The Hip Girl’s Guide to the Kitchen

HarperCollins (2014)

With the Hip Girl’s Guide to the Kitchen you can become a confident cook—even if the drawer with the take-out menus is the only part of your kitchen you currently use! Kate Payne shows you how to master basic cooking techniques—boiling, baking, and sautéing—and simplifies the process of fancy ones, like jamming and preserving, dehydrating, braising, roasting, infusing, and pickling. With this straightforward and fun guide, you can stock up your kitchen with the ingredients, tools, and appliances you’ll actually use. You’ll also learn how to decode recipes and alter them to make them gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegan.

The Hip Girl’s Guide to the Kitchen includes advice and instructions on how to make both classic meals and foods that are typically bought, such as yogurt; ice cream; flavored salt; oil and vinegar infusions; kimchi; aioli; jam; granola; bread; and fruit leather—even liqueurs, iced teas, and vegetable juices. With fun line drawings, sidebars full of tips and tricks, and lists of resources, Kate Payne sets you up for success and shows you how to unlock your inner kitchen prowess.

The cyber sphere is boiling over with tantalizing food porn:  photographs of enviable appetizers, exotic dinners, and pristine cakes and cookies; however, it is one thing to collect, and another to execute.  The Hip Girl’s Guide to the Kitchen is for those who dream of impressing their friends with a Pinterest-worthy dinner party, but who may lack the know-how (and the cash) to turning their hoard of recipes into reality.

Divided into three sections:  Stocking Up, Feeding Yourself, and Feeding Others, The Hip Girl’s Guide to the Kitchen is brimming with helpful tips, all with budget in mind.  From what you need, where to get it, and how to prolong the use of both your tools and ingredients, Kate shows how rewarding and easy it can be to turn your kitchen into a homemade and healthy haven.  Revealing both the health and environmental benefits of cooking and baking with fresh, whole ingredients, Kate challenges readers to ditch the take-out menus, providing advice on basic cooking methods (boiling, baking, and sautéing), and more advanced techniques like jamming, fermenting, pickling, and infusing for those who are really ready to reassess their relationship with the grocery store.  Each chapter ends with Kate’s tried-and-true recipes for everything from granola to yogurt, homemade bread to mayonnaise.

At the heart of The Hip Girl’s Guide to the Kitchen is the important role that food plays in our well-being and our relationships with others.  Kate’s enthusiasm and passion is contagious; she inspires her readers to take charge of their nutrition in mastering basic meals and reducing waste, and she provides creative ways to share the fruits and the labor with fun, food-making parties.


The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking

HarperCollins (2011)

With The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking, it’s possible and even convenient to create an inviting space for living and entertaining on a budget. From unique decor ideas to growing strawberries on your fire escape, Kate Payne shares fun, low-cost (and often free!) creative solutions that will make anyone feel more accomplished in minutes.

Inside this savvy motivational guide filled to the brim with small-scale creative home projects, Kate’s tongue-in-cheek tone will keep you tuned in to her much-needed advice. In three easy sections, you’ll learn how to create a comfortable space while being time- and budget-conscious. Section One, Home-ify Your Pad, features quick, convenient ways to make your place cozier with low-cost, special touches to help you tap into and show off your inner artist. Section Two, Impressive Acts of Domesticity, teaches how to impress others (and yourself) with the gratifying pleasures of self-sufficiency—a first-time guide to cleaning, sewing, repairing, and other previously out-of-the-question tasks. Section Three, Life After Restaurants, frees you to release the take-out menu, avoid pricey bar tabs, and entertain others in the space you’ve so thoughtfully and gorgeously created.

User-friendly “how-to” sidebars, illustrations, and tips and tricks throughout the book offer easy-to-follow recipes and do-it-yourself craft suggestions for making your home hip, comfortable, and inviting. Keep in mind that this is not your grandmother’s handbook and it’s not the kind of wisdom your mom knows how to impart. Modern women need a modern approach to domestic pleasures—a guide to doing household things on our own terms, because most of this stuff isn’t as hard as we’ve been led to believe. Don’t worry, she’s not asking you to host Tupperware parties or iron your underwear. But as all beginning home keepers know, a sure fire way to feel bad about ourselves is to consult Martha Stewart. So ditch that 2-inch thick handbook, dust off your pots and pans, and join Kate on this journey to incorporating creativity and self-sufficiency on the home front.

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