What inspired you to write your book?
Making dinner can be one of the most daunting tasks of the day. It’s late, you’re tired… brain dead actually. You’re too exhuasted to go out for dinner. All you want to do is eat a nice warm meal at your own table in your own home and decompress. Maybe with a glass of wine or even a cocktail.
I wanted to write a cook book that could be the answer to this dilemma. I love to cook and eat well and want to help others to cook at home instead of eating out or having processed meals because I think it is essential to good health, not to mention happy taste buds. I’ve been a cooking school teacher for 20 years and enjoy giving people the skill and confidence to fit cooking a meal inside their busy lives. I’ve essentially condensed my knowledge as a cooking school instructor, caterer and recipe developer and paired foods with similar cooking techniques, to make a meal in one pan.
About your Book:
Serves Two is part of an innovative new multi-media cookbook app collection featuring award-winning authors that will, virtually, be in the kitchen with you through interactive videos. These short clips will show you important information on techniques and ingredients, giving you the confidence you need to execute any recipe successfully – the first time.
Award winning author Carla Snyder has provided “25 complete one pan dinners for two busy people”. Included are recipes for complete made-from-scratch-meals, with one pan clean-up and ready to eat in about 30 minutes. These are not casseroles, but dishes like Roasted Halibut with Fingerlings and Chimichurri Mayo, Braised Chicken Involtini with Tomatoes and Capers and Whole-Wheat Pasta with Chicken, Snow Peas and Peanut Sauce. How is this possible? She’s condensed her knowledge as a cooking school instructor, caterer and recipe developer and paired foods with similar cooking techniques, to make a meal in one pan.
In addition, each recipe is accompanied by gorgeous photography and filled with short video clips that will guide you through the important techniques and ingredients you need to know to execute the recipe successfully. There are over 65 videos included – all can be displayed over AirPlay. This innovative format allows Carla to virtually be in the kitchen with you, guiding you step by step through every recipe.
Cuisine Style or Food Genre
Main Course Meals for Two
Sample Recipe or Food Advice
Skillet Pork Chops with Sweet Potatoes, Apples and Cider Sauce
Nothing says fall like tender pork, rich sweet potatoes and juicy apples. It’s the trifecta of autumn food pairings…local, seasonal, delicious. That little spike of mustard in the cider sauce is just the thing to moisten what can sometimes be a tough cut of meat.
Tip: Be sure to buy pork chops that are 1-inch thick. A thicker cut will retain more of its natural juices, which equals more flavor on your plate. Thinner chops will cook more quickly and tend to dry up and become tough.
2 tablespoons olive oil vegetable oil
2 center-cut, boneless loin pork chops, 1-inch thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large sweet potato, halved lengthwise, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Crispin, mutsu or Braeburn apple, peeled, cored and cut into 14 slices
1/2 cup apple cider, plus more if needed
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon chopped parsley if desired
Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil.
Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and add them to the pan. Cook for about 4 minutes on the first side or until they brown. Turn them over and cook on the other side for about 3 minutes. The chops will not be fully cooked at this point.
Transfer the pork chops to a plate and add the potatoes, apples, cider and cinnamon to the pan. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the top and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium and cook the potatoes for 15 minutes or until almost tender.
Return the pork chops to the pan and nestle them into the vegetables. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and the potatoes are tender.
Transfer the pork chops, potatoes and apples to heated plates. There should be about 1/4 cup liquid in the pan. If no liquid remains, add 1/4 cup cider. Over heat, whisk in the mustard. Spoon the cider sauce over the pork chops. Garnish with the walnuts and parsley if desired.
You shouldn’t be looking for any more food on your plate with this meal, but feel free to add a tossed green salad and a tall cold glass of Blue Moon, a Belgian style wheat beer flavored with coriander or and orange peel.
What formats are your books in
How do you see writing a food/cookbook as different from writing other genres of books?
We do write more prose in cook books these days. Headnotes are longer and stories about the food are often included, so we are moving closer to novels, but I don’t see novels including recipes any time soon.
What advice would you give to someone that is thinking about or currently working on a food book or cookbook
Begin with an idea that is unique to you. Think the idea through completely and make sure there is enough depth in the topic to become a book. Start a blog and begin the writing and recipe development process. It’s amazing how a weekly post can make you a better writer over time. Write a proposal and then find an agent to represent you. It’s tough to get publishers to read unsolicited proposals. If you really have passion for the topic, don’t give up.
How did you decide how to publish your book and where is it published through:
I was approached by a company to write this ebook after writing 5 books in print. It is available on itunes and is compatible with iphones, ipads and ipodtouch. I wanted a digital presence in the cook book market and at the time a digital cook book with apps could cost up to $75,000 to produce. There are many venues out there now such as mobileskillet.com that can produce an ecook book for you for far less money, so self publishing in the digital realm is reasonable now. But I prefer working with an established company like The Informed Chef who does are the marketing and leg work for me.
Carla has spent the past 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, culinary team building company owner, free lance food writer and co-author of 6 cook books. Her work has appeared in Bon Appètit, Chili Pepper, Better Homes and Gardens, Family Fun and numerous local and regional magazines and newspapers.
She is co-author with Meredith Deeds of The Mixer Bible and The Mixer Bible 2nd Edition (Robert Rose 2005 and 2009), 2007 James Beard nominated The Big Book of Appetizers (Chronicle Books 2006), The Take-Out Menu Cookbook: How to Cook IN The Food That You Love to Order Out (Running Press, 2007), Good Morning America’s top ten pick of 2008, 300 Sensational Soups (Robert Rose, 2008), Fish for Dinner (contributor, Williams Sonoma, 2009), the digital ecook book with apps Serves Two (available on itunes) and Everyday to Entertaining (Robert Rose 2011). Carla has a new book coming out in spring 2013 titled One Pan Two Plates: 70 Complete One Pan Dinners for Two (Chronicle Books). She has been a frequent guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio and Dinner Plans. Look for Carla on Facebook, Twitter (carlacooks) and at ravenouskitchen.com where she blogs about everything from cooking for two to easy weekend entertaining for a crowd.