we weren’t expecting this

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Holy sh-t.

Our cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl Every Day, was nominated for the James Beard awards this morning.

Since this morning, I have been trying to find more eloquent words than that immediate utterance. But what the hell — that immediate utterance is still the most eloquent I can find. A James Beard award.

Normally, we just keep plodding along, one dish at a time, one set of paragraphs after another. I have a few more pieces about our California trip to share, and I was just going to keep publishing them without mentioning this. But seriously? This is the James Beard awards.

James Beard still inspires me with the work he did decades ago. His enormous curiosity and force-of-nature personality are well documented. But fact is, he was a darned good writer. I keep dipping into my copy of his American Cookery as a touchstone for the cookbook we’re creating, American Classics: Reinvented. (We’re coming up on the deadline for the manuscript soon.) Beard’s influence keeps going, like ripples in the water, in the imaginations of chefs and food writers everywhere. The James Beard awards are a little like the Oscars of the food world.

Danny and I are gobsmacked.

We’re happy for the recognition, of course. But we’re also both happy that gluten-free food as a whole is now recognized as just as worthy of celebration as traditional American cuisine. Danny and I are both proud of this book. The focus we found on everyday food for people who like to cook, for a more balanced recipe list than simply cupcakes and other baked goods, the diversity of flavors from around the world, and the constant inspiration of what’s in season — that’s still our focus today, in every meal we eat. The cookbook we are finishing soon is celebration food, holiday food, food to be shared with your family on special occasions. (Splurge food, to be honest.) It has been a blast to create this cookbook. We’re proud of it too. But daily, we return to the kind of food we shared in Gluten-Free Girl Every Day. There’s more to gluten-free food than cookies.

If you haven’t found yourself a copy yet, you might want to try it.

Whenever someone compliments Lucy on her kind eyes or a new outfit, she usually remembers what to say. But occasionally, I still lean down and whisper in her ear: “What do you say when someone gives you a compliment?”

“Thank you!” she shouts.

Thank you, James Beard foundation. But more, thanks to all of you who have cooked out of our book and enjoyed your meals. We’re going to keep making food for you.