The Next Big Thing. . . (Cookbook Authors Blog Hop)

Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free is now available for pre-order! Nab your copy now and you’re guaranteed the book at this price. Wouldn’t it be great to have it magically show up at your door in September? ๐Ÿ™‚

Order from here.

Order from here.

Order from Barnes and Noble here.

Cover Image_NSGF450

My new cookbook–coming to a bookstore near you in September 2013!

A few days ago, I was delighted to receive an email from one of my all-time favorite cookbook authors (and a constant inspiration), Nava Atlas. Nava was writing to ask if I’d join in a blog hop called The Next Big Thing. Well, I haven’t participated in something meme-ish for a very long time, but this one intrigued me: the idea is to pass along the same set of questions to various cookbook authors and post the results. Each author is asked to tag a few others.ย  Well, shoot, count me in!

As you all know, I’m wrapping up final edits for my new book (hence my scarce appearance on the blog lately). I’m also working on revamping this site (survey #2 coming soon!), gearing up to speak at the Gluten-Free Garage in April and planning a couple of other surprises over the summer. I thought it would be fun to share more specific details here with y’all, too.

So thanks, Nava, for inviting me! Here’s a bit more about my “next big thing”:

Chocolate Cupcake from Diet, Dessert and Dogs

[Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. Photo by Celine Saki.]

What is the title of your upcoming book?

Itโ€™s called Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free: Allergy Friendly Vegan Desserts. The book was originally going to be a straight reprinting of my first, self-published, book (Sweet Freedom), but once we decided it would be geared toward individuals with food allergies, I offered to revamp the recipes so they are all gluten free and free of higher glycemic sweeteners, much the way I eat now.ย  As a result, about 60 of the recipes here are entirely new; a few appeared in the original Sweet Freedom (only those that meet the GF/low glycemic criteria); and a few are favorites that have already appeared on this blog. I had a blast testing all the new recipes and working with the supremely talented photographer, Celine Saki.

Fluffy Fruited Pancakes on Diet, Dessert and Dogs #glutenfree #sugarfree #candida

[Fluffy Fruited Pancakes with Strawberry Whipped Cream and Quick Apple-Cranberry Topping. Photo by Celine Saki.]

Who is publishing your book and what is the expected release date?

The book is being published by Sellers Publishing, publishers of high-quality, beautiful books of all kinds. Its scheduled release date is October, 2013. I know that sounds far away, but based on how quickly time has flown so far on this book, I bet it will arrive before we know it!

How long did it take you to research and write this book?

Because many of the recipes already existed in a glutenous/higher glycemic form, I was generally revising and altering recipes rather than creating entirely new ones (though I did a few of those, too). So I suppose you could say the book began in 2008, but concentrated work on NS&GF began in earnest last August, 2012.

#Gluten-free, #sugar-free, #vegan Butter Tarts on Diet, Dessert and Dogs

[Butter Tarts! And yes, they are free of gluten, dairy, eggs and refined sugars (raisins are optional). Photo by Celine Saki.]

What inspired you to write this book?

When Sellers expressed an interested in reprinting Sweet Freedom, although I love the book still, I was also keenly aware of the irony that I can no longer eat most of the recipes in it. I decided to create something more in line with the way I eat today. I’m happy to say that all of the recipes in the book are suitable not only for vegans or people with allergies to dairy and eggs, but also for anyone who’s gone through a candida diet or is diabetic. About 90% of the recipes are also corn free and can be either soy or nut free.

What is your favorite aspect of writing a cookbook?

That’s easy: creating recipes! That’s by far my favorite part of writing a cookbook, with the actual writing being a close second. I could easily rework the same recipe 5-10 times in one day trying to perfect it.ย  I think of it as sort of like playing with a science experiment, and I’m terribly curious to see how the results work out.ย  For me, that’s fun. (Yes, I’m weird).

#glutenfree #sugarfree #vegan Glazed Almond Bars on Diet, Dessert and Dogs

[Glazed Almond Bars. Photo by Celine Saki.]

What is the hardest aspect of writing a cookbook?

Getting everything done before the deadline. While I’ve never missed a deadline, it feels incredibly rushed sometimes! Timelines in publishing have changed quite a lot in recent years, and I guess I’m still on the old schedule.ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰

What interesting things would we find in your refrigerator right now if we were to open it?

Well, do seven types of nut and seed butter count? As my readers might recall, I’m crazy over homemade nut butters, so I’m always concocting something new. Right now, I’ve got jars of walnut-goji berry, walco-nut butter, almond, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, high-protein carob-walnut, and cacao-coconut butters in the fridge. There’s also an experiment in homemade cheese, a jar of homemade sauerkraut, the usual greens suspects (kale, chard, collard, romaine), a can of matcha tea, and a high-protein homemade cookie dough snack.

What is your favorite sound in the kitchen?

This is a bit of a cheat, but it’s The Girls sighing as they wait for me to finish up with the food processor so they can sample whatever is in it (usually nut butter or a bean dip).

Chaser in the sun patch on Diet, Dessert and Dogs

“Thanks, Mum, we appreciate that. Especially the nut butters. See how good I am, lying here outside the kitchen waiting for you to finish? I’m such a good girl, don’t I deserve some nut butter? (Most of me is out of the kitchen, anyway. Just ignore that left paw that’s over the edge of the room border.)”

What three ingredients canโ€™t you live without?

This is a tough one for me, since I love so many! This week, it’s collards, chickpeas and walnuts. And always, stevia (I know that’s four, but stevia transcends all other choices).

So do you have an agent?

I’m working with Marilyn Allen of Allen O’Shea. Marilyn is a great voice of reason and calming force when it comes to my work on the book! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Which actors would you choose to play your main characters in the rendition of this book?

Oh, funny! Well, can Oprah play a white girl?ย  I think she’d understand the up/down yo-yo aspect of my weight loss (and gain) journey.ย  I also think perhaps Steve Buscemi (I have a sneaking suspicion that he might get what it’s like to live with chronic blepharitis and dry eye syndrome, too)? Now, for the HH, I think we need to offer the role to Jeff Bridges. He doesn’t look anything like the HH, but I adore him, so whatever. And I bet Cesar Milan could easily find a couple of willing canines who’d play The Girls.

#Glutenfree #sugarfree Bread pudding with caramel sauce on Diet, Dessert and Dogs

[Bread Pudding with Warm Caramel Sauce that even I can eat! Photo by Celine Saki.]

I’m also supposed to tag other cookbook authors, so here goes. Hope you enjoyed this peek into the next big thing on my schedule!

I’m tagging:

Dreena Burton

Christy Morgan

Kathy Patalsky

Douglas McNish

Alisa Fleming

And here’s the list of those who’ve participated so far:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. OMIGOSH, I cannot wait for your book to come out. I’ll be the first to pre-order.

  2. Everything looks wonderful, those glazed almond bars especially!

    • Glad you like them, Vicky! The almond bars are an updated version of the recipe in Sweet Freedom–I am very pleased with how they came out now that they’re gluten-free!

  3. Oh wow. You had me at those almond bars! I look forward to your book, Ricki.

  4. Aaah this post gets me even more excited for your book!
    Your lucky pups getting to share treats from your kitchen.

    • Thanks so much, Emma! Well, I think the pups are lucky, obviously–and we are so lucky to have them both in our lives, too. ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. What an awesome interview, Ricki! I loved reading every word, and seeing these previews, too. As with everyone else, those almond bars are calling my name. We’ll all be buying the book for that recipe and then being thrilled at all the other amazing recipes that will come along with it! Love that you have such amazing helpers, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    • Thanks so much, Shirley! Funny about the almond bars–while I enjoy them, of course the chocolate-based desserts are always my true faves!! And yes, great helpers. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. I am drooling over those buttertarts right now! I can’t believe you shared a pic with us ๐Ÿ™‚ Such an exciting time for you Ricki, I’m so happy for you. xo

    • Well, I think the butter tarts were one of the first recipes I *knew* I had to make over to be gluten free and lower glycemic! (I’m Canadian, right?) ๐Ÿ˜€ Glad you like the photo. Can’t wait to share the book with you! xo

  7. Oh wow! I have to admit, I have not been blogging in a while and haven’t visited many bloggers lately. And today I decided to visit because this past week, my doctor diagnosed me with a bad cholesterol of 299 and I immediately thought of your blog when he recommended I go on a vegetarian or vegan diet to try to control it without meds. I knew your blog would be a great place to start! And now, not only am I thrilled to read about your upcoming cookbook, but also that you provided some links of other people that can help as inspiration. thanks!

  8. wow. wow. wow.

  9. Ah, this is so cool! I seriously can’t wait to see your next book! Thanks for tagging me – I might have to wait on it until I’m getting closer with my next book – motivation!

  10. It stirs my soul to see people doing work they truly love. The book concept is fantastic, my mouth is watering, and I can’t wait to support this effort when it is released!

    • Marissa, thank you so much! I’m thrilled to know that. Definitely a labor of love! And THANK YOU for the support! Hugs! ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. Heather says:

    I have been in love with your site for a year now. I’m now flipping over the idea behind this next book!! Can’t wait to get a copy!!:)

    • Heather, I am SO glad you decided to comment–thank you so much! You sure know how to make a gal’s day a whole lot better. ๐Ÿ™‚ Can’t wait to share the book with you, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. excited for you, Ricki, and for ALL OF US, your readers, when the book comes out ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. The food in those photos looks so tasty. I am not gluten-free or sugar-free but want to eat it all!

    • Well, thank you so much for saying that, Hilda! One of the things I was striving to achieve was “can’t-tell-it’s-healthy” comments from the testers and my friends/family. And delighted to say that’s what happened! So I hope you agree if you do give them a try. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. JohannaJS says:

    Oh my goodness, these pictures are so enchanting! I can’t wait for the book! Your recipes are always delicious. I’m always telling people to check out your recipes, and we always agree, they are wonderful!

    • I’m so glad you like them!! I had so much fun with the styling and wanted to be sure the photos still reflect my style and the feel of the blog even though they were photographed by someone else (and I learned SO much from her!). And thank you so much for the referrals–I am thrilled that you enjoy the recipes that much! Hugs! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Ricki, I am SO SO excited for you! The photos look absolutely gorgeous! I cannot wait to check this baby out! ๐Ÿ˜€ Congratulations to you! All of your amazing hard work is coming to life! Love it! ๐Ÿ˜€

  16. Great meme – I want to read the others but I need to wait for a day with more time – I can’t wait for the cookbook and love hearing about your fridge – did you make all the nut butters – and the cheese experiments sound exciting. And amazing photos!

    • Yep, I made all the nut butters. I think it’s my latest hobby!! In fact, a new recipe is coming soon. ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you like the photos, too!

  17. congratulations Ricki! cant wait for the book!!

  18. Congratulations on the cookbook – I can’t wait to see it. I know it will be full of some amazing recipes!


  1. […] Ricki, whom many of you know as the woman behind Diet, Dessert and Dogs and the upcoming cookbook Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free: Allergy Friendly Vegan Desserts, and her HH for lunch at […]

  2. […] Magazine and freelance writer, Ricki creates fabulous vegan and gluten-free recipes. Her new book, Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free, will be published in October, […]

  3. […] and occasional contributions from her two lab-border collie cross dogs. Her new cookbook, Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free, will be released this […]

Speak Your Mind