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Day 29 Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway: Kati Neville

I think it was Mary Andonian who first introduced me to Kati Neville and I’m so glad she did. Kati and I share two big passions: food and books. I have been a taste-tester for Kati’s recipes and I can tell you that she definitely knows her way around a kitchen. Please help me welcome Kati!

Kati Neville co-authored the best selling cookbook, Fix, Freeze, Feast. She has written for food publications, such EveryDay with Rachael Ray magazine and Costco Connection. Kati’s money stretching tips have been featured in nationally syndicated newspapers, newsletters, and magazines. Currently she is working on recipes for her third book and regularly speaks about “Taming Your Food Budget.” She lives south of Portland, Oregon with two of the pickiest eaters on the planet and her husband.

Fix, Freeze, Feast features 125 delicious, healthful recipes that save families time, work, money, and stress. Learn how to shop for groceries in bulk, prepare easy dishes, and stock your freezer with homemade meals your family will love. Visit online at www.FixFreezeFeast.com.

1. How has writing (either just the act of writing or writing this book or both) impacted your self-confidence?

Writing has helped me slow down, evaluate and productively respond to criticism. It has freed me to be more confident in myself and my decisions, both professional and personal.

2. What are three words that describe your creative book-writing process?

What’s the hurry?

3. What good has your book created in the world?

I enjoy hearing from readers who are eating nutritious, homemade meals with their families again. Their husbands and kids are happy, plus they’re saving money. It’s been extremely gratifying.

• • •

We’ve done the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual…now let’s talk about the gastronomic. What role does food play in your writing life? Say anything you like!

Answer in the comments in 50-200 words (no less and no more to qualify to win one of today’s books). Please read the complete rules at least once!

Thanks for participating in the Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway!

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  • Heidi Smith Luedtke May 29, 2011, 12:39 pm

    Ooh, this sounds like a fabulous book! I am always tempted to write about food topics because I am a writer and a foodie and I love any excuse to get in the kitchen and experiment. But, sadly, food writing isn’t my specialty and I try to stay focused. I find that food becomes a distraction or stall-tactic for me when I’m writing. If I get frustrated or blocked, I feel hungry, even when I shouldn’t be hungry. I need an office that’s farther from the kitchen!!

  • Pattie May 29, 2011, 12:59 pm

    Mmmm, food. I am not a chef, or even a foodie,
    but I love to eat! Generally I don’t eat and write at the same time, but I
    think in descriptive words when I’m eating something really good. I also love
    reading books about food. The descriptive food passages in Eat Pray Love or Julie and
    Julia usually make me want to try a new recipe. I also have a few good
    cookbooks that I page through every so often. But I am not a foodie or a chef,
    so maybe it’s spaghetti for dinner.

  • Becky Levine May 29, 2011, 2:42 pm

    Okay, I have to enter this one. 🙂 I am not a happy grocery shopper OR cook. Honestly, I’d rather be writing! But I have a full-size freezer in my garage that is NOT being used to its full potential, and I would love to increase my cooking efficiency AND keep meals healthy. I’d love a chance to win here!

  • Mary Jo May 29, 2011, 2:48 pm

    Food gives me the energy and brain power to write without
    interruption. Food can also slow me down, if I made a poor (greasy fast food!)
    choice before writing.  Food serves as a
    reward for reaching a specific word count (snack time!) Food also pulls me from
    my writing by always hanging over my head in sense that I have to make a grocery
    list, go shopping, prepare and cook, clean up – ugh! I wish I could hire a
    personal shopper, chef and housekeeper. But I think Fix, Freeze, Feast would help in that area!

  • Beth Vogt May 29, 2011, 3:16 pm

    I’m a “grazer,” so I like to snack while I write. I’ve always got a cup of tea–hot or ice tea–on my desk when I’m writing or editing. And usually munchies are nearby. Preferred munchies: popcorn, pretzels (gluten-free), gumdrops (but not too many. I have to avoid  that sugar rush!).
    Often I get so into writing or editing I forget all about making dinner.So, this book sounds like a time-saver and a lifesaver!

  • Malia Jacobson May 29, 2011, 4:31 pm

    I love the idea of this book! I’m big on freezing–before my second daughter was born I stocked our freezer with a couple month’s worth of meals. But I could only find a few recipes that froze well and that we liked, so I’d love some new ones. What role does food play in my writing life? Stepping up my writing productivity has meant that I’ve had to become more efficient with food shopping, meal planning, and cleanup. On weeknights we’re usually done with dinner and cleanup by 6:00 pm, which leaves my evenings free for writing. And snacks are a big part of my writing life–my evening writing sessions are usually fueled by premium 85% dark chocolate. 🙂

  • Pam Maynard May 29, 2011, 7:57 pm

    My husband is big on shopping with a purpose, making a menu for the week before you go shopping.  I despise shopping, especially grocery shopping.  I don’t mind shopping online, but don’t care for mall shopping or anything similar.  
    Because I don’t shop very well, I have to figure out what to cook for dinner every night, which cuts into my writing time.  I would love to figure out some healthy but tasty meals for my boys that I wouldn’t have to make every  night.
    I generally don’t eat and write.  Although,  I may reward myself with some ice cream:)

  • Carole Mertz May 29, 2011, 8:05 pm

    If I didn’t cook vegetarian it would be dangerous to my husband’s health. Therefore, I cook, and cook well, with basically no oil. This method came to us from a Cleveland Clinic doctor by the name of Caldwell Esselstyn who has written the book Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease. Using Kati Neville’s would undoubtedly be fun. I like the title.

  • Judy May 29, 2011, 8:20 pm

    Food keeps me going. I have to really think what I need to eat and not grab the easy not-so-good-for-me items, which bog me down. I try to get food bought and prepared before I get to work. When I’ve had a particularly special day, I treat myself to an iced nonfat mocha, ice cream or a Heath bar (frozen of course). Love the fresh berries in the spring; better than anything. J

  • Laura Ackerman May 29, 2011, 8:49 pm

    During college, I always snacked while studying or writing papers.  I used to snack a lot on chocolate until my roommate’s dog kept getting into the chocolate stash in my desk.  Yes, he would paw the drawer open and eat it all.  Wish I’d had a hidden camera!  Eventually I switched to pretzels because they are less messy and somewhat healthier.  I still snack on pretzels often when researching, but tend to get so focused when I am writing that I only eat on breaks.  I don’t usually write about food because I am not much of a cook and I doubt anyone would want my recipes or culinary advice.

  • Annelise Kelly May 29, 2011, 9:35 pm

    The most enduring role food plays in my writing is as a
    distraction—I love to snack! I also find myself checking recipes, planning
    meals and looking at food-related newsletters when I could/should be writing.
    But since food is one of my focal topics, it feels worthwhile to purse that
    interest in many ways. And when I think of writing sensually, food is the arena
    which first comes to mind.

  • Jennifer Donovan May 29, 2011, 10:38 pm

    I would love to win this book. It sounds great.  I don’t think that food plays into my writing life much.  In fact, I tend to graze when I’m less creatively involved — doing things like watching TV or surfing the net. If I’m actually writing, I don’t eat as much junk!

  • Jan Udlock May 29, 2011, 10:41 pm

    Christina, so glad you  posted this on fb because it didn’t show up on my google reader today.

    My biggest problem with food and writing is that I’d rather write than make dinner. I know the drill that moms and dads should provide healthy meals for their children but when I’m in the throes of writing, I’d rather snack and tell my kids to fix something themselves. Did I actually say that? Yep. But I have to say my kids are very supportive of my writing and they step up and fix some sort of dinner. With summer coming up, I would love to find some new meals to try out and freeze.

  • Kathleen Plucker May 29, 2011, 11:16 pm

    I prefer to write in places where food is served, whether it’s my own kitchen or one of a few different cafes just up the road. When I hit a writing roadblock, I usually head for the pantry for a small snack (not desirable, I know). And when I’m not writing, I tend towards other creative pursuits, including cooking.

  • Leanne May 29, 2011, 11:37 pm

    Yum. I am not a cook. But I do have to eat and I have a VERY sweet tooth. So, I would have to say that I do my best writing when there are cookies about…and milk. Yep, milk and cookies and I’ll give you my best writing. Now, does that make fifty words? Ah, fifty-seven! 🙂

  • Sandi Haustein May 30, 2011, 12:59 am

    I am just beginning my writing career, but I would love to write articles or books about families and food.  I am passionate about cooking and making meal-planning easy for moms who don’t enjoy cooking.  I would also love to write about preparing meals for guests with food allergies and diet restrictions.  I enjoy cooking for my freezer and would like to have this book to add to my collection.

  • Michele Thornton May 30, 2011, 1:53 am

    I’m a big believer in the sit-down dinner, and despite busy kid schedules I have (so far) managed to pull it off 5 out of 7 nights a week. I’m a total “foodie” and pre-kids and pre-economic meltdown my husband and I were pretty active restaurant-goers, both in Portland and in San Francisco (an amazing city for food). As far as my writing goes, I most enjoyed researching food for a novel based in ancient Greece. I’ve always felt food is a terrific way to understand a different culture. 

  • Carol J. Alexander May 30, 2011, 2:04 am

    My writing ritual always involves tea
    and chocolate. In the winter, I keep a cup of hot tea by my side. In fact, I
    shopped for months to find the perfect teapot so that I wouldn’t have to leave
    my desk to get a fresh cup. In the summer I drink it iced. When my energy
    starts to wane, I munch on Reese’s peanut butter cups. If it’s late afternoon
    and I’m hungry, I have a little boy pop me some popcorn. Although popcorn and
    typing are hard to do together, I persevere, wiping the butter off the keyboard
    as I go.

  • Carol J. Alexander May 30, 2011, 2:07 am

    After reading other comments, I need to say your posts haven’t hit my Google Reader since day 25, either.

  • Anonymous May 30, 2011, 2:38 am

    That’s so weird, Carol. I wonder what’s up with that. You might want to reload the blog into your reader and see if that fixes it. 🙂

  • emily May 30, 2011, 2:53 am

    When I’m in the zone, I forget about food. I can get lost for hours and then realize I forgot to eat. But when I’m procrastinating on a project it’s my thinking is more like, “Hmm, I can’t get started until I eat, organize the pantry, throw something in the crock pot…maybe I should bake a cake?” 

  • Laurie Thompson May 30, 2011, 3:10 am

    This book looks just what I’ve been looking for! So, what role does
    food play in my writing life? Um, well, I hate to admit it, but when I’m
    writing, I usually completely forget to eat. I often come out of my writing “zone”
    and realize, oh my gosh am I STARVING! Funny how I didn’t notice a bit when the
    words were flowing. I can’t write when I’m hungry, though, so I know it’s
    important to fill up before I sit down. 

  • Mar Junge May 30, 2011, 5:08 am

    In one respect, food is a frustration in my writing life because I have to stop what I’m doing in the evening to make dinner. And since I usually work until 8 p.m., we never eat until 9 p.m. or so and by then it’s just a chore to cook. On the other hand, food plays a very important part in our social life. Tonight we celebrated a friend’s birthday, which we’ve been doing with our core group of eight friends for 20 years. We love good food, good wine and don’t mind splurging every couple months. Food definitely figures into many of the short stories I write.

  • Sarah Lindsey May 30, 2011, 6:29 am

     I have been trying to make it over here all month, and have barely now succeeded. When I saw that the topic for today was about food, I simply couldn’t resist – I had to make sure to participate.

    Food plays an enormous role in my writing life! I am and always have been a foodie, and this comes out in my writing. In my opinion, good food provides the opportunity for a healthy, uplifting, exciting experience. I try to share my love of food with my children, my friends and family, and with anyone who reads my articles. The ability to combine two of my greatest passions – food and writing – is thrilling. I love to eat, to write, and to write about eating. And I also love to sip a cup of steaming chai tea while I write.

  • Cara Holman May 31, 2011, 7:27 pm

    I always think of writing as food for the soul, and
    eating as… well, food for the body. I must say that when I’m writing, I
    don’t pay as much attention to what I’m eating as I should, so perhaps I
    eat more than I should at those times. But eating can also be
    inspirational— every writing group I have been part of has set aside
    time for snacks and socializing. I can’t think of anything that bonds
    people together more than good food with good conversation.