Ugly cookbook contest

The other day I asked for pictures of worn-out copies of my cookbook for an ugly cookbook contest.  The winner of the contest wins two brand new autographed copies of Family Feasts.  In addition, anyone who votes in this contest and then comments below is also eligible to win a third cookbook. So check out these well-worn cookbooks, vote at the bottom of the page, and then comment to enter the drawing for a cookbook of your own.

#1- Alison









#2- PlainJane









#3 – Diane









#4- Jayme









#5- Becca










I’ll tally the answers and decide on winners on Friday afternoon.  Looking forward to hearing from you!


  1. What a fun giveaway! Thanks!

  2. this is hands-down my favorite cookbook. Everything I have tried has been well-liked

  3. A well loved cookbook or recipe card is a fun sight to see. It’s interesting to remember (or speculate) about how each of the stains or marks was created.

  4. So fun!

  5. I have wanted this cookbook for awhile now.

  6. I voted! And pick me for the 3rd giveaway it’ll be sure to go to someone who will use it!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I voted for one, but I have to say that PlainJane’s looks “used” while the others just make me wonder if my accident-prone child got a little too close. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Ive never heard of this cookbook but it sounds great!

  9. I’ve never heard of this cookbook before, but now I’m intrigued.

  10. You know what? I bought a copy right before we moved and then…lost it in the move. I recently found it on the top shelf of a bookshelf packed with kids books in our playroom. What? Looking forward to using it very soon!

  11. Laura Forman says:

    This looks like such an awesome cookbook!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I don’t think I want to know if Becca’s book just got wet and has stains on it or if it is moldy like it looks. Ouch!

  13. I read this book right after I read your Sane Woman’s Guide to Raising a Large Family. Really inspiring, both of them.

  14. Becca’s wins – because if that is mold, that’s just ugly. Diane’s looks like my well used cookbooks.

  15. I love this cookbook and would love to give my copy (I’d keep the autographed one) to my friend. I use it all the time, especially since we moved back to Australia. Unfortunately I’m now paying $15/kilo (about $7.50/lb) for chicken instead of 99cents, but the concepts are the same! Which reminds me, it may be 90 degrees, but I think I’m in the mood for cheesy potato chowder.

  16. I love this cookbook! Plain Jane’s looks like my copy. It’s the only cookbook I use and I recommend it to my friends who are looking for good recipes.

  17. I think Diane’s looks the worst… But I can’t vote from my iPod.

  18. I’d love to own a copy, but it isn’t available for Kindle. It’s too expensive to order as a paperback. (I live in Finland).
    I’m a fan of yours and your ‘How to stay sane’ -book is my inspiration.

  19. My goodness. I am not used to voting for the ugliest of something…but I did. Maybe you should come up with a transparent …steel case… to sell your books in!

  20. This was fun.

  21. Becca’s cookbook = Ewwwwww! How fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. I am firmly of the opinion that cookbooks should get messy. That shows they are used. That being said, I crave one of those nice cookbook stands, but I have no where to put it. I tend to use my silverware drawer or my toaster instead.

  23. What a great idea for a contest! I don’t own your book yet (I still get it at the library), but I certainly have lots of other ugly cookbooks in my cupboard!

  24. Jana McCraine says:

    How funny!! I would love a copy, especially after seeing how much these girls must love theirs!

  25. Mindy Kroesche says:

    I’ve checked your cookbook out from my library, but would love to have my own copy.

  26. What a great idea for a contest! I read it from the library so would love to get it!

  27. Cheryl Swearingin says:

    Would love a copy of this cookbook!

  28. My sister raves about your cookbook and it’s currently on my Amazon wishlist-I would love to win!

  29. You know, it’s really not ugly per se. I would rather think of them as very well used! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s been on my Amazon wish list for awile, and am hoping Santa brings it this year. Can’t wait!

  30. Wow. Had trouble choosing between Diane (Um, gravy?), Jayme (that cover looks so sad) & Becca (that’s mold? eek!). I just bought my own copy of your cookbook a few months ago, so would send this copy to a dear friend, whom I know would enjoy it tremendously. Thanks for another fun giveaway, Mary!

  31. Hard choice, but I voted! I want this cookbook so bad! We just became a family of six and our budget is already tight, so I know it’ll only get tighter as my littles grow!

  32. My vote’s Becca’s!!!

  33. I really enjoyed reading this cookbook.

  34. Mine has a few drips and rips as well! :o)

  35. I would love to win a copy for myself!! I vote for number 5.

  36. ,What a fun contest, and such a great prize!

  37. I voted!! (Not for myself, of course!) ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am so glad that some other ladies have entered the contest with really ugly cookbooks. I felt a little guilty entering mine since it’s not really beat-up yet. If you hold this contest next year, I might be a real contender then — watch out! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thank you for being so generous, Mary!

  38. I voted! Thanks for including us non-owners in the giveaway, too.

  39. I voted. I have really wanted to see this cookbook, I take the cake on being super frugal and never buy books, unless there are 50 cents at the Goodwill. I am a loyal library patron and love checking out cookbookes there. With that said, they do not have this one. I have placed a request for it, however it has not yet been granted!!!I will keep asking till they put it on the shelf or maybe I should put it on my Christmas list!!!

  40. It was hard to choose between them. Really, I think they each need (and deserve-they’re all obviously well-used and greatly loved) a new copy…hopefully, the ones who don’t win will get a new copy for Christmas.

    What a nice giveaway!

  41. Nothing is better than a well used book. There are some books, we have gone through multiple copies & I happily buy another one. Books are meant to be used! They are not decorations.

  42. There was no way I could vote for my own cookbook after seeing the others! Thanks Mary for offering the contest, I’ve had fun being a part of it.

    • I totally agree, Alison! Our cookbooks were looking pretty worn until I saw the new entries!! I’m afraid there’s not much hope for us. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  43. What a nice contest to have this time of year!!! Thanks for all the wonderful recipes we use them all the time.

  44. What a great cookbook! Hope I win ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. Mold on any book can spread to other things around it, including other books. I am not even sure freezing will take the smell out, but it might stop the growth. I hope that one ends up in the garbage, and really soon!

  46. Great contest! This is one of my favorite (and most used) cookbooks. Thankfully, my copy still looks pretty good.

  47. I voted. What a fun contest – loved seeing the well used books.

  48. I sure have enjoyed my cookbook. Thanks!

  49. I really believe that my cookbook is the most ugly, but without any doubt in my mind, Becca’s is the most disgusting. She should win the contest merely because she has been using a moldy cookbook and won’t let it go. (The nurse in me is cringing!)

    BTW: the brown stain on my cookbook is gluten free soy. My oldest is celiac and diabetic and we have been able to convert quite a few meals into gluten free for him. Another reason I love this cookbook!

    Check out the baked apple doughnuts! Better than chocolate!

  50. Yep. Moldy. That’s definitely the ugliest! This book (a new one, please) is at the top of my Christmas list. I checked it out at the library and kept it as long as they would let me. It’s wonderful.