Monday, June 21, 2010

Guest Blogger: Aviva Goldfarb & Giveaway

Yesterday, I just raved about a new cookbook called SOS! THE SIX O'CLOCK SCRAMBLE TO THE RESCUE: EARTH-FRIENDLY, KID-PLEASING DINNERS FOR BUSY FAMILIES. I am very excited to welcome the author, Aviva Goldfarb, to Booking Mama. She is not only going to give you some ideas for creating the perfect summer picnic, but she is also going to share with you a delicious sandwich recipe!

How to Pack a Memorable Summer Picnic

Summer’s here, and with it comes a transformation in the meals I like to serve to my family. Rather than the soothing soups, stews and casseroles of winter, summer inspires me to make fresh salads, cool pasta, and even light sandwiches for dinner. No matter what I make I love to incorporate fresh and seasonal produce from the local farmers’ markets in every meal.

By the end of each summer, I’m usually an expert at quick picnic packing, so we can enjoy long, lazy evenings at the pool or park. In choosing what to bring to a picnic, I usually favor dishes that taste good warm or cold, are easy to serve and eat, won’t wilt, melt or need to be refrigerated for too long, and that make enough to share with whoever else shows up to have an impromptu potluck dinner. Some of my favorite dishes to load in my basket from my new cookbook are Mango and Black Bean Salad, Lemon-Basil Summer Pasta Salad, and Spinach, Basil and Red Pepper Wraps (recipe below).

Besides rain or bees, nothing kills the picnic buzz like realizing you forgot the forks or plates! Before heading off to a picnic at the park or pool, I like to make a list of all the items we will need, including:

All the food and condiments
A picnic blanket or tablecloth
Sunscreen and bug spray
A pocket knife or corkscrew
Serving utensils, cups, napkins and plates
Lots of drinks and ice to keep us cool

Here’s a tip: I keep a canvas tote bag at the ready with all the nonperishable picnic essentials, so we can pack a meal on short notice. If we’re running low on something I refill it when we get home, so I don’t have to remember the next time we use the bag.

This summer I hope to get out as much as possible to take advantage of outdoor concerts, parties and water parks. I hope your summer is filled with many delicious indoor and outdoor meals. Enjoy!

Spinach, Basil and Red Pepper Wraps

Prep = 10 minutes
4 servings

These versatile wraps can make a simple, cool dinner on a hot night, a gourmet lunch, or a fun finger food for a party if you slice them into smaller pieces. Serve the wraps with a White Bean Salad.

4 large whole wheat or flour tortillas
8 tsp. mango chutney or honey mustard, divided
24 basil leaves, divided
8 slices Havarti or Cheddar cheese, divided
1 red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed and cut into long thin strips, divided
4 cups baby spinach, divided

Heat the tortillas in the microwave (some people prefer to heat the over an open flame on the stovetop for a few seconds) until they are warm and soft. Spread 2 tsp. mango chutney or honey mustard on one side of each tortilla. Top the spread on each wrap with 6 basil leaves spread from one end to the other. Top the basil with 2 slices of cheese, 1/4 of the red bell pepper (lay the strips across the middle of the tortilla so you can roll it up), and 1 cup spinach. Roll the wrap as tightly as possible, and slice it in half before serving.

Scramble Flavor Booster: Use spicy chutney or Pepper Jack cheese and extra basil.

Tip: When slicing bell peppers, cut them in large chunks from top to bottom, remove the stem and seeds. Put the smooth skin down on the cutting board to slice or chop it, as it’s easier for your knife to grip the rough inside of the pepper.

Nutritional Information per serving (% based upon daily values):
Calories 310, Total Fat 12g, 18%, Saturated Fat 6g, 30%, Cholesterol 30mg, 10%, Sodium 790mg, 33%, Total Carbohydrate 38g, 13% Dietary Fiber 6g, 24% Sugar 14g, Protein 12g

If you are interested in learning more about Ms. Goldfarb's cookbooks, you should check out her fantastic website. You will find a link to the Scramblog as well as an option to subscribe to her newsletter.

And now for the giveaway....I am so excited that I have a copy of SOS! THE SIX O'CLOCK SCRAMBLE TO THE RESCUE and a 3-month subscription to the Scramble recipe service (described at and a $19.50 value) to share with one lucky reader. To enter, just leave a comment with a valid email address telling me why you'd like to win this cookbook. I will take entries until July 4th at 11:59 p.m. ET, and I will announce the winner the following day. This contest is open to those of you in the US and Canada only. Good luck!


Meredith said...

I need this book so badly! I have a husband, three boys, and a mother-in-law, and the dreaded question EVERY DAY is WHAT'S FOR DINNER? You'd think only one person can be creative enough to answer that around here!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Paula said...

I would love this book! I thought I was facing empty nest, but now my step son is coming to live with us and I'll be cooking for a growing boy again. I'm a busy Army wife and would love to know how to incorporate local produce and products into meals.
paula dot katers at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

I would like to win this cookbook because I have a husband and son. We both work. He works 3rd shift and I don't usually get home until after 5 P.M.. It would be nice to have some quick recipes for dinner since I am normally tired by the time I get home. Please enter me in contest. Thank you.

bermudaonion said...

I love cookbooks and this one sounds so good and easy, so I'd love to be entered! milou2ster(at)

holdenj said...

My schedule at work has changed over the past few months and I definitely need some help for that "witching" hour to figure what to make for dinner! Thanks for the chance to win and info about it.

Sandy Nawrot said...

We love to do day trips to the beach over the summer, and that idea of packing non-perishables ahead of time is a great idea. I mean, it makes sense, but do I do it? No I scramble around at the last minute. I also REALLY like the reminder to bring the cork screw!

Ruth said...

I love cookbooks!

traveler said...

Thanks for this invaluable cookbook. This book would be an asset since I need more ideas and this would privde me with excellent meals. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I'd like to win because I love cookbooks and because I like "fast and easy."

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

karenk said...

i love cookbooks ;)... and i love trying out 'new' recipes :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me (I hope!). I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book, babe.

Carol W. said...

I always look forward to a trying out a new cookbook. This one sounds good.


corndogs2007 said...

Oh Julie- I WANT this book!!! I am an avid reader and avid foodie. I admit that I peruse cookbooks like novels- and would treat this book as a dear and beloved friend. I have three growing boys...(one of them growing 6" in the past few months!!)Last month's grocery bill was $900- and that is with extremely frugal shopping habits. I love to experiment with food, obviously have a very busy Six O'Clock scramble in my own house, and try to cook healthfully- belonging to a local CSA. Additionally, upon seeing your review- am trying to spread the Six O'clock Scramble love- sending your review to all my fellow girlfriends, foodies, and book club girls. Thank you for giving us a shot at this great give-away. Oh...and did I mention I'm also feeling deserving since I finally learned how to actually post a comment ( and even a review or two) on your blog- and am having great fun with your summer reading list? :) Have a great day!

Cindy W. said...

I need this book! I am not creative when it comes to the kitchen. I would love to win this book.

Cindy W.


Benita said...

I'm an avid cookbook lover and collector.


Joan said...

I would love to add this one to my cookbook collection. I love cooking from my books and this sounds like a great one for weeknight meals.

Kristen said...

I would love to win this one. Around here, school might be out but my kids' activities go all year-round. Add in pool time and I often find myself sunburned, wiped out from the heat, and staring into the refrigerator desperate for dinner ideas as the clock ticks past the dinner hour. I could definitely use some help!

whitreidsmama at yahoo dot com

Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Stacie said...

I love the idea of this cookbook. I like to use produce that is in season and having recipes built around that would be great. Staciele(at)netins(dot)net

Beth F said...

No need to enter me, but I encourage everyone to check out this cookbook.

Bonnie said...

I love cookbooks and getting ideas for great, healthy meal ideas. This one sounds great so please add my name to the drawing.


Misusedinnocence said...

This sounds delicious! I would love to be entered, I need more ideas for cooking. Thank you! :)

Anonymous said...

I've recently started to cook for myself as a means to be creative, save money and also... well it turns out I actually enjoy it! I would love to win this book and expand my knowledge and also makes amazing meals that are quick, easy and delicious! Please accept this as my entry. Thank you!

Aliya D.

ChristyJan said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. I thought we were empty nesters and now with summer vacation in seems like we have grandchildren here almost everyday. I think this would be alot of fun for all of us.


Amy said...

Wow! I haven't read this book yet, but I've seen her other book and one of my all time fav recipes comes out of it! WOULD love to win! I am a working mama (teacher), and when school starts up again, would love to not have to think about meals too much and just spend time with my 3 kiddos! :-) Thanks!
Amy in CA

Amy said...

OOPS, my email is mommyinca at
Amy in CA

Jonnie (JB) said...

I would like to win this because I collect cookbooks and I am always onthe lookout for easy, delicious recipes.


Marilyn said...

I've been collecting cookbooks since I was 8 years old and I am addicted to them. I read them like bedtime novels and I read them over and over. I'd love to win this book because for the past two years it seems like my DH and I have had nothing but bad luck. I'd love our luck to change and this book contest could start off some good luck, I think!