A First Look

A First Look

There are a number of reasons I love working on books. I love being able to live with recipes and images for months, or even years. Something about revisiting and working on them over time just feels right. I love taking photographs for print. I enjoy the collaborative process of working on a book. I love holding a finished book in my hands...there are a lot of reasons.

I'm sitting here looking at a document dated December 18, 2005, it is my author agreement with Ten Speed Press for Super Natural Cooking. I don't know how four years passed so quickly, but it has. I delivered the manuscript and photography in August 2006, the book was published the following spring. I loved working on that book. And now, looking back on it, I'm realizing I sort of never stopped.

Not long after submitting the manuscript for Super Natural Cooking, I started setting aside photos I loved, and continued to keep notebooks of my favorite recipes, ideas, and inspirations. I wasn't sure what I would do with them, or what would emerge over time, but I had a hunch something might. Or not. Either way, I don't like the idea of rushing these sorts of things. I've come to believe you can't really rush inspiration, it comes on its own schedule, emerging and intersecting my life when it sees fit. I just try to keep my eyes open.

Keeping it local: Aaron Wehner, now publisher of Ten Speed Press, also happens to be a friend and neighbor. It's nice to be able to casually throw ideas around with him at the playground in the park across from my house, or over coffee up the block. I suspected (and hoped) that if I was going to work on another book, it would be with Ten Speed. They're located in Berkeley, and there's nothing quite like being able to share font inspirations with your designer face to face, or hang out with your editor over lunch or drinks. I've been very fortunate in that regard.

Now, there's a big difference between thinking about a book, and turning an idea into an actual book. I'm not sure if it is like this for everyone, but speaking for myself, committing to a book project is both exciting and terrifying. There was a point last year when my excitement about the prospect of making a new book tipped the balance away from terrified, and I started attempting to wrangle things into something real and cohesive. Something I was excited to share.

A new cookbook: I'm working on one :) I'll submit the manuscript and photography to Ten Speed this summer, and it will be published in spring 2011. It will be a follow up to Super Natural Cooking, and the working title is Super Natural Every Day. In short, it's a glimpse into my everyday cooking and everyday life. All new recipes, all new photography. In equation form: Me + Northern California + cooking with natural foods + my kitchen in San Francisco = Super Natural Every Day.

The recipes: The recipes are rooted in whole and natural foods. They typically feature a handful of seasonal ingredients, some inkling of nutritional balance, and most come together with minimal effort. At times it's tough, but I've resisted the urge to include any over-the-top, special-occasion creations. I also skipped any that had lots of components, or required elaborate time commitments. Instead, I went back to my notebooks and have anchored the book in my favorite everyday creations. The recipes I revisit over and over.

There is so much more I'd like to tell you about it, so much I'm excited to share. I was thinking I might write a series of posts focused on the creative process of making this book if you're interested? I was thinking: photography; the manuscript; the design process; inspiration; the recipes....? Let me know what you think.

And most importantly, this post wouldn't be complete without a heartfelt thank you to all of you who embraced Super Natural Cooking. Simply stated, without your support, I wouldn't be working on another book.

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Comments

Great! It will be nice to read about the total creative process for your book. It is so much more than just sitting down and arranging the recipes.

Jilly

I can't wait to read the book, and I think the 'daily food' theme (paired with your always gorgeous photography) you are sticking to makes it a great gift idea also for friends who are not foodies. I love giving cookbooks as gift, nearly as much as I love receiving them. And if you feel like posting some details on the process of making your cookbook, I'd wait for it like a very very big gift :)

I am so excited that you're writing another cookbook! I absolutely love Super Natural Cooking... both the recipes and photographs. I actually have your book on a cookbook holder open to pages 42-43, displaying the gorgeous photos. I switch up the pages every now and then to add color to my kitchen. I love the idea of posts about the book writing process. I'm sure it is a much more detailed process than most of us know, and it would be interesting to a get a sneak peak into it.

Fantastic news, Heidi - I adore Super Natural Cooking and can't wait to read the new book too! Look forward to reading the process of making also, good luck and have fun!

Congratulations to your new project – that sounds like a lot of fun. And since I love your first book I'm really looking forward to your second one. Your site is a big inspiration to me – especially for baking! I tried many of your sweet recipes and some got standards in my kitchen – we just love them! (the simple chocolate cake or tapioca pudding for instance). So pleeease put many great dessert and baking recipes in your book and I'll be very happy :)

Maia

Congratulations Heidi! I have loved your site for years - I can't tell you how many of your recipes I've made - I come back to 101Cookbooks again and again - flavorful and healthy, a pretty good combination! I am looking forward to the new cookbook!

Ashley Palomaki

Heidi, I still remember the day I ordered SNC. I had just begun to suspect that the nutrition advice I was taking from magazines and websites wasn't quite enough, when I read a review of your book. SNC inspired me to not only overhaul my pantry and cookbook collection but make local, organic whole foods a way of life. Now, that I have tried most of the recipes in your cookbook, your blog is the one I visit the most often. I know you haven't stopped buying cookbooks, but I (almost!) have. I can't tell you how many times I have realized I bought too many potatoes, or tomatoes or whatever only to find the perfect recipe from you in my inbox. Please keep doing what you're doing. I can't wait for your new cookbook! Warm regards from chilly upstate NY, Nipa

Nipa

I love using the recipies on your side and just last week ordered your book (am eagerly waiting for it!), so next year spring is perfect timing for me. Good luck with all the work!

Esther

I would adore it if you gave us an insight to the process; what a wonderful idea! :)

It's also my dream to have mine one day. I truly admire you. And your photography. Creating a cook book that accompanies the photos, much be a superb author, photographer & cook =)

i would love to hear about the creative process of your cookbook and how it comes together :) plse share whatever you feel to share with us :) many thanks Betty Bake

Woohoo!!!! Can't wait for this!!! Yeay for a new Heidi cookbook. =)

Jessi

These are great news! I can't wait to read the coming posts and get a hold of the book.. You are such an inspiration..

Fantastic news! I've been reading your blog for a little over a year, and I enjoy both the recipes on your site and the ones in Super Natural Cooking. As someone who needs to eat whole grain foods for medical reasons, it's refreshing to find new ideas on your site for ingredients I cook with often. I'm already looking forward to buying your new book. I'm a San Francisco native, but by the time it comes out, I'll be in graduate school somewhere else, and it will be a wonderful reminder of home.

Anne

yay heidi, congratulations!! as one of many who have been hoping for your next book, i'm so excited now i finally got the date: roll on spring 2011!! best of luck with everything!!

fantastic news! sounds like a great concept! can't wait to pick up a copy when it becomes available.

Two days ago I received the copy of SNC that I ordered. I love it. My pantry is already partly transformed and I'm completely inspired to start cooking. Not sure whether it will be the black tea springrolls or the qunoa, crescenza and mushrooms first. I can't wait for the sequel next year. Congratulations and good luck!

I can't wait for your new book! I just got Super Natural Cooking for Christmas and love it. Already tried out a few of the recipes. The panna cotta is my favorite so far. Easy but so delicious.

Sandy

That's wonderful! I'm so excited about your new book already!

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