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C’est fini! Thanksgiving Cookbook!

To order Surviving Thanksgiving as an e-book delivered to your iPad instantly click HERE.

To order Surviving Thanksgiving as a soft cover delivered to your door click HERE.
The Thanksgiving cookbook is finished! Jesus Christ, that was more of a project than I had anticipated. I have never written a book or edited a book or put a book together. I have read about 1 million cookbooks but I never realized just exactly how much work goes into it so kudos to all of you cookbook writers! Setback after setback, I finally finished this book. Oh, what setback, you ask? Let’s see, where should I start? First, I had to gather the recipes from my mother who is not the most computer savvy lady on earth. Then I had to edit the recipes because when my mother is explaining a recipe, she assumes that you know as much as she does in terms of cooking. “Why don’t you know what an egg wash is,” she would think. Secondly, my mother had to email me family photos. That involves scanning and that involves a whole other set of problems. Photos needed to be enlarged, cropped, and color corrected. Next up, after I had the recipes and the photos together I had to put the book together. Even though a few of you kind readers offered help, I declined and enlisted the help of my 19-year-old daughter. Not my brightest idea. I must have forgotten that she is a typical self- absorbed teenager with a boyfriend, a job, an internship, full-time school, her own apartment to take care of, and according to her, “a life.” By the third day of her half assed, critical, bare minimum, know it all assistance… I fired her. She was not phased.

Now what was I going to do? I asked my husband for help. No such luck because according to him he has “a job.” Okay, who’s next? My French-speaking African Muslim caregiver who has never made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich let alone operated a computer? I think not. My other caregiver, Nabin, who is from Nepal and has been helping me with the blog for the past year left for Spain for two months. In his absence, we have hired a new Filipino caregiver, Victor. Victor is nothing short of a saint. Together, he and I did the cookbook. As you know, I cannot move an inch of my body except my tête and I had to dictate, teach, and explain the entire process to Victor whose English is “limited.” One word: frustrating. Like I said, I have never put a book together and I had to learn the software by myself before I taught it to Victor. “Add a page, remove a page, two-page spread, text layout, photo layout, upload photos, photo bleed, text alignment, fonts, ornaments, importing and exporting, dragging text, text spacing…” Oh my God, it was endless. I only yelled at Victor 3 to 400 times. He took it like a champ and ignored my verbal abuse and patiently adhered to my obsessive instructions. So here we are, the book has been put together and edited and now we are finally ready to publish. Victor and I looked at each other and decided we each deserved a medal or at the very least a vodka tonic.

My apologies to everyone for disappearing for these past few days. I didn’t answer emails, I didn’t do a blog, I didn’t check my text messages, I didn’t Instagram, no Facebook, I ignored my husband, my friends and my daughter. I didn’t even have time to fire off a nasty email to this girl who I hate.  I didn’t even take my medicine (don’t worry, the medicines don’t work anyway) and I hardly let Victor eat. My husband turned into a giant needy baby and pouted if I wasn’t available to take a walk with him or have an apricot tart and Earl Grey tea with him. Why is it just when you start doing something for yourself, everyone wants your attention? But here’s the good news, the book is finished and I had the time of my life doing it. I felt creative, fulfilled and a smidgen like a real person again.

So, the book is ready. I have titled it, Surviving Thanksgiving, because that’s exactly what happens every year. We survive another year of organizing the dinner, setting the table, ironing the tablecloth, idle chitchat with distant family members, ignoring that weird uncle, mother screaming in the kitchen, my brother trying to prove that he can lift me over his head, tipsy guests, bratty children, last-minute preparations and your basic family dysfunction. But, we all must be idiots because year after year we do it again and again. You know why? Because it’s fun and it’s family and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Voilà! Surviving Thanksgiving! I have published it as a softback book to keep the cost low and I have also published it as an e-book if you want to read it on your iPad and get it instantly. Or you could do both. If you see any typos, anything out of order, fuzzy pictures… just ignore it because f*ck you, I have ALS. :-) By the way, a portion of the proceeds will go to ALS research because I’m cool like that.

Additionally, because nothing in life is ever easy including cooking, I have included my mother’s email address ( so you can ask her any questions you might have. She might answer you, she might not. She loves helping people with cooking but only if it doesn’t cut into her “treadmill time” and if she doesn’t forget her email password.

I hope you like the book, gobble gobble and bon appétit!

Purchase Surviving Thanksgiving HERE for a soft cover version.

Purchase Surviving Thanksgiving HERE for the e-book version for your iPad. It's instant.

*Something you don’t know about me? While I am still working on my regular book, I have decided also to do a Christmas book with my mother. This book will be all about Christmas. Decorating, entertaining, cooking, gift wrapping, shopping etc. If you think that my mother’s Thanksgiving recipes are fabulous wait until you see her Christmas dinner. And you will be floored at how this lady decorates a Christmas tree. It’s basically going to be a bossy book about how not to have a tacky Christmas. Stay tuned.


  1. Ellie, congratulations on the cookbook!!! You are nothing short of amazing!!! You disappear from the blogospheare for like, two or three days and you and Victor knock out a cookbook, and then you apologize for not being there on the net for us? ..You are classy and fun!!

    Okay, something about me...Before I got sick and bedridden I spent about three years in Europe, (mostly Scotland, Ireland and Germany) and made my living as a busker, (that's Euro-speak for Street Musician -- but Ellie, you probably all ready knew that). I was a trad singer of Irish, Scottish and English folk songs and I accompanied myself on a Brian Boru style folk harp, (looks like the picture of the harp on a bottle of Guinness). At the time, 1996--98, there were only about 100 people in all of Ireland who played Irish harp, which is kind of funny, since it's their national instrument and a harp was featured on back of all their coinage, as well, so I was fortunate to be invited by many people to visit and play in lots of local pubs and weddings, and book launches, etc. etc., even though I'm mainly a singer. It was just an amazing time, meeting lots of musicians, sharing songs and stories. Almost every waking moment of my life at the time was about performing or practicing or learning new music. Do you know what's funny though? As much as I loved Irish and British folk songs I find that I no longer want to listen or sing it, (unless someone really, really wants me to warble, "Danny Boy," or something). My tastes changed and I've mostly listened to classical music in the past four years. If my energy and voice ever return. (sjogren's syndrome limits my speaking/singing abilities) I would go back to studying opera, (had a year in college with a Peabody Conservatory teacher). Right now, my kitty, Luna(cy) is my only audience. She gets concerts twice daily when I'm giving her inhaler treatments for her asthma. Her two favorites lately are "Moon River" and "Over the Rainbow".
    Hugs to you,

  2. Hi Ellie!
    Ordered the cookbook...congratulations!! My son used Blurb to publish a fun ,little book about being a lifeguard down the "Jersey Shore" (our beaches are not the same as those crazy beaches up north) which they sold at local bookstores. He sold sooo many copies and had such fun with it...I wish the same for you!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

  3. You're awesome! I can't wait to read it!!!

  4. I can't deal with Thanksgiving with my family, so I am off to London and Wales for 10 days. Ironically, I've been invited to a Thanksgiving dinner at some English friends who've just moved back to London from NYC.

  5. I ordered your book and just read it! I love the pictures, the stories and the recipes. It is very similar to what we do but now I have everything in one place. All of the tips are valuable. I will add the green beans, the cranberries and some of the desserts to our menu. Thank you for a fun and helpful read.

  6. Oh, I am going to order the real book for my girls!

  7. Oh my gosh, how you do all you do amazes me to no end, and again, funny as heck to read your new post. I am quite excited in getting your creation of "Surviving Thanksgiving" and the up and coming Christmas book. I have always been hooked on the different Christmas trees and how they are decorated. One year we ran late, picked a straggly old pine from the woods, I mean straggly and made it gorgeous. Not what you would call a lush tree of more formal looks of say the Ritz Carlton, a stick look, but loved with my 1 box of blue lights (alll I had then) and found some ribbons in a box. (always have laying around) Made ornaments out of paper, it was quite "hilarious" but did the trick for some "cheer". BRAVO Ellie, suzanna (this is the only way I can comment at this time) It's fine with me! Xo hugs! Toast to YOU!

  8. It's got bacon and ham, and dairy mixed with meat, and everything else a nice Jewish girl can't eat but let's face it, you could write a grocery list and I'd read it! Anything to get my Have Some Decorum fix! Bought Surviving Thanksgiving and waiting for your Christmas offering with anticipation...well done Ellie! xxx

  9. Ordered! I am so happy you finished it. Hurray for Victor. I can't wait to receive it, although I will have to wait until Christmas. At my age, surprises at Christmas are elusive, so when it arrives I will ask my husband to wrap it up for me. I'm not cooking for Thanksgiving this year, so I won't need it immediately. What fun I will have on Christmas morning! Thank you, thank you, Ellie for sharing your life with us. I discovered your blog through Heather in Arles and like all of us am enthralled. You have taught this old dog new tricks in so many ways. Can I say "I love you" without having met you? I haven't, but I do!

  10. ORDERED!HARD COVER...................thinking I should order IPAD version too but want the SURPRISE and ENJOYMENT of it arriving in the mail!!!
    GOOD JOB!WAY to go VICTOR!!!!!!!!!!WE ALL THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for putting up with the BOSS!!!!!!!!!!!!HANG in there as WE ALL NEED the CHRISTMAS BOOK now too!(IT will go much smoother this time!)MAYBE!!
    Ellie...........keep up the good WORK!Who's house is on the cover of the book?MOM'S??
    Love to YOU........XOXO

  11. What a fantastic Monday morning surprise! Purchased! Thank you Ellie!

  12. Hi Ellie,
    Congratulations on finishing the cookbook!! I downloaded it right away this morning, however my challenge for today is NOT letting myself even peek at it while i'm supposed to be working. I work from my design studio at home, and the temptation to drift from a client project (for just a minute!) is often there... Looking forward to the Christmas book, too!

  13. May I kindly ask a favor from everyone that reads and enjoys Ellie's blog??? At the bottom of the page is a spot that says "Share this Post". This allows you to share Ellie's blog on your personal social media accounts as well as email the link to friends and family. (Yes, that's what it's for mom!)

    Ellie has assured me that this recipe book is "foolproof". Wait, I just realized she was calling me a fool!! ; )

  14. Just ordered your cookbook - recipes + comic relief as I prepare for my family to come for Thanksgiving. I laugh to myself, and sometimes out loud, reading your posts. You seem to say everything I think about decorating (holidays and otherwise), so I will wait patiently for the Christmas Director, as I will call it. Kudos to YOU -- I'm sure that Ina would be proud.

  15. " . . . because f*ck you, I have ALS." Oh my God! That really made me laugh! I almost spewed my soup all over my monitor. Off to order your book.

  16. Just ordered the soft copy and can't wait! I have a love/hate relationship with the day, as so many do. If you haven't seen the movie "Home for the Holidays" with Holly Hunter, I think you would enjoy it. It has become a family tradition for me to watch with my young adult son and daughter, and we regularly repeat the lines to each are an inspiration.
    Best, Leslie

  17. Can't wait to read it! Love you, love you, love you. Yes, why are men sooooo needy when we are engrossed in something that doesn't involve them?!

  18. Dear Ellie,
    Congratulations! I can see how difficult it would be to publish a cookbook. The recipes alone would be daunting. I recently published a book with the same Publisher. When you were having difficulties I wish I could have helped. Don't wait too long before you begin your next book. It is very easy to forget all of the different steps.
    Because I also write a blog I had a large library of good photographs available, which, in my case, was half the battle. .
    Note: You can add a link in your blog's sidebar so your readers can easily access your book.
    Good luck with your next publication. If I can help, please ask. ox, Gina

  19. Ordered a soft copy and a hard copy! You're amazing. Thanks for getting it done.

  20. Woot woot!!! You rock so hard it is going to start an earthquake! And here I was being all pouty and whining, "It's raaaiiiiniing ouut, our heeeeeat doesn't woooork" so I thought, "I wonder what is going on at Ellie's" voila! Bona fide dose of happiness signed, sealed and delivered. :)

    Majormajormajor kudos to Victor for being such a stalwart assistant and to you for getting the job done and done! (Today is "Use Outdated American Slang" Day, what, didn't you know that?) I can't wait to read it...And I love Debbie's suggestion to pass the good news along too.

  21. Ellie ,how can you have tears smarting ones eyeballs reading your November blog then roars of laughter as you describe the hazards of compiling your first book .You make me smirk,smile weep ,& giggle with your kick-ass down to earth sense of humour, your inspirational outlook on the challenges life has thrown at you just amaze & dazzle this little ol Aussie.

  22. You amaze and delight me. I discovered your blog through the "Hen House?" Anyway just ordered your Thanksgiving book. Love your style. So identified with you and your experience at the Beverly Hills Ralph Lauren Store. It's right near me. Love reading about your adventures.