There are so many exciting things going on today, I can hardly contain myself.
First, I’m happy to reveal the official Canadian cover of my cookbook at long last!
What do you think? As you may know, I have a long, passionate history with parfaits so I think it’s quite fitting. I love how fresh, healthy, and colourful the cover is. The U.S. cover, while super fresh and colourful too, is completely different. I’ll be showing you that cover in a future post.
Some fun facts about the book:
- More than 100 vegan recipes – including over 95 gluten-free recipes!
- Around 100 full-colour, full-page photos
- 8×10 inch trim size
- Very nice paper quality and thickness
- A huge vegan pantry section detailing all of the main ingredients I use
- 10 recipe chapters: Breakfast; Smoothies, Juices, and Tea; Appetizers; Salads; Soup; Entrees; Sides; Power Snacks, Desserts, and Homemade Staples
For more info on the book and where you can pre-order online, please see this page. I’ll be updating it with other retailers soon!
A little story for you – this cover photo wasn’t the original parfait photo. When my editor told me that they were selecting my parfait photo for the cover, I panicked a little. You see, when I shot the photo I wasn’t planning on it being the actual cover photo and even though I liked the shot, I would’ve spent more time styling it had I been shooting for a cover. It’s like your significant other telling you that you are going out to a nice restaurant and then you find out you are actually going to dine with the Royals. No matter what you had on, you probably still feel underdressed. You feel me? So, I persuaded my editor to let me reshoot the cover, even though I knew they were in a big time crunch. Promising it would be back by the end of the day, I raced around town to assemble my props and ingredients, baked the granola, meticulously styled the parfait, and spent a long time trying to get the perfect angle I needed for the cover.
I had a laptop tethered to my camera so I could see the incoming shots and another laptop next to that one with the original parfait photo on the screen. If it wasn’t the perfect angle with the right amount of space for the title (after being cropped to 8×10” trim), I knew it wouldn’t be accepted. I also took the same shots with about 4 different spoons because I couldn’t decide which one looked best. Some things never change!
Thankfully, we all ended up loving this photo more than the original so it was worth the extra effort.
This concludes my Canadian cover story. :)
As it turned out, I ended up re-shooting tons of recipes in the book, especially the photos that I shot early in 2012. My photos have changed a lot in a year so the ones I shot in 2012 stuck out like a sore thumb and were driving me crazy. If I write another book, I’ll try to shoot the photos as close together as possible (probably near the end since I ended up re-testing many recipes anyway) so my style doesn’t change too much.
Today also marks this blog’s 5th birthday! Oh how they grow up so fast. My very first post, Boo, was written on October 31, 2008. Here is the very first thing I said on my blog 5 years ago:
“Am I ever glad it’s FRIDAY!!! What a long and exhausting week.”
and then I talked about the weather. Oh boy. Some things never change.
It’s hard to believe I’ve shared almost 500 vegan recipes since then. I’m often asked by friends and family if I’m ever sick of creating recipes and taking pictures, but if anything, delving into something so much has only increased my interest for it. Sure, some days I want nothing to do with it, but thankfully that’s rare. I can honestly say that I love what I do and you, my lovely readers, are a huge reason why. It’s been really fun to get to know many of you and be a part of this community. Even if we’ve never met, I hope that some day we do.
Each year, I feel like I can trust my instincts in the kitchen more. This is something I rarely did when I started out. Everything felt much more rigid and intimidating, but I’ve noticed a real shift in recent months. I thank the cookbook for really pushing me out of my comfort zone. It’s starting to feel more enjoyable, especially with photography. I’m learning to trust myself (and the food) and this doesn’t just apply to the kitchen, but in many areas of my life. So my advice is not to get discouraged if you are new to cooking (or photography) and feeling overwhelmed, it takes time to feel comfortable!
Eric and I have many fun things planned for the future of this blog, starting with our very first vegan recipe app that will be launching soon. Eric is building it on his own and I am helping with the design work and recipe uploading. It’s going to feature the popular recipes from this site as well as totally new recipes you won’t find on this blog. We’re hoping to release it by the holidays, but I won’t make any promises yet!
Aside from some new projects, I want to keep growing as a writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. The saying, the more you learn, the more you realize how little you know, rings true. And that’s exactly why I don’t get bored with it. Most of all, I want this blog to continue to be a place of inspiration for a compassionate plant-based lifestyle. Every time I hear from a reader who has fallen in love with a recipe or got their meat-and-potatoes dad hooked on veggie burgers, it really makes me feel like I’m on the right path doing what I should be doing. Who knows what I’ll be doing in 10 or 20 years down the road, but for now this feels right and I couldn’t be happier to be here.
I’ll leave you with this…
We decided to go with a cat theme this year. Sadly, I can only take credit for the gut-scooping. Eric is the master carver (and crazy cat man, obviously).
If you are looking for last-minute Halloween recipes, see this page. I have lots of recipes from vegan candy (think homemade Twix, Rolos, etc) to dips, soups, and everything in between!