Announcing Weeknight Baking’s Birthday Month
My first cookbook, Weeknight Baking, comes out exactly one month from now.
There are 80+ recipes, 90% of which are brand-new (with the remaining 5% updates of beloved recipes from this space), with each recipe getting its own full-color image (shot by yours truly, to boot). It would mean the world to me if you pre-ordered a copy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, or the indie bookseller of your choice (may I show my Portland pride by suggesting Powell’s?). If you do so, keep your receipts! Because to gear up for my book’s birthday, I’m going to be spending the month celebrating with a bunch of behind-the-scenes posts, recipe sneak peeks, and giveaways on Instagram, with exclusive ones for everybody who was wonderful enough to pre-order.
And I know I’ve spent a lot of time talking about the making of the book, but hardly any time at all (save for an announcement post from several years ago) about what the book is actually about. Oops. So let’s go back to the beginning.
What is Weeknight Baking?
Throughout the years, many of you have asked me if there was a Hummingbird High cookbook in the works. I most likely smiled placidly (or impatiently, depending on my mood) and said something like, “I wish, but I really don’t have the time for that!” Because unlike most of my peers, I had a secret—I wasn’t actually a full-time baker and blogger. In fact, for many years, I ran Hummingbird High while maintaining a very traditional nine-to-five, 40-hours-a-week desk job: first in finance, as an analyst, and then in tech as a systems engineer.
During that time, I was lucky and fortunate to achieve many successes that many folks dream of: I received two Saveur Magazine nominations that named Hummingbird High as one of the best baking and desserts blogs on the internet, I was invited to many trips across the country (and even across the world!) to attend food festivals and learn about brands and farms, I started earning enough income for the blog to qualify as a legitimate “side-hustle”, and so on. But working a traditional, full-time job in addition to blogging about baking at professional level meant that I didn’t actually have a whole lot of time to bake. Sure, I could bake on the weekends, but I liked to save that precious (and already very limited!) time for my friends and family.
So that left me with weeknights.
You know that weird and awkward amount of downtime you have, after you get home from work, you’ve made dinner, cleaned up, and completed all your chores? Most people spend that time vegging out in front of Netflix with a glass of wine, curling up with a good book or a host of Internet articles, or, hey, even sensibly going to bed early to get a good night’s sleep. But not me—there I was, still in the kitchen, trying to figure out how to bake layer cakes and pies and cinnamon buns in that short amount of time.
Why I wrote Weeknight Baking
The funny thing is, on Hummingbird High, with the exception of a cheery baker’s note now and again, I never candidly talked about what it was like to bake while balancing my job. As you guys know, my recipes were presented with beautiful pictures and meaningless chatter about my current mood or weekend plans. I rarely mentioned my struggles and time constraints; in fact, my previous blog agent of mine even encouraged me to hide those stories! Ridiculous, I know, but she was just encouraging me to present only the best parts of myself, especially since blogs are where everything is perfect and has all the time in the world to spend as they wish. But I know that’s not true—and that’s why I wrote Weeknight Baking. We’re all doing the best we can with what we have.
So, what does that mean? It means that the recipes in the book are written in a way to fit everybody’s time-strapped schedules. Most recipes use ingredients that are already in your pantry and will have active times—that is, the time it takes to prep ingredients and actively go through the recipe steps themselves—of 30 minutes or less! For more time-consuming recipes like layer cakes and pies, recipes instruct you to make them over the course of a few nights so that you won’t be stuck in the kitchen for hours at a time (all without compromising flavor or quality, of course). Because that’s the secret behind Hummingbird High, and how I was able to make this cake and this pie and this tart all while balancing everything. And you can too.
Pre-order Weeknight Baking
Pre-order Weeknight Baking here: