Some lucky food bloggers are seeing their online blogs and recipes become real-life cookbooks.
Pam Anderson took the opposite route. See, Pam is actually a very, very accomplished recipe developer and cookbook author—starting her career as the Executive Editor of Cook’s Illustrated magazine, yeah, you know, THAT one!—and is a New York Times best-selling author of six cookbooks, is a Julia Child Award winner for her cookbook The Perfect Recipe, and is now adding even more prestige to her resumé with the release of the James Beard-nominated How to Cook Without a Book.
Obviously this talented lady knows how to talk food, which she does with her two lovely and driven daughters, Maggy and Sharon, at the popular food blog ThreeManyCooks.
Cook Without a Book was originally intended to be titled ‘Meatless Mondays’ with the purpose of drawing carnivores to the idea that going sans-meat once a week is an easy adjustment in prep and happiness for the palate.
Pam professes that she is not a full-time vegetarian but states, “Once you go this direction, you realize it really isn’t that hard, and is fully satisfying.” Her reason for writing the book? “I wanted to show people you don’t have to change your pantry that much, this cookbook is meant for mainstream America.”
Pam’s recipes start with a master recipe—frittatas, skillet stews, soup bars and savory scones—then add in suggested proteins and veggie options to create your own favorite combinations. It shows that no matter what you have in your cupboards or fridge, a healthy meatless meal is easy—just adapt what you have available and you’re ready to roll.
Pam stopped in Salt Lake City to share her book and food philosophy. Check out a sampling of what she had to say in the video below.
Looks like a great book right? Well you lucky reader can win a copy of your own and some other awesome sway. But before we get to the goodies, here’s a little more about Pam of ThreeManyCooks. Thank you Pam for being our foodie crush!
1. Describe your blog in 3 words:
Three Many Cooks!
2. What are your daughters primary niche/responsibilities within the blog, or are you more loose in your approach?
Like most blogs, ThreeManyCooks is constantly evolving. We used to have more niche responsibilities–Sharon posted, Maggy did most of the photography, and I kept things on track. As we’ve each gotten more proficient, we’re pretty much responsible–start to finish–for our own posts. Sharon’s the locavore, Maggy’s the explorer, I’m the veteran.
3. Which 3 blogs do you follow/are obsessed with/can’t live a day without?
Of course I love Pioneer Woman but Seven Spoons is incredible, and in honor of my English son-in-law and daughter Maggy who went to school and lived in England for many years, I love Eating for England.
4. What is the one kitchen tool you could never give up?
5. What dish are you obsessed with mastering that you just can’t get quite right?
I’ve been working on a hybrid multi-layered savory crepe dish from my Julia Child days. I’ve haven’t quite nailed it, so I’ve set it on the back burner for now. But at some point very soon you’ll find it on our site!
6. What did you have for dinner last night?
Last night was very special and unusual. I was in New York celebrating the 8th anniversary of chef friend, Brad Farmerie’s restaurant, Public. It was a 5-course extravaganza with wine pairings. Believe me! I don’t eat like that every night!
7. What’s one secret talent outside of the kitchen nobody knows about you:
It’s funny. In the blogging world it feels like very little is secret! Besides loving my family, cooking, writing, and all that goes with blogging. I love to read, run, do yoga and bring people around the table.
8. You’re happiest when cooking/eating:
They say it’s more blessed to give than to receive, and I think it’s true. For that reason I think I’m happiest when cooking for others.
9. As a New York Times best-selling cookbook author, and with 7 cookbooks now under your belt, what advice would you give to aspiring bloggers who would like to see their recipes in print one day.
- Without becoming obscure, develop a unique voice
- Don’t publish what some refer to as “shitty first drafts.” Whether it’s a recipe, text, or a photo, take the time to edit yourself. And then find someone you trust to edit after you’ve the best you can.
- Don’t ignore social media. You may be the greatest writer or recipe developer in the universe, but if you don’t make friends, you’ll likely not grow.
10. In recipe development, do you have any secrets or advice to share? What to avoid?
For food bloggers there’s very real pressure for us to post early and often. For this reason many of us post on the fly.. which mean we often posting before we’re ready. My advice: take the time to get the text, recipe, and photos in top form before pushing that “publish” button.
11. The one secret ingredient to your success is:
It depends on what you mean by success but I think the thing I’m most proud of is my incredibly strong relationship with my husband of 33 years and my incredibly gifted daughters, Maggy and Sharon.
I thought I’d start my meatless Mondays with a recipe of Pam’s suggestion, one of her favorites from Cook Without a Book, the Caesar salad. It’s a perfectly balanced, light but filling, starter or main dish meal thanks to sliced egg, salty parmesan and a garlicky Caesar dressing that is super, super easy to make and has a flavor that challenges those made in the old-school anchovy and raw egg way.
But the topper? You’ll never believe it, are crispy little nuggets of hash browns Pam created to sub for traditional croutons. Like Pam says, “They’re that little yummy thing” we all want in our healthy salads.
- 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2½ tablespoons mayonnaise, light or regular
- 1 medium garlic clove, sliced, smashed with the flat blade of a knife, then minced to a paste
- ¼ teaspoon vegetarian Wrcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper
- 5 tablespoons pure olive oil
- ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 frozen has brown patties, unthawed, cut into 1-inch squares1 generous tablespoon olive oil
- 3 large romaine hearts, halved lengthwise, cored and chopped (about 8 cups)
- 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped or sliced
- ¼ cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
- Whisk the lemon juice, mayonnaise, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a small bowl.
- Slowly whisk in the oil to make a creamy dressing. Stir in the Parmesan.
- Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Place the frozen has brown squares in a medium bowl, drizzle with the oil, and toss to coat.
- Add the hash browns to the hot skillet and cook, turning the cubes only once, until crisp and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand uncovered.
- Place the lettuce and eggs in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to ccoat
- Add the has browns and toss again. Add the Parmesan and toss once more. Serve immediately with more Parmesan cheese if you'd like.
Keep up with Pam and the rest of the ThreeManyCooks crew this March when they host a seminar at IACP in NYC entitled Live Learning where attendees will blog their way through the conference, testing out new voices, trying new writing styles. Bloggers’ work will be judged and the winner(s) will be recognized at the IACP Awards Ceremony on the last night. And keep your eyes peeled for the announcement of the Big Summer Potluck with speakers Joy Wilson of Joy the Baker and Brooke Burton-Lüttmann of the food blog Foodwoolf.
**ENTER TO WIN**
Enter to win an autographed copy of Pam’s cookbook Cook Without a Book and thanks to Lean Cuisine you’ll also receive an insulated lunch bag—they’re even cute!— a magnetic shopping list to keep your pantry stocked with meatless ideas and an insulated freezer shopping bag.
personal photos courtesy of Pam Anderson