Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Extra Extra!!! Special Guest Post and Giveaway

Welcome to the 100th post of this little blog of mine.  I'm so glad to have you here :-)  In celebration, I have renowned cookbook author Holly Clegg here as a guest.  Holly is the author of the best selling "Trim and Terrific" cookbook series and her newest cookbook "Too Hot in the Kitchen: How To Sizzle At Any Age" is a must for every woman.  To get the full dish on Holly check out her website or blog

Holly is so sweet to be coming by and answering some questions.  I truly believe that everyone can get a little something out of what she has to share with us:

How did you learn how to cook?

I have always loved to eat, which led me to cooking at a very young age. I think most importantly, I didn’t fear the kitchen.  My mother and her friends cooked and I would hang out with them in the kitchen.    

How do you come up with your recipes?

I always test my own recipes, as it is important to me that any recipe someone tries, works.  Sometimes, I taste a dish I want to duplicate, sometimes I take a recipe and make it healthier, and sometimes I just come up with a creation that sounds good to me.  What you see is what you get with me so if I don’t like an ingredient or a dish, you won’t find it in my book (for example-beets and liver I don’t eat so no recipes)

What brought you to the decision of writing the Trim and Terrific cookbook series?

I really was ahead of my time as in the early nineties I felt there was a correlation between what we eat and our health.  Any healthier recipe I tried had no taste, so I developed my trim&TERRIFIC° cookbook series to prove you can have good food that is good for you! Back then, people would say to me they can’t buy my book or my daughter-in-law will think I am telling her she is fat or I would have a frantic women looking to buy the book because her husband had heart disease.  Now, today, people understand that trim&TERRIFIC is a lifestyle and about healthier eating and there truly is a correlation with what we eat and our health.

What would you say to the woman who says that she does not have time to cook?

I write my books for today’s busy person to enable them to cook.  I include the least amount of ingredients in a recipe to give the most flavor—my sister says all recipes must fit on one page.  My recipes are one-stop shopping and made with pantry-friendly ingredients.  And, the best advice I can give for 30 minute cooking is to have a well-stocked pantry—think of a well-stocked pantry as a permanent shopping list.

What would you say to the single woman who may think that cooking for one is not worth the effort?

I would say cook and freeze!  Make a lasagna, cut into individual portions, wrap in saran and freeze in freezer plastic bags.  When you make any dish, soup or casserole, freeze in individual portions to pull out for your next meal. If you cook one meal, you can freeze for another.  I make individual mini pizzas for my freezer. And, for salmon, fish, chicken or beef, you can purchase individual servings.  Too Hot in the Kitchen has a chapter, Cooking for Two, designed for two people.

What is your favorite thing to cook?

I truly don’t have a favorite thing to cook…I am inspired by my cravings, a recipe, what is seasonal or what I have in my pantry.  Sometimes my sweet tooth over takes my savory taste bud, and sometimes it’s the other way.  I just enjoy food and would rather prepare my meals than eat out.

What is your fondest memory centered around a meal and/or cooking?

Cooking is more than just eating.  My kids and their friends were always at my house because I cooked.  We had parties at my house because I cooked. So, cooking creates fond memories for me all the time and with different people, friends and situations; all special.

What is one utensil that you think every kitchen should have?

Kitchen scissors-you can use kitchen scissors to cut meat, chicken, or fish, cut pizza, cut almost anything easier and cleaner.  It is an easy inexpensive gadget with multiple uses.

What is one of your favorite “stay hot at any age” tricks?

No stress in the kitchen—if a chocolate soufflé falls, serve it as chocolate pudding!  If you don’t have an ingredient, leave it out and don’t go back to the grocery.  I think what’s best about Too Hot in the Kitchen is everyone is cooking from this book, even people that didn’t cook before are cooking now.  If you cook at home, you will eat healthier and save money.  This book will guide you through life whether you’re having a hot flash, want food for the mood, cooking for two, foods to improve, or effortless entertaining, it is all there!  And, you can even have homemade beauty treatments so next time you have that extra banana, toss it on your face for a moisturizer mask as you will see in Diva Dermatology. 


A great big huge thank you to Holly for sharing.  I know that you are all wanting a copy of her books now :-)  Well, one lucky reader will be the recipient of Holly's newest cookbook, "Too Hot In The Kitchen"!!  Yeah!!  I am not exaggerating when I say I - LOVE - THIS - BOOK!  It is such a fun cookbook with awesome recipes and even some recipes for skin care treatments.  It's just a great resource!!  Over the next week and a half I will give you glimpses into how wonderful it is as I take Holly's book into the kitchen and share how well it goes :-)

To enter the giveaway:
Post a comment with your name and tell us what your favorite summer time treat from the kitchen is.

Additional Entries:
(make sure to leave a separate comment for each and increase your chances to win)
1.  Follow me via Google Friend Connect
2.  Follow me on Bloglovin’ by clicking here
3.  Follow me on Twitter by clicking here
4.  Tweet about this giveaway and include @melanymaree in your tweet (you can even tweet up to once a day, just be sure to leave a separate comment for each new tweet)  Here is an example you can steal :-) I just entered the cookbook giveaway from @melanymaree - Check it out at http//
5.  Blog about this giveaway and share the link in your comment

A winner will be chosen on August 8th.  This giveaway is open to US residents only.  Good luck :-)


  1. I too have cooked out of this book and I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! Holly is a wonder at bringing together fast and fantastic food ideas. All the best to the Lucky Winner.

    Mel - check out the One Dish Oven Baked French Toast on pg 123. I made it for a sleep-over-bunch of Demi's friends and it's got a fabulous flavor. Plus it's one of those make-ahead-recipes that you know I'm always on the look out for!

  2. I didn't know that you had twitter! I just started following you. Like right this second.

  3. Oh and then I tweeted the helpful tweet you suggested.

  4. Oh and my name is Karisse and my current summer favorite is sliced bananas dipped in melted chocolate and frozen for a yummy bite sized treat.

  5. I'm pretty sure I already follow you on google friend connect. And soon I will post a blog about this giveaway and leave a FIFTH comment. I'm crossing my fingers for a win.

  6. Oh yes. And I blogged.

  7. My favorite summertime treats are Orange Creme Frosted dessert, and watermelon and peaches. Love you, Holly!


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