10th Anniversary Giveaway #1: Chocolate Sampler from Chocolate Naive

Chocolate Encyclopedia from Chocolate Naive

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of C&Z, I am hosting 10 giveaways throughout the month of October. Keep checking back for chances to win wonderful prizes I’ve discovered and loved over the past decade!

Our first giveaway prize is an eight-bar chocolate sampler from Chocolate Naive, a bean-to-bar chocolate company run by Domantas Užpalis in the Lithuanian countryside.

I have had the opportunity to taste Domantas’ incredible hand-signed chocolates* and to discuss his unique philosophy, and I am certain that you will be as enthused as I am by his work.

I am therefore delighted to be able to offer you a boxed set of eight chocolate bars from his “Back to the Origins” collection. This assortment includes one bar each of:

– Milk chocolate with salted caramel
– Milk chocolate with hazelnut cream
– Milk chocolate (Java/Papua New Guinea)
– Dark chocolate (Trinidad and Tobago)
– Dark chocolate with creamy coffee
– Dark chocolate with forest honey
– Dark chocolate with sugar crystals (my favorite!)
– Dark chocolate (Peru pure nacional, limited edition)

To participate, leave a comment below (in English or in French) telling me about your absolute favorite chocolate bar. And if you’re on Facebook, please consider liking the Chocolate Naive page (and of course, the C&Z page, too!).

You have until Wednesday, October 9, midnight Paris time to enter; I will then draw one entry randomly and announce it here. Domantas has generously agreed to ship internationally, so you’re welcome to play regardless of your location; please make sure you enter your email address correctly so I can contact you if you win.

Good luck, and check back this Friday for a new giveaway!


I have drawn an entry at random using (see screen capture below), and I am pleased to announce the winner is Christina Oldenburg, who nominated Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Dark Chocolate as her favorite. Congratulations Christina, and thank you all for entering with such tempting choices! I’ve added many to my to-try list.

Giveaway winner

* Disclosure

Domantas has sent me samples of his chocolates for tasting, with no obligation to write about them. All opinions expressed are my own.

The French Market Cookbook

The French Market Cookbook

Well, this is it! The French Market Cookbook, my new book of vegetable recipes, is coming out today.

[Scroll down to see how you can enter to win a copy!]

It is an exciting day for me, one I’ve been looking forward to for three years, ever since the idea for the book first popped into my head. (I know the exact date because I have the email I sent my agent that very day to share!) It has been a pretty smooth ride since then — the planning, the proposal-ing, the writing, the recipe testing, the shooting, the editing, the correcting, the naming, the designing, the waiting — and I am most grateful that I’ve had such a great team at Clarkson Potter on my side all along.

And now the book is finally ready — and dying! — to start its own life in your hands and on your kitchen counter. It is my most ardent hope that you and it enjoy each other’s company, and that perhaps you’ll write and tell me about it from time to time.

The French Market Cookbook is available wherever books are sold, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.

The French Market Cookbook

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5 Ingredients 10 Minutes: A Giveaway!

5 Ingredients 10 Minutes

{See below about winning Jules Clancy’s newly released book.}

I’ve been a follower and an admirer of Jules Clancy’s Stonesoup for years. Not only does she provide inspiring minimalist recipes and gorgeous, bathed-in-Australian-light pictures, but she also strives to innovate on the classic food blog format and keeps coming up with great projects and ideas, such as her virtual cookery school, her e-cookbooks (such as 30 Dinners in 30 Days or The Tired and Hungry Cook’s Companion*), or the handy list of variations (hotter! greener! carnivore! dairy-free!) that follows every recipe.

What sets her blog apart from the vast majority of others is that it is genuinely reader-oriented: you can tell she spends time wondering what issues the home cook struggles with, then sets out to devise clever and practical solutions to address them.

Chief among these issues is the lack of time: a lack of time to shop and a lack of time to cook no doubt stand in the way of people eating a home-cooked dinner every weeknight.

And this is where Jules Clancy’s fantastic new cookbook comes in: what if you had a plentiful collection of healthful recipes that required just five ingredients and ten minutes to make? Surely then you could gather enough of those five-ingredient sets during the weekend, and find the energy to spend ten minutes at the stove at the end of your long day?

5 Ingredients 10 Minutes

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Garlic: To Press Or Not To Press


{See below about winning the garlic press to end all garlic presses.}

Over the years, I’ve gone back and forth on this burning issue: is it a good idea to press garlic?

The question sparks surprisingly violent debates, and often there’s an undercurrent of judgment (“real cooks just chop”) that I find out of place in any cooking discussion: there’s no single right way of doing anything, just different skills and circumstances.

As far as I can tell, here are the pros of each method:

Pros of pressing garlic:

– In just a few seconds and a single gesture, you get garlic pulp that you can add to your dish right away.
– If your knife skills aren’t those of a pro, it can be a challenge to get the garlic chopped evenly so it will cook evenly.
– Pressed garlic blends smoothly with other ingredients, which is particularly useful if you use it raw.
– It limits the lingering smell on your fingers, since you can avoid touching the garlic altogether if you prefer.

Pros of chopping by hand:

– It takes more time to clean the average garlic press than a knife and a cutting board, which you would probably have to clean anyway.
– No one-trick pony taking up space in your utensil drawer.
– You have control over how finely or roughly your garlic is cut.
– You use the whole clove, with none wasted in the crevices of the press.

In my own kitchen, I use a bit of both methods, and sometimes I’ll use my Microplane grater, too. I will usually chop my garlic if I’m already chopping other ingredients, but I reach for the garlic press when I’m pressed for time (ha ha), especially if I add the garlic as a second thought when I’m improvising a dish.

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Desert Island Dishes (Contest Results)

Seychelles house

Many thanks to those of you who participated in the Desert Island Dishes contest! It was a treat to read through your entries.

It was hard to pick just three, but it had to be done, and Thomas Blythe and I narrowed it down to the following, which showed inventiveness and common sense, and just plain made us hungry. Their authors will receive a Desert Island Dishes cookbook and a Maldon seasoning box.

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