Monday, April 06, 2015

Cookbook update

We are working on a handful of projects around here. Some of them I can't reveal yet (although I can tell you, we aren't moving or having another baby).  But one project is that I am finally writing that cookbook I have been talking about for several years.  I guess with Kindle self-publishing so common, the time is finally right.  It is a dessert cookbook, and I have been testing many recipes.  So far there have been more thumbs-down recipes than thumbs-up recipes.  I've learned a couple of things about searching the web for cooking inspiration.

1) I can't tolerate most cooking blogs.  The formats are so similar that Mike truly believes the blogs are written by robots hired by Kraft, Betty Crocker, etc.  I have to tell him that no, they aren't written by robots, and that somehow makes them worse.  The pies that will "change your life, y'all" and the confessions like, "shh, don't tell, I ate the whole thing" make me want to claw my eyes out.  But even if I bypass the self-important wordiness and skip straight to the recipe, I find that in many, many cases, the recipe was developed to be photographed, but not eaten.  Also, each blog post contains many reader comments that are all basically, "This looks sooooo yummy, I'm pinning right now!" and they don't actually add any helpful information.

2) Many Kindle cookbooks are nothing more than what the bloggers call recipe "roundups", where the author/editor simply Googles for interesting-sounding recipes, and then consolidates them in a cookbook format, but without photos.  One editor mentioned that he or she (I can't remember) would have liked to have included more photos in the Kindle book, but that it would have been "expensive".  So for a while I assumed that one must pay to include photos in a Kindle book.  But that is not the case.  I realize now, that it is "expensive" because it means that one must actually cook all the recipes in order to photograph them.

3) The best web recipes come from sites like, where the comments contain actual user reviews.

I'm using this information to develop a cookbook that I personally would want to read. One that has a photo of every recipe, and that is not too wordy, and contains recipes for things people would actually enjoy eating.  I'm not a great food photographer, but here is a preview.

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