Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef: Review & Giveaway

image I like to read cookbooks, not just use them to look up recipes. A really good cookbook is one you can read and learn from.   Not many cookbooks end up beside my bed, but Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef by Shauna James Ahern and Danny Ahern did.  I haven’t finished reading all of it yet, because I am savoring it.  I am giving it time to work its magic.  This book is not a commonplace cookbook, it’s not a really good cookbook, it’s a great book.  It is entertaining, inspiring, motivating, and educational.  It has helped me to look at food and cooking in a new way.

If you have read Shauna’s blog or her previous book, Gluten-Free Girl,  you know she is an engaging writer.  In this book she tells her love story, how she and Danny met, became engaged, got married, and live life together.  Because Danny is a chef, that story is full of experiences with food, cooking, and eating. But Danny is a co-author of this book and I love reading the colored pages that have his cooking tips like “How to Season Food” and “How to Make Sauces.”  Sometimes the smallest tips make a huge difference.

Of course, this is a cookbook, complete with 100 recipes and numerous color photos.  The recipes are terrific, and I’m sure I’ll be trying many of them for everyday and special occasions. They are not what I love most about the book, though.  I love the way the story, the recipes, and the information all come together.  The different parts are melded together into a book that you want to read from cover to cover.  It’s like a dish with well blended but distinct flavors.

I have one criticism to offer and it’s regarding one page of the book: the recipe list. The 100 recipes are divided into two sections: “At Home” and “At the Restaurant.”  After I’m done reading this book, it will mostly be used as a reference book for recipes and tips.   A categorized list would be very useful.  The book does include an index with both ingredients and categories which helps.  I would just prefer to have the recipes  list broken down more.   It’s a small criticism, but one I thought was worth noting.

Danny's potato puree
So far, I have made two recipes from the book:  potato puree (mashed potatoes) and millet tabouleh.   Both were very good. I should note that many of the recipes contain dairy products, such as the potato puree which uses butter, milk and cream.  After cooking the potatoes, I removed a small amount to make a dairy free version for me.  I wanted to follow the recipe as is for the rest of the family, though.  My one picky eater didn’t like them for some reason (maybe just because they were a little different), but my husband and other sons thought they were great.  I love the tips Danny gives in the recipe such as letting the potatoes dry off for several minutes before mashing them.

millet tabouleh
The millet tabouleh was full of flavor—a little too many flavors for my family, though they did eat it.  I, however, loved the flavors and didn’t want to stop eating it!

The book seems to have a nice mix of everyday recipes like the ones I made, and more sophisticated or unusual recipes like Smoked Duck Breast Ravioli and Rabbit with Mustard.  I look forward to trying some things I wouldn’t usually make, because I’m confident in these recipes and the instructions given.  If a recipe intimidates you, though, don’t give up on it.  Take a look at the notes in the margin which often recommend optional ingredients such as using chicken in place of rabbit.

The Giveaway
If you would like to have your own copy of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, you have a chance to win one.  To enter, leave a comment on this post.  You must leave separate comments for each entry:

  • Tell me why the book interests you.
  • Subscribe to my feed via RSS or email (or tell me you already do)
  • Like me on Facebook (or tell me you already do)
  • Follow me on Twitter (or tell me you already do)

You must be a U.S. or Canadian resident to win.  The giveaway will end on Tuesday, September 28 at 11:00 p.m. eastern time.  I will notify the winner by email and will announce the winner on my Facebook page.
Disclaimer:  I was provided a free copy of this cookbook for review.  The opinions in this post are my own.

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for more information.


  1. Lisa R. says

    I follow The Gluten Free Girl on her blog and REALLY want this cookbook! I like the way she incorporates healthy whole grain flours into her recipies, not just sticking with the startchy stuff.

  2. judee says

    I am like you. I keep cookbooks next to my bed and read them, not just look up recipes. I am new to blogging and following blogs, so I would really love to read the cookbook of a successful blogger, chef and cook! Thanks for the opportunity. ( by the way, I love your blog and am subcribed!)

  3. Anonymous says

    I want to try the pizza recipe that Shauna blogged about.


  4. luluvision says

    I would love to win this book! I'm new to the gluten free world and I do just ok. I would like to do better so having this book will be a great help!

    Thanks for doing this giveaway!

  5. Stacy says

    I would love to have this book because it looks like it is not your everyday cookbook–and I love Shauna!

  6. Angela says

    I like the book because I've followed Shauna's blog for a few years and just love it! I can't wait!

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  8. Anne B. says

    Recently diagnosed and researching for new recipes….this cookbook would be of great help! Thanks for the chance!

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  11. Chels says

    I would love a chance to win this book. I read GF Girl's blog and have tried some of the recipes.

    I'm subscribing to your blog via google reader.

  12. Valerie @ City|Life|Eats says

    Hi Linda – I am interested in the book because I have read Shauna's blog for years – ironically, since before I even became gluten-free – because I love her writing and her recipes. Thank you for entering me in this giveaway.

  13. Valerie @ City|Life|Eats says

    And now follow you on twitter (entry 4, the facebook entry above was entry 3). Thank you!

  14. Carrie Elsass says

    I am interested in the book because you recommend it and make it sound so intriguing!

  15. Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free says

    I can't believe I didn't already like you on Facebook. :) I do now.

  16. Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free says

    I really want to see the photos…I am sure they're amazing.

  17. cooperkelly4 says

    I would love to win this!! Nothing like a great story (especially true!) and awesome recipes too. My 4 kiddos would love it too. =0)

  18. Noelle says

    Great review!This book interests me because I am a new gluten-free eater. I am looking for new recipes to incorporate in daily life.

  19. Tasty Eats At Home says

    Because you can never have too many great gluten-free recipe resources! And because I love Shauna and Danny.

  20. SLColman says

    I want this cookbook for a multitude of reasons! But I will only bore you with two reasons. For starters I am what my husband calls a "cookbook freak". I love them and read them cover to cover just like any good book and then I use them for reference. Second, I am gluten free and dairy free and even though I know that there are a lot of recipes that use dairy in this cookbook I am hoping that it still can help me be a better gluten free cook and baker!

  21. The Not So Perfect Housewife says

    I found their blog just a little while ago and LOVE it. I saw that they were coming out with a book and would LOVE to get my hands on one!!

  22. Alisa says

    I would be curious to trial gluten-free recipes from this duo since they have such a good reputation. I am working on trialing more gluten-free foods from a health perspective, but many cookbooks I have used to date are subpar.

  23. Alisa says

    I think I already follow you on twitter @godairyfree, but I just followed you with my other account too @onefrugalfoodie

  24. The Joy Of Life says

    I would love to win this book as I am pretty new to the gluten free life. I am a great cook, but when it comes to gluten free I could use a lot of improvement. I think this could lead me in the right direction.

    I like you on facebook, have signed up for your reader and also emails.

    Thanks for this opportunity.

  25. Ashlie and Alfred says

    I would love to expand my use of gluten free flours – the only gf cookbook I currently own is Elana's Almond flour cookbook. I love it, but would also like to have a good resource that allows me to branch out!

  26. Brenna Kater, Living with Unveiled Faces says

    I used to read her blog, but she's very wordy and lots of her recipes involve dairy. But I think I wouldn't mind wordy in a cookbook!

  27. Brenna Kater, Living with Unveiled Faces says

    I follow you on Google reader (rss)

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  33. Heather says

    I enjoyed your review of this book (which I already wanted). I am still adjusting to cooking gluten-free and love the tips and quality recipes this book provides.

  34. Laura S. says

    This would be a great cookbook for my family since we cook gluten-free.

  35. Janice says

    I cook GF even though I am the only GF one in the family. I would love to have this cookbook so that I can find more GF dishes that will also satisfy my family!

  36. Babyfro says

    Why wouldn't I want this cookbook, haha! Shauna is great and I love following her, the Chef and little Lu as they adventure their way through life and the kitchen. From all the reviews this cookbook is not only plump full of great eats, its also a beautiful telling of their story. I certainly would love to have it on my shelf.

  37. Diane says

    I am interested because they use more than just rice flour in their recipes. They are a whole foods family.

  38. Georgianna says

    I would love this book because I feel that Shauna and her husband have some of the best recipes out there as well as one of the most interesting stories. In dating a bakery manager myself and being a celiac I would love to know more about their relationship together and with food beyond that of her blog. I would love love love a copy!

  39. Georgianna says

    I just checked to see if I was following you on FB, I thought I was but apparently not! I just added you too!

  40. Janetta says

    I would love to win this cookbook. We just found out my husband has celiac and I am looking for help in cooking for him

  41. creativecookinggf says

    Great Review – there have been so many bloggers reviewing and all have been wonderful. I love seeing and reading everyones excitement of this book and the recipes.
    I follow Shauna's blog and love her posts. I've been wanting this book since I heard it was in the works. I can't wait to read their love story…I read cookbooks like they are novels so I'm even more excited about this one because it is a mix of the two in my mind. I can't wait to try this bread recipe that everyone has been talking about too!

  42. The Frazzled Mama says

    I would LOVE to have this book. I just recently found Shauna and her fabulous website, as I have recently been diagnosed with a gluten intolerance.

  43. Stephanie says

    I would love to read this book b/c I love reading their blog, and I gobbled up Shauna's first book! They come up with such great recipes too!

  44. Deanne says

    I would love this book because The Gluten Free Girl was the first book I read after finding out I have a gluten intolerance. I also love reading Shauna's blog. :)

  45. Janet says

    I like the idea of a cookbook that isn't just recipes but provides hints and tips on how to get the most out of your cooking. Plus, since cooking is something I have never been able to feel joyful over, if I can find something that inspires me to love cooking, that would be fantastic.

  46. gluten free Patty cakes says

    I am a single mom of 2 teenagers who do not like to eat my gluten free food. I feel the gluten free girl and the chef's new cookbook will inspire me to make healthier choices for my meals. It seems as if they have so much fun preparing their meals. I hope this will bring some life back into my not so much fun kitchen cooking. Thank you so much for this opportunity.

  47. Gluten Free Gal says

    This cookbooks looks amazing because not only is it a cookbook but also a narrative inside the recipes! :)

  48. Teslaca says

    Needing to cook gluten-free can be quite a challenge and still make foods that are really tasty. I know that this cookbook must have some incredible recipes in it and I'd love to try them.

  49. Two Snoots Mama says

    Our family has been on a GF journey since January of this year. I'm only now beginning to feel like I'm ready to transition from heavy reliance on mixes to scratch baking. Once upon a time I used to be an avid baker, but GF baking is like starting all over again. Fortunately there are lots of books available on the subject these days. Unfortunately, it's a little overwhelming to have SO many choices! Knowing that you enjoyed AND recommend the book is very helpful. That's why I'd love to win this book.

  50. Hinkleman Family Blog says

    I am interested in this cookbook because I have read so many great reviews and my son was recently diagnosed with an allergy to wheat so I am always looking for new GF recipes!

  51. craftbition says

    I'm interested in this book because you mentioned it has little 'blurbs' with cooking tips! ALsays looking for new tips! Also, duck ravioli! Who knew it existed???

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