Q and A with Cheryl Sternman Rule (Plus Endive Green Apple Salad and an Endive/Ripe Cookbook Giveaway)

Back at the beginning of April, I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely women behind the brand new book: Ripe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables at the IACP Book and Blog Festival.

ripe cookbook giveaway
{Cover photo of Ripe by Paulette Phlipot and used with permission from Running Press; please note that the other photos in this post were made by yours truly}

Author Cheryl Sternman Rule and Photographer Paulette Phlipot are both wildly talented: together, they’ve created a color coded celebration of produce that’s bursting with gorgeous photos, fantastic recipes, and innovative ideas for using fruits and vegetables. I treasure my signed copy, and I am excited to tell you about a recipe inspired by Ripe today; I am also thrilled to be giving away a copy to one of you.

But before we get to the recipe and the giveaway (which also includes a shipment of fresh endive courtesy of Discover Endive), I want to share a little “Q and A” I did with Cheryl by phone late last week:

Q. Can you tell me about how you and Paulette came to make such a fun and unique book? A book that truly celebrates fruits and vegetables?

A. Paulette originally wanted to do a fruit and vegetable-based photo book. She approached me, and together we expanded her initial vision into a cookbook. I wanted to write about the possibilities I see when I come face to face with produce. We wanted it to be filled with excitement and beauty and not seasonally-oriented or nutritionally-oriented. We wanted to do something different. We spent a year after we met talking many times about how we could collaborate on a project that would meld together both our visions.

Q. I think of the writing on your blog as being a bit serious, whereas the writing in Ripe is quite lighthearted. Do you agree with this generalization? Also, what was it like to win the IACP “Best Food Blog” award the same week that your first book was published?

A. The answer to the first question is “not really.” I am 100% myself in my blog posts, and in this book, as well (as opposed to when I’ve written for magazines, and have to write in a certain voice). My blog posts are both fun and serious (though it seems like the serious ones get more attention)… the book is mostly just fun.

Winning the IACP award for my blog was wonderful. Truly a special experience. I was surprised to be nominated and delighted to win; the timing could not have been better.

Q. Can you talk a bit about the visuals of the book? The photos and the design?

A. Paulette and I made a joint decision to take a whimsical approach to the book as a whole. We wanted to highlight the produce close up and cut open, and we wanted everything to be bright and colorful. Paulette’s creative vision and photography skills have no limits, so she gets all the credit for the look of the photos and the brilliant idea to color code the chapters, as well.

Running Press did a great job with the design. We love the way the colors are super saturated and how the size of the book is a bit unusual: it’s meant to be more of a gift book than a big, fat reference, and it’s selling very well in both traditional and non-traditional venues as a result. The design of the book surpassed all of our expectations.

A big thanks to Cheryl for taking time out of her busy schedule to speak with me about the book! For more information about Ripe including details of Cheryl and Paulette’s book tour events, please check out The Ripe Cookbook website :)

endive

So as you may or may not know, I’ve been working with the folks from Discover Endive for the past few months to help promote their product*. Healthy, versatile endive has become a staple in my home, and I hope that it will become a staple in yours, too.

This salad is inspired by one of the “Simple Uses for Endive” in Ripe. To make it, I combined two heads of red endive with one chopped green apple, about two tablespoons of crumbled blue cheese (goat cheese would also be excellent, and is actually what Cheryl recommends in the book), and another two tablespoons of chopped pistachios. I dressed everything with generous splashes of olive oil and sherry vinegar, and I thought it was a great salad; add some chopped grilled fish or chicken and you’ve got an easy meal that’s perfect for warmer weather.

And now for the giveaway…the third one I’m running to celebrate my blog turning three this month!

This giveaway is for one shipment of endive (a 2-3 month supply, as endive lasts for quite a long time when it’s refrigerated) plus a copy of Ripe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables by Cheryl Sternman Rule with Photography by Paulette Phlipot.

Please note that Ripe has gone into a second printing, so you should receive your copy of the book sometime in June.

Official Rules: No purchase necessary. Open to US residents in the continental US only, excluding Alaska. You must be 18 years or older to enter. This giveaway will end on Monday May 28th 2012 at 11:59 pm EST. One winner with a valid entry will be selected at random using random.org. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be selected.

To enter, please leave a comment below.

For an additional entry (please leave an additional comment), please follow Discover Endive on twitter.

Thank you and good luck!

*I am being compensated for my efforts to promote California endive; all opinions are 100% mine.