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The Progress Of Making A Cookbook, Part 1 ---- And Thoughts On Content.



There's a lot thats goes into publishing a book that I think kind of just gets missed or unnoticed. I say this knowing very well I am in no way an expert, I will probably never be an expert, and as someone who isn't even half way to completing a first book project. 

One--- writing a book is awesome. I mean, you guys know, it's been a dream for a while now. I'm so very much looking forward to the day when I walk into a store to see it on a shelf. I'm also very much hoping to have a title I like and a cover I like as well! Those things, are rarely (read: apparently almost never) chosen by the author. I have mixed emotions on not being in charge of these things. On one hand, I'm awful at titles (you've noticed), on the other, I like to be in control of my own things!

I've been asked a few times, whats up with my deadline! Three months to complete a book! That's crazy. Kind of true. Really, do I need to have it in in three months? No probably not, but in order to have a book out by next spring, I do. Otherwise, we're looking at a fall to possibly winter release date in 2015. THATS A LONG TIME! I mean, Marlowe would be five by then--- if we're looking at this in mom years. Ha ha. So, I have my August deadline, to have a book out by Spring 2015 (for those who asked). This works for me, because honestly, even if I was given a fall-winter deadline--- I would probably push it aside for a few months (aka procrastination) and then bring it back, and push push push forward. I like to be under pressure, I work better this way, so while three months sounds a little bit crazy to pump out 125 recipes/200 something pages of material, it absolutely works for me. 

So between mothering, keeping house, blogging, and planning a trip to india--- I'm also working on one of the bigger projects of my life (book). It's sometimes stressful, totally sleep depriving, but completely and totally worth it and awesome. The first thing on my to do list, besides comes up with 125 recipes (haha), was create a workspace! I am in no way shape or form a photographer--- everything I do, I'm learning for myself--- so I turned my craft room into more of an open breathable space and got to work figuring out a proper(isn) photo set up. I tried a few things, moved a few curtains around, and figured out something that seems to be working. Hopefully, right?! 


By May 1st, I needed to provide a Table Of Contents. This was pretty easy--- I still had a list from my Hawaii days, of what I would put in a one day book. My one day book didn't include 125 recipes--- maybe a third of that--- but still 125 isn't impossible considering how much cooking we do. By June 1st, I have to provide a finished chapter (photos, content, recipes, etc). And by August: The entire completed manuscript. Insert: me taking big gulps of wine. (just kidding, maybe). 

So, when you imagine a book---or you imagine what you want to do, it's typically pretty easy to create a simple mood board in your head. What gets complicated is how to get across your idea in a way that is understood by others. Does that make sense? (This is my point). So I'm vegan here, that's no big news or surprise. What's maybe surprising--- and don't cut my throat on this--- is I actually don't like the term vegan. I like it because it's pretty understood across the board and pretty searchable (read: easier to find and make connections). But oh man, does that word put you in a box. I'm not a box kind of girl. So try to pitch a book that only includes vegan recipes and then explain you'd prefer not to use the word vegan. I don't eat meat, dairy, eggs, blah blah blah, so I can say I'm vegan (but I eat honey, os maybe not). Once the word "vegan" is used, you can't take it back. From the very beginning I wanted a book that was approachable to everyone, yes vegans, but non vegans too. Ask me what my favorite vegan restaurant is. My answer? "I don't know, I don't go to them." I think thats how it works with most people with a more serious approach to food. Not that being vegan, is less serious, but I just don't think I ever have a reason to eat a fake fried chicken tender thing to feel satisfied. There are other ways to feel satisfied with food. Good flavors, textures, and real food can provide that--- vegan and not. I'm vegan because I don't need meat, dairy etc--- ever. Not for anything, not to feel satisfied, not for my health, I just don't need it, so I choose not to eat it. But the same goes for cake. Does that mean I'm anti cake? No, I just don't need it. In my opinion, You can eat anything you please, just be aware of what you eat and what it does to you and the earth--- and then call it a day.

So I want a book for everyone--- that happens to be plant-based. Because I whole heartedly believe that plant based/vegan/whatever you want to call it food can be really amazing---- and not just amazing, but really good for you, your family, and the earth! Maybe you don't want to eat that way all the time, but maybe sometimes you do--- so I'm hoping to provide a book that gives those (delicious!) options on those days for those people--- and those options for plant-eaters (like myself) --- all the time. I like food--- a lot. And plants are good, all around, let's eat more of them!
The second focus of my book is family recipes. I want something that works for someone cooking for themselves on a lazy sunday---- or cooking for a family, late after work. I'm planning lots of one pot meals--- and lots of recipes that do in fact have a lot of the same ingredients--- but used in plenty of different ways. This not only makes it easy to cook each night--- but also brings down the costs of meals--- which can be important, no matter how many people you're cooking for. I never believed in kid meals vs. adult meals. From the moment I could, Marlowe started eating what I ate, just slightly less spiced (heat, not flavor). (Even now) I create meals that I can (very) easily tweak to meet her needs and mine--- and Alex's too.  So I don't want a book of kids recipes---- we all don't have kids, and I don't think kid and adult food has to be exclusive to each other--- it's one in the same. I plan on a book of recipes for adults--- with a bunch of tricks that can help turn kids into better eaters anddd a lot of suggestions on how to make cooking for your toddler or kid more manageable overall!

It's been a bit overwhelming at times and I expect to put on a few (more) extra pounds cooking this many extra meals each day---- But it's also been a good challenge. I really do hope you guys enjoy this labor of love as much as I do.

Oh and yes, there will be bread ;)


Have more questions? Keep emailing, I've been enjoying answering these :) 

22 comments:

  1. This sounds like EXACTLY the cookbook I've been looking for. Enjoy the process, I can't wait to cook from it!

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  2. Is that a special kid-friendly knife that Marlowe is using? Where would I find such a thing?

    I find it quite interesting to read a behind-the-scenes of cookbook creating, type of blog. Especially like when your table of contents is due, turn in completed chapter by this date, turn in entire manuscript by this date. Are you planning for your cookbook to include a photo of each recipe? Or is that sort of thing something that you may not get complete control over?

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  3. Love this! I'm definitely not vegan (In love meat, cheese, eggs...) BUT, I do like the ideology behind being vegan. If I had more money I would definitely go all local, grass-fed meat, dairy and eggs - but I just can't afford that right now. I also love vegetables and have no problem making and eating vegetarian/vegan meals (husband less so). My daughter is 3 years and I've always fed her whatever I make, just less spicy. As a result she likes very strongly flavored foods and a wide variety of foods. (Unlike my niece and nephew who like much more bland flavorings, cooking for them is more difficult.) I can't wait for your book to come out!

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  4. can't wait for the bread recipes!!

    xxoo,
    nikki

    www.dreaminneon.blogspot.com

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  5. This all sounds so awesome. I am not vegan - I eat meat and eggs and dairy but plants make up a majority of my diet. I am excited to buy a cookbook that focuses on plants - I can easily add in a meat dish or cake from a different book :).

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  6. I am really excited! I just got into gardening this year and growing my own food. Being in the pacific northwest, it's harder to do year round. I can't wait to get more into eating what I can grow and having sources for fantastic recipes.

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  7. I love your ethos Drea, it's very sound and the food you create is wonderful. I'm so glad you're getting the opportunity to put it all together in a cookery book. Can't wait!

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  8. Can you include coffee tips and recipes in your book?

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  9. Is there any chance you would include coffee tips? (just basics)

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  10. I'm so glad you shared with us the details of writing your book! Not all a lot of writers do that, so thanks for taking the time to explain to us! :)

    http://everydayingrace.blogspot.ca/

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  11. Will you *please* share your mom's arepas recipe? (please!)

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    1. In our home we use Harina P.A.N. with hot hot water. Vegan, easy, and it's what my in-laws (who are colombian) use. You should try it until ohdeardrea gives up her secrets! :)

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  12. This is so very exciting!! It's all happening!

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  13. I am excited for you. I am not vegan but I cook "vegan" food (um, good and healthy and simple food) most days. I also give my kids (a toddler and a baby) whatever I have. It's so simple that way. My toddler does well with most things, though he has a deep, abiding love for PB&J so we work with during lunchtime, lol. As for cookbook questions, the part of your cleanse e-cookbook that I like the best is the simple recipes for breakfasts (the overnight oats) and snacks. Random, but I think they're all great ideas. Are you going to do a lot of recipes with brown lentils? I would love some tips for how to cook them other than just making mujaddara (i grew up having that so it's a bit boring to me but yummy nonetheless).

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  14. Can't wait for the release and more updates - I'll be purchasing for sure!

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  15. I really enjoyed this post. Your message is awesome. I love the direction you are taking this book, and cannot wait to see the final product!

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  16. I can't wait to buy your book when it's finished! Please keep writing about the process, it's interesting!

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  17. Excited for you! Excited for me because I will be able to add another cookbook to the shelf in my kitchen above the stove.

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  18. this was a wonderful post - I am so excited for you. and I love your thoughts on using the word vegan - because I am the same way. eat what is good for your body and what makes you feel good - everyone is different in this! and eat more plants - always :)
    so happy for you and your adorable family - thank you for letting us be a part of it!
    graceblumberg.blogspot.com

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  19. We're vegetarian at our house (I just can't seem to stop eating cheese!) but I'm having a problem with carbs. We eat SO much bread and pasta. Is there a way to eat plant based without carbo loading at every meal? I love bread but not the extra weight it brings with it. I still have 20 pounds (yikes) of baby weight to loose, so it's a constant struggle.

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  20. We don't eat meat at home and I love it. My problem is the carbs. I can't seems to get over how much bread/pasta/rice/potatoes we eat. Tacos are a regular around here and I'm fine with a few tortillas but I feel like we are carbo loading at every meal. I still have 20 pounds (yikes) or baby weight to loose, so it's a constant love/hate struggle. My husband is trying to convince me we need to eat meat because of all the pasta/rice/bread that usually accompanies most vegetarian/vegan meals but I'm not going for it. Do you eat some type of grain/carb at every meal? It seems like there are hardly any low-carb plant based dishes....well, besides salad!

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  21. soo exciting..can't wait
    erica
    pajamacasual.blogspot.ca

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