There is something for everyone regardless of the size of your kitchen or the equipment you cook your meals on.


Judy Alter

Gourmet on a Hot Plate: Tiny Kitchen Tips and Recipes

Alter Ego Press

Paperback (also available as an e-book), 978-0-9969-9353-1, 132 pgs., $12.99

November 6, 2018


Judy Alter has a delightful way about her as she describes the events that led her to cook on a hot plate. What might seem like difficult times to the average person didn’t deter Alter. It is easy to see through the pages of Gourmet on a Hot Plate that she is the type of person who always sees her glass half full—even in her tiny kitchen. Alter has written fiction books in the past, primarily about women of the American West, and she has also penned a group of Texas mysteries. With her love of cooking and the joy she obviously feels from feeding friends and family, Gourmet on a Hot Plate must have been second nature for her.


With back and hip pain, Alter decided to downsize her living arrangements and found a hot plate was just the element she needed to continue cooking to her standards. Zoning issues restricted a full-size kitchen in her new cottage, but that has not taken anything away from the food Alter puts on the table. And by the looks of the recipes in each section of Gourmet on a Hot Plate, one might think they were prepared in the commercial-grade kitchen of an upscale restaurant.


Alter lists ingredients and simple steps for achieving meals like juicy lamb burgers with tzatziki sauce and the easiest way to make hardboiled eggs. The chapters on main dishes, light meals, and skillet dinners are just a taste of what Alter shares with us in Gourmet on a Hot Plate. The list of staples to stock a tiny kitchen is thoughtfully put together, and the expert tips and advice will help anyone from a novice to a pro know just how to get started in a small space.


Alter also enjoys the use of a toaster oven to meet her needs but recognizes others may find instant pots or slow cookers will work best for them. However, the recipes in this book can be prepared just as easily on a standard cooktop. But the convenience of making these dishes on a hot plate just may have you looking for opportunities like building a tiny home, glamping, or downsizing in any way. With Alter’s knowledge of good food, small kitchens, developing recipes, and writing, we simply can’t go wrong with a copy of Gourmet on a Hot Plate to keep on hand in our kitchens, be they big or small. There is something for everyone regardless of the size of your kitchen or the equipment you cook your meals on.


Judy Alter is the author of the Kelly O’Connell Mystery Series, the Blue Plate Mystery Series, and the Oak Grove Mysteries, as well as young-adult novels and nonfiction for adults and children. She has won awards from the National Cowboy Museum and Hall of Fame, the Texas Institute of Letters, and Western Writers of America, Inc., including their Owen Wister Award for Lifetime Achievement. Alter was inducted into the Texas Literary Hall of Fame in 2010. She is retired from the Texas Christian University Press. 


Visit Alter at her blog, Gourmet on a Hot Plate, or at her website,