Lessons From a Food Blog

I’ve been working on My Nana’s Kitchen for just over a year and a half now, and there are a lot of lessons I’ve learned from it. These lessons come up in conversation enough that I realized that you might want to know about them too, so here they are:

A butterscotch bar

One of my favourite photos I’ve taken

Lesson 1: Being the sole producer/researcher/photographer/ writer/etc. of a blog is much more difficult than anticipated. I bake all the time, so I figured it would be an easy addition to my life and a great way to honour my Nana’s memory; I was only right about the latter.
Baking is my stress reliever, but a full time job barely allows time for it, let alone all the extra steps that come with making whatever I baked into a blog post (photography, writing, editing, etc.)! Which leads me to my next lesson…

Lesson 2: Photographing food is somehow much more difficult than photographing humans and nature. I can’t explain this one. I know natural light helps, but I don’t get any direct light in my kitchen, not to mention that there is none at all as I usually bake at night, so I’m SOL in that department. Even so, you would think because food doesn’t move and you can put it every which way you want, that it would be easy to photograph, but for some reason it’s not…or maybe it’s just difficult for me.

Milk and cookies

Another favourite photo – can’t have chocolate chip cookies without milk!

Lesson 3: You can’t only do sweet recipes – my waistline let me know this one! Having a baking blog was a great idea, my Nana taught me my love of baking so it was a perfect fit…not so much for my jeans though. When it comes to baking, I don’t believe in cutting corners, if you want a healthy baking blog you’re inthe wrong place. Don’t get me wrong, I’m generally conscious of what I eat, but if the recipe says a stick of butter I’m going to put that whole stick in and scrape the wrapper to make sure I’ve gotten everything! So I eventually realized that I needed to branch out. I’ll always be a baker first and a cook second, but I do love to cook, so I’ve posted savoury recipes with the same principles as my sweet ones – simple, easy to replicate, and delicious!

Lesson 4: On the subject of the recipes, I learned that the goal of posting once a week was noble yet unattainable. Having a busy schedule just doesn’t allow for it. So suck it up, realize you’re only letting your goal down (not anybody else!), and make a new goal for every two or so weeks. And, when you miss a bit more than that, buckle down and catch up.

Tilapia Taco

Sometimes you need to try a new savoury recipe

Lesson 5: Also about recipes (surprise, surprise, this is a food blog), I learned that it’s actually difficult to post new ones. You’d think that you’re always excited to try new recipes, and I am, but along the way you find some great ones (like these Amazing Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies and these Incredible Rocky Road Cookies), or love your go to’s (such as My Famous Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins), that it’s hard to create new content!

This list is definitely a work in progress, so I’ll probably come back to you with some more in the future, but in the meantime I’d love to hear your thoughts and/or lessons from your own blogs!

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11 thoughts on “Lessons From a Food Blog

  1. I agree with all of your points! I haven’t been posting as much on my own blog because: 1) I’m busy with my job and other things unrelated to the blog and 2) I’m unfit right now and don’t want to bake desserts and sweets that I’ll end up eating most of. I’m glad to learn that I’m not the only one who finds it difficult to keep up a food blog with weekly posts. Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

  2. I definitely agree that it’s hard to keep up a blog – and I don’t even have a full-time job!
    For me, the hardest part is keeping myself in the mood to write; after that, I certainly have a hard time keeping myself to the size I want to be while indulging in amazing restaurants, cafes, diners and meals…!
    Thanks for your piece; it’s great to know that others out there find the joys of food writing as challenging as I!

  3. I definitely relate to these lessons! Two additional lessons I’ve learned (or am still trying to internalize!) are: 1. that it’s okay when a recipe doesn’t turn out how you were hoping, and you have to make it again (and sometimes *again*) to get it right, and 2. it’s not very helpful to compare yourself to other bloggers and their work (especially those who do this for a living!).
    [Side-note: those butterscotch bars looks divine!]

  4. I agree .. photographing while you’re cooking is something I find a little hard too. My kitchen is not the best place to click pics mainly because of the lighting, like you said. But most of your pictures have come out well and do tempt us to try them at home! 🙂

  5. This is great! I just started blogging (and by just, I mean, 12 hours ago..) and I love your thoughts on this! Laughing about how strangely hard it is to photograph food when I can somehow capture my non-stop 18 month old nephew with perfect clarity. Will definitely take note of these tips. Thanks!!

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