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As the first official day of summer fast approaches and kids are out of school, families everywhere are preparing for summer vacations. Whether you’re off to a cozy cabin in the mountains or a quaint cottage at the beach, you’re not only embarking on a great vacation but creating a tradition with your family.

I was so thrilled when I caught the tail end of an interview with Ricky Lauren, wife of the fashion-fabulous Ralph Lauren, who has just come out with a special new book – The Hamptons: Food, Family, and History. There are few brands as all-American as the iconic Ralph Lauren, and this book exudes the same tradition and classic influence.

During the interview, Ricky talked about how special their Hampton’s home has been to their family, as a gathering place for them, their friends and their children’s friends. It has been a place that has kept them close, with food and special memories at the heart of it all.

The book takes a look into the kitchen, a collection of family photos and stories and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

Today I am very excited to introduce to you Jennifer Chandler, another wonderful person I’ve been lucky to have met through Twitter. I am even more  excited about her new cookbook, Simply Grilling – perfect for summer! My family LOVES to grill, and I know yours is no exception. It’s a good time to cook outdoors and take a break from the heat of the kitchen.

I have enjoyed Jennifer’s take on cooking by making dishes simple and easy to cook. I am thrilled there will be a giveaway right here on heirloomed for one copy of her new book Simply Grilling. This is the perfect book to get your summer started. Here’s what you need to do to be that lucky person …

Entering is so simple.  You can earn one entry for each of the below that you might choose to do, for a chance at 4 total entries – just remember to leave a comment for EACH of the below that you complete so your efforts will be counted!

1. Leave a comment below telling us what you enjoy grilling most!

2. Follow @cookwjennifer on Twitter

3. Follow @heirloomed on Twitter

4. RT the following: I just entered to win @cookwjennifer’s new book Simply Grilling at @heirloomed! http://ht.ly/atoLD

Be sure to enter by Friday, April 27th at 5PM EST.

You can visit www.cookingwithjennifer.com  for all the details of the book and to purchase. Jennifer has also graciously joined me this week too for another installment of the Heirloom Recipe Series and y’all are going to LOVE what she put together! Please do support Jennifer by picking up a copy  – perfect for being outside and starting the grill!

Giveaway entries must be submitted between 4-23-12 and 4-27-12 at 5PM EST . Winner to be chosen at random and will be announced on 4-30-12. Open only to US residents. A maximum of four (4) entries per person are allowed. No purchase is necessary of course. Some restrictions may apply.

Oh, I am such a fan of the lovely Courtney Dial. I do think we have had such a fabulous time getting to know each other (oh the wonders of Twitter, yes?), and I do hope you’ve had the pleasure of doing so as well! She is just as sweet as can be.

I have long been in love with Courtney’s famously creative blog, Pizzazzerie, and when I found out she was coming out with her very first book, I was just thrilled to pieces. Push-Up Pops is the very first cover from Courtney, having just launched on March 1st, and is filled with creativity from cover to cover. I am just so excited for her I can hardly stand it. And, a bride-to-be, I know she is busy as a bee!

I credit myself to be much more a baker than a cook, and from a young age have always loved assembling little treats to enjoy. And, Push-Up Pops are the epitome of fun – what little kid {or adult ..} would not love them for any occasion? In celebration of Courtney, I am hosting a giveaway this week for a signed copy of Push-Up Pops – just for you! I have a copy myself and trust me, you will want this one on your shelf for sure!

Entering is so simple.  You can earn one entry for each of the below that you might choose to do, for a chance at 4 total entries – just remember to leave a comment for EACH of the below that you complete so your efforts will be counted!

1. Leave a comment below telling us what occasion you’d make your first Push-Up Pops for

2. “Like” the Pizzazzerie Facebook Page

3. “Like” the Heirloomed Facebook Page

4. RT the following: I just entered to win a signed copy of @Pizzazzerie’s new book Push-Up Pops at @heirloomed! http://ht.ly/9s9qP

Be sure to enter by 5PM EST on Friday, March 9th!

You can visit www.pushuppopsbook.com for all the details of the book, to purchase, and for the tour dates for her book signings. Also – for my Atlanta friends, Courtney will be at Swoozie’s on April 14th at 2:00 pm for a fun demonstration & book signing – so mark your calendars. (I know I can’t wait!) Click here for more details.

Giveaway entries must be submitted between Monday, 3/5/12 -  Friday, 3/9/12 at 5PM EST. Winner to be chosen at random and will be announced on Monday, 3/12/12. Open only to US residents. A maximum of four (4) entries per person are allowed. No purchase is necessary of course. Some restrictions may apply.

Mark your calendar folks! IceMilk Aprons is so excited to have the joy and privilege of joining Gena Neely Knox for her cookbook signing at one of our favorite places, Urban Cottage!  Mrs. Knox is kicking off her summer cookbook tour for Southern My Way Saturday, April 23 from 1pm-4pm and we could not be more thrilled to be joining her.

In case you’ve been missing out on the greatness that Gena Knox has created, let us fill you in!  A homemade salsa company turned catering business, creating beautiful landscape architecture on the Georgia coast and starting one of the fastest growing, nationally ranked private companies, Fire and Flavor, with her husband.  Oh and she just wrote her second cookbook, Southern My Way!  Gena’s passion for food, the South, homegrown gardens and family traditions is evident in everything she has created.

Here at IceMilk Aprons we love that her cooking influences come from generations before her, the same traditions she had as a young girl are carried on today, and that she is still trying to master her grandmother’s caramel cake!  If you are in the Atlanta area Saturday the 23rd, please stop by and visit.  Also, check out www.genaknox.com for more information about her book tour and for delicious recipes!  If you would like all the details for the event or would like to RSVP via Facebook please click here.

Cookbooks are such a wonderful heirloom gift, and one I received this past holiday!

On one hand, a great way to be able to pass on the tradition of cooking to others. And on the other hand, a wonderful gift that will be used, kept and passed down through the generations. A special handwritten note on the inside cover is an extra special treat to be cherished down the road.

img_1192I received the oh-so-fantastic Martha Stewart Cooking School book from Mom. Unlike most cookbooks that are simply filled with recipes, Martha’s book is filled with lessons & photos on HOW to cook – more techniques and lessons. You’ll find such things as how to clarify butter, the difference between chopping, mincing, dicing & slicing and more.  Love it. Get it.

And of course, thought I would share my favorite “heirloom” cookbook that we used during the holidays to make Christmas cookies. Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book is just a wonderful treat – with fabulous recipes and charming little illustrations. A favorite in our family!

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heirloomed Blog may contain paid advertisements, sponsored posts and/or affiliate links at times. I will disclose when a post is sponsored and if a brand has provided product as a gift by marking it {c/o} within the post. These opportunities will allow me to do even more of what I love here on the blog. I will only post about things I truly love and enjoy, and appreciate the opportunity to share these things with you.