Vegetable and Beef Pot Pies – and Cookbook Update!

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Hearty beef pot pies duke it out with vegetable pot pies topped with puff pastry.
vegetable and beef pot pies

First of all, I’ve got exciting news on my cookbook proposal.

I’ve been signed by The Lisa Ekus Group. They are seriously kick-ass with a deep bench of contacts in publishing and public relations arenas, and Sally Ekus is as supportive and resourceful an agent I could have hoped to find. To say I’m thrilled is like saying the Grand Canyon is pretty. To say I’m beside myself with excitement is a little closer to the mark.

As many of you know, the cookbook is designed for the vegetarian – omnivore table, but truthfully it’s for anyone wanting to bring more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains onto their plates or have one or two vegetarian dinners during the week. The book focuses on meals that can be served to both sides of the table and make-ahead pantry ingredients to bridge the divide and save time during the week. For me, they’re recipes for sanity in my kitchen.

Now that I’m (hopefully) on the home stretch with the proposal, two things are clear:

1)     There have been more decisions than you can possibly imagine even at this early stage.

2)     It takes a village.

Here’s a little taste of the tangle of decisions I’ve been pushing around my plate over the past few months:

  • How to best integrate the meal preparation while keeping the vegetarian portion clearly distinct from the omnivore’s.
  • Whether headnotes should be primarily informational or written to make the reader immediately go to the kitchen and tie on an apron.  Or not have headnotes at all?
  • The tricky balance of providing enough information for anyone to make any dish successfully, but no so much information as to be daunting.
  • If it’s realistic to carve out a few weekend hours a month to make Leek Confit, Pickled Onions, Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes, and Mushroom Broth for the pantry even if it means saving up to 30 minutes when making dinner later in the week.

And then there are the food decisions!  Are there enough dishes with legumes? Is each season well-represented with a balance of vegetable types? Are ingredients fairly easy to find no matter where you live?

But wait. There’s a business side to all this. Like how will my book be different from other similar cookbooks? Who will buy it, and how will they even know about it?

And then refine, refine, refine down to a concise, imaginative, marketable book that will maybe become a hit in two years.

So where am I right now?

About 85% done.  And here’s where the “it takes a village” part comes in.

As I wrap things up for the proposal, I’d love to get your opinions on a few things. I’ve figured out what works best for my family, but solutions don’t always come in tidy one-size-fits-all packages, and this book is for all of you.

Once or twice a week over the next month, I’d like to come to you with a question and take a poll to see what you think. Please, please, please chime in with a vote or email me through my contact page. I really appreciate everyone’s thoughts!

And to kick it off, here’s the first question:
[yop_poll id=”2″]

And then check out these Vegetable and Beef Pot Pies I published on The Weiser Kitchen site for a fireside dinner on a cold blustery night. You can make your own crust, or purchase ready-made pie dough or frozen puff pastry. It’s up to you!


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  1. says

    Hi Susan, I’m excited for you! Lots of decisions for sure. One of my friends is a newly published first-time author and is getting so many positive reviews for his book– I hope you have the same success and gratification! I went over and checked out your Beef and Vegetable Pot Pie recipe. I see that you have an extra challenge writing the two tracks of the recipe, the vegetarian and the meat-eating tracks, and I’m wondering if you will use any graphical/layout help for that. I thought you did a good job making the recipe clear that way.
    Mary @ Fit and Fed recently posted..Maple Roasted Brussels SproutsMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks so much Mary. Yes, I’m working with a graphics designer now for the proposal, but ultimately it will be up to the layout person at a publishing house. But I think it will need some kind of graphics approach to make the two recipe tracks clear. That way if, say, you or I were making the recipe just for ourselves, we could easily eliminate the meat part of the recipe :-)
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Vegetable and Beef Pot Pies – and Cookbook Update!My Profile

  2. says

    Just discovered your blog. Although I prefer to keep more of a vegetarian table I have a ten year old son and a partner who eat meat so I hope to get some ideas for a split table. Congratulations on your cookbook deal.

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