Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman are the dynamic duo behind 500 Vegan Recipes, The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions and most recently Hearty Vegan. Celine is the mastermind that blogs about jam over at Have Cake Will Travel while Joni throws down a mean veggie burger at Just the Food. They are two most delightful people who I am thrilled to be featuring here.
VOTM: You’ve just had you third collaborative cookbook, Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites, released. How do you work together to create the recipes? Do you plan it out or do you each just start working and see what you create?
VOTM: Do you have a background in food? You are both bloggers turned famous cookbook authors and I was curious if this was the direction you had hoped to move in or if the blogging and cooking were hobbies that became more.
Celine: I don’t. I just love food so much, I’m one of those people who thinks about the next meal even when she’s busy chewing on the current one. I personally never planned on writing a cookbook, typing up stuff on the web was (and still is) a way to connect with like-minded folks and to force myself to cook more from scratch rather than go for convenience food.
Celine: The web is a wonderful thing! We were reading each others blogs and one day, Joni asked me if I would take the pictures for her burger book project (now a professionally published book, yay!), and we became fast friends after that. She’s one admirable, fantastic woman and I’m lucky to have her in my life. I’m so mushy.
Celine: I’m working on improving in the photography department and doing a few freelance photo jobs. There might be a new cookbook project coming up, but it’s all hush-hush for now. So I’ll hush. Which is no mean feat for me.
Celine: I do. It’s such a different process than shooting just for fun (aka without specific requirements), but it’s fun while being a huge adjustment. I’m working on improving and feeling as (moderately) comfortable with the results that appear in books as I am with those I put up on the site.
Celine: Not much. We’ve been lucky to be offered nifty designs by talented folks though, so no complaints here. Okay, so maybe my inner control freak occasionally wishes a few minor things would be changed, but I’m trying to cut down on nitpicking. It’s not good for what ails ya.
Joni: The sheer numbers are mind boggling! I can’t keep up with everyone anymore but I try. It really, truly is an exciting time to be a vegan. So much free information and recipes at our fingertips. It’s also really cool to be able to “chat” with other vegans all over the world, and occasionally get to meet them in person. I can’t get enough, really.
Celine: What Joni said. I’m also impressed by the high quality of most of these vegan food (and not food) blogs. It would take more than the measly 24 hours the day offers to be able to read them all. We need to start asking for blog-reading vacation time at work.
You can find that apple pecan pie recipe at Have Cake Will Travel.