GIVEAWAY: BIG BOWL OF LOVE by Cristina Ferrare

Musical pairing – Ain’t Too Proud to Beg by The Temptations

CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED: Congratulations to Chris who said, ‘I order risotto out, but don’t really make it at home. Yum! I need to check out her show…sounds wonderful!’

Unpretentious yet sophisticated, easily accessible yet fabulous food you can serve at a dinner party – that is how I would describe Cristina Ferrare’s new book, ‘Big Bowl of Love’. I’m sure you know Cristina, but if you don’t you should check out her cooking show on Oprah’s OWN Network; she not only knows her way around the kitchen but Cristina is a hoot to watch. I laughed out loud during one episode where, after cooking spa food, she sits down at the table and asks the guest chef, ‘Is that all you’re going to serve me of this delicious food?!’ Cristina’s gusto and passion for great food is infectious . . . and great food is exactly what you get on page after beautiful page of satisfying recipes.

Spicy Tuna Tartare served on sliced cucumbers or . . . wait for it . . . served on ruffled potato chips . . . happy potato chip sigh . . . Steak Bruschetta, simple Deviled Eggs with a crunchy twist, Heirloom Tomatoes with Burrata Cheese and Proscuitto and Soba Noodles in Lemon-Ginger Chicken Broth, the book is worth its weight in gold. Then there are dishes like Pappardelle with Bolognese Sauce (which, by the way, she made with Henry Winkler on her show; his eyes rolled to the back of his head . . . I think that means it was good!) and her Chicken Roasted to Perfection is a recipe I started making several years ago after she debuted it on Oprah – I am not kidding when I say this is one of the best roasted chicken recipes I’ve come across.  Another plus? The book is filled with stunning photography and styling from the uber-talented White On Rice Couple, Todd & Diane. And don’t miss the last section of the book where you’ll find invaluable recipes for dressings, sauces and salsas – these little gems will take your dishes from really good to glorious!

I have already made Cristina’s Roasted Shrimp with White Beans and Sauteed Baby Roma Tomatoes with Garlic Chips, her White Bean Puree on Grilled Sliced Baguette and her Risotto . . . oh the Risotto. I took Cristina’s suggestion of adding Spring asparagus and peas during the last five minutes of cooking time; perfectly cooked vegetables, still bright green and crisp-tender nestled into a bed of oh-so-creamy, saffron-yellow al dente rice. After a couple of  bites The Professor said, ‘Wow, this is the best risotto I’ve ever had!’

KEEPIN’ IT REAL: This is one of those cookbooks I would have purchased on my own but to keep everything up front and above board, I need to state that I received a free review copy of Cristina’s book plus one additional copy to give away to one of you (sorry international friends but limited to US/Canadian Residents only)! Yep, I’m giving away a copy of this fabulous book to one lucky reader – and trust me, this is a book you want in your collection; I want to make every. single. recipe. All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment before midnight EST on Tuesday, April 12th – that’s it!

But here’s how you can earn a few bonus entries:

  1. Follow @CristinaCooks on Twitter
  2. ‘Like’ Cristina Ferrare’s Facebook Fan Page
  3. ‘Like’ Smith Bites on Facebook

Winner will be chosen via a random generator. Winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to claim your prize or another winner will be selected – Good Luck!


Big Bowl of Love, Cristina Ferrare

‘Reprinted from Cristina Ferrare’s Big Bowl of Love © 2011 by Cristina Ferrare. Permission granted from Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.’


  • 6-1/2 cups chicken stock, homemade or store-bought organic, heated through
  • ½ teaspoon saffron
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • zest from 1 lemon


  1. Combine the chicken broth and saffron in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and keep warm over low heat.
  2. Heat a stock pot over medium-high heat until warm (about 30 seconds). Add oil, butter, onions and salt. Saute just until the onions turn translucent and are soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes.
  3. Add 2 cups of the warm broth and the white wine to cover the rice. Mix well. Bring to a gentle boil over low heat and boil gently until the liquid is almost gone.
  4. Stir in 3 more cups of broth, stirring about every 3 minutes and simmer until the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Add the last 1-1/2 cups of broth – ½ cup every 3 to 4 minutes, to keep the rice mixture creamy. When you add the last ½ cup of broth toss in 1 cup of frozen peas and 1-1/2 cups of fresh asparagus, washed, tough ends trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces.
  6. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is cooked through to still a bit firm in the center, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and lemon zest and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately.

SMITH BITES NOTE: I made this vegetarian by using ‘Better Than Bouillon Faux Chicken Broth’ – it was sooooo good!





  1. And I like your facebook page, too 🙂

  2. I like her facebook page~

  3. I now follow CC on Twitter

  4. I found you via Monet! What a great site (I’m also from Indiana!). I have a quick question for you if you don’t mind e-mailing me (lizzy dot do at I love Cristina’s recipes and would love to win her book. Off to see her fb site 🙂

  5. This cookbook looks terrific. I’d love to win!

  6. I am trying one of her recipes tonight and can’t wait to see the results and of course hear the comments from my husband. Her show is great and each episode is pvr’d around here.

  7. This looks like a very interesting cook book. I would love to try out her recipes 🙂

  8. Cristina always has such enthusiasm. I use her marinade for turkey every year for Christmas & Thanksgiving (and other times). Have been doing this for over fifteen years. I used to watch her in LA. Try her brownie recipe. Try all her recipes. Look forward to the new cookbook.

  9. I love Cristina – i have two of her other books – I miss seeing her on tv also – I loved her show Home and Family –

  10. I bet the recipes are fabulous judging by your picture!

  11. I am loving Cristina’s new book. The risotto is on my must make list. Looks fantastic!

  12. I received her book a week or so ago and haven’t had the chance to flip through it yet, but now I can’t wait. Your photos are gorgeous, Deb. Simply gorgeous!!

  13. Do you believe I’ve never seen her? Love a chef with a sense of humor! Sounds like a marvelous cookbook!

  14. For my last very hopeful entry, I also liked Cristina’s facebook page.

  15. Facebook lurking at Smith Bites.

  16. I would looooooove (that’s a lot of love) to have this book.

  17. I follow Christina’s twitter.

  18. This looks delicious!!! Love to have that cookbook!!!

  19. And I follow CristinaCooks on twitter!

  20. I would love to win this cookbook!

  21. I order risotto out, but don’t really make it at home. Yum! I need to check out her show…sounds wonderful!

  22. Oh how I would love to jump into that gorgeous bowl, mouth first! Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmy!

    Would love that cookbook too!

  23. Andddd I now like her FB page!

  24. Now following CristinaCooks on twitter!

  25. The recipes sound just fantastic and just the kind of food we love eating for simple family meals. Great book and she’s looking pretty good these days! I MUST already LIKE you on Facebook!

  26. Oh and I also liked Cristina’s fan page!

  27. Already like you on facebook 🙂 Risotto? Can ife get better than that!

  28. LOL! What a beautiful risotto! Now I really have to work hard on scratch off tickets – you need to teach me how to achieve this level of creaminess:) Beautiful!

  29. Would love to win this cookbook!

  30. I always get excited about saffron…and I love the sound of this cookbook. (I can always use a new one). Thank you for sharing this with me tonight. Food and cooking is bringing me much comfort this week. I hope you have a blessed day tomorrow. You deserve it.

  31. I already “like” Smith Bites on Facebook.

  32. This sounds like a wonderful cookbook and that risotto is definitely earning some points with me.

  33. This looks like a cookbook that I would love!

  34. I am all about simple, fabulous recipes!!

  35. Oh, I’d love to win this! I’m always excited to try new recipes!! Thanks for the giveaway!

  36. I haven’t seen her show yet, so I will have to check it out. And I LOVE to read cookbooks!

  37. Wow! Sounds wonderful, and those recipes…to die for!!!!!

  38. Love Cristina. Love risotto. Can’t wait to try this risotto recipe.

  39. Christina has the best sense of humor and I enjoyed her while LA.

  40. I love Christina Ferrare! I used to love it when she was a guest host on Regis & Kathie Lee, yeah that was a long time ago! I didn’t realize she had a cooking show, I will look for it. (Even though it’s on OWN, gads! Not a fan of the big O) This risotto looks super tasty!

  41. Can a girl ever have too many wonderful cookbooks? I’d love to add this one!

  42. We are big fans of the one bowl meal at our house!

  43. Another fabulous addition would be salmon – I make a similar risotto, but I’ve never used saffron. I’ll give it a shot!

  44. Pick me! Pick me! I LOVE Cristina’s show on OWN. Food looks fabulous and I love cookbooks.

  45. This risotto (and the entire cookbook) looks fabulous! I am already following Christina on twitter and I “liked” you both on facebook…

  46. This is definitely my cooking style… I want every bowl to shine with love.

    Crossing my fingers!!!

  47. Just started following Christina on Twitter! Thanks for the book review…Love finding new “must have” cookbooks! 🙂

  48. I would love this cookbook! Everything you’ve mentioned from it sounds amazing, not to mention this mouthwatering risotto.

  49. What a fabo recipe. I tried it and totally love it. Hope I win…..Thanks again…

  50. This looks great, and I have heard great reviews! I would love a copy for my cookbook library!