21 In Special Projects

Buy it Today: Green Mango Cafe Cookbook!


Our journey has come full-circle. This past March, we flew across the world, with hopes of writing a cookbook to benefit at-risk young women in Cambodia.

Today, after months of recipe testing, writing, editing, photographing, graphic designing, organizing, asking questions, and looking at the same words and photographs until our eyes crossed — it’s done. And in print!

We are beyond excited to share it with you — and even more excited that all proceeds go to fund Center for Global Impact’s programs for at-risk young women in Cambodia.

BUY IT NOW! Click here to order the cookbook today.

For more on what it is, check out the video above or the information below. Thank you for your support of this cause!


The Cookbook: What It Is

-A cookbook to benefit the Green Mango Cafe & Bakery restaurant and culinary training program in Battambang, Cambodia, started by Center for Global Impact (CGI – a faith-based non-profit based in Greenwood, Indiana).

-A collection of 40+ recipes based on the menu of the restaurant, ranging in a variety of cuisines from Cambodian to Mexican, Italian, French, and American.  A few examples:

Banana Bread French Toast
Mango Chicken Salad
Cambodian Curry
Spring Rolls
Creamy Tomato Soup
Crepes with Fresh Fruit
Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich
Garlic Herb Focaccia Bread
Mango Pie

-Extras include explanations of Cambodian-ingredients, how-to’s, information about Cambodia and the cooking school / restaurant, and photographs from our time in country.

All proceeds go to CGI’s programs in Cambodia.

What it’s not? An anthology of traditional Cambodian recipes, or a collection of A Couple Cooks-style recipes (though we did adapt all of them based on notes from the restaurant!).

How it Happened

-We felt called to do something to help in the fight against human trafficking and modern day slavery, specifically using our passions like writing, photography, and food.

-We got connected to Chris Alexander, President of Center for Global Impact, a non-profit that runs several trafficking prevention and care programs in Cambodia including one for job training in culinary arts. He said, “Why don’t you write a cookbook?

From Cambodia to Indianapolis

How did this cookbook come to be?  It’s been quite a journey. We:

-Traveled to Cambodia in March 2012 to spend time at Green Mango Cafe & Bakery and understand Cambodian culture. The Green Mango a full-service restaurant in Battambang, Cambodia (it’s actually gotten great reviews on Trip Advisor!). The young women there taught us some of their traditional recipes. More…

Interviewed Resident Training Chef, Ryana DeArmond, who gave us notes on the recipes she had developed along with the founding chef, Paul Vida (a chef and culinary arts instructor here in Indianapolis!). We also asked the girls working at the restaurant at the time for their favorites.

Developed, tested and photographed recipes based on Ryana’s notes in our own kitchen in Indianapolis. All food was shot in the comfort of our own home — except for the recipes with the green place mats, which were shot at the Green Mango Cafe!  And with the exception of the photographs from a few friends (see below).

Wrote the text and developed the graphic design for the book, which ended up being one of the most involved and difficult parts of the process.

Organized recipe testers from our family and friends to make sure the recipes were clear, concise, and easy to follow.

How It All Came Together

Professionally, Sonja is a project manager and technical writer, and Alex is a graphics designer (for the same small company). So, a lot of the skills we had gained from our professional background. However, this project was a stretch for us in many ways – we’d never written a complete book before. We also write this blog about food and take photos of it – which provided the other key element to cookbook writing.

-Most importantly, we had lots of help from lots of wonderfully talented people!  We have been overwhelmed by the support of our community in this effort. You’ll see a few photographs from other food bloggers, including Annie from Annie’s Eats, Lindsay of Pinch of Yum, and Erin of Naturally Ella, who contributed to the cause with recipe testing and photographs. A long list of other food bloggers (including The Fig Tree), friends, and family helped with the recipe testing and editing. Center for Global Impact also did a huge amount of the leg work in terms of production.

-Special thanks also go out to our local Indianapolis printerMoeller Printing. They did an amazing job and we couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.

Thank YOU!

We’re just so grateful for each and every person who helped with the book, and every one of you who have been interested or excited about this journey. It means the world to us that you would want to buy it and support women in Cambodia.

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  • Reply
    September 30, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Done and done! Super excited! :-)

    • Reply
      October 1, 2012 at 9:09 am

      Awesome! Thank you :)

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    October 1, 2012 at 12:28 am

    WEEEEEEEEEEE! My internet here is so slow that I’m getting stuck at 30 seconds into your video (…typical), but it looks amazing! :) I’m so happy for you and proud to call you friends!

    • Reply
      October 1, 2012 at 9:09 am

      Thank you! And thanks for all of your help!

  • Reply
    October 1, 2012 at 9:22 am

    I am so excited for you both- what amazing work you have done! Love the video, too!

  • Reply
    October 1, 2012 at 11:21 am

    congrats! looks impressive and fun!

  • Reply
    October 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy! It is inspiring to see a couple using their professional skills to spread the Kingdom. I will be purchasing several copies for gifts as well. :)

  • Reply
    October 1, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Does one format have more profit margin (i.e. proceeds for the work in Cambodia)?

    • Reply
      October 1, 2012 at 10:12 pm

      They are about the same, but I think a bit more on the paperback version. You are always more than welcome to make a donation through CGI’s website if you like, You can earmark the funds for the Green Mango in the notes. Thanks for asking!

  • Reply
    Ruth Kuhnau
    October 2, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    How do I buy multiple copies? I want to give them out to the family at thanksgiving.

    • Reply
      October 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      Currently you have to check out multiple times. They are working on a quantity button. The shipping included in the price, so you don’t have to worry about that. Sorry!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2012 at 1:33 am

    Big big congratulations to you guys! I just bought my copy and can’t wait to start working my way through!

    • Reply
      October 3, 2012 at 8:20 pm

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2012 at 1:39 am

    Yay! I’m so happy for you both! The cookbook looks great and I need to get a copy!

    • Reply
      October 3, 2012 at 8:20 pm


  • Reply
    Marla Taviano
    October 4, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Oh. My. Word. A friend just told me about your site/cookbook. Holy cow awesome!! My husband, 3 girls, and I spent 5 weeks in Cambodia in December/January. We hope to go back long-term. My heart beats for Cambodia and its people and fighting against all the injustice. I love, love, love, LOVE that you’re doing this!! Will spread the word!!!

    • Reply
      October 4, 2012 at 10:46 pm

      Thank you! That’s awesome that you have such a heart for Cambodia :)!

    • Reply
      October 4, 2012 at 10:48 pm

      Oh, thank you! What an encouraging comment :) So neat that you and your family spent time in Cambodia – where were you? Excited to hear that you’re thinking about returning too! :) Thanks so much for the support — it means to much to us and to the Green Mango Cafe too!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    This looks so beautiful! Just ordered my copy today and can’t wait to start working through it. Good food, and supporting a great cause!

  • Reply
    October 16, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Um why aren’t you guys my friends? Hello, you guys are awesome! I’m officially proclaiming us friends. This is an amazing project with such a good cause backing it up!
    I love the idea behind this and now want to go to Cambodia to visit this beautiful cafe.
    I entered to win a copy (hopefully I do!) over at Annie’s blog, but if not, this book is on my shopping list!
    Thank you so much for your efforts and may you always do great things in life!

    • Reply
      October 16, 2012 at 9:54 pm

      Consider our friendship official! Thanks so much for this note, and your support! I love your enthusiasm :)

      Thanks for writing and your positive energy. And, we expect to hear more from you soon, friend!

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