{4 saturdays, 4 giveaways} Our First & Second Winners!

The time has come to announce our first {4 saturdays, 4 giveaways} winner of An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Alder. Random.Org has selected the winning comment to be…

wait for it

Jennifer H: This is amazing – hubby and I just finished a delicious goulash dinner (made almost entirely from local ingredients BTW) and as we ate I told him that GOULASH was the first meal I mastered. As the oldest daughter of a nurse who worked odd hours, goulash was the first meal I was allowed to make by myself and I was so proud to learn it. Not only could I make a dinner for my sisters but there were leftovers for Mom when she got home or woke up (night shift).


Please email us at fromscratchclub (at) gmail (dot) com with your U.S. Mailing Address and we will have the book shipped straight from Amazon (prime 2-day shipping) to your doorstep!

But wait!

There is another winner!

Cover of our Ebook!

We decided that with each of the four giveaways, we would pull another winner who would receive the FSC Bounty: a bound copy of our 1st Ebook ‘From Scratch Holidays’, a FSC Bookmark and a set of recipe cards w/ a strawberry huller/tomato corer!


And the winner is:

MORGAN: First recipe I mastered – chocolate chip cookies. The unhealthiest version possible. Hey, was 12. Still requested by my aunts when they visit, but now I sneak in all sorts of good-for-you bits.


Morgan, please email us at fromscratchclub (at) gmail (dot) com with your address and we will snail-mail it to you!

But Wait!

There’s More!

We asked all the giveaway participants to answer one question:
“What was the 1st recipe you mastered?”

The responses were honest, raw and just plain awesome. Personally, I wish we could ask a question a day and get such diverse and thoughtful answers. I just LOVE ‘hearing’ from all of our readers. I hope you will take a moment and read through the diverse answers.

Amy: The first recipe I mastered was War Surplus Cake. I did a 4-H demo with it and can still almost bake it in my sleep. Mix cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, salt, flour. Add oil, water, vinegar. Bake at 35O F for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean. The easiest cake ever!

Kate: The first recipe I ever did totally on my own was snickerdoodles, I’d made them in my 4-H club and tried them on my own. I think I was only 7 or 8 at the time and I was hooked ever since.

Kathryn: The first recipe that truly mastered was a Cheryl and Bill Jamison recipe for Enchiladas Suisas. I make it completely from scratch, using fresh farmers market chicken for the deshebrada filling, to the corn tortillas and creme fraiche…all onions and tomatillos come from the garden…the cheese I use is local, but I have my first wheel of Monterrey Jack cheese aging and plan to use in a batch in a month or two!

hattorihanzo15: Oh! that’s an easy one, The first recipe that I ‘mastered’, and felt comfortable making for my loved one is: Homemade marshmallows. I made them for my wife, in an attempt to impress her.

Allison: I’ve really mastered homemade tortillas. They’re really easy, but so much better than the ones you can buy at a store.

Celia: The first recipe I mastered was my parents’ beef stew. I think. (It’s the first one I remember mastering, but that was something like 20 years ago.)

Sarah S. (and fellow December 29th Birthday Gal! Happy 18th!): The first recipe I learned to make was Jelly Pancakes (French Pancakes that are more like crepes with jelly rolled up inside. The girl that used to babysit us made that for us all the time! It was her special recipe and I because I loved it, I learned to make it for my family

Jude: Chicken cordon bleu! When I was a young mom, it became the birthday dinner of choice for everyone. Today, when any of my children come home, it is the one thing I have to make for them.

Eila: I made roasted root veggies as my contribution for a dinner party I was hosting in my teeny tiny NYC apt back in 1994, and thus started a love of cooking for others!!

Vanessa: First recipe: Caesar salad. I was so excited I made it every week for a year!

Morgan: First recipe I mastered – chocolate chip cookies. The unhealthiest version possible. Hey, was 12. Still requested by my aunts when they visit, but now I sneak in all sorts of good-for-you bits.

Julie: Pancakes, during my junior high years. Bisquik! Totally funny to think that I haven’t bought Bisquik in years.

Terri: i got my first cookbook when i was in the first grade. i was an early reader and already reading chapter books by Christmas. i never left my mothers side, so she got me my own cookbook. the first recipe i mastered out of it was french toast. before the end of the school year i was getting up every saturday before anyone else and making french toast for the family. of course it was made with marshmellow boughten bread as this was well over 45 years ago. i haven’t even bought a loaf of bread in years, and when i do make french toast now it is with a hearty whole grain.

Laura: My first ‘mastered’ recipe was a simple roast chicken with taters.

Erica: My first recipe was chocolate chip cookies, I dont recall how old I was. I seem to always remember making them, and I still do.

Grazia: I mastered eggplant parmesan. First using fried eggplant and now using baked eggplant – a much healthier option

Katie: The first recipe that I mastered was spaghetti with meat sauce, and to this day my red sauce is my husband’s favorite thing that I make.

Kris: I remember being quite proud of making chili for my family in my preteen years. I’d say that was the first meal I mastered.

Susan: I became adept at boiling water a few decades ago but am always looking for inspiration in the kitchen. I’m a recipe-following kinda gal and I appreciate delicious, as close to the earth as you can get-type of cooking.

Jennifer: This is amazing – hubby and I just finished a delicious goulash dinner (made almost entirely from local ingredients BTW) and as we ate I told him that GOULASH was the first meal I mastered. As the oldest daughter of a nurse who worked odd hours, goulash was the first meal I was allowed to make by myself and I was so proud to learn it. Not only could I make a dinner for my sisters but there were leftovers for Mom when she got home or woke up (night shift).

Sara: The first recipe I mastered was lasagna.

Rebekah: I proudly mastered buche de noel when I was in high school…..haven’t made it since, but saw a recipe the other day that got me thinking about making one again!

Kimmer: The first dish I mastered was scrimp scampi, watched it done on PBS, and my boyfriend at the time loved it, so I made it over and over again. Haven’t made it in years, no time like the present to try it again.

Mia: First recipe I mastered was chocolate cake! I was 13 or 14 I think….

Samantha: Before I learned of my gluten intolerance I was gnocchi wiz, I hope to begin making a gluten free version soon!

Sarah E.: First meal I “mastered” that I cook for special occasions was Pot Roast with veggies, rice, and homemade bread…it hits the spot every time!!

Kizzi: Hilariously, the first recipe I ever mastered was a cheese sauce from a microwave cook book. Back in the day when microwaves were a novelty my parents tried to use it for everything. It was my job to make this cheese sauce at every holiday dinner….now i dont even own a microwave!

Diana: The first recipe I loved to share with family was from 7th grade Home Ec class, called Buttons and Bowknots. It was a biscuit recipe, shaped into rounds (buttons) or making dough strings and tying them into a knot. After baking they were dipped into melted butter, then cinnamon and sugar. Even though this was over 30 years ago, I can vividly recall the Home Ec classroom kitchen and the teacher.

Cynthia: The first one was pancakes.

Lillian: I’ve been cooking for a long time; when I was a kid, I was hyper and the instructions of the day were to deprive me of sugar. But when it came to cooking, my mom felt that learning to cook was good for me – so if I made them myself, I was allowed to eat sweets.

The first real recipe I can remember is chocolate chip cookies. I made them so often I memorized the recipe and had it stored up there in my noggin for years. Sure, none of us got healthier from it, but BOY were we all enjoying it just the same. This was in middle school sometime.

Another great milestone was apple pie. I was part of a farming family and you know how farmers trade seconds because it’s hard to sell them and there are so danged many? Well one day, Bowman Orchards send my dad home with what seemed like huge boxes of apples. Really they were just the size of a tomato box or a box of copy paper, but to a family that didn’t even buy apples in 5-lb. bags, it looked HUGE. Nobody else in the family seemed to be worried about wasting them (everyone was pretty busy), but it bugged the heck out of me, and my mother supported me in cooking them up.

So she showed me where my grandmother had kept her Betty Crocker cookbook in the farmhouse kitchen before she passed away, told me to look up “apple” in the index, and off I went! I started with apple pie because it seemed like it would be difficult, but mom swore it was actually simple. I wound up making pie AND coffee cake AND applesauce AND apple bread AND anything else I could find in that index.

And Teri, Lillian’s Mom: The first recipe I remember feeling totally comfortable came off the can of Hershey’s Cocoa. Like my daughter, I was allowed to experiment in the kitchen. Unlike my daughter I was taught by two parents who BOTH cooked. Being a choco-maniac, I was totally mad about home-made cocoa fudge. Yup. The kind you cook on the top of the stove forever. The kind that has never seen the kind of short-cuts used today; i.e. marshmallows, chocolate chips, condensed milk or canned frosting. All the ingredients are from the pantry (except for the milk and butter — from the fridge), and this requires the use of a candy thermometer (if you are lucky) or a discerning eye. Daddy is the one who clued me in to the proper definition of “soft ball” stage. So many years our family enjoyed home-made from scratch cocoa fudge. Then one year Hershey’s decided to take the recipe off the side of the can!!!! Oh no. It has taken me a long time, but I am now the proud owner of a copy of that original recipe and sooooo happy.

I do not use recipes very often. I am a seat-of-the-pants cook who usually cooks by flavor. Usually it works pretty well, but I have learned over the years what does and does NOT go together. I also love reading recipes. Funny thing is I rarely follow a recipe without making some kind of a mental modification before I even turn on the stove.

Lindsay: I don’t remember my first real recipe but I do know that my mom hardly ever cooked. She was a working mom and tried very hard but hit the grocery store every night before coming home instead of meal planning. I always told myself that I would learn to cook and that my children would grow up appreciating a home cooked meal. So when I met my husband who also shared my love of cooking I knew he was the life partner I was looking for. We have two children and have a home cooked meal 6-7 nights a week despite the fact that we both work full-time. Although not everything we cook is a success and sometimes we eat peanut butter and jelly for dinner I can tell you that the bread is freshly baked by me and the jam comes from the strawberries we picked together as a family and canned last summer.

Jenna: The first recipe that I really mastered and felt comfortable doing without any sort of book in front of me was sage butter ravioli. It’s actually really simple, light, and delicious, and doesn’t take much more than I usually have in the house, so it has become a staple.

Corrie: Chocolate Chip Cookies. I was 20, living with four student sailors in Saratoga for the first time, and I probably had the most cooking prowess of any of us. All I knew how to make were chocolate chip cookies and french toast. Oh, I also made a mean grilled cheese. Other than that we all lived almost exclusively on frozen and fast foods.

As far as real food goes, I mastered simple marinated and baked tofu a few years later, and that was one of the first foods I went out of my way to cook for people. I loved showing skeptical people how good tofu could taste if cooked right.

Stephen: When I turnedd 20 I missed my Moms Hungarian cooking. I made Chicken Paprkas in my first small apt I lived in. It turned out great. I was so excited that I was able to master cooking the dish

Nicolle: The recipe I mastered is a sweet potato layer cake with orange cream cheese frosting. It’s my favorite (and the guests’) to make for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Somewhat similar to a carrot cake, it’s 1000 times better!!!


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