What an honor! I have been selected for a Sunshine Blogger Award. I want to thank Summer from Summer Yule for nominating me. This is not the first time I have been nominated, but it is the first time I have responded to it in a blog.
Each time I had been nominated in the past, I was pleasantly surprised and honored that someone thought enough of my blog to include me in their roundup of outstanding bloggers. So why am I responding this time when I haven’t in the past?
Perspective! Maturity? I think I was just too new to blogging. I had been blogging less than a year when I was nominated before and I (wrongly) thought I had to concentrate on the food to be taken seriously. Anything outside of that would take away from the authenticity of the blog.
I have since learned that a major part of blogging is putting yourself out there. Infact, some of my favorite bloggers lay it all out there for all to read. I know personal intimate thing about essentially strangers. Only here’s the thing. They are not strangers. I might not have ever meant them in person, but I consider them close personal friends, mentors, and and even family in some cases.
So, this is me opening up a bit and stepping out of my comfort zone.
What are the Rules of the Sunshine Blogger Award?
The Sunshine Blogger Award comes along with some very simple rules for those who wish to participate. They are:
- Thank the blogger(s) who have given you the award and link back to their blog.
- Answer the 11 questions you were asked.
- Nominate 11 new bloggers and ask them 11 questions. Inform the nominees that they’ve won the award by leaving a comment on their blog or contacting them by social media.
- Display the rules and a Sunshine Blogger Award image in your blog post.
The 11 questions posed to me!
1. Why did you start your blog or website?
I was looking for a creative outlet. I have always loved all things food: eating, reading, cooking, creating. There is nothing that gives me greater joy than laying out a delicious meal for family and friends and watching them eat it. When conversation stops and all you hear is the clicking of utensils on plates you know you did something special. I decided to combine my passion for food with my love of gardening via a blog that celebrates farm-to-table and easy meals that anyone can make.
2. How much time do you spend on your site each week?
Depends on how you view “time on the blog”. The actual writing of the blog does not take more than and hour or two a week. The work that goes into the post, now that is another beast altogether. I spend a lot of time researching new food techniques, kitchen gadgets, unique ingredients, talking to chefs, and prowling through farmers markets and my own garden to find new ideas to share on the blog.
3. What is something that you wish you knew when you first started your site, that you only learned later?
Blogging has to be a passion, it has to be enjoyable. Don’t blog for money, fame, or recognition. All those things have known to come from blogging, but you cannot start a blog with that in mind. Love what you are doing. Concentrate on the content (which is something I am still tweaking), find your voice and stay with it. I truly believe that if you love what you are doing, if you take the time to critique and improve on it, your love and passion will come through and there will always be plenty of room on the web for that.
4. What helps to keep you grounded when you are facing life’s challenges?
My Kids! Children have a way of stating the truth without any consideration of your feelings or tiptoeing around the subject. Sometimes it’s harsh, but it’s always real without malice or ulterior motives. They are simply making an observation. When your son tells you, you are beautiful. You are beautiful to him. Say thank you, cuz tomorrow he will be telling you you look fat in those jeans. In that case, go upstairs and change immediately.
5. If you are working towards any health goals at the moment, what are they?
I am challenging myself to be healthier. Not just loss weight, or exercise more, but be healthier in all my decisions. For example, will saying yes to that add more stress? Than being okay with saying no. Do I really have to stay up all night to get the report done, or do I just want it off my “to do” list?
6. What is a food or dish that you have not tried yet that you would love to try?
There are few things I haven’t tried yet. That is, if I wanted to. I have never had octopus, because I do not want to. Those suction cup tentacles scare me. They look so gross I cannot move past it. Otherwise, if I see it on a menu and it interests me, I try it. And I have been eating for a long time now. 😉
7. What is one of your favorite recipes? (Feel free to provide a link to the deliciousness.)
I seriously do not have a favorite recipe. I have a favorite type of recipe. The very best thing about food is how diverse and creative it is. I am hunger and want this today, but tomorrow I see that and want that. More than a recipe I prefer a type of recipe. I like fresh, perfectly cooked, with interesting spices and herbs that complement one another, and not too pretentious. Give me a mouthwatering, flavorful dish! That is my favorite recipe.
8. If you were only permitted to use one kitchen appliance for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
My KitchenAid with all its attachment! I can make bread, press and cut pasta, peel veggies, make zucchini swirls, whip up egg whites, chop, dice, and otherwise pulperize my food with my KitchenAid. A food processor is a close second.
9. What is the strangest food that you have ever eaten? (Go ahead, bring on the weird!)
There was a period in our lives where my son and husband thought it was great fun to find and eat the strangest things. I have had alligator, kangaroo, shark, and turtle. I did put my foot down to rattle snake. I do not care how good they say it was.
10. What is your top tip related to food or nutrition?
Don’t follow the recipe! Recipes are guidelines and meant to be revamped to your tastes and preferences. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
11. How is your site spreading some sunshine to your readers?
I think food has a way of bringing us together. Maybe it is a similar meal you shared with your family, a favorite ingredient made a new way, or just looking at the pictures when you are hungry. I hope my recipes inspire, encourage, and bring a smile to your face and a growl to your belly!
My Sunshine Blogger Award Nominees
Oh my goodness, there are so many talented bloggers out there. To narrow it down to 11 is not an easy as it sounds. I have found so much inspiration, ideas, and content from so many that I could easily list a hundred who deserve an award.
I decided to nominate 11 bloggers that I have just recently found who put out outstanding content over and over, but maybe need a helping hand to gain more followers. They add sunshine to my life and I hope they will yours as well. I hope you consider following their blog. Drumroll, please…
- Jana Cooks
- Black Fig Food
- Cake vs. Bacon
- Frankie’s Food Life
- Smitha’s Bake Love
- A Vintage Kitchen
- A Little Midwest Love
- The Whisk Addict
- The Salty Biscotti
- Scratch Basics
The 11 questions I want to know
- Why do you blog?
- What has been the most interesting/discouraging thing about blogging?
- What is the piece of advice you would offer to new bloggers?
- Would you do a TV food challenge like “Chopped”, why or why not?
- What would be your last meal and why?
- What/Where is your favorite restaurant and why is it special to you?
- What is the most interesting, disgusting, or intriguing thing you have ever eating?
- Who would you most like to share a meal with?
- Who/What inspires you?
- What has been your favorite vacation to date?
- If you could do one thing to impact the world, what would it be?