Sep 17, 2012

‘Pure Vanilla’ is Almost Here!

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We’ve known each other for long enough now that I don’t need to tell you that I’m a bit of a square. Okay, except for that one summer abroad in college. Other than that, I’m really a square. So it might not come as a total shock when you find out my second cookbook is called ‘Pure Vanilla’. But! Here’s the thing: the world of vanilla is vast. It is rich, complex, and insanely delicious. And as it turns out, every single person who hears that I wrote an entire cookbook about vanilla replies breathlessly “Ooh! I looove vanilla!”. Vanilla rules, people!

The more I dug into the topic, the more I realized that vanilla is anything but ‘vanilla’. It’s not just heavenly on the tongue–the journey of this underappreciated spice from flower (yes, from an orchid, true story!) to market is full of drama and intrigue. This stuff is sexy, people. Trust.

I received my first advance copy of the book a couple weeks back, and am so, so excited about the whole thing. Like Marshmallow Madness!, this book was shot by the completely incredible Leigh Beisch, and we were once again so lucky to have Sara Slavin on board for prop styling and art direction. For my part, I flapped around the studio like a crazy person for several days, prepping and baking and tweaking as food stylist. We’re covering everything from Breakfast to Cocktails and even some savory in this book. It smelled dang good up in that place during the shoot, I’ll tell you that much. The day we shot the Vanilla Cloud Cake was especially epic–it’s once of my favorite recipes in the book, encompassing everything that’s awesome about vanilla. It looks like this and it’s the sort of ethereal thing I’d be happy to attack, alone in a quiet room, wielding a large spoon. Vacant stare, drool. 

The official release date is October 2nd (you can pre-order now–whee!!), and I’ll have more of a preview for you in the coming weeks. But for now, I wanted to check in with you all and see if there are any bloggers who might be interested in nabbing a review copy. The hope is to spread the vanilla love far and wide, so that no one will ever, EVER! shove Vanilla aside for her sexy sister Chocolate again! (Well, you know what I mean. Just get into it, is what I’m saying.)

If you want to check out a review copy, send an e-mail to Eric Smith at Quirk Books–he is adorable and funny and loves vanilla as much as I do. Send him your name, blog name, and URL and he’ll take it from there. 

eric (at) quirkbooks (dot) com

You can also check out my Book page for more info on upcoming tour dates and Vanilla Tasting events! I hope to meet more of you on this tour, so we can wax poetic over vanilla and compliment each other’s skin and hair in person. It just feels so right, doesn’t it? More dates will be listed in the weeks ahead, so stay tuned, friends.

  • Yay! Can’t wait.

  • OMG, Shauna! 🙂 It looks (and I’m sure it is) PERFECT! I’m a vanilla lover, and I can’t wait to have this book on my hand. Do you know if I can buy it from Spain?

  • Hey Shauna, just got a reply from Eric. He’s sending me a copy to review. Can’t wait! I want to make that Vanilla Cloud Cake right now.

  • Looks beautiful! I can’t wait to get some of that Vanilla Cloud Cake in my face! 🙂

  • Congratulations Shauna!!! My stash of Vanilla beans, Vanilla Sugar (thank you 2012 trip to Paris) and Vanilla bean paste are waiting impatiently. What a great cookbook idea. Can not wait. I already pre-ordered.

  • Omg Shauna that so exciting! I feel like it was just the other day that your first book came out and now you have a second already. I adore vanilla and I don’t think it’s boring at all. I’m definitely going to contact Eric about a review copy. Congrats!

  • Oh my god, this looks amazing!!!

  • Oh my…! I’ve looked throug the pages of your book in Amazon, this is truly a promising publication. I can’t wait to have a copy! Many congratulations,you must feel very proud 🙂

  • I just found your blog last night and it looks like very good timing for me. Your book looks amazing and might actually be able to pull me away from the dark side (chocolate-lover that I am). Can’t wait to read the book, and congratulations!

  • Hurrah! I love the cover photo.

  • I live in Victoria, BC, Canada. My favourite bakery in town in called Pure Vanilla. Needless to say, I am looking forward to seeing your cookbook by name alone. I can only imagine how tasty it will be. Vanilla is such a rich and satisfying flavour.


  • I just came across your cookbook on another site talking about the Vanilla Cloud cake – sounds amazing and your book is going on my wishlist now. Another vanilla lover here. 🙂

    • So sweet, Linnea. Thanks!

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