Of Dresses and Events Coming Up

The 2010 signing of Will Write for Food, 2nd edition, at Omnivore Books in San Francisco. I still have that dress! Now I have to remember not to wear it. (Photo by Heather Luhan)

The third edition of Will Write for Food came out last week, and I’ve been busy with promotion. I love in-person events best because I get to see people in real life versus virtual, and wear dresses. Sometimes friends show up for support, which makes these events even more fun, kind of like parties.

So far my summer book promotion — that all-important six-week window — is going [Read more…]

The United States of Pizza


The suspense has been killing me. It’s finally time to to tell you about the cookbook chef Craig Priebe and I co-wrote, The United States of Pizza. It comes out September 22, 2015, and today it’s Number 1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in Baking list.

Chef Craig and I had so much fun writing Grilled Pizzas & Piadinas that we wanted to [Read more…]

A New, Updated Edition of Will Write for Food

At last! I started working on this edition last year and I couldn’t tell you about it until now. The third edition of Will Write for Food, completely updated and with a new chapter on making money, goes on sale July 14, 2015.

Much has changed since my second edition came out in 2010, most notably the rise of food blogging as a career. The biggest star is Ree Drummond, who got a cooking show on the Food Network, and sold almost as many books as Ina Garten in  2014.

(Ree wrote about my book: “I wish I’d read Dianne’s book before I started a tiny little food blog on a whim years ago. For current and aspiring food writers, it’s positively dripping with helpful advice and information!”)

Since my last edition, many food bloggers have made the top ten cookbook lists in sales, and more than a hundred U.S. food bloggers have book deals. A few food writers make a six-figure income from their businesses, and I describe how in this new edition.

While most food writers write as a hobby, a growing number would like to make an income and even a career from it. The new chapter in Will Write for Food addresses myriad ways to make money, including

  • Work that comes from a blog
  • How to negotiate pay
  • How to work with brands
  • How to create a media kit and rate sheet
  • Branding yourself and your blog
  • How some food writers earn a six-figure income (hint: online businesses).

I’ve also updated every chapter with new information and new voices, whether they’re covering cookbook writing, getting published, blogging, or making money. For the first time, I’ve invited a few respected authors and bloggers to contribute their stories of success. Some wrote insider how-to pieces on such subjects as negotiating pay and how to work with companies.

So long, Will Write for Food, second edition, 2010.

And don’t you love my new cover? It’s fun to look at how the covers of my prior books have evolved.

The first edition from 2005. I do feel kind of sentimental about it.

If you bought a previous edition, thank you. This new edition will refresh your skills and knowledge, and inspire you to up your game. My goal is to empower and inspire you.

If you are a new reader, welcome. You’ll find a smorgasbord of info about writing a blog, upping your social media and photography skills, writing a cookbook, or getting published in print or online. Get your markers and underliners ready!

Finally, take a look at this sneak peek introduction for Will Write for Food, prepared for you by my publisher. And please pre-order Will Write for Food at your favorite independent bookstore, or on Amazon or another online retailer.


Thank You

A virtual bouquet for you, dear reader.

Today I’m saying thanks for being a reader. It’s my fifth year of blogging, and I still love writing my weekly post on food writing. Most of all, I love hearing from you and having a conversation.

If you lurk, I’m thrilled to have you as a reader, regardless of whether you’ll ever leave a comment.

If you’re a regular commenter, I’m grateful when you take the time to type something, even if it’s “thanks.”

When you tell me you’re a long-time reader who has finally commented, I love that.

If you have corrected me or told me I’m flat out wrong, I’m thankful that you set me straight or offered a different perspective.

If you have tactfully emailed me about a typo, I am grateful, grateful, grateful. To those of you who [Read more…]

On Sameness and Wildness

On my third date with my future husband, he took me by the house to meet his parents. His mother said she hoped he would find a nice girl and settle down soon.

He did, and she made me a part of the family immediately. Janice Rubin was my mother-in-law for 25 years.

Here she is, licking the straw from a chocolate soda at Fenton’s, an Oakland, CA ice cream parlor she patronized since she was a kid. That chocolate soda, with its mocha chocolate chip ice cream, was one of only two fountain items she ordered. Once she found a food she liked, she stuck with it.

This culinary philosophy was on display when we went to her home twice a year during the Jewish holidays. The courses were the same almost every time, served in order: chopped liver, gefilte fish, boiled eggs in salt water, chicken soup with [Read more…]

Watch Out for Ongoing Bitter Taste from Pine Nuts

See those innocent-looking pine nuts? They can poison you! (Photo courtesy of Kent Cameron from A Food Centric Life blog.)

How much do you count on your taste buds, as a food writer? Do you use them every day, as a recipe tester, cook, restaurant reviewer, or just because you love to eat?

Then beware of pine nuts. They can ruin your tastebuds for weeks. Actually, they can poison you.

Last Thursday I ate pine nuts at lunch. The next day, a breakfast of fruit, yogurt and granola tasted especially bitter. Lunch was worse. All three dishes I sampled at a hip new neighborhood place were so bitter I could hardly eat them. While making dinner, I was temped to throw out my salmon chowder because of its metallic taste. It tasted like bad white wine. On a hunch, I asked my husband to sample a spoonful. “Really good,” he pronounced.

That’s when I knew something was wrong. Owen Googled “bitter taste in mouth” and found [Read more…]

The Perfectly-Prepared Dinner that Failed

I planned a dinner last week, hoping to achieve these goals. I wanted to cook for my cousin Dana in Los Angeles, who is dying of cancer.

He requested two dishes that did not go together: spaghetti and meatballs, in honor of his mother’s Italian-Catholic side; and Hamoth, a sweet and sour beet stew made by our Iraqi-Jewish grandmother, which is actually an Indian-Jewish dish.

(Confused yet? Now, if you had an Italian-Catholic mother from New York and an Iraqi-Jewish father from Shanghai, what would your identity be? Dana chose to play the bagpipes.)

I cooked the meal at the home of my friend Mary Ann and her husband Daniel, where my [Read more…]