NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION #1: COOK MORE (GIVEAWAY!)

When I was a little kid, my mom used to bake pans of tuna fish casserole that I thought were just to die for.

“Mom-my! Can you please make tuna fish casserole tonight!” I’d ask.

“No, honey, Daddy’s making dinner,” she’d say, gesturing to my father’s in-process spaghetti.

“Please please please pleasepleaseplease-“

“We’ll have it later this week-“

“PUH-LEASE!

She smiled. “Ok,” she’d acquiesce. “Tomorrow. I’ll make tuna fish casserole tomorrow.”

There is something incredibly comforting about casseroles, their rising heat and gooey masses. I loved the way the bread crumbs crunched on top of the tuna fish casserole, and all those slick noodles buried inside. I confess I’m not much of a casserole queen myself, or even a cook at all, really. My cooking impulses are fleeting and passing, though I can competently whip up a few staples: Pan-seared tilapia, seafood gumbo, chocolate cake. Chocolate cake is a staple.

But this year, I might actually attempt to cook more. Especially since I know so many good cooks!  Cooks like these two lovely ladies:

Did you know that the Casserole Queens — my fellow Hungry Channel show hosts — are from Austin? Their recent¬†cookbook is a New York Times bestseller.

If “cooking more” is also one of your New Year’s resolutions, Austin Eavesdropper is giving away a copy today! Amy and I drooled over some of the recipes over the weekend:

And because casseroles are potentially messy business — especially if, like your humble blogger, you’re a little wild with the whisk — we are including a cutie pie apron in this giveaway, too.

(Pause: How adorable is Ames? I couldn’t stop taking pictures of her.)

Finally, our winner will also receive a free year’s subscription to Woman’s Day, where the Casserole Queens are monthly contributors! And don’t even pretend like you don’t want to learn how to make their Spiced Cranberry Coffee Cake.

This giveaway will run now through next Monday, January 7! To enter, simply:

1. “Like” Austin Eavesdropper on Facebook (if you haven’t already),

2. “Like” Casserole Queens on Facebook,

Et voila! You are entered.

Just for fun, you can also tell us what your favorite casserole is in the comment section below. Doing so or not won’t affect your entry…I’m mostly curious if anyone out there holds the same affection for tuna fish casserole that I do.

Good luck!