I certainly knew with my last post BACK IN AUGUST (sheesh) that it would be a while before I would be able to post again. I was on the verge of starting grad school and in the final stages of publishing my first book.
Writing a book is no joke. This one is a children’s book with recipes, 50 pages, that’s it. Yet, it took a couple of years to go from an idea to a tangible product. I was lucky. I had great people encouraging me along the way, convincing me I’m not actually crazy to be undertaking such a task, while newly pregnant, with a toddler at home and my freelance work. And as things happen, when you decide on a path somehow that path becomes more accessible, the people you need to meet suddenly appear and the ideas you need to flow magically come together like a tiny, quiet symphony. So you keep going even if you’ve no idea what the end result will look like.
The beginning of Anise was back when I started teaching and writing about the Little Foodies of Al Ain. I wanted a food hero, someone who would champion vegetables and how delicious they could be. I was so tired of Claire (and now Eve) reading books about SUGAR…cupcakes and donuts and cookies, oh my! Then when the mere mention of a vegetable came up it was, “eww”. That was just nonsense. My kids weren’t the only ones devouring Golden Roasted Cauliflower and Kale Chips. I watched several kids rolling sushi and sneaking in tastes of nori seaweed, avocado, carrots, broccoli!
The teacher in me was desperate for relatable teaching materials for my kids and for the ones in my cooking classes. The mother in me was desperate for the character that would inspire my girls more. The chef in me was desperate for a little chef, a determined girl on a mission to make real food delicious and accessible and yes, to challenge the landscape of the still male-dominated professional kitchen. Thankfully, that’s changing by renegade and amazing women chefs throughout the USA and the world…and the men who support them.
If you’ve got a little foodie in your life, you won’t want to miss this first book. If you want to nudge your little one to love real food, this may be what works for you. You may be surprised and you may surprise your little one. Better yet, your little one may surprise you! You’ll find the story and the recipes, you’ll find how it supports clean eating, building healthy eating habits, fostering curiosity in food and the kitchen, family time, the wonder of preparing and sharing a meal together.
It is my labor of love. One that was created with my girls. One that I hope will make a difference in your kitchen as it has in ours.
You can find it here and if you’re in the UK then here and if you’re in the UAE then that would be here.
Happy Cooking, Friends.