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Tag-Team Cooking

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Didja hear the one about the lady who tried to pitch a cookbook idea on Twitter? Yeah, that was me. And it might not be as crazy as it sounds.

Here’s the scoop: Literary agent Sally Ekus of the Lisa Ekus Group launched a contest earlier this month to solicit great cookbook ideas on Twitter. She got a whole bunch of compelling pitches. Then she narrowed those suggestions down to the top sixteen. Then she narrowed them down to the “Elite Eight.” And then the “Final Four.” Somehow, through some stroke of luck, my humble little book proposal, “Tag-Team Cooking,” is still in the running.

“Tag-Team Cooking” will be a book of recipes that divides cooking tasks between two people. They say you should write what you know, and this is truly a case of “this is what I know because I am living it right now.”

My life requires a lot of juggling. I have two young kids. I have a job as a speechwriter. I write Jolly Tomato, which I try to maintain by posting at least twice a week. And I volunteer on a PTA legislative advocacy team, which last week brought me up to Sacramento for a day to do legislative visits and lobby on behalf of K-12 school funding. I love what I do because there’s never a dull moment, but I have to do a lot of planning and organizing.

The one thing that really helps me hold it all together is my husband, who’s also super-busy, but who works out of the house and can provide backup when I need it. So if I’m running late on my way home from work, I can text him and say “Start some water boiling for pasta and have the kids clean and dry some lettuce for salad.” Or if I’m home in the morning I can get the slow-cooker started, while he gets some fresh veggies ready right around dinnertime. Between the two of us, we can usually pull off a pretty good meal.

While our individual commitments may be unique, I know that our situation is not. I know plenty of couples – with kids and without – who have long workdays, crazy schedules, and not enough time for one chef alone to manage a healthy dinner. But with two people putting the pieces together, it’s possible to pull a great meal together. And it doesn’t even have to be a couple that does “tag-team cooking” – It could be a teenager and a parent; a grandparent and a grandchild; or even roommates who are committed to cooking good food together.

I’ve been mulling over this book idea for a while, and even did a mock proposal before I knew about the contest. My thought was to make it accessible, friendly, and understanding for the many, many people who work hard every day to just pull together some healthy meals for their families.

So, what do you think –  “Tag-Team Cooking” – will it fly?

The Final Four will send out tweets today (March 21) explaining why they should write their respective books. Then it will be narrowed down to two finalists, who will answer questions during a Twitter party on Monday. To watch the Final Four cookbook competition unfold, follow the #signmesal hash tag on Twitter.

UPDATE 3/21: Made it to the finals! Stay tuned for the big showdown on Monday!


10 Responses to Tag-Team Cooking

  1. Juliana March 21, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    I LOVE this idea, Jeanne. My partner and I are just about to move in together, and we both LOVE to cook, but have had a challenging time figuring out how to coordinate this. So far, we use the chef/sous-chef method, which is really awesome, but it would be great to mix it up. Sounds like a cool idea.

    • Jeanne March 21, 2013 at 10:42 am #

      Thank you so much, Juliana! You just made my day! Now with a little luck, let’s see how far I can take this…

  2. Suzi March 21, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    So proud of you Sis!!!!! We will hold good thoughts on you making it to #1!

    • Jeanne March 21, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

      Thanks!!! xoxo

  3. Priscilla | ShesCookin March 21, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    Brilliant! I don’t think I’ve seen this idea in any cookbook to date and that’s one of the criteria for publishing a cookbook – you definitely could go all the way, Jeanne! Good luck 🙂

    • Jeanne March 21, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

      Thank you SO much, Priscilla! That means a lot to me – and I hope your’re right!

  4. Dorothy at ShockinglyDelicious March 21, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

    I am your biggest fan on this book idea! BRILLIANT!

    • Jeanne March 22, 2013 at 8:46 am #

      Thank you, Dorothy! I am so grateful for all of your support!!

  5. Deb March 22, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    I love the idea. This is pretty much how my husband and I cook dinner every night. Last night he pulled two ingredients out of the freezer and started them defrosting in the microwave. Then I came in and pulled another couple of ingredients out of the refrigerator and pantry. We then looked at what we had and whipped up a pretty darned good chili-mac casserole with our respective contributions. I’m about to reheat the leftovers for lunch right now. Best of luck with the contest!

    • Jeanne March 22, 2013 at 10:46 am #

      Love it! Thanks so much, Deb!

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