Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Shut Up and Eat: Interview with the author AND a giveaway!

Congrats to the winners! Lucky numbers 6, 7 and 18! (Jen, Poppyweed, and Shan! Just email me your address, winners, so the books can be sent out to you!) Thanks again for entering!

A few months ago, I met Canadian author and writer Kathy Buckworth. Kathy was a joy to meet - super sweet, funny, and easy to get along with. She's also the only two-time winner of the Professional Writers Association of Canada Excellence in Humour Writing Award! Her new book, "Shut Up and Eat! Tales of chicken, children, and chardonnay" recently hit book shelves, and I was given the chance to read and review her book.

I thought it was hilarious! The best part were the recipes that were in the book. Some are simple enough for even ME , Mrs. Culinary Disaster, to master. (Not that I've tried any, but I know one of these days I will!)

I asked Kathy a few questions about her book, and about writing in general - here are her answers:

Kathy, what inspired you to write Shut Up and Eat?

Shut Up and Eat grew out of an article I wrote for Today’s Parent (called "Dinner Diaries") which actually won a humour award. It was all about how we have this idealized vision of what a family meal is going to be like..and then the startling reality. I started thinking about how food is such an integral part of raising kids – from the minute they’re born with breast versus bottle, all the way up to picky toddlers, Instant-vegetarian teenagers, and everyone in between. I also wanted to share some recipes that I’ve been using for years that seem to be real family favourites.

One of my favourite parts of the book was when you talked about giving your husband a list for the grocery store, saying: "He will 'shop the list'. What I mean by this is that he doesn't add a single item to the car that isn't on the list." That happens to me, too! Every time my husband goes grocery shopping with a list I've prepared, I wait in anticipation to see what treats he'll bring home to me, only to be greated with... nothing more than what I had on the list. WHY does this happen? Why do we know to stock up the cart with emergency chocolate? (*In all fairness, I must say, the only person who does the cooking in our house is my husband!)

I’m not sure why these guys don’t give into impulse shopping at the grocery store – the same way they do at the Home Depot, or even at a car dealership. I think it comes down to them really not knowing (and hence not OWNING) how we feed our families. I want to be them in my next life. It seems quite peaceful.

The breakfast battle - so glad to read I'm not alone here! And I only have two children to feed in the morning! How do you make sure all 4 of your children are fed before heading out the door? (For me, as long as I'm making eggs - one of the few things I have mastered - my boys are happy!)

My older kids grab something as they run out the door, and if they don’t....well they don’t. I know breakfast is important but not everyone is hungry first thing in the morning. I start hounding my little guys early to make sure they have time to eat, and I basically give them three choices every morning, otherwise they would never decide. I really don’t mind if they have the same thing every morning, as long as they don’t miss that school bus!

What's your favourite recipe in Shut Up and Eat? (I think mine is the Sugar Pie - does it taste as good as it sounds?)

Sugar Pie is awesome. Love it. My favourite recipe though, is probably the Salsa Pot Roast because it only has two ingredients and you can make it in two minutes. Love my crockpot, winter or summer.

You talk about the snack culutre in your book, how we brings snacks with us no matter where we go - I am so guilt of this, but even if we go to the grocerty store - for crying out loud - I've loaded up the car with snacks! (I think I get this from my mom who even on a two-hour road trip will bring a 10 course meal!) What would happen to our children if we didn't leave the house with a snack? Would the world fall apart?

I think kids need to get good and hungry sometimes so that they’ll appreciate the big family meal when they sit down, instead of complaining and becoming picky eaters. My kids go to sleep away camp, and there are no midday snacks – just three big meals – and all of my kids come home saying how amazingly good the food is. I think it’s because they’re so hungry (hunger being the best spice), and that they know this is it and if they don’t eat it, there’s no Mom running behind them with Shrek fruit chews or an organic banana. When my kids say "I’m hungry!" I say "Good! Maybe you’ll eat the nasty dinner I made now!"

I loved reading your dieting tips - what is your number one piece of dieting advice for your readers? (Aside from taking Body Pump - something we often love to talk about on Twitter!)

I think the best piece of dieting advice I received is to take small portions, and don’t go back for seconds, even if you feel hungry. It takes our brains about half an hour to catch up to whether we’re still hungry or not. I drink lots of water and eat non-cream based soups to keep me going during the day. And remember – one work out probably only lets you have one extra granola bar a day (about 300 calories), so don’t rely entirely on exercise. It can in fact make you hungrier. Exercising is for what’s under the skin.

Any plans for another book?

I am currently working on my next book and having fun with it. I’ll reveal it when I’ve settled on the title. But I think it’ll be something all Moms will be able to relate to. I hope!

What words of advice do you have for people who want to write and publish a book of their own? How did you get started?

1. Write. It’s amazing to me how many people say they want to be writers, yet they haven’t written a single word that they would care to have published. Write. Keep writing.

2. Do your homework. I went to the library and read the Canadian Writers Handbook, the Canadian Writers Marketplace, I joined writers associations, talked to writers, and got to know publishers and magazines/newspapers where I wanted to be. I mailed out over a hundred book proposals to publishers, and was lucky to get picked up by a busy working Mom editor in Illinois. That was my first book, "The Secret Life of Supermom", in 2004.

3. Develop an audience. Either online (through a blog) or in print – start by writing for local publications, find your voice, and then pitch bigger publications. This will help when trying to secure a publisher or agent.

4. Write some more!

Thank you Kathy!

Now, for the giveaway! 3 lucky readers will win a copy of Kathy's new book, Shut Up and Eat! Tales of chicken, children, and chardonnay AND a copy of The BlackBerry Diaries!

All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment telling me what your favourite meal to cook (and eat) is!

You also get a bonus entry by becoming a follower of Loulou's Reviews! Just leave a seperate comment telling me you're now following!

I will randomly pick a winner on Monday, June 7th. (This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents!)

Good Luck!


  1. New Follower! I didn't really realize you had 2 blogs :)

  2. My fav recipe is for a "Bombproof" Macaroni casserole from the first vegetarian cookbook I was ever given. It is so easy and EVERYONE in our house likes it, a HUGE bonus :)

  3. I love making stirfry! It's so easy and is a great way to use up the extra veggies in the fridge that are getting close to being thrown out or wasted. I throw in some chicken or salmon and voila! Yummy dinner. .....wait a second Loukia, are you just trying to get new recipes from us??? ;)

  4. Homemade chicken soup is my favourite meal to make because it's a one-pot, easy, economical, nutritious, freezable meal that the whole family enjoys eating.

  5. Comment #1: I am now following :) Not that I wasn't already ;)

  6. I love hashbrown casserole...called my mom a few weeks ago to get her custom recipe - so cheesy and delicious...probably my favourite comfort food! And it's very easy to make!

  7. Reno'd mac n cheese. Noodles, cream of mushroom shoup, can of mushrooms, can of water, lots of cheese and a box of stove top baked crunchy on top. I'm hungry now just thinking about it.

    jrnewhook at hotmail

  8. Good old shepherds pie -my Hubby is the cook in our house but the kids will only eat "Mum's shepherds pie" no matter how he tries...shhh there is a secret ingredient lol!


  9. Spagetti pizza because it is easy, healthy and the kids love it!!

  10. Lori Tinella is also now following!!


  11. My favourite thing to eat and make it pasta.. anything goes and the kids pretty much always eat

  12. and now I'm following! Thanks again!

  13. my favorite meal to make and eat is probably fajitas... so many great flavors, and I make enough to have in a wrap the next day!

    I would love to read these books! :)

  14. oh! and I'm now following your awesome blog, and have been following your twitter for a while :)

  15. Whoops, forgot to mention I'm following your blog now too..I have memory issues

  16. My favourite meal to prepare is jambalaya. It's easy and I can switch up what I put into it pretty easily. yum!

  17. My favourite meal to make is burgers on the barbecue. Well anything on the barbecue. Pork tenderloin, beer can chicken, steak. Love my barbecue.