I am so excited to share a big, fun announcement today. The cover of my next cookbook has just been finalized, and HERE it is! Woohoo!
As you can see, the theme of my second cookbook is “fast & fabulous,” which means this one is full of the quickest, easiest, and tastiest real food recipes I could come up with (75 of which are new and have never before been published on the blog). It also includes loads of color photos, simple cheat sheets on how to avoid processed food, more packed lunches (for kids and adults, this time!), new meal plans (with shopping lists, of course), my top 10 grocery products from a variety of national chains, the truth behind more than a dozen supermarket myths, food prep guides, storage cheat sheets, and more. I’ve been a busy little bee! :)
And with it hitting store shelves on October 25th, it’s already available for pre-order on some sites (hint, hint). Click the buttons below if you want to check it out in more detail!
Behind the Scenes
It’s so exciting to finally have a cover I can share because let me tell you what – it was no easy task getting to this point. As with my first cookbook, I had planned several different photo shoots to capture all the lifestyle pictures I thought we would need. This is not something my publisher handles – it’s completely up to me to make it all happen!
So several months in advance–while my food photographer was working away on the close-up food pics at her studio–I started working on our lifestyle photos by selecting dates, figuring out all our outfits (with the help of my friend Erin, who’s much better than me at that sort of thing!), picking local photographers, making a list of pictures we’d need to get, hiring food and prop stylists, scheduling someone to do my hair and make-up, inviting friends to be in some of the pics with us, willing the sun to be out and shining, and …trying not to stress about so many different details. In case you don’t already know, I can sometimes be wound pretty tight. :)
We had a lot to accomplish over the two different weekends I chose (when the sun did end up cooperating like I was hoping!), and the festivities began at a beautiful local, organic farm called New Town Farms. We shop at their booth at our farmers’ market, and the owners (Sammy and Melinda) were kind enough to not only allow us to use their property, but to share their chickens, baby chicks, and baby pig with us. Baby farm animals, people – my children were in heaven! This was definitely the first time in my life my children actually thanked me after a photo shoot of any sort. I couldn’t believe it. Things were definitely off to a fabulous start.
Here is a quick close up after they were given the baby chicks (look at those smiles!). Trust me, though, the pics that will be in the book are MUCH better than any of these that I took with my phone!
The day after the farm visit we were up at the crack of dawn (on a Saturday!) to get ready for more family pictures at our farmers’ market. It was chilly and early, but we thankfully got some good stuff. Then we had a few days in-between to “rest” (or more accurately to live our normal busy lives of work/school/activities) before the real deal lifestyle pictures began the following weekend. This was when we had the whole crew there to help because I had a couple dozen recipes I wanted us to interact with in the photos. So, for the first time ever, I enlisted the help of a food stylist to completely take charge of that piece by purchasing the ingredients, making the recipes, AND cleaning it all up, instead of doing it myself while simultaneously trying to actually be in the photographs. Best. decision. ever!
But wait, here’s the best part. Even with all of that help, this is how we felt after four solid days of being in photographs…absolutely exhausted! We were feeling so happy about a job well done but were not able to move from these spots for hours, LOL.
But then this is what happened next. I got the photos back and truly LOVED everything that was captured except for one thing…the cover photo (the original one – not what is pictured above). As soon as I saw it, I knew in my heart that one scene had to be redone. I just couldn’t put a cover out there I didn’t love. Soooo, we got to do more pictures!! The joke’s on me, right?! Not exactly what I was hoping for, but in the end, it was totally worth it because I am just thrilled with how it turned out. Now do you see what I mean about it being no easy task getting to this point? I now appreciate every cookbook cover I see so much more! :)
The hardest part is definitely behind me, although I am still in the middle of all the final edits before this thing can go to print. I am counting down the days to not only be able to hold it in my hands (October 25th!), but to be able to share it with you! Your feedback helped me decide what should be in this cookbook, and I hope you are as pleased as I am with the outcome. It truly contains the easiest and quickest (and tastiest) real food recipes I could come up with as well as all the food shopping resources you could possibly need to painlessly cut processed food out of your life. I cannot wait to get it into your hands and see what you think! :)