Sometimes I felt like this day would never arrive. After a few years of collecting recipe ideas, the summer of 2015 spent recipe testing, months of writing,...Read More
Well Fed Update
Friday was a pretty huge day around our house! If you follow me on Twitter, you know that our proof copy of Well Fed arrived from CreateSpace. We experienced a few white-knuckle moments as we flipped through the pages of Well Fed for the first time, but our anxiety was for naught: the book looks great, you guys!
Here’s the pic I posted on Twitter, just a few minutes after we tore open the package:
So right now, Dave is putting the finishing touches on some tech-related things and tomorrow, Well Fed officially goes on sale.
Now that I’ve held the book and flipped through the book and used the book to cook (!), I thought I’d share some of the things that I really like about it. For your consideration…
5 Cool Things About Well Fed
1. It’s so friendly!
We went with an 8.5-inch square format for the printed book, and now that I’ve used it, I’m so glad we did! The book is a lovely, manageable size, and when I used it this weekend, it stayed flat on the counter. Hands-free instruction! Plus, the compact size makes it feel like a little handbook for kicking ass in the kitchen. The covers are thick and glossy, but the inside pages have a matte finish so you can take notes in the handy “Notes” field that’s on most of the recipe pages, without smearing ink all over the place. The colors in the photos have reproduced beautifully – and seeing Kathleen’s design in real-life, 3D is awesome.
2. Melissa and Dallas of Whole9 wrote the foreword.
I was delighted when M&D of Whole9 said yes to my invitation to write the foreword – and then humbled when they delivered their text to me. I’m not too proud to admit I that a few tears sprung to my eyes when I read what they wrote. Here’s a short excerpt:
We have a confession: Overall, we give our collective cooking skills a “B” grade at best. (Truthfully, one of us is pulling that average down, but we’re not saying which one.) We’re darn good nutritionists, but our background isn’t in the culinary arts. The good news? We don’t have to be Cordon Bleu-trained chefs, because we’ve got a well fed, dressed to kill, glossy haired, rock and roll, tart tongued secret weapon: our friend Mel.
Flip through Well Fed, and you’ll immediately see this isn’t some taking-itself-so-seriously cookbook full of pictures you’d barely recognize as food. Mel created these recipes in her kitchen, using the same basic tools and equipment you’ve got in your kitchen. And she developed and prepared these meals around her own busy schedule – in between work, exercise, family, friends, and looking after a house and a husband and a cat. (The lesson: if she’s got time to create them from scratch, you’ve got time to make them for dinner.) Because she knows that cooking is scary for lots of folks, she’s filled her recipes with extra details, helpful hints, and technique tips. (No Ph.D. required!)
3. We used real food and natural light.
There are all kinds of tricks that food manufacturers use to make food in commercials look good – disgusting things like glue in place of milk, for example. All of the food in the Well Fed photos is 100% legit. In fact, every Sunday this summer, I cooked food, Dave photographed it, and then we ate it. Sometimes we accidentally ate the star of the shot before we were done taking photos – and sometimes we ate bits of food that were misbehaving. Chomp!
And just as we decided to do the publishing the hard way, we did the photography the hard way, too… with all natural light instead of studio light. That meant we spent a lot of afternoons in 100+ degree temps, sweating (Dave) and whining (me) to get the perfect shots. There were a few evenings when we were literally running down the street with food in one hand, props in the other, chasing the vanishing sunlight. A few photos might have been taken in our neighbor’s driveway because she catches the best afternoon sunlight. But now, when I look at the warm light and life that infuse our photos, I’m really glad Dave trusted his instincts on his technique. See?
4. There’s lots of eye candy and inspiration.
There are 115+ original recipes and variations in Well Fed, along with tons of ideas for how you can mix and match ingredients to make hundreds of different meals – and each recipe includes a full-page color photo so you know just what you’re getting yourself into. Kathleen’s design has tucked little surprises into each page, so every time you read it, I think you’ll see something new – and I hope you’ll add your own variations as you cook your way through the recipes. Thank you so much to everyone who responded to my cookbook survey last year; your responses helped shape the book, and I’m so glad we listened to your opinions.
5. The most amazing people were on the team.
Saturday night, we gathered the entire Well Fed team for a dinner party under the lights in our backyard. I made recipes from Well Fed, and we toasted with non-paleo sparkling wine in dark chocolate cordial cups to celebrate the successful arrival of our proof copy. Looking around the table, I was grateful for all of them and all of you! The best gift a writer can receive is someone reading her words, and I’m so blessed that all of you take the time to read my ramblings and respond with such great questions, support, and funny commentary. I wish there was a way for all of you to have joined us at the table Saturday night. Maybe sometime we’ll do a virtual dinner party – we can all make the same recipe from Well Fed and eat it at the same time!
Here are a few photos from our celebration. Believe me when I say you were all there with us in my heart (and yes, yoga is making me soft, and I don’t care).
NOTE: Dave did not take these photos, which is why the light is jacked, and we all look fuzzy.