It’s been a hectic summer. You’ve seen our site transformation, our t-shirts launch and now, we’re announcing to you that we’ve written a gluten-free recipe and guidebook for children, which is now available for Pre-Order! I don’t think we’ve got any movie deals or plans for world domination anytime soon, so I sincerely hope this to be the last of the “big projects” or announcements we have on our to-do list for quite some time.
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For those interested in the what and why…
We had this hair-brained idea in June, which we shared with CaveGirlEats when she came to visit, about self-publishing a kids’ cookbook. We were (and are) just so thankful for finding a healthful way to feed our kids and really wanted to share those experiences and recipes with other parents who were asking us how in the world we got our kids to eat broccoli or how we dealt with birthday parties with pizza and cupcakes. We started working on some fun recipes to share, improving our photo quality and making our photos mouth watering for kids, like Meatball Salad, Apple Pie Cupcakes and Grain-Free Granola.
We joked that we thought we knew 4 family members or friends that might buy it to make us feel useful. Liz, however, insisted we call VictoryBelt to discuss our idea with them. Matt and I both laughed, as if it was some sort of SNL joke she was telling us; they published Paleo Solution, Everyday Paleo, Paleo Comfort Foods and Make it Paleo. There’s NO WAY we cackled and put it out of our minds.
Then she sent me a text message about a week later that went something like, “HAVE YOU CONTACTED THE PUBLISHER YET? WHEN CAN I BUY YOUR BOOK FOR THE KIDS IN MY LIFE?!” So we sent an e-mail to Victory Belt that was full of self-mockery and expected to hear nothing back. Turns out, they were actually interested. And much to our ecstatic surprise, we received a call while on our vacation in July that gave us real goals and deadlines for this tiny vision we’d had.
And there it was, an opportunity to fulfill a dream. Right in front of us. You may not know it, but Matt’s grandfather is a successful published author and it’s always been a dream of Matt’s as well. So he and I took it very seriously. We wanted to make sure this book didn’t let our publisher or the community down; we wanted to positively spread the word about eating and cooking real food with your kids in a way that’s fun and inclusive.
But as we thought about it, it was more than a Paleo book. It was a gluten-free, casein-free book. There were quite a few allergen-free recipes. How do we make this book appeal to the masses? How do we ensure that this is a kids’ book that happens to be Paleo and not a Paleo book for kids? It’s our goal that Paleo or not, a parent or grandparent could pick up this book and feel like there’s something to be learned, a recipe to be improved in their own kitchens, or simply a moment of licking spoons together that can bring them closer together and healthier at the same time.
The more I thought about who’d done that successfully and allowed us to share those moments and as a result how different our kitchen was, I just kept thinking about Elana Amsterdam. Although I read Robb’s book to learn the science of why Paleo is how we wanted to eat, it was Elana who was the inspiration for our family to execute it in the kitchen. “If she can bring protein-filled brownies to an after school game, I can surely figure out an alternative to birthday cake,” I thought. She’s been an idol and fantastic role model for the gluten-free community since way before I was ever a member of it.
If you’ve followed our blog for any amount of time you know we love Elana. The boys reference her in our house like a personal friend, “Can we have Elana’s pancakes for breakfast?” Cooking without wheat flour, butter and seed oils was a whole new kitchen adventure for us – and it was her blog and recipes that made it practical and fun. She may not have known it, but she re-taught Matt how to cook. And, as a mother herself (how cute is this kid-created Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake recipe on her site?!), I couldn’t be any more thrilled and honored that she’s offered to be involved in the project as well.
As you can imagine, we’re just overwhelmed with all that has happened in a few short months. We’ve made some genuine friends whom we shared our little secret with (thank you to WeAreStarDust, NomNomPaleo, PrimalPalate, LatestInPaleo, Balanced Bites, GlutenFreeEasily, Lexie’sKitchen, SpunkyCoconut and of course CaveGirlEats and many more friends who have offered the most awesome support). Because of such wonderful support, the more we wrote the more excited we got and the larger the project became.
Suddenly our little hair-brained idea was a full-fledged book with over 100 recipes and projects for families to make together. My personal favorite is the illustrated children’s story that will spark conversation about how removing processed foods from your diet can change the health of your family (the cover art is from one of the pages). Remember that detox back in September? That was all because Matt’s cooking got so insanely good I couldn’t stop
eating testing his recipes!
It’s such a relief to finally share this will you all! We’ve been wanting to tell you SO much! I’m sure you’ve had some suspicions about our saying we’re “testing recipes” but then don’t reveal them? Well, if you did you were right. We were keeping a secret from you – sorry! But now we get to share recipes and pictures from the book, offer you sneak peaks at the kid-friendly, eye-catching layout and blog about the process, which in and of itself has been a wonderful journey.
Right now our book is in final review, we expect some LONG hours this month because we’re not the best editors of our own work and copy editors will need to bleed all over our pages – but, after that it’s off to the printer and then hopefully the book can be in your hands. We look forward to spreading the word about healthful family eating being approachable and fun, even for picky eaters. And get ready for some seriously awesome recipes like Anytime Cookies, Frozen Waffles, and Chicken Nuggets. Plus, you KNOW we’ll be trying to rustle up some great giveaways for you!
p.s. If you’re finding this blog for the first time as a result of our book launch: Hello, welcome! Also feel free to find out more information About our Story or check out our Start Here 101 for more information and some good links that might be helpful in getting started on your own journey. We hope you stay and look forward to talking with you!