Yes, the cookbook is finally here! We’re beyond ecstatic and can’t wait for you to see it. But before we dive into the nitty-gritty of the book, let’s catch you up to speed on the crazy details leading us to this moment.
What an adventure – writing a 196 page cookbook in six short months is no easy task. Add kitchen duty for NCK, two kids, the launch of a new website, an image re-branding (and a very sad world), and you’ve got yourself a recipe for lunacy. Seriously, sometimes, Jen and I look at each other and literally ask the other, “are we crazy?” Luckily, a good friend reminds us that we’re “driven” not “crazy.” I’ll let you be the judge.
So, to work we went. Meeting several times with our best friend and creative spark, Elle of MK Media. Our late night, Java Love fueled, work sessions were focused on revamping our identity and creating the foundational design for the cookbook. Once we had it, it was time to hone-in and pull it all together. There was food to make and pictures to take.
The best part about writing this cookbook was cooking all the food. All of the recipes were made and photographed within eight weeks, so you can only imagine the volume of eats and treats that were around. We ate pretty damn good most nights. And yes, we did make the Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls three times (just because we love them that much). Product testing in such a short window became super over-indulgent but we enjoyed every minute. Thankfully, recipe testing went really well, therefore, only a few needed to be reworked.
As for the photography part, Jen and Geri were on a mission to create my photography boards per my request. They found some old wood and presto-magico, my photo boards appeared. Weathered grey – just as I wanted. Now, I was ready to take photos. Determined to work with the natural light as much as possible, each session I would drag out food and dishes looking like a crazy woman on the back deck. I learned a lot from that experience and by the end taught myself how to shoot in manual mode (another check mark, I was determined to add in with all the craziness). I can clearly see the evolution of my photography throughout the book. And in the end, I have some nice shots, I’m pretty pleased with.
Fast forward a bit. Writing is done, photos are done almost done and layout is happening. Things are coming together as our collective energy is definitely producing something to be proud of. As we approach the end, we hit some major obstacles – unsaved corrections lost in the abyss, a corrupt file and a program update that was really pushing its luck. We re-did work and proofread a total of four times not because we wanted to but because we had to. It seemed like a cruel joke. At times, I didn’t understand why the universe was testing us. I knew, we had no choice but to take a deep breath and move through. But yes, I did have that dramatic moment when I wanted to scrap the whole thing. Eight days past deadline with little sleep and a crazed life, our first self-published cookbook went to press.
Over the course of each problem, the book actually improved every time. Last minute photo retakes were some of my best. It was like the universe was saying, “wait, make this one more change.” In the end, it didn’t matter about deadlines past, or how many sixteen-plus hour work days took place. What mattered, was our trio collectively created something special.
I’m pretty proud of it. And happy to contribute some beauty to the world, right now. My only hope is that it will inspire folks. This book is about our life, our journey, and clearly, the food we enjoy. You’ll find a lot of personal stories weaved throughout, as food has always been a common thread connecting me to the people and places, I love. It’s personal and delicious.
From simple creations like Kale and Onion Frittata and Raspberry Brownies to recipes worth the extra effort like Gnocchi with Garlic Sage Butter or the decedent Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls – there are some really special recipes in this book. And, as an extra special treat, I’m letting a few of my “sort after recipes” out of the bag. You’ll find the recipes for Cilantro Cashew Cream, Rosemary Roasted Nuts and the ever special, Chocolate Beet Mini Muffins (among others).
All recipes are gluten, grain and soy free, either paleo or paleo friendly. Some are dairy free and vegan; many others come with a “dairy free and/or vegan when made with” option. You’ll find nutrition tips and sourcing suggestions to help make informed decisions about what to eat and where to purchase.
Well, I sure hope you like it. If you do, please share with a friend. This book makes a great gift for anyone who wants or needs a more food conscious life. Order today, and it will be at your door in time for the holidays (when we will be sleeping and rejuvenating).
Take a peek at a few pages – feel free to share with a friend (or two).