I have a lot of cookbooks to review and giveaway. I didn't get around to giving them away last year, but there's nothing like the reality of having to move out to force you to get rid of things...
Some of the cookbooks I received from the publishers or the authors, and some I bought myself.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child falls into the latter category, a two-volume set for which I shelled out my own money because it is a classic that every cook, novice to pro, should have, or at the very least, flip through once.
The cookbook has no photos, just a handful of sketches to illustrate techniques. The recipes are written in a half-narrative that is sometimes difficult to understand, different from today's ingredients-listed-in-order-of-appearance/numbered directions format.
But there is something about the whole experience of reading through recipes of foods that are mostly unfamiliar (at least, they were to me), trying to cook them without the regular hand-holding in modern cookbooks, step-by-step photos, and of course, the glamour shot of the final product, and enjoying the (mostly) successful final products that force you to be as fearless in the kitchen as Julia Child herself.
I owe a lot to Mastering the Art of French Cooking because in a somewhat roundabout way, it is one of the reasons why I started The Delicious Life. Way back, like nine years ago way back, when The Delicious Life was not yet a twinkie in my thigh, I read The Julie/Julia Project, a blog (then book, then movie) based entirely on author Julie Powell's tackling every single recipe in the cookbook. I wasn't necessarily motivated to cook anything, but that blog first, then the "OG" food blogs that came in the few years after, inspired me to try blogging myself.
Eight years later, I am still posting away on my blog and in a strange completion of the Circle of (the delicious) Life, there was a children's book titled Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child published last year (not related to me in any way). I am openly, publicly hoping that this is a sign that The Delicious Life (my blog) will one day, finally, spawn a real book.
I have my own copy of this cookbook, so I am giving away this set.
How to Enter Mastering the Art of French Cooking Giveaway
This is a blog-comment giveaway.
- Leave a comment on this post with a food that you are somewhat afraid to cook.
- Make it obvious how I can reach you (your email when you sign-in to comment is fine, no one else can see it, but I can, or facebook or twitter) so I can contact you if you are selected!
- Share this giveaway post with your friends on facebook and twitter! (not required, but hey, sharing is positive, and I could use all the positive energy I can get right now)
You have until Friday, February 22 at 5PM PST. Everyone is welcome to comment to enter, but I can only ship this set of cookbooks within the U.S. for no other reason than it is heavy and expensive to ship. (If you’re outside the US and win, you just need to provide me with a US mailing address to send!)
p.s. The two most terrifying things for me to make are 1) yeast-risen bread and 2) anything that is alive right before I cook it, which could technically include number 1, but really refers to most non-fish seafood. Like lobster. Yikes. And yes, the recipe for Lobster Thermidor is in this cookbook. I will probably never attempt it on my own.
I have always been afraid of cooking meat in general. Cuts, cooking times, dryness, seasoning don't come naturally to me. I often skip roasts, steaks and other big meat dishes out of fear Ill screw it up! - Twitter @knorthway
La Petite Gigi says
One time, I left a live lobster on ice, because I couldn't bring myself to toss it in the pot. I'm not really sure what happened to it. I hope it found its way back to the sea.
Besides that, I'm afraid to attempt macarons. I love looking at them and certainly love eating them, I'm just terrified that I will fail miserably if I even dare make them.
Jill S. says
I'm afraid of soufflé! So much pressure! (and yeah, lobsters and ducks, too). Every guest has to be seated and waiting, no room for error. But if anyone could calm my frothy foamy fears, it's Julia. Love!
Host The Toast says
Most of the things that I've been afraid to cook, I've recently been trying to force myself to try. However, lobster remains to be tackled. I'm not too good with deep-frying, either. Perhaps it would be easier if I actually owned a deep-fryer, but that is a dangerous path for a girl with a love of food to go down...
I love that you're giving away Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking! I keep telling myself that I need to go out and buy it, but I still haven't.
i'm afraid to cook with yeast! i don't know why. the smell and the culture just freaks me out. i need to muster up the nerve to get over it!
Matthew Kaner says
I have always been afraid to cook brains/sessos at my house. it means you need to house them in your home before cooking them...organ meats are always a surprise to open your refrigerator to. [email protected]
Such a great giveaway!
I'm afraid to cook with seafood, specifically shellfish because I have no idea how to clean it!
I've been conquering my big fears one by one this past year. Making my own sausage is up next. I'm afraid it won't be the right consistency and will be a gross mess inside a sausage casing (which I also don't look forward to handling).
I am totally terrified of making okonomiyaki.
I'm terrified of making French Macarons. They're my absolute favorite sweets to eat. They're a symphony of techniques and ingredients that I'm afraid to tackle. I bought a special kit to make them that I haven't touched because the recipe was so intense. If only I could concur my fears of these tiny tricky treats. [email protected]
Believe it or not...meatloaf. All the meatloafs (meatloaves?) of my childhood were tasteless, except in the center where they were _raw_, and we had to pretend that was okay. My husband has good memories of his mother's version but she didn't leave behind a recipe, so I'm at a loss.
totally afraid to cook duck. i would have no idea what to do with it, how to prepare it, how to cut it, etc.
I am near fearless and will try to cook almost anything I'm given half a chance at. HOWEVER I absolutely cannot do pie crusts for the life of me and I'm not sure why. That is where my bit of fear lies. Why oh why can't I make a good flaky pie crust? :(
Blast, didn't put my e-mail in.
Sara @ The Little Bite says
I grew up not eating pork or beef and now have no idea how to cook them! I know i would end up over cooking them and there's no saving it at that point!
Alexandra Rose says
Scallops and Bread...not together per say, but they're both terrifying. I love scallops, but I have this irrational fear that mine will turn out like little rubber discs, and I'll have just ruined the most delicious thing the sea ever spit out. Bread also...too dense, too crumby, not set, not risen, so many things can go wrong. I'd love to master cooking it, but for now I've just mastered eating it.... [email protected]
I'm afraid to cook fish and meat - of any kind. I mean I get how minced meat works and all, you put it in a pot and that's basically all, but any kind of steak, filet, rib, younameit - I have no idea how to do that!
i am afraid of cooking shellfish, i almost never cook it. it has to be precise and if shellfish cooks too much, they all get rubbery and its all useless when its like that.
The one thing I am afraid to cook is foie gras. It's one of those things are are so tasty when someone else cooks it, yet I fear I would ruin it which would bring me to tears.
I'm scared of overcooking....steak. hahaha
Jill McOwen says
I'm afraid to cook a live lobster. I've never been in the presence of one cooking, but I've always heard they scream in the pot. Also, I'm land-locked in Ohio, so cooking any sort of seafood scares me a bit. If I feel the need to eat fish, I usually opt to order out.
Artichokes...are my demon. Stringy, mushy or too lemony...WHAT?
I am afraid of making souffle.
I am afraid to cook anything that's not fried rice or instant ramen since that's all I know.
Kelly (runningblonde.com) says
I am terrified of macarons. I bought almond flour, pinned recipes, watched videos about it but just can't get myself to pull the trigger!
Andrew Heggen says
Crepes. I've had a couple of people say they really aren't that difficult, but I've seen too many/read too many things about how temperamental they are and how easily they go wrong.
I am deathly afraid to make applesauce. I am beyond deathly afraid of applesauce even being near me. I will get up from a table if it is on it. I can hardly even think about applesauce. In fact, I must stop now. twitter: fforfood
French Macarons! .......
I'm afraid of cooking tamales. I'm certain they won't turn out as delicious as my grandma's so why bother even trying?
I'm afraid of cooking mussels and clams. I don't particularly like them myself (it's a texture thing) so it makes cooking them even worse.
I am terrified of cooking risotto!
coq au vin!
offal... (but i love sweetbreads) tw: @eiserloh
I am afraid to try and cook octopus. I love it but have a bit of an "ick" felling about handling the full tentacles.
I'm afraid to try cooking whole fish (but I want to!) and most kinds of meat in general...I try, but am always gripped with fear: will it be raw? will it be leather? will it be ruined?
Scallops. I can't get them right so I stopped bothering >.<
FISH! I know it's so easy, but I didn't grow up in a house that eat fish and now I've never sure the best kind to buy and how to prepare it.
natalie @ wee eats says
any seafood at all
Shrimp... Yes, I know... Embarrassing...
Anything fried! I psych myself out with images of grease fires, burns, and boiling oil.
Meringue... I know they're supposed to be simple, but I'm convinced my temperamental oven will scorch them!
I don't really like to cook shellfish at home - not only do I not know how to prepare it but I'm afraid I would overcook it. Overcooked seafood is the worst!
Alyson Boyd says
Oh my goodness so many things! I tend to be more of a baker than cook, so either a pastry of some sort (they're just so darn delicate), or go completely another direction and make a "regular" meal involved many hours over the stove with no sugar (but still lots of butter) in site.
fresh pasta and anything with gelatin in it
Jessica Lee says
Anything that requires kneading! I have a fear of over-kneading and coming out with a tough dough :*(
I am somewhat afraid to cook live lobster. OK. Make that -- I'm afraid to have a lobster homicide in my kitchen. But, oh... sweet, delicious lobster :)
I'm fairly adventurous, though I'm nervous about tackling homemade tamales.
Rabbit. It just seems wrong..and what would my pet rabbit think?!
I will cook or bake almost anything, but have never attempted a souffle. I would love to try that one day. Also, I'm reading My Life in France about Julia Child right now. It's a wonderful book. If you haven't read it, definitely pick it up!
Sourdough and any butter sauce. I'm too impatient!
The most terrifying for me is soufflé! I've got a handful of recipes for it, but I've never made one. My Mom always made them and they were delicious. But…she doesn't let anything terrify her!
Cody Slager says
Tamales, my friend told me the traditional way of making the masa, and now im scared im gonna screw it up and insult his ancestors!
Rishi Jain says
I'm afraid to cook lobster; its an expensive seafood, and i'd be so upset if i messed it up.
I'm always afraid to make bread because I very little patience, and I can never get the darn thing to rise!
Angela Lee says
Breads! From temperatures, to air flow in the room, and over kneading. Breads are my most feared recipes, that I fall on the local bakeries (or grocery stores or pre-made) for my breads. I would love to learn an easy basic white bread recipe to conquer.
I would like to count myself is a pretty adept chef, but I am without a doubt scared of cooking rice. The few times I've done it I either cook it too long (even though I followed the time instructions), don't cook it enough (kept open the lid and stirring) or straight up burn it (didn't open the lid and stir it). Everyone tells me it is literally the EASIEST thing to cook in the world, but I just can get it right so now I NEVER EVER EVER cook rice.
Sarah J. Gim says
Sarah: hey, that's my name, too!) i normally just read the comments, not respond, when doing giveaways because I don't want anyone to think the final random drawing was in any way biased, but i have to respond bc this comment just made me laugh. the people who say it's the easiest thing in the world to cook rice ... are they maybe using rice cookers? because that's what i do! :)
i can make pretty much anything, but i've never tried live lobster and am terrified to. it scares the crap out of me...
I'm afraid to cook anything involving meat! (But as a vegetarian, I'm always looking for ways to turn meat-centric recipes into something a little more vegetarian-friendly :) )
I am a good home cook and adventurous I've had stints working in kitchens and pastry shops but I have yet to conquer my fear of Cannelles and Madeleines. I cannot make a dang cookie from scratch to save my life, so I've convinced myself I could never master these french confections. I'd love to though because they are delicious and wonderful!
I am also afraid of the alive-until-you-cook-it category, as well as the butcher-yourself-and-remove-bits category-- I don't think I could ever debone a raw chicken, for example. I am also a bit afraid to make macarons but I am determined to conquer that fear this year!
Leila - The Milk Truck says
This sounds crazy....but FISH. I'll just about any type of sushi, but for some reason I couldn't stand the taste of cooked fish for the longest time (like...my whole life) until very recently. So now, despite being super adventurous in the kitchen, I'm TERRIFIED to cook this thing that I only just recently started enjoying!!! But maybe with Julia's help, I can master it :)
Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) says
Tough question! I think one of the things I'm afraid to make (even though I have) is homemade croissants--so tricky and difficult to perfect!
Natasha H says
I am always afraid to cook eggs. I love eating eggs, especially with runny yolks. I'm always scared I will over/under cook them, or have them break on me.
For many a year, I have been terrified of fish. I don't go in lakes, rivers, oceans, etc. and aquariums have been known to be panic-attack inducing. Recently I've decided to try and conquer this fear, and while I am not about to go for a swim in the Atlantic, I am ready to tackle the task of learning how to cook these scaly creatures. The idea of Julia Child walking me through the steps of Bouillabaisse or Sole Meuniere is rather comforting.
Todd Borland says
One dish that I am sure Julia has made before is duck. I love crispy duck at restaurants, but I would be terrified to try it at home!!
Scott D says
Anything "bake-y". I don't like following measurements and the science required when baking always makes me itchy.
Macarons...three failed attempts so far. Obsessive!
Any time of seafood is very scary for me to cook. It's just unfortunate because I LOVE seafood in general.
why can't i retract my comment? you said food, not a dish, so i'll have to say "cake"- horrible at baking dessert
I'm afraid to make my own cheese -- I've seen recipes and thought about it a lot, but I'm afraid that the time investment and all the equipment will end up in a big clumpy un-cheesy mess!
I'm always super wary when cooking chicken, I had food poisoning once and attributed it to some sketchy chicken...it was gut wrenching!
Cooking whole artichokes has always intimidated me, so I've never even tried. I love Julia Child and just put this set on my Amazon wish list!
I am a really good cook, really! Yet for some reason cooking a steak puts the fear of God into me. I have messed up more than one in my life with inedible results.
margueritecore [at] gmail [dot] com
I'm most afraid of cooking fish, definitely!
Emily Grace says
Definitely most afraid of cooking lobster! Yikes!
I am terrified to cook a whole chicken! After a couple years, I finally got the hang of cooking boneless skinless breasts...but I know the flavor doesn't compare! I just look at the plump little chickens in the store and get overwhelmed!
A rack of lamb
I'm afraid of having to do anything involving frying! I seriously hate the smell of frying oil, first, and second... well, I'm pretty sure I could somehow end up frying myself up by the time I finish one recipe like that.
I think it would be duck.
I'm afraid to make curd... always afraid it will smell or taste eggy, yucks!
I bet this cookbook could help me with boeuf bourguignon!
Caramel. I can never ever get caramel (or anything else that needs a candy thermometer for that matter) right and now it gives me anxiety if a recipe calls for it. I avoid making caramel like the plague.
Michael Wascher says
Skate, it just never comes out right.
Rebecca Schaefer says
I'm afraid to try baking macarons. They are so temperamental, but I need to just try it!
Anything I've never made with my mom - she made dinner every single night growing up and taught me a TON, but if she hasn't made it, I'm terrified!
Amanda Robins says
I have never successfully prepared crème brûlée. It always comes out too rubbery, watery, or curdled/scrambled.
Libby Parker says
I am always nervous to bake bread. I know it's a basic skill to have but I'm nervous about yeast and rising and kneading and basically all of the things. But I want to face my fears.
Alana Folsom says
Aimee Conrad-Hill says
Croissants and cooking a live lobster (it seems so cruel!).
I am from the Duck capital of the USA- terrified to cook it, but would love to master it!
Janna Hull says
Any type of pate or terrine. I find them delicious, but I'm terrified of the process.
Molly McBride says
Canning and pickling make me nervous. Does that count? BOTULISM. EEK.
James Wardlaw-Bailey says
My secret fear is anything that requires dipping in chocolate. I know enough about tempering chocolate to know that I fail miserably at it.
Amy Mills says
I'm scared to cook anything that's deep-fried. I don't know why I'm so hesitant, because I know overcoming that one fear could lead me to the world of doughnuts, fried chicken, french fries, and a whole other plethora of southern italian street food, but I just can't do it! One day...
Oh this is an easy one of life's easy questions...charcuterie scares the bejesus out of me!! But I so want to cure my own pancetta...alas chills when I think about it...
Rachel Wong says
I am terrified of cooking live lobsters...
i am terrified of making croissants. the outcome is dependent on technique and all that butter!
Lostsoul Helpmejebus says
In cooking, I do not really have a fear of making anything. Baking, now that is a whole other subject; that is something that requires much more precision. Making my own homemade phyllo or puff pastry would certainly be a challenge for moi. ;-)
Oh, I tweeted, pinned and shared your giveaway on Facebook.
I'm a little afraid of making pasta carbonara. Last time I tried, I ended up with scrambled egg spaghetti!
I'm afraid to cook lamb.
Any kind of baked goods.
Afraid to make osso bucco.
creme brulee and macarons
Crabs and Lobsters because you have to cook them live...
Anh Nguyen says
Cream puffs. I'm afraid I will end up with a bunch of heavy, not tasty puffs, and will have to eat them all myself.
Allison Lange says
anything with yeast
Divya Prakash says
French macrons. I am yet to succeed making it..
Dorothy Willemsma Anguish says
Fresh fish. I've never done it, my mom never did, either. It's not so much that I'm afraid (maybe a little) but I don't even know how to start!
Speaking of Julia........ that beef aspic stuff..... and pretty much anything I decided to cook when my in-laws are coming for dinner! haha
Gina Topley says
I am completely terrified of yeast and scared to bake bread or anything calling for it!
Loretta E says
Seafood of any kind!
I'm soooo afraid of cooking fish. Had a bad experience and found a worm once: now it's the only thing I think of when cooking (and eating!) some.
The most terrifying thing for me to make...meat, I'm a vegan! So far I'm single so it works, but someday when I have to cook for a family I hope they like veggies as much as me!
Kathy - Panini Happy says
I'm still a little afraid to try out my kitchen torch. :-)
Adina Segal says
For me, it's souffle; and to be candid that is the only recipe I avoid like the plague. I'm not sure if it's because they are delicate or hyped to be that way, but with all of the pressure of whether or not it will fall I have never brought myself to make one.
Tommie Ann Sutton says
Honestly I'm a little bit afraid of potatoes. In any dish, in some way or other it's either over cooked or undercooked. Even my mashed potatoes aren't very good, and I've tried so many times I just get my boyfriend to make potatoes now. I can make anything else! Honestly! I made Julia's Boeuf Bourguinon and it was spectacular and I've made delicious challah bread, anything under the sun except for potatoes.
Escargot. I've heard that when you cook them, all this foamy mucous starts coming out of them.
I am afraid to make Julia's Boeuf Bourguinon. My chef sister has mastered it, and so has my brother. It still intimidates me.
Any part of an animal that actually resembles something on the animal, e.g., feet, ears, tail, etc.
Hannah Pandolph says
I really want to make Coq au Vin, but I am afraid. It's one of those dishes that I've built up in my head so much that now I'm completely intimidated.
Sarah J. Gim says
Hannah! You should really make Coq au Vin! It sounds fancy because it's french, but it's just STEW! even *i've* been able to successfully make Coq au Vin!
Live shellfish, especially crab and lobster. It's too much hassle to kill and prepare.
Mussels. They are my husband's favorite and I would so like to make them for him.
I'm terrified of making souffle!
Mousse. I tried once, failed miserably, and have been too humiliated to try again!
Brioche... or any yeasted bread for that matter...
I have two food making phobias, deep frying I always burn myself and canning I'm afraid of exploding jars!
Croissants or any pastry that involves a ton of layers
Sarah Nichols says
I'm afraid to cook whole fish. I don't know how to deal with their innards! But I always dream of fresh, steamed fish.
Popovers! i've tried a zillion recipes and failled miserably in each and every one of them!! Is the universe trying to tell me something??
I am afraid of cooking a whole fish... fillets- fine, but the whole body of a fish freaks me right out.
Donna Currie says
I'm a teeny bit afraid of souffles because of the timing issues. Guest better be ready when the souffle is.
I'm afraid to cook anything fried. The hot oil freaks me out.
I'm very afraid of deep frying! All the hot oil makes me nervous!
Allison Kidd says
Cheesecake! I've always managed to do something silly (like not put it in a water bath) and mess it up. Now I feel like I'm cursed even though I can back just about anything else.
Afraid of making bread! :(
Roast Turkey. I have tried it once before for Thanksgiving and although the color on the outside was perfect it looked like a massacre one we cut into it. Imagine being surrounded by 20 people al giving you that 'Ahww honey' look. So embarrassing.
Handmade pasta. They always make it look so easy!
Anything with hot oil--I burned my finger while deep frying a few weeks ago.
fried chicken, and soufflés,
Roasted suckling pig...
Raw fish sushi since I worry about food poisoning.
Reana Naviva says
Any recipe that calls for deep frying. Hot oil and I don't mix :(
The Cook says
Fresh pasta is intimidating. It sounds too simple to be truly easy - like it's a trick! Nevermind doing that and then using it to make, say, ravioli!
Oh goodness, there are too many....but I will just go with soufflé!!
anything with a deep fryer. i'm afraid of the hot oil and the mess.
Honestly, any type of meat! I can't get over the dead flesh ick factor, and the possibility of eating it raw if I undercook it. Made being a vegetarian so much easier.
Grace Ovaltine Huang says
I am afraid to make macaroons because I have failed terribly at them
Diana Clifford- Owens says
I am terribly afraid of anything requiring yeast. Some day I will master it though. I am determined. :)
I don't know of anyone who was as afraid to cook any type of meat like
pork, beef, or chicken but as I was when I was younger. I thought that
if I cooked something it would turn out terrible, so I was paralyzed and
afraid to try at all. This was very hard to overcome and produced many
embarrassing and painful situations in my life.
Even now I'm
somewhat afraid to cook any meat. A lot of it has to do with the fear of
criticism. I don't want to displease my potential hungry diners so I
have done the worst thing of all - which is to not serve anything at
all. Cooking any type of meat has been a huge issue for me over the
cooking meat is what am really afraid to cook.
email: [email protected]
I'm afraid of gnocchi...it never comes out pillowy for me!
Verna Mirta says
Im really afraid to cook seafood..so fast sometime i have no time to taste some lil bit.,..they already over cook n taste like a tire..
I am afraid to cook whole lobster, It might just be the claws and the fact that they are still alive (even though most seafood is), but the whole idea of cooking a lobster scares me.
Jeremy Pepper says
I'm frightened by souffles; I think it's the horror stories about them falling.
It also didn't help that as a child, I'd purposely scream when my Mom was making one to try to make it fall, but it never happened.
Oh, and if you get any Kosher cookbooks, I'll take them off your hands. :)
Macarons. They terrify me!
I'm afraid to cook a whole chicken or turkey! Or anything for a holiday meal for family. Or for other people in general.
Ryan L says
I am afraid to cook anything my mother or grandmother ever made. Mostly because it'll never be made with the same feeling and bravado. But also the off chance I might make it better.
Caroline Robinson says
I'm terrified of boiling crawfish. I'm from New Orleans and recently went to a crawfish boil at my boyfriend's parent's house. I held some of the crawfish in the 30 pound bag before they went into the boiler with the rest of the seasoning and sides and the squeal of the crawfish hitting the boiling water was intense. I love to eat crawfish, but I don't know if I can ever watch them be boiled alive again.
Caroline Mok says
I'm afraid of making law bok gow or Chinese turnip cake. Why? Because I know how much work my mother would put into it to make it as delicious as she did and I'm afraid that if I try to make it, it'll be so awful that I'll be deterred from ever making it a second time. But then again, if at first you don't succeed just try and try again.
I'm a bit scared of cooking delicate foods that I can't slice into. Like thick cuts of meats where I don't have a thermometer to check the doneness, or delicate fish I'm trying to serve, and keep pretty. ><
Ali Teoh says
Anything deep-fried. I love cooking (and eating!) Chinese dim sum, but I'm terrified of deep-frying as I always imagine painful burns and fiery explosions. Eventually, I'm sure I'll face my fear and wonder what all the fuss was about...
I'm terrified of pie crust -- the 3 times i've tried it before holes form and it never fits the pan, shrinking away as i bake it....sadness.
I am afraid to make Croquembouche because I am sure I will burn the sugar & myself.
Jessica N says
ANY MEAT! I recently moved out (a little over a year!) from home and reading about all the safety precautions you should take when cooking meat absolutely scares me. I've been attempting it more, with more forgiving cooking methods...,slow cooker anyone?
It's not so bad because it gives me an excuse to eat mostly vegetarian cooked home meals, which I love but sometimes I just want to try to make some of my mom's recipes...it would be too disappointing if I mucked it up though, especially with some homesick cravings coming on.
The only dish that intimidates me is prime rib. I love it, but with the price tag it carries, I'm afraid to try making it at home.
Monica Seth Christensen says
I am afraid to cook pot roast. Seriously EVERY time it doesn't turn out tough, I follow all the tips and reviews on recipes and it's always a no go. Maybe Julia knows the secret....
James Dominguez says
Sushi. I wonder if I have the eye to purchase sushi grade seafood.
Souffle!! Climax part is to camp in front of the oven and see my souffle rising through oven door!! And, took out without my pretty souffle sinking!!
I'm afraid to try anything with lamb. It's so expensive that ruining a recipe means wasting a lot of money. Guess I'll have to wait until I'm done with grad school school and all of my loans are paid back... in about 25 years.
Lobster. My husband & son love it, but I refuse to bring it into the house. Mainly because I'm terrified it'll crawl out of the pot and come after me.
Amanda Koons says
I am SO INTIMIDATED by french macarons. I made them once to horrible results (the only time i've declared a recipe a total failure), then tried again armed with advice from at least 20 blogs. They were a success, but only a moderate one. I have been hesitant to try again because I know how easy it was to fail the first time.
Croissants. The technique seems so intricate and time-consuming that I have trouble finding the motivation to even get started. I'm scared all that work will turn into crescent-shaped hockey pucks.
Hmmm, duck. Because I feel like you have to get it just right or it's ruined. And yes, lobster!
For me, uhm...yeast&fried...like donuts or krapfens...however you call them, I don't like them! Well, I love eat them but I don't like do them!
The second one? Rice sushi! A disaster everytime..
White Rice. Seriously, why does it keep burning? Why do I suck at measuring two ingredients and turning down heat? It's downright embarrassing when I'm actually pretty good at making Paella.
Laurel Russell says
Fish with bones. Actually anything with bones kinda freaks me out but not as much as fish!
chou pastry: It seems intimidating. do not want curdled eggs in my food..
“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”-Julia Child.
This is my approach to cooking. Sometime the things I try come out amazing, and some time they end up in the trash, but, that does not stop me from taking notes and trying again!
Croissants. Haven't had the balls yet, but I'm sure this gorgeous set of cookbooks could help me with that. Thanks for the giveaway, Sarah!
Chip n Jennie says
Love homemade bread, but scared to make sourdough. Taking care of the starter is intimidating.
Daniel Smith says
I' ve had several disasters with puff pastry from scratch.
Macaron, I have seen so many posts and people talking about how difficult it is to make them and that they are perfect. I have tried them and eventhough they are little they are amaizingly tasty. I want to be able to make them, but i'm afraid of a catastrphe!
Gnocchi. I've tried a dozen recipes, and they all turn out like little lead balls instead of fluffy pillows of deliciousness. After many inedible dinners, I've given up!
Konnie Smith says
Lamb, too OCD I guess…
I am afraid to cook lobster, even if it's already dead.
I don't fear food preparation. I find it sort of exciting and thrilling. Failure is one of the most important things to endure when it comes to culinary and baking. How else are we going to learn? :) You learn more from a fall then you do from a step. I would say one of the more intimidating things for me is one of the simplest. PANCAKES. I can make a souffle or a bowl of gourmet mushroom rissotto but my pancakes always flop ): i SHALL MASTER THEM SOMEDAY THOUGH!
Layer cakes always turn out lopsided or look funny....not like I think they should
Eugenia Lee says
I'm afraid to make creme brulee! Somehow the consistency has to be perfect and I haven't really done it to that 'perfection'. I would loveee to master it one day! The books look awesome :)
Croissants. Two failures and a lot of butter wasted. Alot of densely unedible baked dough
boeuf bourguignon!! I've always been scared of it but it's a Julia Child classic.
I'm willing to try cooking most things, but recipes where you cook something down to dryness/near-dryness, like risotto, are things I haven't got into, no doubt in part because of former flatmates burning things onto the bottom of my pans doing this sort of thing!
Therese Schirmer says
Whole fish. Squeamish about the non-filet parts, and it just LOOKS hard to do.
I do a lot of baking and Croissants and puff pastry scares me to death!
becca leigh says
Pretty much anything that involves whole animals. Last year I lived at a bed and breakfast in southwest France while I was an English teacher, and the master of our kitchen, Micka, was the most incredible cook I have ever met. I really should have taken better notes. He was fearless! I developed a habit of always drinking afternoon tea or wine just so that I would have an excuse to sit at the kitchen counter while he was preparing dinner or making bread or something. With his help, I became a fearless eater, but I am still working on becoming a fearless cook.
Stacey Evans says
I'm terrified of making liver, any kind of liver. I absolutely love chicken livers, I will eat them out or have someone make them for me. I can't look at the slimy looking things though! I really hope you pick me for the GIVEAWAY, I'm new to this blogging thing since last May and I collect cookbooks, however I don't have these two. Thanks for reading and hopefully you will pick me. Thanks, Stacey Evans Emptynesttwoplatesfull.com
Morgan Michelle says
Poaching an egg. For some reason the whole hot water, swirling procedure is so freighting to me! But they are delicious and the only reason that I started eating eggs!
I am new to cooking red meat and I always over cook or under cook. I need to learn to trust my instinct and I'm pretty good around the kitchen otherwise but I shy away from red meat even though I would really enjoy it every once in a while!
Prime Rib - always nervous to overbook it.
I really have no fears of food to cook. But, if I have to choose, it would be soufle. Mine always fall. Always.
pie crust - scary!
Katie Walden says
I am mostly afraid of pies. But I made a pie for Valentine's day so I'm making head way! Thank you for hosting the giveaway!
I would LOVE to try and cook beef borgenblahblah, see why I need to win these cookbooks! Love Julia Child, she was such a pioneer for the home cooking wanna be's like me!
I'm terrified of working with chocolate. The tempering process, the potential mess, the clean-up scares the heck out of me.
Janelle Jensen says
Anything with a head still attached: fish, poultry, pork, etc...
The scariest thing for me is anything involving a candy thermometer! I really want to master the art of real candy making, but all that boiling hot sugar makes me nervous!
Anna Chancy says
I'm afraid to cook any whole bird like chicken, turkey, or duck. I'm afraid I'll either undercook or overcook it.
There's two...anything that requires yeast (breads, rolls, etc.) because I somehow always kill the yeast, and French Macarons because they are so delicate and I'm afraid there won't be "feet" and come out hard versus delicate and chewy.
Jillian Switzer says
Souffle! Mine always collapses. :(
I'd want to get over my fear of hot surfaces first. It's not the actual item being cooked, but the fact that I'm over an open flame or having to stick my hand in a hot oven... :/
Lia Farel says
oysters or clams.....I only eat them out, but I wish I wasn't afraid of preparing at home.
Kathy Henderson says
I'm afraid of cooking fish.
Beef Wellington! There are so many complex steps and so much time that goes into the preparation! Soooo many places things can go wrong. Oh, if done right though, it's Godly.
things that stare back at me, especially if they're alive!
i would be Julie in Julie/Julia in the lobster scene.. :]
I'm absolutely afraid of cooking bacon. I can make a soufflé, an entire thanksgiving dinner, or an all day vietnamese pho, but bacon scares me. I always end up burning it or not cooking it enough. I'm also terrified of the hot grease that always seems to pop up and land on my forearms. Something tragic always happens, so I leave bacon duty to my non-cooking husband!
I've always been afraid of the sushi making process. Not sure if the fish i pick will make me sick or not.
Ooooh that's a good one about cooking anything alive! I'm nervous about pie dough. Everytime I try I get it wrong and I get anxious so I think that makes me mess up.
Kim Raymond says
For some reason, I am really interested in cooking my own salumi and charcuterie but I'm still afraid to start the project. I know (by currently reading My life in France) that there is a chapter about terrines and pâtés in the second volume of the book, so it will be a good start!
Zoe Kingson says
I'm afraid to cook shrimp. I don't know why, but they totally intimidate me.
French croissants scare me the most! I'd like to try it though, one day.
Heather Jackson says
I avoid cooking things that involve candy thermometers. I don't know why, but I'm always afraid if ruining them if the temp isn't spot on!
Shannon gallatin says
I am afraid to make Seafood. I have such a hard time with any kind. It doesn't matter. I have tried just about everything and can't seem to get It to come out at all.
I'm afraid of cooking steaks! As a girl who was a vegetarian for nearly 13 years I recently returned to meat and I never seem to get them right!
I'm afraid of cooking a lot of things that are probably in that book - like beef borguignon, and other traditional dishes that I feel I'm not as familiar with as I should be. There are so many classic dishes that I worry I will massacre and turn into something not at all like what they were first intended to be... I would love to know how it *should* be done!
Mary Dirlam says
thanks for a fantastic giveaway! I'm terrified of merengue. I've had a couple of epic fails and now I'm scared to death of the stuff!
Cooking fish is hard for me. Also, I seem to burn my cookies all the time.
Jennifer Buggica says
Before I scrounge for pennies in my sofa, I figured I would try my chances here first. I feel like my cooking adventures will never be complete, ever, but especially without laying my hands on these beautiful books. Fingers crossed for myself! My email is [email protected] and I am ironically afraid of a Julia Child recipe, Boeuf Bourguignon.
Jessica M. says
I don't have a lot of problems with traditional "tricky" items...and I love to try new things! I've certainly messed up some stuff though...like lamb. I don't know what went wrong, but it wasn't good. So I've been reluctant to do that again. I love lamb but I don't want to ruin it for myself, ha. Oh, and sometimes I'm "afraid" to cook or bake things that are best fresh...I kind of obsess over the time thing, and prefer to bake ahead, and don't want to serve anything stale or deflated. Oh, and I'd probably have a problem with frog...just wanted to throw that in there.
Shatha Tha Tha says
I am terrified at the idea of cooking Kharoof Mahshee -- stuffed lamb, a traditional Jordanian dish my mom makes. You cook the whole freakin' lamb! Delicious but... I have yet to gather the courage to try making it.
Makin' Whoopie Kitchen says
chocolate really kicks my a$$. i've been trying to work through it, and have had some successful attempts recently. the lingering memories of chocolate melting disasters still makes me weary!
I think that risotto is on my most feared list. A few failed attempts and enough bad risotto at "high end" restaurants makes me think it's impossible to perfect
Anything deep fried or cooked in a pressure cooker.
Sarah Wu says
Duck - in any way or form
Alice Jay says
Roast birds. I never can cook them thoroughly right, ever.
I'm afraid of grilling! I always mess it up.
Kate Pet says
I'm scared of seafood! I do make a dish or two, but it's always a scary process. :)
Sara Peterson says
I'm kind of afraid of coq au vin, although one of these days I really want to attempt it. It's so tasty!
Kate Pet says
I tweeted about the giveaway
Kate Pet says
I shared on Facebook
I used to be afraid of the flambe, but I've conquered that fear. I still fear cooking lobster, it's the killing them part that I can't get past.
Rosemary Bliss says
I'm leery of trying croissants or puff pastry. I want to learn but am afraid of failure that will discourage me further.
kim fairley says
I would have to say thanks to Gordon Ramsey that I am uncertain and terrified about making beef Wellington!!
I get nervous about cooking fish to the perfect doneness level! :/
I'm afraid to cook chitlins given how thorough one must clean them before cooking.
Michelle S. says
I want to try making macarons but am afraid to tackle them.
Holly Frenette says
When I was a little girl, I remembering helping my grandmother make strudel and potica (a polish sweet) from scratch. I would love to attempt these, especially now that she's gone. Her recipes fill me with nostalgia, and these are serious 'comfort foods' in my family - but no one makes them anymore. I remember making them with her, and her patience with a then little girl (I was probably 4 or 5). I think it's not so much the preparation (although it is a bit daunting), as the fear of losing the tradition of these foods and their meaning in my family.
Also totally afraid of yeast-risen bread. Anything with yeast really (e.g. cinnamon rolls, pizza dough). Fish is also a little intimidating, but I think I just need more practice.
I'm afraid of cooking homemade breads (without a bread maker) -- they always come out to dense, I guess I need to make sure to follow directions to the T
Guin Reese says
I would love to learn how ot cook Duck, I have yet to accomplish this successfully.
I have to say, I'm nervous about non-traditional meats and what not (snails, frogs, insects, etc.). Not because they make me squeamish, but because they tend to be delicate and have unusual textures that I'd be afraid to compromise.
Victoria Duncan says
Im scared to make salmon, it being pink makes me nervous.
Rebecca Rosen says
seriously afraid of cooking any protein that I have to gut before cooking. and i agree, anything that is alive before cooking is terrifying.
ps love the blog!
Christine Marquette says
I too am affraid to make yeast risen breads. Thanks for the give away!
Calamari. I absolutely love to eat it, but just can't seem to prepare it properly. It always turns out rubbery and chewy. If I could conquer Calamari, I could conquer anything!
I am afraid to cook cakes with marzipan!!
I'm afraid to make ramen. I know it's not French, but I live hours from the nearest ramen joint and would love to make it at home. But I'm scared to try! There's so many components to it and everything has to be just right! No pressure.
By far my biggest reservation in cooking is with seafood- fish freak me out. They can smell like death, they can then taste like it, and it's a big "no-no" to overcook it because drying makes it stick in little flakes to the roof of your mouth, back of your throat- various places you never want it to pause and hang out. Also, the first time I tried salmon, I didn't realize it wasn't required to eat the skin- bad experience. All that said, I know fish (and seafood in general) has amazing potential that can be unlocked by careful selection and cooking methods. I am excited to try/not wanting to go near fish dishes.
I've never met an ingredient I didn't like to cook until I came across good ole, tripe. The effort is just not worth it and the chances of it coming out tasty and tender is about negative percent. I think I will stick with ordering it at a restaurant.
A whole chicken. :/
Im afraid of making any meat medium rare. I need to see char marks to make sure its done and then its usually over done. ugh! someday!
Jessica Soroksky says
steak, my family is made of steak fanatics so messing it up for dinner would be so embarrassing!https://www.thedeliciouslife.com/julia-childs-mastering-the-art-of-french-cooking-giveaway/#
Ryan Y. says
Live lobster/crab is a good one - haven't done that yet and definitely don't want to have it jump out. I'd say one that I want to try but am genuinely afraid of failing (because I love them so much) is croissants. I can make my own yeasted bread and pizza dough, but using that much butter - transferring to and from the fridge - figuring out the right amount of rolling - then hoping the layers dont stick in the oven - so many places it could fail. I WILL try some day though, hopefully sooner than later. I have Tartine's recipe - their level of quality being my ultimate goal.
Delia G says
I would have to say..live lobster. I see them in the tank and then look into those eyes...I can't do it! . But I can see them on my plate and say to myself.."si se puede".
linda wu says
I love cooking but some reason I'm afraid to make my own dough. The idea of using yeast frightens me some reason. I'm just scared something terrible might happen some reason!
I'm afraid to cook fish. Whether baking or frying I can never get it quite right!
Duck 3 Ways. It is my favorite and I'm sure I'd screw it up and waste all that delicious bird.
Sarah Kane says
There are so many things that I would LOVE to attempt but just haven't because they seem risky lol. Things that top the list: Hollandaise, Eclairs, Croissants, and many more :) I would love to do a Julie Powell style challenge and take my skills to the next level. How fun!
I am terrified of making Creme Brulee and Torte Di Bosco. I last had them over 4 years ago, and I guess I've built them up so much in my mind that if I did try to recreate them, I'm afraid I'd be disappointed if it's not exactly the same. Particularly the Torte di Bosco. I can't even find a recipe for it, and the thought of coming up with one from memory is enough to make me very nervous.
I'm in love with croissants and would like to be able to make them at home, but the time and effort involved (and the high likelihood of failure) put me off. The same goes for macarons; the terror of failure is even more pronounced as almond flour is quite expensive and I'm sure that I'd fail at making them and would just be throwing money into the garbage can.
Michelle H says
I love eating duck, but I'm terrified to make it myself. It's an expensive meal to mess up.
Swathi Iyer says
I am afraid to cook anything with meringue. Lovely giveaway.
Janice Hong says
I don't know if I'm SCARED to try this out but I am a little nervous about baking macarons. I wil definitely give it a shot though! One day...maybe...or I'll just go to 'lette's and buy some there :P
It's duck for me too....didn't even have to think about that one. In particular, confit....duck confit...
Nesrine Gamal says
Lobsters ! and can I mention another thing? French macarons....
Jannett Lozada Ammons says
I what I would do to be able to cook a good Duck Confit! I'm sure Julia would be able to help me with that, right?
i dont think i'm terrified by any food atm:p although i guess i could never cook snails lr amy other living thing(like the lobster you mentioned).heh. good luck to all people!:)
Sushi... I would not want to sign up for that.
Fried Chicken. Totally terrifed.
Taís Horta Trovao says
I'm afraid of cooking meats, any kind of it! I keep thinking that I can always have one better than my when I go out. :)
Definitely scared to cook lobster! My roommate cooked it last week and couldn't get the poor thing in the pot properly. But I'm also just scared to cook for a large group of people in general (like more than 4 people) because I always like to change recipes as I go along and, while I might like them, I'm not sure other people would!
Terrifying? and French? ... French toast, French fries ... no, Lobster for sure! (tho I have reluctantly done live-ish crab)
I'd have to say that making a souffle seems quite terrifying to me.
Pork chops, I have a phobia. Always afraid they will burn or be raw!
Shellfish, particularly lobster and crabs. I'm always afraid of over and undercooking them and, yeah, that whole cooking them alive thing is a bit disconcerting. I've made Maryland blue crabs ONCE and spent a good hour trying to get them in the pot, but have yet to cook lobster.
For me, beef wellingto because the tenderloin is so expensive!
I'm afraid of anything alive. Spending the summer in Greece as a child and watching my grandmother & uncle butcher our meals left me traumatized.
I used to be scared of yeast bread until I helped my 12 year old daughter tackle the Tartine Country Bread recipe for her science fair project (turning rye flour and water into a live starter...) but it worked brilliantly and now I have super bragging rights and pictures to show for it. That said, I am still completely flummoxed by poached eggs. I keep trying and trying and they always come out ugly. I have tried vinegar in the swirling water, I have tried little metal cups that sit in the pot. My dirty little secret? I just softboil eggs and pretend that they are poached. One day....
Goose. I'm in love with the idea of it, but haven't got the courage to try. Bucket list.
lobster is one of my favorite things to eat... but i don't think i can ever cook a live one! eek! i don't even want my husband to cook one in the house - it really freaks me out!
making my own salami.
Annie Liou says
I'm somewhat afraid to make a sponge cake. The Asian recipe I tried out separates the egg whites and egg yolks, don't add any baking powder or baking soda, and for some odd reason their cakes rise beautifully. I've tried different recipes four or five times and my cakes still sink and look nothing like the picture.
Hollandaise Sauce because I have zero upper arm strength and bad timing :(
And in addition to that... live lobster because I'd be worried that the lobster would spray water into my eyes or onto my body. But perhaps I could conquer that fear by wearing goggles.
Thanks for hosting this giveaway!
Brian Head says
I'm terrified of roasting birds, be it chicken, turkey or duck.
Brownies. I know, of all the things this should be the last thing to be afraid of. Custard? No problem. Turkey? S'all good. Lobster? Just add water, right? But brownies make me shaky at the knees. Brownies are so synonymous with all that is right and comforting in this world. The right batch of brownies, those with the glossy tops, moist and chewy centers, and the perfect balance of sweet and salt, can revive the heartbroken and rally the discouraged. But bad brownies? There is no excuse good enough for that one...
..but a Queen of Sheba cake is my go-to as I cower in fear of the disgruntled brownie consumer's eye daggers!
Marina of Let the Baking Begin says
It's not cooking, but I am still afraid to work with tempered chocolate, or rather the tempering itself..
Amy C says
Homemade smoked bacon.
Thanks for the awesome giveaway!
I'm afraid of cooking Sousages. Open it, touching the inside..and watch them grill.. ear that sound.. scare me a lot! brrrr
Hi! I would love to try baking some French pastries!
These cookbooks would definitely be put to good use!
I've been trying to build up the courage to tackle suckling pig but haven't gotten there yet.
Filet Mignon. I'm terrified to cook it. The meat is so perfect that I feel anything I do to it would not be good enough. I'll suck it up and do it one day!
I'll second that: anything that is alive and in the process of cooking would be dead..
Mackenzie Campbell says
What I really want to cook, and hopefully will tackle my fear of, is a whole roast pig. Maybe this summer...
Martin Bernal says
For me it would have to be Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I have made both separately and they've turned out just fine, but together it's always either a clumpy and greasy or runny mess. I'm totally terrified everytime I've tried. One day I'll get it right, I hope.
Jimi Estavillo-Afuang says
Great giveaway! I'm terrified of making porkchops. I'm always afraid of under-cooking them so I always end up cooking them to a dry death.
One word... souffle. My oven has no window, and I really like peaking at whatever is baking away inside. Plus, it's just daunting...
Kimberly Larson says
Oh gosh, live lobsters -- I just can't fathom the idea of throwing them into the boiling water bath!
Chris Johnson says
So scared of making Fish! :( affraid of BBQ'ing it, Never really cooked any fish at all, Affraid I'll have trouble cleaning it.
Macarons! They are so gorgeous, but their temperamental nature keeps me at a safe distance.
Richie Spitsberg says
Anything on the grill. One of these days, when I have time, I will figure it out.
Trout. When I was all but a little bitty girl of 5 my Dad took me and my sis fishing on the weekends (he had no idea what to do with us otherwise) and taught us how to catch and gut fish. Almost 30 years later, and moving to the west coast, I've all but forgotten what to do with this fish and I'm terrified of trying to learn it again relying on restaurants to remind me what a properly cooked fish should taste like.
Isabel Foodie says
Can you believe I don't have either of these cookbooks and they have been on my "must get" forever! I would absolutely love to win!
Isabel Foodie says
My email... just in case I win... [email protected]
Homemade puff pastry - always wanted to try it but it just seems so labor intensive!
Janice Bissex, RD says
I have to go with lobster as well. just can't do it! Love Julia Child and would so love to read her wonderful cookbook!
Tiffany Chang says
pumpkin & eggplant. I don't even know where to start with those ingredients. I've had it in restaurants and they taste lovely, but epic fail in my own kitchen. Thanks for hosting this!
liver...for fear of it being toxic...
I, too, am afraid to cook lobster + crab! I don't think I could ever do it!
Good luck with the move and thanks for this opportunity!
Macarons always scare me.
such a classic book that everyone needs in their kitchen!
also, i'm so afraid to work with flaky phyllo dough. tastes delish, looks daunting to prepare!
Anything beefy! I don't eat it but my hubby does so I have no clue to know when its done until it's like... done
Mussels. No idea what I would do with them!
Snails. Even though they are a special ingredient of so many interesting French and Greek recipes, I always hesitate to cook them.
Lemongrass! I need to figure out what to "smash" and what to keep.
Allison (Spontaneous Tomato) says
The foods I am (not just somewhat but) completely afraid to cook are all things deep fried! I'm afraid of frying things in tons of oil, having it splatter or smoke or blacken, having the food turn out greasy, and having to dispose off all the leftover oil afterwards!
Monkfish...such a frightening appearance, but oh so delicious..
Sweetbreads. I'm sure I'll mess them up...and they're expensive. Gulp!
Jo Ann Honey says
Prime Rib!!!! I am a good cook, but I am terrified of ruining such an expensive cut! (I can cook inexpensive cuts to perfection!)