I’ve been waiting for this day for over 2 years. I finally get to tell you a bunch of stuff about my book, its launch, some practical information, and a fun pre-order surprise too! I’m going to lay this all out in slightly longer bullet points so that I don’t talk TOO much because I don’t want to bore you guys–I could honestly go back and forth about this book, the work that went into it, and its life cycle for days and days. I’m sharing some sneak peek photos here too! Get yourself a cozy drink and settle in?
–The First Mess Cookbook will be out March 7th, but can be pre-ordered now. More about that below.
-There are 125 recipes in this hardcover book that weighs a little two pounds. It’s comprised of almost entirely fresh material–just a few well-loved blog recipes in the mix.
-The book is divided into the following sections: Mornings and Breakfasts, Soups and Stews, Salads and Dressings, Hearty Mains and Big Plates, Vegetables and a Couple of Grains, Energizing Drinks and Small Bites, Desserts and Small Treats.
-There’s a beautiful photo for every single recipe, plus some bonus photography throughout for that little touch of “atmosphere” ;)
-Every recipe is vegan, and there are symbol notations for gluten-free, cane sugar-free, sugar-free, nut-free, and oil-free options.
-I wrote a big, feel-y introduction on how I got to this stage in my career/life, what kinds of things you’ll need in your kitchen in order to cook from the book, and some light observations on my favourite ingredients for plant-based cooking success.
-There are two covers. The blue-ish background one is the US version. It features live arugula from Slegers and it was taken on my parents’ concrete garage floor. The one with the pot pies/cute little casseroles on the cover will be released in Canada because reminders of cozier fare to get us through the winter are essential. Despite the different covers, the book is exactly the same on the inside.
If you enjoy the content from the blog, my Instagram account, or any sneak peeks via the #FirstMessCookbook hashtag, you’ll probably love this book. Even when I make a salad or a vegetable side here, I always try to make it hearty and filling somehow–the book follows through on this effort. When the recipe isn’t an outright main course, there’s usually a healthy fat or protein-rich component involved to make it feel satiating anyway. I’ve tried mightily to position this book at the intersection of hearty, elegant, earthy, and seasonal.
This book will give you a glimpse into how I cook for myself, my family, and my people at large for plenty of occasions, whether that means a quiet earl grey latte with lots of vanilla for me and me alone to enjoy in the early hours–or it’s a gluten-free, cane sugar-free, totally vegan, and utterly delicious coconut cream tart because I need to impress some semi-skeptical omnivores. I know that sometimes I go funky with the ingredients for drinks and such here (like the cordyceps from earlier this week hehe), but rest assured that the focus of this book is recipes made with accessible and seasonal ingredients. Simple and great!
There’s a few tricks, too. I show you how to make fresh almond milk in less than a minute, the easiest shortcut to steel-cut oatmeal that won’t have you hovering over the stove just stirring and stirring, how to make luscious (non-banana-based) ice cream without an ice cream maker, the pantry ingredients that pretty much guarantee a lifetime of flavourful food, and, most importantly, how to make raw cookie dough into a semi-sensible afternoon snack.
Book Depository (free shipping worldwide)
The thought of real people finally having this book is, somewhat predictably, thrilling one moment and scary the next. I think that’s normal for any creative work that’s put out there, and I’m finding a bit of calm just in that thought alone. Off and on, this project took up over 2 years of my life, so just flipping through these pages gives me so many vivid memories of time, place, and feeling. I really gave this thing everything I had, and it’s my hope that the sincerity translates when you finally get to see it. Until then, all my gratitude and love, all the time :)