book for holiday gifts to family and friends.

  4. I don’t really have any funny food stories. I guess there was that one time that Louie and I tried to make those little Pillsbury cookies that come in a roll.. and failed..

    I mean, come on, how do you fail at making Pillsbury cookies?!

    There was also the time I proudly announced that I was making dinner, proceeded to grill up some shrimp and vegetables, and then watched my father’s horrified expression as he pulled out shrimp shells and legs from his mouth… I had forgotten to clean them!

  5. This sounds like the perfect book for just about anyone, especially people who hate to clean up (that’s me!). Cooking is fun, but then when you realize you’ve made a mess…well…not so much.

  6. I’m sure I’ve had a humorous cooking disaster but nothing really stands out in my mind. Usually I’ll get distracted and add too much salt or sugar, then I’ll start over instead of trying to make it work. Sounds like an excellent cookbook!

  7. Ah, I’ve had so many! I think the most dramatic one was when I was a teenager. Dale and I had just started dating, I must have been 16. I decided to bake him a cake for his birthday. The cake did fine, but when I started to ice it, I don’t know if I did it when it was still warm or what, but the outer layer of the cake kept peeling off. The more I tried to ice, the more peeling it did until it looked like an absolute mess. I got mad (teen hormones or something) and took the cake icer and instead began chopping it up. It was a red cake, so it looked like something out of a horror movie. It did get all over, including on the kitchen walls. Instead of presenting Dale with my first baked cake, I was cleaning it up from my mom’s kitchen!

  8. Thank you Roxanne – and thank you Lilly! You are a great model for my book!

    When I think of jello I can only think of that scene in Christmas Vacation where the crazy aunt brings a jello mold with cat food in it.

  9. My most horrible food moment was when I was about 11 years old. Not exactly the kind of food-related disaster you were thinking of, but still it stands out in my mind!
    I was in Girl Scouts, and for some badge requirement we had to cook something and then bring it to the meeting for everyone to enjoy (a pot luck dinner for kids!). I was so proud of this jello mold that I had made, with different pieces of fruit suspended inside, it had taken so long and was so difficult (at least in my 11-year old mind).
    When I got to the church that night we gathered downstairs, and then all proceeded upstairs to the meeting hall. On our way up the stairs, we got nearly to the top of the stairs when the girl behind me tripped, shoving me so that I fell, and while I still held on to the plate, the jello went flying out ahead and splattered all over the floor.
    I was in tears and so horribly embarrassed.
    The other girls ate little pieces of jello from the plate that hadn’t flown off, and I “passed” the badge requirement anyway, despite having no jello to eat.

    Ever since I’ve had an aversion to jello.

    Looking back now I can see why the adults thought I was being silly. But at the time, the shame and horror was overwhelming! I think I cried for half the meeting. My mother laughed at me…

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