Confident home cooking

Cornerstone Cooking

by Nick

UPDATE! After being self-published for a few months, a publisher is helping me re-do this book and make it bigger and better. Because of this, I’ve discontinued the old book. You can read more about the new project here!

Well friends, it finally happened. After about a year of writing, planning, recipe testing, photographing and learning everything under the sun about publishing a book, my first full-fledged cookbook is DONE.

The book is called CORNERSTONE COOKING and I’m really excited to share it with you all.

I came up with the idea for this book because I thought there was a fundamental flaw with how most cookbooks are laid out. Most cookbooks out there have delicious recipes and wonderful photos, but they don’t necessarily help the busy person plan meals.

The core problem is that most cookbooks assume that you are starting from scratch for each and every recipe.  Every page makes you start over. They assume that you have nothing prepped and nothing in your fridge.

In reality though, this is almost never the case.  Most fridges are filled with containers of leftover chicken, half cans of black beans, and maybe half a loaf of bread.

Cornerstone Cooking puts those leftovers to good use. After all, they aren’t just leftovers. They represent time, money, and energy that you’ve already spent.

With Cornerstone Cooking, the meal you made last night can make dinner tonight much easier to prepare.

What Is Cornerstone Cooking?

When I started researching this book, I immediately noticed that there were certain dishes that lent themselves perfectly to this idea.  These dishes were great on their own, but could also can be main ingredients in secondary dishes.

I call these cornerstone dishes, and they are the basis of this book!

Make these cornerstone dishes in bulk, when you have time, and then use the leftovers from those dishes to make new interesting meals.

Once you really start to get into this system of cooking, you see leftovers in an entirely new light.  When I see leftover chicken in the fridge, I don’t see just cold chicken.  I see chicken tortilla soup, chicken and dumplings, breakfast hash, and loads of other dishes.  All of these dishes take almost no time to prepare because a lot of the work is already done. My cornerstone chicken and dumplings recipe takes 40 minutes as opposed to 4 hours.

This is how smart chefs use leftovers and there’s no reason why you can’t also!

What’s In The Book?

This is how the book is broken down:

  • Eight chapters, each chapter starts with a specific cornerstone dish. For example, roast chicken.
  • Each of the eight chapters then has around ten supporting recipes that you can make with the cornerstone dish leftovers.  These supporting recipes are from different cuisines so you won’t get sick of making the same things with the same flavor profile.
  • Over half of the recipes in the book take less than 30 minutes to make. About 60% of the recipes are vegetarian.
  • The book has plenty of photos, preparation tips, and recipe variations (if you don’t like my basic chicken salad recipe, I give you six alternatives).
  • Macheesmo-style writing. Unfortunately, I don’t have a ghostwriter. Every word was written by me, every photograph was taken by me, and every recipe tested by me.

Giveaways Giveaways Giveaways!

I’m jumping out of my skin about this book!

I’ve worked on it for a long time and I can’t wait to see what people think of the project.

For people who BUY THE BOOK this week, I want to give you the chance to win something special.

If you buy the book, just forward your receipt to and be entered to win the following prizes. You’ll get one entry to win the below prizes for each copy you buy (buy a million and you’re guaranteed to win) and unfortunately I can only ship to U.S. addresses.

All of these winners will be announced this Friday (03/30), so you have the entire week to purchase the book and be entered to win!

Cook’s Illustrated Subscriptions

It’s pretty well-known that one of my favorite magazines is Cook’s Illustrated.  They are no nonsense and all about teaching people how to cook successfully.

I’ll pick three winners and give them a free year subscription to this wonderful magazine.

Spices Galore

I’ll pick three winners from the list and you’ll get a new spice grinder, plus a variety of whole spices for your new spice grinder, hand picked by me!

The Grand Prize

I’ll pick one lucky winner and send them one of these bad boys in any color they want!

So, buy the book, forward the receipt to and you could win one of seven prizes.

As with everything I do here on Macheesmo, the goal of this book is to make it easier for people to cook at home regularly.

I think Cornerstone Cooking can help you save time and money in the kitchen and I hope you check it out.

For more info on the book, visit the Cornerstone Cooking website, or you can just take a leap of faith and buy the sucker!