FBC Member Charmian Christie has just published her first cookbook, The Messy Baker, and we are thrilled to be able to offer up two copies in a giveaway, courtesy of Charmian and Harper Collins!

The Messy Baker Cookbook Giveaway

If anyone understands the challenges bloggers face creating and testing recipes in small apartment kitchens or without a stand mixer or a candy thermometer or without the fanciest or obscurest ingredients, it's fellow blogger and FBC Member Charmian Christie.  This is a woman who has created an app called "Kitchen Disasters and How To Fix Them".  In other words... she gets it.  We're not all baking in fancy test kitchens or with the highest quality tools or ingredients.  We're just trying to make a tasty batch of cookies!

Enter Charmian's first book, The Messy Baker.  As the publisher's note state:

The Messy Baker is an antidote to the precious perfectionism of today’s baking, where every cookie on the plate is just like the next, each layer of cake is exactly the same height, and impeccably scalloped pie crusts dare you to cut into them. To the uninitiated, all this fastidious, spotless baking is intimidating. The rest of us, out here in the real world, cook and bake in space-challenged kitchens where floors aren’t always waxed and there’s cat hair to consider. Lopsided cookies and interestingly-shaped pies are the norm, and, in The Messy Baker, they are celebrated. Recipes here are down to earth, incredibly delicious and often rather pretty. In chapters with names such as “Smudgy,” “Crumbly,” “Flaky” and “Drippy,” The Messy Baker redefines perfection, on achievable terms.

From our perspective?

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The book is a stunner.  Beautifully photographed by well known Canadian food photographer Ryan Szulc, messy never looked so lovely.   The photography and food styling are perfectly complemented by great graphic design.

But the best part is Charmian's writing.  If you have ever read her blog (also called The Messy Baker), then you know that Charmian has a gift with the written word.  She takes the intimidation out of being in the kitchen with her easy to read instructions and personable notes.   The beginning of the book includes The Messy Manifesto and a full section titled The Basics.  The Basics  contains easy to follow guides on tools, equipment and the scoop on important ingredients.  You'll be tackling pastry in no time flat.

With a mix of sweet and savoury recipes in each chapter, and recipes that let you know what your "commitment level" will be, there will be something for everyone.  Personally, we can't wait to try the Blueberry Lime Cornmeal Muffins and the Not-Too Spicy Roasted Cauliflower.  And maybe the  Herb, Olive and Parmesan Biscotti... and, well... ok... everything in the Dippable section.

The Messy Baker Giveaway

And thanks to  Harper Collins and Charmian, we have two brand new copies to give away.  The deadline to enter is September 12th.  Entry is only open to those living in Canada. 
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Daniella @ Tooch's Kitchen

Messiest experience…. hands down not putting the magic bullet “jar” on right, shot straight out and up, put a hole in the ceiling, broke, and covered me head to toe (and everything around it) with Pesto – was smelling cheese and basil for weeks !

P.S. – moon walked to the end of the drive way when I went to thrown the whole thing out and “slammed dunked” it in the trash.

Jeanine Friesen

Hmm… dropping a full canister of cocoa powder on the floor was a pretty big mess (ha, I see Chelsea did the same thing!). Also, when baking potatoes and you don’t stab them – they may explode in your oven, also a big mess.


any time I cook or bake – we make a big mess – crumbs, flour, eggs…good thing we have a couple of dogs to lick up dropped stuff!

Holly Fraughton

Well, I had just baked a delicious apple cake, and left the pan on the stovetop. My boyfriend thought he put the kettle on to boil, but accidentally turned on the burner beneath the freshly baked cake pan (made of Pyrex). A few minutes later, we heard a loud explosion, and found the remnants of my cake (and the pan) splattered all over the kitchen. I was cleaning crumbs and glass up for days…


Cooking with my kids when they turned the blender on with no lid, it was full and it flew fbery where in seconds


When I was first dating my husband I made a batch of carrot soup. When I went to blend it I forgot to let the steam out. It exploded allover the kitchen – floor to ceiling!

Shareba Abdul

My messiest kitchen experience was back when I first started to learn how to bake.

I was trying to make cookies and thought that 1 stick of butter was 1 cup (not realizing that the huge stick I had was 1 lb).

The cookies melted off the tray and caught on fire on the oven element. I tried to scrape off the burning cookies using a metal spoon while wearing cloth oven gloves. The gloves caught on fire because I got too close to the element.

Needless to say, I didn’t bake for a long time after that…

Carol M (Lushka S)

When I didn’t hold down the lid on the blender when I was blending hot soup. Soup everywhere.

Laureen Fox

This cookbook sounds like the perfect gift to give some of the novice bakers in my life. Must remember that when it’s time for Christmas shopping.

My most heartbreaking disaster was when I dropped a whole freshly baked, in a glass pie plate, apple pie on my ceramic tile kitchen floor. There were bits of pie (and tears) everywhere.


Messiest experience was having to leave daal (Indian soup) for a few minutes while running after my baby..well I came back to all the lentils completely dry and slowly burning on the stove top. It ended up being sandwiches for dinner. Thanks for the chance, twitter fan@plumerea


An – unbeknownst to me – open bag of popcorn kernels on the top shelf of a kitchen cupboard. Pulled down the bag, thousand kernels everywhere. Three months later, I’m still finding them.

Jennifer Andrews

Hmm, messy experiences…the worst would have to be when I dropped an entire bag of (uncooked) quinoa all over the kitchen floor. Those little guys really bounce! Not to mention they get into every possible crack and crevice!

Nicole Harling

I had a painful experience during the first time I made cabbage rolls alone. I was dumping freshly steamed rice from a pot into a bowl, and the rice ended up on my feet….and my feet ended up with burn blisters.

kavita bokhiria

Awww mine was a terrible experience. I was using my hand blender and forgot to unplug it while I was cleaning it. Then by mistake I started it by pushing on the button and my finger was deeply wounded, bleeding badly and I had almost fainted.

Camille Brunelle

Well… when I started baking (at about 11 years old), I once forgot to put the carrots in a carrot cake… oops! I started over and I forgot the sugar. I learned very quickly that when following a recipe, I needed to take time to read and double-check every ingredient. I never made those mistakes again!


Making pickles always seem to be my messiest experience in the kitchen. There are bowls of vegetables, peelings and canning equipment on every flat surface!

heidi c.

My girls decided to bake a cake…on their own…for the first time…without me present…The kitchen was a terrible mess. But the cake tasted really great!

Sylvia Reddom

just remember to leave the running mixer down “in the bowl” and not “pick it up and point it to the ceiling” while talking….:-) leaves a nice design on the highest parts of the room if you do is just right 🙂


Doing a 13 course Polish supper on Christmas eve in a small cottage. All surfaces used, all dishes in the cottage were used. The close quarters, small double sink, and small countertop dishwasher weren’t enough to keep up! By the time we served everything and cleared up everything, we realized we forgot 4 of the courses! One on the backburner, one in the microwave, one in the fridge, and sweets in the cupboard! But the wild mushroom perogies were so worth the effort, and the Polish supper table looked amazing!

Maggie C

It has got to be when making gnocchi. I have never made fresh pasta before! The dough was sticky, flour was everywhere, and the gnocchi did not turn out the way it looked in restaurants haha!


My messiest kitchen experience would be when I spent hours roasting, puréeing and preparing sweet potato pies only for them to fall off of their cooling racks & on to the floor! There were quite a few tears, followed by starting all over again & delicious pie! Thankfully my husband cleaned up the mess 🙂


Recently just had a messy experience putting a non-waffle batter into the waffle maker! I closed the waffle maker and everything started bubbling, then turned it over just to have almost all of it spill out! It took an hour to clean everything!

Marlene Cornelis

Messiest kitchen experience … I was making a chiffon cake in a tube pan, and right after I put it into the oven I noticed the pre-measured bowl of flour sitting on the counter. Uh oh! Back to the oven and there was the cake batter leaking out of the pan. Of course I took it out of the oven and – yes – it leaked all over the floor and countertop too. Good learning experience!

Yuen C

While mixing the cake batter with the electric whisk thing, i splashed it everywhere because the setting was too high.


My niece wanted to help with the pouring of the flour for chocolate chip cookies. Flour everywhere.

Marc @ Smell My Kitchen

Our messiest experience was probably when we made cookies with the kids.

Flour… flour everywhere!

Or anytime we spill something on the counter or on the floor, which is pretty much all the time. Last time was brown sugar.

Bridget Oland

I’m always messy in the kitchen. I’m chief cook & my husband is chief bottle washer. And ideal division of labour. Can’t wait to get my hands on this book…Free or otherwise.


I’m a baker like my mother but my sister does not seem to have inherited the baking genes. Let’s just say she’s not allowed to touch the eggs anymore…or flour…or icing…or much else!


Messiest time? Leaving a pile of dirty mixing bowls and utensils on the counter while trying to clean up spilled flour and sugar and mixed batter around the kitchen. Baking is messy!


My messiest experience in the kitchen was the first time I tried to make pastry…flour and pastry scraps everywhere….but I am usually a messy baker anyways. My dog is always at my feet when I bake…he thinks its snack time!


Let’s just say tripping and hurling a very large open can of cocoa is not an accident that comes with a short clean up time! Highly unrecommended.!

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