New York Times bestselling author, slow cooking expert and mommy blogger next door
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Totally Together

Holiday Gifts to Support Bloggers

October 26, 2009 by  

Don’t look now, but the Holidays are RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER. They really are. Pretending you’ve got plenty of time will only cause a lot of undue stress.

I’m trying to get as many presents out of the way as I can in the next few weeks or so because

1) that’s just who I am. I like to get things done and out of the way (I know. It’s annoying. Feel free to throw eggs, I can handle it).

2) Whether I’m ready or not, this baby is going to get born. I spent most of the summer in denial, but she’s really going to come. I’m actually getting a bit nervous and feel the need to disinfect and re-paint every surface of the house.

3) Thanks to your wonderful comments and emails, I’m going to go for NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month). I’m kind of excited!

I get emails about book publishing and blogging, and how to get the two to collide. I am probably not the right person to ask, since the book I spent a hundred million years of my life (8, but whatever) trying to get published got canceled (but I’m staying positive. Yes, that’s it. Serenity Now!), and the slow cooker book was kind of a fluke thing—the publishers came to me, which is NOT NORMAL. Regardless, I’m going to pretend I know something and throw this idea out there, which I do believe makes sense:

If you write a blog, and want to become published, the best way to help achieve that goal in the long run is to support bloggers who *have* books. Because the more they sell, the better the chances of you selling a proposal to an agent and/or editor. And it’s good karma.

On that note, start your Holiday shopping early and support a blogger (or twenty-three) at the same time.

Note: Whenever possible, I’ve linked to the author’s Amazon Associate account, not my own. While reading the reviews on Amazon is a fantastic way to get a feel of the book, buying the book at your friendly neighborhood independent book store is best for your local economy. I am familiar with the work of *all* of these bloggers. While I am sure that there are other books by bloggers “out there,” I have not personally read their blogs or their books.


The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook Elana blogs at Elana’s Pantry, and has a beautiful website and an even more beautiful book. She has healthy recipes for all types of gluten free food that is healthy and wholesome. She introduced me to the wonders of almond flour and agave nectar. Cooking with almond flour creates moist, delicious gluten free baked products.

Clotilde’s Edible Adventures in Paris Clotilde blogs at Chocolate & Zucchini, and was the first food blogger I followed regularly who wrote a book. This book reads like a memoir/travel guide, and she does have a fabulous cookbook, Chocolate & Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen.

David Lebovitz I’ve linked to David’s author’s page on his blog, because he has a great collection of cookbooks and a fantastic new memoir entitled, The Sweet Life in Paris. David goes out of his way to support bloggers, and is an all-around nice guy.

Pioneer Woman Cooks Ree blogs at The Pioneer Woman, and her cookbook just came out (well, tomorrow, Oct. 27, but it’s already shipping). Ree is warm, friendly, and loves butter–a fabulous trifecta. She’s absolutely wonderful.

Steamy Kitchen Jaden writes at Steamy Kitchen, and has phenomenal recipes for all kinds of Asian-inspired food. Her recipes are simple, clear, and use fresh ingredients. Her friendly writing style and gorgeous photos suck readers right in.

The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook Erin blogs at $5 Dinners, and is not only a great friend, she has created a fabulous resource for busy families on a budget. ALL of her meals have been made for $5 or less for a family of four. Her book isn’t out yet, but you can pre-order it and have it delivered to your gift recipient.

Family Feasts for $75 a Week Mary blogs at Owlhaven, and has 10! children. She knows how to feed a crowd, and knows all about picky eaters. A fantastic resource for anyone looking to streamline the kitchen, learn about meal planning, and save money.

Gary Vaynerchuk’s 101 Wines Gary blogs at Gary Vaynerchuk, and he does video-blogging (vlogging) on wine. He is hysterical, witty, and down to earth. Gary is the furthest thing from a wine snob, yet knows all there is to know.

Make it Fast, Cook it Slow Stephanie (that’s me!) blogs at A Year of Slow Cooking. In 2008, she made a New Year’s Resolution to use her slow cooker every day for a year, and write about it online. This book has the best 338 recipes from the year. All recipes are gluten-free, due to a family intolerance.


Sleep is For the Weak Rita writes at Surrender, Dorothy and she put together the best of the best of the mommy bloggers into a great gift for any pregnant woman, new mom, or any dad who needs to better understand his wife’s wonky behavior. I’ve given this numerous times as gifts, and it’s always well-received.

Sane Woman’s Guide to Raising a Large Family Mary (featured up above) writes at Owlhaven, and is a mom to 10. I read this book when we were deciding to take the plunge from two to three, and found her advice helpful and straightforward.

The Rookie Mom’s Handbook Heather and Whitney write at Rookie Moms, and wrote this book when they were trying to figure out how to keep their little ones entertained during the day. The handbook is chock full of developmentally appropriate activities, broken down by age groups. I’ve met Heather and Whitney, and like it that they are *real* moms, instead of parenting “experts.”

It Sucked and Then I Cried Heather is an internet rockstar. She started Dooce an awful long time ago, before there were tons of blogs, and is known as the Ultimate Mommy Blogger. I found her memoir fun and light-hearted. Although it’s presented as being primarily about postpartum depression, I wouldn’t classify it as such—I found it more like a being pregnant and new-mommy memoir.

The Mominatrix’s Guide to Sex Kristen blogs at Motherhood Uncensored. Her book isn’t out yet, but will be mid-January, just in time for Valentine’s Day, and is available for pre-order. I’m probably more prude than most, but am happy that a book like this exists, and that a blogger wrote it.

Sippy Cups are Not for Chardonnay I’ve linked to Stefanie’s Author page on Amazon, because she has three books out. She blogs at Baby on Bored. I’ve read her first book, and thought it was a nice change to the parenting books I was reading at the time. Stefanie isn’t afraid to call it as she sees it, and she doesn’t sugar-coat the hard(er) parts of motherhood.


Gluten Free Girl Shauna writes at Gluten Free Girl, and she was one of the first resources I turned to when we were first diagnosed with Celiac in our family. Shauna’s love for food and her vast knowledge gave me the confidence I needed to start embracing our new lifestyle. Her eloquently-written memoir shares much about her personal road to gluten free living. She is working on a new cookbook which I eagerly await.

Half-Assed Jennette blogs at Pasta Queen, and shares her personal journey of losing 180 pounds all on her own in this fabulous memoir. I read this book coming home on an airplane during some rather rough turbulence, and her friendly writing style and hilarious anecdotes kept me calm.

Straight Up and Dirty and Moose Stephanie writes at Stephanie Klein, formerly named Greek Tragedy. I met her July 2008 at BlogHer, and was charmed by her warmth and wit. Stephanie has led such a different life than I have–which is kind of neat since we have the same name. I’ve read both of her books, and loved being able to “listen in” on her life experiences–both as a newly-divorced and dating single, and as a young teen at a camp for overweight youth.

Bitter is the New Black, Jen Lancaster Jen blogs at Jennslyvania, and was one of the first bloggers I’d heard of to write a memoir. I’ve linked to her Amazon page, as she has four books under her belt. Jen writes like a friend speaking, and immediately engages the reader with her cut-t0-the chase humor.


The IT Girls Guide to Blogging Kathie and Joelle blog at Moxie Design Studios, and have written a comprehensive guide to blogging—perfect for the newish blogger,  the wanna-be who wants to get started on the right foot, or the blogger who wants to beef up his/her web presence.

No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog Maggie writes at Mighty Girl, and wrote a fun compilation of blog post topics. This is great for the personal blogger who sometimes has a hard time figuring out, or narrowing down blog post ideas.

Personal Development for Smart People Steve blogs at Steve I found his blog a few years ago when I was googling how to create a highly trafficked website. I like a lot of his ideas, especially the 30 Days to a New Habit posts. Some of his ideas are quite out there, and may be offensive. Please read the Amazon reviews carefully.

Crush It! This is Gary’s (featured above) newest book. I haven’t yet read it, but am interested in doing so. It’s gotten rave reviews as a fantastic resource for any interested in learning more about social media.

TypePad for Dummies Shannon blogs at Rocks in My Dryer. I love how Shannon writes, especially the way she interacts with her readers. I was fortunate to meet her at BlogHer in 08, and was thrilled to learn that she was writing a Dummies book on Typepad. The book isn’t quite out yet, but you can pre-order it on Amazon.


okay! I hope these ideas help in your holiday shopping—hopefully you can quickly cross people off your list and help fellow bloggers out at the same time.

Happy Shopping!

Post a comment · 12 Comments »


12 Responses to “Holiday Gifts to Support Bloggers”

  1. Jenny L. on October 27th, 2009 8:00 pm

    How about Kelly of the blog “The Spunky Coconut” with her just published book of the same title. I think she is an absolute genuis with gluten-free casein-free cooking.

    • Stephanie on October 27th, 2009 8:36 pm

      Hi Jenny, I don’t know Kelly! I’m going to look her up right now, thanks so much for the heads up. xoxo

  2. Sarah on October 27th, 2009 8:07 pm

    Steph – thanks for this great list! I am already looking at “The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook” and “Family Feasts for $75 a Week.” I already have your cookbook and we’re using it all the time (even though I was already on your blog!). I just wanted to say that Heather Armstrong of the Dooce blog is amazing. I have an RSS feed so that I never miss a post. Her writing is hilarious and relatable and I’m constantly reading entries out loud to my husband. I recommend her all the time and think everyone will love her!

  3. gfe--gluten free easily on October 27th, 2009 9:44 pm

    Terrific list, Steph! I have at least one in each category already. But, I’m about checking off lists. Of course, it makes sense to support your fellow bloggers, especially now that you know all that goes into publishing a book … or not. Not an exact science. I think we all have at least one book in us. :-) But, until we publish, we can enjoy your list.

    I second Jenny L’s recommendation on Kelly’s book, The Spunky Coconut. She is a genius. Her grain-free vanilla bean cake is one example of that. She’s speaking via Skype to my support group on Thursday, so I’m very excited. 😉

    How about Pete and Kelly Bronski’s new gluten-free cookbook, The Artisanal Gluten-Free cookbook? I really loved reading that cookbook. Each recipe is prefaced by its history with family or friends. Most of the recipes are naturally gluten free or easily made gluten free use their own gf flour mix. They have the blog, No Gluten, No Problem.

    Another terrific resource for folks who eat dairy free is Alisa Fleming’s Go Dairy Free. Alisa has a site with the same name,

    Great recommendations, Steph–thanks!


  4. Elana on October 28th, 2009 1:51 am

    You have a lovely blog! Thanks so much for mentioning my book and glad you are enjoying your adventures with almond flour :-)


  5. Natalie from Ottawa, Canada on October 28th, 2009 8:36 am

    Thank you for this comprehensive list of blogger books! I want to put a lot of these on my list of “to read” books!

  6. Barb on October 28th, 2009 12:44 pm

    First let me tell you how much I enjoyed the year of slow cooking; I should have told you before now how much I enjoy your work. I’m trying to catch you in the other blogs and I watched you on TV -you were great.

    I am interested in blogging since I have been following your blog and I’m trying to do it in a business-like manner as you did. I’m a just barely 60 year old woman (the new “middle age”?) who spent her life being what her parents, her husband, and her child wanted and needed, becoming such a caretaker that my first career was social worker!

    As I start on a journey of discovery of who I am, what I like, losing weight and how to have a healthy, interesting, rewarding next 20 years of my life., I think I could develop a community of like minded women , but I am having some difficulty In looking for similar blogs, and I know there must be some. If you have any ideas let me know. I did get the Blogging for Dummies to help me out.

    Thanks for the list of books and blogs above, there’s some interesting stuff there.

  7. Sera @ Laughing Through the Chaos on October 28th, 2009 3:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing such a well-rounded list! I’m super excited about the $5 dinner book!

  8. 6512 and growing on November 3rd, 2009 9:17 am

    Always good information here. Thanks!

    Also Catherine Newman’s book Waiting for Birdy is phenomenal!.
    Newman blogs about family recipes here:

    Stephanie, I like your unifying rather than competitive style. Thanks for spreading the peaceful, supportive word!

  9. Sandy Metius on November 4th, 2009 5:30 pm

    Hi Stephanie,

    You are amazing. I have been collecting your crock pot recipes for the past i don’t know how long. They are amazing. I love your recipes and love the “verdicts” and the comments by others. Really a help. I bought your cookbook. GREAT! Thank you. Would like to get one for my kids but my hubby is out of work now.
    I have tried over and over to subscribe to this site and for some unknown reason it won’t let me subscribe. I am very sad about that. I am subscribed to your crockpot site and greatly appreciate it. Please help me to subscribe to this site. I need it desperatley! You do not know!!
    thank you, Sandy Metius

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