Note:  I was given a copy of this book by F+W Media for review purposes.  But, as always, I never agree on a positive review and my opinions are not compromised because I love Heather to death!

I grew up in a Southern family.  I remember I could not watch General Hospital after school if I hadn’t made my bed before leaving for school that morning (I missed a lot of episodes of General Hospital).  I remember watching my Mawmaw clean and dust.  Dusting was odd to me.  But then, because she did it regularly, I never saw it so thought it silly to dust when we never had dust.  As a grown up, with kids and a husband of my own, I do the laundry.  The dishes eventually get washed.  The floor is swept at least once a week.  I cook at least one meal a day.  I swipe at cobwebs in the corners of rooms when I notice them.  I do not own a vacuum cleaner (we have tile or hardwood floors).  Let’s just say, I am not my Mawmaw.  There is noticeable dust.  My bed still isn’t made in the mornings – but that’s ok, since I haven’t watched General Hospital since high school.

Reading Heather’s book made me feel guilty.  Heather’s book made me feel EXTREMELY guilty.  I now have a schedule laid out on the white board in my office.  To clean my house.  On a regular basis.  Yes, dusting is on the list.  Making my bed is not (I’m a rebel, ya know).

There are parts in the book where I had to put it down and go into a room and look.  I felt a little nauseated.  And thankful no one has ever refused food or drink while in my house (no worries, I am not destined to be on any reality shows where they show how bad a housecleaner I am, but I also am not going to win any great housekeeping awards, either  I just suck at getting off my bum and cleaning the house thoroughly).  Did you know if you have jets in your bath tub you are supposed to clean them out a few times a year?  Or they get groddy inside and will leave floating mold and germs in your bath tub????  Did you know the pink rings around your tub and toilet was actually a mold which contributes to urinary tract infections and you can only get rid of it with a weak solution of bleach???  Better yet, did you know there was a lint trap in the hose of your washing machine?? I didn’t until I called a repairman because the washer wasn’t draining (“Did you turn off and then back on again?” is the DUH of the tech world, the lint hose must be the DUH of the washer repair world).

Heather also tells us about the mixing of cleaning chemicals.  Which ones to use on what kinds of surfaces, which ones NOT to use on a certain kinds of surfaces.  Did you know if there were any splashes of urine on the sides of the bowl in your toilet, you will release toxic gases if you put bleach inside to clean it??  Yeah…um…I knew that….yeah.

This book doesn’t just talk about cleaning your house, though, it also helps you with laundry (stains are the bane of everyone’s existence), minor repairs (ever spill fingernail polish remover on good furniture or had a toilet you have to jiggle the handle on?) around the house (Did your ring, or anything else, drop down the sink?  There’s a section for that!) and cooking (do you burn water?  Heather gives you hope and encouragement, and help with menu planning and weekly shopping/pantry stocking).

I think I may turn into a hybrid of Heather and my Mawmaw now.  My mom cleaned, but she also worked full time and had three kids.  I don’t remember ever seeing her dust, either, but that could just be selective memory or memory amnesia.  I am now looking around my home with a whole new outlook – and wondering if I can afford to take a few weeks off, ship the kids out somewhere during this time, and do some deep, deep cleaning…..yeah, that’s not gonna happen.  But Heather let’s us know, if you only have 15 minutes, you can still get a lot accomplished.  Now, who wants to hold the ladder so I can dust the ceiling fans???

F+W Media have given me a wonderful opportunity to give away a copy of Heather’s book to my readers!!!

Required for entering:  Go to Heather’s blog, Home-Ec 101, look around.  Tell me what you best love about her site (don’t forget to browse the forums!).

Optional additional entries:
Follow me on Twitter – tell me your Twitter handle below so I can follow you back, and so your entry will be counted!

Do you RSS or get my newsletter?  Let me know here (and tell your friends!).

Follow Heather on Twitter. (Tell us your Twitter handle below, or it won’t be counted.)

Like Home-Ec 101 on Facebook. (Tell use your Facebook handle below, or it won’t be counted.)

Do you get Heather’s blog on RSS or email, tell us here.

Tweet this giveaway:  “Enter to win a copy of  @HeatherSolos new book Home-Ec 101 at Behind The Stall Door” and enter your tweet url in the comments section.

This giveaway ends Sunday, April 10th, at midnight.  Winner will be announced Monday at noon.  The book will be sent to the winner via F+W Media.

Beginner Cookbook

Click to View Sample Pages at

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this cookbook and a spare, to giveaway on my blog, from the publishers.  However, I never agree to give anything but an honest review to my readers.  If I don’t like it, or if there are flaws, I tell you about them!

You can click on the photo on the side to go to Amazon to view pages inside the book.

I have been living with this cookbook for a good long while now.  I wanted to make sure the recipes were sound and that they were something my readers would be interested in trying to recreate in their own homes.  As a member of the Slow Food Revolution, I think food you create in your own home is on the top of the priority list, and the recipes you use factors into this importance.  If the recipe is bad, or impossible to follow, the recipe is no good – you will give up in frustration, hop in your car, and head to the nearest fast food place (or call in for delivery).  My goal is to give you good information and help you make a habit of cooking at home – and show to you it isn’t difficult to learn.

My long awaited cookbook conclusion?  I think ya’ll will love this book.  Plus, this is now on my list of gifts to give to friends and family.

Now, I have been cooking since I was teenager (no, I’m not telling you how long that has been, but it’s been a LONG TIME), so cooking and recipes are not something I need basic instructions for when it comes to most dishes.  However, there are things I do not make often enough to be really good at cooking or baking and this is when I need a little more than a lick and a promise when it comes to a recipe.

If you are new to cooking, or even if you have been cooking for years, I think you will like this book.  The recipes are easy to follow and they often include tips which will not talk down to your cooking intellect yet still helping the beginner.  My favorite recipe from desserts is a good example: Shortbread Cookies on page 403.  My mom loves these types of cookies, so I made her a whole tin from this recipe.  I had never made shortbread cookies before, even though I am no cookie n00b.  The tips were helpful and the recipe was delicious!  (Sorry, mom, but you didn’t get the whole batch – you can’t eat just one!)

Now, just to warn you, this is not The Joy of Cooking.  It will not go into every little detail and teach you new and amazing skills.  You will not learn how to butterfly a chicken breast, but you will learn how to roast a whole chicken, or even a leg of lamb…and the whole book probably calls for the same amounts of butter as The Joy of Cooking (Win!).  The chapters are broken down by food types, so you have breakfast items all in one spot and don’t need to hunt through the whole book for what you are looking for, and there is even a grilling and pasta chapter and a rice chapter.  It is not all beginner type food either – there is a Roasted Rack of Lamb with Garlic-Rosemary Sauce recipe on page 214, Herbed Chestnut Stuffing on page 180 and Chicken Etouffee on page 156; along with good beginners recipes like Scrambled Eggs on page 15, Chicken Noodle Soup on page 112 and Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows on page 312.  There is something for everyone, at every stage of their cooking life, in this cookbook.

But, enough about the book, you want the contest details!

This contest ends Friday, September 10th. To qualify, comment below and tell me what your favorite recipe, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack or dessert, is to prepare.  Additional entries for those who follow me on Twitter, if you have me on RSS feed and/or subscribe to the blog and if you tweet about the giveaway:

I registered for @MelindaHamby’s cookbook giveaway, see details at

Leave a comment below for each entry and GOOD LUCK!

Winner will be drawn via and will be announced on Saturday, September 11th on this blog and via Twitter.  Winner will be contact via email (make sure it is correct when you leave a comment!).  If I do not hear from the person by Saturday, September 18th, a new winner will be chosen.  If your email is incorrect, I will leave a message on the blog and on Twitter for you to contact me.  If I have not heard from you by Saturday, September 18th, a new winner will be chosen.

This book is completely free to the winner.  I will never ask for shipping and handling for any item.

Congratulations to Susan Billie Taylor for being my first giveaway winner!!!

Hi all,

Sorry I have been absent.  I promise to make it up to you.  For the last little bit I have been testing out a new cookbook.  I am loving the recipes inside.  They are easy to follow and delicious.  This is a wonderful cookbook for both newbies and those of us who are more experienced in the kitchen.

Do I have your attention?

Yes, you guess correctly.

I will be giving away a copy of this wonderful book here!  Stay tuned for more information.

*Ok, I admit, I don’t have the details together in my head currently, but I am working them out and will have the giveaway ready by week’s end!*