Good morning friends! Hope your week is off to a great start. We just got home last night from Miami and it was quite a shock to go from a balmy 85 degrees to sub-20 degrees when we got off the plane. I apologize for my lack of blog post yesterday, but I decided to soak up every last drop of sunshine before plunging back into the Polar Vortex. It was so nice having a few days of flip flops and sundresses, but it's always good to come back to NYC. I really depend on the energy of this crazy city to keep me motivated with my work. NYC is full of so many creative, talented, DRIVEN people - living here inspires me every day to be my best. It's amazing how after just a few days away, my momentum begins to slow. I suppose that's a good thing - I definitely needed the rest - but I'm excited to be back in the saddle for the final stretch of this cookbook project!!

So here's the update: today's Day 88, so we've got 12 more (week)days of The Cookbook Diaries. Originally, I had mapped it out to finish on March 11 (my birthday!) but I've missed a few days along the way, so my final day will now be March 20. So far we've got 65 recipes shot (we'll have 85 shot by March 20) I've tested 75. I'm FINALLY sending out recipes to testers in the next week (apologies for the takes a long time to compile/edit the recipes!) so we can begin Phase II of recipe-testing.

In the meantime, I'm in the process of planning two exciting dinner party collaborations (more on that soon!) and hopefully will get a chance to work with my favorite stylist Jenn Elliott Blake on at least one of them. I've also got a dinner party challenge for YOU all to join in on - and I'll give you details on that later this week!!


Photo by Signe Birck

It's funny, I went into the process with the hopes that once I got started creating the cookbook and blogging about it, that I'd suddenly have publishers knocking on my door. I hoped I'd have a cookbook deal by now and that the path ahead would be blissfully clear. Well...that's not the case. I actually have been approached by a few publishers and a few agents, but I haven't found the right fit yet. And you know what? After talking to several fellow-bloggers and cookbook authors, the idea of self-publishing is sounding more and more appealing. If I publish myself, I could have books printed in time for Christmas gifts this year(!!), but if I wait on a publishing deal, my book would most likely come out in 2016. That, to me, just doesn't make any sense.

I'm still figuring it out, but the main thing I've learned is that my dream doesn't have to be in the far-off future. My dream is happening NOW. This blog, this journey, the cooking, the writing, the food-styling, and most of all the relationships I'm building along the way - this IS my dream. I'm living it, and I want to be present enough to enjoy the process. And I hope I can inspire you all to do the same!

Thank you all, dear friends, for your support. Can I ask one you all for a big favor?? Saveur just opened up nominations for their 2014 Best Food Blog Awards. It would be a DREAM come true if The Yellow Table got nominated for "Blog of the Year"...could you take a second to nominate me?? (And would you mind helping me spread the word on social media?!?!) All the details are on my Facebook page. THANK YOU!!!

xoxo, A