RANCHO SANTA FE — When Amanda Presar needed to choose an elective, she reluctantly chose creative writing. “It was my freshman year at Canyon Crest (Academy) and the class was mostly seniors,” she said. Plus she said, she was busy with tennis, lacrosse, soccer and her regular studies.
As it turns out, the elective turned out to be a very good class because it has resulted in two cookbooks published by the 15-year-old.
The first, “Amanda’s Kitchen,” is 280 pages offering 200 recipes, complete with photos. It concentrates on international recipes, gorgeous table settings and her cat Tigger.
The books resulted from a final writing assignment, which needed to be completed at home.
“I was inspired by my grandma,” Amanda said. “She wrote two cookbooks, so I thought it would be fun to do a cookbook and follow in her footsteps. I knew it was a long process.
“My grandma told me you can’t have a normal cook book because no one would buy it,” she said.
Amanda thought and thought and noticed that her cat, Tigger, always comes around at mealtime. She said she decided to do poetry about him and different countries and cultures. If the recipe was Italian, Tigger was in Italy. If the recipe was Greek, Tigger became a Greek cat.
She said she expects her main audience for the book will be adults.
“I think they will find something interesting like won tons, chicken bundles, salads and cakes,” she said.
She said she and her mother tested out all the recipes, planned and photographed the tablescapes and did hours and hours of meal planning.
There is also a page about how Tigger became a part of the Presar family. Tigger was smuggled into the family home and Mom finally relented about letting him stay.
“He is the best cat,” Amanda said. “He is loving and cuddles with you and he is really smart. He opens doors and follows you like a dog.”
Amanda said the hardest part of the book was editing it.
“You have to go through it so many times,” she said. “We did not have a professional editor. We had different people in the family go through it looking for grammar.”
As any author knows, marketing is also a part of writing a book.
“We are trying to get it into a local bookstore and we are looking for a publisher or someone to promote it,” she said.
The price of the self-published book is $26.94 with tax and it is available by contacting Amanda. She has already sold 230 of the books. Part of the proceeds goes to the Boys & Girls Club of San Dieguito and Rady Children’s Hospital, she said.
Her next book will concentrate on special occasions, holidays and luncheons.
Amada can be reached at [email protected].