December 28, 2013 at 1:00 am

Let's Talk Food (& maybe win a cookbook): Looking to 2014

I’m finally starting to appreciate how hard my parents must have worked to pull off holiday magic every year.

Although I thought I felt some of my parents’ pain when, as the oldest of seven, I’d help with the shopping and wrapping, I kinda knew some day I’d really have a better grasp.

I’m not sure if it was when I was up until midnight Christmas Eve wrapping presents and realizing how much I like the “It’s a Wonderful Life” idea of being this selfless parent fighting the battle of Bedford Falls — and how short I fall of that ideal — or when my 1 1/2-year-old son got irritated when we tried to get him to open said presents when he just wanted to play, but Mom and Dad: I get you.

Anyway, I figured I’d whack two moles in this, our final 2013 cookbook giveaway. The first is guessing you, like me, are pretty tired and ready for a break from all the hubbub. How about a shot at a new slow-cooker cookbook? “Fix-It and Forget It New Cookbook” by Phyllis Good seems just right for those looking to have home-cooked meals with less fuss and muss after the holiday rush.

The other mole to whack is: in the wake of holiday-season exhaustion, I’m starting to think about finding better ways to get through life — to be more productive yet be less tired, to add more exercise and cleaning without losing any cooking and while adding more of that sleep thing that’s all the rage.

What better to celebrate that impossibility than a 400-page book from Martha Stewart there’s no way I’d have time to read?

That said, if you’re darn determined (or have more free time than I do), Stewart’s “Living the Good Long Life” — a “practical guide to caring for yourself and others” that includes a big section on eating better, complete with recipes — seems chockful of tips that might help set you on your way.

SO — if you’re interested in winning one of the books, send an email to Eats&Drinks@detroitnews.com with “Cookbook/Slowcooker” or “Cookbook/Stewart” in the subject line (depending on which you’re interested in). Include your name and mailing address in the body. Enter only once by midnight Sunday, Jan. 5. A winner will be chosen at random from among entries. (If it’s Monday Jan. 6 or later when you read this, the cookbook will no longer be available — but thanks for stopping by.)

Good luck!

In addition to writing Let’s Talk Food and editing the Eats & Drinks section, Detroit News Food Editor Maureen Tisdale tweets about food on Twitter @reentiz.

'Fix-It and Forget It New Cookbook' by Phyllis Good seems just right for ... (Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia)