The Secret Ingredient Cookbook Giveaway and Author Quick Bites

Enter our worldwide giveaway to win one of two copies of The Secret Ingredient Cookbook: 125 Family-Friendly Recipes with Surprisingly Tasty Twists by Kelly Senyei.

The Secret Ingredient Cookbook: 125 Family-Friendly Recipes with Surprisingly Tasty Twists by Kelly Senyei, founder of the food site Just a Taste, has garnered millions of fans with a delicious hook – every one of her recipes has a secret ingredient, something totally unexpected that takes a dish from common to extraordinary.

Homemade potato chips with warm gorgonzola dip (secret ingredient mint), Sweet and tangy baked chicken wings (secret ingredient blackberry jam) and Crispy crab rangoon (secret ingredient curry powder) are just a few examples of the delectable comfort food that you will find in this book. I have been thinking about what to make for dinner tomorrow and I think I have my answer – those wings!

This is an approachable collection of recipes that will add jump start your menu planning. Here are a few online recipes to try now:

Kelly took time out of her crazy schedule to answer a few questions for us. After you check out the interview, please be sure to enter our giveaway below!

Kelly Senyei is the founder of Just a Taste, a food site with millions of fans. She is a professional chef, television and podcast host, cookbook author, and mom who appears regularly as a host on Food Network Kitchen and Amazon Live. She lives in San Diego, CA, with her husband and three young sons.

Q: What first triggered your interest in cooking? Do you remember your first cooking memory?

My mom, Noni, is the entire reason I pursued not only my passion for cooking but an entire career in the food media realm. She is the most incredible self-taught home cook and she had me in the kitchen alongside her from the day I could hold a spatula. One of the first recipes I remember making alongside her is her famous chicken cutlets, which are a spin on Hungarian wiener schnitzel. (My dad was born in Budapest, Hungary, so we love a good homemade schnitzel!)

Q: If you had to describe your cooking style, what would it be?

Easy but impressive. Every recipe I create is designed to look like it took you 2 hours to make, when in reality it took 30 minutes or less. I believe in food that’s approachable, unfussy, and above all else, can be enjoyed by the entire family. As a mom of three boys under age 5, I love creating meals that my kids and my husband and I can enjoy together.

Q: Are you a cookbook collector? If so, tell us about your collection – number of books, favorite genre, favorite author? What you look for in a cookbook. (If possible, can you share a photo of your collection?)

Absolutely! When I was in elementary school and first learning to read, I would thumb through cookbooks instead of traditional children’s books. I loved looking at the photos and seeing all of the numbers and organized steps. (I’m a bit of a “Type A” person hah!)

Some of my favorite cookbooks were handed down to me from my great-grandmother Momoo, who spent 103 amazing years cooking and baking everything imaginable from scratch. Her cookbooks are my most treasured possessions and date as far back as 1889!

Q: What is the best part of your job? Do you sometimes feel like working with food all day keeps you from wanting to get creative in the kitchen?

The best part of working in food media is the ability to exercise my creative, artistic abilities while also focusing on the business aspect of building a thriving brand that has sustained so many tech changes over the past 13 years. I constantly feel the need to evolve and adapt, whether it’s in my recipe development or video creation or what big projects I choose to tackle.

If I’m ever feeling burnt out from creating new recipes, I start reading restaurant menus online from all over the world to stay up-to-date on what chefs are doing with ingredients on a global level.

Q: What is your go to for a quick dinner?

I can make dried pasta into 101 different dishes, and with three little ones, noodles in some way, shape or form make an appearance on the daily in our house. I love making quick sauces that I can freeze and reheat quickly (an ice cube tray works wonders for this). I’ve also recently gotten into the air fryer trend and make an incredible marinated tri-tip that cooks entirely in the air fryer in 25 minutes or less (perfect crust, juicy interior and all!).

Q: Tell us about your cookbook or any projects you are working on?

The Secret Ingredient Cookbook serves up approachable, achievable, and practical recipes that each feature an unexpected ingredient. Every secret ingredient takes an ordinary dish from ordinary to extraordinary by transforming texture, taste, or presentation, adding health benefits, cutting down on prep or cook times, and more. Each of the 125 tried and true recipes in my book have been rigorously researched, insightfully written, and strategically developed and I couldn’t be more proud of the collection.

In addition to running my website, Just a Taste, full-time, I am also a host on the Food Network Kitchen app, where I’ve taught more than 75 live classes and counting! I also host weekly cooking classes on Amazon Live and am heading into season 3 of The Just a Taste Podcast.

Enter to win one of two copies of this title. The contest is open worldwide as the publisher has sent me two copies for mailing. Entry options include answering the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you like to try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Once you log in and enter your member name you will be directed to the next entry option – the blog comment. After that, there are additional options that you can complete for more entries. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on October 21st, 2021.

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  • sarahawker  on  July 21, 2021

    Mushroom ravioli with brown butter sauce

  • Kittenheel  on  July 21, 2021

    SoCal fish tacos with mango salsa

  • ravensfan  on  July 21, 2021

    Berry breakfast pastries

  • riley  on  July 21, 2021

    Crispy crab Rangoon

  • matag  on  July 22, 2021

    Savory caramel corn

  • Ashlynn14  on  July 22, 2021

    I would love to try the homemade potato chips with warm gorgonzola dip

  • BMeyer  on  July 22, 2021

    savory caramel corn

  • hbakke  on  July 22, 2021

    Raspberry chocolate sheet cake

  • miggsy  on  July 22, 2021

    SoCal fish tacos

  • chezlarios  on  July 23, 2021

    Healthy white chicken chilli

  • foodie16  on  July 23, 2021

    Soup Thai chicken noodles

  • JRumi  on  July 23, 2021

    Confetti corn succotash

  • LR.eatingright  on  July 23, 2021

    I want to try Black and blue – last recipe in the ibex. I love trying new gin cocktails, and this one has berries and ginger beer too – sounds really refreshing and delicious!

  • gilmonster  on  July 23, 2021

    Crispy crab Rangoon

  • Roosta  on  July 23, 2021

    Shrimp and three-cheese grits

  • youngsvnnhrs  on  July 24, 2021

    Glazed sesame salmon with coconut rice

  • dzm  on  July 24, 2021

    raspberry chcoclate sheet cake

  • maci234  on  July 24, 2021

    Crispy crab Rangoon

  • agreaves19  on  July 24, 2021

    Raspberry chocolate sheet cake

  • virjeania  on  July 24, 2021

    donuts! Vanilla bean drop doughnuts

  • Plumbobmummy  on  July 24, 2021

    Berry breakfast pastries

  • Dannausc  on  July 24, 2021

    Caramel-apple cinnamon rolls

  • Cjennings  on  July 24, 2021

    the ice cream pie sounds wonderful!

  • HomespunHouse  on  July 24, 2021

    Skillet Sweet Potato Hash

  • Lordsnot  on  July 24, 2021

    Skillet sweet potato hash

  • CapeCodCook  on  July 24, 2021

    I want to cook Broccoli Pesto Pasta

  • avonleajules  on  July 24, 2021

    savory caramel corn

  • LaurenE  on  July 25, 2021

    Healthy white chicken chilli

  • Isis1981uk  on  July 25, 2021

    Berry breakfast pastries

  • bopper  on  July 25, 2021

    Berry Breakfast Pastries

  • maria411  on  July 25, 2021

    crispy crab rangoon

  • Siegal  on  July 25, 2021

    Carmelized onion dip

  • bookmark77  on  July 25, 2021

    Raspberry chocolate sheet cake

  • bookmark58  on  July 25, 2021

    Soup Thai chicken noodles

  • MarciK  on  July 25, 2021

    Cinnamon-chocolate chip scones

  • zeenie  on  July 26, 2021

    Skillet sweet potato hash

  • selena__rhea  on  July 26, 2021

    raspberry chocolate sheet cake

  • dogs  on  July 27, 2021

    Crispy crab rangoon

  • Dendav  on  July 27, 2021

    Sweet and tangy baked chicken wings

  • Hedgehog101  on  July 27, 2021

    Berry Breakfast Pastries

  • ChicagoJen  on  July 27, 2021

    Crunchy coconut granola – always up for a new granola!

  • sarahteertzah  on  July 28, 2021

    Pan-fried feta with lemon-honey dressing

  • satkins08  on  July 29, 2021

    I would make the Berry breakfast pastries first from this cookbook

  • Pamyoungvb  on  July 29, 2021

    Sunday short rib ragu w/polenta

  • acecil  on  July 29, 2021

    spicy goddess flatbread

  • Acha_77  on  July 29, 2021

    Cast-iron quiche

  • Jools1  on  July 29, 2021

    Cast-iron quiche

  • kennethjohngilmour  on  July 30, 2021

    coconut and sweet potato mash found on page 212

  • southerncooker  on  July 30, 2021

    Skillet sweet potato hash

  • a1apple  on  July 30, 2021

    Caramel-apple cinnamon rolls!!!!!

  • mpdeb98  on  July 31, 2021

    Vanilla bean drop doughnuts

  • kmn4  on  July 31, 2021

    Cheesy corn chowder

  • Leonard5854  on  July 31, 2021

    Cacio e pepe

  • CatherineR11  on  August 1, 2021

    Berry breakfast pastries

  • mgooderham10  on  August 1, 2021

    Vanilla bean drop doughnuts

  • ElizM  on  August 1, 2021

    fluffy pancakes with strawberry syrup

  • lyn3009  on  August 2, 2021

    I would like to make Pan-fried feta with lemon-honey dressing, this sounds like it would be ummy

  • lyn3009  on  August 2, 2021

    Sweet and tangy baked chicken wings

  • lyn3009  on  August 2, 2021

    Cast-iron quiche

  • katenolan  on  August 2, 2021

    caramelized onion dip

  • kelrific  on  August 3, 2021

    I’d make the adults only milkshake 🙂

  • aking77  on  August 4, 2021

    Raspberry Chocolate Sheet Cake 🙂

  • Sand9  on  August 5, 2021

    Chicken Pot Pie with Cheesy Biscuits x

  • vhfvhf  on  August 6, 2021

    California breakfast quesadilla

  • Georgiesmum  on  August 6, 2021

    Crispy crab Rangoon

  • Laura1  on  August 7, 2021

    Confetti corn succotash

  • GreenhouseCheryl  on  August 7, 2021

    Cinnamon-chocolate chip scones

  • trudys_person  on  August 8, 2021

    Cream cheese pound cake with lemon curd sounds delicious! Love anything lemony for desserts!

  • clairew137  on  August 8, 2021

    Berry breakfast pastries

  • RSW  on  August 8, 2021

    Gnocchi alla vodka

  • lilmiztam22  on  August 10, 2021

    Caramel-apple cinnamon rolls

  • amyjay  on  August 11, 2021

    Savoury caramel corn

  • silversand  on  August 11, 2021

    Hot chocolate

  • debbiehb  on  August 12, 2021

    California breakfast quesadilla

  • ljsimmons  on  August 13, 2021

    gorgonzola dip

  • EmilyR  on  August 13, 2021

    Crispy crab Rangoon

  • NatalyaM  on  August 13, 2021

    Caramelized onion dip, please!

  • Pizzacat13  on  August 13, 2021

    Maple-Glazed Carrots- always looking for good side dishes.

  • RickPearson54  on  August 13, 2021

    savory caramel corn

  • ExploringTheTurkishKitchen  on  August 16, 2021

    Whole wheat banna bread

  • v.t  on  August 16, 2021

    Berry breakfast pastries

  • LeMinou  on  August 17, 2021

    Mushroom ravioli

  • moralla  on  August 17, 2021

    Sheet pan barbecue meatballs

  • calguire  on  August 20, 2021

    Vanilla bean drop doughnuts

  • erhamblin7751  on  August 22, 2021

    Sunday short rib ragù with polenta

  • teamkies  on  August 24, 2021

    Chicken tikka masala meatballs

  • cellenly  on  August 26, 2021

    glazed sesame salmon w coconut rice

  • Belene  on  August 26, 2021

    Pumpkin waffles with maple whipped cream

  • Mayandbill  on  August 26, 2021

    Bacon, egg and cheese toast cups

  • ptkcollins  on  August 26, 2021

    cast-iron quiche

  • Arinelle  on  August 26, 2021

    Whole wheat banana bread

  • banba1  on  August 27, 2021

    Bacon-wrapped dates

  • ceejayen  on  August 29, 2021

    Cinnamon-chocolate chip scones

  • MaggieMaggieMae  on  August 30, 2021

    Savory caramel corn

  • smith106  on  August 31, 2021

    Soup Thai chicken noodles

  • Breeze81  on  August 31, 2021

    Caramel-apple cinnamon rolls

  • maggz19671  on  September 1, 2021

    Savoury caramel corn

  • infotrop  on  September 3, 2021

    Cream cheese pound cake with lemon curd

  • Shelley.b  on  September 3, 2021

    Berry breakfast pastries

  • lils74  on  September 4, 2021

    Sweet and tangy baked chicken wings – Because I’m always up for a new wings recipe!

  • michelle666  on  September 5, 2021

    Crispy crab rangoon

  • janv  on  September 6, 2021

    the Healthy white chicken chilli sounds delish

  • Zitakd  on  September 7, 2021

    Caramel Apple Cinnamon Roles

  • jd5761  on  September 7, 2021

    Healthy white chicken chilli for me

  • mumliz  on  September 9, 2021

    Spicy goddess flatbread

  • slambo70  on  September 9, 2021

    Raspberry chocolate sheet cake

  • lindaeatsherbooks  on  September 10, 2021

    I want to make the sweet and tangy baked chicken wings.

  • Yatota74  on  September 10, 2021

    California breakfast quesadilla

  • soylent_pete  on  September 10, 2021

    Savory caramel corn! Sounds nuts.

  • biro  on  September 10, 2021

    Dinner Party Creme Brulee

  • sheridarby  on  September 10, 2021

    raspberry chcocolate sheet cake

  • Joselita  on  September 10, 2021

    Short rib ragu

  • pozytywniej  on  September 11, 2021

    Caramel-apple cinnamon rolls

  • Kellyroxannesmith  on  September 11, 2021

    Crispy crab Rangoon Sounds delicious thanks

  • luccio  on  September 11, 2021

    Vanilla bean drop doughnuts

  • rubytue  on  September 11, 2021

    I want to try Glazed sesame salmon with coconut rice

  • ClaireHamilton  on  September 11, 2021

    Shrimp and three-cheese grits

  • PatBarrett  on  September 11, 2021

    Soup Thai chicken noodles

  • portkey  on  September 12, 2021

    Crispy crab Rangoon

  • deanfromuk  on  September 12, 2021

    Shrimp and three cheese grits looks yum

  • DimensionAEB  on  September 12, 2021

    Healthy white chicken chilli

  • sayeater  on  September 16, 2021

    Lots of yummy looking recipes but the first one I’d make is the Three cheese queso that has sweet potatoes in it! That I need to taste,

  • topdawg11  on  September 16, 2021

    Crisped and dipped chicken thighs.

  • janinex  on  September 16, 2021

    Cheesy corn chowder

  • stulled  on  September 16, 2021

    Fudgy brownie tart

  • orchidlady01  on  September 17, 2021

    Three-cheese queso for a crowd

  • joke7  on  September 18, 2021

    Sweet and sour cucumber salad

  • Dhasenkampf  on  September 21, 2021

    The crispy crab rangoon

  • calguire  on  September 24, 2021

    Blueberry French-toast muffins

  • CookingPerson  on  September 24, 2021

    Sweet and savory egg sandwiches

  • MeerkatSilverleaf  on  September 29, 2021

    Vanilla Bean Drop Doughnuts

  • suzielarose  on  September 29, 2021

    I recently bought a cast iron pan.. so I would look up the “Cast-iron quiche” for sure.. comfort food 😉

  • Dutchmary  on  September 30, 2021

    Gnocchi alla vodka

  • Janetr1970  on  October 1, 2021

    Bacon wrapped dates

  • kmwyman  on  October 1, 2021

    Cacio e pepe

  • lauriesk  on  October 2, 2021

    Fluffy pancakes with strawberry syrup

  • antpantsii  on  October 4, 2021

    Cheesy Corn Chowder sounds delish!

  • susgo1  on  October 7, 2021

    Cacio e pepe

  • dtremit  on  October 8, 2021

    My partner loves Funfetti, so I’d try the Funfetti celebration cake with chocolate buttercream!

  • t.t  on  October 9, 2021

    Caramel-apple cinnamon rolls

  • ltse  on  October 9, 2021

    Sweet and tangy baked chicken wings!!

  • Callie40123  on  October 11, 2021

    The Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls look delicious – a great surprise I’ll be making for family holidays! And looking forward to making other meals for the family too!

  • Cjennings  on  October 15, 2021

    Crispy crab rangoon

  • starzine  on  October 16, 2021

    Vanilla bean drop doughnuts.

  • demomcook  on  October 18, 2021

    Sweet and tangy baked chicken wings

  • tarae1204  on  October 19, 2021

    Fluffy pancakes with strawberry syrup on Jan 1, using up the rest of the prior night’s champagne bottle.

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