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:

Dinner Preparation Time
How much time are you able to spend making dinner, including side dishes, on an average weeknight?

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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28 Responses to “Vegetable and Beef Pot Pies – and Cookbook Update!” Subscribe

  1. apuginthekitchen December 1, 2013 at 8:02 am #

    Congratulations Susan, I am so happy for you, How wonderful that you signed with Lisa Ekus, your cookbook idea is innovative and creative and just what is needed IMHO. I know you will be a great success. Good for you, and those pot pies look beyond delicious.
    apuginthekitchen recently posted..Thanksgiving Pies And The WineMy Profile

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian December 1, 2013 at 8:05 am #

      Thanks so much Suzanne! I’m really excited about the project. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We were in Atlanta for a few days, but now back home in our own beds :-)
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Vegetable and Beef Pot Pies – and Cookbook Update!My Profile

      • apuginthekitchen December 1, 2013 at 9:59 am #

        With all the planning and prepping I did I ended up not having Thanksgiving. I got really sick on Wednesday and was worse onThursday so I had to cancel as I was hosting and I didn’t want to take a chance on anyone catching what I had. First time ever I have missed the holiday and I am so upset and disappointed about it.
        apuginthekitchen recently posted..Thanksgiving Pies And The WineMy Profile

  2. rossi December 1, 2013 at 8:06 am #

    so happy for you mazel TOV my dear

  3. lizthechef December 1, 2013 at 8:16 am #

    The Elkus group – like buying a Rolls Royce – woot! Let me know if I can help you in any way. Thrilled for you and know you still have lots of hard work ahead so let friends lend a hand.
    lizthechef recently posted..Purple Sweet Potato Casserole with Praline ToppingMy Profile

  4. Christina December 1, 2013 at 8:25 am #

    very cool! good luck with your cookbook!

  5. Bevi December 1, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    Congrats Suzanne! What an over the moon thrill!

    Are you attending Fancy Food this year?

  6. inpatskitchen December 1, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    Congratulations Susan! Can’t wait to see the book!! (And the pot pie looks awesome!)

  7. Mary @ Fit and Fed December 1, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    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

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian December 2, 2013 at 6:57 am #

      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

  8. Renee December 2, 2013 at 4:03 am #

    Best wishes to you and your cookbook. I hope you have much success with it.
    Renee recently posted..Cranberry Walnut Crumble Bars for #SundaySupperMy Profile

  9. Elizabeth December 2, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    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.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian December 2, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

      Welcome Elizabeth! Divided tables unite! I hope you’ll find some ideas here on my blog. Please let me know if you have any questions :-)

  10. Hannah December 2, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

    Susan, I am thrilled for you and can imagine your excitement. Your book sounds enticing and ideal for the way so many families eat. Please keep us posted on your process. I can’t wait! Sending you a warm, congratulatory hug.
    Hannah recently posted..Cheese Crackers with Almond FlourMy Profile

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian December 6, 2013 at 11:51 am #

      Thanks so much Hannah! This proposal really defines so many of my days right now. I hope you’re digging out from the snow – I loved the photo you posted on facebook of the roads and beautiful snow scene right before they closed the roads.
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..(Gluten-Free) Pumpkin Pie Spoon BreadMy Profile

  11. lapadia December 27, 2013 at 5:17 am #

    Wow Susan, I just heard the news; I am so thrilled for you, and can’t wait to see the book….congrats! :)
    Oh and beautiful Pot Pies. Happy New Year…
    lapadia recently posted..Italian Potato Cake aka Gattó Di PatateMy Profile

  12. Tami Weiser April 13, 2014 at 8:37 am #

    Susan-can’t wait for the book to be seen- IT IS INCREDIBLE!!( Just like you)
    Tami Ganeles-Weiser

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