Friday, April 26, 2019

Book Blog Tour and Giveaway: Gourmet On a Hot Plate by Judy Alter

Judy Alter
Genre: Cookbook / Cooking Tips / Tiny Kitchen
Publisher: Alter Ego Press
Date of Publication: November 6, 2018
Number of Pages: 132

Scroll down for the giveaway!
Gourmet on a Hot Plate is a collection of recipes and kitchen tips compiled after living for some time in a 600-square-foot cottage with a tiny kitchen, no stove, no dishwasher, and barely any counter space. Given these limitations, Judy Alter developed a new approach to food, one that let her get in touch with the food itself. She does not have an Insta-Pot, an air-fryer, or a microwave. Her recipes call for using either a magnetic induction hot plate or a toaster oven. In the introduction, she explains her choices for making the best use of her tiny space. 

The collection begins with appetizers because that’s where Alter began her new cooking adventure. Gradually she branched out to main dishes, light suppers, soups and salads, and vegetable side dishes. Most recipes serve two or three. There’s a suggested list of cooking tools along with lists of what to keep on hand in your tiny pantry, your refrigerator, and your freezer and a small section on condiments and cooking hints.

These pages will guide you to making your own spaghetti sauce—or brightening up a jar of prepared sauce; to making last-minute casseroles and simmer-all-day soups. Want Stroganoff but can’t afford the expensive beef? Alter shows you how to make it with hamburger. Love tuna? She’s got recipes for you. Sections on pasta, eggs, and appetizer trays offer practical and helpful choices for casual entertaining.

Above all, this is a practical guide for cooking with joy when you find yourself in a tiny space.

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Love cooking? Love the minimalist lifestyle? Your tiny kitchen doesn’t need to limit your gourmet dreams. Judy Alter’s Gourmet On a Hot Plate will inspire you with big ideas to satisfy everyone around the table. — Susan Wittig Albert, author of Queen Anne’s Lace

Whether you cook on a hot plate or have access to a full kitchen, this gem of a cookbook contains great recipes for those of us who cook for one. – T.R. Thompson

From “Why I’m Cooking on a Hot Plate
The Introduction of Gourmet on a Hot Plate by Judy Alter

During our family Christmas holiday in 2015, my four children and I sat around an outdoor fire and discussed the future—my future. I was in full control of my senses and my life, happily living in my home of twenty-five years, pursuing my writing career, and enjoying retirement with friends and family. I dined in restaurants a lot, drove an aging but cute Volkswagen convertible, loved on my dog, and thought life was peachy—except for the worsening pain in my low back and left hip, increasing fear of falling, and lack of balance. But I was pushing eighty, and it was time to look ahead.

Jordan and Christian offered, and everyone else accepted, that they and grandson Jacob would move to my house. It made sense for a lot of reasons—Jacob’s school is across the street, their work is closer, Jordan loves my old house. Christian loved their house—in a relatively new addition (a twenty-five-year-old house is relatively new to me), and I think he and Jacob left it reluctantly. But Christian said, “It’s what you do for family.” We considered and discarded the idea of a converting the garage/guest house into a master bedroom suite, which would leave Jacob in the house with me. Ultimate decision: the existing structure would become my cottage. Work began in the late spring of 2016. And I moved into my new quarters in September.

Little did we know that happy Christmas what lay around the bend for me: a broken ankle that, after I walked on it in pain for two weeks, was beyond repair; over-medication, self-medication, and severe pain, all of which brought me to the edge of dementia, senility or whatever. My kids were terrified, though I didn’t realize that until I emerged at the other end of my dark journey. In January 2017, ankle healed but never again pretty, I had complicated revision surgery of my left hip, which had totally disintegrated, and I slowly began the long road to recovery. By then I was ensconced in my cottage.

My cozy space is perfect for me—a combination office/living room where I can and do entertain guests, an upscale bathroom with a wonderful shower with a seat, a large walk-in closet, a bedroom which just holds my antique bed and one marble-topped buffet that I use as a chest of drawers, and a postage-stamp but efficient kitchen.

The kitchen of course is the problem. Size dictated that it be small, so it is way short on counter space. A bigger complication: local zoning laws forbid more than one full kitchen on a property. That means I cannot have built-in appliances such as a stove or dishwasher. Anything you plug in is okay, so I have a large refrigerator, toaster oven, magnetic hot plate, and coffee maker.

Without formal culinary training, Judy Alter has cooked her way through life, feeding family and friends at everything from casual dinners al fresco to elaborate meals for twenty. An award-winning author and publisher, she jokes she’ll come back in another life as a chef.

Today Alter finds herself cooking in a four-by-six kitchen where zoning laws forbid built-ins but allow anything that plugs in. So she cooks with a hot plate, toaster oven, and a large refrigerator/freezer. Given these limitations, she has developed a new approach to food, one that she says lets her get in touch with the food itself. By choice, she does not have an Insta-Pot, an air-fryer, a microwave. Her menu choices are dictated by her cooking facilities—and she loves it.

She shares her tiny kitchen tips and recipes, developed over the past couple of years, in Gourmet on a Hot Plate. Alter is the author of three previous cookbooks: Cooking My Way through Life with Kids and Books, Texas is Chili Country, and Extraordinary Texas Chefs,and a contributor to Bake, Love, Write and We’d Rather Be Writing. Her recipe for Doris’ Casserole has been included in so many books it’s almost an American classic by now.

Be part of her ongoing cooking adventure at the Gourmet on a Hot Plate blog, where she encourages discussion and welcomes recipes, comments, and questions.
 ║Website ║ Facebook Judy's Stew Blog 
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Gourmet on a Hot Plate Blog

2 Signed Copies, 1 eBook Copy
APRIL 24-May 4, 2019
Author Interview
Bonus Post
Scrapbook Page
Sneak Peek
Top Ten List

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  1. This book sounds so good! Looking forward to reading!

  2. Michelle CatalloMay 2, 2019 at 9:58 PM

    Love cooking and creating dishes from scratch!