What I’ve Been Up To — A Fun New Project and a New Company!

by on July 14, 2015

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Hey there! I can’t believe it’s been nearly 6 months since my last post. Time definitely flies when you’re having fun — and I’ve been having lots of fun, diving into a new cookbook project!

Introducing…The 8×8 Cookbook

No panini press this time, it’s all about the 8×8-inch baking dish (or metal pan). You know that little square dish that we usually pull out for brownies and cornbread? It’s also the perfect size for weeknight one-pan dinners, Sunday dinners, desserts, sides and brunches for a family of four to six (or, for a larger crowd, you can double the quantities to fit a 13×9-inch dish). In The 8×8 Cookbook I’m turning this versatile dish that most of us already own into a kitchen workhorse, with recipes for 88 crowd-pleasing “square meals” (get it?).

A team of 40 amazing friends and family members have been hard at work, testing the recipes as I’ve been finishing them. Each and every time a feedback survey comes in, I learn something incredibly valuable to make the recipe clearer, more accurate, more delicious or just plain more grammatically correct. I cannot thank them enough!

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen a number of the recipes I’ve been working on over the past few months (as well as my growing vintage Pyrex collection). A few of my favorites so far (FYI, these are just my iPhone snapshots — I’ll be doing the “real” photography next month):

Top Row: Blueberry Cobbler with Cornmeal Cream Biscuits, Fluffy Baked Omelet with Pico de Gallo, Chunky Ratatouille Goat Cheese Pasta; Middle Row: "Shortcut" Chicken Enchiladas, Deep Dish Strawberry Lattice Pie, Kale, Mushroom and Onion Gratin; Bottom Row: Detroit-Style Deep Dish Pizza, Spinach-Pesto Lasagna, Croissant Bread Pudding with Espresso Butterscotch Sauce (sauce not pictured)

Top Row: Blueberry Cobbler with Cornmeal Cream Biscuits, Fluffy Baked Omelet with Pico de Gallo, Chunky Ratatouille Goat Cheese Pasta; Middle Row: “Shortcut” Chicken Enchiladas, Deep Dish Strawberry Lattice Pie, Kale, Mushroom and Onion Gratin; Bottom Row: Detroit-Style Deep Dish Pizza, Spinach-Pesto Lasagna, Croissant Bread Pudding with Espresso Butterscotch Sauce (sauce not pictured)

…and also Burnt Cheese Press

I’ve also started a publishing company! Burnt Cheese Press, LLC is officially a thing, and The 8×8 Cookbook is the first title I’m releasing. I will learn a ton this time around, and likely make my fair share of mistakes (we’ll call them “experiential learning opportunities”). My goal is to publish other authors going forward, and to explore content distribution options beyond traditional print publishing — electronic, apps, videos, merchandise, to name a few.

I have the incredibly talented design and editing duo from Interrobang Collective out of Portland putting the glitz and polish on this 8×8 project. We aim to earn a spot on many cookbook shelves with a beautiful collection of recipes people will love to cook and eat.

Join Me On This Journey

I’d love to share my progress with you! I’ve started an email newsletter for Burnt Cheese Press, which will feature recipes from The 8×8 Cookbook, updates on my publishing journey, decisions I’m faced with, lessons learned. Subscribers will be the first to know when the book is available for pre-order and hopefully I’ll have some fun offers as well. Join the email list here!

Whew. So that’s what I’ve been up to. It’s not without a little trepidation that I’m making this public today! But I’m shaking off those fears. I’m very proud of the work that’s been done so far on 8×8 and I couldn’t be more excited to cross the finish line and hold the first copy in my hands. I hope you’ll join me on this journey!

What if I fall? Oh but my darling, what if you fly?





>Ready to buy a panini press? Check out my Panini Press Buying Guide for the features to look for.

>Want more panini recipes? See my Recipe Index for a list of all recipes on Panini Happy.

>Traveling to a new city soon? Browse Panini Happy’s Great American Sandwich Guide to find the best sandwiches across the country!

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 sara July 14, 2015 at 5:28 pm

So cool!! Congrats on the book + the company. 🙂
sara´s last blog post ..Grandma Hanna’s Menus: Ground steak patties, ranch fries, cabbage salad, rhubarb pie

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2 Kathy Strahs July 14, 2015 at 6:50 pm

Thank you, Sara!

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3 Allison July 14, 2015 at 6:09 pm

How exciting! I’m really looking forward to seeing where your new publishing company takes you!
Allison´s last blog post ..Rhubarb Coffee Cake

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4 Kathy Strahs July 14, 2015 at 6:50 pm

Thanks so much, Allison! Me too. 🙂

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5 Aimee @ Simple Bites July 14, 2015 at 7:31 pm

How fantastic!!! That is a great cookbook concept. Have fun with it!
Aimee @ Simple Bites´s last blog post ..Tour a lentil farm + Bacon, Lentil & Tomato (BLT) Salad

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6 Kathy Strahs July 14, 2015 at 8:08 pm

Thanks, Aimee!

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7 Stef July 14, 2015 at 8:30 pm

Wow! Congrats! What an exciting new adventure!
Stef´s last blog post ..Tiramisu Popsicles to Quench Your Summer Tiramisu Cravings

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8 Kathy Strahs July 17, 2015 at 12:02 pm

Thanks, Stef!

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9 Jackie @theseasidebaker July 14, 2015 at 8:43 pm

This new is awesome! Can’t wait to hear more about the new cookbook!

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10 Kathy Strahs July 17, 2015 at 12:02 pm

Thanks, Jackie! Looking forward to keeping everyone updated. 🙂

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11 Gerry Speirs July 14, 2015 at 9:15 pm

Congrats and all the best! Love the name too 🙂
Gerry Speirs´s last blog post ..Mac and Cheese Chili with Cheese Puffs

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12 Kathy Strahs July 17, 2015 at 12:03 pm

Thanks, Gerry!

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13 Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet July 14, 2015 at 9:48 pm

Girrrrrrl. I am soooo proud of you. You are an inspiration and I cannot wait to see the amazing things that are going to happen for you. I’ll be rooting for you big time. And if you ever want to do a book deal with a spice girl, let me know. I have some ideas. 😉 Love you tons. Go get em!!!

Heather

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14 Kathy Strahs July 17, 2015 at 12:04 pm

You’ve inspired ME so much, Heather!! Thanks for all of your support, my spicy friend. 🙂

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15 Katrina July 14, 2015 at 10:03 pm

That is wonderful, Kathy, congrats.

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16 Kathy Strahs July 17, 2015 at 12:18 pm

Thanks, Katrina!

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17 Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy July 15, 2015 at 12:50 am

Yay! What exciting news 🙂

Will you be at BlogHer this week? Will be nice to know if I’ll be able to run into you – we’ll have the WordPress.com booth of course.
Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy´s last blog post ..Discovering #NoFilter Milan with London City Airport

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18 Kathy Strahs July 17, 2015 at 12:01 pm

Thanks so much, Sara! I’m afraid I’m missing it this year — sounds like a crazy good entertainment lineup.

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19 Tasha @thatssoyummy July 15, 2015 at 3:33 am

This is so exciting…. Congratulations on the new cookbook and the publishing company. This is gonna be huge and I can see how happy you are ????

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20 Kathy Strahs July 17, 2015 at 12:19 pm

Thanks so much, Tasha! It does make me happy to build something. 🙂

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21 Flavia July 15, 2015 at 6:32 am

Bravissima Kathy! Well done! Your new cookbook sounds fantastic and congratulations on the new company!

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22 Kathy Strahs July 17, 2015 at 12:20 pm

Thanks, Flavia!

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23 Amy @Very Culinary July 15, 2015 at 8:50 am

How exciting, Kathy! Super congrats. If I ever write a cookbook, maybe I’ll pitch you first! 😉

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24 Kathy Strahs July 17, 2015 at 12:20 pm

I will look forward to that, Amy — thank you!

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25 Lisa Johnson July 16, 2015 at 4:27 am

Congratulations Kathy! What an exciting journey you are on! 😀
Lisa Johnson´s last blog post ..To Kill A Mockingbird Read-A-Thon: Today at Barnes & Noble in Braintree

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26 Kathy Strahs July 17, 2015 at 12:21 pm

Thanks, Lisa!

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27 Cheryl D Lee July 16, 2015 at 10:43 am

Wow, this is amazing Kathy! I already have a cookbook in mind, so I know where to go when I am ready to publish!

Congratulations!
Cheryl D Lee´s last blog post ..Hot Days Need Cool Ice Cream

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28 Kathy Strahs July 17, 2015 at 12:21 pm

Thanks so much, Cheryl! Keep me posted! 🙂

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29 Lisa @ Whisk & Cleaver July 17, 2015 at 8:04 am

We miss you in SD but sounds like you’ve been busy! Congrats on the new book and the new company – great name, btw 🙂 I can’t wait for your new cookbook.
Lisa @ Whisk & Cleaver´s last blog post ..Freschetta Gluten-Free Pizza Giveaway

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