I had a dream the other night, a nightmare really, about seeing my book for the first time. I ripped into its yellow parcel pouch with the same enthusiasm as my four-year-old at Christmas. I flipped over the cover so I could take in the culmination of three years worth of work but inside I found hideous beige and fabric textured paper with a similarly beige font. Instantly any hope I had of people actually reading the book were dashed. They made a last minute change to divide the book by meals which made no sense for a date night book (let’s just say the breakfast chapter was very lacking) and there was one whole section dedicated to the fried chicken and biscuit sandwich (maybe that’s not so bad after all). The narratives were tucked in the back like an afterthought and the images were small and often distorted.
The rest of the night I lay there trying to convince a very nervous and anxious self that “it was just a bad dream. They wouldn’t really print beige-on-beige. Go back to sleep.”
It feels surreal to be at this place. Less than two months from the pub date, I mean. It seems like I’m the only one who feels like this time has flown by. Perhaps that’s because I’ve been deep in the process of actually creating it as I’ve watched the due dates come and go and poured myself into the project every step of the way. So much so that while I’m absolutely thrilled to finally be able to share it with you all, I’m also a bit terrified.
You may have noticed a lull here over the past couple of years. Those of you who have been reading the site for years may have noticed posts that were a bit more light, quick and airy. I’m still proud of those posts and stand by the recipes they served but I tried real hard to save all of myself for the book. I wanted to stand at the point where I am at today and say, “I am damn proud of this book.” And guess what guys, I am really damn proud of this book.
I have tears in my eyes as I write that because I am so happy with how true that statement is and I also know how hard it is for me to say that about anything I create.
I’m proud of this book for many reasons; the food is ridiculous (I’m convinced that the Salted Chocolate Pecan Ice Cream Pie with Bourbon Butterscotch and Pretzel Crust is worth the cost of the book alone) the photos make the food look as good as it tasted, and this book was created by a village. But what makes me the most proud is that this book is about so much more than the food. As much as I love food what I really love is what happens around the table and what happened around our table last year gave us the absolute best year of our marriage.
Side note: Writing a book about date nights is the best accountability to actually having a weekly date night. I highly recommend it.
A couple weeks ago I was speaking at a Food Blogger’s conference about being vulnerable on the blog; the importance of that and why I do it. Inevitably the book came up because this book is quite possibly the most vulnerable I have ever been. Tears streamed down my face as I stood up on stage and told the audience about this project. I found myself anticipating the question of “why do it if it makes you so scared?”
This is what I told them; “I’m terrified. I’m afraid of this book being judged or me being judged because of the book. I’m very afraid of bad amazon reviews. But I will take that fear any day if it means that I get to share my heart, my passion and myself with others in the hope that someone may find help, hope and inspiration in it.”
I don’t want to live a safe life, I want a meaningful one.
Last night I got an email from my editor that the book is one its way. The moment I’ve dreamed (nightmared) about is happening in a matter of days and I couldn’t be more excited and yes, terrified. You all will have to wait a bit longer before you get to hold the book in your hands but just as I reward my own children for their patience I plan to do the same for you.
While the book has over 120 recipes I couldn’t stop there so I went ahead and created five additional recipes that make up what we are affectionately calling our “Holi-DATE”.
The Holi-date is the perfect menu to celebrate surviving the craziness of the season that is right in front of us. Here’s the menu:
Classic Champagne Cocktail
Stuffed Pork loin with Prosciutto and Prunes
Cranberry and Cabbage Slaw with Orange Ginger Vinaigrette
Chocolate Peppermint Shortbread
*Bonus* The extra Chocolate Peppermint Shortbread that you don’t eat for date night makes a great holiday gift.
I want you to all have these recipes but first I need you to do something for me: Pre-order the book. Please and thank you.
For the first 150 people who pre-order and then fill out this form I will send you a set of five beautifully designed (thanks, babe!) and photographed recipe cards along with a downloadable PDF of all the recipes from this menu. If you aren’t one of the first 150 don’t worry, you’ll still get the PDF.
You can choose to pre-order the books where ever you like (if you do so here it’ll be a signed copy!) the important thing is that you pre-order. I’m new to this whole book making and selling process but apparently the pre-orders are a big deal because bookstores like to see that the book is legit and people are totally into it. So thank you, thank you, thank you.
This is all just so huge for me, my family and my sweet friends who are ready and waiting to pass the tissues, raise a glass of bubbly and give me loads of hugs and eager pats on the back. All that to say, your support means so much to me. I can not wait to share this book with the world and to finally start the conversation that I’ve been writing about and thinking about for such a very long time.
Once you pre-order the book go to our book page (here) and fill in the form.
Powell’s (the cover here is not the most recent edition)