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Cookies, cookies everywhere – and my 1st Giveaway!

Photo courtesy of Erika at IvoryHut

You know what my favorite thing ever is? A really good cookie.

So when I set out to make something – anything – for the Big Summer Potluck, I wanted to do something unusual. And then Maggy sent out the call for tea time treats.

First, I thought I’d make a ‘safety’ cookie. Some kids apply to a safety school, I make a safety cookie. I made my famous shortbread. The recipe I have is the closest thing to Walker’s Shortbread I’ve ever made, and a certain cookbook author once praised it as some of the best she’s ever had. Shortbread that actually managed to be the worst cookie out of the bunch because my oven got too hot from baking all these in a row, and burned slightly. Oy vey.

Then, out came the two cookbooks I’ve had yet to bake something from: Martha Stewart’s Cookies, and the New Braunfels Smokehouse Cookbook.

The latter is a self published cookbook from one of the oldest and best restaurants in and around San Antonio. Their chicken and dumplings are legendary, and so is their beef jerky. Their general store and restaurant combo has been around a LOT longer than Cracker Barrel, and for me, a trip to Texas is not complete unless I’ve visited.

From this book I baked the Smokehouse Cowboy Cookies. They’re very similar to other ‘cowboy’ cookies I’ve made, but they were much much better.

Why? Well, for one they have pecans. Any Texan will tell you that pecans make anything better. Two, they have corn flakes. Yes, cornflakes! They added a crunch to the chewy cookie that I just loved.

From Martha’s book, I chose a cookie that I’ve never seen before, and proved to be a favorite in my house, and with Maggy’s husband, Andy. Earl Grey Tea Cookies are a little bit like a soft shortbread, with ground earl grey tea and orange zest mixed in. Most people initially thought they were poppy seed cookies due to their speckled appearance. The citrus-y flavor of these was a nice surprise, and they weren’t overly sweet. Perfect with a nice cuppa.

All this brings me to the give away. I make no secret of my love of cookbooks. In fact, my kitchen now has a dedicated glass door cupboard with them all on display. It makes me grin like a schoolgirl every time I look up above my sink and see them in all their mismatched-height-and-color glory. And one of my favorite cookbooks in the entire world is Pam Anderson’s How to Cook Without A Book.

When I’ve got Dinner-block, as I like to call it, I open this book, and within half an hour, I’ve got dinner on the table. It’s got the best, most realistic, and informative “Pantry List” I’ve ever seen in a cookbook. What’s a pantry list, you ask? It’s a list of all the things you should keep in-stock in your pantry, so you have what you need on hand, instead of running to the store – or worse, giving up and eating out.

A few months back, I decided that this book should be the first thing I ever gave away on my blog. Because it embodies everything I want people to get out of Bluebonnets & Brownies – how to cook unpretentiously, with basic knowledge that helps you put GOOD, wholesome food on the table. A good cookbook (or food blog!) can save you at the end of a hard day. I truly believe that. And this one is one of the best.

When I asked Pam if she’d be willing to sign copies for the winners, she readily agreed.

For the first ever Bluebonnets & Brownies giveaway, Three lucky winners will receive a copy of Pam Anderson’s How to Cook Without A Book.

The book will be signed with a personal message from Pam to each of the winners.

There are several ways to enter:

1) Leave a comment, telling me your favorite cookbook name and author (I’m always looking for new ones!)
2) Follow me on Twitter. Leave a second comment telling me you’ve done so.
3) Become a fan on Facebook. Leave a wall post there for an entry.

If you already do 2 or 3, just leave individual comments saying so, and they’ll count as entries.

Winners will be announced on Wednesday, August 25th. You have until midnight PST, Tuesday, August 24th to enter.

One winner will be chosen from facebook posts, 2 others from comment posts. Each will be selected using the random number generator from

I’m sorry, but contest only open to U.S. Residents.

In addition, if you’d like a chance at winning Pam Anderson’s newest book, Perfect One Dish Dinners, head on over to Alice’s blog, SavorySweetLife.
Good luck! I can’t wait to hear about your favorite cookbooks.

Oh, and if you’d like the recipe for all those cookies I trucked to the Big Summer Potluck? They’re over here.[wpurp-searchable-recipe]Cookies, cookies everywhere – and my 1st Giveaway! – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]

Big Summer Potluck Cookies
How to get thrifty with a chicken


Friday 27th of August 2010

My favorite cookbook is the Campbells cookbook. I can't twitter because my hubby won't let me buy a phone that I can use the internet on. :


Tuesday 24th of August 2010

I Love Cookbooks!!! They are Therapy to me. My new fav for now is Pioneer Woman Cooks. Love it!! She's a one of a kind.


Tuesday 24th of August 2010

I don't know the exact name of the cookbook (im not at home right now) but it's by Paula Deen's sons. it might be called road trip cooking or something close to that. Awesome barbecue recipes and desserts.!!!!


Tuesday 24th of August 2010

Hmm this is a tough one.. I am going to say Weber's Charcoal Grilling by Jamie Purviance.The pictures are awesome and so are the recipes!

Stephanie Gates

Tuesday 24th of August 2010

I love to collect cookbooks so it's hard to chose one. I really like all of the Taste of Home cookbooks. Another good one is Martha Stewart's Cookie cookbook, her recipe for Banana Nut chocolate chip cookies is the best!