Greg Pak: Cooking Will Break Your Heart

Cooking Will Break Your Heart

A cookbook memoir written by Greg Pak and funded via Kickstarter. Available to non-Kickstarter backers soon!

About that cupcake robot…

cupcake robot drawing

I’ve been thinking about the cupcake robot from those comics I drew a few years back, and I think I’m finally wrapping my head around why he makes so much sense to me.

It’s retrospectively so obvious… the cupcake robot doesn’t talk. But he bakes for you. Because he loves you.

And that’s one of the ongoing themes of my cookbook memoir COOKING WILL BREAK YOUR HEART. So often, we’re sending messages when we cook for others. Silent messages of care and love.

So I’m getting a better fix on the role the cupcake robot will play in the book. And I’m having a blast drawing him. So I’ve added a new reward for these last few days of the COOKING WILL BREAK YOUR HEART Kickstarter campaign!

Now you can get an original drawing by yours truly of the cupcake robot for your very own! Check out the rewards list at COOKING WILL BREAK YOUR HEART and back today if you’re intrigued!

By default, the cupcake robot will be holding a cupcake in these drawings. But I’ll offer a short list of alternate comfort foods that backers can choose from. Like maybe a fried chicken leg, or a nice, steamy bowl of soup!

Thanks so much, and big hearts, as always.

Cooking Will Break Your Heart

Last weekend for the COOKING WILL BREAK YOUR HEART campaign!

Hey, friends! We’re down to the wire! The Kickstarter campaign for my cookbook memoir COOKING WILL BREAK YOUR HEART is entering its last few days, so if you’re intrigued, please do check out the campaign and back it before it’s too late! And to whet your appetite, here are a few pictures of some of the stuff I’ve been cooking recently — the recipes for which will indeed be included in the book!

Poached eggs on toast

Some happy, healthy poached eggs on toast! In my mom’s last couple of months, she requested poached eggs and gave me some tips of how to make them — like wetting the bowl you crack the egg into so it slides out more smoothly into the pan. Probably the last thing she taught me how to cook. She liked hers a little runnier than these. But it feels good every time I make them.

Good ol’ chili on rice! I use turkey meat instead of beef or pork. Tastes great and it’s a few ticks healthier. For years, I’ve been making this with a basic combo of soy sauce, paprika, Korean coarse chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, onions, and garlic for seasoning. But I’ve been wanting a bit deeper flavor, so this time I added mirin, which was nice! I know a lot of folks add a little brown sugar. I’ll have to give that a shot.

Aggressively healthy baked chicken with asparagus

Aggressively healthy baked chicken thighs with asparagus and rice! I’ve had a tendency for years to mostly cook on the stove top — sautés, soups, and stews have been my forte. But a while back I had to cook someone a super plain, un-fried piece of chicken, which I did in the oven. And then I thought, hey, that was pretty easy. Let’s try that again, with a little more pizzaz! These thighs are seasoned with a variety of spices, including Korean coarse chili powder, smoked paprika, sea salt, garlic powder, cumin, and coriander. All delicious.

Thumbprint jelly cookies

And here are the process shots of the thumbprint jelly cookies that I shared with you earlier. A specialty of my mom and maternal grandmother. These taste like the holidays to me.

If any or all this intrigues you, please do visit the campaign and back today!

Thanks so much as always and see ya in the kitchen!

Retro recipe cards stretch goal for COOKING WILL BREAK YOUR HEART!

Thanks so much to everyone who jumped on board my new Kickstarter project the other week. I hugely appreciate you, and I’m thrilled to report that my cookbook memoir COOKING WILL BREAK YOUR HEART has a super fun new stretch goal. If we hit 24K, I’ll send at least two professionally printed 3″x5″ index-style recipe cards to every backer who choses a physical reward! Check out the work-in-progress sample design above!

So yes, that means if you pick any physical book reward or even the stickers reward, you’ll also get at least two retro-style recipe cards if we hit that 24K stretch goal! Please do check it out and consider backing today!

The cards are inspired by my mom’s old hand-typed recipe cards, and if you have an old school index recipe card box like my mom did, they’ll fit perfectly!

Speaking of my mom’s recipe box, I finally made her thumb print jelly cookies. On her recipe card, they’re called “Linsenterchen,” which… isn’t a word! Not even in German!

But after talking with family, we figured out that this is just “Linzertörtchen,” or Linzer tarts, with a few misspellings and typos passed down over a couple of generations. Here’s what my batch looked like.

Absolutely delicious, with a great nutty flavor to the dough. The recipe calls for hazelnut, but I used pecans, and they were great. Huge burst of nostalgia and memory with every bite.

For this recipe and so much more, please do check out COOKING WILL BREAK YOUR HEART! We’re down to the last week! Dontcha dare miss it!

COOKING WILL BREAK YOUR HEART cookbook memoir launches on Kickstarter!

Huge thanks to everyone who’s jumping on board the Kickstarter for my cookbook memoir, COOKING WILL BREAK YOUR HEART! The project just launched on Tuesday – please feel free to visit and back it!

So what’s this all about?

Cooking Will Break Your Heart

Over the years, I’ve posted hundreds of process photos on social media of the meals I’m cooking. And people will periodically ask when I’m writing a cookbook. Well, the answer is now! So if you’re interested in simple, straightforward recipes for the delicious food I’ve been posting with step-by-step process photographs, this is the book for you!

Process photos of cooking dduk guk.

Recipes may include miyukguk, Japanese-style chicken curry, chazuke, dduk guk, kalguksu, English breakfast, mushroom sauce over rice, kalbi, tacos, chili, omelets, poached eggs, ramen, fried chicken, Japanese-style mapo tofu, kimchi jjigae, jook, steamed fish, various vegetables and side dishes, and holiday dinners. You can see lots of photos of some of these meals on the Kickstarter campaign page!

But that’s not all!

I’m old enough that I’ve lost most of the people who cooked the most meals for me in my life. So this book will be dedicated to my beloved mother, Jane Pak, and my grandmothers Wechun Pak and Grace Riechers.

My beloved mother, Jane Pak.
My grandmothers, Wechun Pak and Grace Riechers.

Food is history and culture and family and love and joy and grief. So this cookbook will also be a memoir, packed with essays, poems, comics, and photos exploring the emotional stories behind each meal. It’ll be one of the most personal things I’ve ever written and I can’t wait to share it with you.

My mom’s old index card recipe box.

The Kickstarter just went live yesterday afternoon — here’s that link again! The cookbook is digital only, but some of the rewards include physical copies of earlier books, so if you need copies of the PRINCESS WHO SAVED books or the super rare variant cover edition of ABC DISGUSTING, this is a great place to grab it!

Thanks so much for your consideration, and all the best, as always.

Process photos of cooking kalbi.

COOKING WILL BREAK YOUR HEART cookbook/memoir coming to Kickstarter on October 26!

Cooking Will Break Your Heart

I’m thrilled to reveal that I’ve got a new project called COOKING WILL BREAK YOUR HEART that’ll hit Kickstarter on October 26! Please do visit the Kickstarter page and follow it to be notified when it goes live!

COOKING WILL BREAK YOUR HEART is a digital cookbook full of practical, easy recipes for the delicious things I love to cook – but because food is history and culture and memory and family and love and joy and grief, COOKING WILL BREAK YOUR HEART will also be a memoir that might be the most personal thing I’ve ever put out into the world as a professional writer.

I’m hugely excited about the project and can’t wait to share it with you — thanks so much for your consideration!