Learn, Laugh, Cook (my review) to The Book Chick today! Mandy has generously offered to answer a few of my questions and she's giving away one copy of her new cookbook.
The Book Chick: How long have you wanted to write a cookbook for?
Mandy Fernandez: That's funny you ask that. I NEVER imagined I would write a cookbook of all things! Since I was a child, I always knew I wanted to be a writer and hopefully an author of a book someday. However, I never dreamed of writing a cookbook. A year ago, I went from being a full-time working mom in a fast paced corporate environment to a full-time stay at home mom in a wacky, toddler environment! I needed order in my new chaotic world so I began with meal planning and cooking at home. It helped me save money and free up my time to do other things. Soon I was sharing great recipes with family and friends. A few months later, the idea for a cookbook was born. My cookbook isn't your ordinary book with just recipes though. There is a lot of humor in it. I have silly poems written about food, such as how Mexican gives me the runs and how onions make me cry. I also shared a story of how I took a barf bin and turned it into a measuring cup. So it's something that can appeal to anyone, not just cooks or moms like me!
TBC: How long did it take you to put it together, from start to finish?
MF: Exactly a year. I began my culinary adventures in November of 2009 and I published this book in November of 2010. The first eight months were just tracking my favorite recipes and my misadventures in the kitchen. I became serious about putting together the book in late August. I worked non-stop in September, October and early November putting it all together.
TBC: What's your favourite thing about cooking?
MF: I like the creativity it offers! When I'm having an off-day or stressful moments, I'll often bake something I love, such as chocolate chip cookies or blueberry muffins. A great-smelling house and a delectable dessert is sure to put me in better spirits! I also really love sharing my cooking disasters and how I learn from them. They're ongoing and hilarious and I'm not afraid to poke fun at myself. In my cookbook and on my blog, http://www.learn-laugh-cook.blogspot.com/, I will declare myself a "Loser Cook" and share photos of my not so good looking dishes. It's all in good fun and I hope others will laugh along with me (or at me) and become courageous to try their own new meals.
TBC: Okay, so you have a potluck to go to. What do you bring?
MF: I love casseroles! I love dinners where there is a little bit of everything in there to make a wonderful, complete meal. I'd probably bring my ham and potato casserole or my "Man's Italian Meat Pie" which are two of my husband's favorites. If he loves them, then anyone else would too!
TBC: Any plans for a "Learn, Laugh, Cook 2"?
MF: I'm thinking about it. The idea certainly does appeal to me since I'm still learning, laughing and cooking each day. However, I'd like to be open to other creative projects as well. Time will tell, I suppose. I like to have options and I'm taking things just one day (and one new recipe or cooking disaster) at a time!
Thank-you for stopping by, Mandy! Now, courtesy of the author, I have one copy of Learn, Laugh, Cook to give away to one lucky person in the US or Canada. To enter:
1. *Mandatory Entry* Share one of your funny cooking stories or disasters. The person who makes me laugh the hardest with his/her story will receive one additional bonus entry! Please leave me your e-mail address so that I have a way to contact you if you win. No e-mail= no entry!
2. *Bonus Entry* Follow this blog through Google Friend Connect and let me know in a separate comment that you now follow. Current followers are eligible as well, just leave me a separate comment letting me know that you already follow.
3. *Bonus Entry* Follow Mandy's cooking blog, Learn, Laugh, Cook through Google Friend Connect and leave me a separate comment letting me know that you now follow. Current followers are eligible as well, just leave me a separate comment letting me know that you already follow.
4. *Bonus Entry* Spread the word about this contest in some way. Blog about it, post it in your sidebar, Facebook or Tweet about it. It doesn't matter how you choose to spread the word, just leave me a separate comment with the link to what you did.
It's that simple to enter! This contest will run until January 5, 2011 at midnight, and the winner will be notified by e-mail. The author will be shipping the book directly. Good luck!