Cabbage Cups

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Cabbage cups filled with a sweet potato purée and a rice pilaf mixed with crispy leeks, raisins, and pepitas.

cabbage cups filled with sweet potato puree, rice, leeks, and pepitas recipe

First the exciting news.

Are you sitting down?

A few days ago I entered a twitter-based contest to be signed by a literary agent to write a cookbook. The Lisa Ekus Group is running a contest called “So You Want To Write A Cookbook?” to find new literary talent, American Idol style. Everyone had three days to pitch their ideas over twitter (the new elevator speech), and 16 finalists were named yesterday, (drum roll), including ME. I pitched the idea of writing a cookbook for people cooking dinner for both vegetarians and meat eaters. I call it the new mixed marriage.

Yes, most any cookbook today has a sprinkling of vegetarian dishes along with entrées focused on meat or fish. But I’ve yet to find one that integrates the two into a meal. I don’t relish cooking two completely different dishes for my husband, the meat eater, and myself, and can’t believe I’m the only one facing this dilemma when I open my refrigerator every night to begin fixing dinner(s). To a large extent, this mixed marriage has pushed me to completely re-create my pantry so that I’m not standing in front of the refrigerator 30 minutes before we want to eat, trying to figure out what the hell I’m going to make. I have a lot of ideas for how it would be laid out, but first I need to snag some tangible interest. I saw the contest being promoted on Facebook just as my ideas were starting to coalesce, and tweeted my hat into the ring. I’m beyond thrilled and excited to even get to this round. It validates that the idea is potentially marketable.

Round two is today, and the finalist field will be sliced in half to eight. Lots of people are starting to tune in, so feel free to join in at #signmesal on twitter. There are a lot of really good ideas being pitched, so wish me luck!

And now for my second piece of exciting news. I’ve been invited to be a writer for the food section of Ask Miss A web-based magazine. The magazine is run by Andrea Rodgers and is primarily focused on points of intersection of charity and style. I’ll be contributing articles every week with recipes, and covering food events in the Bay Area and Tahoe that have a charity element to them. This week’s recipe was Cabbage Cups for St. Patrick’s Day, my riff on a more traditional cabbage roll. I wanted something that would be great to grab as I run out the door, or as an appetizer for a party. The cups are first layered with a sweet potato purée that’s topped with a little pilaf of rice, crispy leeks, raisins, and pepitas. So good and so healthy. You can find my article and recipe here. Please stop to say hi at my new home away from home.

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    • says

      Thanks Lynda! For some reason your comment got caught in my spam folder and I just saw it when I was going through them. I survived the cut to 8 finalists, but didn’t survive the cut to 4 finalists a couple of days ago. BUT, the agency contacted me immediately and they’re very, very interested in the concept. So we’re emailing quite a bit. The weighty proposal looks like the next step – which I know you’re familiar with. Would love to get together when we’re back in town in April. Mostly we’re here in Tahoe these days while the house is for sale.
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Vegetable / Chicken and Rice Peasant Soup My Profile

    • says

      Thank you so much Jane. For some reason I just found your comment in my spam folder. Very sorry for the delay in responding. One of my regrets in leaving the Board is not having the opportunity to get to know you better. I think we would have made a great team. Thanks so much for your support. I survived the cut to 8, but not the cut to 4 a couple of days ago. But the agency contacted me within minutes to indicate they love the concept and want a proposal. Yikes – a big project. We’ve been emailing now the last couple of days about it all. So it’s still all very exciting – just not in the way I had originally hoped :-).
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Vegetable / Chicken and Rice Peasant Soup My Profile

  1. says

    WOW congratulations!!! That is so exciting, and what a fantastic book idea! If things continue along with my boyfriend and me, that is a cookbook I will be needing in the future! And judging from your blog posts, I’m sure the recipes will be top-notch. Looking forward to reading your post in the online mag!
    erika recently posted..How to bake level cake layers (DIY cake strips!)My Profile

  2. says

    I am thrilled for you Susan, congratulations. How wonderful, I love your cookbook idea, and can’t wait to find out if you make it to round 2. Going to follow them on twitter and keep abreast of the contest. What a great idea it is, and the other writing gig sounds like a lot of fun. You really are not just an amazing cook but your writing is always compelling, your recipes easy to follow and well written and your stories always tie in beautifully too. Good for you!
    apuginthekitchen recently posted..Blood Orange Simple SyrupMy Profile

  3. says

    I’m so excited for you, Susan!! I thought about pitching as well, but my concept is still, well, a concept and I havent quite figured out the pitch yet. I have a feeling you’re going to go far because my friend who emailed me for help this week is in the same dilemma. I’ll have to pass along your blog for ideas 😉

  4. says

    Huge, huge congrats on both counts. Your cookbook concept is one I absolutely believe has merit – it’s similar to the premise behind my blog, so I certainly hope so! 🙂 Fingers crossed you have the opportunity to make it happen – I’m rooting for you!

  5. says

    Your cookbook idea is creative and smart and addresses a definite gap in the cookbook genre. The writing gig is super cool too! You go! Very excited for you and good luck with round 2 and: congratulations!
    azita recently posted..Copy Right Copy WrongMy Profile

  6. says

    Congratulations!!!! What a fabulous opportunity! I can’t wait to hear if you are one of the final finalists! Good luck to you and I hope you get to write that cookbook with or without this contest.

  7. says

    Wow, Susan, congratulations to you!!! This is indeed exciting news. I love your concept of the new mixed marriage and agree there are many who would appreciate your ideas and lovely recipes. I’m very happy for you! 🙂
    Hannah recently posted..Advieh, Kuku and BarberriesMy Profile

  8. Annette Nielsen says

    I think your idea is a home-run — and I know I could use all those great ideas in my home. So excited for you!! Stellar!
    Sending all good thoughts. xA

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