I’ve been writing this silly little blog for nearly two years now, that’s mad isn’t it?! I’ve got to be honest, for the longest time I was a bit weird about it.
You see, the truth is I’m actually quite private. Yeah right you say! But it’s true. Yes, I realise I project my life onto the internet for full public consumption, but that’s easy when you hide behind a pseudo-name and an avatar. It took me years to get a Facebook account, I still am slightly scared by twitter and I can’t even begin to fathom Pinterest, so it came as no surprise that I took a little time to ease into the blogging.
For the first few months I barely even told my friends about my project, I certainly never interacted with the wider blogosphere (yes, I did just use that word, a sure sign I am now a bona-fide part-time blogger!). I was so terrified that someone might actually SEE it, shock HORROR! Over time, I have (very) slowly been working on this.
So ten days ago, when I went to a food bloggers meetup group, I was really really stepping outside my comfort zone. The people I met there were amazing and all write such unbelievably drool-tastic blogs that it made me feel immediately self-conscious. They also spoke another language, one I’m not very familiar with; SEO, engagement and PR were just some of the foreign and strange terms being bandied about. I just sipped my wine, nodded, smiled and tried to at least look like I knew what they were talking about.
Seriously though, it was wonderful to meet such lovely, energetic and creative people. Left-brained auld me can always do with a dose of inventive thinking and inspiration, check out some of their blogs below (in no particular order) to get some for yourself.
It has also made me think a little more seriously about what I want to get out of my hobby, which has been good. And I realise that I am what I am. I am never going to take the best photographs, or write the snappiest posts, get 10 bazillion hits a day or even write the most interesting recipes. But that’s all OK. As long as I’m still excited to be in the kitchen, making things that make my belly gurgle and pushing myself to write something that at the very least doesn’t put people to sleep, I’ll be happy.
Also, I made carrot cake and it was good.
Check out all of this yumness: Belly Rumbles, Simon Food Favourites, 84th & 3rd.com, Mademoiselle Slimalicious, The Littlest Anchovy, Raging Cravings, One Small Pot, and last but by no means least Chew Town.
Carrot and orange cake
Makes two medium loaves.
zest and juice 1 orange
100 g sultanas
150 g butter, plus extra for greasing
150 g soft light-brown sugar
200 g self-raising wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp ground cardamom
200 g carrots, washed, peeled and grated
100 g walnuts, chopped, plus a few halves to decorate
For the icing:
200 g cream cheese, softened
50 g butter, softened
85 g icing sugar, sifted
Rind of 1 orange
The night before you’re going to make this, let the sultanas soak in the orange juice and rind in a covered bowl .
Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Grease and flour the edges and base of two medium loaf tins.
Cream the butter and the sugar together until the mixture looks pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time beating after each one is added.
Meanwhile sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices and mix well. Carefully fold into the butter and eggs mixture. Add the carrots, soaked sultanas, walnuts and mix. Transfer this mixture into two small loaf tins and pop into the oven for about 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
For the icing, beat together the butter, cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth and slather over the cake. Decorate with walnuts and orange rind.
Eat quickly with copious amounts of tea before anyone else can get their greedy hands on it.
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