Apr 28

The Making of a Cookbook

It wasn’t that long ago that I found myself captivated in front of my television watching an episode of The Barefoot Contessa. There was Ina Garten in her beautiful kitchen explaining how she creates recipe, keeps track on her kitchen computer of all that she does each step along the way, notes her likes and dislikes, ideas for the next time… And then, of course, she glides out onto the patio where her friends are enjoying cocktails and anxiously waiting to share and critique the meal she’s prepared. I can tell you for sure, that is definitely not the way it works for me.

First, there are the endless copies of paper.


These are constantly getting mixed up, split up, torn up, and sometimes even lit up! I try to do most of my work on the computer, but with little counter space available and lots of counter space needed, I quickly learned that the small counter next to the stove and vent for the oven wasn’t the best place for my laptop. And, as long as we’re talking about the stove, I assure you that this is another thing Ina and I do not have in common. To be honest, I don’t recall what exactly she was cooking on, but I know it wasn’t this:


As for the relaxed sharing of a meal with friends and family, the family meals have been few and far between these last few weeks, but the fun is never-ending. There have been swim meets, gymnastics meets, birthdays, school vacation,  a visit to play lacrosse with the girls at school that left me nearly unable to move the next day, and of course, there was our sleepover guest – Stella – the three week old goat.


See? It’s really all quite normal here!  With three more recipes left to test for my next cookbook, the one thing I believe I do have in common with Ina is that I have been barefoot in my kitchen for weeks! That is why they call her that, isn’t it? (You mean that wasn’t Ina playing opposite Humphrey Bogart?)

As CLEAN FOOD grew organically out of years developing recipes for my cooking classes, it represents recipes from much of my life that were compiled over the years, came together with design thanks to my dear friends Andy and Kurt, and were first self-published as a way of thanking and giving back to the people who had filled my life and my kitchen with their inspiring energy and quests for healthy food and a vibrant life.

This next cookbook (due out this fall!) has come together quite differently! The recipes were written in the dead of winter when fresh produce was scarce and only faint memories were around to inspire. Now the recipes are being “tested” – a term I use lightly since they are more ideas than recipes and require working, reworking and reworking some more. Layout has begun, and photography will soon follow (see, your requests were heard!). So definitely stay tuned for the continuing saga of “The Making of a Cookbook.” I promise, the fun has just begun, and the punch-line is delicious!


Terry Walters



  1. Posted April 29, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    I just bought Clean Food for my birthday and I love it!! My whole journey with healthy eating started by reading In Defense of Food and I stumbled upon one of your recipes on the internet. I tried it and I was sold! Thank you for taking the mystery out of healthy eating and creating recipes for regular people.

    Looking forward to your new book!


  2. Posted April 29, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    From one Taurus to another…happy, healthy birthday, Tammy! Eat Clean Live Well!

  3. Posted April 30, 2010 at 4:19 am | Permalink

    That picture of the two of them is so cute. I love it. I can’t wait for your cookbook. All your tweets and posts have my mouth watering 😀
    God bless and thanks for all your hard work so we can eat cleaner.

  4. Posted May 10, 2010 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I am so excited about the cookbook! I just made the Quinoa and Black Bean Salad with Apricot Lime Vinaigrette over the weekend. Thank you, thank you, thank you for such an AMAZING recipe!!!

  5. Posted May 11, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Just read your interview on the No-Meat Athlete site and am looking forward to buying and enjoying your book. I’ve been a vegetarian for over 20 years and have started edging toward vegan just this last year. Perfect timing, finding you and this book. Thanks!

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