20110107-131797-the-sunset-cookbook.jpgCome the middle of January, those of us living in colder climes start to do some serious California dreamin'. When the streets are slushy and temperatures hovering around freezing for weeks, the idea of taking a trip to sunny, citrusy, beachy West Coast sounds pretty good. Since we won't be hopping on a plane anytime soon, we thought we'd share some mid-January sunshine with you by spending the week cooking from The Sunset Cookbook.

Founded way back in 1898, Sunset magazine's goal was to promote Western tourism and downplay the Wild West stereotypes commonly associated with the younger states. Over the years Sunset evolved into an idyllic look at California living, with features on home decor, gardening, travel, and cooking columns that became the foundation for California cuisine.

Sunset offers light, vibrant recipes full of just-picked produce, the freshest seafood, and lots of outdoor cooking. For more information on how Sunset magazine shaped California cuisine be sure to check out Kim Severson's wonderful article about the cookbook for The New York Times.

This week on Cook the Book we'll be sharing some bright and sunny recipes from The Sunset Cookbook, full of fresh vegetables and big, bold flavors. There will be wintry salads of Ruby Grapefruit, Avocado, and Spinach and Asian Pear, Persimmon, and Almond as well as a recipe for Grilled Cilantro Chicken with Pickled Tomato and Avocado Salsa good enough to warrant firing up the grill in freeze temperatures.

Win 'The Sunset Cookbook'

Thanks to the generous folks over at Oxmoor House, we are giving away five (5) copies of The Sunset Cookbook this week. All you have to do is tell us about how you're getting your veggies in this winter in the comments section below.

The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.

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