"I am not a professional cook, or photographer. I am not a writer, editor, publisher or marketing guru. Everything you see was done by the work of my own hands. I created the food (with the exception of a few dishes), I made the messes, took thousands of pictures, edited the entire collection, and dreamed up the day when I could sell my recipe books to raise money for our family."
To read about the inspiration for this project CLICK HERE
I come from a long line of cookie lovers............
So this instinctive craving for homemade baked goods is definitely genetic.
My mom, grandma, great grandma, sister, daughter, it is no accident....
cookie loving is a part of who we are.
See most people introduce solid foods to their infant starting with vegetables, or rice cereal. Not in this family. Once you master that reflex of swallowing you better believe you will be eating cookies. Not just any cookies but the very best chocolatey, gooey, fresh out of the oven morsels of heaven you have ever tasted!
And even then.............. this passion for cookies is not a learned behavior, it's innate.
Trust me, I tried to deny it once. I quickly found out that going without cookies is like going without oxygen. It just ain't gonna happen.
This project all started as an idea to compile the very best of our family recipes.
Then on a whim I thought I would actually try and take pictures of the food. I am not a professional photographer, but fortunately for me one of my best friends is......
With a few suggestions from her about lighting and Photoshop I was on my way. (by-the-way a big thanks to Andrea Tuft for taking my portrait shots). Thousands of pictures later, and a lot of trial and error I FINALLY figured out how to take pictures and make the food look mouthwatering!
I have a little addiction, (other than eating cookie dough) of
So one day I was daydreaming about creating this fabulous recipe book (which has now turned into multiple little recipe books), complete with pictures, and how it would actually make me a some dough (not the kind you eat). Money was really REALLY tight and we were living of an even tighter budget, but I knew if there was a WILL there had to be a WAY. This quote by Aristotle inspired me;
First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.
So I took Aristotle's advice, set some goals (work towards paying off all of our debts and create 200 recipes with pictures) and adjusted all my means to that end. So how does that work when you are on a tight budget.......very carefully? Now hold on and let me do some explaining.....I have had multiple people say, "man your family is SO lucky eating all this delicious food", and "WOW Josh is the luckiest man on the planet with all that amazing food you make for him".
When people say that to Josh and I, we turn to each other and laugh hysterically! Don't be fooled by the pictures, I wish we could eat that GOOD every day, but if you saw what we really eat you'd probably be shocked. Rice and beans, spaghetti from a jar, grilled cheese and tomato soup, or whatever else is on sale and cheap!
So how did I create this yummy food?
Well........ all I can say is Birthdays and Baby Showers come around, expensive foods go on sale, Mom buys groceries when I visit, and once in awhile my friends buy the food
and I do the cooking.
Now that I am wrapping up this project, working on the typing and editing I have to say that I am even a little amazed that I pulled it off. When I look back on the pictures of the food and the crazy couple of years my heart is full of gratitude. A big thanks to my family, especially Josh who has followed me around cleaning up my messes, and to my kids -who I love with all my heart.
This book is dedicated to you.
Also thank you to my mom for sharing the best recipes in the world!
Everyone stay tuned and I will let you know when you can get your hands on a copy!
Much Love, Ali