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Friday, June 30, 2017

Mini Apricot-Almond Loaves

Summer is in full swing in Northern California...which means the Farmer's Market is filled with a vast array of fresh fruits and veggies - among them apricots!  This recipe pairs apricots with my new obsession: baking mini quick bread loafs. Mini quick breads make a fun food gift, breakfast, snack or dessert. The burst of tart apricot surrounded by lightly spiced sweet bread is delicious!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Oatmeal, M&M and Chocolate Chip Cookies

My grandmother made the absolute best oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I remember she would store them in the deep freezer and we would sneak them and consume frozen whenever we had the opportunity. When I was old enough, I asked my grandmother for her recipe. I was surprised to learn it was the recipe from the Quaker Oats oatmeal box!

I have made some adjustments to the recipe to make it a bit more interesting...

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Squash

This dish was the result of prepping a meal with what was available in our kitchen at the time. The result was a raging success that has been requested several times since its debut. It is a simple, meatless meal that is ready in a matter of minutes. A perfect summertime dinner!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Blogging Break Over!

It has been some time since my last post...December 2015! I began my food blogging experiment in November 2014. I thought it would be an easy hobby that would be fun and bring in some extra cash. I also thought it would help answer the eternal question at our house, "What are we going to eat today?"

What I actually experienced was much different from my expectations...

I was obviously delusional when I started blogging. It is not easy! I thought that within a year I would have a tremendous following and would be rolling in the dough. That clearly didn't happen. I have just checked my earnings and haven't hit the $5 mark. And that is not a monthly total. It is the total from November 2014 until now. How embarrassing!

The question about what are we going to eat today continued and was compounded by, "What am I going to blog about this week?"  Taking good pictures has proven difficult for me. Coming up with original content on a regular basis also proved to be challenging.

Why did I stop blogging? A variety of reasons. My dad passed away. A couple months later a kid rear-ended me when I was stopped at a red light in my new little car that hadn't yet had an oil change and tried to pin fault on me. And then a couple of months later, my washing machine flooded and damaged flooring that was only 6 months old in three different rooms. Dealing with all those issues at (relatively) the same time made keeping up a food blog seem like something insignificant that was easy to give up.

I have been toying with the idea of getting back into my hobby blogging over the past couple months and have finally committed myself to give it a go again.

I need to find my blogger identity (i.e. What am I going to be when I grow up?) I have tried the 'party' platform where several bloggers work around a common theme and then link to each other's post. Party blogging is fun, but I'm not sure that it is within my comfort zone. I have thought about going through my grandmother and great-grandmother's recipes, but I'm not sure others would find it interesting. I have thought about cooking whatever is on the cover of various magazines and grading them.

I was looking for some online motivation and by coincidence found the International Food Blogger's Conference will be in Sacramento, CA September 29 - October 1. The deadline for registering is June 30, which gives me only a couple of days to get it together!

What are my next steps?  I need to get three posts published by June 30 so I can register as an 'active citizen blogger' for the International Food Blogger's conference. Then I will do my best to commit to one post per week.  I also need to improve my photography skills and look into a better 'look' for my website. So many things to do!

I would appreciate words of wisdom from anyone who is currently blogging or has blogged and dropped it.  Let's see what happens with my renewed energy for food blogging!