A Cozy Coloring Cookbook: The Process


A Cozy Coloring Cookbook

Can I tell you something? Making this coloring cookbook was A LOT harder than I expected. Mainly because I am not an illustrator nor have I ever worked with one until this book.

Amber Day-—who is so amazingly talented—-drew every illustration in this book. I want to talk about the process because I found it interesting and surprising and a lot of the time I felt like a fish out of water.


When I first started the project, I wanted the recipes to be really, really easy. My publisher and I agreed that the recipes should be simple—-achievable by anyone and easy enough such that cooks could spend the time coloring, too.

A Cozy Coloring Cookbook: Cupcakes

I ventured off into my wormhole to come up with a list of recipes that I would test and shoot (just for color and appearance reference), and then Amber would draw them.

A Cozy Coloring Cookbook

What I didn’t realize is that so many of the things that I love to make are brown: light brown, medium brown, dark brown. All the browns! And/or they’re white.

Sometimes something will be brown with white glaze or frosting on it. Think about it. Chai Scones? Brown. Cinnamon Rolls? White and brown. Pie? Mostly brown. Quick bread. Brown, brown, brown, brown-—which, in coloring world, equals BORING.

A Cozy Coloring Cookbook

There is nothing worse than boring. Bad is better than boring.

I didn’t think that would be that much fun to color if it was just brown recipe after brown recipe so I had to think about food in terms of color. What would be the most fun to color (and eat)?

Regular buttercream frosting on a chocolate cake became pomegranate frosting and black and white cookies became matcha and black cookies.

It was super strange to think about food with color at the forefront of my brain. I don’t think it’s an exercise I’ve ever experienced before. Super challenging for me actually, not gonna lie.


Amber and I both thought that taking my photos and having her illustrate them in a similar style would be great. “Let’s make photo-realistic illustrations,” we thought.

While, yes, some of the illustrations are based off of my photos, we found it to be kind of not that…fun?

A Cozy Coloring Cookbook

Amber took some liberties, which you can with illustrations, so now we have sprinkles falling from the sky, berries bursting out of a cocktail and ingredients flying into a blender for avocado dressing.

We wanted to make the illustrations FUN and WILD and a little weird.

The illustrations ended up being SO different than what we’d imagined. But I think they’re so much more interesting than just preciously propped overhead shots.

We also wanted to include some types of illustrations that exist in all sorts of coloring books, like patterns and kaleidoscopes. We wanted there to be a lot of variety in terms of intricate, will-take-you-a-long-time-to-color illustrations with a few sprinkled in there that would maybe only take an hour.

The goal was also to have every illustration and set-up slightly different.

We wanted the illustrations to have variety.

Inevitably there are some recipes that are white and brown (read: coconut tres leches) so we got around that by illustrating the steps. We did this with a few of the illustrations and I think it worked out super cute.


Initially the recipes were supposed to be almost like non-recipes but I didn’t stick to that because that is not my forte haha. I want to give ratios and I also love to bake, which can’t really be done without a list of ingredients and directions.

So, we ended up typing all the recipes up and it just made everything feel cleaner and more cohesive. Amber drew illustrations around the recipes, depending on what the negative space was like on each page.


The cover for The Year of Cozy was the inspiration, as well as a few others (I love this coloring book cover and this one).

Cover Sample

A Cozy Coloring Cookbook

The problem with me is that I hate clutter haha. I know a lot of coloring books are all about intricate patterns and teeny things to color. I struggled with this idea because I like things to be simple. I favor minimalism over a bunch of stuff. But coloring books need to be full! I agreed with that.

Here is a super early iteration of the cover.

And then we had to color it and have Casey Lignon do the lettering.

And there you go! That’s da book-making process.


If you live in LA, please come! There will be coloring, snacks, dranks, ME and lots of chill time. It’s at Light Lab in Atwater village, if you haven’t been, it’s so beautiful. It should be loads of fun.

To RSVP, please click here. The event is free!


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Leave a Reply

  • Reply Jasmine November 7, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Just preordered mine on Amazon! Do those adorable colored pencils come with each order?

    Can’t wait to read xx

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme November 7, 2016 at 6:04 pm

      They don’t! 🙁 I got ’em made for the book to pass out. If you come to the LA event (not sure where you live) I’ll be handing ’em out. x

      • Reply Jasmine November 8, 2016 at 1:37 pm

        Ughhhh live in LA but in college in Atlanta right now 🙁

  • Reply Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine November 7, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    This seriously was the most fun inventive idea! Haha! Bravo and congrats agian!

  • Reply Laura November 7, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    I am so excited to get my copy next week! I wish I could come to your party! But getting to take your pie class will have to tide me over for now. I am definitely looking forward to taking my time coloring in this book. I will have to hide it from the kids. Congrats!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme November 7, 2016 at 6:06 pm

      Aww thank you, Laura! And thanks for coming to the pie workshop–that was so fun.

  • Reply heather (delicious not gorgeous) November 7, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    yeah, i definitely don’t think of food in terms of color! but it sounds like a great way to break out of your (deliciously) golden brown comfort zone (:

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme November 7, 2016 at 6:06 pm

      Hahah it is–but brown food are still my favorite

  • Reply Andrea November 8, 2016 at 3:42 am

    I love to cook and my 12 year old daughter adores coloring….what a great way to spend some “mom/daughter bonding” time together. (She would definitely role her eyes at that comment!)
    Thank you for your beautiful book!

  • Reply Tuesday Things. | How Sweet It Is November 8, 2016 at 5:32 am

    […] I love seeing this process of how Adrianna’s Cozy Coloring Book came together. The food in this book looks so delicious that I want to color and devour every single […]

  • Reply Sara @ Cake Over Steak November 8, 2016 at 10:18 am

    The coloring book is soooooo cute. That’s (obviously) the kind of project I would have loved to work on as an illustrator. I’ve also noticed with my blog (where I do my illustrations) that I do a LOT OF BROWN / orange, etc. It’s always exciting when I have a really colorful dish to illustrate. Congrats on another lovely book!

  • Reply I love lists - Shutterbean November 9, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    […] So excited for this coloring book! Love seeing the process. […]