Steph Making Petit Basque with Roasted Garlic and Shallots on KATU Portland

Stephanie Stiavetti making macaroni and cheese on KATU

The book tour is in full swing, and we’re super excited to be appearing on the media here and there. I was invited to do a demo on the local Portland ABC affiliate, KATU, where I made a lovely dish from Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese - Petit Basque with Roasted Garlic and Shallots. Here’s me cooking with AM NorthWest host Dave Anderson, with  Helen Raptis popping in for a quick bite. Enjoy!

Steph and Garrett on Fox40 News

Garrett and I recently appeared on Fox40 News in Sacramento, where we made the avocado mac and shared it with the news crew. We thought we’d share the segment so you can take a peek. Enjoy!

 

Melt + Le Creuset Giveaway

Le Creuset and Melt: A HUGE Giveaway on http://www.meltmacaroni.com

We’re giving away another set of Le Creuset!

To celebrate the official release of Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese, we are giving away yet another $500 set of Le Creuset cookware and a $100 gift certificate for Murray’s Cheese. No purchase is necessary to enter the giveaway. To enter, here’s all you have to do:

Take a photo of yourself with the Melt cookbook, either your own copy of someone else’s, and post it to your Facebook wall with the wording: “I love macaroni and cheese and Le Creuset! http://www.meltmacaroni.com”

That’s it! Then leave a comment here or email info@meltmacaroni.com with a link to your Facebook post so we can see your entry. Photos don’t need to be anything special – a phone photo will work just fine. But only original photos will be accepted, so the photo must be yours! You also don’t have to show your face if you don’t want to, but it would make it a lot more fun if we can see you smile. :)

One winner will be selected and announced on December 15th, 2013. For other details and legal what-have-you, please refer to the official contest rules.

 

Today is the Day! Melt is Officially Out!

melt-cover

 

Today is the day! We are incredibly excited to announce the official release of our cookbook, Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese. After two years of cooking, testing, writing, editing, pacing, and hand wringing, the day is finally here. We can hardly believe it. It’s finally out.

Melt isn’t your average, down-home mac and cheese book. Instead we’ve explored the concept of cooking with small-production, artisan cheeses, using pasta as a canvas for the inspired flavor combinations we’ve developed. Our dishes span the culinary spectrum, ranging from fresh, cheesy salads and creamy stovetop macs to hearty casseroles to even a few decadent desserts. If you’d like to take a quick peek, you can find our cookbook trailer below for a more visual idea of what we’re doing.

We’re already seeing positive reviews roll in and we’re incredibly excited about the enthusiasm. Dorie Greenspan so sweetly mentioned that ”Stephanie and Garrett have created modern, sophisticated, beautiful food that satisfies the way the old mac and cheese did. It’s almost a feat of magic.” Ree Drummond, of The Pioneer Woman Cooks, shared, “Melt…takes a dish as beloved and familiar as macaroni and cheese and turns it into something positively transcendental.” We are overjoyed to be receiving such a warm welcome from our colleagues and mentors.

And, we are eternally grateful for you, our readers, whose supports means more to us than anyone else’s. We have sold nearly a thousand preordered copies through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online booksellers. This is no small feat. If you have been waiting to get your copy of the book, now would be a good time. Follow this link to a listing of booksellers selling Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese, which includes Amazon, Powell’s, Barnes & Noble, and other online retailers. You can also buy Melt at your choice of brick-and-mortar book shops.

Here’s something a lot of people don’t know: a book’s performance in its fledgling weeks are incredibly important. The next few weeks will set the tone for many months to come. With a deluge of cookbooks released every year, it’s getting much more difficult to gather attention from larger magazines and newspapers, which can make or break a book’s success. How do the big time reviewers select which books to review in their pages? Ironically, it’s youReaders make all the difference, especially in the early days of a book’s trek out into the real world. The more enthusiasm our readers show Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese during its first few weeks of life, the more attention it will receive from the media — which is very important for us.

For those of you who have bought a copy, we thank you humbly. For those of you who have not, we ask you to consider picking one up. It will make a world of difference to the book’s life, as well as our careers as food writers. If you would like a signed bookplate, we’ll be happy to provide you one free of charge. Just drop us a line at info@meltmacaroni.com.

Starting today, we’re officially kicking off our West Coast book tour with a few events in Sacramento and the Bay Area before we head off to Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland. Hopefully we’ll be in New York and Chicago soon, as well as a few spots in the south. We look forward to meeting all of you, our wonderful readers. Please do come and say hello!

Also, we’d like to congratulate Christa Curtin for winning the $500 set of Le Creuset cookware. You go girl! :)

 

 

Melt Cookbook Trailer, on Vimeo
Melt-Have-You-Bought
 

Havarti and Jarlsburg Phyllo Chicken Pie

A wonderful recipe not found in the book.

Sadly, not all recipes are winners. Not necessarily because they’re bad recipes, but because they just don’t fit right in the overall narrative and flow of the cookbook. We had a few astounding recipes that sadly just didn’t make the cut for one reason or another. This recipe is one of them.

Our love of jarlsberg cheese is mighty and unshakeable as was our desire to include it in the book. Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be. This recipe, while fantastic, just broke too far away from our interpretation of mac and cheese (phyllo, technically, is a pasta). We tried to talk ourselves into it, but to no avail and it was dismissed from the lineup. An even greater tragedy, jarlsberg cheese got the cut altogether as well. 

This is a fantastic recipe for a lazy and chilly night indoors. Put on your favorite calming music and make away. (more…)

Le Creuset and Melt: A HUGE $500 Giveaway

Le Creuset and Melt: A HUGE Giveaway on http://www.meltmacaroni.com

To celebrate the nearing release of Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese, we are giving away a $500 set of Le Creuset cookware and a $100 gift certificate for Murray’s, the premier online retailer for artisan cheese. One lucky winner will receive the following pieces, making it the ultimate set for creating all the macaroni and cheese dishes in the book:

  • 4 1/2-qt round French oven
  • 3 3/4-quart deep covered sauté pan
  • 3 3/4-quart oval stoneware baking dish
  • One set of four oval mini-cocottes
  • Plus a $100 gift card for Murray’s online cheese shop

To enter the sweepstakes, just preorder a copy of Melt at any of your favorite local or online booksellers or follow the directions below to enter without making a purchase. Here are a few links to choose from:

To complete your entry, email info@meltmacaroni.com with a copy of your receipt (feel free to block out any personal information, but leave your name, the store’s name, sales date, receipt number, and order number in tact). Or to enter without a purchase, post this exact copy to your Facebook page and then leave a comment here with a link to the post:

Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese is a new cookbook with 75 delectable mac & cheese recipes and 45 full color photos. For more details, go here: http://bit.ly/meltmacaroni

One winner will be selected and announced on the book’s release date, October 22. For other details and legal what-have-you, please refer to the official content rules.

Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese Cookbook Trailer!

Video Trailer for Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese on http://www.meltmacaroni.com

- Enjoy some delicious visuals from Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese -

With the upcoming release of Melt, Garrett and I have been hard at work setting up book tour dates, redesigning our site (with help from Ben, the best designer in the world, of course), and recording our cookbook trailer. Today, we’re so excited to show you the finished trailer, something we’ve been working on for weeks now. It’s done! We’re almost as excited as when we finished the book. :D

With this short minute and a half trailer we wanted to communicate our reasons behind creating Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese, what we love about cheese and cooking, and to give you an idea of what to expect when you pick up your copy of Melt. We put so much time and energy into creating what we think is a truly special cookbook, so we needed an equally special video to go along with it. Thank god we had a very talented videographer, Ryan Donahue, to make our vision a reality. Thanks, Ryan!

So without ado, I give you the Melt cookbook trailer! Please share using Vimeo’s social media features so we can spread the love. Click the little heart-shaped “love” button, share it on Facebook, pass it around on Twitter. We’d love you to help us get people jazzed about Melt and its cheesy goodness.

 

Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese – The Official Trailer from Stephanie/SJS on Vimeo.

In other news, we’ve also got a handful of book events lined up for all around the country and we’re adding more every week. So far we’re appearing in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and the Bay Area. We’re working on setting up a complete calendar that will automatically update when we add a new date, and a Google map of all the places we’ll be. You should be seeing that announcement soon.

And don’t forget: Melt is available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online book retails. Order your copy now!

 

 Video Trailer for Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese on http://www.meltmacaroni.com

Video Trailer for Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese on http://www.meltmacaroni.com

 

 

 

Interview with Gary Tooth, Cookbook Designer

Gary Tooth of Empire Design Studio is a highly-sought after cookbook designer who has worked with numerous famed chefs on lauded cookbooks. We were lucky to land Gary as the designer for Melt, and he has crafted a cookbook that is not only refined, but creates organic flow that invites the reader to sit down and engage with our recipes. Who knew layout, typography, and white space could have such a dramatic effect?

We sat down with Gary to ask him a few questions about cookbook design and his process with Melt.

(more…)

Interview with Tracy Roe: Melt Cookbook Copyeditor

Behind every author is an editor who knows how to quell comma craziness, silence your semicolons, and fact check like a first-rate pro. For us, that person was Tracy Roe. She has a keen eye for catching grammar quirks that even the most ardent grammar nazi might not catch, a sixth-sense for every little detail, and an acute ability to discern true meaning out of an author’s sometimes senseless prattle. She has been an invaluable asset to the publication of Melt.

We decided to ask Tracy what she thinks makes for a good cookbook copyeditor, and what her impressions of this particular cookbook were…
(more…)

What A Crock: St. Marcellin Cheese

Whenever I go to my local cheese shop, I notice a small, plastic-wrapped crock hidden among the blocks and wedges. I’ve asked about this little guy before, but then proceed to quickly forget the details and continue on with my shopping. But the little pot has stuck with me, despite the fact that it was never the object of my attention for longer than a few seconds.

Then, one day, the cheese gods poked me in the ribs and whispered in my ear, “Buy this cheese, for cripes’ sake!”

Produced in the Rhône-Alpes region of France, St. Marcellin is a delicate little cheese that requires protection from the world—so much so that it arrives at your home in a tiny terra cotta crock, sheltered from the bumps and bruises of commercial life. And for good reason, too. The rind of this cheese is almost non-existent at room temperature, and once warmed, even the gentlest prod of a cracker causes it to burst forth a fountain of sensuously unctuous cream.

While St. Marcellin is satiny-smooth upon first taste, its personality is more complex than its feather-like texture might first let on. Aged for a month, this cheese’s thick creaminess and mushroomy flavor is best enjoyed relatively young while its silken texture is still intact (though I’ll bet some lovers of moldy, further-aged St. Marcellin will argue me on this point).

To celebrate this cheese in all its glory, it can be lightly warmed in the oven, a task for which its little crock is perfectly suited. Just slide it into a moderately hot oven for a few minutes and serve it with a crusty french bread or your favorite crackers. I personally love this little cheese paired with crisp, fresh fruit, such as apples, persimmons, or cantaloupe. It loves a tart or gently astringent flavor partnership, which highlights the earthiness of the cheese along with its sublime texture.