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cookbook

A Gift For You

I am super excited to announce that the fourth issue of my baby venture, NOURISHED Magazine is now available for download. Issue 4, DEEP, explore the recipes that feed and nourish us through the long, cold and often harsh season of Winter. 

With recipes that give a deep satisfaction to the belly and deeply soothes the soul, it redefines monochrome to represent what we seek and need at this time.This edition contains 30 pages of beautiful photographs with 11 recipes celebrating the produce of the Season. From blackened cauliflower to chickpea tartines, from slow cooker fruit butter to rich chocolate tarts, the recipes are intended to enable us to persevere and bounce healthfully into Spring - Afresh. Ready to start again.

As a Valentine gift from me to you, I am offering this issue and all back issues of NOURISHED absolutely FREE for one weekend! Yes, nearly 75 new recipes with accompanying photos (plus more of others), stories of sustainable eating all downloadable in digital format FREE. That is a whole cookbook with recipes for all four seasons! 

I thank you for the amazing support, comfort and friendship you have given me over the years and I want to repay with some love in return. Please use the store link to 'purchase' the magazines. Feel free to share this with anyone you know who appreciates food or just loves free stuff ! :)

{Btw, the system will ask you to go through with the payment procedure. But, don't worry. It will not charge you anything.}

W. A. Giveaway #3 - I Love Toscana

Closing this month of giveaways is one that I think is especial. I have waxed eloquent about my dear friend Giulia's new cookbook, I Love Toscana, which, is an ode to her native land. I previously reviewed the book here. Also, check out the reviews by Regula and Emiko.

And, today, I bring that Tuscan spirit of sharing to this blog! This is giveaway is open to all participants around the world!

Thank you Juls, for kindly agreeing to let me do this giveaway. I think more people need to feel your warmth! :)

Giveaway #3: I LOVE TOSCANA COOKBOOK
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Details:

I am giving away one copy of I Love Toscana by Giulia Scarpeleggia to the winner. I will ship it anywhere in the world.

Region: International

Giveaway Ends on: July 1, 11:59 PM, EST

General Rules:

To participate in the giveaway, you can do one or all of the below. Each one will be counted as a separate entry -

1. Leave a COMMENT on the giveaway post declaring intention to participate
2. If you haven't already, LIKE the fork spoon knife Facebook page that is brand spanking new
3. If you don't already, FOLLOW me on twitter (@ashafsk) and TWEET this giveaway with tag @ashafsk and hashtags #forkspoonknife and #madebyasha
4. If you don't already, FOLLOW me on Instagram (ashafsk)
5. If you don't already, FOLLOW me on Pinterest (@ashafsk)

For NEW Likes and Follows only. New followers, please leave me a comment here saying you did so. Thank you. However, tweets from old and new followers count as an entry.

Specific Rules:
1. Please include #fskgiveaway3 in your tweets

Announcement: Winners will be picked and announced within a week after the closure of the giveaway.

For a Tuscan Bite.. A review of Giulia's cookbook - I Love Toscana

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As I have often said, when I first started blogging, I had few expectations of it. I did it because I had nothing else to do. Today, I stand at quite a different place with dreams and castles built on this delicate piece of virtual space. Air Castles you say? Air Chrysalis, perhaps :)

Nevertheless, my biggest joy of having this virtual presence has been the very real and tactile human relationships I have formed over the years. I have met and continue to meet such incredible people with such deep passions for this world that it leaves me awed by the magic of humanity and inspired to be worthy of that company. It's like when you go to support a marathon runner, somehow, briefly as it may, you feel the desire to run one as well.

Many a time, I have considered these interactions casual, yet they have persisted so long, it has dawned on me that there is something deeper after all. It has always intrigued me to meet people through my blog as they were so entirely different, in backgrounds, experiences and outlooks, from me and the social circle I was familiar with, thus far. Yet, they are equally ambitious, resourceful, smart and inspiring without being ruthless, calculative or materialistic. It has been such a great eye and mind opening experience. I have met some amazingly warm, true to their soul, genuine people who have welcomed me with open arms and no judgement! What? No Judgement??! Yes, really, have you met me?!

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I am incredibly honored to call as friends some of the most talented, beautiful and amazing people I have ever met in my life! They have in various ways inspired and motivated me and I have the utmost respect for their work and even more so for the largeness of their hearts. I cannot but not keep talking about them in my posts, so you know who they are. I am thrilled that three of them are (or soon to be) published and will be able to bring the joy of their work and their cuisine to millions of people through their cookbooks.

Today, I wanted to

talk about my Italian journey with

Giulia

and her cookbook,

I Love Toscana

, which, is a

testament to her passion for Tuscany

, it's land and savoring the fruits of it. I stayed with Giulia for a week last year and after having engorged myself, during that time, on several of her homemade dishes, I can, with hand on my heart, say that she is simply a brilliant chef! Her love for Tuscany is so distinct in every bite of her food. There is no way you can escape falling in love with the region when a beautiful and accomplished friend gives such a passionate presentation of it. I also blame her, in jest of course, for the pounds of happy weight I added on that trip!

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There was, of course, no hesitation at all, when her cookbook came out, in ordering it. I wanted the piece of heaven I had visited, on my plate, again, in the urban chaos of NYC. I begged and pleaded with her to come visit me... with the secret hope of reliving all that joy from a mere few months back. I am still working on that but, meanwhile, I decided I could not wait for Heaven any longer. As soon as I had her book in my hands, I earmarked a number of recipes that I had to try!

Oh! I wanted to cook that

Coniglio ad arrosto morto

(altho I have never even cooked rabbit before!) and that

Fresh herb Arista

(Such simple elegant flavors but such a bold dish) and that

Capon braised in tomato

and...that and...that and...that! The list of course was the entire book! There were meats that I had never cooked before but could not wait to. I am still asking my farmers for rabbit! Her book gives you recipes to make wholesome, hearty, heartfelt dishes that are at the same time so elegant and so well-put together that you cannot but feel the chef's heart on the table!

Sugo Fino

So, after all this, browsing, salivating etc. I have yet to make many of those dishes. One day I will. Meanwhile, an epiphany hit me, as I sat one cold day, posturing to myself and desiring some warmth. Not much more. Just that. For no reason, I picked up Juls' book, thumbing through my bookmarked pages and then thumbed through it again, because I had none of the ingredients for the more elaborate ones that had caught my fancy. I landed on page 63, which, was a Spelt Soup. It called to me. And then it hit me.

The pure joy of Tuscan food is in the simplicity of it! As Tessa Kiros says in her prologue to Juls's cookbook "

These are dishes that are honest and strongly respect their main ingredients

". Indeed!

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So I made soup with mustard greens, beans and dried morel mushrooms. It was inspired by the Spelt Soup.

Simple. Rich. Comforting. Laced with love. I smiled.

That's all! Need I say more?

Then another day, I wanted something sweet. Page 140. Rice pudding tarts. OK, I don't like rice pudding but I love tarts! And, the thing about Giulia's short crust pastry recipe, it has none of the fuss of cutting in cold butter and worrying about it melting in the heat of your hands. In hers, you gently rub the butter into the flour and see the magic of lending your hand to the recipe.

In short, her recipes are about being real and comfortable and thus bringing out the best in the ingredients and the dishes.....

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I have also reenacted a number of recipe from

Giulia's blog,

Jul's Kitchen

. One of my absolute favorites, which, I think should be a pantry staple is her recipe for

Sugo Finto

, a vegetarian pasta sauce that is rich and meaty in flavor, without the meat. It is super easy to make and fantastic for feeding large crowds (which I did) and an easy base for add ons!

And, one of my favorite sweet recipes from Jul's blog is this stunningly simple

Crostata

!

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Share your creations tagging @ashafsk on Instagram and hashtag #MadeFromFSK