Sunday, September 02, 2012

exciting news and kitchen makeover progress

Classic Vegan Pecan Pie – I'm perfecting my recipe for the new cookbook 

Exciting news
I'm thrilled to announce that I am working on my third cookbook: "Pies and Tarts With Heart!" [Awesome new publisher: Quarry Books!] The book will feature original recipes for more than 60 sweet and savory – yes, savory – vegan pies. I'm even including a chapter featuring recipes for what I like to call "sPies," or non-pie foods posing as pies [Think Boston Cream Pie, Whoopie Pies, Shepherd's Pie]. I don't know how I kept this impending cookbook a secret for so long, but of course, I couldn't say boo until all the details were finalized.

In Amazon reviews, readers' had rued the fact that my first two cookbooks did not contain photos [This, incidentally, was my previous publisher's decision, not mine; photos cost money to make and to print.] The good news is that my new cookbook will overflow with colorful pictures of the pies, pie-making techniques, and ingredients/tools. F-stop, my talented boyfriend, will be taking the shots.

So, between working on the book and at my "day job," training for the fall half-marathon season, and redoing my kitchen, my life has been crazy. Crazy in a good way, but crazy nevertheless. Speaking of the kitchen...

Kitchen makeover progress
Gas, at last, after 8 years of a crappy, generic electric stove. 

On HGTV, kitchens are redone in 30 minutes. But real life moves at a much slower pace. I'd been without an oven for almost a month, until just a few days ago – tricky when working on a pie cookbook [Now you know why I made all those raw pies. I also used this oven-less time to perfect the  frozen and no-bake pie recipes]. Earlier this week, the plumber finally came in and moved the water lines for the new sink location, installed a water line for the ice-maker in my new 'fridge, and hooked up a gas line for my new gas stove [Yes, I'd endured a crappy electric apartment stove through 2 cookbooks and for the entire 8 years I've lived here]. 

My temporary-but-fully functional kitchen in progress.

Bruce installed nifty recessed lights above my counter area, so I can finally see what I'm cooking. After the plumber did his thing, Bruce was also able to install the sink, stove, dishwasher, hood, and a temporary plywood counter, which is actually prettier than it sounds. So once again, I am working in a functioning kitchen. Whee! Next week, the granite folks come to make their measurements. After the granite counter is installed a few weeks later, the tiles and new lights will be next, followed by oodles painting, a DIY task that I can actually complete myself. The white walls on my entire, 1600-square-foot loft also need to be repainted, so now's as good a time as any. [Sigh] It's a linear process; the only way out is through.

Another view. Next steps: cabinet doors, granite counter, tiles, then shelves.
Home remodeling entails a lot of "two steps forward, one step back." Most recent case in point: my new faucet. I'd bought a Tarnan Ikea faucet with pull-out sprayer, shown in this photo. When Bruce opened the box, he discovered that many of the parts were missing, so he picked up a new Tarnan, and I need to return the old one. But once installed, the pull-out sprayer just didn't work; there's not enough room under the sink for the extra-long tubing owing to the pipes and garbage disposal. So last nite, F-stop and I stopped at Home Depot, and with his help, I chose a new faucet, with a longer neck that encases a shorter sprayer tube. [Word of advice: don't buy the Tarnan. It's crap.] The same thing happened with my sink: I'd bought a nice, large one at Ikea, but learned from the plumber it was too deep for my set-up. I returned that, bought another one at Lowe's, then realized, too late, that I wanted an undermount sink to avoid the inevitable gunk-build-up that comes with overmounts. So I returned that one, and ordered a new one online. Sometimes, I feel like I spend more time at Lowe's and Home Depot than in my loft.

I'm hoping that next time I post, I'll have some brand-new, gas-fired food porn to share. Enjoy your week!

Follow Me on Pinterest


Amber Shea @Almost Vegan said...

I'm so very excited for your next book!
PS - Pecan pie is my favorite. ;) Although last Christmas, Matt's sister-in-law baked us a vegan sweet potato pie (made with sorghum syrup!) in a whole grain crust that was pretty rad...

Johanna said...

I'm excited for your new book, too. I love baking, more for others than myself.

moonsword said...

Congratulations on the book deal! I love the sPies idea and look forward to your superyumful photo-filled pie-a-palooza! :)

Marissa said...

This book is going to be fantastic. The name of the book and the sPies idea are too cute. Happy to hear that this one will contain pictures, too! Can't wait to see the final product.

Alistair Danes said...

Would indeed love to go through your book. Yes, please put more and more photos. Very catchy! Keep the good work up.

Suburban Snow White said...

Well dang it, I've drooled all over my keyboard here. GORGEOUS kitchen! VERY well done! :)