My first cookbook will be out soon! Today I’m sharing all the details about the cookbook, including when it will be out, the title, where to find it & the 2-year journey to getting this published. You’ll also get to see a sneak peek look at the cover photo! Thanks for sharing in my excitement. I cannot wait to see it in your hands!
I have been waiting for this day, for what feels like such a long time. I’m actually able to tell you about my cookbook!!
The title is Everyday Muffin Party: Healthy, Kid-Friendly Muffins to Make and Enjoy Together.
About the cookbook
Everyday Muffin Party is all about healthy muffins. Truly the heart of the book is about connecting in the kitchen. There are of course delicious recipes. They are all gluten-free, sweetened naturally with only fruit, maple syrup, honey, or dates.
The recipes are lower in sugar than the average regular muffin recipe that you would find. This makes them perfect for every day, while also being so good you could serve them at a party!
The heart really is at the beginning of the book before the recipes, about connecting in the kitchen with your kids. I share stories about being in the kitchen with my kiddos, and truly just this blessing that cooking together can be.
Making memories and teaching kids vital life skills matters so much. I believe muffins are such a fun way to introduce kids into the kitchen.
There are over 30 muffin recipes. Most are sweet, but we also have savory muffins included. They are all gluten-free, and we only use oat flour, almond flour, and coconut flour, so no gums are needed or 7 different flours mixed together.
There is a substitution guide, how to be a better baker section, how to build a real food pantry for healthy baking, and so much more!
When will it be available?
The publish date will be December 7, 2021!
Where can I buy it?
It will be available on Amazon! When it’s out, I’ll have an easy link for you here. 🙂
You’ll have the option of a paperback or a digital eBook (kindle) copy.
I chose to self-publish for a few reasons. The first being, I don’t have a massive following, so I figured getting a book deal might be more work than I want. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but I just did not want to go that route.
I wanted to keep the full rights to my book, too.
Also, I just thought I could do this.
A little before my book concept came together I met a friend of a friend that was working on finishing her first book, which she was also self-publishing.
I felt so lucky that I could pick her brain because there was SO much to learn about this process. And I’m sure still so much to learn and I finish it up.
But my “can do” attitude is what really kept it all going. I’m here to learn, pivot, and adjust, and there has been a lot of that during the whole process.
The stress of writing a cookbook
I went into writing a cookbook telling myself that I would not get overwhelmed. That I’d be going at my own pace.
I had heard stories from other cookbook authors that it just becomes this overwhelming process. That you’re burnt out at the end. I just didn’t want that.
Maybe that’s also why it took me a lot longer to write this than I anticipated because I gave myself that flexibility. But I also had periods of time that I didn’t work on it, so that had something to do with it too (the whole timeline is below).
Really I didn’t feel the stress until I hired my designer to design the cookbook. Once I did that, I had real deadlines that I had to meet. And as we head into the final push before it’s available, I’ve definitely felt that overwhelm kick in from time to time. The SEO Tools Centre’s free online Sentence Rewriter has been my partner in writing this cookbook.
Lots of adrenaline has been keeping my energy up! And I’m sure when it launches, there will be a crash, but I’m hoping I’ll just keep riding that high energy all that way through.
Before I get into the timeline of writing a cookbook, let’s backtrack to my early 20s. I started this blog when I was 21 (formerly title Get Healthy With Heather – remember that?). This cookbook dream began around 1-2 years after that.
I remember having this goal of “when I turn 25 I want to have a cookbook published.”
It was a lofty dream with no specifics around it. Then when I turned 25 I just kind of brushed it off as a thing that didn’t happen.
But it still continued as a dream in my mind, taking me to the timeline of writing this cookbook.
The timeline of writing a cookbook
In the latter half of 2019, the idea of a cookbook came to me.
The most popular recipe on my website is the no sugar banana smash cake. SO MANY of you have made this cake for your little one’s first birthday. You have this same heart as I do of not wanting to overload your kiddo with tons of sugar on their first birthday. And also as they grow, to not overwhelm their little bodies with loads of sugar.
My concept started originally as naturally sweet treats, but then it was narrowed down into just muffins.
Muffins are so fun for kids. Even though baking is a science, I believe there is flexibility in muffin making, especially when you’re having a kid involved in the process. They’re fun to eat, fun to take on the go, and can be made in so many different flavors from sweet to savory.
The concept of the cookbook – muffins made without refined sugar was formulated. Then the heart of the cookbook, which is all about bringing kids into the kitchen, was settled on.
December 2019-January 2020
Then I basically wrote the book during the next 2 months. Everything that goes before the recipes was written out. I was in the zone.
Sometimes I would wake in the middle of the night and type myself an email with my jumbled thoughts. Knowing that if I waited until the morning, they would disappear. When inspiration hit, I had to get it out.
For those couple of months, I wrote a lot. Truthfully I’ve never felt like a writer (funny because I’ve had this blog for 13 years), but I’ve found, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Practice really is your best friend!
After the front matter was written, I got into the fun stuff – testing the recipes! I had recipes written on papers, in notebooks, on my phone, in apps – they were everywhere. Now I know, be more organized the next time! But I found everything and it all worked out well.
Then a pandemic hit right at the end of recipe testing, so things went on hold for a couple of months. My kids were home, we were doing school online and nobody knew what the world would look like.
I emailed my newsletter to see if anyone would want to be a recipe tester for the cookbook. I got a handful of amazing ladies that said YES, so I began sending them recipes to try in their own kitchens.
Their feedback was HUGE. Some recipes I had to go back and tweak, some didn’t make it in the cookbook, some were a 5/5 right away.
I had a very detailed spreadsheet going on at that time so I knew who was testing what recipe, and I didn’t send them the same one again.
That process took a few months.
Once I had a recipe that I had tested, that got the okay from a couple of recipe testers, I began to photograph them!
If you know anything about food photography and using natural light, summertime is an amazing time for it. Here in the PNW when we get into fall/winter, the lighting is just not as great, and it definitely doesn’t last as long.
I knew I wanted to get as many photos done during the summer as I could. My kids were home, I was shooting a lot of recipes, and I just did my best. I’d bake a couple of batches one day in the afternoon, and then the next day photograph the recipes.
I’m thankful that muffins hold up well and look just as good the next day.
We decided to homeschool our older kiddos instead of doing school online over zoom. We had a 1st and 2nd grader, pre-k, and a 2-year in the house.
Not much happened with the cookbook during that time. I felt in a lull and a bit overwhelmed. The meal plan membership was going on. I had just taken a pause on the podcast because it felt like a lot going on with the extra responsibility of now being a teacher to my kids.
My cookbook energy came back! I knew it was so close to being done. All the recipes were photographed. The draft was fully written. I knew I could get this thing done, so I sat down and wrote an outline of what I needed to get done each month for an October publishing date (at least, that was the plan).
The next step was to get back into the draft and work on editing. I’m grateful my mom is my forever editor and does an amazing job with it. I’m sure she will find a typo in this post or a grammatical error, and she’ll send it to me (please do mom).
Then it was time to start designing the cookbook. I figured I’m a scrappy person, I can design this thing. I found a company that I was going to use to publish the book, and I began using their software to design it.
I spent a couple of months working on this part.
And then I realized, I don’t want to do this. I don’t like designing it. I also knew that somebody else that has designed cookbooks before would do a better job. I could learn all about formatting but realized I wanted someone else that did that for their job to take this on.
I found someone on Fiverr and hired her to design the interior and cover of the cookbook (woohoo!). I sent her examples of what I liked so she’d have an idea of the creative direction.
Then the stress started.
Once I hired her, the real deadlines kicked in.
I had to get the front matter over to her, which was not 100% done being edited at that time. I also had to finish editing all the recipes, which takes time!
Thankfully I had them typed up from when I sent the recipes to my testers, but they still had to be adjusted and fixed a bit.
Those first couple of weeks after I hired my designer felt like chaos inside of me.
But, once I got everything I had to over to her, I got to shift my focus to my launch team and getting the book into your hands.
This is where it feels like such an exciting moment.
I am going to see the draft book soon (by the time this post publishes I likely have). Once I see it, I’m sure I’ll have some changes before it’s actually finalized because I have a specific vision for it.
It is an exciting time right now. Thinking about it being live and available.
There is just so much heart in it, and it makes me emotional thinking about you having it, and using it in your own kitchen.
I think about moments you’ll have in your kitchen with your kids.
The idea of simply handing them this cookbook and saying, pick your favorite pretty picture and we’ll make this recipe, as is, brings me immense joy.
Knowing that the recipes are full of great ingredients.
Knowing that you won’t have to cut down on the sugar, or make adjustments because it’s already been done for you, is simply heart filling.
I can’t wait for you to open it up and make recipes for your family, or simply for yourself. Knowing that it’s filled with wholesome ingredients you can enjoy any day of the week.
Sneak peek cookbook cover photo
Here is the cover photograph!
I cleaned up my kitchen, set the timer on my camera, and took a ton of photos with different outfits. This one became the winner!
More questions about the cookbook?
Did I miss any obvious questions that you still have? Leave a comment and I will be sure to answer them!
Thank you for sharing in my excitement, friend!