What’s New, Cupcake? author Karen Tack and I go back a long way. In fact we both got our start in the Cook’s Magazine test kitchen (long before it morphed into Cook’s Illustrated). It was the late 80’s and Maggy and Sharon were just toddlers. Karen’s two nearly grown sons–Erik and Liam–were still very future.
At the magazine Karen and I both loved to cook, but I was drawn to writing while Karen realized she had the food styling gene. We were both at Cook’s when it folded, and she and I spent the summer of 1990 joyfully unemployed.
For a time we went our own ways. I moved to Restaurant Business Magazine and then Cook’s Illustrated while Karen honed her skills as a first-rate food stylist. All those gorgeous cookies and cakes you see on national magazine covers. They’re likely her work.
Early nineties, our paths crossed again when Karen worked with me on my Cook’s Illustrated articles which ultimately became The Perfect Recipe. By then I had moved to Pennsylvania, so Karen, along with her adorable dog, Scout (that’s him on the cover of her first book,Hello, Cupcake!) would make the two-hour journey from Connecticut. We worked intensely long and hard on her three-day visits, and by the end we usually had a pretty perfect recipe to show for it. That’s when I got to know Karen really well.
Then Erik was born and he started making the weekly trip with Karen and Scout. Erik was such a good baby. He mostly let us do our thing. Karen cooked while I documented our work. Occasionally he’d end up on my back in a baby sling while I was at the computer.
Good things always come to an end. Eventually the trips became cumbersome and complicated, so Karen and I had to part again. These days we don’t see one another nearly enough, but when we do we always pick back up where we started.
Thank you, Karen, for what you’ve done for me over the years. And thanks for sharing your talent and humor in Hello, Cupcake! and now What’s New, Cupcake?.
To celebrate Karen’s success, we’ve got five copies of What’s New, Cupcake? to give away. Simply tell us your favorite cupcake flavor. (If you haven’t already noticed, mine’s chocolate peanut butter!)
Deadline is this Sunday, May 16th at 6:00 PM ET. (Shh! Maggy’s birthday.) We’ll announce winners no later than 6:00 PM ET on Monday, May 17th.
#41 Heather Bonner
#65 Ken Davis
#99 Kelli B
who have all been notified. Congratulations you five and thank you all for playing!