I have never enjoyed keeping secrets, even the good kind. I just might burst from anticipation so here it goes: I’m making a cookbook! It has been in the works for ages, and by ages I mean years, which is a long time in the blog world.
My cookbook is called Love Real Food, as in Cookie and Kate Love Real Food. It’s a title that makes a statement, one that I hope will appeal to you, my most wonderful readers, and a broader audience that hasn’t yet stumbled on this blog or this way of cooking. It’s a statement that conveys my bursting-at-the-seams enthusiasm for real, wholesome food, the kind that both delights the senses and nourishes the body. I hope you like it!
Love Real Food will be an extension of what you have come to expect on this blog, plus some fun special features. It will include 100 recipes that are all vegetarian, fresh and full of flavor. I’m being very careful to use accessible ingredients and have been testing the recipes over and over again to make sure they’re perfect.
I’ve finalized about a quarter of the recipes so far and I CAN’T WAIT to share them with you all. The blueberry muffins alone! They took me nine tries to get just right but they were worth it. The book won’t be complete without a few favorite recipes from the blog (even those will be reworked and tweaked), but the vast majority will be brand new. My stomach is so full right now, you guys.
I’m busy in the best of ways, stretched to maximum capacity with both the blog and the book. Maintaining my presence here and my recipe quality is very important to me, so I’m just moving a little slower than usual. Please keep visiting and letting me know how the recipes turn out for you and sharing my blog with your friends and family! I can’t tell you how much that means to me.
In all sincerity, this blog would never have turned into a recipe website or now, a cookbook, if it weren’t for your presence and your kind words. I took an awfully long time to gather the courage to write this cookbook proposal (my second proposal, long story). Every time you asked me when I was going to publish a cookbook, you gave me a welcome push in the right direction. Thank you. I can’t wait to show you what I’ve been working on!
The book will be coming to you in spring 2017, which might seem like a long time from now. It’ll be here before we know it! I’ve grown accustomed to doing everything myself on this blog, so learning to lean on others in order to make a book has been an adjustment. Big thank you to my awesome agent, Steve Troha, for believing in me and helping me land a deal with Rodale. Rodale has been promoting healthy lifestyles since 1942 (they’re the publisher behind Yummy Supper, Thug Kitchen and The Year of Cozy), and they seem like the perfect fit.
My editor, Dervla Kelly, has been reading this blog for four years, which is pretty special. I’m really excited to be working with her. We’re going to make sure Love Real Food is beautifully designed and full of big, colorful photographs of the recipes (and of Cookie, of course).
I’m so glad the secret’s out now so I can start sharing the creation of Love Real Food with you. Be sure to follow us on Instagram (I’ll be using #loverealfoodbook) and Snapchat (we’re @cookieandkate) for updates! I’ll be putting out a call for recipe testers, too, if you’d like to get involved!
Oh and these pancakes! I thought we could celebrate with pancakes. They’re light, fluffy and infused with apple flavor times two (applesauce and grated apple). They’re also 100 percent whole grain, gluten free and, I kid you not, you can make them in your blender. Just throw everything but the grated apple in there and you’ll have pancakes in no time flat!
FAIR WARNING: For reasons that I have not been able to deduce, these pancakes haven't turned out well for everyone like they did for me (I've made them six times and they always turned out well!). Oat flour is always a little finicky but I don't know why these pancakes have been particularly problematic. These pancakes are the reason why my cookbook's pancakes aren't oat flour based.
- 1 cup apple sauce
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats (gluten free if necessary)
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup grated tart apple (1 large honeycrisp apple was more than plenty for me)
- Place all the ingredients except for the grated apple in your blender. Blend until the batter is completely smooth (as in, you shouldn't see any remaining bits of oats or hear oats hitting the blades), pausing to scrape down the sides as necessary. Stir in the grated apple but do NOT blend again.
- Heat a heavy cast iron skillet/non-stick pan over medium-low heat, or heat an electric griddle to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil the surface of your pan with coconut oil, butter or cooking spray. If you're using a non-stick electric griddle like mine, you might not need any oil at all.
- Once the surface of the pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles on it, pour about 1/3 cup of batter onto the pan. This batter is thick, but your pancakes won't cook through if they're thicker than 1/2-inch, so you might need to help spread the batter out with a spatula. Let the pancake cook for about 3 minutes, until bubbles are popping up and the edges are more matte than shiny. (Be patient, these pancakes need to cook a little lower and slower than most.)
- Once the underside is lightly golden, flip it with a spatula and cook for another 90 seconds or so, until golden brown on both sides. You may need to adjust the heat up or down at this point to avoid burning the outsides before the insides are cooked. Repeat with remaining pancakes.
- Serve the pancakes immediately or keep warm in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven.
Applesauce substitutions: If you can't find applesauce, use plain yogurt instead (I know this works with regular plain yogurt, but suspect that Greek yogurt will be too thick). For the yogurt version, increase the amount of maple syrup or honey to at least 1 tablespoon. Milk will not work.
Storage suggestions: These will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for several days. I bet they will freeze well, too!
Live Edge Walnut Board, courtesy of Vermont Farm Table. I emailed them to inquire about the size of these beauties. The owner, Jess, said she had made my cookies before and offered to send me one. Check out their site; they make all kinds of beautiful wooden kitchen tools and the most amazing live edge dining tables.