Sunday, June 26, 2011

BRUNCH WITH BINGO: HOW TO EAT A SMALL COUNTRY - A REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

WELCOME TO BOOKIN' WITH BINGO'S
"BRUNCH WITH BINGO DAY"
I AM EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE THIS SUNDAY'S
  FOOD BOOK CHOICE IS.....
GIVEAWAY ENDED 
HOW TO EAT A 
SMALL COUNTRY
A Family's Pursuit of Happiness 
One Meal at a Time
BY AMY FINLEY
ABOUT THE BOOK:
A professionally trained cook turned  stay-at-home mom, Amy Finley decided on a whim to send in an audition tape for season three of The Next Food Network Star, and the impossible happened: she won. So why did she walk away from it all? A triumphant and endearing tale of family, food, and France, Amy’s story is an inspiring read for women everywhere.

While Amy was hoping to bring American families together with her simple Gourmet Next Door recipes, she ended up separating from her French husband, Greg, who didn’t want to be married to a celebrity. Amy felt betrayed. She was living a dream—or was she? She was becoming famous, cooking for people out there in TV land, in thirty minutes, on a kitchen set . . . instead of cooking and eating with her own family at home.

In a desperate effort to work things out, Amy makes the controversial decision to leave her budding television career behind and move her family to France, where she and Greg lived after they first met and fell in love. How to Eat a Small Country is Amy’s personal story of her rewarding struggle to reunite through the simple, everyday act of cooking and eating together. Meals play a central role in Amy’s new life, from meeting the bunny destined to become their classic Burgundian dinner of lapin à la moutarde to dealing with the aftermath of a bouillabaisse binge. And as she, Greg, and their two young children wend their way through rural France, they gradually reweave the fabric of their family.

At times humorous and heart-wrenching, and always captivating and delicious, How to Eat a Small Country chronicles the food-filled journey that one couple takes to stay together.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
AMY FINLEY was the winner of the third season of the hit show The Next Food Network Star. After her win, she hosted Food Network’s The Gourmet Next Door. A Paris-trained cook and pastry chef, she was a regular contributor to Bon Appétit. She lives in San Diego, California, with her husband and their children. 

PRAISE FOR HOW TO EAT A SMALL COUNTRY:
“The Food Network’s loss is every reader’s gain: Amy Finley is a smart, funny writer and a really good traveling companion.  Packed into the car with Amy, her husband and two kids, you’ll see and taste France in a completely original way.  Whether you know the country well or are hoping to discover it, savoring its fare with Amy is a treat.”
 --Dorie Greenspan, author of Around My French Table
 
“What comes first—food or family? How to Eat a Small Country is a delicious story by Amy Finley about balancing them both, and ultimately finding happiness in a country where family life still revolves around the dining table.”
--David Lebovitz, author of The Sweet Life in Paris
 
“An unexpected and delightful memoir. How Amy Finley slipped under the wire of Food Network and into our homes is an enduring mystery, and her tale of moving to rural France to preserve her marriage and family is a great read filled with joyous bites.”
--Anthony Bourdain

“How to Eat a Small Country shares a few key traits with Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, in particular an infectiously likeable narrator and mouthwatering descriptions of European food. But Finley’s memoir is less precious, more honest, and ultimately more rewarding.”
--Boston Globe
A RECIPE FROM AMY:
BROWN BUTTER MADELEINES
INGREDIENTS:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup flour
melted butter for the pan
flour for the pan


Preheat the oven to 375°F. 
I'm sorry to say there's no way to bake a madeleine without a madeleine pan. Any other shape besides the scallop and you have little cakes, not madeleines. Mine is nonstick, your's may very well be nonstick (especially if you bought it at Williams-Sonoma), and there is just no blessed reason for it to be nonstick, because only a rube bakes madeleines in a pan that hasn't been very, very well buttered and generously floured, tapping out the excess to leave a fine veil. Skip this step and I assure you, you will gnash your teeth, beat your breast, and pull your hair out and still, your dainty madeleines will cling stubbornly to the pan. To finish reading these directions as written only as Amy Finley can, visit her website HERE! Happy cooking!

MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW:
As a foodie, I am a fan of “Next Food Network Star” and watched as Amy Finley won the third season but also noticed that after a while, her show was no longer on. Now reading Amy Finley’s memoir HOW TO EAT A SMALL COUNTRY I find out where she went and why. In this memoir, Amy explains why she left TV Land and decided to save her marriage and family instead; a rather good choice if you ask me.

When Amy realized that her application to Food Network’s television show to find a new food host and give them their own program was looking for entrants, she entered never thinking she would even be called. Not only was she called but she won. What followed was the typical “caught up in stardom schedule” and slowly and surely this began to eat away at her marriage and take time from her family. Amy tells it all from her children’s behavior changing and resulting in tantrums from lack of quality time with Mom, to the deterioration of her relationship with her mother and her husband, Greg. Amy and Greg start to argue to the point that divorce is even on the table. Amy finds herself a nervous wreck and soon experiences panic attacks. Amy realizes she has a decision to make and since she and Greg fell in love in France, she decided to quit the show and move her family there in hopes of recapturing what they had.

In France, Amy not only repairs her marriage and her children, but she discovers anew her love of cooking. They travel throughout France and Amy duplicates foods from the different regions and doesn’t skimp on descriptive passages even when it includes the way animals are butchered in order to prepare for eating. At first I thought I might have to skip that part, but then realized how else does a chef serve a dish of rabbit stew if one doesn’t kill “the bunny”? This part might be hard for some to read but I think how will you ever know if you don’t read about it? You can even try many of the recipes but I think reading about them as they were so skillfully described was just as tasty to me and I’m sure better than anything I could make. I also found the brilliant mental images one conjures up while reading about the places they visited in their travels was like being in France myself. If you like memoirs as well as food and cooking, I think you will enjoy Amy Finley’s HOW TO EAT A SMALL COUNTRY. 
GIVEAWAY 
 
THANKS TO CARLY AND THE GOOD FOLKS
AT CROWN PUBLISHING AND 
CLARKSON POTTER FOR ONE COPY OF 
THIS MEMOIR FOR ME TO GIVE AWAY
TO ONE OF MY LUCKY READERS
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE 
TO COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!

HOW TO ENTER:
 
+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON WHAT YOU LIKE ABOUT HOW TO EAT A SMALL COUNTRY AND WHY YOU WOULD WANT TO WIN THIS ONE

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK AND LEAVE A LINK THAT I CAN FOLLOW

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FIND INTERESTING BY VISITING AMY FINLEY'S WEBSITE HERE
 
GIVEAWAY ENDS AT 
6 PM, EST, JULY 14
GOOD LUCK!
 

55 comments:

heavenisabookstore said...

This is one book I have been eying at the bookstore! I simply adore cookbook books and this one - check out your recipe - is a sure pleaser. It is sad about giving up her career, but for family, it is a good thing.
heavenisabookstore@gmail.com

debbie said...

I remember wondering where her show went.I think this has happened to more than just her, because alot of the shows don't stay on. I also enjoy books that talk about food and cooking, so this one would be a good read.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

On her blog I thought the recipe for greg feeds me chicken was pretty funny.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

Joan said...

I too watched Amy on The Next Food Network Star and then enjoyed her show after she won. I'd love reading this book since I love cookbooks and foodie books.

Joan said...

Thanks for sharing her site. I had fun reading some entries into her blog. I especially enjoyed the one about cooking Croque Monsieur for her daughters Indiana and Scarlett. Those sound delicious and what cute names her daughters have.

Renee said...

I like that she was willing to give up fame to fight for her family; so many won't give up anything and won't try to work out marital issues.

ReneeSuz82(at)msn.com

Renee said...

I read this at the bottom of the blog page and laughed.....

No animals were harmed in the creation of these recipes or ruminations.


ReneeSuz82(at)msn.com

Tore said...

I want to win the book because it sounds very good. One woman who is willing to try to save her marriage by givi8ng up her career and moving with her family to France. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

Linda Kish said...

I love cookbooks and I think I would enjoy everything about it except the parts like how to kill a rabbit. I may have to skip those parts.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

The photos were wonderful. Did you see the Indy, pastry connoissieur, favors the Semur shop with these chestnut cream-filled pig gateaus? I wanted to gobble it up.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

traveler said...

I enjoyed your review and learning abut Amy and her experience with stardom and what occurred eventually. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

Her site is a delight and I enjoyed the photos and her blog. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

Her talent which was great to read about and her decision to alter her life makes this book compelling and unique. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

Her website is going to be a favorite of mine to visit. Interesting. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

Margie said...

This sounds like a wonderful story of family love and togetherness. The background of cooking is also intriguing to me.
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Margie said...

I really enjoyed the photos on the author's website.
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mamabunny13 said...

I would love to win this because I watched her on The Next Food Network Star...and I like the cookie recipe!
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I went to her site and I liked the photos.

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Tea said...

I would like to read HOW TO EAT A SMALL COUNTRY. Although dreams come true there seems to always be an unexpected quantity to the dream. For example, the husband in How TO EAT A SMALL COUNTRY is not exactly happy about becoming the celeb husband and all that comes along with the territory.

teakettle58(at)yahoo(dot)com

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I have tweeted about the giveaway. http://twitter.com/topazshell5/

Tea said...

Well, I discovered a new word. I haven't looked it up, but I will after finishing here.

"and the art of charcuterie"

Well, I couldn't wait. Here is the definition.

Charcuterie - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Charcuterie is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork."

Colleen Turner said...

It sounds like this is not only a wonderful cookbook but a powerful dedication to what we give up for family and love. And the cover is gorgeous!
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I learned from the author's website that she learned to cook by watching and playing in the kitchen with her grandmother, who was a devote believer in from scratch cooking. I am sure the initial education in cooking from scratch would help establish a higher level and skill in the kitchen as it is much harder to learn to cook semi homemade (or completely out of a box like my mom :)) and then try to become a from scratch chef!
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holdenj said...

I like the idea of the gourmet next door.
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Anonymous said...

Any book that is food related if for me.

lovesthemets@yahoo.com

Beachreader said...

I watched her win also and wondered what happened to her.
Thanks for the giveaway.
jgoffice(at)cox(dot)net

Beachreader said...

I went on her wedsite and didn't know that she had published a travel guide on the Italian Riveria.

jgoffice(at)cox(dot)net

bloomerbear said...

Sounds like a delicious book to read!

pattifritz2000 at yahoo dot com
thanks

Bethie said...

I love that she is a stay at home mom and then gets a break. I am still waiting for mine!

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Misusedinnocence said...

I would love to read this. It sounds great. I've always believed family should come first, this sounds like a great read.

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Nancye said...

I would love to win a copy of this book! I think it is interesting because it seems to make a complete circle. From being with her husband, without him, then back with him

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Nancye said...

I learned that Amy is one of 8 kids.

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