Hello friends!! I apologize for my long span of silence. Since I last posted, B and I spent a week up near Traverse City, Michigan – intended as a vacation, but actually more of a work week in a pretty setting – and came home to the final stretch of finishing the cookbook. It's crazy how, just when you think you're almost done, you realize that you have another mountain to climb. All of the final corrections and edits and tweaks and photo replacements required 18-hour workdays for a week straight. Dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, and cooking were left undone, and I went into college finals mode (i.e. late nights, early mornings, and take-out pizza!). The book was supposed to be submitted to the printers on Monday, but fortunately they gave me a 2-day extension to finish the index – which I crazily decided to tackle myself. There are people who make a career out of doing cookbook indexes – not sure what made me think I was qualified to do this task. Luckily, I have a genius husband who created an algorithm to help me put the index together (I am not kidding). It's too complex to even explain, but it cut my work in half time-wise, and I'm actually pretty pleased with what we came up with.

But the good news is: the book is DONE!!! 272 pages of recipes, photos, and text. I'm still in disbelief. We get the color proofs back from the printer today and Signe (photographer), Katie (designer), and I will all look over it to make sure the colors are correct, and Lauren (editor) and I will do one final read to make sure there aren't any glaring errors. At this point, we've read over it so many times that I feel really good about things, but I confess, I've been having nightmares of opening the book in a few months and finding a typo! (Alas, probably unavoidable.) Once we look over everything this weekend, I have to ship the proofs back to the printer Monday, and then I won't see it again until the books are printed in early November. Woohoo!


Life these past few weeks has looked like this...

I have to give some MAJOR shout-outs to my incredible team who have worked their butts off in this final stretch to make the book absolutely perfect. To Signe, who's tweaked the photos to perfection (and even edited out a knife from the cover on the final day to make sure the text fit!), to Lauren, who has read and edited the recipes a thousand times to make sure everything reads consistently, and most of all, to Katie, for her unbelievable design skills and saint-like patience. Every single correction that's made, whether it's in the text or photos, has to be manually input by Katie, and she's been working late nights and early mornings in addition to another job. Words cannot express my gratitude for all of her work – the book looks absolutely STUNNING!! I am so so excited to share it with you all!

Also, huge thanks to my dear husband for always offering his opinion when I can't decide, and for helping in a thousand behind-the-scene ways (and putting up with a messy apt and no home-cooked meals for weeks), and to my new intern Olivia Funk for all of her awesome fact-checking and copyediting. AND a huge thanks to my cookbook editor friend Ashley Phillips, for reading through the book, and offering feedback and last-minute edits. I am beyond grateful.


(L) Photo by Nate Poekert; (R) reading through the entire book for the first time was pretty crazy!!

So. What now?! Frankly, I'm just excited to get life back in order. This weekend I'm planning to be super boring and clean, cook, do laundry, and hopefully fit in a jog! That all sounds really fun to me. :) I'm looking forward to getting back to blogging again – I seriously miss it when I'm not writing regularly. And I've got to start thinking about how to sell the extra 1000 or so copies of cookbooks I'm ordering. (If you want one, they're available for pre-order here!)

In the coming weeks, I'm going to write a series of posts on pursuing your dream, and what that looks like. I've learned so much over the past year, and would love to share a few bits of wisdom I've gained. Monday's going to be the first one, so stay tuned!

Have a great weekend, everyone – and thanks SO much for all of your sweet words of encouragement on Instagram and Facebook during this final stretch of work on the cookbook. You guys are amazing!

xo, A

P.S. I just wrote a piece for Food & Wine about my #cookbookroadtrip! Check out the story + slideshow here.

(Top photo: Sneak peak of the cookbook's T.O.C., designed by Katie King Rumford; photo by Signe Birck.)