MASON CITY — “You’re Invited! Party Recipes for Every Season,” a cookbook by Debbie Lestina Robinson of Mason City, has been named a finalist in a Best in the World cookbook competition by Gourmand Magazine.
Winners will be announced at the Paris Cookbook Fair on Saturday, Feb. 23, where the book will be on exhibit.
The first cookbook Robinson, 54, has written, it has also been named an award-winning finalist in the 2012 USA Best Book Awards in the cookbook category.
“When you put your heart and soul into a book, it’s extremely rewarding when others find it worthy of an award,” Robinson said.
She believes entertaining at home has become a lost art.
Her cookbook was created for today’s busy woman and offers help for throwing a party with minimal effort.
The book is divided into events for every season of the year and highlights Iowa products. It includes more than 120 simple recipes, online party invitations, downloadable music playlists, code shopping lists and color photography.
“I try new recipes all the time,” Robinson said. “When I find a new one I like, I add it to my collection.”
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Raised on a farm near Woodward, Robinson says she is a farm girl at heart.
Her love of food came from her mother, Marlene Frances Lestina, to whom she has dedicated the book.
Her mother was always clipping recipes, collecting cookbooks and experimenting in the kitchen, Robinson said.
Her mother had a lot of patience and loved baking yeast rolls and breads, Robinson said.
Robinson continues that tradition and now shares her lifelong collection of recipes. Only “cream of the crop” recipes have earned a spot in her book, she said.
The cookbook was published by Favorite Recipes Press, a division of Southwestern Publishing Group in Nashville, Tenn.
It sells for $26.95 and is available locally at Book World, Reflections Salon, Market 124 and Mercy Gift Shop, all in Mason City; Sue Casa Interiors in Clear Lake; Home Sweet Home in St. Ansgar; The Front Porch in Osage; The Wood Cellar in Hampton; and the Top of Iowa Welcome Center in Northwood.